Jonathan Porter

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Jonathan Porter last won the day on February 11

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About Jonathan Porter

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  • Location:
    Clermont, QLD, Australia
  • Gear Used:
    GPZ 7000

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  1. Hi all, have been watching this thread but as Steve has said things are a bit busy. I will say though this type of discussion really makes my day job hard to bear. Maps believe it or not are my weak point, I'm a "shoot from the hip" type of guy so put me within a mineralised belt and I'll let my legs do the rest. However what Goldhound is hinting at is pretty much what my long time team members have been doing for years with an added twist, we use stream sediment data and soil sampling data in combination with geological maps etc. Obviously Geochem is only useful in areas where extensive historical sampling has been conducted so not so useful in Tiger country in the wilds of North QLD. The key is to find or highlight a possible target zone and to then get access to the area and then do the leg work along the strike, in the case of the Northern parts of Australia the streams and drainage's are your best friend and are usually your first port of call. Oh to be 20 years younger and 30 pounds lighter. The GPZ is made for this type green-fields of prospecting, not the weight but the tech. I can't complain though because I've found more than my fair share and had many adventures along the way. JP
  2. jasong, the key to burying targets is to walk around the general area familiarizing yourself with ground conditions and general detector behavior before coming in over the target, and to then be 100% honest with yourself on the question "would you have found that when you didn't know the target was there?" It is very easy to tweak a detector to give a "better" signal response on a "known" target and then go off with those settings with a false impression of actual real world performance. (I'm not saying your doing this BTW, just alerting forum readers of the potential pitfalls) The thing to understand about metal detectors is the detector has to convert the receive signal into an audio platform as a means of interface, that interface can be impacted upon by so many factors of which the major one is our brains uncanny ability to control the levels of perceived volume dependent on how loud continual exposure to the audio source is. As an example if you listen to a loud volume for long periods it will take your brain at least an hour or even longer to readjust to a lower volume level thereby giving the operator the false impression a target signal is weak when in actual fact it is the operators brain that is controlling the perceived volume levels. As an example after a long car journey you will notice you feel deaf when you finally reach your destination especially at night when all is quiet, this deafness is due to your brain adjusting the audio volume levels and taking a long time to re-adjust to the new noise levels without the road noise present, usually a good nights rest will correct this. Sound and the volume of sound has a very big impact on an operators ability to recognize an "edge of detection" signal response, in my experience increasing Volumes and Sensitivity too high will only really impact on the near to coil target and ground signal responses and could potentially mask or hide the fainter signals. My absolute aim is to keep ground signals and other non essential audio responses at a minimum whilst carefully listening for a disturbance in the receive winding feedback as the coil passes through the signal plume of a deep at "edge of detection" target, I always try to keep the volume variance resolution as wide as possible to fully tap into the nuance of the target signal. My 2 cents JP
  3. If you want to run Audio Smoothing OFF so you can tap into the full depth potential of the GPZ then do not adjust the other settings like Target Volume and Sensitivity too high for your given area. The Target Volume control in particular is the setting that makes the GPZ noisy, use it sparingly. JP
  4. A lot of GPZ features were just ported across from the CTX platform with the main focus during development of the GPZ 7000 being around ZVT tech which was incredibly time consuming and expensive. Hopefully in the future we will see improvements. I for one would love to be able to dump to an app on my mobile phone, it would be excellent if it could access maps in my smart phone that have already been downloaded regardless of phone signal. JP
  5. Hi Steve, I still use my inbuilt GPS and at times I also use the bread crumb trail. In the past if I've left the bread crumb trail on I've noticed a sluggishness to the menu selections which I've attributed with memory usage and as you have noticed sometimes you need to offload data once the memory becomes full. Perhaps a dedicated regime of data dumping before the memory gets too full should become a part of our work flow? I'm not saying for one second users should not use the inbuilt GPS but instead pay attention to detector behavior and offload your data periodically. I don't think the memory usage affects performance other than perhaps causing the GUI to slow down a little once memory resources start to approach the full mark. Keep in mind my role is to fine tooth comb these sorts of things, most people would most likely not even notice and call it nit picking. For perspective in terms of impact on your detecting, the GPS has a lot less of an impact than when the WM 12 audio drops out. Hope this helps clarify my meaning. JP
