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  1. This coil is identical to that on the Fisher Gold Bug 2 but a little heavier since it is a DD coil. It was introduced last year with very little fanfare and most dealers do not even seem to know it exists. Yet it would be a great nugget hunting coil for these detectors, less prone to hanging up on sticks and a bit narrower profile. I have a shiny new one sitting in front of me to try on my F75 up against the F19, which has the same coil stock. This one feels heavier though - epoxy filled? I will weigh them both when my F19 shows up.
  2. This should be interesting. The reality these days is that when it comes to nugget detecting I am very much a pulse induction kind of guy. I also go out of my way to point out the problems with using VLF detectors and discrimination while nugget detecting. Yet at the same time I have very much been a proponent of using VLF detectors and discrimination where it may offer some sort of advantage. Ganes Creek, Alaska was the best example of a location with large nuggets and tons of ferrous junk to contend with. A good discriminating VLF detector made sense there and the vast majority of the gold found at Ganes Creek was found with VLF detectors. I am seeing similar situations here down south, especially in California. Places where 150 years of mining has left ferrous trash galore. What I am looking for is a way to narrow things down a bit in some situations. The idea in some places with unknown potential is to scout first with the VLF, and then, if any gold is found, to switch to a PI and hammer the spot. There are the big cobble piles, that may have a big cobble shot full of gold, but which are more likely to contain a rusted can. A big coil on a VLF could be handy for scouting those. Finally, I want to do some honest blue sky prospecting where I put myself in gold country but not specifically on a proven location and go looking for a patch. A lot of this would be in logging country and steel wire and other ferrous trash can be common. I can deal with the bullets but may want to weed out the ferrous. I ended up by chance with a Nokta FORS Gold that came with a 13.5" x 15.5" DD coil. This machine has a great two tone mode where all targets signal, but ferrous with a low tone, and non-ferrous with a high tone. My preferred mode for scouting trashy terrain. I hear all targets so nothing gets passed without thought. I may investigate some ferrous signals further if I am suspicious. I have a new Fisher F75SE coming, a model without the latest updates. I may end up also with an updated version but got tired of waiting on that so bought this one to use for now. It also gives me a baseline to compare to should I ever lay hands on a newer unit. Or one I can upgrade later if I wish. To compare apples and apples I have a new DeTech 12" x 15" DD coil on the way for the F75 to use versus the Nokta with similar coil. I have a friend who did very well at Ganes Creek in the 22.5 kHz dedicated frequency prospecting mode, and his main claim was that it had killer discrimination. So just to make life interesting I have another DeTech 12" x 15" DD coil on the way to use on the V3i versus the other two detectors. Finally, I will toss my CTX 3030 with 13" x 17" coil in on this little competition though it is a slightly different coil. Close enough though and should be interesting. There is already a huge thread going on the CTX and gold at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/361-minelab-ctx-3030-for-gold-nuggets/ I honestly look at this as more a shootout between the F75 and the Nokta more because I see them more as get down and play in the mud prospecting detectors. The CTX and V3i are more my in town units. But maybe that is just a perception thing on my part and since I own both anyway - why not? Looked at another way these do represent some company flagship units, say what else you may about them. Maybe there will be surprises and no matter what, I have a lot to learn here. And that, my friends, I do enjoy! OK, now the bad news. I am not much for contrived testing so I will need favorable weather to get these detectors out of town into real field conditions to give this all a try. And I do not want to rush to judgement in any case. Eventually it will all sort out and I will report along the way if anything of interest develops. Until then, you will have to be patient. Again, lest anyone think I am believing this all to be some kind of magic gold getting idea, it is not at all. I will be using a PI detector for most of my nugget detecting in 2015 and basically digging everything I come across. This is actually part of my weeding down detectors process with the main goal being to let either the F75 or FORS Gold go away. I have other reasons for keeping the CTX and V3i so they are just going along for the ride and the potential for extra knowledge. When I go out this summer I want to be packing both a PI and a VLF. The intent is to use the PI and have the VLF more for backup or for getting into a real trashy location. This shootout will determine just what VLF gets to go with me this summer. The photo below shows all four coils side by side with weights as weighed on my postal scale with scuff covers. The dimensions are width by length at longest point with the third dimension being the length of the actual middle DD overlap working area. The two DeTech coils are 12.75" in this regard versus 14.25" for the Nokta and 15.5" for the CTX 3030. This would be the nominal length to shoot for on each coil sweep if you figure no overlap (which would not be wise). The Nokta is the lightest coil so in theory combining weight with area covered it has the best overall specs as regards area covered for weight handled. The angle of the picture and coil placing tends to make the Nokta coil look smaller than the DeTech coils but it is in fact slightly larger. Last funny note. I would normally complain about putting coils this size on VLF detectors because in the past it made them nose heavy and had me whining about the weight. However, world class lead weight PI detectors have made it so I have gotten used to using machines far heavier than these beasts, even with their larger coils. Go figure.
