By Mike Hillis
Was looking at detector prices lately and noticed the Xterra 705 has really dropped in price for new. Kind of makes me want to go around with it again. Also noticed MarsMD offers multiple frequency coils for it now too, which is a big plus.
What to do? what to do?
i bought my exterra 705 this year sorely for prospecting gold nuggets in Zimbabwe. Can anyone help me with the best prospecting settings. I have ventured around where some other people previously found gold but found none so im begining to wonder if the exterra 705 was a good choice or maybe its the settings that i am not getting right. Thank you
By Nokta Detectors
Dear Valued Members,
We got requests from customers for longer shafts for our devices.
Please note that we are now adding a longer middle shaft to our accessories line up that will be compatible with the Fors / Racer and Kruzer series.
The length of the shaft is 4 inches longer than the standard one included in the packages. We hope this will satisfy the need of taller customers who have been asking for this. The part number and pricing will be sent out to dealers tomorrow.
We apologize that it took us long to take action on this. As a matter of fact, all your requests / demands that we believe we can accomodate always stay in my notes but as you can understand, some things take priority over others as the resources are not unlimited for any company.
New longer middle rod for Makro Racer, Kruzer, and Nokta FORS metal detectors
By Steve Herschbach
I have now put enough time on all these units to at least reach a basic conclusion in my own mind. And that is that they are far more alike than different. Trying to get clear differences to appear in actual field use in highly mineralized ground is a true exercise in hair splitting.
A couple detectors that can be added to the title list are the Teknetics T2 and G2 models. First Texas owns Fisher and Teknetics. The T2 is the predecessor of the F75. They are not exactly the same detector (they do not share coils) but almost identical in performance. The G2 really is just a Gold Bug Pro in different clothes.
13 kHz - Fisher F75 and Teknetics T2
15 kHz - Nokta FORS Gold and FORS CoRe
19 kHz - Fisher Gold Bug Pro, F19, Teknetics G2
In actual use the frequency just about says it all. The lower frequency F75 and T2 are just a tad less sensitive to very small low conductors, like a small gold nugget. The 15 kHz FORS is almost an exact match to the Gold Bug Pro/F19/G2 for sensitivity to small low conductors and so despite the bigger frequency gap I would say the FORS models come closer to the higher 19 kHz models than the lower 13 kHz models.
I have to say it all just boils very much down to the feature list, and again, they line up pretty well. The less expensive Gold Bug Pro and G2 have a more limited feature set than the F19. The F75 has the most options for tones and settings at the highest price on the list. The Nokta units at their new lower price are a real good value.
For me when it came down to actual performance the Gold Bug Pro/ F19 were so close to the FORS models I let the two Fishers go and kept the Nokta. Basically just to get the automatic ground tracking which can be very useful in variable ground but also the three tone option, which is nice for coin detecting. I also like the way the Nokta units balance better with larger coils. All I can tell anyone at this point if you want a detector to use for nugget detecting and also for other purposes, the Gold Bug Pro/F19/G2/FORS Gold and FORS CoRe are so close in actual field use that it will all come down to the operator and ground variations. I think the machines are a toss up from a performance perspective and so just line up the feature list and go with whatever floats your boat. I think for sheer value at this time the Nokta FORS models are tough to beat.
The T2 and F75 give up a slight edge on small low conductors. What this means is that all the previously mentioned models are better for smaller gold nuggets. The trade off is the T2 and F75 are better all around detectors for general purpose use, gaining in coin and other high end conductors some slight advantage simply because the machines are not quite so sparky on tiny non-ferrous trash. In moderate to low mineral ground conditions the T2 and F75 have a clear depth advantage on high conductive coins but in very mineralized ground the advantage is nearly non-existent.
In my case at least I feel like there is a 90% overlap between my latest version F75 and the two FORS models. If I head out the door right this second to go hunt coins I am more likely to grab the F75 as I like the extra tone schemes. There is the 3H mode that gives a high tone beep on all normal coins but also takes US nickels, which usually reads as a mid tone, and puts it up in the high tone range also. This is a great cherry picking mode. The standard 4 tone mode is great for cherry picking jewelry digging the low mid tones. I like the big screen and the backlight, etc. So I am also keeping my F75.
