Civil War relic hunting with the White's TDI metal detector.

I recently purchased a used White's TDI metal detector from Centreville Electronics in Manassas, Virginia. It arrived in good condition with only a few minor scratches from the previous owner. The bottom of the coil looked almost brand new with just a few scratches so I knew that this unit was not used very much. It came with a manual and headphones. I read the manual and then downloaded the TDI Field Manual from White's website and read that from cover to cover. I practiced a little in the backyard on some buried coins and a civil war bullet. The detector had no problem finding these targets.

I did get a little confused about the conductivity switch on the metal detector that allows you to hunt in High, Low, or All. "All" of course sounds off on all targets. High responds to high conductivity targets and Low to low conductivity targets. It does not mean High tone or Low is for target conductivity.

A sunny week opened up for me in Remington, Virginia and I decided to head down for a couple days of relic hunting on my uncle's property. I have hit this property hard, especially since purchasing the V3i metal detector. I wanted to see if the TDI could find other relics that I had missed with the V3i.

The first day and a half I used the TDI in the All mode and just dug everything. I dug up a lot of junk targets but did manage to find 8 civil war bullets, the backside of a cuff button, a New York button, and a scabbard tip. I must mention that the cuff button was 12" deep! The tone was a high pitch sound but weak. I dug down and would recheck the hole and the ground cloth after almost every shovelful. At about 10" I hit the clay but never remember finding relics in the clay. I dug into the clay a few inches and threw the dirt onto the ground cloth and rechecked again and sure enough there was a target there this time. I was completely impressed with the depth on this TDI.

On the last day I started hunting in the All mode and found a three ringer in the morning. After digging it up I put the bullet on top of the ground and switched the conductivity switch to Low. It would not pick it up at all! I switched it to High and immediately got a response. The rest of the day I hunted in High and dug 10 civil war bullets.

At lunch time I went over to a friends house who also has a TDI and he informed me that when hunting in the High mode the unit will respond with a low tone sound for high conductive metals and when in the Low mode it will respond with a high tone sound for low conductive metals. High will get the larger caliber bullets and Low will get the small caliber bullets and brass. All of course will respond to all targets. Since I hunted mostly in High for the larger bullets the next time I go down I will try the Low and see if I can find some pistol bullets and buttons.

The battery pack lasted around 8 hours and it was good that the detector comes with two battery packs. My detector settings were as follows: Gain 8, Pulse Delay 12-14, Conductivity All or High, GEB on and ground balanced.

Total bullets this trip: 20.

Click pictures to enlarge.

Civil war relics from day one include a round ball and a scabbard tip.
Civil War relics from day one. Musket ball, buck ball, scabbard tip.
Civil war finds from day two include bullets and a nice New York coat button.
Three ringers, Sharps, Merrill's carbine, New York button.
Civil war bullets from day three of the relic hunt.
Three ringers, Sharps, Smith carbine, and a few fired three ringers.
.54 caliber rifled musket civil war bullet.
.54 caliber rifled musket.
Civil war New York coat button.
New York coat button.
Bottom of New York button that reads Excelsior.
New York coat button.