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Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. Chris and I have been having excellent results with the Tenergy cell sold on Amazon. The listed 8 pack gives me two extra sets of batteries in addition to the Minelab set. My SDC came with no charger so I also got the Maximal Power FC999 charger, but it also has no 12v option. Been a good charger though and is currently being used with a small inverter jacked into a cigarette outlet in my 4-Runner.
  2. Chris continues to show us how it is done. I was hitting a tailing pile with my GPX 5000 and 16" round mono coil. Nothing but junk targets so at lunch I wandered back to see how Chris was doing. He was on a bedrock area hunting with the SDC 2300. I jokingly ask him to "show me the money" and he drops a one third ounce nugget in my hand! Found at respectable depth in a pocket in bedrock. He now has over an ounce of gold in the last few days with his SDC 2300 - way to go Chris! 11.7 gram nugget found by Chris Ralph July 14, 2014 on Jack Wade Creek, Alaska with the new Minelab SDC 2300
  3. The lack of response is more related to the SDC barely hitting the market than anything else. If I were away from my vehicle only 2 or 3 days I would pack several sets of batteries. More than that I would use solar, which in summer in Alaska actually works better than you might think. I did not have time to shop around and there are so many solar options these days I wanted to check them all out before making a purchase. Same issue with any detector really. I like that Garrett supplies a charger that works with both 110v and 12v with the ATX and for the bucks Minelab should do the same.
  4. Some other nuggets I found the last few weeks - not nearly as big as what Chris found! Three fat little gold nuggets I found with the Garrett ATX and 8" mono coil. Total weight 4 grams: My trusty Gold Bug Pro bagged this nice 2.1 gram gold nugget:
  5. At one point I threw the 8" mono coil with shaft and stock DD coil with shaft on my scale to compare weights, but for the life of me I cannot remember what they were. I will weigh again when I get home but hopefully somebody beats me to it as I will be weeks yet.
  6. Three-quarter ounce gold nugget found on Jack Wade Creek, Alaska on July 10, 2014 by Chris Ralph metal detecting with a Minelab SDC 2300. Probably the largest nugget found yet with the new 2300. Congratulations Chris!
  7. Been charging my batteries in the field for almost a month now off 12V. I purchased a smart charger off Amazon that works with various batteries including C cells. It only came with a 110V wall adapter but I tried the 12V adapter that came with my ATX and it seemed to work. Until today, when the adapter mysteriously died. So now I am running a small inverter off my car 12V to run the charger. The Tenergy rechargeable C cells I got for extras charge much faster than the Minelab set and seem to last about as long in use. But I admit to not running a stopwatch to be sure. I get roughly 7 hours of use on a fully charged set of NiMH batteries.
  8. Three-quarter ounce gold nugget found on Jack Wade Creek, Alaska on July 10, 2014 by Chris Ralph metal detecting with a Minelab SDC 2300.
  9. News Flash! So we go to Fairbanks to get Chris Ralph, and today was first day detecting for him. He wanders around few hours with the Minelab SDC 2300 and bangs a 3/4 ounce solid gold slug! Just what my brother and I have been trying to do for three weeks and Chris does it in a few hours. Go figure, but that is how hunting tailing piles go. Chris did indeed bring an extra bag packed with good luck with him. Pictures later.
