I finally got out to test out my new 8" X-Coil, I've been wanting a size like this for a long time. I thought it was going to be impossible to fit the GPZ Super-D design into such a small coil however X-coils after some time have achieved it and it works exceptionally well. I was running my GPZ in HY Normal with gain of 20, manual ground balance all day.
My first pellet recovery 🙂
These were my weapons of choice for the day, the little 8" hardly looks much bigger than the little 6x3" sniper on the GB2. It made the GPZ feel reasonably light too, I ran it all day without my harness which is handy as I was in rocky hilly terrain always putting my detector down so it was great having the extra freedom.
I was comparing targets with my GB2 all day, seeing it's widely regarded as the most sensitive VLF I wanted to see the difference in performance to the GPZ with a small coil. The first thing I noticed almost immediately on little shotgun pellets which I found a lot of by the way was the GPZ was noticeably deeper than the GB2. There were pellets that the GB2 didn't pick up at all where the GPZ had a reasonable signal on them. I also found the Discrimination on the GB2 was near pointless on a lot of targets as it had no signal at all on them only giving a signal in it's all metal mode. The pellets had to be much closer to the coil than they were in the soils for the Discrimination to work, I was quite disappointed in this as I was hoping it would be a good gold discriminating pin pointer.
This area has a lot of hot rocks, by a lot I mean they're everywhere and they're often green, you can't do a swing of a VLF without hitting them on every swing, I've been to this area a lot lately, its where I recently found 9 grams. I've moved on from that exact area I found the gold last time as it dried up but the same general area. The GB2 was of course having a lot of trouble with them, with the Nox I just notch out -8 and -9 and all is pretty good and the Nox doesn't appear to lose depth when discriminating like the GB2 and Gold Monster do. The 8" X-Coil was handling the hot rocks well, most of the smaller ones it was blind to, the big ones, some the size of a football or bigger it would get a signal on, so I tried the quick track button and waving it over the top of one, it took about 10 or so sweeps but it was able to give minimal reaction on one afterwards so I had my GPZ in manual balanced over a big green hot rock for the day so instead of using my Yellow ferrite ring I used a hot rock, it made more sense to me seeing they're the areas problem, correct me if I'm wrong.
My first bit of gold was downstream in the old timer wash channel from my 9 gram spot. I did my usual pellet scrape, the signal lasted longer than a few scrapes, so I did some bigger scrapes and the target was getting better so I took a short video as I was starting to get pretty confident.
It turned out to be a nugget in the gravelly layer below the top soil, pretty small nugget too.
The GB2 did not pick this one up at all until I was closer down to it, that was in maximum settings with audio boost.
Little longish bit.
0.177 of a gram, my biggest of the day 🙂
I walked across to the next wash as that was my plan for the day and was finding my usual pellets and comparing the two detectors, I was finding the GB2 was handy as a pin pointer and it's 71kHz wasn't interfering with my GPZ at all. I was also tipping my GPZ on it's side and using the edge of the 8" coil as a pinpointer and that was working pretty well for me. Seeing I was finding so many pellets, way more than usual in this location I was getting plenty of target recovery practice 🙂
Off to the edge of this bedrock I got another bit.
Almost a little ball, when it was dirty I thought it was just another pellet.
After cleaning the dirt out of it it's not as much like a little ball as it looked. It's a ball with a tumor.
I heard a couple of bikes coming along the nearby track, turned out it was JW and his wife Robyn, they knew I was going to be there today so popped in for a visit, JW also has unfinished business in the area where he's been attacking a rocky wall of the wash for months and still getting gold out of it, he had his 15x10" X-Coil on which was a surprise, he put his 10" on and I thought he'd forgotten how to remote it and it rarely left since, he just loves that little 10". He was impressed with my little 8"', especially the size knowing It can get into places the 10" can't. We started detecting again and Robyn found comfy spot to read her book.
It wasn't long and I could hear JW's usual TAP TAP TAP as he's smashing away at the rock 🙂 I kept checking out the lower areas of the wash and it wasn't too much longer after 5 or so more pellets I found another bit of gold.
It was down in that bit of a gap in the rock.
It was starting to cool down a lot now, well the day was never warm, I guess a maximum of about 5 degrees Celsuis but once the sun starts to go behind the mountains it cools down quickly so I went back to a bit that still had some sun 🙂
At this point I'd seen the bit of gold and knew where it was sitting down in the gravels but I wanted to show the crazy prickle bush I was dealing with, I'd already broken some branches off at this point, look at them thorns! This video also shows the sideways method I was using to pinpoint. The center of the coil is definitely it's hottest deepest spot but the edges are still good.
This was my last bit of the day
And just some scenery shots of the area, gold can be anywhere around here, even in the most unlikely of places.
In between the bedrock is has been the most productive for me, which is why I like little coils.
Everywhere you look are old timer rock piles, they're gradually getting buried by plant life.
Once those giant prickle bushes grow in them, they're no longer detectable.
Piles everywhere though, it goes for a few miles
It's starting to get very overgrown in places, every year it's getting worse, gradually disappearing.
