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Steve Herschbach

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  1. I added some coil links to your post above Simon. The short story is this. The concentric hit the hot rocks harder because that is what it does - hits harder. Not good where you have hot rocks, but it also does mean where you can use the coil, it has extra punch. And if anyone reads the tech info above, they will see that a DD coil is more likely to call ferrous items non-ferrous, especially flat steel. So a concentric has better properties in trashy areas. Can't wait for NEL to produce the 3.5" x 6.5" Snake DD coil for the 24K. That may be a perfect coil for the machine, especially as it has been especially hardened for use without a scuff cover. When chasing the tiniest bits I do tend to run my coils naked! Seriously, it's halfway all about how close you can get that tiny bit to a coil winding that makes the difference in mild soil. And scrub, scrub, scrub! https://www.detectorprospector.com/magazine/steves-mining-journal/metal-detecting-micro-gold-nuggets-crow-creek/
  2. Great first outing Simon! Leaving ground tracking on instead of locking may help with the hot rocks while still getting the gold. Use a tiny test nugget to experiment with both tracking on, or locked. A hot rock should track out immediately, while a nugget does not. Though as you know the tiniest nuggets may track out also. You really need a tiny test piece to experiment with. I keep a 1 grain (0.0648 gram) nugget taped to a business card for just that purpose. You can also try ground balancing directly on a hot rock while in locked. The new XGB ground balance system tracks to a wider range of targets simultaneously than the older White's systems (see the White Paper below). The XGB balance will sometimes reject them completely, while still ignoring the ground. Other times, the rock my go away, but now the ground signals. If that’s the case, try swinging widely over the ground, and a rock, to find a medium balance that reduces both. Slightly lowering the sensitivity and/or increasing the SAT at the same time can help find the perfect setting. It takes some experimentation with that test piece to find the settings that best handle ground and rocks, while still getting the nuggets. It’s a judgement call sometimes, as when the hot rocks are few, then digging a few might be acceptable, allowing hotter settings. In thick hot rocks, a more aggressive setting that reduces hot rock signals may be called for, even at a small loss of gold signal. The is also a ground balance offset, that can be applied to both tracking and locked. Tracking and ground grab (Garrett calls it ground sync or quick balance) seek a neutral setting that may in fact not be just right for the hot rocks, and you can actually adjust the preset track or ground grab point up or down. You have to go to the Ground Scan mode, and then use up and down arrows to apply an offset. Then switch back out of Ground Scan mode, and this offset will carry over, and be applied to both tracking and ground grab (ground sync) settings. Instead of using a wide swing to try and find a medium balance, you can ground balance directly to the ground. Then experiment with different degrees of offset, to see if you can lessen the hot rock signals, while still keeping the ground quiet. The right offset can do wonders in some locations. Again, slightly lower sensitivity and/or increased SAT can be part of the mix. My old mentor Jimmy Sierra likened it to adding salt and pepper to the stew. It takes some experimentation and tasting to get the seasoning just right. A lot of what applied to the GMT applies to the 24K, and you can see the full set of Jimmy’s old videos at this link. Unfortunately the video quality is poor, but the information is gold. I doubt this applies in your ground, but people who have severe enough iron stone hot rocks, will find going to disc mode, and setting up two tone discrimination, will be the magic solution. Most hot rocks can be set to give a low ferrous tone, while nuggets will give a non-ferrous high tone. Final tip, in low mineral ground with no hot rocks, max sensitivity and SAT at lowest setting, and moving very slowly gives you even more power. Autotune or Self Adjusting Threshold (SAT) Explained This may all seem complicated, but these are all just extra settings and tricks a person can apply as they get more experience. That’s why I like the 24K more than some other dedicated VLF nugget detectors. It has super simple settings for the novice to get going, just like the others. But it also then has a multitude of settings that can be applied to fine tune the machine. That, plus the “not knock sensitive” coil selection, that allows for scrubbing techniques, makes the 24K a winner. I honestly do like the Equinox also for the most of the same reasons - all the adjustments I can make. It’s a great nugget machine if you can master the settings. Where the Equinox falls short is coil selection, and coil knock sensitivity. The 24K already has a superior nugget coil selection, and once Garrett and NEL get the full component of coils out, the 24K is going to blow Equinox away for coils, especially the solid type (not open web) coils nugget hunters generally prefer. And call me old fashioned, but for bush work there also are times I don’t want a rechargeable detector, but