How to Use a Metal Detector: A Complete Guide

how to use metal detector

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What is a Metal Detector?

So, you’ve got a metal detector and you’re ready to start treasure hunting. But before you head out on your first expedition, it’s important to understand how to use a metal detector properly. A metal detector is a handheld device that uses electromagnetic fields to detect metal objects buried in the ground.

It consists of a control box, a search coil, and a shaft. The control box contains the circuitry that generates the electromagnetic field, while the search coil is responsible for transmitting and receiving signals. To use a metal detector, you simply turn it on and adjust the settings to suit your preferences.

Then, you hold the search coil parallel to the ground and sweep it back and forth over the area you want to search. As you move the detector, listen for any audio signals or look for visual indications on the control box. If you hear a beep or see a signal on the display, it means there is metal nearby.

Dig carefully in that area to uncover your find. With practice and patience, you can become a pro at using a metal detector to uncover hidden treasures.

Types of Metal Detectors

When it comes to using a metal detector, it’s important to understand the different types that are available. There are three main types of metal detectors: beat frequency oscillation (BFO), very low frequency (VLF), and pulse induction (PI). The BFO metal detector is the most basic and affordable option.

It uses two coils to create a magnetic field and when a metal object is detected, it creates a change in the frequency that can be heard through headphones. This type of metal detector is best for beginners and is commonly used for finding larger objects in shallow depths. The VLF metal detector is more advanced and popular among treasure hunters.

It uses two coils as well, but one coil transmits a magnetic field while the other receives the frequency. When a metal object is detected, the frequency changes and is displayed on a screen. This type of metal detector can differentiate between different types of metals and is great for finding smaller objects at greater depths.

The PI metal detector is the most advanced and professional-grade option. It uses a single coil that emits short bursts of magnetic fields. When a metal object is detected, the pulse of the magnetic field is disrupted, creating a change that is displayed on a screen.

This type of metal detector is excellent for finding objects in highly mineralized soil or in areas with a lot of interference, but it can be more challenging to use and is usually more expensive. In conclusion, understanding the different types of metal detectors is crucial when it comes to using one effectively. Whether you choose a BFO, VLF, or PI metal detector, each has its own advantages and uses.

So, before you embark on your treasure hunting adventure, make sure to choose the right type of metal detector for your needs and familiarize yourself with its features and settings for a successful and enjoyable experience.

how to use metal detector

1. Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO)

metal detectors Types of Metal Detectors Metal detectors play a significant role in various fields, from treasure hunting to security measures. There are different types of metal detectors available, including Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO) detectors. The BFO detectors work by generating two different frequencies and then comparing the difference between them.

This creates a “beat” frequency that helps detect metal objects. BFO detectors are commonly used in handheld metal detectors and are known for their simplicity and affordability. However, they may not be as accurate or sensitive as other types of metal detectors.

Despite this, BFO detectors are still popular among hobbyists or beginners due to their ease of use and relatively low cost. So, if you’re just starting your metal detecting journey or looking for an affordable option, a BFO detector might be the perfect choice for you.

2. Very Low-Frequency (VLF)

metal detectors, very low-frequency (VLF) metal detectors, types of metal detectors In the world of metal detecting, there are various types of metal detectors that are designed for different purposes. One popular type is the Very Low-Frequency (VLF) metal detector. VLF metal detectors operate by emitting a low-frequency magnetic field into the ground and then detecting any changes in that field caused by metal objects.

These detectors are great for finding a wide range of metals, from coins to jewelry to relics. One of the advantages of VLF metal detectors is their ability to discriminate between different types of metals. This means that they can be set to ignore certain types of metals, such as aluminum or iron, which can be commonly found in the ground.

This feature allows users to focus on finding more valuable metals, like gold or silver. VLF metal detectors also have the advantage of being able to operate in highly mineralized soil, which can cause interference for other types of detectors. However, there are also some limitations to VLF metal detectors.

They can be influenced by the mineral content in the ground, which can result in false signals or reduced depth capabilities. Additionally, VLF detectors are generally not as effective in finding very deep targets compared to other types of metal detectors like pulse induction (PI) detectors. Overall, VLF metal detectors are a popular choice among metal detector enthusiasts due to their versatility and ability to discriminate between different types of metals.

