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Steve_Herschbach
17:25:19 Thu
Mar 11 2004

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Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated October 2009

Moved to new location
Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
[12 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:52:46 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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oldrocker
17:58:14 Thu
Mar 11 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Thanks!! Just what I have been looking for in information....

  
pipedreams
21:24:07 Thu
Mar 11 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Thanks for the information........exactly what I needed!



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THE CAMPFIRE
 
 
alienbogey
03:41:32 Fri
Mar 12 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Steve,

Thanks for the info. I relied heavily on it when deciding on which detector to get.

I went with a White's GMT. I bought it from Gerry McMullen of Boise, we met last week at Rye Patch, Nevada, where he trained me on it's use.

I only had a day and a half there, but got great training from Gerry and found 6 small nuggets.

Loren

  
amxgerry
14:56:19 Tue
Mar 30 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

hey, thanks for all this info!

regards gerry

  
papillon69
16:45:10 Sun
Oct 17 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi!

First thanks for your advices on MD for nugget. I searched and searched the net until my eyes were cring of fatigue.

Ar last I stumbled on your site, and now I know a little bit more what nugget MD should I lok for.

I say a little bit more because I live in Costa Rica, Central America. I think when I will have bought the still "unknown" MD, I will be the sole owner of a detector in the whole country! Just joking! But I think it will not be far from the trutn.

So I have no clue if there are hot minerals, junk, or whatever. Unknow territory...yet! No references, just that there were gold at one time and there are still gold! That's all.

If you would have one and only ONE MD that you would bring in a complete new territory, what would be the detector of your choice??

Two things I must add>

I need one that will hipmount (front or side).
One that is reliable.

You see if it brokes, I will have to send it back in the USA to have it fixed. It will take time and add. money!

Last, I would prefer to buy a used one rather than a new one. Why? Because a brand new one is likely to break the first months than a older one.

I will keep an open mind here, any advice will be more than welcome.

Roger Pilon
Costa Rica
Central America




  
Steve_Herschbach
17:11:50 Sun
Oct 17 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Roger,

You ask "If you would have one and only ONE MD that you would bring in a complete new territory, what would be the detector of your choice??"

Well, I do not, and would not travel anywhere with only one detector. Period. I do not drive without a spare tire either.

If I were headed out prospecting for gold with metal detectors I would be packing at a minimum my Minelab GPX-4000 and Fisher Gold Bug 2. The GPX-4000 would be the primary unit. However, the Gold Bug 2 will hit smaller gold than the GPX-4000 and it also has better iron/steel discrimination. And it does hip mount as is... the GPX-4000 has to be modified if you want to hip or chest mount it.

All detectors are reliable, but all detectors can fail. The more you use them, the more it is a matter of when, not if, you will experience a failure of some sort in the field. In your case you may be sending the machine out-of-country for repairs. I would not consider a second detector to be optional under those conditions unless you do not mind having to quit for a few weeks while a detector is shipped off, repaired, and shipped back to you.

The only time I have one detector with me is day trips. if a detector quits on me then it just means a shorter day. No big deal. But I cannot imagine going to the expense of traveling to a remote site with one machine.

Remember, that is all just me talking. My opinions only. Others may be fine with a single unit, and different models besides. If so, hopefully they will chime in.
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:53:27 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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papillon69
18:18:07 Sun
Oct 17 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Gee!

That was a fast answer!

In a way you answered my question: when I will be able to afford a GP 3000 I will go for it! Meanwhile, I will start to hunt for a Gold Bug 2 as a first choice and the others brands as alternative choices on Ebay!

The second step will be a PI unit, maybe a lower end model, but at the very least one PI unit!

Question..do you have any other PI units beside the Garett and the Minelab that you could recommend (a little bit more budget oriented)??!!!

Thanks again for your advices! I take them seriously!

