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Falcon md-20


Idaho Jim

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Hey guys, I've been thinking about buying a Falcon MD-20. Is this a useful tool, or a gimmick? I'd really like some opinions from the people that have, or currently use them.

Many thanks,

jim

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They work but quite honestly I never used it and ended up selling mine.  I could pan out faster then taking the time to detect my pan.  If using to search bedrock, then maybe useful but so is the Gold Bug.  If you think you might keep as a pinpointer for other detecting, they are not much good for that cause of bulk. Just my 2 cents

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It can be useful when it comes to extremely tiny targets and if you have a sufficiently strong need to justify the expenditure (or have enough income not to have to worry about expenditures for having little used tools in your tool box).

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I only use mine for sensing small gold in samples and specimens. Not for detection in my opinion. As stated, the Gold Bug 2 will just about do the job. 

Lacks any depth.

Also you can use it to do a quick check on a plastic pan of gravel to see if a big nugget is in the pan.

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Once upon a golden time in California during my dredging days I too mostly relied upon my GB2 to scan the cons after a cleanup.  I utilized classifiers to relatively quickly separate the entire day's cleanup material.  Whatever remained in the 1/2" classifier was thrown into a 7 gallon lightweight plastic cement mixing tub.  Then, whatever remained in the 1/4" classifier was tossed into a second cement mixing tub.  And so on with each succeeding classification down to 1/20th.  I had  pre-cleared ground spots to quickly place the tubs and scan with my GB2 picking out mostly lead but some nuggets too.  Same went for the plastic "miner's moss" matting.  After drying it out during the night it was tossed into a tub and scanned with the GB2.  Again, I just plucked out the ferrous, lead and gold targets with tweezers after the GB2 signaled a target.  I tried this with the MD-20 but it took way too long because the search coil is so tiny.  It worked but was simply not as efficient.  The 1/30th" classifications were hand panned. The 1/50th" and 1/100th" classifications were kept in 5 gal. buckets and either given to the property owner (in exchange for permission to dredge on his property) or taken back to SoCal for later processing.  I occasionally fooled around with the MD-20 but just couldn't get excited enough to pursue its usage.

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Guess I am with the general consensus here and if you have a purpose for this tool it is very efficient. We call these specialty tools, kind of like a 30 inch coil on a Minelab 3500, only can be used under certain conditions efficiently. But when needed it is needed :olddude:

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What I want it for is checking anthills. Up here in the cold-winter country, the harvester ants build large mounds. The mounds have chambers the ants use to keep their seed food dry, and also to keep their larvae at the correct temperature year around. They do this by moving things in and out of the chambers in the mound, depending on temperature, sunshine, etc.. To protect the mound from erosion, they go out and gather heavy materials to place on the mound. They have a natural instinct to bring back the heaviest things they can carry. That instinct maximizes the return for the calories they expend foraging. So...you can check anthills and get a very good idea of what minerals are in the general area. The ants go out as much as 200 yards from the mound. I've found many gems on anthills in both Idaho and Wyoming. I've also checked many for gold, but because it  is so heavy, I assume the pieces the ants bring back are smaller than can be detected, even with a GB2, so I'm thinking maybe the MD-20 would be just the ticket, though a slow process.

Jim

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I have a slightly different opinion than the rest. The MD-20 has been a valuable tool for me in that when I hunker down on a relatively small area where I can sit down, it enables me to gather the fine gold in a pan without much effort. I have found gold I would not have otherwise, maybe just because I was closer to the ground and slowed down. The original reason I bought it was for the kids. It was fun using the GB2 detecting with them and putting a little flag on a signal and letting them recover the target. I would find a few targets and they would work them. 

 

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16 hours ago, Nugget Shooter said:

Guess I am with the general consensus here and if you have a purpose for this tool it is very efficient. We call these specialty tools, kind of like a 30 inch coil on a Minelab 3500, only can be used under certain conditions efficiently. But when needed it is needed :olddude:

Around here, some of the creeks and drainages are too steep to effectively use a metal detector and climbing them (even with two hands) is challenging proposition....I've never bought one, but for checking cracks and crevices in really steep bedrock, I can definitely see their value.

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I have one and I do use it, gets into small places and I can scoop up a pan full , then detecting the pan ,  if lots of hits then I pan it out...works for me and I would not give mine up, also use for testing rocks that sound off.

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I used one underground to poke in areas I just could not get the coil into. It works dandy but you must get that probe really close to the gold. So it does not penetrate very far at all.

It is special purpose so I rarely ever use it or even take it with me. But when I want to get into really narrow cracks or I am cleaning out cracks and sweeping it comes in handy. 

It can be a little prone to false signaling and needs a bit if a learning curve. It is certainly not the high quality gold finder that most detectorists are used to. But if you want to get into a tight slot it is the best option.

I suppose it may be useful for hardrocking too. A good buddy of mine does only hardrock and he uses a Falcon extensively. So it does have a niche in that respect.

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I have a MD-10, and it does work well...BUT as mentioned the detecting range is minimal, mine will only detect at about 1" even on large gold but still will do the same on very small gold, the MD-20 may do a little better but others who have use the MD-20 will have to commit on that.

The one thing that no one has mentioned is that it's easy to tell the difference between a gold and an iron signal, can't remember since it's been a while since I have use mine, but it will signal either coming onto the target or leaving the target, but as I said I don't remember which one is on gold vs iron.

That all being said there is one Falcon product I can't do wiithout when it comes to extremely find gold, the Falcon gold pan, I can pan out gold so fine you can't see it until you get a bunch of it panned out, I only use this pan for 100 mesh and finer classified material, I can still pan out very fine gold with a regular pan but the Falcon pan makes it so much easier and faster, if you can call panning 100 mesh and finer gold "fast"!!

 

Edit: Just read up on which signal is for gold and other non ferrous metals, it will signal going towards the target for gold, etc., and will signal going away from target for iron and ferrous material. 

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