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Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. Hi Gary, I absolutely agree. For the price, the SDC should have come with a few extra touches to make the price go down better. I would have included at a minimum the headphone adapter and a simple bungee support like Doc's Swingy Thingy. It is odd Minelab uses one adapter for the CTX 3030 and another for the SDC 2300. That makes no sense at all, and means my underwater phones for my CTX will not work on my SDC. You would think to minimize parts stocking issues Minelab would have come up with a common adapter for both units. It would certainly make people like me who own multiple Minelab units much happier.
  2. The SDC headphone connection is towards the middle of the body. The CTX 3030, White's MXT and others, Fisher F75, etc, all plug in at the rear of the detector. They all when set down with the operator trying to reach the coil will pull even harder on the cable than the SDC 2300. There is nothing unusual or exceptional about the SDC cable length or positioning of the plug in location that will cause headphone pulling issues any more than a hundred other detectors on the market. However, many phones use a 90 degree plug so at least the cable does not get pulled 180 degrees as is the case with the SDC.
  3. Hi Gary, I moved your post to start a new thread. Chris will probably comment but I can tell you he always uses the headphones. I never see him going without. I have gone both ways myself. Certain issues seem to take on a life of their own on the Internet. The new Minelab SDC 2300 comes with a set of Koss UR-30 headphones. These are of course made by Koss and sold for many uses worldwide. They are supplied by Minelab with other detectors, such as the CTX 3030. Somebody complained on the Internet somewhere that the headphone cord of the headphones supplied with the SDC 2300 is too short. It has been picked up and repeated as if it is a flaw of some sort. Now, it may be the case that for some people the cord is too short, but if so most headphones are too short. Almost every set I have ever purchased was a bit too short brand new out of box, and I stretch the coiled part until they relax and get a couple inches shorter. It has never required more than that from me but I have heard of people using hair dryers to speed the process. My complaint is I believe the proprietary connector of the headphones supplied with the SDC 2300 lacks proper reinforcement, making it prone to failure at the very end of the cord. There are reports of the cord simply pulling out of the connector. Perhaps the cord and end connections are not a perfect match where soldered (or however the connection is made)? I plan on adding shrink tube or some other reinforcement at the end of my set. But the length? Well, they say a picture says it all so here you go. Laid out the cord on my UR30s as supplied is about 30" long. From left to right in the photo below, Sun Ray Pro Gold, DetectorPro Nugget Buster NDT, Minelab SDC 2300 phones (Koss UR-30), Garrett ATX supplied phones, and White's Royal GT headphones. Ironically the White's are the cheapest phones and have the longest cord. The Sun Ray Pro Gold and DetectorPro headphones are some of the most popular and highly regarded headphones used in the metal detecting world, and yet there are very few complaints about their headphone lengths. If anything they are a hair shorter than the UR-30 cord. My suggestion is that you simply run the cord through your hands and stretch the coiled part prior to use. It will relax over time. This will not hurt the cord - the coiled part is designed to stretch out, that is why it is there. Hanging it up when not in use to stretch it out can speed up the process, as can adding heat whether with a hair dryer, or with hot water. I have never had to use heat myself though so can't vouch for that personally. I have also used the waterproof headphones for the SDC 2300. The cord is stouter and the phones fit my head better. I have never liked the UR-30 phones, whether they come with my GPX 5000, CTX 3030, or SDC 2300. They are too loose on my head, and have no independent volume controls. The underwater phones fix the too loose on my head part. However, they do not have the audio range of the UR-30 phones and so may not provide a good signal of the faintest targets. The headphone adapter available at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/293-headphone-adapter-for-minelab-sdc-2300/ is a possible solution in that you can use any headphones, and the use of the adapter itself adds 12" to the length of any cord. I just got my adapter and it works perfectly with my Sun Ray Pro Golds. I will be giving it the first field test the end of next week. There is also the issue of headphone cable stretching and what to do about it. Link deleted since Findmall update broke all old links This is by far a more common complaint because - drum roll - the coiled part stretches out with use! If you Google around you will find almost nothing on how to stretch cables but tons on how to get them to coil up properly.
