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Jonathan Porter

My Personal Method Of Ferrite Balancing

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2 hours ago, cobill said:


Is this Treasure Talk the source for your chart, and if so, the software update according to ML fixed the ground balance issues...or did it?

"With the update, we have improved the ground tracking so that the detector is much less susceptible to the typical events that will cause the tracking to deviate from the ideal level."

"detecting your pick will still cause an audio response but it won't impact the tracking."

"there will no longer be a need to continually re-ground balance with the ferrite, unless perhaps moving to a completely new area."



The more I read about GB, the more confused I become! Really appreciate JP's posts.:biggrin:



  The pic was from the Minelab website, just as you show in your link. I agree with what JP says in the beginning of this post :

"I also recommend users adopt the GB configured to their USER button approach and to go into Manual mode when checking deep targets or committing to dig, leaving the GPZ in Semi-Auto will allow the GB to drift either through exposure to the pick whilst digging or just general drift through the coil not moving, either way the GB will be out which is not obvious unless you pump the coil. "

The update seemed to make the detector more stabalized with the semi auto mode in my opinion, as that is what I always use, but I notice it still drifts a little, I will have to rebalance with ferrite maybe every 2-3 hours. But it could just be different soil conditions, EMI (which I notice increases during the day), Saturation, Pick, Coil not moving,  blah, blah blah,  who Knows for sure ???? I get like you, more confused, as more things are introduced....

  One thing I was experiencing a lot on the Yellow T-130 ferrite ring, was it would still sound off a little when balancing to it (It would not dissipate out all the ferrite noise) , then I moved to another Ferrite that was in Minelabs specs, and it works great so far. Just personal experiences, Im sharing...

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It really isn’t that complicated. Ferrite balance is performed with the Ferrite, Semi-Auto is preferred because then the ferrite balance can’t shift unless the detector temperature shifts. Ferrite balance is not dependant on ground but instead dependant on the detectors temperature, X signal is in the ground in varying degrees, the detector will react to the X signal if the Ferrite balance has not been performed correctly or if the coil generates signals off the Ferrite that cannot be balanced out. If the Ferrite balance is out the resultant X signal will blend with or elevate ground signals potentially causing spurious indefinable signals and generally make the detector noisier to listen to, all of this will affect depth.

It takes 20 seconds to perform a GOOD ferrite balance, in Normal Ground Type mode the detector reacts to Ferrite signal much more aggressively as it does with ground signals and salt and saturation signals, as such I HIGHLY recommend using Semi-Auto to avoid these things throwing the Ferrite Calibration out.

There will always be a tiny amount of residiual signal off the Ferrite, especially in the very centre most sensitive part of the windings. This is normal behaviour, so long as there is NOT a HUGE or LOUD signal off the Ferrite.





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Oh dear, now I need a thermometer???

Jonathan, what temp, how much change?

 I don’t think I knew about this...or my little brain leaked....


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I'm still unclear on why auto tracking is not sufficient on the GPZ, especially for milder soils here in the US.

There was discussion in 2015 how it was much faster and more sophisticated than the GPX auto tracker and so should be used, but now it's somehow too slow again after semi auto came out..? My experience has been it tracks fine in my ground and I simply pull the QT trigger if it's taking more than a second or two to catch up to me. I detect pretty fast and it's never slowed me down.

I thought the GPZ was supposed to "remember" the ferrite in any tracking mode? If not, then why use the ferrite at all in auto at all since it'll just be tracked back out a few minutes later?

Seems to me Semi Auto is best used in places with a lot of ferrite component in the ground - like Australia. There aren't a lot of places like that here in the US. Or potentially in places with a lot of salt since JP has said a number of times that salt throws X balance off, but that confuses me too since it looks like salt should be part of the G component of tracking where Semi Auto is the same as Auto anyways and there has never been much talk or definition about G or how exactly salt messes with X balance without being part of X...

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Hey Jasong,

   I have been using Auto since the unit has been released and found plenty of gold.  I guess I could have missed stuff, but I would never know.  In Minelab's instructional manual, I'm sure they recommend running in manual.  I found in the manual where Minelab states this -


Auto ground balance automatically tracks the ground mineralisation levels and adjusts the ground balance as necessary to maintain stability and detection depth. Auto is the recommended setting for Ground Balance Mode

That being said, I tried Semi-Auto a few times in the past and didn't notice much change.  I tried it again today, but believe it or not, it seems to really work well (go figure).  

I ran Semi-Auto all day, used the Ferrite ring twice.  I pumped the coil up and down throughout the day, no real change in threshold.  

Going back to what JP said originally - why can't you just run in manual ground balance all the time, like many would do with fixed ground balance on the GP or GPX units?  I have never went into Manual balance on the GPZ 7000, so I'm clueless on how it performs.  Would you use the Ferrite Ring also in Manual? 