just want to swap out the battery pack. 24K suits me there also. GOLDMASTER 24K WHITE'S PAPER XGB - A New Way To Ground Balance The biggest challenge we face as electronic prospectors is highly mineralized ground. Simply increasing the gain on the current VLF platforms might help prospectors in very mild ground conditions, but what about more difficult areas with concentrations of black sand, maghemite, serpentine, or alkali salts? On a trip to Brazil we witnessed a combination of these conditions, with soil that ranged from red to black to purple, and exhibited a combination of ferrous and alkali properties within a 4 ft square section. We saw first-hand VLFs from each manufacturer fail to balance out the combination of minerals. Even the top-of-the-line pulse induction machines struggled in this area - machines which cost the garimpeiros (the local term for gold miners) several years’ wages. Our goal was simple: a nice even threshold in challenging ground conditions without giving up sensitivity. The theory is that the main battle most electronic prospectors fight is being able to discern a potential gold signal from ground noise. A smooth threshold would allow users to use more gain and increase their odds of finding small gold where it likes to hide - in mineralized ground. The issue with other VLF detectors on the market is that they were tracking a single ground balance point. When the ground type changes quickly, the machine gives off a false signal. For a user the result is ear fatigue, frustration, and less positive signals dug. One easy way to mask variable ground is implementing an auto-gain feature that automatically numbs the detector. This does not solve the issue, only hides it. The Goldmaster 24k’s XGB is a new automatic ground tracking system that works by tracking multiple ground points simultaneously and quickly. Where other VLF’s track one ground balance point, the Goldmaster 24k tracks several, and can determine an optimal “ground window” based on ground history and strength. This is very useful in rapidly changing ground conditions, where other VLF machines may struggle to track the mineralization changes. Combine this with the speed at which the Goldmaster 24k is able to grab ground samples, and you have a superior ground balance system for a prospector’s VLF. XGB Ground Balance versus legacy methods With any automatic process, there are some concessions. Take vehicles for example - manual gearboxes are still preferred by car enthusiasts. That’s why we felt strongly about including a TracLock® ground option. When used with the Ground Grab, a locked ground balance setting allows users to set the ground balance in an area and lock it until they need to re-ground balance. For users after the tiniest bits of gold, this option allows for the maximum sensitivity to small signals. One technique we observed from field testers was allowing the XGB to automatically track, and then after getting a solid hit or finding a patch, locking the ground balance for target location and retrieval. For many users this combination will be the best of both worlds - the strength of XGB, but only when you need or want it. The net result of an overhauled automatic ground balance system is a VLF gold nugget detector that can be used in a wider variety of ground conditions with a nice stable threshold. Operating a machine with a smooth threshold allows for a user’s ears to tune into those slight variations that just might be the next nugget. Our goal is that our customers are able to have success with the Goldmaster 24k in areas that other VLF’s struggle, and at a price that allows more people to get a taste of electronic prospecting. Tom Boykin White's Project Manager
  3. Gotta love that easy access ability to quickly switch between Normal and Difficult. People should just do it as a habit, and note what happens, and then what they dig up. Patterns may or may not develop that could be of great help. The results are directly related to the mineralization type and level however, so results in one area cannot be relied on to be the same in an area with different mineralization. But if you hunt areas that are relatively consistent, the results you get will also be consistent. Frankly, I recommend digging everything when nugget hunting. However, that often goes out the window in an old hydraulic pit filled with square nails, or in a camp site built on top of the gold field, littered with old trash. If time is limited you have to cherry pick as best you can, and these methods will help with that.
  4. Manual sensitivity only goes up to 10. Auto+ can go above Manual 10 if conditions allow it to do so, typically in mild ground. That's where the "plus" comes from. Here is a tidbit in reference to that from JP: "If the ground conditions are mild Auto+ has the ability to increase the detectors outright sensitivity much further than flat out manual mode, so in variable EMI areas the EMI will sound worse in Auto+ compared to full manual mode."
  5. Lots of gold prospecting I do may as well be called trash detecting. Endless nails and other ferrous trash.... and the bullets and shell casings! So jewelry detecting is not that different, and anywhere people have been, jewelry is possible. Dig endless aluminum until gold appears. I like hunting tot lots for lost jewelry as it is good practice for nugget detecting, and sometimes more productive.
