Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
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Steve_Herschbach
22:56:06 Sun
Nov 24 2013
Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Hi,

Any interest in the subject on the AGF these days? Metal detecting for gold is pretty much my main gig these days, and in fact a primary motivation for finally leaving Alaska. My new base in Reno allows me access to year round detecting within a days drive. I just spent a couple days in Arizona finding my first Arizona gold with a metal detector. Bagged my first Nevada gold a few weeks ago. I had a productive summer in Alaska detecting in the Fortymile, and will be back in Alaska each summer detecting as long as it pays to do so.

Anyway, I have not posted here lately as there seems to be little interest here in detecting. I hang out on forums that are more detector oriented. But maybe I am misreading the situation so just thought I would toss it out there for discussion if anyone has any thoughts or questions. I am plugged pretty deeply into the detecting world and so keep abreast of the latest developments in the technology. I figured I would start this dedicated thread as a sort of sub-forum for questions related to the subject.

LipCa
00:39:00 Mon
Nov 25 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Hi Steve,

I was reading some of your post on other forums on the Garrett ATX(new PI detector).

I like what I read and will get one as soon as I find some more gold to pay for it.(May take a little longer as my backhoe just tossed a rod :mad: )

How does it do with the old miners 'hob nails"? Have you hit those yet? I know they sound really good with the GB2 and GB Pro.


dickb
02:36:10 Mon
Nov 25 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Always interested in reading about detecting adventures. Not many nuggets in IA so if I want to use my Infinium LS, I'm going to have to look to someplace southwest of here. Since NM is the shortest distance, I've been looking into places there to start.

So maybe we can get some talking going because it's just about time for the snowbirds to migrate. HA

Dickb

shaftsinkerawc
03:30:35 Mon
Nov 25 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
"Always interested in reading about detecting adventures." Likewise. Steve, have I asked you about detecting in permafrost at the bedrock interface? I line the shaft with 6' culvert halves so probably too much interference for the GMT but what about the pin pointer (Falcon?)

rabbitt46
15:44:21 Mon
Nov 25 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Just bought a Tesoro, Vaquero as a backup machine to my Minelabs. Sure is light weight. Will report any findings with it. Going out today with it.
Waiting for my new waterproof 6" Coil Tech coil for my Eureaka Gold detector. :smile:

Steve_Herschbach
03:55:04 Tue
Nov 26 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Quote: LipCa at 00:39:00 Mon Nov 25 2013

Hi Steve,
I was reading some of your post on other forums on the Garrett ATX(new PI detector). How does it do with the old miners 'hob nails"? Have you hit those yet? I know they sound really good with the GB2 and GB Pro.


The ATX being a PI loves small ferrous stuff. And would you know it I did find a hob nail already! The ATX iron check function is generally useless on small ferrous.

Steve_Herschbach
04:03:09 Tue
Nov 26 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Quote: shaftsinkerawc at 03:30:35 Mon Nov 25 2013

"Always interested in reading about detecting adventures." Likewise. Steve, have I asked you about detecting in permafrost at the bedrock interface? I line the shaft with 6' culvert halves so probably too much interference for the GMT but what about the pin pointer (Falcon?)


The small coil on the GMT should be able to get within a foot or less of the culvert. That would be my choice over the Falcon. The Falcon only scans an area about an inch wide by an inch deep,

LipCa
15:46:43 Tue
Nov 26 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
"The ATX iron check function is generally useless on small ferrous"

That is good information....

Maybe you could elaborate on what function the "iron check" on the ATX does? Does it really have a use? Or, is it pretty much an "all metal" machine?





Steve_Herschbach
17:56:50 Tue
Nov 26 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Quote: LipCa at 15:46:43 Tue Nov 26 2013

Maybe you could elaborate on what function the "iron check" on the ATX does? Does it really have a use? Or, is it pretty much an "all metal" machine?


From my review On the Garrett ATX for nugget detecting:

"The new Iron Check feature on the Garrett ATX is very effective. It is biased to not give false signals on gold targets so only works on shallower and larger targets. Still, I found it very helpful in confirming that loud shallow signals were indeed the ferrous targets I thought they were. It would only take a quick dig to confirm the ferrous identity but in areas with lots of surface trash this eliminates a lot of needless digging. Just push the button, wave the coil, and the ATX gives a "goose honk" on ferrous targets. Non-ferrous items like bullets or shell casing will read good but as always they could also be nuggets and so they need to be investigated. Many iron hot rocks will also read as ferrous so an option in some areas instead of other tricks may be to use the Iron Check to confirm suspected hot rocks."

