Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. "For some time now I have been keen to get my hands on one of Minelab’s CTX 06 six-inch coils for my CTX 3030. Recently, I finally bought one and couldn’t wait to get out and try it on some trashy sites that I have had success on in the past." Nice blog entry by Mike Gerlach at
  2. I was advising a guy on a basic machine and Google popped this up. Not sure what it means but Walmart dropped the price of the basic Gold Bug by 25% to only $337 and feee shipping This is the model without manual ground balance, ground grab only and 5" coil, that normally sells for $499. Every bit as good as the $649 Gold Bug Pro, just lacks that manual ground balance. At $337 I had to fight the impulse to buy one just because the price is so low for a decent machine. They also rolled the $599 Teknetics Gamma 6000 (a coin detector) back to $356, a huge price reduction. With all the First Texas price reductions lately does smell like something is up. Anyway, for a second detector or somebody looking to get into nugget detecting cheap with what I consider to be the best available entry level model, here you go. Difference Between Fisher Gold Bug Models
  3. I found a few very small ones, but not much considering all the years I dredged there.
  4. Thread edited to reflect another price drop, this time from $365 to $337! Gotta be pissing some dealers off.
  5. The SDC 2300 was not designed as an underwater detector. It was designed to be waterproof which is not the same thing. Being accidentally dropped in the water and floating or being floated across a stream is probably a feature considering the housing was designed for land mine detection. My guess is the waterproof headphones were not available at the time the video shot. They were in short supply initially. Converting the headphones you have would probably work but how they match up for ohms etc. is another matter. They may or may not be loud enough.
  6. "A giant gold coin bearing the Queen's image, and worth $4m (£3.2m), has been stolen from a museum in Germany. The Canadian coin, nicknamed the "big maple leaf", has a face value of $1m - but because it is 100kg (220lb) of pure 24-carat gold, its value is much higher at today's price for gold bullion. It was taken during the night from the Bode Museum in Berlin." Read the full story here
  7. Tom is good at providing his own answers, but it appears he is at Diggin In Virginia (DIV) right now and so too busy to answer as quickly as he normally does. I could comment more but Tom does well enough speaking for himself. I do appreciate his presence on the forum and hope he is making some great finds at DIV.
  8. I just use an old large samsonite suitcase that does not look like anything valuable is in it, and pack all my gear to check through. I usually pack a backup detector and have it all in a second suitcase, hoping that if one gets lost I still have the other. Lots of years of flying though I have never had a bag truly lost, just delayed a couple times. I like the idea of taking a photo of bags and bag contents. Really good idea.
  9. Sadly each time one of the old timers like Smokey passes a lifetime of accumulated knowledge is lost. Some stuff gets passed on to others, but much gets held close as secret knowledge for use in a day that may never come. Hopefully I have some notice before my time is up, and if/when that happens you all will see all my nugget maps posted with notes before I go.
  10. Well, it depend just where in Australia you are and which U.S. Time zone you pick. Victoria AU is GMT +11 and Reno NV is GMT -7 so in general you blokes in Australia are 3/4 of a day ahead of us. When I post late Sunday afternoon it is around Monday noon in Australia.
  11. Heiner, L.E., Wolff, E.N., and Grybeck, D.G., 1971, Copper mineral occurrences in the Wrangell Mountains-Prince William Sound area, Alaska: University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory Report No. 27, 179 p., 15 sheets There are prospect and mine reports starting page 36. Look for the words "native copper" and "copper nuggets". Also UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Bulletin 947-F COPPER DEPOSITS OF THE NIZINA DISTRICT, ALASKA BY DON J. MILLER page 119.... "Nuggets of native copper derived from the greenstone are found in the placer gravel on Dan Creek and some of its tributaries. A copper nugget estimated to weigh about 3 tons was found in Dan Creek in 1939." Copper nuggets have been found in Lynx Creek on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage
  12. I have found a number of copper nuggets in Alaska while detecting for gold. They are very common in some areas. I have intended to go detecting specifically for copper nuggets but somehow the quest for gold always takes precedence.
  13. This thread is fine Moses. Just the duplicates on other threads were deleted. I hope it all works out for you. I will be doing more with the ATX coils but it will be more like in a month, not the next couple weeks.
