SELF RECORDING .... the future?

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SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by liamnolan » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:39 pm

Hi all, I have already started another topic re what might be the best value hand held GPS device and that turned out (for me) to be the Garmin Etrex 20, which I have now ordered.http://www.metaldetectingforum.co.uk/vi ... 55&t=82091" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
We have a NHRG meeting on next Monday evening and with the proposed cuts in funding for Norfolk Archaeology, we are never going to get swamped by lots of archaeologists to go round the finds tables, take away finds for recording and note the find spots.
So its now more than ever a case for responsible detectorists to self record with some regularity.
I have no experience of how to self record and I know there is an army of forum members out there who will be well experienced in that field (excuse pun) so could we have a debate on members tips and experiences, easy ways to do tasks etc?
I want to be able to advise the club members on Monday and not appear as a complete idiot!
Scroll down to page 7 here ... I am slowly digesting .. https://finds.org.uk/documents/guide.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks, Liam ::g


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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by oldartefact » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:49 pm

The first rule of data collection is accuracy, and i note that PAS take this task to heart. With the greatest respect to all detectorists out there attaining the required level of accuracy is not something that should be taken lightly ... accurate descriptions dont just mean that we get the description right, but great pictures and accurate measurements are a must.
It would be a travesty if data quality were to take a nose dive in the bid to save money, putting archaeologists out of work at the same time.
I think that self-recording may be good for those with the skills to do it correctly, but as for numpties like me, maybe i am not quite up to the job.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by liamnolan » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:01 pm

Thanks John, you and I are in the same camp. I have no desire to have to self record believe me, but we have five MD clubs around Norfolk and we have already been told that its unlikely that 2016 will see regular club visits by the FLO. So its something that we need to have a knowledge of before any staff shortages do any damage. The PAS started off in Norfolk with Tony Gregory (RIP) and we want to somehoe maintain the quality and volume of finds recording that East Anglia has been proud of.
On top of all that, my own club is now full, we have a waiting list and perhaps I might be able to somehow round them up separately and offer some advice on recording?
I am hoping that the local archaeologists will convene a meeting for all the local clubs and maybe offer some basic training days/evenings so that they can be sure that what we are all doing is what they need, Liam
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Koala » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:06 pm

I would like to know more. It's not easy for everyone to get to a FLO. How does someone record a find when the FLO is only there first Wednesday of the month and its a 40 mile drive each way.


If you are close to a FLO much better to hand it in as having something in font of you is much better than a photo


For me a remote way of recording would give me more of an incentive to record more.



Never tried self recording but have a copper alloy ring I would like to record found on a rally. We could follow its progress

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by muddy fingers » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Got a nice Digital Caliper Gauge in Lidles a while back for about £6. Also a new digital scale weighing in g oz dwt gn from a car boot for £10 There's nothing difficult about using either and it's fun.

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by stargazer » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:25 pm

Koala wrote:I would like to know more. It's not easy for everyone to get to a FLO. How does someone record a find when the FLO is only there first Wednesday of the month and its a 40 mile drive each way.


If you are close to a FLO much better to hand it in as having something in font of you is much better than a photo


For me a remote way of recording would give me more of an incentive to record more.



Never tried self recording but have a copper alloy ring I would like to record found on a rally. We could follow its progress
Self recording is nice sounding. Except to be able to do that, you must attend a full days 'course' to show you are competent. That day being a weekday. And for me, that would be city centre Manchester.

So we are back to square one.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by fred » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:40 pm

All that I can offer to this debate is the situation in my part of Kent. For many years both local clubs have record finds through the same willing and extremely able volunteer, to whom we are all extremely grateful. The FLO is regularly available at local offices to deal with anything that needs her input such as significant finds, treasure and to record finds from individuals. The system is very dependent upon suitable volunteers being found but it has worked well for us, even before the current financial crisis. ::g
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Whatunearth » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:42 pm

Koala wrote:I would like to know more. It's not easy for everyone to get to a FLO. How does someone record a find when the FLO is only there first Wednesday of the month and its a 40 mile drive each way.


If you are close to a FLO much better to hand it in as having something in font of you is much better than a photo


For me a remote way of recording would give me more of an incentive to record more.



