Minelab 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.
Also Read: 3 Metal Detectors for Underwater Gold Nugget Hunting
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.
Also Read: Hunting for Gold with the XP DEUS
And: Metal Detecting for Relics in Old Mining Camps
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.
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 or the White’s MXT 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.