The positioning of knob on left side may indeed cause right hand users to inadvertently move the knob when it contacts their body, etc. Here’s a short video I did with a cheap fix. Enjoy.
I will be retiring in the coming months and am preparing to get back into prospecting. My plan is to go "high tech". My view is that I may want a VLF to search for small targets then switch to a PI to punch down deeper for any other potential targets over the same area. I'm leaning strongly toward the Gold Bug 2 for my first detector. I understand after doing some research and watching a bunch of videos on YouTube that the GB2 really excels at recovering small gold.
My question is, considering it's operating frequency, what kind of depth is possible with the GB2 and considering ground mineralization?
Although we own Minelabs-Equinox, GP's & other detectors, more and more often my brother Jim and I are using the Gold Bug 2. We've discovered that when we find a patch and after the small nuggets are found, tiny pieces still remain. At the end stage, we can get even more pieces by raking the area. Jim made me this collapsible rake, from a tiny collapsible four tine rake and a welded-on eight tine piece. I can carry it in my backpack and it looks like just the tool for those tiny pieces.
By Rick Kempf
A local Craigslist ad had this for $100. I contacted the seller and after some conversation he indicated that in fact he had no idea if it worked or not - it was him moms - had been sitting for decades. He lived 50 miles from me and I an wary of driving much in this pandemic. I asked about the batteries and he looked - they were a mess he said. He said that he would probably trash it and I asked if he had any reason to drive my direction anytime soon. We agreed on a spot halfway and I offered $25 “sight unseen”.
The original recargable nicads were in there - a mess. The battery clips (a known issue with this machine) had a bit of surface corrosion which I filed away and some solder repairs which looked solid enough. 14 AA alkalines later and it works a bit squirrelly, but seems to be fine. Air tests at 9” or a bit on a quarter on the ground in discrim and 12” in AM. The tone ID works fine and the meter seems to under-read a bit but is consistent.
These things weigh a ton and this one is an original factory hip mount - a strange shelf-like bracket to hang the thing lying flat on your belt. Sven sent me some files on it and among them was a nifty chest mount which will hook to the D rings at each corner of the Tek - I found it on Amazon and ordered one.
I had a Compass X-100 once upon a time and this reminds me of it. Powerful but weird - the tones are great however - no digital processing - the meter gives interesting little twitches on marginal discrim signals. Should be fun and good exercise.
By Steve Herschbach
Fisher Gold Bug Operating Manual, 307 KB pdf file, 32 pages
Fisher Gold Bug Data & Reviews
Fisher Gold Bug Color Brochure
First Texas (Fisher) Forum
This is the manual for the original 1987 19 kHz Gold Bug model. It was revised in 2001 and pictures of the Gold Bug 2 were used for the cover and layout pages, but the manual is for the older "black face plate" model.
By Steve Herschbach
I have a 1990s era Fisher Gold Bug, the original 19 kHz analog version, long since replaced by newer models. The old 19 kHz model was not particularly hot, but it did have an ability to ground balance out some hot rocks that newer and hotter VLF machines struggle with.
Original Fisher Gold Bug Data & Reviews
The detector came with a 10" elliptical search coil. I have a couple very rare 3.5" round coils that Fisher made for these models before the little 4" x 6" elliptical replaced it. It's the smallest search coil I've ever owned for a commercially sold metal detector, making the unit into more of a probe than a normal detector.
The threshold was cutting out if the detector was bumped, something loose, so it's been sitting idle for a very long time. I decided it was doing no good as is, and by chance had an opportunity to call Felix at Fisher recently. Felix is another old-timer in the industry like myself, who I have not talked to since I left my old dealership in Alaska over eight years ago. Anyway, since the detector is still actually functional Felix figured they could give it a good refurbish and fix whatever is loose.
The main thing I wanted, however, was to get the detector tuned for the 3.5" coil. Most people do not know it, but analog Gold Bugs are hand tuned for every coil. The coil they ship with is tuned for the detector, or should I say the detector is tuned for the coil. Accessory coils may or may not be a perfect match if the original coil is swapped out for something else. Long story short is I am asking them to match the detector to the 3.5" coil as well as is possible.
The original Gold Bug is a genuine classic. Prior to it, detectors were large square boxes with extremely poor ergonomics. The Bug features a very compact control box that is removeable from a S rod, enabling easy chest or hip mounting. The design seems normal now, but you have to have used what came before to see the genius of what Fisher did with the Gold Bug. 19 kHz was also a radically high frequency at the time, as people were just catching on to the idea that higher frequencies are better for small gold nuggets than the lower frequencies that were the norm of the time. The 19 kHz Gold Bug replaced the 4.5 kHz VLF-660 Mother Lode as Fishers top nugget detector. Frankly, Fisher was not seriously in the game prior to this point, with Garrett probably the leader in VLF gold detectors at the time. A new company named Minelab was just starting to sell detectors in Australia, and had yet to really make a name for themselves.
Anyway, control box and coil boxed up and on the way to El Paso. I'll let you all know how long it takes and what the result is.
Here is a picture of one of the coils. The Gold Bug coils first used a gray dual lead cable, which was replaced very early on with the stouter black cable used to this day. This is the older coil of the two, though it also has less wear. The one I sent in has the heavier cable but is in poor condition. I need to reinforce the coil ears when I get it back since one is cracking. But I decided I wanted to use the coil with the heavier cable, with this older one serving as backup until I sort this all out. And in case anyone is wondering, the old 19 kHz coils do not work on the newer digital versions of the 19 kHz Gold Bug.
3.5" round search coil for original analog Gold Bug
To reiterate what a radical design advance the Gold Bug was at the time, here is a picture of the detector it replaced, the 4.5 kHz Mother Lode...
Fisher VLF-660 Mother Lode metal detector
And the new 19 kHz Gold Bug...