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Condor last won the day on June 26

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About Condor

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  1. Yeah, at this rate I only need about 40 weeks of this kind of success to break even on my Patch Lead misadventures.
  2. I got my GPZ back from Minelab last month, which included a new 14" coil and lower rod. Only $3600.00 AUD lighter in my wallet. As you may recall, I bricked the detector after the Patch Lead was defective. It's still crazy hot here in Sunny Yuma, but I was bored and still curious about the X-Coil, so I shook off my concerns and cut the connector off my brand new coil and built the Patch Lead myself. I was extra careful with the heat from the soldering iron and did a respectable job of putting together the connection. I did a few practice runs on scrap wire and connectors so I was a little more confident of my skill. I got out 5 mornings last week for a total of about 12 hrs run time. At sunup the morning temps were still in the high 80's and jumping to 100 by 9:00am. Unbearable in the desert washes with no breeze. The one thing that saved me was the synthetic chamois cooling cloths, one around my neck and one under my cap hanging down my neck. The first morning I did a complete set-up with the detector since it was, for all practical purposes, a brand new machine with all new printed circuits etc. I waved the 17" X-Coil over the ferrite and got the machine nearly silent, though still reacting some to the ferrite. I started in the area where I found the 28 gram rippa last May. This area has a fairly hot layer of clay about 12" under the overburden. Last May we were able to run this zone using HY, Normal, Sens 12, (Threshold 27) with the Patch Search mode to quiet down the machine. The 17" X-Coil in those same settings was way too sensitive, so I had to switch to Difficult to quiet it down. Because I knew I could only be out for a couple hrs, I focused on trying to get that coil over gold hoping to then play with the settings. No joy the first morning. The next morning I went out to an area that had produced half a dozen 1 grammers when the GPZ first came out. I knew it was deeper and a little quieter ground. We tried Paul's 19" GPZ here when it first came out to no avail. This time I was able to zero out the Ferrite and switch back to Normal from the Difficult setting. The machine was still a little twitchy so I backed off the Threshold to 22 and got it humming along nicely. I gridded the area pretty good and came up with a few deep trash targets and then, right as it started to get unbearable hot, I got a faint, sweet rising tone. A lot of digging and sweating produced a sweet 4 grammer right on the hardpack, about 14 inches down. Now a 4 grammer at 14 inches should be well within the range of the GPZ and standard 14" coil, but I've been over that zone at least 6 times over the past 3 years. The only significant difference is the ground is bone dry this year. Last year there were still pools of water from late season rains. The next morning I was back to the area of the 28 grammer. I found that the machine was more stable and I could run in Gen, Normal, Sens 14. I got a couple deep trash targets and chased a number of hot ground seams and hot rocks. The settings were really sensitive to hot ground, but in my mind that's the only way to find good missed targets. Right at the end of the morning I got what sounded like another bit of hot ground. I switched to High Yield from General and it brightened up the target, but still hadn't convinced me that it was gold. The target was in the sidewall of a drywasher's hole, so the 17" coil was pretty awkward. I dug out the ground so that I could get the coil level and the target brightened up a little more. By then I had hit the hardpack which tends to hide these small, reddish hotrocks. I dug dozens in this same area, but I needed to check this coil's capabilities. The hardpack was brutal in the morning sun so I had to go back to the truck and get my handy Aussie (DavesGold) made pick. I'm not going out without it now. About 8 inches into the hardpack out popped a nice 1.5 grammer. I can guarantee I stuck the GPZ standard coil in the hole a half a dozen times over the past 2 years. Thur morning I got out in the same area. I chose a wash that a produced 5 small nuggets, in the sub-sub gram range, in May. I concentrated on the deepest gravels thinking deeper nuggets must be in there, just beyond the reach of the 14" coil. I gridded the zone where a bench had formed on the inside bend of the wash. I went at it from every angle and was about to surrender to the heat when I got the faintest of faint tones. Again I switched to High Yield and it brightened up some. I switched to Difficult, nothing. I started pulling down the bank so that I could get a good level swing with the 17" coil. Slightly improved tone, still unconvincing. I pulled down another few inches and got a much improved tone. I switched to Difficult and got a dull growl, more convincing yet. After much digging into the hardpack out came a nice 1.8 grammer. I even photographed the hole for this one. The Aussie pick is 28" long. I'm really starting to like this coil. It's light enough for all day use with the addition of my homemade hipstick. I run the hipstick to the bottom of the frame in my lightweight framepack, which moves the weight to the back of the hipbelt and off my shoulder. I'm also running the SteelPhase amp plugged directly into the GPZ, no wireless connection between. As per some of JP's guidance, I'm running the GPZ volume at 2, adjusting loudness at the amp. I'm running the Threshold between 20 and 22 depending on how twitchy the ground is. For the most part I'm running General instead of High Yield trying to reach those deeper targets. The first 2 targets were well within the reach of the standard 14" coil, but somehow I didn't find them over the past 2 years. The last one, doubtful for the standard coil. As the weather cools I'll start doing a quick change to the 14" coil over new targets for a comparison. Right now, it's still to friggin hot to bother.
