Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. I was really heavy into very late fall and very early spring dredging in the late 90's time frame. This photo is from 1996 and was taken by my friend Rich Lampright. I worked a lot at Crow Creek Mine, which is glacial fed. It runs very high and fast in the summer when the glacier is melting. The best time to dredge is in the winter months when freezing temps bring the water levels down by over 50% and the water starts running crystal clear. It also made for some very cold dredging at times, but properly outfitted with a good drysuit you can stay surprisingly comfortable. Usually. Funny how some days I really was cozy and others it was just plain cold. I could operate well down to about 15 degrees. Below that, and the water literally froze in the sluice box while it was running. I resorted to subsurface dredges for the coldest spells as the box being underwater did not freeze up. But even then you see weird stuff. Ice crystals floating in the water build like snow drifts of slush behind rocks on the bottom, and giant balls of slush form on the pump intakes, eventually plugging them. Why suffer this you ask? I was seeing multi-ounce days working by myself. I took a lot of gold out of Crow Creek; even after paying a percentage to the owners it was good. In fact the best dredging I ever did. My best day in there working a 6" by myself was over 8 ounces of gold. This was my favorite dredge, my old Keene 6" with twin Honda 6HP pumps. This model was made with a molded marlex powerjet in two pieces - the jet and the flare. The jet and flare assembled was about six feet long but I could just toss it over my shoulder and carry it in one piece it was so light. The dredge had a stout frame with a lever handle leveling system, far superior to the later slide the box back and forth nonsense. The box was a well built single run sluice that I preferred over later double-decker designs. I never should have sold it. I did however, to Brian Berkhahn, and he also got a lot of gold with it. And I know he now also regrets selling it. It was the best Keene dredge I ever owned. Mark Keene told me they stopped making the marlex jets due to a high failure rate with the process but they should have either fixed the process or just charged more to make up for the failures. It was an incredible advance in the technology, and amazingly after all the years of use the inside of that jet never showed more than light scuffing. I think it was actually more durable than steel jets. This photo is first thing in the morning, breaking away all the ice that has formed around the dredge overnight.
  2. From http://www.minelab.com/customer-care/product-notices?article=305146 We are pleased to announce that the GOLD MONSTER 1000 detector will be available soon. The GOLD MONSTER 1000 turns beginners into experts with fully automatic operation in an easy-to-use, high performance detector. The GOLD MONSTER 1000 comes with a choice of coils, battery options and shaft configurations. If you are looking for super sensitive gold performance at a great price, then this is the detector you've been waiting for! Features: Fully automatic operation Extra sensitive VLF performance Highly adaptable 2 search coils included Easy quick start From Minelabs Facebook page: "Thanks for your comments! For those people that have questions about the product name; Minelab’s new ENTRY-LEVEL specialist gold detector, the GOLD MONSTER 1000, has been designed to meet the needs of both consumer recreational enthusiasts and small-scale artisanal gold miners around the world. In order for this exciting new product to be distinctly recognisable to these diverse markets, Minelab has created a universal logo that reads left-to-right in English language script and right-to-left in stylised Arabic script. The Arabic pronunciation of GOLD MONSTER is “Wahesh Al Dahab”. Further to the dual logo, Minelab will be providing 5 languages on the product carton and 8 languages in the Getting Started Guide to make the GOLD MONSTER 1000 our most universal detector to date. From America to Australia to Africa, and everywhere in-between, the GOLD MONSTER 1000 offers the newcomer to gold detecting their best chance of success! [Note: The GOLD MONSTER 1000 supersedes Minelab’s Eureka Gold VLF detector.]"
  3. Believe it or not it has always been that way on this forum but I suddenly realized most people may not know it because there is nothing to indicate it is the case. A few posts now and then I will mention "Click photo for larger image" but the software itself gives no hints. Now you can go back to all those old posts and click to see the "big picture"! The Photo Gallery is the same way; the images shown are usually much smaller than what can be optionally displayed. Most of my photos these days I aim for 1600 x 1200 pixel dimensions as that scales nicely yet is not ridiculously massive. Anybody who needs a very simple photo resizer should check out Simple Resize: Simple Resize for Apple Simple Resize for Android My favorite PC based app is IrfanView Portable which is so fast and compact it can run from a memory stick. More than a resize app, I do all the photo editing for my website on IrfanView and MS Paint.
