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kiwijw

The Weekends Detecting Missions With Phrunt

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Never get tired of looking at the wonderful area you guys live in. It's amazing what you can build with just rocks! Thanks for taking us there once again. 

strick

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Me also, besides the gold photos i really enjoy the photos of the country you guys detect in.

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  Good times, way to get out and get some too!!

 Thanks for the excellent write up and pics of the adventure.

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On 5/15/2018 at 10:19 PM, phrunt said:

normally in this location I would spend my days on my knees with my GM1000 or Equinox picking up endless shotgun pellets, a few every square meter but the 4500 was a dream, picking up very few even with my little Joey coil.  I knew this meant I would miss the tiniest of gold, but that is the price you pay for missing the pellets so I didn’t mind one bit as John has proven many times over there is bigger gold to be found around this area. 

When bigger gold is/was known to be in a location.... along with millions of shotgun pellets.... the best bet on averages is to go for the slightly bigger gold & so miss spending the day on your hands & knees groveling for pellets & maybe one or two bits of tiny gold. Go for a bit more depth on the slightly bigger gold as even just one piece will be many more times the weight of numerous tiny bits & all that wasted time on your hands & knees chasing pellets. I learnt that very early on. There are of course places that do lend themselves to tiny gold for the higher frequency VLF's. Lots of exposed bedrock but not so much in more open country or the deeper areas or turned over gully workings. Sure a vlf can find gold in these locations but if pellets are a problem & you have a GPX that won't get anywhere near as many & you increase your chances 10 fold of getting better gold slightly deeper down away from the pesky pellets.

On 5/15/2018 at 10:19 PM, phrunt said:

I fitted John’s Nugget Finder 14x9 and instantly fell in love, this coil was brilliant.

The ground was very open & lent itself to a bigger coil than the joey 10 x 5 for better ground coverage. The 14 x 9 still a very sensitive coil on shallow small gold & bigger bits deeper down if they are there. This ground has been gone over by goodness know how many detectors. But......no one gets it all. I learnt that early on too. The bigger bits are the ones that usually have gone...but the smaller ones can be & are still on offer....

On 5/15/2018 at 10:19 PM, phrunt said:

I purposefully left my Gold Monster and Equinox at home to force myself to use my GPX although I used it mistakenly as a junk detector.  If it screamed out loud I dug it with enthusiasm, if it was a slight break in the threshold or a little “wee woo” I put it down to ground noise.

 

On 5/15/2018 at 10:19 PM, phrunt said:

It wasn’t long and I had three little wee woo’s right next to each other, It had me a bit confused, BUT I WASN'T GOING TO DIG IT as I assumed it was likely ground noise, I was also so close to the power lines I thought they were messing with me.

John appeared to show me his latest gold find and check how I was doing, he had a nice little nugget which had me all excited and I said I have some noises going on here but I’m not sure what to do and I excitedly showed him the sounds, he suggested it’s time to dig so I worked on it

The very faint wee woo's (:biggrin:)..... are the ones that hold the most promise in thrashed gone over many times ground by goodness knows how many detectors. In fact....the faint wee woo's are the most promise in any ground. They are absolutely the most definite ones to dig... The louder scream in your face signals are in this thrashed ground areas usually junk....but not always. It could be a larger bit of gold. Has happened to me many times. So why was it left from past operators???? Their laziness in not digging it can be your god send. My point is... as you have been told before...DIG EVERYTHING, sorry for shouting, but that is the only way you are going to know 100% & it could be the difference in walking away with the biggest smile on you dial or just another bit of junk. Either way you will not die wondering. Plus, if junk it is one less bit of junk you have to contend with if you revisit the area in the future with a more up to date technology detector. like the Zed for example which is what I am now doing, Also, that junk may have been masking a good gold signal. That happens too. You just don't know unless you eliminate it.

On 5/15/2018 at 10:19 PM, phrunt said:

My first ever little nugget with my GPX, it looks like a little pyramid. I’m proud, especially being so small, and as John said, the smallest ones are the hardest to find, If I can find that I could find a bigger one if I happen to pass over it.

So...there you go....the result of digging a very faint wee woo. You will be kicking yourself now for all those very faint wee woo's you didn't investigate on saturday that you "thought" were ground noise. We really don't get much ground noise. It doesn't take much to do an exploratory couple of scrapes or wave your magnet to see if the faint wee woo improves to a more solid & definite signal...or not. Again....at least you will know if you investigate. Message again...dig all signals. Even if just a very slight hiccup in the threshold :smile:

Good luck out there

JW :smile:  

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This has got me thinking 

15 minutes ago, kiwijw said:

When bigger gold is/was known to be in a location.... along with millions of shotgun pellets.... the best bet on averages is to go for the slightly bigger gold & so miss spending the day on your hands & knees groveling for pellets & maybe one or two bits of tiny gold. Go for a bit more depth on the slightly bigger gold as even just one piece will be many more times the weight of numerous tiny bits & all that wasted time on your hands & knees chasing pellets. I learnt that very early on. There are of course places that do lend themselves to tiny gold for the higher frequency VLF's. Lots of exposed bedrock but not so much in more open country or the deeper areas or turned over gully workings. Sure a vlf can find gold in these locations but if pellets are a problem & you have a GPX that won't get anywhere near as many & you increase your chances 10 fold of getting better gold slightly deeper down away from the pesky pellets.

