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Detailed Review Of The Nokta Fors Gold Nugget Detector

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Nokta Engineering FORS Gold Prospecting Metal Detector This metal detector review is a first for me in one way. Until to now I have not been very willing to use detectors not made by the well known

Steve, a good review from you means that it belongs on my new detector short list.  About detectors, I think you've said that knowing your machine, no matter what it is, is the most important part of

Hi Bob, Good, solid, real information, and worth its weight in gold to both Kellyco and Nokta. Thanks for posting it.

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Hello all.. Dilek here (Sales & Marketing Manager) ...Thank you for the nice comments... as I have stated on a PM to one of the forum members this morning, I strongly believe that customer focus is where making better products starts. No manufacturer or product is perfect as we all make mistakes but listening to customers instead of making assumptions on what they need or will like is a key and this is what we are trying to accomplish. But then again demands are endless and believe me it is not as easy as it seems to incorporate it all into one machine especially if you are a manufacturer selling products to end users around the world with different needs. But we try our best as we believe that your feedbacks lead us in the right way to reach our company’s ultimate goal of 100% customer satisfaction with our products. 


Regarding FORS - Now, some people do prefer it to be chest mount and some do not. We can make it chest mount but the problem is that the coil cable as well as the cable coming from the handle need to be much longer. Then these need to be tested again. In addition, we have to keep stock of 2 different versions of coils with different cable lengths. And when we add the small and the large coils to that, the burden is larger. So I really do not know if we can play around with FORS at this point but we will have new models coming out in the future geared towards different needs. Meanwhile feel free to give us your suggestions on what you want to see in a detector (mechanicals, design, electronics , functions, coils, price or whatever you can think of ). We love feedbacks! 


Steve, as information on the new models are confidential at this point I cannot share them here on the forum but I can email you to give you some preliminary info to get your input if you wish.


Thank you all!

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Hello Dilek,

I appreciate your kind offer. I have given it all some thought, and I have decided that going forward I am not really interested in testing metal detectors in general. A new detector to get my interest would have to be quite special. That basically would exclude single frequency VLF detectors.

I would be interested if any manufacturer is working on a ground balancing pulse induction detector that weighs less than 5 lbs and that equals or exceeds the performance of the Garrett ATX. I would not be interested in simple single channel ground balancing models like the TDI. I would similarly be interested in any induction balance models incorporating multiple frequencies.

In other words, I am interested in ground breaking technology. Otherwise, I am satisfied with what I currently have at my disposal. In 2015 I want to spend less time testing new detectors and more time just finding gold.

Thank you for your consideration!

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I see Dilek from Nokta was replying to the various comments on the Nokta Gold.  

How fantastically refreshing seeing a manufacturer actually engaging the users of their products.  When this gets into the general community Minelab and Garrett are going to lose a lot of sales.  I for one had a lot of heart-burn with my Garrett AT Pro; and the response from Garrett was less than impressive.  Hence I'm lining up my financial duckies to buy a Nokta Gold in the near future.


May I suggest, in connection with the chest mounted discussion that it simply go to "wireless" (that would be great for the headphones also).  Or will that not be possible due to various electronic configuration set ups?  Bear in mind I know practically zero about electronics. But it was just a thought.


And well done Dilek and Steve to provide a great introduction and commentary of the Gold model, and what's happening in terms of design processes and new products.  Thank you.

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As far as "improvements" to Nokta detectors go, it would be very nice and thoughtful if Nokta took the time to provide detectors going to the USA with battery chargers that can be used in the USA.  We can easily buy adapters to adapt USA plugs to European spec outlets, but vice-versa is not so simple, buying adapters to allow European plugs to work here.  I'd read about this issue in the past and thought it was taken care of but I know of at least one detector purchased very recently that came with a European spec plug on the charger and no USA adapter



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If I did not already have a Deus and Gold Bug Pro I would seriously be considering purchasing a Notka. I just find them interesting even though I probably won't buy one any time soon. Therefore when "Daniel TN" posted the following comments on the Nasa Tom forum they made me sit up and take notice.

"Be aware that it does "downgrade" the ID numbers and tones in mineralized ground. It will start reading coins and such other non ferrous items as iron. In my soil it didn't take much depth for it to start doing this either. I could hit all items in my test garden in GEN mode which is all metal. In the two disc modes, the deepest target I got to register without an iron grunt was a 4 inch quarter. Which means...In disc mode it is very easy to ignore the iron grunts and concentrate only on the higher tones. But the iron grunts could very well be non ferrous items that are being IDed incorrect. It is soil depending. I can't remember where it GBed at in my soil...I want to say it was at 70 something but can't recall 100%. It's a great machine though. Built very well. Probably handles neutral to moderate mineralization very well. A lot like the T2 except for better in iron. Much faster recovery."