Roger Pilon
Costa Rica


  
Steve_Herschbach
20:36:24 Sun
Oct 17 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Roger,

For my purposes a PI detector must have a ground balance circuit, as I want to be able to use the PI in areas that have mineralization so bad the VLF units fall short. That pretty much means the Garrett or Minelabs. Since you are OK with used, I would recommend a used Minelab SD2100. In my opinion an SD2100 is about as good as anything Minelab has introduced since, although owners of the latest and greatest no doubt disagree. The newer units do have improvements, but it's nothing huge. Most gold a GP 3000 will find an SD2100 will find. Again, my opinion only.

If you wish to try a PI unit that does not ground balance, the Goldquest SS appears to be the best bet. It will serve very well unless you run into bad hot rocks or other very tough mineralization. But I could say the same about many VLF detectors, like the White's MXT or Tesoro Lobo.
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:53:41 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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DirtDog
23:25:53 Mon
Oct 18 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Steve,
Thanks for this latest update on the detectors out there on what they can and can not do.You get to the point and arent scared to say it like it is when it comes to a upfront and honest performance report.
I'm looking for a underwater detector that I can use that will have discrimination capabilities for use in swift currents in trashy/iron areas...most likely on bedrocks of different mineralization.I have literaly spent over 1000 hours of dredging in the rivers of the California Mother Lode area.Call it being overwhelmed or 'overburdened'...I want to drop the nozzle for a compatable detector that has the best iron/hot rock(bedrock) discrimination on big AU.
DirtDog,
Nevada

  
Steve_Herschbach
00:44:26 Tue
Oct 19 2004

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi DirtDog,

Great question. The Tesoro Tiger Shark has the best gold sensitivity of the underwater units, a ground balance, and a variable discrimination circuit. It is probably the best choice unless the hot rocks are real bad. Then you have to go with the Garrett Infinium, and you are going to dig lots of junk.

.
[2 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:53:52 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
paratrooper
19:53:14 Sat
Apr 2 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

My main "go to" machine is a 2200 . I have been agonizing over which machine to get for the "wife/back-up" machine for quite a while . The Eureka Gold was on the "short list" but I didn't like the idea of a VLF machine . The Gold Bug 2 would be good also BUT , once again VLF . When we go to I-Bar the GB2 would keep her occupied working the cracks in the bedrock while I go "big game hunting" with my 2200 . But after your appraisals of the machines out there I am totally leaning towards the Infinium LS . It's probably not the "teeny weenie" piece of gold finding machine that the GB2 is BUT it seems that the underwater capabilities will come in handy for shooting around in shallow water or even getting in over one's head with the extra $100 underwater headphones . Looking at the prices I know I can walk out with this unit for $1100 complete with underwater phones . I would also consider this machine for packing in to more remote places and coming back with the 2200 if it shows promise (read GOLD) . Of course the 3500 is a great machine but I wonder if it is 3 times better since the money is 3 times more . I don't do this for a living but I also want to show results to sceptical acquaintances .



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Tom
 
 
Steve_Herschbach
20:30:12 Sat
Apr 2 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Tom,

I've used the Minelabs extensively and the Infinium. The Minelabs have the edge on smaller gold so the Infinium would not help at all if crevicing smaller gold if the idea.

I tend to recommend when one considers getting second machines, that the two be opposites. VLF excels at small gold and discrimination. PI excels at ground rejection and deep gold. Put the two together, you cover lots of bases. One ends to work well at what the other is weak at.

Just for you to consider. The Infinium is a PI unit like the Minelabs and so has the same weaknesses. You'll not really be extending your capabilities much.
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:54:03 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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paratrooper
07:32:14 Sat
Apr 9 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

A fella is selling an Infinium on e-bay . One sentence in the description caught my eye "To take advantage of the pulse tecknology you have to swing it at 2 feet per second which is slower than I like to move." What's the story on that ? And would this be underwater as well ?



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Tom
 
 
Steve_Herschbach
16:33:53 Sat
Apr 9 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi paratrooper,

All PI detectors work by measuring the decay of an induced current in the target item. As such they benefit from being moved slower than a VLF detector. It is not that you have to move them really slow so much as a VLF can be moved faster with less loss of signal.

