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Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. I was just updating links and realized I have been posting adventures to Steve’s Mining Journal for over twenty years now. The Journal started when the internet was new, and information about metal detecting and prospecting for gold was new and rare. Metal detecting was still an obscure activity and gold prospecting even more so. I started posting the stories on my old company website as a way to show people this stuff really works and to help promote the business. It was one of my better decisions, as documenting these adventures has turned out to be far more important to me than anyone else. Memories fade with age, and I can’t do this stuff forever, so it is great now to have all these adventures to look back on. Anyway, many people never leave the forums and explore the rest of this website, so I thought I would post this to celebrate the unofficial 20th anniversary of Steve’s Journal for those who have never wandered across it.
  2. Steve Herschbach

    Tesoro Mojave

    The Tesoro Mojave metal detector was introduced in 2017 and is still in production. It is a 12 kHz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. The Mojave is a newly designed 12 Khz detector with 2 position HIGH and LOW ground condition switch for varying soil conditions. The Mojave will broaden hunting capabilities from coast to coast! In low to moderate ground conditions the LOW setting will gain more depth. The HIGH setting will overcome the worst ground conditions while maintaining smooth and clean target responses. From land to sea and deserts to mountains, the Mojave has the power and performance to tackle any type of changing ground conditions and soil types around the world! The Precision 7” featherweight and thin profile coil is the ideal size for tough trashy areas for jewelry, coin, ring and relic hunting. Lightning fast response and retuning allow the Mojave’s 7” coil to surgically remove targets amongst the trash. Pinpointing is a snap with the new target centering reticle. New TRI-COLORED ZONES with easy identifying and adjustment in discrimination level. The Full Range 180 Discrimination covers everything from ALL METALS to screw cap rejection. WHITE, YELLOW and RED Zones from 6 o’clock to 4 o’clock for easy reference to the user. Source: Tesoro website Tesoro Mojave metal detector Tesoro Mojave control panel Stealthy Black Micro Housing and Hardware. Fully Adjustable Sensitivity. HIGH/LOW Ground Selector. Fully Adjustable Tri-Colored Zone Discrimination. Waterproof Coil. Featherweight 2.2 pounds. Fully Adjustable rods. ¼" earphone jack. External Speaker. 9 Volt Battery for 15-18 hrs. All Epsilon 5 Pin Coils Interchangeable. Limited Lifetime Warranty Official Tesoro Mojave Product Page Tesoro Mojave Owner's Manual Tesoro Mojave Introduction Thread
  3. Steve Herschbach

    Bounty Hunter Gold

    The Bounty Hunter Gold metal detector was introduced in 2012? and is still in production. It is a 7.8 kHz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. Despite the name this detector would not be a good choice for gold prospecting due to the low 7.8 kHz operating frequency and preset ground balance. Bounty Hunter Gold metal detector Bounty Hunter Gold control panel Preset Ground Balance 8 Target-ID Categories Discrimination Mode Adjustable Sensitivity Depth Readout Selectable Notching Capabilities 8” Concentric, Open-face waterproof searchcoil Official Bounty Hunter Gold Product Page Bounty Hunter Gold Owner's Manual Bounty Hunter Gold Facebook Intro Video
  4. Now through March 31st you can buy the Garrett AT Pro with the smaller 5" x 8" DD coil instead of the normal stock 8.5" x 11" coil. The package is also at a lower price of $488 of course... and you get a free hat! While this is being billed as a holiday special the fact that it runs through March 31, 2019 means there is plenty of time to take advantage of this package deal. https://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/pdfs/garrett_dec_2018.pdf Garrett AT Pro Sport Special
  5. I will be sitting this one out but will follow with great interest. Thanks David.
  6. Steve Herschbach

    Twenty Years Of Steve’s Mining Journal

    Twenty years will do that to a guy!
  7. “Technology: Mixed Domain (Patent Pending)” User Manual MDT 8000 page 23 Technical Specifications Technology : Mixed Domain (Patent Pending) Operating Frequency : 6.4kHz/9kHz/12kHz/18kHz Ground Balance : Manual / Fast Auto Tracking : Yes Black Sand Mode : Yes Salt Mode : Yes Salinity Balance : Manual Salinity Level : 0 to 50 Target Identification : Ferrous -30 to 0 / Non-ferrous 1 to 30 Sensitivity : 1 to 9 Threshold Level : -9 to 0 Target Volume : 1 to 15 Target Tones : 4 Tone Break : Ferrous and Non-ferrous with adjustable notch filter Audio Modes : All Metal / Discrimination / Mix Audio Output : Speaker / Headphones Display : 128X64 Graphic LCD LCD Backlight : Yes Battery : 26650 Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (3.7V @ 5000mAh) Battery Life : Up to 18h@6.4kHz/24h@9kHz/30h@12kHz/36h@18kHz Operating Temperature :-10C to +50C (+14F to +122F) Search Coil : Tarsacci MDT 11X9 DD Shaft : Telescopic 3K carbon fiber with molded 3K carbon fiber “S” rod and armrest Length : 965 cm to 1346 cm (38” to 53”) Weight : 1280g (2.82lb) including the battery Waterproof : IP68 (Up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes in still water). Headphones (Included) : Wired 3.5mm non-waterproof Tarsacci reserves the right to change the design, equipment, and technical features at any time
  8. I have been doing reviews of various gold prospecting metal detectors for years. I also have maintained a Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors that summarizes and links back to the detailed reviews. That's fine, but this website has branched out into all things detecting, and my reviews are limited to one niche of the metal detecting world. I also find I have an ongoing need to link to metal detector specs, and having a complete database of detectors past and present can help me as we go along. The main thing however is I am hoping to get a good user review database going. Long story short I am working on a new Metal Detector Database With User Reviews. I have created a simple framework, and am putting basic specification information in for current metal detector models. The detectors are listed alphabetically by manufacturer and model. There are basic specs highlighted - internet price, frequency, weight, waterproof or not, and whether the detector is a current model. You can use the "Sort By" function to sort the entire list by any of these criteria. The heart of it all however is the ability of each forum member to leave a "Five Star Review". You rate the detector overall - one star is poor, five stars superb. You can do a written review, hopefully one that simply says what you like most about the detector, and what you like least. I prefer this be kept clean and useful for others. This may or may not turn into anything as it really depends on all of us. The more reviews that get left, the more useful it will be for everyone. I am plugging basic specs in but as I get caught up I will go back and try and make each entry a compact listing of information about each model, possibly listing common accessories with part numbers. I already am linking to manuals etc. That way when somebody posts in the future about a detector, links can be made to the appropriate database entry so people can get more details. You can figure I will be doing a lot of that cross linking so it's not something people need to do unless they want to. Finally, when that all gets caught up, I will start working backwards and add discontinued models. I will stick with more popular stuff at first, getting more obscure over time. In a few years this could be a really great resource. I will be building the database regardless. Many of the entries are just placeholders at the moment, but if anyone wants to please feel free to place some reviews. It might help me tweak the system, and I am open to suggestions. As always there is only so much I can get on screen at one time, so the specs I highlight and such are limited more by screen space than anything. Check it out at Metal Detector Database With User Reviews. I will rejigger the menu structure in the future to make this easier to find but right now it's a little off the beaten path.
  9. Daniel Teague Published on Dec 5, 2018 Some of you guys were curious as to the tone differences between a Minelab GPX and Whites TDI. This is the GPX 4800 and TDI Beachhunter and a little bit of why I like the GPX better when it comes to relic and beach hunting.
  10. Steve Herschbach

    Fisher F75 Ltd

    The Fisher F75 Ltd metal detector is a model in the F75 series introduced in 2007 and is still in production. It is a 13 kHz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, relic, jewelry, and gold nugget detecting. Note that the F75 Ltd was also called the F75 Special Edition, leading to some confusion regarding the various F75 models. The F75 Ltd and Fisher F75 are two of the best metal detectors on the market today. Ideal for coins, relics, jewelry, caches and gold nuggets; they are truly versatile. When the F75 was released it raised the bar in the industry for impressive depth and incredible target separation capability. Its unparalleled "iron see-through" has been the talk of the industry. Sites thought to have been cleaned out now produce countless artifacts. These brothers of a sort share a core group of features. The Ltd version comes with additional Boost and Cache Modes, a 5" DD Round Searchcoil and a set of rain covers for the control and battery housing. The advanced technology of the Fisher F75 Ltd makes it the deepest and most versatile detector on the market today. Boost Mode increases depth and gives an added edge when hunting forest clutter or deep vegetation. Cache Mode detects large objects buried deep. Combined with our 15" DD Searchcoil it is the ideal combination when searching for deep caches, projectiles or meteorites. Also included with the F75 Ltd is a 5" DD round Searchcoil, excellent in trashy areas and for locating small items and gold nuggets. A set of rain covers for the control and battery compartments is also included. Source: Fisher 2016 catalog Fisher F75 Ltd metal detector Fisher F75 Ltd control panel Large LCD Screen with 0-99 Numeric Target Identification Display Trigger-Actuated Pinpointing with Variable Audio Pitch 8 Different Audio ID Tone Options Multiple Program Modes, 3 All Metal Modes Double-Filter Discrimination for Searching Trashy Areas Notch and Discrimination Controls Magnetic Mineralized Bar Graph Readout Trigger Actuated FASTGRABTM Ground Balance with Manual Override Non-Volatile Memory Saves Settings Back Light for Low Light Conditions Adjustable Armrest and Pole Assembly 1/4" (6.3 mm) Headphone Jack 7 Frequency Shift Options Uses Four AA batteries Comes Standard with 11" (28 cm) DD Elliptical Open Waterproof Searchcoil 13 kHz Operating Frequency Weight: 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) 5 Year Warranty Official Fisher F75 Ltd Product Page Fisher F75 Ltd / Special Edition Owner's Manual Fisher F75 Ltd / Special Edition - Steve's Review
  11. Steve Herschbach

