JW contacted me in the morning saying he's got the day off work so if I wanted to go for a detect jump in my car and head on over to his place. This is always a hell yes from me, the world would have to be ending to stop me.... oh uhm... whoops 🙂 maybe more than the world ending.
We were going back to the exact same spot we were at the previous mission so figured I'd either use the 15x10" X-coil or the 10" X-coil, but because the area is very rocky I went with the 10", you need as small of a coil as possible for this terrain.
The 10" can get into some pretty tight spaces. Gold here would be missed with any bigger of a coil.
JW noticed our Davsgold picks looked a little different, this is odd as we both have the same pick so we compared them
The years of wear on JW's pick is pretty evident, his pick has gone through hell smashing up schist for years 🙂 He needs to give it a sharpen, the sharp point on mine is very handy.
I've also upgraded the magnet I had on my pick, it's been excellent. I drilled out a 30mm deep by 20mm round hole in my pick and dropped the strongest magnet I could buy into it with the same dimensions. Now not only is the base of my pick magnetic, the sides are too, it sucks up ferrous junk like mad. I'm very happy with it.
I can move the black sand around on it 🙂
JW was back detecting his highly productive cliff edge armed with his hammer and screwdriver, so I figured I'd go back and check around where I was the other day.
It wasn't long and I had a very faint signal, a few scrapes and the signal improved. The bedrock in this spot is about 4 to 9 inches down. It turned out to be quite a nice bit of gold down in the bedrock that required breaking up some bedrock to get to it. For the first time I managed to record a good part of the find on video as I was so confident it was going to be gold. I've wanted to capture a find on video for a long time.
Here is a photo of the spot I got it, it was actually quite deep, and the gold was on edge, it's a very skinny bit.
My biggest of the day.
I spent the next hour or so checking the area slowly. Plenty of pellets but nothing else.
I moved back down towards the little gully JW was detecting and on the path we bike in I had a signal, I'd done this path bit the other day with the Nox, I'd spent an hour or two on this small area with it but I missed this piece, maybe just too deep for the Nox.
Down through the gravels to the bedrock again.
Almost like a little ball 🙂 This round gold is common in this spot, JW's been getting a lot of it.
I then realized I forgot to balance to my ferrite ring, seeing I'd gone from the 12" to the 10" X-coil I thought I may as well do it.
Again I don't know if I am balanced to it being new to the GPZ but I did the procedure and the noise of the ring all but disappeared after a couple of sweeps over it.
The day was getting pretty exciting, I was hoping for a 3rd but for the next few hours I got nothing but pellets... I had a break and drink and watched JW for a while, I usually learn a few things doing this and I was able to see his coil control is far better than mine, he drives that thing around keeping it so close to the ground hugging the rocks while checking the bedrock cracks.
The cracks in the bedrock like in this photo can contain gold, but you have to check the entire rock as the gold has proven it can be anywhere in the rock in healed over cracks.
As the day was coming to an end I went over to a spot that chased JW away with the abundance of pellets there, they were everywhere!!!!
It paid off though, my final nugget for the day
This is up on a bedrock ledge, the ground is 10 to 15 feet below where this little ledge is
and down deep in the gravels was a bit of gold........ and about 8 pellets 🙂
The gold had a louder and more distinct signal than the pellets. Another ball type bit.
And now the weigh in.....
Not as bad as last time, I'd already done a lot of the cleaning of the area 😉
Not too bad 🙂 I haven't had three in a while. Almost worth celebrating with a beer at the pub
Now that I've got your attention no JW didn't only get one bit of gold 🙂 He got many but that's his story. I managed one bit. I had to borrow his gold bottle as I forgot my own, I also forgot my harness which is not the best thing to do for someone with a sore back!
A week or so ago we went for a detect at a spot on the E-bikes, JW did really well over at a rocky cliff area where gold was getting trapped like a sluice box in the schist. I was detecting some bedrock nearby. My back was terrible at the time due to an injury so I used my Equinox rather than my GPZ. I mostly spent my day digging shot gun pellets but I did manage a bit of gold in a crack in the bedrock, I had only the week before been watching JW smashing gold out of bedrock so when I found this bit I was pretty confident it was gold when the target needed smashed out of bedrock and it was.
You can see the thin layer of soil over the bedrock and minor cracks in the rock where I had to smash it out.
The smashed up crack above in the coil in this photo and the little bit of gold.
I forgot to weigh this one before throwing it in with my gold collection. I wasn't going to bother posting about it as it was just one nugget. That was it for me for the day.
