John has been a member of the forum since August 2011 and has contributed mightily during his time here so here’s your chance to find out all about him……..Well done to you John and thanks for spending the time answering all of these questions…
Before I start I would like to thank you for the huge honor I feel in being asked these questions as Forum Member of the Month. John.
How did you first become interested in Metal Detecting?
Well I think it all started in school, around the 6th grade, so aged around 12. School was not my main ‘interest’ so I didn’t do all the lessons!
My only real buddy was an old C-Scope, (I think it was a 770) and we would sneak around in the forest on the ‘First of May Field’ (1st of May is a national holiday here and workers spend a lot of time drinking and singing).
Lot of coins to be found there (but there was a man who was doing the same thing as we did, and we were scared of being caught by him). We found many things, but nothing of value, and at this point of my teenage year I had discovered new interests! …I will return to the story about this field later.
Although I'm sure you've told us already how did you come up with the name 'Danzigman' ?
As some of you know I live a bit ‘out ‘…. isolated some would say, so I was surfing the internet dating sites, looking for a partner under my username ‘Danzigman’ Danzigmann (double nn) is the name of a rough beach on the East tip of our island where many large ships have been wrecked and men perished.
So my name is combined by a famous shipwreck name ‘The Danzigmann’ and the ending referring to ‘Man’ for Male… I always liked the name and it seemed natural to reuse it…. Oh by the way… In 2006 I married Lacrimioara from Romania.
How different is it detecting in DK as opposed to the UK? What can you do and what can't you do?
I think the UK has some great history and since we have tried to occupy you guys a few times, I guess they,(the Vikings) lost all their best gear on your ground!..
That said there is some good ground here too in some places down in South Denmark.
There is not too much regulation here. You can’t go metal detecting on the beach without permission and no one is allowed to dig in the sensitive vegetation on the sand dunes.
However, if you have a good reason, and if you are well organized and co-operating with your local museum, you can get a permit to do that too. They don’t give huge numbers of people permission, but quite easy to obtain for a small group (a club or mates). Of course results are expected and rules have to be kept.
I have a council/community permit to search the park and streets and work on a permit from the State Forest to do some dunes.
We don’t need insurances as you do in UK, as we are all covered by the ‘House Insurances’.
How easy is it to get permission in DK? Have you had any problems?
I think it is pretty much the same as everywhere. You can’t go metal detecting without getting the landowners permission. To be known locally is a huge benefit. You have to go and ask and talk with the farmers a little. To offer an extra pair of hands when they’re needed never does any harm. I know a few who help with the beet harvest or with other things. I have never had any problems or really have to do much for my permissions. But my ‘situation’ is a bit unique, as everyone knows me.
I have only ever had one ‘NO’ and one farmer gave me only one field.
What is the relationship like between detectorists and archaeologists in DK?
I’m so proud of being a Danish detectorist and enjoy the extremely good relationship that has grown between the two groups. On the other hand I like to believe they (the archaeologists) feel same way.
We work well together and they have in the last few years publicly praised the amateur archaeologist / detectorists for their great work in the field.
We have become very good at supporting each other. We do the finding, measuring and plotting everything with the GPS. A zip-bag with a note of the details goes with the find to one of the museums with archaeological expertise, ( some detectorists give their finds in every 6 months through their local museum) they then estimate the find before passing it along for further processing to the National Museum. This practice is being changed now in 2013, and a team from the National Museum will travel around and select the finds that go on in the process. A find of ‘treasure quality’ we call it ‘Danefæ’ will always be rewarded from the government, a coin, gold item etc. Rewards are always set higher than the market value to prevent anything going on the open market or auction sites.
The archaeologist are good at ‘using our help and expertise’ and often ask clubs on to a dig or excavation to help. There are always some willing to help out on motorway building and golf course construction to help preserve the cultural heritage.
Are any other members of your family interested in metal detecting?
No. So far I’m the only one who’s lost my mind! My wife sometimes stops by to give me coffee, but never been out on the fields yet. Stella, (my daughter) likes to be around and likes to get the worms up. Even she always talk about the ‘Gold Treasure’ I am about to find, guess she’s seen too much “Jake and the Pirates” on Disney Channel!
Are you a 'Solo' detectorist or do you go out with friends or with a club? Are you a club member?
Even though I’m in real life a very ‘talkative’ person I also enjoy the nature and the silence. As the only one doing metal detecting here (on the island) I have to be solo. I occasionally get a chance to go on a club dig or rally, and I enjoy the companionship a lot.
I am a club member of the largest Club in Denmark, ‘Tellus’ but they only have one big three day rally a year.
Distance from where I live is often long and it is expensive to join some of the day rallies.
