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Steve Herschbach

Cell Phone On A Stick Detector Design

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The cell phone is now a common day device owned by most people. It was inevitable that a metal detector designer would mimic the look and feel of a cell phone in an attempt to modernize how metal detectors are perceived. As far as I know it was Quest (back when they were named Deteknix) that first came up with this design. Or at lest they were the first to really market something like this in 2015. Then we next got the Minelab Equinox in 2018. And now the Nokta/Makro Simplex+ in 2019.

Some might call this copycat designing but form follows function to a certain degree and all items copy others in some ways. All T-shirts have a head hole and two arm holes. Still, I think Deteknix/Quest gets the credit here for first popularizing this design. I'll be surprised if more are not to follow.

Quest metal detector

Minelab Equinox metal detector

Nokta/Makro Simplex+ metal detector

Quest metal detector controls & display

Minelab Equinox metal detector controls & display

Nokta/Makro Simplex+ metal detector controls & display

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I wonder if that form factor somehow facilitates IP68 environmental qualification as all three of those detectors are waterproof to at least 3 meters.

In fact, I was surprised to see ML move away from that form factor for Vanquish.  Which is NOT waterproof, btw.

I would really like to see Nokta repackage the features of the Anfibio into the Simplex form factor and include the ergonomic streamlined UI  (even if the price leaned more heavily towards Anfibio than Simplex).  But I would settle for the “simple” addition of an additional higher operating frequency selection (e.g., 24 kHz) to a Simplex ++ deluxe model.  :smile:

Regardless, the streamlined simplicity, economy, and mid-to-high level performance capability of Simplex+ is more intriguing to me than Vanquish, and I might just spring for the Simplex to see what it can do out of the box.  There is something strangely liberating about knowing that you can’t tweak settings and just gotta make do with what you have in your hands and trust that the designers have it optimally tweaked for 95% of situations, right out of the box.  Reminds me of my Tek Delta days, a detector I still keep around for sentimental reasons and because it has an awesome concentric 8” coin grabber coil.   And I like my Equinox form factor so what’s not to like about Simplex.


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Not to quibble, but to me the ultimate and original cell phone on a stick is the XP Deus.

I think a little before the first version of the Deteknix Quest Pro was the Minelab Go Find/National Geographic series........


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44 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Minelab Go Find/National Geographic series........

Ironically, it connected to your cell phone.

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I was thinking more of this series of waterproof units that are obviously quite similar, but sure, let’s toss the 2009 XP Deus in as the unit that pointed the way. 👍 Don’t call the Deus rod a stick however. That’s what the other ones are, XP did far better with their sculpted S rod. :smile:



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It’s not the “cell phone” that’s the problem - it’s the dumb stick.  The Deus rod is strong, lightweight and ergonomic.  All the various “cell phone on a stick” designs suffer from the same terrible ergonomics.  Every swing reversal causes rotation about the axis of the shaft. 

Look at the picture above of the Deus. The axis of force goes from the middle of the arm cuff, through the middle of the grip to the center of the coil. On almost all of the “CPOS” (cell phone on stick) designs that line reaches the ground well in front of the front edge of the coil. Hence the torque around the axis of force with each swing initiation/reversal.

It’s not me saying that.  In 2018 I showed my new Nox to Dave Johnson in El Paso. While I was 6 feet away and before he touched it, he said - “Let me show you how the ergonomics are flawed”



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Yeah, that is something you bring up a lot Rick. For some reason I have no problem swinging them for 10 hour days, two weeks straight. You are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to machines weighing under three pounds.

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Glad it suits you. 

You said that the Deus pointed the way to CPOS detectors. My point is that the Deus rod is WAY more than a stick.  

As far as it being something that “you bring up a lot Rick” - you must be sensitive to this, because I just dis a quick search of all my posts on this forum back to when I got my first Nox800 and then showed it to Dave Johnson. There were two I could find...

May 18 2018... The ergonomic argument against the straight shaft is based on the fact that if you look at a straight shaft detector set-up from the side, then draw a line from the inside bottom of the arm cup through the center of the handle, that line projects out to a point well above (in front of) the junction of the shaft with the coil.  This results in torque (twisting) when you initiate or reverse a swing with the coil.  This force must be resisted by your body.  It also introduces twisting strains on the handle mount and the joints in the rod. Here’s a quick and dirty sketch. (Same sketch attached)

June 9 2018...”There’s an excellent reason why detectors are laid out the way the vast majority of them are - straight shafts mean the the handgrip twists at each swing reversal.  

I guess that’s “a lot”


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I agree about the Deus. I also agree about the theory of what you are saying. And I still think it’s a relative non-issue from a practical standpoint for machines this light. The Deus is an imbalanced nose heavy detector, but at the weight level it is at it simply is not a big deal.

Since you edited your post to comment on “a lot” I will do the same. I read ALL the forums Rick.

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I don’t disagree with your summary - guess I don’t like being accused of “bringing it up a lot”- I just edited my above post to document how often I have done so on this forum - (unless I missed something) Sounds like I have some axe to grind. I don’t. The Nox is an amazing machine which has revolutionized the detector marketplace. I have had two of them. It has lousy ergonomics and it’s light weight is its redeeming feature.  One wonders however if the well documented problems with the shafts and coil ear breakage don’t have something to do with physics rearing its ugly head.

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