They are a great option for beginners and experienced detectorists alike, as they offer a good balance between performance and affordability. So, whether you’re searching for buried treasure or just want to find lost coins at the beach, a VLF metal detector could be the perfect tool for you.

3. Pulse Induction (PI)

metal detectors, pulse induction, types of metal detectors Metal detectors can be categorized into different types based on their technology and operating principles. One such type is called pulse induction (PI) metal detectors. These detectors use a different approach compared to other types like Very Low-Frequency (VLF) or Beat Frequency Oscillation (BFO).

Instead of relying on multiple frequencies, PI detectors work by sending short bursts or pulses of current through a coil of wire. These pulses create a magnetic field that can penetrate deep into the ground without being affected by mineralization or conductivity. When the magnetic field encounters a metallic object, it induces a current in the object, creating a secondary magnetic field.

This secondary field is then detected by the receiver coil, and the detector alerts the user to the presence of a metal target. PI metal detectors are known for their excellent depth capabilities, making them ideal for searching in highly mineralized or salty environments. They are also less affected by electrical interference, making them suitable for use in areas with high levels of electromagnetic interference.

However, one limitation of PI detectors is their lack of discrimination. Unlike VLF detectors, which can differentiate between different types of metals based on their conductivity, PI detectors generally do not have this feature. This means that they may alert users to all metal targets without distinguishing between valuable items and junk or ferrous objects.

In summary, pulse induction metal detectors utilize bursts of current to create a magnetic field and detect metallic objects. They are particularly effective for deep searches and in challenging environments where other types of detectors may struggle. While they lack discrimination capabilities, they are still highly valuable tools for experienced treasure hunters and professionals in the field.

Choosing the Right Metal Detector

If you’re interested in exploring the world of metal detecting but aren’t sure where to start, it’s important to choose the right metal detector for your needs. There are various factors to consider when making this decision, such as your experience level, the type of hunting you plan to do, and your budget. First and foremost, it’s essential to consider your experience level.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to choose a metal detector that is user-friendly and easy to operate. Look for models that have preset search modes and clear audio signals to help you identify different types of metals. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced detectorist, you may want to invest in a more advanced detector with customizable settings and advanced target identification features.

Next, think about the type of hunting you plan to do. Are you interested in beach hunting, relic hunting, or searching for gold nuggets? Different types of metal detecting require different types of detectors. For example, if you plan to hunt on the beach, you’ll want a detector that is waterproof and has ground balance capabilities to handle the mineralization in the sand.

Lastly, consider your budget. Metal detectors can range in price from under $100 to over $1000, so it’s important to set a budget that you’re comfortable with. Remember that price isn’t always indicative of quality, and there are often great options available at every price point.

Overall, choosing the right metal detector is vital to your success as a detectorist. Taking into consideration your experience level, the type of hunting you plan to do, and your budget will help you make an informed decision. So get out there, start swinging, and let the adventure begin! How to use a metal detector: it’s all about finding the right one for you.

1. Purpose

metal detector, purpose, choosing the right metal detector. Metal detectors are handy tools that are used for a wide range of purposes, from finding hidden treasures to locating underground wires. But with so many options available in the market, choosing the right metal detector can be a daunting task.

So, what should you consider when buying a metal detector? First, you need to determine your purpose for using it. Are you a treasure hunter looking for valuable metals like gold and silver? Are you a hobbyist looking to find relics or coins? Or are you a professional who needs a metal detector for industrial purposes? By understanding your purpose, you can narrow down your options and find a detector that is best suited for your needs.

2. Sensitivity

metal detector, sensitivity, choosing the right metal detector Have you ever wondered how metal detectors work and what factors to consider when choosing the right one? One important feature to look for is sensitivity. Sensitivity determines how well a metal detector can detect objects buried in the ground. A highly sensitive metal detector can detect even the smallest objects, while a less sensitive one may only pick up larger metal items.