The 4500 was a dream in this spot by basically ignoring all pellets except flattened ones or the odd bigger one or ones very close to the coil (basically touching it), it found more of them on the Joey than the Nugget Finder 14x9 but still, the Joey missed most pellets, it made for a very suitable detector for this pellet ridden location, but that gets me thinking back to the Gold Bug Pro, it also missed a majority of the pellets but was able to find your Zed detected nugget which was reasonably deep down on that previous mission and also very small.  When I switched to the GBP I didn't get many targets at all and it behaved much more like the GPX 4500 but at the time I was comparing it to the Monster which was finding hundreds of pellets and thinking it was useless as it wasn't performing as well as the Monster.  It didn't click in my head this is actually a good thing, that brings me back to the Equinox, It was a pellet lover too, but that was in Multi IQ, if the pellets were driving me insane with it I could likely switch to 20khz (similar to the GBP at 19khz) and perhaps the pellets would disappear also making the Equinox a better performer at that location too.

Things are all starting to fall in place in my thick pea soup nut.

24 minutes ago, kiwijw said:

The very faint wee woo's (:biggrin:)..... are the ones that hold the most promise in thrashed gone over many times ground by goodness knows how many detectors. In fact....the faint wee woo's are the most promise in any ground. They are absolutely the most definite ones to dig... The louder scream in your face signals are in this thrashed ground areas usually junk....but not always. It could be a larger bit of gold. Has happened to me many times. So why was it left from past operators???? Their laziness in not digging it can be your god send. My point is... as you have been told before...DIG EVERYTHING, sorry for shouting, but that is the only way you are going to know 100% & it could be the difference in walking away with the biggest smile on you dial or just another bit of junk. Either way you will not die wondering. Plus, if junk it is one less bit of junk you have to contend with if you revisit the area in the future with a more up to date technology detector. Also, that junk may have been masking a good gold signal. That happens too. You just don't know unless you eliminate it

The faint "wee woo's" are now what I dream about 🙂, I went the first day totally ignoring them, who knows how many nuggets I passed up, but that got me thinking back to the Gold Bug Pro also, I was doing the same thing with it, targeting booming signals and ignoring slight threshold changes, the exact same mistake!   I was so used to my Monster with no threshold at all so I didn't really take advantage of the threshold.  It makes it sound so silly as the one bit of Gold I got here a previous trip with my Equinox wasn't showing any VDI numbers, it was a small threshold change and by some miracle it was enough to make me scratch away at the surface and then I could see it so my old nut obviously understood the threshold that time.  I think my problem is I keep chopping and changing detectors and never really getting experienced at one before moving to another.  The Monster doesn't require any time, it's a real pick up and go detector anyone can use.  

My Gold Bug Pro's have now been pulled out of retirement again as I'm sure they're much more capable than I think and I want to give them more of a chance once I get some experience under my belt.

I think with me practice is the key, the more I do it the better I'll understand it all.  I can read all I want but getting out there doing it is what seems the make the most difference for me.

I wish the Monster was waterproof, it's the perfect creek detector, if it were I'd dedicate it to that and use my Nox and 4500 for everything else. 

Last weekend was a vital learning experience for me, wee woo, scrape, weeee wooooooo, scrape,  weeeeeeeeeeeeee wooooooooooooo, dig, WEEEEEEE WOOOOOOO, nugget!  They don't have to start off loud 🙂

Simon 

 

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For anyone interested, I managed to sort out that unusual 1.X volt battery problem my GPX had the other day today, it was dry solder joints on the back end of the terminal where the battery connects into the GPX control box.  I sucked the old solder away and reapplied new solder to those joints when I opened the old girl up and noticed there was dry joints there, also reflowed the solder on any suspect joints. Modern solder is terrible, they took out the lead for obvious reasons (not just because its my enemy in the gold fields due to shotgun pellets), but it's made the solder nowhere near what it used to be, it's much more prone to dry joints.

ajin_g_109.jpg

You'll see in that image of a circuit board the dry joint has a bit of a crack around it. To fix this all you need to do is reflow (melt) the solder around it, or to be thorough you remove the solder and apply new solder. 

My GPX also wasn't saving settings on shutdown, I contacted the Minelab service center in OZ on this who suggested it needed the main PCB replaced, I wasn't happy with this drastic solution so decided I'd try fix it myself.  It seems what I've done now has resolved this issue also and I believe it was due to the poor contact on the ribbon cable which explains why the problem was intermittent.  I was first intending to bypass the ribbon with external wires but cleaning the contacts on the ribbon with pure alcohol seemed to solve the problem.  These old ribbon cables have known issues with continuance problems in the wires so just adding a bypass wire solves the issue. Much easier than fixing tracks on a circuit board.