    Fisher Gold Bug Pro

    The Fisher Gold Bug Pro metal detector was introduced in 2010 and is still in production. It is a 19 khz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at gold prospecting, relic, jewelry, and coin detecting. The Gold Bug Pro has been a very popular entry level gold prospecting detector. Note that the Gold Bug Pro normally comes with a non-standard 5" round coil. This is good for nugget detecting but too small for most common uses. The Gold Bug Pro can be had however with other coil options like the 7" x 11" DD (Gold Bug DP model) if desired. The Gold Bug® family has revolutionized gold prospecting with new prospecting tools, Target-ID, incredible depth and all at an affordable price! Its fast retune speed and biaxial Search coils create superb target separation with impressive depth. V-BreakTM, the industry's first Variable Breakpoint tone discrimination system, allows user control of the multi-tone Audio ID system. This feature helps distinguish iron targets with a distinctive low audio tone while non-ferrite targets like gold, induce high tones. Tone discrimination combines with a dead-accurate Visual ID system to give gold prospectors a vital new tool in finding gold without having to dig any iron targets. An expanded 40-Point Iron ID target range helps differentiate between larger iron objects and smaller nails and pieces. The way it minimizes the masking effects of ferrous targets near non-ferrous targets is simply amazing! Coin and relic hunters marveled at how well the Gold Bug® Pro performed with our legendary 11 "DD Searchcoil, and the Gold Bug® DP was bom. Two more unique features are the real-time display of the Ground Phase value and an Fe304 meter that indicates the amount of mineralization present. These features monitor changes in soil conditions to locate and trace black sand concentrations where gold is commonly found. The Ground Balance system handles the toughest of ground conditions, capable of balancing all the way to salt. No longer do you need a specialized detector for prospecting and another for coins and relics; the Gold Bug excels at both! Source: Fisher 2016 catalog Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector Fisher Gold Bug Pro Control Panel Discrimination Mode for coins and relics Motion All Metal Mode Computerized GROUND GRAB with Manual Adjust No-motion Pinpoint with Depth Indicator Continuous Ground Phase and Mineralization Readout V-BreakTM, Industry's first Variable Tone Breakpoint Discrimination Threshold and Gain Adjustments Signal Strength Indicator Target-ID and 2-Tone Audio that includes V.C.O. 1/4" (6.3 mm) and 1/8" (3.2 mm) headphone Jacks Uses one 9V Alkaline battery Standard with 5" (13 cm) DD Round Closed Waterproof Search coil 19 kHz Operating Frequency Weight: 2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) 5 Year Warranty Official Fisher Gold Bug Pro Product Page Fisher Gold Bug Pro Owner's Manual Fisher Gold Bug Pro - Steve's Review
  12. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder

    The Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder metal detector was introduced in 2016 and is still in production. The AU Gold Finder is a weatherproof 56 kHz induction balance metal detector aimed primarily at gold prospecting with accessory uses of coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. Note that the regular price for this detector includes two search coils; a 5.5" x 10" DD coil and a 5" round DD coil. Introducing the best new gold metal detector for 2016 – The AU Gold Finder Metal Detector. The AU Gold Finder Metal Detector is Nokta Makro's premiere gold detecting machine operating in 56kHz. The AU Gold Finder is guaranteed to find more gold! Nokta Makro is renowned for their deep seeking gold machines, and created the AU Gold Finder in response of serious gold hunters looking for small to large gold nuggets in all types of terrain. The AU Gold Finder utilizes automatic, tracking and manual ground balancing for maximum cancelation of highly mineralization soil. From the USA / Africa /South America / to Australia, many professional gold detectorists are reporting amazing performance with the AU Gold Finder. This ultimate gold package includes two waterproof DD search coils (10x5.5” and 5”), headphones, coil covers and a hip mount belt for alternative use. Simple to use switches and knobs leave users less guessing and more time digging. Three search modes will give you the ability to adjust discrimination as needed and tune out trashy areas. Source: Nokta/Makro website Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder metal detector Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder control panel Frequency : 56 kHz give you the ultimate in sensitivity and depth. Metal Discrimination : By Audio and LED. Filter out unwanted items when detectors. Construction : Rain & Dust Resistant (IP54). IP54 Protects your metal detector from dust and water spray from any direction Operating Principle : VLF Induction Balance Search Modes : 3 - ALL METAL, DISC.1, DISC.2 Ground Balance : Automatic, Manual, Tracking Threshold : Intelligent Self-Adjusting Threshold (iSAT) Coil Bundle Package - Comes with two waterproof DD Search Coils (10 x 5.5" and 5") including search coil covers. Warranty : 2 Year Limited Total Weight : 3.1 lbs (1.4 kgs) Official Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder Product Page Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder Owner's Manual Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder - Steve's Review
  13. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro Gold Racer

    The Nokta/Makro Gold Racer metal detector was introduced in 2016 and is still in production. The Gold Racer is a 56 kHz induction balance metal detector aimed primarily at gold prospecting with accessory uses of coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. Built on the cutting-edge RACER technology, the Gold RACER offers advanced gold prospecting capabilities. Operating at 56 kHz frequency, the Gold RACER detects the tiniest nuggets while ignoring harsh ground conditions and hot rocks in gold fields around the world. Apart from its exceptional ground handling capability, the waterproof search coils make the Gold RACER an excellent gold detector for use in streams and rivers, too. Advanced features such as iSAT (Intelligent Self-Adjusting Threshold), iMask (Intelligent Masking), Tone Break, Audio Boost, superior discrimination ability as well as its improved ergonomics make this detector the most versatile detector on the market for finding nuggets, micro jewelry and even coins. Source: Nokta/Makro website Nokta/Makro Gold Racer metal detector Nokta/Makro Gold Racer control panel Easy to use single menu design 3 Search Modes: All Metal, DISC 1 and DISC 2 Sensitivity adjusts to the depth of the device. iSAT Intelligent self-adjusting threshold control allows for a smooth and noise-free threshold sound in challenging terrains by avoiding disruption of the threshold in the all metal mode caused by high mineralization. Easily saves your settings or restores factory defaults. Extra features at the push of a button: Audio Boost, Audio Tone, Frequency Shift, LED Flashlight Magnetic Mineralization Indicator shows mineralization intensity of the ground. Digital Target ID and ID Filtering iMask eliminates false signals caused by ground noise or hot rocks when searching in discrimination modes. Adjusts the break points of the target response tones on the Target ID range. Ext. Battery Life offers 25-30 hours continuous operation. Ground Balance with 3 Options: Automatic, Manual, Tracking. High performance and unmatched depth. Professional design and superior quality for challenging terrains. Pinpoint and depth indicator LED Flashlight and Backlight Optional 2.4 GHz Wireless Headphones Official Nokta/Makro Gold Racer Product Page Nokta/Makro Gold Racer Owner's Manual Nokta/Makro Gold Racer - Steve's Review
  14. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro Impact

    The Nokta/Makro Impact was introduced in 2017 and is still in production. The Impact is a VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, relic detecting plus gold prospecting. The Nokta/Makro Impact is a "selectable frequency" detector that lets you select one frequency to use from several options. The Impact can run at any one of three frequencies - 5, 14, and 20 kHz. Uncover deep hidden treasures with the new IMPACT Multi Frequency Metal Detector by Nokta! The IMPACT combines multiple detectors in one and utilizes cutting edge technology, enabling a unique yet easy-to-use detector experience for new to experienced detectorists. The IMPACT boasts (12) search modes designed to hunt out different targets such as coins, relics and deep treasure caches. It also operates extremely well in different terrains including (but not limited to) wet beach sand and parks, allowing you to search without any further adjustment if you wish. Featuring (3) powerful operating frequencies, online firmware update (via PC USB) capability and robust design. If you are looking for depth and advanced discrimination ability, the IMPACT - just like its name – will make a great impact on your future detecting finds. Source: Nokta/Makro website Nokta/Makro Impact metal detector Nokta/Makro Impact control panel 12 Search Modes - 2 Non-motion Modes (with audio discrimination), 2 All Metal Modes (with audio discrimination), 8 Discrimination Modes - 2 Tone / 3 Tone / 4 Tones / 99 Tones / Deep / Conductive Ground / VLX1 and VLX2 Ground Balance with 3 Options: Automatic, Manual, Tracking Notch Filter - Discriminates single or multiple Target IDs of unwanted metals by silencing them or producing an iron tone. Tone Break - Adjusts the break points of the target response tones on the Target ID range. Iron Audio (Fe Vol.) - Turns off or adjusts the volume of the low iron tone. Audio Tone - Changes the frequency of target and threshold tones (150 Hz - 700 Hz). iSAT - Allows for a stable operation of the device by eliminating false signals caused by high mineralization and hot rocks in the all metal and discrimination modes as well as eliminating threshold drifts caused by ground and temperature changes in the static modes. Magnetic Mineralization Indicator - Shows mineralization intensity of the ground. Extra features at the push of a button: Audio Boost, ID Normalization, Target ID Depth Level. Backlight (Bright) FD / Save - Easily saves your settings or restores factory defaults. Official Nokta/Makro Impact Product Page Nokta/Makro Impact Owner's Manual Nokta/Makro Impact - Steve's Review
  15. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta Impact

