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Just picked up a Whites GM3, need some advice

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I found a pretty nice deal (I think) on a Goldmaster 3 here locally. $270 in pretty much perfect condition with a coil cover. I'm a complete beginner to nugget hunting so I have a few questions.

It just has GM3 on the coil, but I thought all 3's and above have the double D coils. Does mine have that double D coil? And what advantage does the double D coil have?

Ground balancing. Does anyone know of any tutorials on how to properly ground balance this machine or general usage? I'm going to download the manual and do some reading but any help from people here with experience would be much appreciated. Like I said I'm completely new to detecting and now that I have a capable machine I want to figure out what I'm doing before trying to use it. :yuk-yuk:

Thanks in advance

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Guest bedrock bob

I found a pretty nice deal (I think) on a Goldmaster 3 here locally. $270 in pretty much perfect condition with a coil cover. I'm a complete beginner to nugget hunting so I have a few questions.

It just has GM3 on the coil, but I thought all 3's and above have the double D coils. Does mine have that double D coil? And what advantage does the double D coil have?

Ground balancing. Does anyone know of any tutorials on how to properly ground balance this machine or general usage? I'm going to download the manual and do some reading but any help from people here with experience would be much appreciated. Like I said I'm completely new to detecting and now that I have a capable machine I want to figure out what I'm doing before trying to use it. :yuk-yuk:

Thanks in advance

The first thing you need to do is read the manual and put about 20 hours behind you. The GM3 has that fine ground balance adjustment and you need to keep the thing adjusted just right. The secret is to keep the it balanced just a little "hot" where when you lower the coil to the ground the threshold goes up ever so slightly...the ground kind of "shines" as you lower the coil. You may need to tweak it often when the machine gets a little noisy, but that is where your ground balance should be. Once you know what that detector is saying it is easy to just barely move the fine knob and bring that machine back into balance. It will just take a few hours behind the wheel.

Search really slow and investigate any repeatable rise in threshold, no matter how small. After digging a bunch of targets you will be able to get them really small and know a heck of a lot aboout your target just by the sound. My Whites has a fairly articulate voice as compared to the GBII and you can just about tell what the target is before you dig after you learn to "speak the language".

You will really not need to ask many questions if you spend time swinging that thing and digging targets. Get a good pair of knee pads and some leather gloves, a good digger, and wear that GM3 out dragging it across the rocks. You will find one if you keep at it.

Good luck! I hope you find one as big as your thumb!

Bedrock Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Oh, and the DD's are fuller and rounder than the others. A DD usually starts way back up under the arm and kind of piles up together in the middle. They dont nesesarily stand out farther than the others but there is the definite element of heft and dimension there. Often DD's have "A" cups caught in their gravitational pull and orbiting around them.

The advantages would be that you could loose your whole head in there for an afternoon. The disadvantages would be that you generally LOOSE gold with the DD's. Dont ask me why. It seems that a whole lot of it is spent on, given to, taken by, or otherwise headed in the direction of the same.

Bob

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Great advice Bedrock Bob, thank you! I'll be reading up and practicing tomorrow.

One other thing... can I use any kind of headphones with the GM3? I've read headphones help you hear what the machine is doing better and help with battery life. Can I use any old headphones? I have a set of full earmuff type headphones, will these work?

Thanks again.

The first thing you need to do is read the manual and put about 20 hours behind you. The GM3 has that fine ground balance adjustment and you need to keep the thing adjusted just right. The secret is to keep the it balanced just a little "hot" where when you lower the coil to the ground the threshold goes up ever so slightly...the ground kind of "shines" as you lower the coil. You may need to tweak it often when the machine gets a little noisy, but that is where your ground balance should be. Once you know what that detector is saying it is easy to just barely move the fine knob and bring that machine back into balance. It will just take a few hours behind the wheel.

Search really slow and investigate any repeatable rise in threshold, no matter how small. After digging a bunch of targets you will be able to get them really small and know a heck of a lot aboout your target just by the sound. My Whites has a fairly articulate voice as compared to the GBII and you can just about tell what the target is before you dig after you learn to "speak the language".

