Today I had to drop my wife and daughter at the airport in Queenstown near JW's house, they're off to Australia for a week to see family. It's too hot for me this time of year over there so I decided I'd stay home. JW had the day off work today due to the weather so we decided we'd go for a detect, it's been wild weather lately.. so much for summer, fresh snow on all the mountains this morning and during the day the snow kept coming down. By the end of the day the mountains had a good coating. My wife's flight ended up being delayed over six hours due to the weather so they had a boring time at the airport waiting while JW and I were out detecting.
The snow was building throughout the day. This was not long after we arrived, much more by the time we left.
This area is known as my nemesis, I've only ever found gold here twice, once was with my Gold Bug Pro when I first started prospecting and another time was when I first got my 12x6" X-Coil also using the QED, both tiny bits of gold. I've struggled to use my GPX at this location as it's right next to power lines and the area is riddled with hot rocks, really annoying hot rocks, the QED handles the power lines fine. The hot rocks combined with millions of shot gun pellets make this area a nightmare for VLF's too. I consider it the hardest place for me to find gold out of my known prospecting areas. It does however have gold, and the gold is often very small stuff, it's a real challenge for me here.
I wanted to try the new 15x10" GPX X-Coil this time as last time with the 12x6" X-Coil I spent a lot of time digging shotgun pellets, I was hoping the bigger coil may just be big enough to ignore the pellets but still be sensitive enough to find some of the tiny gold.
The hot rocks aren't all big either, a lot of them are tiny
This is from dragging my pick magnet across the ground for a few seconds.
The area is quite the challenge to swing a coil too, very bushy and rocky.
The growth of the plant life has gotten a lot worse since I was last here a month or so ago
The rocky areas are often old tailings piles, a majority of them aren't worth detecting though as they're just rocks, no soils involved. This one above wasn't too bad but had no gold unfortunately.
There was plenty of the hot rocks in this area giving me grief. I couldn't run at this location in Mode 11 (No ground balance) as it made the hot rocks so much worse, nutting off all over the place so I stuck with Mode 1, the most sensitive of the ground balanced modes and it mostly handled the tiny hot rocks fine but the bigger ones still set it off. You can't just kick them away unfortunately as a lot of them are buried.
I did managed to find one bit of gold, at first I dug a hot rock but after removing it the signal continued, there was actually two signals after I removed the hot rock however whatever the second signal was it dropped down further into the rock pile to be lost forever.
I'm up quite high on a cliff edge here, you'll see the flooded river below, it's usually a really nice blue water but during flood it goes brown. You'll see the area I dug out to get my little nugget, I have no idea of the depth of it as I may have initially been tricked by the hot rock.
It's a tiny little thing, It had a nice target signal though. I didn't expect at the time for it to be gold as I thought the signal was too good, I was expecting another hot rock.
0.072 of a gram.
The afternoon was getting pretty wet, we were at it rain, hail and shine, the weather kept changing. At one point the hail hurt, got me right in the eyeball!
I just put a plastic bag over the QED to keep it dry, same with the speaker and rear control box. Someone needs to make waterproof covers for it 🙂
That was it for me, I was too wet, I went to see how JW was doing, he of course did better than me with his GPZ / 10" X-Coil combination, I truly believe that combination should be illegal, it makes it unfair on the rest of us I'm sure he'll let you folks know how he did, one of his bits gave me a shock.
There has been a bit of talk with people asking if the X-coils are bump sensitive, seeing my gain and sensitivity settings are on maximum I figure if anyone is going to get bump sensitivity it's going to be me and I get absolutely none so I recorded a video showing it, the video also shows me testing the response on my little nugget after I found it.
I really like the 15x10" X-Coil, it's such a sensitive coil with good ground coverage.
It's been announced the QED dealers are having a Christmas Special for any QED purchased in December, It's a pretty damn good deal with two coils included.
