I had been waiting for this coil to arrive for some time, It was ordered right as the Covid impacts were first known and international flights were all being cancelled, The day after the coil was shipped NZ closed it's borders completely, all inbound flights cancelled. The postal operators had no way to send it, it stayed in the origin airport for a few weeks while the postal agency worked out what to do and they eventually decided they'd put it on a ship. It was interesting watching it's tracking number but then, it went silent, once it departed nothing for a few months then all of the sudden it arrived in Australia, yay! I guess there would be no direct ships from there to Australia either so it would be bouncing between ships to make it's journey. From there it was a quick easy hop to NZ. Fortunately now flights around the world are starting to resume and my 8" GPZ X-coil that was ordered long after the 12x8" coil arrived in about 10 days. Our borders still remain closed to passengers, it is however open to freight flights and we're a bit of a hub for international long haul transit flights. Auckland airport is currently one of the busiest airports in the world which is incredible really taking on the worlds major airports for flight traffic. I think this is mostly because we have eliminated the virus 100 days ago so domestic flights are back to normal. Yesterday was our 100th day with no virus in the community, a bit of a celebration 🙂
It arrived in good order, after it's worldwide ship cruise journey. JW's had also ordered a 12x8" X-Coil and his was in with my package to save on shipping costs so he now has one too. I delivered his to him yesterday as we were heading out for a detect. He really liked the 12x8" size/shape and thinks it will be his favourite, that's a challenge as he loves his 10" and rarely takes it off, although the last few times he's been using his 15x10" and now suddenly that's been glued to his detector and he's finding it really good, it has spiral windings and he's used to his bundle wound 10", so he seems to be taking advantage of the sensitivity of the spiral windings as the bits he's finding with it are absolutely tiny.
JW broke his E-bike, buckled a wheel so we decided we'd go to a place we've done a million times, probably the place I've detected the most, we both had very little hope at this spot and seeing we were on foot we couldn't go too far from where we have to leave the car but we thought we'd try walk and see what we can find.
When we arrived we walked about 150 meters I guess to where the gold area starts from where you park the car, we've done this particular spot so many times it's not funny, we both didn't expect anything here. When we left JW's house in the morning Robyn JW's wife said good luck, and JW said I don't have much hope for today! I of course said Nor me! We both know how much we've done this area. We decided we'd try the first little bit for an hour or so to warm up 🙂 then walk and see if we can find somewhere else.
This is the area I settled on detecting, its a hillside leading down to a creek, the Chinese had heavily worked this area in the good old days when there was lots of gold to find. I found a Chinese miners silver and irovy ring here at one point.
This area is also the only place I've ever bumped into anyone else detecting for gold, one guy with a GPX 4500, one guy with a Nokta Gold Kruzer and another two guys together, one with a GPZ and his buddy with a Gold Bug 2. It's quite well detected, JW has been doing it for years so gold is getting harder and harder to get. There had been some sheep in here which was great news for us, the grass growth over the past couple of years had made for hard detecting and finally the farmer had put some sheep in. They had fixed it up a little but they're not really interested in the brown dry grass this area has. It's one of the colder and dryer areas in the country so grass isn't lush and green like elsewhere.
After putting on a new coil I like to do a factory reset so I did that, then ran the 12x8" over the little ferrite ring as part of the factory reset process, it tuned out the little ring even when the coil was touching it. I then adjusted my settings to my preferred settings, HY, Normal and gain of 20. I then balanced out the ground then set to manual Ground balance , I'm not sure If I'm meant to do what the picture says when doing a ground balance by holding the quick track button as it indicates doing a figure 8 type thing on the ground but I've found my old GPX style pumping works quicker.
The area is quite shallow bedrock, in spots it exposes itself and they're the spots I was finding gold in the past with the GM1000 but that all dried up and now the spots most likely to find gold for me are the more grassy areas where the gold is down a bit of depth on the bedrock with a soil layer over top and grass cover so the GPZ is far more effective than the VLF in this situation. There are also millions of shot gun pellets here, I would say the most out of any place I've detected so it's rare you can do a swing without hitting some pellets. The GPZ method I've been using is a scape or two and if the signal is there keep going, if not reject it or else you'll spend all day digging pellets. Thats not to say you won't be digging pellets, you will, many of them but it cuts the numbers down 🙂
First bit of gold was quite an easy one, maybe the sheep helped me here.
I didn't have to dig far for that one, a real screamer. I also knew it wasn't a pellet as the signal was so booming, more so than with a pellet.
