A fun club contest
Club meets can be a lot more fun if you include a contest where everyone brings their detector and they can test their skills against others in the club. This can be done with a minimum of cost and trouble.
Either clean the metal trash out of a small area near the club or if necessary you can have this contest inside with the aid of a table or chair with no nails. Maybe one of those plastic chairs would do just fine. I went to a store nearby and looked for those white plastic containers and finally settled on one that looks like it was made to hold a hamberger. I bought enough of them for a small cost and that is one of the nice things about this contest. The cost is low and the fun is great.
This is a chance for those with their expensive machines to compare their skills with those who have simpler machines. There will be some surprises! Gather lots of targets to use from different types of pulltabs, tinfoil, a rusty nail, gold ring, a door key, and several types of coins. You can change these targets as often as you like to keep the challenge in the game. The trick is to take a piece of masking tape and stick the coin to the top inside of the plastic container and then close the container.
Next you take a sheet of paper and write the objects that are contained in the plastic covers down the page in a list. Number each object. Next number each one of the plastic containers and I think that the number to use should be from 12 – 24 so that there will be quite a few targets to identify.
Begin the contest by forming a line of contestants with their detectors. Allow each one to move their coil over the container until he or she decided the likely target. Now if they decide that the target is the gold ring for instance they look down the paper list until they see gold ring and write the number of the plastic container next to that object on the list. This permits each detectorist to test their machines and their skill against others in the club and always has quite a few surprises when the correct list is posted to see. Then it might be nice to offer the winner a small prize to reward his or her skills.
Some folks with expensive metered machines may discover that someone with nothing but a simple detector with a discriminator is better at the target identification then they are with the expensive machine. The person with the simple machine with no tone id or meter id can simply turn the discriminator knob until they see just where the targets fall in. Experience should pay in this exercise and everyone can learn from this.
A variation on the contest would be to exchange detectors and use a different detector to work your skills. This would serve the purpose of permitting to see how all the other machines work and to decide if you might want to trade machines someday.