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Ed in SoDak

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  1. Mining the miners is nothing new. Most of us keep fresh batteries in our B.S. detectors, and mine's beeping a bit reading your first post here. That said, is there some new sort of scam being played up there? -Ed
  2. It's got to be one of the better witnessed falls with lots of video and one of the largest in recent history. 1200 or more injuries, fortunately mostly minor and some structure damage, but it sure could have been far worse. I guess we should feel truly lucky the big one the following day stayed out in space. The Earth is way past due for a major meteor strike, cosmologically speaking. -Ed
  3. A small speaker's cone movement can be easily felt with fingertips lightly pressed against the cone. It might be pretty easy to open up some cheap headphones and mount one of the drivers where it's easy to keep your fingers on it. Or buy a small speaker, jack and wire at Radio Shack and work something up. I had a couple small speakers with mylar cones that were waterproof and very durable. Some types of headphones use something similar for their drivers. -Ed
  4. Sure, you can discount or ignore fantastic-sounding air tests, but air tests are still useful, as they can help you learn your detector's response to all types of targets. Either toss test objects on the ground or get set up in an easy chair and wave away. If you doubt, it's easy to note the response of any real target you have just recovered. Said response is what caused you to dig it in the first place, so the hard part is already done. Now try an air test of your find before you tuck it in your poke. Any difference? It's easy enough to do along with getting that great pic of it to post later, which many of you also already do. Pretty darn quick you'll have your own data comparing air test signals to those in the ground on genuine targets. For ghost signals, did you try dragging a strong magnet in the hole? Do you have a pinpointer that may help find an elusive signal in the sides or bottom of a hole? Small bits of conductive metal or iron clays can be everywhere, yet always some distance away. When removed dirt has a signal, that's a clue to disseminated material. Remove the coil from the stem to allow moving it by hand with better positioning than is allowed when mounted on the detector. Get a sample gold nugget to compare what you're reading to something known. Just some tips from another perpetual skunker! :lol: -Ed
  5. I read in some book that dogs can be trained to sniff for arsenic, which is associated with some gold deposits. Gold itself is so inert, it probably doesn't emit an odor but its impurities might. That is one alert, intelligent-looking pooch! I have to wonder why he was left to the shelter. -Ed
  6. If you own two machines you'd like to compare and have no nuggets under your belt, you can try a bit of lead fishing sinker as a substitute. Tape it to a card or glue to a poker chip for easy spotting and retrieval. Add on a string or cord, then you can bury it some inches deep, then simply pull it back up by the string after testing. When I was getting started, I bought a couple small gold nuggets from a local tourist mining exhibit, just to have the "real thing" for testing. But a piece of cheap ol' lead anything will read about the same. If all the spent bullet slugs I've dug were gold, well... I could probably afford to shoot gold bullets! ;) Since local soils and one's own experience plays such a large part, it's good to be able to do your own testing and comparing. If I'm ever in doubt of how a nugget might sound in a particular spot, I can toss down my test nug and get some confirmation I've got the settings right and make mental note of the sound. At least you have a "known" target to make more valid comparisons between machines you happen to have on hand. We own the original Gold Bug. With so much iron junk in the hills, I tired very quickly of digging 1" long wire bits at 7 inches deep. Trash far outnumbers desireable targets here, so I pretty much insist on good ID in my detectors. I don't use discrimination, but I rely heavily on ID before digging. Both my old BH Time Ranger and Tek T2 have numeric ID in their no-motion all-metal modes, so I can detect everything with ID, then decide myself to ignore or dig. Everyone develops their own methods that work with their detector of choice, but until you find that first nugget, it's hard to really know what sort of signal to expect. That's where the test nugget or fishing sinker can get you started on track. All the best to ya! -Ed