  3. Some time ago I received a prototype version of one of my favorite detectors, the Fisher F75. I had an old story that needed telling and combined that with a mini-review of the prototype at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/357-fisher-f75-strikes-gold-twice-in-a-row/ The new version offered more resistance to electrical interference, a new Fast mode for working trashy locations, and some additional audio options, also intended to help in places where ferrous trash is abundant. Fisher did what seemed like a good thing at the time and offered existing owners the opportunity to upgrade their detector at http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/upgrade.htm The Teknetics T2 immediately preceded the F75 and both are very similar detectors. A similar upgrade program exists for the T2 at http://www.tekneticst2.com/upgrade.htm All well and good but First Texas (parent company of Fisher and Teknetics) was swamped with upgrade units, and now that they are in customer hands issues are coming to light. There is an issue where if you employ one of the new audio modes it causes some strange side effects in the pinpoint mode. Never saw that since I never use pinpoint. There are a couple reports about ground balance issues with large coils but the coils are aftermarket so that is doubtful. Biggest issue seems to be some perceived weakness in the all metal mode compared to units not upgraded, possibly related to the Digital Shielding never being fully disengaged. There are two modes available, one with the filter for electrical interference (Digital Shielding Technology, or DST) engaged, and one mode that was supposed to revert the machine back to original non-shielded mode. It appears however the filter is engaged at a basic level, and turning it off only really turns it down. I had disposed of my previous F75 before getting the prototype and so could not compare to it, and the version I had only ran the single DST engaged mode, so no way to compare on and off or to an older version A lot of the commentary is based on "seems like" and "I remember" so hard info is difficult to come by. I returned the prototype and was told I would be getting a factory production unit at a later date, but so far it has never arrived. That pretty much makes me a bystander to the whole thing. If a person loved the all metal operation and electrical interference was not an issue, than holding off before an upgrade or just not doing it at all would be wise. The big question is what if you really, really want the new features that are being offered? In all honesty, being quick to get any First Texas new detector model or upgrade is really not a good idea if this sort of stuff will bother you. Issues on initial release has become the norm with them and revisions are very common. Rather than being first kid on the block, a couple month waiting period would be wise if you want to lower the odds of having a problem. The reality is no matter how the pre-release testing is done, hundreds of users in the field with different coils, ground, targets, and operating practices almost always find something. That being the case the only real choice a person has is to be quick but be patient with issues, or just wait. From my perspective nothing has changed. My old F75 was useless where I wanted to hunt and I sold it. The new version fixed the problem, and now I want one again. Due to everything I just said though I am in no hurry to get one as I am content to let the dust settle myself.
