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Everything posted by jasong

  1. Judging by your list of interests, I'd be really interested to see you post if you have any active projects you've built or are working on. I'm not a scientist but I have a BS in physics so I have a bit in common, and I'm pretty interested in some of that stuff but don't really have the experience building/deploying it yet, and I really think one focus of prospecting/exploration moving forward needs to be in UAV's/remote sensing (not to be confused with LRL's for those unfamiliar) in terms of covering wide scale areas in less time, and then going in with higher resolution tools (like metal detectors) later. I know there are few people here that already have some basic working UAV based sensors for prospecting, but they are pretty private about it, often for good reason. But it's not something we see posted about much.
  2. I don't recognize fossils generally unless they are obvious or something I've seen before, so if it's that then I wouldn't know. The fact there appears to be a vein in it would make me guess rock, not fossil though initially. In general it appears to be a cobble exhibiting differential weathering. Can't tell from the pic if it's like hematite or something like chert though. But if I took a total guess at where to start looking/testing, that's where I'd begin. It could be a wind or water polished cobble, or it could be something like a nodule or concretion. A good start would be a scratch (hardness) test and a streak test. That'll ballpark you in terms of composition. But if it's something like a fossil then I dunno. Differential weathering is fancy term for the process that occurs during natural erosion where two dissimilar minerals in one rock weather at different rates due to different hardnesses, chemical susceptibility, etc. It can form dimples, cracks, and textures like that. Normally spoken in terms of large formations, but applies just as much to small cobbles. Maybe someone else recognizes it in particular. Sometimes various things like that can have specific names from specific locations too, beyond just ID'ing their mineral makeup (desert roses/barite&gypsum, etc)
  3. The FCC finally released the 700 and 900 test docs. Looks like Minelab finally wised up to the way we were getting word of releases early over the last 10 years or so and submitted a letter to the FCC requesting no publication until Dec 2. So, looks like that leak source is drying up. Interestingly, it appears this detector was originally called "Platypus 2". Probably just some code name for it in the lab, but how hilarious would that have been to get the Manticore, followed by the Platypus 2? https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=YwdXmpsuaYfdk%2FQl6JsBDw%3D%3D&fcc_id=Z4C-0049
  4. That's great news to hear! I don't own an Axiom so I don't know what type and size of coil would really compliment or benefit it. But from a curiosity and gearhead standpoint add my name to what is surely a long list of people curious to see what spiral and concentrics can do on the ultra sensitive modern PIs.
  5. Looks like they just released the newest bi-weekly data extract, so that's good, they are still doing something with their claims database anyways and it's not abandoned. For anyone curious and with database/programming skills: You can request the BLM include you on a mailing list and give you an account to download the entire claims database locally onto your computer. From there you can convert it to whatever, throw SQL commands at it, import into Excel (good luck, it's huge) or do anything else you wish to sort and search through all the claims. Closed, active, etc. Fair warning, it's a massive database and requires a lot of resources to manipulate and acquire. So, I'd say "power users only" and not for anyone who isn't really computer literate and knows DB and scripting. When you get to the point of really researching a number of areas with heavy claim density, it's pretty much the only way to do it from a time-standpoint. The people I contacted are all gone, so not sure who to contact anymore, but probably anyone who works with LR2000 in the BLM would know.