Never tried self recording but have a copper alloy ring I would like to record found on a rally. We could follow its progress
https://finds.org.uk/documents/guide.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ::g
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by THE MOLE » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:45 pm

if your local flo`s willing, maybe an afternoon or 2 sat in with him/her would point you in the right direction :-/

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Taxino8 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:50 pm

stargazer wrote:
Koala wrote:I would like to know more. It's not easy for everyone to get to a FLO. How does someone record a find when the FLO is only there first Wednesday of the month and its a 40 mile drive each way.


If you are close to a FLO much better to hand it in as having something in font of you is much better than a photo


For me a remote way of recording would give me more of an incentive to record more.



Never tried self recording but have a copper alloy ring I would like to record found on a rally. We could follow its progress
Self recording is nice sounding. Except to be able to do that, you must attend a full days 'course' to show you are competent. That day being a weekday. And for me, that would be city centre Manchester.

So we are back to square one.
I agree, I asked to self record and was told I needed to attend a course in York, an hours drive away so I declined. The strange thing is I found a hoard of Bronze Age Axe heads and an Annular ring and sent an email with a picture I'd taken to my FLO before I handed them in. This photo is now on the PAS website as the official photo! Treasure case 2014 T442 so I must have done something right.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by FULLTIMER » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:55 pm

Up till now I have never had a reason to get involved with the PAS due to the fact that I havn't actually found a hoard or treasure items and the fact that both the landowners that let me roam their land won't let me record with the PAS unless I do have to legally at some point, I have found the UKDFD very useful over the years for getting accurate ID's etc and most of my decent finds can be found there on the database, maybe it could be a useful resource for those wishing to self record with PAS ,should give an idea of what is required I would have thought.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by busterhamer » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:07 pm

Great topic Liam,

My recording days start off with my trusty Lumix LX3 and a daylight lamp, the combination of the two will always give you good clear pictures to work with, a few minutes in Photoshop the images are chopped out and re-sized and added to a pre-loaded scale then saved as a Jpeg ready to upload to PAS. a set of digital scales and some digital gauges should give you all the weights and dimensions you will ever need. Dependent on the item being recorded search PAS for similar items and have a look at the descriptions for these and with no time at all you will have yourself the perfect picture,dimensions and description done. adding the find spot info using the OS references from your app/GPS and you will be ready to submit your record to PAS.

I have decided to upgrade from my GR app to a Garmin Oregon 650T , with this i can take a snap of the item and the OS ref at the same time, so i shouldn't have any problems remembering where each find came from and its reference, and once the data has been downloaded onto a map i should be able to see at a glance what was found where.

The first few items will take a while until you familiarize yourself with the process but once your up and running you will be surprised how quickly you can get through them.

Being a self recorder is very gratifying and i just wish i didn't work so many hours so i could spend more time doing it, attending this years conference has urged me on and hopefully we can encourage more of us detectorists to help the cause and get recording. i am sure the current total of 1,135,113 finds would be multiplied by ten if all items recovered were recorded.

it was great to see you at the Conference Liam

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by lord lovell » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:28 pm

myself and a few other detectorist have had the training on self recording I have access to pas website to do so anything recorded as a public record that you do is then double checked by a Flo incase of any errors that can occur when identifying items ::g before being publish on website at the moment I am not self recording due to internet connection and few other slight problems it in my opinon will save a lot of time the more detectorist that can self record there item will really help the over worked pas staff

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by liamnolan » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:46 pm

Brilliant post buster and great to see you also at the PASt conference, some good speakers there apart from the one lady who could not stop talking about diversity groups ... I have a feeling that the FLA's - Find Liaison Assistants - and PAS Volunteers will play a bigger role in the future as they are detectorists themselves and will relate more to whats going in in the detecting world.
Sometimes these things can end up with unexpected bonuses such as detectorists taking a bigger share of the heritage recording, Liam
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Koala » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:11 pm

stargazer wrote:
Koala wrote:I would like to know more. It's not easy for everyone to get to a FLO. How does someone record a find when the FLO is only there first Wednesday of the month and its a 40 mile drive each way.


If you are close to a FLO much better to hand it in as having something in font of you is much better than a photo


For me a remote way of recording would give me more of an incentive to record more.



Never tried self recording but have a copper alloy ring I would like to record found on a rally. We could follow its progress
Self recording is nice sounding. Except to be able to do that, you must attend a full days 'course' to show you are competent. That day being a weekday. And for me, that would be city centre Manchester.

