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Last Saturdays Mission With Phrunt (simon)

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Although I found no gold that day, it was an adventure, I got to see all new terrain and learn more about where gold is to be found.  It's my first time out with John that I've come home with no gold however.

I got to see an old miners cottage and how they lived, it was a brilliant little cottage, it makes you get an image in your head of the place in the old days packed with miners.

The Monster is a pellet lover that's for sure and this particular location has an insane amount of pellets, so I could get a pellet every meter of ground, often 10 or more in that 1 meter square.  I've been using it as target recovery practice.  I've got pretty good with my GM1000 finding a pellet and recovering it quickly.  When I first started it often took me 5 or more minutes to get my lead pellet, now I can do it in under 30 seconds every time 🙂

I switched to the GBP for the afternoon part of the day to test it out, It was rather enjoyable using it as it meant my pellet count dropped immediately, from constantly digging to actually getting to walk around doing some detecting.  I knew at this point I was probably also missing some fine gold by using it but I wanted to see how it would do and I assumed because I would spend less time digging pellets it may give me a chance to find a bigger bit of gold.

The Gold Bug Pro didn't see near as many pellets as the Monster, I think they had to be quite shallow for it to get a hit but I maybe wrong there, as I'm not overly used to using a threshold based machine so unless things banged out loudly on it, and showed the VDI numbers, I didn't acknowledge them as being a target.  That's just me being inexperienced with using it, I'm sure it's better than I think it is for someone who understands it better and listens to changes in threshold more.  Now I've got a GPX 4500 I will need to get used to this threshold style detecting quickly.

It did however pick up John's .06 of a gram bit of gold, and that was found using his Zed, it was at a surprising depth, deeper than I thought the GBP would go on such a small bit, it rang up between 20 and 40 on the GBP's VDI numbers, which Steve H once told me is the Gold range, unfortunately it's also the lead range.  I was very pleased the GBP was able to find this bit of gold.

Although I got nothing I did very much enjoy the day and learnt a lot.  The walk back to the car was a close call, it was very overcast at the time and we were in the middle of nowhere so it was extremely dark.  We've recently had family move over from Brisbane, Australia, they can't believe how dark the night skies are here, there is very little light pollution as there are no big cities or anything around to lighten the skies so when its dark, its black!  We did however make it back, it's lucky John was there though, without being able to see I would probably walk the wrong direction and end up on the other side of the mountain range somewhere looking for my car 🙂  I'm no navigator.

We were both pretty hungry after all of the walking so we swung by KFC on the way home and John shouted dinner, thanks John! 

This weekend I've got my GPX 4500 to operate, a little 10x5 Joey coil should arrive today assuming it doesn't get lost in the post for the 4th time so now I've got a big boys toy and will say goodbye to spending my days digging pellets.


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good going you guys

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Skunks happen as I've found out...lol  Had 8 in a row following my 2 big nuggets right outta the gate! Goldseeker helped me out last weekend on a spot and the skunks ended.....(thanx again GS4000)

Next time you'll get em.

Good story and pics guys!!!!!

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I envy you guys goldhunting in such a ruggedly beautiful open area. I can’t imagine searching for gold or silver in anything but heavy boreal forest environs with the ever-present potential to encounter apex predators. And that’s aside from cantankerous, aggressive bull moose during the autumn rutting season, particularly if you're surprised on open ground. 

Simon… it’s a technical reality that different detector modes and certainly different detector models' software can and do process signals differently. I find it interesting that the GB Pro signaled to the sub-grain gold at a depth that you commented on, and yet apparently responds less to the lead pellets than does your Monster. Gold located in schist has been there a very long time, but the lead pellets are relative newcomers, and that may or not make a difference as to how either unit processes such signals. Not necessarily suggesting anything, by all means stick with your Monster if you’re comfortable that it is getting the job done in those environs.

I’d like to add that as a forum reader, I don’t care in the least what size the gold happens to be. Gold is gold, if I lived there I’d hunt it relentlessly. In my area we don’t have gold, but we do have native silver, so that is what we hunt. It goes without saying that we all have to deal with the constraints imposed by the minerals we seek in the accessible areas that we search. 