  6. The Nugget Finder 19" skid plates for the GPZ19 coil have been available here in Australia for some time now so should also be procurable through the US Nugget Finder dealer net work. The GPS on the GPZ7000 is in my opinion a resource hog, when I've used it (especially when using the bread crumb trails) I feel I can notice the general snappiness of the detectors menu controls becoming sluggish and overall audio to become chattery, as such I do not trust it to not meddle in other aspects of the detector like its on board Memory, Ferrite Balance algorithm, general GB duties and theTx and Rx of ZVT, as such I opt to turn it off. It's a personal decision most likely steeped in placebo but I'm always performance based when it comes to metal detecting, as such I choose not to use it. JP
  7. Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes it is truly appreciated. Had a quiet day here with family and friends, even managed to spend some time pondering when I can take some time off to head off detecting. JP
  8. Hi all, Severe was developed for ground that is "Highly Saturable". Saturation means when you couple the coil to the ground it causes a swamping like target signal that drowns out everything else, this swamping effect is determined by the height of the coil from the ground. The only way to deal with Saturation (GPX detectors do this too) is to lift the coil above the saturation point or go to a mode that is less aggressive. Generally the more saturable areas are also quite shallow so Severe was developed to allow the coil to be placed right on top of the ground in saturable soils without causing a large audio response, allowing shallow nuggets to stand out. Like all things there is a trade off, so Severe really pulls back on outright depth so should only ever be used in areas that are not deep. The GPZ 7000 is more prone to saturation than previous detectors in certain conditions so Severe was developed for that purpose. Quite often in WA Saturable soils are also salty so removing the Saturation signal can help a lot with identifying target responses. Severe is a variant of High Yield so has VERY good sensitivity to tiny gold. Out of interest SteveH I helped develop Severe only a few miles south of where we were camped all those years ago. JP
  9. I agree with Steve, its nice to see Jen is still active around the place. Nice gold too, it's great to see others have twigged to the power of General/Difficult in the noisy ground. JP
  10. Good on you Chris, getting out prospecting again is good for the soul, no matter how big the piece of gold was or how arduous the journey. JP
  11. Try just holding the power button in until a reset screen comes up if it won't go past the start up screen. This works on the GPZ so the CTX could be similar. JP
  12. A range of different sizes, 8" as mentioned and 15" x 12" Commander Mono's for 'size for size' comparison with the GPZ14, plus many others. JP
  13. I wish to stress again that the QED "works relatively best in the less mineralised soils for small gold." Together with good ergonomics, this is clearly its niche. This is my sincere advice based on my experiences with the QED. To respond to some queries around the net: Obviously the QED was tested thoroughly on a large range of gold, up to several tens of ounce nuggets, and in a variety of soils. I draw readers attention to the inference of what I've written in the review: JP
  14. So far there has been no real “direct” reviews of the QED, in effect just innuendo clouded by politics, which is not helpful. With the help of a friend I've just finished some testing of the QED and want to share our impressions here in the hopes of getting the ball rolling for some quality discussions (but maybe this is being too optimistic?) We hope and believe our tests were rigorously objective, the QED was used for general gold hunting and also comprehensively tested on buried real gold pieces of various sizes in a variety of soils, considerable care was taken to ensure no placebo/bias.* We deliberately tested on only frequently detected but historically very productive public fields, not private property in which it can be relatively easy to find gold using any technology due to only ever seeing a few detectorists. First and foremost, important details of the QED's method of operation that are different to other detectors which needs to be clearly understood: Unlike Minelab detectors, the QED has a “dead zone” that can be varied using the Volume control. The threshold is set using the Bias control and has 2 different audio threshold settings, an upper and a lower value. When the Bias is turned down in number below the threshold lower value, OR, turned up in number above the upper threshold value, the “Threshold” audio increases as per usual. Suppose for example, the lower audio threshold bias value of the Bias control happens to be 50 and the upper threshold bias number happens to be 60. Then if the Bias is turned down below 50 OR turned up above 60, the audio “threshold” level increases as per usual. For these threshold examples, 50 and 60, small gold (fast time constant targets) “in effect” produce signals less than 55 (half way between 50 and 60), and larger gold “in effect” produce signals more than 55. If the Bias is set at the lower threshold limit, 50 for example, then the detection of small gold will give the usual INCREASE in audio level response, and larger gold will give a BELOW threshold level response, OR If Bias is set at the higher threshold limit, 60 for example, then the detection of larger gold will give the usual INCREASE in audio level response, and smaller gold will give a BELOW audio threshold level response. Similarly with ground noise; some ground noise will in effect produce signals below 55, so that if the Bias is set at 50, this ground noise will give an increase in audio sound, but if the Bias is set at 60, this ground noise will give a below threshold audio response. Conversely, if the ground noise is in effect above 55, then if the Bias is set at 50, this ground noise will give a below