I’m also member in Nordek (tiny club) and we plan to do some days out in the spring.
How often do you get to go out detecting?
As often as possible. In the past I was out of work and so was out almost every day. Mood changes, and sometime I feel like the beach, and sometimes a day on the fields. Normal session is around 4 hours.
What detectors have you owned and what machine do you use now?
Well, after my youthful fling with metal detectors, I returned to Laesoe in 2000. The first thing I did was to buy a new C-Scope 1220XD, I still have it and I sometimes lend it out to those who show interest in the hobby. 1½ year ago I bought the XP DEUS V2 full pack. From day one I loved it.
This is where I have to return to the story about the field at the start.
Naturally in 2000 I returned to that field in the forest, did it often and found coins every time. I was what some would call a coin hunter. At this point I didn’t know much really, didn’t think about history, GPS, zip-bag, artifact, and so on. Just doing the beach and finding coins in that one field. In the years since 2000 I had been out finding a few rings people have lost. So a few years back I got a call to try and find a gold ring lost on the beach. The old CS1220 was struggling and the ring was not found, so I went home and tried to search online for some better settings and I discovered that I was NOT alone in the world. (Big grin Smilie)
Since then things have just taken off in high speed. I joined a club and was later invited on an archaeological survey. Even some archaeologists had the CS 1220, however I could see that it was the Minelab machines that did the job. The Deus was still very new to everyone, and only 2 were on the dig, so after telling the wife about all the gold rings and jewelry I could find if I ‘only’ got one of those, she let me buy one. (thumbsupsmilie)
To round up this story, after getting the Deus and going back on that field in the forest, done to death since 78, done by me since 2000, I have found 20 small silver coins, cuff links, necklace, etc in the first few years. So I love the Deus, even though a few people try to persuade me to move to the E-Trac or Safari, as they claim they go deeper, I guess not!
You now use the Deus, how good has this detector been for you?
Compared to the CS1220XD I will say like changing from a bicycle to Mercedes! I find so much more and it’s so much easier with the Deus Now I sometimes think ‘how was life before the Deus’ possible.
Have you got any tips for newcomers to the Deus?
Don’t be afraid to test it out, take it to the beach, it is well capable of this.
Take the time to flick through the menus and when you find something you think could be good try it, get some experience of the things you find, the numbers, the sounds.
Personally I try to get used to 4 tone as I like that but I guess someone will soon publish a book about it.
Do you use the larger Deus coil for added ground coverage?
No, unless I get it almost for free or win one I’m happy with the standard coil.
Are there any ways in which the Deus could be improved further?
I don’t really know, improved? Not without adding extra weight, maybe GPS in the control unit so you just log on to you PC at home and get your recorded search route walked etc.
I missed to opportunity to ‘personalize’ it. They all look the same so I have added some blue reflective tape.
What other accessories do you use?
I have my GPP Garret Pro Pointer, my Garmin eTrek20, a Minelab finds bag, a small stainless digging tool, (It never comes out anymore, but I have it) I also have a heavy duty bag for my stuff. I always take my English Lady spade. Of the small things, zip-bags, card to write on, (Pos, location, item etc), toothbrush and I’m going to add a spay bottle with distilled water in soon.
Stuff at home: Cameras, tripods, metric grids, laptop, books and so on.
What is your best/oldest metal detecting find?
I personally love my Silver ring from the late 14th century, the one with the four fish swimming in circles. Next to that one is the large Silver dress hook with the crowned Gothic M dated to around 1500.
I know you spend a lot of time on the forum....how important is it to you?
It is extremely important to me. I have been so well accepted since day one and it fast became addictive.
In a way this is my way to “Talk” so to speak with other people. I haven’t many friends, and none who are into metal detecting and history.
At the same time I have learned, and daily learn so much from others on the forum, that my hands are less shaky now!
I put my personal ambitions high and still feel I’m just getting started.
As English is not your native language do you find being on the forum helps you keep your English fluent?
I guess a few still remember some of my small ‘funny ones’ such as swap/swop, farting/farthing and a few others.
I do try my best, and I’m sure it is good daily practice for me. In the end of the season I got myself into, ‘Talking/thinking’ to myself in English.
I do read and write more English than Danish and still I don’t get it all. Slang and humour is hard to understand 100%.
Do you have any favourite forum threads?
Yes. I love to ID stuff, appeals to the creativity, thinking ‘out of the box’ for use of artefacts. Coins I just research.
What do you enjoy most about the forum?
I very much enjoy the friendliness and relaxed atmosphere between everyone and quiet a few members have joined on Facebook too, so one’s personal network is extended. My thanks to Mrix for giving us such a great forum.