So we are back to square one.
Yep just tried following the PDF posted earlier and get as far as

"Your account does not have permission to record objects, if you want to do so, contact your local FLO.
You have not been associated with personal details on our database. Contact your local flo to get this fixed."

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Whatunearth » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:27 pm

Even if your are registered, your Flo will still need to authorize your account to allow you to add your own finds. ::g
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Jellytussle » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:34 pm

I've been self recording as a PASt Explorers volunteer since May this year and can honestly say it's the most interesting thing I've done in ages. The training is brilliant and you get to meet some really interesting people. The only problem seems to be that the FLO's can only cope with a few volunteers at a time, but hopefully things will get easier as the scheme gets more fully underway.

I was at the PAS conference last week as well, and heartily agree about the BM outreach speaker - I nearly nodded off.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by muddy fingers » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:38 pm

I was surprised to read that you couldn't self record unless you had been on a course to, "show that you were competent." As busterhamer commented, the process isn't at all difficult and the tools required can be obtained easily and cheaply. Detectorists shouldn't let themselves be intimidated into thinking the process is something that must require some particular academic expertise that only a trained professional is capable of doing. This afternoon, I repaired a pocket watch that had a detached main spring. Although I've fiddled about with broken watches quite a bit in the past and have the necessary tools, I was able to mend this one after having seen an excellent you tube video that demonstrated the process. I don't see why the PAS couldn't put out a video on You Tube detailing how to measure, weigh, and photograph finds to their requirements. There are already numerous videos to watch demonstrating the use of a GPS, so no problem there. Expecting people to attend courses in order to self record seems a very old fashioned way of going about things in this day and age, though obviously there is the enjoyable social aspect of doing so. To me this has a hint of the patronising about it which I can detect sometimes in the attitude of those who think of themselves as the academic elite. Most people will have seen the FLO carry out the basics whilst on rallies etc so there is no mysticism attached to what they do.

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Whatunearth » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:53 pm

When I did my first one, I found a very similar item on the database and copied most of the data I found relevant. I then used UK grid finder for the location info and then used paint shop pro to do the images. I then posted it. I then a couple days later had a email from my Flo to say thanks for posting and to let me know she had amended a few points I missed out and she published it. ::g

Not over complicated, hardest was the images. ::g
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by lord lovell » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:56 pm

muddy fingers wrote:I was surprised to read that you couldn't self record unless you had been on a course to, "show that you were competent." As busterhamer commented, the process isn't at all difficult and the tools required can be obtained easily and cheaply. Detectorists shouldn't let themselves be intimidated into thinking the process is something that must require some particular academic expertise that only a trained professional is capable of doing. This afternoon, I repaired a pocket watch that had a detached main spring. Although I've fiddled about with broken watches quite a bit in the past and have the necessary tools, I was able to mend this one after having seen an excellent you tube video that demonstrated the process. I don't see why the PAS couldn't put out a video on You Tube detailing how to measure, weigh, and photograph finds to their requirements. There are already numerous videos to watch demonstrating the use of a GPS, so no problem there. Expecting people to attend courses in order to self record seems a very old fashioned way of going about things in this day and age, though obviously there is the enjoyable social aspect of doing so. To me this has a hint of the patronising about it which I can detect sometimes in the attitude of those who think of themselves as the academic elite. Most people will have seen the FLO carry out the basics whilst on rallies etc so there is no mysticism attached to what they do.
the basic recording form filling yes is fairly simple but a knowledge of the item and correct wording in the description is the hardest element of the process somebody reading you description needs to be able to picture what you telling them in the write up if you remove the pic would your write up refect that image?

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by muddy fingers » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:07 pm

As with a lot of academic write ups a lot of what is said is written according to a formula or template, so it's not that much of an obstacle. A picture tells a thousand words so the finder's write up needn't be that extensive surely? They can draw attention to points of wear or anything not readily apparent from the photo. The FLO can then use their knowledge to assign the object to its correct time period and style, method of manufacture etc. Most detectorists can put their finds on the forums for ID initially, if they are unsure about what they have found. I think Allectus on here could beat any FLO or expert to a coin ID for instance. :))

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by lord lovell » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:43 pm

muddy fingers wrote:As with a lot of academic write ups a lot of what is said is written according to a formula or template, so it's not that much of an obstacle. A picture tells a thousand words so the finder's write up needn't be that extensive surely? They can draw attention to points of wear or anything not readily apparent from the photo. The FLO can then use their knowledge to assign the object to its correct time period and style, method of manufacture etc. Most detectorists can put their finds on the forums for ID initially, if they are unsure about what they have found. I think Allectus on here could beat any FLO or expert to a coin ID for instance. :))
very true allectus is a leading coin collector that could teach most a thing or two on coin id ::g

