Steve Herschbach

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Steve Herschbach last won the day on February 24

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About Steve Herschbach

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  • Location:
    Reno, NV
  • Interests:
    Prospecting, metal detecting, building websites
  • Gear Used:
    Fisher Gold Bug 2; Minelab GPZ 7000, CTX 3030; Whites DFX/BigFoot; XP Deus; Makro Gold Racer; Garrett ATX; Nokta Impact

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  1. The GMT of course has the Variable SAT control. On the Gold Bug 2 you have three SAT settings controlled via the Mineralization switch. Low mineral is the slowest SAT setting and High mineral the fastest. Normal is in between. Low mineral also engages a secondary boost to the Gain circuitry in addition to the main Sensitivity control. The addition of the iSAT control during Gold Racer prototyping was a major improvement in the machine. Sorry, my Gold Racer is not leaving my sight!
  2. Nugget hunters dig massive amounts of trash, nails and bullets being the worst offenders. I dig so many bullets and shell casings I keep them for recycling dollars. And the nails OMG! Here is a big nail found with a GPX 5000. The Gold Bug Pro was being used as a pinpointer as I got down in deep. It did eventually start calling it ferrous but I had so much time invested in the hole I just had to finish it off, plus I have seen detectors lie too many times. This pile gave me over an ounce of gold so I had to clean it out of anything that went beep. And yes, this started as just a faint surface signal. Click for larger image.
  3. You need to hang out in nugget land more David. Nugget hunters live and die by frequency. This following is in reference to single frequency VLF (induction balance) type detectors. Frequency does several things. First, the target itself. Higher frequencies hit harder on small targets. Not gold per se, small targets. Take a common BIC type ballpoint pen, the type where the entire pen is plastic except for that little ball in the point. No other metal. A good gold detector will pick that ball up. A coin detector, you can write your name on the bottom of the coil and get no signal. It is often said that low frequencies detect deeper, but low frequencies do not detect deeper per se. That is a broad statement with no meaning. In air tests high frequencies will detect farther on most targets, and on small targets that a low frequency detector will miss it is obvious the higher frequency detector sees farther. In "no mineral ground" the high frequencies have the edge. The second thing frequency does is change ground response. Low frequencies do not react to ground and hot rocks as much as high frequencies. So while a Gold Bug 2 air tests extremely well that hot Gold Bug 2 also picks up ground and hot rocks better, and this means it gets very poor depth on larger targets in highly mineralized ground. It gets great depth on targets in the air or in no mineral ground, but add mineral and the depth drops rapidly. This is because the higher frequencies "light up" the ground more than low frequencies and the ground blocks the target signals. Detectors that work under 10 kHz hit very well on coin size targets and have a low ground response, making them great coin machines, but they have poor small item sensitivity. Detectors over 20 kHz are hot on tiny targets but have more issues with ground and hot rocks. Detectors in the teens are chosen as a best all around solution for do it all detectors. People used to coin detectors find them "noisy" as they tend to chatter on small targets and ground that a coin detector, designed for smoother operation and depth on coin size targets, will ignore. There is another thing frequency does, and that is deal with electromagnetic interference (EMI). Some frequencies like the 30 and 40 kHz range get avoided due to interference issues. To sum up, the higher the frequency, the better the response on small targets, and the better the air test. But the higher the frequency, the more response to ground and hot rocks. The two work against each other, and a detector has to balance the two parts of the equation. Mid frequencies are basically just the best compromise. Multi-frequency units just think of as lower frequency units and you will be fine. Avoid all the techno babble and just focus on the fact that multi frequency machines act like low to mid frequency detectors. They do very well at ignoring ground effects but are a bit lackluster on tiny objects. More on that here. From a practical perspective this means that if you are looking for larger items and do not care about or actually wish to ignore tiny stuff, low frequencies are desirable, and you get the benefit of low ground responses. If you try to go after smaller items employing higher frequencies is desirable, but you also enhance ground and hot rock responses. The beauty of selectable frequency machines is they can be tailored for specific conditions compared to a fixed frequency unit. The downside so far is a dedicated single frequency unit can be better optimised for its specific frequency and so detectors that attempt to operate on one of several frequencies tend to compromise a bit somewhere on one frequency or another. A couple minor notes. It takes less battery power to drive a high frequency machine, mainly because low frequency coils have heavier windings. Going to higher frequencies gets longer running times. High frequencies also recover more quickly and so are better equipped to pull targets out of dense trash, although they also have a tendency to get "sparkier" by creating more ability to detect tiny high conductive responses thrown off by some ferrous targets. Funny you should ask all this. I just wrote an article on the subject for the ICMJ which will be appearing next issue. I will be doing an accompanying post on the forum at that time fleshing out details I could not put in the article because they were brand or model specific.
