Pretty much done for this year. We've had snow twice already and it's hitting the teens at night. Last season I got 106 bits for just under an ounce and this year I only detected 40 bits for just over an ounce so an improvement over my 1st season! 18 bits from Montana and 22 bits from Idaho. FULL DISCLOSURE: 1 gram of the tiniest bits came from crack scratching/panning in the creek. I had fun and met some locals from Helena area (BIG help) and that helped me stumble onto the two bigger pieces (25g/4.5g) that saved my season. As long as I can improve weight at the end of season over the last I've reached the main goal.
good luck guys......
By Steve Herschbach
ATX, TDI, GPX. What is it with detector companies and three letter acronyms? I liked it more when they were called Coinmaster or Goldmaster. At least that gave you a clue about what the detector was supposed to do.
The three detectors representing the state of the art in ground balancing pulse induction (GBPI) metal detectors. The Garrett ATX, White's TDI, and Minelab GPX 5000. You rarely see them all pictured together so I thought I would post one.
Garrett ATX, White's TDI, Minelab GPX 5000
These three detectors are all very good at what they are basically made for, which is dealing with ground mineralization and hot rocks that make using VLF detectors very difficult. In particular VLF performance is severely impeded in extremely mineralized ground. In low mineral ground a good VLF prospecting detector running in all metal mode can deliver results rivaling PI detectors with the added benefit of having good discrimination options. Anybody doing much prospecting, however, will eventually run into locations where ground mineralization and hot rocks makes using a VLF such a challenge that a good ground balancing pulse induction detector is the only real option.
The GPX 5000 represents the current state of the art, and is the easy option if money is no object. It is well designed for long hours of prospecting, has an incredible variety of optional coils, and can handle most any ground conditions with many tuning options.
The Garrett ATX provides performance that comes close to the GPX at a much lower price, with the added benefit of being waterproof to ten feet. Actually, this is only a benefit if you need it. Otherwise it makes the detector heavier than need be and limits the available coil options. Still, if the GPX is not an option the ATX would be my next choice in a new detector with a warranty. For those needed waterproof it is the only real option along with its predecessor, the Garrett Infinium.
The White's TDI is an older design but still very capable. It costs less than the other two options, and unlike the Garrett it has light weight versions and models that can be hip or chest mounted. It is a good option to explore for those on a budget or needing the most ergonomic solution. The TDI is also a very respected beach detector, like the ATX above, but it has no waterproof option.
I'm a bit puzzled on timings, I've pretty much left mine in sensitive extra since getting it and it seems the go-to timing for around here. I only use mono coils and I'm basically chasing tiny gold in soils with very low mineralisation, 1 gram is huge for me so we are talking 0.0X to 0.3 gram bits on average that I am chasing. I was looking at timings charts on this site here and found the two best options for me below, I think. Sharp appears to be best if using a DD, does that mean I'd be best off sticking with my sensitive extra seeing I use a mono coil or is a DD coil worth considering?
I'm trying to see if there is a way I can scratch out a bit more depth on these little nuggets.
This chart is the one that throws me out the most, basically no timings are "Excellent" for mono coils except Fine Gold, Enhance and Sens Smooth which are more for mineralised soils, only DD coils seem to have Excellent for the timings I'm trying to use for the small gold in mild soils..... ?
And this chart below describes the two timings I think might be best for me.