Long Range Locators

Long Range Locators are also known as LRLs. These are treasure hunting devices that their makers claim can detect metals, jewels, and occasionally paper money at distances that range from several yards to a mile or more. Many of these devices claim to have some special circuitry that allows them to function. A few are known to take batteries and even to have lights that will come on at the flip of a switch.

Unfortunately, none have proven as effective as their markers would like the world to believe. Many of these devices in fact appear little more than dowsing rods with a bit of electrical flim-flammery attached to make them appear to be something more than what they actually are. While there are many people who argue that dowsing is a valid method of treasure hunting, buyers of metal detectors need to be aware that long range locators or long range detectors are not in fact metal detectors but are actually dowsing outfits.

These days, dowsing devices can look pretty scientific. They may sport keypads, antennas, padded-handles and other features that can cause a buyer to believe these are actually performing some high-tech scientific function. Decades ago, dowsing devices needed to be “tuned” to the material they were supposed to find. This was usually done by installing a screw that supposedly had a tiny amount of the material you were searching for. So if you wanted to find gold, you would install a screw that had a bit of gold; if you wanted silver, you would use a silver bearing screw and so forth.

Modern LRLs usually have a keypad or a dial that can be adjusted to “attune” the dowsing device to the material you are seeking. A few even claim to automatically tune themselves to the materials that you want. I’m not sure how they manage this last bit of mind reading but that is their claim.

There is nothing wrong with dowsing for treasure, and many treasure hunting forums have dowsing sections; it is a common enough practice that most of us have heard of it or seen it done at some time or another. The problem comes not from dowsing but from people new to treasure hunting who are confused between non-scientific dowsing and modern electronic metal detecters and wind up spending money on an LRL when they really wanted a metal detector. That means that the problem is in all of the advertising that makes LRLs sound far superior to metal detectors.

We also need to keep perspective on the fact that there different types of equipment available. Side scan sonar and a few other high-end products actually can find some items at a reasonable distance. (Reasonable usually means something under 50 feet.) Long range locator manufacturers would claim their units can find items sometimes up to miles away.

There is a place for dowsing and probably one for long range detectors too. But, if you are just getting into the treasure hunting hobby, please be aware that there is a big difference between long range detectors and metal detectors. If your intention is to buy a metal detector to poke around on the beach with, stay away from long range detectors and just buy a machine that claims it will find pennies a few inches deep. You will be much happier.

Leave a Reply