XP Deus ground balance talk

The XP Deus ground balance

The Deus operates what I describe as a true ground balance and can require a little more understanding compared to many other machines on today’s market, just because it is there does not mean you have to get involved with it, as I will try to explain in this article.
Without ground balance – or ground cancel, the detector will see the ground beneath your feet as a target.
Ground balance is a form of rejecting the ground whilst still having the ability to detect ferrous and non-ferrous targets, very much like rejecting Iron and only hearing non-ferrous targets.
Typical ground conditions around the world are either conductive or magnetic, sometimes a combination of the two.
Take for example an average field in the UK, it is wet, this makes the ground conductive, then introduce years of cattle waste or modern fertilisers and the ground matrix is a mix of different minerals that can change from area to area.
Another example is magnetic iron sands (“Black Sand”), salt, and high concentrations of other minerals in the water will call for a different range of adjustments.
This is a difficult challenge for any VLF metal detector, sometimes it is impossible to get an accurate ground balance, so a compromise has to be the best solution.
This is why XP offer factory pre-set ground balance settings, so you don’t have to worry about complicated adjustments.

Do I need to ground balance my Deus

The answer is NO the user does not always need to perform this procedure, because XP have taken care of most of the work within the software, the factory pre-sets are more than adequate for 99% of most UK inland searching. Notice I said the UK, as I know some overseas soil very often require extra adjustments for optimum performance.
The operator can adjust their ground balance if they wish to change the characteristics of the Deus in order to suit their searching environment, or to find specific targets.
However they must also bear in mind there may be negative consequences if the ground balance is incorrectly adjusted.
Chasing random “on screen” ground numbers can be very counter productive.

Top Tip : Only adjust something if it requires adjusting – never adjust it just because you can.

Ground numbers and consistency – how they are generated

This is possibly the easiest way to explain how the ground number are generated:
Let’s take the Deus and wave a coin in front of the coil, when the coin is close, the “Target ID” meter readings are solid and reliable, move the coin far away and the meter readings become less consistent.
The same applies to the “Ground” readings, a solid ground echo is indicated by a high mineralisation bar, the numbers can be trusted. A low mineralisation bar indicates a weak ground echo so the numbers will be inconsistent and in many cases inaccurate, just like the target ID we have just talked about.

Figure 3: XP Deus ground sensitivity adjustments

Version 4.1 Ground sensitivity (New feature)

Version 4.1 has a Ground Sensitivity feature – GROUND SENS.
This allows the operator to adjust how strong the ground signal needs to be before :
A: The ground meter gives a numerical display.
B: The Deus starts to track the ground.

For example lower numbers will require a strong ground signal to activate the ground reading.
Highly mineralised soils typically give the strongest ground signals, indicated by a high mineralisation bar.

Figure 1 : Mineralisation bar

If a strong ground signal is not received by the Deus the numerical ground display now will show – – and the ground balance will default to 88.
This is also the case if the coil is motionless for a short time, once the coil is in motion again the ground numbers will resume, providing there is a strong enough signal for your chosen ground sensitivity setting.

*Note: Earlier Deus software versions had a fixed ground sensitivity of around 10.

What is the best ground sensitivity setting.

In most cases somewhere between 4 and 6 will work well – Once again I am referring to the UK here.

How do I set the ground sensitivity.

You can be in either tracking or manual GB mode.
Swing the coil over the ground and detect normally, we do not recommend pumping as this can give an over powered reading.
As you detect watch the numerical ground display and adjust it accordingly, I prefer to see a constant – – reading with an occasional number, but you may want to see constant numbers.
There is no exact setting as this is a user PRO adjustment, time should be taken to learn this feature.
It is not recommended to set your Ground sensitivity to high because you will see erratic numbers appear as the machine is trying to report or track to every slight change, and as mentioned earlier, these could be inaccurate numbers.

Tracking mode + Ground Sensitivity working together.

You can now use ground sensitivity to tell the machine when to track.
For example: If you set the ground sensitivity so the ground numbers only display when you are detecting over mineralised ground, then it will only track at this time. If it is not tracking, the ground balance will default to 88 and show – – above.

Why default to 88 if there is no ground signal.

88-90 is the best all round setting for most UK inland soils, it will eliminate most magnetic rocks and minerals. This is my preferred setting.
Let’s imagine you are searching on mild ground in tracking mode and your ground sensitivity is set only track over areas of higher mineral, your ground display will possibly show – – most of the time.
As you pass over an area containing “Heavier” ground your machine will track accordingly and display the relevant number. Because most of your ground is milder it will not be strong enough to activate your tracking back to the lower (normal) setting, so your machine will remain at the higher level after you have moved away from the difficult area, resulting in an inaccurate ground balance.