Basically it is just a quick check for larger, shallow ferrous trash. The kind you get a lot of in desert areas. Less helpful in tailing piles but still better than nothing.

LipCa
04:08:31 Wed
Nov 27 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Thanks, Steve

shaftsinkerawc
04:09:18 Wed
Nov 27 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Thanks Steve, I'll change coils and give it a try in a month or so.

geowizard
14:48:13 Thu
Nov 28 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
Pulse Induction detectors definitely have advantages and work very well in the application they are designed for.

If you think of a submarine making a "ping"... ping"... sound, a submarine uses acoustic energy and a PI detector uses electromagnetic energy - the concept is the same. That's what a pulse induction system does. It "pulses" the ground with an electromagnetic pulse.

The detector waits for a return electromagnetic echo. The time it takes for the echo is referred to as "time domain". The return time relates to depth of the target. The echo has amplitude or size. A high amplitude echo is related to a large target versus a low amplitude echo that is returned from a small target.

There is no discrimination. There is nothing in the returning echo that can be used to determine the type of metal in the target.

The laws of physics dictate that a shallow target will have the fastest echo - it travels a shorter distance. Also a shallow target has less attenuation from the return path. So, shallow targets are easier to find. The detector has to send out a high energy pulse and switch on a very sensitive receiver immediately after transmitting the pulse. So the speed with which a transmitter can be turned off and the receiver turned on controls the ability to detect the near surface returns.

In short, there are limitations built into the concept of PI detection and there are inherent trade-offs in transmitter energy and receiver sensitivity combined with high speed electronic switching.

When you buy a PI detector, these qualities are built into the package. A low cost PI detector will have difficulty finding shallow targets because of inferior switching electronics and will have a problem with small, deep targets because of insensitive receiver electronics.

PI detectors have another limitation - sweep speed. The detector is pulsing at a given rate. It takes time to send a pulse into the ground and wait the required time to detect deep targets. So, a slower sweep is preferred in order to allow the electronics time to perform the time domain process of detecting a target.

In this modern era of hybrids, it's possible that the same system can perform the function of PI and VLF (frequency domain) detection. A hybrid detector gains the advantage of deeper penetration with PI mode and the second advantage of discrimination using VLF mode. As higher speed microprocessors enter the scene, it's possible that hybrid detectors will overcome many of the problems seen in the past.

- Geowizard



geowizard
22:10:56 Sat
Nov 30 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread

I recommend going to the Minelab website www.minelab.com and checking out their "Knowledge Base" for more information on PI detectors and their latest technology.

Fisher has an excellent reference in their owner manuals on the Gold Bug detectors. They are VLF systems - not PI.

More on "Ground Phase" later...

www.fisherlab.com/hobby/index.html

- Geowizard

geowizard
22:34:45 Sat
Nov 30 2013
Re: Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
With reference to "discrimination" on the ATX.

Recommended reading should include a careful read of page 13 of the ATX manual.

http://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/hbby-manuals/1534000_atx_user_manual_english.pdf

Discrimination is used differently than it is used in VLF technology.

Maximum discrimination levels exclude large iron targets and small gold.

To avoid missing gold - they recommend a discrimination level of "zero", no discrimination.

- Geowizard

Steve_Herschbach
16:03:17 Sun
Dec 1 2013
No one detector does it all
People often ask what is the best gold nugget detector. It certainly is possible to own just one nugget detector and do well. But simply put - no one detector does it all. My current gold finding collection:

Minelab GPX 5000 - nothing hits a large gold nugget deeper
Fisher Gold Bug 2 - no detector does better on the tiniest gold
Fisher Gold Bug Pro - nugget detecting areas with lots of ferrous trash
White's GMT - combines best attributes of Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro with optional automatic ground tracking
White's DFX - with Big Foot coil best setup for detecting rings in parks and sports fields I have used
Minelab CTX 3030 - waterproof, coin and jewelry detecting, in water and out
Garrett ATX - waterproof, coin, jewelry and gold nugget detecting, in water and out

These detectors all excel in some way and fill a niche that the others do not fill as well. You may notice most are specialty detectors instead of do it all detectors. If I had to own just one detector it might be a White's MXT or Minelab X-Terra 705 or Garrett AT Gold. Those detectors do most everything well. But as do-it-all machines they tend not to really excel either at many tasks. The MXT does well on small gold, but a GMT does even better. Instead of owning a single do it all detector, I have a collection of machines aimed at different tasks.

