This was posted over on the Jeep forum about some strange occurrences in the Australian bush and the mystery of the Button man, any of our gold hunters down under hear anything of the mystery of the Button man?
So I have been watching some Parker's Trials and Aussie Gold Hunters.......... 😉
But on both shows now they say that if you "peg" a claim it is considered Pending and can be "prospected" (aka metal detected) by the public for about 8-12 months until it is no longer Pending. Is this really true? Do people peg to throw other prospectors off? Like send them on a wild goose chase? 😄 In the US I am sure that would not fly at all. I mean you do the work to find a good claim and then people can see on Tengraph where it is and go to town on it. There would be for sure some shooting going on. 😄
So as long as you have a Miner's Right, do a little research on gold bearing areas, find some Pending claims in those areas, then you are good to go? Is this how a lot of detectorists hunt in WA?
Some post bush fire nugs from Gippsland, I went over an old patch just after the fires and before the beer virus lock down. The tree stumps were still smoking when I got these. The biggest is just over 1oz. It's amazing what can be missed with scrub all around.
When circumstance allow, I like to go prospecting in Victoria's 'Golden Triangle', one of Australia's nugget hot spots. I use my beach machines, a Tdi Pro and a Tdi Sl Limited Edition. The Pro can be used for prospecting without any real issues, the Tdi Sl is more challenging in this environment. I'm going to focus on my experiences in hot ground, infested with ironstone, hot rocks and heavy mineralization. Not going to focus on depth, power or anything other than what it takes to get the machine to operate smoothly with the correct ground balance. The Pro machine has a hugh advantage, simply by vitue of that course and fine ground balance adjustments but this post is mostly about the Tdi SL. The single turn ground balance on the SL is a pain, it takes a bit of time to get it just right.
When the ground is hot the SL requires me to use a smaller coil, mono being the best. Mono coils in my experience are quieter, more stable and much easier to ground balance. Larger folded mono coils, duel field coils and the newer and hotter spiral wound coils all suffer when the ground is very hot, they are noisy and difficult to ground balance with a Tdi Sl. The Tdi Sl with the stock 12 x 7 Miner John folded mono can be balanced but it will transmit more ground noise and be more difficult to ground balance when compared to using a smaller mono coil. Forgive me but I'm going to repeat myself a few times in this post.
The smaller the coil the quieter the Tdi Sl will be and easier to ground balance, the reduced 'foot print' helps a lot. The very small 6 x 4 mini Jimmy coil is amazing in its ability to run smoothly and easily ground balance, but is too small to be practical most of the time. In comparison I can use larger mono coils on the Tdi Pro without issue, it has superior ground balancing ability on the goldfields. A Tdi Pro mounted with a 8x6 mono 'Sadie' is my standard setup. The Detech 15 x 10 or Digger 14 x 8 also see some use as does the new to me Detech 8 inch mono when using the Pro. So whilst the Tdi Sl likes the smaller mono coils on the goldfields the larger coils are not an option. Yes the ultimate Tdi Sl setup is a small mono coil and an upgraded 16v battery pack for prospecting. Super light weight and beautifully balanced, respectable performance and versatile. Fun to use for all, kids and older family enjoy the light weight and balance.
Allow me to deviate for a moment. Tie me to an ants nest and smother me in honey for stating the obvious. Serious prospectors are better served by more specialised Minelab machines... they are superb. For me versatility is key at the moment and I feel better served by my White's Tdi Pro on the beach, that stealthy little Tdi Sl 'urban PI' is also a pleasure to use. When I invest in an expensive 4x4 and trailer some time in the future, then I'll make room for the more specialised gold machine. Hopefully by then Minelab with have a light weight and well balanced SDC type PI in a Tdi Sl style body. Maybe White's will surprise us all. Fisher is coming to the party also. I need PI peformance and light weight, good balance and sane pricing.. more options arriving as time goes on.
Again my one piece of advice to anyone wanting to prospect using a Tdi SL in 'hot' ground, particularly in Australia, is this.. Use a small mono coil. Small duelfield coils like the older Jimmy, 7.5 duelfield, Miner John 7x5 folded mono or 6 inch folded mono coils, are all OK most of the time.. The Razorback 10 x 6 mono is great, the Coiltek Tdi series 6 inch mono is great, The Sadie is great. Keep it small and stick with mono and you should do well in all types of ground. The larger coils work well with the Tdi Sl in moderate soils and the beach. But when the ground goes bad it does pay to swap out for a small mono.
Again this is my experience in hot Australian ground. Hot is hot and I suspect many international Tdi Sl users have the same experience in difficult ground. Not looking to pick any fights but this is my experience with the Tdi Sl. Go small, go mono and boost the battery pack. All the best.