Figure 3 : Default ground balance – – No ground signal and a default of 88

As a safeguard the machine will default to 88 until a further mineralised patch of ground activates the tracking again. Once again this depends on how you have set the ground sensitivity.
Tracking is best suited for ground with gradual changes in mineralisation. It is not recommended for ground with lots of iron contamination and fast ground changes.

Can using a lower ground balance give more depth.

Sure in many cases this can increase depth, but you must understand there will always be a trade-off. For example, lower GB settings may introduce unwanted signals from some magnetic rocks, ceramics and also make the coil “oversensitive”, especially if searching wet (conductive) ground.
A tap on a root or even stubble will give a false signal if the GB setting is too low, false signals will mask small targets and once again will be counter productive.
Remember depth is not the holy grail of metal detecting.

So in a nutshell a lower GB will give more depth, just like raising your sensitivity to 99 but you would not want to search like that would you!
I think you are getting the picture now.

Can I raise my ground balance to 99

Now we are getting into the realms of witchcraft, raising the ground balance can be just as detrimental as lowering it. Levels of 99 may shift very highly conductive targets over to the reject range. For example: A large Silver plate may give the iron tone if the GB is set too high.

When I lower my ground balance I get a good signal from magnetic rocks, can they be eliminated

In many situations magnetic rocks can very often be eliminated using the ground notch feature.
Remember magnetic rocks also known as Hot Rock are rejected by ground balance, not to be confused with Coke which is rejected by the discrimination.

Ground notch

Introducing Ground Notch.
Ground notch is exactly what it says, the operator can assign a certain ground range to be ignored, in this case of the graphic below, Hot Rock is rejected by the ground notch. There are not multiple “thresholds” to choose from like we see under the discrimination notch menu, although Ground notch works on the same principle…It notches out a particular ground range that may contain unwanted targets.

As you can see by the graphic below hot rock registers at 88, the ground notch has eliminated 83-88. The overall ground rejection is 60 – 76, you can see 77 – 82 are still accepted, 90 is the maximum range for ground notch.
Remember this is the ground range, not the discrimination range.

The factory pre-set ground balance runs from 60 to 95, at 90 all of your unwanted troublesome ground and hot rocks are eliminated, even slight changes from 90 to 88 will be enough to make your machine a little more “edgy” if required.

Why does the beach setting require a different ground balance

This is because the wet sand has a different mineral range to inland, so a different rejection range is required, from 0 –  30.
As you can see, typically wet sand falls around 25, it is advisable to pay attention to your sensitivity setting when searching wet sand, very often it will require a lower setting to maintain a smooth operation.

I want to hear hot rock and Ceramics because it gives me information about my site but lowering the GB gives them a high tone, is it possible to make them a low tone

Yes this is now possible with version 4X software and the HOT program, or any factory program using Full Tone audio.
The discrimination range now falls below 0, in fact it can be lowered to -6.4, this “sub-zero” range will accept targets such as hot rock and ceramics as a low tone, if you want to eliminate the feedback, simply turn your discrimination up from -6.4 to -2, then you will only get feedback from ferrous and non-ferrous targets.
This is where ground balance and discrimination cross paths.

…………………….But that’s another article for another day.

Does Goldfield program 10 use the same ground balance

Goldfield uses a slightly different filtering system and works best with an exact ground balance in order to gain the optimum performance.
To start with you will need to ground balance on a clean area of soil, start by slowly raising and lowering the coil up and down and listen to the feedback, then as the coil approaches the ground press the PIN POINT button once, you should hear the feedback drop. This indicates a correct ground balance and your 2 sets of ground numbers should be the same.
If there is an inconsistency, repeat the procedure again, sometimes it may be necessary to lower the sensitivity to obtain a smooth performance.
Manual – pumping – beach and tracking options can be used in the Goldfield mode.
As mentioned earlier – If your ground balance range falls below certain conductive rocks, you will hear a signal from them, they sound almost negative as the coil passes over them. With a little practice you will learn to ignore them.
The XP screen is a great addition to the Goldfield program as it gives a lot of useful target information, such as a flat left right line for Hot Rocks.

I hope this gives you an insight into how versatile the XP Deus can be, simple for those who want to just switch on and go, and for those who like to change, the machine it can be a complex as you wish.

Final tip :

Ground conditions change all over the world, if you are looking for maximum depth, remember ground conditions will in most cases dictate the performance of your machine, sometimes it does not pay to over think things and convince yourself you have the wrong settings, when you are at the mercy of the soil conditions..
An erratic machine may miss small targets, a smooth running machine with less power may be a better option, this is why the Sifter program is a very popular choice.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy your Deus.

This metal detecting article | XP Deus Ground Balance key features explained
Was written by Gary Blackwell
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