The OTP does not mention how that compares to other machines but it does not seem like he would bother posting if all machines struggled equally in his ground.

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Daniel has very bad ground and basically hunts like a nugget hunter would. He uses all metal or a PI very often. He generally has little use for discrimination.

Discrimination circuits are only accurate on isolated targets in the air. As soon as you add ground mineralization, the numbers start to change, and if you co-locate other metal items - game over.

The most common observable effect in mineralized ground is the target number being pulled down the deeper the item is, until it is identified as ferrous. The layman explanation is that the detector sees ground iron mineral in greater quantity than the non-ferrous item, and there is a point where it sees so much ferrous mineralization it calls the overall signal ferrous.

All VLF detectors do it. How much they do it is governed by the ground itself, the target, EMI interference, the angle the target is buried at, and the detector itself - frequency, ground balance method, discrimination methods employed, and especially the coil all are part of the equation.

Daniel and I have compared notes. He will have little good to say about any unit using discrimination. He prefers all metal, and he has had best results in that regard with the Fisher F75 and White's V3i. He is not as thrilled with the new F75 all metal mode, and the Nokta he has issues with the machine resetting and interfering with the way he is used to sizing targets. You can go to the Dankowski forum and read his posts over the years here http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/search.php?2,author=163,match_type=USER_ID,match_dates=0,match_threads=0

All VLF detectors do it and it is part of the basis for my article Metal Detector Discrimination Really Sucks I also cover in many other posts and articles like my discussion of the MXT at Ganes Creek near the end of the page at http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-equipment/whites-electronics-mxt-metal-detector.htm

The bottom line is I have not found any detector to stand out as truly the best when it comes to accurate AND deep discrimination. You can get good discrimination, or good depth, but not both. It does vary by location so what works great in one place does not work so well in another location. Leading to many online detector wars!

Ground mineralization tends to pull target id number down, also referred to as down averaging. Interestingly, lots of man-made ferrous stuff in the ground, like tiny flakes of old rusted cans, etc. can also cause id number to push up, or up average. This can be used by designers of a machine like the DEUS to good effect. It is very good at finding non-ferrous items in a pile of ferrous stuff, and I believe it is because it uses this up averaging tendency to a degree. Yet the DEUS is also notorious for having inaccurate id numbers.

The Minelab BBS and FBS machines probably have the most accurate and consistent target id numbers that can be had for as deep as you can get them, but the reality is they are not very deep machines in highly mineralized ground. But when they call something good, it probably is.

I spent a lot of time over the years trying to find a detector that got good id on non-ferrous stuff like gold in mineralized ground, and generally the mid-frequency gold detectors with good tight DD coils are best, and smaller coils are better than larger coils. DD coils will also call lots of ferrous stuff like flat steel non-ferrous so you dig lots of junk also. If you have a unit that has you digging no ferrous stuff you are sure to be missing non-ferrous items also because the unit is biased that way. If pressed I would make a case for the MXT in relic mode being one of the better choices along with the F75 and T2. Tesoro Tejon has a good rep there also but never used one myself.

Long story short they all do it and some are better than others, but it depends on the ground you are in. There flat out is no good answer and I immediately become suspicious of anyone making claims to absolutes on this subject.

I can say that the jury is out on the Nokta in that regard. I would like to do more direct head to head work with it on my ground but need more time. My last serious outing was with the DEUS, Gold Bug Pro, Nokta, and CTX 3030 in bad ground looking for non-ferrous targets in ground loaded with ferrous junk. My issue with the Nokta was not so much it calling ferrous items non-ferrous but just the opposite - it was calling lots of ferrous stuff non-ferrous, but in a mixed sort of way. The CTX darn near eliminated the ferrous stuff but seemed too aggressive. The DEUS did fine but the Gold Bug Pro was nudging it out by a hair for depth. Do not read too much into what I just stated - it is just one run and far from definitive. At the end of the day the more tests I do the more I just learn that discrimination sucks. All it is good for is cherry picking or at best in helping decide where to focus on usng a PI to dig everything.

I can sum up by basically agreeing with Daniel. Use a Nokta in disc mode and you will miss gold. As you will with anything else. Use discrimination wisely and at your own risk.

Fairly detailed article on the subject as relates to the DEUS at http://www.metaldetectingworld.com/xp_deus_coin_vdi_readings.shtml A quote from that page "Cases when the target's VDI value turns out to be 10-20 points lower than a "normal" readout are not as bad as the cases when the non-ferrous target's VDI reading can not "bail out" of the iron range on the Conductivity/Discrimination scale. As a result, such low-conductive valuables end up being rejected."

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Steve, thanks for taking the time to write such an in-depth reply. I must admit I was a little taken aback by Daniels statement that he could not achieve a high tone on a quarter at a depth greater than 4".  That must be some bad dirt. :o

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      Snow on the ground so time for a little bench testing. Fisher F75 SE version 7.0A (2013) with 5" round DD coil, Nokta FORS Gold with 5" semi-round DD coil, and White's V3i with 4" x 6" DD coil.