    The Nokta Impact was introduced in 2017 and is still in production. It features the ability to switch from 5 kHz to 14 kHz or 20 kHz by merely changing a control setting. The coils work with all three frequencies equally well. The Nokta Impact has a full array of search modes designed to cover almost any metal detecting situation. In general the 5 kHz modes will be most efficient for searching for high conductive targets like coins and large items at depth. The 20 kHz frequency excels on small and low conductive targets like gold jewelry or gold nuggets. The 14 kHz setting is a good compromise setting for all around detecting. The Nokta Impact features built in wireless headphone capability (headphones optional). The Impact can download the latest firmware updates over the internet to be installed from a PC, keeping the detector up-to-date. The coil cables are enclosed inside the rod assembly for a clean, snag-free appearance. One thing we need to settle however. Nokta went against industry convention and advertise the Impact as being a multifrequency detector. Historically that has meant detectors that receive and compare two of more frequency results simultaneously. The Nokta Impact can run one of three frequencies, but only one of them at a time. This would be better described as switchable or selectable frequency. Read my article on Selectable Frequency And Multiple Frequency I am however extremely impressed by what Nokta has accomplished. In 2014 I posted a review of a detector by a company almost nobody here had ever heard of - the Nokta FORS Gold. If you look at that review of the Nokta FORS Gold you will see I had made several comments about things I think needed improving on the machine. What amazed me is Nokta fixed every one of them, and in record time - I made a special note in the review about it later. It made a serious impression on me. What then followed was a quick succession of machines by Nokta and Makro, the sister company. Nothing earth shattering per se but top flight performance at aggressive prices and a willingness to try new ideas and listen to feedback. Frankly, it came on so quickly it actually turned some people off, and I saw complaints about too many machines too fast! Nokta Impact selectable frequency metal detector The entire time that we are seeing this rapid succession of machines most of us are waiting on this or that manufacturer to deliver just one new machine. October 2014 to now, and I am looking at a machine in the Nokta Impact that frankly has no exact equivalent from many of the old school top tier manufacturers. Maybe you guys see no merit in being able to select frequencies but I am highly focused on replacing all my various VLF machines with just one detector, and it is most likely going to be a selectable frequency model that wins that competition. If Nok/Mak can get from FORS CoRe to Impact in three years the "Big 5" manufacturers had better get serious and quick about picking up the pace. The listen and bend over backwards to please attitude alone is getting a lot of fans willing to forgive in other areas. Next up we will no doubt be seeing PI models and multi frequency.... and who knows what else. People can and will argue the relative merits of the Impact versus the other top-of-the-line models, but just the fact the Impact is getting compared to the very best anyone else can make says something about how far this company has come. The Nokta Impact has some very interesting all metal modes, the Gen(D) and Sta(D) modes that appear to be running both all metal and disc modes in parallel. The speculation about these modes garnered attention and we have now been provided this explanation directly from Nokta Software Team Leader Alper Tozan regarding these 2 modes: ''I read a lot of comments about Gen (D) and STA (D) modes in some forums and firstly, I want to thank you about all your positive thoughts. On the other hand, I want to clarify one thing. In some forum discussions, these modes are defined as ‘’mix modes’’. These modes are not mix modes as mix modes typically result from at least two different software algorithms or hardware circuits working at the same time for decision making to discriminate and detect metals. These mix modes also show characteristics of two or more different modes at the same time including handicaps of each signal processing. Gen (D) mode, on the other hand, is a true threshold based all metal mode with motion that can discriminate metal without needing any other hardware or higher order software process level. So it always behaves like a classical true threshold based all metal mode but with iron tone and tone break.'' These all metal modes seemed to me to be the perfect fit for a large search coil and extra deep VLF detecting. The Nokta Impact favors this with its exceptional balance and multiple operating frequencies. In general I think I can speak for most people when I say we all like lighter weight detectors. However, one area where lighter is not better is when you use large coils. Balance is every bit as important as weight as it determines the amount of torque applied to your wrist as you swing the detector. A large coil on a very light detector creates a very nose heavy detector, one that will put more strain on you when you detect than a heavier but better balanced detector. It just so happens that the Impact with the rear mounted battery power/speaker module is a good design for a large coil from an ergonomics standpoint. This is especially true when in my experience Nokta has designed large coils that are quite light for their size. I was probably one of the first people that really zeroed in on the new IM40 15" x 14" DD coil when it was proposed for the Impact by Nokta. I got on an early wait list for the coil, and just received mine. Nokta Impact IM40 15.5" x 13.75" coil with scuff cover The IM40 DD coil measures 15.5" x 13.75" and comes with a fitted skid plate/scuff cover. The coil weighs 1 lb 13.0 oz or 822 grams as pictured with skid plate and cable and weighed on my postal scales. Yes, I had to say that as some people exclude cable weights from coils! For comparison the stock 11" x 7" IMP29 coil weighs 15.7 oz or 446 grams. I like the flat blunted ends on the IM40, which does help the Impact stay upright as the trailing edge of the coil acts as a flat bearing surface when the detector is at rest on the ground. I am not usually a fan of larger coils and in fact tend to lean to smaller coils for a lot of my urban metal detecting. Large coils "see" more area which can work against them in highly mineralized ground or in areas with lots of closely spaced trash. However, large coils even if they do not get more depth in highly mineralized ground can cover more area faster, and often ground coverage is every bit as important if not more so than depth. In medium to lower mineral ground a large coil can also offer that magic thing all detectorists crave - more depth! The Nokta Impact has another trick up its sleeve that favors large coils; the ability to change operating frequency on the fly. High frequencies offer more sensitivity to small items and quicker separation in dense trash as well as extended battery operating time. The main issue with higher frequencies is they also "light up" highly mineralized ground and hot rocks more so than lower frequencies. This can work against machines that are locked into higher frequencies when attempting to employ large coils in highly mineralized ground. Lower frequencies give up some of the high frequency "hots" on small targets but also are less sensitive to ground issues, including salt mineralization. The ability of the Nokta Impact to run at 20 kHz, 14 kHz, or even 5 kHz makes it very well suited for running very large coils. This is accentuated by the plethora of all metal modes available on the Nokta Impact which can deliver extreme performance when coupled with a large coil. The bottom line is I think the Nokta Impact and IM40 coil may be one of the very best options available for a person wanting to run a large coil on a VLF detector, with depths in all metal modes and milder ground that will challenge many PI detectors. ads by Amazon... For a lot of what I personally do, like gold prospecting or beach detecting, I will first attempt high frequency, high gain operation and then back off as ground or EMI conditions require. One thing it is important to know when running the Impact with large coils is how the Gain control works. If the Impact is running at Gain levels that are too high, the OVERLOAD message will appear on the screen. Note: You can increase or decrease the overload volume with the on/off button. When the volume of the device is at maximum, the overload volume will be low. As the volume of the device is lowered, the overload volume will increase. The electronic Gain has at least three distinct levels. There are distinct boosts between settings of 39 and 40 plus again between 69 and 70. Setting over 90 are a sort of hyper-Gain region only obtainable in low mineral/low EMI environments. Therefore I may attempt to start out in 20 kHz and a very high Gain. If overloading occurs I will lower the Gain for smooth operation, paying particular attention when I get down to 69. From there on down I need more field time, but at some point it will be better to drop to a lower frequency than to continue to lower the Gain setting. So in theory if at a setting of Gain 39 I still have issues at 20 kHz, it is time to go to 14 khz and run the Gain back up high. If conditions are still not amenable to running at 14 kHz and high Gain settings, I would then drop to 5 kHz and again attempt to run higher Gain levels. Note: people hunting larger, higher conductive items like silver coins and brass relics may very well just start out at 5 kHz. My focus is usually on lower conductive, smaller items i.e. gold. I so far have only done a small amount of detecting in a local park. I first tried Di3 and while it was working well enough the trash density was high and interpreting signals with a large DD coil can be challenging, especially when the coil generates multiple signals on very shallow items. I finally went to the unique GEN(D) mode and it was night and day. The GEN(D) all metal mode combined with the VCO effect makes sizing targets and identifying shallow targets a breeze, even in a trashy park situation. Shallow ferrous is easily identified also using GEN(D). There are several all metal modes a person can employ on the Impact as well as the extended range ground balance available in the COG (COnductive Ground). While the Impact performs ground balance in the range of 20-90 automatically in the other discrimination modes, it ground balances in the range of 0-90 in the COG mode. This enables easier ground balancing on conductive grounds where normally ground balance cannot be performed at all or performed with difficulty, such as salt water beaches. Remember that ground balancing to salt conditions always comes at the cost of reduced sensitivity to small gold items. Large coil VLF hunting is not for everyone and is not a magic bullet in any case, but it does offer possibilities for the more adventurous detectorist. Here is a picture of my Nokta Impact with new IM40 coil. The detector with this coil is only slightly nose heavy (keep the rod as short as possible) and weighs with batteries 5 lbs 2.0 oz (5.13 lbs) or 2322 grams. Nokta Impact with IM40 15.5" x 13.75" coil mounted The Nokta Impact is quite unique in that not only does it operate at different frequencies, but it has two different target id scales in use depending on the mode employed. Here are Nokta Impact Gold Coin Target ID Responses* in GEN, GEN (D), STA, STA (D), DEEP, VLX1 and VLX2 modes (0-40 ferrous, 41-99 non-ferrous) Seen notes below on alternate target ID scales. .................. NORMALIZED....... 5-Khz.....14-Khz...20-Khz $1.00 Gold Coin....... 51............ 47...........52..........54 $2.50 Gold Coin....... 62............ 51...........62..........70 $5.00 Gold Coin....... 72............ 55...........72..........80 $10.00 Gold Coin...... 82............ 65...........82..........83 $20.00 Gold Coin...... 84............ 75...........84..........85 The normalized setting equalizes responses in all frequencies to be the same as the 14 kHz response. At start up, the Nokta Impact will utilize the ''Normalized'' ID scale and not the Standard ID scale. In other words, the IDs will not change upon frequency change and the device will generate the 14kHz IDs in each frequency. However, based on ground conditions IDs may vary for certain metals. If you prefer to see the different IDs produced by each frequency, you need use the ''Standard'' ID scale. To switch to the standard IDs, pull the trigger and push the (+) button at the same time. Letters ''Sd'' will appear on the screen. If you wish to revert back to the normalized IDs, repeat the same process and letters ''no'' will appear on the screen. In General, low frequencies spread out coin responses but compress low conductive responses. High frequencies spread out low conductive responses but move coin responses closer together. See the target table below for reference. Therefore, running in in the 5 kHz "Standard" or un-normalized mode will provide better target ID separation while coin detecting. Running in 20 kHz Standard mode will provide more definition between U.S. nickels, gold jewelry, and various aluminum items. However, target ID number changes between modes may be confusing for some people and make the Impact harder to learn. In need this case using the Normalized setting is recommended. The Nokta Impact is somewhat unique in that depending on the mode there are two possible target ID scales in use. In DI2, DI3, DI4, DI99 and COG "coin and jewelry" modes, the ferrous range is 00-15 at factory defaults. This provides the most target definition in the non-ferrous range for people only interested in non-ferrous targets. In GEN, GEN (D), STA, STA (D), DEEP, VLX1 and VLX2 "gold and relic" modes, the ferrous range is 00-40. This provides the most target definition in the ferrous to non-ferrous range for people who hunt for items where these ranges overlap. It may then be seen that by picking a combination of both the mode used and a Standard operating frequency the Nokta Impact can customize target ID responses to a degree quite rare in metal detectors offered today. For instance, most coin hunters may want to use the DI2, DI3, DI4, DI99 modes in Standard 5 kHz frequency mode for the best target definition on silver coin range targets. *The gold coin responses are from the Tom Dankowski post at this location. Nokta Impact target id responses in different modes My focus being gold prospecting I can say that while the Nokta Impact is a very capable machine for gold prospecting it will not match the Makro Gold Racer for sensitivity to smaller gold. It is closer to the Nokta Fors Gold+ in that regard. Performance on gram plus gold is on par with other machines in the 13 - 20 kHz class, though the ability to drop to 5 kHz may provide some benefits in the worst ground on large nuggets, much like is seen with the 6.4 kHz mode on the Minelab Eureka Gold. Nokta Impact (with optional 7" x 4" DD coil) next to Makro Gold Racer The Nokta Impact is a very intriguing metal detector, much like owning several different machines in one. The 99 tone mode has a VCO response more like one might expect of the DEUS than other full tone models, like my DFX. The Gen mode is quite unique being a threshold based all metal mode with a dual tone disc mode layered over it, what is referred to as a mixed mode. Wireless headphone capability (2.4 Ghz lag free) is built-in but headphones will be optional. Physically the unit is a well balanced 4.26 pounds with a straight shaft, molded post style grip. The cable is enclosed in the rod assembly for snag free operation and a clean look. The 7" x 4" DD coil is a real sweet option for trashy locations. To sum up I have only scratched the surface of the capability contained in this incredible detector. It has been getting rave reviews from users working the small elliptical coil in extremely trashy locations. With so many frequencies, modes, and a great coil selection the Nokta Impact can serve well for almost any metal detecting task. ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2017 Herschbach Enterprises Official Nokta Impact Page Nokta Impact Color Brochure Nokta Impact Instruction Manual Nokta Impact Introduction Thread (many closeup photos) Forum Threads Tagged "nokta impact" Nokta Metal Detector Forum Nokta Impact Technical Specifications* Internet Price $699 Technology Induction Balance (IB) Frequency 5, 14 or 20 kHz Autotune Mode(s) iSAT Intelligent Self Adjusting Threshold Ground Rejection Ground Grab, Manual, Tracking Soil Adjust Normal and Salt (Beach) Modes Discrimination Variable with Visual ID, Tone ID (2, 3, 4, 99), Notch ID, Variable Tone Breaks, Iron Volume Volume Control Yes Threshold Control Yes Tone Adjust Yes Audio Boost Yes Frequency Offset Yes Pinpoint Mode Yes Audio Output 1/4" headphone socket & speaker Hip Mount Shaft Mount Only Standard Coil(s) 11" x 7" DD Optional Search Coils 7.5" x 4" DD, 9.5" x 5" DD, 15.5" x 13.5" DD, 7" Round Concentric Battery Four AA Operating Time 8 - 15 hours Weight 4.26 pounds Additional Technology Wireless headphone capability built in (headphones optional) Notes Cable enclosed inside rod assembly *Notes on Technical Specifications - Detailed notes about the specifications listed in this chart.
  16. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer

