Metal detectors

Submitted: Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 17:59
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Hi, We are looking at gold prospecting and would like some feedback as to what is the best sort/brand of gold detector that is best and easiest to use. We are new to this so any information would be appreciated. eg where to buy, prices etc. Have been on internet and looking at Minelab but only in research stage at the moment, but seems a fairly expensive hobby to get into.
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 19:02

Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 19:02
Minelab is really the only gold detector to use for Aussie conditions. A Pulse Induction machine as opposed to a VLF machine. The PI machine are dedicated gold machines that largely ignore soil mineralisation and punch quite deep - up to 3' on a decent sized nugget.

VLF machine are more suited to fossicking on beaches and ancient sites, the better ones can be tuned to ignore some signals and are therefore pretty useful. Alas they cannot be tuned to find only gold and nothing else!! They are affected by salts and soil mineralisation that make them noisy to use in the highly mineralised conditions found in most goldfields.

I would suggest you book on a quided prospecting trip where you will get expert tuition and the use of the latest gear. Or spend some time with an experienced operator and hire a machine. Do this before you spend big dollars on the latest model.

The latest Minelab machines the 4500 and 5000 are very good detectors and are capable of finding tiny bits of gold. See Willies post below where he scored about 70 bits for only some 7.5 grams or so.

I use an old 2200, albeit a bit tricked up, it will find bits down to about 0.25 gms in most conditions but is trickier to use (more noisy) than the new beaut machines. I would love one of the latter but cannot justify the cost based on the amount of time I spend prospecting. If I was into the game full time I would not hestitate.

Having said all that it is a great hobby, takes you out to some magic country and is very healthy, but to be really more than a hobby you need the right gear and a bucket full of experience and lots of persistence.

Good luck

John
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Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 19:21

Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 19:21
John, how about a gold detecting tagalong from somewhere in QLD and down to the Muster next year? We would be willing to rent/purchase a detector as part of the game.
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 18:39

Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 18:39
Jay,

Who knows where we will be this time next year, could still be here in central west Qld chasing sheep and cows where we are really enjoying the locality, and the local community....... despite spending all weekend as black as soot fighting bush fires.

Bit knackered this morning!

John
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Reply By: Googs & Zelda - Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 21:16

Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 21:16
Hi John
Are these detectors hard to use, or could you learn from a DVD. We were thinking of doing a guided trip to get the basics. Is it easy to find out the best places to go that should find gold, eg are there maps etc. We live is Tasmania and are thinking of buying one and using it here in Tassy for the next 12 months to familiarise ourselves before we head to the big island.
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 18:33

Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 18:33
I find this difficult to answer in a way.......... no I would not find it difficult, but I have been chasing the yellow stuff for the last 28 years. The older machines like mine are harder to use - as in how to set them up for the optimum local ground conditions etc and interpret the signals they produce. But, the latest state ML 5000 can be switched on in the factory preset mode and run pretty quietly just about anywhere, even so you may spend a lot of time digging rubbish. Finding gold is not that easy or everyone would be doing it!!

The next problem is where to look, you need to get a feel for what gold country looks like and of course it helps to look in gold bearing regions, but even in those areas there is a lot of barren ground. There are books around with mud maps, Gold and Ghosts series 1 - 4 were the classics and are now out of print, even my old dog eared copies of Vols 1 and 11 ccovering WA are worth several hundred dollars each.

I suggest you join any metal detecting clubs locally, they will give you assistance and advice and you,may meet some like minded people. I do recommend a guided trip for for first timers before they lass out big $$$ - they may not enjoy it al all!!. There are also a number of gold detecting formums on the net that are worth having a look at - Just gooogle 'gold detecting forums' should produce a list. The internet is a great research tool for finding information on particular areas and old mines.

Cheers John


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Reply By: Googs & Zelda - Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011 at 04:05

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011 at 04:05
Hi John,

Thanks for that information, we will do some more research and see how we go.
Cheers Dave
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Reply By: Willie - Thursday, Oct 20, 2011 at 19:35

Thursday, Oct 20, 2011 at 19:35
Googs and Zelda,

I know it sounds like a lot of trouble for you, but my advice would be to go to the Gold Prospecting Australia website and book a two day tour out of Bendigo.

http://www.goldprospectingaustralia.com.au/

They spend the entire two days teaching you how to detect and they provide the equipment (the best quality). You will find gold too.

This way, you find out if you are keen to go ahead and spend the money and importantly, you will know what you need to buy.

Apart from that, they are great people and you will have a wonderful time.

There is no other people I could recommend to help you.

Cheers,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Sunday, Oct 23, 2011 at 17:55

Sunday, Oct 23, 2011 at 17:55
Hi Willie, thanks for the web site info, had a look & sounds like a real good idea to have some field experence before we buy any hard ware.
Dave.
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Reply By: Spirit Gypsys - Monday, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:28

Monday, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:28
Hi Dave, I too have been chasing the yellow stuff for many years, I was selling the first Garretts in mackay Qld in 1978.
All good advice in the above, a tour good operators is a great way to get an idea of it.
If you decide to buy, look at a 2nd hand one and my advice is a Minelab Extreme.
even tho they are older, they are easier to set up and still very good , mine will still find 1.5 gram pieces with a 12x7 inch Nugget finder mono coil
you will find one for around $2-2.500.
with the money you save you can also get a 2nd hand Xterra for beach and relic work and extend your fun 100%
Memb Msg me for info on the above mentioned Gold & Ghosts books.
Regards John K.
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