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Need Some Advice On Gold Detecting With AT Pro


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Hello Detector Prospector forum!  I've been inactive in detecting for quite some time and am now getting back at it.  I've used this forum in the past and received great advice so I'm back for more. 

I'd like to detect the national forest for gold particularly in the rivers and areas of exposed bedrock.  I currently have an AT Pro with multiple coils (among other machines but none are dedicated gold detectors).  I'm thinking of using the 5x8 and sniper coil.  I don't foresee spending a great deal of my time gold detecting, particularly due to the distance I would have to travel and lower chance of success as compared to coin detecting.  So, given this situation, my question is this - do you think I would be much better served by buying a dedicated gold machine?  I was thinking the AT Gold due to river detecting (waterproof).  But would the AT Pro do "almost" as well on gold?  Loaded question, I know.  How much difference does 3 kHz make in detecting small gold?  I'm going to do a little testing on small lead fragments to get an idea as to how small of a nugget the Pro will pick up.

Thanks in advance!

 

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That's exactly what I was going to suggest is do some testing. If it passes the bic pin test or detects tiny lead shot it should be fine for occasional gold hunts. If it doesn't detect that small maybe not. 

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Thanks for the reply.  Here are the results of my air tests.  AT Pro, pro zero mode, max sensitivity, no disc. 5x8 coil

Lead fishing weight

Grains      Inches

16             5

10             4.5

8               4

6               3.5

4               2.75

2               1

1                0.5

Good enough for me to try a little prospecting with it.  If I end up getting hooked, I'll get a dedicated gold machine.  Curious how this compares to the Infinium.  I might test it next time.

 

 

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This is a thread I though was interesting with Steve testing different detectors for gold

 

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14 hours ago, N7XW said:

I don't foresee spending a great deal of my time gold detecting, particularly due to the distance I would have to travel and lower chance of success as compared to coin detecting.

Weclome back!  I think the above statement trumps all others.  Even if you bought a new latest, greatest (whatever that might be) gold detector it will take time to learn it.  If your gold hunting only occurs occasionally then you won't be able to do that detector justice.

If you were on the prowl for a new general purpose detector, then getting one with high performance in the small gold region would be a different story.  But if you are happy with your AT/Pro and other detectors you already own, well, from a cost efficiency standpoint you're probably best sitting tight.

Here's something to keep in mind, and it does reflect my own experience.  I'm going to make up a scenario which I'm sure isn't your situation, but you can extrapolate:  you are going for a 2 week camping trip by yourself (or at least not with an expert gold detectorist) which will be dedicated to gold prospecting.  You know that the general area you'll be in has produced placer gold in the past.  If you take the latest, greatest gold detector the chances of you finding any gold is pretty small.  I'll say easily <5% chance.  The chances you'll find gold with the AT/Pro or similar VLF running in the neighborhood of 15 kHz is probably less, and maybe much less, but that depends upon how well you know the gold detector.  You still might be better off with the AT/Pro just because of your familiarity with it compared to a new detector.

This may be pessimistic, but it also may be optimistic!  There are just so many factors that lead to success in finding gold that doing it on your own is a steep mountain to climb.  However, that shouldn't discourage you.  There is so much more to experience and enjoy, and learning what not to do is an important part of learning.  If a gold producing area, then you may find some old coins.  Just keep in mind that US laws are highly restrictive when it comes to collecting/removing artifacts and relics of potential historical value from federal land.  (Coins seem to be an exception, but no law is ever 100% conclusively interpretable....)

 

 

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16 hours ago, N7XW said:

Loaded question, I know.  How much difference does 3 kHz make in detecting small gold?

Not that much. The AT Pro and AT Gold even use the same coils. Most of the difference in the AT Gold and AT Pro is more about the stock coils size than the frequency, and the settings are aimed more at the gold prospectors. The real issue is that in this day and age where nearly everyone is using a detector running over 40 kHz or a high power PI you are severely outgunned compared to the competition. If you hunt public access areas that have seen decades of detecting that competion has been fierce and the finds are getting slim, so a person needs every edge they can get.

That said there are not a lot of waterproof options and as your lead tests (do them) will reveal the AT models can detect reasonably small gold. I would recommend the small coils. Other than that you just need to get over a nugget the same size and no deeper than your test targets reveal as reasonable.

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