JW has had a bit of an ongoing battle with me, for some time now he's been advising me to use my PI's over my VLFs, then when I bought a GPZ he was advising I use GPZ over my VLF's to find more gold. I know he's right as the proof's always been there, he's been finding more than me consistently since we met but I kept picking up the VLF's as they were my comfort zone.
I've struggled more on the PI's especially and always favored the VLF's as down here at the bottom of the planet we tend to have a lot of smaller gold and far less bigger stuff and the VLF's tend to be the most sensitive to small gold, I ended up finding gold regularly with the VLF's, just nowhere near as much as he was finding with his GPZ. On a trip I'd find maybe 1 or 2 bits and he'd find 8 or 10.
We'd go to go out on a hunt and I'd show up at his place and I'd be standing there holding my Equinox and he'd go OHHH the NOX hey! 🙂 I'd find any excuse to use the VLF as I felt comfortable on them, especially the Nox with all my coin hunts, I knew it like the back of my hand so to take on a PI or GPZ was a challenge.
Over time I've started using the GPZ a lot more and the results are showing, I've certainly improved in my gold take, very rarely do I get a skunk now when I used to get a skunk 2 out of 3 trips when using the VLF detectors or the GPX. I can't really include the QED in the equation as I didn't have it long enough before getting the GPZ so it hasn't had the hours the GPX, GPZ and VLFs have had.
The other day I found a couple of bits of gold with the GPZ and 15x10" X-coil and they were not yet dropped into my bottle of gold so I thought they'd make good test targets as I wanted to work out for myself if I would be disadvantaged using the GPZ over a VLF on small gold targets in the ground. As the soils in NZ even in gold country are very mild burying a nugget at a depth doesn't seem at all different to finding one naturally with the target signal. With the Gold Bug 2 widely accepted as the most sensitive VLF on small gold I decided I'd use that as the comparison detector. I did this test to prove it to myself more than anything but after doing it I thought I may as well repeat it to show the good people on the forum what I'm experiencing. It's not a scientific test, it's not anything more than me proving to myself why I should use the GPZ over a VLF.
I used the 8" X-coil on the GPZ as it's possibly the most sensitive to small gold, although it may not be as the 8" is bundle wound to be able to fit the windings in such a small coil where as the 15x10" that I found the gold with is spiral wound or flat wound as some call it. The flat wound coils are generally more sensitive than the bundles, so I'm not sure if the 8" is more sensitive than the 15x10" and the bigger coil did find the nuggets in the first place. The 8" certainly has the size advantage which usually means more sensitive, it is also unbeatable for in rough rocky terrain where the 15x10" is difficult to get to the ground.
So I went down to the river behind my house to try it out, I go there as my house has too bad EMI for the GPZ, the disadvantage of going there is a lot of hot rocks which trouble the Gold Bug 2 but not the GPZ, so I had to first dig the area out, remove all the hot rocks by using the GB2 to find them and then refill the hole. I dug out a much bigger area than I was using to be sure no rocks would interfere with the GB2 however I missed one to the right of the hole, far enough off to not effect the results but I do hear the GB2 find it when I pass over it during filming. After doing it I thought I should have put my harness on and used the GPZ how I do in the field with the sP01 enhancer/booster and external speaker as for the video I was just using the WM12, and it gives poor audio compared to the sP01, the targets stand out MUCH more when the sP01 is used. I may redo the test and post a video with just the GPZ using the sP01 to show the difference between using it and not using it next.
Anyway, here is the video, I put little captions on it so it's easier to understand what's going on.
I think I've proven it to myself I should focus more on using the GPZ and less on the VLF's...... JW will be happy with this revelation. 🙂
By the way, a GIANT thank you to Dr Lunk, he read my post where I found the two nuggets used in this video where I was talking about the bad vertigo I've been having the past couple of weeks and advised me of an exercise method that can fix it and fixed it for him so I looked up what he was talking about and found this video
I followed the instructions in that video and within about 5 minutes my vertigo was fixed, weeks of suffering ended with a few minutes of an exercise technique. Incredibly amazing so thank you very much Lunk, or as I call him Dr Lunk. It's been two days now with no dizziness, and it was resolved immediately after doing Lunk's exercise technique. I've even stopped taking my anti-dizziness/nausea drugs.
