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  1. I had been waiting for this coil to arrive for some time, It was ordered right as the Covid impacts were first known and international flights were all being cancelled, The day after the coil was shipped NZ closed it's borders completely, all inbound flights cancelled. The postal operators had no way to send it, it stayed in the origin airport for a few weeks while the postal agency worked out what to do and they eventually decided they'd put it on a ship. It was interesting watching it's tracking number but then, it went silent, once it departed nothing for a few months then all of the sudden it arrived in Australia, yay! I guess there would be no direct ships from there to Australia either so it would be bouncing between ships to make it's journey. From there it was a quick easy hop to NZ. Fortunately now flights around the world are starting to resume and my 8" GPZ X-coil that was ordered long after the 12x8" coil arrived in about 10 days. Our borders still remain closed to passengers, it is however open to freight flights and we're a bit of a hub for international long haul transit flights. Auckland airport is currently one of the busiest airports in the world which is incredible really taking on the worlds major airports for flight traffic. I think this is mostly because we have eliminated the virus 100 days ago so domestic flights are back to normal. Yesterday was our 100th day with no virus in the community, a bit of a celebration 🙂 It arrived in good order, after it's worldwide ship cruise journey. JW's had also ordered a 12x8" X-Coil and his was in with my package to save on shipping costs so he now has one too. I delivered his to him yesterday as we were heading out for a detect. He really liked the 12x8" size/shape and thinks it will be his favourite, that's a challenge as he loves his 10" and rarely takes it off, although the last few times he's been using his 15x10" and now suddenly that's been glued to his detector and he's finding it really good, it has spiral windings and he's used to his bundle wound 10", so he seems to be taking advantage of the sensitivity of the spiral windings as the bits he's finding with it are absolutely tiny. JW broke his E-bike, buckled a wheel so we decided we'd go to a place we've done a million times, probably the place I've detected the most, we both had very little hope at this spot and seeing we were on foot we couldn't go too far from where we have to leave the car but we thought we'd try walk and see what we can find. When we arrived we walked about 150 meters I guess to where the gold area starts from where you park the car, we've done this particular spot so many times it's not funny, we both didn't expect anything here. When we left JW's house in the morning Robyn JW's wife said good luck, and JW said I don't have much hope for today! I of course said Nor me! We both know how much we've done this area. We decided we'd try the first little bit for an hour or so to warm up 🙂 then walk and see if we can find somewhere else. This is the area I settled on detecting, its a hillside leading down to a creek, the Chinese had heavily worked this area in the good old days when there was lots of gold to find. I found a Chinese miners silver and irovy ring here at one point. This area is also the only place I've ever bumped into anyone else detecting for gold, one guy with a GPX 4500, one guy with a Nokta Gold Kruzer and another two guys together, one with a GPZ and his buddy with a Gold Bug 2. It's quite well detected, JW has been doing it for years so gold is getting harder and harder to get. There had been some sheep in here which was great news for us, the grass growth over the past couple of years had made for hard detecting and finally the farmer had put some sheep in. They had fixed it up a little but they're not really interested in the brown dry grass this area has. It's one of the colder and dryer areas in the country so grass isn't lush and green like elsewhere. After putting on a new coil I like to do a factory reset so I did that, then ran the 12x8" over the little ferrite ring as part of the factory reset process, it tuned out the little ring even when the coil was touching it. I then adjusted my settings to my preferred settings, HY, Normal and gain of 20. I then balanced out the ground then set to manual Ground balance , I'm not sure If I'm meant to do what the picture says when doing a ground balance by holding the quick track button as it indicates doing a figure 8 type thing on the ground but I've found my old GPX style pumping works quicker. The area is quite shallow bedrock, in spots it exposes itself and they're the spots I was finding gold in the past with the GM1000 but that all dried up and now the spots most likely to find gold for me are the more grassy areas where the gold is down a bit of depth on the bedrock with a soil layer over top and grass cover so the GPZ is far more effective than the VLF in this situation. There are also millions of shot gun pellets here, I would say the most out of any place I've detected so it's rare you can do a swing without hitting some pellets. The GPZ method I've been using is a scape or two and if the signal is there keep going, if not reject it or else you'll spend all day digging pellets. Thats not to say you won't be digging pellets, you will, many of them but it cuts the numbers down 🙂 First bit of gold was quite an easy one, maybe the sheep helped me here. I didn't have to dig far for that one, a real screamer. I also knew it wasn't a pellet as the signal was so booming, more so than with a pellet. 12x8" now broken in. Then right near it, not even a meter away I had another target that survived a few scrapes. Pretty shallow again, it had to be the grass level being low helping me find these Another decent lump! I detected quite heavily around this area now hoping for more, I found no more so I moved on. It's where the grass is like above you know hasn't been detected as well as the bedrock areas so I was trying to go over the grass as much as possible. Next I flipped a few rocks over this has worked in the past and when you get a signal under a rock that's been there who knows how many hundreds of years and you get a signal you get a bit excited. I had a signal under a rock, it was feeling like it might be a pellet, but why would a pellet be under a rock? There rocks are heavy! The pick levers them down off the edge. Unfortunately the target turned out to be a really tiny bit of metal. Who knows what it is or why it was there. I was almost sure it was going to be gold, at least my magnet helped recover it. I thought I'd experiment with the GPS on the GPZ, I'd never really given it a chance. I quite liked it. The novalty of using it, made it a bit like playing a game. I found it pretty accurate. I tested it when I was weaving in and out of bushes as I was detecting along making my way to the next area I wanted to detect. I don't know what the little greyed out bit is. This is the sort of terrain I was weaving through while testing it out. It's a shame I didn't test it back where I found the two bits of gold as It'd help make sure I didn't miss any ground, I'm terrible at missing ground. I might start using it more often. I continued flipping rocks and after flipping a huge one that almost landed on my foot I had another signal under where the rock was. The big rock at the top of the hole was where the hole now is, the hole ended up quite deep and it was my biggest bit of gold for the day. Different to the other bits too, far more smooth and flat. Come up nice after a clean. We detected until it was too dark to see well recovering targets. JW did very well, he went back to spots he'd done with his GPZ and 14" coil some time ago, he was talking about a crack in bedrock where he got a few with his 14x13" coil some time ago and he went over it and got another 3 out of it. He ended up doing far better than me, he got 10 out of this thrashed spot, unbelievable. His appeared to be much smaller bits too so it'll be interesting to see the weight tally. So that was my total, my 3 bits and it's now dark and time to go to KFC to refuel. We never did end up walking further afield, we were doing OK in the first spot right near the car, that sure surprised us both. And my junk, not too bad on the pellets as these were just ones I had to dig for, the rest that I was able to identify with the GPZ double blip and scrape or two were ignored.
  2. I have ordered a new size X-coil, it's a 12x8" X-Coil, It's already in the post however it's delayed in shipping due to international shipping delays the world over. Hopefully this coil arrives soon. I am very excited about it as I think it will be the perfect size for NZ. It's even in NZ's black and white colours. This should be good in our rocky terrain on small gold.
