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Steve Herschbach

Me And My Old Minelab Sd2200d

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The Minelab SD2200D was the first Minelab PI model I really used a lot. I tripped over this old photo from 2000 of me and my SD2200D taken by Jeff Reed. I am pointing at the location where I found a nice 8 pennyweight (20 pennyweight per ounce) nugget. This was high in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska.

steve-herschbach-sd2200d.jpgSteve's points to where nugget was found

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Based only on what I have read -

Older ML PI detectors apparently go just as deep as the newer GPX machines, but -

Don't pick up smaller stuff as well

Lack the smooth threshold tone of a GPX-5000

Sound off on some hot rocks

Are more vulnerable to EMI

Of course these are now used machines and cost many thousands of dollars less than a GPX-5000.

If you are pairing one of these older ML's with something like a Gold Bug 2 however - it would seem like you have things covered.

I just sold my extra Goldbug 2 to a guy here locally in Phoenix area. He came over yesterday to pick it up and brought along his SD-2100 detector. His is one of the old army green ones - he has it somewhat modified by adding an extra clip-on lithium-ion battery pack and an amplifier.

The result is a pretty handy one piece rig with no extra cords anywhere no External vest to carry heavy lead acid battery etc. On my property here it seem to have slightly better depth and somewhat quieter operation than my TDI.

A Minelab like that can be purchased used for $1000 or less - about the same price is used TDI. There is one huge difference however. If the TDI breaks whites will fix it for a reasonable fee. If the Minelab breaks – depending on how old it is – Minelab might not fix it at all – and if they do fix it - their repair charges seem to be awfully high based on what I have seen on the forums.

This is the main concern I have which is keeping me from working hard to find a good deal on a used earlier Minelab pulse detector.

I'd appreciate any feedback the Forum has on this, since I think I know where I can get an SD-2000 at a great price locally.

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 Two cents worth. I think the 2000 is a bit too dated at any price. If you get it REAL cheep try to find enough gold to buy a 2200 at least. The GP extreme is an excellent detector if you can find one. Saving money can be expensive if your serious about detecting so get the best (newest) that you can afford. When you find a nice nugget- send me my two cents. Best of luck to ya.

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The SD2000 is the only Minelab listed as obsolete by Minelab at http://www.minelab.com/usa/customer-care-1/obsolete

In Australia the SD2000 lack of sensitivity to small gold also meant it ran quieter in bad ground. So it has or had a fan club based on that and the fact old Minelab models were easy to modify. Lots of mods out there. Minelab WILL NOT work on modified units.

I agree with klunker and in fact if I were hard up looking for a used Minelab I would not go older than GP Extreme myself. But here is a thread in 2009 touting the virtues of the SD2100 by some people that know. http://forums.nuggethunting.com/index.php?/topic/5759-old-sd2100-setup/ The one comment about old Minelabs varying a lot in performance is also true.

All I know is I never did like the "Minelab warble" and as far as I am concerned the solid threshold is the best thing about the GPX series. I am not kidding, when I shut my old units off after 12 hours of detecting I could hear that warble in my ear an hour later. I would not want to go back to listening to that.

Same old same old - if you know what you are doing and get out at work at it any of them will find gold. If you do not put the coil over gold, it does not matter which model you own.

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Hello guys, first off I would like to thank Steve for a forum where I feel a bit more comfortable being able make statements about different manufacturers detectors without thinking that I may be offending several forum hosts. I have been detecting for gold for many years and do not consider myself to be on the technical side of things. I do know what my detectors are capable of and what particular scenarios I use those detectors. I am located in the extreme northwest end of California and there are lots of varied formations and geologic setups in which gold is found. The area is noted for ancient channels and their workings but I also hunt hard rock, present day placers, streambed's, old hydraulic pits, ground sluice operations. My favorite hunting scenario however is detecting for untouched surface pockets that run in lines with ironstone and clay formations.

Over the years I have used lots of detectors and have been happy with some and not happy with others. Anytime I write articles or posts anything I speak about is from my own experience.

I have been wanting to make the following statement for a while. I see so many people shelling out lots of cash for a new detector, some up to $6000.00 and while it is true some of these people have been detecting a few years but many have not. Anyone that I come across that wants to get into detecting I give the same line, get a used or cheap but adequate detector that will allow you to get a general idea of what detecting is about. I would much rather a person even borrow a detector and go out several times with someone who is somewhat knowledgeable in the field and see what it is all about. Detecting for gold is just that, detecting for gold.

