Interview with Ron Childress

Interview with Ron Childress

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When we first asked veteran detectorist Ron Childress if he would agree to do an interview for Detecting365, he agreed under one stipulation: That the interview be multiple choice answers, like those tests we took back in grade school. Oh, and he felt that others should be able to copy his answers. That’s just the kind of generous guy that Ron is. So, feel free to copy his answers for use in your next interview…

On a more serious note, Ron Childress is a veteran of the US Army that also served in Viet Nam. Ron has been a metal detecting enthusiast for 46 years and Detecting365 had the honor of interviewing Ron recently, so without further adieu, here’s the answers Ron shared with us!

D365: “Hello Ron, How Are You?”

Ron: “Doing good, today.”

D365: “We’ll start by asking you how and when you got into metal detecting?”

Ron: “It started, believe it or not, in Viet Nam during 1967. Guys, sometimes went through sheer boredom and at other times, sheer terror. We craved reading material to pass the time when we weren’t busy with our duties. One day, a box came that was full of books and magazines. One of the books was Treasure Hunters Manual by Karl Von Mueller. I could not put this thing down and read it every chance I got. I read it 3 times before passing it on to someone else. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get back to the “real world” to start metal detecting, but I still had 6 months to go.”

D365: “What types of places do you typically hunt, and for what items are you primarily after?”

Ron: “I am primarily a coin hunter. Today, the primary places I try to hunt are old home sites or old school sites no longer used. When I first started, you could find more coins in parks and school sites than at old house sites. As a rule, you could find older type coins at the old house sites than at the parks or school yards. Before going detecting, you would decide, do I want a lot of coins or do I want the older but fewer coins?”

D365: “What specific model detector(s) do you use? What is your favorite and why?”

Ron: “Currently, I only have 2 detectors, a XP Gold Maxx Power that I ordered from the UK and a White’s IDX Pro that I sent to Bill Crabtree for the Mr. Bill mods in which he added a adjustable ground balance and Threshold Control and would make a few tweaks on the machine to make sure it was up to standards. I really don’t have a favorite nor am I brand loyal to any one company. If another company makes a better machine I would try it.”

D365: “What advice can you give someone starting out on the hobby on selecting their first machine?”

Ron: “First time buyers, don’t buy top of the line machines with lots and lots of controls, it will just confuse a person. They need to know what each control does and when to adjust them and that takes time. LEARN what the strengths and it’s weakness for that machine. No machine will do it all. When starting out with a new machine, dig the targets to see what they actually are. While you will dig a lot of junk that way, you will also learn what a certain signal means most of the time. If in doubt, dig it.”

D365: “How do you prepare for a successful detecting session?”

Ron: “Researching and deciding before hand where I’m going to detect that day, and having a couple of backup locations just in case I’m not finding anything.”

D365: “What is your favorite find ever, and why?”

Ron: “Oh, as far as a favorite, it would have to be a 1 carat diamond engagement ring that I found while water hunting. This ring paid for the 2 detectors I had at the time with money left over. Next would be a ring that had 15 small diamonds for a total of around 1 carat of diamonds. Held upside down and it reminded me of a tiny chandelier. Why? It was diamond ring lol. These were the most valuable individual items I found.”

D365: “What is on the top of your list of things you have never found but intend to?”

Ron: “Gold coin(s), a silver dollar or a cache of coins.”


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