Gold Detectors

Hi everybody i will be heading off at the end of March to do the big lap,my 19 year old daughter who is coming with us is very interested in purchasing a gold detector and trying her luck to become a millionaire i am very interested in feedback from people who have done it and is it worth the outlay or is she wasting her time and my money.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 21:35

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 21:35
Hi Chris

I do not have one, but if we had spare money, they would be great. We met a chap over at Eucla a couple of years ago. He spends 3 months a year on the road, mainly WA and gets enough gold as his sole income for the next 12 months and then does it all again, and he said he had been doing it for 20 years.

Also have met some interesting people in the Laverton (WA) Caravan Park that do it full time for a living. They say it is hot work, but when you have a good strike, you forget about all the hard times.

I think that it would be like a drug, one you get into it, it would be hard to stop.


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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:04

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:04

A Victorian prospector could spark a new gold rush after he found a gold nugget worth $120,000 — one of the largest discoveries in recent times.

The addictive part of this is one of the things that worries me :-)
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Reply By: uncle - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 21:52

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 21:52
Yes Chris it's worth it. We did it for 12 mths in 2008. ( Been a detector operator for nearly 30 yrs.) So do plenty of research before you venture into WA as there are many active leases out there, also seek permission of the land or station owners before entering so as not to give any prospectors a bad name that are trying to do the right thing.
Take all your rubbish off the area once finished, and if you have a dog, either leave it at home in a boarding kennel, or put a muzzel on it when out in the field as I have heard of so many prospectors losing their dog to a bait.
best of all have fun

cheers Unc
AnswerID: 478037

Follow Up By: humpback - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:09

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:09
Thank you Stephen and Unc for your feedback, can you suggest a good brand to buy as we know nothing about them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:47

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:47
Hi Chris

Every person that we spoke to about gold detectors, all said the same, the only one to go for was Minelab. They were made here in Australia, but they said the new models were now being made in China and none of them had tried the new models.

What I can say is that a good unit for gold detection will be around the $5000.00 mark, then they all have different type of heads on them, so you have to know what you are doing when buying one.

Like I said I do not have one but I bet there will be replies from people that do and they will give you a better understanding of what to look for.


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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 00:42

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 00:42
I must have been speaking to the same people. They did it all the time ( look for gold that is) They said cost of a good unit was $5000 to 6000.

I have been thinking of trying it myself.

Wayne B
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Follow Up By: uncle - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 07:54

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 07:54
Guys before you lash out with 5 or 6 grand I will tell you as I have many others over the years, you do not need to spend 6000 bucks on a detector to find gold!! The salesman will tell you otherwise at the shops though!!
As just stated, go fo a minelab, i used an SD 2100 and it paid for itself many times over. you can pick one up now for around $1500 on Ebay.
Or go for a GP3000 or GP 3500, both good machines and they will set you back about $2500.
I have heard so many salesmen in shops tell new chums that will never find gold unkless they have the latest and greatest and the DEAREST detector.!!

If you would like to clarify my trueness call Goldsearch in Dunolly in central Vic and ask for Tony Mills, get him to fill you in about how well we used to do down there every winter (using a 2100). Tell him Laurie from NSW told you.

I have no affiliation with the company, but Tony has become a good friend over the years and he is one bloke that WONT talk crap, and will help steer you in the right direction. even with a second hand detector.

hope that helps out a bit cheers Unc
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 08:31

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 08:31
Hi Unc

Good point there. Like I said I am no expert and rely of people like you that have been there and done that.

Having said that, one chap in Laverton that like you had been detecting for year would upgrade every 2 - 3 years with the new Minelab models. He purchased the last of the South Australian made units, from memory just over $5000.

Like you he said that the units had paid for themselves countless times over. Like all prospectors, GPS technology goes hand in hand and he wanted to see just how much better his new unit was going to be.

He said he revisited one of his old sites that he had been over time and time again, and he knew that he had found all the gold that the detectors could find there. He went straight to an old scraping that he had dug and to his surprise, the new unit went off of its head. He could not believe it and thought that something must be wrong.

Lucky for him it was not rock, and after much digging and picking, he said he went down to nearly 1 metre down and found one very big nugget that was worth more that he had paid for the new unit.