But if I was heading out the door chasing gold nuggets right now in a really trashy location and not wanting to use a PI, I would grab the FORS instead. It pulls low conductors like small gold nuggets out of the ground better than the F75. Not by a huge margin, but enough to matter to me.
And that is where it will stay for now. I am waiting to get my hands on the new Makro Racer models this summer, and using the F75 and FORS plus Racer units all summer. Then proceeding to phase two of the weeding process. I am trying very hard to get my detector collection down to just a couple PI detectors and a couple VLF detectors. It is down to that stage of the game however where it just needs a lot more in field use to let things sort out for me.
What I can leave you with for sure right now however is that these are all very good detectors that are ridiculously close in performance. You really just can't go wrong with any of them. Mid frequency VLF technology has matured to the point where it is almost impossible for anyone to really stand out from a performance standpoint. Nearly all the performance debates I see on the internet about these models boils down to differences in ground mineralization more than the machines themselves. Just find one that feels right on your arm and sounds good to your ear and get to work!
This is very much a work in progress and so as I get a chance to use the large coils or hunt under different ground conditions if I come up with anything if interest I will add it here. There is a related thread on VDI numbers and tones at https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/526-fors-gold-f75-v3i-tone-and-vdi-tidbits/. For detailed information on each model plus the latest prices visit Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
By Steve Herschbach
The Nokta representative has said that the Nokta FORS Gold and Nokta FORS CoRe are basically the same detector. The FORS Gold was intended as a machine marketed for the prospecting market, with much of that being in third world countries. They wanted to make it clear the machine was intended for and capable of prospecting for gold and the best way to make that clear is in the name.
The FORS CoRe is literally aimed at the coin and relic market, and the name is derived from that - Coin & Relic.
The two detector are obviously different colors with different decals. But how about operationally? They currently are the same price so why chose one over the other?
The decision was made to simplify the FORS Gold by removing one operation mode - the Conductive Ground or COG mode. The COG mode expands the ground balance range to include not only mineralized ground but also the conductive salt range. We would best recognize this as a salt or beach mode. It is intended primarily for beach use however it may also very well have applications for alkali salt flat detecting and would be a good prospecting option to have. The FORS Gold can compensate for conductive salt ground by the more drastic measure of increasing the ID Mask setting until the signal from salt ground is eliminated. This works but employing ground balance as in the COnductive Ground mode is the preferred solution. For this one simple reason I recommend people buy the FORS CoRe instead of the FORS Gold since they are the same price at this time. Do note that by adjusting out the effects of conductive salt you also eliminate small gold signals since the two overlap. This is just the trade off you make to be able to operate a detector on conductive ground.
There is one other operational difference between the FORS CoRe and FORS Gold that I am aware of. From the manuals:
FORS CoRe TONE:
It allows you to change the audio frequency of the threshold and target warning tones according to your preference. There are 5 different audio frequencies ranging from treble to bass. Tone change does not affect the iron tone. It is active in the General Search, DI2 and COG modes. It is inactive in the Discrimination 3 (DI3) mode. It changes the audio frequency of the threshold sound in the General Search mode and the gold/non-ferrous metal sound in the DI2 and COG modes.
FORS Gold TONE:
It allows you to change the audio frequency of the threshold and target warning tones according to your preference. There are 5 different audio frequencies ranging from treble to bass. Tone change does not affect the iron tone. It is active in the General Search and Boost (BST) modes only. It is inactive in the Discrimination 3 mode. It changes the audio frequency of the threshold sound in the General Search mode and the gold/non-ferrous metal sound in the BST mode (TONE 02 -TONE 03 - TONE 04 - TONE 05).
