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2 More Days With The SDC 2300: 52 Nuggets And 8.8 Grams

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I took Steve out to the place where I'd been having some success with my SDC 2300, but the patch I had been working on was petering out. The first morning, I got three tiny nuggets. However there are loads of workings there and Steve headed up the hill and found some spots up there were he was getting some gold. After lunch we went up there and Steve took one small ridge and I took the other. Although we were only about 15 yards apart, there was no cross talk between the detectors. Turns out mine was the more productive of the two, but we didn't know that then, and Steve got some good gold too. Once I got started, it was just one little nugget after the other. I would only be searching a few minutes between finds, and there was very little trash. I think I got a couple square nails and a few bird shot - and 29 nuggets. One of them was a cool kind of arborecent shape that is unlike any nugget I have ever dug, but I have seen some photos of pieces like that. Today we went at it again, and I mostly just kept pounding that same ridge I was working on from one end to the other. Steve found another little slope that yielded some chunky nuggets. The weather was fantastic, just enough clouds to keep the temperature just right, great company, beautiful California scenery. Today I got another 23 nuggets and again just a small hand full of trash items.

The total weight for two days with the SDC was 8.8 grams, well over a quarter ounce, almost 6 pennyweight.

Hey Steve, that was a great short trip, we'll give it another try again soon.



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Thanks for a great time Chris - I had a blast! I don't care what anyone says, finding little nuggets is fun. And they do add up.

My larger nugget is really interesting. Obviously formed in a tiny cavity between little quartz crystals. The crystals left distinct cavities and faces on the nugget. Will have to get a close up and post tomorrow.

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I would be honored JP. Hanging out with you and Chris was the best time ever. And with the SDC "Patch Vacuum" I am sure I could find a lot more gold than on my last trip. Amazing little machine.

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Chris… that’s approaching a half-oz of handsome character gold over the past week’s few outings for you… I would be pleased with those results. I should think that size and character gold would be suitable for what is generally described as micro-collections… these are becoming increasingly popular with the mineral collecting fraternity here. 
Newcomers to the hobby should pay attention to what you've been doing. Adapting equipment to search conditions is always the key to consistent successful results. This is a fine example of that simple concept producing in spades… kudos to you and Steve.


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My couple days came to 5.3 grams. Largest nugget 0.67 grams. Smallest weighed on my freshly calibrated digital powder scale at 0.7 grains or 0.045 grams!

5.3 grams beautiful California gold Steve found with Minelab SDC 2300

Tiny SDC gold - 0.7 grains found with Minelab SDC 2300

The gold is very close to the source as can be seen in the photos. The ground is very mineralized loaded with lots of magnetite lumps. Yet I was able to easily run my SDC 2300 on a sensitivity level of 4 for general hunting and I ran it at max of 5 when actually on a gold patch. The SDC basically exhibits no EMI noise and I was easily able to work with Chris only 50 feet away. There is little to no ground noise either. What you do get at higher sensitivity levels is noise introduced in the high gain circuitry that exhibits itself as what Jonathan refers to as a "sparky" threshold sound. Yet it is something you become accustomed to easily and the fact that such tiny nuggets stand out with no problem illustrates that.

People really are just missing the point on the SDC. It is not that it will find gold other detectors will not find, though in some cases that may be the case. The real thing here is that it does it easily and quickly with no fuss or muss, no special expertise, tuning, or coils needed.

As you can see in the photo I am using the new waterproof headphones for the SDC 2300. They fit my head better than the stock headphones, sound just fine, and have a much stouter cord that will be less prone to failure. Minelab should just make these the stock headphones with the SDC 2300.

I also really appreciate the ability to rapidly adjust the SDC rod length and coil angle for any situation. It can be run extra short for hillside hunting, or the coil can be laid out flat as a pancake for shoving under brush. I hunted a shelf at waist height by running the coil flat and shoving it across the shelf back and forth in front of me.

Great little unit. The more I use it, the more impressed I am. I have a several day backpacking trip into a remote location coming up, and have never been there before. Due to packing a tent, food, etc to cover several days, I have to choose what to take. My GPX 5000? Maybe Gold Bug Pro? How about the Gold Bug 2? Garrett ATX? Nope, they all stay home. I think the SDC has the best shot at producing gold for me so it goes and the rest stay. I do not know how to make it any clearer than that and so that is about all I am going to say on the subject going forward unless specifically asked a question. Seems like a lot of angst out there over the SDC 2300 for some reason so I think I will just keep my head down and go nugget detecting.

Chris Ralph and his magic gold patch

Steve Herschbach with waterproof headphones using SDC in shortest rod collapsed configuration on hillside where he found gold

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What a great feature about this detector: the ability to custom adjust it's length in an instant, without having to fiddle with coil cables!



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JP - I would also be very honored with an opportunity to return to the Lucky Country and spend some time with you.

       Are you sure you can endure a couple of goofy Yanks hanging around with you for a few weeks?

       I'm looking forward to chatting with over the details.

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