Thursday, November 30, 2006

Posting Pictures on the forum...

Everyone wants to post their pictures on our forum, but often it causes a lot of grief to those that haven't done it before.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that you have a digital camera already, and know how to get the pictures from your camera onto your computer. Ok. Next step...

The next thing you need is a picture editing program. You can use any number of programs for this, but one that's installed on your computer already (if you use a Windows computer) is Paint. Paint can be found from your Start menu - Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Paint. It's a simple program, and doesn't do a lot of things well, but it's there, and it works (to a degree).

If you want to download a simple, free and quite decent program, consider IrfanView. IrfanView is very easy to use, and I've never had any problems with it. You can use IrfanView to easily resize pictures, crop them down (cut the center out of a picture), and many other things. It's so trivially easy, I won't even need to spend any time explaining it here!

This brings me to the next point. Try to keep the image size that you post on the forums to less than 100kilobytes in size. You can find the size of your picture by right-clicking on it (wherever it is, in Windows Explorer, on your desktop, etc.), and then selecting "Properties". One field in the Properties window is Size. Keeping your images less than 100kilobytes will allow those images to load faster, take up less space on the server, and usually bigger doesn't bring enough of an improvement in quality to make it worthwhile.

Now that you have a picture, or pictures, ready to post, you'll need to either host them somewhere, or upload them to the forum. If you wish to put more than one picture in a post, you'll need to upload them to a picture-hosting website. Some of them are:
It's very simple to host pictures there, and there are HowTo guides as well as good instructions on how to post. Once you post, they will give you a URL that you can use in your posting to point to the picture.

If you only want to put one picture in a post, then you can simply use the picture hosting on the forum.

Lastly, a good quality picture album on your PC is very nice to have. I can highly recommend Google's Picasa. It's free, and works very well. It has many, many nice options builtin. You can download it through the link at the bottom of this page...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Explorer Settings
How often have you wondered if your Minelab Explorer is setup properly? Do you wonder if you're getting as much depth as you should, or if you're missing targets, or passing up good targets thinking they're trash? This little primer will give you some things to think about...

The first thing I usually try to do is think about what I'm trying to find. That will dictate what Sounds mode I will use. There's two (well, actually three) sounds modes in the Explorer:
  1. Constant
  2. Conduct
  3. Ferrous
We'll ignore the Constant mode for now, as that just makes for a beep beep type of response. Since you bought an Explorer, let's assume you don't want this! :)

I select Conduct (Conductive) mode when I'm searching for silver. The reason is that in Conduct mode things that appear in the upper portion of the SmartScreen come through the headphones as a higher pitch than when they are low on the screen. Silver will always be in the upper right corner of the screen, and represents both highly conductive and hightly inductive metal. In this mode, things like foil and other low conductors will grunt, or be very obviously a low tone. Nickels, for example, will be very low in tone.

Conduct mode is the mode I use when hunting turf parks for deep silver.

Be careful though - Conduct mode can also accentuate rusted iron falses and make them seem like silver targets.

Ferrous mode, on the other hand, I use in most other environments. Places like an urban demolition site, the beach, or England, because in these sites I dig EVERYTHING that isn't iron. The reason I change to ferrous mode at these sites is because ferrous mode accentuates lower conductors. Foil will actually have a nice, mid-range tone to it in most cases. It's often easy to miss foil or other low conductors in Conduct mode because in that mode those tones are very similar to iron...which brings me to my next point with respect to ferrous mode...

Iron Mask -16! Iron Mask -16!? Are you nuts!?!? That allows one to hear every little hunk of iron, and everything else. Yes, I'm serious, and the reason is simple - I like to hear everything under my coil. It helps me to know how dense a site is in terms of targets. If there's a lot of iron, I need to slow way down to hear conductive targets in between the bits of iron. If the site is clean (very little iron) I'll be able to move quicker. Often, if a conductive target is near an iron target, you'll be able to hear it because the Explorer isn't nulling over the iron as it would be if you had any more than -16 on the Iron Mask.

With IM-16, it can be quite chatty. It takes time to get used to it. Once used to it, you can be a master of your dirt!