12x8" now broken in.
Then right near it, not even a meter away I had another target that survived a few scrapes.
Pretty shallow again, it had to be the grass level being low helping me find these
Another decent lump!
I detected quite heavily around this area now hoping for more, I found no more so I moved on.
It's where the grass is like above you know hasn't been detected as well as the bedrock areas so I was trying to go over the grass as much as possible.
Next I flipped a few rocks over this has worked in the past and when you get a signal under a rock that's been there who knows how many hundreds of years and you get a signal you get a bit excited. I had a signal under a rock, it was feeling like it might be a pellet, but why would a pellet be under a rock?
There rocks are heavy! The pick levers them down off the edge. Unfortunately the target turned out to be a really tiny bit of metal. Who knows what it is or why it was there.
I was almost sure it was going to be gold, at least my magnet helped recover it.
I thought I'd experiment with the GPS on the GPZ, I'd never really given it a chance. I quite liked it. The novalty of using it, made it a bit like playing a game. I found it pretty accurate. I tested it when I was weaving in and out of bushes as I was detecting along making my way to the next area I wanted to detect.
I don't know what the little greyed out bit is.
This is the sort of terrain I was weaving through while testing it out. It's a shame I didn't test it back where I found the two bits of gold as It'd help make sure I didn't miss any ground, I'm terrible at missing ground. I might start using it more often.
I continued flipping rocks and after flipping a huge one that almost landed on my foot I had another signal under where the rock was.
The big rock at the top of the hole was where the hole now is, the hole ended up quite deep and it was my biggest bit of gold for the day.
Different to the other bits too, far more smooth and flat.
Come up nice after a clean.
We detected until it was too dark to see well recovering targets. JW did very well, he went back to spots he'd done with his GPZ and 14" coil some time ago, he was talking about a crack in bedrock where he got a few with his 14x13" coil some time ago and he went over it and got another 3 out of it. He ended up doing far better than me, he got 10 out of this thrashed spot, unbelievable. His appeared to be much smaller bits too so it'll be interesting to see the weight tally.
So that was my total, my 3 bits and it's now dark and time to go to KFC to refuel. We never did end up walking further afield, we were doing OK in the first spot right near the car, that sure surprised us both.
And my junk, not too bad on the pellets as these were just ones I had to dig for, the rest that I was able to identify with the GPZ double blip and scrape or two were ignored.
Detecting started out as an audio-only hobby, and for us prospectors it mostly remains that way. Even if you are just swinging a VLF you can't trust the VDI numbers in hot ground. Beep, beep, dig. Now the more experienced detectorists know that there is a lot more to audio signals than just beeps. There is shape, tone, volume, sharpness, rhythm. It becomes a musical performance that we get to decode with our brains to decide whether a target is worth busting out the pick for.
Why have detector companies not put more emphasis on developing audio responses? We get screens, target ID's, GPS, wireless audio, but the same old sounds. But the most important user experience - the sound the detector makes - has not changed much. For all-metal VLF or PI detectors you get a VCO audio response that rises with signal strength. That's it.
Ok, so rant mode off, now my pitch.
A simple mapping of a normal VCO (voltage-controlled oscillator) audio signal is SIGNAL STRENGTH = PITCH and VOLUME change. This goes back to the time when a hardware oscillator was directly tied to the audio output and use the signal voltage to create an audio signal. You get a zip on all targets, and though the shape of the signal will vary based on what the target is, there is no indicator of target phase (or X/Y component). You want any audio info on that for a VLF, you have to switch to a tone mode.
Here is what a boot tack and and nugget sounds like on a VLF with a normal VCO audio (like a gold machine or all-metal mode):
Now if you were to instead tie the PITCH of the signal to the PHASE, and the VOLUME to the STRENGTH, you would get more information. It might look like this:
You can get a response similar to this by using 50 tones on the Equinox, but to my knowledge, no detector uses this kind of audio mapping in VCO mode. Do you see how much more information this would present to a seasoned detectorist? Especially with iron targets, which tend to have a very confused signal, the pitch would jump all over and should be easier to distinguish.
I believe this type of audio response might be able to be used with the GPZ (it's kind of there already with the hi/low tones) or any other detector that reads X and Y signal responses. Instead of having both PITCH and VOLUME tied to the composite signal like it's 1950, the responses would be independent and give the user more information - no screen required. For beginners this would not be good since it is hard enough for them.
Hope this makes sense, let me know what you think (especially CARL).
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