  10. Great work JP! The hot rocks here (probably a compact basalt) only react at a couple inches in Sharp and are few enough so as to not present a real problem. Well, the skunk may not be dead but it is wounded. We had a few days of great weather but today it rained so hard we called the game and quit mid-day. Internet access has been almost non-existent the last few days. We tried going up to Sue's (Downtown Chicken) but she has cut off internet access so the Goldpanner and Chicken Gold Camp are the only WiFi game in town now, and if have found bad as WiFi is at Chicken Gold Camp it is even worse at the Goldpanner. We finally got some ok nuggets but not any big ones yet. I scored nuggets weighing 3.1 grams, 2.9 grams, 2.8 grams, and 2.6 grams with my GPX and some small stuff with the Gold Bug 2. Tom got a nice 2.1 gram nugget plus some smaller nuggets with the SDC 2300 totaling 5.7 grams. We only have tomorrow to hunt before heading to Fairbanks the next day to get Chris. I will have decent internet for a bit and will get more photos uploaded then. Looks like overall warmer weather for Chris than we had 10 days ago but rain showers are forecast also. Rain showers are fine as long as they are not the torrential downpour we got hit with today! Four nuggets Steve found with GPX 5000 Eleven nuggets Tom found with SDC 2300
  11. I think the SDC is going to be great up on the towel line of the beach for micro-jewelry. I have no idea yet how it will actually perform in salt water.
  12. Finally, nice weather. At least forecast to be so until Chris arrives. A VLF is great when time is limited or I am tired or if I just feel like cherry picking. Many nuggets have been found here with VLF detectors, especially the Gold Bug 2 but also MXT and Gold Bug Pro to name a couple. I advised Chris a VLF might be his best bet for his more limited time frame and he is bringing his Teknetics T2. However, if I hunt a tailing pile with a VLF I don't feel like it is really hunted. So I still have to go back with a PI and hunt it. If I have a lot of time I just cut to the chase and hunt it with a PI. The ground here is oddly mild yet not. There is a type of iron mineralization in the rock that does not appear as a hot rock but which makes gold nuggets sitting on or near one of these rocks read as a ferrous target. Pretty scary stuff if you see it in person. Not a problem if you hunt in all metal, but then again you may as well be using a PI. I AM stubborn but in this case it is just doing what we want to do. Every morning my brother and I discuss our options, and every day we opt to go look for a big one. We both like getting over a certain volume of "good" targets and outright hunting is the best way to do that. Bottom line is we are having fun doing what we are doing and so keep on doing it. Tailing piles are just that way, quite different than patch hunting. While I am not happy with a long dry spell it really does not surprise me either. Usually I a luckier than this but just the way it goes. I know the gold is here. There are two hot rocks here JP. One is classic pure magnetite cobble - sticks with a thump onto your magnet. The other is an odd rock Chris can help identify. Looks kind of like basalt but not. Screams high tone at close range but luckily few enough to only be an annoyance. Weird part is Normal timing makes them scream and Sharp less so, therefore Sharp is the best timing here strictly from a mild ground with strange hot rock perspective. Do you have any idea why a hot rock would be milder in Sharp than in Normal? The other mode in common use here is Sensitive Extra with small coils. Hope your last couple weeks was profitable Jonathan! In praise of small coils. Some other prospectors in the area are using Sadie coils almost exclusively hunting previously hunted areas. One hard working fellow in particular got on piles quite a few people have hunted and scored some very nice gold nuggets. I know I was over the spot with my 18" mono, and the fact is when hunting tailing piles with larger coils I can get sloppy, especially if I am tired. The ground is steep and rough, and it is easy to swing too fast or not overlap enough. But in particular you have to swing the big coils over the rubble. The small coils force you to slow down, be more careful, and most important, get in close in tight quarters to pull gold larger coils miss. Anyway, impressive results and a reminder that slow careful hunting with small coils can be very beneficial with a GPX.