There are times I really cover some ground with my VLF detector, but I generally do it knowing I'm not getting the best depth and sensitivity. Many detectorists would benefit from just slowing down. I consider coil control to be one of the real secrets to getting the best depth out of a detector. All machines have an optimal sweep speed. Just bury a target, and try slow, medium, and fast and note the results. Going too slow can dramatically cut depth as can going too fast.

But in general, A VLF detector can be swept faster than a PI detector with less risk of loss.
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:54:20 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
paratrooper
07:22:45 Mon
May 23 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Steve , what do you think of the Tesoro Sand Shark ? I am so tempted to try one of these in the desert . For the money it should be cheaper yet rival the performance of the Infinium . I have been asking for what seems to be an eternity about these underwater units being used on land . Many folks are interested in the answer but to date no one has "ponied" up the money to find out . I tried to get a "shoot out" at one of Chris Gholsons outings but there was lukewarm reception at best . My idea was to match inches for dollars . I'm sure the 3500 will perform well but will it outperform others in such a way as to clearly justify it's purchase price . If a $600 machine will find an ounce nugget at 18" the 3500 will perhaps find it at 30" . These are not accurate by means of testing , I'm just showing a comparison . Probably what I'm looking for can best be described as which of the more realisticly priced machines is actually the "better" investment . Any thoughts ??



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Tom
 
 
Steve_Herschbach
16:14:14 Mon
May 23 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Tom,

You just have to ask the right people! That question has been asked and answered here before. But this time I'll go into more detail.

I have used the Fisher Impulse, White's Surf PI, White's Surf PI Pro, and Eric Foster's Goldquest. I have not personally used the Tesoro Sandshark, but I have no doubt it performs similarly to the units I have tried.

To simplify, there are two types of Pulse Induction (PI) detectors... those that ground balance and those that do not. PI detectors, especially the older, less sensitive units, are inherently less affected by soil mineralization and salt mineralization than Induction Balance (IB) detectors (commonly referred to as VLF detectors). This has lead to the myth, often perpetuated by the manufacturers, that the PI units totally ignore this mineralization. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Pulse Induction units are affected by ground mineralization and salt mineralization. In fact, the more sensitive you make the unit to gold, the more problem you will have in this regard. An ability to detect smaller gold nuggets comes with the penalty of the unit being more affected by ground mineralization or even saltwater.

Most diving type PI units are purposefully not very sensitive to small gold items as that would make them more affected by saltwater/black sand beach conditions. They work just fine on typical jewelry items, like rings. And for larger gold nuggets they would be OK.

The normal dive units will also be affected by adverse mineralization and hot rocks. In some areas non-ground balancing PI units are as bad or worse than IB/VLF units at picking up hot rocks. I've seen lots of attempts to explain how a non-ground balancing machine can be adjusted in various ways to help ignore hot rocks but all those methods reduce depth and sensitivity to gold also.

As far as I am concerned from my personal tests and for my personal use it all comes down to one thing - the PI unit must ground balance if it is to be used as a serious prospecting machine. That currently means the Minelab SD/GP units, the Garrett Infinium, and the soon to be released Eric Foster Goldscan 5.

Here is the conundrum. If the ground mineralization is easy enough to use a diving type PI detector, than one might as well use a VLF (IB) detector. If the ground mineralization gets so bad the VLF unitis having problems, than your non-ground balancing PI unit will also be affected, although to a lesser degree. Considering that the typical diving PI unit is already less sensititive to gold than a VLF detector there simply is little reason I can see to consider a normal diving PI detector for gold prospecting.

The Minelab units are my first choice for numerous reasons. The Infinium is my current second choice as a "budget" unit. The Eric Foster Goldscan 5 holds great promise, but unfortunately it will be priced such that it will actually cost more to buy than a brand new Minelab SD2100v2. It mainly will offer a better PI discrimination system than the Minelab units and lighter packaging, a real plus for some users. So you will have Minelab units and the Goldscan at the top end, and the Infinium as the budget unit still.