  4. I am a big fan of the Fisher F75 from a different perspective than most. I am a prospector and have done very well finding gold nuggets with the F75. The very powerful all metal mode combined with the simultaneous on screen target id numbers have allowed me to quickly and efficiently hunt trashy tailing piles in search of large gold nuggets. The light weight and superb balance make the F75 a pleasure to use for long hours in rough terrain. It also was my detector of choice for my one and only trip to the UK that I have done so far, and it served me well there. I spent a month in 2013 metal detecting on Jack Wade Creek near Chicken, Alaska. I kept my great results there quiet pending a return trip there in 2014. That trip has now been made but that is another story already told in detail on my website. Now I can finally reveal the details of the 2013 expedition. I started out early one morning with my big gun pulse induction metal detector, but got onto a tailing pile that had ferrous trash scattered down one side, and I was just not in the mood for it that morning. I went back to my truck and got out my trusty F75. I run the F75 in all metal because it has instant target response; there are no worries about recovery times in all metal. The coil picks up every variation not only in targets but in the ground allowing me to monitor what is going on at all times. Knowing what the ground is doing is important in keeping the ground balance properly adjusted for maximum results. The key thing I like about the F75 in all metal however is that the meter always runs in discrimination mode and places a nice, large target number on screen while in all metal. The audio alerts me to a potential target, which I then analyze more carefully while watching the target numbers. All metal goes deeper than discrimination modes, so no on screen number means a very deep target beyond discrimination range. This alone makes running in all metal desired when prospecting because running in discrimination mode would miss all those extra deep signals. In all metal I dig them until a target number shows up. Deep targets or small targets in mineralized ground will often read ferrous, so I watch the numbers and if they even once jump to non-ferrous, I dig. Only targets that give a 100% strong ferrous reading over multiple sweeps can be safely passed. Though I will throw in my caveat that no discrimination system is 100% accurate and there is always a risk of passing a good target. When in doubt, dig it out! I do often employ pulse induction detectors and do very often just dig everything. I advocate that when time and conditions allow. The reality is this is not always practical for many reasons. Maybe it is just limited time and overwhelming amounts of junk. Better to increase the odds by using discrimination than bogging down digging 100 nails in a small area. In my case it often boils down to fatigue or flat out not being in the mood to dig junk. So it was on this particular morning, and therefore my F75 came out and I got to work sorting through the trash working my way up the side of the tailing pile. I crested the top and got a strong reading and looked down. There was a shallow dig hole with leaves in it, obviously from some hunter there in prior years. I figured the guy had recovered a trash item and kicked it back in the hole so I cussed him quietly under my breath. I hate it when people do that! Then the target numbers caught my eye. They were all over the place. A crumpled piece of flat steel might give numbers like that though. Still, I was curious and figured I would retrieve the trash this person left in the field. I gave the old dig hole a big scoop, and out pops a big gold nugget!! I seem to have a talent for finding ugly gold nuggets, and this one was perhaps the ugliest I have ever found. It looked more like a rock burnt in a fire than a gold nugget when I dug it up, though the glint of gold is unmistakable. This gold however was very pale and in fact later analysis revealed it to be roughly half gold and half silver and other metals. It is a little known fact that gold alloys tend to have very poor conductivity ratings. Gold is very conductive, and silver is a superb conductor. You would think adding silver to gold would improve the conductivity, but in fact just the opposite happens, and the conductivity lowers dramatically. Gold/silver alloys are closer to lead in conductivity than that of the pure component metals, explaining why bullets read identically to most gold nuggets. This ugly nugget is a detectorists worst nightmare, because the 50-50 alloy mix and rock content give it a much lower conductivity reading than would be the norm. I surmise what happened is this earlier operator got a poor signal and gave a dig to get the coil closer to the target. The signal did not improve, as would be expected with most gold nuggets, so the operator decided it was trash and moved on. The rest of the hill being covered with junk no doubt contributed to this decision. It was my insistence on investigating everything except 100% ferrous readings that made the difference. The readings on this target were not solid as one would expect from a pretty strong signal but all over the place. Most people would say that indicates a trash target but I have seen many gold nuggets do the same thing in mineralized ground. The result is I dug a shallow 2.33 ounce gold nugget that somebody else walked away from. Sadly for them one more scoop would have revealed the nugget for what it was. Hopefully this is a reminder to the reader that far too often detectorists look for