Metal Detectors: Patio, Lawn & Garden
Building a metal detector from scratch is one of the fun activities you can undertake in you spare or leisure time. Nothing feels as rewarding as the realization that you have a working detector for your patio or garden, and the work can be attributed to you. In addition to enjoying the assembling of the detector, the process is educational and will save you hundreds of dollars as opposed to buying an off the shelf metal detector. Making your metal detector will provide an experience of a lifetime and also provide room for customization to fit your needs. In this article, we provide a step by step guide on how to make your metal detector from the requirements needed to the final step of exploring your adventures using the detector.
How the metal detector works
Before we can engage in this intriguing procedure of assembling a metal detector, it is essential to understand how the detector works and what it is mainly used for. The operation of a metal detector depends on the magnetization principle to work. There are three essential parts of the detector which are;
1. The shaft that connects the control box and the coil. The shaft is adjustable, and you can adjust it to meet your height requirements.
2. The control box that contains the controls, circuitry, batteries, speakers and the microprocessor
3. Search coil. The coil is used to set up a magnetic field which is then directed into the ground. When the coil passes over the ground and happens to detect a metal object, the tone in the speaker changes. The change is an indicator that a metal object is in close proximity and to increase the sensitivity of the detector, a large coil is required.
4. A stabilizer can also be included although it is optional and is used to keep the detector steady while it is in use.
Choosing a metal detector to construct
Choosing the right detector to build is essential to ensure that you get the right results based on the task at hand. Some of the factors that influence the detector that you want include the terrain where it will be used, the treasures you are searching for and most importantly, your budget. Based on these parameters, there are various types of detectors to choose. They include;
1. The VLF (very low frequency) detectors which are the most common as they can track metals in different terrains.
2. Next is the BFO (beat frequency induction) detectors that detect minerals or metals that are in the range of the pulse. This detector is a good beginning point for any beginners, and budget minded individuals and treasure hunters.
3. There are also detectors able to detect objects that are buried deep and have the ability to filter black sand. They are known as pulse Induction (PI) detectors. These detectors are high end and are popular among gold hunters.
4. Lastly is the radio and calculator detector which is the easiest to assemble and detect close by metals.
The section following below shows you how to assemble a simple radio and calculator detector. The choice of this detector is that you can make it at home since it does not require anything fancy.
Just as the name suggests; a radio and a calculator are the basic requirements needed to make the detector work. Other requirements include a duct tape, board, a spoon and a broomstick and with this, you will make the detector work.
a. Search head assembling
Use a radio with an AM setting. Tune the radio to the highest band in this setting and ensure that you are not tuned to a station as this will distract you from hearing the static tone clearly and this is what you need. The next step is to get your calculator and turn it on. Now, position both the calculator and the radio back to back until you acquire a steady dull tone being emitted by the radio. To achieve this, try to vary the distances between the two devices and their angles until you get the steady tone. Once you achieve the tone, tape your devices in this position. If the tone has been achieved in an awkward position that makes tapping the two devices impossible, mount them on the board in that position.
b. The shaft
Now that you have a working search head from the procedure above, the next step is to attach it to a shaft. Here, use duct tape to mount the search head to a broomstick. Here the duct tape works as the stabilizer to ensure that all the components are in place and cannot fall once the device is in operation. Therefore, it is essential to ensure your components are well positioned and held in place.
At this point, you have a working detector, and you need to test it on some metals. Use a spoon and try to bring it close to the detector. If you get a beeping sound as the spoon approaches the detector, Hooray, you have successfully assembled a simple working detector with nothing extra other than the gadgets in your house.
Now you can explore the gadget to see whether it detects other metal objects even those slightly hidden in the ground such as in your garden, patio or lawn. A good starting point would be going to the beach if you reside near one and sweep your device back and forth to see whether there are any metallic materials detected.
The procedure of assembling this detector is simple and straightforward. Now you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to quickly construct a working metal detector, and the beauty of it is that you do it all by yourself without any specialist help. With this knowledge, you can now assemble a detector for yourself and hopefully your child. You can also use the acquired knowledge from this article to teach your friends some of these tricks, and it will keep your spending to a minimum compared to what you would use to buy a metal detector.