  6. Placer and alluvial pretty much are the same, in the respect that they both indicate derivational material that came from somewhere else and was deposited via some mechanism. It's just that it doesn't matter if it's 1mm or 1 mile. Placer is a more broad term, alluvial is a more specific term. In a venn diagram, placer would contain all alluvial deposits, but alluvial wouldn't encompass all placer deposits. As WesD notes, eluvial is another similar term. It's generally used in prospecting to refer to material eroding via wind and gravity rather than water. This doesn't tend to transport the erosional products as far as alluvial processes do. An example of real world eluvial deposits that get posted here occasionally would be pocket gold in SW OR/NV/CA, many of the huge gold bearing pediments in NNV (themselves often derived from pockets), or places like the large nugget bearing flats and pediments in Quartzsite and Gold Basin. Examples of posted alluvial deposits would be the famous gold bearing rivers in California as the most obvious one. But also, I would personally classify the paleoplacers (ancient riverbeds) as alluvial as well. Also things like beach placers (Oregon, AK, CA to some extent). And dry washes like in the deserts in AZ. The two can intermix also. An old stranded bench deposit high up in a mountain which has been exposed by erosion and started to erode downhill via gravity is what I would classify as a secondary eluvial deposit - it's source being alluvial - and the alluvium's source being ultimately lode from either alluvial or eluvial erosion. Eluvial and alluvial deposits can be anything - not just gold. Including heavy mineral concentrates, zircon, uranium, diamonds, or even just random detritus. Uranium deposits are interesting because they are usually filed as placer claims even if they are in hard rock, but the reason is beyond the scope of this post. Anways, I don't want to side track the thread anymore so I'll stop there.
  7. Sure, I can explain further. Technically (and legally) speaking, the instant a piece of gold becomes separated from it's in-situ source - it's placer. So they definitely can exist in the same location because placer gold in general is just detritus that eroded from a lode source at some point further up. The second it separates from it's vein it's placer, even if it's only 1mm from the source at that point. When I talk about detecting lode gold areas, I'm talking about detecting both placer and lode gold in the sense that usually first you find a gold line, or sometimes a more widely scattered occurence of detrital gold (placer), eroding down a hillside. This often leads to nothing since the source pod/vein is long eroded away, but sometimes it leads to pockets of gold (lode) still existing. So in a sense, pocket gold hunting starts with looking for placer leads in a lode source area. To understand heavy mineral concentration, it's a matter of statistics and physics. On that hillside you have only the minerals derived directly from that hillside, and (generally) only from that specific slope of the hill. However, if you walk down to the wash at the bottom which drains that hillslope, you are now dealing with minerals from every hillslope that wash drains. It's usually more likely that this wash will be "hotter" than the hillside as a result. The more source material, the more heavy minerals available to concentrate. That's the statistics part in action - increase your source material abundance, increase your potential heavy mineral concentrates. Now: as you exit the lode area and everything is now just 100% placer, and the lode material contribution to the gravel decreases as more different gravel sources are introduced and intermixed, you may actually get less heavy concentrates as you go downstream. But I'm talking about detecting lode source areas where the gravels are all locally derived and similar, not far downstream in placer areas. So it's an important distinction to understand. The exception to all this of course being where the hillslope itself is composed largely of localized hot rocks like volcanics, serps, etc and thus is already "really hot" irregardless of soil concentration. But what I was referring to is mineral concentrates, not country rock hotness. I'm talking in generalities because there are a hundred exceptions where conditions are specific to one location and not another. Anyways, think of a gold pan after you've applied energy to the system (aka "panned" the material) - the closer to the bottom you get, the more heavy minerals there are. That's the physics/gravity part in action. And just like further up in the pan the heavies are less and less concentrated, further up the hill there has been less material concentrated, and less overall energy put into concentration/ordering. In this case, the energy being applied to the system is wind and gravity though, not a person panning. Well, maybe it's more like panning where a slow, constant source of new material is always added to the top and the person is panning glacially slow (representing natural erosion/eluvial processes)...but you get the idea. Now, when you get down into the washes themselves, you also have the energy from water adding to the concentration action (this is where often those annoying, near impossible to detect, magnetite layers get formed), plus a ton more material from surrounding hillsides. And that's why often the washes are hotter than the hillslopes with little local patches eroding down them. Again, speaking in broad generalities here. There are thousands of exceptions and certainly everyone can give an example of "well, this one time..." or "that's not how it is here". But I'd have to write a book to cover all the exceptions and why specifically they are different.