You will really not need to ask many questions if you spend time swinging that thing and digging targets. Get a good pair of knee pads and some leather gloves, a good digger, and wear that GM3 out dragging it across the rocks. You will find one if you keep at it.

Good luck! I hope you find one as big as your thumb!

Bedrock Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Great advice Bedrock Bob, thank you! I'll be reading up and practicing tomorrow.

One other thing... can I use any kind of headphones with the GM3? I've read headphones help you hear what the machine is doing better and help with battery life. Can I use any old headphones? I have a set of full earmuff type headphones, will these work?

Thanks again.

You betcha they will. You might need an adapter if they are the small jack. If you can hear the machine noise and can hear the threshold in detail you are dong good.

I wouldnt even attempt to find a nugget without headphones. If I drove 300 miles to prospect and forgot them I would probably just go on a hike and never turn the machine on. That is how important headphones are to me. So there is my two cents on that one.

Oh and I believe that GM3 carries a series of "AA" batteries? 8 if I am correct, or 6 rechargables? That is how my GM2 is anyway. Well, it will run a lot better with the 8 regular AA batteries if it is anything like mine.

And get that whopper coil for it. the "Jimmy Sierre Special" or whatever the hell it is called. I have that big thing for my GMII and it has found a lot of darn gold. Just a super coil!

Bedrock Bob

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You betcha they will. You might need an adapter if they are the small jack. If you can hear the machine noise and can hear the threshold in detail you are dong good.

I wouldnt even attempt to find a nugget without headphones. If I drove 300 miles to prospect and forgot them I would probably just go on a hike and never turn the machine on. That is how important headphones are to me. So there is my two cents on that one.

Oh and I believe that GM3 carries a series of "AA" batteries? 8 if I am correct, or 6 rechargables? That is how my GM2 is anyway. Well, it will run a lot better with the 8 regular AA batteries if it is anything like mine.

And get that whopper coil for it. the "Jimmy Sierre Special" or whatever the hell it is called. I have that big thing for my GMII and it has found a lot of darn gold. Just a super coil!

Bedrock Bob

Ok, I checked and I don't have the DD. I wish I understood half of what you were talking about but I got that the DD isn't the greatest.

Mine does have the 8 AA's. I've always noticed that regular batteries are always stronger than rechargeables.

For the Jimmy coil, is it the Magnum Force 25" shown here?

Jimmy coils

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Guest bedrock bob

Ok, I checked and I don't have the DD. I wish I understood half of what you were talking about but I got that the DD isn't the greatest.

Mine does have the 8 AA's. I've always noticed that regular batteries are always stronger than rechargeables.

For the Jimmy coil, is it the Magnum Force 25" shown here?

Jimmy coils

I think you use a couple of "blanks" in the battery pack and use 6 rechargeables. You take those out and use 8 regular ones. I might be wrong, 'cause I have hunted and found good gold with 6 batteries and 2 "blanks", and I have done about the same with 8 batteries. It is a little more powerful with 8 maybe, but it runs great both ways. Anyhoo, consult the manual or ask the folks at Whites. They are great people and give great service!

I have not purchased a metal detector in 30 years so I am not the one to be giving advice on coils, or products. I traded a hand made drywasher for my GM2 in about 1988 and have been using it since. I sent it in to Whites about '95 and had a "tune up" and a coil wire fixed. I bought the big coil from them at that time. It is a 13 1/2" X 8" coil from Whites and it was called the "Jimmy Sierra Some Darn Thing or the Other" coil. The tune up, the wire fixed on the small coil, the big coil, and the shipping was $125 bucks and it took them about ten days to turn it around. I bet that the machine has found a half pound of gold in that time. Drywashing in the patches it has found has probably collected at least that much. So it was a good trade.

I know that the larger coil is (or was) offered by Whites for all of their gold machines, and I also know that Jimmy Sierra makes a bunch of Whites coils, but I am not sure what is available for your machine. Call 'em up! Ask 'em!

