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About LowTide

  1. Well CD I know you are going to be looking mainly at the performance issues. But if it does happen you would then have another multi-freq vs multi-freq and be able to look at how that EMI hits both machines. I'm not betting on either being better than the other, but it will just provide a little more information overall. Thanks for all that work, I know it is time consuming and takes some drive to keep doing it while taking some arrows to the "behind". As the man said, "it all looks easy from the cheap seats".
  2. Getting back to my original post let me pose this question that will need some objective and rational thinking. In the next two years how many new design single frequency VLF's by the major manufacturers will be released? And when I say new I don't mean cranking up the decal machine. And even though the French Speaking Pulse Devil Jr. has been promised that should not be included in the mix because I have a better chance of hitting the Lottery. Another way of thinking about the question. If you could teleport the Equinox platform back in time to just before the design phase of a whole raft of detectors, i.e. F75, T2, V3, AT etc etc. Would those designs have ever gone forward with the time and resources devoted to them, based on expected return against an Equinox platform? If you are the CEO are you going to give the go ahead based upon whatever sales projections that you might have? Remember the Equinox 600 price will be trending downward, especially since Minelab/Codan will be able to recoup their R&D and manufacturing setup costs very quickly with the amount of demand.
  3. Thank you flak, the areas I have faced are not layered but consistent throughout depth of the strata caused by Basalt formations that are 100 to 200 yards offshore. I've attached a photo and in it it you can see some ground up white sea shell particles. It really is PI territory but I just can't bring myself to digging the iron that I know is there. Maybe the Equinox can present some possibilities so I will continue observing.
  4. Cipher I agree with your analysis and at the bottom of single freq VLF market lay the Chinese in wait. A $150USD detector is not where you want to go head to head with them. A U.S. company may hold a greater market share against them for a while, but the Chinese may occupy enough of the market to prevent you from going forward. And by that I mean that you can only hold your price point by ordering raw parts in large enough quantities. Yes purchase orders with timed releases are possible, but will that decision be taken with stagnant or declining sales? On the other point of your post, the release of a competing product. Minelab has been busy wallpapering the U.S. patent office with applications concerning PI, multi-freq, and signal processing. Minelab has also made clear that they are willing to defend those patents by forcing White's into a court settlement. And XP Deus last October ended up settling with Minelab in U.S. Federal Court. I would love to have a look at that settlement because I suspect with every Deus sold Minleab will get a percent of the profit. Even if a company thinks they have a clean technology, do they have the financial resources to fight Codan in a multi-year lawsuit where the attorneys are the only real winners?
  5. A previous post by Daniel really caught my attention, but I don't recall if it was on this forum or another. The reason it caught my attention is that early on with the release of the Equinox I had two questions concerning the technology in certain soil types. One soil type is the iron bearing red clays of the mid and southeast U.S. . I had mused to myself that if this technology allowed 2 inches deeper with correct ID(not just iron grunt) in those soils, then the relic hunters would flock to it over single frequency VLF's, and not have to pay for more expensive PI's. Daniel reported not 2 inches but a clean 3 inches. If you look at either of those figures as a percentage of the overall depth a single freq VLF is capable of on coin targets in benign soil, then there is some there there. There is a DIV this weekend and hopefully some participants are Equinox equipped. If some experiment with Gold mode it could be even more interesting. The second soil type is one I have a more personal interest in. Black sand saltwater beaches of which I've seen zero reporting by end users. They present a challenge because in essence there are two ground balance points to be dealt with. A conductive salt ground and a ferrous iron rich ground. The ferrous ground kills depth and varies as a percentage of clean sand to black sand ratio. Even using a couple of CZ20's with standard and large coil these beaches kill depth like the iron rich clays. Typical depth on a U.S. quarter is 4 to 5 inches with a CZ. Metal detector Stockholm Syndrome. Some people seem owned by their detectors instead of the other way around. If they own a Ford you had better not mention Chevy in their presence! I own a lot of different detectors and brands with varying strengths and weaknesses. But on pleasant summer evening you can find me strolling along a freshwater beach with a cold beverage in one hand and a Fisher ID Excel(red flames & all) in the other hand. I love that little detector because it is fun to use!
  6. When Minelab offered the statement that the new Equinox would obsolete single frequency VLF detectors there was a hue and cry of disbelief from a group of end users. Yet the manufacturers, even before the first Equinox was available for retail sale confirmed that statement by lowering prices. There were two aspects of the statement issued by Minelab that seems to have been missed by some end users: 1. The statement was 90% aimed at other manufacturers. 2. The statement was forward looking at the economic viability of future production of single frequency VLF’s. Now an end user may think that the Acme 4000 was the greatest relic detector ever made and cannot be displaced by an Equinox. However if the sales numbers fall to a certain point then the Acme 4000 will end up being discontinued. So even if an end user loves and is totally invested in an Acme 4000 there is no guarantee it will survive the sales onslaught of the Equinox. To those who say “hogwash” then may I ask how many new recent model BFO or T/R detectors do you see being for sale by manufacturers? Why aren’t there any? Because Technology moved on, just the same as is occurring with the Equinox. Tough time to be a product or sales manager at a competing metal detector company!