  13. A shower at Chicken Gold Camp is quarter operated. $3 gets you 5 minutes and $4.25 gets you 7 minutes. Great water pressure so 5 minutes was good for me but you need a timer as shower has none. I was quick afraid water would quit, then had time to spare. Found out there are no laundry facilities in Chicken. If Mike had a washer and dryer I would be happy to pay $10 a load, but as it is we will wait until we go to pick Chris up in Fairbanks to wash clothes. Had to fill the truck up again in Chicken, both locations are now at $4.79 a gallon (diesel $4.99). We got a couple days of nice weather then back to rain last night and today. Gold luck continues to be very poor. Last year I averaged only a nugget a day but the size was much larger with pennyweight to half ounce nuggets to be had. Or bigger. This year I have 18 nuggets so far but only one hitting a pennyweight. Tom is doing exceptionally bad with only three small nuggets. In an act of desperation we tried tossing rocks off piles that produced nuggets previously. It seemed worth a try but trying to make detected piles produce more targets this way is lots of labor for few targets. Still, the SDC 2300 scared up a couple tiny pieces doing this. I also got a couple more nuggets with my GPX the old-fashioned way. Bottom line is it was worth a try but we decided we much prefer outright detecting as plenty of targets are to be had in potentially good locations. We just need to get over something with some size. We also could be going for sure thing small gold on bedrock and would have more gold now if we had done so from the start, but scraping up a couple pennyweight a day of small stuff is not why we are here. We are big game hunting and pounding shallow bedrock with the SDC and Gold Bug 2 is not going to do it for us. So we will continue to roll the big dice, win or lose. You may be surprised to hear we are in good spirits and having a good time. I just love wandering locations where I know a big nugget lurks digging targets. The number of trash targets I dig each day makes a good solid handful of nail, various bullet parts, and misc ferrous stuff. But each could be a nugget and every day could be the day. My brother is holding up very well and is therefore proving to be a good detecting partner. Speaking of which his SD2200v2 crapped out yesterday. Good thing we have the SDC 2300 along! We just finally isolated it down to a weak power wire on inside of box. No way to solder right now but a little wiggling made the connection and hopefully it holds until such time as a permanent fix can be applied. Otherwise he will use the SDC as we both have been doing off and on. I am very happy with that detector for multiple reasons but that can wait for my next Treasure Talk blog. Well, raining again. The internet goes from poor to bad when it is cloudy so I will post this now and then see if I can get a photo to post afterward. That turns into a battle even after I shrink them down for speedier upload. If you have not already go back to the first page and check out the couple photos I added there. Great grizzly photo in particular. Not much bear sign around here. A track here, and little scat there. Nothing to get excited about. Lots more moose than last year, most cows with calves. Well, new week, new month, new start.
  14. They can be had surplus and used as at http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Minelab-F3-metal-detector-/111038633077 or http://m.govliquidation.com/mobile?cmd=auction&item=view&auctionId=6636869 The electronics are different in the SDC 2300. How they compare, I do not know, as I prefer to stick with units made specifically for prospecting myself.
  15. Discussed quite a bit in a previous thread at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/96-headphones-for-metal-detectors
  16. Basically small stuff makes a high-low tone and big stuff a low-high tone. Low-high is almost always large junk unless it is a large nugget. The size nugget it takes to trigger a low-high can vary a lot depending on the gold - solid slugs do so at under 1 oz weights but specimen stuff can get quite large and never go low-high. The signals are actually related to the current ground balance and timing settings and in anything other than normal or sharp timings can vary with signal reversals occurring depending on timing used.
  17. Hi Tim, nice chatting with you and Jerilee. Glad you made it home safely. As for tents seems like normal stuff to me. Tom and I have a good six man tent to ourselves, cozy cots, dry awning area, and outhouses nearby. Even a shower if I want and internet access! Pretty deluxe living for two dogs like us. Two Prospectors Attacked By Giant Alaskan Skunk!! This cross between a skunk, grizzly, and Bigfoot has totally doused these two guys with skunk juice and the stink won't come off! Weather cleared today and supposed to hit near 80 tomorrow before it cools off again and the rain comes back. Another guy on the creek recently snagged a couple 13 dwt nuggets and all we have so far are crumbs. Such is the nature of hunting tailing piles. Lightning can strike at any time or not at all. Hopefully our fortunes change with the weather. It certainly is not for lack of effort. We have been hunting primo areas and digging targets galore, but nails, bullets, and rusted ferrous crap is the order of the day. Still, we get up each day thinking "today is the day!" My brother taking a rest on a large tailing pile that so far has only produced one nugget for me last year. Got to be more there!
