Jump to content

Steve Herschbach

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Days Won


 Content Type 


Detector Prospector Magazine

Detector Database



Posts posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. Well, true story is I had big plans to chase small gold with the GPX but the fact is I could not tear myself away from looking for big gold long enough to do it. It seems a bit like hunting mice with an elephant gun. That said I think it would be worth your while to give it a go. You really never know unless you try and you already have the detector.

    Nice photos, thanks for posting! The Hatcher Pass area was always a favorite of mine. Very kind offer you made also.

  2. Steve, being old school, I never have used an electronic pinpointer...what is Target ratcheting?

    Can the auto Gb be set and then turned off?

    I like the little carrying case-looks cool!


    Hi Fred,

    A quick push of the button "grabs" the ground balance. You can't turn the tracking off but remember this is not a classic metal detector and chances are you do not want to turn it off anyway. Tracking out targets is not likely to be an issue so no reason.

    Ratcheting is the practice of getting near the target, pressing the pinpoint button on a detector to reset signal, and then getting a sharper pinpoint signal. You ratchet the signal down until right on target. This can be done with the TRX but is probably not necessary in most cases.

    I never park hunt without a pinpointer. It ups my efficiency level ten-fold.

    You do not need a pinpointer nugget detecting per se but I always have one along with my GPX 5000 and a big coil. I still get tricked on elongated trash targets a lot and find I am digging just off target. The pinpointer has saved me digging to China many times locating a nail in the side of the hole. I also use the pinpointer if I am approaching any large target in the bottom of a deep hole. The pinpointer lets me know I am close and might save putting a pick tip into a very valuable nugget or specimen.

    Pinpointers are usually of less use on small stuff but the TRX may help in that regard. It may make a neat little crevice tool but jury is out. White's is claiming to beat out the Garrett and Minelab pinpointers though not by name of course. We will see.

    The photo below is of a 1.26 oz nugget I found with the aid of the Garrett Pro Pointer while using my GPX. I carry the pinpointer in my rucksack that gets stashed nearby while detecting because a pinpointer is scientifically designed to set a large coil off at maximum distance. If I keep it in my back pocket it is ok but just barely.


    • Like 1
  3. Well, this has been a long time in the making. White's is finally shipping their long awaited new pinpointer, the Bullseye TRX. It looks very promising indeed - automatic ground balance with tracking, in a pinpointer? Wow! Shipping now to dealers.

    The ground balance feature means this has the potential to be the pinpointer prospectors have been waiting for. I will get one ASAP, give it a spin, and report back.


    12 kHz operating frequency
    Audio and/or Vibrate Alert
    Automatic Ground Balance with Tracking
    Automatic Power Off
    Alternate Battery Operation (2-AA or 1-9V)
    Up to 20 hours on two AA batteries or a single 9-Volt battery
    Built in LED Light
    Lost Pinpointer Alarm
    Overload Indicator
    Replaceable Shell
    Rugged, Weatherproof Design
    Ruler, with Inch Markings
    Simple, One-Button Operation
    Target Ratcheting
    Holster (up to 3” belt)
    Lanyard Attachment Loop on TRX and Holster
    10" overall length
    6.5 oz / 185 grams with two AA batteries
    Full Two-year Warranty
    MSRP $159.95

    Manufacturer website page http://www.whiteselectronics.com/bullseye-trx-pinpointer




  4. post-1-0-76096400-1393007026_thumb.jpg

    I was involved in some validity exam testing on some mining claims in Alaska a few years ago. Short story is samples had to be taken at various locations to prove the claims have paying quantities of gold. Any claims not passing the exam would be lost.

    This photo was taken on Skookum Gulch in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. It is a small short drainage but was very rich at one time. It was mined out by hand as the stacked rocks reveal but some gold still remains. In this case we used a Keene 175-30 highbanker / dredge combo for the test work. The creek is very small and so had to be ponded up for the system to work, and it used nearly all the water in the creek while operating. The little gulch almost goes dry later in the season.

    One interesting note is that we left the highbanker stored upright over the winter. Water entered the tops of the leveling legs, which are hollow steel tubes with feet welded on the bottom. The water froze over the winter, and because the legs were stowed in there shortest configuration it proved impossible to extend a couple of them. And believe me there was a lot of squeezing in a vice and pounding of hammers involved! The metal had warped out to the point it was impossible to squash back down small enough to pass through the bracket hole. We just gave up and jury rigged this little saw horse and fence post system you see here. The legs were later replaced and drain holes drilled at the bottom of all the legs to allow them to drain in the future to prevent this from happening.