  4. Hello JP, My main motivation for the post actually came about from Nenad being questioned about if he worked for a Minelab and some comments how people should disclose such things if true. I have seen a couple comments about my working for Minelab. Which I do not, any more than I work for Garrett or Fisher or White's. So I just wanted to lay it out and create a statement that I can link to at the end of any reviews I do in the future. Your association with Minelab is only natural and makes sense. You use what works, and what works where you are is Minelab. Pretty simple. All I know is that when I started reading your posts way back when I knew immediately that you were a person to pay attention to. You know the gear like nobody else and did a lot to teach me and others by answering questions clearly and in depth. I therefore tend to get irritated when people give you grief because running people like you off hurts us all. If I only prospected and were half as serious as you the fact is I would probably only have a GPX and use it exclusively. But I enjoy dabbling in everything and part of the fun for me is using just about everything that comes along. The people that do not understand why you have used almost nothing but Minelabs for years just really do not know much about the realities of prospecting for gold in Australia and doing it with serious intent. As much as I might wish for the U.S. manufacturers to be at the forefront in that regard the fact is Minelab has had the run of the table for many years now. I and others appreciate what you do JP and hopefully we will see more posts from you here in the future when you are able to have the time. Thanks for your comments!
  5. You are doing a bang up job yourself Ron with the videos - inspiring stuff! Thanks everyone.
  6. LipCa wanted to post this but is having copy and paste issues with the forum, so I am doing it for him. Always here to help folks! "Workers from Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. have been searching the bottom of Lake Guatavita since January 2014, looking for the treasure of the legendary “Lost City of Gold”, also known as Manõa, that is associated with the legend of the El Dorado." http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/colombia-treasure-hunters-could-have-found-el-dorado/ An account of attempts to drain the lake to recover the treasure.... http://www.saexplorers.org/system/files/magazine/sae-mag-8g-lake-guatavita.pdf
  7. I am primarily a prospector but have also been coin and jewelry detecting since 1972. Like most people when in parks I use discrimination to pick targets but when prospecting I usually dig it all. Not always though, sometimes I am tired or an area is just too trashy so I crank in a little VLF discrimination to sort things out. The problem is when prospecting I have seen some pretty scary things. It is one thing to walk away from a dime because your detector called it a nail. Think about walking away from a solid multi ounce chunk of gold because your detector called it a nail. Not likely, you say? Far too likely, I am afraid. I and others dig big nuggets other people leave behind on a regular basis, and I know I have missed some very big ones myself in the past. It gets your attention to realize you may have walked away from $40,000.00. I have this pile of detectors headed my way to check out. One, the Nokta Fors Gold, showed up yesterday. Good first impression out of the box, but that is another story. The main thing is today I got it out along with a Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro, F75, White's GMT, and CTX 3030. I rounded up a 1 gram gold nugget and a collection of nails and hot rocks and did a little playing around this afternoon. I am still waiting for the XP Deus to show up and a V3i so this was more about coming up with some methodology more than anything. My interests run more towards hot rocks and magnetite sand than would be the case with most people. So the particulars do not matter at the moment, except this. Discrimination sucks! You fire these babies up in all metal and they are all powerful detectors that do the job, with some amazing depth for VLF units (not counting the CTX which lacks a true all metal mode). It is pretty easy to compare units as it really just boils down to depth and how well they handle hot rocks, which is mostly a function of frequency and ground balance. EMI is a big factor in urban areas also but much less so when prospecting. So then I put the detectors in disc mode and I just cut the legs out from under them. Bam, instant lost depth. Also, target masking or so-called reactivity is usually a non-issue in pure all metal modes. Not so at all in disc modes, and disc modes that lack true zero discrimination settings mask targets immediately even when set to zero. Anyway, all I can say is playing around for awhile with these units and my pile of hot rocks and