I went for a gold hunt with JW yesterday, he has a sore foot as he was prospecting last weekend and walking up a steep bit of hillside and heard a pop in his foot then very bad pain and could hardly walk. He's still not sure what the problem is, he had 3 x-rays and no sign of a bone break so he is just taking it easy. I'm suffering from Vertigo and have been for the past week or two, it came on from nowhere about 2 months ago when I was skiing and come right in about a week but now I'm having a second run of it, the doctors know what it is and it has a huge name which I've forgotten now but it should pass in another week or two, I just have random dizzy spells that last for about 10 to 30 seconds, and when I lay down it's a lot worse than when I'm upright. For this reason we went to a very close spot where there was little walking required for JW's foot and my dizziness. It's right near as residential area, for example most of the time I was detecting I was looking at a row of houses.
I'd never detected this bedrock before, I've been past it a zillion times though and JW hadn't done it since his GP3000 days I think it was.
We're both using our 15x10" X-coils lately, we are both a bit surprised how sensitive they are as we were always using the 10" for maximum sensitivity then JW put on his 15x10" and was finding absolutely tiny gold so I too did it too and haven't looked back, more ground coverage while maintaining the sensitivity of the 10" due to it's spiral windings when the 10" is bundle wound. I got the 15x10" as I thought it'd be good for ground coverage and finding slightly bigger gold so to find it's more than capable of finding the tiny stuff was a pleasant surprise. Some of the gold I've been finding with it could probably have been found with the Gold Bug 2 and it's little 6.5" coil ,Nox with 6" coil or the GM with it's 5" coil but to cover the amount of ground with those tiny coils vs using a 15x10" coil would just take so long, with the 15x10" you can cover ground very quickly in comparison while maintaining similar sensitivity to these high frequency VLF's so you do have more chance of finding gold in far less time. Obviously the smaller coils are MUCH better in locations where their size benefits you greatly being able to poke and prod in among rocks and lumpy bedrock, in these more flat locations the bigger coils are better for ground coverage.
The ground around these areas is full of shot gun pellets as there is a big rabbit problem, we saw hundreds of rabbits bouncing around on the small walk in, most were little babies too that the parents had sent off to play for the day while they get much needed mating time I guess 🙂
This rabbit hole was quite funny, the little guy spent a lot of time digging a nice hole out, only to find its a short little trip into a dead end of bedrock 😁
As there are so many shot gun pellets the GPZ can actually be a bit easier than using a detector like the Equinox, the Equinox will give you a nice 1-2 target ID on a pellet, the exact same as small gold nuggets, the GPZ will do a double blip on the surface and near surface pellets as the separate windings pass over them so it's a good indication it's a shallow target, you start to learn after passing over and digging hundreds of pellets what they sound like, they all have the double blip but you also get used to their volume level and sound so you can gradually start to ignore them, with the small gold coming in various shapes and weights the noise and double blip of shallow gold isn't as consistent as the pellet noise, especially after a scrape if they move you can mostly ignore them. It is a gamble but it's necessary in places with so many pellets. Shallow gold can do the double blip too but it's volume/sound can often sound a fair bit different to pellets. Any out of the ordinary double blips are certainly worth investigating.
It was only about 20 minutes after arriving and I had a good target sound it wasn't a double blip but it did have a nice target sound, wasn't a booming target that's usually a bullet shell or something, just a nice gold sound. I scraped the grass off the bedrock and the target was still there, very positive sign.
You'll see in the photo above where I scraped the grass away.
Sitting on the bedrock was a bit of gold.
You can see there the cleaned out crack where I got it in the middle of the photo.
And the location above where it was found on some bedrock up quite high off the ground.
0.124 of a gram, a decent size for me.
I was finding a lot of pellets, not necessarily digging a lot of pellets, about 20 fooled me in the 2 or so hours we were detecting, we cut the trip pretty short due to our health issues.
