I was recently shopping at our local Harbor Freight tool store, when I saw a metal detector made for finding nails in wooden boards. This unit is only 81/2" long and 1 1/2" wide. The head is 2 3/4" wide. I thought it might come in handy to pinpoint an object under the coil of a metal detector. I had no idea of the sensitivity of this unit but bought it anyway for $15.00
I was very surprised to find out I could very accurately pinpoint small metal objects, even could sense copper clad BB's which I had a hard time finding with my eyes. This "Little Wizard II" Which it's called is light in weight but strong, has a thumb adjustment for sensitivity and a screw adjustment for course tune. It runs on one 9v battery with a good running time. My Grandson uses it in the back yard to find coins and nails etc. just by itself. I hope someone else might find this helpful as I do.
My detector takes 8 AA battery's and I got tired of carrying spares and recharging all of the time so the batt's were at peak power for good detecting. I went to my local battery store and bought a 12V 4.5 amp wet cell sealed battery for $11.00. The battery has spade terminals for a slip on connector, two alligator clips for the battery compartment on the detector, a little automotive accessory wiring and I was all set. I bought a carpenters canvas tool belt with four canvas pockets on it for the control box and battery and now I can hunt for days without a recharge and the spare pockets a great for trash and finds.
Here's another tip that seems to be successful in finding Jewelry. What I do is find an area with a lot of clad coins and clear the high tones out while I'm clearing the high tones I mark the low tones with poker chips then I go back and clear the low tones you find a lot of trash but you do get nickels and rings this way.
I only do this in areas where I get a lot of hits in a small area. One high school that I went to has a small grassy area 20 by 20 next to the main doors and I pulled 20 dollars in clad in three hours and 2 rings using this method. This high school was built only 4 years ago! Most people reading this might think that I'm using a high dollar detector but I'm not I picked up a Bounty Hunter at Big 5 for $100.00 dollars and it paid for itself in one month. I took it to a detector shop in Denver and they said it wouldn't detect gold nuggets boy they where sure surprised when it did. There is a learning curve with this detector but when you figure it out it is really productive. I have only been detecting since Christmas of this year but IM hooked for life now!
When in an area with lots of brushes and brier patches, cut your way into the thick of it and find what the others who are afraid of brier patches did not find.
FINDING HUNTING SITES VIA INTERNET
I think of the Internet as a brief synopsis of all the information available to me from a library. Sometimes the information is incomplete, sometimes not true, but it is a starting point for finding sites I can use my metal detector on. Though it will never replace conventional research, the astronomical growth of the information being placed on the Internet has changed the methods I use to research forever. Here is one project I have begun that hopefully will begin others on the trail of research. I started this project for my local metal detecting club. I wanted to find all the ghost towns in Montgomery County, Indiana so we could find places for club hunts. I started my research at E-Bay, finding and bidding on any map of Indiana I could and especially maps that drilled down to the county I was researching, providing towns of the era (I limited my research to 1852-1897). I found that the most frequent maps available to me were railroad maps. Not a lot of detail on roads, but great for providing town names and distances from other towns.
I also started looking for maps that were placed on the Internet. My first reference was American Memory Historical Collections for the National Digital Library posted on the web by the Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov. This site was great for finding many of the state maps for the time frame. This as well as many other Internet references were obtained by a simple use of a search engines such as Google. I placed the words Map Indiana History Montgomery County Union Township in the search engine and up popped as many maps as I could look at in a week. Another site located during this search was Hoosier Web Hoosier Genealogy and history http://www.hoosierweb.org. This site provided me with a list of post offices in the county for 1875. PERFECT!! I took this information and matched the towns listed against current towns. I looked up the current towns using Yahoo! Maps http://maps.yahoo.com/. I looked up each town from the 1875 list and if it was listed, checked it off my list.
This left 12 towns not listed on Yahoo and were therefore assumed as Ghost Towns for the moment. Now it was time to go back to my basic search engine. I then took each town name left on my list and entered them into my original search (Map Indiana History Montgomery County Union Township TOWN NAME). I had to review a few pages to find out which towns had been renamed to current names and tick them off as well. This left nine towns that no record existed for. Of these nine towns, six had short histories of some kind on the Internet.
Now I just had to be able to find the actual towns' general locations. I added the word plat to my search, hoping to find a few plat maps, but no such luck on this (Note: many states and counties do have historical plat maps on the Internet, but the county I was searching for did not).
Okay... Off to the library then. In the library I found early plat books for 1864 and current plat books of today. I was able to look up the towns and compare their locations. The first town I located is Pawnee, Indiana. Now a cornfield, the plat map pinpointed the town's railroad station. It worked out that the station is on the exact corner of four plats. I again used the current plat map in the library and was able to follow the roads to the exact location. Virginia (my wife) and I went to the site and looked it over. We used the new plat map to find out who the owner is and are now in the process of contacting them to get permission to hunt the site. I hope to take my detector out in a week or two just to check the ground, without digging and see if it is ALL plowed down too deep. If I find anything of note, I will recommend this site to my club for a club hunt.
The old plat map also shows either a school or church in the same area. There is no building there now, though there are a couple of farmhouses nearby. The owner of the land where the old building was is listed on the new plat map as the owner of one of these farmhouses. I will start knocking on doors and hopefully begin a conversation with the owner or a neighbor. Hopefully, I can pinpoint that building. Back to the library again to try to breakdown exactly where the buildings were in the town. I tried first to look through the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, but could find no map of Pawnee. I then went to the Indiana Historical Magazines. I found four articles on Pawnee, but still nothing on the locations of the buildings. The search is not over, it was just too late to do any more over the weekend.
I will try to keep you abreast the further along I get in my research on the other towns and the progress of the hunt for Pawnee. If others get interested in the idea of research they may find their own for places of interest. Most of us are especially interested, in the methods others use to find sites, determine their hunting prospects and get permission to hunt on them. Next