  3. I just got off the phone with Minelab AU service center re: my detector repairs. A mere $3600.00 AUD for new printed circuit boards and a new 14" coil plus shipping back here to the states after I paid GCS in Kalgoolie a few hundred bucks to make a faulty Patch Lead that killed my detector. I imagine litigation would be near impossible with me here in sunny Yuma and them in in OZ and bitterness will serve no particular purpose. A misadventure with the only injury; my wallet. The Service rep told me that to his knowledge, Minelab had no interest in entering the aftermarket coil fray.
  4. Hey Fred, I'm alive and well. That 13.5 hr leg of air travel from Sydney to SFO is a killer. I've been up in the mountains of N AZ getting out of the nasty Yuma by the Sea weather. No detecting, since I don't have a detector yet! Just relaxing in the cool mountain air and working with the new dog. 9 weeks old, but coming along pretty good. I was amazed at how many people have these "Doodle" breeds. The rest of the story is best told around a campfire. Dennis got just over an oz, 11 grams in one speci that he broke up at home. With my detector woes, I got about half oz total. The opportunities were there, we just couldn't get over the gold in some of the unexplored areas.
  5. Hey Paul, I swear I didn't tell Brett anything about your love interest. Calling her a hoe is kinda cruel.
  6. Between the bad experience with the X-Coil and our general inability to learn the geology of WA gold finding, we've run up the white flag. Frankly, without the help of Paul and Trent we really wouldn't have made it this far. Most people have no real appreciation for how vast and roadless it is out here in WA. When you pop into a market in a tiny town of 600 and they have on offer Kangaroo tail by the kilo, you've really reached the limits of habitation. On the day we met Dave, we drove over 300k and saw 4 other vehicles and a bunch of dead roo's on the side of the road. There are dry water courses that are marked for the depth during severe rain. All Ute's have snorkel intakes and some raised exhaust tailpipes. Otherwise there's no water except in towns and the flies are inescapable. I can't imagine how we would have survived without the gazebo and insect net panels, especially for cooking or relaxing. It is an adventure and I can't say I would be satisfied if I hadn't given it an honest try. I'd always wonder what might have been. We'll be packing up camp Yank tomorrow then a flight out of Perth on Wed. I'll be happy to get home, but that 110 degrees in sunny Yuma is going to be a drag. While I've been away we got a new family member, a bouncing baby "GoldenDoodle" coincidently named "Aussie" in my absence. I'll have my work cut out for me with dog training for awhile. Talking with Trent he suggests I fall on my sword with Minelab and send them the whole unadulterated mess and ask for help. Perhaps they'll view it as an intellectual challenge or chalk it off as a Yank not smart enough to leave well enough alone. Either way, all I've got right now is a poorly designed boat anchor or an odd conversation piece We'll see. We'll catch you on the other side of the world next week.