    The amount of gold found was marginal and last I heard the disposition of this particular claim was in question. It was a fun project though and a nice photo of how a highbanker / dredge combo can be put to use.


    • Like 1
  5. Well yeah, the stuff is all staged for the cameras. Been there, done that! It is not a Minelab thing, it is a camera crew thing. "Ok, you stand over here and look this way. You guys, you wander around back here with metal detectors. Look like you are trying to find gold. Don't look at the camera!" Film crews cost bucks so they do not just stand around waiting for fate to provide good footage.

    Still interesting though - I was more interested in the factoids than the footage though seeing the diggings was interesting.

  6. Hi John,

    I hope your heart troubles are treatable and under control. Health is everything.

    Garrett at http://www.garrett.com/cmerwsite/recon_pro_aml_1000_tech_specs.aspx quotes the Recon at 14-16 hours but of course that is manufacturer best case stuff. The military did a study at http://www.arl.army.mil/arlreports/2010/ARL-TR-5282.pdf comparing battery life on several demining detectors. The Garrett Recon-Pro AML-1000 comes in at about 10 hours in the study which is about what I have experienced with rechargeables, alkalines should get closer to Garrett's figure. Interesting to note in the study of all the detectors the AML-1000 fared the worst as taking the most batteries at the highest cost to operate for 50 hours.

    Long story short the AML-1000 and ATX appear to have about the same battery life. However, battery life is a poor indication if any indication at all of detector capability. I have never used the AML-1000 but have no reason to believe that in non-motion mode the detectors are roughly the same for depth of detection. My ATX has very little useable extra depth in non-motion mode, if any.

    All I can tell you from personal experience is this. The Garrett ATX is a very good ground balancing pulse induction metal detector. It has become one of my key units and I very much look forward to getting out and using it. The weight for dry land detecting will be an issue for most people and I highly recommend using a harness. But weight aside it is an excellent detector circuit that runs more like a VLF than a PI. It has excellent EMI resistance and a steady, well modulated audio response. The tones and modulated audio allow for a great degree of audio discrimination capability for those inclined to hunting by ear. I am not trying to sell you on the ATX but it is a detector worth consideration for those who truly understand the benefits and downsides to pulse induction detecting. It is because it is such a good detector that I keep harping on Garrett producing a lighter weight version. If it was mediocre I would not care.




  7. The Hatcher Pass and Sutton area is very mineralized as regards metal detectors. The high mountain areas are composed of granitic type rocks, granodiorite and tonalite in the immediate Hatchet Pass area, and monzonite above Sutton. Hot metal detectors like the Gold Bug 2 must be dialed way back to deal with the rock. Also, the gold is small. Very difficult detecting scenario. All my success in the area came from hand scanning hand picked quartz specimens, neatly side-stepping the issue. See Metal Detecting Lode Gold at Hatcher Pass, Alaska.

    I found the detectors to be of considerable aid in checking quartz specimens but I think the area would be very difficult to detect successfully in the classic sense of just scanning the ground for targets. The only creek in the area with nugget gold is Grubstake Gulch and it is completely claimed up. The Little Su, Willow Creek, and others have gold but it is small stuff. A Gold Bug 2 would hit it if you got on it, but would also go nuts on the rocks. A lower frequency VLF detector backed way down or a hot PI might deal with the rocks but then be unable to detect the gold.

    My method for checking potential quartz obviously worked but beyond that I would consider the area to be a very challenging scenario for metal detecting with a low potential for classic nugget detecting success. The main problem is simple - a general lack of gold nuggets! Honestly, a gold pan is probably a better tool for finding gold in the area than a detector unless you are chasing ore samples like I did.

    Ray, R.G., 1954, Geology and Ore Deposits of the Willow Creek Mining District, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1004, 86 p., 9 maps http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/pubs/id/3460

    • Like 1
  8. Nokta Engineering is a company based in Turkey since 2001. It appears they are looking to cash in on the Africa gold rush with a new detector model called the FORS Gold.

    I have to admit to being biased towards mainline name brand detectors. I want warranty service backed up in the US and widespread parts and accessory availability via a US based dealer network. I also prefer to own detectors that are well known and therefore easily sold when and if I decide to do so.

    However, there are interesting things happening outside the US when it comes to metal detectors, particularly in Europe. Minelab is proof the US manufacturers get complacent and ignore market demands in other countries. Minelab addressed desires in Australia for better prospecting detectors and European manufacturers are pursuing detectors made to extract non-ferrous targets buried in piles of ferrous trash.

