Jump to content

Is There Something Special About The Garrett 24k Ground Balance?


Recommended Posts

Awesome thank you Tom, I knew there had to be something special about it, the creeks in this area have a fair bit of black sand in the mix too.

This is from one little target recovery dig hole, you can see the little dig hole to the right of the pick handle.


I'm very glad you pushed to keep the 24k going, and now it's alive and well.  So thank you.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, tboykin said:

It has to do with the way the XGB ground balance works. When we were designing it I paid special attention to variable ground since that’s where most detectors struggle. And also where a lot of specimen gold lives! So I came up with the idea of a ground balance that had a variable Q (similar to a parametric audio equalizer). The 24k tracks multiple ground points simultaneously and is able to open up the ground point to include a range of VDI’s instead of it being just one number. Luckily Jacob the engineer had some audio background like me and was able to make this happen.

I made a special pit at White’s to test this that was a mixture of black sand (Low ground point) and red cinder (high). I should have taken some pics of me out there in the noon sun with a shovel playing ground chef. None of the other vlfs on the market worked in that pit!

The engineers made me several dev units where I could tweak the ground balance speed and Q width. I took the machine to dozens of locations across the Western Hemisphere to make sure it was dialed in right. Might be interesting to develop that further and allow advanced users to do the same.

Even though I was only working in the industry for 3 years I’m really glad this detector kept going after I got out. Couldnt save Whites but at least there are people out there finding gold with a detector that wouldn’t have gotten made without me pushing for it. Everybody else wanted to make more MX Sport variations.

Since I’m not under NDA anymore let me know if you have any more questions.

Kind of cool Tom for you to have taken a big part in the last good Whites detector made. Something real you can point at and say “I helped make that happen.” When Garrett queried me on other White’s models that might be worth continuing, I came up totally dry except for the TM808. The market has totally moved past everything else White’s made, despite what a few fans of certain models think. The 24K though, has a decent claim to being the best single frequency nugget detector on the market today, and I’m really glad it did not die with White’s.

24K Specs and More


XGB - A New Way To Ground Balance

The biggest challenge we face as electronic prospectors is highly mineralized ground. Simply increasing the gain on the current VLF platforms might help prospectors in very mild ground conditions, but what about more difficult areas with concentrations of black sand, maghemite, serpentine, or alkali salts?

On a trip to Brazil we witnessed a combination of these conditions, with soil that ranged from red to black to purple, and exhibited a combination of ferrous and alkali properties within a 4 ft square section. We saw first-hand VLFs from each manufacturer fail to balance out the combination of minerals. Even the top-of-the-line pulse induction machines struggled in this area - machines which cost the garimpeiros (the local term for gold miners) several years’ wages.

Our goal was simple: a nice even threshold in challenging ground conditions without giving up sensitivity. The theory is that the main battle most electronic prospectors fight is being able to discern a potential gold signal from ground noise. A smooth threshold would allow users to use more gain and increase their odds of finding small gold where it likes to hide - in mineralized ground.

The issue with other VLF detectors on the market is that they were tracking a single ground balance point. When the ground type changes quickly, the machine gives off a false signal. For a user the result is ear fatigue, frustration, and less positive signals dug. One easy way to mask variable ground is implementing an auto-gain feature  that automatically numbs the detector. This does not solve the issue, only hides it.

The Goldmaster 24k’s XGB is a new automatic ground tracking system that works by tracking multiple ground points simultaneously and quickly. Where other VLF’s track one ground balance point, the Goldmaster 24k tracks several, and can determine an optimal “ground window” based on ground history and strength. This is very useful in rapidly changing ground conditions, where other VLF machines may struggle to track the mineralization changes. Combine this with the speed at which the Goldmaster 24k is able to grab ground samples, and you have a superior ground balance system for a prospector’s VLF.

XGB Ground Balance versus legacy methods

With any automatic process, there are some concessions. Take vehicles for example - manual gearboxes are still preferred by car enthusiasts. That’s why we felt strongly about including a TracLock® ground option. When used with the Ground Grab, a locked ground balance setting allows users to set the ground balance in an area and lock it until they need  to re-ground balance. For users after the tiniest bits of gold, this option allows for the maximum sensitivity to small signals.

One technique we observed from field testers was allowing the XGB to automatically track, and  then  after getting a solid hit or finding a patch, locking the ground balance for target location and retrieval. For  many users this combination will be the best of both worlds - the strength of XGB, but only when you need or want it.
The net result of an overhauled automatic ground balance system is a VLF gold nugget detector that  can  be   used   in wider variety of ground conditions with a nice stable threshold. Operating a machine with a smooth threshold allows for a user’s ears to tune into those slight variations that just might be the next nugget. Our goal is that our customers are able to have success with the Goldmaster 24k in areas that other VLF’s struggle, and at a price that allows more people to get a taste of electronic prospecting.

