Excalibur 1000 for nugget hunting

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Hey Jerry,

My personal experiences would say it's going to struggle on mineralization in the goldfields. If the nuggets or specimens are larger enough, it will find them, but they might have to be 3-4 Dwts in size and right on the surface.

If you plan on doing any nuggethunting for any amount of time, I would recommend you consider a good used VLF or PI at a mininum.

Hope this helps,

Rob Allison

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I have had plenty of experience with the Excalibur and gold nuggets. Or should I say the lack of gold nuggets.

I thought, 17 years ago that the Excal would be the perfect all around machine. After all I had heard it was "Hot on gold!"

I didn't realize they were talking about gold jewelry, not gold nuggets.

After detecting with it three months trying to find gold nuggets finally Hoss Blackman came to my rescue. God rest his soul.

He said, "Son you can't find gold nuggets with an Excalibur." He told me to bring my machine over to him. So I did.

He took out a 1 gram gold nugget. He said "Up around these parts this is the standard nugget we find. 1 gram. You will find more of these than anything else. Now let me show you something. This is an XT18000 Gold machine." He turned it on and ran the little nugget across the coil, it just squealed with glee.

He said now turn on your Excalibur. I did, he said adjust real good. I did. He handed me the nugget, boy was it pretty. I had never held a real gold nugget before. He told me to run the nugget over the coil of my Excalibur, which I did. NOTHING.

I readjusted the sensitivity, I adjusted the threshold. NOTHING.

Hoss said, see what I mean? In order for you to find a gold nugget with that Excalibur you are going to have to hit on a piece at least the size of a button. And you don't run into those much.

Hoss explained that because the Excal was a coin and relic machine, one of the ways it discriminated was that the sensitivity of the machine was set to pretty much ignore anything smaller than a button. Because coin and relic hunters are looking for coins, and buttons and musket balls, and rings, and all of those things are bigger than a button. He said anything smaller than a button was probably trash.

Anyone that has an Excalibur will tell you that they love it for the beach with one exception. It will not find 14kt gold earring posts. Just too small. You ask why would anyone care about a little bitty earring post? Because sometimes they have 1/2 carat diamonds set in them.

SO, no Excal if you are interested in Nugget hunting take a look at the Xterra 705.


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The Xterra 70 was the forerunner of the Xterra 705 which is the newest model of the high end Xterra line.

I just think the Xterra is an absolutely excellent gold machine. The Eureka gold is a great machine as well but the technology is about 17 years old.

The Xterra technology is cutting edge. It has an LCD screen. Easy to pinpoint with. Only uses 4 AA batteries. Has a great selection of coils and depending on the coil you use it will operate as either a GOLD NUGGET machine or a coin and relic machine.

AND, additional coils are only $175.

The machine is only $700. Of course, because I am a dealer, I have access to pulse induction machines, currently the GPX4500 I have a GPX 5000 that I have not had a chance to get out and use as of yet. But I also carry my Xterra 705 around with me because it is so light weight and easy to use. It's just a fantastic little machine, and it's even better than the previous Xterra 70.


Thanks Doc. You saved me a lot of unproductive time in the field. I'll start saving up for a VLF machine. I like MineLab, You seem to like the X-Terra 70. Is that your favorite machine or is it the best in the price range??

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By the way, just so you understand, the Excalibur is a VLF machine. So is the Xterra 705, and the Eureka Gold. It is the frequency the the VLF is operating in that determines whether it operates as a Gold Machine or a coin and relic machine.

There are two classes of machines. One is a VLF, it detects metal my sensing the eddy currents that form on the surface of metal objects in the ground when exposed to a magnetic field. There is a great explanation of Eddy Currents on Wikipedia:


The second class is PULSE INDUCTION. This works by pulsing energy into the ground and then measuring how fast that energy dissipates. They refer to this as the decay rate. In other words how fast this pulse of energy decays and fades away.

