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Well I finally decided to pull the trigger on my first gold detector. None of the shops around here would agree to take me out and show me how to use one if I bought it there so I got a good deal on a used V/SAT all on my own. I figure if I can find gold with that, I can move up to a better machine later. I read the manual and went outside to start the training process and all seemed to be going OK after a bit of fiddling around. I got the ground balance set up correctly I think and I have a little nugget in a plastic vial that I didn't have any problem hearing.

A friend of mine came over today and brought several vials, all with black sand and some with black sand and gold. They all seemed to register the same!! We had one vial with a nugget about the size of a BB along with some black sand and it sounded no different than the vial with sand only. He's been prospecting around here for decades, never with a metal detector, and was about to get one of his own but now is going to wait. Insists the experiment we did was valid and that's just how the gold is going to be out there in the hills; among little pockets of black sand. I'm thinking we're going to balance out the ground with the black sand in it and therefor be able to distinguish the gold. We'll head out there just as soon as it warms up a bit but in the meantime I feel I need to keep practicing so... Am I thinking the right way here or is there maybe something I'm missing?

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Guest bedrock bob

I would bet that you are holding the vials in your hand and passing it over the coil? the salt on your hands will register a small signal and you probably cant tell it from a BB sized target.

Forget that black sands, it will register a "negative" or "null" sound if at all. The free metal will cause a "positive" signal.

Dont waste your time at first messing around in the yard, or inside with test nuggets. Get out and find out what that detector will do in the real world. If you like to experiment with test nuggets tape one to a business card and use that, only do it out on desert pavement or gravel. THAT is where you will find gold and what your detector will be dealing with.

The V-SAT is a great machine. I have an old Whites GMII that has the V-SAT setting on it. It was the predecessor of the V-SAT and I have found a lot of gold with it. Once you figure out how to ground balance perfectly (and keep it there) you will have 1/4 of the job done.

Youa re not going to detect too many nuggets in a bed of black sand. That is just not how the nugget game works. Get the book "Follow the Drywashers" from Jim Straight and read the words off the paper. There are other books out there but this one has everything you need to know to start finding gold. Oh, and remember that even the best placer miners have no idea about nugget shooting, so any time anyone tells you anything about detecting, yet has no first hand experience, just take it with a grain of salt.

99% of my nuggets have been found on or in caliche within 4" of the surface on hilltops. No black sand involved. The rest have been on bedrock with all black sand swept away by the water, in hardrock mine dumps, or underground in buried placers. I have honestly never found a pocket of black sand (pure) with gold in it, nor have I ever heard of that. Most paystreaks are pea sized cemented gravel near bedrock with a good showing of coarse black sands, but by percentage the black sands make up only 5% maybe of the total volume.

Hope this helps.

Bedrock Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Hey man, I am going to go out on a limb and make an assumption about your nickname...

What kind of speargun do you shoot? A.B. Biller? Sea Hornet?

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I would bet that you are holding the vials in your hand and passing it over the coil? the salt on your hands will register a small signal and you probably cant tell it from a BB sized target.Bedrock Bob

Thanks for the reply Bob. The way we did this was to lay the vials on the ground, balance to the ground around the vials and then ran the coil over each one. Trying to balance over the vials didn't work out. I didn't think it was a valid test because of the concentration of the sand in each vial as compared to the ground around them but we're both new to the detector game so... I don't seem to have any problems finding junk in the pasture and what you say is encouraging.

What kind of speargun do you shoot? A.B. Biller? Sea Hornet?

I shoot a 34" Mares Cyrano. Blacks, Blues and Lings mostly. If I can do half as well nugget shooting as I do fish shooting I'll be one happy camper. Sounds like you may be a band man?

One more thing: the G.E.B. FINE knob on my machine has a little bit of play in it and every time I touch it or turn it to adjust, it squawks. In other words, in order to see if you've got the balance right, you have to stop turning; you can't just turn until the balance is right. I thought maybe the nuts holding it in place were loose but that's not the case. The shaft of the knob has a little bit of play in the knob assembly. Is that normal? Also, I have no problem balancing with the course knob and the big fine tuning knob but the small fine tuning knob seems a little too fine for me to make use of. Does that make sense?