That said, don’t underestimate the value to the readership that you guys repeatedly demonstrate via your photographic evidence just how tiny is the gold that your various units can detect in your ground. And that includes using a 14” coil on the GPZ7K and 11” coil on the Equinox…it has been quite a revelation, in fact an impressive educational service to many of us I’m certain.

Thanks for an excellent presentation, your posts are always an enjoyable and informative read, so keep ‘em coming. I admire the integrity of your observations and comments, and love the scenic photos. :smile:


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Thanks Jim, We are indeed lucky to have places like this to detect, and this isn't even one of the most scenic ones, not even close.  There is the ever existing presence of crazy wild bunny rabbits and the odd bird as about the only living creatures we see in these areas, sometimes if you're very lucky a lizard.

I guess the rabbits are why there are so many shotgun pellets though as they're a pest.

It seems the old timers were doing extremely well around this area, 18 kilos in 3 weeks in some reports from prospectors, they didn't leave much behind for us though with our detectors, you'd probably have to get the heavy equipment in to get decent amounts which isn't allowed. 🙂


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Thank you Jim for your kind words & thanks too for your words directed at Simon. He is learning but has a long way to go. He is forever the optimist, which I think we all are in the detecting game, you have to be. Sometimes I think he expects too much from his equipment but it just comes down to inexperience. I am hoping I haven't blown the 4500 up into some magic machine that may not live up to his expectations. We have been having discussions on his disappointment in the 4500 & 11" DD coil not picking up on a small bit of gold he has been playing around with on it. Having to remind him that no one detector does it all & the 4500 is not a high frequency VLF on small gold. He would have read all this kind of thing on the forums & has been told but seems to forget it when it comes to detecting. Time out in the field & time under his belt is going to be his best teacher. Repartition is the mother of skill. I have also had to remind him that no matter where he/we go detecting we are not the first ones to have been there detecting....far from it & we won't be the last. So the bigger easier gold is long gone.

2 hours ago, phrunt said:

It seems the old timers were doing extremely well around this area, 18 kilos in 3 weeks in some reports from prospectors, they didn't leave much behind for us though with our detectors


Other detectorists haven't left much for us & our detectors. I am sure the old timers left a lot. That 18 kilo's wasn't found where we are detecting. I am pretty sure I pointed out where the majority of the gold came from on that goldfield. 

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11 minutes ago, kiwijw said:

Thank you Jim for your kind words & thanks too for your words directed at Simon. He is learning but has a long way to go. He is forever the optimist, which I think we all are in the detecting game, you have to be. Sometimes I think he expects too much from his equipment but it just comes down to inexperience. I am hoping I haven't blown the 4500 up into some magic machine that may not live up to his expectations. We have been having discussions on his disappointment in the 4500 & 11" DD coil not picking up on a small bit of gold he has been playing around with on it. Having to remind him that no one detector does it all & the 4500 is not a high frequency VLF on small gold.

Yep, there is no denying it, I've got a lot to learn but I'm trying, there is a lot to get my head around in a small amount of time.  It hasn't helped I keep changing detectors every month or so.  I've settled on what I'm going to use now and stick with them.  I'm not buying another detector for a long time now 🙂


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You don't need any more detectors....:laugh: you just need more coils for your 4500 now. 

28 minutes ago, phrunt said:

there is a lot to get my head around in a small amount of time. 

There is a lot to get your head around & it will just take the time it takes. It won't be in a small amount of time. That is for sure. Just enjoy the journey. :smile:

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31 minutes ago, kiwijw said:

You don't need any more detectors....:laugh: you just need more coils for your 4500 now. 

There is a lot to get your head around & it will just take the time it takes. It won't be in a small amount of time. That is for sure. Just enjoy the journey. :smile:

I've been researching tonight on that, The Joey coil I've ordered with help with the sensitivity to smaller nuggets I've been disappointed about, and I also think I'm going to get a Coiltek 14" elite round coil for my everyday coil.  I did a fair bit of reading where JP was saying he thinks the round coils are much better than the ellipticals in the larger coils.

