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☠ Cipher

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About ☠ Cipher

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  1. Thank you for that clarification. I had no idea such little voltage was required. In forums you'll often see guys point to a 4 battery (or equivalent) machine and say that it couldn't possibly perform like an 8 battery (or equivalent) machine. Obviously that's not true when you look at a machine like the F75 and what it can do. This is an area that I need much further study to understand. Intuitively a person would think, more voltage, more power, more depth, but then I remember reading an essay by Dave Johnson about diminishing returns and the size of the battery needed to get any further depth being unrealistic on machines of this kind.
  2. Does anyone have an explaination for what advantage there is in using larger power sources? For example, take an MXT All Pro vs an F75 LTD. These are kind of similar in terms of how they perform and you might actually give an edge to the F75 LTD. Yet the F75 accomplishes this using 4 AAs with a battery life up to 40 hours. The MXT All Pro uses 8 AAs and has a battery life cycle that is maybe a little more than half the F75 LTD. Even if you consider that the F75 LTD runs on more modern circuitry, the new Whites MX Sport requires the same power and still only lasts roughly the same as the MXT while also not providing any depth advantage over the F75 LTD. So I'm wondering if maybe it translates into more depth on larger aftermarket coils, or if it provides any advantage at all.
  3. Great point Dan. I'm one of those that takes great care of my equipment for a couple reasons. I care about how my machines look, and I am ever mindful that clean and well kept machines carry a higher resale value. Waterproofing mid-upper level machines just seems logical to me. And as Minelab and even Garrett to an extent has shown us, waterproof doesn't have to mean heavy. It also doesn't have to mean terribly expensive. But it does make machines easier to maintain, and I'm sure that most who buy a waterproof machine intend to use it in the water, even if they don't.
  4. I put the AT Max up against the F75 LTD and MX Sport for my own tests. First Texas was king in iron with the Sport able to keep up much better than I expected. It's a shame that FT didn't waterproof any of their more recent machines. Hunter points out that the vast majority of people that say they want a waterproof machine never take it in the water. This is true, but it's also true that what people think they want is what sells if you look at the amazing success of the AT Pro, a machine FT has been outperforming for years. What tips them toward the AT Series over the FT machines always comes down to the waterproofing. They just want to know that if they want to go in the water or get it wet, they can.
  5. I've always had to do more with less. Nonetheless I'm usually able to do far better than I should. With very little disposable income I'm still able to use the latest iPhone, MacBook Pro, and some of the best metal detecting equipment money can buy. I've done it the same way. I set my sights on what I want to be my end point, but I'm willing to start at the bottom and work my way up. The goal is always not to spend any more than I've started out with, and I keep track. This is my second leap into the world of metal detecting and treasure hunting. When I first started out I traded a generator I wasn't using for a Minelab X-Terra 70. Several months later and not having made much progress with the machine, save for a WW1 military dog tag, I decided to sell it to help finance home renovations. Instantly I regretted it. One of the rewards of this hobby is just the idea that you may find something exceptional, the spirit of adventure and imagination that goes with it. That was now gone. A year later, when spring arrived I began combing through the ads. I found a Harbor Freight 9-Function for $5. I picked it up and didn't expect much from it. But something happened for me with this machine that didn't happen with the Minelab. I was better able to control it. I understood it almost instantly. Within a couple days I pulled a jar full of coins out of my lawn. Seeing how much more progress I made with this machine vs. a far more expensive machine last time, I began in depth study of everything to do with metal detectors. I continued to keep an eye on local ads. Shortly after I found a Bounty Hunter Pioneer 505 for $25 and sold my HF for $30. I learned the extra functions it had, and monitored the ads. I sold it for $120 and bought a bundle of two machines, two diggers and a pinpointer for $100 from a husband and wife team who quickly tired of the hobby. The two machines were a Fisher F2 and a Bounty Hunter Quick Draw 2. The Quick Draw 2 was too similar to the 505, so I quickly sold it for $100. At this point I'm up an F2, a pinpointer, two diggers, and $125 (not to mention my finds). I got on very well with the F2 and the pinpointer made my life much easier. Still, I kept my eye out. Next up was