Not much further along the same bedrock I had another good signal,
I had to scrape out the crack and smash away at the bedrock to break it out, this one took me about half an hour to recover as I'm always very careful smashing out the bedrock as I've lost gold before when smashing the bedrock and then the gold goes flying off into the air never to be found again.
It ended up being quite deep, at least 10cm, I had to smash a fair bit of rock out. I was breaking a bit out, cleaning out the crack, checking it's still there, then repeating the process over and over again, slowly and cautiously as it just had to be gold.
This is the depth it ended up being, hard to see in a photo.
It was a tiny little nugget in the end. 0.074 of a gram, it's sitting just above the X-coils branding on the coil in the photo above. I was very confident I had a nugget so I took a short video showing the target noise prior to smashing out the bedrock.
You'll see it was a pretty unmissable target.
And this was it's location on the bedrock, you'll see the dug out crack in front of the coil.
0.074 of a gram.
Not long after this I decided I couldn't keep going, the bending over digging all the time was affecting my dizziness, and JW was sitting down having a rest due to his sore foot I guess so we decided to call it quits for the day. He also found two nuggets, his bigger one was probably .4 of a gram and a smaller one similar to my 0.074, possibly even smaller.
Some more seasoned guys finding big nuggets in OZ may wonder why I even do a post about two little nuggets, I get a lot of feedback from people learning like myself who enjoy the posts as they find them educational, If I help one person with a story like this then it's been worth it, it's not easy learning to find gold, and any help is good help.
With the fantastic weather in the Rye Patch region during the month of October, I was chomping at the bit to get down there, but my summer job didn't end until the 30th. It still took me a few days afterward to get everything wrapped up, so I finally hit the road and met up with Gerry and friends at Rye Patch the following Tuesday. The detector training class we were scheduled to give that weekend ended up being cancelled, thanks to a winter storm that was forecast to move into the area on Friday. Needless to say, having only two days of optimal detecting conditions before being snowed out and forced to move on to Arizona was a total bummer.😞 Intent on finding a few bits of gold in-spite of the looming storm system and armed with our trusty Minelab GPZ 7000 gold detectors (and one SDC 2300 - also quite trusty, btw), we hit an old patch in hopes of digging up some previously overlooked yellow metal. Only two small nuggets were found after a couple of hours searching with four coils on the ground - not a very good start. It was then that I remembered another old patch nearby that I had completely forgotten about, it had been so long since I had been there. It wasn't a very good producer back in the day, but perhaps we would be able to find a few nuggets that the VLF and early PI machines may have left behind. Within minutes of hitting the ground, my good friend Chef Rusty and I both popped a shallow sub-gram nugget; not a bad start. Soon, everyone was digging good gold! My second target gave an obvious yet deep sounding signal response from the GPZ's stock 14” coil. I imagined it to be a three or four gram piece at a depth of 12” to 18”. Gerry noticed me digging quite an excavation and came over to capture the action on video. At a measured depth of 20”, the target was finally out of the hole, and as I held it aloft there was an audible gasp from the audience that had gathered to watch, followed by cheers and fist-bumps:
After a thorough cleaning, the specimen weighed in at a whopping 40 grams - a totally unexpected and pleasant surprise! The nuggets kept biting sporadically for everyone the rest of the day, and the same was repeated the following day. Just goes to show that sometimes the ZVT tech can really ignite an old burned-out nugget patch. Much fun was had by all, and it really made up for such a short two-day detecting trip. Pictured below are my finds, including the 40 gram chunk, a couple nuggets at over 8 grams, and all the small bits, with a total combined weight of over 66 grams.
Well I for one, and possibly a few others here in the States, am looking forward towards a new gold season down under.
I know this subject has come up in the forum before, Taking your detector with you overseas, but its not been a stand alone topic and I have been unable to dig it out of the old topics where this issue has been discussed easily. So I've brought it up this way so maybe it'll be easier for others to find in the future when the concern comes up. Our detectors and associated gear are rather a pricey point of pride regardless of whether your just coin shooting or going bush. I am asking all with experience in this arena to pitch a comment so as that future traveler can find a comfortable accommodation on how to carry their gear.