  18. Jack Wade is a mess of mixed up tailings and overburden. The lower creek, mostly public area, had a bucket line dredge, but then was mined again later with bulldozers. The upper creek was bulldozer mined. The tailing piles in both areas now are mainly bulldozer stacked, either actual tailings or piles of stripped material and overburden. Most have quite a bit of brush or small trees growing on them. From http://www.mindat.org/loc-198191.html "In the early (pre-1910) history of the creek, mining was by drifting, hydraulicking, sluiceboxes, and open cuts. Large-scale open-cut mining has been used largely in the upper part of the Jack Wade Creek valley. Prindle (1905) reported that by 1904 much of the ground in the creek had been worked out and only about 50 men were mining on the creek. Production from 1904 through 1907 totaled about 16,230 ounces (Eberlein and others, 1977). A hydraulic plant was in operation on the creek in 1928 (Mertie, 1930 [b 813]), and during the 1936 season, one hydraulic plant and several small shoveling-in operations were present. In the winter of 1935-1936, the Russel King dredge was purchased by the North American Mining Company and moved to Jack Wade Creek from just above Franklin Creek on the South Fork of the Fortymile River (Mertie, 1938). The dredge began operating in 1936, and it operated until 1941. Gold was recovered at the rate of 70 to 100 ounces per day (Naske, 1977). Following the war, the Wade Creek Dredging Company continued to mine on Jack Wade Creek using bulldozers and sluice boxes. Between 1946 and 1947, the company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977). The Wade Creek Dredging Company ceased mining operations at the end of the 1951 season. Small-scale mining operations using bulldozers have operated almost continuously on Jack Wade Creek from 1951 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, small suction dredges occasionally mined in the creek (Eakins and others, 1985; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Swainbank and others, 1993). Jack Wade Creek has several placer gold-bearing tributaries, including Gilliland Creek (EA141), Robinson Creek (EA142), and Jefferson Creek (EA145)." Frost this morning but weather finally cleared after heavy rains and a flash flood on the creek. Pretty dramatic, with one guy nearly losing a dredge. I got a couple small nuggets with my SDC yesterday but so far our luck has been quite poor despite lots of effort. Honestly though we are having a good time. This is in many ways what I live for. And why we are here? Again from http://www.mindat.org/loc-198191.html "Jack Wade Creek is also known for the occurrence of large gold nuggets; nuggets of 25, 33, 56, and 70 ounces have been found (Yeend, 1996)." I have held that 56 ounce nugget in my hand - a solid lump of gold. The largest nuggets I have found here in the past weighed 6.5 ounces and 2.3 ounces respectively.
  19. This has been the longest stretch without gold I have experienced here but Tom and I both finally bagged a nugget yesterday. Small ones though, not the 1/4 oz to 1 oz nuggets we are hoping to find. Unfortunately this is par for the course when hunting tailing piles. Just random hits here and there, quite unlike patch hunting. One big nugget can make it all worthwhile. Our day starts at 7AM and after a quick breakfast and email check we head for someplace to hunt gold. We usually start detecting between 9AM and 10AM and except for brief breaks generally go until 5-6PM. Longer if the weather is good. We got into some tailing day before yesterday that I was just sure would produce gold for us. Lots of old piles and a bunch of newer maybe 1980s stuff. Quite the mix over a large area and very lightly detected in the past. Tom and I really pounded it with the Minelabs all day and dug a large pile of nails, bullets, and various steel items, all for no gold. I am still betting on gold there and we will go back. Yesterday we hit some low lying brushy tailing piles in the morning, and Tom finally got a little nugget. That after noon I hit a huge tailing pile that has been hunted in the past with the GPX and 25" mono. I got a surprising number of sweet targets, all trash, but will give it a better go when I have more energy. I wandered off the pile into some low lying tailings and on my way out got a faint signal. I pay attention when I get those as when using the 25" they are often a small target under one edge instead of a deep target in the center. Sure enough, it was an edge target, and I was surprised when this little 0.9 gram nugget popped out from an inch or two deep. The rain started again in the evening and hard all last night but just cloudy this morning. So far. A balmy 53F so wet and chilly in Chicken this summer. Hopefully the weather gets better before Chris arrives July 8th.
