By Mike Hillis
You don't see much about this one.....This is something I posted on Findmall. Still haven't got to use it in minerals yet. Its almost like my free time went up in smoke this summer and fall. I got some time off for Christmas and hopefully I'll get the chance to use it in black sand minerals and see how the tracking does in a more challaging environment. Anyway...maybe someone will find it useful........................................................
Finally got to sneak some time in and try out my new Sierra Gold Trac (SGT). I went looking for something like this for use as a cleanup unit for some of my jewelry sites (and if I was lucky with my time, even some real prospecting). I was looking for something in higher frequency than what was being offered in the new Fisher/Teknetics or Minelab Xterra products. I looked at both the GMZ and the SGT. I picked the SGT over the GMZ because of the threshold control.
Right after I purchased it I got buyers remorse and put it up for sale, mostly because I didn't have any free time to do more than look at it occasionally. I think Ive had it three months now before I could actually work in an hour of actual me time to use it.
White's Sierra Gold Trac SGT metal detector
The SGT is a 48 kHz, all metal prospecting unit with only two controls; Gain and Threshold. Ground balance is handled by an Auto Ground Tracking feature that is advertised to come right off the GMT. The stock coil is a 6x10 DD. When I was talking to Jim S. about it he told me it was just a basic stripped down GMT.
Now I didn't take it prospecting or try it out in minerals yet as I was only able to sneak away from home and duty for an hour while my beloved was taking a nap. So I took it to a close by wood chip tot lot just to get to swing it and fool around with it, you know what I mean? I should say that the woodchips are not mineralized but the ground the wood chips sit upon is mineralized so there is some mineral for the SGT to track to. However the mineral strength varied depending on the wood chip depth.
The detector feels good on the arm and swings nice. I could use a little longer lower rod to make it a perfect fit but it was ok. I put the Gain on 7 and raised the Threshold until I got nice quiet hum, pumped the coil a few times until the threshold hum evened out and started sweeping.
The SGT has a VCO audio response; shallow or larger objects produce a high pitch squeal and the deeper or smaller objects produce a lower pitch tone. No, it doesn't have tone id. That is just a botched website design that is picking up some of the SST information. But the VCO tone pitch variation is helpful in sizing and depth guestimations.
As with most all-metal operating modes, smaller targets give a good zip and larger targets give a larger tonal sound. I didn't find it difficult identifying large metal objects because of this. The preset SAT is acceptable. The retune speed isn't super fast but it isn't super slow either so you have a little time to slow down and size objects before the threshold returns to normal and I didn't observe any noticeable overshoot nulling going on.
I did see the auto ground trac feature tracking out targets. The first sweep would give a crisp audio report, the back sweep would give a good audio report and multiple passes after that would tend to degrade the audio information significantly. This was super easy to circumvent though. When I hit a target I'd give it a nice triple sweep to pinpoint it under the best part of the coil, then just place the coil off to the side, do a quick double pump to bring the auto track setting back to ground and then move back over the target. That gave me enough time to not only get another couple of good audio feedback sweeps in but also enough time to do the pinpoint wiggle with the toe of the coil to pinpoint with. If for some reason I wasn't happy, I'd move the coil off to the side and double pump the tracking back to ground and have another go at it. Wasn't really a big deal after I got going and understood what was happening. And I didn't get very many targets to track completely out but I could get them to the point of a very degraded, crappy sounding signal.
Toward the end of my time out I was experimenting with the tracking out responses to see if I could get it to track out on the small ferrous like the little staples I was recovering while keeping the non-ferrous with a better audio however I didn't have enough time to make a significant determination about it and I'll continue to experiment with it.
The adjustable threshold control was a bonus as I hunted with it a little at minimum setting (totally quiet) and a little time with it maxed out as well as at the normal light hum setting. I think there is some functionality there between the threshold control and the auto track target tracking that could be useful. I'll need some more time on it to see and that hasn't happened yet.
Overall I enjoyed hunting with it. I will say a magnet stick is a must have as all the little ferrous will give a good signal and since there is no discrimination, that little staple has to be recovered. I just stuck a magnet into the end of my scoop and when I got a good zip, I used the magnet first, and if the magnet did not retrieve it I knew I had a non-ferrous object.
I didn't find anything to be excited about during this hour, other than the fact I got out and found I liked the Sierra Gold Trac and I'm not in such a hurry to part with it now that I've used it.
There was some things that I had trouble with. First the coil connector was fouled and I had to clean the threads to get the coil to connect properly. The first few times I tried to connect the coil to the box it wanted to cross thread so I suspect it was cross threaded at the factory. I cleaned that up so that it threads perfectly now. The second issue was that the coil seal is inconsistent on my coil. There are about three gaps in the coil seal that will allow this coil to suck water. I'll have to send this coil back to Whites for a replacement.
Now I just need more free me time to hunt with it some more. Now that I got a little understanding I want to use it in more minerals.
Until next time (read next year maybe if Im lucky),
The Rain can't stop Jeff and Gary (Two Toe's ) as they head to the Hills in search of those elusive Gold Nuggets.
Jeff has his White's Gold Master V-Sat (VLF) Metal Detector and Gary has his White's TDI (Pulse Induction) Detector see which one finds the most and biggest Gold in the California Mother lode.
Clear that Bedrock and check those Crevice's there might be Gold Nuggets hidden in there !!!!
Thanks for watching !!!
Well I got my new GMT today! I had to try it out. I only had about an hour of daylight. I was around an old tailing pile. Lots of trash. I didn't even get my headphones yet but it was quiet where I was at. I'm happy with my first outing. I found one 22 casing, one small piece looks like a rock sticks to a magnet, and one mangled piece of lead. The lead can write as you can see in the pic. Again no real finds but I'm happy in .the one hour I had. I can't wait till I get to really try it out.
By Robert F
Hi All, I have just started getting interested in gold prospecting and I have been thinking about getting a detector. I live in Anchorage, AK and was curious if there is anybody around here that could provide some field training for using a gold detector. I have been thinking about getting a White's GMT or Fisher Gold Bug 2. I am leaning towards the GMT right now.