    The Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer was introduced in 2018 and is still in production. The Multi Kruzer is a fully submersible VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. The Multi Kruzer is a "selectable frequency" detector that lets you select one frequency to use from several options. The Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer can run at any one of three frequencies - 5, 14, and 19 kHz. The Multi Kruzer will bring hunted out sites back to life by offering the best performance and depth combined with its robust and waterproof design. Are you a beach hunter? We did not forget about you, either! The Multi Kruzer features a new advanced beach mode that provides a very stable performance on the wet salt beach and even underwater. Source: Nokta/Makro website Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer metal detector Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer control panel Fully submersible up to 5 meters (16.4ft.) - Protected from total dust ingress. Excellent Discrimination and Unmasking Ability - Just detect those wanted gold targets and ignore iron. High Performance & Unmatched Depth - Uncover deep gold nuggets or micro jewelry other detectors simply cannot detect. Advanced Beach Mode - Very stable operation in dry sand, wet sand and underwater. NEW E.U.D. Function - Extra Underground Depth! Detect certain type of metals masked by ground conditions and/or at fringe depths. Fast Recovery Speed - Get ready to find out what the other metal detectors missed amongst trash and iron! 3 Selectable Target ID Depth Levels - Adjusts the depth level that the detector displays an ID for a detected target. 6 Search Modes - Gen (All Metal) / 2 Tone / 3 Tone / 4 Tone / Beach / Deep 2.4 GHz Wireless Headphones - Enjoy wireless freedom with no latency. Online Firmware Updates - Stay up-to-date with firmware updates (via USB on PC) and get the most out of your detector. Vibration - Ideal for the hearing impaired users as well as for detection underwater. Lightweight (1.4kg / 3.0Ibs) - Enjoy detecting for extended hours without fatigue. Built-in Lipo Battery - Easily charge it with the supplied charger or a USB power bank. Provides up to 19 hours of use. Official Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer Product Page Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer Owner's Manual
  17. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer

    The Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer metal detector was introduced in 2018 and is still in production. It is a fully submersible 61 kHz induction balance metal detector aimed primarily at gold prospecting with accessory uses of coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. Note that the regular price for the Gold Kruzer includes two search coils; a 5.5" x 10" concentric coil plus a 4" x 7.5" DD coil. Operating at 61 kHz high frequency, the Gold Kruzer will bring hunted out goldfields back to life by offering the best sensitivity to tiniest nuggets. Apart from its exceptional performance in harsh ground conditions and hot rocks, its robust and waterproof design makes the Gold Kruzer the most advanced gold and micro jewelry metal detector on the market. Source: Nokta/Makro website Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer metal detector Nokta / Makro Gold Kruzer control panel Fully submersible up to 5 meters (16.4ft.) - Protected from total dust ingress. Note that working at depth requires optional waterproof headphones. Excellent Discrimination and Unmasking Ability - Just detect those wanted gold targets and ignore iron. High Performance & Unmatched Depth - Uncover deep gold nuggets or micro jewelry other detectors simply cannot detect. 4 Search Modes - Gen (All Metal) / Fast / Boost / Micro NEW E.U.D. Function - Extra Underground Depth - Detect small gold nuggets masked by hot rocks and/or at fringe depths. 2.4 GHz Wireless Headphones - Enjoy wireless freedom with no latency. Wireless headphones are not waterproof and cannot be used underwater. Online Firmware Updates - Stay up-to-date with firmware updates and get the most out of your detector.Gold Kruzer Suda Lightweight (1.4kg / 3.0Ibs) - Enjoy detecting for extended hours without fatigue. Built-in Lipo Battery - Easily charge it with the supplied charger or a USB powerbank Provides up to 19 hours of use. Official Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer Product Page Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer Owner's Manual Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer - Steve's Review
  18. Steve Herschbach

    Nokta/Makro Anfibio 19

    Details will be posted here soon. In the meantime if you own this detector feel free to leave a review!
  19. Steve Herschbach

