I got my GPZ back from Minelab last month, which included a new 14" coil and lower rod. Only $3600.00 AUD lighter in my wallet. As you may recall, I bricked the detector after the Patch Lead was defective. It's still crazy hot here in Sunny Yuma, but I was bored and still curious about the X-Coil, so I shook off my concerns and cut the connector off my brand new coil and built the Patch Lead myself. I was extra careful with the heat from the soldering iron and did a respectable job of putting together the connection. I did a few practice runs on scrap wire and connectors so I was a little more confident of my skill.
I got out 5 mornings last week for a total of about 12 hrs run time. At sunup the morning temps were still in the high 80's and jumping to 100 by 9:00am. Unbearable in the desert washes with no breeze. The one thing that saved me was the synthetic chamois cooling cloths, one around my neck and one under my cap hanging down my neck.
The first morning I did a complete set-up with the detector since it was, for all practical purposes, a brand new machine with all new printed circuits etc. I waved the 17" X-Coil over the ferrite and got the machine nearly silent, though still reacting some to the ferrite. I started in the area where I found the 28 gram rippa last May. This area has a fairly hot layer of clay about 12" under the overburden. Last May we were able to run this zone using HY, Normal, Sens 12, (Threshold 27) with the Patch Search mode to quiet down the machine. The 17" X-Coil in those same settings was way too sensitive, so I had to switch to Difficult to quiet it down. Because I knew I could only be out for a couple hrs, I focused on trying to get that coil over gold hoping to then play with the settings. No joy the first morning.
The next morning I went out to an area that had produced half a dozen 1 grammers when the GPZ first came out. I knew it was deeper and a little quieter ground. We tried Paul's 19" GPZ here when it first came out to no avail. This time I was able to zero out the Ferrite and switch back to Normal from the Difficult setting. The machine was still a little twitchy so I backed off the Threshold to 22 and got it humming along nicely. I gridded the area pretty good and came up with a few deep trash targets and then, right as it started to get unbearable hot, I got a faint, sweet rising tone. A lot of digging and sweating produced a sweet 4 grammer right on the hardpack, about 14 inches down. Now a 4 grammer at 14 inches should be well within the range of the GPZ and standard 14" coil, but I've been over that zone at least 6 times over the past 3 years. The only significant difference is the ground is bone dry this year. Last year there were still pools of water from late season rains.
The next morning I was back to the area of the 28 grammer. I found that the machine was more stable and I could run in Gen, Normal, Sens 14. I got a couple deep trash targets and chased a number of hot ground seams and hot rocks. The settings were really sensitive to hot ground, but in my mind that's the only way to find good missed targets. Right at the end of the morning I got what sounded like another bit of hot ground. I switched to High Yield from General and it brightened up the target, but still hadn't convinced me that it was gold. The target was in the sidewall of a drywasher's hole, so the 17" coil was pretty awkward. I dug out the ground so that I could get the coil level and the target brightened up a little more. By then I had hit the hardpack which tends to hide these small, reddish hotrocks. I dug dozens in this same area, but I needed to check this coil's capabilities. The hardpack was brutal in the morning sun so I had to go back to the truck and get my handy Aussie (DavesGold) made pick. I'm not going out without it now. About 8 inches into the hardpack out popped a nice 1.5 grammer. I can guarantee I stuck the GPZ standard coil in the hole a half a dozen times over the past 2 years.
Thur morning I got out in the same area. I chose a wash that a produced 5 small nuggets, in the sub-sub gram range, in May. I concentrated on the deepest gravels thinking deeper nuggets must be in there, just beyond the reach of the 14" coil. I gridded the zone where a bench had formed on the inside bend of the wash. I went at it from every angle and was about to surrender to the heat when I got the faintest of faint tones. Again I switched to High Yield and it brightened up some. I switched to Difficult, nothing. I started pulling down the bank so that I could get a good level swing with the 17" coil. Slightly improved tone, still unconvincing. I pulled down another few inches and got a much improved tone. I switched to Difficult and got a dull growl, more convincing yet. After much digging into the hardpack out came a nice 1.8 grammer. I even photographed the hole for this one. The Aussie pick is 28" long.