  4. Cute little devils! Here is JP holding one he found while I was visiting your great country.
  5. Hello Mike, I got a similar start in Alaska when my own father took me gold panning as a kid - I was hooked for life. Always nice to meet fellow travelers... welcome!
  6. Nice clean white quartz!
  7. Is this what you mean GoldEN - sensitivity max 5 and threshold minimum setting of 1? I like pictures and hope this helps illustrate what you mean....
  8. Presumably they have been ironed out - you never hear about it anymore. Or maybe nobody buys them anymore! Mine just keeps chugging along, and it is a late prototype or early production unit. The Makro Gold Racer in my opinion is first and foremost for somebody who wants a real hot VLF that has multi purpose capability. It keeps up with the GMT and Gold Bug 2 down to about grain sized gold but those two machines do better on the sub grain stuff. I am betting neither can match the Gold Racer however for depth on larger gold, but that is largely because the Gold Racer can run a 15.5" x 13.5" DD coil and neither the GMT not Gold Bug 2 has a coil anything like that available. Since nobody has took me off the hook on this issue I did pick up another Gold Bug 2 and will be doing an in depth comparison later on this summer. But right now I would say if you want a prospecting machine get a prospecting machine, with the Fisher Gold Bug 2 being a personal favorite of mine. White's GMT for many others. The Gold Racer question mark is how does that big coil really play into things? I ditched my Gold Bug 2 and GMT when I got my Gold Racer because frankly I use my GPZ for 98% of my nugget detecting. I did not really need a prospecting specific VLF enough to have one but with the Gold Racer being a fun in town jewelry machine and even decent coin machine I found I was using it more than the other two, and I always toss it in with the GPZ when I go nugget detecting. It's just fun to play with. I do like that big coil also and have visions of running it on the cobble piles in California looking for big specimen gold while avoiding most ferrous junk. If White's had made a 50 kHz MXT or put a full target ID on the GMT the Gold Racer is sort of what you end up with. How the new Minelab Gold Monster 1000 fits into all that we will see. And the DEUS V4 HF coils. You will be hearing more about all of them from me this summer.
  9. First came Zip Zip Mastering Your Nugget Detector by Larry Sallee, a first edition and a revised edition in 1996, 153 pages. Then came Zip Zip The Advanced Course in 1997, 120 pages Both were updated in 2004 and combined into The Complete, Unabridged Zip Zip, 277 pages. I sold all of them over the years. I think the first two sold for about $17.95 each and the Unabridged version combining both was like $24.95. It is a great book for sure, one of the best written on nugget detecting, but used copies going for hundreds of dollars is insane. I wish I had bought my last two cases myself and stashed them away! Larry was big with White's in the early Goldmaster days and the books focus on the Goldmasters but the methodologies described apply to all nugget detecting. No real coverage of PI at all however. Anyway, they are all out of print. The original Zip Zip had most of the meat, with Advanced dealing with additional detail. Unabridged updated and combined both and so is the one to have. If you can find it for a reasonable price. I have no idea why Larry won't reprint it - it would still sell well as people paying way too much for it proves. I have been told I should buy the rights and reprint it, but the fact is I could write something more up to date myself so why pay to publish somebody else's book? A classic though, no doubt about it.
  10. Gotta love that 2300, just an amazing little detector.
  11. People have seriously suggested XP would put this in dealer hands first, just so the dealers can run out and clean out all the last remaining good finds left on earth ahead of everyone else? Just when I think every silly thing has been said that can be said about metal detecting something newer and sillier comes along! They just need to take all the time needed, period. Rushing anything to market is never the answer. And try as they may I will bet on 4.1 happening anyway. No number of testers can find what thousands of users worldwide can find. But let's get it 99% done anyway. Besides, more delay gives me another reason to watch Hitler one more time! I hope that coil came back to life!
