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Forget All The Coils, Detectors, Programming, Chips ...

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We've spent a lot of time here lately on whether to X or whether to CoilTek. 

We don't know if we should Z or Q. 

We have so many choices we don't know what to do.

Make life simple and get the app:

This might be easier.  Forget the coils and forget the manufacturer.  ?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gamma.metaldetector&hl=en_US

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You might use it to see if your large target signal is steel/Iron. That is if you get a good response you wont have to wear out your pick. :rolleyes:

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Guest AussieDigs

Galaxy Note 5 pin pointer!

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There are many to choose from ... there is a top 10 of metal detector apps!

It shows what can be done with some coding on devices and a couple of chips.

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Why depend on a magnet when you can use a battery powered phone to spot iron? 1.5 inch range too!  :blink:

Modernity. It's fun and so  ...modern!

What will science come up with next - a phone powered belt?

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I forgot.

You know those long handles for selfies and videos?  Well, just attach one of those to your phone and swing it down near the ground.  It kinda reminds you of an XP, right?

Make sure you have a good second case (coil cover) so you don't have to explain to people why it has so many scratches!

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3 hours ago, Clay Diggins said:

What will science come up with next - a phone powered belt?

Ebay’s next big seller!!  Just remember you saw it here first on DP forum ?

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  • Similar Content

    • By Erik Oostra
      Forget VLF and PI: here comes the BastardXWave!
      Fully utilizing the latest XWave technology the BastardXWave detector punches far deeper than any other detector ever invented in the long history of detector prospecting, both on land and sea (it’s submersible to -801 metres). With this detector there is absolutely no need to dig for anything except your favourite metals, coins, jewellery or relics. Its vastly superior XWave detecting technology ignores all crap, including bottle tops, aluminium foil, nails or lead sinkers/birdshot (and everything else you don’t want to dig). It’s as easy as flipping the dial to the ‘IGNORE ALL CRAP’ mode and the BastardXWave does the rest. In the IAC mode the user has a ‘Voice Assist’ option where a very seductive female voice suggests you dig a bit further to the left or right to hit the hot spot. Obviously, by dialling the ‘DIG ALL CRAP’ mode you’ll be digging crap all day long. Although any serious detector prospector will scoff at the DAC mode, it does keep newbies and kiddies entertained for days (if not weeks).     
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    • By Steve Herschbach
      I do what I can to foster competition that develops alternatives to the all too common VLF detector. There are plenty of options out there, but in my opinion they all weigh too much or cost too much. Usually both.   I envision people out there with a popular VLF metal detector for beach, relic, or gold detecting. These machines all sell for around $700 and weigh 2.5 - 3.9 lbs. Perhaps they would like to add a ground balancing PI (GBPI) to what they have. I think that for "normal people" with normal budgets a machine under $2K and under four pounds just makes sense. It would be more than twice what they spent for their VLF, and in this day and age there is no reason why a decent PI should weigh over 4 lbs.   To clarify what I am talking about here, I should say that for many people a $700 VLF detector is a great place to start and in many cases is all a person ever needs. However, there are places where extreme ground mineralization and mineralized rocks (hot rocks) severely impede the performance and use of VLF detectors. Alternative technology to deal with these conditions has been developed, by far the most familiar being the Minelab ground balancing PI (GBPI) detectors. These differ from common PI detectors by having the ability to ground balance. Other brands have offered the Garrett Infinium (discontinued) plus Garrett ATX and the White's TDI models.   These detectors are used not just for gold prospecting but also by relic hunters, beach detectorists, and others who face challenges regarding ground mineralization and VLF detectors.   Frankly, in my opinion GBPI technology is largely maxed out. The main room for improvement comes now in better ergonomics at lower prices. This challenge therefore limits detectors to those that weigh under 4 pounds with battery included, and which sell brand new with warranty after discounts for under US$2000. Detectors need not be ground balancing PI models, but must offer similar ability to ignore mineralized ground and hot rocks that trouble VLF detectors. I am going to rate detectors as to their relative performance using what I call the "Minelab Rating Scale. Details here.