  3. I finally got out to test out my new 8" X-Coil, I've been wanting a size like this for a long time. I thought it was going to be impossible to fit the GPZ Super-D design into such a small coil however X-coils after some time have achieved it and it works exceptionally well. I was running my GPZ in HY Normal with gain of 20, manual ground balance all day. My first pellet recovery 🙂 These were my weapons of choice for the day, the little 8" hardly looks much bigger than the little 6x3" sniper on the GB2. It made the GPZ feel reasonably light too, I ran it all day without my harness which is handy as I was in rocky hilly terrain always putting my detector down so it was great having the extra freedom. I was comparing targets with my GB2 all day, seeing it's widely regarded as the most sensitive VLF I wanted to see the difference in performance to the GPZ with a small coil. The first thing I noticed almost immediately on little shotgun pellets which I found a lot of by the way was the GPZ was noticeably deeper than the GB2. There were pellets that the GB2 didn't pick up at all where the GPZ had a reasonable signal on them. I also found the Discrimination on the GB2 was near pointless on a lot of targets as it had no signal at all on them only giving a signal in it's all metal mode. The pellets had to be much closer to the coil than they were in the soils for the Discrimination to work, I was quite disappointed in this as I was hoping it would be a good gold discriminating pin pointer. This area has a lot of hot rocks, by a lot I mean they're everywhere and they're often green, you can't do a swing of a VLF without hitting them on every swing, I've been to this area a lot lately, its where I recently found 9 grams. I've moved on from that exact area I found the gold last time as it dried up but the same general area. The GB2 was of course having a lot of trouble with them, with the Nox I just notch out -8 and -9 and all is pretty good and the Nox doesn't appear to lose depth when discriminating like the GB2 and Gold Monster do. The 8" X-Coil was handling the hot rocks well, most of the smaller ones it was blind to, the big ones, some the size of a football or bigger it would get a signal on, so I tried the quick track button and waving it over the top of one, it took about 10 or so sweeps but it was able to give minimal reaction on one afterwards so I had my GPZ in manual balanced over a big green hot rock for the day so instead of using my Yellow ferrite ring I used a hot rock, it made more sense to me seeing they're the areas problem, correct me if I'm wrong. My first bit of gold was downstream in the old timer wash channel from my 9 gram spot. I did my usual pellet scrape, the signal lasted longer than a few scrapes, so I did some bigger scrapes and the target was getting better so I took a short video as I was starting to get pretty confident. It turned out to be a nugget in the gravelly layer below the top soil, pretty small nugget too. The GB2 did not pick this one up at all until I was closer down to it, that was in maximum settings with audio boost. Little longish bit. 0.177 of a gram, my biggest of the day 🙂 I walked across to the next wash as that was my plan for the day and was finding my usual pellets and comparing the two detectors, I was finding the GB2 was handy as a pin pointer and it's 71kHz wasn't interfering with my GPZ at all. I was also tipping my GPZ on it's side and using the edge of the 8" coil as a pinpointer and that was working pretty well for me. Seeing I was finding so many pellets, way more than usual in this location I was getting plenty of target recovery practice 🙂 Off to the edge of this bedrock I got another bit. Almost a little ball, when it was dirty I thought it was just another pellet. After cleaning the dirt out of it it's not as much like a little ball as it looked. It's a ball with a tumor. I heard a couple of bikes coming along the nearby track, turned out it was JW and his wife Robyn, they knew I was going to be there today so popped in for a visit, JW also has unfinished business in the area where he's been attacking a rocky wall of the wash for months and still getting gold out of it, he had his 15x10" X-Coil on which was a surprise, he put his 10" on and I thought he'd forgotten how to remote it and it rarely left since, he just loves that little 10". He was impressed with my little 8"', especially the size knowing It can get into places the 10" can't. We started detecting again and Robyn found comfy spot to read her book. It wasn't long and I could hear JW's usual TAP TAP TAP as he's smashing away at the rock 🙂 I kept checking out the lower areas of the wash and it wasn't too much longer after 5 or so more pellets I found another bit of gold. It was down in that bit of a gap in the rock. It was starting to cool down a lot now, well the day was never warm, I guess a maximum of about 5 degrees Celsuis but once the sun starts to go behind the mountains it cools down quickly so I went back to a bit that still had some sun 🙂 At this point I'd seen the bit of gold and knew where it was sitting down in the gravels but I wanted to show the crazy prickle bush I was dealing with, I'd already broken some branches off at this point, look at them thorns! This video also shows the sideways method I was using to pinpoint. The center of the coil is definitely it's hottest deepest spot but the edges are still good. This was my last bit of the day And just some scenery shots of the area, gold can be anywhere around here, even in the most unlikely of places. In between the bedrock is has been the most productive for me, which is why I like little coils. Everywhere you look are old timer rock piles, they're gradually getting buried by plant life. Once those giant prickle bushes grow in them, they're no longer detectable. Piles everywhere though, it goes for a few miles It's starting to get very overgrown in places, every year it's getting worse, gradually disappearing. Some of these cliff edges would be great to detect and would hold quite a bit of gold I'd imagine but they're just too steep for me. This is the sort of stuff JW is chunking away at all day getting gold out of the cracks, he said he's now bought a little battery powered jack hammer type thing to help with the job as it's hard work with a pick, hammer, cold chisel and screw driver but there is a fair bit of gold trapped in the rock. It's all in layers and you can smash them out slowly with your pick. And my junk for the day, well the junk I didn't lose from my pocket. So overall I'm very impressed with the 8". It seemed to me like it was exceeding the GB2 in performance on small pellets at depth. I'm still better at pinpointing with a small coil like on the GB2 but with practice I'll get better. As I was about to leave I went over to see how JW was going, right as I got there he had a target, I took over my GB2 as I know he often uses his one as pin pointer too, especially when smashing out rock as it can save a lot of time. He was using the nose of the 15x10" coil as his pin pointer and said it was working really well, he found the tip to be pretty sensitive but still too big to get down into the spot well so we used the Gb2 to get narrow down where to smash out... after a fair time of hitting he had the signal out, and it was a bit of gold smaller than my smallest bit and the 15x10" was sounding on it loudly. He had another signal in the rock to recover so I left him to it as they can take half an hour or more each to get out.
  4. Finally got out again with the 15" x 10” X-Coil. It ran really quiet and smooth continually in High Yield, Normal, at Sensitivity at 20. Found 10 small nuggets for a total weight of 4.55 grams. They were between 5 to 8 inches deep in a California pine tree area. The X-Coils work great, but the 15 x 10” is now the go to coil. Have a good day, Chet
  5. I've been a little hobbled with the sore ribs from my misadventure in Baja. I hate being cooped up, so I was out poking around in the placer fields of Yuma despite really bruised ribs from my crash in Baja. Anyone my age has broken ribs in their misspent youth, but at 65 yrs old, they mend much more slowly. Nevertheless, I get bored and have to be outdoors. We had some rain in Sunny Yuma last week and in some locations in the desert canyon washes ran a lot of water. I went out exploring with the GPZ 7000 and the 17x12 X-Coil. I wasn't really interested in trying to dig deep targets with my bummed up ribs, so I concentrated on newly exposed desert wash walls. I passed on a ton of probable trash targets not wanting to dig deep trash that would trigger muscle spasms and shorten my day. Ultimately, I marked some good sounding targets for later examination and dug a few that showed shallow hardpack. Towards the end of my morning I waved the coil over some bench gravels with old drywash fine tailings. I got such a clear signal that I knew if it was trash, at least it was very shallow. I pushed the gravels around with my boot and the target moved proving that it was indeed very shallow. I got out my plasitc scoop and started sorting out the likely target. On the second scoop I get a booming tone that normally indicates old copper scraps or pieces of copper wire. I was amazed to see this gold nugget in my scoop. This nugget doesn't register on my El Cheepo Weed Scale, but even the best scale might find this nuggets weighs in at a few grains. I believe that the toe of the 17x12 X-Coil which measures at about 8 inches in the sweetspot is far hotter than the Minelab 14" standard coil. I didn't mention that I used the 17x12 exclusively in Baja, and was going over ground I covered last year with the standard Minelab coil. I found at least 8 gold nuggets that I missed last year. Nevertheless, feast your eyes on this magnificent gold nugget the X-Coil hit with a hard tone. I have no affiliation with X-Coil, its manufacturer or distributor.