  7. I sent my new 14" Minelab 7000 coil in to an alleged knowledgeable electronics facility, as recommended by Dave, to have a patch lead professionally constructed. It was returned yesterday looking sharp, but would not connect to the X-coil. I then tried the Minelab 14" coil now equipped with a female 5 pin adapter, still no connection. I did a complete restart of the machine and tried both coils again, still no go . I then tried Dennis stock Minelab 14" coil on my machine without the adapter, naturally, NO GO! I was able to pull some of the shrink wrap tubing back on the female 5 pin connector on the coil. Clearly the grey co=axial center wire did not get soldered. The multi-mesh type wire around the grey wire was well soldered with the extra tail to the metal connection parts as per the instructions, but the center core of that wire did not reach the solder point. As far as the business end of the patch lead, there is no way visually check the solder joints as it is encased in hot glue. The company said send it in and they will check the solder joints, but it sounds like my problem got a lot worse than faulty solder joints since the machine won't recognize a legitimate Minelab coil now. Remember, the machine was working fine with the 14" Stock Minelab coil until now.
  8. I'm late getting out week 4, but unfortunately there wasn't much to report. We've had wind, then some wind & rain, then some really fine days. We lost a day here and there between weather, then the meeting with Dave on the X-Coil. We had 2 long days at the very southern end of the lease and did a great deal of exploring. We found a few crumbs. Dennis actually found 12 nuggets that weighed a total of 1.2 grams. It was enough to keep us busy and always thinking we were one coil swing away from a really good strike. We just couldn't get that coil over the big stuff. I'm using our backup GPX5000 with the 14X9 Coiltek Elite coil while I'm waiting for my Patch Lead to be completed. I was amazed at how quiet that machine can be. I cranked up the RX and cranked down the Stabilizer just so I could hear some noise. I found 3 tiny crumbs, 1 of them in one of my own boot scrapes from last week. Clearly, the 5000 can find tiny gold. My Patch Lead is delayed for another week, apparently one of the 5-pin connecter screws twisted off during reassembly. I'm satisfied I'm not missing much if anything with the 5000, but I really want to get that 17" X-Coil in motion. We're making our move to a new lease tomorrow so we've got a full day of packing and hauling Camp Yank. The flies remain a constant distraction during midday. I bring out the bug hood the minute one dive bombs my eyes or nose. They are persistent little buggers, Dennis is a lot more tolerant. Paul made it back safe and sound. He's chomping at the bit to get some of this $1400 an oz gold out of the ground. Their backhoe is up and running again, so good things should start happening soon for their team. Sorry for the short and relatively uneventful report. Maybe next week, it's all about the possibilities not the probabilities that keeps us swinging those detectors.
  9. Based on my conversations with Dave, he has no technical knowledge about how or why the Russian coils are performing better than the standard coil, hence his lack of interest in internet debate on their merits. He tested them and is confident they are an improvement and he's satisfied to leave it at that. He's not promoting them, they're promoting themselves. Dave was already making a damn fine prospecting pick and by happenstance ended up testing these coils and now as the sole distributor. The Patch Lead will remain a concern, but so far I'm the only one who has f'kd one up. Whether my soldering skills or my $29.95 Walmart soldering iron turned to max heat, others have succeeded where I did not. I'm sorry Jasong isn't in a position to do the methodical testing he's known for. There's quite a few of these coils out there, but many users are not internet hounds interested in this discussion. We've all seen the "detector wars" of the past, and JP was very often at the center of controversy. Our moderator won't let that happen on this forum and I very much doubt you'll find Dave in the middle of any controversy on these coils.