So go forth and dig holes until your knuckles bleed. Work hours and hours and eat only canned fish and prok-n-beans. Sleep on the ground and let those rocks get in between your ribs and down against your hip bones until your leg goes to sleep. Stand and detect until your head aches from the headphones and then dont quit until you have a blister on your big toe from scraping the ground with your foot. Do this the whole weekend and dont return until you are so frustrated that you never EVER want to hear a "beep" again.

If you do that five times and dont quit you will find a nice one!

Bedrock Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Oh, and about those DD's...

All you really need to know at this point is that "DD's are BAD" and just try to stay away from them. Learn to find gold first and after you get a few small ones under your belt you will be ready to tackle those DD's. Work your way up to it there tenderfoot! Guys that are a little too frisky wind up loosing their gold that way.

Now there is a good piece of prospecting advice that I will bet a lot of you out ther ecan identify with!

Bedrock Bob

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Hi Bob,

That is the best advice I have ever seen on using a Goldmaster. Truer words have never been spoken. Also, send for a backup coil cover, 'cause you're plannin' on wearin' one out this season!

Ben

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Thanks guys, awesome advice. I got a little taste of it today at the rock pile. About 3 hours of detecting hot rocks and climbing up and down avalanches of river rock. Standing there looking at acres of rock piles 40 feet tall and then looking down at a coil a little bigger than your foot doesn't do much for the old patience level... So I've got to work on that.

I noticed a few different types of rock that sounds off on the machine. Most common are those gray speckled ones. I guess those are the "hot rocks"?

I think I got the beginnings of ground balancing down. Followed what the manual said to do. Not too hard, now I just have to learn the machine real good. I'll tell you so far I love it. It seems realy well made and placements of knobs and switches seem like they're in the perfect places.

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I tried to write this like a mini tutorial.

Take care of your original GM3 monocoil, those are not available from whites anymore. I've stated a couple times here and elsewhere on forums that I get about twice the depth with my monocoil than with the DD. The DD will handle really "hot" ground better, like arizona and australia has, and parts of california. My trick with my GM3 monocoil on that bad of ground is raise the coil higher off the ground. When it's Like trying to ground balance over a car hood. The coil is supposed to be waterproof, mine was for about 5 years, but now I have some water in it from submerging and it goes wacky from time to time, but is still my favorite coil. I've used the sierra gold max coil too, even found a sixteeth inch buckshot at 4 inches down in very mild clay. The deepest nugget I've detected was 2.1 grams at 12" with stock coil. Deepest target a beer can at 2 1/2 feet. Ha ha. The iron ID works pretty well, mine is always on, but I've dug many gold nuggets in mineralized bedrock that clearly gave a iron indication, so don't trust it 100%. Some of that may have been because I run my GM3 at max sensitivity. When I dig down to bedrock and still have a good target sound, I start going oh boy!, and break out the hammer and chisel, gold is there. Also, I hunt hydraulic pits with mild ground and set the vsat at minimum always, just past the pinpoint switch mark which I never use, makes the target signal alot more distinct I think. To go for maximum depth I overlap my swings as though I'm using a 3" coil, especially after locating that first nugget of the day. Think of your monocoil search pattern as an upside down traffic cone, the center of the coil punching the deepest or most sensitive.

Some more tips, carry a magnet, I like the ones from hardware stores of aluminum and the size/ shape of a pencil with a clip on it to clip on the visor of my baseball cap. I admit it tears through the fabric of the bill but not through the plastic. Easy to run through the scoop for those pesky bits of steel.

I swear by the long handled plastic scoops from mining shops, I use 2 of them for target retrieval. They can be used to crush small target rocks to free the gold and as a mini dry panning method I found by shaking side to side and gently blowing air across the tablespoon of powdered dirt or rock and tilting a little, the gold and often buckshot drops right out of the mix. Nice when a flake is the target and then there are half a dozen more smaller bits too small to detect staring back up at you.

P.S. you got a good price on a good detector, I got my GM3 on a sale price of $550 from $650 msrp back in 1997 as a christmas present to myself. About 2 months later the GM4B came out. Later the GMT with the DD coil became standard. I've run my GM3 for 11 years now and not once had to send it to whites for service. :thumbsupanim

Mike G.