  6. I was sent some photos overnight of some incredible finds with the GPX and an X-coil that forum member Elijah found. I thought I'd put the photos up for people to see as they're pretty incredible, I really love the old coin, imagine the history that goes with an old coin like that, I can't even imagine how old it must be It must have been a very wealthy person that lost it. I would love to detect in locations that have ancient coins like this. It looks like they just take a big nugget and stamp an image on it. It looks like a bird of some sort? And check out it's weight!!!! That coins heavy! I wonder what you could buy with it when it was used as currency. He also found this, I'm not sure what it could be, any ideas? It's likely to be very ancient too.
  7. Picked up my 10 inch x coil during the week, good to get out to my usual spot, picked up these in 2 hours detecting, really impressed with this coil.
  8. Thanks to Chet for pioneering the new way of doing the patch lead for the X-Coils on the GPZ7000, it makes use of the curly part of the GPZ coil cable and makes changing the coils at the top of lower shaft and the bottom of the upper shaft way more easy. I am testing this new type patch lead here in Aussie now. The X-Coils have a shorter coil cable (no curls at all) and the curley cable is all part of the GPZ coil lead, the total length of the combined coil cables is the same as always, the GPZ7000 shafts close up same as before. To change coils, close the shafts as before, undo the clamp mechanism on the lower shaft slide apart and hold with something while changing coils (I just used a peg) On first installation, join the long patch lead to the x-coil cable and insert up the shaft to the control box as before, once done you don't need to do it this way again, just swap coils at the lower shaft. If for some unknown reason 😲 you ever want to go back to a standard GPZ coil then you will need to change coils at the control box like before. 😉 cheers dave The black plastic spacers on the metal plugs need to stay in place to keep the plugs from moving around inside the shaft.
  9. I was very keen to go for a gold detect this weekend, only problem is the weather forecast wasn't really detecting weather, I wanted to go back to the spot I did very well last weekend where I found .865 of a gram I just had a funny feeling there was more in that hole as I was getting faint signals with the GPZ but at the time I wasn't sure if that was just the hot rocks, this particular spot is full of hot rocks of all shapes and sizes, right down to pea size up to giant bolder. I was hoping my assumption there might be more gold there would be correct. There was quite a bit of snow overnight but the skies had cleared and went nice and blue so I sent JW a text message asking what the weather was doing up his way seeing he lives 10 minutes from where I was going to look for my gold. He responded it wasn't looking too good so he will decide when I arrive if he wants to go detecting. Nothing was stopping me however, I had a mission and I was determined to find gold! About 10 minutes after I left my house things went downhill with the snow Started to get pretty thick, fortunately they'd plowed the road but it was still slowing coming down. Then up ahead the traffic was all at a stop, by traffic I mean the one car in front of me 🙂 It was due to a car that thought it would be wise to tow a caravan in the snow. Not a good idea, the road was icy and slippery. Things did not go well for them, they lost control, spun around and their caravan basically exploded. Not much left of it. Further up the road the weather was getting worse, and I'd forgot to put my chains in the car, if it got too bad I'd have to turn back. After a bit more driving as I got towards the lake nearer to JW's house the skies cleared and there was no snow up that way. I stopped at the shops to get a few things and picked up a tool from the hardware store expecting to have to smash through rock to recover nuggets like JW has been doing. That seems to be the way nuggets are mostly found at this spot, my nugget in the hole last weekend was a bit unusual. JW always goes straight to detecting the rock where he's doing very well, 10 or so little nuggets most days. I got to JW's and he decided the weather was good enough so off we went. JW went to his rock wall again, that thing just keeps on giving.... and I went to my hole. It was not long at all and I had my first nugget, then another.... and another, they just kept coming. The damp soil I suspect was making them stand out even more, both JW and I have noticed this in the past, they light up in wet soil. I had my first 3 within about 30 minutes I would guess... I took my watch off during the virus lock down as I never needed to know the time anymore and I've never put it back on. I got used to not caring what time it is. That little guy is 0.034 of a gram, and the 10" X-coil found it with no troubles at all. I run my GPZ in HY Norrmal, Manual GB with gain on maximum, all else defaults. I don't bother with the little yellow ferrite ring, I feel it doesn't help at all in our soil. I don't understand Minelab's decision not to make a small coil, they probably don't even know the full potential of the GPZ on small gold as with a small coil it's absolutely deadly, the tiniest bits very comparable to a high frequency VLF like the Gold Monster. I think with the 8" coil it will easily match the Gold Monster. I think they didn't want to take the SDC 2300's market away from the GPZ owners, they'd rather sell them a second detector than a coil - more profit! And here is a video of the detector response on that tiny little nugget, insanely sensitive. I can't wait for my 12x8" and 8" round to arrive, you would think it would not be possible to get more sensitive than the 10". This was my first time finding one so tiny with the GPZ, JW does it all the time and I was watching him do it last weekend so I was using that as a learning experience of what to listen for. I just kept scraping more off the hole in layers, I was having a bit of trouble with tiny hot rocks but I didn't want to change off HY normal / max gain to calm the hot rocks down so I just kept fishing them out whenever there was one there and throwing them far away, often using the Nox to assist with narrowing their location down. During my digging I found a weird little skull, maybe a dinosaur 🙂 There was other bones right next to my hole too, perhaps an animal had been using my hole as it's dining room. The gold didn't stop coming, I've never had a day like this, I had so many bits by now I had lost count, I didn't even bother taking photos as that would waste valuable digging time. I just kept scraping more away and detecting each layer after removing the hot rocks by using the Equinox with 6" coil and picking out any rock that it detect as a hotrock (-8/-9).... If you've got good gold eyes you may spot the bit of gold in the photo below, I spotted it sitting in my scrape. And this was it. I got to the point a big rock was in my way so I had to swing around and attack it from the other side where the sticks are This side was a bit wild, you can now see how much I've dug out, the original ground layer, it was on a downhill slope. right up where a tree root was I had a really nice signal with the GPZ, it was too loud so I thought perhaps a bullet or something so I grabbed the Equinox to see what it would come up with, it had no signal. I removed a bit more soil then suddenly I had a solid 16. I used the Equinox to recover the target and to my surprise......... The biggest nugget I've ever found!!!!!!!!!! \ Oh yea! a beauty. You'll see up above that my little tiny bottle, it's my emergency bottle that I keep inside the zipped up GPZ cover as I have forgotten to bring a bottle a few times I keep that little guy as my spare. Fortunately I did as I sure needed it on this day. I took the following photo today as I went back today to hunt the spot again, this photo shows exactly where I found the big nugget. It was on top of that rock below the tree root. I found a few more nuggets, another 4 I think after the big one but I didn't take any photos, it was starting to get dark so I met back up with JW to see how he'd done on his rock wall, he'd got 9 nuggets, not bad! He was impressed with my whopper and my haul, it is a very big nugget for NZ. We walked the 20 or so minute hike back to the car but as we got close to the car for some reason I checked my pocket to see if my gold was there, and it wasn't! $#@$#@$#@ My heart stopped! We went into panic mode checking my pockets 20 times and emptying out my backpack, nope! Nowhere, it was very dark now and my phones light wasn't helping much. We decided rather than walk back with my phone light we'd go back to JW's house and get a torch and come back and look for it, it either had to be on the path we took or any of the last areas we walked at the nugget spot. We arrived back with the Torch, JW was a lot more confident we'd find it than I was. He said we'd be best off going back to the spot as it likely fell out of my pocket when I was crouching down packing all my stuff back into my bag. We retraced our steps back at the nugget spot and within about 10 minutes I spotted it, sitting in the long dead sparse grass!!! Thank goodness! That was a close call, my best gold day ever and I'd lost it all. Now for the weigh in. All the little ones, I can't even remember how many, 15 I think it was for 2.113 grams And the monster! 