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Found 28 results

  1. People often forget about factory reset functions since it is still a rare feature. I am a proponent of resetting newer generation digital metal detectors on a regular basis, especially if settings get changed around a lot. The more setting changes are made, the more chance of a programming bug slipping in and messing with the operator. This is the procedure for the many F75 variants out there. From the F75 Owner's Manual page 10: RESET function The F75’s microprocessor saves all settings which you input, even after the power is turned off. If you wish to reset the settings to the factory preset, follow this process: Turn detector off. Press-and-hold the red MENU button and push-forward-and-hold the TOGGLE SWITCH. Turn the detector on, while you are still holding the controls. Release the MENU button and TOGGLE SWITCH. See the F symbol. When the F disappears, the detector is reset. Note: some latest F75 versions may show five pairs of number instead before displaying the F - the ten digit serial number. All settings have now been returned to factory defaults. Fisher F75 Metal Detector
  2. Benchtesting Rocks & Minerals with an F75 Metal Detector Introduction From the earliest time when we were aware of our surroundings, most of us looked for pretty rocks. We wondered what interesting or valuable minerals might possibly comprise them. Now as adult hobbyists, I doubt if any of us hasn’t benchtested an interesting rock from curiosity, and wondered what actually produced the signal. Although a sensitive benchtest usually has little in common with how marginally conductive rocks and minerals respond to metal detectors in the field due to ground effects, we can learn and become familiar with how rocks and minerals in our respective areas respond to metal detectors in a benchtest. A sensitive metal detector’s electromagnetic field penetrates rocks, usually generating either a positive or a negative signal in response to whatever material is in the rock. We can sometimes determine whether such signals should be investigated further, or whether worthless iron minerals produced them. I’d generally describe my benchtest results as worthwhile and informative, but that notwithstanding, I look forward to doing a benchtest because I think it is an intriguing study on its own merit. That said, how do you conduct a benchtest? I’ll describe my methods and hopefully we’ll see what you think about it. Benchtest Requirements and Techniques Benchtesting ideally requires a visually displayed, fully calibrated, manually adjustable ground balance that covers the entire (soil) mineral range from salt to ferrite. As a minimum, the detector should feature a threshold-based true motion all-metal mode, and preferably an additional true non-motion all-metal mode for significantly improved sensitivity to borderline samples. Visual displays in either of the true all-metal modes are essential for target ID, Fe3O4 magnetic susceptibility and GB readouts. I prefer a small (concentric) coil to promote detector stability and improve sensitivity to the rock sample, to ensure uniform sample exposure to the coil, and to minimize EMI (electromagnetic interference) especially if benchtesting at home. Elevate the sensitivity control as high as possible while maintaining reasonable detector stability such that you can clearly hear changes to the threshold. To check for a target ID, move the sample back and forth across the coil at a distance that produces the best signal but does not overload the coil. To determine ground balance and Fe3O4 readouts, advance the sample toward the coil, back and forth to within an inch or two (depending on sample size and signal strength) of the coil’s electrical sweetspot. Ensure your hand does not come within detection range of the coil to avoid creating false signals. If you extend your fingers to hold the sample, this is not an issue when testing larger samples. If necessary use a plastic or wood food holder that can firmly grasp small samples. Benchtests should be conducted utilizing a minimum of two widely diverse GB control adjustments. Initially I prefer the same GB control adjustment that is typically required to keep my detector ground-balanced to the substrates in my prospecting areas. It’s a personal preference that works for me. That particular GB control point (F75 / GB86) is more likely to improve any rock or mineral sample’s signal strength compared to using a more reduced (more conductive) GB compensation point. The next step is to use a dramatically reduced GB control adjustment (F75 / GB45) as suggested by Fisher Research Engineering. This setting ensures that (obviously weathered) oxidized samples do not generate a positive signal from any type of non-conductive iron mineral inclusions, particularly maghemite mineralization that may be present within such rocks. It follows that this second benchtest will, if anything, slightly subtract from the sample signal strength, particularly with low grade and otherwise marginally conductive samples, compared to the first step of the benchtest at GB86. As a general rule, I do not recommend the F75 / GB45 compensation point for benchtesting (non-oxidized) mafic samples that are dominated by constituents such as common magnetite or other black minerals that normally support highly (non-conductive) elevated GB readouts. Such samples can produce strong negative threshold responses at the reduced GB compensation point. It will be difficult or impossible for the signal from a marginally conductive substance to successfully compete with those negative threshold signals. For non-oxidized samples Fisher Research Engineering suggests using F75 / GB65 rather than the F75 / GB45 compensation point, since obvious iron mineral oxidation should visually be absent from such samples. With the above discussion in mind, extremely fine-grained, unweathered magnetite that occurs in pyroclastic material (for example volcanic ash) can drop into the GB45 range, but it is extremely rare. Unweathered volcanics do frequently drop into the GB70's due to submicron magnetite, but the recommended F75 / GB65 compensation point will eliminate those positive signals. The arsenopyrite sample depicted above is a good example of a commonplace mineral that we encounter in the silverfields of northeastern Ontario. Generally field examples could be described as marginally conductive and many are low-grade. A good many react with only a mild positive signal, and sometimes not at all