    So I do keep an eye on what is going on elsewhere, just in case.

    In all honesty the Nokta FORS Gold appears to me to be "Just Another Mid-Frequency Gold Detector". The market is awash in VLF detectors running at 12kHz to 20kHz set up to do it all while being good on gold. The Nokta FORS Gold hits the 15kHz sweet spot in a 4.3 lb multi-use package available through US importer Kellyco for $699. It comes stock with a 7" x 11" DD coil and has a couple coil options, a 5" round DD and 13" x 15" DD.

    Not too much here out of the ordinary but I did find a couple things interesting. The unit has an LED flashlight built into the handle that illuminates the coil area. But what I really found intriguing is a built in handle vibrate mode much like we have in the Garrett and Minelab pinpointers. This could be a real aid for people with extreme hearing issues and in fact might allow a completely deaf individual to effectively metal detect with having to have eyes glued on meter. I like that.

    10/16/2014 Update - I now have a Nokta FORS Gold. See my very detailed review at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/352-detailed-review-of-the-nokta-fors-gold-nugget-detector/

    More Information on the Nokta FORS Gold Metal Detector




  9. From Interview with Dave Johnson at http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/davejohnson/Interview%20with%20David%20Johnson.pdf

    Many of the people reading this interview unknowingly own products of your design. Would you mind listing them?

    My first metal detector (in 1971) was a portable experimental vehicle detector for use on roadway loops. It discriminated between cars and trucks, but to become a practical product would have required a lot of development and nobody was interested in investing in it.

    Fisher in California: 1260, 1220, 1210, 1235, 1225, 1212, 1265, 1266, CZ6, CZ5, CZ20, original Gold Bug, Gold Bug II, Gemini, and industrial instruments including TW6, FX3, XLT-16, PF-18, and circuitry of the TW-770.

    Tesoro: Diablo MicroMax, Lobo SuperTraq.

    White's: GMT, MXT, analog circuitry of DFX, Beach Hunter and PCL-600 line tracer.

    Troy: X-5 and X-3.

    FTP Bounty Hunter: major revisions to existing platforms most of which originated with George Payne. The BH Junior, Platinum, Gold and security wand (sold under various trademarks) were new designs.

    FTP Teknetics: T2, Alpha, Delta, Gamma, Omega, G2.

    FTP Fisher: F2, F4, F5, F75, F70, new Gold Bug, circuitry of the TW-82 industrial line tracer.

    In the case of microprocessor-driven FTP products, the software was coded by John Gardiner and Jorge Anton Saad. Mechanical designs were done mostly by other people, but I engineered the ergonomics of the T2 mechanical design, which is also used on the F75.

    See also Detector Stuff Interviews FT-Fisher Engineers, David Johnson and John Gardiner at http://detectorstuff.com/detector-stuff-interviews-ft-fisher-engineers-david-johnson-and-john-gardiner/

    More Dave Johnson Essays here

    Want people to know you own one of the Dave Johnson detectors listed above? Just download and print the attached logo and apply to your detector!


    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  10. Gold Prospecting with a VLF Metal Detector by Dave Johnson
    Chief Designer, First Texas Products & Fisher Research Labs
    March 2010 Edition
    This book explains how to use a VLF metal detector for finding gold. The author has nearly 30 years’ experience in the metal detector industry working for several different companies, and designed several of the most popular “gold machines” on the market. These include the Tesoro Lobo, White's GMT and MXT, and of course the Fisher Gold Bug and Gold Bug 2. Although the product emphasis is on the machines currently “Made in El Paso”, the features of competitors’ machines are also discussed. This booklet is useful no matter what brand of metal detector you use.
    pdf download 29 pages

    You can find this and many more useful free books on this website at the Metal Detecting & Prospecting Library


    • Like 8
  11. Don't get me wrong, I would like to see all detectors cost as little as possible. I was talking more from a theoretical perspective.

    I admit to being very spoiled. Detectors cost less in the US, and I never pay retail. I can always just call my old shop and get one for about 10% over dealer cost. I have had a lot of detectors given to me free in return for providing feedback good or bad about them.

    But back to the subject. I could really use a properly designed lightweight ergonomic ATX. If the price came down in the process, all the better! No matter how you look at it Garrett deserves credit for putting out some significant power at a very competitive price with the ATX. I am certain the military paid a whole lot more for the AML-1000! Hopefully increased competition will help keep a lid on prices or start bringing them down in the future.