  8. One thing I haven't seen mentioned vis a vis prospecting usage is that non-ferrous discrim seems useful when hunting ore piles, and this is where some of the most amazing speci gold we've seen has come from. There are all kinds of shards of copper/brass from blasting caps though which render ferrous only discrim half useless. Gold VLF's don't differentiate between gold and non-ferrous, it's "all good", so you have to dig every bit of copper/brass, and in some places these far outnumber birdshot in placer fields. Being able to discrim both ferrous and non-ferrous seems like a win to me. I don't know since I've only used gold-only detectors on ore piles before, but this is one use case I plan to explore more when I get one in hand. Also, in many cases some of the minerals themselves such as chalcocite are ringing up on my GB2 as non ferrous, and I'm curious to see what TID discrim has to say about that. I'll also note that detecting ore piles, the "soil" is incredibly mild, since it's usually just quartz. So VLF's and discrim excel here. The same goes for lode areas in general which often (though not always) tend to be far less mineralized than the placer areas further down, since heavy mineral concentrates have not yet formed in such quantity. I haven't spent a lot of time on ore piles other than just for fun up to this point. But it's something I plan on doing more and going after some killer museum quality specis. I've found a lot of piles that clearly have gold in them, but are so trash laden that I can tell numerous people have tried and quickly given up, I view these as relatively untouched targets still.
  9. Nice work! I've taken a liking to welding too. There is something really satisfying about being able to permanently join pieces of metal together and create something new, almost like a superpower.
  10. Leaning heavily towards a Manticore too. Can't buy yet, so curious if anything else looks more compelling between now and payday though as people get them in hand. Thought about an Axiom for discrim, but hey why not get a discriminator on steroids for way less cost, if that's the direction I want to go. And be able to detect for fun in yards and abandoned ranches and whatnot too with it. Poor Axiom getting no love in this poll though...
  11. This stuff isn't broken or needing fixed from what I can tell. They have intentionally shut it down for ambiguous "privacy review" reasons. Sounds like it will be back...sometime. Which hopefully doesn't turn into a de facto permanent shutdown. "The MLRS Community site is offline as a precautionary measure following a routine privacy review. Please note that there is no indication of any privacy violations or of data being compromised. We are addressing the concerns raised in the privacy review. While we don't yet have an exact timeline, we are working to get the site back online as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience." I was however able to pull reports still, just not on the MLRS mapping site. I can't however see a way to file maintenence fees anymore, or paperwork. Hilariously, I can still search and pull reports by customer name, but then they just censor the name out "XXXXXXX". So, not sure what the point is. *For those who file FLPMA docs instead of paying maintenence, it does say that you have to now file either through mail or in person hard copies now. Something to be aware of if you wait until the last day to go online and discover it's not there and then you are hosed if the PO is closed.
  12. Pancake head or cabinet style screws have less parts to lose (and come in phillips too) if they are looking to update a BOM.
  13. Exactly, but neither of us were trying to determine depth "in ground". Just trying to look at raw sensitivity numbers in air as a baseline, nothing more or less. Without wanting to unduly sidetrack this thread from the subject at hand, I will bite and take this opportunity to discuss something that I believe is really misunderstood and I've never really elected to respond when it comes up in order to keep things on track, but since you bring it up here... Air tests are simply measurement and data acquisition in a (more or less) repeatable, replicatable manner. It's a baseline measurement. It doesn't depend on anyone's specific soils, it removes that unknown variable entirely. And that's why it's an important measurement that IMO gets a bad rap for no reason at all. The problem comes when people misinterpret the data, but how other people interpret data is not my concern, and I don't find it to be a valid reason to ignore real data or not take measurements. By the same argument you are making, I could say in-ground tests are even more flawed, unless you have ground mineralization exactly equivalent to the person doing the tests. Because an in ground test means absolutely nothing unless everyone understands the characteristics of that specific ground. And that's literally impossible, because most places I detect the ground changes so often from place to place that even I couldn't properly characterize it myself except in the vaguest of terms, let alone accurately convey that information in any meaningful sense to people via a forum, except in the vaguest of terms which make the measurement almost meaningless: Hot, hottish, mild, salty, hella salty, etc. And what that term means to me could and often does mean something totally different to someone else (places I consider mild I often find people insisting it hot and requiring Difficult as one example). There is no control, there is no repeatability, there is absolutely no ability to replicate it unless someone goes and buries the same target in the same place, and even that (as you, Condor, and abenson discovered) is not reliable since the minerals can be redistributed in different ways than the previous test. There is nothing magic about a detector that makes it beyond testing and measurement. The place people go wrong in individual interpretations of data. And honestly, I don't find someone's inability to understand that an air test is simply just performance in air to be a compelling reason to make an air test forbidden. It's useful data. Data is just data. It's just a measurement, wether someone misinterprets it or not is their problem, not mine. If science never happened because we always worried that the general population wasn't capable of correctly interpreting it, we'd understand far less than we do today. And there probably wouldn't be metal detectors to begin with.
