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Condor last won the day on April 20

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  1. Damn Rob, I wish you had let us know. I ended up going out of our circle of dealers because of an internet ad that showed them in stock on the east coast. Oops, sorry man. because I thought the coils were
  2. I need a bigger truck to carry all this stuff. GPZ + 4 coils, GPX+3 coils, NOX + 2 coils. I'm detector rich and cash poor.
  3. Hey Paul, Maybe one of those VA psychiatric wards would be of some benefit to you. Old home week for you and the boys.
  4. I just talked to the guy at Colonial Detectors back east. His distributor sent him a message that the 17" coils had arrived and were shipping this week. I'm not sure how that affects all the dealers, but at least he had some. Minelab GPX17 17″ Mono Coil part # 3011-0427 US$369.00
  5. A few years ago I could detect old placers 45 minutes from home in AZ. I considered 2 grams a day average and it paid for gas and slowly paid off a few detectors. Nowadays, 2 grams a week seems to be a good haul. I don't think that there are many of us who would consider detecting as supplemental income, just a hobby with lots of exercise and fresh air.
  6. Now that we're back online I'll share some info from my last adventure. As with all my adventures it was not without its mishaps, all part of the journey. I had read about Zortman somewhere online, then saw a YouTube video from last year. Then Beatup mentioned having been up there dredging some years back, so I thought I'd give it a go. The attraction is that you can dredge on the local claims for a fee that runs from free to $20.00 a day. There are no permits needed because the stream doesn't feed into any gamefish waters. The stream has an intermittent flow that in places disappears underground. There is barely enough water to dredge and you need to set up a dike and pond for any real success. I assembled a small 2" dredge but never had a chance to test it before the trip. As it turns out the carb on my dredge motor was fouled and I never got it to run. I watched 2 groups dredging, one with a 4" and one with a 2.5". They seemed to be averaging about a gram a day. Zortman is pretty remote with a population of about 100. They are well set up with 2 RV campgrounds with full service. There is a motel of sorts and a variety of cabins and trailers that can be rented. The general store is well stocked with all the necessities and they have fuel at a reasonable price. The proprietors/claim owners are super nice people and will go out of their way to make sure everyone has a good time. Lots of wildlife, we saw deer and turkeys everyday. There didn't seem to be a problem with bears, the RV campground I was in didn't even use bear proof trash cans. My only real success came from detecting. Some highbankers had worked down to bedrock undercutting the old washed out road. They were long gone so I detected the bedrock with my new GPX6000. I first ran the 6k in Auto+ with the speaker on and pulled up 2 quick nuggets. There really should be no EMI in a place as remote as Zortman, but that speaker setup would get sparky especially if I laid the machine down while digging. Mosquitos drove me off the first day, forgot the bug spray. The next day I came back with bug spray and my in ear monitors instead of headphones. I cranked the machine up in Auto+ and added the threshold function. In quiet ground, that is the absolute best setting. I went over the exact same ground and pulled up 4 more nuggets. The deepest was probably down 5 inches in a bedrock crack. The down side is the machine is so sensitive it will find the tiniest of tiny pieces of old ferrous trash. I explored around the rest of the claims but really couldn't find any ground not littered with old ferrous trash. Not a detectors paradise for sure. The grandkids drove over from Spokane for a few days and we spent some time digging and panning. Everybody found a few flakes to take home and I salted as many pans as I could to keep the interest up. We had a good time, and will probably go back with a functioning dredge next time. Coming home was when we had near disaster. I had stopped right near the ID/NV border to let the dog out for a run. As usual I did a walk around the truck and 5th wheel to check things. I noticed the drivers side tires on the 5th wheel had some sudden and severe wear patterns, all the way down to the steel belts. I limped it to the RV park in Jackpot NV and set about to find the problem. I pulled the worst tire and saw that the brackets for the leaf springs were bent. There is no repair facility in Jackpot so I thought I could put on the spare tire and limp 60 miles to Wells NV for repairs. Nope, the spare tire was unusable, heat and age had damaged the sidewalls. I took the damaged tire to Wells Chevron, the owner mounted a used tire for me to limp the rig in for repair. The make a long story tolerable, the Wells NV Chevron is tourist RV repair trap. After 3 trips back and forth from home to Wells in 9 days, the inflated invoice came to $6500. I paid them $1800 and came away with my RV, we'll leave it at that. I am a retired federal criminal investigator and my methods are not for the faint of heart. It's always an adventure. I'll start another one soon.