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      2. Minelab SD 2100 - vastly refined version of SD 2000
      3. Minelab SD 2200 (all versions) - adds crude iron disc, ground tracking
      4. Minelab GP Extreme - adds greatly improved sensitivity to small gold, overall performance boost.
      5. Minelab GP 3000 - Refined GP Extreme
      6.  Minelab GP 3500 - Greatly refined GP 3000, last and best of analog models
      7. Minelab GPX 4000 - First digital interface, rock solid threshold
      8. Minelab GPX 4500 - Refined GPX 4000, solid performer
      9. Minelab GPX 4800 - Released at same time as GPX 5000 as watered down version
      10. Minelab GPX 5000 - Culmination of the series, current pinnacle of GBPI prospecting machine technology.
      All Minelab models leverage an existing base of over 100 coil options from tiny to huge.
      I am a very practical person when it comes to detecting. I know all the existing models and options by all brands very well, perhaps better than almost anyone. This is the way I look at it is this. If I personally were to spend a lot of money to go gold prospecting for one month, and needed a GBPI detector, considering machines past and present, what would I get and in what order of choice? Put aside concerns of age, warranty, etc. just assume functioning detectors.
      Here is the issue in a nutshell. On the Minelab scale of one to ten as listed above, I would be generous in rating the White's TDI SL as a 2. Same with the Garrett Infinium which I will mention in passing as it is no longer being made. If I was going to spend a month of my time and a lot of money going on a prospecting trip, I would choose a TDI in any version over the SD 2000. I might go with a TDI Pro over a SD 2100 but I would have to think real hard about that, and when push comes to shove I would go SD 2100 were it not for the realities of age I said to ignore. A newer TDI Pro might be a better bet than a very old SD 2100 from a reliability standpoint, but again, this would be a tough choice. The TDI SL not really. In my opinion I would be shooting myself in the foot to go on this hypothetical trip with a TDI SL instead of a SD 2100.
      You see the problem now?
      The Garrett ATX fares better. I would rate it a 3, roughly analogous to the SD 2200 variants. Still an agonizing choice really and the ATX being new versus SD 2200 being old might again be the tipping point, but from a pure prospecting options perspective the case can be made that the SD 2200 might be the better way to go. The problem for this challenge is the ATX weighs way over 4 lbs and sells for slightly over $2000. The price is close enough really but the 7 lb weight is way off.
      That's it folks. That is reality. The best of the best that the competition can offer can only go solidly up against models Minelab has not made in years. I am not saying that to be mean or as some kind of Minelab toadie, that is my pure unvarnished opinion as a guy who is pretty well versed on the subject.
      Let's bring it all home. This person with the $700 machine really, really wants that under 4 lb, under $2K GBPI machine, but if they do their homework they discover that truthfully, they would be better off shopping for a used Minelab than what the competition offers new. With the TDI SL rated as a 2 the ATX in a much lighter box at under $2K is a solid win as a 3. A well designed ATX with standard dry land coils would look very enticing as compared to the GP series Minelabs. But Garrett refuses to budge!
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      The Minelab MPS patent that formed the basis of the SD series has expired. Not sure about DVT, which formed the basis of the GP series. Where is the competition? What the heck is going on here? Much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair is going on here, that's what!!!
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      The TDI SL as a 2? Really? Yes, really, that is currently the best of the best in the brand new ground balancing PI, full warranty, under 4 lb, under $2k category. You can pick up a 3.5 lb TDI SL right now brand new for $1049. The White's TDI SL takes the crown.
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      Hopefully we will see more competition in this wide open category soon. I have been beating this drum for years to no avail, but I do have reason to believe we are finally going to see more alternatives soon. I hope.