  7. When Sandy and I are out prospecting, when we find old foundations and other signs of habitation from long ago, we often see some of the same types of plants growing nearby. The Black Hills didn't come to life very much till 1876, and that's fairly recent as far as the gold rushes are concerned. So we do come across things like an old apple tree, still alive and making delicious fruit at the abandonded gold town of Spokane near Mt. Rushmore. Some plants don't seem to take hold until the ground beneath is disturbed, like by digging or other domestic yard work. So if you see a group of different-looking plants kinda isolated off by themselves, that may be a sign to look for man-caused reasons for it. Or it's just nature doing what it does! Recently I spotted a neat row of iris plants. They grow wild here, but the tidy row made me think of the front of a house and I did find some old boards nearby. So, some plantings might be more "domestic" rather than a certain plant type that favors gold-bearing soil. Either way, these spots are worth looking over and some sort of mine workings may not be too far away. Over the years, we've probably found more cool things around the old homesites than at the actual diggings. You might even locate a hidden, forgotten or lost cache left by an old prospector. -Ed
  8. Great finds! We keep hoping for one, even a smidgen of those would make my day. Speaking of the "most unlikely" place, there's a great story about the early gold rush days in the Black Hills. A group of negro miners went up to Tinton and asked the miners there where they should look. They were sent to the least-likely place to look. One of those great twist of fates, they found so much, the US Calvary had to escort them out of the Hills with their finds. The mountain they worked was named "n" hill, you know the non-PC term, and that's how it was named on the maps, till not all that long ago it was renamed to Negro Hill. All the largest nuggets in the Black Hills have come from the Tinton area. The most notable was John "Potato Creek Johnny" Perrett's, 7-ouncer from 1929, and the size of the nugget that matched the creek's name gave him his nickname. The remnants of a company tin-town, aka Tinton, still stands there with many abandoned structures, some with beautiful stonework chimneys. Employees were paid with "scrip," which of course they had to spend in the company's stores. And as that old song goes: "I owe my soul to the company store," and when the tin-boom did not materialize, the mine and town folded and the people all left leaving the town itself to the ravages of time. It was never repopulated, though mining continues to this day. -Ed
  9. Sweep speed is dependent on the machine, you can do bench tests to see how slow or fast behaves on your machine. Mine vary a lot one model to the next. Scan width depends on the coil. An inch or two less than the coil's width should cover the most ground, but the deepest area is maybe half to two-thirds of coil width. This no doubt varies a lot by coil size and design. Swing distance is what's comfortable for you. A really narrow swing can help as much or more than a snail-crawl speed normal width swing. -Ed
  10. Here's my take on it. They used the short ditches to collect the runoff from water cannons aimed above the ditches. The ditch took some 30-40 feet of runoff, then channeled that into a single drainage. That would have been easier to aim towards multiple long tom sluices then water seeking its own path down the hill. It would include less material from below the ditches. That way you could crudely control how much of the hillside you were working at a given time. If there were a bench deposit above, you could shoot for that and by careful aim of the water cannon and placement of your ditch, you could work a fairly specific layer, and ignore material from low-paying ground. I suppose you might see areas where more material was taken at some height or layer than from others, presumably from somewhere above the ditches that might help prove my crazy theory. Or could it be a bunch of individual claims that ran across the creek and up one or both sides of the draw? That's how it was in Deadwood Gulch before all the discovery claims got absorbed into the big operations. Might be everyone had to build a mini-ditch to collect runoff for their own one or two-man operation. -Ed
  11. Hey Bill, I'd be glad to trade a steamin' hot cup o' joe for your first nugget find of the hunt. Deal?
  12. Daguerrotype is another early process that used a thick plate. "A photograph taken by an early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor" says my dictionary. If viewed from the right angle, the image is seen as a positive. I just inverted Red-desert's lightened version and got this. -Ed
  13. Buy a little test nugget. An 8-grain nug was just a few bucks and at about the limit of what my detector will read. Lacking a real nugget, nip a small bit off a fishing weight or .22 slug. Lead detects similarly to gold, close enough for testing, and no biggie if it's lost. I taped my test nug to a 2" square card and added a string so I could bury it and retrieve by following the string down the hole or pulling up on it. Lay it on the surface or bury it an inch or three and find what settings seem to pick it up best in the actual ground you'll be searching in. I also made similar cards for coins and common junk items. Nothin' better to learn your detector than experience, even if you have to fake it a bit to start. At least you'll know there's something below the coil! -Ed
  14. Thanks, just read this and tuned in. Missed 15 minutes, we'll see how the rest of the show looks. -Ed
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