So, why is sensitivity so important? Well, imagine you’re on a treasure hunt and you come across an area rumored to hold valuable artifacts. Without a sensitive metal detector, you might miss out on finding those hidden treasures! On the other hand, if the sensitivity is too high, you may end up picking up false signals or detecting metal objects that are not of interest. Therefore, striking the right balance with sensitivity is crucial.

It’s like finding the sweet spot in a game of darts – you want enough sensitivity to hit the target, but not so much that you miss it altogether. So, when choosing a metal detector, make sure to consider the sensitivity level that suits your needs to ensure success in your treasure-hunting adventures.

3. Discrimination

metal detectors, discrimination, choosing the right metal detector

4. Depth Indication

When it comes to choosing the right metal detector, one important feature to consider is depth indication. Depth indication refers to the ability of a metal detector to estimate how deep an object is buried underground. This can be very helpful in determining whether it’s worth your time and effort to dig for a target.

Different metal detectors have different methods of indicating depth, such as visual displays, audio tones, or even numerical readouts. Some metal detectors can provide a more accurate depth estimation than others, so it’s important to understand how each model works before making a decision. A good depth indication feature can save you a lot of time and effort by helping you focus on targets that are buried at a greater depth.

So, when you’re shopping for a metal detector, don’t forget to consider the depth indication feature to ensure you choose the right one for your needs.

5. Coil Size

coil size, metal detector, choosing the right metal detector

Setting Up Your Metal Detector

So, you’ve just gotten your brand new metal detector and you’re eager to start your treasure-hunting adventures. But before you can start finding buried treasures, you need to set up your metal detector properly. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think! First, start by assembling all the parts of your detector according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This usually involves attaching the search coil to the shaft and connecting the control box. Once everything is assembled, it’s time to power up your detector. Depending on the model, you may need to insert batteries or charge it.

Next, adjust the settings on your metal detector. This includes selecting a search mode, such as discrimination mode or all-metal mode, which determines what types of metals you want to target. You can also adjust the sensitivity, which determines how deep the detector can detect metals.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the user manual to understand all the different settings. Lastly, make sure to do a quick calibration of your metal detector. This involves holding the coil close to the ground and pressing the calibration button to ensure that the detector is properly balanced and ready to go.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to start your treasure-hunting journey! Happy hunting!

1. Assemble the Detector

metal detector, setting up metal detector

2. Adjust the Shaft Length

metal detector, shaft length, calibrate, detecting, comfortable Adjusting the shaft length of your metal detector is an essential step in setting it up properly. Not only does it affect how well you can detect metal, but it also plays a role in your comfort while using the detector. A metal detector with an improperly adjusted shaft length can be awkward to use and may cause strain on your body.

By calibrating the shaft length to suit your height and arm length, you can ensure a more enjoyable and productive detecting experience. Imagine trying to swing a metal detector with a shaft that’s too short – it would be like trying to reach for something just out of your grasp. On the other hand, a shaft that’s too long could be cumbersome and make it difficult to maneuver the detector.

That’s why finding the right shaft length for you is crucial.

3. Attach the Search Coil

metal detector, search coil, setting up metal detector So, you’ve got your metal detector and you’re ready to start your treasure-hunting adventures! The first step in setting up your metal detector is attaching the search coil. This is the part of the detector that is responsible for detecting metal objects beneath the ground. The search coil is typically round or oval-shaped and is connected to the control box with a cable.

To attach the search coil, simply line up the holes on the bottom of the search coil with the holes on the bottom of the control box. Then, insert the screws through the holes and secure them tightly. Make sure the search coil is securely attached to the control box, as any loose connections could affect the performance of your metal detector.

Once the search coil is attached, you’re ready to move on to the next step in setting up your metal detector and start your treasure-hunting journey!

4. Install Batteries

install batteries, metal detector So you’ve just gotten your brand new metal detector and you’re super excited to start treasure hunting. But before you can dive into your new hobby, there are a few things you need to do to set up your metal detector. One of the first steps is installing the batteries.

Most metal detectors require batteries to function, so it’s important to get this step right. First, check the user manual or the packaging of your metal detector to see what type and how many batteries you need. Typically, metal detectors require AA or 9-volt batteries.

Once you have the right batteries, locate the battery compartment on your metal detector. This is usually located near the handle or control panel. Open the compartment and carefully insert the batteries, following the correct polarity.

