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Wednesday, January 21 2015
If you've not yet attended a GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) Gold & Treasure Show, the coming months provide an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best prospectors and manufacturers in the business! Browse the show floor to find the latest and greatest gold mining and metal detecting equipment, see product demos, attend free seminars, ask questions of the pros, and enter to win door prizes. Weekend shows run 10 am - 4 pm. Presale admission is $5 by registering online or $10 at the door.
Mark your calendars for these dates and cities:
Visit the GPAA website for more details and online registration. See you there!
Monday, January 19 2015
Garrett's new pulse induction ATX metal detector is the ultimate multi-frequency detector for all terrains and extreme conditions (highly mineralized ground, saltwater, etc.). It features advanced pulse induction technology, a durable design that meets military specifications, and an advanced 20 inch Deepseeker searchcoil is ideal for use in searching for caches and other deeply buried large objects. The ATX is waterproof to 10 feet.
PI (pulse induction) detectors work a bit differently than the more common VLF (very low frequency) detectors by putting magnetic field energy into the ground and then switching off and waiting a short period before they start to look for a response. This makes them better at handling ground mineralization than a VLF detector because during that short delay the magnetic response of iron trash minerals that you don't want to find dies out. VLF detectors do not as easily cancel out ground mineralization the way a PI metal detector can do.
Kevin Hoagland, Executive Director of Development for the Gold Prospectors Association of America recently field tested the Garrett ATX Deepseeker. Below is an excerpt of Kevin's review:
"My first impression of the ATX was that it's compact, heavy and built like a tank, and all connections are waterproof. Battery installation is simple. The ATX uses 8 AA batteries in two 4-battery drop-in packs and comes with an 8-slot AA battery charger. Not only does this detector come with a rugged case and carry bag, but also everything else you need to get out detecting. The units ships with the 20 inch mono coil already installed. It is also shipped with headphones that are screwed into the back of the unit.
I slipped my arm into the adjustable cuff, and grabbed the control pod. There was no unnecessary torque on my wrist, which gave it a perfect fit and feel, and allowed me to work all of the control buttons easily with my thumb. I pushed the unit out in front of me a bit and turned on the power switch, which is located on the back of the unit. The Garrett ATX Deepseeker Metal Detector goes through its startup and self-diagnostic test. Every light on the control pad comes on and unit emits several different sounds before settling into a comfortable, but high, threshold. This is not a turn-on-and-go detector. Either read the entire owners manual before you go out hunting, or at least read the first two pages of the manual— page 1 is the Quick Start Guide and an explanation of how to access the functions of the ATX quickly, and page 2 shows you where to find more information concerning those functions.
There are 5 major functions that are completely user-adjustable: Mode, Sensitivity, Threshold, Volume, and Ground Balance. Are functions are easy to adjust with a basic understanding of the ATX and more tunable as you become more proficient. Secondary functions include iron check, tracking, discrimmination and frequency shifting, to name only a few.
As with most large PI detectors, the Garrett ATX Deepseeker Metal Detector is not light, and the waterproofing adds extra weight. Were it not for the ergonomic design, detectorists not accustomed to the weight of these machines might tire quickly. The supplied sling is easy to use, adjust, and offers a fair way to alleviate some of the weight, but I found it uncomfortable for long periods of use. Many avid detectorists use after-market harness systems, so you may want to check out those options if you plan to spend long days detecting.
In the field, the Deepseeker performed exceptionally well. The unit demonstrated almost complete immunity to all but the worst hot rocks I encountered. The ground balance and multi-speed ground tracking worked great, but I found that I rarely used the ground tracking as the ATX handled most of the soil mineralization in the OFF position. The threshold was quick to respond to ground changes and a simple ground balance was all that was needed to bring the ATX back into maximum depth and sensitivity. The Iron Check works well, maybe even too well! I dig everything no matter what and I have had a very successful nugget-hunting career doing just that. I have found good targets under junk on many occasions. Be careful and mindful that gold, like junk, is where you find it and there is no law of detecting that states there will be no gold under junk!
Regardless of your level of detecting expertise, it will take some time to get comfortable with all the functions and navigating the menus of the ATX. With multi-button presses to access some functions, it's important to take time to learn the machine well beyond the quick-start level. Overall, Garrett has created a PI detector that is extremely well made with solid functionality. The ATX offers great value for your dollar. Garrett has again carved a niche in the metal detector market, and the ATX perfectly has met the needs expressed by detectorists worldwide..."
You can find Kevin's complete field test review on pages 16-19 of the November/December 2014 issue of Gold Prospectors Magazine, or download the .pdf here. You can also get more information and watch a video of the Garrett ATX Deepseeker Metal Detector on this website.
