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Condor

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Condor last won the day on September 13 2018

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  1. Hey Jasong, good to see you back with your observations as well. The reset helped some, but as the day wore on they continued to get worse. The problem seemed to be a particular type of desert weed, not all of them. I also used General and it was better, but I didn't find any gold. The noise is a short sharp spike above the threshold. They are not at all like a true good target tone, perhaps more like a surface piece of bird shot. A few times I thought there might be a target tone in amongst a gaggle of those weeds so I pulled them all out and not a peep left in the ground. I guess it's something to endure until they dry out and get blown away in the March winds. The Nox 800 was able to run right through them with only an occasional bleep on the weeds.
  2. I just did the factory reset and on my way out to check to see if it helps. Fingers crossed.
  3. Here in the Desert Southwest the local plants respond more to rain than to growing seasons. It's still winter and the last 2 late season rains have caused the Desert to really green up. Areas that are normally barren have ft tall weeds sprouting up and it's giving my GPZ fits. For some reason the GPZ is really sparky when swinging through the fresh green growth. It's not just the first swing it's all swings until I scrape them down to the ground. They're spiking the threshold loud enough that it's near impossible to distinguish a target whisper in there. In the past the GPZ has given off something akin to a single static spark in fresh dead weeds on the first swing then dying off in further swings, but this is consistent, constant and downright annoying. It's only in the weeds, on open ground it's fine. No particular bump sensitivity, just those fresh green stalks. Is anybody else experiencing this, or is my machine acting up? Solutions? I sprayed some static guard on the coil cover, didn't help at all.
  4. In my past Adventures in Baja posts, I generally give a cautionary note about the uncertainty of Mexican rules, customs and laws. I have been traveling in Mexico for most of my life. I used to be proficient in the language now I can get through the basics with enough nouns and verbs to get by. Algodones is a small Mexican town just 12 miles from Yuma. The border crossing closes at midnight and opens again at 0600. It has become the Dental Mecca for tens of thousands of Americans. There are over 150 dentists practicing in Algodones. There are companies that organize bus trips from San Diego and Palm Springs for dental services. I have had 3 dental implants done down there and I couldn't be happier with the professionalism and price. Many non-narcotic prescriptions can be filled for about one quarter of the price in the US and transported back to the states without a tax or duty. Right now is Winter Visitor time in AZ, and about 3 thousand people a day cross the border for dental work and prescription drugs. Mexico is not as lawless and corrupt as some people might think. Nevertheless, there are those moments and for many people the risk is just not worth it. One of my high school teachers lives in San Quintin on the Pacific coast of Baja. I spoke to him recently and he is working on finding us a placer gold guide down there. Adventures continue.
  5. If I only had a good Tennessee guide all things are possible.
  6. My prospecting buddy in San Diego and I decided to take a run down to Baja to see if this summer's hurricane event had moved any gold around. This particular Baja placer has been pretty popular over the past 20 years and we've pretty much hunted out all the easy stuff so we had high hopes for a new bonanza. We left on Monday crossing the border at Calexico. I was waved through after a cursory examination by the Mexican border officials. My friend was in a different lane and he was subjected to a much more thorough examination. I think it was end of shift and the border officials needed to make some quick money. Four of them pulling everything out of his truck. They ultimately came to his 7000 detector. He explained its use and then they asked what it was worth. He lied and told them $4000.00. They saw dollar signs because according to them he would need to pay an import duty on the equipment, $420.00 US dollars cash. I guess 100 bucks apiece is a good nights work. He refused and told them that he would just return to the US. After that the price came down to $240.00. He still refused and we used the turnaround lane back to the US side of the border. It's hard to argue their notion of justice. We spent the night at my house in sunny Yuma and decided to cross at Algodones the next morning. That crossing was going well as far as inspection, but then the immigration officer inquired as to our Mexican Visas. We've never needed a Visa in Baja unless crossing the states of Baja Norte to Baja Sur. So, we bought some much needed $35.00 cash only Visas and continued on our way. The summer hurricane wiped out most of the paved highway just outside of San Felipe. They were working on replacing the highway but in the meantime you're restricted to a rough one lane dirt road over about 40 miles. From my house to the Placer is abut 240 miles and we arrived in the early afternoon. The prime ground is another 3 miles by ATV. We spent the rest of the afternoon building some ramps and filling big holes to run the my Rokon and his Yamaha Big Wheel up the canyon. The hurricane had run water about 20 ft high through the canyon so all our improvements from last year were washed away. It was tough sledding all the way but I didn't get unhorsed this year. My friend took a nasty fall after his bike slid down a too smooth rock wall. He was hobbled and we ended up cutting our trip short. Nevertheless, I got one good day of detecting in. I found a stretch of bedrock that last year had a foot of overburden on it. It was now swept clean and I found these small nuggets in bedrock cracks. I intended to check some promising ground about a 2 mile hike away, but I just couldn't justify leaving gold to find gold. Maybe next trip. The weather was great and the gold available, just not enough time after our border mishap and my friend's banged up knee.
