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Reg Wilson

A Lighter Weight GPZ 7000?

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Jonathan, any truth in the rumour that Minelab are considering introducing a lightweight version of the 7000? A proper prospecting detector rather than a modified military monstrousity that the Z currently is? 

You being close to Minelab, I'm hoping you may be in a position to enlighten us. I for one would consider an aquisition should this come to pass.

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On 11/8/2017 at 9:18 PM, Reg Wilson said:

Jonathan, any truth in the rumour that Minelab are considering introducing a lightweight version of the 7000? A proper prospecting detector rather than a modified military monstrousity that the Z currently is? 

You being close to Minelab, I'm hoping you may be in a position to enlighten us. I for one would consider an aquisition should this come to pass.

Hi Reg, I can't officially answer that question one way or the other even if I wanted to thanks to NDA's.

In my opinion the GPZ is heavy and could do with going on a diet, and I'm sure Minelab are well aware of that because every time I have discussions with them I bleat continuously about that very issue. The GPZ is not a modified military detector, it uses similar design features as the CTX 3030 which is a coin and relic detector, perhaps your thinking of the SDC 2300 which uses the same housing as the F3 Compact military unit?

I was briefly using a GPX 5000 yesterday with a DD coil near some power lines, an area I can't really detect properly with the GPZ due to the EMI so opted for the 5000 and Cancel mode (I also use Fine gold and invert the signal to help make things standardized in our mineralised ground). I could not get comfortable with it because the weight is all coil forward, it was also a pain to change my hand position from detecting position to be able to trigger the Quick Trak button because I was also needing to trigger the auto GB regularly. Being tethered and having my bum spanked by the power cord every time I took a step just added more insult to injury, forgetting and walking off dragging the detector behind me like a recalcitrant puppy was the final straw!

I went back to the GPZ and instantly appreciated the balance of the detector thanks to the battery being at the back. The GPZ is beautifully designed, it is nicely balanced with very little flex BUT it is heavy. A 1 kilo weight reduction would make this detector superb and I sincerely hope Minelab will address this in future designs. In my opinion there are three places where weight reductions could take place, one is the curly cord for the coil up inside the shaft, that adds a lot of weight, the other is the pod and GPS and lastly its the coil. Hopefully they will concentrate on those areas now that the ZVT tech is mature and clearly understood.

Reg its nice to know you still hold a place in your heart for the GPZ 7000.

JP

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Thanks Jonathan for the reply, and I can understand that a direct answer could not be given, however I'm sure that by now Minelab are aware that design improvements re weight and ergonomics are a necessity if they are to stay 'top dog' in the gold detector field.

Although they are mainly treasure machines, some of the detectors from Turkey and Europe (and Australia) show great innovation, with weight and balance being a major consideration. Minelab could definitely learn from some of these manufacturers. Maybe they need you on the design team. The sooner they get real prospectors involved the better.

With the GPS system in the 7000, one could not help but think that the designers got a bit carried away, including technology for technologies sake. A good hand held GPS is far more efficient if positioning is required, giving 'topo', zoom, panning, up loading, way points and more. An added, and mostly unneeded feature and cost.

If Minelab were prepared to give James Beatty (a detector techno wizz) and myself a 7000 to 'çhop up', I'll bet we could give them back a proper prospecting tool. (Just dreaming. Never likely to happen) But seriously, the 7000 is a brilliant bit of technology, its just a pity that a few things weren't considered when initially designed.

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Definitely a weight and balance problem. The main problem being that coil. It is easy to shave weight off the body/battery but then you get nose heavy, and that is almost worse. The SD design was brilliant in allowing a wide range of coils to balance properly. It would be easy to stuff a GPZ in a GPX box with back mounted battery, but then you are back to tethers etc.

I once advocated for a GPX stuffed into a CTX package (I called it the CTX 5000), so maybe I had a tiny bit to do with the GPZ ending up as a "fat CTX". However, when I made that suggestion in 2012 the idea was for it to weigh no more than a CTX, which at a beautifully balanced 5.3 lbs is a nice handling detector. The GPZ ending up a solid two pounds heavier - that I never voted for!

I and others in the U.S. in particular want a smaller GPZ coil. A smaller coil would lighten the front end, where it really counts. Then the smaller CTX battery could be used and between a smaller coil and smaller battery you might shave a pound off the GPZ without doing major surgery. 

I would like to see a lighter GPZ also but reasonably accurate ferrous discrimination is even higher on my wish list for the GPZ.

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For me the weight is not such a big concern, that is offset by the Zs performance, but I`m all for a full featured GPS in cooperated. With a droid like sunlight viewable screen allowing a moving map program such as Oziexplorer or whatever the user wants. I doubt the GPS chips weight adds much nor does it consume enough power to require a weighty battery, one only has to look at the light weight of our smart phones to see what modern electronics can be included without adding significant weight.

From my long use of both I just believe ML are on the right track including a GPS, but not the outdated limited one the Z & CTX has. I also understand from past threads that I probably belong to a small minority that appreciates from practical use the strength of combining a gold detector with a GPS for the terrain and conditions I chase the weight in. For me the first two items I prepare, charge etc for a prospecting trip are the detector and the droid-OZi-GPS. Keep and develop the GPS ML.

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I am probably an outlier on this but I don't understand having a gps on the GPZ at all. It is clunky to look at and to use (highly technical term), and even if it were good it is not convenient to keep having to look at the screen 'way down there on the detector handle. 

I don't like the weight of course, who does? But that being said, I gladly use the machine - it is the best I have ever used.

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I'm with Norvic on this. I don't mind the weight with the 14 inch coil, the 19 inch however, is a mission.

As to the GPS, again I'm with Norvic and many other detectorists I know are the same. I have brought it up every time we have a Minelab delegation here. Functionality is the key, for those of us that hit completely new spots the ability to use maps we calibrate would be fantastic.

Lastly - Minelab software guys if you are reading, could someone please change the quick start icon on the initial startup screen - put it somewhere else and not as the top left first icon when you start up. In blinding sunlight I have many, many times thought I was on the noise cancel icon (below it) to auto tune but then find I have reset the audio and detector settings back to factory settings ........ There is swearing involved, none of it is complimentary.

Cheers

BB 

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The truth of the matter with weight comes strength, I am sure they could shave a kilo off it and then shafts would break and coil cables would break down at the coil.  I think you fellas need to hit the GYM as the weight of the Z has never bothered me so long as it finds gold bring it on.  In fact I will take gold detecting tech over weight reduction any day, as we are gold prospectors not weak wristed coin hunters.  Just think of what the old timers would think of us complaining about the weight of the best gold machine in the world, when we can scan whole ridges and creeks with ease.

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Im with you Goldwright the GPZ with the harness fitted correctly is a well balanced machine and i don't find it heavy at all.

I swing it and i carry a rake and pick.

Hit the bar bells boys.

 

 

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