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The most probable reason why you are getting the same signal from thoSe glass vials, regardless of the content, AND, likewise, are unable to ground balance out those vials, is that the cap of MOST little gold vials has a LAYER OF METAL FOIL IN IT. Remove the cap, and try again. HH Jim. If that works, let us know, and I'll post some secrets on the tuning the VSAT.

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Guest bedrock bob
Thanks for the reply Bob. The way we did this was to lay the vials on the ground, balance to the ground around the vials and then ran the coil over each one. Trying to balance over the vials didn't work out. I didn't think it was a valid test because of the concentration of the sand in each vial as compared to the ground around them but we're both new to the detector game so... I don't seem to have any problems finding junk in the pasture and what you say is encouraging.

I shoot a 34" Mares Cyrano. Blacks, Blues and Lings mostly. If I can do half as well nugget shooting as I do fish shooting I'll be one happy camper. Sounds like you may be a band man?

One more thing: the G.E.B. FINE knob on my machine has a little bit of play in it and every time I touch it or turn it to adjust, it squawks. In other words, in order to see if you've got the balance right, you have to stop turning; you can't just turn until the balance is right. I thought maybe the nuts holding it in place were loose but that's not the case. The shaft of the knob has a little bit of play in the knob assembly. Is that normal? Also, I have no problem balancing with the course knob and the big fine tuning knob but the small fine tuning knob seems a little too fine for me to make use of. Does that make sense?

Yup. Gotta love rubber. Freshwater mostly. Big stipers, monster catfish, and love the walleye. Shot a Dorado in Mexico, Sea of Cortez. Thought he was going to kill me but I brough him in. Definitely wasnt prepared for that big fish. If I was apnea diving I would have been dead. I shoot a Sea Hornet, I believe a 36. My son shot the state record walleye when he was 13. 391/2" and about 9 lbs.

You gotta love it to spearfish, and you know it dont just happen by accident, so you will find gold using nothign else but that tenacity. My Whites screams every time I touch the knob. Just like my girlfriend. Dont touch it unless you mean it and you will do just fine. I sent it back once and they fixed it, but it does it again and i just live with it. Good service with WHites so if it bothers you send it in.

Ground balance over the average ground, pumping the coil around in different spots. Get it EXACT. Leran to feel the range in the knob between "hot" and "cold" and then set it right off "cold" at first. As you learn to control your swing speed and learn the gound you can inch up toward "hot" and not have too much trouble. Once you get slick at it you will hunt with a slight elevation in threshold when you come to the ground and that will be the most sensitive (and ground noisy) setting. Get that whopper coil for it too. No loss in sens of small targets and you can get an inch or two out of it on the big stuff.

Whenever I get a new detector I take it to the park for a day and dig crap. By the thousandth target you will have learned the language of the Whites and then the only problem is bad ground. If that thing is workigin right and you have it set good you wont miss any gold. Go slower than you would ever dream of and you will find it.

Bedrock Bob

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Guys a good way to fix those easy to bump or loose knobs is to remove the knob and place the right size rubber o-ring over the shaft replace the knob pushing it down onto the o-ring and tighten the knob set screw, This will keep resistance on the knob allowing fine and precise tuning and also protect to a certain degree accidental movement from rubbing or bumping. Also helps keep debris from getting into tuning pot.

That was TECH TIP # 101 :laught16: works great.

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I was going to mention the cap thing on the vials as well.. learned that one the hard way.

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Well the caps didn't have any foil in them.

After a lengthy discussion with my friend he says he'll take me to some places where I can concentrate on the sides and tops of hills looking for pocket gold where there won't be the high concentrations of the black sand. He says I can do that and he'll hang around the creek beds.

