A beginner's question
Last Post 11 Dec 2014 03:30 AM by BRANDON JOHNSON. 10 Replies.
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BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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30 Nov 2014 09:26 PM

    I'm very new to using my Garrett AT Gold, or metal detecting in general for that matter, but I had an interesting thing occur that I'm hopeful someone might be able to explain.

    I was down at the Nancy's Gold claim and thought I would try out my metal detector.  There is some bedrock that is exposed on the claim and I wanted to swing over it to see if there might be anything in the cracks or in the area I could pick up.  I began getting some hits in the 90's plus, but there is only bedrock below my detector as it reads this hit at about 4" deep.  I didn't even see quartz in the bedrock.  What is causing these readings on the bedrock? 

    That day I found a lot of old beer cans, bottle caps, and other various trash; so I guess I didn't walk away completely empty handed. lol!

    Thanks for any explanations!

     

     

    Gary WhitedUser is Offline
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    30 Nov 2014 10:20 PM
    I am sorry but I can not explain it. Maybe a professional will grace us. I can say that I have experienced the same here in Texas. First the trash is everywhere and lights up my ACE 250 just like your AT Gold. I guess that's why they give you a fancy finders bag...for all of the trash. Anyway I often experience the same signal over the Llano river granite bedrock that you did and I do not think it is a false signal. I am not sure what it is as my ACE 250 is nowhere near as good a metal detector as your AT Gold but I have learned to ignore the digitals and listen to the tone. I found in the river three large rocks that required both hands to carry each to my car. Each repeated the bedrock signal on a specific area or end of the rock. I finally hammered and chiseled into one, cracking my patio in the process, and found some type of nodule that appeared to be a mix of iron and something like copper. Anyone that detects with a 250 knows that a pulltab will yield a very good gold tone and some fishing hooks come up like silver. It is what it is. I have two more chances at gold ...after I fix the patio.
    BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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    01 Dec 2014 01:16 AM
    Well Gary, that is something. Sorry to hear about the patio, hard way to learn the lesson of breaking rocks at home... I will keep your experience in mind and attempt to avoid doing the same. The signals I get would suggest non-ferrous material, but as a beginner my ears have not had the opportunity to distinguish between types of material, so I dig everything. I have to agree about the bag part too... I just purchased a bag and it will hold a bit of material for sure. lol!

    Thanks for some insight!
    TIM LEIBELUser is Offline
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    01 Dec 2014 06:33 AM
    Guys, I have an AT Gold. First off, I am assuming that you have it ground balanced to that area and are balancing it every once in a while as you work through. The loud noise is caused from "hot" rocks or rocks with a high mineral (usually iron) content. Also I learned recently that turning up the sensitivity is NOT always a good thing. And dig every hit, Kevin Hoagland tells a good story about that in his seminar. That is what I have learned so far and I am by no means an expert. I would think if you are getting a lot of hot rocks then there should be gold in the area. Seems like iron and gold like to hang out together. The dig everything is probably the most important thing I learned this year. Never know what you will find, no matter what number the detector is showing. Oh, I also learned recently that you should wear the headphones as it gives oyu a better tone and makes detecting slight changes easier.
    Gary WhitedUser is Offline
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    01 Dec 2014 06:49 PM
    Good Suggestions!
    Since I am handicapped right out of the gate with my fixed ground balance I normally set the sensitivity to about 50%. Most of my signals have been dime and quarter sized instead of larger areas. and are 2" to 8" deep in the granite. Since the Llano is a granite bedrock river digging the signals out is not an option. Most signals I get in the blond sand are "beer bottle caps" and I find tons of them or old pieces of barb wire in various shapes. Both drive a metal detector crazy.
    BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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    02 Dec 2014 06:13 PM
    Tim,

    I appreciate the information. I usually ground balance when I first get to a location and I will perform another ground balance when I find any rock (after digging the signal) that is setting off my detector, though sometimes the iron content is so high the rock will continue to cause the detector to annunciate over the rock. What made me scratch my head last weekend was how high the signal reading was when on the bedrock, ground balance would not eleviate the readings. As a beginner, I use my headphones every time as I'm trying to learn the way it sounds with all the types of material. I try to keep the sound level to a point where I will have a slight "buzz" sound in an attempt to pick up the slightest variations, but all the trash is usually a very clear sharp sound. I just need to find at least one small nugget to learn how that sounds (I may purchase a small nugget from PLP on ebay as the money will go to a good cause and I have something to test with). Regardless, I will continue to dig everything so I don't miss any opportunity... not to mention, it helps to clean the area of trash.

