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Nathan

First off there is no stupid question!The one I've got don't have alot to it but you can go to a place and get you back without getting lost.If you find a good place to hunt and your having luck this is when they come in handy to get you back to the site next time.Most have alot of room to store more than you'll ever need.Where the price gets higher is when you want color with a big screen and HD plus HBO. :D

The best thing I seen one time was a guy had one hook to laptop with a topo in real time.

Chuck Anders

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Enigmatic E.,

It seems that in nearly every forum (prospecting, etc.) someone will say "do your homework", or 'if it was that easy...'. I think I've read thousands of pages.

These guys have so much knowledge/experience and so many stories and (the best part) they're willing to share it!! Sometimes they will even tell you where to hunt...within a fifty square mile area or so.

'Gotta learn where the old mines were, the newer producing mines, signs of old mining activity, the geology, soil layering, crusts, tools, rocks, chemistry, water flow and it's effect on gold of varying sizes, erosion (today and thousands of years ago), wind (?), and the gods of the Ancients.

...and then turn the page...

I recently picked up a Garmin GPSmap 60csx that I'm learning. (And yes, it can ACTUALLY be plugged into a laptop (welcome to the '90's?) to download maps, up-to-date weather, risque pics of your wife, preview anywhere down to a half dozen feet (especiallly nice if you are going to be driving off-road where even some of the regular contributors haven't been).

Here is a website that will help you:

http

://www.geocommunicator.gov/GeoComm/lan...ome/index.shtm

Take note of the last update though. The maps are usually at least a month old. You have to go to the area BLM office for the latest (or call them with some coordinates). Even then an area may have a claim staked and won't show up at the BLM for up to 90 days.

I won't bore (?) you with the regulations for Wilderness areas, Native American reservations, state parks, national parks, private land, millitary lands, historic areas, forests, areas with endangered species, county/state/federal/railroad/utility/illegal aliens/four-wheelers rights' of way...

'gotta do yur homework'... :wacko:

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Enigmatic E.,

It seems that in nearly every forum (prospecting, etc.) someone will say "do your homework", or 'if it was that easy...'. I think I've read thousands of pages.

These guys have so much knowledge/experience and so many stories and (the best part) they're willing to share it!! Sometimes they will even tell you where to hunt...within a fifty square mile area or so.

'Gotta learn where the old mines were, the newer producing mines, signs of old mining activity, the geology, soil layering, crusts, tools, rocks, chemistry, water flow and it's effect on gold of varying sizes, erosion (today and thousands of years ago), wind (?), and the gods of the Ancients.

...and then turn the page...

I recently picked up a Garmin GPSmap 60csx that I'm learning. (And yes, it can ACTUALLY be plugged into a laptop (welcome to the '90's?) to download maps, up-to-date weather, risque pics of your wife, preview anywhere down to a half dozen feet (especiallly nice if you are going to be driving off-road where even some of the regular contributors haven't been).

Here is a website that will help you:

http

://www.geocommunicator.gov/GeoComm/lan...ome/index.shtm

Take note of the last update though. The maps are usually at least a month old. You have to go to the area BLM office for the latest (or call them with some coordinates). Even then an area may have a claim staked and won't show up at the BLM for up to 90 days.

I won't bore (?) you with the regulations for Wilderness areas, Native American reservations, state parks, national parks, private land, millitary lands, historic areas, forests, areas with endangered species, county/state/federal/railroad/utility/illegal aliens/four-wheelers rights' of way...

'gotta do yur homework'... :wacko:

lol. Thanks for the info. The GPSmap 60csx is actually the model I was checking out on E-Bay. I will certainly be doing my homework :)

Nathan.

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Hi Nathan, I'll give you my take on GPS. I didn't use one up until about 5 years ago. "I don't need one of those, I've never been lost" Then my wife bought me one. I used it just to humor her. I rarely go out without it now. Kinda like the cell phone she bought me 15 years ago.

Once I started using the GPS and combined it with a topo software (National Geographic is my favorite) I saw the value. I now have a Garmin Legend with the maps uploaded. What I discovered was that I could save the "track" I had followed on the topo along with waypoints for nuggets and other things I wanted to remember.

I also discovered I don't always know exactly where I am. Let's say I'm out hiking(prospecting) and think I've covered 5 miles and hit every wash in an area. When I get home, I pull up the map and try to estimate the track I followed and mileage. Then I import the actual track and waypoints. I've never been right on mileage and sometimes I'm off a ridge or two in my guess on the route I took.

