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Detecting Coins & Relics with the Minelab CTX 3030

Minelab CTX 3030 For Detecting Coins & Relics

Minelab CTX 3030

Minelab CTX 3030 is widely regarded as one of the leading brands of metal detectors on the market today. Their gold detectors are unmatched in the goldfields when it comes to prospecting and this is the primary focus of the company. But MineLab also has a very wide range of metal detectors that work outside of the goldfields as well. One of these detectors is the Minelab CTX 3030.

Although it can certainly find gold, the CTX 3030 is designed for coin and relic hunting and it offers some unique features. It is currently one of the most popular detectors on the market today.

Waterproof & Wireless

The first noteworthy feature of this detector is that it’s waterproof. Many of the undiscovered prospective may be hidden underwater and CTX 3030 provides the versatility, along with accuracy to identify various metal targets. The CTX is waterproof to 10 feet and provides a smooth transition from land to water. Of course, even if you don’t intend to go underwater to hunt for treasure, it is still nice to have a detector that you can use in the rain without worrying about it getting damaged.

Furthermore, CTX 3030 has wireless audio. This allows the user to be headphones free and can easily use the built-in speakers for the target’s audio response. The user is not limited, that is, one can either use the speakers, the supplied headphones or even their own headphones. This is something that most detectors on the market are currently lacking right now.

Discrimination Features

One of the most important features that separates CTX 3030 from the other metal detectors is its Discrimination Mode. CTX 3030 has the advanced technology to identify the good targets and mask signals from undesired metals. Its signal processing allows the target to be detected, according to their ferrous and conductive properties.

Of course most detectors now have some sort of discrimination, but the CTX 3030 is widely regarded as having one of the most accurate of any detector on the market. It has the Smartfind 2 technology, which provides more information about the target, by displaying the target’s signal strength on different colors on the full-color LCD screen.

Along with that, CTX 3030 also has distinct audible tones for a range of scales. Once the user learns the different tones of the detector, this detector becomes an exceptional tool for trashy areas that hide coins and other nonferrous relics among iron rubbish.

Understanding the Visual Display

Another interesting thing to note is that, the various FE-CO properties are represented numerically and graphically on the screen. The screen will appear like an x-y graph. The x or the horizontal axis display the target’s conductivity ranging from 1 to 50 (left to right). The y or the vertical axis display the target’s ferrous properties ranging from 1-35 (top to bottom). For example, if CO value displays 1, that means the target has low conductive properties and if also displays FE value of 1, then it has low ferrous properties. Low conductive properties are the small coins, thin jewelries, whereas the high conductive properties are the large silver or copper items.

As the detector is passing over a target, it will process the response and the signal of the target. Then, at the end, the screen will display the Target ID Panel and Target Cursor, along with the FE-CO properties.

The Target ID panel basically displays the ferrous properties, conductive properties and the target’s depth, whereas, the target cursor allows the user to determine if the following target is desirable or undesirable.

The two kinds of target cursors are the Accept Target Cursor and the Reject Target Cursor. Targets can be identified according to their ferrous and conductive properties. If a target is close to the rejecting section, the screen will indicate the Reject Cursor and further investigation is prevented. Furthermore, the discrimination mode has two patterns P1 and P2, which the user can toggle between easily, and can be set in any way according to each detecting situation.

The discrimination mode offers the Target Trace mode, which provides more target information, allowing the user to identify two or more targets simultaneously. A horizontal trace shows low and high conductivity coins, whereas, a vertical trace shows high conductivity coins and ferrous trash. A diagonal trace indicates a low conductivity coin and ferrous trash and an erratic trace indicates plain trash.

While using the discrimination mode, the Tone ID may prove to be of great help, especially in situations with a lot of detections. Tone ID allows the user to vary the tone of the audio, when different target characteristics are being detected. It can be from 1, where the all targets emit the same tone to 50, where they can emit 50 tones, depending on their CO properties. One can also have a combination of FE/CO tones.

One other tip is to use the ferrous-coin and ground-coin separation modes. Ferrous-coin separation allows the detector to identify coins that are closer to the edge of ferrous trash. Ground-coin separation is recommended to use in highly mineralized grounds, since it stabilizes the Target ID and enhances the detector’s ability to identify good targets.

FBS 2 Technology

FBS 2 (Full Band Spectrum 2) is a patented technology owned by the brand. It’s as is its name suggests – a full band spectrum of multiple frequency technology. Now, this is true multi-frequency technology with 28 available frequencies from 1.5-100 kHz. Interestingly, the frequencies travel in a rectangular wave which apparently improves coil-to-detector communication.

The new electronics and smart coils provide greater depth perception, even 10% more than Minelab’s E-Trac. FBS 2 also provides auto sensitivity and ground compensation, multi-channel signal conversion for enhancing target separation, and Smartfind 2D discrimination.

Because the CTX is a multi-frequency concurrent machine, it seems there isn’t the ability to use only a single frequency at a time. But, then again, there’s no need to when all frequencies are covering the entire spectrum allowing you detect all-sized objects in one sweep.

There’s no need to switch between frequencies to make multiple sweeps over the same ground to ensure you don’t miss a target.

Smartfind 2D Discrimination

This technology is one of the provided advantages of having FBS tech. This advanced feature is a game changer. Much in the same way that 28 frequencies are in simultaneous operation, the Smartfind 2 also analyzes both ferrous and non-ferrous objects simultaneously.

This data is presented to the user in three ways: in Fe (ferrous) and Co (conductive) tones, numerically with a Target ID, and graphically on 2D display scale. This not only aids and improves on target separation, but it also provides extreme detail about whether an item is a good or trash.

Target Trace

This feature is a direct benefit of the Smartfind 2 tech. Target Trace provides a real time graphic in full-color the detections that are sent out to determine the Target ID of an object. This is extremely beneficial for target separation. Where inferior detectors would only pick up on the larger objects and where ferrous objects would slow down detection speed, the CTX is able to go much further.

It can virtually provide an image to show ferrous and conductive objects, even if they’re next to each other, regardless of size. No longer will small and valuable finds be lost, masked, or missed by trash items.

Sensitivity & Volume Gain

You have both auto and manual sensitivity modes. In Auto, the range is -3 to 3. In Manual, the range is 1-30. Automatic Sensitivity allows the detector to use the best sensitivity level for the ground phase to minimize ground signals. The detector is continuously measuring the response. In Manual mode, you can set sensitivity yourself. Two numbers will appear on the screen, one in white and one in green.

The green number is the recommended sensitivity level and the white number is the current sensitivity level that is set and the detector is working with. When in auto mode, you may see these numbers change as it’s continuously measuring the ground. It will be best to reset sensitivity if these numbers become significantly different.

The Volume Gain feature amplifies the audio the audio response, so you can hear weaker signals louder. Its adjustable range is from 0-30. At level 30, it will be difficult to differentiate between medium and strong signals as the volume is turned all the way up. On the bright side, weaker signals will be louder. It’s important to note that adjusting volume gain will not increase or decrease sensitivity – it’s just the target audio response volume that you’re adjusting.

Coins & Relics with the CTX 3030

The Minelab CTX 3030 is one of the most expensive coin detectors on the market right now, but it is also one of the most popular.

If you are only a casual user who doesn’t want to spend that kind of money, other detectors such as the Garrett AT Pro may be more suitable for your needs. However, if you are looking for the best of the best, then the CTX 3030 is among a small group of detectors that you should be considering.

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