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  1. #1

    Question from a Newbie

    Hello, everyone. My name is James and I live in the mountains of northeast Georgia. I am completely new to metal detecting and today was the first time I went out. A friend of mine gave me a Prism II that had never been used (new in box without a speck of dust or dirt on it) that she had bought for her son but he had never used. I watched a video on proper operation, put batteries in it, plugged in headphones, and went to an old rundown house that is on my property. The house has been there since the early 1920's and hasn't been lived in since the late 70's. I figured I might get hits in the yard, but worried about a lot of junk too. I lowered the sensitivity to about half and began sweeping the yard. After just a minute or two the indicator began jumping from nails to nickels to foil to quarters. Basically, it was just jumping all over. I finally found a tone that consistently repeated (with the use of the pinpointer feature) and I dug the spot but found nothing. I filled in the hole and moved on but I just got the same kind of jumping around on the screen. I lowered the sensitivity and set the discrimination to block nails and foil and it seemed to stop the jumping around. It stopped it so well that I didn't get any more hits for 20 minutes. I was getting skeptical and had some change in my pocket so I threw a quarter, a nickel, and a penny on the ground and passed the coil over the coins. The detector did not pick them up. I passed the coil over the coins several more times but got the same results--they did not register. I pointed the coil at the sky and it started going off. I've very new to this, but what am I doing wrong? Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    deolslyfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Central Florida
    Welcome to the forum !! Without being able to "see" what is actually happening, its hard to offer a "solution". However, here are some things to try:

    1. Put in fresh batteries. Even if you think the ones that you installed are fresh, replace them. A bad battery can cause all sorts of odd happenings !!
    2. Make sure the search cable connector is pressed all the way in and the locking nut is tight. A loose cable can cause loss of all targets, and cause noise.
    3. Work with the detector in ALL METAL (pinpoint) mode until it can detect a coin or any target consistently. Set sensitivity about half-way. If you can't get past this point, either your coil or the box has a problem, and will need repair.
    4. Once the detector "sees" a target in the pinpoint mode, set the discrimination to reject nails and foil. It should "see" all other coins in the discriminate mode. If it doesn't, odds are the box has a problem. (Assuming the discriminate feature is set up properly).

    That's about all you can do "in the field" without a spare coil to swap, which would eliminate the box / coil as the faulty component should you not be able to get the detector working. If there's a Whites dealer nearby, take it in. They should be able to set up the detector and tell you whether it is working properly or not in just a few minutes.

    Hope this is helpful. Good luck !!
    If there's anything I hate worse than diggin' pulltabs, its missin' a gold ring.

  3. #3
    rchalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Youngstown, Ohio, USA
    Welcome to the forum James.
    Hmm, this is interesting. I'm not familiar with the Prizm II but it sounds like you might have a problem with the settings. I'm not sure if there's a way to reset the device to the factory settings or not. But you need to read the manual and learn how to setup the discrimination and notch to make sure you're not blocking good targets. How well does it pinpoint a coil tossed on the ground? If it's pinpointing like it should, I'm still going to lean towards it being a settings problem. Good luck.
    AKA: Rodney _______ Detectors Used:
    ___________________White's Spectra V3i with DX-1
    ___________________White's TreasurePro
    ___________________Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300

  4. #4
    Darwin Hartman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Long beach Wa
    What Rodney said, also until you learn the machine dig everything....
    Just Swing and Dig......(einfach Zu schwingen und graben......)

  5. #5
    trapperart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Welcome to the forum
    Growing old is not for sissies.I thought it would take longer to get old.

  6. #6
    Thank you for the welcome and the advice; it's greatly appreciated. Like many on this forum, I'm not a rich person and I'm trying to make a decision whether to buy a fancier metal detector with more bells and whistles (and a better chance of locating stuff) or to master the Prizm as much as I can and upgrade from there at some point. I often wonder how many people gave up the hobby early on because their machine did not perform correctly or they did not learn to use it properly. Again, thanks for your help!

  7. #7
    Eastcoastdigs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    NY to MD
    Welcome to the forum and detecting. Even an older Whites detector that is not top of the line should do well by you for a while. You will get a lot of support on this forum and Whites if the unit needs repair. I would have patience, master the Prizm, save your finds, and move up when the time is right and you've collected enough coin. Read past posts on the forum for advise as well and keep asking questions. The only dumb questions are the ones never asked.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Southern New Mexico
    I have a Prizm II .. Kicks butt in the parks chasing coins and what not. Start with Sense about half way up (Less if REAL Hot Ground).. Discrimination just on Nails. DIG ANYTHING that makes a noise for the first few days. You will learn what it's telling you in no time.

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