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X Coil Cable Modification


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I did the Minelab cable cutting and soldering differently than specified by the manufacturer.

Instead of cutting the cable near the Minelab connector I cut it below the Minelab curled cord and installed the 5 pin connector at that location.

After the connector was installed and marine grade shrink tubing was applied a plastic tie wrap was attached with another piece of shrink tubing. This is used to pull the cable out of the lower end of the upper shaft since the Minelab curled cord retracts it out of reach.

I then used a heat gun to soften and straighten approximately 8 inches of the lower X Coil curled cord. Cut it at that point and attached a new connector at 8” above the lower shaft.

I have all three X Coils setup with three new lower shafts attached. This modification allows quick easy change of coils in couple of minutes.

It is reasonable to be concerned about interference from the two connectors being located so close to the coil. This is not a problem since the detector only detects motion change relative to the coil.

A simple experiment will demonstrate how the detector nulls out metal that is not changing position relative to the coil.

Place a small test target on the ground with an aluminum soda or beer can about 2 feet from it. Swing the detector over the small test target. You will only hear the response from the large can.

Now tape the can on top of the detector shaft 2 feet from the center of the coil. Now swing the coil over the test target and it will be detected.

With the can attached the detector it will sound off as you lift and lower the detector to the ground since the coil is remaining flat while the shaft and can are changing position relative to the coil.

In normal detecting when setting the detector down or lifting it I hear this sound-off with the 17” x 12” coil but not with the 10” or the 17” round coils.

There is no effect during normal detecting since the coil is not tilting or changing position relative to the shaft.

Have a good day,
Chet
 

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I did the Minelab cable cutting and soldering differently than specified by the manufacturer. Instead of cutting the cable near the Minelab connector I cut it below the Minelab curled cord and in

I must confess, I'm a tinkerer.  So when I got my GPZ I had to decide what cable type I prefer, the standard X-coil adapter where you cut the cord right up near the control box to make your adapter, o

I would not recommend using this method, that is an awful lot of metal and potential stray RF to have so near to the coil. Even the slightest movement could make its way to the RX. Just my 2C and

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It's an interesting concept Chet, I am yet to try that method over here but I am planning to do just that.

 There are the obvious benefits of being able to change the coils at the lower shaft instead of in the narrow gap up where the ML plug connects to the box.  Also being able to utilize the curly part of the Minelab cable itself. 

I will be comparing the new "Chet" way against the original "patch lead" way for depth on same targets, sure it will involve some time consuming swapping back and forth but worth while doing I reckon.

Thanks again Chet for trying different ways of doing the same thing.

cheers dave

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I would not recommend using this method, that is an awful lot of metal and potential stray RF to have so near to the coil. Even the slightest movement could make its way to the RX.

Just my 2C and not wanting any future X coil discussions to become heated, have moved on from all the emotive debates there's more than enough information out there for people to make informed decisions now.

A more mellow these days😇
JP 

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Interesting concept.  I do like it better, so long as you are not balancing out that connector, making it less sensitive to gold.  I like metal as far away from the coil as possible.

 

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Just now, Andyy said:

Interesting concept.  I do like it better, so long as you are not balancing out that connector, making it less sensitive to gold.  I like metal as far away from the coil as possible.

 

The coil would have to be seeing that connector that close to the coil, so it has to be impacting on the GB and X balance even if it is held completely motionless.

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I agree that the coil is seeing the connectors at a close distance. I will do some more testing on this but the results of my depth comparison testing did not show any noticeable performance problems.

The coils magnetic field has fixed disturbance at all times from the copper cable through the copper and solder in the control box to the battery.

I used the GPZ 19 cable for the X Coil adapter cable.
The two new connectors were in place on all three X Coils when I compiled the coil depth comparison chart data.

Each coil was successfully balanced on the ferrite core before testing. 

The GPZ 14 coil that was used in the test has the original cable with no new connectors installed.

The smallest nugget tested was a 0.06 gram.

I will do some performance testing on this next month while in Arizona. I will start with the can taped onto the shaft as a worst case condition.   

Have a good day,
Chet
 

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Often wondered about all that copper in the coil cable, from the external cable wound round shaft, whether on PIs or VLFs if not fixed properly the movement would cause falsing. Thus if it`s fixed and not allowed to move in relation to the coil why not lower down connectors too? We often are blinded by blinkers and then a bit of thinking outside the box can simplify something, I`ll be following your performance tests keenly. Many thanks for sharing this with us.

