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Steve Herschbach

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Steve Herschbach last won the day on September 14

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    Alaskan living in Nevada
  • Gear Used:
    Minelab GPX 6000, Equinox 800; Garrett 24K; Fisher F-Pulse

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    https://www.detectorprospector.com/

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  1. Aha! Go here to find all the official dealers - just enter your zip code: https://garrett.com/sport/where-to-buy Forum members Rob Allison and Gerry McMullen are both Garrett dealers, as may be others, who I invite to chime in.
  2. Is this a trick question? Buy one from a dealer? Buy one used with remaining warranty? Be a tester and get one "free" by putting in lots of hours? Get one as a gift?
  3. Round rocks are a dime a dozen. Usually evidence of shaping includes chipping, or a round rock that has been grooved to tie to a handle, etc. Context matters. Is it is a know native camp area? Is the rock type totally out of place, unknown in the location where found? You need some extra info to jump from “round rock” to “tool”.
  4. I’d agree with half and disagree with half. Especially saying an Equinox 800 can’t handle nugget detecting in mineralized ground… dead wrong. That’s just old school thinking that has not kept up with reality. I have noticed that as some detectorists age, there is a tendency at some point to just stick with some tried and true model, and discount newer machines as not really offering all that much. In fact I remember one forum that died, because most of the members started claiming digital could never be as good as their old analogs. People like me left at that point. I’ll admit though I am as much into the tech as I am into prospecting, so playing with the latest machines is gratifying for me in and of itself. Anyone that thinks we are not ahead of where we were 20 years ago….. I think we are. GPZ was a true advance, just one recent example. I’d also say if a person is borderline physically restricted, a GPX 6000 will help a person using a heavier, more cumbersome machine get more hours in the day. Finally, I personally know a new machine does actually improve my mental state for quite a while. I get bored with old machines, and a new one puts a spring in my step, makes me want to rehunt all the old locations I gave up on with the other machines. A new detector can change your mental state for the better. But again, that’s just a personal thing, not a right or wrong thing. I like playing with new toys, others prefer the comfort of the known. I do agree with the “different” thing, in that Minelab specifically designs their new machines to go after gold their earlier models missed. Filling in the gaps, so to speak. That can work backwards also - putting any machine on ground that has never seen a particular tech can pay off. If ground has only been hunted with a PI, a VLF has a good shot at revealing stuff missed by a PI. So I’d take it a step farther. Different can actually be better, simply because it IS different. Overall though he is right, the operator is the real key, and a good operator will be successful with dozens of detectors. I can grab anything halfway capable and go find gold, and I think that’s the real message here. That, and do enjoy the day… don’t ever let lack of gold ruin a good time!
  5. Good to see, but it boggles my mind how much more expensive imports end up being in Oz. Here the machine is a real bargain price at US$679 but in Oz it ends up at AU$1359? Yikes!
  6. I added some coil links to your post above Simon. The short story is this. The concentric hit the hot rocks harder because that is what it does - hits harder. Not good where you have hot rocks, but it also does mean where you can use the coil, it has extra punch. And if anyone reads the tech info above, they will see that a DD coil is more likely to call ferrous items non-ferrous, especially flat steel. So a concentric has better properties in trashy areas. Can't wait for NEL to produce the 3.5" x 6.5" Snake DD coil for the 24K. That may be a perfect coil for the machine, especially as it has been especially hardened for use without a scuff cover. When chasing the tiniest bits I do tend to run my coils naked! Seriously, it's halfway all about how close you can get that tiny bit to a coil winding that makes the difference in mild soil. And scrub, scrub, scrub! https://www.detectorprospector.com/magazine/steves-mining-journal/metal-detecting-micro-gold-nuggets-crow-creek/
  7. Great first outing Simon! Leaving ground tracking on instead of locking may help with the hot rocks while still getting the gold. Use a tiny test nugget to experiment with both tracking on, or locked. A hot rock should track out immediately, while a nugget does not. Though as you know the tiniest nuggets may track out also. You really need a tiny test piece to experiment with. I keep a 1 grain (0.0648 gram) nugget taped to a business card for just that purpose. You can also try ground balancing directly on a hot rock while in locked. The new XGB ground balance system tracks to a wider range of targets simultaneously than the older White's systems (see the White Paper below). The XGB balance will sometimes reject them completely, while still ignoring the ground. Other times, the rock my go away, but now the ground signals. If that’s the case, try swinging widely over the ground, and a rock, to find a medium balance that reduces both. Slightly lowering the sensitivity and/or increasing the SAT at the same time can help find the perfect setting. It takes some experimentation with that test piece to find the settings that best handle ground and rocks, while still getting the nuggets. It’s a judgement call sometimes, as when the hot rocks are few, then digging a few might be acceptable, allowing hotter settings. In thick hot rocks, a more aggressive setting that reduces hot rock signals may be called for, even at a small loss of gold signal. The is also a ground balance offset, that can be applied to both tracking and locked. Tracking and ground grab (Garrett calls it ground sync or quick balance) seek a neutral setting that may in fact not be just right for the hot rocks, and you can actually adjust the preset track or ground grab point up or down. You have to go to the Ground Scan mode, and then use up and down arrows to apply an offset. Then switch back out of Ground Scan mode, and this offset will carry over, and be applied to both tracking and ground grab (ground sync) settings. Instead of using a wide swing to try and find a medium balance, you can ground balance directly to the