    Makro Gold Kruzer

    Introducing the Makro Gold Kruzer metal detector, new for 2018. The Makro Gold Kruzer is available now from select dealers. The 61 kHz Gold Kruzer breaks new ground by being the lightest weight highest frequency waterproof detector on the market. Be sure and read the detailed review by Steve Herschbach at the bottom of this page below the specifications list. The Makro Gold Kruzer comes standard with a 10" x 5.5" concentric coil plus a 4" x 7.5" DD coil and has one optional coil available at launch. The Gold Kruzer has proprietary 2.4 Ghz wireless headphones included. The big announcement of note however is the very high 61 kHz operating frequency, making this one of the hottest machines available on tiny non-ferrous targets, and the only one waterproof to over 5 meters (16.4 feet). There are already a number of detectors on the market operating in the over 40 kHz region and the basics of this high frequency detection have been covered well for at least twenty years. In other words, if all a person wants is a detector running in a high frequency threshold based all metal mode, there are quite a few options to choose from. What makes the Gold Kruzer interesting is that as far as I can recall, nobody has made a detector before where the primary design intent is jewelry detecting. More to the point with the Gold Kruzer - detecting for micro jewelry. Micro jewelry has no exact definition but basically just means very small, hard to detect jewelry. Things like thin gold chains, or single post earrings. Most standard coin type detectors are weak on these sorts of small targets, if they can even detect them at all. Up until now people had to choose between coin detectors that have the features but are weak on micro jewelry targets, or use dedicated gold prospecting detectors hot on small targets, but very limited in features. What that usually means is little or no discrimination features. Makro Gold Kruzer for detecting jewelry, gold nuggets, and more Makro has gained attention as a company that listens to its customers. The new Gold Kruzer model is the perfect example of that, creating a unique machine based almost solely on feedback provided by customers in the last couple years. The Micro Mode on the new Gold Kruzer is a direct nod to those who want a detector for hunting micro jewelry and possibly even for gold prospecting, but who do not wish to give up the features available on most detectors today. In fact, Makro goes a step beyond, with the Gold Kruzer sporting features not included on many detectors today. These would include being waterproof to ten feet of more (16.4 feet with the Gold Kruzer), built in wireless headphone capability, and the ability to receive firmware updates via the internet. The result is a new detector with a unique feature set. There is literally no other detector made right now operating over 40 kHz that is fully submersible. Built in wireless and internet updates are frosting on the cake. Official Makro Gold Kruzer Page Makro Gold Kruzer Full Color Brochure Makro Gold Kruzer Instruction Manual Forum Threads Tagged "makro kruzer" Makro Metal Detectors Forum Makro Gold Kruzer Technical Specifications* Internet Price $749 Technology Induction Balance (IB) Frequency 61 kHz Autotune Mode(s) iSAT Intelligent Self Adjusting Threshold Ground Rejection Grab, Manual, & Tracking Soil Adjust Yes Discrimination Visual ID & Tone ID, Tone Break Adjustment Volume Control Yes Threshold Control Yes Tone Adjust Yes Audio Boost Yes Frequency Offset Yes Pinpoint Mode Yes Audio Output Speaker & Waterproof Headphone Socket Hip Mount Shaft Mount Only Standard Coil(s) 10" x 5.5" Concentric & 4" x 7.5" DD Optional Search Coils Yes Battery LiPo Rechargeable (optional external AA pack available) Operating Time Up to 19 hours Weight 3.0 pounds Additional Technology iMask noise suppression technology, backlit screen, save settings Notes Includes 2.4 Ghz wireless headphones, waterproof to 5 meters (16.4 feet) *Notes on Technical Specifications - Detailed notes about the specifications listed in this chart. Detailed Review Of Makro Gold Kruzer by Steve Herschbach I was asked to review a new gold detector in the fall of 2014 from a company I had never heard of before then – the FORS Gold by the Nokta company based in Istanbul, Turkey. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Nokta FORS Gold to be a very capable 15 kHz VLF detector that could serve well not just for nugget detecting, but almost any detecting tasks. The FORS Gold did have some odd design quirks, like the use of mechanical rocker switches instead of touch pads. I listed a few of these things, expecting that would just be the way it is. I was almost shocked when within a short period of time Nokta fixed or changed every item I had mentioned in my review as possibly needing improvement. This was unusual as normally once a machine has gone into production manufacturers are extremely resistant to design changes, especially changes in the physical design. It was a sign of what people have now found to be fact – that this company is serious about listening to their customers as a prime driver for product improvement. New Makro Gold Kruzer It was revealed that Nokta had a sister company called Makro, and the two officially combined forces shortly after I made my review. In other words, both Nokta and Makro now share the same ownership and management, but continue to be marketed separately under the two brand names. The detector models that each sell are unique, but there is an obvious sharing of the underlying technology between some models that the two brands sell. I had commented at the time that I would prefer a more standard configuration for a LCD based detector rather than the non-standard configuration as presented by the FORS Gold. By the fall of 2015 I was using the new Makro Gold Racer, which incorporated many ideas I had lobbied for over the years with detector manufacturers. I had been trying for some time to get somebody to create a metal detector that ran at nugget detecting type frequencies over 30 kHz but with a full target id system. It seems strange now but at that time nobody made such a detector. The Makro Gold Racer was quite unique in 2015 by offering a detector running at 56 kHz that also offered a full range LCD based target id system and dual tone based audio discrimination modes. This made it a detector useful not just for nugget detecting, but low conductor hunting in general for relics and jewelry. It is even a halfway decent coin detector for regular park type scenarios. The versatility and well thought out control scheme scored points with me, and I still have the Makro Gold Racer even after selling most of my other detectors. It seems that the moment the Makro Gold Racer hit the streets, that everyone else was working on similar ideas, as other detectors running over 30 kHz but with a full feature set started to appear on the market. High frequency detecting is suddenly in vogue for more than just gold nugget detecting. The one thing obvious now about the Makro / Nokta partnership is that they never sit still, but continue to work on and release new models at a pace that puts all the other manufacturers to shame. The companies are also big believers in seeking public feedback and then implementing the suggestions to create better products for their customers. This is readily apparent in the progression I have personally witnessed in going from that original Nokta FORS Gold to the new 61 kHz Makro Gold Kruzer just now hitting the market. In less than four years the company has gone from “catching up” to meeting or surpassing detectors made by other companies. ads by Amazon... It should be obvious that the Makro Gold Kruzer is all about gold. This explains the shift from dual tone to monotone audio in the Fast and Boost. Dual tones as employed in the Makro Gold Kruzer can be problematic when hunting the smallest gold targets, especially in highly mineralized ground. It is hard for a detector to get a clean separation of ferrous and non-ferrous targets when the targets are very small. This is because the actual dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous is not a line at all, but a zone. The Makro Gold Kruzer uses a fairly standard discrimination scale that ranges from 0 – 99. The range from 0 – 40 is considered to be the ferrous range, and 41 and above non-ferrous. Yet the discrimination default for both the Fast and Boost modes is 25. This is because if you bury small gold in highly mineralized ground or large gold extra deep in mineralized ground, the ferrous ground signal can overwhelm the very weak non-ferrous signal. It really is not about the object size. A deep large nugget is a very weak signal just the same as a shallower small nugget, and either can end up reading as a ferrous target. The solution is to lower the discrimination setting into the ferrous range and accept that you have to dig some ferrous items to get all the gold items. This actually applies to any metal detecting. If you dig absolutely no ferrous trash, you are almost 100% guaranteed to be passing up some non-ferrous items reading incorrectly as ferrous. This can be acceptable of course depending on what you are doing, but passing on a deep six ounce gold nugget because it reads ferrous can be an expensive mistake. The Gold Kruzer default discrimination setting for Fast and Boost is 25 instead of 40 for this very reason. Dual tones have issues for this same reason, with decisive results on the weakest targets difficult if not impossible to obtain. The difference is quite small, but monotone is slightly more stable and proficient at working with the tiniest and faintest of signals right at the dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous, wherever you have set the control to tell the Gold Kruzer where that line is for your particular situation. There is no pat answer as the where to set the discrimination control. It is a judgment call based on experience, but when in doubt, use less discrimination and dig more trash. Welcome to gold detecting! Makro chart showing gold occurring in 0 – 40 ferrous range The Makro Gold Kruzer has a new control that relates to this overlap between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The Extra Underground Depth (E.U.D.) control acts to directly impact the tipping point between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The E.U.D. control only works in one of the three discrimination modes and when used on a suspect target that is reading ferrous may reveal by a different tone that it is actually non-ferrous. It is noted in the manual that it can reveal some targets misidentified as ferrous, but it will also give more false positives on ferrous targets. I was unable in the time allowed to figure out just how efficient this control is. In theory you can just set the discrimination lower, digging more ferrous but getting those missed non-ferrous items. Or set the discrimination a little higher, and now examine suspect targets individually by engaging the E.U.D. control momentarily. Finally, you can run E.U.D. on at all times. Is higher disc with E.U.D. on at all times going to get better results than just using a lower discrimination setting? Sadly, I just do not know at this time. I do know it is no magic bullet so the efficiency of employing the E.U.D. control will have to be determined over time by users around the world What? You say you wanted tones? Well, the Makro Gold Kruzer has you covered. The new Micro mode is a three tone mode similar to that on other company models, but running at that hot 61 khz. The 0 – 40 target id range produces a low tone. The 41 – 66 range produces a medium tone, and 67 – 99 range a high tone. Micro mode allows the “ferrous break point” to be adjusted. This is that magic point where you decide what is going to read as ferrous and what reads as non-ferrous. Note that unlike the Fast and Boost modes, the default ferrous breakpoint is set at 40 instead of 25. This is good for coin type detecting but again may be too high for other types of detecting. While in Micro mode you may use the Tone Break control to vary this all important setting. You could mimic the other two modes by setting the Tone Break at 25. Now 0 – 25 will be a low tone, 26 – 66 a medium tone, and 67 – 99 a high tone. Tone Break can only be used to set the ferrous breakpoint. The upper high tone region of 67 – 99 is preset and fixed by the factory with no adjustment possible. You may use the Ferrous Volume setting to control how loud the low tone response is. The medium and high tone responses are set with the main volume control. The discrimination control still functions in Micro mode, with a default setting of ten. Hot rocks and ground responses occur this low on the scale, and so having at least some of the low end blocked or rejected with reduce the number of low tone responses generated by the ground itself. The control can be set as high as you want and will override the other settings, blocking all targets below the desired target id setting. The Makro Gold Kruzer does have a tone control, but it does not allow the tones to be changed in Micro mode. Those are factory preset, with the Tone Break between ferrous and non-ferrous plus Ferrous Volume as the two adjustments you can make. The Tone setting allows the tone of the audio response and threshold to be changed in Gen, Fast, and Boost modes only. Micro was designed first for hunting micro jewelry. Micro jewelry is a loose term that applies to all very small jewelry items, like very thin chains, single post earrings, tie tacks, etc. Micro is perfect