My gripe about the GPX was my Garrett Euroace with Nel tornado coil which is 13 x 12"  (my worst detector with a bigger coil than the GPX) can even see the nugget the GPX with the 11" DD coil couldn't see... seemed a bit weird as its far from a high frequency detector running at 8.25khz so with my limited understanding I thought perhaps the 4500 is faulty.  After testing it on larger targets it really come into its own with very impressive results and I should be pleased I won't spend my days digging shotgun pellets 🙂 

It didn't click that changing coils to a coil suitable for smaller nuggets changes it, I thought that's how the detector was on every coil.  I was just in a panic 🙂

I did read up on one of the coils I was testing and it even mentions it's not sensitive to smaller gold, I might offload it, I'm not likely to ever use it.  It doesn't even see a .3 of a gram piece touching the coil, the 11" sees it only when it touches the coil so it's a bit more sensitive.  I now realise this is the domain of HF Vlfs.  The other thing is I could be more ambitious and think I'll get bigger gold and need these big coils :biggrin:

Minelab 15 x 12 inch Semi-Elliptical DD Metal Detector Coil

The Minelab 15" x 12" Double-D metal detector coil achieves greater depth and ground coverage but is not quite as sensitive to very small gold compared to the Minelab 11-inch Double-D metal detector coil. Being a Double-D coil it can be used with the Iron Reject and RX cancel features making it a excellent deep seeking relic coil. The Minelab 15" X 12" Semi-Elliptical Commander Double-D Coil provides greater depth and more ground coverage than the 11" Double-D Coil.

It is very stable in all soil and is a great coil for all round use and in highly variable soils. It's semi-elliptical design provides great sensitivity for its size. 


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    • By kiwijw
      Hi guys, Well as you probably know now, Phrunt (Simon) is the proud owner of a GPX 4500, & proud he is. Can't wipe the smile off his face.  He has been gagging to get out in the hills for a spin with it. He ordered & got a little Coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono coil before the weekend as the two coils that came with his 4500 were both DD's. So Saturday morning my door bell was ringing at 7.10 am. Was supposed to be 7.30.  He must have left home at about 6 am & didnt speed as the last weekend he got a speed camera fine. I was just having my breakfast & a coffee, so I made him a coffee as well. I had sorted out an external speaker for him since he is allergic to headphones. Coffee done & we were off. I took him back to the spot where he got his two bits with his Gold Monster as there are heaps of workings up there. It was a hell walk in & not one I look forward to. Only the one old pack track access in & out.

      The proud 4500 owner standing on the pack track. To the right of his left shoulder the track winds its way up & through that gorge & somewhere up in the clouds beyond the gorge is our destination.

      Around the corner & into the gorge.
      We stopped for a breather & a short detect on some very shallow bed rock & some small workings. I thought it might be good for Simon to have a play here with the joey mono & to get our breaths back. I went a wee bit further targeting a bit deeper ground. I had not used the Zed on this spot at all. But had done well with the Gold Monster on tiny gold. I got rigged up & started detecting & I saw Simon somewhat alarmed. He had charged his battery over night & it read 8 volts when he fired it up. He plugged the external speaker into it & all of a sudden the detector died. Down to flat battery & 1.9 volts. WTF.... I had given him another battery of mine incase his one didn't last the day. Tried that one & the exact same thing happened. We were both baffled. More so Simon as he had been playing with the detector over the last few days & all seemed fine. Got all the way up here & no go... He tried factory presets. Turned it off...back on....& just straight to flat battery...on both of them. Pulled the cable out tried plugging it in again. Still no joy. I said to turn the cable around & try. Still nothing. Nothing happening at all. I said we may as well have a coffee, I had brought a thermos, & then head back down to my place & re group & re think our plans. So we had a coffee & were just dumb struck as to what the problem may be. Hopefully not the detector. So after our coffee Simon tried once more & bingo 8 volts & up & running. Whew....game on. Thank goodness for that. Never missed a beat all day & all on the one battery.
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      I went up to my smoko bag & got out my pocket knife. Where was my screwdriver that I normally have in my backpack?  Raked the crack out with the knife.