JW and I were discussing the virus pandemic yesterday morning as NZ has now locked down it's borders, anyone at all who wants to enter the country needs to go into quarantine for two weeks and he suggested we go for an afternoon detect. I was keen for this as I felt my back was ready to use my GPZ again with the extra weight it has so I jumped in my car and went up to JW's house. We decided we'd go back to the same spot as JW had unfinished business at his very productive little spot and I figured I'd go over the same area I was doing with the Equinox to see what I could get out of it. I hadn't completely finished the area with the Nox as my back got too sore to continue that day.
I'm still getting the hang of using my GPZ, I haven't had it long and haven't used it as much as I'd like due to my back injury. It's very much a learning curve for me, it's different to using my GPX and QED. For example I only really learnt yesterday the left and right of the coil are the hot spots, not the center like on my GPX with spiral coils as I was confused recovery targets they were never where I expected them to be 🙂
After a bit of practice with it I've settled on my general settings of HY / Normal with gain of 20 and smoothings off, this seems comfortable enough for me to use in the spots I've tried so far. Everything else is on defaults. I did the ground balance over the ferrite at the start of the day seeing some people say it's necessary, I'm not convinced in my soils it will make a difference but it can't hurt so why not do it. I guess this would be considered balanced to the ferrite? I have no idea, remember I am new the the GPZ but seeing it was setting it off loudly before balancing and afterwards it was like this I can only assume It's done. I'm pretty happy with how the GPZ runs as I was very close to JW, about 60 foot I guess away from his GPZ and they don't seem to bother each other much.
I could hear JW chipping away at his cliff edge and I had myself what appeared to be a good target in some bedrock (in the above video you'll also hear JW chipping away at the bedrock), I was confused trying to target where in the rock I needed to smash and couldn't locate where the target was, the rock was solid hard rock and hitting it with my pick wasn't doing much.
I went over to JW and asked if he'd mind helping, he came over and we attempted to get the bit of gold out, I'd been at it for about 20 minutes already and with JW's assistance and another 15 or so minutes we had smashed it out, JW instructed me on following the lines in the schist to try smash it out in the layers, working my way from the edge to where the nugget is. My Davsgold Gold Digger pick was copping a beating taking on this rock but I had no choice.
My hand didn't enjoy it either, hitting the rock with the pick was hard work 🙂
You can see here I'd been smashing out layers of it to try get to the spot with the gold.
I was originally a bit confused with where the gold was, thinking it was in a big crack in the bedrock, but it turned out it wasn't in the crack but in the rock itself.
That's the crack I cleaned out above, and the smashed out rock below trying to get to it. A few more king hits with rock flying everywhere and the target was out, but it disappeared, we could not find it anywhere!!!! All that work and it was gone.
We detected all around the area and the only thing we could find was an odd bit of magnetic metal in the rubble below the rock, at first we thought it was a bit off my pick but it was weird and one side smooth and shiny. When I got home and put it under my phones microscope I found it's slightly magnetic, you can see the black sand and also a little bit of a metal substance stuck to it.
Very weird, this likely came out of the rock as it wasn't there prior to breaking up the schist. We assumed that was the target in the rock and JW went back to his spot to resume his gold recoveries 🙂
I wasn't ready to give up and kept detecting around the area thinking maybe there was still a bit of gold that flung out of it and about 5 minutes later I had it! A little nugget was sitting on the surface.
This sun baker had to be my nugget from the rock, it's VERY unlikely there would be a sun baker here.
I continued detecting the area for the rest of the afternoon, I was digging a lot of junk, mostly shotgun pellets and little shards of metal and all the ferrous targets I'd left behind using the Nox with it's discrimination 🙂
I had another target I was so sure was going to be gold, I was clearing away the surface soils and the target was down in the bedrock again.... I was so sure it was going to be gold seeing it was in the bedrock I took a video of the target.
But no, after smashing out the bedrock the only thing I could find was a damn shot gun pellet that had made itself down into the crack in the bedrock!
That damn little pellet was down in that crack! I think it's a steel one too.
I called it quits after that one and decided I'd go have a drink and snack and watch JW for a while and see what I could learn, at this point he'd come over to my spot as he was sick of chipping away at the rock in his area and the lucky bugger found two bits of gold in an area I'd been over with my Equinox the week before, I wasn't sure if I went over it with my GPZ but I am pretty sure I had not. The target signals on his GPZ with 10" X-coil were very good, stood out like dogs nuts so there is no way I'd miss them.
So my total for the afternoon
A bucket load of junk, mostly pellets and little bits of metal
And one nugget for 0.086 of a gram. I'll take it, I'm still continuing my pattern of not getting a skunk since getting the GPZ... Before getting the GPZ I regularly found no gold, since getting it I always find at least 1 piece every time I go out.
According to the Minelab website, the GPZ 7000 is "weather proof" meaning you can use it in the rain.
