A Whole New Level
While on the Corfe Castle 2010 Minelab Owners rally Gordon Heritage (Ironhearted Gog) and I decided to try the GPX 5000 on the top of the hill. This pasture land is highly mineralised and has been detected for a good ten years, so is a perfect place to test the new machines.[split]
We arrived on wed afternoon, set up camp and decided to go up the hill for a dabble with the E-TRAC. I used my usual setting running the detector as hot as possible. I worked the end of the hill very slowly scraping the coil across the grass and the Romans started giving themselves up to the fresh Dorset air. I was working in all metal, so most of the signals were just a very tiny response of a low/ medium tone in-between all the chaotic iron and mineralisation noises.
I had 18 bronze coins before the light faded, which is great considering the amount of times it had been detected. It had been rained in the previous weeks so conditions for detecting were excellent.
The last few hours of detecting were confined to tiny area the size of around three normal cars, interspersed with some gauze bushes. I purposely did this spot last as it was where I’d planned to test the GPX 5000. I detected the area systematically from all directions to clear it of any detectable signals, doing this I found six roman bronzes at depths up to twelve inches deep. All that was left when I had done was iron, there was nothing non-ferrous left at all. I checked and double checked then checked again, I needed to be sure I had a blank canvas for the GPX… and a blank canvas it was.
It would not be till Sunday that we would be trying the GPX`s out as we wanted to take full advantage of the other rallying fields. Anyway Sunday came very quickly for me, it does when you’re having fun. I didn’t have a great start though, when I got to the top of the hill and walked down the gentle slope to the search area, I realised I had forgot my earphones ! Not wanting to go all the way back down I phoned Terry Torment to bring me some earphones up. He borrowed a pair of detector pro phones (with pinpoint probe) from Gary Brun.
Gordon only had till 12pm as he had other things to do, so he continued searching an area where a Celtic silver Stater had been found the day before.
Gordon strapped me into the GPX 5000 harness and set the machine up with settings of NORMAL timing and GENERAL search mode, a discrimination level of 7.
I’d already had a go with the GPX 5000 for an hour on a roman site previously, and I’d pulled a minim (4mm Roman coin) up at 8 inches, so I knew it was an awesome machine. As usual he uttered his favourite phrase “now go find something” and off I went to the small patch on the front of hill. I pumped the machine to balance it and had a smooth threshold tone and started swinging slowly.
Almost instantly I had an obvious rise in the threshold that sounds like a quick whistle. I cut the turf out to the depth of the spade and folded it back, rechecked, signal still there and dug more out, rechecked and still in the hole, another spadeful and the signal was on the surface. The GPX 5000 really sings out loud when the signal is next to the coil. My first signal was a roman bronze coin and in fab’ condition. I was stunned at the depth, it was a good 16 inches. The reason I was so stunned was that the signal was strong and easy to decipher… WOW what a machine!
I filled in the hole and carried on searching. I immediately got another signal right next to the previous hole, and at a similar depth to the last one I found my second roman bronze. The condition of the coins were better than the coins that usually come up, which I reckon was due to the greater depth. After the second coin Gordon came over to tell me he had to go and wished me good luck.
Terry and Lettis started taking pics and filming me on their mobile phones to record the events unfolding in front of their eyes.
I started swinging again and the unmissable sound of iron was coming through which is a tone that starts off as a whistle then a blank or lull then another whistle. One signal I got which was positive I dug down for and after around 15 or so inches the bottom of the hole caved-in. I had broken through into a rabbit hole, watching the soil and target disappear down it. We all tried retrieving it to no avail. It’s funny how you start imagining the ones that get away to be the silver or gold coins !
I got a phone call from Garry Brun a while later as news had spread back down at the camp that I was doing well with the GPX 5000, he asked me how many I had now, I’ve got ten now I told him, he said OK Gordon and I are coming up to film you.
A while later I saw a Land Rover heading down to me. I had found another two by the time they got there and the signals were starting to dry up, the last few coins only giving slight whispers when detected.
They got there kit set up and began to film, it was at this point I asked Gordon to set the GPX 5000 up as hot as he could (like I do with the E-TRAC), he gave me that “are you mad look” and said OK if that’s what you want. I figured I could winkle some more out and get a bit more depth if the detectors audio responses were a bit more edgy.
Going over the small area again with an unstable threshold was no problem for me, as that’s what I’m used to, and I felt if there was any finds left I’d find them.
It wasn’t long before I got another positive signal, which produced another bronze coin. The new setting had turned GPX 5000 into even more of a monster than it was before.
The next target I got was a weird signal that didn’t sound like iron but didn’t sound 100% positive either. I decided to dig it and at great depth I pulled out a musket ball.
Another 10ft on I got a faint rise and started to dig, and dig, it took some sweat to get down to this one ( the stones didn’t help ) and after around twenty minutes I had it on the side of the hole, a small roman bronze, we measured the depth on the spade and measured 18.5 inches.
I found the GPX 5000 easy to use, it felt light and was easy to swing. The machine is easy to get used to once you recognise the sound of iron and mineralisation. It has awesome punching power and can detect to incredible depths. It just opens up a whole new level of detecting that other machines can’t touch, and that opens up lots of new ground when you think about it.
People associate the GPX series of detectors as being solely gold machines, but these babies are machines that can be used as relic hunters. I can think of lots of sites that I go on where these will be very useful indeed.
One comment that Terry Torment made on the hill has stuck with me, he said, “I’ve come all this way to Corfe for the weekend from Leeds and even if I hadn’t found anything, it was worth it just to witness this with my own eyes.”
I will be using the GPX 5000 at the end of October in Nevada USA, 11 days dawn to dusk looking for gold nuggets and feel confident that I will be using the best machine that money can buy…. But that’s another story.