  14. Has the price on the 8x5.5" Manticore coil been announced yet? Availability dates? Guessing no since I don't see that info on their website, but curious if it was something that was announced on Facebook or through dealers and I missed it. Sorry if this was already covered in the numerous other Manticore threads. But they are so numerous that it's hard to sift through them for information important to prospecting, and that seems like the coil to be using for most prospecting applications so figured it'd be good to have that information in this thread near the beginning for any prospectors considering one.
  15. Are you getting one as soon as they come out? I'd be curious to see how it compares in terms of both size sensitivity and depth sensitivity in air on various nuggets if you do such tests to the 800. I know people hate air tests but I'm not one of them, I think they are a fine baseline replicatable test, anyone can repeat them anywhere in the world independent of ground. It's the closest thing to scientific "control" we can get with detectors IMO. I prefer to see how my machines work in my own ground with my own hands, and thus don't really care about people's in ground tests in places I'll never detect. I'm trying to compare and contrast the 900 and Manticore from a prospecting perspective: So far it looks like they both have speakers, they both have vibrating handles (something I've asked for for a decade in gold machines, niiice). The Manticore is "50% more powerful" though and has a better discriminator circuit/software so should have more TID spacing to differentiate between for instance very specific square nails and "everything else". The Manticore also will have an 8x5.5" which I personally prefer over the 6" round the 900 comes with (on geometry alone, performance to be determined). The Manticore also has it's own custom headphones that are going to be faster than the old BT LL ones like the 6000 has, right? I don't care what anyone says, when I'm prospecting I can absolutely hear a delay in the 6000 headphones in the rare cases I use those. The weight difference between the two is only 0.1lbs too, which is nothing after swinging gold machines. That makes me lean pretty heavily towards the Manticore. I know there are like 200 pages of comments on the Manticore, but I really can't read through all of those. Is there any other prospecting specific plusses/minuses of the Manticore for prospecting that the 900 does better in specific that anyone can think of? It'd be good to have that info here in a thread easier to find the info in. The price is a big difference on a percentage basis. But honestly, I'm so used to gold machine prices that it doesn't seem like much more to pay. It makes me angry to even say that, but it is what it is. So, price is not really a factor for me personally in choosing models here for a machine that does prospecting and coins/relics/jewelry as much as the features are.
  16. First thing I thought of too. I have a Deus XP, seems like it was the first detector of that general style I remembered seeing. The general pod-like design seems to have started with it, the pod was just removable and the shaft was not straight. I never even heard of Quest until 4 days ago when coincidentally I was looking through old FCC docs and saw a "Deteknix" company, looked at the products, and they were these Quest detectors. Almost posted here to ask if anyone ever heard of them, they never seem to be in general conversations here. But decided since no one talked about them much they must be toys...?