Tom Boykin
White's Project Manager

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This does actually help with hot rocks. If you have a normal ground tracking system, it is balanced at one number at any one point in time. The number moves around as the unit tracks, but it is this narrow window that is the issue when it comes to hot rocks. If the unit is tracking the ground, any rock just slightly off the ground setting is going to react. It stands to reason that due to normal variability, lots of rocks will be close to, but not quite at the same setting.

The XGB system combines a wider ground balance window with the tracking system, and attempts to mold itself to a small range so as to reduce or eliminate this issue. Like Simon, I found it to be very effective in some locations, almost magical. However, if you are in a spot where the rocks are well outside where the window can “stretch” then you will still have some rocks that signal.

Being able to lock the tracking allows a person to try and balance to ground, and these “out of range” hot rocks, to find a setting that averages both. Then lock the setting in place. It’s not perfect, but better than systems that chase themselves all over the place, with no way to put it to a stop.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Gold Monster couldn't be simpler to use, until it's not.  In situations like this creek the simplicity is it's downfall.  It becomes very difficult to use and requires a good understanding of the way the detector works and some patience to use it and the difficulty is compounded by how slowly it balances the ground, so it's simplicity is its downfall.  Yes I am able to use it in this spot, but it's hard work.  It's also best used with the sensitivity lowered to limited the knock sensitivity with the coils, again the 24k was able to run in the highest sensitivity with no knock sensitivity which is a massive benefit.

The 24k was the opposite, very easy to use.  Being able to lock the ground balance is an invaluable feature and something that seems so simple to implement was left out on the Gold Monster in pursuit of making the easiest detector possible to use.

I particularly wanted to take the 24k to this creek as I've struggled a lot in the past here with the other detectors I've tried, people who have read my previous posts may recall the struggles I've had here and I was often asking if anyone had solutions to my struggles especially with the Nox and settings as there is little you can do with the GM due to being fully automatic.  I was disappointed I couldn't get higher up the creek on this occasion as I know there will be more gold in there once I get out of the areas everyone can go easily.  

It would be wise for Garrett to continue development of this XGB ground balance system as they could implement it into future detectors.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is- to my knowledge XGB was not patented. Was it even trademarked? I would love to see this technique implemented in other detectors as well.

One thing I ran into when I took over product dev was that the engineers were used to testing detectors in very controlled situations. Makes sense for controlling for variables. But the real world is uncontrolled. Swinging a detector over planted targets in familiar ground is not the same as sleeping with the detector in the bush while trying to bring home some natural gold.

I too hope Garrett continues with some of the tech in the 24k, and I hope they also licensed the hybrid half sine tech as well.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phrunt..read with interest all this info on the 24 K because another prospector was touting it for use where there are hot rocks. I posted a few days ago with the 34.4 gram nugget found with myEQ800 and I have experienced all the "quirks" of the EQ you have described..knock sensitivity hot rocks etc. At some point this other prospector will meet up in the El Pasos with his detector and others are coming with 7000's and 6000's and we can do a real 'field test'!

           There is so much trash, lead, wire rusty metal hot rocks that I wonder if the 24 might handle it best followed by my EQ800..we'll see.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, aerospace guy said:

Phrunt..read with interest all this info on the 24 K because another prospector was touting it for use where there are hot rocks.

Yes, congratulations on your nugget by the way.  As far as hot rocks go the 7000 and I assume 6000 should be better overall than any VLF however from what I've seen so far my 24k handles the common hot rocks in my area better than any other VLF detector I've tried.

This was my first test run video when my 24k arrived, I knew nothing about it then but filmed a video of it passing over hot rocks and filmed the Equinox doing the same.   Both detectors were ground balanced.  The Equinox I could individually ground balance out some of the hot rocks but others still showed up, the 24k took out most of them just by running with XGB (ground tracking) enabled for a bit then locking it.  Obviously with the Equinox I could then notch out the -8 -9 Target ID's and the Target ID's of about 10 and up to 15 to mask a lot of the hot rocks and so on but I'd still get broken audio as often the ID's bounce around so I'd need to notch all the way to 0 to keep it more quiet, but in my experience small gold can and will bounce ID's from -4 up to 2 so it's possible I may miss small gold by notching out up to 0 and obviously those higher numbers like 10 to 15 can easily be decent size gold of a gram or so.  There are concerns I don't have with the 24k as I'm not discriminating anything.

You'll see the 24k still picks up a number of hot rocks but it's ID is very stable on them, you know they're a hot rock, with the bouncy numbers on the Nox you need to investigate a lot of hot rocks to see if they're gold, they behave the same way.

For the particular types of hot rocks we have here, the 24k have proven to be a good performer.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon, That looks like a good demo of what I found during my recent trip, I am still learning the nuances of my 24k but feel that it will help a lot in our areas too.  @Jim McCullochwas very helpful and took a lot of time getting me started out with mine. Have you tried using tracking then temporarily locking it when you get a target to help id it? It seems to be a good technique.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...