  20. Nice blog entry Chris and even nicer nuggets! Welcome to the forum Jim. I will toss in my two cents. The GPX 5000 with the Commander 8" mono or Nugget Finder Sadie is VERY good on small gold. I do not think everyone with a GPX 5000 need run out and get the SDC 2300. I do not see the SDC as equaling the GPX until maybe the 1/2 gram range and under with an edge on certain small stuff the GPX will miss. I frankly dismiss the less than grain at 4-5 inch depth statement. I honestly think the GPX 5000 is a vastly superior overall prospecting detector than the SDC 2300. While some GPX owners may very well want one, I see the SDC 2300 as appealing to a separate group. Those who want a good PI but who may not want to spend $5795 on one and also those who are put off by the complexity of the GPX 5000. The new SDC owner can be up and running in minutes and is set up to find the type of gold that is by now the most common type left to be found - tiny bits and pieces. Yet it can and will find chunkier stuff. In my case personally whether a GPX 5000 or SDC 2300 finds smaller gold totally misses the appeal of the SDC. I like the SDC because it is self-contained, lightweight (compared to the GPX system), compact, easy to use, and waterproof. Right now I am using my GPX in open ground and SDC in thick brushy areas. The GPX and large coils cover open ground FAR better - you feel like you are spitting in the wind with the SDC. Conversely in the brush the GPX system is a bit of a nightmare unless heavily modified. All I can say is every day I am not considering which one finds small gold better, I am considering which detector I want to use to handle the specific very real environmental conditions. I am quite confident I can find gold with either so other factors come into play. One important one being the SDC 2300 is more fun to run. The GPX 5000 is my workhorse - or maybe I am its workhorse!
  21. Great work. You guys are doing better than me and you did not have yo drive 3000 miles to do it!
  22. I no sooner than made last post when I learned we needed to run the 70 miles to Tok to take a phone call. Mikes Skype phone is about as non-functional as the rest of his internet access at the moment. If in Tok stop at Fast Eddies for great food and decent WiFi. Gave me a chance to post photos above and this one of GPX with 25" coil. Now to get back in time to hunt gold on the longest day of the year - Happy Summer Solstice!
  23. Raining hard with flood warnings and hills socked in with low clouds this morning. Off we go for another day of detecting in the rain with the Minelab SDC and Garrett ATX. Hopefully a nugget lurks for us today in the thick brush. Looks like everyone else is holing up for the day here in Chicken. Can't say I blame them!