little nails was rather disheartening. It was just so darn easy to get that little nugget to bang out loud in all metal, then disappear entirely in disc modes. Or get detected but called ferrous. Or get masked by a nearby hot rock or nail. It just hammered home with me once again the huge difference in raw power between something like a GPX 5000 and even the best VLF detectors in all metal mode, and how that huge difference becomes an almost impossibly large gulf once you turn to disc modes. When you just go detecting in a park you do not see what you are missing. But in my case it was all to visible and really kind of bummed me out seeing just how far we have to go when it comes to metal detector discrimination. The only icing on this cake is that there is a huge amount of fantastic stuff in the ground, and not deep at all. It is there, quite shallow, just under or near that thing you discriminated out. If we could see through discriminated items rather than be blocked by them an amazing amount of stuff would come to light. Beneath The Mask by Thomas Dankowski The Painful Truth by Thomas Dankowski More Reasons Discrimination Sucks by Steve Herschbach
  8. Update January 2019 - I started reviewing detectors on the internet over twenty years ago. At the time it seemed I was providing a service since good information was hard to find. I enjoyed reviewing machines in detail for those who were interested. The internet was more friendly back in those days. Times have changed, and these days everyone with a video camera is a metal detector expert. In particular there is a trend where industry insiders like me are considered tainted sources of information, not to be trusted. Personally, I don’t need people questioning my integrity. I was doing this for fun and that sucked all the fun out of it. I am therefore no longer accepting invitations to review metal detecting equipment. I may continue to work with engineers on product development but in general will recuse myself from publicly discussing the equipment involved. If anyone wants to use me as part of their marketing efforts they can hire me outright. I'm available and will consider job offers that involve the sales and marketing of metal detectors. My thanks to those of you who have expressed your appreciation for my efforts over the years. You can find my collected detector reports here. The focus on this website going forward will be individual user reviews as part of the new Metal Detector Database with User Reviews. Check it out!
  9. Tom, follow the link for the blue bowl provided up above and read the instructions there. If you are on a budget learning to use something you have already purchased makes the most sense rather than spending yet more money. I have always used a gold pan myself, even when cleaning up my 6" dredge. The secret - practice and when in doubt always pan into a tub. Here is a video on using the Blue Bowl
  10. I use my iPad 90% of the time which has a built in screen capture function. Capture, crop, then post.
  11. Hi Bob, I believe there are three versions of the Big Foot. The original was the 6.59 kHz model that you have, that works on the XLT, 6000XL, QXT, IDX, ID, CL III, and 5900 models. Then the 3 kHz/15kHz version for the DFX, MXT, and M6. And finally the last version made for the Prizm series before Jim passed away. A note on Jimmy Sierras site mentions over 12,000 of the coils being sold so there are a lot out there. They went for $219.95 new but I have seen DFX/MXT versions going for $500-$600 on eBay. Here is a picture of my Big Foot on my first try with the V3i - the original Vision model produced in 2009.
  12. Hi moxford, I am more interested in your thoughts - do you own a V3i or used to own one? There is an Advanced Tips book online which is a collection of the many posts done about the V3i which can save lots of Googling and reading. It goes well with the guides we have already linked to but is more informal in nature. http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/white-s/266393-v3i-advanced-posts-book-new-version-2-65-pages.html I mainly just hope the V3i will behave well around Reno. I do not see myself seriously using it much for prospecting as it is a bit overkill for that but you never know. I would like to tune it up for jewelry to possibly replace my DFX but it basically just comes down to EMI issues. Between it and the DFX I like the ability to assign tone schemes any way I want on the V3i plus the ability to customize the display to get what I am looking for.
  13. I am wondering how he worked out the communication issues/protocols between the coil and control box? Oh well, not a techie myself, all I care about is available end products. As long as there is no proprietary stuff that XP would put a stop to then perhaps we will see aftermarket coils. But if it was all as easy as this guy made it look then $500 - $600 for a coil seems a bit much.
