Book Excerpt: 14/ Modulation Modulated audio acts to reduce noise and response irregularity in a high gain audio platform. That’s a lot to manage. Modulation defines each tone and makes all signals sound better and more the same. This also represents an artificial, distorting influence--a kind of audio “no-man’s-land”where small objects sound bigger and large targets are “clipped down.” This is especially true in the “tone ID” modes. For the operator, modulation makes it harder to tell a deep faint response from a small surface one. In conjunction with Gain, modulation makes small responses more distracting--sounding fuller and more solid. Modulation also makes tiny mineral, seabed or black sand variations jump way up to sound more like good signals. Determining a response’s shape and distance from the coil are also harder. What you have is a digital representation of ground and targets--more of a measure of the relative differences between the two than an actual metal object reading. Another consequence of this is that big targets sound smaller--cans--sunglasses--all are modulated to often sound like they are (more) coin or jewelry-sized. I’ve had some particularly frustrating deep-water hunts with the Equinox giving tantalizing small indications on what turned out to be super-deep “rotten glasses.” This operating characteristic can be confusing for new hunters. This, in particular is an Equinox operating characteristic that is easier to make sense of and manage with some solid, basic instruction. For anyone--the “trade-offs” that derive from the Equinox’s heavily modulated signal are its most frustrating feature. 1/ The first, most basic method of managing a heavily modulated signal is to turn the volume down. Even going to “24” or “23” makes a huge difference. This makes for more audio distinction between weak and strong signals. Many CTX hunters discovered this after becoming frustrated with that detector’s tendency to bring up tiny conductors. With its high frequency weighting on several of the pre-set modes this is more so of the Equinox. While many of the underwater headphones that are available are quiet to begin with and don’t allow much of a margin for reduced volume--the stock 800 series wireless set do. 2/ Focus upon the more solid signals. This is a critical Equinox skill in any context. Even as a pulse hunter who has experience with fast Delay machines that hit running shoe eyelets loud and clear--the Equinox was initially exasperating to use for me because of these modulation-boosted targets. While I see some patient hunters getting good results “micro gold” hunting this is at highly specific types of locations. The solution is simple basics. Rather than digging endless tiny part-responses--use Pinpoint to check for solidity--and do a quick angled pass to see the consistency. (See “Pinpoint” below). With practice these small conductors will become more obvious in Discriminate as well. This is the way to offset the distortion of a modulated signal--but still get its benefits. This is where the above mentioned “correlation” comes in--looking for “sets” of target characteristics to double check what the audio is telling you. Even when examining tiny “earring-sized” sounds it’s possible to screen for solid targets and use this as a basis for gathering a full target profile. Each signal feature (size, strength, solidity, position in strata…) should confirm the others. The depth meter is also a good tool for offsetting the distortion of modulated audio. Signal depth and signal strength should be “in keeping.” (More on this type of method below). Modulation is more active in the Tone (break) ID modes (especially “5 Tone)” so using the more fluid “50 Tone” or just “Pinpoint” are good ways to compensate. One reason that many hunters have trouble adjusting to the Equinox is that again, this high Gain / high frequency / modulation combination reduces your ability to judge how far from the coil something is. This in turn throws off your sizing. The number of hunters I see on “YouTube” videos trying to ignore these simple target testing basics is laughable--with many trying to pass off this as some cool “dig everything” ethos. Again--not “everything” is “anything” and a machine like the Equinox will tell you when not to dig sometimes--loud and clear. From "Skill Building with the Minelab Equinox Series Metal Detectors" by Clive James Clynick (2019)
By Rick Kempf
The GPZ clearly represents something truly new in terms of gold detectors.
It has already had a very strong effect on the pricing of Minelabs GPX series.
What do you suppose would be the likely effect of some new technology detector which could discriminate as well as a current VLF machines and handle ground mineralization, hot rocks, etc. as well as the best of the PI machines and the GPZ? - Oh yes, and if it sold for a "street price" of $1500?
would my "dream machine" eliminate PI's and the GPZ for nugget hunting - almost certianly not. Would it do stuff that none of today's detectors can do - perhaps.
result - chaos.
what is the likelihood of this happening?
From ML - zero, for obvious reasons
From some European innovator - unlikely due to lack of local demand for gold detectors.
From Whites - unlikely due to current confusion and problems bringing more conventional new machines sucessfully to market.
From Garrett - doubtful due to lack of any real recent technical innovation.
Gosh - who is left? - Well, as Marty Robbins once wrote....
" out near the West Texas town of El Paso… "
P.S. My own speculations only - as Click and Clack use to say "Unencumbered by the thought process".
Due to many injuries, operations, fusions etc, I went to a pain clinic to check out my options as the pills are helping less and less.
They suggested a Spinal cord implant that sends electro magnetic signals to confuse the pain that is occurring. Device can be adjusted as to strength and duration of the impulses. My question to the Dr was would it interfere with a metal detector? He said he didn`t know but would try to find out from the manufacturer. If it does it is not an option for me as I love detecting and will carry on as I do now.
Anyone out there who has experience with these things?
I really wanted to Make a detector test Garden in my yard. My first goal was to remove anything that would make a detector beep in a small area of my yard. I had just bought a Apex pick with the 3 magnets so I though that would be perfect for clearing the yard. However I dug only 2 shallow holes and found my yard is full of small iron rocks/pebbles as I pulled half a pocket full of pebbles from those 2 shallow holes. So thinking now I will have to do something different. Maybe buy some bags of dirt at the local Walmart
Apex pick iron 2.html
I've seen metal detectors in stores and shows for thirty years, but am only now thinking about them like I'll own one within a few weeks.
Maybe this is too sci-fi of an idea, but given the popularity of the wireless XP Deus (the name! god and an outdated operating system), and the ubiquity of smart phones, when will we see a mfr put the computing power of a smart phone to work?
Put a digitizer in the coil, broadcast the signal to the phone, where the processing happens, perhaps with highly customizable features (user programmable?), then bluetooth to send the audio to headphones... Graphics happen on the phone from its secure position on the handle...
Too crazy? Too simplistic?
Ok....it is almost June 2016. It seems so far this year we have seen some entry level detectors and an attempt at rehashing previously released detectors. Just trying to be real here, but we have not seen anything really innovative since the Minelab 7000....and that was nearly a year and a half ago. Now I know, VLF technology has probable reached its limits, and even PI's are nothing new. However, I would have at least thought that one of the major manufactures would have thrown us a bone or two. WHERE ARE ALL THE NEW DETECTORS ??