to a benchtest depending on which GB compensation point is used. The high-grade, solidly structured sample above produces a strong positive signal in either zero discrimination or true motion all-metal mode with the ground balance control adjusted to the GB compensation point required for our moderately high mineralized soils. As noted, that’s approximately F75 / GB86, although in the field, of course, it varies somewhat depending on location and coil type / size employed. The response is not as strong as a similar size and shape metalliferous sample would produce, but it does generate a surprisingly strong benchtest signal that would be readily detectable in the field. Even with the GB control dramatically reduced to more conductive values (F75 / GB45), to ensure that any positive signals produced by non-conductive iron mineral inclusions should now only produce a negative threshold signal, it is no surprise that this (non-oxidized) specimen continues to generate a strong signal. For those readers unfamiliar with detector responses to such minerals, the same general response scenario described above with arsenopyrite applies to other marginally conductive minerals such as galena, pyrrhotite and to a lesser extent even iron pyrites. Ordinary iron pyrites is generally innocuous, but maghemitized pyrite, pyrrhotite, and the copper sulfide ores, particularly bornite and chalcocite, can be a real nuisance in the field due to magnetic susceptibility, magnetic viscosity, and / or electrical conductivity, just depending on what minerals are involved. Such variable responses from arsenopyrite and many other mineral and metalliferous examples clearly infer that signal strength and potential target ID depends on a sample’s physical and chemical characteristics, including the quantity of material within a given rock. These factors include structure, size, shape, purity (overall grade), and magnetic susceptible strength of iron mineral inclusions. Moreover, the VLF detector’s sensitivity, the GB compensation points employed, the coil type and size, and the sample profile presented to the coil further influence benchtest target signal strength and / or potential target ID readouts. Incidentally, neither of my PI units will respond to the arsenopyrite sample depicted above, even with a TDI Pro equipped with a small round 5” mono coil, the GB control turned off, and a 10 usec pulse delay to deliver its most sensitive detection capability. That result is typical of most, but certainly not all sulfides and arsenides that occur in my areas. Higher grade and solidly structured pyrrhotite, an unwelcome nuisance iron sulfide, and collectible niccolite, a nickel arsenide, are commonplace mineral occurrences here that do respond strongly to PI units, although their respective VLF target ID ranges are quite different. As a related but slight diversion, the photo below depicts a handsome example of the widely occurring mineral sphalerite. It forms in both sedimentary beds, and in low temperature ore veins. It is interesting to collectors because it possesses a dodecahedral cleavage which means that it breaks smoothly in twelve directions, and it is usually triboluminescent, meaning that it gives off a flash of light when struck sharply. Like many desirable minerals lurking in prospecting country, unfortunately sphalerite doesn’t react to metal detectors. A Final Word The foregoing is intended to illustrate that sensitive metal detectors can be utilized as a supplementary tool to assist with evaluating rocks and minerals. There is no question that the benchtest has serious limitations, particularly if trying to distinguish positive signals produced by some types of iron mineral inclusions from weak conductive signals. That notwithstanding, a positive signal that persists below the F75 / GB45 compensation point cannot be confused with iron mineral negative threshold signals produced at that same compensation point. Therefore a positive signal merits further investigation. Such signals are almost certain to be generated by a marginally conductive mineral or a metalliferous substance. On the more interpretive side of a benchtest, we need to point out that weak positive signals from lower-grade samples of minerals such as arsenopyrite, galena, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and doubtless a few others, may disappear well before the GB control is reduced to the F75 / GB45 compensation point. We learn early that benchtests are frequently equivocal and require interpretation based on any further evidence that might support the benchtest result. Look for iron oxidation in addition to structural or other physical evidence as described above that could explain why a sample reacts as it does to a metal detector. Jim.
  3. Is anyone going to get the new Fisher F75 Plus? They sure put together a nice kit at a good price. thanks Bill
  4. I have a feeling it FT is about to rock the detector world, they have been too quiet for too long. They have some of if not the best detector engineers in the world, they have lowered prices on the F75/T2 platform to a level that is bringing them into the mid-level machine price range, even though they they are still at the top performance wise. FT is behind in the all terrain business but that wont last long and I think you will see a repackaged waterproof F75/T2 machine very soon and a true game changer shortly there after. I had an Equinox on pre-order but other than being waterproof (which I really don't need), my F75 LTD SE has more depth and is plenty fast for my hunting, thus I canceled my order. I am going to wait and see what FT has up their sleeve, until then I will keep going behind the latest and greatest machines and dig what they can't hear.
  5. (I moved the conversation over here since it was going off-topic.) In the above thread, relicmeister mentions that he put the Teknetics Omega ("frat brothers") 5in X 10in DD coil on his F75 and it worked fine. I expressed surprise and a motivation to try that out myself. I can now confirm that my Fisher Gold Bug 5"x10" DD works on my F75. I'm going to investigate further. I have both 5" round DD and 7"x11" DD for both these detectors. I'm curious to see if I can find any differences when mounted on the F75. Different ground balance numbers? Different TiD values? Different sensitivity (depth)? I also have an inductance meter so I'll make some measurements of the coils on the bench and see how different that important characteristic is. This might shed some light on why to swap works. Stay tuned.