  6. I have no idea what coils Garrett will be producing for the 24K, though I lobbied hard for a small concentric. They understand coils are key to the machine, so we will see. In any case, when Simon mentioned Serious had the 6" concentric in stock at a good price, I immediately ordered one, and turns out I got their last one. I'm hoping Garrett will make their own version, but this was cheap insurance to make sure I got one. Bird in the hand and all that. I'd like to get this setup to a few tot lots soon. The 24K is a great machine for hunting small jewelry, and so I'll go clean all the small aluminum out of a few locations, and see what happens. Anyway, thanks for the tip Simon!
  7. Simon has the 6” for the White’s 24K, which is white. You are correct, the same coil for the GMX is black, with a yellow label. Very hard to find a good photo of one by the way. For others who do not know, both coils will work on the Garrett 24K, as will the 4x6 DD for the GMX, also black with yellow label. I have never seen a 4x6 made in white for the 24K. The new Garrett 6x10 DD coil is black, while the original White's version was white. 6” concentric for White’s GMX Sport - compatible with 24K models Garrett 6" x 10" DD coil for Goldmaster 24K
  8. Great story and photos. I really appreciate you taking the time to post it. I like hearing from people who are relatively new to detecting, as a fresh perspective is sometimes very informative. One thing about the older GPX and earlier models was that there was a lot of settings, and a lot of gear. You take a newbie, harness them up with all these bungees and cords, hand them the 62 page manual…… it’s overwhelming stuff for the new person. The 6000 on the other hand, I have described as the Gold Bug of PI detectors. Relatively light, simple to operate, and gets the little stuff. But also has that PI Punch for larger gold. I think it is a far friendlier first step up from a VLF, and the ease of tuning makes a new person as good as a pro in a much shorter period of time. My one bit of advice - don’t be shy of the Auto+ setting. It can be the most powerful setting on the 6K under the right conditions (mild ground), and it and regular Auto are go to settings for patch hunting. Sometimes computers are actually better at stuff, and Minelabs auto settings just keep getting better. I would never use automatic ground balance “back in the day”. Now I don’t have any option not to, but that’s turned out to be just fine.
  9. Gerry gets lots of good used detectors on trade. I think he is in the field detecting right now, as he normally is when he is absent from the forum. 900 Euros may be a lot, but so would be shipping a detector from the U.S. along with import duties, etc. if you get the GP Extreme, inquire about the condition of the battery, as the old lead cell batteries often die with age, and if it has the original battery, it probably is not good. Otherwise it appears to be in good condition. https://docsdetecting.com/product/dome-top-battery-for-sd-series-and-gp-series-6volt-12-amp-hour/ https://www.detectorprospector.com/profile/182-gerry-in-idaho/
  10. Review by Keith Southern, with video: DeepTech Vista X metal detector 16 kHz frequency New electronics box - 2.5 times smaller than old design New improved battery box design New coil design - deeper and with better separation Wider discrimination - offers ability beyond simple ferrous/non-ferrous operation for modern sites Twin discrimination modes Easy switching between ALL Metal, 2 Tone and ALT DISC modes Iron Volume control adjusts volume of ferrous tone IP68 connectors with gold pins Waterproof connectors and an O-ring between the box and the front panel for even better isolation on humid weather 2.87 lbs (1300 grams) without 8 AA batteries installed
  11. Well, it may seem like an exception but it’s not. There were and are plenty of posts on the MDT, so the forum got set up. People post there daily. I have the ability to collect and move posts to various locations at will. I’ve done a forum search on Deep Tech, and there are only a handful of posts over literally years of forum activity. Long story short, there only used to be one forum here, and each sub-forum is the result of organic growth driven by the forum membership. I actually tried to force a couple forums into existence, and they went nowhere, and were deleted. It takes a certain critical mass to keep a forum active. All I can say is talk a bunch of people into posting regularly about Deep Tech detectors, and I’d be more than happy to set up a forum for them. It does not take much to get my attention, but it’s got to be more than a post every couple months or more.
