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Jim Hemmingway

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Jim Hemmingway last won the day on July 18 2016

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About Jim Hemmingway

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    Retired Fish & Wildlife Biologist, Prospecting, Mineralogy, Music, Reading, Fly Fishing, Camping.

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  1. Hi Simon… what you have described with your 5” DD coils is certainly abnormal. Under oppressive EMI conditions the 5” DD can chatter at higher sensitivity settings, but if that is the case then the larger DD coils will react even more to such EMI because there are more windings to act as an antenna. The larger DD coils, including the stock 11” DD coil are significantly more subject to the effects of both EMI and magnetic susceptible iron-mineralized soils than is the smaller 5” DD coil. Hope this is useful information for you. Jim. PS: I’ve tried several ferrite chokes in my areas, and frankly they did not work at all.
  2. Coglan's Creek Gold Hunt

    Hi Idahogold…. I’ve been hunting silver for 30+ years in northeastern Ontario, and have written many articles about it, occasionally profiling the utility of different VLF and PI models in those environs. Some of these were posted to Steve’s former AMDS forum, and more recently to the TreasureNet forum. Here’s a link to an example entitled Electronic Prospecting in Silver Country if you wish to view it. http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/canada/282315-electronic-prospecting-silver-country.html I’ve had a lot of unusual and enjoyable experiences, and sometimes managed to find good silver. It’s the entire package that interests me, hiking and exploring, photography, observing wildlife, campfire cookouts, and sleeping well outdoors. It’s been a privileged and altogether wonderful life through the pursuit of this hobby. In retrospect, I wouldn’t change anything even were it possible to do so. For the present at least, my interest has turned to searching for non-detectable minerals such as the example depicted immediately below. In keeping with your comments, I’ve also added a multi-photo of silver. Thanks for the nice reply, and hopefully we’ll have the chance to shoot the breeze again here. Incidentally, I quite enjoyed your post about the apparently not-so-elusive Sasquatch!!! It was an entertaining tale. Happy Trails. Jim.
  3. Ammie's Travel Blog

    Hi Ammie… thankyou for another fine installment to this thread. I do envy your freedom to travel to new places and detect those lovely beaches, especially where it is reasonably warm and sunny. We are still experiencing winter conditions, highly unusual for April in central Ontario. I agree with you that it may have been an unfortunate mistake to ask for permission to metal detect in the parks. While I realize that this may not apply in your case, I was once told the same thing by a municipal employee despite that there are no bylaws or regulations banning the use of metal detectors in the local parks. Years ago I was detecting the beach shallows in Arrowhead Provincial Park, Ontario. The park manager informed me that metal detecting was not allowed because they didn’t want arrowhead artifacts disturbed. As a biologist and former MNR employee, I explained to him that the park was named for the prolific growth of an edible water plant named Arrowhead, and not for native arrowhead artifacts. That discussion was followed by a more relaxed conversation about mutual acquaintances within the MNR, our experiences, and so forth. As I was leaving to meet the wife and kids, he said that it would be OK to detect the beach. Incidentally, at least at that time, there was nothing posted to prohibit the use of metal detectors in that park. Nowadays Ammie, I don’t ask for permission. I do check provincial and municipal websites regarding any rules or regulations prohibiting metal detecting. If there is nothing listed there or posted at the park itself, I presume there is no issue with metal detecting. Of course historical sites, private property and so forth are strictly off-limits. Looking forward to your next installment to this thread, meanwhile good luck with your continuing detecting adventures. Jim.
  4. Hi Simon.... yes that is quite a treasure trove. Can you imagine finding a cache like that, especially as a thirteen-year-old detectorist? Incidentally, I have often wondered where the modernized term "Bluetooth" originated, but now we know it has its origins dating back to the 10th century!!! Thankyou for bringing this archaeological treasure trove finding to our notice, a most intriguing and historically interesting occurrence. Jim.
  5. Coglan's Creek Gold Hunt

    Idahogold… thankyou for sharing your experience with us. I can’t say which was more fascinating, the bacon and eggs for breakfast or finding elusive gold… both looked awfully good to me!!! I enjoyed the video’s relaxed atmosphere, and fully appreciated that newcomers to the hobby will certainly benefit from watching your gold recovery technique. It’s still quite a revelation to see the tiny gold that can be detected by the SDC 2300. Congratulations on finding gold, and otherwise for an entertaining and instructive video. Jim.
  6. Ammie's Travel Blog

    Thankyou Ammie for posting this series of adventures. Please do continue to write about your travels and beach-hunting experiences. It's interesting exposure to areas that I'd otherwise never know about, and I enjoy your writing style. Jim.
  7. What Are They?

