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Ed in SoDak

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Everything posted by Ed in SoDak

  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
  15. Thanks guys! I didn't show the many odd pieces with machined edges, pick tips, etc. Usually it's pretty evident it was man-made. Just to satisfy myself, I'll have a couple tested somewhere. -Ed
  16. Here's the first pic again, in large scary size. -Ed http://www.whiteriverprep.com/trails/EDO_0663.JPG
  17. There's an old claim near here that we like to visit, on the outskirts of an 1880's gold-mining community. Lots of quartz outcrops and diggings, but we mostly find 100-year-old iron junk and cans. Some of it is worth keeping, like an old pick head or cast-iron stove door with an owl design. But we've also found these curious bits over a period of several years. And we find them not only here, but over a several square mile area. And in places where there is no evidence of historical mining or other activity, other than occasional logging or forestry operations. Usually Sandy and I can easily tell if a metal scrap is manmade, these examples we cannot. My meteorite geologist buddy thought they were worth a nickle test, but his testing solution dried out. We're finding them often enough I need to know if I should dig or ignore them. They're clean, solid iron where I ground a face on a few. Some of them we cleaned the surface in the micro soda blaster. They could be a bit of weld or other metal chipped off some logging equipment, but their shapes are too varied and don't look like welding slag I make in my own shop. I don't know if anyone on the forums can hazard a guess from the pics, but I'm dying to find out what these are. I'm willing to send a couple out for testing if anyone here thinks it's worthwhile. Thanks! -Ed
  18. I became interested in answering this question over 10 years ago. The museum I worked at for many years has an extensive meteorite collection and I was allowed unrestricted access to it. I conducted many air tests of common meteorite types using an assortment of detectors. Most any detector made can be put to use and it might surprise some people to read that detectors with the worst possible ground-cancelling ability are perhaps the best machines to use to "read" stony-iron meteorites in air tests. Any machine can detect an iron with good depth, but many stony-irons exhibit a negative or "hot rock" response. Most detectors made today work very hard to eliminate these "nusiance" signals. I highly recommend having an actual meteorite sample on hand to refer to of the type you hope to recover. You can "preset" your machine to see that type, and also place it in the gound you are hunting to see what effect local minaralization has upon response. My best suggestion is to hunt for stony-irons primarily by eye and use one of these ancient detectors mostly to perform air checks of suspect rocks. My theory is that while everybody's ground differs, we all share about the same "air," so air-tests of suspect rocks should yield similar results no matter where you're at. I was able to categorize detector responses into just a few fairly predictable types. I admit the info is now somewhat dated, but there should be no problem with finding a low-cost detector to prove up the concept for yourself. At one time it was a fairly popular website, but AOL suddenly dropped webhosting and the old links to it were broken. I rehosted elsewhere, but interest seemed to wane at that point, so I never did much more with it. Anyway, it's all still up there for your examination. Both Jim Straight and Richard Norton found the site useful enough to request permission to use the info or publish a link in one or another of their books. I later conducted additional tests with my T2, but never put the info on the site. I found it was as capable or better than my GB I at getting readings. The iron bargaraph is a definite plus. http://www.whiteriverprep.com/meteor/madness.html -Ed
  19. This kinda stuff just yanks my chain, but if ya think about it can be played both ways. If they're all smug and trackin' you, who says you have you go anywhere useful to them? I can see a little dropped hint that might make the tracker want to keep tabs. They blindly follow your false trail anywhere you care to take 'em. Then you can cut 'em off at the pass or whichever scenario you wish to make the effort towards catching them in the act. -Ed
  20. Welcome to the forums! The sluice you describe sounds a little narrow at 6" wide for fast classifying. It might work better as a finishing sluice but not necessarily to work rough samples quickly. A 4mm screening again seems a bit small. Unless you're working fine, dry gravels or sandy material, most of your samplings will end up getting tossed in the screening. It's about impossible to screen moist soils that fine and the rocks can have fine gold clinging to it that dry screening won't release. OTOH, a recyling sluice will clog up with the tailings, so I can see why you'd want to reduce the amount before feeding it in. What you run though it will determine when cleanup should be done. A properly set up sluice that isn't allowed to clog up could run for hours in an area with little gold or heavies and not need cleaning. But then that might be your sign to move to a new spot! Other than worry about losing some gold, you don't really need to clean until the black sands are accumulating to the point they are covering say half the height of your riffles. Trial and error is your best guide as everybody's workings and methods are all a little different. My setup is a 12" by 36" sluice and we have a gold pan size screen with 3/4" openings. We pick out the rocks from the sluice by hand. There's about a million ways to doing it, so there's bound to be a way that works for you. Good luck out there! -Ed
  21. Chances are that while playing with it and testing, it's reading objects and sounding off much more often than it would in the field. 2.5 hours still isn't very long, but in actual use you may go quite awhile before hitting a signal, so I'd hope the batteries would last much longer during a hunt. -Ed
  22. Another in a long stream of artificial-reality TV shows. I do a pretty passable imitation of "No guts, no glory!" That old fart is plain dangerous to be around! I woulda went in a lot smaller to start and did the big equipment thing in stages. Now they're all in way too deep if it doesn't pan out. I'm sure the TV payment amortized a lot of the equipment. But just wild willy-nilly prospecting on what amounts to a guess where the gold should be seems kinda destined to fail. Meanwhile, the soft-spoken and wise neighbor oughta be the subject of the "how to find gold" TV series. Not much drama there, though! -Ed
  23. That's the basics and it will get you started. Since every stream's flow is different and so is the material you'll be feeding into it, don't be afraid to change things to suit. A slow-flowing stream with larger gravels may need a greater slope or slower feed, while rapidly flowing water and fine gravels might require you to raise the sluice up out of the streamflow a little and level it out more in order to keep things from washing on through. In general, you'll want to see some heavy material gather behind the riffles, but the riffles should never be allowed to clog up or become completely covered. Slow down the rate you feed the screened material in or slighlty increase the slope so that you see a constant gentle removal of the waste. While you're learning, it might be wise to clean up more often and check your progress. Just as a check, you can put a couple BBs or small bits of lead from fishing sinkers to observe how a heavier metal moves through your sluice. Hopefully, it won't move much at all, while the surrounding dirt and gravels progress on through. If your heavy test objects travel on down the sluice, or on the other hand, nothing moves and it clogs up, that's your clue to alter things. Catch the tailings in a weighted-down tub or gold pan. Pan them out to see if anything is escaping the sluice. -Ed
  24. Got a wild hair to try something new to catch the fines. Once the cuts to my face and hands heal I can report on the results! -Ed
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