Now check this: I called whites to ask about fixing the loose knob and they told me that all of their machines carry a lifetime guarantee just so long as I bring it to them. Well they're just and hour and a half away so I guess I'll head up there sometime this week and they can do their thing. WOW!! "just bring it in and we'll take care of it"

I'll start digging up targets in the pasture today.

One other thing about the V/SAT machine itself: When I swing it, unless I change directions very gently it squawks at me. In other words, when I swing it to the side and stop before going the other way, I get a loud squawk. If I go really slow and am really careful to make kind of a rounded turn I can eliminate it. It's like I'm swinging a pan of water and I have to be careful not to slosh any out. Is that normal?

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false signals are not uncommon with some detectors at the end of each swing...too many possibilities to list all of them but...make sure your coil wire is not moving and make sure your connections are tight...

What you need is a mentor...life in the search for gold can be rough when you don't know a rightly from wrongly tuned and functioning detector.

Fred

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Guest bedrock bob

Hey, just take it to them and they will fix it. I have nothing but respect for White's service or equipment. I bet that they have a Jimmy Sierra clone there in the back that just might give you some very good tips. What an opportunity to ask a few questions from the pros with the detector in your hands.

Once everything is working good take a roll of your favorite color electrical tape and go wild at the coil connector and the first foot of cable. The same at the box if you hip mount. I never had a coil cover for either of my GM2 coils and I scraped them over the rocks for fifteen years, but if you can get a coil cover for that coil get it. Ask them if it is waterproof. Mine are NOT. It would pay to find out.

Ol Sweet Home Oregon huh? What nice country. I hope you find a nugget as big as your thumb!

Pacific spearfishing? I bet that is a HOOT! I can shoot a lot of nice fish in a freshwater dive but NOTHING like that water must have. Dont be bashful about sharing more of that hobby here. I believe that lots of these prospectors could appreciate a spearfishing tale.

Bob

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HooksnSpears:

An old prospector buddy of mine, Ed Gulley, was a member of the LA area skin diving club since the 1940s (died in 2004). Any chance you knew him? If so, any friend of Ed's is a friend of mine and I'll take you out to some patches to get that machine of yours dialed in.

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Good luck shooting nuggets, I have only just started myself and one of the best pieces of advise I have had so far is when you get to where you are wanting to hunt, bury various sizes of fishing sinkers at various depths, mark where they are and then use them as a test bed. Itl take about 1/2 an hour but you know that you will be tunned in and will be able to hear the tones that you are seeking.

Happy Hunting :icon_mrgreen:

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Hey, just take it to them and they will fix it. I have nothing but respect for White's service or equipment. I bet that they have a Jimmy Sierra clone there in the back that just might give you some very good tips. What an opportunity to ask a few questions from the pros with the detector in your hands.

Once everything is working good take a roll of your favorite color electrical tape and go wild at the coil connector and the first foot of cable. The same at the box if you hip mount. I never had a coil cover for either of my GM2 coils and I scraped them over the rocks for fifteen years, but if you can get a coil cover for that coil get it. Ask them if it is waterproof. Mine are NOT. It would pay to find out.

Ol Sweet Home Oregon huh? What nice country. I hope you find a nugget as big as your thumb!

Pacific spearfishing? I bet that is a HOOT! I can shoot a lot of nice fish in a freshwater dive but NOTHING like that water must have. Dont be bashful about sharing more of that hobby here. I believe that lots of these prospectors could appreciate a spearfishing tale.

Bob

Hey Bob,

I bought a cover for my coil today along with a copy of "Follow the Drywashers" I'll head to Sweet Home here in a few days. I didn't know electrical tape came in more than one color. LOL

Here's tale for you: I live 128 miles from the coast and dragging my big boat over there can get expensive when you're going every time the seas lay down, especially for a cheap miser like myself. I get around all that by taking freinds of mine to dive with me and they end up paying for most of the gas so most of the time it all works out. Last year when gas was $5 a gallon the seas layed down on a day when no one was able to go except for a guy who lived there. He convinced me to come on out and give kayak diving a try. He has a kayak and said we could rent a second one so I hopped in my little Honda car and headed west.

