I've been a little hobbled with the sore ribs from my misadventure in Baja. I hate being cooped up, so I was out poking around in the placer fields of Yuma despite really bruised ribs from my crash in Baja. Anyone my age has broken ribs in their misspent youth, but at 65 yrs old, they mend much more slowly. Nevertheless, I get bored and have to be outdoors. We had some rain in Sunny Yuma last week and in some locations in the desert canyon washes ran a lot of water. I went out exploring with the GPZ 7000 and the 17x12 X-Coil. I wasn't really interested in trying to dig deep targets with my bummed up ribs, so I concentrated on newly exposed desert wash walls. I passed on a ton of probable trash targets not wanting to dig deep trash that would trigger muscle spasms and shorten my day. Ultimately, I marked some good sounding targets for later examination and dug a few that showed shallow hardpack. Towards the end of my morning I waved the coil over some bench gravels with old drywash fine tailings. I got such a clear signal that I knew if it was trash, at least it was very shallow. I pushed the gravels around with my boot and the target moved proving that it was indeed very shallow. I got out my plasitc scoop and started sorting out the likely target. On the second scoop I get a booming tone that normally indicates old copper scraps or pieces of copper wire. I was amazed to see this gold nugget in my scoop. This nugget doesn't register on my El Cheepo Weed Scale, but even the best scale might find this nuggets weighs in at a few grains. I believe that the toe of the 17x12 X-Coil which measures at about 8 inches in the sweetspot is far hotter than the Minelab 14" standard coil. I didn't mention that I used the 17x12 exclusively in Baja, and was going over ground I covered last year with the standard Minelab coil. I found at least 8 gold nuggets that I missed last year. Nevertheless, feast your eyes on this magnificent gold nugget the X-Coil hit with a hard tone. I have no affiliation with X-Coil, its manufacturer or distributor.
Today I had to drop my wife and daughter at the airport in Queenstown near JW's house, they're off to Australia for a week to see family. It's too hot for me this time of year over there so I decided I'd stay home. JW had the day off work today due to the weather so we decided we'd go for a detect, it's been wild weather lately.. so much for summer, fresh snow on all the mountains this morning and during the day the snow kept coming down. By the end of the day the mountains had a good coating. My wife's flight ended up being delayed over six hours due to the weather so they had a boring time at the airport waiting while JW and I were out detecting.
The snow was building throughout the day. This was not long after we arrived, much more by the time we left.
This area is known as my nemesis, I've only ever found gold here twice, once was with my Gold Bug Pro when I first started prospecting and another time was when I first got my 12x6" X-Coil also using the QED, both tiny bits of gold. I've struggled to use my GPX at this location as it's right next to power lines and the area is riddled with hot rocks, really annoying hot rocks, the QED handles the power lines fine. The hot rocks combined with millions of shot gun pellets make this area a nightmare for VLF's too. I consider it the hardest place for me to find gold out of my known prospecting areas. It does however have gold, and the gold is often very small stuff, it's a real challenge for me here.
I wanted to try the new 15x10" GPX X-Coil this time as last time with the 12x6" X-Coil I spent a lot of time digging shotgun pellets, I was hoping the bigger coil may just be big enough to ignore the pellets but still be sensitive enough to find some of the tiny gold.
The hot rocks aren't all big either, a lot of them are tiny
This is from dragging my pick magnet across the ground for a few seconds.
The area is quite the challenge to swing a coil too, very bushy and rocky.
The growth of the plant life has gotten a lot worse since I was last here a month or so ago
The rocky areas are often old tailings piles, a majority of them aren't worth detecting though as they're just rocks, no soils involved. This one above wasn't too bad but had no gold unfortunately.
There was plenty of the hot rocks in this area giving me grief. I couldn't run at this location in Mode 11 (No ground balance) as it made the hot rocks so much worse, nutting off all over the place so I stuck with Mode 1, the most sensitive of the ground balanced modes and it mostly handled the tiny hot rocks fine but the bigger ones still set it off. You can't just kick them away unfortunately as a lot of them are buried.
I did managed to find one bit of gold, at first I dug a hot rock but after removing it the signal continued, there was actually two signals after I removed the hot rock however whatever the second signal was it dropped down further into the rock pile to be lost forever.
I'm up quite high on a cliff edge here, you'll see the flooded river below, it's usually a really nice blue water but during flood it goes brown. You'll see the area I dug out to get my little nugget, I have no idea of the depth of it as I may have initially been tricked by the hot rock.
It's a tiny little thing, It had a nice target signal though. I didn't expect at the time for it to be gold as I thought the signal was too good, I was expecting another hot rock.
0.072 of a gram.
The afternoon was getting pretty wet, we were at it rain, hail and shine, the weather kept changing. At one point the hail hurt, got me right in the eyeball!
I just put a plastic bag over the QED to keep it dry, same with the speaker and rear control box. Someone needs to make waterproof covers for it 🙂
That was it for me, I was too wet, I went to see how JW was doing, he of course did better than me with his GPZ / 10" X-Coil combination, I truly believe that combination should be illegal, it makes it unfair on the rest of us I'm sure he'll let you folks know how he did, one of his bits gave me a shock.
There has been a bit of talk with people asking if the X-coils are bump sensitive, seeing my gain and sensitivity settings are on maximum I figure if anyone is going to get bump sensitivity it's going to be me and I get absolutely none so I recorded a video showing it, the video also shows me testing the response on my little nugget after I found it.
I really like the 15x10" X-Coil, it's such a sensitive coil with good ground coverage.
Thanks to Chet for pioneering the new way of doing the patch lead for the X-Coils on the GPZ7000, it makes use of the curly part of the GPZ coil cable and makes changing the coils at the top of lower shaft and the bottom of the upper shaft way more easy. I am testing this new type patch lead here in Aussie now.
The X-Coils have a shorter coil cable (no curls at all) and the curley cable is all part of the GPZ coil lead, the total length of the combined coil cables is the same as always, the GPZ7000 shafts close up same as before.
To change coils, close the shafts as before, undo the clamp mechanism on the lower shaft slide apart and hold with something while changing coils (I just used a peg)
On first installation, join the long patch lead to the x-coil cable and insert up the shaft to the control box as before, once done you don't need to do it this way again, just swap coils at the lower shaft.
If for some unknown reason 😲 you ever want to go back to a standard GPZ coil then you will need to change coils at the control box like before. 😉
The black plastic spacers on the metal plugs need to stay in place to keep the plugs from moving around inside the shaft.
There have been a fair few people asking about X-Coils for the older detectors, GPX4500/5000 etc
Now we have X-Coils for the GPX 4500/5000 a 12" spiral round, and a 15" spiral round, and then a 15x10 spiral, and also a 17x12 spiral, and a few of the 12x6 size coils are out in the field being tried already.
So I'll be heading out to give these a run over the weekend and guess what, No patch lead needed.
15x10 spiral for the GPX
17x12 spiral for the GPX
12" spiral round for the GPX
15" spiral round for the GPX