NOTE: YOUR DEVICE WILL START IN BOOST MODE TONE 4. WHEN USING THE BOOST MODE, IF YOU CHANGE THE TONE SETTING OF THE DEVICE TO 1 (TONE 01) THE DEVICE WILL PRODUCE A SINGLE TONE FOR ALL METALS (GOLD, NON-FERROUS, FERROUS) ENABLING YOU TO HEAR SMALLER GOLD NUGGET SIGNALS MORE CLEARLY.
Note that DI2 (Discriminate, 2 Tones) on the FORS CoRe and BST (Boost) appear to be the same mode. It is possible BST has been tweaked for extra performance while prospecting but frankly I doubt it. The big difference is that it appears BST can be switched from a two tone discriminate mode to a single tone discriminate mode. This in effect changes the FORS Gold into a simple beep dig unit reminiscent of something like a single knob Tesoro. Just set the ID Mask to wherever you want and dig everything that beeps. By going extra low the division between ferrous and non-ferrous can be set better than on many other detectors - could be something here a person can apply to good advantage.
A lot of detectors if you set the discrimination control to zero there is still some built in ferrous rejection. They are not true "zero disc" units. Some are calibrated to give you a true zero disc setting, but the Nokta units go beyond this. The control incorporates not only the ferrous range but drops all the way down into the ground range itself, allowing for a very nice ability to fine tune the discrimination ferrous range from 0 - 40.
Nokta FORS VDI Chart
0 - 5 Hot Rocks
5 -25 Mineralized Ground
25 - 35 Salty and Alkali Soils
10 - 40 Ferrous Targets (Iron, nails)
40 - 50 Foil, Small Gold
56 - 58 US Nickel
82 - 83 Zinc Penny
84 - 86 US Dime
88 - 92 US Quarter
95 - 99 Hot Rocks
To sum up, at the same price I still think the FORS CoRe is the way to go. I have suggested to Nokta that they need to make the FORS Gold slightly less expensive than the CoRe in recognition of the Gold lacking a mode the CoRe includes for no extra charge.
More information on the Nokta FORS Gold
By Steve Herschbach
I already have a Nokta FORS Gold and I just received a latest update Nokta FORS CoRe control box that will run on the same handle and coil assembly. This is really fantastic because back on October 11th I did a detailed review of the Nokta FORS Gold At that time I noted that I thought the control panel rocker switches were a problem as they would collect dirt and water. I also pointed out the left side mounted control panel would provide some hardship for left handed people.
Nokta responded by almost immediately announcing a special order version for left handed people! Shortly after that they announced the control switches would be upgraded. I have never in my decades of experience working with metal detector manufacturers seen anyone respond so quickly is addressing physical issues with a model already in production. There was nothing wrong or defective. It was just things that could be improved on. It was a rather stunning response and really made me sit up and pay attention to the company even more.
The bottom line is the LCD panel has been redesigned with a sealed touch pad. The power toggle has been replaced with one incorporating a rubber accordian type seal. The plastic cap covering the headphone jack has been replaced with a softer rubber version that seals better. The ground balance tracking rocker, which is in the downside facing protected end has been left as is, which is fine as this is a rarely operated switch anyway.
I also had noted that the coil scuff covers were paper thin and subject to splitting when removed and not likely to last in any case. Nokta sent a couple new scuff covers along with the control box. They are much thicker and either the extra thickness of use of a different plastic mix now has them feeling much tougher, comparable to other good scuff covers on the market.
This really should be nothing worth making a big deal out of except I think most people would agree we have all gotten pretty used to just generally being ignored. People make simple, sensible suggestions, and years go by with no change and no acknowledgement even of the suggestion. We have been told for ages changes like this just are not practical, so live with it. Well, looks like the game is about to change!
One last note while I was shooting photos - I thought I would point out that the Nokta FORS control box has a couple holes in the rod allowing the box to shift forward and back for better balance. Most people probably do not know that the actual box mount is also adjustable via a sliding section in the slot on top. Just loosen to allen screws, slide around until you have it where you want it, and tighten. At one point I thought there would be little need for me to have the FORS after the new Racer comes out but this ability to custom balance the unit when using the 15.5" x 13.5" coil is actually pretty important to me so looks like the FORS will be sticking around.