    I appreciate the information and everything from everyone's experience, no matter how new one may be, as the information is beneficial to all of us fellow beginners.
    TIM LEIBELUser is Offline
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    03 Dec 2014 06:20 AM
    Well that is what little I have learned this year for what it is worth. I do try and just practice with the thing. I have my wife hide a nugget in a glass vial in the back yard and I go looking. It helps. I have plenty of practice on old horse shoeing nails LOL. I sat in on Mr. Hoagland's seminar 2 times and learned stuff both times. I am hoping on a 3rd try to get more. I just watcher the video that came with the detector again last night. But I think I will need to go to a place where nuggets and pickers are more common and just spend time doing it. Arizona is in my future.
    KURT HAUCKUser is Offline
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    03 Dec 2014 06:46 AM
    I've been reading up on metal detectors to prepare for buying one. The books I have read all say to prepare ore samples to learn what sounds the various materials make.

    Use a file to make copper filings about the size of a dime. Take a small medicine bottle about the diameter of a dime, put the shavings in the bottom, and then cover with glue so the pile stays together.

    Just use other metals to make other ore samples.

    There is mention of glueing a gold nugget to a poker chip but placing it in a small medicine bottle or a ziplock bag would be just as good.
    BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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    03 Dec 2014 05:19 PM
    Thanks Tim and Kurt! All are excellent ideas to practice with my detector; I will have to employ these suggestions to train my ears.

    Tim, I will definitely have to try to sit in on one of Mr. Hoagland's seminars if he is at the local Gold & Treasure shows early next year. I sat in on a metal detector seminar last year, not conducted by Mr. Hoagland, and the individuals instructing the course went over the very basics, explaining stuff like how magnitite effects your detector. As the information given was so basic, I walked out about half way through the course.

    I like the "hide the nugget" idea. Since I live in an old tract housing neighborhood, there are so many pipes and french drains that my detector sounds off about every foot. However, I will have to try the trick when out in the field and maybe try closing my eyes so that I rely on my ears and not watch the meter.

    I appreciate all the suggestions! Still crazy how the bedrock gave me such high readings. Though I have not been very successful to date, I think I enjoy metal detecting more than digging and working in the cold water... though anything that gets me out and away from civilzation is always a bonus! Haha!
    KEVIN HOAGLANDUser is Offline
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    10 Dec 2014 04:22 PM
    Ok Gang I'll jump in here. Please read the detecting section I wrote for the current mining guide.
    Some of the signals that you are hearing in solid bedrock is a result of chemical make up or basalt layering and can be a real pain. I cannot tell you haw many boulders I loaded out of the field convinced I had a gold strike when I first started detecting oh so many years ago. More today with the newer technology that is available when you hit a signal like that, swing over it a few times and listen closely to the signal. is it one sided or more powerful one direction than another? if so it is most likely a hot rock or a cold stone. Targets like basalt and iron hot rocks have a tendency to be more one sided or weaker one direction than another. swing over it a few times then turn your coil 90% and swing over it again. a target will be a target, it might be weak but it is repeatable and solid which is much different than being loud.
    NOW lets talk about test gardens and test pieces..... BE CAREFUL - I would suggest that you only and I mean ONLY use a test piece to assure your mind that your detector is working and nothing more. If you have a nugget test piece and you only dig targets that sound like your test piece you are missing gold. No such thing as pure gold in nature and I have hit nuggets that were pull tabs and vice a versa. And please do not use a test piece to "Air test" your detector. When was the last time you found a nugget floating off the ground? I can take you to a place that you can air test an ounce nugget an easy foot and a half from the coil of most detectors but bury it in this soil, you'd be lucky to get 2 inches on a VLF and 8 inches on a PI.
    Ground balance is key and it is covered in the Mining Guide detecting section. if you have questions after that (which I hope you do) hit me up and I or some of the other Pros from Dover in here will help you the best we can or catch me at an outing.
    I'll see you, out there!
    BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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    11 Dec 2014 03:30 AM
    Mr. Hoagland,



    I truly appreciate your knowledge and expertise in the matter... thank you for your input. It's issues like these that it would be nice to be out in the field with someone of your experience around to ask questions or show in detail what you're explaining. Obviously, that would be quite burdensome for someone of your talent with so many of us out here. lol!



    Regrettably, the bedrock I was receiving such a strong signal from was much too large of an area to check from different angles on a particular spot, but I will try to rest assured it was a hot spot and basalt as you suggest. It gets a bit frustrating when so much of the bedrock in the area sets off the detector and after you dig through an inch or so of gravel you find the bed rock, which still signals, and there are no cracks for gold to find its way into etcetera. I guess it is an issue I will have to learn to deal with and learn to know the area I'm in as I continue to ground balance my detector several times to verify the signal.



    I will keep your advice of the "test garden" in mind in the future. I guess the best advice is to dig everything no matter how weak the signal... then again it would also help clean the garbage if gold is not found while keeping your back and arm muscles in shape. Haha!



    Oh, I saw the section you referenced in the guide, but I will admit I only glanced at the pages when I first saw the information, so maybe I should go back and peruse more thoroughly.



    Thank you sir! Your input is always appreciated.
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