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MINELAB Thoughts & Questions


OldSalt

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I have been prospecting (Weekends) for around four years now. I am on third VLF (Now a Tesoro Lobo) and have not had any luck whatsoever here in Arizona detecting. However, I have had a significant amount of luck using a gasoline powered vacuum and crevicing methods.

Eventually, I would like to move up to a MineLab and sell off my prospecting gear, vac, high banker, sluices, etc.

It seems to me that it would be so much easier having a quality detector then lugging around and storing so much gear.

What is it that makes a PI detector (MineLab) so much better then a VLF? Is it the depth it can detect or there ability to operate in mineralized grounds?

I noticed that the majority of nuggets that are dug these days seem to be pretty deep.

When I have enough money to buy a MineLab, say $3000 should I be looking for a new model or a used model?

I am also wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some training on operation when I finally do purchase one.

Lastly, I am wondering when was the last time anyone in AZ found a nugget with a VLF?

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OldSalt

I am by no means an expert but if I were you I would never sell your other prospecting equipment. It seems that most people will go a great stretch of time between finding gold when using any medal detector. When I get frustrated or just need to see some gold I dust off my other prospecting equipment and go dig a hole. There is a far bigger percentage of small gold then detectable size gold so the more tools you have the more gold you will find. Gold is being found with VLF medal detectors and I found my first nugget in AZ last weekend. The PI machines will find more gold but there are areas where a VLF will also do well.

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My understanding (based purely on hearsay, word of mouth) is that the FCC puts a maximum limit on the power of a VLF, but has no similar regulation for PI machines. This may enable PI units to muster more punch (the sending signal). But I think another key difference is the better ability of PI technology to cope with mineralization. The newer and newer generation PIs each seem to have their biggest improvements in the receiver function, ie, a better and better ability to minimize noise without reducing target response. No full sized MDs, however, can reliably detect gold smaller than about minus 20. There is a whole lot of minus 20 gold still out there. Thus, your dry washer can be put to good use in pounded patches where all the sitting ducks in the top 12 to 18" already have been removed. Plus, dry washing for many of us is a special kind of pleasure that affords a break from swinging all day long.

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OldSalt,

Each tool you have in your tool box is just like each piece of gold mining/finding equipment you have. I'm sure as mentioned above all of us own different types of mining equipment and a small assortment of metal detectors...each have their special use in a giving situation of helping us to recover the color. I'm not saying running out and buying a new tool (PI Machine) will add gold to your poke in a hurry. But, I have one (2) Minelabs, a VLF and 4 dredges (different sizes), sluices and more in my tool box. Each have a special situation in mining to pull them out to work with. Hope this helped?

LuckyLundy

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Oldsalt....don't take this as an insult but I am guessing you aren't dedicated to metal detecting a nugget...I suspect you find it easier to drywash or dredge when you want some gold...when you get out the detector you likely swing it awhile, dig some hotrocks and junk and then go back to the reliable thing that brings in the yellow stuff...

Why do I prognosticate this, you ask??? 'Cause that was my problem for years when I wanted to detect a nugget...I would detect, dig nails, bullets and trash then put it away and go find some gold by more reliable methods...

And then, in 1989, I took off toward Yuma, Gold Bug in hand and swore to stay until I had a detected a nugget...I finally found that tiny little first nugget and had many successful trips after that...not great wealth, not pounds of gold but I found at least one nugget every trip after that for a goodly long time...your Lobo will find the nuggets if you have it tuned correctly and there is gold under the coil...

Minelabs will find gold too but most of it is not deep...they do handle the bad ground better but there are things you give up to swing a Pi...it is a lot more work but the thing I like is the nuggets are usually bigger. I don't use a little coil and I really don't see the point in one grain nuggets with such an expensive machine...for those that do have at it...480 grains in an oz is a bunch of digging...

again no offense intended, just take a hard look at how you detect and how long you have actually spent dedicated to finding a nugget with your detector.

BTW...I would be happy to spend some time with you if we are in the same time/space some time...

Fred

Micro...all commercial metal detectors are licensed by the Feds...i think you will see that in the manual...good luck out on the claims.

Fred

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I have been prospecting (Weekends) for around four years now. I am on third VLF (Now a Tesoro Lobo) and have not had any luck whatsoever here in Arizona detecting. However, I have had a significant amount of luck using a gasoline powered vacuum and crevicing methods.

Hey :icon_mrgreen: BUBBA SALT, If you have your detector over a nugget and you dig the signal there it is.

And iffin you don't you don't Simple isn't it ??????