Make sure to align the positive and negative ends of the batteries with the markings in the compartment. Once the batteries are inserted, close the compartment securely. Now your metal detector is ready to go, and you can start your treasure hunting adventure!

Using Your Metal Detector

If you’re new to metal detecting, figuring out how to use your metal detector can seem overwhelming at first. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. First, familiarize yourself with the control panel of your detector.

Each detector is different, but typically you will have settings for sensitivity, discrimination, and ground balance. Sensitivity controls how sensitive the detector is to detecting metal, while discrimination allows you to filter out certain types of metal so you can focus on finding valuable items. Ground balance adjusts the detector’s response to the minerals in the soil.

Once you’ve set your preferred settings, make sure to sweep the detector coil in a slow and methodical manner over the area you’re searching. Keep the coil close to the ground and make overlapping passes to ensure you don’t miss anything. As you sweep, listen for the detector’s audio signals.

These signals can be beeps, tones, or even a visual display, depending on your detector. When you hear a signal, stop and pinpoint the exact location of the target by scanning the area with your detector coil from different angles. Once you’ve located the target, gently use a small hand digger or trowel to excavate the area.

Remember to always fill in any holes you dig and leave the area as you found it. With a little practice, you’ll become a pro at using your metal detector and uncovering hidden treasures in no time.

1. Sweep the Coil

metal detector, sweep the coil, using your metal detector

2. Keep the Coil Parallel to the Ground

When using a metal detector, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to improve your chances of finding something valuable. One important tip is to keep the coil parallel to the ground. This means that as you move the metal detector, the coil should remain flat and level with the surface of the ground.

By doing this, you ensure that the detector’s electromagnetic field is evenly distributed and able to pick up on any metal objects below. If the coil is tilted or angled, it can cause the signal to be weaker or distorted, making it more difficult to accurately identify the target. So remember, always keep the coil parallel to the ground for optimal metal detecting success.

3. Walk Slowly and Stay Focused

When using a metal detector, it’s important to walk slowly and stay focused. This is because metal detectors are designed to pick up even the smallest metal objects, and by moving too quickly or getting distracted, you may miss valuable finds. Take your time and scan the area systematically, keeping your eyes on the ground and your mind focused on the task at hand.

Remember, metal detecting is a hobby that requires patience and concentration, so don’t rush through it. By taking your time and staying focused, you’ll increase your chances of finding hidden treasures and having a successful metal detecting adventure. So slow down, stay focused, and let your metal detector do its job!

4. Listen for Audio Signals

metal detector, audio signals, listen, treasure hunting Metal detecting is an exciting hobby that can lead to finding hidden treasures. But how do you know when your metal detector has picked up something valuable? The answer lies in listening for audio signals. When you turn on your metal detector and start sweeping it over the ground, it will emit a series of beeps and tones.

These sounds indicate that the metal detector has detected something beneath the surface. Each metal detector has its own range of audio signals, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the sounds that your particular detector makes. By listening carefully to these signals and paying attention to their intensity and frequency, you can determine whether or not there is something worth digging for.

Strong, consistent signals usually indicate the presence of a large metal object, such as a coin or a piece of jewelry. On the other hand, weaker or intermittent signals may indicate smaller objects, such as nails or bottle caps. It’s important to remember that not all signals will lead to valuable finds, but by listening closely and learning to interpret the audio signals, you can significantly increase your chances of finding something exciting during your treasure hunting adventures.

So the next time you’re out with your metal detector, don’t forget to use your ears as well as your eyes!

5. Repeat the Process

“Using Your Metal Detector” Once you’ve tried out your metal detector and found some exciting discoveries, it’s time to repeat the process to uncover even more hidden treasures. The key to successful metal detecting is to always be persistent and patient. Start by thoroughly searching the area where you made your initial finds, as there may be more items waiting to be uncovered.

Explore different sections of the same location or move on to new sites altogether. Remember, metal detecting is an art of its own, and with each search, you’ll become better at understanding the signals and patterns that lead to valuable discoveries. So grab your detector, put on your detective hat, and get ready for another adventure filled with excitement and surprises.

