By Steve Herschbach
On his forum at http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,121626
This gives a very rare, in fact as far as I know, never before seen inside look at the prototyping process and field test reporting. Thomas Dankowski is a true "engineer nerd" (I say that as a compliment) and so goes to extreme lengths and detail beyond what would normally be seen. His extremely lengthy and copious notes also provide many insights about what to possibly expect from the new Nokta Impact. Keep in mind things changed from the early reports to the final product so things Tom talks about early on change at later dates. Quoting from his thread out of context could cause a lot of misperceptions to arise.
The thread well illustrates something I have observed for some time. When it comes to max depth, standard single frequency induction balance detecting technology is tapped out. Look at the struggle to obtain not another inch but even just another 0.1 inch of depth. The main advantages have come as of late in recovery speed and the ability to separate closely spaced targets. Max depth however is at a standstill. Tom's testing just confirms what I have been seeing for years. It is near impossible to discern more than hair splitting differences for max depth between most top of the line VLF detectors these days.
And now a Report on the Nokta Impact from Keith Southern
And a Report From Ziggy
Report from Lawrenzo - Low-Boy/LCPM
Report from tnsharpshooter
Report from goodmore
Report from Sven1
By Mike Hillis
The Fisher 5x10 DD coil hasn’t been my most favorite coil because, in my mind, it always seemed to be lacking something. I have suddenly found myself owning several different higher frequency detectors, each equipped with a 5x10 or 6x10 DD coil. As a result I have decided to spend some time bench marking this particular coil size. Is the Fisher 5x10 DD coil really lacking something or is its performance in line with other brands similar size and type coils.
Since my 5x10 DD coil came with my Fisher F19, I have elected to stay with higher frequency detectors for my bench marking. Nothing lower than 15 kHz. This allowed me to use comparable detectors and coils; the F19 with 5x10 DD, the Lobo SuperTraq with 5x10 DD, the DFX with 6x10 Eclipse.
The targets consist of a modern nickel, a clad dime, a very thin (the band is perhaps 5/32” wide by maybe a 1/16" thick), 18K white gold ring that a penny will fit perfectly inside, and two halves of a fired .177 lead pellet. I cut the pellet in two, separating it into the solid head, and the hollow tail.
All detectors were tested in Disc mode:
The F19 operates at 19 kHz and fitted with the stock 5x10 DD coil. The settings were Disc at 40, no notch, Volume at default, Sensitivity maxed out at 100. At this setting there is an ongoing threshold like response at fringe depth that can be heard in air tests for a couple of more inches than what I recorded. I do not consider this to be a true audio response and I ignored this response. The responses I used to measure with were what I considered a real audio response. In other words, it approximated a beep type response rather than a threshold like response.
The Lobo Supertraq operates somewhere above 18 kHz and fitted with the stock 5x10 coil. There are apparently two versions out with slightly different operating frequencies above 18 kHz. I do not know which one mine is but I am assuming it is 18.75 kHz. Settings were Disc at 2 to reject iron, Normal Soil setting, and Sensitivity at 10. I did not go into the Max Boost Range. Threshold settings play no role in Disc mode. The Lobo ST has a great audio response at fringe depth. As you review the results, keep in mind that the Lobo ST still had the availability of the Max Boost sensitivity settings available for use. Note that the dime response is a little bogus as I have the preset ground balance in Disc mode set negative but it still shows coil performance similarities.
The DFX was tested in the 15 kHz single frequency Prospecting mode with the 6x10 Eclipse with Silent Search turned on to remove the threshold response. Pre-Amp Gain at 3, AC Sensitivity at 64, tone Id turned on and iron discriminated out. As with the Lobo, there is additional sensitivity available for use. The AC settings were rather tame but I wanted a rock solid response.
The results of the bench marking told me that the 5x10 DD coils tested share the same basic performance and that my Fisher 5x10 DD is operating as it should be. This has increased my trust and understanding of the coil. Or should I say I feel more comfortable using the coil now.
I'll add the GoldStrike 5x10 DD coil results to the mix tomorrow.
By Steve Herschbach
First Texas is the company that owns the Bounty Hunter, Fisher, and Teknetics metal detector brands. KInd of like Chevy and GM putting out similar models under different brands you can often find similar Fisher and Teknetic models.