QED XMAS SPECIAL
The QED Dealers are pleased to announce a fantastic XMAS special that is only available during December 2019. For anybody wishing to purchase a QED during December, then you can choose a package with a Nugget Finder 17” x 13” (closed) EVO and get a free Nugget Finder 8” x 6” Sadie. December Package Prices with the above coils Whites “S” bend handle: $2100 AUD Whites Tower handle : $2150 AUD Detech handle: $2150 AUD (+ postage if applicable) Of course the existing packages are still available at the standard prices. http://www.qedmetaldetectors.com.au/dealers
My First major outing with the QED. I intend to write a review here after ever major outing with the QED, until I understand the detector. This also posted in AEGPF. This is my first PI detector. Price, Capabilities and Aussie made were the driving factors to buying this machine.
I went to Warwick GPA for two days. Two purposes for the trip one to recon as much of the all GPAs as possible and two to test my new QED. Recon was to look for potential Dry wash locations. That a different story.
I found all the trash left in the GPA. Bullets, horse shoes, rusting tin, slug gun pellets. Nothing very deep though, all at only a few centimeters. This concerned me so I buried a five cent piece at 20cm on its edge to make it as small a target as possible. Picked this up no problems at all. Full repeatable target. So I am hoping I just didnt walk over any deep targets
I took an XP ORX and my QED
QED got a good 18hrs of use over the two days and used my ORX on some of the same ground: I found it interesting on how the VLF reacted compared to the QED. ( Not Direct comparison test)
My QED setup is as follows:
QED PLII with Detech Shaft
11" Detech Ultra sensing
Quest WIFI to a set of (Apple ipod earplugs ) I am going to buy a good set
Warwick I found has a great difference in minerals across the area. So I had to make sure I basically reset the QED every time I changed location
Quest WIFI - Worked very well. Battery lasts for 24hrs, just as well as I forgot to turn it off most of the time. Had receiver in my top pocket so my earplugs never got in my way. Forgot I still had them in a couple of times Overall very happy with this audio setup
Detech shaft - Excellent
11" Detech Ultra sensing coil - Being my first coil other than HF on ORX - I a had to get use to it sounding hollow while passing it over the ground. Being hollow cuts down on weight I suppose which is good.
I had to Factory Reset at every new spot I detected, as trying to adjust from the previous location was to hard. So in the end I just factory reset when I turned in on at a new location and went through the setup process. Working through the settings starting at 2, then 1,3,4,5
I talk about each setting in the order I used in my setup process
THS-B - Setup range was 49 to 59 so around 54 was mid point. I used it at mid the entire time so I would received an even tone for Small and Large targets
MGB - Setting ranged from 170 to 210. I very quickly got use to checking MGB on the Fly. I did find myself trying to balance in the wrong direction quite a a lot, this just meant spending time cycling back the other way to get correct MGB ( Silence in the Ear Plugs). MGB is achieved on the down motion of the coil, but I was receiving a tone on the up motion as well. Once I got use to this I adjusted the MGB until neither tone could be heard. Once MGB was achieved the detector was silent.
THS-A - This setting initially confused me a bit, as to me it I felt it wasn't really doing anything, after watch the training video over and over and reading some more I understood its relationship to THS-B. This how I used it - (This may be totally wrong so I will need some feedback here). Once I achieved ground balance I would adjust THS-A up until I could just here a tone being produced I would then turn it down until the tone was only just audible. I took this as being the sweet spot for THS-A. Around 50 all over the GPA
Gain - Adjusting Gain up above 2 produced an unstable response from the QED so 2 was the max setting for most of the trip. Adjusting Gain up also effected the tone produced by THS-A. I put the Gain up and went back to THS-A to try and adjust the tone out. This had no effect. So reset THS-A and lowered Gain to make detector stable
Mode - This setting is coil and ground specific to achieve a balance. I found that 3-4 was good for all areas I detected. Anything higher or lower made the detector unstable
After going through this setup( Only took a minute or two). QED was basically silent except for the very low tone that I could only just here from THS-A. While swinging I kept the coil in contact with the ground. I did not receive any coil to ground contact noise. At times I had to check that the detector was still on by passing it near my boot to get a target response ( steel in boots) The silence surprised me, but was excellent as I didn't have to have continual noise in my ears detecting
In patches this happened. I would get single tones from the detector both high or low, swing back past the spot of the tone, nothing. If I started to get these tones, I sometimes stopped moving the detector and listen, random tones still produced (EMI ground mineral) ? I also came across patches that produced multiple random tones. For example a patch 1m square where the detector was silent all around it, but just produced random tones all over the 1m Square. Nothing repeatable in one spot. I dug this out of curiosity, after removing a couple of cm all tone was gone and no target could be found or single disappeared. So eventually I just ignored this type of signal response putting it down to soil type\minerals. I also had tones that produced like a wobbly type noise that was over one spot that sometimes came and went. When dug target disappeared or I found I just spread the target noise over a wider area.
