So, just one more issue during my Outing...
I have been in the habit of tossing my ferrite on the ground...foolish me. They break into many pieces...so no more tossing...
I wonder if the ring can be super glued back to one piece and function correctly? Or is it more like a metal ring that no longer gives the same signal once the circle is broke?
Or do I need a new one?
so many questions....
By Gold Hound
CTX 3030 on gold nuggets
I have had the CTX since it was released.
However I did not purchase it for the same reasons as most others bought it for, I bought it primarily to look for larger gold in areas that have a high trash density where non discriminating detectors like the GPX will drive you nuts digging junk.
It has the best discrimination and target separation of any detector I have used this far, particularly if the trash is iron.
That is why I use it for this job if the trash density is low I just swap back to a gold detector and would never waist my time using it in low trash areas for gold nuggets.
To give you an idea of what I am talking about with trash density’s and to establish an understanding I will break them into 4 groups.
1- Very low trash= up to 10 targets in a 5mx5m area.
This area I would use a gold detector like the GPX in.
2- Low trash 10 to 25 targets in a 5mx5m area.
This area I would still use the gold detector in if it is worthwhile.
But if the gold density is low I will start to use the discriminating detector.
3- Med trash= 25 to 50 targets in a 5mx5m area.
I am definitely reaching for the discriminating detector now unless there is a high gold density.
4- High trash 50+ targets in a 5mx5m area.
Discriminating detector only! any other is a waist of time.
Ok now that I have established a base line of trash density’s we can get to the nitty gritty, I will go through the settings that have an effect on gold field performance one by one and explain how I use them, or play them against each other to squeeze the best performance out of the CTX that I can for my given situation.
Target trace; I turned it on and would never turn it off as it is very useful in helping to identify a target or multiple targets under the coil and I am yet to find a reason to turn it back off.
Why this key feature was not on by default is anyone’s guess.
Target trace pinpoint; I turned this on and never turned it off ether, as it greatly assists in pinpointing particularly if there are multiple targets under the coil, by using this feature you can pinpoint only the desired target most times.
Threshold Pitch; I run it at 13 but everybody is different all you are after is a threshold pitch that is comfortable for you to listen to all day.
Threshold level; set up threshold so that it is soft but clearly audible, the manual covers this in detail.
Volume Gain; now this is a important one, I mostly just have it at max=30 but if you are getting spurious noises like those faint blipping noises that you can sometimes get in mineralized ground you can wind this back to cancel them out with less loss of depth than turning back the sensitivity, however it has its limitations in this regard. It is basically an audio amplifier that amplifies the target signal.
Sensitivity; Obviously you want to keep this as high as possible, but in the gold fields the ground usually contains various minerals and because the CTX is a multiple frequency detector ‘Auto’ sensitivity is more effective in these conditions, because the processor individually adjusts each of them to their optimum setting.
Where as in manual you can only adjust them all to the same setting which means that if one is effected by mineralization or emi and becomes noisy, you have to turn them all down to the level where the noise stops in that frequency and you are effectively choking the rest to quieten the detector.
So this is why Auto is the best option on the CTX in gold field areas. I can usually run Auto +3 but I turn it down if I am getting a lot of spurious ground noise and I can’t use any of my other tricks to get rid of the noise.
Response; My favored response is ‘Long’ but I also like ‘Normal’ as well. It depends on my anticipated target size and trash density as to which one I’ll use.
In a medium to high trash area I prefer Long particularly if the gold size is 3g+ like in tailings oversize piles.
I like normal for smaller gold and lower trash density.
Recovery Fast; I nearly always have this on as it aids in target separation.
And superior target separation is one of my main reasons for using the CTX
Recovery Deep; I have this on if the trash density is low or medium particularly when using the smaller coils.
Recovery deep improves the ID on deep targets and can improve the signal on deep targets marginally but it can cause spurious noise in some mineralized ground.
So if it’s on and you are getting spurious noise recovery deep could be the cause so try turning it off before dropping the volume gain or sensitivity.
Target Separation; The 2 best target separation modes for gold nuggets are ‘High Trash’ and ‘Ground Coin’, I use High Trash the most as most areas I target most with the CTX are med to high trash areas and High Trash is good at handling mineralization and still gives you very good target separation.