If there is a metal target present in the ground, that decay rate varies significantly because you have an item in the ground which changes the conductivity of that pulse of energy. Pulse induction machines are made to measure those changes in decay rate and signal the detectorists when there is a significant change in the decay rate that indicates there is something made of metal, that is of a higher conductivity than the surrounding mineralization in the ground.

Again referring to Wikipedia it has a great explanation of Pulse Induction.


In part it says:

"Pulse induction: At the same time, developers were looking at using a different technique in metal detection called Pulse Induction. Unlike the Beat Frequency Oscillator or the Induction Balance machines which both used a uniform alternating current at a low frequency, the pulse induction machine simply fired a high-voltage pulse of signal into the ground. In the absence of metal, the 'spike' decayed at a uniform rate, and the time it took to fall to zero volts could be accurately measured. However, if metal was present when the machine fired, a small current would flow in the metal, and the time for the voltage to drop to zero would be increased. These time differences were minute, but the improvement in electronics made it possible to measure them accurately and identify the presence of metal at a reasonable distance. These new machines had one major advantage: they were completely impervious to the effects of mineralization, and rings and other jewelry could now be located even under highly-mineralized black sand."


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You can get it in one of two configurations.

You can order an Xterra 705 which comes with the COIN and relic coil which is a 9 inch concentric coil.

With the coin coil you can not make the machine go into GOLD PROSPECTING mode. It will only go into prospecting mode with a high frequency gold coil.

However, if you buy a gold coil, the machine operates in both modes and you can still hunt for coins and relics with a gold coil.

You can purchase the additional PRO PACK, which included a 5 X 10 elliptical high frequency gold coil and a carry bag for an additional $141. The coil alone would be $175, but when you buy it with the detector, they give you the special bundle price of $141.

So for the price of $841 you can have a coin and relic machine and a gold machine. If you want to hunt only gold and have no need for a coin coil...

... because of the popularity of this Xterra 705 as a gold machine, they have come out with the XTerra 705 Gold. Same machine it's just that it comes with the 5 X 10 elliptical high frequency gold coil instead of the coin coil. $700.

If you want to add a coin coil later you can. Most of my customers, who are only interested in gold prospecting buy the additional 10.5 inch round DD high frequency gold coil to get that extra depth. It costs $175.

Either machine, is $700.


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That's very kind of you, but this is Rob's forum and I am just here to "pimp" for him. :D

So please when you are ready for a machine call Rob. True I have the same deals and similar packages, however, if you are close to Rob, he can take you out to some of his training spots where guys do pretty good. And Rob probably knows more about gold prospecting than anyone I know. He is a dear friend and one of my dealers for Coiltek coils, which I distribute, and my line of accessories, so please send your business his way.

In another thread we just talked about people who go on other people's patches and raid them. This forum is Rob's "patch" I am just a grateful visitor who tries to help share my knowledge, I'm not here to "high grade" customers.

Rob is like a brother to me. As far as I am concerned we are family.


Thanks Doc,

When I'm ready to order the XTerra 705 gold machine, I will order it from you. I'm sure you have the same warranties and packages that the other dealers have and I had rather support someone who takes the time to help me understand what I need. I really enjoy this forum.

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Rob's my brother from a different mother.


I'm new here and thought you and Rob were the same. I will order from Rob. I just stumbled across this forum and really get a lot from it. I live in Gainesville, Florida and will do some prospecting in North Carolina. I doubt that I will make it out there to Nevada anytime soon.

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DOC (or anyone who knows), I contacted Minelab and they DID say to me that the Sovereign GT(BBS) was NOT good for nuggets under 1 gram. So that same thing applies to the older model Excalibur(BBS), which in your test with Hoss, did NOT pick up the 1 gram nugget!

1) Is the NEW model Excalibur II more sensitive to small gold than the older model Excalibur??

2) Are the E-Trac and Safari FBS machines more sensitive to small gold than the BBS machines??

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