  14. I have a White's DFX that is perhaps my favorite park jewelry detector, though my Minelab CTX 3030 threatens to change that. The trump card for the DFX still is that I have a rare and highly sought after Big Foot coil. The Big Foot is a 3" x 18" coil specially wound internally in a figure 8 pattern that eliminates electrical interference and allows the use of the front half of the coil for pinpointing with the DFX, which was designed with the coil in mind. The coils were hand made by Jim Karbowski who called his company Applied Creativity. Jim unfortunately passed away in 2007 and the coils now go for far more used on eBay than they ever did new. http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/obituaries/james-karbowski/article_c8505ae6-50ec-5639-8a21-33a96b718ad4.html The coils are labor intensive and despite lots if lobbying I never could get White's to make them. When White's announced the V3 I was excited by what I see as a "Super DFX". The DFX allows you to run either 3 kHz or 15 kHz or both together. It is highly programmable, too much so for many people but for me it pretty much turned into a 15 kHz detector to drive my Big Foot coil. The Big Foot is not made for depth, but at 18" long it is great for sweeping large parks or sports fields cherry picking targets. Here is my Big Foot attached to my old MXT in the UK, sitting next to a friends unit similarly outfitted. Huge fields like that in the photo is where the Big Foot shines. The V3i runs at 2.5 kHz, 7.5 kHz, and 22.5 kHz, all together or each separately. It can do all sorts of frequency comparison tricks and has the best color display on the market, that can be programmed to show an amazing array of target response and information. Again, maybe too many settings for some people - this set of note by V3i engineer Bob Canaday will give you an idea of how complex adjusting the V3i can get http://www.metaldetectingintheusa.com/files/bob-canaday.pdf A tweakers dream however, and it works with the Big Foot, but not perfectly, as some target VDI information is skewed at different frequencies. Good enough though. I really wanted to love the V3i! The problem is with two different units I ran into serious electrical interference issues with the V3i in Anchorage, Alaska, my old home town. The same places where my Fisher F75 would shut down. The main culprit was buried power lines, which in Anchorage meant nearly all parks, school yards, and other places I might want to use a metal detector. I worked with White's on the issue to no avail, my main suggestion being that a figure 8 wound EMI coil be made specifically for the V3i, but it never came to pass. Sadly for me, I just finally gave up on the V3i. Then I ran into a guy named Marko at Ganes Creek in two different years. He was running the V3i in the 22.5 kHz Prospecting Mode with a Detech 10" x 12" SEF coil. Marko killed it at Ganes Creek two years in a row with the V3i finding many nuggets large and small. Everyone gets lucky now and then but Marko consistently did well, and I always pay attention when I see results like that. You can see pictures of Markos 2011 finds at http://www.whiteselectronics.com/finds/?view=gainesgold Fast forward to my moving to Reno, Nevada. It has crossed my mind now and then whether the V3i might behave better here. I still am intrigued by the 22 kHz mode, perhaps for hunting the miles of cobble piles around here looking for that big gold filled cobble. You need something with a combination of depth and good ferrous discrimination for that, and Markos results still intrigue me. The kicker however is that I have a new XP DEUS detector on the way. The Deus has many of the programmable aspects of the V3i and can run at 4, 8, 12, or 18 kHz, though only one of those at any one time. The V3i offers more ability to actually identify targets, but the Deus is reputed to be much better at target separation. So I have a V3i on the way. People may wonder how I can afford to load up on detectors like this. Well, being in the industry for 35 years has advantages, and one if them is I get my detectors nearly always for less than I can sell them for later. I do have money tied up in them but it basically rotates as I sell one and get another. I am not pouring money into detectors. That being the case, I find it worthwhile strictly from the aspect of satisfying my own curiosity and continuing my never ending education in all things metal detecting. The fact is though I will be selling a bunch of detectors and accessories this winter. I will be doing lots of testing and comparisons and then deciding eventually what goes and what stays. That in itself ends up being the most important test of all. The good news is you all get some of the benefit I derive from all this craziness! White's V3i Advanced Users Guide https://www.detectorprospector.com/files/file/33-whites-spectra-v3i-advanced-user-guide/
  15. Since I am interested in nugget detecting my Deus is coming with the 9" coil but most coin hunters are leaning 11" these days. There is no coil smaller than 9". One downside to the Deus is the coil actually is the detector and so you buy a new detector every time you buy a coil. Making for very expensive coils. An XP coil costs as much as a Gold Bug! And I therefore doubt we will ever see third party coils.
  16. I always have mixed feelings about gold prices. I like that I get a good price, but I do not mind lower prices as it makes picking up decent properties easier.