I think of it as being a hunter who has only one gun. Even crazier would be a golfer with one golf club. Or a mechanic who only owns a pair of pliers.

No one tool does everything and at the end of the day detectors are just prospecting tools. Use what works best for the job at hand.

geowizard
17:16:57 Sun
Dec 1 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
Steve,

You are a respected professional and expert on the subject of Metal Detectors and the "art" of finding gold.

There is a synergy that you are able to develop. It is a meeting of man and machine that you share with your readers. The machine is useless without the proper interface with the operator. The man-machine interface combined with understanding of the tool and how it behaves produces the synergy. The man is in his environment and the tool is in its environment. The net result is success at finding gold.

The average user or better yet, the novice is generally not able to become "one" with the tool. Your reports on various detectors and where to place the settings of the controls in various - almost infinite possibilities of detecting environments gives others the clues needed to share in the same success.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of your contributions.

Thanks for the work you do.

- Geowizard

Steve_Herschbach
17:32:39 Sun
Dec 1 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
Thank you Chuck for the comment and all your contribute also.

You raise an important point though. having a lot of detectors does you no good if you do not know how to use them. Another school of thought places great emphasis on having a single detector and learning it well. Lots of people do tend to go from one machine to another without ever really getting good. Too much changing up. So for most people getting one or maybe two detectors (a VLF and a PI) and applying themselves to learning them well is a better approach.
What I am doing with my collection only makes sense because I spend many hundreds of hours each year detecting. Each of those detectors gets used more than most people with one will ever use theirs.

dmort
01:24:37 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
What detector is best for a novice ? Second,what ground is best to detect ? Out west you have dry creek beds and tailing piles.In Alaska there are old tailing piles and plenty of creeks.What to look for ?Thanks

geowizard
01:49:04 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
dmort,

In the middle of Steve's list is the White's GMT.

Not the best, not the most expensive and it works well in most applications.

http://www.whiteselectronics.com/gmt

It's a little complicated for a novice - yet it offers features that you can grow into without going through the process of replacing one detector with another as you learn.

- Geowizard

dmort
02:06:09 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
thanks geo !!

geowizard
02:41:19 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
dmort,

Steve has written reviews on most of the detectors that are of any consequence. He provides links to his new Metal Detecting Blog/Forum. It's an excellent resource!

- Geowizard

Steve_Herschbach
02:55:12 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
Quote: dmort at 01:24:37 Mon Dec 2 2013

What detector is best for a novice ? Second,what ground is best to detect ? Out west you have dry creek beds and tailing piles.In Alaska there are old tailing piles and plenty of creeks.What to look for ?Thanks


A couple of my favorites are the Fisher Gold Bug Pro and White's GMT. Same engineer designed both units. Excellent machines for beginners and pros. The best ground to detect is any ground that has a history of producing nuggets you can pick up without tweezers. When in old mine workings, detect everything. I mean every bit of exposed gravel including roads, airstrips, and camp areas. It all can hide gold nuggets.

Geo mentioned the link at the end of this post, give it a go.

dmort
04:08:38 Mon
Dec 2 2013
Re: No one detector does it all
I appreciate the tip Steve.

Steve_Herschbach
19:34:26 Tue
Dec 3 2013
New Minelab Waterproof PI
I have always wondered why Minelab does not make a waterproof PI. Everyone else does. Is it they figure the Excalibur is good enough, why bother? Still, since they make what many consider to be the world's most powerful prospecting PI detectors it does seem odd, at least to me.

So I really perked up when an ad appeared in Lost Treasure magazine:

THE FIRST, REAL COMPACT MID-RANGE GOLD DETECTOR IS COMING...

Waterproof
Compact
Rugged
No assembly
Easy to use (switch on & go)
Finds small gold
Proven MPS technology

And on the Minelab website...

A mid-range gold detector is coming soon! Minelab SDC 2300

MINELAB WILL BE ANNOUNCING FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT OUR EXCITING NEW MIDRANGE GOLD DETECTOR ON DECEMBER 9TH.
This compact waterproof detector is positioned above Minelabs entry level X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack and Eureka Gold, and below our high performance GPX series making it the ideal machine for those who are beginning to gold prospect.