  6. An acquaintance has asked if I'd help him find some shotguns he buried several years ago. They are wrapped in oilcloths, sealed in PVC pipes (~3 in = 7.5 cm diameter) and buried about 20 inches (half meter) deep according to him. He says he can show me the approximate location within about 10 m. If all this is accurate it seems like an easy task.... Then again, he also said someone in his family (without him being present) tried to find them with a detector and couldn't. That could be due to a lot of reasons as I'm sure you are already thinking, but my concern is that they may be buried more deeply than he remembers. Which of the following would be your first choice? 1) TDI/SPP with 12 in round mono and 16 V battery pack. 2) X-Terra 705 w/15 in Coiltek 3kHz. 3) Gold Bug Pro (19 kHz) w/15 in Nel Attack. 4) F75 black (13 kHz) w/11x7 in^2 coil operating in cache process. Assuming he has the time and patience I'm going to have all four with me to do a comparison, but I'd like to start with the one that gives me the best chance. Your advice is appreciated.
  7. No real information yet but this was just posted to the Fisher Facebook page. The Fisher F75+ is on the way! The Fisher F75 is the company's flagship model, and so I assume this is an update with some sort of additional features, otherwise we would be looking at a different model name. Time will tell.
  8. First Texas has reinstated their F75 upgrade program http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/upgrade.htm I have an older LTD model, any reason not to upgrade? Tim
  9. I've linked to a thread I started in July. I finally (after over 3 1/2 months, most of which were bone dry) returned to see if I could squeeze a few more old coins out of this site. At the time of my earlier searching the parks department had fenced off a large coniferous tree to prevent the demolition crew from damaging its roots. That had kept me out of that area as well. Now with fence removed I decided to see if my good fortune in the rest of the recently acquired lot could be supplemented. I was not disappointed. Fisher F75, gain of 50, 4H tones ('H' meaning US nickels hit on a high tone, with copper and silver), 5 inch DD coil, either de (default) mode or fa (fast) mode (both filtered discrimiation side) depending upon the amount of iron trash (nails). Supplement that with my now favorites: White's Prostar headphones and White's TRX pinpointer. I was able to get in 8 1/2 hours over the weekend before the stormy weather arrived. I didn't start under the tree but rather along the street curb, some of which I had searched once (without too much success) and some virgin. After 2 1/2 hours with nothing more than a Zincoln to show for the effort I switched over to the unsearched area under the tree. It didn't take long for the production to result. Deepest coin (Wheatie) was 5 inches; compare that with the deepest ring tab of 6 inches. Even though I was running at a gain of 50 compared to July hunts' 70 I was finding targets at similar depth. Most pennies were in the 3-4 inch range. The silver dime (1945 plain -- see photo below) was only 2 inches deep. So much for the theory that coins always sink considerably with time. Over 50 years in the ground and only down 2 inches. I added 14 more Wheats to the 36 I had found there in July, and my 5th silver coin (3rd Merc) from this reclaimed lot. The sterling ring was also under the tree, likely dropped by a child many decades ago. With a severe storm approaching (my several hundred $ lightening indicator told me so ) I worked my way to the car, but dragged the coil along the edge of a couple sidewalks to see if anything jumped out. With minutes to spare before the skies opened I got a strong but inconsistent ID signal. I guessed either a nickel or a pulltab, got a low but clear signal from the TRX, and dug down about 3 inches to find... gold! 16 grams of 14kt. I told my wife that my best find ever won't be staying with me for long. The owner's full name is inscribed on the inner surface so shouldn't be too hard to locate.
  10. I have the Fisher F75 black which comes with both the standard 7in X 11in DD and the 5 inch round DD. They also make a 3 in X 6 in DD (among others). I like coils but don't like wasting $. My question is simply: "Is it likely I'll be able to see much difference (in the positive direction, that is!) if I buy the 3x6?" I have read a couple posts on another forum reviewing the F75 3x6 coil positively, but I don't know if those people actually had the 5 inch for comparison. BTW, I'd be happy to hear responses from those who have used 3x6 coils, whether or not they've used the Fisher. For example, the White's MXT has both a 3x6 and a 5.3 (the latter a concentric, though).
  11. Both the F75 and T2 have suped up 'black' versions which have processes called 'boost' and 'cache' that their basic versions don't have. Sometimes they used 'limited' and 'special edition' to distinguish these, but I don't think those always go hand-in-hand. Nominally the basic F75 has a gold colored upper shaft while the T2's equivalent is green. But has that always been the case? I.e. if a unit has a black shaft (and of course if someone hasn't simply swapped it in for a colored one), does that unit have boost+cache processes? The reason I ask is for potentially buying a used one (e.g. on Ebay). A lot of times it's easier to just figure out from a picture what a seller has than trying to get an answer out of him/her. Often the seller doesn't know what s/he has. I've seen on more than one occasion where a question tipped off a seller that s/he had a more valuable unit than thought, with the result being the item being pulled and later mysteriously relisted with a higher asking (or starting in the case of auction) price. I realize I could e-mail First Texas, but on the one hand they don't make a dime if I buy used, and the one time I wrote them with a question (about if a detector could be damaged getting close to a strong magnetic field) it took several days for a person (turned out to be a sales person) to answer, and even that was terse and, IMO, not sufficiently detailed. Besides, often readers & posters here know as much or more on technical issues than 95% of the people who work at these companies!