My Steve's Pick for an affordable high performance all around VLF detector with an emphasis on gold prospecting has been and continues to be the Fisher Gold Bug Pro. Light weight, inexpensive, hot on gold, and good and dealing with dense ferrous trash. Great for nugget detecting, plus relics, coins, jewelry, etc. Right now the Fisher Gold Bug Pro with 5" round DD coil sells for $649 online.
The main problem with the Gold Bug Pro is it comes with the 5" round coil, which is a great little coil for sniping small areas, but no good for covering large areas. You can also buy the Gold Bug Pro with an 11" x 7" DD coil - it is the exact same detector but they call it the Gold Bug DP to indicate it comes with the larger coil. It also tacks $50 onto the price and so you see it online at $699.
The problem even then is I think perhaps the best coil for all around nugget detecting with the Gold Bug Pro is the 10" x 5" elliptical. Great all around sensitivity, covers ground well, and pokes around in nooks and crannies without getting hung up like an open design coil. The problem? Fisher does not sell the Gold Bug Pro with just the 10" x 5" coil as stock. The only way to get it is as part of a dual coil package. That's fine but guess what - the price goes up another $50 and so you see the dual coil package advertised at $749 online.
You can find more information on various Gold Bug versions past and present at this thread.
It turns out the Gold Bug Pro is a great relic detector (Best Ever Made! according to Fisher) but the name was a problem. Overseas especially Gold Bug Pro is an odd name due to the "Bug" part not translating well, but it also says the machine is a gold prospecting detector and not a relic detector. Fisher sidestepped this initially by coming out with the Teknetics G2. This is the exact same detector as the Gold Bug DP above but with a different rod and grip assembly.
OK, long lead in! Fisher took the 19 khz Gold Bug Pro and added a few features and called it the Fisher F19. This machine is marketed as a relic detector, but it is still the same 19 khz Gold Bug Pro under the hood. Extra features include:
Adjustable volume, both master volume and ferrous volume. The Gold Bug Pro runs at max volume at all times. No volume control built in. The F19 adds a normal 1 - 10 volume control. It also adds a secondary 1 -10 control that only affects the ferrous 0 - 39 region of the id scale. So you can have gold nugget make a loud beep but a nail make a very soft ground. This is great when working in lots of ferrous trash as it lowers the barrages of ferrous signals. The Gold Bug Pro has a very loud external speaker, and the ability to lower the volume when working without headphones is welcome. Red meter backlight. The meter can be lit for low light conditions, with the red tone chosen to not affect your eyes low light capturing ability (same as in aircraft cockpits). The backlight is adjustable and can be turned off. Notch discriminate. A discriminate "window" can be created of variable size, and set to either "notch out" or "notch in" any certain segment of the target id scale. For instance a certain pesky pulltab reading can be individually blacked out. The Gold Bug Pro lacks this ability. But here is the big one - the F19 comes standard with the desired 10" x 5" elliptical DD coil! The catch is that the Fisher F19 normally sells for $799 though it has seen recent price reductions in some versions to $699. Still, at that price I still have in the past recommended the F19 as an option to the Gold Bug Pro due to the stock coil and extra features.
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Owners Manual
Fisher F19 Owners Manual
First Texas just went ahead and made this all a real no-brainer. Until the end of November or until stocks run out you can now get the F19 for only $449. That is less than a Gold Bug Pro or even basic Gold Bug model sells for. For anyone interested in a Gold Bug Pro, this is a real bargain and an opportunity to pick up the extra features of the F19 at an actual savings over a Gold Bug Pro.
Finally, the Teknetics G2+, which is exactly the same machine as the F19 but with a different rod assembly and coil (11" x 7" DD), can also be had now for only $449.
By Mike Hillis
Thought I'd throw this out there. I just heard about special fall pricing on the F19 and G2+ units. I followed up with a dealer about a G2+ model and got the response below.
Bottom line is the pricing is too good to pass up and I bought a G2+LTD green camo unit. Your favorite dealer should be able to put a big smile on your face as the $449 is MAP pricing. I got mine from Craig at Show Me Treasure. He made me Happy Happy Happy.
Anyway....this is too good not to share. You basically get a GoldBug Pro with enhanced Disc features. It is impossible to go wrong with this deal.
LIMITED TIME FALL SPECIAL!
We are offering special pricing that will start Oct. 1 and run through Nov. 30. The special prices apply to our G2+ family of detectors. These offers are only for 2 months so don’t wait! We are accepting orders now.
You can now buy all three flavors of the G2+ for the same low price! Take advantage of this amazing price before the offer expires! We have limited quantity on some camo units, first come, first served.
