XP Deus in Kentucky

Re-visited this spot where I had taken my Deus a month after I bought it. But this time I came back with a bag full of finds.

I was ready to sell my Deus XP.  You see…I’m a total geek. and for the first 6-7 months of Deus XP metal detector ownership, I haphazardly tweaked it, hoping this advanced machine would do more of the work for me.  I also got “program happy” thinking that “Magic Program X” I got off the web was going to solve my problems.

But…All I was doing was making it impossible for my brain to learn the Deus.  The result was fewer finds and more frustration.   One day I just decided to start over.  So I factory reset my machine and focused my energy on one set of tones.  Yes… it was hard at first.  Perhaps 15-20 “holes” of learning.  And then I got better.  And then I got a LOT better.

Programs Don’t Cut It – You Need a Process

I stopped thinking about programs and started thinking of methodology … think flowchart.

Definition of methodology

The Philosophy Behind “Scott’s Relic Methodology” is SIMPLE:

  1. Make the Deus a predictable machine so you can learn it.
  2. Start with the same template at every new site.
  3. Once the hunt begins, “settle it down” by a simple, systematic set of adjustments that help you find the sweet spot.

For the past year, my finds – quantity and quality – have improved on hunts and re-hunts, boosting my confidence and helping me enjoy the hobby more than ever.

START: One Time – Setup “Template” and save it:

Musket wipe / Worm Tool at 10+ inches. This iron object presented a tight, deep sound.

The typical relic site is iron-infested and the Deus can become erratic in those scenarios using the factory programs as-is.  But unlike many machines, the Deus CAN be tuned to do well despite these constraints. So this “adjustment logic” is meant to eliminate chatter or falsing incrementally while preserving as much depth and separation as possible!

Starting Point – Let’s get our template set up 🤠- this is a one time process.  This is a very aggressive setup on its own, but you’ll be sculpting it at each site.

  1. Turn on your Deus and load the factory Deus XP DEEP Program…
  2. Adjust Discrimination down to 3.1
    WHY:  Maximizes depth but keeps iron grunts.  (Discrimination below 3.1 removes iron grunts.)
  3. Adjust Reactivity to 2
    WHY:  Reactivity does not start to measurably reduce depth but it will “tighten” the signals, especially with the 11″ coil.
  4. Set Tones to 3, 4, 5 or Full Tones – and LEAVE THEM THERE SO YOU CAN LEARN 🎧
    WHY:  I personally think 3 or 4 tones is ideal for relic hunting.  5 tones and full tones is just too noisy.
    I mean, are you going to walk by a 4/5 target and only dig 5/5 targets?  Of course not.  So why subject your ears to useless info?  Even 2 tones is very good.
  5. Adjust Silencer to 3
    WHY:  Takes the edge off  non-signal chatter (such as dew on grass) with negligible impact on depth.  Doesn’t make that much difference really.
  6. Adjust TX Power = 1
    WHY:  No measurable impact on depth, but it increases battery life a bit.  A very small bit.
  7. Adjust frequency to = 12khz or 18khz depending on which is quieter.  I use 18khz 95% of the time.
    WHY:  Higher frequency works better on small items, and still works great on 10″ deep iron targets.
  8. Not sure how to save programs? Here's a video.

    Not sure how to save programs? Here’s a video.

    Save this program as “Template” or, if you want, “ScottRelic2”

In The Field, at Each Site:

Bring up “Template” template and ground balance.  Take a few passes to see how the site feels.  Is the Deus chattery?  Is it falsing on iron?  Lots of litter?

US Civil War Breast Plate found with Relic-2 Program

US Civil War Breast Plate found with Relic-2 Methodology in use.

Let’s converge on the best settings with a little decision tree:

  • 😕 IF chatter is bad consistently
    🔧THEN check your ground balance
    💡WHY:  Poor ground balance is the #1 reason for chatter.
    … did this solve your problem?   Go Hunt!

  • 😕 IF rusty chatter or falsing are a problem AND you’re running 4, 8 or 12 khz
    🔧THEN boost your frequency to 18khz, checking at each setting.
    💡WHY: This often really helps, but could reduce depth a bit (while helping with smaller targets.)
    … did this solve your problem? Save it as a new program name and Go Hunt!

  • 😕 IF rusty chatter or falsing are still a problem…
    boost silencer to 3 or 4
    💡WHY: A subtle but sometimes effective chatter reducer that has no impact on depth.
    … did this solve your problem?  Save it as a new program name and Go Hunt!

  • 😕 IF rusty chatter or falsing are still a problem…
    decrease sensitivity 5 points at a time.  ⚠️ If you get to 75, stop going down and try notching (next.)  At 75, the Deus will still reach down to 7-8″ no problem, but deeper targets are going to start to get choppy.  After notching,  you can go as low as 60 and the Deus will still work well.
    💡WHY:   This lets us get “below” the chatter on sensitivity. 
    … did this solve your problem? Save it as a new program name and Go Hunt! (During the day, try to bump sensitivity up bit by bit as you move around to the highest, stable number.)