My personal opinion is that ground balancing Pulse Induction metal detectors represent the future of metal detecting. For sheer power they cannot be beat. The discrimination is currently crude by VLF standards but my understanding is that there is no reason it cannot be improved on. The ground balancing system itself is a form of discrimination and I've found the Infinium dual tone discrimination system to be a giant step up from the basic single tone "dig everything" PI detectors.

Let's face it, if a $600 PI diving unit could realistically be used as a prospecting alternative you would see people actually making use of them in the field. You do not, for a reason. And now you know the reason!



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
paratrooper
05:26:43 Sun
Jun 5 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Went into my local detector store and saw the darndest machine . A Detector Pro . It has NO control box . All the electronics are in the headphones . It's a PI unit . The clerk (a most knowledgable detectorist) told me that he took it to a beach near his house (Sants Monica area) and it worked him to death . It is a "beast like my 2200 BUT a heck of a lot lighter . The coil is waterproof also . He's selling them for $700 . What's your take on this Steve ???



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Tom
 
 
akbushcop
22:44:51 Sun
Jun 5 2005

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DetectorPro PI

I am no expert like Steve is. But from my understanding is
that these are mainly coin & relic machines. From reading
Steves post about PI units these types of machines are not
set up to be used on fine gold nuggets. There is another post he responded to on here where he went into great detail about the differences. Now, I can tell you this. I
have one of the DetectorPro Pocketprobes, it's a pinpointer
device and is a PI unit. These things are awesome. It cuts
down locating and digging time by a lot. And it has the best depth of any pinpointer I have used. 4 to 6 inches isn't unusal. And it puts you right over the center of the
target. Now, that's the extent of what I know.....

  
Steve_Herschbach
22:48:19 Sun
Jun 5 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Tom,

The DetectorPro units are great non-ground balancing PI detectors. I believe the circuit was designed by Eric Foster. The headphone design is really cool. I have a DetectorPro Uniprobe that is a combo probe/headphone I really like and have used their Gray Ghosts for years.

There is no reason a person cannot go out and find gold nuggets with a non-ground balancing Pulse Induction metal detector. In some areas they might work just as well as the more expensive units. But in my opinion as ground conditions worsen the ground balancing units will have more and more advantage, especially in areas with strong hot rocks.

Remember that coil size makes a difference, and nobody beats the Minelab units for coil selection. I just got the Coiltek 27" x 21" DD pro coil for my Minelab. Eric Foster really has scored a major coup in making sure the new Goldscan 5 can use all existing Minelab coils.

Steve Herschbach
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:54:51 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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paratrooper
01:22:05 Mon
Jun 6 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

To be honest Steve I was thinking about the Infinium LS as against the Detector Pro as a "turn on and go" machine . When I go to AZ the water will be far away and to be frank this unit is about $300 less . The guy that "road tested" this unit said he walked right up to the wet black sand and started getting good signals . The biggest question seems to be :could the ground conditions get so bad as to render this machine uselass since it won't ground balance? Or would it just get noisier as you go . As for coils , that's another deal .I'm not sure of the selection beyond an 8" (I think).
[1 edits; Last edit by paratrooper at 01:23:52 Mon Jun 6 2005]



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Tom
 
 
Steve_Herschbach
03:45:53 Mon
Jun 6 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi Tom,

Well, as you've noted it all depends on ground conditions. It is not just how does a diving PI compare to the Infinium but how would it also compare to a VLF machine that might cost even less? If I was heading to Arizona and had the choice of a "diving type" PI detector or an old original Fisher Gold Bug I think I'd probably grab the Gold Bug.

You are betting on the hope that a less expensive diving PI type detector MIGHT get some better depth on a large nugget that would exceed that of a good VLF nugget detector. Impossible to tell without trying it where you intend to hunt, but I'm doubtful. What I'm sure of is the diving PI detector will miss smaller nuggets any decent VLF nugget detector will easily hit.