4.081 grams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The total for my best day ever, 6.195 grams! JW offered for me to stay at his place but I wanted to go home and show my wife my find, I didn't expect my 9 year old daughter to still be awake as I got home about 9.30pm and her bed time is 8.30 but my wife let her stay up to see my big nugget, she was very excited and shocked to see how big it was. I had plans to go back first thing in the morning to start again, this hole had to have more, I dug my last one about 5 minutes before stopping last night so I was sure it wasn't finished. This time I was going to come more prepared, better pants with a zip up pocket to hold my gold bottle and a bigger white bottle so I can't lose it after the previous scare, a crow bar as we call them or San Angelo bar in America I believe? and a big magnet on a pole to try help with the little hot rocks. The ground was a bit frozen when I arrived but not too bad. The magnet on a stick is cool, and worked well, shrinks down to put in my backpack too, it helped clear up the hot rocks quickly. A pretty big strong magnet on it. I had to give the area a tidy up and clear all the sticks before starting as I was heading that direction with my digging. Doesn't help with these giant hot rocks though, but the crow bar dig them out and moved them for me, I'm certain they mask the gold targets when they're nearby A quick video of the Nox on the hot rocks It came in handy for giving me an ID on them. Day two was going well too, I'd lost count again on how many nuggets only taking photos of the bigger ones. Quite meaty! And another one! This rock even had a little one stuck in it. I had to be home by 3pm so I called it quits, JW is still there now, hopefully he finds a big one! 🤞 So my total for today 11 Nuggets for 3.310 grams, and my two day total 9.546 grams, what a weekend! I love the 10" X-coil on the GPZ, what a killer combination. I'm really excited about the smaller sizes coming (8" and 12x8")
  10. I haven't had a chance to go prospecting since our lock down ended a few weeks ago, once lock down ended I was busy catching up on everything that couldn't be done in lock down 🙂 NZ has done a stellar job in eradicating the virus so our lives are essentially back to normal now except for no International tourists which in our part of the country are a big part of our economy. We haven't had any new cases in some time and there is now only one person left in the entire country that is in quarantine with the virus. The one case left is on the North Island, so no problem for me down the bottom of the South Island 🙂 Every morning lately has been a heavy frost so I was intending to do my gold hunt in the afternoon once the ground thaws out. This was my yard before I left. A bit chilly 🙂 It was good to get out prospecting again, my wife and daughter wanted to tag along as they were going to ride their bikes along the cycle trails in the area so my day was limited, I only had a couple of hours. We parked up and I walked to my usual spot and showed them where I'd be so they could come back and find me. My first target was a shotgun pellet, damn it, I'd forgotten they existed, I had a hard enough time remembering how to use my detector it's been so long 🙂 I was then walking across to the spot I wanted to have a snoop around and on my walk there I got a signal, it wasn't a booming target and it sounded too good to be a shotgun pellet. I dug the surface away and the signal was still there, looking positive, it was at this point I took a quick video in case I was lucky enough that after only about 15 minutes I had my first nugget. I wasn't too sure on this one as the spot where it was located didn't really feel right, not the usual place we'd been finding gold around this spot so I turned the video off and started the recovery, possibly expecting a deep old bullet shell or something. It was a really scrubby area too, lots of prickle bushes and old sticks everywhere. In all of my excitement of my first find of the day I didn't even get a photo of the area, but the video shows it. I had to dig a fair way down to get to my target, It was stuck in some layers of the rock which I had to smash out to get to it. A decent size too! woohooo, what a start. I like when they're big enough my Carrot narrows them down. Just after I'd found the nugget I was rechecking the area and heard a bike pull up, it was JW, we hadn't seen each other in some time due to the lock down but he'd been coming to this spot again the last few weeks once lock down ended. We had a chat then got stuck back into it, he went to his usual spot where he's been doing very well, and I went back exploring the side I've been attacking. No good targets for about 40 minutes now then in between some bedrock I had another nice sounding target that survived a few scrapes of the pick, always promising. These small coils are just brilliant for our hunting grounds here, the smaller the coil the better, the small 10" X-coil has brought this old hunted out area back to life as you can get into all these little tight spots and it paid off again, the coil only just fit between these rocks too, there is still a lot of ground the 10" is too big for but it does get a majority of it. I'm no photographer 🙂 but in the shadow in front of my coil is the dig hole, right between the two rocks. A bigger coil would have missed this gold. The bedrock is shallow here but I have done this ground with the Equinox a few times and missed this piece. If you look hard you'll see the crack in the bedrock where it was. And the nugget, typical sort of nugget for this area, all water worn looking smooth bits even though none of the rocks around the area are rounded water worn rocks. A few more junk targets and my phone dinged, it was my wife saying shes done bike riding and was on her way back to collect me so I walked over to see how JW was doing. I had heard him banging away at the rock for ages while I was detecting around so I assumed he'd done well. When I arrived he was digging out a big hole in the bedrock cliff face, all the soil was out of the crack and he was breaking apart the rock with his screw driver and hammer. So far he had one bit of gold but another signal was in there, so we tried to use my Carrot to narrow it down, no luck so he kept smashing away. He had created that big hole, the big bit of rock at the bottom of the photo was from the hole, the rest were thrown down the side off the cliff. After smashing some more up and trying to find it he still had no luck so we tried the Carrot again, this time it picked it up, real good. It sure helped speed up the recovery. A big one too! Carrot detectable size again. Unusual to get biggish ones and now we've both got one! He checked the hole again, and another signal A tiny one!, Rechecked again...... another signal, unbelievable. A lot more smashing out of the rock and out it pops The hole was getting bigger and bigger And more kept popping out. My wife and daughter arrived on their bikes now to collect me so I called them over to see the hole that keeps giving, it still had a signal in it now that we were working on recovering, each target as needing more rock smashed out This 10" Coil can really pick up some incredibly small nuggets. And they just kept coming, my family were watching on with interest. More nuggets kept coming out then JW checked the soil and crumbled up rocks that came out of the hole and more signals, all over the place Absolutely nuts, what a hole! All from that one hole,all were in the rock needing smashed out. I had a ball helping with that recovery, 13 nuggets at 1.8 grams total weight. JW said yesterday he found a similar hole on the same cliff face with 10 pieces in it. And my total, sorry for the glary photo, was taken at night once I got home, and the houses LED lights mess up photos. 0.865 grams for 2 nuggets, 0.76 of that is the big one. I really love the small GPZ X-coils, I can not wait for my 12x8" X-coil to arrive as it may get into the spots the 10" coil can't.