  • 😕 IF rusty chatter or falsing are still a problem…
    🔧THEN notch 97-99 – go hunting.
    💡WHY: Notching these highest VDI numbers will swallow some of the chatter very effectively.  There are a few, very rare, high VDI targets that might sound more choppy, but the remaining 95% of relics will be easier to get!
    … did this solve your problem?  Save it as a new program name and Go Hunt! (During the day, try to remove the notch as you move around.)

  • 😕IF rusty chatter or falsing are still a problem…
    🔧THEN increase notch to 95-99 – go hunting.
    💡WHY: Swallow some more chatter with minor risk to losing some very high VDI targets.
    … did this solve your problem?  Save it as a new program name and Go Hunt!  (During the day, try to reduce / remove the notch as you move around.)

  • 😕IF rusty chatter or falsing are still a problem…
  • 🔧THEN reduce iron volume to 1 for a while and give your brain a rest.
    💡WHY: Signal fatigue can be awful and frustrating.  Quieten down the machine while keeping soft iron signals audible for a while.
    …..ears rested?
    Go Hunt!  Bump iron volume up a point occasionally and see if things are smoother on other parts of the site. 

Is the Chatter Solved?  

  • 😕IF your swing is nothing but iron grunts (iron.)
    boost reactivity by one and swing more slowly so you can find targets in this mess, realizing you’re losing some depth after “Reactivity = 2″… and significant depth after “Reactivity =4.” – go hunting.
    💡WHY:  You’ll be able to hear more separation at the cost of some depth.

  • 😕IF you’re digging modern crap and it’s ruining your day…
    🔧THEN Adjust discrimination upward a bit at a time, but not beyond 30.
    💡WHY: Above 30 and you start to really cut into relic finds.⚠️

  • 😕IF you are still having to turn up discrimination past 20 to hear good targets….
    🔧THEN set up a narrow notch with the start and end numbers NEAR the trash’s VDI that’s driving you nuts.
    💡WHY: The machine will still make noise on the trash, but it will be broken/iffy.  Good targets tend to come through anyway.

  • 😕 IF all of the modern trash is shallow (1-3″) and the good finds are deeper (4″+)
    🔧THEN reduce your Volume Gain to 15 or even lower, ideally with good headphones.
    💡WHY: Older targets will now sound “more distant” in the headphones and junk will be loud.  Hit the site and dig the quiet, but repeatable tones.
Pre 1776 Spanish 2 Reale Cut Piece at Confederate Camp

Pre 1776 Spanish 2 Reale Cut Piece at Confederate Camp

If you're not finding small items, bump the frequency to 18khz. This buckle foot was at 10" or so.

If you’re not finding small items, bump the frequency to 18khz. This buckle foot was at 10″ or so.


If changing to tracking balance kills your chatter, and you’ve been using manual GB, you may not be setting up your manual GB properly – or the ground mineralization is changing a lot as you move.   Tracking works pretty darn well but you have to let it “lock in” every time you put the coil back to the ground after digging a target – which can take up to 15 seconds (the numbers will “lock together” on the right of the display) otherwise you’ll miss 10-15′ of swinging because the XP wasn’t ready.

Advanced Info:

Discrimination Heavily Impacts Depth, But Not The Way You Think!

Civil War RelicsBased on my experience as well as some careful testing done and posted at FinnDetecting by user Keseppa, there is a large depth impact by discriminating – more than most detectors including my E-trac.  Turning discrimination to zero can give you as much as 20% more depth immediately.   If you’re running the 11″ coil that’s a serious improvement.

But what’s especially interesting is that once you’ve decided to discriminate at anything about setting 10, the dept his apparently not affected much.  So a 10, 20, 30, 40 or 60 discrimination seems to have very similar depth (Park hunters rejoice!) – so don’t freak out if you feel like setting it to 30 at a difficult site near the end of a long day.  I can attest that you can STILL dig 9″ silver dimes in the pulltabs at discrimination 40!

😏Optional!  Saving Your Variations without Affecting Tones

Union Infantry Button at 11"

US Civil War Union Infantry Button at 11″

If you like to keep lots of programs around for different situations, that’s fine, but be careful not to alter the machine’s tonal behavior between programs – this is the mistake many are making!.  If you go from 4 tones set up as above to 3 tones from the factory, you will screw up your learning the machine.  My recommendation… set to 4 tones and stick with it.

My personal saved variations.

  1. Relic2QH – “Relic 2 Quiet Hunt”  Above settings, except Iron Vol = 0, when I’m sick to death of listening to nails.
  2. Relic2CF – “Relic 2 Clean Field” –  Above settings except audio response = 4, Iron Vol=3, no notch.
  3. Relic2JH – “Relic 2 Junky House” – Above settings except Reactivity 4, descrim 30, notch 96-99 – for when iron flakes are driving me nuts.
  4. TiredAF = “Tired as F***”  – Above settings except, … just kidding.

That’s It.

Let me know if this was helpful – or if you have suggestions.

Union General Service Coat Button at 10" - 3 nails in the hole.

Union General Service Coat Button at 10″ – 3 nails in the hole.

Good Luck / Happy Hunting!


See Also:

Here’s The Relic 2 Template settings: