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Condor last won the day on June 26 2019

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About Condor

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  1. Well, he did find your lost Toyota keys nearby. Presumably, some of those nuggets were the ones that fell out of your pocket with the car keys. People who know Paul would find it inconceivable that he could lose a set of car keys mere weeks after he let the local miscreants steal that same vehicle and our detectors. A curious coincidence indeed. Could be a conspiracy to defame Paul.
  2. There's one of those "Darwinian Theories" out there that suggests the noisy ones are more likely to get themselves killed by our less enlightened brothers and sisters with firearms. In my misspent youth I was a cop in Lake Havasu City for a very short time. We got dozens of calls each spring for rattlesnakes in yards and pools. The policy was to shoot them with a .38 snake load. I got disciplined for being reckless and killing them with my nightstick. As Burt Lancaster said in the movie Valdez, "that was before I know better".
  3. I got out for a couple hrs yesterday with forum member Beatup's brother. It's summer in Sunny Yuma, approaching 100 degrees around 9:00am so we started right at sunup. We were 30 minutes into a desert wash that had produced good gold for him this past winter. We split up at the first junction of washes I went left, he went right. I had taken about 10 steps and froze mid-stride as an 18" DiamondBack rattler slithered through my legs from behind me. He paid me no mind, and gathered himself up under a jumble of rocks 10 ft away. He never rattled, hissed or made any aggressive motion, early morning temps around 70 degrees. All I can figure is he was under a small boulder and as I passed he decided we were heading in the same direction, the gravel wash being his own territory. The fact that he was decidedly moving on his way and didn't stop and rattle probably saved me a pair of underwear. As dear old Fred Mason would say, "don't kill them, you're the trespasser" and I rarely do. I have snake chaps, but generally have excuses not to wear them, oh well. The good news, I found a 1.5 gram piece and brother of Beatup found a whopping 5 grammer. As old Sgt Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues used to say "remember, let's be careful out there".
  4. I haul it on the back of my F150 on a Motorcycle carrier that plugs into the hitch receiver. Leaves room in the truck bed without hauling a trailer.
  5. Forest Green with about 30hrs on a new Honda 200cc engine. The engine was lightly modded by ARC racing to produce 12 HP, stock Rokon is 5.5HP. Mods include removal of the Governor, Billet piston rods, high flow intake and exhaust header, strengthened valves and springs. I've added the aftermarket Auto Grab front fork and suspension with 1 yr on off road radial tires. I upgraded the front wheel universal joint and just put on a new rear chain sprocket. This thing will go anywhere, if you can hang on. I can deliver within 200 miles of Yuma, AZ
  6. I was sitting out the "Rona" virus and hunkered down near Quartzsite in my toy hauler trailer earlier in the month. I wasn't really hitting the detecting very hard, mostly exploring an area unfamiliar to me. I found a couple small bits, ran into a "tiger" rattlesnake (very unique coloration) and a Gila Monster during my travels. I've hunted the desert southwest most of my life and only seen 3 Gila Monsters, ever. Nasty acting creature, hissing and making half hearted charges. Black mouth and flicking tongue are pretty convincing to keep your social distance. Then disaster with the Rokon and a reminder of the laws of gravity and old age. The culprit, a steep rutted road with a big rock on a banked turn. I considered changing to a lower gear for engine braking, but nah, I can do this in high gear. About halfway down I was reminded of that physics thing, something about "objects in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an opposing motion". The steep downhill put me in motion, unable to make the banked turn, the rock, it turns out is an opposing motion. I landed hard on my left side, my left leg under the 250 lb Rokon with a perfect sized rut to bang center of my thigh. Man that hurt, I'm going on 3 weeks now still hobbling around on a sore leg. As most of you know from my other Misadventures, this isn't my first crash so the die was cast. My girlfriend had been interested in getting a RZR so she could accompany me on my explorations and we had looked a couple used ones. When she saw my injuries this time, that clinched it. Even my 27 yr old son was making that clucking sound and head shaking. 'You're going to really get hurt one of these days, Dad'! So, we got serious and searched Craiglist in both AZ and S.CA. We found a nice, lightly used RZR 900 2 seater, with all the stuff, doors, roof rack, bead lock wheels and tires etc. More than I wanted to spend, but considering I might get a few more good years out of this 65 yr old body, probably well worth it. So, if any of you young bucks are interested in my Rokon, it's for sale. I'll post it over on the For Sale section for a full description.
  7. I tend to agree with Jason on the 17x12 X-Coil, I've come to some similar conclusions about the tip sensitivity. As I mentioned awhile back, I felt I was losing targets with a side to side sweep and had better success pushing the front section between the windings at suspected target signals. The hottest section seemed to be a full 2 inches off the edge directly between the windings. If that's the case and you're losing 2 inches off the front and 2 inches off the back, you're not pushing at 17" long coil. I've found some tiny gold with the 17" round, but it tends to be much more dense and lack the porosity that Jason is experiencing with his Gold Bug. I'm headed to the desert for some social distancing and detecting tomorrow so I'll give that 17" round a good workout. Hopefully, I can get over some deep targets and make a few recordings for the shut-ins. Tally Ho
  8. I for one have always paid attention to JP's advice and genuinely appreciate the new kinder, gentler version of his approach. Thanks JP, you're a gem.
  9. I've been getting out for a few hrs 3 or 4 days a week down here in Sunny Yuma, plus a weekend trip to Quartzsite. My thanks to forum member Will for showing me a new area in the Q where I found the 2 biggest nuggets. The 17" round X Coil on the GPZ has been my go to set up. I really like the ergonomics of the 17x12 coil, but the 17" round has really been finding some tiny gold at depth. I lost a few weeks of detecting after my GPZ started losing audio after a few hrs of detecting. I sent it in to the Detector Doctor and they couldn't duplicate my issue, since then its running fine. I've been detecting the same areas here in Yuma for the past 10 years with the old GPX 4000, the SDC and now the GPZ. Nuggets are getting pretty hard to find in these hammered areas so I really look for the new edge in detecting. I'm fond of the Sp01 booster connected directly to the Z then connected to quality earbuds at the booster. I took some of JP's advice on lowering the volume of the Z, then using the booster to raise it at the earbuds. What I understood to be JP saying was a high volume on the Z is also amplifying surface mineralization, creating clutter noise and concealing deep targets. I'm no expert, but it sounds reasonable so I'm going with it. I'm thinking the X-Coil and Sp01 are giving me a new edge on missed gold, maybe. The concept, nevertheless, keeps me out there plugging away and trying to put that coil over some yellow stuff. I took a separate picture of the tiny gold. None of them will register individually on my cheapo scale, so I had to group them to get a weight. Some of these tiny nuggets have come at incredible depths, at least considering their overall weight and audible response with such a large coil. Probably 3 to 4 inches for most of them. The 17" round seems to be hottest right between the center windings at about 2 inches off the edge. Sometimes a side to side sweep on tiny gold loses the signal. Pushing the coil and center windings at the signal brings them up smartly. Mitchel just seems to be having a run of bad luck on gold with his X Coil, mine has exceeded my expectations especially on really small gold.
  10. If you, the forum members, have not hosted a visit by NursePaul, you're missing a real education in absurdity. He can debate any topic and after a 12pack of Naty's, he starts to make sense. That Tennessee gene pool is a little muddled, I think he has a cousin that is his own uncle. Don't even ask him about the exploits of other his cousin "Pedro". It's the high point of my year to have NursePaul visit and share his wisdom, you just have to keep it all in perspective.
  11. I've been a little hobbled with the sore ribs from my misadventure in Baja. I hate being cooped up, so I was out poking around in the placer fields of Yuma despite really bruised ribs from my crash in Baja. Anyone my age has broken ribs in their misspent youth, but at 65 yrs old, they mend much more slowly. Nevertheless, I get bored and have to be outdoors. We had some rain in Sunny Yuma last week and in some locations in the desert canyon washes ran a lot of water. I went out exploring with the GPZ 7000 and the 17x12 X-Coil. I wasn't really interested in trying to dig deep targets with my bummed up ribs, so I concentrated on newly exposed desert wash walls. I passed on a ton of probable trash targets not wanting to dig deep trash that would trigger muscle spasms and shorten my day. Ultimately, I marked some good sounding targets for later examination and dug a few that showed shallow hardpack. Towards the end of my morning I waved the coil over some bench gravels with old drywash fine tailings. I got such a clear signal that I knew if it was trash, at least it was very shallow. I pushed the gravels around with my boot and the target moved proving that it was indeed very shallow. I got out my plasitc scoop and started sorting out the likely target. On the second scoop I get a booming tone that normally indicates old copper scraps or pieces of copper wire. I was amazed to see this gold nugget in my scoop. This nugget doesn't register on my El Cheepo Weed Scale, but even the best scale might find this nuggets weighs in at a few grains. I believe that the toe of the 17x12 X-Coil which measures at about 8 inches in the sweetspot is far hotter than the Minelab 14" standard coil. I didn't mention that I used the 17x12 exclusively in Baja, and was going over ground I covered last year with the standard Minelab coil. I found at least 8 gold nuggets that I missed last year. Nevertheless, feast your eyes on this magnificent gold nugget the X-Coil hit with a hard tone. I have no affiliation with X-Coil, its manufacturer or distributor.
  12. Dennis and I took a quick trip down to Baja MX for some detecting. No problems crossing the border at Algodones and no hassles at the military checkpoints. Day 1 is really just a travel day. A lot of Baja Highway 5 is still under construction from San Felipe south. The road got washed out from a storm 2 years ago and the repairs are slow going. Day 2 we got a good start taking my Rokon and Dennis's Yamaha Fat Tire bike about 3 miles up some tricky technical ground of gravel and calcrete bedrock. From there it's another 1.5 mile hike to some of the old placer workings. These placers have been worked off and on for over 100 years so all the easy stuff has been drywashed and detected. I concentrated on 100 yards of old black schist bedrock. The nuggets originally worked down into small cracks and got filled up and over by years of weathering. All of these nuggets had to be chipped out of the bedrock no more than 3 inches deep. The bedrock is tricky because it has varying levels of mineralization and hot zones that hide the target signals. I found that by running max Sensitivity and low threshold with the Patch Locate feature I could pick out faint whispers from the background of hot ground. I picked up probably 10 or 12 nuggets the first day. Day 3 was a lost day. I got halfway up the wash when my back tire went flat. Normally, we carry everything to fix flats, but this one had "chingered" the valve stem. I had to disconnect the rear chain drive and limp it back to camp on the front drive. I did a fair amount of walking and pushing through the steep rocky areas. Back at camp I pulled the wheel and drove 70 miles back to San Felipe for repairs. 20 minutes work and $10.00 got it going again. My day was lost so I drank beer and had an early dinner. Day 4 I intended to explore a zone about 5 miles from the end of the trail for the Rokon. I had gotten close last year and although I didn't find any gold, there was a fair amount of old iron trash. I thought that I just hadn't walked quite far enough to find some virgin ground. My ideas were dampened a bit on the way up. I discovered that my newly repaired rear tire couldn't handle the low tire pressure and kept breaking the bead. We used the Mexican method of setting the bead by pouring some gas inside the tire and hitting it with a match. Whooomph, bead set, but I still had to run 20lbs of air pressure to keep the bead from breaking down again. I normally run about 4lbs of air in the Rokon tires since there are no shock absorbers as we know them. That much tire pressure was making the ride hard as a rock and I hit a rough patch that bounced me high and hard enough that I came unhorsed, landing my ribs on the handlebar. Ouch is an understatement. I've got a bruise the size of a softball over 3 of my left ribs. I gutted it out and still explored the new zone for no joy. I found 4 small ones on my way back in the bedrock I had worked the day before. Swinging that pick to break open the bedrock was a new experience with those banged up ribs. Day 5 was the travel day home. You just never know how long the wait line at the border crossing will be. Sometimes as much as 2 hrs, this time about 45 minutes. It's always a good trip when you can walk away from it. Minor injuries and break downs are all part of the journey. I'll be ready to do it all again in a week or 2, when these ribs quit hurting.
  13. Thanks to Davesgold and the X-Coil manufacturer, I got a gifted 17x12 Spiral Wound coil. The manufacturer took notice of my multitude of problems with the connector modification and sent me a new coil from Russia. Bravo Zulu X-Coil for prospector support. The weather has improved here in Sunny Yuma so I replaced the 17" round with the new coil and took it for a spin. I balanced it over the ferrite with no problems and I experienced no bump sensitivity. The first thing I noticed is how well the coil balances on my modified hip stick rig. I do a lot of detecting in the walls of desert washes, putting the coil on its side. The 7000 tends to get the "wee waas" if you don't keep them flat, but this coil seemed to really tone it down and it balanced really nice for less strain on my arm and shoulder. On relatively flat ground I think I could swing this coil all day for less wear and tear on my 65 yr old frame. I ultimately didn't find anything in the walls, but I hit some old hillside drywash tailings and popped these 3 nuggets. All were at moderate depths but I was amazed at some of the deep iron bits I found. Without some side by side target comparisons I can't say that my depth is improved, but I'm getting a lot better ground coverage and I can poke it in between rocks and obstructions. Even if this coil is no better than the original Minelab 14", it's a lot more versatile. This will be my go to coil from here on. I'll stick the 17" round on over worked out patches, but this is my new secret weapon. Again, many thanks to Davesgold and X-Coil
  14. Yeah, at this rate I only need about 40 weeks of this kind of success to break even on my Patch Lead misadventures.
  15. 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.
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