I'm really starting to like this coil. It's light enough for all day use with the addition of my homemade hipstick. I run the hipstick to the bottom of the frame in my lightweight framepack, which moves the weight to the back of the hipbelt and off my shoulder. I'm also running the SteelPhase amp plugged directly into the GPZ, no wireless connection between. As per some of JP's guidance, I'm running the GPZ volume at 2, adjusting loudness at the amp. I'm running the Threshold between 20 and 22 depending on how twitchy the ground is. For the most part I'm running General instead of High Yield trying to reach those deeper targets. The first 2 targets were well within the reach of the standard 14" coil, but somehow I didn't find them over the past 2 years. The last one, doubtful for the standard coil. As the weather cools I'll start doing a quick change to the 14" coil over new targets for a comparison. Right now, it's still to friggin hot to bother.
I always wondered if there was even gold around where the X-coil manufacturer lives, I didn't know much about Russian gold or if Russia even had much gold.
Here is a video broken into parts of the Russian manufacturer showing the different capabilities of the 17x12" X-Coil between the Standard GPZ14” Minelab coil being used near high voltage power lines in Russia.
It's good to see he is a prospector.
Sorry about the quality of some of the parts.
It's a deep hole he has to dig to get it, nice soft soil though... that'd make life easier than using a jackhammer 🙂
A lot been said about these x coils when it comes to the zed...but in the beginning there was mention of new improved depth with x coils for the gpx users. As a gpx user and I am probably speaking for many...any news on the performance and availability of these coils. I know I am not letting go of my 4500 anytime soon...
Note from website admin/owner - this thread and related X Coil threads are for informational purposes only. This website and I personally do not recommend taking any actions that may damage a GPZ 7000 and cause considerable expense if done improperly or for any other reason. A blown GPZ board can cost thousands of dollars to repair and it will be on the owner for circumventing Minelabs protections put in place just to avoid such circumstances. I have nothing against any of these folks and am hosting this information in the spirit of doing just that - sharing information that may benefit some. There are significant risks however and I feel I am not remiss were I not to post this note And so there you have it.
The manufacture of the X-Coils has made a series of short videos of making a patch lead, I don't have much data for uploads, so it maybe sometime before that all get uploaded, there are some pictures as well. There are no speaking words so no use turning up the sound.
He has Rosin/Flux in the dish that he dips the wires into and then applies heat with the soldering iron to remove the red varnish and other oxides, and then applies some solder to each set of wires.
Here is the first video.
This shows the extra shield wire attached to the blue wire
Small heat shrink tube placed over this instead of the cotton the hold into place
Ready for some hot glue
The finished patch lead, he wraps tape around for extra strength and stiffens up the patch lead
The x-coils aren't water proof? Is that right?
Was heading away for 4 days of nugget hunting in the caravan this week but it looks like it's going to rain??️
Any thoughts on whether the rain may cause any problems to these coils?
I know i used to detect in the poring rain with the coiltek elites and the 11" and 18" were fine but my 14" used to false when pressed against the ground. This only ever happened when it rained and i think moisture was getting in where the cable entered the coil.. I was thinking maybe taping some plastic over where the cable inters the coil on the x-coils just to be safe.
Any other time id just cancel and go the following week but this is the last opportunity according to my wife to go for sometime. (new puppy that will need toilet training etc)
Im keen to try out the new x-coils and hit a spot that may soon be exempt from prospecting in a few months time.
Saturday morning Mrs JW & I packed up the caravan & headed off to goldfields afar. Having got the caravan all set up & sorted we headed off to see the farmer to let him know we were about for the weekend. I hadn't been over this way for a while so it was good to have a catch up with him. Where I wanted to go to try the X coils he told me that they had done a poisoned carrot drop by helicopter for rabbit control & it might pay to keep away from that area. Bugger. So we did. Which left me to go where I had already been over a few times with the X coils & that area had now dried up for me. I did try again but no joy. Other areas I went over I got sick of digging shotgun pellets. Bloody rabbits. I tried one more area before dark & managed one small bit. I didn't even get a picture of it as I had left the phone in the wagon & couldn't be bothered going back for it. It was one of those imagined type signals but there was something about the first little hint of 'was that a signal'? Not always being there I questioned it. But you know how sometimes you think you heard something very slightly that sounded a bit different to a bloody shotgun pellet. Even after a few scapes it still wasn't always there but I was sure I had heard something. I laid into the dig a bit more & then the signal came to life & it was a small bit of gold down in the schist bedrock. That was it though.