  7. Early Minelab Testers Question??

    I wouldn’t characterize an NDA as a gag order. It is more akin to an employment contract at a professional level. Let’s say you work for Company A and part of your contract holds you to not divulging proprietary info if you leave and go to work for Company B. So it is not an adversarial relationship unless you run afoul of the NDA, and then it can become adversarial. In the high tech industry you can see some issues arise when one company poaches a key employee from another company and they happen to compete with one another product wise. Lawsuits in those instances are not uncommon. Most of the NDA’s do not have sunset provisions in them so they are in perpetuity. But when you sign an NDA the assumption is that you have read it several times and understand the implications of signing it. And it is not a gag order imposed by the company to prevent your favorite guru from providing information. They had their big boy pants on when they signed the NDA and knew what they were getting themselves in to. I have been involved with the early stage development of detectors for a couple of companies who shall remain anonymous. And a warning to those who think it would be “fun”. It is not “fun” but indeed a great deal of work and time, so be careful of what you wish for. You are not being paid and even if they offer you a detector in the end it will in no way cover the time and effort you have put forth. It would be merely a token of appreciation. And yes I have taken part in developing detectors of which I have never touched a finished product. I have only seen them on line in photos and videos. And the icing on the cake is to be called a shill. Now in the instance of the Equinox if the powers to be decided Steve H was one of their Prospecting specialists then they may send him a prototype that has the Prospecting mode software in it, and ask him to test it. If after feedback they decide to make a change then he gets to test it again. But there’s no guarantee that the other modes software is working or complete. So after release if someone ask’s Steve about Deep Turf hunting he may not have a good handle on that facet of the detector.
  8. Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Another title for this may have been the Tale of the Equinox In reading many forum posts across the Internet there appears in many instances to be an undercurrent of anger towards the Equinox simply because Minelab produced a detector with the technology and feature set it possesses, and not a U.S. based competitor. Minelab took the road less traveled! More than a decade ago First Texas purchased Fisher Labs and also took into their employ the engineer that developed the CZ a multi-freq based platform. So right from the start they had the ingredients in house to produce an Equinox type of detector. When they began releasing their F75 and T2 series which were ergonomic, lightweight, and modern interface based detectors, a hue and cry came from CZ owners that pleaded for a CZ update with similar characteristics. Waterproofing to 3m would have just been icing on the cake! But alas it was not to be and after a while CZ owners lost faith that it would ever happen. Another U.S. manufacturer White's has also had multi-freq technology at their disposal for a very long time and instead of targeting their last multi-freq release at a sub $1K lightweight detector, they decided to go after the Minelab deep turf machines. Even in their more recent mid-priced efforts multi-freq is nowhere to be found. Garrett should at least get some credit for producing a waterproof mid-price detector because it was a milestone for the industry. But with the second generation if they were capable of producing multi-freq in the AT chassis with a reasonable premium, say $200USD more, then they would likely have had a real high selling model. But they dropped the ball also. Tesoro, well........ I like Tesoro but I don't think anyone has expected them to move the needle now for a very long time. So U.S. manufacturers have squarely squandered the opportunities for a decade or more. And now there is a Dragon in their house. And it is not the Equinox 800! As Steve H. has mentioned a couple of times with very little reaction, the Equinox 600 is a very big danger to the financial well being of many metal detector companies. Right now because of initial demand the unit is likely selling at or close to the $649USD MSRP. By this time next year I would not be surprised to see a street price of $599USD and possibly lower. $589USD or $579USD may not be out of reach. Anyone with any sales or marketing experience can go to their favorite online metal detecting seller and take a look at the offerings between $450USD and $600USD. Comparing features and performance on units in that range will be eye opening. The problem with the reaction that some companies have already taken, which is to push their former flagship models down into mid-price range, is that they then have to push their mid-price units down into entry level range which will lead to simply pushing the entry level units out of the market, or selling them at a loss. You can only sell a loss leader for so long unless you are able to up sell that customer, which you hope to retain later on(very risky). So a thinning of the herd or else value packages where, buy this model and get 2 extra coils etc is coming. But those coil packages kill profitability as accessories are where the money is. The solution is obvious and has been for over a decade, produce a NOX like detector! The Equinox exists because U.S. manufacturers sat on their hands, and if you want to be angry about it then point the anger to where it belongs. There was a vacuum in the market and Minelab filled it, simple economics 101.