  24. And a cold wet day it was! Barely hit 40F all day and poured down rain. Later we found out it was snowing not that high above us in the hills. Very cold for end of June! Being a nice brother I gave Tom the Minelab SDC again and I dug out the Garrett ATX with 8" mono coil. It is a good thing we have two waterproof detectors along. No worries about getting them wet and muddy, just dunk in creek and wash off later. Tom got two small nuggets and I bagged three fat little nuggets that weighed 4 grams together. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised when the rain let up and day got halfway nice. Our early luck petered out and we starred scouting around, ending up in the Jack Wade public mining area. I had the SDC back and put Tom on the ATX just so he could have a go with it. His lack of expertise showed in that he found the ATX frustrating to use after running the SDC for a couple days. The extra pound is not so bad but the inability to toss the coil around at will makes it tougher to hunt with. The SDC you just stab the coil around where you wish and if it bumps rocks or the base of the brush there is no issue. The ATX you have to be in constant careful control of the coil. It is kind of second nature for the way I hunt anyway so no big deal but it gave Tom a bit of trouble. Bottom line is we both got skunked, not that unusual hunting here. Today started out really nice and so we geared up to hit some good looking old tailings in the public area where I popped a nice nugget last year with the Gold Bug Pro. I am sure there is more gold there. Tom used the SD2200v2 with 24" x 12" mono coil and I put my 18" round Nugget Finder mono on my GPX 5000. We pounded that area hard all day since conditions were favorable but despite digging a pile of targets no gold again today. 9.1 gram nugget found in public panning area of Jack Wade Creek in 2013 by Steve Herschbach with Fisher Gold Bug Pro I ran low on gas so filled up. $4.79 a gallon at the Goldpanner and $4.49 at Sue's in "Downtown Chicken" so you can guess where I filled up. Rivers flooding from rain as is Meyers Fork so the local highbanking crowd at the Camp is having a tough time. Internet still poor at best limiting me to text only for now. Wish I could post some photos but hopefully later. Supposed to rain again tomorrow so we may dive into brush with SDC and ATX again tomorrow but we will see in the morning. Hopefully a nugget or two will pop out. Main thing we need is for creek to go down as we are cut off from a good many places I want to hunt at the moment.
  25. The run from Whitehorse to Big Lake near Anchorage went smoothly. I got some great photos of a grizzly on the road shoulder. It was munching away like a starved cow on little yellow flowers. Just nipping the blossoms like they were candy. As I dropped over the pass into the Anchorage area the weather was socked in low lying scud and temps in the 60s. Then I got to my sisters place and was swarmed by mosquitos, making me remember why I moved south. The next morning I picked up the Minelab SDC 2300 waiting for me in Anchorage. Thanks for coming through Bill! Then picked up my brother at the airport and back to my sisters for an early Fathers Day barbecue. I was like a kid on Christmas Day. Woke up at 3am and gave up going back to sleep at 4am. I got my brother up and off to Walmart to get his food and cot. And finally, we were on the way to Chicken! Eight hours later we arrived at Chicken Gold Camp under partly cloudy skies. The first thing we found out is their internet was down and repair man had arrived to fix it. There are at least two other places to get WiFi in Chicken so we were not too worried about that. You an get WiFi at the Goldpanner Gift Shop and the restaurant in "Downtown Chicken". We put up our tent and settled in for a 35 day stay. The next morning we went to some ground in the area in the area I have access to. I was anxious to give the SDC 2300 a go. Turns out my brother has my old Minelab SD 2200v2 and he wanted to "go big" looking for big nuggets so I turned him loose on some tailing piles. I concentrated on smaller gold near bedrock locations. More a sure thing if there is such a thing and by the end of the day I had eight little nuggets weighing 2.3 grams total. Tom unfortunately dug nothing but junk but no real surprise there. Tailings take a lot of work and patience. The SDC ran great and was going strong at seven hours detecting on the four NiMH C cells. We had a few rain sprinkles and it was nice to of have to worry about that. In particular I am seeing this as a detector for wet brushy situations. Yesterday I gave Tom the SDC 2300 hoping it would give him an edge and I got out the GPX 5000 with my new Nugget Finder 25" mono coil and pounded a tailing pile that had given up some gold in the past. After 6 hours of digging pits for bolts and nails I was wore out so I broke out the Gold Bug Pro to finish the day. Tom had bagged his first little nugget with the SDC by then. Not much but at least he had gold. I wandered around in some brushy tailing areas running the GBP in disc mode set at 30. I almost never do this unless I am really wore out from digging. But it paid off - I got lucky and popped a fat 2.1 gram nugget from a previously unproductive area. Tom got no more gold but did run SDC dead at about 8 hours, pretty impressive battery life for only four C cells. The day was very cloudy and threatened rain all day but held off. But last night it started raining in earnest and rained all night. Going pretty steady now as I type this in my sleeping bag. Looks like it is going to be a wet day.
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