The GPZ 14 coil is waterproof and submersible to a depth of 1 m (3 ft). You can easily detect rivers and shorelines with no fuss! The weatherproof design of the GPZ 7000 allows you to go detecting in rainy or wet conditions.
This seems reasonable, it looks that way except the headphone socket on the back of it, in the worst possible location to fill up with water as your coil is on the ground pointing that socket straight up to the rain. The other day JW and I were detecting in the rain and I couldn't help but notice the rain drops landed on the back of the GPZ and the water drops run down into the socket. They just kept dripping down into that 6.35mm socket and it had me worried. Over time I could see quite a lot of water getting in there, eventually it would fill up.
I ordered a cover for my GPZ, while it's great for protecting the screen it doesn't cover up the back of the GPZ, leaving that same socket exposed to the rain.
The designers of the cover did a good job on the screen and control box but the back is wide open.
You can see the exposed socket there, no protection at all from the cover. I'm never in my life going to use that socket so I went on the hunt for some covers for it and found these things
They just push into the socket and have a little lug to be able to pull them out when needed.
Has anyone bothered with this sort of thing? Is there a need to? I ordered a lot of 10 as they were cheap anyway and I can put them on all of my detectors with the 1/4" sockets as I never use headphones and it's such a big hole for water and dirt to get in.
You can get them at Amazon and various other auction sites and electronic stores.
Well, I tried a new way to get out to this new gold area I found. The gold seemed fairly small, but I had to hike in at least 3 miles to get there. So I tried to drive in another way in hopes of only having to hike in a mile. Of course Google Earth made things seem better than they were (almost like I could drive right there), but in the end I only cut about a mile off the hike (one way). So now I had a decision to make … take my GPZ 14" coil, the GM1000, or what I call my Midget Coil (10" Xcoil). GPZ 14" about killed me getting out there last time so that was out. I love the GM1000 on bedrock, but some of the bedrock here was very hot. Usually in those cases, I will go to my GPZ 10" Xcoil, which I venture to say is at least on par with the SDC 2300 (with the exception of being a little bigger). And the Xcoil is still a pleasure to hike with. So off I went.
I started out hitting the areas I had been to before and got some good signals. First piece was only about .1g. Then I started finding slightly bigger .2g pieces. Most of these seemed to be what I call runners. Those are the ones in washes that I find on the sides of the wash, trying to run away when they see me coming. The larger coils tend to lose a bit of depth when checking the sides and depressions. The 10" Xcoil, however, does very well getting in there.
Overall, 5 pieces were found (total .75g). Not a lot, but at least half of these finds were detected very carefully with the 14" coil and were missed. The Xcoil was very clear on all but a 1 grainer piece that was about 2" deep on it's side. All in all, it was just a fun day crumb chasing.
I had my first outing with my GPZ about a week ago with JW, my back was still terribly sore at the time from an injury so I wasn't really doing well and had trouble digging targets, and we were in terribly heavy rain so I was off my game. I went back to the same spot today, the weather was much better, in fact it was far too hot for me. My back has improved a lot, I lasted about 3 hours which I thought's pretty good, my longest detect since I did my back in. This particular place I've always called my Nemesis as I could just never do well there. I've been there probably 25 times and only found gold three from memory. The first time with my Gold Bug Pro which was 1 bit, then the QED with 12x6" X-coil which got 1 bit, then the GPX with 10" X-coil which got 1 bit. I've never got a bit with the Nox or Gold Monster here even though I've used the Nox the most I'd imagine and I'm the most comfortable on it feeling I can use it pretty well.
I had a lot more faith in myself today as JW has done very well here with his GPZ and 10" X-Coil so now we were both driving the same machine surely I could come away with a piece.
I threw my little ferrite super magic ring on the ground and waved over it, no response unless I rubbed the coil on it so maybe I don't need to do that anymore after doing my Quick start procedure the other day so I just got stuck into it. I've had a few skilled operators suggest I use Manual instead of Auto or Semi Auto, that made sense to me with our mild soils here so I was in manual, I raised and lowered the coil and had no response from the ground so I assumed that I didn't need to do anything so I just got stuck into detecting.
I first tried all the mountain goat one gust of wind and you're dead terrain, I get a bit wobbly detecting this stuff as I'm not so good with heights.
My first target was a shotgun pellet.... not unexpected, there are many of them around here....
That's good though, it means the detectors working well 🙂 I'm not used to the target noise of the GPZ on these small targets yet, bigger targets sound similar to the GPX but these small things behave differently, it's sort of a wobbly noise, different to the GPX.
I kept going, detecting closer to the cliff.....
Scary! I did get a target in this area, it wasn't on the surface as it remained after my first scrape and moved on the second, unfortunately, a tiny little bit of some sort of junk
I was super impressed with the sensitivity of the 12" X-coil getting these tiny little targets, Gold Monster size bits of junk.