Following my partner we launched at Maclyan cove out of Brookings in about 4 ft seas and paddled out and around the big rock formations there, out about I'd say no more than 200-300 yards. He asked me where I wanted to go and there was this big rock sticking out of the water about 20 ft high and maybe 40 ft long with a bunch of pelicans on it and I suggested we try there; Pelican Rock I named it. Well we weighed anchor, got in the water and got all our stuff on and my buddy loaded his gun. Now I never load my gun on the surface but this day he was the leader so I loaded mine as well. We were about 15 yards from the rock and he wanted to swim over before going down. I never do that either; I always take a compass heading, drop to the bottom and swim over because lots of times there's a bunch of fish right under the boat but, again he was the leader so we swam over to Pelican Rock on the surface. "You ready? Yea I'm ready. You ready? Yea here we go." We pulled the plug and dropped down to the bottom; about 50 ft.

Now I hadn't been spearfishing but a couple years, and up to this point I had always been the guy who kind of lagged behind a little bit at the weigh in, but this day wasn't going to be like that.

When I hit bottom I immediately saw a HUGE ling cod swim behind this big boulder I was next to. I kind of stood up and pushed myself over and saw him moving quickly away and stuck my gun out there and fired a quick shot. Miracles of all miracles I hit that SOB!!! He was thrashing around and I was smiling and screaming through my reg. My partner had decended with me was right there and he stayed and assisted me in getting him on the stringer, gave me a high five and left. I reloaded and looked up to see a school of HUGE black rockfish and right away shot one. As soon as I got him on the stringer I immediately shot a second. As I was pulling him in I saw him. On top of the boulder was another fish sitting there looking at me. At this point I had stirred things up a bit so I really couldn't see him all that well, but I figured it was a ling because he was just sitting on top of the rock rather than suspended like the blacks. There wasn't much I could do about it because I had a black on my spear. Well I just took my time getting the black taken care of and kept glancing over to the ling; he just sat there watching me-wanted my fish. I finally got the black situated and he was still there. I reloaded and got back into position, pointing away about 100 degrees. I slowly started swinging around and as I did he slowly raised up above the rock and started swimming slowly right at me., I nailed him right through his mouth. Now I had two monster lings, two nice blacks and was able to quickly get two more nice blacks without ever leaving that spot and I had used less than 1000 lbs of air!! It took me another 1000 to get the last black to make a limit but it was truly the best day I've ever had in the water. Not a state record or anything but definately a personal best. Since that day I have yet to bag a ling anywhere near as big as either of those two that day.

The seas are layed down again this Friday. At this moment NOAA is predicting 1ft seas!! You can bet I'll be headed to Pelican Rock...in my kayak.

HooksnSpears:

An old prospector buddy of mine, Ed Gulley, was a member of the LA area skin diving club since the 1940s (died in 2004). Any chance you knew him? If so, any friend of Ed's is a friend of mine and I'll take you out to some patches to get that machine of yours dialed in.

Hey Micro,

No I didn't know Mr. Gulley but I know that so CA has some great places to dive. I hear the visability is sometimes more than 15ft!! (That's an Oregon joke. It's almost never more than 15ft here)

I wish I knew someone around here who knew about these machines and could hold my hand a little. The guy at the store today was telling about a detecting club meeting this coming Monday. I may head over there...maybe.

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Good luck shooting nuggets, I have only just started myself and one of the best pieces of advise I have had so far is when you get to where you are wanting to hunt, bury various sizes of fishing sinkers at various depths, mark where they are and then use them as a test bed. Itl take about 1/2 an hour but you know that you will be tunned in and will be able to hear the tones that you are seeking.

Happy Hunting :icon_mrgreen:

Hey Cookie,

Yea I'm with you on that. My partner gave me a little nugget to practice with and I'm going to glue it to a poker chip on a string to take with me.

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