  12. Fisher just dropped the price of the F75 Ltd (also known as the Special Edition) from $1099 to $799. This is the most deluxe version of the F75 that comes with two coils, the 11" x 7" DD and 5" round DD. The F75 was an offshoot of the Teknetics T2, which although intended for coin and relic detecting, became a bestseller in Africa for gold nugget detecting. The F75 is every bit as capable and I found quite a bit of gold with mine. The Gold Bug Pro is the better choice for most people, at a lower price and with a bit more hots for gold, but for those wanting a top of the line do-it-all machine the F75 Ltd has been Fishers answer for many years now. I always appreciated the T2/F75 ergonomics, which as far as I am concerned still set the standard for what feels best on my arm. The F75 weighs more than a DEUS, but shows just how important proper balance is. The question of course is - why a $300 price drop? Fisher did drop the price of the base F75 some time ago to $599 and left the F75 way up there, so it may have been too much differential, hurting Ltd sales. There are the persistent rumors of new Fiser models in the pipeline, and this may be a clear the decks thing. I tend to think the previous price drops in the base T2 and F75 were a response to aggressively priced models from Nokta and Makro. That this price decrease comes immediately on the heels of the introduction of the Nokta Impact at $849 does not seem to be a coincidence to me. That may be the case, but inside I am hoping it is more a sign of new models to come. Regardless, killer price for a great detector package! I have been thinking for a couple years that with competition heating up we would start seeing prices finally come down. When I look at the T2 in particular I am amazed at how much detector we can get now for only $499. Probably the best bargain in detectors right now. Now if Fisher would just drop the price of the Fisher F19. I like that machine but at $699 the price is nuts now compared to the other models.
  13. Been using both the White TDI Sl and ML Xterra 705 with 5x9 coils here in the California Mother Lode and along the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Between the two detectors been able to handle the ground conditions. Lots of magnetite. Use the TDI Sl over the serpentine. Heavy thick brush, steep terrain, occasional old cabin and tent sites from 1850 through the Depression Era into 1950's. The smaller coils are a must, just can't sweep the larger coils on the steep brushy slopes. Been looking at the Fisher F19 and F75 which both seem comparable to the Xterra 705. Like the option of searching for coins & relics while detecting for gold when an old camp site is discovered. After reading several of Steve's articles on the Fisher Series and Xterra, here is what I think I have learned: The F19 at 19 kHz and Xterra 705 are very close except the Xterra multi-frequency coils selection ( 3, 7.5 & 18.75 kHz); the only waterproof Xterra coils is the 6"; all Fisher coils are waterproof. Not sure if the F19 displays discrim target id in true all metal mode; the Xterra 705 does not. The F19 is a little pricey compared to the Xterra 705. The F75 at 15 KHz 13 kHz in true all metal mode will indicate discrim target id. The Xterra 705 does not display target Id in the prospecting true all metal mode; requires you to toggle over to Coin/Relic Discrim mode for target id resulting in a loss of detecting depth. The F75 Discrim notching is limited compared to the Xterra 705. The F75 apparently has a history of EMI problems; the Xterra does not. The Xterra with a 18.75 KHZ coil runs a little hot for coins and relics but works. The F75 apparent ability to separate out good targets in trashy areas may be a big plus over the Xterra. The F75 stock coil ( 8x11?) may work in the brush. The current base F75 and Xterra 705 price are the same; the F75 Limited Editions $ 250 plus higher. Often switch from Prospecting mode and use the Discrim notching feature on the Xterra 705 then toggle between the notch and all metal to weed out the iron using target id when in trashy old mining camps. ( Use the Garrett AT Pro in pro mode when strictly coin/relic hunting; great target separation; iron audio; but no true all metal mode for prospecting.) Do not know enough about the F75 Limited Edition Boost/ Cache features to decide if they will be useful. Use the TDI Sl detecting for nuggets under a gram so the Fisher F75 15kHz is not an issue. Really like the F75 feature of displaying discrim target id in the true all metal mode; current pricing on the base F75 with two coils at $599 is hard to pass up. Have drop the F19 from the list. Any opinions and experience with the Fisher F75 compared to the Minelab Xterra 705 are welcomed. Keep in mind on the west coast during the gold rush US coins were in short supply; some military buckles from the war with Mexico were exchanged for trade goods. Let me know what you think and keep Santa out of this; on the wrong list. Good prospecting & detecting To all you devil dogs out there, have a Merry Christmas where ever you may be. Semper Fi
  14. This question has been in the back of my mind for a while now. If nugget shooting in mild to moderate ground or even stretches of exposed bedrock in a desert wash, how would the 19kHz GB Pro w/stock 10" DD coil perform compared to the 13 kHz F75 w/ 6.5" or 10" concentric elliptical coils? I was going to PM Steve directly with my question but thought forum participation would be better. Thanks for the input,,,,Rob
  15. This offer expired some time back but is being opened up again through March 2016. It brings the F75 and T2 up to latest software version. Depending on the model a person currently owns the upgrades can add the following features: Boost Mode Cache Mode DST (Digital Shield Technology) FA (Fast Process) 4 levels of FE Tone Adjustable Audio Pitch LCD Serialization Warranties can also be extended for up to three years. Fisher F75 Upgrade http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/upgrade.htm Teknetics T2 Upgrade http://www.tekneticst2.com/upgrade.htm
  16. Pretty fast shipping. The shipped it on the 12th and I picked it up at the post office on the 26th. 15 days from Russia to New Mexico, USA. Good looking coil. Not too heavy but it does add a little front end weight on the F75. I get a lot EMI in the house but the limited bench testing was good on the F75 LTD. I tried it on the F19 and F5, too. Works great on the F5. Works on the F19 too, but not as well as the F5 and F75. I'll post a review in a couple of weeks after I get some time on the ground with it. But from the quick bench testing I did last night I can already tell it will do what I bought it to do. HH Mike RIF Ranger 14" x 10" DD Coil
  17. I have been told the T2 is really just a F75 with different rod, paint and decals. Programs, performance and sensitivity supposed to be same machine and I'm referring to base models only (not special /limited edition models) The T2 is known internationally in distant gold fields as a great nugget shooter. The F75 state side for relics, coins and gold in trashy tailing piles. Are they really the same machine or perhaps "tweaked" just a bit different but kept on the down low by the folks at First Texas. Any insight into this would be appreciated.