Happy hunting!

Digging and Retrieving Targets

If you’re new to metal detecting, you might be wondering how to use a metal detector effectively to uncover hidden treasures. Well, the first step is to familiarize yourself with your detector and understand its settings. Each metal detector will have different modes and sensitivity levels, so it’s essential to read the user manual and adjust the settings to suit your needs.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to start digging! Begin by scanning the area in a slow, sweeping motion, keeping the coil of the detector close to the ground. If the detector emits a signal or beeps, it means that you’ve detected a metal target. Make a mental note of the spot and use a handheld pinpointer to precisely locate the target.

This will save you from digging large unnecessary holes. Next, grab a shovel or a digging tool and carefully excavate the ground. As you dig, make sure to be mindful of your surroundings and avoid damaging any artifacts or objects.

Once you’ve reached the target, use a handheld pinpointer again to narrow down the location. Gently sift through the soil with your hands or a small handheld sieve to uncover the object. And voila! You’ve successfully retrieved your target.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills and have fun exploring with your metal detector. Happy hunting!

1. Using a Digging Tool

Using a digging tool is a crucial skill when it comes to the hobby of metal detecting. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced detectorist, knowing how to properly dig and retrieve targets can greatly enhance your success rate. When it comes to digging, having the right tools can make all the difference.

A good quality digging tool, such as a trowel or a shovel, is essential for excavating the ground and removing the soil. These tools come in various sizes and shapes, so it’s important to choose one that best suits your needs. Once you have located a target, it’s time to start digging.

Start by carefully removing the top layer of soil to expose the target. Use the digging tool to dig a small hole around the target, being careful not to damage it in the process. Gently remove any dirt or debris that may be covering the target, and then use the tool to carefully lift it out of the ground.

Remember to always fill in your holes and leave the area in the same condition as you found it. So, if you want to increase your chances of finding valuable treasures with your metal detector, make sure you know how to properly dig and retrieve targets using a digging tool.

2. Properly Digging the Target

detecting metal targets, digging techniques, retrieving buried metal objects When it comes to metal detecting, one of the most important aspects is learning how to properly dig and retrieve your targets. After all, what good is finding a potential treasure if you can’t dig it up? To effectively uncover buried metal objects, it is essential to use the right techniques. One common method is called the “plug technique.

” This involves cutting a neat plug in the ground, carefully lifting it, and then using a handheld probe or pinpointer to locate the target within the extracted soil. Another technique is known as “pinpointer probing,” where you use a pinpointer metal detector to precisely locate the target in the hole without removing any soil. This can be particularly useful in areas where the target is close to the surface or for smaller targets that are harder to locate.

Remember, it’s important to be patient and thorough when digging for targets. Take your time, use the proper tools, and always fill in your holes to leave the area just as you found it. By using these techniques, you can greatly increase your chances of successfully detecting and retrieving buried metal objects.

So grab your metal detector and get ready to dig up some treasure!

3. Using a Pinpointer

One essential tool for metal detecting is a pinpointer, which can greatly aid in finding and retrieving targets. When you detect a target, whether it’s buried in the ground or hidden in the sand, using a pinpointer can pinpoint the exact location of the target with precision. This handy tool can save you time and frustration when it comes to digging.

Instead of digging large holes and sifting through dirt, a pinpointer allows you to zero in on the target and dig a smaller, more precise hole. It’s like using a magnifying glass to focus on a specific area, making the retrieval process much easier. Whether you’re searching for coins, relics, or other treasures, a pinpointer can be a game-changer in your metal detecting adventures.

So, if you want to maximize your detecting efficiency and increase your chances of finding valuable items, don’t forget to include a pinpointer in your arsenal of tools.

Safety Tips

So you’ve decided to try your hand at using a metal detector! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned treasure hunter, it’s important to know how to use a metal detector safely. First and foremost, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model. It’s also a good idea to wear protective gear such as gloves and sturdy shoes, especially if you’ll be searching in rough terrain.

Next, be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas where you don’t have permission to dig. Additionally, make sure to dispose of any rubbish you find and fill in any holes you dig. Not only will this help keep the environment clean, but it will also prevent accidents for others who may be passing by.