  4. Many people unfamiliar with this forum software may not know that most photos are reduced in size to fit the forum layout. Clicking on most photos on the forum will enlarge them. Click once, they will be shown larger in a display box. You can rotate through multiple photos in one post while in the display box. Also, while in the display box, look in lower left, and clicking there give you the full size photo in a new screen. Depending on the device you are using you may be able to zoom in on that version of the photo. Almost all the photos I post on the forum can be enlarged, some quite dramatically. Try this one...
  5. The old XT/Eureka Gold are good performers but the Eureka Gold sales were no doubt suffering from the machine being so much heavier and more expensive than the competition. I have to admit I did a double take when I saw it came out in 1998, almost twenty years ago. It really does seem like yesterday but the reality is the machine was growing to be one of the older models still on the market. I actually believe that Minelab themselves are surprised at how well some of their detectors end up selling. The machines almost always tend to be underestimated on release yet recognized as winners as time goes by. I am still surprised at how quickly the GPZ spread among users here in the U.S. but our conditions seem to favor the machine perhaps more so than has been the case in Oz. The GM1000 although targeted at Africa I think will be a run-away sales success in the U.S. That would be good because if it is a hot seller it will be easier to get a 14" elliptical out of Minelab for the machine.
  6. Again, I would not expect the alternatives to match a hot VLF in absolute terms. And it is shades of gray, not black and white, since every specimen is unique. The basic question being presented here is what alternative to a hot VLF has the best chance of finding at least some of the types of specimens we are talking about. A redesigned TDI might do it or the QED by all accounts. But sticking with current mainstream devices in my experience the SDC 2300 is about as good as it it gets at the moment. I actually think based on what I know about the technology that the GPZ 7000 is superior, but it needs a smaller coil to really exceed what the SDC 2300 can do. The SDC is a very fact PI but it is still a PI. Pulse induction by definition has a delay between the transmit and receive modes designed to eliminate the responses from bad ground and hot rocks. The type of gold we are talking about falls into that short delay area. It is ironic but it is the ability to react to bad ground and hot rocks that gives a high frequency detector its ability to find porous and wire gold. The GPZ is not a PI, but a hybrid that employs constant current electronics with time domain processing. The GPZ truly is more a super VLF than a PI detector. That is why it struggles with salt ground and hot rocks the SDC and other PI detectors can ignore. That is also why it is inherently more capable of detecting the type of gold we are talking about. It is why I am anxious to get a small coil for the GPZ. What is needed is a very fine degree of tuning to ride the fine line between reducing ground and hot rock signals while still retaining as many gold signals as possible. The two overlap. Part of the problem I am seeing is detectors like the SDC and GPZ having a few preset tuning positions. What is needed is more like an infinite potentiometer that would allow the operator to achieve very tiny adjustments in order to get the degree of differentiation needed when dealing with the ferrous/salt/gold overlap area. In theory the pulse delay on a PI can be shortened to the point where the responses are indistinguishable from a VLF. The delay gets so short that for all practical purposes there is no delay. The ability to make that adjustment is one way to do things. In the GPZ it is done more through post detection processing of the signal. The technology is there, we just need finer control over it. At the end of the day however, just like for every gold jewelry item there is a aluminum item that reads the same, there will be gold that perfectly overlaps with certain ground and salt responses. Eliminating the undesired item eliminates the desired item with it.
  7. If it was me personally I would contact the dealer and request a receipt be mailed or emailed to me. That's just basic business 101 for any dealer. Having been in the business by myself for decades I am dismayed by the stories I hear these days. Seems a lot of dealer are guys behind keyboards drop shipping product. If that is all it takes to be a dealer these days the manufacturers may as well go factory direct.
  8. Actually, the new MX Sport does have a factory reset, so there you go. The V3i did allow you from day one to reset each program separately, but with so many programs that was tedious. Frankly, this information was only secret from people who did not look for it. I reset the used V3i that I purchased in 2014 with information I found on Friendly Forum. I agree with you David that any remotely complicated detector sold these days should have a factory reset feature. White's MX Sport Restore to Factory Settings: Press Option, use the up and down arrows to select RESET. Press and hold Pinpoint button. All options return to factory settings.