  17. Hi Alan, That is some seriously nice gold and proof once again that when it comes to detecting versus dredging there really is no comparison. Dredging wins hands down as a gold production method. I have had a couple temptations offered to me recently in the form of some Alaska dredging but I have shied away. I tend to forget the cold water and hard labor and in Alaska at least dredging goes from being fun to being work fairly quickly. I can metal detect pretty endlessly, but two weeks of Alaska dredging and I am ready to quit. But the gold is so tempting! Beautiful stuff Alan and well earned I am sure. Good luck also on your detecting, hopefully better than mine!
  18. Yeah and graphs depend how you look at them. My 37 month chart shows a clear downward trend. But if you just look at it since July 2013 the price is the same now as it was then. It has pretty much bounced around in the $1200 - $1300 range for fourteen months.
  19. Awesome Dave! I figured you had a good shot at it. The AT Gold really is a perfect complement to the ATX. Congratulations! Photo capture below from http://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/hbby_favorite_find_sept_2014.aspx
  20. I have a new XP DEUS detector on the way that should arrive next week. I have not been terribly attracted to the unit as initially it was not really a detector with a specific prospecting mode. That changed in version 3.0 since the DEUS can be updated via software downloads and a Gold Field program was added. They are now up to version 3.2 which is getting raves from users. The main DEUS claim to fame is the ability to pull non-ferrous targets out of thick beds of nails. Like an old coin out of a burned down cabin site. Or ancient stuff out of European fields with a couple thousand years of ferrous trash in the soil. The machine was developed in France originally for the European market. But XP does appear to want it all and so have been aiming updates at what US users are looking for. The unit is totally wireless with all components having built in rechargeable batteries. Most people seem to love this but as a prospector it is not turning me on. I wish everything I had would run off AA batteries, rechargeable or otherwise. The machine is ultra light at two pounds however which is indeed very attractive and it folds up nice and compact to boot. The target id function is regarded as being lackluster at this time with many users saying the machine is in effect a very expensive "beep-dig" detector best suited for just digging all non-ferrous signals. You see what it is when you dig it up. That suits me just fine but Tesoro offers similar functionality for far less as beep-dig is their specialty. XP is getting the raves though for having what is currently regarded as the fastest processing ability currently available for working with multiple targets at once and discerning a single good one buried in a pile of bad. XP calls this reactivity which is another word for recovery time and it can be variably set anywhere from 1-5 on the detector, where 5 is so lightning fast the detector sounds like a machine gun running over targets. It is not all perfect as more reactivity/faster recovery time means less depth but it can do wonders where target masking is an issue for other detectors. But back to prospecting. From the XP Metal Detectors website at http://www.xpmetaldetectorsamericas.com/xp-deus-gold-prospecting "The GOLD FIELD program uses a different detection strategy designed to handle highly mineralized ground containing targets such as gold nuggets. In these ground conditions, small, low-conductive targets are often seen as ground noise or iron, especially when they are deeply buried. To go deeper in these difficult conditions, the GOLD FIELD program uses a true All Metal mode allowing you to accept a whole zone of ground that is usually rejected (Full Range). Rather than rejecting all the ground values below the setting (as on conventional detectors), this new program rejects only the current value of the ground which you have to adjust exactly. To simplify this ground effect adjustment (which is essential in this program), the “pinpoint” touch pad allows you to quickly grab the ground value while pumping the coil to the ground. In this program a few settings are not active or are replaced by others unique to the GOLD FIELD program including: The IAR discrimination (Iron Amplitude Rejection): Adjustable from 0 to 5, IAR is applied only to strong signals (shallow). This avoids the rejection of signals from good targets further away that may sound like ferrous when they are buried in mineralized ground (pg: 10). Immediate sampling of the ground value (Grab) accomplished by simply pressing “Pinpoint” while pumping the coil to the ground. Pinpoint function is deactivated in this program (pg:18/19) Note: The