Do-It-Yourself Metal Detectors (Part 5)

(Capacitance/inductance meter with resistance measuring function.)

Here's the fifth installment in this series of posts on do-it-yourself (DIY) metal detectors. Once again, I surrender center stage to Arizona gold miner and detector builder and enthusiast G.T. Blocker:

Capacitance/Inductance or Resistance Meter

"If you need to determine the inductance and capacitance of a search coil this is the right tool. These meters are also helpful if you want to determine the rated value of a capacitor according to its markings."

Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors
"Many commercial versions of this type of meter will also measure resistance. While these sorts of meters are not absolutely mandatory, they are worthwhile to have on hand and you can buy retail or 'kit' versions online and elsewhere."

"You don't need to understand everything about capacitance and inductance while working on a DIY metal just need to be able to measure these two parameters. After all, you're not designing a detector but building one. The latter principle applies to all of this."

Frequency Meter and Signal Generator

"These two meters are pretty much for custom coil building only. If you decide to buy a pre-made search coil with listed specifications, you can probably pass on these two items. To fully understand the need for these two meters, I suggest you take a look at the coil-building threads found in the GeoTech forum board."

You can purchase a signal generator kit for about $35.00 (USD), plus shipping, of course. If you decide to buy a signal generator, make sure it has a variable frequency function. Cheaper kits or signal generators will only have a fixed frequency function."

 (Multi-frequency signal generator.)

Frequency meters do what their name implies...they measure signal frequency. Like signal generators, frequency meters can be purchased in kit form. They are used primarily for coil design...however, there are several points along the way in most metal detector builds where a frequency meter is a handy tool."

That's all from G.T for this go 'round. Take good care out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Do-It-Yourself Metal Detectors (Part 4)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at