      The table shows VDI numbers on some standard items. The little allen wrench is like a small nail - a ferrous item. The BIC ballpoint is my standard simulated small nugget. The ring is my 14K plain gold band, around 7 grams.

      The VDI range on the Nokta runs from 1 - 99 with 40 and under generally ferrous. The F75 runs from 1 - 99 with 15 and under generally ferrous. The White's V3i runs from -95 to +95 with negative numbers generally ferrous. I say generally because in all three cases gold can run well into the ferrous range. Like by 10 - 20 VDI numbers into it!

      A few big lessons. The Nokta FORS VDI 1 - 99 range is skewed with high conductors bunched on the high end of the scale with most of the scale devoted to ferrous and low conductive items. This is ideal for relic hunters and prospectors. Silver coin hunters however usually prefer the scale to devote more room on the high end to possibly get a better handle on what is silver and what is not.

      The ferrous range of the Nokta actually runs all the way down into the ferrous ground range itself which is why there are 40 numbers devoted to it. The ID Mask setting defaults to 10 and if set lower allows ground signals to sound off. Since non-ferrous starts at 40 and I arbitrarily end low conductors at zinc penny on the upper end you have 40 - 82 or a spread of 42 points for low conductors. This really is no more than an average spread due to the large ferrous range.

      What I was happy to see is the simulated nugget (BIC ballpoint) nailing at 44 as a non-ferrous target.

      Contrast this to the F75 1 - 99 range. There are only 15 points in the ferrous range with the extreme low end represented on the Nokta scale truncated roughly in the middle. However, this leaves 16 up to 62 at zinc penny for a low conductor spread of 46 or slightly better than that on the Nokta FORS and leaves room for a little better definition for high conductive coins also. There is a ten point VDI spread between a dime and a quarter versus only 3 points on the Nokta.

      What disturbs me on this particular F75 is that having tried multiple coils I am getting the same result on the simulated nugget test. It wants to nail at a solid 1 which is well under the ferrous 8 reading for the allen wrench. This is not shocking but it is not good either. I can get the ballpoint to break in at 16 occasionally but it should be there hard and solid, not rarely. I had Keith Southern test his updated F75 and it seems to do better. I need to test this again when and if I ever get an upgraded F75 but it does confirm my suspicion that at least some Fisher units are not properly aligned at this critical break point.

      The White's V3i slays both of them with White's standard spread of 190 VDI points with half that devoted to ground and ferrous. A full 95 points is devoted to non-ferrous, giving a nice spread across the whole range. The V3i is a three frequency unit and the 22.5 kHz frequency employed allows it to easily nail the ballpoint test with a solid VDI of 3. White's even allows the 22.5 kHz frequency to use a native VDI range that skews and expands the low conductive range that delivers a VDI of 10 on the ballpoint, a very nice cushion between it and a ferrous reading. you have from 1 all the way up to 55 for zinc penny slightly beating both the Nokta and F75 for VDI resolution on low conductors and still room left for very good definition in the high conductor range.

      These detectors can employ a dual tone mode that delivers a low tone on ferrous targets and a higher tone on non-ferrous targets. The break point on the Nokta and F75 is preset at the factory VDI breaks of 13 and 40. The V3i you can customize not only the VDI break point but the tones.

      The F75 dual tone mode is pretty straight forward, with the volume being weaker or louder depending on the strength of the signal. In other words, a modulated audio. The Nokta Boost or DI2 mode uses a VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) audio where both volume and tone increases with signal strength. Anyone that uses a Fisher Gold Bug is familiar with VCO audio. It is rather unique and some people like it, others do not. Again, the V3i allows the tones to be customized any way you want, with either VCO, modulated, or even unmodulated options.

      Things get more interesting in Nokta DI3 or F75 three tone options. The low tone break for ferrous is the same but a third higher tone is added. On the Nokta zinc pennies and higher or from 80 on up delivers the third high tone. On the F75 it breaks above zinc penny so those pennies fall into the middle tone low conductive range.

      Zinc penny is also where Indian head pennies and some other old coins can fall. If you hunt strictly by ear and dig high tones only you are going to pretty much dig all coins but nickels. With the F75 it is geared more towards silver hunters so zinc pennies, Indian heads and possibly other coins would get passed up as low conductors. But wait! The F75 also has a four tone option that puts that zinc range into into own fourth tone - problem fixed. You can chose a tone option that focuses more on silver only or one that breaks out that penny range. Jewelry Hunter would probably prefer the 3 tone mode and dig just mid-tones. The bottom line is the Fisher has more tone options for the coin hunters than what the FORS offers.

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