    I would expect we will see lots of used ATX detectors available at lower prices used very soon as people who get them thinking they are something they are not sell them almost new.

    Ricks idea of light weight rod and coil assemblies for the existing model has a lot of merit. Aftermarket opportunity calls!

  12. First off Rick, sounds good to me!

    You are however making an assumption. There is an expectation a dry land ATX would cost less. Makes sense because a dry land version would cost less to make, right?

    There is no law says it must be so. What if Garrett came out with a very well designed 3.9 lb. dry land ATX tomorrow and it was priced the same as the existing ATX? New purchasers could simply chose which they want for the same price. I suspect most would choose to get the dry land version. The waterproof capability of the ATX comes at a definite cost in weight and other factors. In fact, this is a case where I would pay MORE to get the light weight version! There are plenty if examples whereby smaller, sexier, and high tech costs more than old fashioned and large. The bottom line is the ATX is not overpriced no matter what box it comes in.

    There is also the reality of the ATX leveraging off the shelf hardware. A dry land unit would actually need some work to develop a new box and light weight coil set and so in theory would cost more to bring to market than the ATX did.

    I have always been my best test customer. I would buy a light weight dry land version of the ATX tomorrow if it were available and not complain at all if the price were the same as the existing unit.

    Just food for thought.

  13. I found this quite interesting and well done. This video report features interviews with Minelab and a number of customers from Burkina Faso. It was filmed in Burkina Faso and Dubai. It also tells the stories of a number of customers and how their success has changed their lives. One prospector, Solomon, struck it rich affording him the opportunity to purchase three plots of land, 3 motorbikes and 3 more detectors. Most importantly he can now afford to send all ten of his children to school.


    • Haha 1
  14. Hi GeoJack,


    Welcome to the forum!


    Can you post a picture of the cover? I have not seen one posted anywhere yet and no mention on Garrett website. Was this a US purchase? I got the impression maybe Australian dealers were including the scuff cover because so far that is only mention I have heard of it so far. I am wondering if it is now officially included with the ATX or if it is a dealer add on.

  15. Hi Rick,

    As I alluded to at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/45-lots-of-gold-found-with-the-whites-tdi/?p=488 any PI detector will not do well on porous specimen gold. In theory you could have a one ounce specimen and if the gold is perfectly dispersed through the rock a PI detector will not pick it up. You saw my GPX 5000 find nothing until I switched to my GMT to get a couple small specimens. The TDI has the same problem.

    There is no way of knowing exactly how specimen gold will react. It just depends on how much the gold is lumped up in the rock. You need a solid mass in there somewhere. Until they make a detector that can do everything in places like you have you pretty much have to hunt everything at least twice - once with a PI, and once with a hot VLF.

    Specimen gold reads the same as a hot rock to a PI. What makes a PI great is it ignores most hot rocks, but you lose some gold in the process. It is possible to make a PI that will hit the tiny gold or specimen gold, but then it would also act just like a VLF detector and hit hot rocks. It is all a trade off and there is no free ride.

    If it makes you feel any better I have faith there is big stuff in your area it will take a PI to get, but they are very rare. So hunting a day or two and finding nothing is just the way it is. A hot VLF will get more finds more regularly where you are.

  16. I always have my ears perked up for something new in metal detectors and metal detecting technology. I’m not educated enough to really get deep into the technical side of it, but I have a general layman's knowledge of the subject.

    A couple years ago Carl Moreland, the Engineering Manager for White's Electronics, was interviewed on a radio show. I tripped over a reference to the interview on another forum and checked it out. It is very long, and near the end Carl dropped a bombshell. At least I thought so, but it went unnoticed and uncommented on in the metal detecting online world. I thought about posting it on a forum back then but decided to wait and see what developed. Here is the applicable portion of the interview:

    Relic Roundup Radio Show, January 17, 2012, Interview with Carl Moreland, Engineering Manager, White’s Electronics

    Transcript beginning at 50:57 mark:

    Carl Moreland - “I can mention one technology that we’re working on because the patent has already been published… or the application, not the patent hasn't gone through yet. We’re working on something called half sine technology, which has actually been around since the 1960’s in geophysical prospecting applications. This is where instead of transmitting a sinusoidal signal you actually just transmit half of the sine and you can do that at extremely high voltages and high ? rates and so on. It’s technically not pulse induction but it’s not VLF either and it is a time domain method. And with that we can get really good depth and we can even get target id information and do discrimination and so forth.”