for hunting tot lots and beaches and focusing on the “gold range” targets represented by the mid tone reading in Micro mode. Many jewelry hunters consider digging coins a waste of time, and so ignoring high tones can save digging pocket change when the real goal is a woman’s diamond and platinum ring. The Makro Gold Kruzer has a nominal non-ferrous range of 41 – 99 which is a 59 point spread. Normal U.S. coin responses are 63 for a nickel, 83 for a zinc penny, 84 for a copper penny, 86 for a clad dime, and 91 for a clad quarter. The high 61 kHz operating frequency acts to push target id numbers higher and most coins will respond at 83 and higher. I was surprised a zinc penny and copper penny for all intents read the same. The good news is the low conductor range is expanded, which offers the ability to help discern different pull tabs and other trash items over a wider range. This in turn may help eliminate at least a few pesky trash items while hunting gold, although ignoring gold range items of any sort can be risky. Still, with a U.S. nickel reading at 63 and most women’s rings reading under the nickel, you get the 40 – 63 zone as a 23 point range where much of the most valuable jewelry will turn up. The default high tone breakpoint of 66 – 67 is clearly focusing the Gold Kruzer mid-tone on this very important gold range. Do note that large men’s rings and nearly all larger silver jewelry will read above 66 and therefore give a high tone reading. The Gold Kruzer has some obvious applications but there are a couple catches. First, it is running at 61 kHz, which means it is very hot on low conductors, but that it will have just adequate performance on high conductors like silver coins. Second, its extreme sensitivity to low conductors means it will not work well if at all in saltwater or on wet salt sand. Saltwater is a low conductor and will respond quite strongly on the Gold Kruzer, and getting it to not respond to saltwater gives up all the sensitivity to small gold. The Gold Kruzer will work very well around freshwater or on dry sand, it is not intended as a detector for use in or near saltwater. I would suggest the new Makro Multi Kruzer as an alternative to those who want to hunt in and around saltwater on a regular basis. Makro Gold Kruzer with optional 5” x 9.5” DD coil There are many features I could delve into but at over six pages this report is getting long, so I will again refer people to the User Manual for the details. Suffice it to say that the Makro Gold Kruzer has a full set of features like frequency shift for reducing interference, temporary audio boost for the Gen all metal mode, adjustable backlight, and the ability to save settings when the detector is powered down, and more. I got the Gold Kruzer prototype during a period when I was quite busy and the weather was not helping. I did have time to do a few tot lot hunts plus make a trip to the goldfields to evaluate the machine. The Gold Kruzer is well behaved in urban locations, with only a little static from electrical interference sources. I found the new Micro mode to be just the ticket for quickly blasting through a tot lot recovering prime gold range targets. I dug everything as is my practice when learning a detector, and ended up with the usual pile of aluminum foil, junk jewelry, and coins. Nothing special found but no doubt in my mind that the Gold Kruzer acts as intended in this type of setting. There were no surprises in the goldfields. At 61 kHz and in Gen mode the Gold Kruzer is a real pleasure to run, with all the response and nuance one expects from a great threshold based all metal circuit. Boost Mode also works very well as an alternative for small nugget detecting. I had no problem at all finding a couple little bits of gold weighing under a grain (480 grains per Troy ounce) on my first and only nugget hunt so far with the Gold Kruzer. Two tiny gold nuggets found with Makro Gold Kruzer To sum up, the new Makro Gold Kruzer once again ups the ante at Makro. It comes standard with two coils and is fully waterproof for about the same price as the Makro Gold Racer so I would have to assume the Gold Racers days are numbered. The one thing I am not sure about at this time is that the Gold Racer has a 15” x 13” DD coil option. The Makro Multi Kruzer has the 15” coil option, but no such accessory has yet been announced for the Gold Kruzer. This is probably not a concern for very many people, but it bears mentioning. I have no problem at all recommending that anyone interested in a detector with a focus on gold take a very serious look at the new Makro Gold Kruzer. It’s performance on low conductors of any type means that the Gold Kruzer is not just for prospectors and jewelry hunters but may also see favor with some relic hunters who focus of low conductor targets like buttons and bullets. This is a solid detector with 21st century features at a very attractive price. Makro Kruzer Color Brochure ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises
  20. The White's Goldmaster 24K is a new 48 kHz gold nugget detector released in the fall of 2018. Production models started shipping in September and White's forwarded one to me to check out. What follows are my thoughts after a couple days of detecting for gold on several northern Nevada nugget patches. The Goldmaster 24K marks a break with the past as White's moves from the older metal box designs of the past to newer plastic cases. The Goldmaster 24K physical design is the latest in the evolution of the MX series. The control box itself is derived directly from that used on the White's MX5. The control pod / display originated with the TreasurePro and later used in the MX Sport and MX7 designs. Basically the Goldmaster 24K is in the same housing and rod design as the White's MX7. Manufacturers face a difficult design choice these days. In general users want metal detectors to be as light as possible. However, weight is not everything - balance matters every bit as much. The problem is that a metal detector search coil is basically a weight on the end of a long stick. Coils can only be made so light due to engineering constraints requiring a certain amount of copper wire and a reasonably robust coil housing. The coil then has a lot to do with determining the final ergonomics of the detector. If the coil weight is not balanced at the other end with some kind of offsetting weight, the detector is nose heavy. This in turn creates torque everytime the detector changes directions which puts stress on the operators arm. The detector can be made as light as possible, or can be perfectly balanced, but it is almost impossible to do both in one detector. Any detector that weighs less than 3 pounds is almost certain to be nose heavy because enough weight does not exist to balance the weight of the coil. In order to have enough weight to work with it appears the minimum is about 3.5 lbs for detectors that are well balanced. The extra weight is almost always in the form of a battery box located under the elbow. White's has gone this route is the MX series designs with a battery box holding 8 AA batteries under the elbow acting as a balancing weight. This results not only in a well balanced detector but a detector with enough batteries to operate for multiple days between charges or battery changes. White's Goldmaster 24K metal detector for gold prospecting Another big choice manufacturers have to make these days is whether to use a straight rod or a "S" rod design. Users tend to be evenly split as to which they prefer, and so this is a choice the manufacturer cannot possibly win. About half the people are going to be unhappy whichever way you go. Industrial type users like beach hunters and prospectors tends to prefer straight rods. Coin, jewelry, and relic hunters seem more inclined to "S" rods. I have used many detectors with either setup and have been happy with both or unhappy with both. The deciding factor for me has been more about the exact size, shape, and angle of the hand grip than the actual rod design. I do not have over-sized hands, and so I tend to prefer a smaller diameter grip. Other people like a larger grip. I went into all that detail to be sure the reader understands that weight and balance is very much a personal preference item. Getting a detector to fit right for everyone is like making a pair of boots that fits everyone. You can't do it. Therefore when I say that the MX physical design as employed in the Goldmaster 24K is a very good fit for me don't take that as meaning it will be great for you. Yet it is a very good fit for me and quite comfortable on my arm, with just enough forward weight to keep my elbow in the arm cup without having to use the arm strap. The design is also lighter than the White's GMT by nearly half a pound, so the Goldmaster 24K is both well balanced and lighter than what came before. The Goldmaster 24K with 10" elliptical coil and with batteries installed weighs 3 lbs 7 oz (3.4 lbs) or 1562 grams on my digital postal scale. The Goldmaster 24K has an IP54 rated enclosure that has a high level of protection against dust particles, and a fair amount of protection against water. The coils are waterproof but the detector itself is not submersible so keep that display pod out of the water. The "S" rod is a three piece design with excellent quality twist locks that create a firm, wobble free rod assembly when fully engaged. The armrest position is not adjustable but it is well placed. The 24K is powered by eight AA batteries in a battery holder that pops out of the rear of the battery box. The 24K is supplied with eight alkaline AA batteries but rechargeable batteries may be substituted for use in the battery holder. The 24K can get up to 40 hours operation using high quality alkaline batteries and while using headphones (external speakers use more power). The Goldmaster 24K does have a speaker built into the rear of the display pod, and there is a female 1/4" headphone jack directly above the battery door. White's thoughtfully includes a small plastic plug to insert into this hole when not in use. White's 24K battery holder and headphone jack location The Goldmaster 24K is available in two versions. One comes with a 5.5" x 10" DD coil as the stock coil. The other package also adds a 6.5" round concentric coil for a two coil package. Scuff covers for the coils are not included with the detector. The 5.5" x 10" DD search coil weighs 14.5 oz or 412 grams. The coil is 1" thick. The 6.5" round concentric coil is 3/4" thick and weighs 13.1 oz or 370 grams. Therefore the 24K when outfitted with the 6" concentric weighs in at 3 lbs 5 oz (3.3 lbs). White's also has a 13.5" x 8" DD available soon that weighs 1 lb 8 oz or 682 grams. Finally, a version of the 4" x 6" Shooter DD is in the works also. Do note that all pre-existing coils for other White's Goldmaster or GMT models are not compatible with the Goldmaster 24K. The 24K pumps about 50% more voltage to the coils than previous models, requiring tighter tolerances in the new coils. The coil connector has been changed to prevent confusion. 5.5" x 10" DD search coil and 6.5" round concentric coil for White's Goldmaster 24K The Goldmaster 24K shares many functions with the White's GMT model but there are differences. The most obvious being that the GMT uses knobs for control adjustments. The 24K uses a sealed touchpad which is more water and dust resistant, but some controls have secondary functions that necessitate having the Quick Guide near at hand when learning the detector. The 24K like the GMT does of course have a sensitivity control, and like on all hot VLF detectors it is a critical control. The solution to most problems regarding metal detector instability or interference is to reduce the sensitivity. The 24K features both automatic ground tracking or a fixed ground balance adjusted via a tap of a "ground grab" button - in this case the pinpoint button, which doubles as a ground grab when given a quick tap. Ground tracking can be a great function for variable ground and people new to detecting. Personally I prefer to lock the ground setting (via the "Lock" button) and update it manually via the ground grab function. I did use the ground tracking however, just to try it out. It is lightning quick, taking just a pump or two to track into the ground. Ground grabs are instantaneous. The White's GMT allowed for a locked ground balance to be tweaked up or down manually via plus or minus buttons on the control pod. The 24K takes a slightly different route by allowing a "ground balance offset" to be dialed into the detector. The ground balance offset is a powerful feature and so deserves some explanation. Prospectors often prefer manual ground balance because they can choose their own setting that for various reason might be different than what a machine will choose using a preset function like ground grab. Ground grab may be set to deliver a very neutral ground balance. The prospector may prefer that the balance be slightly positive to help enhance tiny nugget signals. They may want to choose a ground balance setting halfway between the ground itself and some pesky hot rock, which may mean adjusting either positive or negative from the neutral setting. This might require that the operator first do a ground grab, then hit the plus button a couple times to manually offset the ground balance. The 24K has a "Follow The Black Sand" mode like on the GMT but it is now called Ground Scan. Ground Scan is enabled by pushing and holding the ground balance "Lock" button. While in Ground Scan the "Up" and "Down" buttons create a ground balance offset. This offset is retained