  14. Hello Shanan, welcome to the forum, The short answer is it really is too soon to say for sure. I have an XP DEUS and the Nokta Impact but due to weather and other commitments have been short on time this spring. I simply have not had the time yet to get the hours on the machines, and this has been compounded by my waiting for XP to get the new high frequency coils onto the market. Having one on hand will save me time in not having to do extra field trips late to find out what I can accomplish all at once with the new HF coil in hand. I can offer you a personal impression however. In my opinion I can do well with any top end VLF detector. The tech is pretty well sorted out and max depth was attained a long time ago, although discrimination and the ability to pull good targets out of dense trash continues to improve. That being the case, for me it is mostly about how the detector "feels". Weight and balance, audio, layout of display and control options, etc. It is not strictly about weight. The F75 at 3.5 lbs has the best feel on my arm of any detector I have used. The balance makes a big difference, and the DEUS although lighter feels nose heavy by comparison. Weight does matter though and the Impact at 4.26 lbs with batteries on my postal scales is almost twice as heavy as the DEUS at 2.15 lbs (9" coil, control box affixed to rod). Both the DEUS and Impact have wireless headphone options. The DEUS coil and controls both must be charged to use. The Impact should also be used with rechargeable batteries but uses four drop in AA batteries. This gives the Impact a slight edge in my opinion because if the batteries go dead, you can just drop in a backup set and get on with business. The DEUS coil can be run in a pinch from a USB style portable power pack but it is just not as simple as the Impact in this regard. A big factor in my opinion is about whether you like accessory coils or not. With the DEUS each coil is an actual metal detector, and so they cost about $500 each and XP is likely to be the sole supplier. I am not a fan of overpriced accessory coils, and no number of people pointing out Minelab also has lots of overpriced coils will make me change my mind about that. I think standard and smaller size coils should be under $200 and with only large VLF coils should the price sneak above $200. Even Minelab makes X-Terra coils that fit that rule. Bottom line is the Impact out the starting gate already has four coil options at excellent prices, both smaller and larger than what you can get for the DEUS. Other Nokta and Impact models have seen superb support from NEL and other aftermarket suppliers and I will be surprised if this does not prove to be the case with the Impact. For some people I think it simply boils down to the DEUS being the lighter, more compact detector and very well proven. The Impact offers more value, especially once you take accessory coils into account, but it is a very new design with thin dealer support. I don't really think you can go wrong with either detector, but honestly they are kind of night and day physically when you set them side by side. That's about all I can offer on the subject at the moment. For me personally a lot of it will come down to that new elliptical HF coil option and how the DEUS sorts out as a possible prospecting detector option. If you take the high frequency option out of the picture I would have to say I personally lean a bit more to the Impact way of doing things. The DEUS is a marvel but I guess I am just old fashioned. Drop in batteries and dumb inexpensive coils work fine for me. That's just me though and only a fool would not recognize how popular the DEUS is and how well it works for a whole lot of people.
  15. Also try Promack Treasure Hunting as they carry the GRG scoop, which was associated with the Trinity gold pan. The have the panning kit on sale and possibly have the scoops still as a separate item. They do appear to be out of manufacture.
  16. Since my original response above Minelab has announced the Gold Monster 1000 I would encourage anyone currently shopping for a prospecting VLF detector to hold off right now unless absolutely necessary. The GM1000 was designed specifically for the Africa market as an easy to operate yet powerful prospecting VLF. It will have applications elsewhere also. The Gold Monster 1000 should be available in April, just a few weeks away. If you can afford it I would second Moses suggestion of the SDC 2300 as a machine that has performance similar to a high performance VLF but ignores the hot rocks and ground mineralization that plague hot VLF detectors.
  17. Hi Moses, I understand your frustration. However, spamming the forum with complaints on every Garrett ATX coil thread is not the answer. Take your frustration out on Garrett, not the forum. I deleted the other posts as off topic. Starting a new topic as you have done here is a more appropriate way to handle this. I doubt you have a counterfeit. It just appears you are not happy with the ATX. I have made it quite clear myself since day one that I wish that Garrett had packaged the machine differently. I felt and still feel that an excellent circuit board is being hobbled with a control box and coils wholly inappropriate to the task of gold nugget prospecting. On the other hand, it is my favorite underwater detector, the task it would actually seemed to be designed for given the original epoxy filled coils. Unfortunately instead of releasing my long hoped for lighter weight ATX Garrett has put time and money into developing these two new coils for the ATX. While a small step in the right direction, these coils do not address the underlying issue of the ATX being more heavy and expensive than it need be, with a few coil options that are also more expensive than they need to be, all due to the basic design of the detector. These coils do nothing really to change that dynamic. It is a shame as I do think the ATX is a very capable prospecting detector, but it will never be what it could have been if the physical design was done from the ground up with prospectors in mind rather than using an off the shelf landmine detector housing. The original coil redesign was to address an issue with the coil tilt lock being insufficient to the task on the stock coil. The height on the mechanism was increased