Monday, December 15, 2008

Alternative Detectors

Treasure hunters are always looking for the right equipment for the right job. Sometimes the right piece of equipment is very expensive and sometimes you can find what you need really cheap.

There are as many different detectors out there as there are treasure stories. Each one has its good and bad points and some are very specific in their use. This article is about one of those different pieces of equipment that wasn’t designed to hunt treasure with but in some cases will do the trick nicely.

What I am talking about is a modern version of a dip needle. This dip needle is made by Aqua Survey Instruments out of Cincinnati, OH. It is very simple to use and if you do your research you can get them very cheaply. The company is still in business and still making this particular device however you can find older, used versions on places like e-bay for a lot less. A new one sells for around $135-$165. If you are careful, you can get them around $15-$25. I know of one that just went for a grand total of $11 in the last couple of weeks.

These instruments are light, weighing in just under one pound and small in size, approximately 3 ¼ x 3 ½ x 2 ¼ inches in size. They don’t need batteries and they will work just about anywhere. Their big draw back is that they work on the earth’s magnetic field and will only locate steel and iron. If you are hunting for outlaw loot then this isn’t such a bad thing since the outlaws like to bury their caches in things like cast iron pots.

Another draw back to these instruments is their depth. The depth and size of the object will have a direct bearing on how the needle deflects because of the target. The bigger the target, the more deflection of the needle.

These are very simple to use. You just open up the top of the case, point the front of the instrument to magnetic north and start walking. If you cross something that affects the magnetic field such as a big iron pot or chest then the needle will move. The more magnetic interference caused by the object the more the needle will move. A dutch oven in the ground at a depth of about three feet will almost peg the needle. I wonder what an old Wells Fargo safe would do?

I wouldn’t want to rely on one of these as a sole source of verification of a buried treasure but it can give you a reading to check further with another instrument. If you are looking for treasure in places where carrying a metal detector is, ummm, too obvious, then this is something you might consider.

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