  9. This used to be a deep, dark secret although the process was leaked and posted on various websites. It was kept secret because this process gives you access to the factory calibration process, and if you mess with the calibration your detector may need to go back to the factory. Do Not Do It - STAY OUT OF THE CALIBRATIONS SETTINGS! However, a Master reset can put you back to the way the setting were the day you got the detector, and cure various oddball problems that may arise. A good idea for a used machine you have purchased in particular.
  10. Have you tried your gold on either the SDC 2300 or GPZ 7000? They will not match a hot VLF but are the best of the alternatives.
  11. A very rare gold specimen from Crow Creek. Crow Creek is also the only place I have experienced where the white rock seen in some nuggets is often calcite instead of quartz. Not sure if you know it but clicking on most photos on the forum will enlarge them. Click once, much larger, and in that version, look in lower left, and clicking there give you full size. You can then see the specimen better. Almost all the photos I post on the forum can be enlarged, some quite dramatically.
  12. Since so many people are showing up here after a recent flare up on an Aussie forum I want to make something clear. Everyone is welcome here and starts with a clean slate as far as I am concerned. I left the Australian forums myself due to the drama, and created this place as my own safe haven. I am the only admin/moderator so there can be no confusion on where things stand here. This forum exists for people to enjoy and to learn. Anything that detracts from that is not allowed. In particular, nobody is allowed to ever have a go at anyone else on the forum. Even things meant in jest can be taken wrong on the internet. If there is nothing good to be said, then don't say it. Some people enjoy drama. I understand that. The key here is that I do not. You are visitors in my home. Keep the discussion friendly, keep the pros and cons of detectors dispassionate, that's all I ask. Thank you all.
  13. Welcome to the forum mates. Our Aussie friends are always welcome - an amazing country full of great-hearted people!
  14. Nice clean gold, and really interesting shape! Swinging a three foot lightning rod in a thunderstorm must be disconcerting, to say the least.
  15. Quite the production type rig, with Keene's new dust reduction features. http://www.keeneeng.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=190 Only 51 lbs at $1399 with no motor, though I assume it can be had for less. My brother has one of the older style motorized versions and likes it. This newer version is interesting because it can also be converted to a highbanker or dredge. I have been considering the smaller 12V model myself but it is doubtful I would use it much. I like swinging a detector more than running a shovel. There are however way more places a good drywasher can find gold than places good for detecting. $2149 with motor and blower (Model 191)
  16. Ok, if people are now getting their hands on the new HF coils, where is the V4 download for existing users? Am I missing something?
  17. What machines are you using Glenn?
  18. $%#^&#! it, I have a CTX and that is to where I want to buy it just because it is such a great deal for a like new unit with a transferable warranty. Must resist however, but somebody needs to jump on this.
  19. I honestly can't say having never run a SDC head to head against a Gold Bug 2 in mild ground. All I can say is the benefit if any would be minimal in mild ground. The entire reason a person gets a PI is to deal with bad ground and hot rocks. If you have neither, the benefit of something like an SDC is minimal at best. Old saying of mine is "use a VLF when you can and a PI when you must". In the mildest of ground I am betting on the Gold Bug 2 for ultra fine, wire-like and porous gold.
  20. The coil bumping problem was never as bad as advertised. Like Chris Ben said, irritating perhaps, but with careful coil control not much of an issue. Truthfully, the ATX will not benefit from fast hunting anyway - slow and careful is the way to go. I did have a go with a prototype of the new mono coil, and it did more or less eliminate the issue, but I have not acquired a production unit yet to confirm how it came out in the final version. More to the real question however. The ATX at $2120 is perhaps a step up from a GP3000 on small and porous gold, but not by much. Some would no doubt argue not at all. A new GPX 4500 can now be had for $2699 and with a small coil is every bit as good as an ATX for small gold and a far more versatile prospecting detector. However, if you can swing the extra dough, what I would really recommend is a SDC 2300 at $3750 new or less second hand. The three year warranty is transferable. A GPX or an ATX still might not get you the porous gold performance you seek. The SDC will do it as well as any PI can, and pushes even hot VLF machines for performance in that regard. Exceeds them actually in bad ground. Don't get me wrong, I am like Garrett ATX Fan #1 having used them since they have been out. It is one of the best salt water machines I have used and that combined with it's compact fold up design and ability to handle salt ground and some hot rocks that my GPZ 7000 struggles with make it a versatile machine worth my having as part of my permanent collection. However, were it not for the waterproof saltwater part I would have a GPX as my second machine instead of the ATX.