In a area with low trash density that is mineralized I use Ground Coin but it dose not perform well in high a trash density as you will get some blending of targets.
In a low to very low mineralization area ‘Ferrous Coin’ performs very good no matter the trash density, but is no good in mineralized areas as you will get blending of the ground and target, which makes the target ID go crazy and blending is a problem.
Gold Hunting Discrimination and Audio Patterns.
Below I have posted a few example modes that have a good base discrimination pattern and audio pattern to suit the situation that I use them in.
100’s of hours of work went into building each of them.
When building your own pattern I recommend that you do what I did which is scan as many nuggets as you can get your hands on of various sizes.
When I did this I scanned just over 1000 nuggets ranging from .2g to 32oz and I put the ones that show on the edge of my pattern aside and took them to a few locations and buried them in different mineralization to test and modify my mode’s, then I got my bucket of junk and scanned 1000’s of pieces of junk commonly found in the gold fields.
Then I modified my modes again to cancel out most of the junk whilst still keeping most of the nugget area open.
They are not perfect by any means but they have been pretty useful for me as a base but if I keep getting one type of junk in a specific area I will modify the discrimination to deal with it and save it as a new mode in my file.
You might also notice that in all of my gold specific discrimination patterns that I have the top two lines rejected, this is because in mineralized ground the ground will give you a blipping signal always in these top two lines and rather than sacrificing performance by turning the sensitivity or audio settings down I dealt with this by blanking it out, buy doing it how I did I lost no depth due to having to back off the settings and no good target ever ID’s only in these lines.
The audio patterns that are part of the mode also have a few tweaks that I have done for gold nugget specific reasons.
If you look at the Audio profile in the exchange software you will notice that I have set the low Ferrous tone line very low down at the 32 ferrous line, I did this because I found that when using the discrimination pattern if the tone was set higher up at say 17 for example I would get some audio blanking or mixing on some good targets in very trashy areas.
This is the main reason that most of my Gold nugget modes have ether a ‘2 Ferrous Tone’ or ‘Combined’ ‘Tone ID Profile’.
But when set low at 32 ferrous line the separation was very good in a cluttered area. It is not that noticeable on larger 3g+ nuggets but on the smaller ones even on the smaller coils (6in and coiltek elliptical) if I had the ferrous audio line higher it would not separate the nugget from the trash as efficiently.
That is why I mostly prefer the discrimination pattern over the open screen also.
My preferred coil for the CTX is the standard 11in coil because I mostly chase the bigger gold in the tailings oversize piles and old diggers camps. But in areas with predominantly smaller gold I put on the coiltek 11x5.
I also did away with the skid plate on the ML 11in coil as it wears out in a matter of hours in gold field situations and I silicon-ed a piece of 3mm lexan plastic in its place.
And after 2 years of heavy use it is still in good condition!
By Steve Herschbach
This only fits the newer Minelab CTX 3030 and all GPZ 7000 units. Most people like me probably only want a replacement stand but for $15.00 with free shipping it is hard to complain. Except about the stand being so flimsy in the first place!
Minelab Kit part #3011-0283 https://store.minelab.com/product-p/3011-0283.htm
By Steve Herschbach
Just got this question via email:
"I picked up a GM 2 with long scan coil at a pawn shop. Replaced the batteries and turned it on. It's quiet for about 5 seconds, then screams! Doesn't matter what knob I turn, the volume is overwhelming. What am I doing wrong?"
Well, I have to assume it worked when you got it and this happened later. Surely you do not have the coil sitting on a table near metal or something but have to ask. All I can suggest is disconnect the coil and reconnect again firmly. Triple check the batteries, maybe even swap them for yet another fresh set. Many detectors sent in for service have one bad battery out of the set, or a battery in backwards.
After batteries coils are like ten times more likely to fail then control boxes. So make sure of that coil connection, check the pins, wiggle the coil cable.
When all else fails, I give the detector some good shakes and knock the control box around a bit. Nothing to lose at this point and maybe a loose item or connection will be revealed.
My best guess is coil failure. If I was around my old shop I would swap out the coil to check it but you probably don't have that option. Depending on what you paid for it may be time for a trip to White's.
Any other ideas from forum members always welcome!