Just got back from an epic 5,000KM road trip testing the XP Deus in as many places as I could, did the deus find any gold and how did V4 Perform?
Version 4 of the XP deus is now out so I took the little French number for a run in the Australian Gold fields. I had previously run version 3.2 in the same locations so it was a great chance to compare the 2 and see if any of the improvements actually translate to a better detecting experience.
Wedderburn Victoria was the first test ground. I chose wedderburn because it has a reputation as having some crazy soil conditions and as I had been there before I had a little inside knowledge. And I mean a little. LOL.
The Wedderburn Token hunt was on as well and for pure fun I really wanted to go there and take part in that as well so it seemed like a good place to start.
Below is a quick video if a 1.6 gram Nugget that I buried about 5-6 Inches deep. It is a faint signal though one I would and did dig quite a few times in Wedderburn.
The ground balancing is sensational and can be done with the push of a button. No pumping or trying to manually balance the machine. Simply hit the pinpoint button in Program 10 and it balances perfectly in less than a second.
The target in the video I believe is at the limit for this size nugget in these soil conditions. I did bury the same nugget out at another place called Mount Egbert where the soil is much cooler. I was able to hit that nugget at about an inch deeper and with a much clearer signal.
In Hindsight the frequency used in this Video was 54khz and I believe I would have been better served in a lower frequency like 28khz. I did some pretty extensive testing for my own piece of mind later in the trip and learnt a lot about the Deus. Watch the short video and I’ll explain more after that.
I hope the video made some sense, like I said the ground balancing is very easy and effective and can be done multiple times in a single swing if needed.
Later in my Trip I learned a few things mostly by experimentation and trying to suspend my coin shooters brain. The gold fields are a tough place to operate a detector of any calibre and I even went over ground with an sdc2300 and a GPX5000 to see if deus had missed targets.
In both cases I was unable to find many targets in the area I had done with the deus, so I was then confident it was finding most of what targets where there. It was the deeper 8 inch plus stuff that was small I had missed.
I am not comparing the SDC and GPX to the Deus, I just had a chance to use them all and I did, on the same ground as I had used the deus.
In Ballarat I had the advantage of a local to take me to some likely spots where he had found gold with the Deus and also his Gold Bug 2. This experience led to the first piece of gold that I know of being found with the XP Deus version 4. It wasn’t a huge piece nor was it very deep but a 0.24 gram nugget was the result and many a happy dance was done on the day.
So the really general answer to the question “Can XP Deus version 4 find gold in Hot victorian soil?” My answer is a YES. I saw it with my own 2 eyes.
Here is the picture of the nugget about 3 minutes after it came to light.
That little fella came out of a wash out and was a nice clear signal. The Finder was OzWalds a very experienced prospector and a Ballarat local. Some may know him from his work fighting for prospectors rights in Victoria and generally being a nice bloke to have a coffee and a hunt with.
Here is a photo of some of the other targets that I found on the Victorian gold fields and also back up into the Stuart Town area of NSW. The coins all came from gold bearing areas and I can only suspect where dropped by people just like me looking for nuggets.
NOTE the tiny size of some of the targets and that some are iron that I had dug with the thought “This is iron, let’s dig it and see”. As you can see the XP Deus has little problem locating the usual suspects in the goldfields and I believe my lack of gold was more down to my inexperience and the limited time I had in each spot. I have no doubt that If I had waved the Deus over a nugget or 2 I would NOT have missed it.
What I Learnt about the XP Deus later in the tour and why I was kicking myself I didn’t learn this earlier was quite extensive.
One major thing is that Program 10 is not always the best option when hunting for gold in hot ground.
I know this may come as a bit of a shock, but purely by accident I discovered this fact. Here is how it happened.
I had located a target and the XP was a little out of balance so I moved the coil to one side of the target and went to hit the ground balance/pinpoint button to re-balance the machine before checking the target again.
Accidently I hit the – Button and changed the deus back to program 9 ( The New HOT program). I wasn’t looking at the remote, but focusing on the spot my target was in. As I brought the machne down over the target I got a distinct high tone and I realised what I had done.
I left the machine (Unbalanced as I had changed programs by accident) in program 9 to see what would happen and I was very surprised that it picked the target out as not only non-ferrous but a reasonably high conductor as well.
It turned out to be a small piece of lead that I initially thought may have been a Nugget due to its shape. But close inspection showed me it was grey and my nugget hopes where smashed against the rocks again.
From that point on I used program 9 and program 10 about 50/50 in the goldfields, Often using program 10 until the trash kicked in and then slipping into program 9 for ferrous/non ferrous target id. Program 9 was also a very good “checker” program. When I got a target that was a bit jumpy on the horseshoe in program 10 I just changed down to 9 and “checked” it. Mainly to see if it gave me that iron grunt or the the tone of a non ferrous item. It worked a treat and using the 2 programs in conjunction with each other turned out to be a real revelation in identifying trash targets easily.