      White's Electronics TSI SL metal detector
       
    • By Steve Herschbach
      I consider myself to be extremely fortunate due to the fact that the entire age of modern metal detecting has taken place over the course of my lifetime. I was too young in the 60's to be one of the many famous names that were there first on the ground with these new toys that go beep. That's good though for me as most of them are gone now and I'm still here. I got my first detector at the true dawn of the modern detecting age when I got my White's Coinmaster 4 in 1972. It was one of the first of the new "TR" machines that were the starting point for what most of us use today. Mine was as basic as a detector gets, no ground balance existed yet or discrimination. Just a couple inches depth and a beep, dig it up. So I have been involved in detecting now for 47 years. I started my business while in high school in 1976, and have been involved in metal detecting pretty much daily ever since.
      Anyone who followed my online presence starting in 1998 may see a pattern. I have been involved in some top end machines, some VLF, but basically almost every ground balancing PI made has been in my hands at some point. I had a vision in my mind based on my background in computers that told me what was possible and where we were headed.
      I was particularly incensed when an upstart company from Australia showed up the industry leaders at the time with the world's most powerful gold detecting PI machines. All the more so when I heard White's had a shot at it and passed. I made it my mission to jump on and foster anything that came along that might compete, and so I was involved with the Garrett Infinium, the first U.S. ground balancing PI. I had a lot to do with White's finally producing the TDI.
      Yet the fact is nobody ever seriously took Minelab on, and finally they won me over because they delivered when the rest just milked us. Minelab has been the sole company at the forefront of this technology since the SD2000 was introduced.
      All this time I have wanted two things. A vision in my mind of what a VLF could be. And a similar vision regarding a PI. Both those visions basically revolved around something a normal person could use both as regards ergonomics and price, two areas we kept getting bent over on for 20 years.
      Long story short I am grateful to Minelab for allowing me to be involved in the machine that delivered on my first vision. The Minelab Equinox is the first machine ever that really can do any VLF metal detecting task and do it well. In any one area it may not be "the best" but no one machine delivers across the board like the Equinox. My VLF quest is over. I will use an Equinox as my primary unit until a detector comes along, probably a Minelab, that does what it does but better. No more VLF buy and try for me. Yay!
      In 2017 I laid out my vision for the PI I wanted. The price was kind of a set the bar high (with a low price) thing so there is a little wiggle room there. But not a lot... the machine price should be something most people can stomach. As far as I am concerned the GPX 4500 sets the standard at $2699 both for performance and price. The TDI wins on ergonomics but loses too much in performance for me. All I really wanted was a GPX performance in an ergonomic package, and we all know it can be done. That is what is so frustrating. It's one thing to introduce new tech but all I want is proven tech packaged right. Garrett has really been a disappointment not putting the ATX in a light box. They can do it but so far have refused. I would have been satisfied with that.
      Right now I am calling the Australian made QED as being the default winner of my challenge. The rough edges have been smoothed out, and it's got the ergonomics, coil selection, and price all right. I am not going to argue with anyone over performance. Based on what I know it's good enough for me to go find gold and easily beats the TDI and is competitive with GPX. Good enough for me and good job boys. The only niggle is no FCC approval for U.S. sales, no U.S. dealers or service. But by end of 2020 if there is nothing better I will have one anyway.
      But we have the Fisher Impulse AQ on the verge and a dry land prospecting version promised. I would be crazy not to wait and see what develops there. I sold my GPZ for many reasons, mostly because I was not going to be detecting much this year, but I resolved when I sold it I would wait until my vision appeared. I knew it was close. I decided I can have fun enough with Equinox until that happens.
      Put as simply as possible I want a reasonably powerful PI packaged like a good VLF that most of us can afford. Something that can get in and out of a small backpack with an hour of labor being involved.
      So I am tossing down the gauntlet. I have my magic VLF and am looking for a mate for it. Right now QED and Impulse are in the running. And it's up to Minelab, Nokta/Makro, and sure, let's toss Garrett and White's in there also. It's time to deliver as by the end of 2020 I am getting one. I prefer in the spring but if something is one the radar I may wait. By 2021 I will be using something that finally fulfills what this high school kid from Alaska has known would happen someday. And I got to be there and see it all from start to finish. As I said... a very fortunate soul! 