to provide a tighter lock, and that is it as far as I know. The bottom line Moses is that if you already do not like the ATX I do not see how these coils really change much for you. They are just another two coil options, and if you think they will magically transform the performance of the ATX you will be disappointed. Are the new coils an improvement? Yes. Do they change the underlying nature of the ATX? No. As far as advertising goes Garrett is not alone in treating coils as an afterthought. If you make coils as your main business, as Coiltek, Nugget Finder, DeTech, NEL, and others do, than promoting them is a big priority. The detector manufacturers do not seem to look at coils the same way, and except in rare cases treat them as an afterthought. Garrett has indeed been late with these coils however and there is as of yet very little real information available on them. Anyway, if you do have a complaint or have a question on the new coils I suggest you contact Garrett directly. Preliminary Report On New Garrett 11" X 13" Mono For ATX New Garrett ATX Coil & Package Options For 2017
  18. I am unfortunately time limited right now, with family stuff occupying quite a bit of time the next couple weeks. However, Garrett was kind enough to rush me a couple of the new 11" x 13" coils to check out and I wanted to give at least a preliminary report on the mono version at this time. The new coils are aimed at a couple issues that owners of previous ATX coils have complained about. First, the rather unique rear hinge design of the stock ATX coils that allows the detector to fold up into a particularly compact configuration. This design has two issues. As the coils age the forward weight tends to cause the coil to slowly sag forward. Not a huge factor but it can result in constant small adjustments to level the coil out. More important it throws the weight of the coil forward, hurting the center of balance. Again, not a huge issue, but one that becomes more apparent if you try and mow through high grass and weeds with the ATX. Garrett came up with an ingenious fix for this issue, that both allows the coil to fold up as desired while delivering that center mount coil so many have craved. The new coil design has a sliding channel that lets you move the coil attachment point from rear to center or anywhere in between. You don't see something really new in metal detecting very often but this really is. And it works. Here is a shot of the new coil with the old design inset into the upper right (Click on all photos for large version). The old stock coil is an epoxy filled 10" x 12" DD design that together with the attached rod assembly weighs 3 lbs 7 oz. The new 11" x 13" mono weighs in at 3 lbs 7.5 oz, again with the attached rod assembly. Basically a wash, although the new coil is slightly larger in overall dimensions. Electronically however it is a much larger coil. A mono coil normally will get better depth than the same size DD coil although in the worst ground DD coils have an edge. DD coils also offer a form of iron discrimination on the ATX that will not work on a mono coil. The ATX seems to be optimized for DD coils and for most gold prospecting the DD coil is probably the better option. For sheer depth on the largest nuggets however mono is often the way to go, and in this case the coil itself is not only a mono but also slightly larger than the stock coil. That is why this coil got my attention first over the 11" x 13" DD version. I made a quick run out to the northern Nevada goldfields. The weather has finally let up but everything is still real wet out east of Reno. I mean real wet - stick to the bottom of your boots mud kind of wet in places. That oddly helped a bit in this case as the ATX is a PI that can easily handle wet salt ground, and in fact it is my favorite salt water detector. The ground balance range runs well into the salt range so I don't think there is any wet salt ground it can't handle. I should point out however that ground balancing out salt does also balance out small gold signals that read identical to the salt signals. This is one of those unsolvable issues with the way current metal detectors work. But better to tune out the worst of the salt in some places and take what gold can be found still. Listening to constant salt signals masks gold also, so there is no perfect solution. In any case, the ATX did prove its capability on this little test run as the ground is both wet and salty where I was, and the ATX 11" x 13" mono ground balanced to it with ease, even with the sensitivity cranked all the way up to the highest setting. Unfortunately I found no gold this day although I did recover some ridiculously small ferrous targets plus some bullets. I did learn a few things to report though. First, the new center mount coils really do balance better and push through grass and weeds much better than the older rear hinge design. The second thing however is more important. One thing I mention in my earliest ATX reports is that "The stock coil is marginally sensitive to false signals when contacting rocks. This is a bit odd since it is an epoxy filled coil so in theory the coil windings cannot move to produce false signals when bumped. The signals do not occur consistently or often but in my case at least happened most often when the coil would catch a rock on the surface and roll the rock under the coil. It is possible that the coil cable, even though protected by being enclosed in the lower shaft assembly, is jiggling enough to produce the signals." I never determined exactly what the cause of these false signals were, but others also reported them. They typically occurred only at higher sensitivity settings and could be tamed with careful coil control, but they were an annoyance. The good news is the new coil design appears to have alleviated this problem. I won't go so far as to say completely eliminated yet, as more hours are needed and more reports from other people under other circumstances, but I did not experience any falsing caused by bumping this coil against rocks or other objects. I was getting some faint signals from running a mono coil at max gain riding directly on salt and mineral ground, but that is because I was in all truth running the sensitivity higher than I perhaps should, a habit of mine. I tend to push my