another Bundle. A Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 and Gold Digger for $80. I sold the F2 for $150. Now I'm up $185 with two machines and accessories. Enter the Land Ranger Pro for $150. Sold the Discovery 3300 for $130 and the Gold Digger for $60. Now I'm up $225 plus a Land Ranger Pro. I'm a very happy camper at this point. The Land Ranger Pro seemed to have everything I wanted and I had no plans to go any further for a while. I particularly liked to be able to notch out targets by one VDI at a time and set my tone breaks where I wanted to. The F2 was good at sorting most pull tabs from nickels. This one was even better. Shortly after though, the best deal yet popped up as far as I was concerned. A Fisher F75 LTD for $300. That would be a good deal even now, let alone a few years ago. I jumped on it, agreeing to travel all the way to PA for it the next day. I sold my Land Ranger Pro for $200 (still very new at this time). Now I'm up an F75 LTD plus a balance of $125. I missed my notching feature, but with the depths I was able to reach I began pulling up relics, much older coins and jewelry. Now I wanted a water machine. I found a Fisher Aquanaut and two Lesche diggers with some haggling for $125. Another steal. Now I'm a Fisher guy! And I'm dead even with two great machines as far as I was concerned. Many people would be happy to stop there. Enter a diving buddy who had a closet queen AT Pro. He offered to trade dead even for the Aquanaut so he could explore off the Florida Coast while diving. I agreed, never going further than my waist myself. At this point I cashed in my clad for over $150 and bought my girlfriend a used Garrett Ace Bundle which included the machine, two coils, an underwater box, a Digger and a pinpointer. Due to the discomfort of developing cancer she didn't last long in the hobby, unfortunately. I pieced the Bundle out to make back $340. I sold the AT Pro for $450 and bought an MX Sport for $550. Now I'm up $240 with an MX Sport and an F75 LTD. Another buddy had purchased a V3i back in 2010 that he never got on with. Being a fan of the MXT and always wanting to try the F75 LTD he agreed to let me trade the F75 LTD and $200 for his V3i. Now I'm up $40, A V3i and an MX Sport, several diggers and Bullseye TRX pinpointer. Now I'm a Whites guy lol. This doesn't take into account that I've kept 90% of my finds without yet cashing them in. I'd have to imagine that most people would be happy to end up here and would look no further for equipment at this time. But today I see a CTX-3030 with a pinpointer and a few diggers for $800. Hmmmm, my brain is working overtime. Before the weekend is out, that CTX may just be in my hands with some cash to spare toward the Equinox. It took me several years and patience to do it, but I have equipment that most people in the hobby would respect and some would even envy. There are always deals to be had in this hobby, thanks to the high turnover rate of people whose wallets were bigger than their ambitions. I've used this same method to acquire everything from my phone to my computer, watch, and much more. To this day I continue to buy machines low and sell them at going used rate to make extra money. It has allowed me the privilege of using just about any good machine out there for a while and making a few bucks when I part with them.
  6. Hi Whitbey, I found one available on eBay just now using the key words Fold and Go Metal Detector Kit. It is made by a guy who calls his business Dan's Treasure Products
  7. I thought I'd compile a list of things that are useful in our world, but that often make some of us say "no kidding, where did you find that?" 1. Floating buddy: This device can be easily constructed from common materials. wood, pvc, chicken wire, staples and zip ties. 2. Push in to screw on connector: allows less common push in connectors found on machines like the Land Ranger Pro to receive more common screw on coils. Can be purchased for $19.95 3. Flashlight/pinpointer holder: very handy for hunting at night in the cooler hours or mounting an underwater flashlight for underwater hunting. Easily holds a pinpointer as well. Can be purchased for around $5-$8 4. Waterproof box for Garrett Ace series: simply unmount your Ace 250-400 control box, mount this box in its place, and insert control box into the waterproof housing. Can be purchased for around $90 5. Folding shaft: relatively new device that can convert your metal detector into a fold and go. A little pricey at around $50. 6. Audio jack light/vibrator: great for the deaf or hearing impaired to be able to enjoy or remain in the hobby. Prices range from several dollars for the light and up. Price and availability of the vibrator varies. 7. Golf tees as markers: great for temporarily marking spots and questionable targets for later investigation or digs. As little as $9.95 for 120 8. Earth Magnets: grab a rope, toss it into lakes, rivers, streams etc and you're magnet fishing. Of course it will not work on non-ferrous metals, but then sometimes ferrous metals house non-ferrous items. Prices vary from $20 and up depending on pull.
