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Jonahan Hare's Diary

Day 6: Metal Detector

When the Earth is pushed up and snowy mountains appear
Rock crock, split and fold forming channels far and near.
From the deep they are filled with quartz and some gold,
Weathering sets them tumbling downward in the cold.
Bashed to and fro in a vibrant mountain stream,
Gold flecks fall out from the quartz boulders clean.
In the calmer sandy stuff of a riverbed mud,
Gold accumulates deep to beat the panner's blood.
In cold water fresh but with freezing hands,
They test the riverbed with their prospector's pans.
A bucket of dirt is reduced to a few flakes,
The gold light gleaming is the best of effects.
Weeks and weeks for just a few grams,
A bag full of gold powder is the prospector's plan.

Photo: Mike, Ellen and Jonathan in the helicopterWe meet at about 8 am for helicopter flights to start the day and TV episodes off. Weather looks good and soon we are off up in the air and heading over the Glacier and over the peaks besides Mount Cook. We head out over the plain below the Glacier and on to the sawmill which will be our base. 30 mins of extreme excitement, wondrous views, blue ice and helter skelter rides. Also saw the best ever glory around the shadow of the helicopter when we passed through an amazing fog bank covering a prehistoric-looking fern forest.

At the sawmill we were introduced to the challenges. Mine was to make a metal detector using parts from old radios, Kathy and Mike L to make an accurate balance to measure the gold we get while Mike B and Ellen were to pan and sluice for gold.

The day goes very well but I do think however that it's going to be really hard to get the metal detector done in just 2 days so that it can be used on the 3rd.

The AK44 metal detector
Photo: making the metal detectorMy first work was to salvage as many useful components from the radios as possible. I plan to build the main electronics for the metal detector on a makeshift plastic board from the lid of a Tupperware box and make use of one of the smaller radios (called an AK44!) to use as an audio amplifier for the speaker.

Also managed to cut out the wooden circles for the search coils and fixed them up using cable ties. Added 20 turns of copper wire and fixed it to a handle upon which I fixed two plastic Tupperware boxes for the battery and components (to keep dry). Had a classic Rough Science problem of not being able to cut and drill because of filming going on nearby. Still, things seem to be going OK so far.

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Photo: Jonathan Hare
Metal Detector Interactive