  11. Today i received new range coil. This is X-COIL 26" spiral mono. Weight of this monster coil is 1680 gramm. Tomorrow will be testing. This coil for GPX series
  12. There has been a lot of talk lately about gold being found on or off bedrock, I've personally done well finding gold in soil, even my biggest bit to date has been in soil. JW found this little soil ridge well up above bedrock, it's soil all the way to ground level 50 to 100 feet below along the top of the ridge, as you go down the sides of it the gold disappeared, oddly right at the top of this ridge has been a very productive spot for gold for us both. We did a number of posts about it at the time last summer when we were going there on the bike ride of death along a little track with a big drop. Today I was given a couple of videos of more gold being found and again the gold was in soil so I thought I'd show you the videos. Gold is where you find it 🙂 Rules don't seem to apply. These two videos are the 10" X-coil and filmed yesterday. This sort of thing is familiar to me, this is often how I have found gold, just in soil and oddly most of my biggest bits have been found the same way which I've often posted about in the past and they've been in spots hammered by everyone around here, so the likely reason I found them is nobody bothered to detect the soft loamy soil areas instead targeting mostly the bedrock. Here is the photo for the total of the day
  13. X-coils have made an absolute Monster of a coil for the GPZ 7000. It was only a month or so ago the 26" X-coil was released for the GPX/QED, now a 25" has been made for the GPZ. These coils were designed for Russia as they have a lot of big deep gold as well as old golden relics and coins. The new X-coil 25" GPZ coil is bundle wound like traditional Minelab coils and weighs less than the genuine Minelab GPZ 19" Coil at 1800 grams including skid plate. I am betting this would find some bigger deeper gold missed in Australia 🙂
  14. I put in some serious days of detecting old patches in Gold Basin in order to get a solid idea of what I personally missed with the Z14 and give my coils more of a workout. Most of the spots I hit were patches I personally found and I doubt anyone else has ever detected, that way I can gauge what exactly I was passing by and get a good feel for the differences between the coils I have with me. However, the first patch I hit was on in Lost Basin proper and not one of my own. I had once met an old timer detecting here as I was exploring back in 2014 and he explained he had found this patch in 2002 and it had produced up to a 1.5 oz'er and about 3-4 ounces in total, mostly deep. It's about 50'x50', seen 3 GPZ's I am aware of, 25" coils, and about 2 decades of detecting. I put on the 17x12, which I was given free by the manufacturer, and began a mental gridding. 12 t-hold, low smoothing, 19 gain, HY, Normal. About halfway through I got a very subtle signal, but it was repeatable. I kicked off low smoothing just to hear the difference and the signal was definitely bigger...maybe wider is a better term. Kicking into Difficult the signal disappeared. Back to my normal settings, I boot scraped an inch and saw the top of a large rock which I assumed was the signal, but after pulling it aside with my pick the signal got stronger. I ended up with a solid ~0.3 grammer at about 10 inches. I'm certain this target didn't make a peep on the Z14. You can see the big boss man overseeing the operation here to the upper left, and also the old dead twigs which the old timer had at one time raked aside, which was what drew my attention to the area to investigate at first. Grand Wash cliffs in the background, the Grand Canyon is directly behind them. Visible is the foreground is the filled in hole, you can see this is pretty typical Lost Basin reddish dirt. I would classify it as mild to low-medium "heat". Some run Difficult here, but I see no need for it. Here is a video of the lack of sensitivity at the tips of the 17x12. It's really noticable when trying to pinpoint and oddly it makes a big ole 17" round easier to pinpoint with for me than an elliptical. I feel as if the 17x12 is like detecting with a 14x8 except with a lot of extra plastic around the edges and with the depth in the center of the coil of a 17" elliptical. It's odd. I'm not sure it's my choice for rocky washes anymore because that sensitive area towards the center is hard to get over everything. Next I moved to a wash in Gold Basin which had produced a lot of sub-1 gram stuff for me in the past and I put on the 10" to do some crumbing. I slowed down and really made an effort to listen for tiny blips but after running through about 40 feet of wash bottom without a piece of gold I decided to grab my Gold Bug 2 and run back over the same ground because I swore I should have had some dinks by then. A lot of caliche is exposed here, and for those who don't know what caliche is, it's basically a limestone conglomerate type rock that acts as bedrock in the desert here. It can be soft or hard as concrete. Almost immedietely I had a strong signal on the side of the wash, which I assumed must be a small bit of tin. I grabbed the GPZ/10" and despite my best efforts I couldn't get any type of real signal to repeat for me. Going back to the GB2 I recovered the target and it ended up being a 0.03 gram tiny nugget, which upon looking with a loupe was quite porous and had tiny microscopic bits of quartz within it, a very common occurence for nuggets here as much of the gold forms within breccia in shears and shattered fault gouge here so it often encapsulates almost microscopic bits of quartz. Due to these non-sluggy sort of targets, the VLF seems to hit much harder on them than the GPZ/10", which probably explains why I can't seem to get the sensitivity on my tiny nuggets as others seem to be reporting, even in other parts of AZ. A 0.1 gram nugget of gold from here might only have 0.05 grams of gold in it, and discontinuous geometry, which is hard on non-VLF machines. I moved on another 5 feet and hit another pretty definite target on the GB2, this time it was a paper-thin flake, I think it was about 0.05 grams. Just holding it in my fingers lightly was enough to bend it. It's at the tip of my pointer finger. It would make a sound on the 10" if I waved it in my scoop right over the coil, but it couldn't hit it at about 1", just too thin even for the GPZ, and that's why I missed it I think. I put my GPZ back in the truck and decided to just run through the last 30 feet or so I had covered with the 10" just out of curiosity. I almost immedietely hit another signal, faint but repeatable. At about 6" I pulled out a 0.2 grammer right on caliche. Not sure how I missed this one, might have gone too fast with the 10". It ended up having a lot of quartz too, and some hematite. And then another 5 feet again, about 5" and sitting on caliche, a 0.2 grammer that I really should have heard before but somehow didn't. This one I got in-situ before brushing it away as it was wedged in between two cemented pebbles. And then finally a 0.15 grammer that really wasn't even very deep. Not sure why I missed this one but it was right in the center of the small wash and there is no chance my coil didn't scrub it. This post got kinda long, so I will take a queue from JW and do a multi-part post. My conclusion (unsurprisingly since we already knew this) is that the target geometry/composition makes a big difference in how successful a person is with the 10" and why I was having trouble understanding why people don't simply just go in with their VLF's instead of the 10X since it's so much quicker and lighter. I know I traded notes with Andy when we first got our 10"' X Coils and he was getting a lot better depth on tiny bits than I was, and I'm sure it's because the gold in the areas he detects is more solid and my gold has a ton more quartz inclusions and porosity. I have some 0.1gram bits that won't make a peep on the 10X even running them directly over the coil in my scoop, and that's due to the target characteristics. Overall, I'm reminded why I rarely spend much time doing this kind of detecting unless I really need to get a couple pieces for morale. I don't live close enough to gold fields where I can spend my time chasing small stuff like this. That's just me and my personal situation, but I feel it's necessary to state since the majority of posters here live much closer to detecting ground and might not understand why I detect the ways I do. It's 1000 miles drive each way for me to go detecting and I'm not retired so I have to make it pay or at least break even. Next post I'll show you what I normally aim for in my personal detecting and why I do it that way even though it breaks some of the "golden rules" of gold detecting. I believe it will be important to make these distinctions for those new people reading these sorts of posts 5, 10, 15 years down the road and wondering why we did what we did. I feel it's important to not copy what others do online, but to develop a strategy and skillset that matches your local conditions and personal situations. My style probably might not even be optimum 150 miles away in the Bradshaws, let alone across the country or world.