I also recommend users adopt the GB configured to their USER button approach and to go into Manual mode when checking deep targets or committing to dig, leaving the GPZ in Semi-Auto will allow the GB to drift either through exposure to the pick whilst digging or just general drift through the coil not moving, either way the GB will be out which is not obvious unless you pump the coil. 


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Rob, did you try Semi Auto in the same places that you ran Auto in the past without noticing much difference or were they different spots this time? Can you elaborate on the ways you noticed Semi Auto method working better this time? 

Were you in a place with some amount of mineralization or was it fairly mild? Your general part of AZ is so variable in the intensity of ground mineralization that it's hard for me to guess, I've seen the gamut from requiring Difficult at 10 sensitivity to being able to do Normal full bore, all within 5 miles.

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Quick-Trak equals Forced Fast GB on both Ferrite/X Balance and G balance simultaneously, so it is not advised to use Quick-Trak unless the Ferrite is present. In Semi Auto Mode Ferrite/X balance equals Locked Ferrite/X balance but slow tracking G balance, hence why I slowly pump the coil after releasing Quick-Trak and why I continue to pump the coils occasionally during detecting sessions because it is slowly tracking the G balance. In SEMI-AUTO MODE Ferrite/X balance is LOCKED!!!

G balance changes often, Ferrite/X balance only changes if any of the following happen, Big temperature change of the electronics when in any mode (Auto, Semi-Auto or Manual), Saturation signal when in Auto Mode, Salt signal when in Auto Mode. When in Semi-Auto Mode Saturation and Salt cannot effect the Ferrite/X balance only the G. When in Manual Mode everything is locked unless Quick-Trak is triggered, however it is strongly advised the Ferrite be present when doing so.

I can’t be any clearer on this subject now, hope this makes sense. Remember in SEMI-AUTO MODE the FERRITE balance is LOCKED and can only change if the temperature of the electronics moves or changes a lot. Usually this happens mostly in winter between first start up and about an hour later as the electronics go from dead cold to operating temperature. In SEMI-AUTO MODE ground cannot effect the Ferrite/X balance only the regular G balance.



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Hey Guys,

   Jasong - Yes, I was in the same area, but not the exact location.  In Semi-Auto the unit seems to run smoother from what  I noticed vs. Auto mode.  I used to always run Auto, but found at times it got noisy even after a ground balance with  the Ferrite. 

JP - No question you are an expert on all this, but I can tell you, it' down right confusing.  You wouldn't believe how many emails I have gotten from this thread, asking me if I really understood all this X-balance, G-balance, temperature change, using the Ferrite or NOT, what mode to be in, and should you use the Ferrrite.  Most of all the customer have stated, "it don't show any of this in the instructional manual?"

I must tell you, the customers that were on fence about buying a GPZ 7000 just jumped back.  Reading this for a new customer, or someone thinking about purchasing is way too confusing.  

I'm real surprised Minelab hasn't clarified any of this.  If it wasn't for you, most of us wouldn't have a clue about all this technical stuff.  

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1 hour ago, Jonathan Porter said:

G balance changes often, Ferrite/X balance only changes if any of the following happen, Big temperature change of the electronics when in any mode (Auto, Semi-Auto or Manual), Saturation signal when in Auto Mode, Salt signal when in Auto Mode.

I've seen you say this often. If this is true, how is salt affecting the ferrite balance? Salt is not a ferrite. Salt is a conductor, like gold. So, will gold and other conductors affect the X balance too if salt does?

Also, what I can't wrap my head around is this:

1.) Ferrite is X.

2.) X is in our soils, thus ferrite is also in our soils.

3.) Semi auto tracks to the yellow ferrite presumably because that component isn't in our soils, and we now keep X constant to the ferrite and not our local changing soils.

4.) X continues to change in our soils but our X value in our detector stays steady. IE: not tracking the ferrite in the ground anymore

So, how is that not causing noise as the soil's X component changes yet our detector is staying tracked to the ferrite?

Why not just keep the detector always configured to the ferrite by adding some kind of offset into the firmware if it needs the ferrite data and not our local X soil data?

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And …. Saturation only affects X balance, not ground balance. 

And …. Semi Auto locks the X balance when you release the button (I proved this well in my testing) but allows the ground balance to track slowly. 

As an added note, my 14" coil was smoother in Semi Auto, than when I used to always have it set to Auto.  As JP has mentioned in the past, if you don't want to use the Ferrite, then he suggests Auto, but if you use the ferrite, we should lock it in with SemiAuto.

we will figure this out, yet...

As I questioned on a different link, what exactly saturation is …. still has me confused. 

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