threshold audio, but if Bias is set at 60, this ground noise will give an increase in audio level. Signals in effect BETWEEN 50 and 60 are in the “dead-zone,” for which the audio is below threshold. Signals in effect below 50 OR above 60 give an increase in audio. So if threshold is set at the lower threshold of 50, then faint signals from small gold will give an above threshold audio, and large targets a below threshold audio. Whereas its the opposite for the upper threshold of 60, faint signals from large gold will give an above threshold audio, and small targets below threshold audio. So for shallow small gold select the lower threshold limit, for big deeper gold select the upper threshold limit. Bigger target signals will produce above threshold signals regardless of whether they are small or larger targets. However the Volume control controls the dead-zone width; the gap between the upper and lower threshold Bias settings, that is, the dead zone gap is increased by turning the Volume down, or decreased by turning the Volume up. In fact the QED can be set to operate with NO dead-zone (like the usual Minelab PI audio). To do this: a. Vary the Bias between the upper and lower threshold. Note the gap. b. Increase volume a bit. c. Re-do a. and note the decrease in the gap. d. Continue to repeat a, b, c until there is no gap. (This will allow some feel for true ground noise etc.) However the QED audio has a very low level signal EVEN if below threshold, This below threshold faint audio signal is just the pitch signal only, and detects all signals, ground noise, target signals, whether long time constant or short, and EMI. But this below threshold pitch sensitivity is not as acute as the audio set at threshold per point 2 below, and it is very soft. Yet even further, if a target or ground noise (or EMI) does drive the audio below threshold, the nature of the audio is that it has the usual “re-bound” response once the coil has moved over and past the target or ground noise. I refer to the lower pitch audio following the initial target higher pitch audio (“high-low”) or the opposite; the higher pitch audio following the initial target lower pitch audio (“low-high”) effect known from Minelab PI's. So for moderately weak target signals that cause the audio to dip below threshold once the coil moves beyond the target and the audio then rebounds above threshold. To recap; for these targets, as the coil passes over the target the audio goes first below threshold THEN above the threshold. However for the fainter of these target signals (the important signals one listens for in thrashed ground), this rebound signal is hard to discern compared to the same signal that would occur if the Bias had been set at the alternative threshold setting for which the audio signal then would have given an initial increase in threshold as the coil passes over it and then a below threshold rebound. Therefore, it is important to understand that you EITHER need to set the Bias to chase the faint small targets in shallow ground (Bias at the lower number setting), but lose out a bit on the faint large target signals OR set the Bias to chase the faint larger targets in deeper ground (Bias at the higher number threshold setting) but lose out a bit on the smaller targets. The QED has a “motion” audio response; meaning the coil has to be moved to hear a signal. It can be operated both quickly, and also, remarkably slowly. If the coil is moved “remarkably” slowly it is possible to hear the average audio detect a very faint target above the audio “background random chatter”, considerably more readily than if the coil was moved at a typical realistic operational speed. When depth testing and when you know where the target is, beware that you do not slow down the coil swing to an artificial unnatural swing speed to enable the detection of a deep target at its known location.* Important recommendations: 1. It's very important to get the threshold (Bias) spot on for optimal results, If the threshold level is too high, then faint signals get drowned out, but if the audio threshold level is too low then only the residual very faint pitch signal remains, but this faint pitch only signal is less sensitive to target signals than the audio set optimally as per point 2 immediately following. 2. The threshold must be set so that it is just audible; in effect just immediately below the “real” audio threshold signal, so that what you are hearing is just between only the pitch signal and actual above threshold audio. 3. Note that the effective principal threshold control (Bias) is temperature dependent and requires reasonably frequent adjustment over time as the ambient temperature changes to get best results. Therefore there is NO actual specific optimal Bias number setting, rather it entirely depends on temperature. It can be as high as 70 in very hot conditions 4. Once 2. and 3. are optimally achieved, you will find that the GB setting has to be spot on for best results. If you find that it is not critical, you really need to re-address points 2. and 3. 5. The QED does produce ground noise that sounds on occasion like a target. If you aren't digging some ground noise you do not have it set up properly, especially in variable soils. With ANY detector (automatic GB or Manual) altering the GB setting slightly to eliminate a faint “deep target-like signal” will result in eliminating the faint signal whether it is ground noise OR in fact a deep real metal target. 