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      Well bugger me

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    • By Lanny
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      What this weekend's outing made me realize is that if I'd have given the Gold Racer a run the end of last summer, I'd have undoubtedly recovered a lot of small gold, and I do mean a lot, that the Bug Pro just couldn't see (this test was carried out with virtually the same coil sizes on both machines, elliptical shapes and DD's as well), and knowing now what I likely left behind last summer makes me a bit sad. (Out of six grams of gold for the Saturday, a gram and a half was fine stuff from the Gold Racer, and that's a pretty good added portion of gold recovery I'd say.)
      In fairness to the Gold Bug Pro, let me say this: I've found lots and lots of gold with that great little machine, and it's super easy to learn how to use making for a quick learning curve. In addition, I don't have an unkind word to say about the Fisher as it's paid for itself many, many times over, and I will continue to use it, and I'll continue to train others how to use it as well. Moreover, let me say that the Bug Pro doesn't run at nearly as high a kHz, so it's unfair to compare apples to oranges that way, but I wanted to see what I was leaving behind, that's all.

      So, I learned my lesson well on Saturday, and I gained a whole lot of respect for the little Gold Racer for how sensitive it is to small gold, how good it punches into the ground to find it, and how quietly it goes about its job of doing so. Furthermore, The Makro is a great little gold machine I can swing all day long, and I'm looking forward to really taking it for a long, dedicated run this summer to add more gold to the poke because it sure gets the job done in style! (How I wish some fine company would produce a light-weight gold-hungry pulse machine with excellent capabilities or that Minelab would find a way to lighten the technology package of their GPZ 7000. Wouldn't that be great?)
      (I'd like to thank Steve for pointing me in the direction of the Gold Racer, and I'd like to thank Dilek at Makro for her exceptional customer service.)

