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Last Post 10 Sep 2021 11:36 PM by  Sergio Ramirez
metal detectors
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Sergio Ramirez
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Posts:42



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04 Sep 2021 04:01 PM
    Hi Kevin,
    or anyone that knows about metal detectors, was thinking of getting one, but which, there are so many types.
    I just started crevicing past months and been doing good with what I have, using my probe & what I learned from Gary"two-toes", figuring which crevice to work.
    Thinking a metal detector would help to work the bedrock crevices & gravel beds, any suggestions as to which I should probably get, budget around $1,500.oo or so, would spend more if worth it. Is the one they give away with lifetime membership any good?
    any advice would be appreciated,

    Thank you all,
    Serg
    Michael Merrell
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:5



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    06 Sep 2021 10:20 PM
    I am a greenhorn my suggestion is look at Chris Ralph book Fists full of Gold gives a really good explanation on metal detectors and there abilities at least in my opinion its at least worth a look at. If you're willing to shell out that much for a metal detector then the 29.95 purchase price on Amazon might be worth it.
    Michael Merrell
    Greenhorn
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    Posts:5



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    06 Sep 2021 10:27 PM
    p.s.
    he does some really good YouTube videos on metal detectors and how to use them how to set them
    PAUL MESHAK
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:5



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    06 Sep 2021 11:40 PM
    Some really good you tubes to watch are :

    Nugget Shooter Journals with Bill Southern

    Jeff Williams

    Chris Ralph

    Gold Fever Adventures

    They were using a few different detectors and I have understood that the gold detectors they were using do a pretty great job, but you need to learn to be patient an d learn how to use them. Low and slow.

    Fisher Gold Bug 2

    Minelab Gold Monster 1000

    Minelab SDC 2300

    These are the three that I am familiar with . The first two being under your budget and the third being double.

    The Gold Bug 2 has a threshold that you need to maintain with ground balancing. Threshold being a mosquito like buzzing that you make stable on the fly by ground balancing manually.

    The Gold Monster runs silent with an auto balancing that you need to maintain when different soils demand it. More user friendly and does a great job as well.

    Those two are vlf machines and are affected by hot rocks , but having the smaller coils are an advantage as you can go between stones and brush more easily that with large coils and can find very small gold as well.

    The SDC 2300 is a PI and is heavier that the first two but isnt affected as much by hot rocks as much and is totally waterproof to ten feet. Being caught a far piece away from the vehichle in a shower or downpour wont be and issue with the 2300. It finds very small gold as well and goes deeper overall than the first two. It also folds down to the size of a moderate cities phonebook.

    That all being said, I bought a GM1000 two years ago and aquired a SDC2300 just recently, used and closer to your budget.

    If you buy new and are in the Wickenburg area , I would suggest getting a detector, if a minelab ,from Bill Southern because you get some training with it. Sure helps the learning curve. Whoever you aquire a detector from , its a big plus to get some training.

    Definetly watch some youtubes from these folks .

    PS fill your holes.

    Paul Meshak

    Hope this helps.




    MATTHEW BULLOCK
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:3



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    07 Sep 2021 11:04 PM
    One of the best sources for detector reviews is Steve Herschbach’s site Detectorprospector.com. Steve reviews from a gold prospector view point.
    John Wyatt
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:2



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    08 Sep 2021 02:53 PM
    Fisher Gold bug is a great start for 500.00 or a Minelab detector.
    GEROLD PERSONETT
    Sluicer
    Sluicer
    Posts:66



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    08 Sep 2021 06:41 PM
    I'm a big fan of the Gold bug2, if you can master the GB2 it will spoil you with lots of small gold. The GB2 is a solid metal detector and for the price it won't let you down. If you do master it it will also help you if and when you try some of the other great metal detectors. Just remember the metal detector you choose is only a small part of finding that gold, patients and being able to stick with it. There's a lot more of the small gold out there to find than the bigger pieces of gold and the GB2 will find the small gold. Good luck and keep us all posted on what you decide to do.
    KEVIN HOAGLAND
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:309



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    08 Sep 2021 07:41 PM
    Serg,
    Great post and as I started responding I realized that I have written an article over a response. 2042 words to be exact. I will cut it down a lot for a forum post but I would like to use it as an article in the next magazine as well. Lots of new members asking me a lot of questions about detectors.
    Like I said, I'll cut it down and post a response in a day or so or as quickly as time allows.