  12. No, as described reporting posts is a two step process.
  13. So you see something that you do not think fits the spirit and intent of the forum. Somebody attacking somebody else, off topic posts, political posts, or just plain spam. How to handle it? Please, do not go after the poster yourself. Maybe it is a misunderstanding of some sort, but now you have created hard feelings with somebody else on the forum. The main thing, unless I have made you a moderator, it is not your job to moderate the forum. However, it is everyone's job to report objectionable content. Let me decide what to do about the issue. Every post has a unfortunately quite faint "Report post" link. If the problem is obvious, just click that link and hit "Submit Report" and you are done. I will get the message and look into it, but if it is my middle of night, it may be a few hours. Be patient - I am on the forum every day. If you feel you need to give me more details, there is a place there for that also. My default response to threads or posts that are an issue is to simply delete them without comment. People involved usually get the hint. Some may take offense, and while that is not my intent - oh well. Maybe it really was no big deal but if it is a non-essential post I will err on the side of caution and delete it. My apologies in advance. I have only had to ban a handful of people over the years, and if I have to ban somebody I may leave the posts in question up for a bit so people can see why I did what I did, but they also will be deleted eventually. Politics these days are as charged with passion and division in the United States as anything I have seen since the 1960's. Please be aware of this and remember even joking around about politics can cause trouble. People are on edge. It is all but impossible to avoid all the nonsense elsewhere and so I do ask people please not go there in any way. We just don't need it here. I am not talking about telling people about a public meeting or proposed rulemaking they need to be aware of. I am talking about political commentary of any kind, even in jest. If you mention a politician by name - red flag. Please, don't do it - it will just end up deleted. Thank you.
  14. Looks like a very stout rig. This kind of technology is well proven so I am guessing this is a good product. Perhaps even overbuilt for most people unless you have a lot of ore/specimens to process/crush/dolly.
  15. I assume you are talking about AKA Metal Detectors, a Russian made brand that seems to make some good detectors. There is a good thread on the subject on the Dankowski forum. The lack of a U.S. dealer and service center means they are relatively unheard of here, but they do have a following in Europe. Try as you may you will find that genuine reputable proven metal detectors are based on well known induction balance and pulse induction technology. This technology has inherent limits no matter who makes it. From “the sensitivity is roughly proportional to the cube of the object diameter (as expressed as a function of the search coil diameter). Sensitivity is also inversely proportional to the sixth power of the distance between the coil and the object. All this means is that if the object size is halved the sensitivity is reduced to one-eighth. Also, if the depth is doubled the sensitivity is reduced to one sixty-fourth. It’s easy to see why all metal detectors which are designed to pick up small objects use small coils, (150 to 300 mm diameter) and really only skim the soil surface. If the search coil is doubled in diameter for greater penetration the sensitivity to small objects falls to one-eighth. You rapidly encounter the law of diminishing returns.” Famed metal detector engineer Dave Johnson reiterates this in a different way: “Getting extra depth out of a VLF, multifrequency, or PI machine is very difficult, because these machines follow an inverse 6th power law relationship between signal voltage and depth. If everything else is maintained equal, doubling the depth requires 64 times as much signal. If this is done by increasing transmitter power, doubling depth requires 4,096 times as much battery drain. That’s the basic reason why depth increases come so slowly in this industry.” Air tests show the theoretical limits of metal detectors with no ground interference. Most targets in the ground can only be found at much less than air test depths due to this ground interference. The focus of engineers is on removing ground effects and the effects of undesired nearby trash targets. However, maximum attainable depth as shown by air tests continues to be limited for the reasons stated above. Buying anything that promises to vastly exceed these limitations is a serious gamble with your money, one you will likely lose. For all intents and purposes I consider most metal detectors to be somewhat interchangeable. Everyone has their favorites, but it is obvious to anyone that looks that people who are successful are not reliant on a particular detector for success. I have been successfully metal detecting for decades. The models come and go and are not really that important. What is important is my research, putting myself in good locations, and getting out often and working hard. A metal detector is just a tool we use, and it is useless without a good operator that focuses on the processes that lead to actual success.