Sunday, January 11 2015
If you're looking for a proven fine gold recovery tool that has been on the market for decades, consider the Desert Fox Spiral Gold Panning Machine. It's easy to use, and recently Kevin Hoagland, Executive Director of Development for the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) conducted a field test review which was published on pages 14-17 of the January/February 2015 issue of Gold Prospectors Magazine. Here's an excerpt of Kevin's findings and you can also click on the image at the end of this post to download a complete copy of the field test review (4-page .pdf).
"... The Desert Fox ships in an Action Packer case that is the storage, transport, and water container unit. It provides excellent protection for the Fox while giving you a true compact recirculating unit that can be transported easily. Unpacking the container was simple and for those of us that spend little time looking at the way something comes out of a container, the manufacturer has included a photo in the manual to show you how to repack the unit so it's back to being travel-ready in just a few seconds. In the container you will find:
Setup takes just a few moments. The wheel frame is a single point A-frame that sits perfectly in place in the container and allows you a stable, easy-to-set-up base for the spiral unit. The A-frame construction also allows the unit to be set up directly in a stream. Stand the A-frame in the container, lift the drive unit to a beginning angle, slide the double-wall wheel into the slot on the drive motor, attach the spray bar, fill with water, hook up to a 12-volt power supply (not included), and after a couple of fine tuning adjustments, the Desert Fox is ready to start running your concentrates. Total time from cased to running is about two minutes!
The A-frame mounted drive motor allows you to easily make small adjustments to the angle of the wheel. This ease-of-use factor can become critical when running materials that require more precision. Water flow is controlled by a single-point knob on the spray bar assembly, and the speed control is located on the back of the unit. These 3 adjustments are all you need to ensure efficient gold recovery. Before first use, be sure to clean with a good quality dish washing soap to remove all the manufacturing oils (mold-release agents from the plastic parts). Do NOT use a citrus-scented soap because the scent is derived from oils, which is exactly what you are trying to remove. Use hot soapy water and a non-abrasive pad.
Spiral panners work in reverse of traditional hand panning. Instead of gravity separating gold from concentrates with the heavies sinking to the bottom of a pan, a spiral machine uses speed, water, and the angle of the spiral wheel to keep lighter material in the bottom of the wheel, while the heavier black sand and gold is brought up the leads. When set correctly, the sands drop off at the last moment and only gold is moved through the center of the unit and recovered in the cup.
I recommend classifying your dirt to a minimum of .25 inch to 1/8 inch mesh. Once classified and prepared to run, feed the material slowly into the bottom of the wheel. I've found it best to use a tablespoon. Increase the feed rate after all necessary adjustments are made.
Starting with the water first, find the lowest water pressure that will clean the light material from the leads as it climbs up the pan, adjust the angle and speed as needed so the heavy sands drop off at the right spot and you're ready to start processing your concentrates. After completing the basic setup, I adjusted the speed to keep the unit tuned in to variations in the types of material I ran. There are two models of the Desert Fox— a constant speed ($339) and a variable speed ($359). Since the difference in price is just $20, I highly recommend the variable speed model.
The Desert Fox is a straight-forward and simple spiral wheel system that recovers gold efficiently, and has been manufactured by Camel Mining since 1969. It is compact, weighs about 10 pounds, and is ideal for carrying into the field. Gold recovery is exceptional and the learning curve is short..."
Click here to learn more about the Desert Fox Spiral Panner on this website. Click image to download .pdf of field test review.
Friday, January 02 2015
Gold Trails is a new TV show produced by the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) that promotes the lifestyle of the prospector. Host Kevin Hoagland travels the country working with local prospectors and equipment manufacturers in search of the next big gold strike. Gold Trails is really an introduction for the general public to basic prospecting — to a lot of people who haven’t experienced it yet.
The premiere episode of Gold Trails will air Saturday, January 3, 2015 on the following local TV stations:
Gold Trails has been three years in the making, but is worth every minute of the wait, said GPAA President and Executive Producer Brandon Johnson. He’s confident viewers will feel the same by the time they’ve watched all seven weekly half-hour episodes of this first season. Though Johnson, who is Tom Massie’s stepson, is carrying on the family business, he has stepped outside of the Massie family for the first time with the choice of Hoagland as the on-camera personality and the public persona of the GPAA. But, Hoagland is first and foremost a gold prospector with solid roots in the small-scale mining industry as well as the GPAA and Lost Dutchman's Mining Association, so he’s a natural fit.
While Gold Trails started out much like Gold Fever episodes (another GPAA TV series), the formula was changed to make it more educational with a little less of the antics that are Tom Massie’s trademark.
Modern image of miners
In stark contrast to stereotypes, GPAA members are often mild-mannered stewards of the land with a great respect for nature as well as natural resources. “They are ‘salt-of-the-Earth’ people, the most accepting people in the world, which really speaks to the purity of what some of us are doing” Johnson said.
The premiere episode of Gold Trails will air Saturday, Jan. 3 on the following local TV stations:
Nugget of News Blog