Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bench and Field Testing the "Gold Bug Pro" (Part 2)

(Placer gold I used for bench testing the "Gold Bug Pro.")

In my previous  post on this topic I was discussing some of the features of Fisher's "Gold Bug Pro." I want to finish that up here before I proceed to the heart of the matter about testing this nifty little gold machine:

  • 19 kHz operating frequency: I was actually a little skeptical when I first saw that the "GB Pro's" operating frequency was this low. Fisher's "GB 2," by comparison, operates at 71 kHz. Typically speaking, the higher the frequency (VHF, UHF ranges) the greater the sensitivity of the machine to small particles of gold. However, Fisher went the lower frequency direction for a number of reasons, including making the "GB Pro" a more versatile machine that could be used for artifact and coin hunting as well as electronic prospecting/nugget hunting. The truth of the matter is this: in my bench testing the "GB Pro" was every bit as sensitive to small pieces of gold as its better-known cousin, the "GB 2."

  • Ultra-light weight: The "GB Pro" weighs in at an unbelievable 2.5 pounds, something you'll notice the first time you heft this machine and start swinging it. Without a doubt it's the lightest metal detector I've ever used in my 32 plus years of small-scale mining and treasure hunting. It should be readily apparent to one and all what a great asset the "GB Pro's" light weight can be out in the field...you could literally swing this machine all day long and not get tired. There is a drawback to the machine's light weight, however. The "GB Pro's" control housing is made of plastic or a light composite...one good drop of the machine on a big rock would likely ruin your day by cracking the housing or scrambling the electronics inside. Also, I noticed out in the field that the housing was very susceptible to dirt and grit...I think both of these issues are why you may want to buy a protective cover for the "GB Pro's" housing (yep, I've seem them for sale and plan on getting one myself).
    • 5" standard coil: Back in the early 1980s Garrett Metal Detectors began selling a 3.5" coil for some if its VLF/TR machines for use in gold hunting and for getting into tight spaces. We used to call these small coils "nugget coils." The "GB Pro" comes standard equipped with a 5" nugget coil that is extremely sensitive to small pieces of gold (placer and otherwise) and that can get into some pretty tight spots.

      (Fisher's "Gold Bug Pro" comes equipped with a 5" "nugget" coil.)
      (11" coil for the "Gold Bug Pro.")
      The "GB Pro" also utilizes an 11" search coil for greater depth and for covering larger areas. If you decide to buy this gold machine, I highly recommend you get this coil as well. You'll have to buy it separately (I paid about $120.00 for mine)..oh, and one more thing...be sure and buy coil covers for both search coils. Coil covers are a lot cheaper to replace than the coils themselves, right?
      There's more to come my friends. Good luck to you until then.
      If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Mining Questions and Answers: Part 4"
      (c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012
      Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com