    Regards,

    Kevin

    [quote]
    Posted By Sergio Ramirez on 04 Sep 2021 04:01 PM
    Hi Kevin,
    or anyone that knows about metal detectors, was thinking of getting one, but which, there are so many types.
    I just started crevicing past months and been doing good with what I have, using my probe & what I learned from Gary"two-toes", figuring which crevice to work.
    Thinking a metal detector would help to work the bedrock crevices & gravel beds, any suggestions as to which I should probably get, budget around $1,500.oo or so, would spend more if worth it. Is the one they give away with lifetime membership any good?
    any advice would be appreciated,

    Thank you all,
    Serg
    [/quote]
    Sergio Ramirez
    Panner
    Panner
    Posts:42



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    08 Sep 2021 11:06 PM
    Hello all,
    I want to thank all of you for your replies & great and helpful advice, i will look into those vids as suggested. I'm thinking of going with the Minelab Gold Monster 1000, probably the easier one to use as a starter, but as you all suggested the Fisher Gold bug 2 also sounds good too, probably either one of those two for what i'm doing, keeping it simple, since I just started crevicing past 3 months, doing pretty good finding flood gold flakes and finally found my fist little picker with my probe and picking the right crevice to dig out, also using my 1.5 gal. DeWalt battery small vacuum (on the vac nozzle, i use a 3/4" surgical tubing to get into the cracks & this works great), finding a lot of lead & metals. I think with the metal detector, it might go even better, for me the gold has been getting a little bigger & more each time. I'm happy with what I find but it would be nice to find some pickers too, i'm sure it's there somewhere.
    Kevin,
    thanks also for your reply, thought you might be too busy to answer, but a nice surprise. On the CD's I got from GPPA "Alaskan, an unforgettable experience" I think it was you that was talking about metal detectors, helping others with them, you mentioned something about that the cable shouldn't be wrapped around the shaft, that it should be shortened & straight down the shaft, was wondering why all metal detectors have the long cable wound around the shaft like that? Also, some detectors have open coils & some are closed coils, dose it matter either way.

    Anyway, thanks again all,
    Happy diggings,
    Serg
    KEVIN HOAGLAND
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:309



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    09 Sep 2021 11:56 AM
    Serg,
    Yep, I held classes every year at camp and it was one of the highlights for me to see even the tiniest nuggets come out of the ground.

    Coil shape and construction is mainly designed to lower weight like many of the non-waterproof open coils or the heavier open coils filled with compounds to assure they are waterproof. A lot of those are filled with a epoxy and as you can imagine a closed coil full of wire and epoxy could get really heavy. Coil shape is for convenience more than anything else. Elliptical coils are easier to get into tighter spaces than round coils and so on. Until the original Gold Bug was introduced with an elliptical coil standard in 1986 every coil that I every used was round.

    Interesting enough to this day coil effective area is still measured from the basis of a round coil. When PI detectors started coming into the market and there were dozens of aftermarket coils popping up, a lot of PI owners ended up with coils that really made little difference in their detector’s ability for depth or sensitivity. There is a mathematical formula that take an elliptical coil and sets it to the standard of a round coil. Really complex formula (said jokingly) Take the width of a coil (let’s say 6”) and the length of the coil (let’s go with 10”) and add those together, 16” now divide that in ½ and you have the equivalent of an 8” coil. My rule of thumb is that if I do not have an increase or decrease of at least 2” in overall size of any of my existing coils, I do not buy the coil.

    Reasoning for a straight run of the coil cable to at least where the shafts go from fiberglass to metal. A detector coil is not directional there is a cascade that goes upward on all coils. I found through a lot of testing with a lot of different detectors way back when, that wrapping the coil around the shaft created a much larger area that the detector needs to ground balance the metal wires in the cable. Whereas a straight run lessened the cable footprint and offered a better more finite ground balance.