  18. Hello Everybody, I posted this on Dankowski's forum. I thought others my find this information helpful so I'll put it up here :-) This saga all began in January 2015 with the purchase of a brand new (not upgraded) F75 LTD with DST. This first unit (11-14 model) was defective (the display was rattling around in the housing) and it had the "mama" pin point bug. After discussing with the dealer I purchased it from, we decided the best course would be to return it directly to Fisher. I contacted Fisher and they issued a return label no charge. Off it went. I asked that the new unit be completely calibrated and tested prior to shipping. Unit #2....This machine air tested quite well, 16" on a nickle in discrimination mode but weak in all metal mode. Really weak, like 13" max. On top of that, when used in dirt (actual detecting), the TID was extremely erratic. Called Fisher again. They sent me another return label at no cost. Once again I asked that the unit be fully calibrated and tested prior to shipping. I was assured it would be, like before. Unit #3....This one arrived, (same #2 unit I had sent in) with a note saying the coil was bad. No mention of calibrating or testing. The TID was now stable but the all metal mode was still anemic. Nothing had changed there. Back on the phone to Fisher. They sent me another return label. Once again I asked that the replacement unit be fully calibrated and tested. Once again I was assured it would be. At this point Tom was advertising one of his calibrated F75 LTD's. I bought it. At least now I could go detecting and know I was using a unit that would do what it was supposed to do. When this one arrived I did a quick air test on a nickle. over 16" in discrimination, BP, sensitivity 99, disc zero (just like all the other tests). All metal is close to 18" in air test. I'm smiling now!!!!! Unit #4 from Fisher arrives....OK, I'm thinking finally can get down to business. Surely this one would be proper. Man was I disappointed. This unit actually air tested worse then the last one both in discrimination mode and in all metal mode. Unbelievable!!!! Back to the emails and phone calls to Fisher. I also did a side by side air test and in the ground test between the Tom certified unit and the one from Fisher. I recorded the side by side air test results on a piece of poster board. Took a picture of it and emailed it to Fisher showing them the difference. At this moment I thought....since I have two machines sitting here, why not try swapping coils. So....I did another air test after swapping coils (11x9 is used in all tests) What do you know.....now the machine from Fisher air tests almost identical to the Tom certified unit. I sent Fisher another email explaining what I had done. Saying it may just be a coil problem. They responded saying that they would send me another complete unit but they were worried that I wouldn't be happy with anything they sent since I had a Dankowski F75 LOL. I said give me a good unit that I can have a clear conscience selling. Unit #5.....Well, Fisher finally got it right. This unit air tests every bit as good as Tom's calibrated unit, maybe even a shade deeper. It took a lot of time and persistence but they made it right. I will add that everyone I worked with at Fisher was really helpful and the service was great. They just really need to work on batch consistency and QC. The F75 is a beast. This fifth machine is for sale here Brand new F75 LTD If your looking for one that works like it should....look no further. I went through hell to get it, almost hate to part with it. I can't use two of them though. I would sell the Tom calibrated unit but it has been used....this one has only been air tested and made a quick pass over my test garden. I guess the moral of this story is if you don't think your detector is doing what it should. Ask why!!! Thank you to everyone that contributes to these forums. If I hadn't read what these machines were capable of I would have never known I had a sub par machine. Kenny
  19. I have now put enough time on all these units to at least reach a basic conclusion in my own mind. And that is that they are far more alike than different. Trying to get clear differences to appear in actual field use in highly mineralized ground is a true exercise in hair splitting. A couple detectors that can be added to the title list are the Teknetics T2 and G2 models. First Texas owns Fisher and Teknetics. The T2 is the predecessor of the F75. They are not exactly the same detector (they do not share coils) but almost identical in performance. The G2 really is just a Gold Bug Pro in different clothes. 13 kHz - Fisher F75 and Teknetics T2 15 kHz - Nokta FORS Gold and FORS CoRe 19 kHz - Fisher Gold Bug Pro, F19, Teknetics G2 In actual use the frequency just about says it all. The lower frequency F75 and T2 are just a tad less sensitive to very small low conductors, like a small gold nugget. The 15 kHz FORS is almost an exact match to the Gold Bug Pro/F19/G2 for sensitivity to small low conductors and so despite the bigger frequency gap I would say the FORS models come closer to the higher 19 kHz models than the lower 13 kHz models. I have to say it all just boils very much down to the feature list, and again, they line up pretty well. The less expensive Gold Bug Pro and G2 have a more limited feature set than the F19. The F75 has the most options for tones and settings at the highest price on the list. The Nokta units at their new lower price are a real good value. For me when it came down to actual performance the Gold Bug Pro/ F19 were so close to the FORS models I let the two Fishers go and kept the Nokta. Basically just to get the automatic ground tracking which can be very useful in variable ground but also the three tone option, which is nice for coin detecting. I also like the way the Nokta units balance better with larger coils. All I can tell anyone at this point if you want a detector to use for nugget detecting and also for other purposes, the Gold Bug Pro/F19/G2/FORS Gold and FORS CoRe are so close in actual field use that it will all come down to the operator and ground variations. I think the machines are a toss up from a performance perspective and so just line up the feature list and go with whatever floats your boat. I think for sheer value at this time the Nokta FORS models are tough to beat. The