When target was found the tone was easy to recognize and repeatable over the one spot
Please feel free to give me feedback on my setup. I dont know if I am reducing the small target detection or loosing depth
This was my first experience with the QED. Overall I am very happy and excited with my purchase. All I need to do is walk over some yellow and find it. I think my next move is to setup a test patch somewhere. Lead sinkers from sub gram and up
Great news for all the QED owners, it was announced today the QED has been updated with new ground balance firmware along with support for DD and CC coils like the new Concentric coils from Detech that have just been released.
Here is the official announcement from Howard, the God of the QED.
Interfacion Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that the QED has been modified to allow the use of DD (double D) and CC (Concentric Coplanar) coils. This change involves a simple change to the electronics within the control box.
The firmware has also been upgraded to include a further improved Ground Balance.
All detectors being delivered to new customers from Monday 5th August 2019 will already have the above upgrades included.
As a show of commitment to all QED owners, the hardware modification to allow use of the DD and CC coils will be provided at no cost.
Of course and as per the QED warranty, the firmware update is provided free of charge, except for P&H.
Any QED owner who plans to attend the Laanecoorie Bash is encouraged to bring their detector along and have it upgraded at no cost.
Awesome news, I'll be sending mine off ASAP.
You can find out more about the QED on their official website here http://www.qedmetaldetectors.com.au/
By Steve Herschbach
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate due to the fact that the entire age of modern metal detecting has taken place over the course of my lifetime. I was too young in the 60's to be one of the many famous names that were there first on the ground with these new toys that go beep. That's good though for me as most of them are gone now and I'm still here. I got my first detector at the true dawn of the modern detecting age when I got my White's Coinmaster 4 in 1972. It was one of the first of the new "TR" machines that were the starting point for what most of us use today. Mine was as basic as a detector gets, no ground balance existed yet or discrimination. Just a couple inches depth and a beep, dig it up. So I have been involved in detecting now for 47 years. I started my business while in high school in 1976, and have been involved in metal detecting pretty much daily ever since.
Anyone who followed my online presence starting in 1998 may see a pattern. I have been involved in some top end machines, some VLF, but basically almost every ground balancing PI made has been in my hands at some point. I had a vision in my mind based on my background in computers that told me what was possible and where we were headed.
I was particularly incensed when an upstart company from Australia showed up the industry leaders at the time with the world's most powerful gold detecting PI machines. All the more so when I heard White's had a shot at it and passed. I made it my mission to jump on and foster anything that came along that might compete, and so I was involved with the Garrett Infinium, the first U.S. ground balancing PI. I had a lot to do with White's finally producing the TDI.
Yet the fact is nobody ever seriously took Minelab on, and finally they won me over because they delivered when the rest just milked us. Minelab has been the sole company at the forefront of this technology since the SD2000 was introduced.
All this time I have wanted two things. A vision in my mind of what a VLF could be. And a similar vision regarding a PI. Both those visions basically revolved around something a normal person could use both as regards ergonomics and price, two areas we kept getting bent over on for 20 years.
