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A few questions from a newbie!


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Hello All,

I have not been hunting meteorites for very long, only about a year and a half or so, and I have some questions that I am hoping some folks can answer here. So here goes:

1) I see a lot of pictures of meteorites taken with a black lettered die sitting next to them. My questions about this are; What is the die for? What do the letters on it indicate? Is it a must/necessity to have one? Where do you get them from?

2) What is the best way to cut the "common" chondrites? Sometimes when trying to file windows into the rocks I get more of a smeared surface instead of a nice smooth surface with a lot of detail. My recent finds I have been lucky enough to get smooth windows, but I would like to know how to cut them to make that outcome consistent.

3) Although I have recorded GPS coordinates from all my finds over the last week, I am wondering if it is absolutely necessary (legally required) to do so? I know to have them

4) What does the "typical" meteorite hunting kit contain?

5) I know this subject has been touched on a lot when it comes to nugget shooting, but just wondering when using a metal detector to hunt meteorites (I have the Fisher Gold Bug Pro) what mode do you use? or do you just go all metal and dig anything that hits?

6) Lastly, I have seen many pictures also of meteorites sitting on a scale, out in the field where they were found, with windows cut/filed in them for (cataloging purposes, I suppose!). How do they get these cuts or windows in them out in the field with such precision?

Thank you for taking the time to read, and hopefully answer, my questions.

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1. It's a scale cube, typically 1cm on each side. The letters are used to indicate object orientation, Top, Side, Bottom, etc. You can find them on ebay. Here's a great read on their history: http://www.meteorite-recon.com/en/meteorite-scalecube.htm

2. Thin diamond blade on a rock saw. Polish flat surfaces with proceeding finer grit sand paper, like from 200-1500.

3. There's no laws governing collection of meteorites. It's a good idea to record find locations because if you don't, that information is lost forever. It's good to know them to return to the site later, to see trends in the find locations, and a bunch of other useful stuff.

4. No such thing as a typical kit. Everyone brings different stuff. I've put together a comprehensive list of hunting gear for some friends, I don't bring all this stuff every time, but here it is:

  • Boots - sturdy, breathable preferred over water-proof
    snake guards
    Comfy socks
    Lightweight pants
    Thermal underwear
    Several torso layers, so you can adapt to the weather. Long sleeve for sun protection highly recommended. I'd recommend a wind breaker with a hood, too.
    Light-weight work gloves
    Wide brim hat that keeps the sun off your head and neck
    Sun glasses (polarized are nice)
    Sun screen

    Magnet stick/walking stick

    Back pack
    Ability to carry ~2 liters of water with you
    Insulated bag for your lunch
    snacks
    digital camera
    medicines
    cell phone

    metal detector
    GPS
    FRS radio
    compass
    digital balance
    scale cube
    loupe/magnifier
    log book
    plastic bags for finds
    first aid kit
    binoculars

5. Every detector is different, and every hunt location will require different calibrations. Best bet is to speak with someone in the field who has experience with your detector model and see how they set it up. Generally, though, no discrimination and dig everything.

6. Easy to sand a window with an aluminum oxide sharpening stone.

Edited by Mikestang
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A few days ago my niece came to visit.As she displayed an appropriate curiosity about my gold-basin meteorites and enjoys reading my storys-I gave her a really good one. I also gave her a piece and told her I would make a window for her to see the inside...and

This is my point to this thread...I sat down with my whetstone and ground down a nice flat face in about two minutes...with very little effort.

fred

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CHRIS #5 ALL METAL/DIG EM ALL ................. as you start to hit meteorites with any detector you will start to notice they give you a smooth mellow solid signal tone just as most gold nuggets give a similar smooth mellow tone signal

VRS. the brash, screaming sounds you get with steel iron tin most trashy type targets.
Now that you have a meteorite to swing over put it down and some other similar sized targets down ( junk ) and even a nugget with them then start swinging and changing your distance (height) as you swing and listen for changes with the sound. Compare the meteorite and the nugget to the other sounds !! ??
You should begin to notice a smooth mellow solid tone response as compared to the other items.

#2 I USE SILICON CARBIDE sanding belts, because I happen to have them from glass working and they do the job also

Edited by frank c
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CHRIS #5 ALL METAL/DIG EM ALL ................. as you start to hit meteorites with any detector you will start to notice they give you a smooth mellow solid signal tone just as most gold nuggets give a similar smooth mellow tone signal

VRS. the brash, screaming sounds you get with steel iron tin most trashy type targets.

Now that you have a meteorite to swing over put it down and some other similar sized targets down ( junk ) and even a nugget with them then start swinging and changing your distance (height) as you swing and listen for changes with the sound. Compare the meteorite and the nugget to the other sounds !! ??

You should begin to notice a smooth mellow solid tone response as compared to the other items.

#2 I USE SILICON CARBIDE sanding belts, because I happen to have them from glass working and they do the job also

Fred and Mike, thank you for the info on the whetstone. And Mike, thanks for taking my call yesterday. I found the whetstone there at Home Depot and grabbed it, (the last one they had on the hook) and tried it on one of the stones and it worked great.

Frank C., to be honest, I never really even considered checking other meteorites with the detector. In fact, if I had thought about it, April and I still have the pieces of meteorite you gave us from our trip to Gold Basin. I didn't know they all sounded the same (relatively). As for testing it next to gold, that will have to wait until I can find a nice little nugget to purchase. Had to sell off the three I had when I sold my 5000 for my daughters braces, and haven't been able to find another one since...LOL! I also have that piece of sanding belt you gave me from the visit, but it is pretty well worn down for over a year of use. :D

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Chondrites all sound generally the same, but if you put down an H, and L, and an LL you will notice slight changes in the tone of each. The "solidness" of the signal is the same, but the tone is different. After probably 100 hours field time with mine I'm just starting to be able to tell the subtle differences between tones for different targets. I'm super green with a detector, but these pros here can tell you what type of coin they're listening to buried 8" down. :)

Edited by Mikestang
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