ground. Then experiment with different degrees of offset, to see if you can lessen the hot rock signals, while still keeping the ground quiet. The right offset can do wonders in some locations. Again, slightly lower sensitivity and/or increased SAT can be part of the mix. My old mentor Jimmy Sierra likened it to adding salt and pepper to the stew. It takes some experimentation and tasting to get the seasoning just right. A lot of what applied to the GMT applies to the 24K, and you can see the full set of Jimmy’s old videos at this link. Unfortunately the video quality is poor, but the information is gold. I doubt this applies in your ground, but people who have severe enough iron stone hot rocks, will find going to disc mode, and setting up two tone discrimination, will be the magic solution. Most hot rocks can be set to give a low ferrous tone, while nuggets will give a non-ferrous high tone. Final tip, in low mineral ground with no hot rocks, max sensitivity and SAT at lowest setting, and moving very slowly gives you even more power. Autotune or Self Adjusting Threshold (SAT) Explained This may all seem complicated, but these are all just extra settings and tricks a person can apply as they get more experience. That’s why I like the 24K more than some other dedicated VLF nugget detectors. It has super simple settings for the novice to get going, just like the others. But it also then has a multitude of settings that can be applied to fine tune the machine. That, plus the “not knock sensitive” coil selection, that allows for scrubbing techniques, makes the 24K a winner. I honestly do like the Equinox also for the most of the same reasons - all the adjustments I can make. It’s a great nugget machine if you can master the settings. Where the Equinox falls short is coil selection, and coil knock sensitivity. The 24K already has a superior nugget coil selection, and once Garrett and NEL get the full component of coils out, the 24K is going to blow Equinox away for coils, especially the solid type (not open web) coils nugget hunters generally prefer. And call me old fashioned, but for bush work there also are times I don’t want a rechargeable detector, but just want to swap out the battery pack. 24K suits me there also. GOLDMASTER 24K WHITE'S PAPER XGB - A New Way To Ground Balance The biggest challenge we face as electronic prospectors is highly mineralized ground. Simply increasing the gain on the current VLF platforms might help prospectors in very mild ground conditions, but what about more difficult areas with concentrations of black sand, maghemite, serpentine, or alkali salts? On a trip to Brazil we witnessed a combination of these conditions, with soil that ranged from red to black to purple, and exhibited a combination of ferrous and alkali properties within a 4 ft square section. We saw first-hand VLFs from each manufacturer fail to balance out the combination of minerals. Even the top-of-the-line pulse induction machines struggled in this area - machines which cost the garimpeiros (the local term for gold miners) several years’ wages. Our goal was simple: a nice even threshold in challenging ground conditions without giving up sensitivity. The theory is that the main battle most electronic prospectors fight is being able to discern a potential gold signal from ground noise. A smooth threshold would allow users to use more gain and increase their odds of finding small gold where it likes to hide - in mineralized ground. The issue with other VLF detectors on the market is that they were tracking a single ground balance point. When the ground type changes quickly, the machine gives off a false signal. For a user the result is ear fatigue, frustration, and less positive signals dug. One easy way to mask variable ground is implementing an auto-gain feature that automatically numbs the detector. This does not solve the issue, only hides it. The Goldmaster 24k’s XGB is a new automatic ground tracking system that works by tracking multiple ground points simultaneously and quickly. Where other VLF’s track one ground balance point, the Goldmaster 24k tracks several, and can determine an optimal “ground window” based on ground history and strength. This is very useful in rapidly changing ground conditions, where other VLF machines may struggle to track the mineralization changes. Combine this with the speed at which the Goldmaster 24k is able to grab ground samples, and you have a superior ground balance system for a prospector’s VLF. XGB Ground Balance versus legacy methods With any automatic process, there are some concessions. Take vehicles for example - manual gearboxes are still preferred by car enthusiasts. That’s why we felt strongly about including a TracLock® ground option. When used with the Ground Grab, a locked ground balance setting allows users to set the ground balance in an area and lock it until they need to re-ground balance. For users after the tiniest bits of gold, this option allows for the maximum sensitivity to small signals. One technique we observed from field testers was allowing the XGB to automatically track, and then after getting a solid hit or finding a patch, locking the ground balance for target location and retrieval. For many users this combination will be the best of both worlds - the strength of XGB, but only when you need or want it. The net result of an overhauled automatic ground balance system is a VLF gold nugget detector that can be used in a wider variety of ground conditions with a nice stable threshold. Operating a machine with a smooth threshold allows for a user’s ears to tune into those slight variations that just might be the next nugget. Our goal is that our customers are able to have success with the Goldmaster 24k in areas that other VLF’s struggle, and at a price that allows more people to get a taste of electronic prospecting. Tom Boykin White's Project Manager
  8. Gotta love that easy access ability to quickly switch between Normal and Difficult. People should just do it as a habit, and note what happens, and then what they dig up. Patterns may or may not develop that could be of great help. The results are directly related to the mineralization type and level however, so results in one area cannot be relied on to be the same in an area with different mineralization. But if you hunt areas that are relatively consistent, the results you get will also be consistent. Frankly, I recommend digging everything when nugget hunting. However, that often goes out the window in an old hydraulic pit filled with square nails, or in a camp site built on top of the gold field, littered with old trash. If time is limited you have to cherry pick as best you can, and these methods will help with that.
