An item that requires electronics 5 and fabrication 3 to craft. Recipe found only in Ham Radio Illustrated.
Ingredients: copper wire (100) for coils and stuff, 5 electronic scrap, 1 circuit board, a two by four/heavy stick, noise cancelling headgear, scrap metal and paper for headphones and batteries to use.
Can be activated only with any kind of shovel in inventory. When used, consumes charge and has a chance to give a random metal item. Can be used a limited number of times per map square to avoid grinding metal in the same place.
Certain map squares may have bonuses to find a particular item. For instance, in the city/subways you can dig up underground cables to salvage for lots of copper wire and plastic chunks, sewers give you a high chance to salvage pipes, etc.
Makes you deaf when you use it. Alternatively, produces noise, but doesn’t require stuff for headphones in recipe then.
Bottlecaps can be added in game as a junk item with high chance to find. Say, a dozen bottlecaps can be melted/welded for a scrap metal. Should be found in garbage bins/dumpsters, too.
interesting for flavor, but not very practical since you can get more metal from smashing up a random car than you’d get from a month of searching for bottlecaps.
I could be werong though, there could be a really important or useful kind of thing you could find with this, I’m thinking buried quest rewards perhaps, or a hatch to an underground complex.
While a metal detector would certainly be useful in finding mines and other metal containing traps, using one as a vehicle attachment really wouldn’t be useful unless you were literally creeping forwards at walking speed. Elsewise it’s going to be more like, “Hey a mine! Oh, it blew up.”
I’d be perfectly fine with adding it, and having it trigger to let you know it passed over a mine, and even having it trigger safe mode, but it’s not going to stop your car, so you’re still going to run over it unless you build an armature that sticks out in front of your vehicle far enough that you can stop or swerve between the time it signals and your car runs over it. I’d guess for most vehicles that’s about 10 squares long and at least 4 squares wide…
For clearing minefields on foot, that’s a good use for it.
For clearing minefields, I’d rather there be a vehicle attachment similar to today’s land-sweepers: You take a whole bunch of long heavy steel chains and weld them to a cylinder, then rotate the cylinder at high speed to smack the ground with the chains, applying about the same weight as a vehicle overall with the smacking… Attach this mechanism to an armature in front of the vehicle between it and a bunch of armor and creep along in mine fields. IRL they’re built on pretty heavy frames, but in DDA you could probably build it on handles and foldable frames for a hilarious 1-use mine detonator.