Some of these cliff edges would be great to detect and would hold quite a bit of gold I'd imagine but they're just too steep for me.
This is the sort of stuff JW is chunking away at all day getting gold out of the cracks, he said he's now bought a little battery powered jack hammer type thing to help with the job as it's hard work with a pick, hammer, cold chisel and screw driver but there is a fair bit of gold trapped in the rock.
It's all in layers and you can smash them out slowly with your pick.
And my junk for the day, well the junk I didn't lose from my pocket. So overall I'm very impressed with the 8". It seemed to me like it was exceeding the GB2 in performance on small pellets at depth. I'm still better at pinpointing with a small coil like on the GB2 but with practice I'll get better.
As I was about to leave I went over to see how JW was going, right as I got there he had a target, I took over my GB2 as I know he often uses his one as pin pointer too, especially when smashing out rock as it can save a lot of time. He was using the nose of the 15x10" coil as his pin pointer and said it was working really well, he found the tip to be pretty sensitive but still too big to get down into the spot well so we used the Gb2 to get narrow down where to smash out... after a fair time of hitting he had the signal out, and it was a bit of gold smaller than my smallest bit and the 15x10" was sounding on it loudly. He had another signal in the rock to recover so I left him to it as they can take half an hour or more each to get out.
Finally got out again with the 15" x 10” X-Coil. It ran really quiet and smooth continually in High Yield, Normal, at Sensitivity at 20. Found 10 small nuggets for a total weight of 4.55 grams. They were between 5 to 8 inches deep in a California pine tree area.
The X-Coils work great, but the 15 x 10” is now the go to coil.
Have a good day,
Currently using an SP01 and matching twin Speakers, volume on the Z is 8 volume on Sp01 around 7.5 if not using the Sp01 Volume on the Z is 11, with these settings and my hearing am not sure am getting the benefit of the Sp01, so as above would appreciate comments on twin WM12's ( Speakers are high on the Z Harness along with the WM12, the SP01 in the Z Harness backpack)
Will look at setting up the SP01 and the Twin Speakers on Margaret's 2300 with a Transmitter/Receiver driving the Sp01.
I was very keen to go for a gold detect this weekend, only problem is the weather forecast wasn't really detecting weather, I wanted to go back to the spot I did very well last weekend where I found .865 of a gram I just had a funny feeling there was more in that hole as I was getting faint signals with the GPZ but at the time I wasn't sure if that was just the hot rocks, this particular spot is full of hot rocks of all shapes and sizes, right down to pea size up to giant bolder. I was hoping my assumption there might be more gold there would be correct.
There was quite a bit of snow overnight but the skies had cleared and went nice and blue so I sent JW a text message asking what the weather was doing up his way seeing he lives 10 minutes from where I was going to look for my gold. He responded it wasn't looking too good so he will decide when I arrive if he wants to go detecting. Nothing was stopping me however, I had a mission and I was determined to find gold!
About 10 minutes after I left my house things went downhill with the snow
Started to get pretty thick, fortunately they'd plowed the road but it was still slowing coming down.
Then up ahead the traffic was all at a stop, by traffic I mean the one car in front of me 🙂 It was due to a car that thought it would be wise to tow a caravan in the snow. Not a good idea, the road was icy and slippery.
Things did not go well for them, they lost control, spun around and their caravan basically exploded.
Not much left of it. Further up the road the weather was getting worse, and I'd forgot to put my chains in the car, if it got too bad I'd have to turn back.
After a bit more driving as I got towards the lake nearer to JW's house the skies cleared and there was no snow up that way.
I stopped at the shops to get a few things and picked up a tool from the hardware store expecting to have to smash through rock to recover nuggets like JW has been doing. That seems to be the way nuggets are mostly found at this spot, my nugget in the hole last weekend was a bit unusual. JW always goes straight to detecting the rock where he's doing very well, 10 or so little nuggets most days. I got to JW's and he decided the weather was good enough so off we went. JW went to his rock wall again, that thing just keeps on giving.... and I went to my hole.
It was not long at all and I had my first nugget, then another.... and another, they just kept coming. The damp soil I suspect was making them stand out even more, both JW and I have noticed this in the past, they light up in wet soil.
I had my first 3 within about 30 minutes I would guess... I took my watch off during the virus lock down as I never needed to know the time anymore and I've never put it back on. I got used to not caring what time it is. That little guy is 0.034 of a gram, and the 10" X-coil found it with no troubles at all. I run my GPZ in HY Norrmal, Manual GB with gain on maximum, all else defaults. I don't bother with the little yellow ferrite ring, I feel it doesn't help at all in our soil. I don't understand Minelab's decision not to make a small coil, they probably don't even know the full potential of the GPZ on small gold as with a small coil it's absolutely deadly, the tiniest bits very comparable to a high frequency VLF like the Gold Monster. I think with the 8" coil it will easily match the Gold Monster. I think they didn't want to take the SDC 2300's market away from the GPZ owners, they'd rather sell them a second detector than a coil - more profit!