T2 and F75 give up a slight edge on small low conductors. What this means is that all the previously mentioned models are better for smaller gold nuggets. The trade off is the T2 and F75 are better all around detectors for general purpose use, gaining in coin and other high end conductors some slight advantage simply because the machines are not quite so sparky on tiny non-ferrous trash. In moderate to low mineral ground conditions the T2 and F75 have a clear depth advantage on high conductive coins but in very mineralized ground the advantage is nearly non-existent. In my case at least I feel like there is a 90% overlap between my latest version F75 and the two FORS models. If I head out the door right this second to go hunt coins I am more likely to grab the F75 as I like the extra tone schemes. There is the 3H mode that gives a high tone beep on all normal coins but also takes US nickels, which usually reads as a mid tone, and puts it up in the high tone range also. This is a great cherry picking mode. The standard 4 tone mode is great for cherry picking jewelry digging the low mid tones. I like the big screen and the backlight, etc. So I am also keeping my F75. But if I was heading out the door chasing gold nuggets right now in a really trashy location and not wanting to use a PI, I would grab the FORS instead. It pulls low conductors like small gold nuggets out of the ground better than the F75. Not by a huge margin, but enough to matter to me. And that is where it will stay for now. I am waiting to get my hands on the new Makro Racer models this summer, and using the F75 and FORS plus Racer units all summer. Then proceeding to phase two of the weeding process. I am trying very hard to get my detector collection down to just a couple PI detectors and a couple VLF detectors. It is down to that stage of the game however where it just needs a lot more in field use to let things sort out for me. What I can leave you with for sure right now however is that these are all very good detectors that are ridiculously close in performance. You really just can't go wrong with any of them. Mid frequency VLF technology has matured to the point where it is almost impossible for anyone to really stand out from a performance standpoint. Nearly all the performance debates I see on the internet about these models boils down to differences in ground mineralization more than the machines themselves. Just find one that feels right on your arm and sounds good to your ear and get to work! This is very much a work in progress and so as I get a chance to use the large coils or hunt under different ground conditions if I come up with anything if interest I will add it here. There is a related thread on VDI numbers and tones at https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/526-fors-gold-f75-v3i-tone-and-vdi-tidbits/. For detailed information on each model plus the latest prices visit Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
  20. I got my hands on a prototype of the new Fisher F75 and was very impressed with the improved EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference) resistance more than anything. I also liked the new ferrous tones option that allows the operator to set the volume of the ferrous tone lower than the tone from non-ferrous targets. This makes the non-ferrous targets stand out better and is less fatiguing to listen to. The new FA fast mode is something I do not need as much as some people. It is intended to improve separation of adjacent items while detecting. For me I had sold my previous F75 for no other reason than EMI issues and let it go in favor of my Gold Bug Pro, which is exactly the opposite when it comes to EMI. The big attraction for me in the new F75 is the EMI resistance. I had to send the prototype back but was told I would see a production unit eventually. I must have been last on the list because it kept not showing up. Questions raised in the meantime really got me to wondering about things, so while I was waiting I found a deal on a never used 2013 F75Ltd version 7.0A. I figured it would give me a baseline for comparisons to the new unit when and if it ever arrived. Recent posts also got me wondering about the new Fisher F19, and on an impulse I picked up one of those also in like new condition. So I am sitting around playing with these two detectors when my new 2015 F75Ltd2 shows up a few days ago. Only one problem. The ground is frozen here. Now, I would love to say I went out and tested the heck out of these three detectors, head to head, under stringent test conditions, witnessed, verified, and on video. Given the circumstances it seems almost criminal not to. The reality is however that I am about burned out on the whole Fisher upgrade saga and just wanted to make a personal decision and move on. I do not feel like waiting around for the ground to thaw. The F19 is a sweet little detector and does hit tiny low conductors better than the F75. The new F75 seems just marginally better than the 2013 F75 in that regard but still not as good as the F19. Since I have other machines that trump them all for small gold I decided what really mattered to me was larger item performance and overall features so the F19 got kicked to the curb. My only real issue at that point was trying to determine if there was anything about the old F75 versus new F75 that would make me hesitant to upgrade. Again, I wish I could give you some kind of in depth report but I think I have learned my lesson reporting on machines where I have got one for free (sort of). The extra effort is kind of wasted so all that really matters is satisfying myself. I bench tested as best I could and the simple take away for me once again is the new F75 is remarkably more stable and interference free at higher gain levels than the old F75. I noted no significant loss of depth in all metal mode or anything else to cause me concern. I may very well have missed something, not saying I did not but it does look like I got a properly functioning F75Ltd2. I have decided I am happy with the new detector and that it is time to move on. I am getting pretty busy with getting ready for the prospecting season and in fact am headed to BLM right now to spend the day on claims research. So for what it is worth it is new F75Ltd2 for me. If anyone is interested in like a like new F19 or F75Ltd