  7. And sometimes it's just a seam of hotrock. This started as the sweetest sounding target signal all day. Faint rising tone, kept getting better and better the deeper I dug. I turned down the sensitivity and kept digging expecting the signal to overload the tone any minute. Then it stopped getting better and got weaker. I scanned over the pile and got garbled tones all over the pile. I walked back to my truck and got out the Nox 800 with 6" coil. Back down the mountain and scanned the hole and piles. Nothing but -9 tones everywhere. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
  8. I know you guys want to keep your trade secrets, but can you shed a little light on the effects of your "filters". I've read elsewhere that in retrospect your choice of the term filters was probably misplaced. We'll stick to the same terms so as not to confuse people. I've been running your enhancer for about 12 hrs total and have experimented with the settings some. My particular choice in running the Z machine has always been with absolute minimum threshold and low smoothing with as much Sensitivity as I can get away with. Rarely if ever do I use Difficult because it has proven time and again to miss small deep targets in the relatively mild ground of the Desert Southwest of Arizona. I started out with your enhancer on "filter" 2 which seemed to be a nice "bright" kind of tone, but the more I struggle with hot rocks and variable hot ground I've taken to "filter" 3. Filter 3 as first seems to have an overall dulling effect to the entire sound spectrum, but I'm starting to think it rounds off the high tones enough to extend my detecting time from hearing/sensory overload. Maybe I could have reached to same goal by playing with the Z tone control, I just haven't taken the time to experiment more. As always, individual hearing is all subjective, and perhaps this is just an unintended affect on my hearing and is meaningless to other people. Can you share a little more of your theory of how these enhancers were intended to work, whether or not you achieved that goal.
  9. I got out for a few hours this morning with the Z hooked up to the sPo1 enhancer wired to the WM12 for wireless operation. I spent the first part of the morning rolling big chunks of granite that were giving off faint positive tones hoping that one of the tones would continue once the rock was moved. I was having no luck other than shards of lead bullets. I stepped up on a bench section of an old desert wash and saw that someone had dug a Z coil sized hole about 4 inches down. I waved over the hole and got a faint positive tone, not much different than the 30 or so I had experienced from the granite rocks on the way down the wash. I hit a couple big chunks of granite with the pick and pulled them out of the way. The faint tone was still there, but seemed very broad and not well defined. I dug down another 4 or 5 inches and waved the coil over the hole, still a faint, broad tone not much improved. Thinking it was more hot granite I switched to Difficult. Nothing, not a peep. I was about to give it up as another hot rock but decided to dig a few more inches. Now I'm down 8 or 9 inches and the tone improves in volume, but still seems overly broad. I dug down another 4 or 5 inches and the tone is really crazy. No clear location and it started sounding like crumpled foil with a choppy broken tone. Now I have to widen the hole and go down another few inches. The Z tone is really crazy so I switch to Difficult. Even Difficult is catching the tone now, but it's sounding like a piece of wire. I'm pretty sure I'm down past the trash level and start scooping out the hole with my plastic scoop. As I'm scooping it out I see a layer of rusty red, crumbling clay rock. This stuff is fairly common down here and it's hot enough to really gives the Z machine fits. I get out the pinpointer and stick it down in the hole. The pinpointer goes crazy over the entire hole. I scoop out some of the red stuff and wave the pinpointer over it. It goes crazy, so I wave the scoop over the Z coil, it reacts but not overly so. I'm about to give up for the 3rd time, but I decided to dig out all the red stuff and take some home to pan out. I've had trouble with the Z over this red stuff in the past, but never this deep and Difficult usually cleans it up. Now I'm digging in earnest and using my pocket knife to carve this stuff out of the wall of the hole. I get another scoop of it and wave it over the coil, nothing this time. I am baffled so I stick the Z back down there and bam this thing is sounding like a fist sized chunk of foil. I take the Sens all the way down to 1 and stick it back in the hole, still banging like a gong. I get the scoop and start scraping everything else out down to this red clay layer. I'm piling it away from the hole to try and