  15. I was in Quartzsite looking for flea markets for 2 days with my girlfriend (she is not a fan of prospecting). I snuck off for 2 hours to do some detecting with the 17x12 X Coil which Al had given to me for free to make up for the problems I had with the early X cords. I've not had any issue with cords since then, they stretched again but not enough to bind up in the shaft and inserting/removing coils has been easy now. Since time was slim I decided to hit a wash fairly close to town which had produced a little over 1 ounce for me with the 4500 and GMT, but which I had not visited with the GPZ at all yet. I figured it was the best chance for me to find a nugget in a short amount of time. Most of the gold found previously was 1/2 gram to 2 grams here. Not much smaller, and not much bigger. The wash has bedrock from surface to about 3 feet deep, a nice quiet gneiss and schist assemblage, pretty standard in Q. Part of the reason for the mild soils. I also thought odds were good that I'd missed all the deep, small stuff back in 2012 and that it'd be perfect to clean up with the GPZ/X combo. I'll try something different this time and I'm going to show the horizons and surrounding land. Anyone who really wants to track it down and find it, go for it. As I detect less and less, someone new or just starting can figure out where they are at. This is looking down towards some mountains that can be ID'ed. The part of the wash that produces gold is about 1/2 mile hike uphill from here, and is currently unclaimed. The 17x12 ran even quieter here than in Gold Basin, no problem running at 20 gain, HY, Normal. Though I run in low smoothing because I like a stabler threshold than most so I can move faster and concentrate. Within 5 minutes of hiking to my spot, I got a decent signal, a bit quiet but repeatable. Mostly only sounded off in a circular area under the coil, as if the coil were an 8" round, and I couldn't hear it towards the ends of the coil. I scraped 2 inches of gravel away with my boot, and the signal was now pretty stout. After breaking out the pick, I got down about 15" and started exposing jagged bedrock. I put the coil on edge and pinpointed the signal to a small area between bedrock juts and then began chiseling and brushing away gravel until I found the nugget with my pinpointer, so I could get a picture in situ. It's at the point of my finger inside a crack that required screwdriver excavation. I pried the nugget out of the crack after fidgeting with the bedrock a bit, and was a bit surprised to see it was larger than expected, in fact this is largest nugget I've found in this wash. I figured it was 3.5 grams by feel. It ended up running around 4.5 grams and paid for all our gas and food for the 2 day trip down. So I was happy, for what was at the time about 15 minutes total into the short time I had to detect on this trip. The hole is at the bottom of my coil. The nugget was wedged down in that bedrock which is unfortunately covered in shadows in this photo, and the total depth was just shy of the length of the coil, so around 16-17". There is a new ATV trail almost to the point where I started detecting so I can't help but feel at least 1 person has had a Z14 over this wash, but I'm not certain. This nugget was sitting almost vertical, and I suspect that is why it was missed previously and not a screaming signal on the 17x12, though the signal was definitely sharp and unmistakable. Another 30 minutes of poking and prodding into the rocks and bedrock, and I pulled up a deep drywasher nail and a the head of another nail. Both sharp and loud signals right in the gut of the wash that my 4500/GMT combo had missed 7 or 8 years ago. I was near the start of the wash, thus the end of my journey and thinking it was about time to turn around and hike back down. And then I hit my final target on the short hike, a ~1 grammer which was also a sharp and pronounced signal, and also right beneath a stretch of exposed bedrock. It's at the tip of my finger, didn't have to dig around with the screwdriver for this one. Here is the sum total of what I found with about 1 hour of detecting and 1 hour of hiking there and back. This is a wash I detected back in 2012'ish with a range of 4500 coils and my GMT (before I had a GB2), probably 8 or 9 times total. I covered most of the upper portion of the wash that had produced nuggets for me in the past, though I suspect I could pull another 1 or 2 out of there if I tried with the 10". I'm also pretty certain the 10" would have missed the larger, deep nugget, but I can't be absolutely certain. Total weight, not bad for an ~hour of work. And one final horizon shot right where the nugget zone starts, up towards the base of the mountain. For all the internet sleuths and greenhorns who can't find anyone to share locations with them to get them started. Good luck. Enough clues here to find the area for a dedicated individual. Overall I was happy with the 17x12 in the rocky wash/bedrock areas. It ran smoother here than Gold Basin, both dealing with ground mineralization and EMI. GB gives me these zips and zaps that are absent here, and struggles with the BIF and basalt, and it's real hard to run this 17x12 full bore in washes there with high black sand concentrations. The magnetite chunks in Q gave me problems but they do with the Z14 and 4500 too, so nothing new there. The main issue I have is the edges seem to not be sensitive enough on this coil compared to the rounds. So while the geometry allows you to push into tight cracks, you aren't always getting full sensitivity in the depths of the cracks as you would with the 10" round. The shape of the area of maximum sensitivity within the coil is odd. A simple sweep often misses subtle targets unless you are over one of the sweet spots, and the sweet spot doesn't appear to just be a smaller ellipse within the elliptical coil, it's some odd shape with hotspots within itself. That sounds confusing, but I have a hard time explaining it better. I think Condor mentioned it already, but pushing/pumping the coil into tight spots over the center of the coil (if possible) often works better to hear the coupling between very tiny or very weak targets to determine if it's good repeatable or ground mineralization. I've been doing this out in the open in the flats in GB too, especially in areas of high mineralization, to determine what is a good target. One thing is certain, in the US it's mostly about knowing where to go, or knowing someone who knows where to go. Or having exclusive access to land. This shows why. This was found in 2 hours, but only because I was lucky enough to start detecting at a time when a lot of people ran their detectors subpar by copying settings off internet forums, allowing me to find a lot of stuff the others missed. Those days are largely gone since the GPZ levels the playing field today. I couldn't walk into a goldfield I've never been to an expect the same results, it was only my knowledge of what and where I found gold in the past that let me do this. So, don't get discouraged if your results are not the same. A new guy would simply just have to hope to stumble on this place by dumb luck since all the leads are gone now, while I can just hike right to it. So maybe this will help someone new find an "old" place. I don't detect as much as I used to these days as I have other projects going, but Al (X manufacturer) sent me this coil for free to try last year, and I figured it'd be nice to do a write up since I wasn't able to run my GPZ on the commercial project I have going due to EMI interference from the CAT 336. The coil performed great here though, and it was nice to just get out and finally do some detecting for fun.
  16. JW contacted me in the morning saying he's got the day off work so if I wanted to go for a detect jump in my car and head on over to his place. This is always a hell yes from me, the world would have to be ending to stop me.... oh uhm... whoops 🙂 maybe more than the world ending. We were going back to the exact same spot we were at the previous mission so figured I'd either use the 15x10" X-coil or the 10" X-coil, but because the area is very rocky I went with the 10", you need as small of a coil as possible for this terrain. The 10" can get into some pretty tight spaces. Gold here would be missed with any bigger of a coil. JW noticed our Davsgold picks looked a little different, this is odd as we both have the same pick so we compared them The years of wear on JW's pick is pretty evident, his pick has gone through hell smashing up schist for years 🙂 He needs to give it a sharpen, the sharp point on mine is very handy. I've also upgraded the magnet I had on my pick, it's been excellent. I drilled out a 30mm deep by 20mm round hole in my pick and dropped the strongest magnet I could buy into it with the same dimensions. Now not only is the base of my pick magnetic, the sides are too, it sucks up ferrous junk like mad. I'm very happy with it. I can move the black sand around on it 🙂 JW was back detecting his highly productive cliff edge armed with his hammer and screwdriver, so I figured I'd go back and check around where I was the other day. It wasn't long and I had a very faint signal, a few scrapes and the signal improved. The bedrock in this spot is about 4 to 9 inches down. It turned out to be quite a nice bit of gold down in the bedrock that required breaking up some bedrock to get to it. For the first time I managed to record a good part of the find on video as I was so confident it was going to be gold. I've wanted to capture a find on video for a long time. Here is a photo of the spot I got it, it was actually quite deep, and the gold was on edge, it's a very skinny bit. My biggest of the day. I spent the next hour or so checking the area slowly. Plenty of pellets but nothing else. I moved back down towards the little gully JW was detecting and on the path we bike in I had a signal, I'd done this path bit the other day with the Nox, I'd spent an hour or two on this small area with it but I missed this piece, maybe just too deep for the Nox. Down through the gravels to the bedrock again. Almost like a little ball 🙂 This round gold is common in this spot, JW's been getting a lot of it. I then realized I forgot to balance to my ferrite ring, seeing I'd gone from the 12" to the 10" X-coil I thought I may as well do it. Again I don't know if I am balanced to it being new to the GPZ but I did the procedure and the noise of the ring all but disappeared after a couple of sweeps over it. The day was getting pretty exciting, I was hoping for a 3rd but for the next few hours I got nothing but pellets... I had a break and drink and watched JW for a while, I usually learn a few things doing this and I was able to see his coil control is far better than mine, he drives that thing around keeping it so close to the ground hugging the rocks while checking the bedrock cracks. The cracks in the bedrock like in this photo can contain gold, but you have to check the entire rock as the gold has proven it can be anywhere in the rock in healed over cracks. As the day was coming to an end I went over to a spot that chased JW away with the abundance of pellets there, they were everywhere!!!! It paid off though, my final nugget for the day This is up on a bedrock ledge, the ground is 10 to 15 feet below where this little ledge is and down deep in the gravels was a bit of gold........ and about 8 pellets 🙂 The gold had a louder and more distinct signal than the pellets. Another ball type bit. And now the weigh in..... My junk Not as bad as last time, I'd already done a lot of the cleaning of the area 😉 Not too bad 🙂 I haven't had three in a while. Almost worth celebrating with a beer at the pub