  10. Dave took 5 hrs out of his prospecting day to meet me and check my coil and Patch Lead. It turns out the Patch Lead was faulty, Minelab Chip probably fried. After talking with Dave, I probably used too much heat on the soldering iron and damaged the chip. My philosophy of more power, faster results may have been misguided. Fortunately, I didn't sacrifice a $900.00 coil since I had already sacrificed the coil when I inadvertently drug it behind the Rokon for several miles. So, I sent my working coil off to have it professionally done for a new Patch Lead. More delays, but a cautionary note to all considering this route. Some interesting insight from Dave that might be helpful for those waiting for more testing. Dave has a years worth of Anecdotal Evidence on the effectiveness of these X-Coils. He shared some of his observations and it's quite impressive. He's more than satisfied with the results but has no interest in engaging in internet claims, debate or justification. The demand exceeds supply already. The coils are now available in the US, drop shipped from Russia and he's set up to accept PayPal. They're produced in small batches, so a wait list is already starting. I believe Jasong is due to receive his coils soon, if he has not already. I look forward to hearing what Jasong has to say after his own testing and observations.
  11. Nothing wrong with the machine, I have a new Minelab replacement 14" coil on it presently.
  12. My original Zed 14" coil housing got damaged. It still worked and detected gold, but it was getting really touchy in desert weeds and undergrowth. I used the coil connector from that coil to make the patch lead. I followed all the directions on soldering, but the first chance to check it was when I got to WA, as the new X coil was waiting for me out here. When it wouldn't work out here, Trent gave the connection a pretty good going over visually and then checked the continuity, So, I don't have the original coil and the corresponding 5 pin female connection to make the necessary compatibility check. Dave mentioned that he had a spare patch lead, as soon as he surfaces hopefully we can do some swapping to check as to whether it is the coil or the patch lead.
  13. Dave hooked me up with someone to redo my patch lead just in case it was operator error on the original job. I just don't have the dexterity and eyesight for that kind of work. It arrived in Meeka yesterday, I might have to take a quick trip to town so I can start using the 17"X coil. We will be able to do some comparisons on undug targets out here with Dennis's standard 14" Z machine.
  14. Oh yeah, I forgot, today is my birthday. Officially a senior citizen with Medicare and all the trimmings.
  15. Week 3 started off a little slow. It rained for 2 days, then a day of sun, then a 3rd day of rain. You just can't drive the Aussie tracks when they're wet. The camp held up well in the rain, no significant leaks. Fortunately, I brought audio books and a Kindle so we kept entertained. All the clouds put our power grid to the test. We had to use Paul's generator a couple times to top off the battery. I'm including a photo of our power grid, looks like a soup sandwich. We're running about 200 watts of flexible solar panels into a 100amp hr Li-Ion battery. With full sun running only the outback refrigerator, our battery stays fully charged. At night with charging our equipment we drop about 1/4 of battery capacity. We should have thought more about charging compatibility, as it stands we need 110AC for the laptop and 2way radios, cigarette lighter plugs for lights and USB for phones and GPS. What a mess trying to keep it all functioning. I had to rewire our cigarette lighter outlet bank, the wires fried somewhere along the line. I'm ordering a backup tonight. We took the time to go into town and do laundry and take hot showers at the Caravan Park. I ran my clothes through twice, I think the Aussie red dirt may be permanent on some of my stuff. We've been out doing real prospecting looking for new patches along the "line of strike". We've been off the beaten path and as a precaution punch in the GPS coordinates of the truck. Like Daniel Boone, I've never been lost, though a might bewildered a few times. Just when I think I'm in unexplored territory, I find and old timer's campsite or dry-blower tailngs where he sampled the same zone. Our only luck has been a few crumbs off old dry-blower zones. Modern mechanized prospectors have often run a dozer over the old timer's tailings and scraped things to bedrock. If there is some of original caprock left, we have a better chance of finding something. Paul has been off on a frolic of his own. We don't expect to see him for another week, in the meantime Trent sold the caravan Paul was using. Paul is homeless, I hope he doesn't repo his pop-up trailer that we're using. Trent is thinking about moving our half of Camp Yank about 60k to the south to detect a new area said to have good gold. It will be a challenge dividing up the campsite necessities and we'll miss nightly entertainment of Paul's crazy stories. Sunset from Downunder. That's all for now.
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