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First Time Meteorite Hunter


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Currently I am saving up for my first metal detector. I've done a little research and have some very basic knowledge about meteorite hunting. My biggest decision at this time is selecting a metal detector that will find meteorites yet won't break the bank. I know there are varying opinions regarding which one is better. I've even seen different opinions about the same model in the same conditions, so it's kind of hard to sort out. I've been considering the Garret Ace 250 with the extra 9 x 12 search coil because it has several features and looks easy to operate, and it will only cost a bit under $300. There's also the Bounty Hunter Discovery Legacy 3300 for about the same price. I know some meteorites will have less iron than others. I'd feel bad if I found out later that I probably passed over some good finds because of inferior technology. I guess I just need some reassurance that I won't be completely wasting my time with these types of detectors when it comes to hunting meteorites. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Dale

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You will feel worse if you buy one of the detectors you mentioned and find out it doesn't even respond to a meteorite if that is your intent.

If you want to hunt meteorites use whatever detector you want.

If you want to FIND meteorites you need a detector that will respond to them.

Gold bug's White's Goldmaster models, and I'm sure there are some others that will be mentioned as others chime in on the subject that have had experience finding meteorites with each model.

I'm partial to the Whites GMT.

The P.I. detectors will signal on them also. But not all VLF models will,..... find out before you buy. :twocents:

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Dale, I have to second what Frank said as well. Save your money, and do some homework before buying a detector. If your only going to look for meteorites, and the bug won't bite looking for something else, then look for a White's Gold Master series or Gold Bug I or II, and then should do the trick. But if you even think about doing something else, looking for gold, caches, relics, other objects then you really need to figure out what kind of detector you will need. There are so many and some work better than others for the different objects being searched for. Where are going to be looking? Desert, mountains, dry lakes, a lot of choices to consider. VLF vs. PI, that's a topic in itself. Check the forum for some deals, Craigslist, Ebay (but buyer beware) and the locals around your area. Just my :twocents: worth... Jason ;)

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Dale, I have to second what Frank said as well. Save your money, and do some homework before buying a detector. If your only going to look for meteorites, and the bug won't bite looking for something else, then look for a White's Gold Master series or Gold Bug I or II, and then should do the trick. But if you even think about doing something else, looking for gold, caches, relics, other objects then you really need to figure out what kind of detector you will need. There are so many and some work better than others for the different objects being searched for. Where are going to be looking? Desert, mountains, dry lakes, a lot of choices to consider. VLF vs. PI, that's a topic in itself. Check the forum for some deals, Craigslist, Ebay (but buyer beware) and the locals around your area. Just my :twocents: worth... Jason ;)

The one BIG thing that NO ONE ever mentions is that we (pro meteorite hunters) DO NOT use a metal detector at all unless we happen to be in a known or suspected strewn field. If you don't live near a strewn field then a metal detector will do you NO GOOD! At least not for meteorites. This is something that should be repeated over and over. We mostly use our eyes/knowledge to find meteorites not a magnet/detector.

here is a video I did explaining what I mean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4ARakSH-AE

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Thanks guys,

I think you may have averted my disaster trying to get started. I noticed as I was doing a little research on the Whites GMT that on the comparison chart there were no X's checked on coin, jewelry, and I think relics. Can anyone think of a reason why that might be? One could assume that if it's good enough for gold and meteorites, it should be good enough for everything else. I also noticed that the higher end detectors utilize higher kHz (40 to 70) or "pulse" technology. Can someone explain the difference and the advantage of either one? You know, since Meteorite Men hit the Science Channel, I'll bet there are a lot of people trying to get into it without asking the right questions. If you can think of any questions I'm not asking, please feel free to answer them.

It sure is good to have you guys in our corner :thumbsupanim

Thanks a bunch,

Dale

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Hi Dale! A “Very Low Frequency” or, “VLF” metal detector works using electro-magnetic energy, or radio waves. In a VLF metal detector, there are two distinct coils. The “transmitter” coil is the outer coil. Electricity flows through this coil, first in one direction and then the other - thousands of times per-second - creating a radio wave. The number of direction changes per-second establishes the "frequency" of the unit.