Next day we woke to an awesome sunrise.
Went up to investigate the area I wanted to get into. Damn....there was a helicopter loading up with more carrots out in the paddock. Bugger. So we went for a bit of a drive & on heading back past where the helicopter had been filling up we saw the helicopter flying off into the distance & obviously heading off. So I decided to go into an old turned over gully further down from where the helicopter activity had been. It was a gully that had dried up on the gold take for me with the Zed & ML 14" coil. On driving over the paddocks the carrot drop was obvious. So to were the bloody rabbits. On getting to the gully the carrots were not as prolific. But during the course of the day detecting I could see that the rabbits had had a good go at the carrots & there was just small shredded remains here & there of carrots.
On the detecting side of things I was again getting my share of bloody pellets. Bugger. The 10" X coil loves these damn things. I was in High Yield/Normal & full max sensitivity. I was loathed to turning down the sensitivity so put up with the pellets & worked on the scrape it once & if it moves ignore it & move on theory. It still plays on my mind that any one of those could still be a bit of gold. But I cant keep digging pellets all day. So was going for the deeper signals that lived on past the first scrape.
One such signal finally came from an old timers throw out pile. Note the rabbit holes...EVERY WHERE
Mrs JW sitting up in the wagon. The grass was still a problem in the old workings. I have been hugely spoiled in the past & had the pleasure of detecting in here many times with no grass at all. Even with the Zed & ML 14" coil which did get me a few bits & pieces.
Gold it was, small but.
Then further down the same throw out pile.
Note the carrot. And not a Garrett Carrot.?
Another tiny bit of gold. Smaller than a pellet.
I stuck to detecting close to the gully bottom they had dug out as there was a bit of bedrock showing. Hard to see in the photo but under the detector is the bed rock & I got a faint signal to the edge of the bedrock. On digging down the signal improved & was coming from a drop off point of that bedrock.
At the low point I was into rotten crumbly schist. Signal booming I was 100% sure this was going to be gold.
It was but it didn't live up to how loud the signal was & I was expecting bigger. Look at the depth though for that small bit of gold.
I took this next photo as I guessed it was about the same spot as the photo of me with the brush cutter which was about 4 years ago when I cut out a heap of wilding thyme bushes.
Looks like they haven't grown back....yet
Not far from that last piece another signal down in the rotten schist bedrock. Note all the rabbit poo.
Small gold again
Just kept on coming
Another almost imagined signal that had me investigate. Livened up at a bit of depth & down into the rotten schist bedrock.
You can see the beauty of the smaller coil for getting in among those thyme bushes that ML 14" doesn't have a hope of doing. Note to up in the back ground how the wilding thyme bushes takes over valuable grazing land.
A very thin flat flake
Things then dried up for me & I went over to a couple of throw out piles that were away from this main run of workings & where I had snagged a few bits with the 3000 & the 4500 but nothing later with the Zed. They was no bedrock & the throw out piles where of clay & not down to the rotten schist. I wasn't liking my chances & decided that after going over these piles I would call it quits.
I got a nice signal that lived down past the first couple of scrapes.
Wasn't holding my breath as the soil was still pretty loamy but just getting into a bit of a colour change when the signal had moved.
Ha...well I'll be buggered.
Biggest bit of the day. I then got on to a bit of a roll.
That nice colour change again. Rusty clay material.
Out popped this small bit.
And another from the same dig on checking my scrape out pile before back filling.
Right beside a rabbit burrow I got a signal that lived on down quite deep.
My final sassy bit for the day before calling it quits.
All up 16 pieces
For just under 1.5 grams
Loving this coil.
Best of luck out there