6. You need to listen to the soft “subliminal” threshold of the QED very carefully, quality headphones are a must. 7. “Gain” acts as a sensitivity control as you would expect. I suggest that the QED is best used as a specialist very fine (Small) gold detector. It produced a reasonably clear but quiet response to the extreme small gold (of the order of 0.1 g), we managed to find 5 tiny pieces in well-worked ground in all totaling 1 gram, although the SDC would have picked 5 of the 5, but not so well in one location due to power line noise (This could be remedied somewhat by lowering the Gain of the SDC and using minimal threshold). However, we purposely went over exactly the same ground with the SDC with the SDC set at a lower threshold and 3 on the gain, and then found 3 more pieces of gold; we are 100% sure we had already passed the QED exactly over the target locations so we put this down to QED ground noise masking targets. The QED struggles compared to the SDC in the more mineralised soils, however the QED does seem superior to the ATX. To get the most out of the QED, use a small coil such as an 8” Commander mono, and set the Mode as low as possible so long as the ground signals do not become too intrusive. Usually 1 or 2 is OK for Minelab coils, but some other coils may produce too much ground noise at this setting so you may need to increase the Mode to 3 or above dependent on the ground. Further, we got some very thin aluminium foil and very gradually trimmed it down until the SDC could no longer detect it. This represents particularly fast time constant targets (“extremely” small gold), and found that the QED did still detect it, but only within several mm of the coil surface, not further. But this does mean that the QED will detect extremely small shallow pieces that the SDC will not. Alternatively we suggest the QED is also a suitable lightweight low-cost patch hunter when used with a large coil with the Mode turned up so that there is less ground noise. For the sake of completion, to answer questions posed of the QED depth for an Australian 5 cent piece compared to the Zed both using the same sized coils. We measured this carefully and we are not prepared to give exact figures to avoid any trivial arguments, other than to say that the QED detected between 60% to 2/3rd of the depth of the Z. The QED susceptibility to EMI in areas remote from mains compared to the 5k on EMI noisy days? In one word: “Good. The QED susceptibility to mains in urban areas compared to the SDC or Zed? In two words: “Typically Bad.” The QED’s main strength is its cost, light weight, ergonomics, and simplicity of use, and yes it IS definitely simple to use, but a bit “fiddly.” It has no “magic settings” once you understand exactly how it operates as described above. Going back to the SDC really highlighted the difference a light weight detector can have on general comfort and enjoyment of detecting, and our experiences with the QED underscored Minelab's poor ergonomics. In our opinion the QED fits a market where people are looking for a cheap detector capable of finding small gold in thrashed areas, and are wanting more coil choices without the specialised "one size fits all" approach of the SDC. Good value for money. Its main weakness is its underlying ground noise, which although having the advantage of being “hidden” in the dead zone, nevertheless limits depth compared to lower ground noise capable detectors, for targets other than the very fast time constant targets. In summary it works relatively best in the less mineralised soils for small gold. Beyond the scope of the above suggested prospecting (very small gold & patch hunting mainly in relatively unmineralised soils), I choose not to comment further, other than we will not be using the QED for purposes other than secondary activities, and still intend to use other well-known detectors for primary prospecting activities because of their other advantages. No doubt others with QED's will disagree with us. We welcome this, and would be happy to be proved wrong. Ultimately, time tells the truth by substantial gold finds or lack thereof in well-worked ground. *Note: because of the subtle audio, it is easy to imagine you are “hearing” a target above the general background ground noise when you know where it is. We endeavoured to avoid this tendency.
  15. Steve, I would like to thank you for the effort you have put into this thread. It is the highlight of my day to pop into the forum with a coffee early in the morning and re-live the trip through your eyes. I have not done much social detecting in my life, having you guys along was very enjoyable and one of my most cherished memories. If you ever come back we need to make sure you have access to a Quad, then I could really show you some interesting ground. Australia has seen a lot of attention over the years that's true, but its such a vast country there is still a lifetimes worth of places to go check out that have never seen a metal detector. If you were ever wondering during your trip how I might have been distracted at times there were two reasons for it, one was my family were over five days drive away from me and I hadn't seen them for two months at the time you left and secondly the last time we went to town I picked up a parcel which contained one of the first GPZ prototypes, which was sitting behind the seat of my 4 x 4 as you and Chris drove off. The mix of emotions for me as you guys left me in the wildness of WA was pretty overwhelming and I have to be honest and say I did shed a tear or three, it was just plain nice to have the company of two absolute gentlemen sharing my country and way of life for a few short weeks. The mix of parting with great company, homesickness for my own kin, the excitement of the possibilities of ZVT were a deadly combination for someone now having to face the coming days on their own. I did revisit some of our patches and proved up the GPZ at those locations, one place was were you found the Dragon nugget but the place beat me at that early stage, however when I returned a year or so later with a more mature platform you will be pleased to know I dragged over an ounce out of there with the potential for more as I was rushed at the time. Steve you have an open invite to return, just say the word. JP