And using your vac and suckin up the bedrock will show you COLOR if its there.

Eventually, I would like to move up to a MineLab and sell off my prospecting gear, vac, high banker, sluices, etc.

Call BIll Southern and ask him for his best deal on a 2100V2 or 2200V2 And then you will have an advantage over the VLF"s you've been using. The advantages will be more depth of detection and more and easier detecting of heavily mineralized ground.

It seems to me that it would be so much easier having a quality detector then lugging around and storing so much gear.

Ifin you don't want to play in the mud an get wet an splashed on using yer highbanker an slucies when its 95 to 110 degrees out then sell em. Or if you can't stand listening to that 2 cycle motor on the vac whine anymore get rid of it.

What is it that makes a PI detector (MineLab) so much better then a VLF? Is it the depth it can detect or there ability to operate in mineralized grounds?

BOTH I HUNT SIDE BY SIDE WITH EM SOMETIMES THEY GET THE SKUNK AND SOMETIMES I GET THE SKUNK WITH MY GMT.

I noticed that the majority of nuggets that are dug these days seem to be pretty deep.

Maybe so in some places, but I've found many just under the surface in the past year.

I think WHERE you hunt has a lot to do with that.

When I have enough money to buy a MineLab, say $3000 should I be looking for a new model or a used model?

You would most likely be BEST OFF IF you start off with a 2100v2 or 2200v2 NEW if you can. Minelab has this thing about warranty that applies only to the original purchaser unless thats changed recently.

OR IF YER LIKE ME you'll probably take a chance on a used one if the PRICE was right.

But I'd go NEW thru Bill S. if I had the cash for a deal.

I am also wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some training on operation when I finally do purchase one.

I believe if you buy new you'll get that with Bill S. You may even get it if he has a used one to sell.

Lastly, I am wondering when was the last time anyone in AZ found a nugget with a VLF?

The last time I was out in Nov. just before I let ol' SAWBONES Chop up my knees .

Me an the ol GMT were out huntin with my partner and his GP Extreme which he has found numerous ounces of gold with.

That day the GPX got the SKUNK an the GMT got a nice one with quartz and black magnetite inclusions.

BUBBA SALT Ya gotta remember ol' Jerry Reed had it down PAT. Somedays she gets the GOLDMINE you get the SHAFT.

ALL kiddin aside you can choose to let everything you own go and just concentrate on DETECTIN

BUT sure as the lord made little green apples, there's gonna come a day when you feel like Drywashin or Slucin OR Highbankin or Listening to that whinin ol 2 cycle suck up some dust. An pannin some dirt you suspect has some color in it.

So give it some time I think you got Cabin Fever from the winter months, it will PASS.

But don't hesitate to get ahold of Bill S. an see what kind of a deal he can give ya.

Hapy Huntn Bubba Salt. :laught16::laught16::laught16: :twocents: :coffeetime: :icon_mrgreen: :headphones: :innocent0009:

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Even though I do not fine ounces and ounces of gold with my Minelab, I still enjoy the hunt! When I do pop a nuggie, it's just that much more special. I will probably never give up my dredging equipment as that seems to be my way of finding most gold. But alas we have seasons for dredging here in California. While some here think a brand new detector is the way to go, I don't think that is the way to go myself. Just look at a the GP extreme for sale in the classified section. I know that beeper has found pounds of gold. You just cannot beat the price, plus it has a few coils. The asking price is 1/2 of what you think you need to spend. Each and every minelab from the first SD to the latest GPX will find gold..... you just have to put the time in the seat to learn your machine. Don't get rid of your other equipment as it is proven itself in finding gold

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I have been prospecting (Weekends) for around four years now. I am on third VLF (Now a Tesoro Lobo) and have not had any luck whatsoever here in Arizona detecting. However, I have had a significant amount of luck using a gasoline powered vacuum and crevicing methods.

Eventually, I would like to move up to a MineLab and sell off my prospecting gear, vac, high banker, sluices, etc.

It seems to me that it would be so much easier having a quality detector then lugging around and storing so much gear.

What is it that makes a PI detector (MineLab) so much better then a VLF? Is it the depth it can detect or there ability to operate in mineralized grounds?

I noticed that the majority of nuggets that are dug these days seem to be pretty deep.

When I have enough money to buy a MineLab, say $3000 should I be looking for a new model or a used model?

I am also wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some training on operation when I finally do purchase one.

Lastly, I am wondering when was the last time anyone in AZ found a nugget with a VLF?