    Picture it this way, wrap a cable around the shaft and look at the size of the wrapping. In most cases, it is about the size of a silver dollar. Now run the cable straight with a stress relief and look at the cable, about the size of a pencil, less mass to ground balance. This has nothing to do with creating a inductive coil response or anything else, it is just pure target mass removal.

    When I was working for Minelab a couple of us tested this theory. It revealed an interesting result, electronically there was little to no difference in the test detectors overall capability but in real life very controlled testing with known targets the response between a wrapped and straight cable were very apparent. Honestly most people may never be able to tell the difference but why not take advantage of every tool you can to help your detector see better.

    Regards,

    Kevin


    [quote]
    Posted By Sergio Ramirez on 08 Sep 2021 11:06 PM
    Hello all,
    I want to thank all of you for your replies & great and helpful advice, i will look into those vids as suggested. I'm thinking of going with the Minelab Gold Monster 1000, probably the easier one to use as a starter, but as you all suggested the Fisher Gold bug 2 also sounds good too, probably either one of those two for what i'm doing, keeping it simple, since I just started crevicing past 3 months, doing pretty good finding flood gold flakes and finally found my fist little picker with my probe and picking the right crevice to dig out, also using my 1.5 gal. DeWalt battery small vacuum (on the vac nozzle, i use a 3/4" surgical tubing to get into the cracks & this works great), finding a lot of lead & metals. I think with the metal detector, it might go even better, for me the gold has been getting a little bigger & more each time. I'm happy with what I find but it would be nice to find some pickers too, i'm sure it's there somewhere.
    Kevin,
    thanks also for your reply, thought you might be too busy to answer, but a nice surprise. On the CD's I got from GPPA "Alaskan, an unforgettable experience" I think it was you that was talking about metal detectors, helping others with them, you mentioned something about that the cable shouldn't be wrapped around the shaft, that it should be shortened & straight down the shaft, was wondering why all metal detectors have the long cable wound around the shaft like that? Also, some detectors have open coils & some are closed coils, dose it matter either way.

    Anyway, thanks again all,
    Happy diggings,
    Serg
    [/quote]
    KEVIN HOAGLAND
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:309



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    09 Sep 2021 01:04 PM
    Serg,
    Great question and not so simple answer. If you are working crevices in water area you almost have to have a waterproof detector. You may never think that you will get something wet right up to the time that you accidently U-Boat it into the stream. With that said, I seldom use my Gold Monster in a really wet area, it is not waterproof and only moderately water resistant. Which does suck a bit since it is one of my favorite detectors.

    (((Minute Physics class))) The higher the frequency the shallower a detector works to find very small gold while the lower the frequency the deeper in the ground a detector will hunt to find larger more conductive targets. Now what I have said is that in essence the highest frequency detectors like the Gold Bug II or the Whites’/Garrett 24K will not have depth and low frequency detectors like the Gold Bug Pro, Garrett AT-Gold and others cannot find small gold close to the surface, right?
    Not really true, change coils. Low-Freq put on a smaller coil for small shallow gold and a larger coil on Hi-Freq to get better depth. That is the answer in a standard world.

    I’m going to toss out a few detectors that I own and use for you to spend a bit of time researching. This is in no particular order just looking over my shoulder and going from right to left.

    Minelab Gold Monster 1000
    Extremely easy to use full on automatic detector. Almost a true turn on and go. You must ground balance and keep on ear and eye out for when it begins to drift. Best known for finding tiny gold. And the expanded frequency range with the microprocessor works in a range of around 17-65kHz. Not waterproof and not a lot of finite user control.
    MOST Importantly discrimination failures by the operator. More on the below.

    Fisher Gold Bug-2
    The reason I love this detector so much is the main reason others don’t. With total control of the detector, it requires that you must be willing to continually work your ground balance and learn to set your sensitivity to the ground you are working when it drifts. I do not recommend the GB2 if the user is not willing to learn everything there is to know about the detector and how to super tune to get the very best out of the GB2. There is nothing auto about the GB2 and it is not waterproof.