separate the sounds. As I pick up the Z to check the hole again, it sounds off over the pile. I got you this time you little bugger. I"m thinking it must be a 1/2 oz craggy specimen, see for yourself. I measured the hole off on the handle of my pick. Right at 19.5 inches deep. That's not including the 4 inches the first guy dug and left it thinking it was a hot rock. That's awfully deep for 2.4 grams, even for the Z machine. I'm thinking that hot red clay somehow magnified and distorted the signal. I've dug plenty of deep gold with this machine, but nothing like that. I'd like to say the steelPHASE enhancer did the trick, but that would probably be a stretch. This was just an oddball situation with a crazy sounding nugget. I did recheck the hole and my piles, there was still some reactivity in some of that crumbling red stuff, but not enough to convince me it was golden. I was running the Z machine in HY/Normal/ Sens 16/0 Threshold/Low Smoothing. Beatup- This is the same washes your brother favors past the power lines at Sugarloaf peak. I wonder if he missed this one.
  10. Well Fred, you could still be wireless, just an added cable from the WM to the box then your choice of listening equipment plugged into the box. A bit of redundancy if you wanted to just rely on the simplicity of the WM. I don't think you can amplify the WM without wiring the box in between so now you're back to the old days of a cable between you and the detector. The unit comes with about 3ft of heavy duty audio cable, with double ended male, mono headphone connectors. I'm using a curly corded one that I had from past inventions. You couldn't do my set-up with the supplied cable unless you disconnect to lay the detector down and dig. The only reason I did it this way was to keep the fewest number of "connections" between me and the original detector signal. I will ultimately go with the wireless connection when I decide to do some serious detecting.
  11. JW and Simon, JP said something about the 7000 volume a long while back and its stuck in my head. He said something about increasing the volume had the effect of increasing the Sens. I can't remember of the whole context of that observation or its relevance today however; it occurs to me that in your quiet ground perhaps you could max out the 7000 volume then bring it under control with the volume level on the SP01. Perhaps you thereby maximize Steve's already Insanely Hot settings. Mental gymnastics I'm sure, but something to ponder. Wouldn't work here.
  12. Yeah, I'll keep at it Brett. Probably won't be any nuggets left by the time you get here. I'm going to attend Bill Southern's deal out at LSD this weekend. Maybe find some new prospecting ground out there. If Eric gets lonely down here, have him give me a call.
  13. Bear in mind that hearing is highly subjective. My experiences will in no way be the same as anyone else's and I'm forced to use imprecise terms to describe my efforts. At 64 yrs old my hearing is relatively good and high frequency noise bothers me more than most. We all know that the Z7000 is a noisy machine but with time and experience our hearing adapts and we become more proficient with it's tendencies. So, after 3 or 4 months away from the machine it's like starting all over and wondering, wow this detector is really noisy. That's how it has been for me over the last couple days out here in Sunny Yuma. Add in some decent rain last month and certain rock types hold some moisture and became a major hot rock nuisance. I hit a deep gully yesterday that had a lot of decomposing course grained granite. The granite is ordinarily pretty mild, but the left over moisture was making fist sized chunks into high spiking hot rocks. They're really not the kind of hot rocks that sound like nuggets, the tone is a short high pitch that falls off very quickly. Going to the Difficult setting really calms them down, but then you're missing small faint nuggets. Raising the coil and going painfully slow is one solution, as well as keeping detecting sessions short. I decided to see if there was some kind of intermediate step with the SteelPHASE system of filters. After some trail and error I settled on Z7000 settings of High Yield, Normal, Sens 12, Low Smoothing, with just enough threshold to level off the spiking signals. Then I played with the SteelPHASE. I used the recommended Mode 1, then went through the various filter settings. Filter 1 and 2 give me a high "tinny" kind of tone over the hot rocks, not helpful. Filter 3 as best I can describe dulls all the tones, but was the best choice in this circumstance to dull the high tones of hot rocks. After a half hr I was cruising along pretty good partly because my hearing was adapting and the SteelPHASE was keeping the annoying hotrocks at a manageable level, or so I think. I finally got over a