    Hi DDancer… no worries, there’s no way for most of us to know that a brown variety of quartz exists in Alaska. Although it is a bit dark, citrine was a very reasonable ID, and you did qualify your response. The technique about heating amethyst is widely known by collectors. Good eye on the tourmaline too, it wasn’t an ideal example. It is the (nearly) triangular cross-section or end view that very much helps to identify this mineral. Attached are two photos to illustrate this structural characteristic below. Thanks DDancer, you know your rocks and minerals pretty darn well. Jim.
  8. I Take Phrunt On Another Mission

    Simon & JW… reading about your recent goldhunting experiences together, I think it’s a wonderful story of mentoring and evolving friendship while pursuing your adventures in the goldfields. I admire JW’s obvious love for the great outdoors, his enthusiasm for the hobby, and that he has reached out to a fine young man interested in getting started down the gold trail. Anyone reading Simon’s enthusiastic posts will quickly recognize that he is a person of integrity, and certainly a very welcome addition to this forum. Congratulations on your gold recoveries to date. JW thankyou for these superlative posts detailing your goldhunting experiences, for sharing your expertise, and for those impressive scenery and digsite photos. Jim.
  9. Visiting With Jim Straight

    Thanks Chris for posting the above photo. Good to see that he is able to get about and attend the rock and mineral shows in that area. Jim’s prospecting articles and books, metal detector reviews, and his enthusiasm to engage with hobbyists has earned him respect and admiration throughout the prospecting and mining community. I made his acquaintance many years ago and we subsequently have corresponded down through the years, usually about detectors, and rocks and minerals. In recent times I’ve made an extra effort to describe to him our prospecting trips up here in northeastern Ontario, and provide lots of photos so that he can easily visualize our search environs, our diggings, and our silver recoveries. It’s no accident that so many hobbyists over the years have remarked on these forums that Jim Straight has sent them signed copies of his books. I have no doubt that a kindly letter frequently accompanies those books as well. I might add that my books were gifted to me, and I’m certain that he has been equally thoughtful and generous to many others in the hobby. That’s it for now… just wanted to add my two cents about a fine individual, a friend, a mentor, and in the annals of modern prospecting in the great southwest… he has been a Pathfinder. Jim.
  10. Overall Observations Of The Equinox

    I agree with the above comments Wayfarer, I very much enjoyed reading your report. It is coherent and understandable, and you've addressed the questions that came to my mind. More importantly, I would imagine that even rank newcomers to the hobby would find it an informative pleasure to read. Thanks so much for this excellent effort to share your findings with us. Jim.
  11. Couple Rocks

    Hi Hibby… I can’t speak to this topic from direct experience, but I did take a moment (while viewing the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game) to look on the Internet for an answer to your question. I was curious to learn more too. According to The Fossil Forum, ammonite fluorescence will vary with the type of mineral replacement that has formed the fossil. That makes perfect sense, hence some ammonites will simply not fluoresce, some will fluoresce only under short wave UV light, and some only under longwave UV light. Of course it goes without saying that the light intensity makes a difference as to how well potentially fluorescent minerals respond to UV light. Hope that helps... Jim.
  12. Couple Rocks