Decisions, decisions... ain't shopping fun?!

Steve Herschbach
[1 edits; Last edit by Steve_Herschbach at 15:55:20 Thu Apr 18 2013]



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paratrooper
04:56:36 Mon
Jun 6 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

The one I saw was not a diving PI . It was the Land version . I believe that they make 3 models . I think I'm trying to find the "perfect machine" . Turn on and go , PI for brute depth and not a lot of money . It would seem that the GB2 is the best when it comes to the "best of three" on my wish list . Ain't shopping fun ??? NO!!! My guy at the store tells me that the GB2 will get smaller gold close to the surface (as in exposed bedrock along streams and such) but the LST will find bigger deeper . He sells both so it's no skin off his (well, you know) no matter which one makes me whip out the Discover card . But listening to you the GB2 seems to be the smart move . Thanks . Excuse me now while I shuffle off looking for something ELSE to confuse me .



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Tom
 
 
Tony_Michigan
01:43:21 Thu
Aug 18 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Hi All,
just wondering if any of ou have ever tried the Compass gold detectors AU 52 and AU 2000?

I have the MXT and was wondering how the Compass machines stacked up?

  
kamikaze1a
07:40:53 Tue
Aug 23 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Steve, how does the GM3 stack up against the new Whites? I bought a unit a while back hoping my Wife would get into it too but alas, no interest.

  
Steve_Herschbach
20:57:14 Tue
Aug 23 2005

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Hi Tony,

I used the Compass units years ago when they came out. Pretty good units, but they used to be really "touchy". If the newer models are more stable they would be worth looking into, but I'd sure want to actually try one first. But since you already have an MXT I'm not sure the Compass units would add much to your abilities.

Hi kamikazela,

I'm not very prone to the hype we get fed by manufacturers about their latest and greatest, as I've bought too many detectors over the years on the promise they were better only to find they were really about the same, but with a tiny improvement of some sort. The GM V/SAT, GM3, GM4/B, and GMT all offer quite similar 48-50 kHz performance. Some still consider the GM3, the last of the series to offer a convertible control box that could be chest or hip mounted, to be the best of the series. The only caveat is the GM3 is manual ground balance (not a bad thing in my book) whereas the newer GMT offers automatic ground balance in addition to manual (a good thing for many people).



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Tony_Michigan
01:58:38 Wed
Aug 24 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Thanks Steve,
Your replies are always appreciated!

Hope you are finding that yellow stuff.

Tony

  
kamikaze1a
21:21:23 Thu
Aug 25 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Thanks for the info Steve. I had considered packing that GM3 to Moore's it as a backup but didn't to reduce the payload. In your opinion, is the GM3's disc any good for beach detecting? I have never beach detected and would prefer to not take my Minelab near the ocean. Thanks again, Gaine

  
Steve_Herschbach
23:19:37 Thu
Aug 25 2005

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Hi Gaine,

Any Goldmaster is totally unable to deal with wet salt sand... it beeps on it! The only way you can use it is to stick to bone dry sand. So high on the beach it can be used to pick earrings and thin chains other beach detectors will miss.

I almost took my Minelab to Hawaii last year to hit the beach. It is an awesome beach machine, if you want to expose it to saltwater air. I can understand your concern there! As it is most good finds are made in the water so I opted to just bring the Surf PI Pro instead.



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Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
rrtdave
21:01:49 Fri
Oct 7 2005

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Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska

Steve,

Thanks for all your information and the "great opinions"!! I think you give the average-advanced nugget hunters at least an answer to most of our questions!

I have been trying to decide between a White's MXT or GMT, with more suggestions leading towards a MXT model. I travel mostly through Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota or New Mexico so looking mostly for smaller gold. I'm not sure we even have any nuggets in most of these areas, but need some ideas for a gold detector: Less than $900.

Thanks,

David

  

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