very faint signal well into the side bank of the gully. I went through everything I could think of to test the equipment. First I left everything in place and switched to Difficult. Not a peep. Then with everything in place I raised and lowered the sensitivity. Sens below 9, the tone was barely audible and mainly because I knew it was already there. I doubt it would have stopped me otherwise given all the noise in hotrock heaven. Raised Sens really made it stand out, but the noise would have been unmanageable for normal prospecting. Then I unplugged from the SteelPHASE and plugged my earbuds directly into the Z. The tone was audible over the target and probably enough to stop me in normal prospecting mode. Back into the SteelPHASE for a comparison. As best I can tell the SteelPHASE gave me some "separation" from background noise and a bit of "distinction" or "amplification" of the actual target. By that time I had pulled all the surface hot rocks away, so I was no longer bombarded with that kind of noise. I switched back and forth a few times and found the SteelPHASE gave me a more noticeable tone, (I think). I dug this tiny nugget out and was again amazed at what the Z7000 can do on small gold. This nugget was back into the side bank and down at least 6 inches. I think its round ball shape gives it a better density that favors detection at this depth. So, with a 6 hrs use on the SteelPHASE in some very limited circumstances, I would say that it is helpful but not a game changer. Anything that boosts my confidence and keeps me in the field a bit longer will no doubt increase my odds. Perhaps for the guys who use external speakers and need an amplifier anyway, this is a good investment. I just don't use speakers so we'll have to wait for one of them to chime in. Given its $200.00 pricetag, I give it a neutral thumbs up/down for now. I'll keep at it, it's early yet and will report more as it happens.
  14. The weather is finally starting to break here in Sunny Yuma. Still hitting the high 80's but the mornings are decent. I got out for a few hrs this morning to try out the new SteelPhase signal enhancer. I picked one up from Rob at Rob's Detectors in Surprise, AZ. I'm a sucker for every new piece of equipment that might give me an edge on the other guys. I wired the SP01 directly to the Z7000 with my in-ear monitors (earbuds) plugged into the headphone jack of the unit, I didn't use the standard Minelab wireless module for this test. I can't say I wouldn't have found this nugget without the SteelPHASE but it didn't hurt. The signal was very faint in some pretty active ground. After I was fairly certain I had a faint signal I ran through the "filters" on the SP01. Position 3 really dulls all the tones, but the faint target signal was still pretty clear. Position 2 seemed to be the best. It was a long tedious dig getting through the interlocking rocks of a deep desert gully. At about 18 inches I was down to sensitivity level 1 on the detector and still having trouble with the tone overload. I got out my new and unused Minelab Pro-Find pinpointer (more toys) and bingo, pinpoint problems solved. The 2 nuggets were actually attached by a thin strand of gold but came apart when I tried to clean the dirt off. A good morning all in all. I have detected this gully at least half a dozen times, and I know that BeatUp has detected it at least as many times. I saw BeatUp's well covered and concealed dig holes so it has been a producer in the past. Next time out I'll try and check targets with and without the SP01 to see what kind of difference there might exist.
  15. Based on my recent experience with micro placer gold, I have a question about Ground Balance. I know Steve has at various times, in previous posts, talked about ground balancing on Multi-Frequency machines, especially as it pertains to beach hunting. I did not realize until today that Park 2 is a fixed ground balance. I did not Ground Balance the machine at all in Park 2, but had used the manual ground balance in Gold 2 to start out, then expected the Tracking Ground Balance to take over. I presume the Manual Ground Balance I did in Gold 2 carried over to Park 2 because it certainly handled some fairly hot ground with no problem. However, I chased a few very faint targets and it seemed like the NOX was tracking them out. I dug out the areas where I first heard the faint targets that NOX subsequently tracked out, and most of them turned out to be pockets of hot grey clay. NOX was clearly doing its job and trying to ignore changing hot ground, but with a Fixed Ground Balance, it shouldn't have been able to do that. Perhaps it can be attributed to the PFM(pure f-ing magic) of Minelab's Multi filters, but if it's more easily explained inquiring minds would like to know.
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