    Hi Hibby... we'll ignore your second question because it has been suitably addressed above. Shortwave light is not the same thing as black light at all. Light below the wavelength of violet light is described as ultraviolet light. Keep in mind as you read this explanation that ultraviolet (UV) light is invisible to the human eye. Longwave UV peaks at about 360 nanometers, while shortwave UV peaks at about 254 nanometers. Midwave UV light is generally considered to peak at about 312 nanometers. "Blacklights" are an inexpensive way for beginners to get started in the hobby as they do produce longwave UV light that will work fine for minerals that happen to fluoresce brightly when exposed to such light. While equipped with a visible light filter, these inexpensive filters are not nearly as effective as the visible light filters incorporated into shortwave, midwave, and longwave UV lamps suitable for observing fluorescent minerals. Hence the visible light inherent to using blacklights can and does frequently overwhelm the longwave UV light effects on fluorescent minerals. Next basic thing to understand is that most minerals do not fluoresce brightly under longwave UV light. In order to see all the bright colors that make fluorescent minerals so attractive, as a minimum you will require a shortwave UV lamp. As a general rule of thumb, these are considerably more expensive than longwave UV lamps, and also should be used with protective eyewear. A good battery-powered shortwave UV field lamp is priced comparably with entry level VLF metal detectors. Midwave lamps are usually purchased only by advanced hobbyists, and are at least as expensive as shortwave UV lamps. There are a number of minerals that respond better to midwave UV light than to either shortwave or longwave UV light. Hope this helps to clarify things a bit… Jim.
  13. Doc… you are comparing an ideally round shape in the form of a refined silver coin that readily supports induced eddy currents to naturally occurring nuggets that usually target ID as low conductors because for various reasons they are not ideal candidates to support induced eddy currents. Why is that the case?? How well a nugget will support eddy currents, and generate whatever signal strength and target ID will depend upon physical / chemical parameters such as size, shape, purity, types of mineral inclusions, structure (for example… dendritic, plate, disseminate or particulate, sponge, nuggety or massive), and the profile presented to the coil. Such factors are invariably less than ideal to support eddy currents, and hence testing nuggets of differing size, shape and structure will produce a variety of PI time constants. See the comparison photo of silver examples below, but keep in mind that a large portion of our silver ores and nuggets do target ID within the foil to nickel range. Small nuggets, similar in size to those in the photo, that target ID in the silver dime range are relatively quite rare. Ground conditions also play an important role determining in-situ target ID, and refer to factors such as the strength of non-conductive magnetic susceptible iron minerals, ground moisture content, proximity of adjacent targets, and disturbed ground. These factors occasionally contribute to perfectly good silver nuggets and ores at depth producing a VLF target ID in the iron range. Hope this post helps... Jim.
  14. I Know This Is Off Topic But...

    Hi Dave... I agree with Fred, in fact I think your photo represents as nice a display of gold nuggets as I've seen here lately. That said, I hope 2018 will be your best year ever!!! Thanks for the photo and WTG!!! Jim.
  15. A Discombobulated Prospecting Tale

    I don’t know either Tom… but when it comes to Bigfoot sightings and other preternatural occurrences, well I’m not from Missouri… but you’re still going to have to show me before I’ll believe it. While it may be pleasant around the campfire to hypothesize that Bigfoot is roaming the nearby bush, I’m inclined (in retrospect that is) to consider the culprit in Discombobulated Prospecting to either be a bear or more probably a cougar as noted earlier. “I was in process of hiking over to the tree as I was looking for treasure at the time and figgered I was being called over to the shaking tree”. I take it that you are still dowsing for minerals, hence you feel that the guiding force that causes your map-dowsing pendulum to perform was also perhaps causing the tree to sway such that it called your attention to it. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but neither can I dispute it because there is no factual basis to do so. But I will say that a swaying tree in our northern woods is a good indication of a large blackbear. We both pursue this hobby alone and rather defenseless in remote areas. Should a confrontational situation suddenly occur, I doubt there would be sufficient time to retrieve my bearspray from my knapsack. Best probable solution might be to acquire a faithful dog or two. Dogs are pretty good with the metaphysical stuff, their extra-sensory perception allows them to see what we cannot see and that might serve us well. Handguns are illegal here, and a rifle is cumbersome extra gear that is too inconvenient to tote around the bush. In closing Tom, maybe I could relate a brief story to you about finding some silver on our most recent trip to the North Country. I was searching a new area that I had earlier researched and the day previously had recovered several small pieces that encouraged me to persist there. Late the next afternoon, an elongated signal, correctly identified by my MXT’s iron probability readout, proved to be a sizable iron bar that was removed from several inches below the surface. Rechecking the hole produced another signal that was slightly offset to one side and perhaps a foot deeper. It consistently read at 20% iron probability, and resulted in the silver sample depicted in the first and second photos below. It was quite a surprise to find large silver so close to the surface, and to realize that the encouraging audio signal and target ID had been produced by silver rather than the usual large iron at depth. In addition to a few smaller pieces, after two days of trenching that site the dendritic silver in the third photo surfaced as well. Both samples below were HCl acid treated to remove excessive carbonate rock and cleaned with a rotary tool silicon carbide bit, followed by a soapy wash and rinse. While not exactly a handsome specimen because it is embedded in a dark blue-grey carbonate matrix, the ten lb piece is a fine example of massively structured dendritic native silver that accounts for much of the rock’s total weight. That’s it for now, take care. Jim.