when you leave Ground Scan mode and will be applied both when doing a ground grab and even while in ground tracking mode. The Ground Scan / Follow The Black Sand thing is intended to allow a prospector to locate and trace shallow magnetic sand deposits that might indicate potential gold concentrations. This is a rarely used function, but including the offset ability means this function may be accessed much more often just to create these ground balance offsets. With the GMT you could ground grab and then manually tweak the setting, but the tweak had to be applied every time the ground grab is performed. Now the offset can be dialed in and automatically applied. The real zinger however is that this also allows the 24K ground tracking function to be directly tweaked - very, very rare indeed. Almost every detector I have ever used has a preset ground tracking circuit that puts the ground balance where it wants, end of story. With the White's Goldmaster 24K you can create a tracking offset to deal with hot rocks in a way that simply can't be done with most other ground tracking systems. Really cool White's! White's Goldmaster 24K with 13.5" x 8" DD coil (prototype lacking decal) The 24K has the volume control the GMT lacks which is quite handy for those who want to run without headphones but not necessarily at full volume. There are 8 levels of volume plus two boost settings, Boost 1 (b1) and Boost 2 (b2) that kick in when you adjust the volume control above 8. The GMT features a Variable Self Adjusting Threshold (V/SAT) control that governs the rate at which the audio resets itself when passing over a target or ground variations. The GMT has a knob that runs from 1 to 10 and on the Goldmaster 24K the SAT setting has been simplified to three settings - off, medium, and fast. The default setting of medium is all most people will ever need. However, in extreme low mineral ground the off setting can enhance weak signals, although the detector may need very careful coil control and slower coil sweeps to allow the circuit to keep up. Conversely, extreme high mineral variable ground may require the fast setting to smooth out variations in the ground signal. The threshold control itself is interesting. Normally on an old school threshold based all metal detector the all metal mode and threshold are one and the same. The Goldmaster 24K like some newer digital models appears to employ what is referred to as a "reference threshold". The threshold may be adjusted, but appears to be disconnected from the all metal channel and is instead layered on in parallel. The SAT control above does directly affect the all metal channel as described above. Yet it does what it does whether the threshold is present or not. Reference thresholds often exist for the sole purpose of nulling or going silent when passing over items that have been discriminated out, but this does not happen when the Iron Cancel (see below) is engaged. While bench testing in all metal with the SAT set at zero I thought I might just be able to hear a waver in the threshold. I would be interested in hearing from other nugget hunting experts on this matter, because in my opinion the threshold as it exists on the Goldmaster 24K is not coupled to the all metal channel in the manner one would observe on the GMT for instance. The only effect seems to be with threshold completely off the 24K will no longer give any ground feedback at all if out of ground balance. Based purely on what I am observing in actual use I would say the 24K is a silent search detector with a reference threshold added as opposed to a true threshold based all metal circuit like on the GMT. The difference is subtle but there for my ear at least and if there is a connection there between threshold and all metal channel, it is too minimal for me to discern while in actual use. Now we get into the real meat of where the GMT and Goldmaster 24K part ways. The GMT has an iron (ferrous) probability meter as does the Goldmaster 24K. The GMT meter is merely a bar graph - far left means 10% chance of ferrous and far right means 90% chance of ferrous. Somewhere in the middle means 50% chance of ferrous. The Goldmaster 24K puts a blacked out block at the top of the screen with similar positioning, but the actual percentage numbers display out as a "target id" number. This is not a target id number as thought of on coin detectors, but instead intended to be a display of the odds that an item is non-ferrous. White's Goldmaster 24K controls and display screen If you look at the display above there is a colored bar at the top of the 24K LCD meter - red on left, wide yellow middle, and dark gray on right. The three colors taper one into the other to indicate overlap. The red on the right indicates the probable ferrous range, and dark gray indicates items reading too high to probably be gold, but more likely a copper, brass, or silver item (high conductors) or certain ferrous items that "wrap around" and "read high". These include hardened steel items like large bolts, almost any washers, ax heads, etc. In theory this scale could be used for coin detecting but the coins with few exceptions like a nickel tend to bunch up all on the right. The intent really is to be more of a ferrous/non-ferrous meter but I do think I could make do with this for some general detecting scenarios. In air tests a nickel read 88, zinc penny 95, dime 96, and quarter 97. The Goldmaster 24K has an Audio Mode button that engages and disengages something analogous to the "Iron Grunt" feature on the GMT. Engaging the Audio Mode replaces the normal VCO type "zippy" audio with a simple high or low beep. Any meter reading below 50 will deliver the low "ferrous" beep and anything 50 or higher a high "non-ferrous" beep. Since the gold probability range runs much lower this is helping the operator concentrate only on the high probability targets - anything with over a 50% chance of being non-ferrous. This "over 50% equals non-ferrous" audio mode could be useful for direct hunting in some situations. However, when pushing the detector hard in all metal mode and then switching the Audio ID mode on I found that I would have to reduce sensitivity or encounter quite a few false signals in mineralized ground. That being the case I was more prone to using this as a ferrous check by engaging the button for a quick audio reading, then back again to all metal mode. The Audio Mode as I described it above acts much like the Iron Grunt feature on the GMT, but on the GMT the ferrous audio alert only kicks in when there is an 85% or greater chance of the item being ferrous. It is not a certainty on how the percentages correlate, but the 24K audio ferrous tone does kick in at readings of 50 and below (greater than 50% chance of being ferrous). Borderline gold targets can read lower than this however, down into the 40s and even lower. A 30% chance of gold is still pretty good odds. So what to do now except read the numbers? White's has addressed this with another control, the Iron Cancel button. Engaging Iron Cancel activates an adjustable iron rejection setting. The default is for anything reading 15 or lower to simply not beep. This corresponds to the solid red area on the bar graph display at the top of the meter. Borderline or mixed content items will break up or give erratic readings. The best part however is that the setting can be adjusted from 0 all the way up to 62. This allows the operator to completely block out a chosen range of low end readings that is either more conservative or more aggressive than the Audio Mode preset. As noted before, the threshold, if any is used, will not blank over rejected items - they are simply ignored. I noted above that highly conductive items and some steel items can read at the very high end of the scale, typically 95 and above. If the goal really is gold it is very unlikely that readings this high will be gold and so White's also offers the ability to block out this high end range. Tapping the "lock" button while in the ferrous adjustment mode will automatically block all readings of 94 and higher, which is where most iron high end false signals will occur. Other controls on the Goldmaster 24K - a pinpoint function, frequency shift to help avoid electrical interference or for running two 24Ks close together, a backlight for the meter for low light conditions, and finally, a factory reset. White's Goldmaster 24K with stock 10" x 5.5" DD coil Now for the part everyone has been waiting for - how does the Goldmaster 24K at finding gold? When I test nugget detectors I tend to concentrate on smaller gold. First, because it is more plentiful and easier to find in limited time frames for testing purposes. Realistically small gold also challenges the detector the most. A metal detector must be tuned as hot as possible to find very small bits of gold. Yet this also causes problems with mineralized ground and hot rocks. It is not so much the small gold sensitivity that matters but how the metal detector handles the ground while tuned up for tiny gold. This is why air tests are minimally useful for nugget hunters. They can reveal theoretical information about how small or how deep a detector can find gold under perfect conditions. Air tests give no indication however of how the detector will handle bad ground and hot rocks when tuned to the max. A detector can air test extremely well and fail completely in the field. Therefore when you see my metal detector test reports, pay attention to the smallest nuggets I find, not the larger ones. The 10" DD coil is a good all around nugget hunting coil, with DD coils having the advantage for handling difficult ground. It was the 6.5" round concentric that wowed me however and after I got it on the detector I really did not want to take it off. The 10" DD will be a better choice for really bad ground, but lacks that magic edge on the tiniest bits of gold. I also appreciate that concentric coils are easier to pinpoint with, and generally have better ferrous identification performance compared to DD coils. One nice thing about the 24K being well balanced is the 13.5" x 8" coil is less nose heavy than would be the case for an unbalanced detector. This is the coil to use for covering ground in search of larger gold nuggets. For medium to milder ground and the smaller gold however I really do like that little concentric. In particular there is a lot of grass growing in some desert areas, and the 24K with 6" coil was perfect for mowing through the grass to keep the coil on the ground. This is another area where an "S" shaft has the advantage. A straight shaft detector wants to roll to the side when forcing the coil against resistance, where a balanced "S" shaft being in line with your arm does not produce that kind of rollover torque. The 10" x 5.5" DD coil was a little more prone to false signals when bumped hard than the concentric coil, to the point where I could run higher sensitivity with the concentric on this particular ground. The ground in lots of Nevada is rather mild, often with alkali (salt) content, and it may or may not have bad hot rocks. This particular location had two types of hot rocks to deal with. The bottom line is I was able to run the concentric at full sensitivity of 10, and in audio boost 2 (b2) while in all metal mode and SAT set at medium (default). Even with the machine maxed out like this the detector ran well, and as I said before falsed less than the DD coil would if I attempted the same settings. White's new XGB ground balancing system really does seem to do a good job finding a setting that works well with both hot rocks and the ground by tracking multiple ground balance points. I liked to engage tracking, run over a mix of ground and hot rocks, and then lock the setting. I was scrubbing and pretty much digging everything. The Goldmaster 24K with the little concentric is hot as a pistol and as usual if you give me a hot detector I was able to find some really tiny gold. The eight nuggets below weigh a total of 8.3 grains (not grams - 480 grains per Troy ounce). The largest nugget is 1.8 grains and the smallest are in that under 1/10th gain range. Now, none of these were super deep because you can't find tiny gold super deep, but they were all good zippy targets - and I was not using headphones! Gold nuggets found by Steve with new White's Goldmaster 24K - smallest under 1/10th grain The proof is in the pudding and there is no doubt the Goldmaster 24K can find the gold, and some really small gold at that. I am not going to try and convince anyone that there is some kind of magic breakthrough here - at the end of the day the 24K is a hot 48 kHz single frequency metal detector just like the GMT in many regards. Some oldtimers may still prefer the GMT for its threshold being tightly connected to the all metal channel while the threshold connection on the 24K is much weaker. Although the Goldmaster 24K can be run hot and noisy, all it's design features point to a detector that is intended to be set up as quiet as possible, and this may even mean running without a threshold. I did not see any evidence that this would really hurt the performance at all. This kind of quiet hunting tends to appeal more to people new to nugget detecting, especially those who cross over from coin detecting. Add this to the lighter weight and lower cost package and White's has done a great job producing an alternative to the admittedly long in the tooth GMT. Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com White's Goldmaster 24K Information Page White's Goldmaster 24K & GMT Compared Little gold nugget on coil fresh out of the ground
  21. Steve Herschbach