  7. We have a fellow prospector whose wife passed after several weeks of an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder. He lost his job during the pandemic and has a teenage daughter scheduled to attend Kent State University this fall. He lives in PA, but spends his vacation gold prospecting every year either here in NV or at my place in Yuma. Lucky Lundy frequently guides him around the goldfields to help make the best of his limited time out prospecting. He could use not only our thoughts and prayers, but a little financial help through a GoFundMe page established in his family's name. We prospectors can be a prickly lot, but we pull together for friends in need. Please help make this trying and sorrowful situation a little better. Here's the link: https://gofund.me/9c16aa5c Thanks in advance for all your help.
  8. Bill Southern just posted on Youtube he received his first 6000 in sunny AZ. Won't be long now.
  9. That Troopy would be worth a minor fortune over here. I wish I had it right now. Well Paul lives a charmed life, as I well know. I think USAA has a committee meeting this month on whether they can afford him as a policyholder, stolen vehs, detectors, bicycles the list goes on.
  10. Everybody who ventures out there in the NNV desert finds out about that tire killing black shale. Last year my girlfriend found an arrowhead, well it looked like an arrowhead sticking through the dead center of a $300.00 tire. We put in 4 tire plugs and a bottle of green stuff to get it in to town. Those tire guys in Winnemucca make a good living repairing and replacing tires of the unlucky. When I dug the tire trenches I was thinking the same thing. I hit dry hard pack down about 8 inches, but put the truck in 4 low and bumped up the engine tuner a couple of notches just in case.
  11. It's all part of the hobby. Since I retired from criminal investigations, I need a few challenges and something to outwit. A certain sense of satisfaction comes of getting through these hardships. Which reminds of the most annoying hardship of the whole endeavor. I forgot to mind the effects of sun and wind and got a bugger of a chapped lip, which turned to a cold sore that seems to replicate itself every couple days. The worst part is it breaks open and starts bleeding causing my cheapo box wine to taste like copper pennies. Nothing worse than copper Dago Red wine. "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome _______" (fill in the blank)
  12. I thought I lost the gold in all the shuffle between vehicles, but here it is. Just for scale I put 6 of the smallest to get a weight, otherwise individually they won't register.
  13. I am fortunate enough to live close to Steve H when he was otherwise engaged in pressing business, so he loaned me the only existing US GPX 6000. I loaded up the Toyhauler, RZR, girlfriend and doodle dog for a week or so of detecting at Sawtooth. Lundy dropped by for a swing or two and we gave the 6000 a pretty good go on some heavily detected patch areas. GPX 6000 - I won't repeat all the other information already shared by Steve H and Lundy on their views of the 6000. I had the time to do a little more testing of the other features. 14"DD Coil- I spent most of one day running the DD in the saltiest, most reactive ground I could find. I found 2 tiny nuggets, depth not more than a few inches. One thing I noticed on these small targets is too much swing speed and you will flat out miss them. I'm talking patch cleaning speed, not patch hunting speed. I'm sure swing speed would not be as critical on bigger nuggets, but these are in the .1 or smaller pieces and a fast swing speed loses them entirely. It handles the hot ground like a dream, especially if you use the Auto Modes. There are only 2 DD modes, a cancel EMI mode and a cancel Salty ground mode. It seems you still have a normal and a difficult setting as well, but I'm not sure of the effect. I couldn't discern any difference in my short time. 17"Mono Coil- I think most people are going to want a bungee and swing arm. It's not the weight particularly, Its the repetitive motion on my feeble joints I felt the most. The swing arm from my 7000 really takes the pressure of that shoulder joint. The 17 should do great in normal soils and handled the salty ground remarkably well especially with the Auto features. I spent another whole day patch hunting with the 17 and I think that back in the Yuma ground it would be the go to, assuming it can handle the EMI from the fighter jet traffic. The Speaker- For whatever reason, as has been discussed by JP, the external speaker loads up with EMI noise. It seems to get better after 30 minutes of run time, but gets annoying initially. I normally hunt with Ear Buds and the 1/8 connection fits perfect in the 6000 headphone port, but you lose that wireless feature. I tried the Aventree wireless neckband, it connects and pairs nicely and works great, just not my comfort style especially in the heat. Auto+ plus Threshold- I was watching one of the Aussie videos and learned