  8. Got An MX Sport

    I remember being a bit worried when I ordered my MX Sport about a year ago, given how poorly it was received do to early issues and the chance that I could receive one of the troubled units. Luckily I ended up with the latest version and I've been very pleased with its performance. I wanted something waterproof and to maybe compliment my V3i, just not at $2,500. To that end, I feel the MX Sport did its job and even replaced a couple of my single frequency machines including the AT Pro. I just don't understand the strategy of an MX Sport vs what should've been a Whites X5 Sport or something along those lines. I had a feeling that it wouldn't be long after I bought the MX Sport that something like the Equinox would come along. For a company that depends on profits raised on machines in production to develop new platforms, the rollout plus the Equinox coming right on its heels has to hurt. Because of the rollout many people didn't get to realize how much better this machine is than the AT series before the death certificate of both arrived in the form of a parachute at Detectival. Whites and Garrett die hard loyalists will continue to buy those machines, but I think any hope of making any serious profit on it is out the window. Either prices will have to come down to compete or the MX Sport will have to be substantially better than the Equinox at something significant that eludes me. Flat out all metal depth possibly?
  9. I remember growing up in the 80s. Classic muscle cars were all the rage. As a boy I'd dream about them and read about them and I'd run to my bedroom window whenever I heard the distinctive sound of a well tuned V8 coming down the street just to get a glimpse of my favorite car in town, a bright red 1979 Trans-Am with T-tops. My friends and I would debate about what car was faster, better looking etc., and of course Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge etc. I came to own my dream car in the late 90s when gas was 99 cents a gallon and you could still get your hands on Classic cars at an affordable tag. Now gas fluctuates between $2.50-$4.00 a gallon and classic muscle cars in respectable shape are becoming out of reach for the average joe. For me now, electronics, particularly metal detectors fill the void left by those old beasts that are out of my reach, and I've carried into it that same spirit of brand loyalty and debate about what machine is best for this or that. Many of us have. We love to show off our equipment, debate about features and speculate about what's coming next. Depth on a quarter has become the new quarter mile. I enjoy the machinery and tech behind it as much as I do the sport itself. As a fan of Whites and First Texas, and wanting to keep with those Made in the USA labels I wanted to believe my V3i is the best of the best. I wanted to believe the same of my F75 LTD when I had it. But what I am coming to realize is that for my patriotism and my brand loyalty I may be cheating myself out of what is most important, and that is finding treasure. I've watched advance after advance come from other machines while I stubbornly stuck to the Trans-Ams of the industry. In the forums I'm seeing most of the resistance to the Equinox come from guys like me, but more than anyone from guys that have grown attached to their Deus. So the debates are going to grow more interesting as the Equinox spreads rapidly to other hands in a short while. I agree that multifrequency is not all that matters, but it is the next evolution. Machines that lack it are going to become less and less desirable. If the Equinox can pick through iron anything like the Deus in addition to its multifrequency abilities we will have a true monster on our hands.
  10. After years of a reputation for high priced equipment, Minelab now seems to be on a more for less campaign and it could have lasting effects on how much we are willing to pay for metal detectors and what we expect for our money. At this point, even an X-Terra 305 starts at $259. It seems that even at the low end we are going to begin to expect a couple of frequencies to play with. Minelab has the low to mid range locked down for those that are paying attention. Is multifrequency and multiple selectable frequencies becoming an industry standard like VDI? What low end machine can compete with an X-Terra 305 at $259? What mid-upper range machines could compete with the Equinox 600 at $649, or an 800 at $899. How will Garrett's AT Series and Whites' MX Sport compete with even the Equinox 600? How will they justify offering less at $722 and $749 than the Equinox 600 does at $649. How Will XP Deus justify $800-$1,500 for a machine that cannot run its frequencies simultaneously, with some requiring a whole new expensive HF coil to attain. One thing is for sure. Watching the industry clamor to figure out what their response to what Minelab is offering for between $259-$899 is going to be very interesting. Add this to the fact that Minelab now offers the only pinpointer of its kind with iron tone. It's going to be an amazing year for them, and a year of huddling for everyone else as they figure out how to market against so much performance at these values.