    Fisher F44

    The Fisher F44 metal detector was introduced in 2015 and is still in production. It is a weatherproof 7.69 kHz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. The F44 is a fully weatherproof, easy to use manual ground balance detector. It has superfast retune speed with excellent target separation and easy to use Discrimination, Sensitivity, Notch and Pinpoint features. Fe-Tone® adjustable iron audio allows you to set the volume of ferrous targets lower than the volume of non-ferrous targets for increased clarity on desirable targets. GROUND-GRAB® Computerized Ground Balancing and Manual Ground Balance make it easy to tune the F44 to the soil you are hunting in. Easily identify buried targets with the 9-Segment Target Categories and a 0-99 numeric Target-ID enhanced with 4-Tone Audio-ID System. Custom made allow users to set their own tones. Rain or shine the F44 excels when most detectors can't! Source: Fisher 2016 catalog Fisher F44 metal detector Fisher F44 control panel Fe-Tone® Adjustable Iron Audio Ground Grab® Computerized Ground Balancing Manual Ground Balance 9-segment visual and Numerical Target-ID Adjustable Sensitivity and Volume Static Pinpoint Notch Discrimination System Backlight for Low Light Conditions 5 Modes of operation including All Metal Mode Large 2-Digit Numeric Target-ID Numbers, 1-99 Iron Identifier Icon Non-Volatile Memory Saves Settings Ultra-lightweight Only 2.3 lbs. Operational Weight 7.69 kHz Operating Frequency Operates on 2 AA Batteries 11-Inch Triangulated Concentric Elliptical Searchcoil Official F44 Product Page Fisher F44 Instruction Manual
  22. I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Posted On Facebook Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  23. Steve Herschbach

    Metal Detector Database With User Reviews

    With Bounty Hunter, Fisher, Garrett, Minelab, Nokta/Makro, Teknetics, Tesoro, White's, and XP plugged into the database I can now tell you that just between those few manufacturers (First Texas owns Bounty Hunter, Fisher, and Teknetics) there are just over 100 models of brand new detectors for sale. Yikes - no wonder people get confused!
  24. Steve Herschbach

    Minelab GPX 5000

    The Minelab GPX 5000 detector was released in 2010 and is still in production. The GPX 5000 is a pulse induction (PI) metal detector aimed primarily at the gold prospecting market but which has become popular also with relic hunters. Note that the retail price of this detector normally includes two coils, an 11" round DD plus a 12" x 15" mono coil. More features and functions make the GPX 5000 the second best gold detector in the world! The GPX 5000 sets a high benchmark in gold detecting technology. Featuring Minelab's exclusive technologies, Multi Period Sensing (MPS), Dual Voltage Technology (DVT) and Smart Electronic Timing Alignment (SETA), the high performance GPX 5000 is extremely capable of finding more gold than other brand detectors. From sub-gram nuggets to the elusive 'retirement nugget' and everything in between, with the GPX 5000, you can find it. Using unique features, functions and industry leading patented technology ensure the GPX detectors run smooth and quiet in even the most severe ground conditions, whilst still maintaining excellent depth and sensitivity to gold nuggets. The 8 Timings available on the GPX 5000 change the digital switching and processing of the electronics in the detector. Each Timing has been designed for optimum performance under certain conditions, so it is like having a different detector each time you select a new Timing. Also great for the specialist relic and jewellery hunter who demands the best, and wants to recover targets deeper than ever before. Easy for the beginner through to the professional - you can switch on and go with six factory preset Search Modes and automatic functions. Source: Minelab website Minelab GPX 5000 metal detector Minelab GPX 5000 controls MPS, DVT & SETA Technology 8 Timings make the GPX 5000 very versatile. It's like having 8 detectors in 1. In addition to five of the Timings found on the previous model the GPX 5000 introduces three new Timings: Coin/Relic, Salt/Gold and Fine Gold. Fine Gold Timing gives even more depth and sensitivity than Enhance — bring home more nuggets even from ground thought to be completely worked out! Salt/Gold Timing is great for all nugget sizes in salty ground — outstanding at the beach! Coin/Relic Timing is the deepest ever for benign ground conditions. Improved Enhance Timing for more depth Improved electronics for increased target sensitivity and ground balance performance Six preset Search Modes gives you easy switch on and go detecting. In addition to General and Deep search are: Hi-Mineral, Patch, Hi-Trash and Pinpoint. All six Search Modes can be modified to your personal favourite settings. Menu accessible Search Modes can also be renamed. Increased Rx Gain adjustment allows you more precise sensitivity control for optimum performance. Automatic Ground balance options make it easy to adjust the detector to suit all ground conditions. e.g. (Fixed, Tracking, Tracking speed, Ground Balance Type, Quick-Trac button). Audio adjustments to maximize target signals for your personal hearing ability e.g. (Threshold, Tone, Audio Type, Signal Peak, Response, Target Volume, Volume limit, Stabilizer). Iron Reject adjustable to suit the iron trash level where you are detecting. Motion control, adjustable to match your sweep speed and optimise target responses. Tune (also known as Noise Cancel) - Automatic and Manual options to minimize electrical interference. Backlight so that you can read the LCD menu in any light, allowing you to detect day or night. The back light also has an adjustable timeout to help preserve battery power. Lightweight Li-ion Battery with inbuilt Speaker Booster capability Two coils as standard: 11” Double-D coil plus 15 x 12-inch Monoloop coil giving you added versatility and value. Languages: English, Spanish, Russian & Arabic (manual only) Official Minelab GPX 5000 Product Page Minelab GPX 5000 Owner's Manual Minelab GPX 5000 - Steve's Review
  25. Steve Herschbach

    Minelab Gold Monster 1000

    The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 metal detector was introduced in 2017 and is still in production. It is a weatherproof 45 kHz induction balance metal detector aimed primarily at gold prospecting. The normal sales package for this detector includes two coils, a 5" round DD coil, and a 6" x 10" DD coil. The GOLD MONSTER 1000 features fully automatic operation and comes with a choice of coils, battery options and shaft configurations. If you're looking for super sensitive gold performance at a great price, then this is the detector you've been waiting for! Source: Minelab website Minelab Gold Monster 1000 metal detector Minelab Gold Monster 1000 control panel Fully automatic operation Extra sensitive 45 kHz VLF performance Highly adaptable 2 search coils included Easy quick start Official Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Product Page Gold Monster 1000 Getting Started Guide Minelab Gold Monster 1000 - Steve's Review
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