  12. The thing about Nokta/Makro is they are always moving. In fact moving so much that people were complaining about too many new models too fast! Like, when does that happen in metal detector land? Sure, some were just variations on a theme, but they have never lacked for trying new stuff that nobody else does. Things like the vibrate mode may seem a joke to some, but not to the number of hearing challenged detectorists out there. Yes, there are totally deaf people who metal detect. I think it’s awesome somebody thought about them, even if they are few in number. When I reviewed the Nokta FORS Gold in 2014, almost nobody had ever heard of this company. Yet anyone reading that review will see they immediately won me over, and I predicted big things for them. The main thing was they were responsive, and fixed things that I mentioned needed fixing immediately. I was used to U.S. manufacturers just putting a new machine to bed, and any issues always were “too late now”. Not these folks. They would stop the production line and implement changes immediately, on the fly, in a way I’ve never seen before or since. Sometimes a model gets released too early, like the Simplex, but they don’t just give it a pass. They take any feedback, make improvements, and make good on any genuine customer complaints that arise due to any oversights on their part. They are not perfect, no, but who is? The thing is they try and just keep on swinging. From a company nobody heard of in 2014, to a major contender now, nipping at the heels of the top dogs. If they get a good multi and a good PI to market in the next couple years, they will finally pull up neck and neck with First Texas and Garrett. Garrett only just got a multi to market, and while it’s a start, nobody is being blown away. The ATX is decent, but too heavy by a couple pounds at least. First Texas has a 25 year old multi, and is fumbling their PI intro, so neither of these old line companies have a lot to brag about in the multi and PI department. Nokta/Makro has a good shot at pulling up even or even exceeding both these old line companies. Minelab has a massive head start in both multi and PI, and due to various patents I don’t think it is very realistic that NM will outperform them per se. But they do not have to. They simply have to get in the ballpark, and with PI in particular, at a much lower price than the sky-high Minelabs. Not everyone loves Minelab, and many would buy something else just to buy something else, as long as it is decent. Minelab may be top dog right now, but it’s anyone’s bet who is going to be in second place in 2-3 years. I’m sure not counting this scrappy little company from Turkey out. They are hungry, and in business, that’s half the battle.
  13. The page linked to in my original post went dead, so I guess that shows how accurate it was. Somebody must have called them on it. I’m sure not above speculating on stuff, and do so myself. But I always let people know it’s just that - speculation. It’s another thing to just make stuff up to attract links. Some of this did smell like click bait to me, but it also seemed at least some of it might have been possible, so I linked to it on that basis… with a warning. Seems now it may have been entirely fabricated out of thin air.
  14. They made it up. I keep warning people to take stuff some of these forums post with a HUGE grain of salt. I’m a stickler for accuracy on this forum, and I do generally have early info, so when it’s posted elsewhere, and not here…. I’m not saying I know everything, but I do advise skepticism. Anyway, the entire page seems to have been taken down, so they may have been called on the now obvious attempt at click baiting. It often works - got me to link to it!
  15. They are good detectors. Forums are based more on activity level than anything else though, and Deep Tech related posts are too few and far between for a dedicated forum. If that ever changed, then it could happen.
  16. Jennifer's return was not an invitation for people to stir old pots. I've been on the receiving end of her ire, what of it? Sticks and stones and all that. She has promised me she will hold to forum guidelines, and I will hold her to her word. So let it go people and move on. Life's too short. If that is not good enough, employ the forum ignore function. Thanks.
  17. For your purpose not much difference, but here are details at the link below: https://www.detectorprospector.com/magazine/steves-guides/steves-guide-differences-between-minelab-sd-gp-gpx-models/ If the price difference is not great, always go with the latest version Minelab PI. The differences sometimes were small, but in general all they ever did was get better. Personally, I would have a hard time going back to anything older than the GPX 4000, if only for the improved battery system.
  18. Nothing important. Let’s just say Jennifer and I go back a ways, and did not see eye to eye on some stuff, but that’s ancient history. I think we have an understanding at this time, so welcome back Jennifer.
  19. I’ve not kept up on the issue, and do not know if it has ever been determined exactly where the leakage issue originates from. A single problem, or a collection of related failures? It seems very much luck of the draw, some heavy users having no issues, others multiple failures. So answer is no, I’ve not really thought about it much from a modifications standpoint. My recommended solution to serious water hunters is to A. Have a backup unit and B. Only use an under warranty unit in the water (sell used before warranty expires, use money to get a new unit with three year warranty). It’s relatively cheap insurance, since the warranty is three years. Also ask yourself if you really need an 800 for in water use, as a 600 will likely do the job as well for most people. This makes the sell used and buy again scenario even more palatable.