I tested all the capacitors while I was in there, everything seems good (disappointing they didn't use solid capacitors, cost is negligible) , https://nz.mouser.com/new/panasonic/Panasonic-OSCON-Capacitors/ Probably the sort of thing this Woody character does in his highly overpriced mods.  The white paint all over everything was a bit of a hinderance, I guess it's there to try stop the chinese counterfeiters who haven't heard of paint stripper but the good side to it which I guess was unintended is it will stop moisture causing corrosion, much like the clear coat I highly advocate on all outdoor use circuit boards, I noticed this white paint doesn't handle heat well though so it's just a standard white spray paint, the circuit board clear coat is designed to be soldered through.  They put this paint on never expecting circuit board level repairs to be undertaken. 

I popped my Gold Monster open tonight, no sign of the comical white paint, maybe they worked out it won't solve the counterfeit problem.

Also fixed a bit of a shielding issue caused by paint on the external housing while I was in there so it may run quieter now.  I'm sure that's something they would of fixed up on newer GPX 4500's but this was an early one, made in Straya (Australia).  If you have an early model 4500 I suggest you fix this.

The old girl just needed some love and she deserves it, ahhh the 4500 :wub:, she's not a supermodel but a little bit of makeup and she's pretty close.

Now that I've seen the guts of a GPX I'd be very interested in buying up lots of old faulty GPX detectors for repair.

😊

Sorry I've updated this post and if you wish to remove your positive likes that's OK as I've been a bit critical of Minelab in it which some may not appreciate.

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Phrunt - you may have just fixed the reason why the previous owner sold the 4500 in the first place...? 

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1 hour ago, Northeast said:

Phrunt - you may have just fixed the reason why the previous owner sold the 4500 in the first place...? 

I don't think so, the guy had only used it over a 1 month period (on a holiday to our part of the country where the gold is) in the 8 or so years he owned it, I suspect he was an honest seller.  He had no idea there was a problem.  If you saw the thing you would understand, it had no scratches on anything, the coils were as if they were brand new,  not a scratch on them and everything was super clean.  You wouldn't even think he used it.  The problems were AGE related.  He was 78 years old and bought it when he was 70, he just liked the idea of the hobby but wasn't able to do it, he said his knees weren't up to it.  I didn't let him know anything was wrong with it, I didn't want to stress or upset him, I did however send him an email thanking him for selling it to me and a photo of a nugget I found with it.  He appreciated that as he'd never found anything with it.

He had enough stress when the postal service lost it on the delivery to me, it was overnight shipping that ended up taking a week as it was lost TWICE during the process, thanks NZ post.

I would also like to point out the faults with it weren't that of Minelab, the solder issue has been around since they took lead out of solder for health and safety reasons, it's an issue with every electronic item, not just detectors.  It's a shame we are a throw away society as reflowing non-lead solder can fix so many things.

I took on the purchase knowing I had the ability to fix minor electronic problems which I expected with it's age, it was just unfortunate they reared their heads straight away when I was out on my first mission with John (kiwijw) as it damn near destroyed our day which I had been looking forward to all week.  I also didn't want to destroy John's day, it's one hell of a walk he did for my benefit, he's sacrificed so much for me already.

I really like my 4500, it's a privilege and pleasure to own it.

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    • By kiwijw
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      I got a faint but definite signal. I called Simon over & marked the spot with a light boot scrape. Said to Simon to try there. He got a faint hit. I scraped at it until it had moved. Simon pinpointed it for me & it was a tiny shotgun pellet size piece of gold.
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      Unbelievable. But that was it. I went off elsewhere leaving Simon to explore around there. But I got nothing more. Dark wasn't far off & l wondered back down using Simons noisy racket from his continued shotgun pellet signals screaming  out from his GM as my homing in pigeon to locate him . Told him we had better make a move as we had a bit of a walk to get back to the car. Got back just on pitch black. Wouldn't have wanted to have been any later. There was a bit of stumbling & lurching as it was towards the end. Unfortunately Simon got skunked on the gold but made a fortune in lead. Three for the Zed for not even 1 gram.
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    • By Lanny
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      I swapped out the Bug Pro for the Gold Racer and covered the same areas again. Almost immediately I had a signal. I couldn't believe it, but the signal was clear, and I could see a previous dig mark where I'd nailed some small stuff with the Bug Pro, and the Racer was giving a crisp signal, quite unmistakable, right in the same dig hole! To make a long story short, three inches of bedrock later, a nice picker was in the bottle! This blew me away, as the Gold Racer had found the target while running nice and quiet, with the sensitivity not ramped up, yet the signal was very clear.

      I kept at the small sections of bedrock, and kept getting quiet, but clear, signals until I'd added another gram and a half of small gold to the vial. (Sometimes I'd get a break in the threshold too, but when I dug down, the signal either disappeared or it turned out to be a target. [Some heavy iron deposits in the bedrock did give a weak signal, but I soon learned that due to the broad nature of their signature exactly what they were.]) 

      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,

      Lanny
    • 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. 
      strick 







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