They are a single button push apart and super convenient to use together.
The distinct tone differences in program 9 made that job a lot easier and running on frequencies of 30 and 50 odd KHZ made sure even the smallest of targets was not missed. I was stunned at how small a target the deus could hit. I thought it was pretty good at the small stuff anyway but this is new level stuff!
Unfortunately I had learned this valuable tidbit a bit late in the piece and next time I go to Victoria I feel using this technique will help me a lot.
I also leant that TID Numbers and gold nuggets mean absolutely NOTHING!!! A smallish nugget can ring up as low as 30 and I discovered that just about every piece of gold I ran over or under the coil gave me a different Target ID. The 1.5 ounce piece I waved at the coil rang up in the 90’s from one angle and the 60’s from another! Cheers Trev for the lend of that beautiful piece of gold.
It just proved that gold hunting is a lot like beach hunting, the best approach is to dig everything NON ferrous and even the ferrous targets can be interesting at times.
That was hard for me as my whole detecting career has been based on pretty much knowing what I am going to dig up. well at least having a pretty fair idea as I demonstrated at the Goanna Gold Detectors season launch.
As a coin guy I was easily able to identify a piece of foil that was under my feet when doing my talk. I could also tune out a concrete slab and still hit the gold nugget that Terry had kindly supplied. It was about .2 of a gram but still toned sitting on a rio filled slab. That turned a few heads for sure. LOL
What I struggled with was finding a nugget in its natural place. I was somewhat relieved that the people I went hunting with in several occasions also Ducked out on those trips so It didn’t feel like the detector was letting me down. It was purely that my luck/knowledge was lacking.
One Point I made in one of my talks was that hunting while away and hunting your own home turf is a very different experience.
Hunting away I find I am cherry picking and going for max ground coverage, where in my local spots I am far more methodical in my approach and will often run the same piece of ground a few times from different angles and with different settings.
While away I find that I only ever do a piece of ground once and I think I need to change this to more like my at home style.
The problem is that not being a gold guy, spotting the right ground can be tough and I often found myself in areas that where well hunted and close to the car. The stories of gear going missing freaked me out and I hated leaving my van unattended deep in the bush.
Not making excuses, Just explaining that I believe it is very hard for the average prospector/detectorist to walk into unfamiliar ground and find gold consistently. You may Luck out once or twice, but you need to know your area, your machine and your targets a lot better than I did in those areas.
So in the end the XP Deus Version 4 performed quite well in some trying conditions. The nice thing about the machine is that when my frustration got the better of me I was able to switch back into coin mode pretty quickly and regain my MOJO with a few spendies and a free schooner from the local parks etc.
I believe that is where deus is so different from just about every other detector out there on the market. It is one, if not the best coin shooting machine I have used and when the need to go gold prospecting hits you can set the machine up and the only that will stop you finding gold is waving the coil over a bit.
I get asked is the Deus a Hybrid machine and for over a year I have been saying NO it is not. Well I have changed my mind and the minds of a few others on this trip and I believe firmly that the XP deus is THE MOST VERSATILE metal detector on the market today.
Try Running a 5000 in a tin can patch or along a fenceline, Try running a SDC around an old house site or in a junk infested area in the goldfields. It just picks up everything and the only way to tell what it may be is to dig a hole.
In these areas the Deus excels and you can confidently walk off from non desirable targets (after you a dig a few to confirm it in your mind) I’m talking iron here and the ability to dodge the small iron targets saves hours of target location and scraping scoops over the coil to located hob nails and the like.
Using program 9 and 10 together makes the deus unique in that you have a lot of information to base your digging decision on.
If your looking for a serious Metal detector that will allow you enjoy all aspects of the hobby then I think the XP deus is at the top of the tree.
The alternative is to buy a decent Minelab pulse induction for about 3K and then a VLF for the coin shooting and relic hunting. But 3k is a lot of money to have sitting in the cupboard for those few days or weeks a year you can hit the goldfields. For that same money you could have a full kit XP deus with High frequency coil and cover 4khz right up to 50khz + and enough features and capabilities that an upgrade is just a matter of learning a bit more about the machine, rather than a trade in and starting again.
Grab a deus and know that you are in with a chance in any park or on any goldfield in Australia.
As I say “If you can only afford ONE detector and want to experience all aspects of our hobby then there is no better choice than the XP Deus”
The Nugget, Thanks OzWalds for the tour and for allowing me to keep this little beauty. It is a famous little nugget as it is the first in the world to be found on a live hunt with the version 4 Deus.
XP Deus Nugget