  9. Manual sensitivity only goes up to 10. Auto+ can go above Manual 10 if conditions allow it to do so, typically in mild ground. That's where the "plus" comes from. Here is a tidbit in reference to that from JP: "If the ground conditions are mild Auto+ has the ability to increase the detectors outright sensitivity much further than flat out manual mode, so in variable EMI areas the EMI will sound worse in Auto+ compared to full manual mode."
  10. Lots of gold prospecting I do may as well be called trash detecting. Endless nails and other ferrous trash.... and the bullets and shell casings! So jewelry detecting is not that different, and anywhere people have been, jewelry is possible. Dig endless aluminum until gold appears. I like hunting tot lots for lost jewelry as it is good practice for nugget detecting, and sometimes more productive.
  11. I have no idea what coils Garrett will be producing for the 24K, though I lobbied hard for a small concentric. They understand coils are key to the machine, so we will see. In any case, when Simon mentioned Serious had the 6" concentric in stock at a good price, I immediately ordered one, and turns out I got their last one. I'm hoping Garrett will make their own version, but this was cheap insurance to make sure I got one. Bird in the hand and all that. I'd like to get this setup to a few tot lots soon. The 24K is a great machine for hunting small jewelry, and so I'll go clean all the small aluminum out of a few locations, and see what happens. Anyway, thanks for the tip Simon!
  12. Simon has the 6” for the White’s 24K, which is white. You are correct, the same coil for the GMX is black, with a yellow label. Very hard to find a good photo of one by the way. For others who do not know, both coils will work on the Garrett 24K, as will the 4x6 DD for the GMX, also black with yellow label. I have never seen a 4x6 made in white for the 24K. The new Garrett 6x10 DD coil is black, while the original White's version was white. 6” concentric for White’s GMX Sport - compatible with 24K models Garrett 6" x 10" DD coil for Goldmaster 24K
  13. Great story and photos. I really appreciate you taking the time to post it. I like hearing from people who are relatively new to detecting, as a fresh perspective is sometimes very informative. One thing about the older GPX and earlier models was that there was a lot of settings, and a lot of gear. You take a newbie, harness them up with all these bungees and cords, hand them the 62 page manual…… it’s overwhelming stuff for the new person. The 6000 on the other hand, I have described as the Gold Bug of PI detectors. Relatively light, simple to operate, and gets the little stuff. But also has that PI Punch for larger gold. I think it is a far friendlier first step up from a VLF, and the ease of tuning makes a new person as good as a pro in a much shorter period of time. My one bit of advice - don’t be shy of the Auto+ setting. It can be the most powerful setting on the 6K under the right conditions (mild ground), and it and regular Auto are go to settings for patch hunting. Sometimes computers are actually better at stuff, and Minelabs auto settings just keep getting better. I would never use automatic ground balance “back in the day”. Now I don’t have any option not to, but that’s turned out to be just fine.
  14. Gerry gets lots of good used detectors on trade. I think he is in the field detecting right now, as he normally is when he is absent from the forum. 900 Euros may be a lot, but so would be shipping a detector from the U.S. along with import duties, etc. if you get the GP Extreme, inquire about the condition of the battery, as the old lead cell batteries often die with age, and if it has the original battery, it probably is not good. Otherwise it appears to be in good condition. https://docsdetecting.com/product/dome-top-battery-for-sd-series-and-gp-series-6volt-12-amp-hour/ https://www.detectorprospector.com/profile/182-gerry-in-idaho/
  15. Review by Keith Southern, with video: DeepTech Vista X metal detector 16 kHz frequency New electronics box - 2.5 times smaller than old design New improved battery box design New coil design - deeper and with better separation Wider discrimination - offers ability beyond simple ferrous/non-ferrous operation for modern sites Twin discrimination modes Easy switching between ALL Metal, 2 Tone and ALT DISC modes Iron Volume control adjusts volume of ferrous tone IP68 connectors with gold pins Waterproof connectors and an O-ring between the box and the front panel for even better isolation on humid weather 2.87 lbs (1300 grams) without 8 AA batteries installed
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