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Thanks Mike! So how far up off the ground do you usually swing it? And that was my other question, is the standard mono coil waterproof.

I tried to write this like a mini tutorial.

Take care of your original GM3 monocoil, those are not available from whites anymore. I've stated a couple times here and elsewhere on forums that I get about twice the depth with my monocoil than with the DD. The DD will handle really "hot" ground better, like arizona and australia has, and parts of california. My trick with my GM3 monocoil on that bad of ground is raise the coil higher off the ground. When it's Like trying to ground balance over a car hood. The coil is supposed to be waterproof, mine was for about 5 years, but now I have some water in it from submerging and it goes wacky from time to time, but is still my favorite coil. I've used the sierra gold max coil too, even found a sixteeth inch buckshot at 4 inches down in very mild clay. The deepest nugget I've detected was 2.1 grams at 12" with stock coil. Deepest target a beer can at 2 1/2 feet. Ha ha. The iron ID works pretty well, mine is always on, but I've dug many gold nuggets in mineralized bedrock that clearly gave a iron indication, so don't trust it 100%. Some of that may have been because I run my GM3 at max sensitivity. When I dig down to bedrock and still have a good target sound, I start going oh boy!, and break out the hammer and chisel, gold is there. Also, I hunt hydraulic pits with mild ground and set the vsat at minimum always, just past the pinpoint switch mark which I never use, makes the target signal alot more distinct I think. To go for maximum depth I overlap my swings as though I'm using a 3" coil, especially after locating that first nugget of the day. Think of your monocoil search pattern as an upside down traffic cone, the center of the coil punching the deepest or most sensitive.

Some more tips, carry a magnet, I like the ones from hardware stores of aluminum and the size/ shape of a pencil with a clip on it to clip on the visor of my baseball cap. I admit it tears through the fabric of the bill but not through the plastic. Easy to run through the scoop for those pesky bits of steel.

I swear by the long handled plastic scoops from mining shops, I use 2 of them for target retrieval. They can be used to crush small target rocks to free the gold and as a mini dry panning method I found by shaking side to side and gently blowing air across the tablespoon of powdered dirt or rock and tilting a little, the gold and often buckshot drops right out of the mix. Nice when a flake is the target and then there are half a dozen more smaller bits too small to detect staring back up at you.

P.S. you got a good price on a good detector, I got my GM3 on a sale price of $550 from $650 msrp back in 1997 as a christmas present to myself. About 2 months later the GM4B came out. Later the GMT with the DD coil became standard. I've run my GM3 for 11 years now and not once had to send it to whites for service. :thumbsupanim

Mike G.

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Right down on the ground gently, a 1/4" height can be the difference between that bit of gold or missing it. Or not so gently with the coil cover, lol. Since my coil did leak, I'd recommend trying to keep it dry. I did detect numerous times in light rain with the control box chest mounted under my jacket, and I think that's when I got water in my coil, dripping down the wire into the coil. A couple more nice things about the GM3 is the option of chest mount, detector can be turned upside down to get the scoop right against the center of the coil, and you can change the frequency to avoid interference when someone nearby is on same frequency, they may be 50 feet or more away and your threshold will start wavering or going louder and quieter (unsteady). Also, I mentioned about using the Sierra Gold Max earlier, that was the old model, a monocoil, now whites only makes DD for the 10" and 14" coils.

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Guest bedrock bob

What great advice Mike! Sounds like you have spent a little time with that Gold Master. You really gotta love American quality. The Whites machines are all good stuff. The gold machines have been the Cadillac of VLF's for three decades now...Of course that is just my humble opinion. I have found a lot of gold with a GBII as well. That one is kind of like the Corvette of VLF's.

My coils are NOT waterproof. They dry out nice in a tupperware bowl full of rice if you get 'em wet though. They dont have coil covers on them but they are darn near indestructable...really! I dont even have the corners worn thin on my very oldest one after all these years and the surface looks pretty darn good! They have a welt where the upper and lower halves are joined that forms a kind of thick bumper. I tape the heck out of the coil lead at both ends back about a foot with green electrical tape to protect it. Several layers to make it stiff and then tape it to the pole so it doesnt move around.