that in Auto+ you can press and hold the Difficult mode button and get a threshold tone in the otherwise silent (Bogenes setting) auto mode. I'm not sure what if anything this accomplishes, hopefully JP can give us a little more insight. I found gold, nothing big and nothing deep. I spent a great deal of time in areas that just don't have deep nuggets, and the GPZ's had already cleaned out the big stuff. Then I spent a lot of time trying to find a new patch, always an iffy endeavor. Despite having the machine for over a week, I probably didn't get more than 30 hrs of pure detecting time. First was the weather. I hit N NV desert just in time for a cold front. One day I was wearing shorts, the next day it was snowing. One day I saw the storm brewing and tried to outrun it back to camp only to get hit with sideways blowing hail. I had taken the windshield off the RZR to keep the dust vortex to a minimum, and sure regretted it that day. Detecting time also gets consumed by domestic duties, handling the BBQ, entertaining the dog etc.. It's good the have the family along, but you have to make a few sacrifices and pure detecting time is one of them. When the weather forecasts looked unsettled for the upcoming week, it was time to take the girlfriend and dog home which precipitated the misadventures. By then the dog was limping, having gotten a fair share of foxtails stuck between the pads of her front paws. A quick look showed hot swollen patches where the foxtails had embedded themselves in her skin. A trip to the vet and $200 later she's on the mend. I thought I would load up the whole works and try to beat the weather, nope! My toyhauler is a 5th wheel and relies on 12 volt landing gear for leveling and hitching. The internal gear started slipping so I added the manual crank and broke off the main drive shaft. Internet research reveals this is a common problem, way undersized gears and drive mechanism for that much weight. New dual motor landing gear ordered, that's more expense. I left the trailer and brought girlfriend and dog home, then returned to Sawtooth the following day. I arrived just in time for 2 days of cold wind and rain. I waited it out and got 2 more days of detecting for exactly zip, nada, nothing. Ground was wet and sloppy in places, the 6000 handled it fine by the way. I just couldn't get the coil over any yellow stuff. So, I surrendered and loaded up to come home. I used some MacGyver tricks to load the trailer. My hitch is an Anderson conversion and not a true 5th wheel hitch. It has an adjustable ball height mechanism connected to a bed mounted Gooseneck hitch. I dug out wheel trenches to get my truck under the trailer's hitch with the truck ball at it's lowest height, once centered I persuaded the ball up into the connector with a few hammer blows. Once the ball was pinned to it's highest level, I used an inflator to fill my truck's load leveling air bags to their highest point, about 2 inches. That was just enough lift to take the weight off the landing gear and free the extensions up and out of the way. I fear this kind of functional fixedness may be lost on the next generation whose skill seems to be finger dexterity and computer games. I took the long way on Jungo Road to Winnemucca because it is really well maintained for all the HyCroft mining traffic. I hit the freeway heading for Fernley and a couple times felt an odd vibration. I was facing a stiff headwind and the trailer was making that diesel engine work just to maintain 55mph. I got an error code for excessive engine boost and noticed the transmission temps heating up more than engine coolant temp. Then stuff happened. The truck started bucking and hard shifting as I tried to slow down. The emergency lane is no place to be on Highway 80, when the speed limit is 80mph and triple trailer rigs are zooming by. I limped it to Rye Patch road and limped down to Dan's Gold Digger Pizza place. Dan had no trailer space with hookups, but he let me park it in the back lot. My girlfriend drove out from Fernley because she has the AAA card and I was going to need a ride home anyway. I had the truck towed to the only place in Winnemucca who could look at it within the next 2 weeks. Car Care Clinic near the Walmart, great bunch of people in there. Anyway, it seems I broke the right rear axle and it was hanging on by a thread. The repair tally hasn't arrived yet, but it's sure to be further eroding my discretionary funds account earmarked for a GPX6000. I try to think positive. It could have been much worse. The weather is clear and warm, I'm still upright, the dog is good as new and I'll have a brand new axle. That dinosaur GPZ 7000 is going to have to carry me through a bit longer.
  14. The sun is out, need a stiff breeze to dry things out. The ground around Sawtooth soaked down 2 to 3 inches. The back roads are pretty slimey.
  15. It's been drizzling all day, now turned to heavy rain and thunder. If you're planning a trip out here plan accordingly.
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