Most of the speculation is centered around a consumer version of the Minelab F3 Compact demining detector Minelab F3 Compact The partial photo from the Minelab website resembles the F3 but blue instead of green.

This thing is clearly aimed at the nugget hunting crowd but honestly I am pretty well covered there. I am curious how it will do on the beach, especially since it is optimized for gold. Will it handle salt water? How waterproof is it? I do not know but I will be watching it with interest. Knowing me I will have to get one to find out.

rabbitt46
23:41:24 Tue
Dec 3 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Be nice if they would come out with a water proof coil for the GPX series.:confused:

Steve_Herschbach
00:23:51 Wed
Dec 4 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Most of the Coiltek and Nugget Finder coils are now waterproof.

rabbitt46
15:28:53 Wed
Dec 4 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
I love my water poof coiltek coils for my Eureaka Gold.
:smile:

Steve_Herschbach
00:40:26 Wed
Dec 11 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors updated 12/10/2013


cubsqueal
04:39:44 Wed
Dec 11 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Steve, your gold nugget detector compendium is a very impressive accomplishment. It is undoubtedly the world's finest. Out of 7 billion people on the planet, to be the author of it is something to be proud of!

adkpros
21:56:21 Wed
Dec 11 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Steve, the Minelab SG/SD series was a pretty capable gold detector I thought. Seems if they were waterproof it would make for a good mid level detector also.

Steve_Herschbach
22:46:39 Wed
Dec 11 2013
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Well, the new Minelab is called the SDC 2300. The last of the SD series was the SD2200v2 so speculation is this is an improved compact SD unit (SD Compact, get it?) waterproof to 10 feet.

Minelab SDC 2300

Thanks for the comment cubsqueal. Probably be a much longer detailed book version out by spring.

dmort
22:52:50 Fri
Jan 31 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Whats the cost of this detector ? I like how its so compact !!

Steve_Herschbach
01:02:27 Mon
Feb 3 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
A few more details on the Minelab SDC were just released at http://www.minelab.com/usa/consumer/knowledge-base/news?article=215928 1/31/14

The US retail has not been publically announced yet but lots of rumors flying about somewhere in the $3000 - $4000 range.

dmort
01:32:22 Mon
Feb 3 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Thanks Steve.Not exactly inexpensive :smile:

Steve_Herschbach
08:19:13 Mon
Feb 3 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
No, that would make it the second most expensive detector available from the Big 5 manufacturers (First Texas, Garrett, Minelab, Tesoro, White's). It will obviously be a niche machine as few people need a waterproof PI detector.

dmort
17:15:05 Mon
Feb 3 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
What detector do you recommend for a rookie ?

dickb
18:43:08 Mon
Feb 3 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Hi Steve:

I do like my Infinium because I use it down by the creeks and would hate to have it destroyed by dropping it into the water. Just picked up Minelabs new pinpointer and it looks like it's made real nice. I like the vibe part of it and that's why I got it over the Garrett.

Hi dmort:

As far as getting started, do your research and get what suits the type of detedting that you plan on doing. Most folks take a long time trying different MD's till they find what works best for their needs. Usually, one isn't enough though.

Good luck detecting!

Dickb

dmort
15:34:26 Tue
Feb 4 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Thanks.Portability is a factor as I will have to fly most places I want to hunt in.

Steve_Herschbach
21:23:06 Tue
Feb 4 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Hi dmort,

All metal detectors by their nature weigh very little and break down into small packages. Lots of models to study at the Gold Nugget Detector Guide but if you have nothing else to go on the Fisher Gold Bug Pro is worth a look. Good all around unit, less than 3 lbs, very compact, and affordable.


dmort
02:44:46 Thu
Feb 6 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
Thanks for the input Steve !

Steve_Herschbach
17:04:43 Mon
Mar 17 2014
Re: New Minelab Waterproof PI
I have posted An Extensive Review of the Garrett ATX vs Minelab GPX 5000

Very long story short - if you can get past the ergonomic shortcomings of the Garrett ATX it delivers 90% of the performance of a GPX for 1/3 the price.

For me personally ergonomics is paramount and I want that extra 10%. But for somebody looking for bang for the buck the ATX has got it.





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Metal Detecting for Gold - Dedicated Thread
http://bb.bbboy.net/alaskagoldforum-viewthread?forum=2&thread=1826
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