I found 5 nuggets last week, 2 in Greaterville and 3 in a tailing pile somewhere else. All with a VLF. John B. will tell you that he has found more gold with a VLF than a Minelab. I am sure that you will find larger and deeper gold with a minelab. Sometimes I wish that I had one. Doug
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Just my .02 worth-

I've worked my way up from dredges to VLF to Minelabs PIs. I see no comparisons to the 4500 out there. BUT! In the same token, I still have several VLFs (coin and gold). I screwed up and sold my dredges ( or my favorite- 5" surface, which got stolen). If you need or really want to sell your equipment, then do so, but don't just dump them or give them away. You may in the future, want to go back to what you had and would have to buy another and get it the way your old was.

IE, I had a complete jewelry making outfit, oven, centrif. thrower, patterns, everything!; didn't take up alot of room, but got in the way. Gave it away at .10 on the dollar. Wish I still had it now!

Don't know if this helped, but hope it does.

Shep

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Guest bedrock bob

I have found thousands of nuggets with a GBII and I just purchased an SD2100V2. It is a great machine, and the whole shooting match with three new (Coiltek)coils, two L-ion batteries, an amplifier, all new out of the box was less than $2K. I cant see that there is that much difference in the 1DWT and below range in depth. and the tiny target sensitivity is definitely not as much as the GBII. It will definitely find big gold deeper, but big gold is RARE.

If'n I ever get over a 1 oz nugget it will reach down there a lot deeper than the Bug. I can hunt areas that I could not before due to mineralization, and there is precious little difference in the capabilities of these machines on average sized gold (there IS a little). The GBII will always be the machine for little gold until something more sensitive comes out (In hope it dosent. Who would want to find smaller gold than the GBII?) The Minelab will not go that small. The bug will get them smaller than you really want to fool with...Just not very deep on any size.

Also, on the first day I had trouble with the SD2100. Battery glitches, a strange coil(?) problem, and the darn thing is HEAVY. Instead of throwing it to the side to dig I cant set the expensive SOB down anywhere, and I have to throw it over my shoulder like a bazooka to dig. The pole is long and my usual "snatch and throw it over the coil" routine will not work. Targets dont always "rip" when they hit the coil and the ones that do make a sound it is difficult to interpret. Trashy areas are just a bunch of noise and pinpointing will NEVER be as easy with the PI. Still, it is a fine machine for big targets deep and no VLF will get down there like that. The PI sounds funny, and it is very difficult (at my experience level) to distinguish between hot rocks, garbage, and goodies. The Bug is fairly good about giving you a different "shaped" signal and you quickly learn a lot about the target from the sound. Not so with the PI. And the PI sounds like a sci-fi movie! Why could they not just make the freaking thing go "beep" instead of picking up signals from the Devil's radio station? AFTER AN HOUR OR SO I BROKE UP LAUGHING! I swear it soounded like an old Alfred Hitchcock movie or something. It scares my dog and he wont get near the thing when it is running.

I have a lot of years behind the GBII and I know that I will become a lot more proficient and familiar with the Minelab, but that is my feedback as a "new owner" of the SD2100. Dont get me wrong, I am not knocking it and I am thrilled with the machine, but if you are not finding gold with a VLF then the Minelab will not change your luck much. Your persistence, the spot you are hunting, and your method makes more difference than the machine you use. Period.

There is definitely a spot for BOTH machines in a prospectors tool kit, right BEHIND the old stanby...the shovel and drywasher (or pan, etc.etc.) Although I have found a buttload of nuggets, I could NEVER find the weight that I can with a drywasher. Period. One big nugget may be a conversation piece, but the hours spent cleaning bedrock will always (at least in New Mexico) yeild more gold. Even with an occasional one ounce nugget, you would be hard pressed to beat the drywasher if you average it over a period of time. This is just a factor of the placer and its charachteristics... I would imagine in big gold country this may not be true. In 99% of the placers I haunt it is very true. Painfully true. Tylenol for your back true.

Another great tool is the little Falcon detector... Dont laugh guys this darn thing is really good. I have found a lot of gold with it!

I realize that you just might get lucky and stumble over a patch that kept you busy for several weekends and yeild a few ounces. You can dig into a pocket and do this too almost as often. Still, at the end of the day (or year, or lifetime) you will get more gold in almost every circumstance with a shovel, a drywasher, and some elbow grease.

Just my two cents worth.