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by alloverover » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:48 pm

Short answer cos am using my phone, standards of self recording at the moment are not too great, with or without course, some Flo,s dont seem to be any more accurate by my personal experiance.
Being an FLO should be a vocation, not just the first port of call out of uni on the road to tv fame :)]

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by oldartefact » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:12 pm

alloverover wrote:Short answer cos am using my phone, standards of self recording at the moment are not too great, with or without course, some Flo,s dont seem to be any more accurate by my personal experiance.
Being an FLO should be a vocation, not just the first port of call out of uni on the road to tv fame :)]
The FLO's that I know are mature competent dedicated professionals. Not sure about the TV fame bit???? I am always impressed with the quality of recording.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by oldartefact » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:17 pm

muddy fingers wrote: I think Allectus on here could beat any FLO or expert to a coin ID for instance. :))
Allectus is super human by any standards. But that doesn't detract from the brilliant contributions of our FLO's.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by liamnolan » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:28 pm

FLO's and other professionals can be a mixed bag, some more interested than others, but thats the same as in all walks of life. Here in Norfolk we have a truly remarkable assemblage of archaeologists who come to meetings and offer some fantastic background information to the finds on the tables. Three of them are destined for redundancy in April 2016 and we are fighting to save them, as once they are gone they cannot be replaced. You can close a building for a while and then reopen it but when you get rid of quality archaeologists you can never get back to where you were before.
So, I have to make some arrangements for the future so that when club members come along with important pieces of the historical jigsaw, their finds can be taken care of for generations to come.
Thanks everyone for such a super array of views and experiences. I was not aware that to self record, you had to attend a course ... I have this evening sent a request to our FLO, asking when we can organise some training ... Liam :;@
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by ScotsmanInKent » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:00 am

I have had a similar experience to whatunearth in that the guide on the pas database is really helpful, I based my first record on a similar already recorded item. The hardest thing is getting decent photos. I found I had to use a decent cannon slr with a macro lens and highlight. I can't record as much as I would like though as if you do a good job it is very time-consuming. I love doing it though and would recommend it
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Nailman » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:26 am

To me this is a death nail to PAS they don't just deal with metal detectorists
The Portable Antiquities scheme organises outreach programmes involving children the general public, they help museums acquire artefacts both treasure and non treasure items, these outreach schemes help to advance archaeological knowledge.

Sure there are experts in every club, we have one guy who is first port of call if you find a coin, but the FLO's are trained archaeologist and can recognise other artefacts .
New archaeological sites have been found by metal detectorists and there significance has been flagged up by the FLO's, self recording will save Westminster loads by not paying a qualified person, who works unsociable hours visiting clubs etc.
This will be open season for night hawkers who then declare finds on rallies just to gain providence.
I used to work as a freelance press photographer, now people use their I phones send the stuff in for free, consequently the papers won't pay someone like me, the same thing is happening with PAS.

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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by oldartefact » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:15 pm

Hi Steve, You make some very good points about the role of the FLO in the wider community, not to mention the fact that they are professionals and are able to assess items many of us lesser souls have no chance of doing. But at the end of the day it is the stated aim of this government to cut public spending, and very sadly, this is the result. No doubt there will be more to come, such as restricted free public access to PAS, increased museum admission charges, and changes to TVC compensation guidelines.
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Re: SELF RECORDING .... the future?

Post by Nailman » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:40 pm

Some libraries are now run by volunteers once the Etonian boys get rid of PAS
self recording is the first stage, the museums will fall into the voluntary sector, nothing wrong with volunteers the PAS use them as do the National trust.
The PAS help to acquire items for museums, In future I can see any future hoards such as the Staffordshire hoard simply disappearing abroad to a collector.

So self recording may sound great, everyone will rush out and purchase scales,gps and digital callipers.
Near me they've taken a roof of a 17th cent barn claming it was unsafe, another two years of frost and rain and they will have a excuse to pull the rest down, on health and safety meaning five executive town houses can be built.
I may be the eternal pessimist ;f I care about this countries heritage, but to me this is the first step on a very slippery slope.
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