  17. Now that I've got your attention no JW didn't only get one bit of gold 🙂 He got many but that's his story. I managed one bit. I had to borrow his gold bottle as I forgot my own, I also forgot my harness which is not the best thing to do for someone with a sore back! A week or so ago we went for a detect at a spot on the E-bikes, JW did really well over at a rocky cliff area where gold was getting trapped like a sluice box in the schist. I was detecting some bedrock nearby. My back was terrible at the time due to an injury so I used my Equinox rather than my GPZ. I mostly spent my day digging shot gun pellets but I did manage a bit of gold in a crack in the bedrock, I had only the week before been watching JW smashing gold out of bedrock so when I found this bit I was pretty confident it was gold when the target needed smashed out of bedrock and it was. You can see the thin layer of soil over the bedrock and minor cracks in the rock where I had to smash it out. The smashed up crack above in the coil in this photo and the little bit of gold. I forgot to weigh this one before throwing it in with my gold collection. I wasn't going to bother posting about it as it was just one nugget. That was it for me for the day. JW and I were discussing the virus pandemic yesterday morning as NZ has now locked down it's borders, anyone at all who wants to enter the country needs to go into quarantine for two weeks and he suggested we go for an afternoon detect. I was keen for this as I felt my back was ready to use my GPZ again with the extra weight it has so I jumped in my car and went up to JW's house. We decided we'd go back to the same spot as JW had unfinished business at his very productive little spot and I figured I'd go over the same area I was doing with the Equinox to see what I could get out of it. I hadn't completely finished the area with the Nox as my back got too sore to continue that day. I'm still getting the hang of using my GPZ, I haven't had it long and haven't used it as much as I'd like due to my back injury. It's very much a learning curve for me, it's different to using my GPX and QED. For example I only really learnt yesterday the left and right of the coil are the hot spots, not the center like on my GPX with spiral coils as I was confused recovery targets they were never where I expected them to be 🙂 After a bit of practice with it I've settled on my general settings of HY / Normal with gain of 20 and smoothings off, this seems comfortable enough for me to use in the spots I've tried so far. Everything else is on defaults. I did the ground balance over the ferrite at the start of the day seeing some people say it's necessary, I'm not convinced in my soils it will make a difference but it can't hurt so why not do it. I guess this would be considered balanced to the ferrite? I have no idea, remember I am new the the GPZ but seeing it was setting it off loudly before balancing and afterwards it was like this I can only assume It's done. I'm pretty happy with how the GPZ runs as I was very close to JW, about 60 foot I guess away from his GPZ and they don't seem to bother each other much. I could hear JW chipping away at his cliff edge and I had myself what appeared to be a good target in some bedrock (in the above video you'll also hear JW chipping away at the bedrock), I was confused trying to target where in the rock I needed to smash and couldn't locate where the target was, the rock was solid hard rock and hitting it with my pick wasn't doing much. I went over to JW and asked if he'd mind helping, he came over and we attempted to get the bit of gold out, I'd been at it for about 20 minutes already and with JW's assistance and another 15 or so minutes we had smashed it out, JW instructed me on following the lines in the schist to try smash it out in the layers, working my way from the edge to where the nugget is. My Davsgold Gold Digger pick was copping a beating taking on this rock but I had no choice. My hand didn't enjoy it either, hitting the rock with the pick was hard work 🙂 You can see here I'd been smashing out layers of it to try get to the spot with the gold. I was originally a bit confused with where the gold was, thinking it was in a big crack in the bedrock, but it turned out it wasn't in the crack but in the rock itself. That's the crack I cleaned out above, and the smashed out rock below trying to get to it. A few more king hits with rock flying everywhere and the target was out, but it disappeared, we could not find it anywhere!!!! All that work and it was gone. We detected all around the area and the only thing we could find was an odd bit of magnetic metal in the rubble below the rock, at first we thought it was a bit off my pick but it was weird and one side smooth and shiny. When I got home and put it under my phones microscope I found it's slightly magnetic, you can see the black sand and also a little bit of a metal substance stuck to it. Very weird, this likely came out of the rock as it wasn't there prior to breaking up the schist. We assumed that was the target in the rock and JW went back to his spot to resume his gold recoveries 🙂 I wasn't ready to give up and kept detecting around the area thinking maybe there was still a bit of gold that flung out of it and about 5 minutes later I had it! A little nugget was sitting on the surface. This sun baker had to be my nugget from the rock, it's VERY unlikely there would be a sun baker here. I continued detecting the area for the rest of the afternoon, I was digging a lot of junk, mostly shotgun pellets and little shards of metal and all the ferrous targets I'd left behind using the Nox with it's discrimination 🙂 I had another target I was so sure was going to be gold, I was clearing away the surface soils and the target was down in the bedrock again.... I was so sure it was going to be gold seeing it was in the bedrock I took a video of the target. But no, after smashing out the bedrock the only thing I could find was a damn shot gun pellet that had made itself down into the crack in the bedrock! That damn little pellet was down in that crack! I think it's a steel one too. I called it quits after that one and decided I'd go have a drink and snack and watch JW for a while and see what I could learn, at this point he'd come over to my spot as he was sick of chipping away at the rock in his area and the lucky bugger found two bits of gold in an area I'd been over with my Equinox the week before, I wasn't sure if I went over it with my GPZ but I am pretty sure I had not. The target signals on his GPZ with 10" X-coil were very good, stood out like dogs nuts so there is no way I'd miss them. So my total for the afternoon A bucket load of junk, mostly pellets and little bits of metal And one nugget for 0.086 of a gram. I'll take it, I'm still continuing my pattern of not getting a skunk since getting the GPZ... Before getting the GPZ I regularly found no gold, since getting it I always find at least 1 piece every time I go out.
  18. I've been getting out for a few hrs 3 or 4 days a week down here in Sunny Yuma, plus a weekend trip to Quartzsite. My thanks to forum member Will for showing me a new area in the Q where I found the 2 biggest nuggets. The 17" round X Coil on the GPZ has been my go to set up. I really like the ergonomics of the 17x12 coil, but the 17" round has really been finding some tiny gold at depth. I lost a few weeks of detecting after my GPZ started losing audio after a few hrs of detecting. I sent it in to the Detector Doctor and they couldn't duplicate my issue, since then its running fine. I've been detecting the same areas here in Yuma for the past 10 years with the old GPX 4000, the SDC and now the GPZ. Nuggets are getting pretty hard to find in these hammered areas so I really look for the new edge in detecting. I'm fond of the Sp01 booster connected directly to the Z then connected to quality earbuds at the booster. I took some of JP's advice on lowering the volume of the Z, then using the booster to raise it at the earbuds. What I understood to be JP saying was a high volume on the Z is also amplifying surface mineralization, creating clutter noise and concealing deep targets. I'm no expert, but it sounds reasonable so I'm going with it. I'm thinking the X-Coil and Sp01 are giving me a new edge on missed gold, maybe. The concept, nevertheless, keeps me out there plugging away and trying to put that coil over some yellow stuff. I took a separate picture of the tiny gold. None of them will register individually on my cheapo scale, so I had to group them to get a weight. Some of these tiny nuggets have come at incredible depths, at least considering their overall weight and audible response with such a large coil. Probably 3 to 4 inches for most of them. The 17" round seems to be hottest right between the center windings at about 2 inches off the edge. Sometimes a side to side sweep on tiny gold loses the signal. Pushing the coil and center windings at the signal brings them up smartly. Mitchel just seems to be having a run of bad luck on gold with his X Coil, mine has exceeded my expectations especially on really small gold.