    Garrett AT-Gold
    The ATG is a fully waterproof detector that has the advantages of being used in a mostly auto mode and the ability to use manual modes like ground balance and sensitivity. Where some detectorists have missed the deeper functionality is in the Ground Balance Window (GBW) that when used correctly the GBW really allows me to dial in the ground to hear and see a lot about where I am detecting.

    White’s GMX Sport – Currently out of production
    I’m listing the GMX Sport for the simple fact that it is a great high frequency detector that was waterproof, easy to use and a lot of functionality. The GMX Sport at its core is a White’s 24K in a waterproof housing. Auto and Manual modes. Auto for beginning detectorist and manual for growing into. Garrett announced that the first detector under the dual badge would be the 24K which was introduced a couple of months ago and the GARRETT GOLDMASTER 24K. The new unit is a rainproof control box and waterproof coils.

    DUAL PURPOSE DETECTORS – Coin and Relic / Gold Detecting
    If you are considering a dual use detector you should consider these units.

    Minelab Equinox 800 (not the Equinox 600)
    Using Minelab’s Multi IQ technology the Nox 800 uses a number of frequencies simultaneously hugely expanding the range of targets that the detector sees in the ground all in a totally waterproof housing. I will add this as a personal note, I have used the Nox 800 for nugget hunting and I have easily found gold with the detector. But deep down, I’m a purist at heart and I use coin and relic detectors for coins and relics and nugget hunting machines for nugget hunting. Understand that is my personal choice.

    XP-ORX Gold
    If you are not familiar with the XP name or their detectors I can say this, they are different. The ORX Gold is a completely wireless detector. No coil cables to the control box because the coil is the detector, and the control pad is used to make the detectors adjustments and to receive the signals from targets. The coils and shaft are waterproof, the control pad is not. The ORX control pad is smaller than most cell phones and there are several waterproof covers from XP and aftermarket. My ORX came with the High Frequency DD elliptical coil that I can run from 13-81kHz so there is really no ground I cannot cover, and I do not need to change coils. Which would get expensive very quickly since the coil is the detector.

    There is a lot of information on every detector I listed. I could and have written volumes over the years about most of these detectors. Your research is what should guide your choice.
    • Think about where you will be detecting and the ground in the area,
    • Are you willing to have a detector that you have a great deal of control over or a turn on and go?
    • If you choose having control, are you willing to put the time in that is necessary to learn the detector.
    • Do you want to specific or multipurpose detector?

    I want to add this about watching videos, especially to many videos. I would say that 95% of the detectorist video creators are some of my best friends and we hunt together whenever possible. Not a single one of them is trying to dupe or mislead you in any way. I say this because one of the biggest complaints I receive almost daily, is that a new detectorist watched a video, bought the detector they saw on the video, and they are not getting the same results as the video creator and feeling cheated.

    If you are new to detecting please know that when watching videos, the video creator has at least two advantages that you will not have. All of us that are successful with our detectors know everything about the detector before we ever shoot a second of content and we know the ground we are hunting. Even new ground has some sounds or response that we recognize and latch onto from our experience.

    Never be afraid to ask even what you may think are the silliest question (except for “How deep will it go” because that is the unanswerable question) and when a dealer starts asking you a lot of questions answer them to the best of your ability. That is the sign of a dealer truly invested in your success. They want to make sure that you are getting the right detector for your skill level now and into the future.

    Always remember there is a learning curve with all detectors ALWAYS.

    Ok I promised earlier the Discrimination failure. Years ago, I taught everyone to dig every target, now not so much so because discrimination has come a long way over the years. Yet it is not fool proof.

    I am going to use the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 for this for the simple fact that this is where I am seeing the highest level of discrimination fails. However, this holds true for all VDI or VCO discrimination type detectors.