The inner coil, or “receiver,” acts as an antenna to pick up and amplify these waves as they interact with metal objects in the ground. Think of a gold nugget as a conducting antenna. The gold nugget is surrounded by the radio waves sent into the ground by the transmitter coil. The gold nugget captures these signals and re-transmits its own signal back up to the receiver coil.

Specialized VLF gold detectors have a very sensitive receiver to pick up and amplify the signal frequency of gold. The soil and rocks in the area being hunted can also influence the ability to detect gold nuggets.

Soils and rocks with various conductive salts and moisture also have "eddy" currents. This makes a heavily “mineralized” area hard to detect, as your detector will also detect “hot rocks,” which makes hearing smaller gold nuggets almost impossible.

Unlike VLF machines which use a uniform alternating current at a low frequency, a ”Pulse induction” or “PI metal detector,” fires a high-voltage pulse of electricity into the ground. If no metal is there the pulse will decay at a set rate. If there is a gold nugget in the ground, a small bit of the current will flow through the metal and the pulse time will increase. A "PI" detector punches deeper into the ground, and deals with heavy mineralized soil much better. Hope this helps! - Terry

...I also noticed that the higher end detectors utilize higher kHz (40 to 70) or "pulse" technology. Can someone explain the difference and the advantage of either one?

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Crater;

the x's indicate what the detector is intended for...any gold detector will find coins, jewellery and relics but may drive you crazy in the process...any coin or relic machine MAY find nuggets but that would not be the first/best use...

not too long ago a very nice patch was found with a cheap detector by a novice...beginners luck rules!!!

Fred

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Hey Fred,

Sounds like one detector may not fit all needs even if you fork out the bills for a nice one. So I guess I'll ask you this...If a comparison chart shows X's on both gold and everything else for a particular model (some manufacturers claim everything), is it still likely to have problems searching for one or the other items because of the sensitivity of that model? Or maybe there are several factors that determine it's effectiveness. Your thoughts?

Dale

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Dale,

I saw you live in Salem. The BLM in Oregon has a warning out about meteorite hunting and the state of Oregon has some other laws you may not know about on relic/artifact hunting.

If you haven't read the following thread right here on NuggetShooter you might want to. It's a good discussion on possible new federal rules the BLM has put out.

Hunting/collecting meteorites on public domain lands.

The man who started that thread is highly respected as a meteorite hunter and prospector. So it ain't no joke if he is concerned about it. Also notice that the BLM page with the warnings is from the BLM Oregon/Washington website.

On the BLM warning page it states 10 years, but according to the 1979 law they are quoting it states 100 years old for a relic/artifact to fall under that federal law. You may want to check with the Forest Service about meteorite hunting in National Forests also. National Parks and Monuments are usually off limits to everything, so are Indian Reservations.

If you had planned on any relic hunting in Oregon, don't. You not only have the feds saying it is illegal on land they oversee, but the state of Oregon has laws that say it is too. Oregon law says it is illegal on both state public land and privately owned land even if you own it.Oregon Artifact Laws. "In particular, "ORS 358.920 Prohibited conduct; exception; penalty. (1)(a) A person may not excavate, injure, destroy or alter an archaeological site or object or remove an archaeological object located on public or private lands in Oregon unless that activity is authorized by a permit issued under ORS 390.235.".

Oregon Parks & Recreation oversees this and issues permits to only state approved archaeologist. If you stumble on relics on your own land and you want to dig them. Oregon law says you have to hire a state approved archaeologist to get a permit and oversee every aspect of the dig.

There are reports and state inspectors so everything is documented for the state. You just sign the permit application as the property owner and of course pay for everything. You do get to have a say in ownership of the artifacts, but the state encourages you to donate them to a state approved conservator.

If the artifacts are determined to be of Native American origin or human remains you have no say in ownership the state decides and you ain't on the list. In general Oregon sets an age of 75 years on relics/artifacts before they fall under these state laws.

Sorry for all the sad legal news. Just thought you might like a heads up on it before you make an investment in equipment. I would check with the state and see if they have anything on the books about meteorite hunting. Sad that America ain't as free as it use to be.

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  • 1 month later...

Wow! I'm a newbie here and to meteorite hunting too.

I wish I had read this thread several months ago. It might have saved me getting the wrong kind of MD. This is so informative, and the links are great too.

Thanks to you all, especially Ruben Garcia, really enjoyed the videos.

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