  17. Thanks. Keep us updated if there is any kind of permanent alteration, or ongoing outages. I view the MLRS, or equivalent, as a critical and necessary government service and one of the things I consider my tax dollars well spent on. I also consider it critical for not just small scale miners, but the mining industry in general. I also view the proper management of our mining claims as critical to operation of our government and if the BLM is having a breakdown somewhere resulting in ongoing cancellation of valid mining claims, then IMO it needs to be brought to the attention of the proper people outside of the BLM and I will do just that. Some states like Wyoming depend on mining for a majority of $ not just their royalties and tax revenue, but also for their labor market and general economy. Thus, it's much easier for a person like myself in a place like Wyoming than it is in almost any other state to get the ear of people that can make a difference in stuff like this, if not get it fixed entirely. If you are able to get clarfication on what exactly their budget shortage is, or the exact reason for this disfunction please update us again.
  18. Thanks for the update. I saw a note in the last MLRS data dump mailer that they said something about deleting names, wasn't sure what they meant by that exactly. Haven't had time to catch up on all this stuff yet. I hope the database isn't gone entirely? I'll have to check it all out when I get home. If they are planning on getting rid of the database entirely like you said, then I'm going to fight them on that one.
  19. That's the question I have too. Hoping someone with some experience can provide a good answer once they start shipping. Since we now know there is no new GPZ being released, I'm going to get either a 900 or a Manticore after I sell my house. I want a new toy to play with in AZ this winter. I'm so far behind on VLF tech, acronyms, and everything else that I'm hoping someone else can fill in the blanks. It's probably time I start updating myself and learning though I guess.
  20. I think I agree GhostMiner, the US gov and commerce/industry here in general wants a slightly weaker dollar for general economic health, exports are a hard sell with the dollar so high so I doubt they'll let it stay flying high. That should mean higher gold if they succeed in weakening the dollar back to normal levels. I don't think $2000-$2200 gold is unreasonable after things settle down with the FED and if the dollar starts lowering back to normal levels. Problem is $2000 just doesn't buy as much as it once did. I saw some ok mini excavators for sale for $18k-ish prior to Covid, now I can't find one for less than $30k worth buying around here. The skidsteer I bought for $9k is easily worth $15k now. Ford dealer called me to offer to buy back my truck for more than I paid for it new... Gold seems like it'd need to get up around $3000 or something to really be keeping pace with the real cost of goods, including the equipment required to mine/produce it. Not holding my breath for that though. Who knows what happens in the interim though. No one could have predicted Covid, Russia/Ukraine, etc.
  21. Can't help ya with that one, I have basically no experience running a TID detector anywhere except yards and parks. Only detectors I use where I encounter stuff like that are all non discrim machines, but that kind of rock can definitely sound like a good target sometimes on them.
  22. Think you found the inevitable info leak. Looks like the other Equinox is a 700 (now I can go back to work instead of waiting around for this announcement):
  23. Scoria or pumice. Or maybe slag. Drop it in water, if it floats it's a witch. Err, it's pumice. If it sinks it's scoria (they are basically the same, just more/less dense). Or it's slag but usually slag is a bit heavier than both of them. andesite->basalt tends to be hot on detectors. Pumices/scorias are actually pretty much just in that series, they just have lots more vesicles making them lighter. There is a lot of old cinder around Central AZ which along with the density makes me think that instead of slag.
  24. Man, that tiny Asia slice kinda shows where one of the last frontiers for metal detecting still must be. My various jade and crypto mining adventures have brought me a few good contacts in China. One's father does modern day treasure hunting by going around to tiny rural villages and "thrift shopping" among the villagers for old relics and heirlooms. He takes them back to Macau and sells them with his daughter, who I know. Some of the stuff she showed me sold in the multi-millions of $$! Saudi Princes, Chinese mafia, and people like that buying vanity relics according to her. I guess farmers dig old relics up occasionally and that's how many are found (aside from the tomb robbed stuff). I asked if anyone ever metal detected in any of those old rural villages around the ancient citadels and forts and abandoned stuff, and she told me no one ever has, no one could even afford a metal detector in any of those places if they wanted. But it sounds like the local police would either arrest you for trying, or force you to pay bribes or something if I as a white guy showed up there with a metal detector. She wasn't even sure if she could do it herself. Interesting area though with what must surely be a metric ton of old gold and silver coins, jewelry, and relics in the ground there still all over the place.
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