excuses not to dig. How many good finds get left behind because we do not want to take that extra minute or two to dig a target? This nugget is far from a premium find, but I have already sold it for over twice the cost of a new Fisher F75. That detector was a real money maker for me as that was far from the only gold I ever found with it. Unfortunately I say was. I made a huge change in my life in 2013 and moved from Alaska to Reno, Nevada. The move resulted in a desire for me to weed down my detector collection. I was pretty excited to do some coin detecting in Nevada where the potential finds were much better than those possible around Anchorage, Alaska. Almost all my detecting with the F75 had previously taken place in rural locations far from possible electrical magnetic interference. In Reno, EMI raised its ugly head. I found much to my dismay that the F75 did not like my new location, and in fact when turned on to hunt the yard at my new home I could not get it to settle down at all. No matter what I did the machine chirped and beeped and numbers flew all over the screen. Unfortunately I experienced what many urban hunters have found out – the F75 is a very sensitive high gain detector that does not get along well with electrical interference. I ended up selling my F75 in 2013 for this sole reason. Fast forward to the fall of 2014. I am contacted by the good folks at Fisher wanting to know if I am interested in trying out a new version of the F75 they are preparing for market. I of course say sure as I am always game to go metal detecting with different units. A new F75 is sent my way along with a list of the possible improvements. One immediately gets my attention – improved resistance to electrical interference. All the focus was on a new mode or “process”, as Fisher likes to call them. The new FA process is intended to better pull non-ferrous items out of trashy or mineralized ground. It does indeed work as advertised as I found out in an accidental situation I came across. I went to a local park and did a simple hunt for non-ferrous targets, comparing the DE default mode to the new FA fast mode. I did not really care what I found as long as it was non-ferrous. I should note the ground here is very difficult, reading 1 on the Fe meter, the second highest reading you can obtain. Hunting in this park is very much like nugget detecting, and the best detectors get very limited depth and highly inaccurate target numbers as a result of the high mineralization. One spot really summed it all up for me. I found three targets I could cover in a single wide swing that all read as ferrous in DE mode, but when I switched to FA mode all three switched to non-ferrous. FA mode is very fast with short, machine gun type reports in the audio. I was running in two tone mode, with ferrous giving low tones and non-ferrous high tones. In DE mode I could sweep and get three low tones in a row. Simply switch to FA mode and now there were three high tone reports in a row. This was an extremely dramatic result seen in person. In this case all three targets proved to be nothing more than aluminum targets, but they could just as well have been small hammered coins in the UK or small gold nuggets in Alaska. I hate to oversell things and I have to note that the difference in going to FA mode is not going to be earth shaking. Most targets read the same in DE and FA modes. But FA provides a tipping point, a little push that takes targets previously ignored and lights them up. By shortening the audio response on targets it also attenuates responses to a degree and so depth and signals on the tiniest targets may be impacted. Depth however is not useful if a target is misidentified or ignored completely due to target masking from nearby objects. FA mode is another tool in the toolbox that can help produce targets in specific situations previously overlooked by others. The new F75 also expands on the available audio options in ways many people will appreciate. These additions and the new FA mode will tend to get all the attention, but for me they pale in comparison to the new ability of the F75 to engage and disengage the new Digital Shielding Technology (DST). The version of the F75 I received had DST engaged at all times, and the difference in my ability to use the F75 at my home was as dramatic as it gets. My previous F75 was basically non-functional. My new F75 ran just fine, with only minimal EMI discernible at higher gain levels. I noted no downside to this. Given the situation, how could there be? Other field testers however were concerned that in low EMI situations perhaps there was an edge lost by having DST engaged, and so Fisher decided to add the ability to engage or disengage the feature as desired. It does not get any better than that. Use it if you need it; leave it off if you do not. All I know is this. What difference is there between a detector you can use and one you cannot use? All the difference in the world, and in my opinion I struck gold a second time with the F75 seeing it run with the new Digital Shielding Technology. That one feature alone means I can use the F75 in urban areas where I could not use it before, and vastly improves the reasons for my owning the detector once again. I am very confident a great many people will agree with me when they get a chance to try out the new, improved F75. Everything else in my opinion is just icing on the cake.
  5. While out on the Sawtooth adventure, Dee tried a GB Pro 5" coil on her F-75. Guess what.... it worked! Steve, any comments about that?
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