target ID feature is retained when working in the All Metal mode to aid in target identification." Long story short I am working on getting one of these sent my way so I can give it a spin and add to my online review listing of prospecting detectors. The problem with that list is I demand I actually use a machine to review it (crazy idea) and so that really is the basis of all this. I need another VLF detector like I need a hole in the head right now. Sooner or later Steve is having a sale! Until it arrives, the best review I have seen yet is right here on this very forum by goldbrick at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/104-xp-deus-in-the-goldfields/ It gives me something to look at because for me the only reason to use a VLF detector while prospecting normally is to eliminate ferrous trash. If the DEUS can do this better than existing detecting like a Gold Bug Pro then great. If not, it is a lot of money if something less expensive can do as well or better. At $1899 or $1299 in minimum configuration this is not some $500-$700 VLF. I am not saying it is not a great detector for other uses but that is a lot for a prospecting VLF so it better be special. Kind of like the White's V3i. It has a prospecting mode, but you are paying lots of money for other features you may or may not need. If you need them, great. If not, dedicated units usually serve for less. By the way, the company is XP Metal Detectors, the model is DEUS. Saying XP DEUS is like saying Garrett ATX. DEUS is pronounced day-us
  21. It has now been three years since gold set a record high of about $1900 per ounce. Unfortunately it has been trending downwards ever since. I say unfortunately because it makes it harder for me to make a buck off my gold, but it also impacts the manufacturers and magazines, etc. that survive in an industry largely driven by the price of gold. Exploration dollars are very hard to come buy, and sales of gold mining related equipment are pretty much off across the board. Of course nobody knows what tomorrow might bring, but the big money is betting even lower gold prices, and in some ways that very belief is self fulfilling. There are mountains of money chasing returns in the world these days, but right now gold is not where they are looking to get that return. Still, I have to believe that in a world with a constantly expanding money supply and ever leaner gold supplies the long term prognosis for gold is good. It can however go lower before it goes higher again. Only time will tell.
  22. Here is a list of nugget detectors sorted by weight with my own somewhat arbitrary categories. Weight is not everything as balance is also very important, as is the handle design. Obviously the ability to hip mount counts for a lot. Properly designed bungee systems can render even heavy detectors weightless on the arm. ULTRA LIGHT XP DEUS - 2 lbs with built in batteries, one ounce less with control box dismounted from rod. Fisher Gold Bug / Gold Bug Pro - 2.5 lbs. with 5" coil and one 9v battery (2.7 lbs with 10" coil) Teknetics G2 - 2.8 lbs. with 11" coil and one 9v battery Fisher Gold Bug 2 - 2.9 lbs. with two 9v batteries (may be hip mounted) Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold - 2.9 lbs. with four AA batteries VERY LIGHT Garrett AT Gold - 3 lbs. with four AA batteries Garrett Gold Stinger - 3.2 lbs. with three 9v batteries (may be hip mounted) White's GMZ - 3.4 lbs. with eight AA batteries LIGHT Tesoro Lobo Super TRAQ - 3.5 lbs. with eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted) Fisher F75 - 3.5 lbs. with four AA batteries Teknetics T2 - 3.5 lbs. with four AA batteries White's TDI SL - 3.5 lbs. with eight AA batteries White’s GMT - 3.9 lbs. with eight AA batteries MEDIUM Nokta FORS Gold - 4.3 lbs. with four AA batteries White’s MXT - 4.3 lbs. with eight AA batteries HEAVY Minelab Eureka Gold - 5.3 lbs. including rechargeable battery pack or optional eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted) Minelab GPX 5000 - The GPX weighs 5.3 lbs. not including the harness mounted proprietary rechargeable battery, which weighs another 1.7 lbs. Detector weight normally supported by bungee. Garrett Infinium LS - 5.6 lbs. including rechargeable battery pack or eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted) White's TDI and TDI Pro - 5.6 lbs. including proprietary rechargeable battery (may be hip mounted) Minelab SDC 2300 - 5.7 lbs. including four C batteries VERY HEAVY Garrett ATX - 6.9 lbs. including eight AA batteries Minelab GPZ 7000 - 7.2 lbs. with standard rechargeable battery
  23. You do not need new patents to build a better detector. You need better software and faster processors. Everybody is riding on someone else's back when it comes to detector patents. Look up George Payne.
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