Bedrock Bob

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My understanding (based purely on hearsay, word of mouth) is that the FCC puts a maximum limit on the power of a VLF, but has no similar regulation for PI machines. This may enable PI units to muster more punch (the sending signal). But I think another key difference is the better ability of PI technology to cope with mineralization. The newer and newer generation PIs each seem to have their biggest improvements in the receiver function, ie, a better and better ability to minimize noise without reducing target response. No full sized MDs, however, can reliably detect gold smaller than about minus 20. There is a whole lot of minus 20 gold still out there. Thus, your dry washer can be put to good use in pounded patches where all the sitting ducks in the top 12 to 18" already have been removed. Plus, dry washing for many of us is a special kind of pleasure that affords a break from swinging all day long.

Do you or can you use your a detector to find better

pay streaks that you drywash too, besides just looking for nuggets??

I ask because I noticed that as one of the listed features of the Whites GMT...

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Do you or can you use your a detector to find better

pay streaks that you drywash too, besides just looking for nuggets??

I ask because I noticed that as one of the listed features of the Whites GMT...

I don't. I just read the wash/river to determine where I think that gold would drop off and I look for some other signs. I do know what your talking about though and have seen people use that method with the GB2.

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OldSalt

I am by no means an expert but if I were you I would never sell your other prospecting equipment. It seems that most people will go a great stretch of time between finding gold when using any medal detector. When I get frustrated or just need to see some gold I dust off my other prospecting equipment and go dig a hole. There is a far bigger percentage of small gold then detectable size gold so the more tools you have the more gold you will find. Gold is being found with VLF medal detectors and I found my first nugget in AZ last weekend. The PI machines will find more gold but there are areas where a VLF will also do well.

Very good point.

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My understanding (based purely on hearsay, word of mouth) is that the FCC puts a maximum limit on the power of a VLF, but has no similar regulation for PI machines. This may enable PI units to muster more punch (the sending signal). But I think another key difference is the better ability of PI technology to cope with mineralization. The newer and newer generation PIs each seem to have their biggest improvements in the receiver function, ie, a better and better ability to minimize noise without reducing target response. No full sized MDs, however, can reliably detect gold smaller than about minus 20. There is a whole lot of minus 20 gold still out there. Thus, your dry washer can be put to good use in pounded patches where all the sitting ducks in the top 12 to 18" already have been removed. Plus, dry washing for many of us is a special kind of pleasure that affords a break from swinging all day long.

very, very true that there is much more of the smaller stuff. Having a PI that deals with the mineralization better would be nice. Some times the ground gets so hot, that I have to switch over to a black sand setting with my Tesoro and loose depth and sensitivity.

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OldSalt,

Each tool you have in your tool box is just like each piece of gold mining/finding equipment you have. I'm sure as mentioned above all of us own different types of mining equipment and a small assortment of metal detectors...each have their special use in a giving situation of helping us to recover the color. I'm not saying running out and buying a new tool (PI Machine) will add gold to your poke in a hurry. But, I have one (2) Minelabs, a VLF and 4 dredges (different sizes), sluices and more in my tool box. Each have a special situation in mining to pull them out to work with. Hope this helped?

LuckyLundy

Also a very good point.

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Oldsalt....don't take this as an insult but I am guessing you aren't dedicated to metal detecting a nugget...I suspect you find it easier to drywash or dredge when you want some gold...when you get out the detector you likely swing it awhile, dig some hotrocks and junk and then go back to the reliable thing that brings in the yellow stuff...

Why do I prognosticate this, you ask??? 'Cause that was my problem for years when I wanted to detect a nugget...I would detect, dig nails, bullets and trash then put it away and go find some gold by more reliable methods...

And then, in 1989, I took off toward Yuma, Gold Bug in hand and swore to stay until I had a detected a nugget...I finally found that tiny little first nugget and had many successful trips after that...not great wealth, not pounds of gold but I found at least one nugget every trip after that for a goodly long time...your Lobo will find the nuggets if you have it tuned correctly and there is gold under the coil...

Minelabs will find gold too but most of it is not deep...they do handle the bad ground better but there are things you give up to swing a Pi...it is a lot more work but the thing I like is the nuggets are usually bigger. I don't use a little coil and I really don't see the point in one grain nuggets with such an expensive machine...for those that do have at it...480 grains in an oz is a bunch of digging...

again no offense intended, just take a hard look at how you detect and how long you have actually spent dedicated to finding a nugget with your detector.

BTW...I would be happy to spend some time with you if we are in the same time/space some time...

Fred

Micro...all commercial metal detectors are licensed by the Feds...i think you will see that in the manual...good luck out on the claims.