My way is not the best way but it works well and I understand the risks. Having taken my gear, both prospecting and coin shooter, overseas many times now~ primarily to Australia but also Japan and Europe~ I simply break it down and pack it well in the suit case as check bags. I carry the control box with me on-board with my carry on and in the case of the Zed I tape off the contacts of the batteries and carry them as well and declare them at the check in, present them for inspection *sometimes they re-tape them*, and go on about my business. With the advent of lithium batteries its important that you do check with the air carriers you plan to use on any limitations and I suggest strongly that you discharge the batteries to at least 50% prior to travel. This lessens the chance of any problems with the batteries and its a feel good you can tell the front desk if asked. Lead acid batteries like the old Humpy for ML's older SD/GP series should just be purchased on the other side as they are cheap enough however I have gotten them thru in check bags as well in the past. Other power supplies can be treated similarly.
Now having said that there is the type of luggage to look for when traveling. First off measure the longest and widest parts of your detector or other gear, like a small pick, so you can obtain the right size bag. Look for one that has a solid back frame, soft frame luggage will not do, or if you have the cash a hard case. Bear in mind that you want to keep all bags under 50 lbs or you will run into fees and in some cases not be allowed to take them at all. Hard cases and Otter boxes are heavy. Due to weight I've had to repack a few times right at the counter just to get things thru even wear extra coats and put socks in my pockets to get thru. In the case of Australia you will want two cases however one can be smaller. Also look for something with solidly mounted wheels and collapsible drag handle. Expect to transfer planes~ those wheels will be important. I also pack an extra belt into the outer pocket of one so I can strap them together at the soft handles for transport, notch it to fit ahead of time as you wont have your pocket knife with you when the time comes. The solid frame back is needed to protect from flexure and impacts as the baggage is handled~ and it will be~ and your cloths will be the packing. Got bags, ok, so lets pack.
A towel, pants or jacket is the first layer about an inch of padding off the rear frame. Now the coil/coils with clothes between them. Rods go in towards the middle. Use socks and shirts around the outter sides of the bag and between gear pieces. If you are taking a pick tuck it to the side and wrap it with jeans. *Just stick it down a leg and wrap the top well*. Your last layer will be mostly cloths about 4 inches thick and when I carry my pan it sits on top. As I said with Australia I carry two bags. I split my detector assemblies/gear and coil between them. Someone get nosy or a bag gets lost its only a partial loss and cheaper to replace than if a whole bag goes for walk about. Having stuff stolen is the Risk and should never be taken lightly. I know you wont like I wont.... its a pricey point of pride. The risk is also why I carry the control box. In the case of thieves they wont want the bits.... usually. Lost bags are in the next paragraph.
Last point. Use those identity tags at the front desk and mark your bags with a distinctive bit of something ( ribbon, bungie, spray paint, ect). I have never lost a bag but they have wandered. That tag and bit of distinctive something, in my case its a chunk of black and white bungie knotted very securely to the handle, aid greatly in tracking down your wandering luggage. On the carousel at the airport all that luggage looks the same as well. Also TAKE A PICTURE of your bags and keep it on your camera or phone. Again if you have ever lost a bag when you go to report it they are going to give you a placard with a whole bunch of luggage and ask you what it looks like... if your bags are new then its confusing. Always expect to stay a day or so at your final destination. Why? Because if that bag(s) wander you'll need to stick around for them to catch up. Airlines have always been good about getting my stuff to me even if I have had to wait a day or so... dont get frustrated~ just keep it in stride, I know your tired and its been a long flight~ if you end up having to track you bags back to you. Its not the person at the kiosk who needs to be your lightning rod if things go poorly. Remember they work for a living too.
Now having said all that there apparently are some new restrictions for carry on electronics so I will add this : Check your route and avoid any legs that go thru the middle east or Africa. Lately I've been flying Quantus out of Dallas to get to Sydney but there are alternate routes that take one thru Dubia and a couple of other spots. The A380 aircraft is a good ride, I kinda miss the 747, so plan appropriately as with the new restrictions you may be forced to pack everything in your check bags. Keep your self informed and pack well. All will be good ;)
Thanks for reading. DD