    Can you see why I perked up at that? I am still amazed it did not get any notice at the time. Nothing happened for a long time. Then I got this PM from Rick Kempf recently:

    Sent 29 January 2014 - 09:04 AM

    Was looking for info on my new SD 2100 this AM when I sort of fell down a rabbit hole of old forum posts and emerged reading Whites new patent. About the first thing I noticed was that you were cited in "prior art".

    Here's what they cited: http://www.voy.com/76600/7/475.html

    The patent is here: http://www.google.com/patents/US20110316541

    Is this something you knew about? Just wondering.

    Rick Kempf

    I told Rick, yeah, heard about that. It was the patent finally being granted from the application Carl mentions in the interview. It was fun getting a mention in a patent though I think it was just the examiner studying up on the subject and finding my old post helpful in simplifying the subject.

    For a long time the Holy Grail in metal detecting has been something that combines the target identification of an Induction Balance (IB or more commonly known as VLF) detector with depth of a Pulse Induction (PI) detector. There have been many promises and false starts over the years, and that was one reason I kept the radio interview mention quiet the last couple years. Frankly, I had half forgot about it until Rick brought the patent being granted to my attention. Notice the title:

    Hybrid Induction Balance/Pulse Induction Metal Detector

    A new hybrid metal detector combines induction balance and pulse induction technologies. Target signals are generated from a transmitted wave that has both induction balance and pulse current inducing characteristics and uses pertinent sampling of the receive data. Combining the two data sources provides eddy current target identification while excluding ground permeability and remanence obscuration.

    Is it time to sing Hallelujah? Well, there is a big gap in between getting a patent and bringing a detector to market. Many patents get filed and you never even see something directly related to the patent. Maybe it looked good on paper but does not pan out well in reality for numerous reasons. So just because White's was granted this patent does not mean something is around the corner. However, they have been working on it for over two years already obviously. And it has been some time since White's put something new out. I do not count remakes of the MXT etc as new. So I think there is reason to be hopeful we may see something one of these days.

    John Earle is one of the unsung heros in the industry. He had a hand in many of the best products at Compass Electronics before moving over to White's after Compass went under. To this day I have never used a VLF that goes any deeper than my old Compass Gold Scanner Pro. John was one of the brains involved in that, as well as the White's Goldmaster 3, regarded by many as being the pinnacle of the analog development of that model line. I was fortunate to have met John at the factory some years ago. He is listed as the inventor on the new patent. Half sine technology is also mentioned in an earlier patent filed by White's, again with John listed as inventor at http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7649356.pdf

    Looks like serious stuff brewing. Bruce Candy of Minelab makes mention of half sine technology in a patent application at http://patents.com/us-20130154649.html which makes me wonder about the new "Super Gold Detector" he is working on. But it is this most recent patent by White's that seems to put the finest point on it. Maybe the Holy Grail of detecting is soon to be a reality. The fact it is White's certainly gives me more hope than what we have seen in the past.

    Edit May 2015 - see also White's patent for Constant Current Metal Detector

    • Like 6
  17. Hi Cliff,

    I enjoy two things about metal detecting. The actual going metal detecting for stuff part is the real fun part. But I also just like learning about new detectors. It is fun figuring out what each model does best. So I do have a tendency to get infatuated with new detectors. A simple case of Stevie gets a new toy. I find PI detectors to be more challenging than VLF detectors and so the ATX is right up my alley. GBPI detectors have always been clunky, heavy beasts, but in the ATX I see the potential finally for a PI that is more in line with what people expect from a VLF. The ATX runs more like a VLF than a PI, just with different operating characteristics. And it could obviously be put in a package weighing under 4 pounds. I do not know who will do it first but I can see that a light weight high performance GBPI is now just around the corner. Garrett can do it first, the question is will they?

  18. I try to use rechargeables as much as possible but use alkalines for backup and around the house enough it seems I always have these batteries sitting around. I usually replace batteries in my detectors well before they are dead, so keep them to use in flashlights etc. until they really are used up. I decided I needed something simple that would test any size battery with no fuss to sort out the good from the bad. I've been using a little multimeter but wanted something simpler.

    I found the La Crosse battery tester on Amazon and it has been perfect for me. I rounded up every loose battery I had and it makes it very easy to just drop them in and test. AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V are all easily tested as good, bad, or somewhere in between. At less than $10 for a pocket sized tool it has been proven a real bargain for me.

    Anyone else got a great battery tester to report on?


  • Create New...