  21. Here is some of the gold from the canyon in Crow Creek. Since it was reconcentrated tailing material, the gold was small with a few small nuggets now and then. This was back when I was still shooting film and I have scanned all my old photos and slides, so will be posting more in the future. Unfortunately my camera seemed to be scratching the films at some point, and lots of the scans have dust, etc. They are what they are however and sort of historical in nature so I will use what I have. I don't recall the total in this photo, but that is a four ounce vial, and those are freshly poured piles of gold, taller than the appear. Probably around 10 ounces of gold collected over a couple week period. The gold at Crow Creek is of relatively low purity, averaging around 750 fine (75% gold) with the remainder silver, making for a light colored gold. It also means that gold mined at Crow Creek that goes to a refiner will get a relatively low payout. I always sold what I could to jewelers who liked the nice flattened gold seen in the lower left or right. Much of the rest was sold to a refiner, and back then gold was only a few hundred dollar an ounce, so I was not getting rich quick. This was in fact near the end of my dredging career, as by 1997 gold was under $300 an ounce. That, combined with depletion of the easy richer ground, was just not making the effort worth it to me, especially after paying a cut to the mine owners. After 1998 I switched from dredging to metal detecting in a search for the big gold nuggets that had been eluding me due to my focus on dredging the Kenai Peninsula.
  22. I think I would have to use warm water these days - the blood just does not flow in my fingers and toes like it used to twenty years ago! A small mod was using quick release couples everywhere they can be used, though I never got around to modifying the pump intakes. That has to be done carefully so as to not restrict the inflow of water to the pump. I am a big believer in changing motor oil on schedule. Almost nothing else you can do will extend the life of a motor that is hard at work than timely oil changes. Having motors mounted on floats in deep or fast water, especially in cold weather, tends to make a person procrastinate. It took some looking, but I finally found some metric threaded tubes that I screwed into the base drain on each motor. I put enough high temp rubber hose on each to get comfortably over the side of the floats, and then capped the ends. When the time came, I had a coffee can rigged with a hook that hung from the frame. I would do this at the end of a running session so the oil was hot, at which time simply putting the hose in the coffee can and removing the cap made for an easy hands free oil drain. The waste oil got poured into the empty bottles from previous fill and packed out. The lesson being that any little thing you can think of to make life easier when cold water dredging is well worth the investment of time and money.
  23. The difference with dowsing is anyone can make their own dowsing device for little or no money. Dressing dowsing devices up as scientifically based electronic devices and marketing them as such for a great deal of money is another thing entirely. I don't really have a problem with people who sell dowsing devices as long as they are clearly sold as such. The buyers can then decide for themselves whether they believe in dowsing or not. I do however take issue with people using cleverly worded marketing to sell dowsing devices to people who think they are getting something else.
  24. Just being a cantankerous old guy this morning, I will point out that by definition a hot rock is a rock that goes beep but does not have gold in it. If it has gold in it, it is gold ore, or a gold specimen. Although the rocks in the video are being referred to as ironstone, it appears to me to be what the Australians refer to as caprock, which is a type of conglomerate. I hacked a couple nuggets out of caprock while in Australia. Since conglomerate is originally sand and gravel that has been cemented into rock, it is not unusual to find gold in it. I would always crack open any conglomerate that signals on my detector. The detector response illustrated in the video also was not what I would have considered to be a hot rock response. He busts the rock, and only one part of it signals. A hot rock, it is the rock itself that signals, so all three portions would have signaled were it a true hot rock. I would simply call what was found "a rock with gold in it". Gold in conglomerate if rich enough is actually a type of gold ore. The lesson here is that not all rocks that beep are hot rocks. Some are gold ore or gold specimens. Unless you know for sure what you are dealing with, investigate any rock that beeps. It does not take long to determine which is which in the field.