And here is a video of the detector response on that tiny little nugget, insanely sensitive. I can't wait for my 12x8" and 8" round to arrive, you would think it would not be possible to get more sensitive than the 10".
This was my first time finding one so tiny with the GPZ, JW does it all the time and I was watching him do it last weekend so I was using that as a learning experience of what to listen for.
I just kept scraping more off the hole in layers, I was having a bit of trouble with tiny hot rocks but I didn't want to change off HY normal / max gain to calm the hot rocks down so I just kept fishing them out whenever there was one there and throwing them far away, often using the Nox to assist with narrowing their location down.
During my digging I found a weird little skull, maybe a dinosaur 🙂
There was other bones right next to my hole too, perhaps an animal had been using my hole as it's dining room.
The gold didn't stop coming, I've never had a day like this, I had so many bits by now I had lost count, I didn't even bother taking photos as that would waste valuable digging time. I just kept scraping more away and detecting each layer after removing the hot rocks by using the Equinox with 6" coil and picking out any rock that it detect as a hotrock (-8/-9).... If you've got good gold eyes you may spot the bit of gold in the photo below, I spotted it sitting in my scrape.
And this was it.
I got to the point a big rock was in my way so I had to swing around and attack it from the other side where the sticks are
This side was a bit wild, you can now see how much I've dug out, the original ground layer, it was on a downhill slope. right up where a tree root was I had a really nice signal with the GPZ, it was too loud so I thought perhaps a bullet or something so I grabbed the Equinox to see what it would come up with, it had no signal.
I removed a bit more soil then suddenly I had a solid 16. I used the Equinox to recover the target and to my surprise......... The biggest nugget I've ever found!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yea! a beauty. You'll see up above that my little tiny bottle, it's my emergency bottle that I keep inside the zipped up GPZ cover as I have forgotten to bring a bottle a few times I keep that little guy as my spare. Fortunately I did as I sure needed it on this day.
I took the following photo today as I went back today to hunt the spot again, this photo shows exactly where I found the big nugget.
It was on top of that rock below the tree root.
I found a few more nuggets, another 4 I think after the big one but I didn't take any photos, it was starting to get dark so I met back up with JW to see how he'd done on his rock wall, he'd got 9 nuggets, not bad! He was impressed with my whopper and my haul, it is a very big nugget for NZ.
We walked the 20 or so minute hike back to the car but as we got close to the car for some reason I checked my pocket to see if my gold was there, and it wasn't! $#@$#@$#@ My heart stopped! We went into panic mode checking my pockets 20 times and emptying out my backpack, nope! Nowhere, it was very dark now and my phones light wasn't helping much. We decided rather than walk back with my phone light we'd go back to JW's house and get a torch and come back and look for it, it either had to be on the path we took or any of the last areas we walked at the nugget spot. We arrived back with the Torch, JW was a lot more confident we'd find it than I was. He said we'd be best off going back to the spot as it likely fell out of my pocket when I was crouching down packing all my stuff back into my bag. We retraced our steps back at the nugget spot and within about 10 minutes I spotted it, sitting in the long dead sparse grass!!! Thank goodness! That was a close call, my best gold day ever and I'd lost it all.
Now for the weigh in.
All the little ones, I can't even remember how many, 15 I think it was for 2.113 grams
And the monster! 4.081 grams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The total for my best day ever, 6.195 grams!
JW offered for me to stay at his place but I wanted to go home and show my wife my find, I didn't expect my 9 year old daughter to still be awake as I got home about 9.30pm and her bed time is 8.30 but my wife let her stay up to see my big nugget, she was very excited and shocked to see how big it was.
I had plans to go back first thing in the morning to start again, this hole had to have more, I dug my last one about 5 minutes before stopping last night so I was sure it wasn't finished. This time I was going to come more prepared, better pants with a zip up pocket to hold my gold bottle and a bigger white bottle so I can't lose it after the previous scare, a crow bar as we call them or San Angelo bar in America I believe? and a big magnet on a pole to try help with the little hot rocks. The ground was a bit frozen when I arrived but not too bad.
The magnet on a stick is cool, and worked well, shrinks down to put in my backpack too, it helped clear up the hot rocks quickly.
A pretty big strong magnet on it.
I had to give the area a tidy up and clear all the sticks before starting as I was heading that direction with my digging.
Doesn't help with these giant hot rocks though, but the crow bar dig them out and moved them for me, I'm certain they mask the gold targets when they're nearby
A quick video of the Nox on the hot rocks
It came in handy for giving me an ID on them.
Day two was going well too, I'd lost count again on how many nuggets only taking photos of the bigger ones.
And another one!
This rock even had a little one stuck in it.
I had to be home by 3pm so I called it quits, JW is still there now, hopefully he finds a big one! 🤞
So my total for today
11 Nuggets for 3.310 grams, and my two day total
9.546 grams, what a weekend! I love the 10" X-coil on the GPZ, what a killer combination. I'm really excited about the smaller sizes coming (8" and 12x8")