Weather this is true, I can not say, but he said that the last of the Australian made units were the best that he had ever used, with far greater depth penetration, with his older unit good to around 500 - 600 mm depth.

He did show us some of the good nuggets that he had found over the years, some the size as a match head, and a good number bigger in size than a 10 cent piece, and two very big ones the size of 50 a cent piece. Silly me asked if he had ever found bigger ones and he said quite openly yes, but they were either sold for an income for him or locked up in a safe in a bank.

Seeing the big nuggets confirmed that it would be a real drug and you would want to keep going, never knowing when that next big one was going to be found.


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Follow Up By: uncle - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 09:01

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 09:01
Yes Stephen very true. I think once a newbie has gained the skills with the less complicated detector, then they can move on to the newer more digital readout, more graphic, call it what you like models. I used a Minelab 4000 for a week solid, went over an old patch and yes found one more piece, but it could have been the detector, but then again it could have just been that I swung the coil over a miniscule piece of ground within that patch, that I hadnt swung it over before.
I have spoken with friends that are fulltimers in Kalgoorlie, and are very experienced operators too, and they are now convinced that the Minelab 4500 is a slightly better machine, as they have picked up extra pieces on their old patches, but only small bits at that, although it seems to have a slightly better edge on small bits. A drug, yes detecting can become very addictive, we are having time off now with our little girl, but when she's a tad older , hopefully we will be back out there again.
We did 3 weeks at Laverton and had a ball, loved the place. stayed at the van park for a week with an ensuite site with our CT until we got our bearings, then went bush for the next two.just can't wait to get back to the wild west.

cheers Unc

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 09:42

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 09:42
Hi Chris.
How much you spend on the machine may depend on how much time you intend detecting. If you intent to give it a good try then a late model machine is the way to go
as there is a greater chance of picking up a small bit. These models are much easier/quieter to use and make for a much pleasanter day out. Buying a M/L 4000
might seem like a big outlay but if detecting doesn't suit you can just sell the machine when you get home. Maybe lose a few dollars. As suggested above it can be very addictive but can also turn into a great hobbie. ( or even a way of life :)
Cheers, Dave.
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Follow Up By: stoney123 - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 19:57

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 19:57
There are lots of videos on net about detectors. the 6K ones find gold several feet down, i have the minelab xterra $950 it will find about 1 foot down.

search the net and watch some vids before buying.
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Reply By: didjabringabeer - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 11:41

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 11:41
Hi Chris. And don't forget you need a miners right. You can apply for a 20a at
the mines dept WA to go on active leases. detector I would say GP extreme or 3500. The 4000 on can be hard to get your head around. Also I think it
is a myth about going over old patches and finding more with the new
detectors. Brian
AnswerID: 478058

Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 12:13

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 12:13

I agree with you mostly. I guess you may pick up the odd bit that you have missed previouslly and you are likely to find more tiny bits (fly poo) that the new machines are better and producing solid signals on.

On the bigger bits, and assuming competatnt operators, there is not a huge difference between the older and the new machines. I run a 2200D at 7.3 volts and do pretty well - down to about .25 grm.

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Reply By: Member - Matt L (WA) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 08:45

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 08:45
this site maybe will be helpfull free tips and info.
AnswerID: 478107

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:09

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:09
G'day Matt. Do you tow a caravan into Pandanus.
Cheers, Dave.
FollowupID: 753587

Reply By: brushmarx - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 10:49

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 10:49
Don't forget that there other thing to look for other than gold.
There is a show on Foxrtel called the Meteorite Men (or similar) and these guys travel around finding meteorites, and apparently make money from that, or maybe only selling the TV show. They obviously have a better life than Bear Grylls, so the money can't be too bad.
One recent show was out on the Nullarbor.
We have a old Minelab, and a newer Bounty Hunter.
We have not spent more that 10 minutes with them over 6 States and 18 000 km, but had the extreme good fortune of finding a bent and rusty tentpeg at Big River in Victoria.
Still trying to find a frame for that.
We look forward to having more time to use them, and if the expectations are less than finding a fortune, starting with a lower price unit, and spending the riches from using that would justify the $5000 of a better unit.
AnswerID: 478193

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