      All the best,

    • By GB_Amateur
      No, this isn't about gold, but "made you look!" 
      I'm not an introvert, but like many of you I've yet to work up the courage to ask permission on a cold call to hunt private property.  So far I've stuck with public places:  parks and schools.  I've had quite a few contacts/coversations over the last couple years with people walking their dogs, bringing toddlers to the swingsets, etc. in the parks and on school grounds.  Often if I see someone watching me I wave, or if close enough say 'hi'.  In the least it takes away a bit of the awkwardness and shows I'm human, just like they.  A couple things happened today on a 5 hour hunt (more on the results of that in a separate thread when I get the goodies photoed).
      1) I was only about 20 minutes into my hunt with virtually nothing to show and digging a hole already 6+ inches (15 cm) deep and counting when I middle aged guy walks up and says "hope you're not hurting the sod".  He wasn't angry or threatening, but certainly cautious and concerned.  Before I had a chance to explain he noticed I had removed a plug of sod without damage and was collecting the rest of the dirt from the hole in a gold pan (my standard method).  He said "so you put the plug back in last?" and then I told him how I conducted myself.  He asked what I had found and I showed him a large-mouth bottle cap and a beavertail.  (Turns out the target I was digging was an old Champion spark plug but I didn't have it out until after he left).  Relieved, he introduced himself and put his hand out to shake.  I reciprocated.  Turns out he was a "friends of the parks" coordinator for the park I was hunting and told me of his exploits and frustrations dealing with the city council and city park officials.   We shared some stories and after a few minutes he wished me success and was on his way.  I was glad I was able to head off any potential confrontation -- who needs that?!
      2) Near the end of my 5 hour hunt I was along the city sidewalk digging what turned out to be a Wheatie when a dog walker happened past.  I said 'hi' and he asked what I had found; "a few pennies" was my answer (the truth).  Then he volunteered the location of a baseball diamond from years past and when I inquired further about its location and age he said it was there in 1976 (apparently when he moved to the area) but couldn't remember when it had been covered/grown over.  I'll do some internet viewing of aerial photos to get more detail and then get over there and start searching.
      I've read stories (here) about less than amicable confrontations that some have had.  Those are inevitable and I'm sure I'll have one someday, but for the most part I suspect they are rare.  Most people leave me alone, some are curious, and occasionally they want to talk longer than I do, but I've always been able to politely end the conversations and get back to my task.  Both adults and kids have started dialogue but it's typically curiosity that initiates the questioning and I'm glad to educate them on what I'm doing.  Familiarity defuses any possible concern and usually they are pleased or even excited (kids, anyway) that lost treasure can come out of the ground.  It's not my land or theirs, but ours.  I'm glad when both of us see things that way.
    • By strick
      I probably have about 20 or so  hours on the machine right now. Been staying in Park 1 or Field 1. I like 5 tones and reactivity somewhere around 6-7. Iron Bias zero. Auto GB. The machine  can smack high conductors in iron infested relic spots or in a trashy park...which is good and bad.... good for relic hunting but bad in parks because it sometimes makes me want to just go for the high conductors and I like looking for gold mostly. 
      Yesterday I hit an old town site. Been there many times...Old coins are hard to come by but there are still lots of targets. The place dates back to the 1890's Found lots of targets but the best find was a 1909 Portola Festival medallion. Part of the fun of relic hunting is figuring out what the heck you got. In 1909 San Francisco threw a big party to celebrate the rebuilding of the city after the big earthquake of 1906. All it takes is one good find a day and I'm done so I was finished by 11am. 
      I like to mix up my detecting between relic and jewelry hunting. Beaches are a little ways away so for convenience I hunt parks mostly and some schools if I can get in them. 
      Today I hit a park that has produce only one gold ring and a vary small gold pendant in the past. I kept telling myself that I know there is more gold to be found. It's a lovely park with lots of trees and a baseball field. The best part was know body  was there when I showed up at 8 am this morning. I began by hunting close to the tables, trees and a nice grassy knoll where lovers like to lay...got a junk ring right off the bat with pretty stones and I was getting lots of low conductors...a deep nickel here and there. Been over this area many times with my CTX. Lucky to find a really high conductor. The first time there I found a beautiful 1 ounce Sterling silver cross with 32 rocks in it. After about an hour of stealth hunting for a gold ring I head over to some small bleachers that sit behind the the baseball field. I've stayed away from the area (about 30 feet by 15 feet) due to all the trash  the CTX it would become over whelmed. Today I just cranked the reactivity on the Nox up to 7 and jammed through the area FAST and was just picking out the higher conductors. It's amazing how fast this machine is.... I was having fun...had a junk ring and a pouch full of coins by the time I was done there. 
      I was getting tired from all the digging so I decided to head out to the ball field where there are less targets lol...after about 20 min of the ball field I decide it's time to head home as it's now 10am and theres work to do... so start making my way toward the the truck. I'm now between 1st and second base about 15 feet from the infield and I get another 15 on the Equinox. Another pull tab I guess but you never know so I dig probably the 20th 15 of the morning. flip the small plug back and I see gold...and some yellow crap next to the gold...I'm blind so I put on my readers and immediately see a gold chain...YES! After carefully digging a wide margin it's out... a beautiful mens gold crucifix and chain. Attached to the chain is a small  junk Oakland A's emblem with a playboy bunny and a yellow sticker. Immediately I wonder did the detector see the gold chain and crucifix or did it see the junk Oakland A's emblem. 
      After I got home I found a clear spot on the grass and  tested the chain with the emblem on it with both the Nox and the CTX. 12.18 on the CTX loud and clear...still a 15 loud and clear with the Nox. I cut off the junk brass emblem and re test...The neither the CTX or the Nox can hear the chain. It's invisible to both. The Nox picks up the crucifix but it's only a 4 on the screen. It will hit it solid about 5 inches above the ground. The CTX can barely pick up the crucifix 12.01 and you almost have to rub the coil over it. Next I take out my TDI pro...it hits it but to my surprise the Nox hits it as good or better. Next I test the Oakland A's emblem all by itself and the Nox hits it at a solid 15    so the only reason I found the gold chain is because of the Junk pendant!  So the moral of the story is....dig it all! 
      The crucifix, chain and clasps are all individually stamped 14k (Michael Anthony) and it's just shy of 18 grams...Been wanting one of these for a long time and it fits perfect.