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Is copper detected by metal detectors?


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#1 Guest_Corky_*

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:03 PM

As I have been aerating my beds (with a big, heavy garden fork...like a thick pitchfork), I have been encountering, with stunning regularity, both the irrigation tubing and, I suspect, existing bulbs. The tubing I have no choice but to meekly report to Larry...who has fortunately cut enough of it himself to be reasonable about repairing the damage I do! The bulbs, I guess, I'll find out about in the spring.

So, I got to thinking that it would be a great idea to use a metal detector to locate buried irrigation tubing! You could put in a few additional metal pins and use their location to finesse the route the tubing is taking under there. You could even tape, or twister seal, pieces of coat hanger along the course of the tubing. This lead me to another brilliant idea...maybe.

Do metal detectors detect copper? (I don't see why they wouldn't, but Larry suggested they might not.) If so, even if you planted 1000 bulbs, it would only cost $10 to drop a penny in on top of each bulb. Then, you could use a metal detector to locate pre existing bulbs...and put an end to this business of putting the auger right through a bulb when adding new ones in the fall. (The little sticks I use to mark their location are either gone, or a complete mystery to me in the fall when I go out to plant!) I was thinking that this was an idea that arrived to late for this, already heavily bulbed, property, but I guess there's no reason you couldn't drop said pennies on top of existing clumps and bury them a little.

I have, however, discovered another system which works. If you take plenty of photos when bulbs are in bloom in the spring, they can be used in the fall to avoid pre existing clumps with a shovel, fork or auger! I used this method to perfection this fall when adding to my "Spring Rally" collection (Christmas Marvel tulips and Thalia daffodils). I managed to add 40 bulbs to the existing 50 without hitting a single existing bulb!!!!! Amazing: so why did it take me 35 years to stumble over the idea? (Because it was the first year I had a large tulip display and took so many pictures of spring bulbs in bloom!)
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#2 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 04:27 PM

To locate bulbs, I swear by photos, myself. Glad to hear it?s working for you.

I?ve never used a metal detector so I?ll wait to hear what others? say. I would certainly love a way to reliably detect irrigation lines in advance (AND their depth) My husband and I joke, except it?s not joke, that I could become a dowser, so good am I at finding water with my fork and spade.

The experiences I?ve had, that have made me an expert sprinkler-line repair technician, are why the ?Irrigation? class we developed for The Michigan School of Gardening includes ?how to repair sprinkler lines? as an essential skill of the well rounded gardener.

About the metal detector: Having frequently used detectors to find wires in walls and buried in the ground (this during my first career at the telephone company, and subsequent free lance work), I doubt that those detectors I see people using on beaches, etc. will pinpoint small bits of metal well enough to guide a spade, or any better than a photo?

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#3 Guest_Corky_*

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE ( @ Nov 5 2007, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
About the metal detector: I doubt that those detectors I see people using on beaches, etc. will pinpoint small bits of metal well enough to guide a spade?


Of course, the folks selling metal detectors thought it was a great, and feasible, idea! wink.gif
In the event anyone else is curious, I have included, below, the email I received in response to my question about a metal detector for the above uses...I did NOT, however, factor in the price of the metal detector when I was confidently reporting how inexpensive it would be to drop a penny on each bulb!

Besides which, one of my sons remarked, "Mo-om! You have got to have over a thousand bulbs already!" tongue.gif

Larry decided he'd rather repair irrigation tubing than fork out $150 for a metal detector...and then risk being asked to dig up all that tubing!


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#4 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 06:01 PM

You're a delight, Corky. Reporting of details is what moves all of us ahead, lets us apply that much more info, that much wider.
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#5 Guest_Corky_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 01:26 PM

Glad to be a service! tongue.gif
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#6 kmykimi

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:00 AM

As I have been aerating my beds (with a big, heavy garden fork...like a thick pitchfork), I have been encountering, with stunning regularity, both the irrigation tubing and, I suspect, existing bulbs. The tubing I have no choice but to meekly report to Larry...who has fortunately cut enough of it himself to be reasonable about repairing the damage I do! The bulbs, I guess, I'll find out about in the spring.

So, I got to thinking that it would be a great idea to use a metal detector to locate buried irrigation tubing! You could put in a few additional metal pins and use their location to finesse the route the tubing is taking under there. You could even tape, or twister seal, pieces of coat hanger along the course of the tubing. This lead me to another brilliant idea...maybe.

Do metal detectors detect copper? (I don't see why they wouldn't, but Larry suggested they might not.) If so, even if you planted 1000 bulbs, it would only cost $10 to drop a penny in on top of each bulb. Then, you could use a metal detector to locate pre existing bulbs...and put an end to this business of putting the auger right through a bulb when adding new ones in the fall. (The little sticks I use to mark their location are either gone, or a complete mystery to me in the fall when I go out to plant!) I was thinking that this was an idea that arrived to late for this, already heavily bulbed, property, but I guess there's no reason you couldn't drop said pennies on top of existing clumps and bury them a little.

I have, however, discovered another system which works. If you take plenty of photos when bulbs are in bloom in the spring, they can be used in the fall to avoid pre existing clumps with a shovel, fork or auger! I used this method to perfection this fall when adding to my "Spring Rally" collection (Christmas Marvel tulips and Thalia daffodils). I managed to add 40 bulbs to the existing 50 without hitting a single existing bulb!!!!! Amazing: so why did it take me 35 years to stumble over the idea? (Because it was the first year I had a large tulip display and took so many pictures of spring bulbs in bloom!)

Of course. The metal detectors can detect all metals whether ferrous and non-ferrous.

The operation of metal detectors is based on the principles of electromagnetic induction. It generates a rapidly changing magnetic field by running the alternating current though coil, which will generate eddy currents inside the metal objects. Thereby, the eddy currents will create a new magnetic field that affects the original one, and then the metal detectors will utter a high-pitched tone. The accuracy and reliability of the metal detectors depend on the stability of frequency of electromagnetic launchers. Generally, the frequency is between 80 to 800 KHz. The lower the frequency, the better detection for iron objects. Similarly, the higher the frequency, the better detection for high carbon steel objects. The sensitivity of the metal detectors decreases with the expanding detecting range. Moreover, the induction signal depends on the metal particle size and conductivity.

source: detectorall


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