You can keep track of all your nuggets and sometimes see a pattern develop(lead or run) It also comes in handy if you have a certain spot you want to go to, just put a waypoint on the map and upload it to the GPS. I've also uploaded claim corners to mark claims of to know for sure I'm on the right claim.

So, the short answer to your question about what features to look for; Accuracy(more satellites) onboard maps, interface with software, auto tracking, weather proof, shock proof, 12 volt adapter if you want to use it on a quad or in a vehicle, and a backlight for the display.

The next step in my plan is to get a laptop with wireless Internet so I can connect the GPS and see my position live, on a topo or satellite photo. Later...Jim P.

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Good choice on the garmin 60. My friend has one and it is really nice! Also you'll probably want to get the garmin topo maps, to load onto it. They are pretty detailed just like the usgs topo.

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Jim P.,

The primary reason for my getting the 60csx was exactly as you stated. You can be staring at the ground for miles in the middle of nowhere and (if you're alone and it's cloudy) suddenly most every rock looks like the next. Or you have an area picked out on a topo map that requires that you go cross country. Out there there's no one to ask for directions if you need them. Having your exact location could be valuable too, in case of a medical emergency or mechanical problem.

That's a great idea marking the points of your finds and watching for trends!

Regarding your laptop and wireless card...you would have to run it through your cell phone (to go online) wouldn't you?

Wes,

This Garmin uses a microSD but, it only came with 128k so, I got a 2G to replace it. Topographical data can take up alot of space. Overlay some aerial views and the memory drops off pretty fast. The price of these little memory disks has dropped more than anything that I can think of in the last two years.

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Hi 2dach, my company uses wireless internet with just a card. You are limited to areas covered by your cellular provider, no phone, no internet. I hear the download speed is pretty close to DSL as long as you are in the main network. I'd sure like to be able to test it before I buy.

I've also been looking at some of the newer mapping GPS units, It's not quite as nice as a laptop with internet but they are much more portable. Later...Jim P.

PS. the Garmin Legend & LegendC have maps but the display is tiny and hard to see. I'm not fond of the topo software either

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I kinda like the garmin topos, some people dont but they have served me well the last few years. It has all the roads that are on the usgs 24k topos , plus some other features shown that are not on the usgs maps.

If you have a laptop the igauge topos are pretty cool. You use your garmin as the antenna for real time tracking. And since it's a usgs topo you will have all the land section lines there.

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Whats4supper,

Your comment about what 'modern' prospectors know, as opposed to what the old timers knew

is well taken.

I am, after years in the field, still hugely ignorant of what the ground is telling me.

I think I am a slow learner.

I remember in the late 70's I had bought a nugget from a fellow in Los Angeles.

It was about 2.5 ounces with a lot of host rock intact. I asked the guy where it came

from, he had no idea.

I took the speciman with me on one of my dredging trips up in Mariposa the next summer.

I knew this older gent (mid-seventies), who came out and would sit with us while we

were dredging and chat. He was a winner; very low key, unblievably knowledgeable.

I showed him the nugget on one of his visits and he immediately identified the area to a "T".

He could tell, he said, by the hue of the gold and the host rock. To him these details were a clear key

to it's location. I later took the nugget to the area he had told me it came from.

A gold buyer there pretty much verified what he had said.

For most of us nowadays, it would be an impossible feat to identify an area like that

(it was about 70 miles from Mariposa), but as the old timer expained it,

if you didn't know that kind of 'gold signature' you couldn't really expect to survive prospecting.

fwiw,

Flak

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Nathan

I had similar questions a few months ago and received some good imput from others. I ended up buying the garmin 76csx. It will do everything I want it to do. I bought it to plot coordinates off a topo map and to plot coordinates back to a topo from areas I have found gold. The later for the purpose that another person mentioned that being to post spots where I have found gold to determine if a pattern exists for the deposite. So far it works great. The Map76Csx works in very heavy tree cover, in canons and the screen will move as you move off of it which allows for hands off navagation while driving. Hope this helps.

Wes

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Hey Flak,

Beware, your about to give away your age??? :o

I just about have the porter ready to go, just a few more day's. :blink:

When we get to Brazil, on the way to the gold fields, I thought maybe we would swing by Garimpo's place and pick him up. That is if he is not too weak to go. :lol::lol:

Think that I remember him saying something about the women in his town outnumbered the men about ten to one, or something like that. :rolleyes:B)

Bob T.

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Hey Bob,

That's a great idea.

Especially since (shhhh), it's actually my

birthday today, but it ain't gonna show up

anywhere but here in this secret message.

I think maybe we better take a vitamine shot for Garimpo,

and then, as you say, drag him with us out to the gold fields.

Wow, this is looking promising...

All the best

Flak

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