Prospecting does not come in to play...

When the first Minelab detectors came years ago lots of people jumped on them because they were a simple pick up and go unit. They were really good too, LOL. My general thought is that Minelab has come full circle from a simple turn on and go analog unit to a digital nightmare (to me) that still does not net me any more gold than I get with my 3000. Many of these people did alright if someone took them out and stuck their nose in it. When an area was worked out many of those same people put those same detectors up because they had no clue on how to find (prospect) their own places to detect.Just the other day I was coming off a hill and came up to a trail where I came upon a group of people from a local college. They wanted to know what I had found with my detector.The leader, a college professor with a degree in geology, which he proudly told me, said to them, probably nothing.I had an exceptional day and whipped out close to an ounce pretty pennyweight pieces and a really nice flat eight penny nugget. He then went on to telling them that prospecting for gold is nothing that a person could not learn about in a few months. I laughed and told the group that there are well learned people from college's who are very stupid and then I walked off.

Prospecting is a continuing learning experience that will enable you to find more gold when coupled with proper detecting techniques in the area you are hunting. I cannot begin to outline prospecting in anything short of a book. I am still learning everyday.

Back to the gist of the post I would not be to quick to condemn some of the older units. I know several friends that still use them in the search for larger (multi-ounce) nuggets in particular areas where a 5000 will not come close to hearing some of the targets. 

I am always amazed at all the hype about the fine gold timings on the 5000. I use a 3000 that was modded by Ishmael years ago. Before that unit was modded I was finding the tiny pieces of gold that I have since been told could not be done, except with the fine gold timings of a 5000. I have been telling lies all these years... This to me is simply a load of crap. If you learn any of the units leading up to the ''fine gold timings" and use them on a regular basis they are just as capable of the same fine gold findings. I fully agree with Steve that you have to get out and you have to put a coil over it. I had a friend that just posted on another forum yesterday of a sub-grain piece of gold found with his new to him 3000 and it was three inches deep. I feel good to say that I have been helping him along and able to show him some hunting techniques and what some units are capable of.

I use a GB Pro as my secondary and it works very well in many varied conditions. However, the primary use is in high trash areas where there are larger pieces to be had. Between both units I cover most of my ground pretty effectively. I want to make it clear that I am not pushing any particular machine, these two are what I use. I am pushing the concept that one machine will not get all the gold all the time. No matter what units you use or decide to use it is your prospecting skills, your swing technique, your hearing and attention to detail that will prevail. Newer machines are not completely bad as they do make some things easier for some and that is all right. Learning whatever unit you are using is the most important thing on my list. They all have their own little quirks and use. OK, I have to head to work so I will leave for now. I am sure there will be a few responses when I look later. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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That is why I started this forum! Thank you very much for that honest appraisal Ray. I very much agree with you.

I also think the Fine Gold timing is misunderstood and often misapplied in the United States. Sensitive Extra is better on small gold in most locations here. I am not one to belittle the older detectors, but the reverse is true also. Do not underestimate what a GPX 5000 can do in the hands of a person that understands it.

That said, I sure appreciate you contributions and participation on the forum. You are a credit to the profession.

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 Rick! I'll forward the two cents to Ray. (Trinity AU)

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I already love this forum. My ears still ring with the bass rumble of axes being ground on other forums.

I had the pleasure of a phone conversation with Ray a few weeks ago, and thought - how remarkable - in a field where the resource is non-renewable, there are folks who are happy to help others (who earnestly want to learn) to get their share!

I will no doubt need to get this Minelab "thing" out of my system one way or another, all of you will no doubt continue to help me refine my "solution"

Thanks everyone!


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Ray, well said.  I love the comment about the college professor.  I to have several detectors, a 4000, a modded 2100, a GMT and a garrett ATGold.  All differnet tools in the tool box.  The modded 2100 pures right along, I love it.  Turn it on and go.  I bought it when I heard they were being discontinued to specifically have it modded to see how it woould do. Woody modified mine.  When I know I am going to ground that I think might give it some trouble I'll take the 4000 too.  It is a great hobby and I go to just get out and enjoy being out, the gold is a positive by-product.

Take care, Wes.

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Well put Ray and very hapy to see you onboard here! I think the best detector is the one you have the most confidence in. I believe it really helps to have that frame of mind that I will find something good. Unfortunately it doesnt work out that way for me too often,lol.

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