detectors hard. The 11" x 13" mono shares a common mono trait by being hottest around the outside edges. Very small surface targets will tend to signal twice, once for each time an edge passes over the target. This can be handy for knowing you are dealing with tiny surface items before digging a deep hole chasing one. There is also a tendency for the signal to sharpen at the four "corners" of the blunt end coil design. Small targets can be pinpointed by turning the coil on edge and running one of these corners around in the dirt as a sort of pinpointer. When using a plastic scoop to isolate small targets, use those corners as your hot spots. As I noted earlier I am tied up with family business for a while, but I will be reporting more on this and the DD version in the future. These new coils will have me breaking the ATX out for more prospecting this summer than has been my norm in the past. I have tried the 15" x 20" mono coil for the ATX, and frankly this new mono coil in my opinion is a far better option for prospectors. The rear mounted open 20" length of the larger coil made it difficult to handle in the grassy sagebrush areas I frequent. More importantly, I found that although the 15" x 20" coil does offer more depth on very large targets the gains on normal size nuggets were minimal if any and the smaller stuff can't be detected at all. My honest opinion the main benefits with the 15" x 20" are found both in ground coverage and on very large targets but the lack of sensitivity to smaller gold nuggets is a concern. The 11" x 13" mono is a much better size that in my opinion will offer better depth on the larger nuggets prospectors are likely to find than the 15" x 20" mono coil. However, do not think the 11" x 13" is going to be some kind of huge improvement in depth over the stock coil on large nuggets. People always seem to overestimate the advantages of larger coils. That extra inch? Yes. Twice the depth or even 50% more depth? No, don't set yourself up for those kinds of expectations, they are not realistic. If I was buying a new Garrett ATX today for gold prospecting, I would be looking hard at these two new coils because the ATX can now come equipped with one of them as the stock coil. The new knock resistant fully enclosed coil design that is also less likely to hang up on sticks and obstructions. The center mount design handles far better. I don't see how any avid ATX user could be unhappy with this new coil design. The DD coil is still probably the better option for most people with the mono more for those chasing the largest nuggets at depth.
  19. Garrett is releasing two new, larger 11”x13” closed searchcoils for the ATX pulse induction detector. Available in either a DD or mono configuration, the new ATX coils will be lighter weight and offer increased depth versus the standard ATX searchcoil. The new closed style provides more resistance to falsing due to scrubbing of the coil against the ground and allows gold prospectors to use the upper coil deck to sift/find tiny nuggets easier. The new ATX searchcoil includes an exclusive Garrett design slide-lock system that creates a center-mount style while still allowing the ATX to collapse into its soft cover carrying case. Designated for a mid-year release, the new ATX coil will be available as the new standard offering on ATX detectors and can be purchased as an accessory coil by existing ATX customers. More details and pricing on the new ATX packages will be forthcoming.
  20. Yeah, that's my favorite scoop...
  21. Well all I can say is it is about time. The norm in most consumer electronics is a rapid move to more power at lower prices. The metal detector world moves very slowly by comparison, and if anything the average price has gone up in the last 15 years. First it seemed like over $1000 was a lot for a detector. Then it was over $2000. And who ever thought we would be seeing consumer type detecting devices going for over $5000! There is a certain degree of market saturation occurring now along with ever fiercer competition. For probably the last twenty years I have told people the sweet spot for horsepower and price was around $700 in VLF machines. PI gold machines did nothing but go up, but the dam finally burst there and we have seen dramatic price decreases from Minelab the last couple years. And now with a push coming primarily from Nokta/Makro and First Texas we are seeing the new bang for the buck range in VLF drop to about $500. It is going to be very hard with VLF machines in particular to hold any sort of price premium going forward. I think PI detectors will also see more competition and lower price units soon. All in all, a good time to be buying metal detectors. Not a good time to hang on to old models as they are not going to hold value like they once did.
  22. I am sorry to hear that Keith. I actually bumped into Smokey out in the field last year - he had nice things to say about you! A detecting legend for sure.
  23. I am waiting for the update to settle down and without the HF coil in hand most of what I want to try will have to wait. Most of the DEUS V4 posts are over on the Metal Detecting For Coins & Relics Forum.
  24. Actually, metal detectors differentiate targets based on conductive mass, not just metal type or conductivity. An aluminum can reads in the coin range and so would not be identified as a gold range target on any detector, despite what is stated in this video. Any gold nugget large enough to read the same as the aluminum can (yes, I have seen them) would also be rejected at your settings. Run the same test with aluminum foil, a pull tab, a lead bullet (no copper) and a U.S. nickel along with your rings. Personally, I do not believe the DRS Ground Exper detects metal any differently than other metal detectors. All the videos I have seen so far including this one cherry pick targets to imply the machine is doing something unique. The implication is it can differentiate gold from other gold range targets. I do not believe that it can any better in that regard than numerous other detectors, so please prove me wrong. Big Gold Nugget Target ID Info Some Gold Nugget VDI Numbers
  25. I broke a chain recently popping out what sounded like a can slaw type target. Luckily it was of no real value. It was so wound into the roots I pulled it out in chunks.