Lastly, don’t forget to be mindful of others around you, particularly in crowded areas. By following these safety tips, you can have a fun and safe experience while using your metal detector. Happy hunting!

1. Check for Local Regulations

safety tips When it comes to ensuring safety while operating a drone, one of the first things you should do is check for any local regulations that may apply to your area. Each country and even different regions within a country may have their own rules and restrictions when it comes to drone usage. Some areas may require you to obtain a permit or license to fly a drone, while others may have designated no-fly zones.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with these regulations to avoid any legal issues or potential accidents. So, before you take your drone out for a spin, do some research and check if there are any specific rules you need to follow in your area. It’s always better to be safe and compliant than sorry!

2. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

safety tips, be mindful, surroundings

3. Protect Yourself from Hazards

When it comes to protecting yourself from hazards, it’s important to prioritize safety. Whether you’re at home, at work, or out and about, there are steps you can take to stay safe. One of the simplest ways to protect yourself is by being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for any potential dangers.

This includes things like knowing the location of fire exits, keeping emergency numbers handy, and having a plan in place for what to do in case of an emergency. Another important aspect of staying safe is being mindful of potential hazards and taking steps to prevent accidents. For example, if you’re using power tools or working with chemicals, wearing appropriate protective equipment can make all the difference.

It’s also important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed to avoid overexertion or injury. By taking these simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of accidents and injuries. So, whether you’re at home or on the job, make safety a priority and protect yourself from hazards.

4. Fill the Holes Properly

fill the holes properly, safety tips


So, there you have it – the complete guide on how to use a metal detector. Now, armed with the knowledge of frequency, sensitivity, and discrimination, you are ready to embark on your treasure hunting journey. Remember, a metal detector is not just a tool, but a portal into a world of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

With each beep, each flicker of the needle, you will feel the rush of anticipation as you uncover history and unmask secrets buried beneath the soil. However, in your quest for hidden riches, it is essential to tread lightly and responsibly. Respect the land you explore, obtain permission where necessary, and always fill in your dig holes.

Who knows, one day, you may even stumble upon a lost city or a buried treasure chest filled with gold coins and sparkling jewels. But until then, happy hunting, and may your encounters with clinking metal be both thrilling and bountiful. Remember, as the great philosopher Socrates once said, “An unexamined metal detector is not worth operating.

” So, go forth, dear detectorist, and may the beeps be with you!”


How does a metal detector work?
A metal detector uses electromagnetic fields to detect the presence of metal objects. When a metal object comes near the detector, it disrupts the electromagnetic field, which the detector can then detect.

Can a metal detector detect all types of metal?
Most metal detectors can detect a wide range of metals, including iron, steel, aluminum, silver, and gold. However, the detection range and sensitivity may vary depending on the type of metal.

What are the different types of metal detectors available?
There are several types of metal detectors available, including handheld detectors, walk-through detectors, and ground search detectors. Each type is designed for specific purposes and has different features and capabilities.

How deep can a metal detector detect metal objects?
The detection depth of a metal detector depends on various factors, such as the size and composition of the object, the sensitivity of the detector, and the type of soil or environment. Typically, handheld detectors can detect small objects at a depth of a few inches, while larger objects can be detected at greater depths.

Can a metal detector detect metal objects underwater?
Some metal detectors are specifically designed for underwater use and can detect metal objects in freshwater or saltwater environments. However, the detection range may be limited, and the depth at which the detector can operate underwater may vary depending on the model.

Are there any limitations or factors that can affect the performance of a metal detector?
Yes, there are several factors that can affect the performance of a metal detector, such as mineralization of the soil, electromagnetic interference, presence of other metal objects nearby, and the skill and experience of the operator. It’s important to consider these factors and adjust the settings of the detector accordingly.

Can a metal detector be used for finding buried treasure or archaeological artifacts?
Metal detectors can be used for treasure hunting and archaeological purposes. However, it’s important to comply with local regulations and obtain proper permissions before using a metal detector for these purposes. Additionally, it’s crucial to handle any found artifacts or treasures with care and report significant discoveries to the appropriate authorities.

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