Long story short I am grateful to Minelab for allowing me to be involved in the machine that delivered on my first vision. The Minelab Equinox is the first machine ever that really can do any VLF metal detecting task and do it well. In any one area it may not be "the best" but no one machine delivers across the board like the Equinox. My VLF quest is over. I will use an Equinox as my primary unit until a detector comes along, probably a Minelab, that does what it does but better. No more VLF buy and try for me. Yay!
In 2017 I laid out my vision for the PI I wanted. The price was kind of a set the bar high (with a low price) thing so there is a little wiggle room there. But not a lot... the machine price should be something most people can stomach. As far as I am concerned the GPX 4500 sets the standard at $2699 both for performance and price. The TDI wins on ergonomics but loses too much in performance for me. All I really wanted was a GPX performance in an ergonomic package, and we all know it can be done. That is what is so frustrating. It's one thing to introduce new tech but all I want is proven tech packaged right. Garrett has really been a disappointment not putting the ATX in a light box. They can do it but so far have refused. I would have been satisfied with that.
Right now I am calling the Australian made QED as being the default winner of my challenge. The rough edges have been smoothed out, and it's got the ergonomics, coil selection, and price all right. I am not going to argue with anyone over performance. Based on what I know it's good enough for me to go find gold and easily beats the TDI and is competitive with GPX. Good enough for me and good job boys. The only niggle is no FCC approval for U.S. sales, no U.S. dealers or service. But by end of 2020 if there is nothing better I will have one anyway.
But we have the Fisher Impulse AQ on the verge and a dry land prospecting version promised. I would be crazy not to wait and see what develops there. I sold my GPZ for many reasons, mostly because I was not going to be detecting much this year, but I resolved when I sold it I would wait until my vision appeared. I knew it was close. I decided I can have fun enough with Equinox until that happens.
Put as simply as possible I want a reasonably powerful PI packaged like a good VLF that most of us can afford. Something that can get in and out of a small backpack with an hour of labor being involved.
So I am tossing down the gauntlet. I have my magic VLF and am looking for a mate for it. Right now QED and Impulse are in the running. And it's up to Minelab, Nokta/Makro, and sure, let's toss Garrett and White's in there also. It's time to deliver as by the end of 2020 I am getting one. I prefer in the spring but if something is one the radar I may wait. By 2021 I will be using something that finally fulfills what this high school kid from Alaska has known would happen someday. And I got to be there and see it all from start to finish. As I said... a very fortunate soul!
Interfacion QED PL2
Fisher Impulse AQ
The QED had what I call quite a significant upgrade in August, I was very eager to get this upgrade so I sent mine across to OZ straight away. I was pretty impressed with the upgrade.
The upgrade included a new method for the detector to ground balance which makes it handle variable ground better and an extended ground balance range which used to be 1 to 200 now it's 1 to 300.
For me this allowed me to run in beach mode in a lot of places around here. Beach mode is essentially no ground balance like the coin and relic timing on the GPX. I'm not quite sure how this ground balance update did this as I'm turning ground balance off by going into Mode 11 so I guess the update changes more under the hood than I understand.
The other update allowed it to accept DD and Concentric coils as earlier model QED's only accepted Mono's. I've tried a DD out on my QED now, I was surprised how quiet it ran, the QED is already great with EMI except in the most extreme cases but then the DD fixes that up. There was a bit of confusion early on after the update about the Concentric's not working after the update but it appears that was only on some very early model QED's that needed a minor hardware modification to resolve it (desoldering a bridged join I believe) and that's been ironed out now.
Anyway, now with this new update comes a new manual, so for existing QED users or those who just like to read about detectors and how they operate the manual is available here
I heard a latest model QED has now been used in USA and the modifications to it that were required to match the EMI immunity that we in NZ/OZ benefit from worked a treat, the QED was able to run right near power lines there too. The US power network runs on 120v as you know, in NZ and OZ we run on 240v so I guess something needed changed in the QED to allow for this difference.
There are two shaft options now too
Photo taken from the QED website.