Fred

Fred, I spent my first two years looking for gold with just a detector and didn't find any but still didn't give up. I slowed down, and hiked in to places that others dared not go and still didn't find any. I don't find it easier lugging around a gas vac and a recirculating sluice. Perhaps detecting just isn't my bag and I should stick to what works for me.

I do get frustrated with high mineralization and have looked at many photos of how deep people have dug before to retrieve a nugget they detected with a MineLab.

I think it would be really helpful to have someone like yourself to go out detecting with someday.

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Gents, all really good replies and I appreciate all the information and knowledge your sharing with me. The more the better. Love learning something new each day.

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You are absolutely correct, it does help to go out with an experienced gold hunter.

And if you ever get up to my neck of the woods I extend an invite also. Golden Valley/Kingman area.

OldSalt,

Take every opportunity to learn from the experts that you get. I was lucky enough to get some very detailed written instructions from the person that I bought my GMT from. Although the instructions were helpful I would have loved to have someone help me out with my machine in the field. I think that my first nugget was probably way more luck then knowledge of using my detector. I am anticipating a lot more learning and frustration before I score my next nugget.

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OldSalt; when I lived in Az and visited with a pro nugget finder by the name of George Med, he asked to see the typical stuff I was finding, the areas I was hunting and watched how I tuned my garret...after all that he could only shake his head and tell me there was no good reason why I could not find a nugget...I think I had a curse on me back then...I will be at the Azo Outing Friday through Sunday if you are around...I look a lot like the fool standing crotch deep in the hole on Bills main page...and driving a silver 4x4 frontier p/u..........

Fred

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OldSalt; when I lived in Az and visited with a pro nugget finder by the name of George Med, he asked to see the typical stuff I was finding, the areas I was hunting and watched how I tuned my garret...after all that he could only shake his head and tell me there was no good reason why I could not find a nugget...I think I had a curse on me back then...I will be at the Azo Outing Friday through Sunday if you are around...I look a lot like the fool standing crotch deep in the hole on Bills main page...and driving a silver 4x4 frontier p/u..........

Fred

AND YOU CAN SMELL HIS CAMPSITE A MILE AWAY......(HE'S A GOOD COOK TOO.!!!!!!!)

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Guest Potholes Bob-NM

I didn't start finding nuggets on a regular basis until I retired my Gold Bug 1 for a Minelab GP

Extreme. Even the seasoned OTs hit a dry streak, and will go for quite a while before finding

another nugget!

That said, I feel that every desert prospector should own a dry washer, even if only a small

one! I found lots of gold totaling quite a few ounces with my small hand operated bellows

washer, and even more with my 150 Keene blower, and sure enjoyed myself! I was a dry

washer for twenty years before I became a serious detector nut. In those days, we used a

detector to find lost tools buried under our tailing piles! :laught16:

The largest nugget that I have ever found was just under one ounce. The irony was that it was

laying at the base of a sheer fifty foot high desert hill, right on the surface of the ground at the

edge of a large sandy wash. I had been detecting with my GB1, and my eyes were focused

just ahead of the search coil, when I spotted this beauty before I ever detected it! :ROFL:

For me, a large part of the enjoyment of desert metal detecting is just in roaming for miles and

getting in great shape. Finding a nugget is just frosting on the cake!

Cheers!

Potholes Bob

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I have to agree with Poltholes Bob...only on a larger scale. I have yet to find any gold with my GB1. I go out at least once a week. But I refuse to be discouraged because of not only the support on this forum, but the wonder scenery and great walks that I have.

As a true nature boy, I would rather be walking in the desert than trying to fix my RV!

I didn't start finding nuggets on a regular basis until I retired my Gold Bug 1 for a Minelab GP

Extreme. Even the seasoned OTs hit a dry streak, and will go for quite a while before finding

another nugget!

That said, I feel that every desert prospector should own a dry washer, even if only a small one!

The largest nugget that I have ever found was just under one ounce. The irony was that it was

laying at the base of a sheer fifty foot high desert hill, right on the surface of the ground at the

edge of a large sandy wash. I had been detecting with my GB1, and my eyes were focused

just ahead of the search coil, when I spotted this beauty before I ever detected it! :ROFL:

For me, a large part of the enjoyment of desert metal detecting is just in roaming for miles and

getting in great shape. Finding a nugget is just frosting on the cake!

Cheers!

Potholes Bob

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Isn't it great just being out in the desert away from the city. Darn I love it out there. Finding gold is just a plus.

I found my first nugget with a crevice tool. No detector, nada. Hand sniping. Popped it right out of a small crevice in a small tributary wash.

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