  20. Yes, appears to be mica. Very commonly mistaken for gold. One method that can to help identify gold specimens is the use of a very hot detector with a small coil, like a Gold Monster with 5” coil. It will detect pinhead gold, and ignore most (not all) minerals that mimic gold. Mica, for instance, will not signal on a metal detector.
  21. Have not laid hands on an X-Terra in years. Has one of the best all metal channels I’ve ever used, but the disc modes were lackluster in the depth department. Be nice if the Vanquish or even Equinox had an all metal channel like that on the X-Terra. Gold Mode on X-Terra is more like a pumped up disc mode than a true all metal channel.
  22. A lot of it is very generic - many of us have been tagged as “old guys” and so you get ads rolling the dice on what they think an old guy is interested in.
  23. I used to do scuba repair work. It will be food grade silicone grease, no petroleum base, and too much is not good. You want just enough to “wet” the orings. Previous thread on subject (2019) From https://parts.minelab.com/category-s/270.htm EQUINOX Battery Replacement Replace the EQUINOX Series internal Li-Ion battery. Due to the waterproof design of EQUINOX Series detectors it is strongly recommended you read all instructions prior to commencing the battery replacement. A video demonstrating the replacement process can be found on the Minelab YouTube Channel at this link: EQUIONX Battery Replacement Video All Minelab Authorised Service Centres can perform the internal battery replacement if you prefer to have the work performed without possibility of voiding your Control Panel warranty. The EQUINOX internal Li ion Battery has a warranty period of 6 months from original date of detector purchase. Back to all guides Contact Dealer Contact ASC Overview Detector: EQUINOX Series Difficulty: Easy Time Required: 10 mins Hazards: Water Ingress Tools Hex Driver 3mm (H3) Hex Driver 2mm (H2) Needle Nose Pliers Parts 3011-0405 Step 1 Access the battery compartment Using Hex Driver 3mm (H3), remove 4 x M4x16 screws [1] to separate the Control Pod from the upper stem. Using Hex Driver 2mm (H2), remove 1 x M3x8 screw [2] With your thumb resting on the bung assembly [3], gently pull the bung out of the Control Pod handle using Needle Nose Pliers gripping the extraction pin [4]. Use your thumb to control a slow & steady removal rate. Step 2 Remove the battery Do not extract the wiring loom connector beyond the entrance of the battery compartment as doing so may cause irreparable damage to the Control Pod. Slowly ease the bung [3] and battery out of the Control Pod handle until the wiring loom connector [5] is presented. Hold the wiring loom connector [5] firmly with your finger and thumb and release the battery by pushing the latch [6] and disconnect the battery from the internal wiring loom. Separate the bung assembly [3] from the battery [7] by firmly pulling the two apart. Step 3 Prepare new battery for installation Two O-rings are present and free from dirt & grit. Gore vent [8] is present and undamaged. Do not touch or tamper with the bung assembly gore vent [8]. Inspect the bung assembly [3] and confirm: Affix the foam disc [9] to the bottom of the replacement battery and push the battery into the bung assembly [3] ensuring that the guide marking [10] is aligned with the notch [11] of the bung. Affix the 20mm foam tape [12] to the battery ensuring 5mm from the top of the battery and centre-aligned with the bung tab [13]. Step 4 Replacement battery installation The battery and bung assembly should enter the Control Pod easily without significant resistance. The final 5mm of the battery assembly insertion may require additional force. It is critical that the bung is positioned symmetrical into the handle. If the bung is asymmetrical, this may lead to water ingress! The torque should not exceed 0.5 Nm Ensure the bung does not move when tightening the screw and the bung is still positioned symmetrical into the handle when tight. Connect the battery cable to the Control Pod wiring loom ensuring that the white connector is not forcibly extended beyond the entrance of the battery compartment while doing so. Ease the bung and battery into the Control Pod handle with the tab [13] of the bung aligned to the slot [14] of the Control Pod handle. Secure bung with 1 x M3x8 screw [2] using Hex Driver 2mm (H2). Tighten by hand taking care not to strip the threads. Step 5 Resassembly The torque should not exceed 1.0 Nm Reassemble the Control Pod to the upper stem by installing 4 x M4x16 screws [1] using Hex Driver 3mm (H3) Copyright © 2021 Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd.
  24. A tip for the beach hunters. If you are in Nome and there are any storm cuts in the beach, I have friends who used to find quite a few gold rush era coins while shoveling into beach boxes. I bet some beach detecting at the right time could be quite productive.
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