they are both for sale at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/classifieds/ The F19 I am including my 5" and 11" DD coils from my Gold Bug Pro that I held onto just in case the F19 ended up being the keeper. They can go now also. It really for anyone interested comes down to Fisher F19 vs Fisher F75Ltd2. From a prospecting perspective it is a no-brainer. The F19 is everything a Fisher Gold Bug Pro is along with some extra features like a backlight some people may like. It would be a bit better than a Gold Bug Pro at getting nuggets out of a pile of nails. The key issue is the F19 comes with the coil the Gold Bug Pro should come with but does not - the 5" x 10" DD coil. To get a Gold Bug Pro with that coil will cost you almost as much as just getting the F19 anyway, so I would tend to push people towards the F19 over the Gold Bug Pro for that very reason alone. I also for gold prospecting would recommend the Gold Bug Pro or F19 over the F75. These two models are slightly hotter on little gold nuggets than the F75 and for quite a bit less money do everything a gold prospector might want. So why am I going with the F75 myself? The reality for me is I have other detectors I will use if I am chasing small gold nuggets. They would be the Fisher Gold Bug 2 for low mineral ground and Minelab SDC 2300 for high mineral ground. Having these two detectors makes my having the F19 or Gold Bug Pro overly redundant. What I am more interested in is a good VLF for looking for larger gold nuggets in trashy tailings and cobble piles using a larger coil. The F75 is slightly better suited for this task than the F19 or Gold Bug Pro but more importantly for me it is also a good urban coin and jewelry detector, especially with the new resistance to electrical interference. It used to be the big weakness in the F75 was urban use, and all of the sudden that is now a strong point for the machine. I am glad to have put that all aside as the whole F75 thing has been dragging on for far longer than it should have. As seems to be usual for Fisher these days they need a bit of time to sort things out when they release a new model or even an upgrade to an old model. At this point it is probably safe for anyone wanting a new F75Ltd2 to get one or if they have an older model and want to have it upgraded I also think things seem to be sorted out on that end also. Those who are interested in upgrades can get details at http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/upgrade.htm
  21. Snow on the ground so time for a little bench testing. Fisher F75 SE version 7.0A (2013) with 5" round DD coil, Nokta FORS Gold with 5" semi-round DD coil, and White's V3i with 4" x 6" DD coil. The table shows VDI numbers on some standard items. The little allen wrench is like a small nail - a ferrous item. The BIC ballpoint is my standard simulated small nugget. The ring is my 14K plain gold band, around 7 grams. The VDI range on the Nokta runs from 1 - 99 with 40 and under generally ferrous. The F75 runs from 1 - 99 with 15 and under generally ferrous. The White's V3i runs from -95 to +95 with negative numbers generally ferrous. I say generally because in all three cases gold can run well into the ferrous range. Like by 10 - 20 VDI numbers into it! A few big lessons. The Nokta FORS VDI 1 - 99 range is skewed with high conductors bunched on the high end of the scale with most of the scale devoted to ferrous and low conductive items. This is ideal for relic hunters and prospectors. Silver coin hunters however usually prefer the scale to devote more room on the high end to possibly get a better handle on what is silver and what is not. The ferrous range of the Nokta actually runs all the way down into the ferrous ground range itself which is why there are 40 numbers devoted to it. The ID Mask setting defaults to 10 and if set lower allows ground signals to sound off. Since non-ferrous starts at 40 and I arbitrarily end low conductors at zinc penny on the upper end you have 40 - 82 or a spread of 42 points for low conductors. This really is no more than an average spread due to the large ferrous range. What I was happy to see is the simulated nugget (BIC ballpoint) nailing at 44 as a non-ferrous target. Contrast this to the F75 1 - 99 range. There are only 15 points in the ferrous range with the extreme low end represented on the Nokta scale truncated roughly in the middle. However, this leaves 16 up to 62 at zinc penny for a low conductor spread of 46 or slightly better than that on the Nokta FORS and leaves room for a little better definition for high conductive coins also. There is a ten point VDI spread between a dime and a quarter versus only 3 points on the Nokta. What disturbs me on this particular F75 is that having tried multiple coils I am getting the same result on the simulated nugget test. It wants to nail at a solid 1 which is well under the ferrous 8 reading for the allen wrench. This is not shocking but it is not good either. I can get the ballpoint to break in at 16 occasionally but it should be there hard and solid, not rarely. I had Keith Southern test his updated F75 and it seems to do better. I need to test this again when and if I ever get an upgraded F75 but it does confirm my suspicion that at least some Fisher units are not properly aligned at this critical break point. The White's V3i slays both of them with White's standard spread of 190 VDI points with half that devoted to ground and ferrous. A full 95 points is devoted to non-ferrous, giving a nice spread across the whole range. The V3i is a three frequency unit and the 22.5 kHz frequency employed allows it to easily nail the ballpoint test with a solid VDI of 3. White's even allows the 22.5 kHz frequency to use a native VDI range that skews and expands the low conductive range that delivers a VDI of 10 on the ballpoint, a very nice cushion between it and a ferrous reading. you have from 1 all the way up to 55 for zinc penny slightly beating both the Nokta and F75 for VDI resolution on low conductors and still room left for very good definition in the high conductor range. These detectors can employ a dual tone mode that delivers a low tone on ferrous targets and a higher tone on non-ferrous targets. The break point on the Nokta and F75 is preset at the factory VDI breaks of 13 and 40. The V3i you can customize not only the VDI break