      Interfacion QED PL2

      Fisher Impulse AQ
    • By Steve Herschbach
      From Wikipedia:
      "A long-range locator is a class of fraudulent devices purported to be a type of metal detector, supposedly able to detect a variety of substances, including gold, drugs and explosives; most are said to operate on a principle of resonance with the material being detected."
      There is more at the link, but "a class of fraudulent devices" says it all as far as I am concerned. I just wanted to post this so people can find it in the search results in case they are looking.
      For me these devices have always failed the most basic test... the experience of hundreds of thousands of prospectors and treasure hunters around the world. Treasure hunters and gold prospectors will give anything a try that might work, no matter how crazy it seems. If it works, the use soon spreads to other prospectors. You can Google genuine successful results for regular metal detectors all day long. The internet is full of successful people using normal metal detectors to make great finds. Except for a few obvious promotionals, the success stories of people using LRL devices are glaringly absent. All excuses for why this is so flies in the face of the simple common sense answer - they don't work. In almost 50 years of metal detecting and prospecting I have met a lot of successful people, and none of them got that way by relying on a long range locator.
      Part two of the common sense test is if they did work, there would be at least a few users of these devices that would be fabulously rich. The few I have met are anything but... just the opposite. Again, excuses made about why these rich LRL users are invisible fly in the face of common sense. As if we are not a country that brags about every tiny thing we can think of! The only people getting rich are the people selling these devices. I personally refuse to purchase anything from a company selling long range locators. It says something about the management of the company that makes me prefer to do business elsewhere.
      More at Geotech
    • By kac
      My brother knows I'm trying to build my own machine and sent me this diagram. Thought it was pretty funny 🙂

    • By Steve Herschbach
      VLF metal detector discrimination works well on isolated targets in an air test. The problem is in the field what is reported by the detector is the sum of everything the coil "sees". This means the ground mineralization, the gold nugget (or any other item you are trying to find), other metal under the coil at the same time, and even electrical interference. Sweep speed matters also as does the angle of the item in the ground and the direction from which the coil approaches it. Add it all up, and it is a miracle discrimination works at all, and the reality is it is wrong very often.

      Almost any ground with iron mineralization will cause non-ferrous items to read as ferrous. Usually it is something that happens right on the edge of detection depth. However, the more iron mineralization, the less depth it takes for the item to flip over to ferrous. It does not matter how large the item is either. Small non-ferrous items are more prone to reading ferrous but even very large items will flip in very bad ground. Bury a two ounce nugget deep enough in bad ground, and it will read ferrous. The ground mineralization pulls the VDI numbers down, and the deeper the item is buried, the lower the VDI number gets until it passes into the ferrous range.
      This happens with coins when coin detecting. A person using discrimination is looking for items that read in a certain number range. The problem is that mineralization pulls those numbers lower and then the items reads instead as a trash item, and is left behind.

      The simplified explanation is the detector is seeing a little bit of non-ferrous signal and a lot of ferrous ground signal. The White's GMT is a rare machine that tries to show you this graphically. It will say a target has a 40% chance of being non-ferrous. Most machines have to call it one way or the other and in this example just go ahead and call it ferrous. Which is it? Ferrous? Or 60% chance of being ferrous? Would you dig something if you knew it had a 40% chance of being a nugget?

      A picture says it all. See the one below. This is such a well known thing that White's has for a long time shown it on their simplified VDI (Visual Discrimination Indicator) scale. On most White's 1 through 95 indicates non-ferrous, and the negative numbers -1 through -95 indicate ferrous numbers. Notice how ferrous readings as low as -20 could indicate gold. Yet nearly everyone using any discrimination at all will tune out this range to eliminate finding small ferrous trash.

      This happens on all VLF metal detectors that employ discrimination.



      Good old Ganes Creek, Alaska is a VLF test bed on a massive scale. Tons of ferrous trash is buried intermingled with gold nuggets in tailing piles. The ground is not all that mineralized and VLF detectors work well there. Because the hunting was pay-to-mine competition style a VLF made more sense than digging hundreds of ferrous targets with a PI while your buddy was cherry picking nuggets around you with a VLF.

      The reputation of the White's MXT as a nugget finder was largely built at Ganes Creek, but many other VLF detectors did well. I saw a couple things over and over at Ganes Creek.

      First, we ran detectors in either of two modes. Dual tones with low tone ferrous, high tone non-ferrous was the most popular. Or there were some who ran in all metal mode then analyzed the target VDI once located. I did both.