By Steve Herschbach
Some random notes, and if you don't know what I am talking about as regards some detail of this machine or that I apologize.
Well, I finally updated my XP Deus with 11" coil to the version 4 update. Then I hauled it and the Nokta Impact with 11" and Teknetics G2 with 11" out for several hours of cross checking coin type targets. The G2 is a Gold Bug Pro variant running at 19 kHz and I put it up against the Deus at 18 kHz and Impact at 20 kHz. I acquired the G2 new recently to use specifically as a benchmark unit because I am very familiar with it and because in my opinion it does 19 kHz as well as it can be done. I spent hours swapping machines as the hunt machine, then cross checking the undug targets with the other two. Lots of settings tried, with the main goal to try and find some deep fringe type target or target in trash where any machine can get a clear and definable edge.
Well good luck with that. All I mainly did was impress myself again with what a little powerhouse the Gold Bug Pro/G2 is for the price. It is fairly mineralized ground but not the worst, 5 bars out of 7 on the G2 Fe3O4 meter, ground balance about 86. The only real "aha" moment was in learning the Impact really likes to upscale shallow small foil when in 5 kHz mode, but shoves the id back down to where it should be at 14 kHz or 20 kHz. All the machines like to upscale deeper aluminum in this ground.
All three seemed to get tricked in much the same way on certain targets, like a deep pull tab reading like a dime. For gold hunting purposes I do not mind machines upscaling low conductive targets, and in fact the Impact 5khz mode may have a benefit in nugget detecting because it does want to push light foil (and therefore small gold) higher. But for coin detecting upscaling aluminum is annoying. Pretty much par for the course however for mid to higher single frequency machines.
I found running the Impact in VLX1 was nice as I could flip over just one click to the Gen(D) mixed mode program for a dramatically different read and better target definition. Target id numbers in my ground are slightly higher in the "expanded ferrous" modes like VLX1 and VLX2 compared to DI3 and DI4.
The Deus V4 Gold Field program does seem to pack some extra punch now, be fun to get it out nugget hunting once the elliptical coil hits the streets. The new Deep mode really seems great while the new Hot mode is, shall I say it, interesting. First time I have used the X-Y screens also.
The G2 is what it is, almost no controls but it gets the job done with what it has, and good solid id. Deus and Impact in the other hand have countless options and programs to try, but by and large there is no magic bullet. Three great machines, I can hunt with any of them. It will take a lot more hours to sort it all out.
I find when running machines that are all hitting the VLF Wall that it is the "other things" that get my notice. The Impact is obviously the heavier of the three (4 lbs 4.7 oz / 1946 grams), although very well balanced, so I give the feel on my arm award to the G2 (3 lbs 1.5 oz / 1404 grams) and the Deus (2 lbs 4.0 oz / 1020 grams with 11" coil and control box). The G2 and Deus are neck and neck in the comfort department FOR ME* but the G2 feels ever so slightly better to me, I am guessing because the coil is lighter on the G2. The G2 slays both the Impact and Deus for speaker volume if run without headphones, but on the other hand it has no volume control so would be too loud for some situations.
Been awhile since I ran a Gold Bug Pro / G2 unit and caught myself when switching from disc mode to all metal when cross checking at one point and forgetting that the "big number" changes from target id in disc mode to ground phase in all metal mode, so I was looking at the ground phase instead of the little speedometer thinking it was target id for a couple goes. That one quirk always had me liking the F75 versus the Bug in all metal. I wish Fisher made a 19 kHz F75!
*On arm comfort is a very subjective subject. In particular it has a great deal to do with the size of a persons hands plus length and thickness of their forearm, and their height. You really can't take any one persons word on this subject as it is like buying hiking boots. What fits one person does not fit another. It is not all about detector weight by a long shot. Balance is very important as is the all important hand grip. I am 5' 11" with forearms on the thinner side and smallish hands. For instance, my forearm really bounces around in the large Impact armrest area. The Deus armrest which may be too small for some fits me better. For me personally, the 3.5 lb Teknetics T2 / Fisher F75 is the most comfortable detector I have ever used. It is superbly balanced and something about the hand grip that narrows to the top as it cants forward really makes my hand happy. I can squeeze the armrest shut to fit my arm. So if you find the F75 to be a great fit for you, my comments apply to you. If you hate the T2/F75 setup then what I have to say is less important.