I really thought I had a nugget in this photo above, this was just before my dig..... turned out to be another shotgun pellet stuck in the schist bedrock 😞
Now the sun came out, it was terribly hot and I was frustrated looking at the nice cool water below me while I'm up here sweating badly wanting to jump in it to cool off, I really struggle in heat so I moved away from the cliffs and jumped in my car to go back into the terrain JW found his bits last weekend, it's very close by and I could have walked if it wasn't so hot and my drink had run out already 🙂
This next area has lots of good bedrock and didn't seem as junky with the pellets, the issue here is the power lines, I dropped my gain down to 14 from the 20 it was on previously so the machine ran nicer as I couldn't put up with the power line noise as the spot with the bedrock I wanted to detect was basically under the power lines. As I detected further away from them I cranked my gain up again and as I got closer lowered it down, quite easy to do on the GPZ as you just leave it on that option and adjust as necessary.
Why do they always put these right where the best bedrock is... I'm sure they did it on purpose.
Nice bedrock though... I could see a number of fresh looking dig holes around, I suspect JW's handy work, he was good though, all necessary ones were back filled. 😉 The funny plants are getting annoying, there is a plant that looks like that if you grab onto it and try rip it out it spikes you to death so I wasn't game to touch them, just worked around them.
I noticed an area with a lot of dig holes but it was virtually right under the lines, I figured there is no point doing that area but the dig holes seemed to go off in a direction so I instead went down rather than follow the digs and it was only 15 steps from a dig hole and I had a target, quite faint but very obvious. At this point my gain was on 12 to calm down the power lines and I had the detectors volume on 4 as the Steelphase SP01 was attached to the Wm12 and gave me all the volume I could ever want. I did notice if I got between the WM12 and the detector sometimes the audio dropped out for a few seconds and picked up again if I moved, it seems it doesn't like passing the audio through my body, is this normal or is my WM12 a lemon? I would think it's pretty normal passing wireless though your body. I tried changing frequencies but made no difference. I might just use my Quest Wirefree mate as it doesn't seem to do that, similar thing to the WM12 anyway.
I dug the target thinking it's probably going to be another shotgun pellet, it was doing the same wobbly type noise, hard to describe the noise.... I did a scrape with the pick and it was still in place, getting hopeful but the bedrock was quite shallow so I just started taking scoops out with my plastic scoop and waving them over the coil, narrowed down a target and it was a bit of gold! Awesome, my first GPZ gold, a tiny little thing.... I rechecked the area and the exact same noise was still there, it sounded like I never even dug the target. So I kept scraping it out and waving the scoop over my coil, a few more scoops with and I had the target. Boom! Another bit of gold. Two from one hole! this doesn't happen to me often.
The spot I got them!
You can see the detector sitting in the spot still where I got them and if you look up the damn power lines!
The two little guys! 🙂 I was done for the day now, it was too hot and my back was pretty sore. I had a goal of finding a bit of gold then I was going to leave, it's lucky it happened when it did as to clean the little bits I had to use the last drop of moisture in my body, my spit came out like pasty thick molasses to clean them. I stumbled back to my car and was lucky. I found a few fruit trees on the walk that were covered in fruit. I got my fluids up eating a bunch of apricots and a few plums.
I picked a few for the road too
Washed down my KFC with them.
Time to head home, my wife had sent me a text message while I was detecting saying I've had a parcel arrive, it was the two coils I've ordered to start exploring for some new ground, I wanted some ground coverage so I can explore and find some ground JW hasn't already done so I think this is partially why I called it quits so early in the day, I wanted to rush home and see the new coils 🙂
15x10 and 17x12"
I've tested both of them out already in my backyard, both detect my bits of gold I found today, that means they'll be my perfect exploring coils. I hoped they'd both still have the sensitivity to small gold which they do. I shouldn't say my bits of gold either, my wife confiscated them off me, valentines day gift she said as its valentines day here today 😄 It's the first nuggets I've given her so that's OK.
Time for the weigh in.
Not too bad! Happy with that. I really like the 12" coil, it's going to to be my everyday use coil.
By nugget hunter nz
So took the gpz out for couple days were I hunt managed to find out that my extra waterproofing didn't work after 20 mins of first day with xcoil so was back to std 14 on day to all and all we had good trip pulled 5 grams for 2 days and 3 nice bits including this one
It was all creek hunting and was defanitly impressed the the zeds depth
Just hoping with few days sun in a bag rice the xcoil will work normaly again.. Guess I will have to wait for nf coils to be realesed for water ones as the std 14 took on water to even tho they ment to be submersible to 1 mtr