      In either case you could get two results very often. In my case running a F75 in all metal I would get a target. I would then sweep it and watch the meter VDI numbers. What I learned is if there were five sweeps that said ferrous and just one that read non-ferrous, then dig it.

      Most people are looking for reasons not to dig. Getting five readings ferrous and one non-ferrous, most people would take that to mean a ferrous target. What I found more often than not is that if I could just get the target to read non-ferrous even once, it was worth digging. These were usually items reading borderline anyway. The only stuff relatively safe to walk away from is items that give strong ferrous readings repeatedly.

      With dual tones the same thing applies. If you get five low tones but then get it to bounce high tone even once, better dig it.

      The real proof was the simple kick test. You go along, get a ferrous indication, and kick a couple inches off the surface and bingo! the ferrous item turns non-ferrous. Pretty amazing stuff. Keep in mind folks, this is relatively mild ground!

      What not to do. If you take any detector and tune it to completely ignore ferrous targets, you are in big trouble. The Gold Bug 2 for instance. If you flip to Iron Disc mode iron targets are ignored as if they are not there. Yes, some will click or pop but most simply get ignored. Any detector with a simple knob, like a Tesoro Lobo in disc mode, you can turn up until a small nail will be ignored. Hunting directly set up to reject ferrous is very problematic.

      Now you can find gold doing this. I have and many people have. The problem is as you go along you only get one chance at the target. If you hunt in all metal, you will always get the target, and then you can analyze at your leisure, or just dig it up. In dual tone you will always be alerted to the target, so you can check it again.

      But if you set to reject, and the detector makes a bad call on the first sweep, you pass over the target and never know it was there at all.

      Part of the problem is in targets that you only get partly over on the first pass. For the discrimination to have its best shot, you need to be centered on the target as much as possible to get the strongest signal. An on edge pass will usually be wrong, but if you are alerted you can make multiple sweeps to get centered on target for the best reading.

      Any detector running in disc mode will have a search field that is more limited in extant than that you experience with the detector in true all metal mode. In disc mode you need to be well centered. In all metal, the coil reaches wider and deeper to gather signals. The reason I usually run in all metal is it gives me the best chance of capturing the target, then I can decide what to do with it. Running directly in disc gives you more chance of missing the target entirely.

      Keep in mind these issues vary wildly with the amount and type of iron mineralization in the ground. I saw some ground in Alaska recently that you would not think was very mineralized. No intense red colors, not much in the way of hot rocks. And yet there was something about the iron in the ground that made fairly large nuggets and even .22 shell casings read as ferrous when sitting directly on the ground in plain sight! Very, very scary stuff.

      Now having said all that, there are times I will crank up the disc and eliminate the signals. Sometimes they are overwhelming in number and it is the only way to deal with it. Maybe I am just tired and not in the mood to analyze every target. Maybe time is very limited and I need to do a quick cherry pick run of the ground. There are no absolutes in metal detecting. The main thing is to have the knowledge required to make the best choices you can, to get the best odds for the situation. Hopefully this little article will help. Here is another.
      For more technical detail see Metal Detector Basics and Theory by Bruce Candy / Minelab. An excerpt:
      “In goldfields, discrimination is required only against ferrous targets, without any time constant discrimination, as gold nugget time constants include all values from very long to short.  Unfortunately, X discrimination in goldfields has several major problems:
      Most productive goldfields are extremely mineralised, and thus the soil X signal is extremely large. As was stated earlier, it is only possible to assess the target X signal if this is comparable to, or greater than, the soil signal after filtering. In such extremely mineralised soil, this will only occur when the target signal is also very large which means the target must be close to the metal detector coil. Hence, discrimination in highly mineralised goldfields is only effective for targets buried at shallow depths.
      The discriminator action must be very conservative so that gold nuggets are not falsely discriminated as ferrous targets. Thus, the metal target signal must not only be comparable or merely greater than the soil X signal after filtering, but significantly greater so that there is no doubt whether the metal target is ferrous or not. This further reduces the depths at which targets may be discriminated.”
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