We have seen a slow improvement in the quality of ID posts, but some members struggle to get a good photo, any tips for them?
Oh-oh! I hear the ice crack! Yes lots have improved though. A few basic things will do an easy job. Try to get as much light as possible, if it’s late afternoon light you can try to play with some aluminum foil to soften up the shadows.
With harsh sunlight, soften it up with a thin piece of paper (newspaper) so that it casts shade on to your setup.
A tripod will make life easier, it’s best if you can get one with a tilt/swivel head so that your camera can ‘hang’ over your setup..
Use the delay button, (2 seconds) use the macro setting, or super macro if available
and then just do some test setups.
Over time I have got together a small collection of Grids, (metric). Some good stones in different colours are useful too if you want do some ‘test photos’.
The one thing you should always try to do is to make sure the item is in focus. The rest can usually be fixed, but we can’t add details.
You've just started a new job at the museum...will your detecting experience and your time on the forum help you with this?
I think it will. The forum has supplied me with some cornerstones in historical knowledge, and a basic knowledge of most things, also the practice around the photo’s comes in handy every day.
Do you have any detecting tips to pass on to newcomers in the hobby?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and knowledge. There are so many great people around in this forum that I think that young and old can learn from each other across the generation gap. Maybe go out as a bystander for a few times, just look and learn, suck in the small things. It’s easy to concentrate when you don’t have to think of anything else other than this. Soon you can tell old things from “new”. Learn to pinpoint and take care of the finding etc.
How important is it to have a machine that you really understand?
Well no one understands their machine from day one and I think the best way of learning is by doing.
As mentioned maybe a few outing as a bystander together with someone with the same machine as yours, to learn the tricks and settings, ( I have never been told or seen, just read and tested) I would take a trip out any day just to learn more.
Denmark has a very long and rich history, being on the trade routes between many civilisations for thousands of years, does this result in any good detecting finds?
Last year several huge treasures were found in Denmark, however, as some of you know I live on an island, unfortunately this was only a green sandbank in the Viking ages so no Viking finds have ever been made here, my oldest go back to 1319.
We complain about the cold here in the UK, what is the weather like in Denmark?
Where I live we have a coastal climate. Summer never really gets hot, the temperature seldom gets over 25c. Winter is mostly wet and green, but in the last few years we have had more cold. I have between one or two month a year where I can’t dig in the ground.
Is detecting a popular hobby in Denmark?
Yes I think so, not BIG like in the UK, but I will guess there are around 2000 – 3000 active detectorists.
Do you read a lot about history?
Not really, I watch a lot of TV. Discovery and History channels, Mudmen, Time Team etc. Most things that I learned about through reading I guess comes from something I’ve researched doing an ID on the Forum.
How important is Research to anyone trying to understand a new bit of land?
Research is one of those great tools you get for free. Time consuming, but worth the results and even if the research comes up with nothing you can still be in for a surprise.
I mostly go to the local archive to read up on history. I look for something that can give me a clue and from there I go researching the maps to find more.
How do you clean your coins?
I try not to clean, but those of none or little value I clean a little.
I don’t clean copper, only wash and dry out, then give them a soft brush.
The silver ones I clean in lemon juice. I like this method as it is easy to control. Sometimes I give them a soft rub after with some baking powder if I want them to shine.
We love to find any Viking coins or artefacts, is it easier for you to find them where you are?
I have never found one and never seen on in real life, so I guess they are rare.
Where in the world would you choose to detect if you had a choice and why?
On a good site with some Viking/Saxon finds would be great but some of the big Roman battlefields or the Caribbean would be nice too. Don’t we all sometimes dream about the gold ‘Ducat’ find but I am more into this hobby for the history, rather than the money.
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Well done John, a long awaited and deserved interview....
makes yer wanna get out there and dig dig dig !
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Etrac and Tons of Gear
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Thanks for all the help id's over the months ive been on the forum
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Thanks to Jim for the huge job editing in some meaning in the interview.
Also thanks to Jim and Liam for the great question.
It have been a great time here on forum so far, and I intend to stick around for a long time out in the future.
Even that Jim is the only one I actually have meet IRL.. I still feel all you girls and guys is "part of my family" - As many have said "Forum Family".. Always pleasant to lock on here.. =D>
Hopefully I will soon have opportunity to meet some of all the great Forum members.. And I hope some will take me up on my offer up to come by Laesoe for a few days in the future..
I will try to find a few scenic shots to post here later...
So thank you everyone, Forum members, staff, mrix..
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Thanks for the insight into your detecting and personal life
Great job Jim on the interview
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John we are so lucky to have someone like you on our forum always willing to go the extra mile in a search for a id on our finds
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