  11. The more I read, the more it seems like Minelab keeps refining its mastery of making multiple VLF frequencies behave like pulse signals. The more I hear that Multi-IQ performs equal to or better than single frequency modes in any application or medium, my brain tells me the only way this could be possible is if those frequencies were being fired sequentially, and indeed Minelab themselves now just stated that we could debate "simultaneous" vs. "sequential."
  12. What Was The First " Smart " Detector?

    I asked Whites about this very issue and the way it was explained to me from their perspective is that Minelab is a publicly traded company with vast resources. If they need more money for R + D they make a pitch and they've got it. Whites is a privately held company and can only invest in themselves out of profits they make on machines already in production, so it's a longer road to get to where they want to go. They are forced to try to play leapfrog. Making metal detectors seems like a tricky business. Even the best machines seem crude compared to how far other sectors of technology have come. There aren't as many people interested in metal detectors as smart phones though. Less consumers means less money for R + D, and the less R + D the slower the growth of that sector. You'd have to popularize metal detecting more to see quicker advances. But the catch 22 there is the more hunters you have now, the less there will be to find later and when finds dry up, so does interest. The more people you have detecting, the more laws are created restricting it, which also dampens interest.
  13. Thank you Steve. I've enjoyed reading your forum and reviews for years.
  14. My understanding of BBS/FBS is that it's not all that we've been led to believe it is. The idea that FBS would transmit, receive and process 28 frequencies simultaneously is pretty ambitious. On closer consideration, Minelab only claims to transmit 28. Carl Moreland, formerly of Whites, now First Texas, is convinced beyond doubt that based on his tests FBS only uses (transmits, receives, and processes) 2 frequencies, and the same 2 (3.25khz and 25khz) with the rest being harmonic echoes of the base frequencies that any multifrequency machine could claim to transmit and which serve no useful purpose other than marketing. The clever stuff to him is the sequence in which those frequencies are fired and the way the half life of the 3.25khz frequency is utilized. So it will be interesting to see, if all this is true, how a machine that actually uses (transmits, receives, and processes) 5 frequencies does in saltwater and if Minelab is downplaying it there for obvious reasons. One thing I found curious is when Steve reported what seemed to be no loss of depth from single frequency mode to Multi-iQ. This almost suggests to me that Multi-iQ may not be so much "simultaneous" as sequential, in rapid succession.
  15. What manufacturer is on the leading edge? Minelab. I think the Equinox and the ProFind 35 with iron tone will be a deadly combo. The Equinox in particular is going to send the MSRP of all purpose machines across the board into chaos. What manufacturer needs a wake up call? It's hard to say because I don't know what they are working on behind the scenes right now. From what hints I do get it sounds like First Texas might be the best hope for something genuinely new in the U.S. I've been a Made in the USA guy almost from the start, and generally I feel all the manufacturers here have fallen behind by focusing too much on single frequency VLF for too long. I would say maybe Garrett if anyone needs a wake up call from outside appearances. Whites often gets grief for falling behind because they used to sit on the top of the heap, but sometimes I wonder if they are as far behind as we think. The V3i and VX3 are pretty advanced machines in my view. The MX Sport should've been the Equinox though. Instead it was a missed opportunity. What is your favorite all purpose detector? This is difficult. I have a soft spot for First Texas, Particularly Fisher. I love the F75, from the ergonomics and aesthetics to the depth and speed. It's the machine I most regret parting with as I thinned my herd. I now use the Spectra V3i and MX Sport, but for the first time I'm tempted to walk away from American manufacturers for my go to machine and into camp Equinox. We shall see shortly. I don't have a favorite prospecting detector as from what I understand there's not much gold to find in NY. For gold jewelry it's the V3i. What do you wish manufacturers would incorporate into their machines? I would like to see a pinpointer that would adopt the machine's discrimination settings wirelessly. I would like to see LEDs embedded in machines for night hunting. I do like the target trace feature of the CTX and would like to see something better than it on the next First Texas flagship. I'd like to see folding shafts. I'd also like to see more accessories to personalize and customize our machines, like custom armrests and shafts with different designs, shapes, colors. I'd like to see more integration with smartphones.