Swing as low as you can, even scrub the ground with the coil if it does not false signal a lot. Every inch counts. If the ground is hot then you might have to back up a little or just get used to the noise. It may make a lot of funny sounds but a nugget will be a repeatable signal. It may be tiny but it will be a signal. Not a mushy or errie howl like noisy ground. In some places you just have to deal with the racket, but that machine is a pretty smooth ride as far as a VLF gold machine goes. At least of the small sampling that I am familiar with.

:hahaha: :hahaha: And always be wary of those DD's! They are a real handfull! :hahaha: :hahaha:

Bedrock Bob

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Thanks, Bedrock! I am going to do the rice thing, been hearing it elsewhere, too. :thumbsupanim

Oh and loved your comments on the DD's.

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The guy I bought it from explained a lot. But one thing he said was a gold nugget will sound like "zip zip". A quick chirp. Unless it's a huge nugget, I'm guessing. But I noticed some characteristics of hot rocks and metal today. It's like a gradual sound coming on until you're right over it. So it's kind of like you can "read" the sound, and the gradual stuff may not be gold?

But, just learning and just trying to get as much input as possible...

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The hot rocks I get most often have a bit of what I call a fuzzy sound, but I still check every repeatable target. You will get familiar with the different hot rocks in different areas you detect, and start recognising them on sight, kicking them away. Detecting river rocks is some of the most difficult I've done, with the variety of mineralisation and all. Hydraulic pits are in ancient rivers and I've read the reason there is so much quartz rocks is the other rocks have decomposed back into clay! The quartz rocks taking much longer to decompose.

When you get a signal on a rock, turn it around to see if it sounds off louder on one side than the other sides, might be worth more examination, ie gold. most of my gold is embedded in rocks from bedrock or the bedrock itself. Also, when you get a broken signal sound or multiple target sound you may be onto a small pocket of gold. Took near 5 years to learn that one. I thought they all were bits of steel or clusters of buckshot!

More than a few times I've dug 1 1/2 feet to bring up a nail and been rewarded for my trouble with 2 or 3 small bits of gold in the dirt pile, just because my coil was closer to it after digging.

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Guest bedrock bob

The guy I bought it from explained a lot. But one thing he said was a gold nugget will sound like "zip zip". A quick chirp. Unless it's a huge nugget, I'm guessing. But I noticed some characteristics of hot rocks and metal today. It's like a gradual sound coming on until you're right over it. So it's kind of like you can "read" the sound, and the gradual stuff may not be gold?

But, just learning and just trying to get as much input as possible...

Well, here is my spin on that one, and Mikes post just goes so good with all this too. We are truly covering some good ground here!

Each metal detector has a language of it's own. The White's gold getters are pretty articulate. After a while you can just about tell what the target is and even it shape just by the "shape" of the sound. After 10 years of using it I could tell you with 99% accuracy if the target was or was not gold, the aproximate depth, and even if it was a ragged piece or a sluggy piece, just by the "shape" of the sound. There is no way to impart that to someone I dont believe, you just gotta spend the hours digging all kids of crap until it starts making sense. Still, I dont use the iron ID and I dig every target.

At first there will be three things making that detector speak to you... Hot rocks, cold rocks, noisy ground, and targets. Cold rocks take the threshold away (they are far enough "cold" to null the signal) and then they "howl" when you pull away. They are a "negative" signal. A hot rock is a rock that makes the detector have a positive signal, but MOST of these are a mushy or wavering signal. Only a few give a sharp positive repeatable signal. Check these carefully because they could be ore, a wad of caliche with a nugget stuck inside, or a meteorite. Then there is "hot ground". Hot ground is just a spot where there are enough minerals that things get noisy...you adjust a little one way or the other and do your best to tune it out. Some spots with a VLF just get frustrating and you gotta deal with the noise or turn your machine's sensitivity down to the point you can handle it. It dont take long to start missing those little flakes in bad ground.

Then there is targets. Zip-Zips and Rip-Rips and Blip-Blips. Even when you learn what each one is it dosent make any difference to the pick. If it beeps, the pick swings and the sparks fly.

Bob

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