    When you are detecting a new area or even the same area on a different day and the ferrous/nonferrous VDI of the GM1000 reads ferrous that does not mean “walk away, right away.” Put the imaginary line on the meter where the target is hitting and remember that spot, turn your coil 90° and see if it is identical then dig the target. It’s a nail good, now keep detecting and if the next signal hits in the exact same spot on the scale, dig it. Good another nail. Do this a few times and if the targets you hit are at the exact same spot on the scale and it is the exact same target, take it out of the mix.
    This is where failure happens. You hit a target, it rings ferrous, and you walk away not knowing exactly what it was and not caring because it hit as ferrous.

    Ouch factor warning - I have a couple of nice pieces of gold shot through solid magnetite that hits as a ferrous junk on any of the detectors that I have mentioned above with one exception, very slight ferrous discrimination variations,

    With my GM 1000 I hit a target that although nailed the ferrous scale as a known junk there was a slight bounce on the scale and just the smallest amount of difference in the sound. I dug the boot nail and the 4-grain nugget 3 inches below the nail. I felt great and then sad in a matter of seconds. Great because I followed my own rule and found a nugget under trash and sad because another detectorist in the area walked up with his GM 1000 when I was starting to scrap the surface and assured me that he had hit only a junk target in the same spot just a short time earlier as he watched me pull the nugget out of the ground.

    Regards,

    Kevin
    Sergio Ramirez
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    10 Sep 2021 12:57 AM
    Wow Kevin,
    very informative info, I knew you were the right one to talk to. Thanks for all that. There's so much more to metal detecting than I realized. I wish I had more time to get out on the field to learn it all, maybe when i retire. Working my businesses very hard so I can retire, but I get out when i can to my area on the S. Stanislaus river (which is closed right now, because of the fire danger), not much time but I make the best of it.
    So I think I will get the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 so I don't have to think about it too much, but I do like the idea of figuring it out with the Gold Bug 2, we'll see. Should I go to a store where they sell it to buy it or is it Ok to buy it on Amazon? The probes I use right now are The Falcon MD20 & the Minelab pro-find 35-pin pointer, they work pretty good, but it will be nice having the metal detector. Thanks for all the info, you guys are great and do good job at the GPAA, and to all the miners out there. Glad i joined, it's appreciated. Wish I did this a long time ago, but fishing & Softball always got in the way. I hope we have really big storms this winter to stir up all that gold!
    Serg
    KEVIN HOAGLAND
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:309



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    10 Sep 2021 11:47 AM
    Serge,
    I like that you have a Falcon MD-20. I have 2 of them in different kits so I am never without one. I can assure you that they have both paid for themselves many times over.

    As far as where to buy your detector, think about who is going to offer you the support that you will need. YouTube is great for everything thing that is there but there are things that simply are not there in the lines of support.

    Amazon is great but you get a box delivered to your door, the rest is up to you. Minelab has a MAP pricing program so you will be paying the same price wherever you buy.
    Now it boils down to you deciding on who you want to support and do business with and who will offer you the best support when you need it to make you better.

    Regards,

    Kevin
    Sergio Ramirez
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    10 Sep 2021 11:36 PM
    Kevin,
    your right, I thought about that, and I like giving business to people & businesses I like, so I think I will buy from Harrigan from Gold Fever Prospecting, he' a nice guy & has giving me a lot of good info & advice on mining and has listened to me many times, good place to buy your mining products.
    I would like to buy it from Gary "Two Toes" Honan's store, but he's never there answering his phone, probably out making those great informative vids, ha ha!!,
    You say in all your years of mining you have meet plenty of cool miners, I'm sure you probably know Gary & have gone out with him, that would be so cool to do, he's my idol, I have learned so much from his vids, especially crevicing, has a lot of metal detecting vids also, he dose a great job on his vids & is a master at finding good gold. I tried getting him to make me his 18" crevice tool but he says he doesn't make them anymore, takes up too much of his play time. If you have any influence on him tell him I'll pay big bucks for one, love those 12" crevice tools that he makes, but sometimes I need it to be longer. And I see his partner Jeff Smith is a GPAA member, pretty cool stuff, do you do any dig parties in N. California? Would like to meet you some day & meet other miners, but you are probably all over the US/Alasaka.
    sorry to go on like this, but I get really excited about gold mining & learning the process,
    Thanks for all the advice, Go GPAA!!
    Take care, Serg
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