point but the tones. The F75 dual tone mode is pretty straight forward, with the volume being weaker or louder depending on the strength of the signal. In other words, a modulated audio. The Nokta Boost or DI2 mode uses a VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) audio where both volume and tone increases with signal strength. Anyone that uses a Fisher Gold Bug is familiar with VCO audio. It is rather unique and some people like it, others do not. Again, the V3i allows the tones to be customized any way you want, with either VCO, modulated, or even unmodulated options. Things get more interesting in Nokta DI3 or F75 three tone options. The low tone break for ferrous is the same but a third higher tone is added. On the Nokta zinc pennies and higher or from 80 on up delivers the third high tone. On the F75 it breaks above zinc penny so those pennies fall into the middle tone low conductive range. Zinc penny is also where Indian head pennies and some other old coins can fall. If you hunt strictly by ear and dig high tones only you are going to pretty much dig all coins but nickels. With the F75 it is geared more towards silver hunters so zinc pennies, Indian heads and possibly other coins would get passed up as low conductors. But wait! The F75 also has a four tone option that puts that zinc range into into own fourth tone - problem fixed. You can chose a tone option that focuses more on silver only or one that breaks out that penny range. Jewelry Hunter would probably prefer the 3 tone mode and dig just mid-tones. The bottom line is the Fisher has more tone options for the coin hunters than what the FORS offers. Of note is that the Nokta DI2 dual tone mode uses VCO audio, but the DI3 three tone option defaults to a more normal modulated audio. DI3 favors a faster sweep speed than DI2 which benefits from going slower. A generality would be that DI2 is more powerful but DI3 better behaved. The V3i again is unchallenged. You can actually go so far as to independently set a separate tone for every single VDI number, and the tones can be any from 191 tone options. You can make low conductors high tone if you want. Absolutely nothing on the market compares to the V3i for audio and visual customization options. Well, this all seems pretty easy, right? Just get the V3i and get on with business. Sadly, these are air tests. You might ask, for instance, which detector did best for "depth" in these air tests, as if there actually is such a thing. I only pay passing attention to that but the F75 seemed to be doing very well in that regard. Here is the problem with this entire lesson and all my typing. When you put things in the ground all these nice air tests rapidly decay and fall apart. In very mild ground or on very shallow targets detectors can be amazing. In my ground unfortunately VDI numbers start breaking down at around 3-4 inches! What you discover is that if you get too focused on cherry picking VDI numbers good finds deplete rapidly. Almost all accessible public areas have been detected for decades. So the easy accurate VDI results have already all been cherry picked away. The best finds these days often come from digging targets that were passed up precisely because they did not give a perfect response. In my opinion, these days we have to cast a wider net and be willing to dig more trash to make those exceptional finds. What that means is huge numbers of VDI numbers and tones although flashy and fun often is no better than just using a simple two or three tone method and going for it. Styles differ vastly and because really this is about enjoying ourselves there is no right or wrong way to do things - as long as you are enjoying yourself. For me, something simple like the Nokta DI3 tone option for digging all high conductor possible coin signals actually works pretty well in actual practice. If I want coins except nickels just dig high tones and have fun. The F75 allows a special mode that kicks nickels into the high tone range so you can do the same thing and get the nickels also if you choose. The V3i by now you should know the story - set it up any way you want. Still, tests like these are very valuable to me in setting the baseline for performance in the field from which I can work to discover how much things vary and hopefully why. The theoretical goal if finding a machine that adheres as closely to bench testing results as possible in the field. Sometimes you get textbook results, but then at another location everything goes haywire. But unless you know where you are starting from you will have no idea what is going on. I will sum this up for now by saying that the Nokta FORS is a machine that appeals to simplicity and leans towards relic hinting and prospecting. That is not to say you can't do well coin detecting with it, it is just that it is not set up with coin detecting specifically in mind. The F75 nicely straddles the middle for all detecting purposes. The V3i is in theory the perfect detector but the reality is huge numbers of people have discovered more options does not always mean better detecting, and it is not unusual at all for people to abandon the V3i in favor of simpler machines. Unless you spend a vast amount of time with a V3i it is hard to feel like you have mastered the machine. The V3i appeals to my inner detector nerd but it is usually the case where in the field I prefer simpler machines myself. Still, I made the V3i part of all this just to see how it really does do if given a fair chance and at least when bench testing it is impressive to see all the bells and whistles in action. This is all just stuff I am finding out for myself. I have no real reason in reporting it to you other than just to be sharing some info that is taking at least a little effort to collect. It helps me digest it better trying to put it clearly in a form you can better understand. Hopefully it will help someone in their own choice in a detector. As you may be figuring out if you have not already, there are no best VLF detectors, just lots of really different VLF detectors. They all actually do a good job finding stuff but it is in how they go about it that differs so much. It is mostly a case of finding out what style and type of detector works best for you.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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