  19. My first outing with the 15” x 10” X-Coil was a very satisfying experience. Settings used are; High Yield, Normal, Freq. Auto, Sens 20, Volume 12,Threshold 1, Tone 53, Vol Limit 12, Auto Smoothing Off, Ground Balance Auto, GS Off I ran a quick test on a 0.08 gram test nugget with the 10” round which produces some noise and false target responses when running with my wide open settings. Changed to the new 15” x 10” X-Coil and ran over the 0.08 test nugget again. Both coils were getting a good loud response at approximately 3.5 inches. I ran the 15” x 10” coil for 5 hours a day for 5 days. It was stable and quiet (except for a little very low level EMI). The noise and false target responses experienced previously with the 10” round coil were gone. There were no problems with ferrite balancing. Franconia, AZ has produced some large nuggets. A 3 lb quartz rock with 15.9 oz. of gold was found there the previous week. It was a US Army Air to Air gunnery practice range during WW2. So you are forced to dig a lot of deep targets. There are a lot of bullets and small pieces of screen wire blasted from the towed targets. I only found two small nuggets between bullets and wire pieces. They are 0.6 g and 0.2 g. Overall this is a very sensitive coil and a pleasure to have the lighter weight and ability to get into smaller spaces. Have a good day, Chet
  20. Well, I tried a new way to get out to this new gold area I found. The gold seemed fairly small, but I had to hike in at least 3 miles to get there. So I tried to drive in another way in hopes of only having to hike in a mile. Of course Google Earth made things seem better than they were (almost like I could drive right there), but in the end I only cut about a mile off the hike (one way). So now I had a decision to make … take my GPZ 14" coil, the GM1000, or what I call my Midget Coil (10" Xcoil). GPZ 14" about killed me getting out there last time so that was out. I love the GM1000 on bedrock, but some of the bedrock here was very hot. Usually in those cases, I will go to my GPZ 10" Xcoil, which I venture to say is at least on par with the SDC 2300 (with the exception of being a little bigger). And the Xcoil is still a pleasure to hike with. So off I went. I started out hitting the areas I had been to before and got some good signals. First piece was only about .1g. Then I started finding slightly bigger .2g pieces. Most of these seemed to be what I call runners. Those are the ones in washes that I find on the sides of the wash, trying to run away when they see me coming. The larger coils tend to lose a bit of depth when checking the sides and depressions. The 10" Xcoil, however, does very well getting in there. Overall, 5 pieces were found (total .75g). Not a lot, but at least half of these finds were detected very carefully with the 14" coil and were missed. The Xcoil was very clear on all but a 1 grainer piece that was about 2" deep on it's side. All in all, it was just a fun day crumb chasing.
  21. Gidday All, Managed to get two hours in today before rain chased me home with the 17 inch Russian X coil. Blew me away just how good this coil is ! I purposely picked a small area of State forest that I have flogged for the last 10 years, with all 3 different GPX detectors, with coils from 11-25 inches, the SDC, and even a QED. This spot has yielded many ounces of gold to me from 0.05g up to 33g. I had declared it " dead ", as my last 10 or so efforts with the standard GPZ14 and GPZ19 have yielded nothing more. 2 hours in today, nearly back to the car, and I get an obvious signal. This was slightly downhill from a small patch of small reef gold, in an area that I have literally smashed. Coil was about 2 inches above the ground because of sticks and clumpy grass. Removed said obstacles and signal firmer. 4 inches in and I am in nice gravel, target now screaming, out pops what turns out to be buck shot. Bugger, but this is from a spot that I have NEVER managed to get a target in ! Moved about 10m along and same thing, another obvious target, once again coil 2 inches over the ground. Dug in and same again, 4 inches down in nice gravel, target screaming louder than the buckshot, out pops what turns out to be an 0.65 gram bit of reef gold ! I'll be buggered, I thought ! Rain then chased me home. Coil was very sensitive, being able to pick up my 0.11g test piece at 2 inches. I tried knocking the coil against a tree a few times and no bump sensitivity. 17 round weighs the same as the GPZ14. All in all, a fantastic coil. Don't know what the Russians have done differently, but Minelab need to have a good hard look ! Further testing to come when our shitty weather finally breaks. Cheers, Rick
  22. I have received the 15x10 Spiral X-coil. Here is what it looked like when I picked it up. My initial reaction when I was given the box by my mailbox center was that it was 'light' and did they have another package coming? haha Well, it is all in one box and well sealed. It is not packaged like a great looking Amazon box with hardly anything in it. This is a custom box with a lot of tape. Inside the black plastic was a white box that was also well taped. That box contained a sandwich of the coil with coil cover and an extra coil cover. Thanks. The coil is terminated with one connector just like all the GPX coils when you buy them. Tomorrow I'll take the coil, the 19" coil, the 14" coil to my local car stereo installer who also works on battery scooters and electric bikes. If they don't want to do the job then I have called an electronics store that said bring it by with the instructions and they might have someone do it as a side job. The final destination for tomorrow is a radio store here that still has ham and cb radios. One of these places would do a better job than me. I've read all the instructions multiple times now and I haven't had the 'practice' of using that connector and there is not a lot of extra wire to play with so someone around here puts these on all the time. I just need to get these coils to them to make the dongle. Chet, Andy, JW, Simon, Dave and Jason have all said they would help. We'll get it done. Mitchel
  23. So I couldn't resist having a crack at my own adapter soon as my x-coil turned up today. I was pooping my undies on the enitial turn on but all in all wasn't to bad to do it you take your time I started with number 3 blue wire at bottom first as hardest to get to to solder then worked my way up to 2 and 1 the 4 and 5 spent a good 20 mins thoroughly checking for any shorts or anything when I was happy I hot glued all wires and invetween stopping them from being able to move or that in future then heat shrink followed by lots isolation tape I then put the female plug back on the std 14 and works like charm I also waterproofed the xcoil by adding marine silicone in and around the plug and a thin layer along the joining lip were skid plate goes all and all thought for a first attempt wasn't to bad and I didn't make it go boom so that a bonus
  24. So my gpz turned up on Friday and I'm super loving it and my 10"x-coil should be here Wednesday, as soon as I got it out the box I grabbed my we test gold ranging from 0.025 to 1.71 gram and shot out to my we test area that happens to be gravel pit in known gold area.. I found for my area in NZ I was geting the best depth and response on general and high yield with audio smoothing off.. I had a play with the ferrite ring with ground balancing then factory reset and ground balance with no ferrite ring.. So my question is does the ferrite ring gb affect depth and sensitivity at all in low to medium ground. What I noticed was our soil and were I hunt in creek beds you hit pockets of high black sand then less etc. I didn't realy notice any difference in performance but I do think that the ferrite gb did run quieter in the ground over all. Does anyone have any tests or input on ferrite balancing vs no ferrite? I plan to get out this weekend for my first hunt with the 10 xcoil all going to plan. So will be sure to put up a link for the YouTube video when made and my finds if any lol I'm checking out new spot
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