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Don't even concern yourself about EMI from the coil adapter, twin ferrite chokes inside the control pod are there for that very reason.  The outside metal of the adapter is shielding, hence connecting the shield wire to it.   I guess if it's just if the GPZ cares about seeing the adapter, as well as the pre-existing coil wires that it was already seeing.  I don't know how you'll ever know unless the impact was significant which it clearly isn't.  I guess you can reverse what you've done if you end up not liking it with some gel filled cable clamps or something or just solder and heatshink.

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I put together some checks to help when you first fire up the GPZ 7000 after the cable modification. This procedure comes with no guarantee! But is better than having no procedure. 

To safeguard the detector; time the following steps with a watch.

1. Fire up the WM12; with a Minelab coil attached to the GPZ 7000. 

Push the GPZ power on button and verify and record the elapsed times for the following events;

The full operating Screen Display should appear at approximately 20 seconds;

EMI noise from the receiver coil should occur at approximately 30 seconds.

Important note! 

As you proceed with the rest of the testing keep time in mind. The transmit power transistors are very rugged and have good heat sinks to draw the heat away and keep them within a safe temperature range. 

If there is a short in the cable or coil transmit connections it will overheat the transmit transistors within several seconds and cause catastrophic failures. 

So the thing to do is monitor the elapsed seconds for an event to occur. In the following procedures substitute your recorded times for the 20 sec and 30 sec times. 
If an event doesn’t occur within 5 seconds of the expected time power down the detector quickly to avoid the heat buildup within the power transistors.

2. Now repeat the above test with the new adapter cable connected to the detector without the a coil connected to the adapter.

If there is a short within a new installed connector transmit connections it should display an overload alert shortly after the full display screen appears and should shut the detector down automatically. If this alert occurs be prepared to immediately shut it down in case the automatic shutdown doesn’t! 

Otherwise with no coil attached there will be no EMI noise at 30 seconds and at approximately 60 seconds there will be a No Coil Detected Alert and the detector will shut down automatically.

3. Now connect the Minelab donor coil to the adapter. Power up and the full display should appear at 20 sec and EMI noise from the receiver coil should be at 30 seconds.

If there is a short in the new Minelab donor coil connector transmit pins it should give an overload alert and shut down.

If there is a short or open in the receiver pins there will be no EMI or there may be abnormal EMI noise.

Wave a coin over the coil to see that the transmitter coil is working. 

4. Connect the new X-Coil and power up again. The full display should appear at 20 sec and EMI noise from the receiver coil should be at 30 seconds. 

If there is a short in the new X-Coil coil connector transmit pins it should give an overload alert and shut down. 

If there is a short or open in the receiver pins there will be no EMI or there may be abnormal EMI noise.

Wave a coin over the coil to see that the transmitter coil is working. 

Have a good day,
Chet

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So Chet what your basically saying is if the 7000 has no coil attached, (like you forgot) in your haste changing coils even from a GPZ14 to the GPZ19 to actually connect the plug to the box then the detector won't fry itself, there is a built in safety mechanism in the GPZ7000

So then knowing this, the safety checks you mention can be undertaken carefully with measured time increments.  Very interesting.

cheers dave 

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      My first 15x10" nugget, and what a nugget it is (for NZ anyway)



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    • By phrunt
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      After putting on a new coil I like to do a factory reset so I did that, then ran the 12x8" over the little ferrite ring as part of the factory reset process, it tuned out the little ring even when the coil was touching it.  I then adjusted my settings to my preferred settings, HY, Normal and gain of 20.  I then balanced out the ground then set to manual Ground balance , I'm not sure If I'm meant to do what the picture says when doing a ground balance by holding the quick track button as it indicates doing a figure 8 type thing on the ground but I've found my old GPX style pumping works quicker.

      The area is quite shallow bedrock, in spots it exposes itself and they're the spots I was finding gold in the past with the GM1000 but that all dried up and now the spots most likely to find gold for me are the more grassy areas where the gold is down a bit of depth on the bedrock with a soil layer over top and grass cover so the GPZ is far more effective than the VLF in this situation.   There are also millions of shot gun pellets here, I would say the most out of any place I've detected so it's rare you can do a swing without hitting some pellets.  The GPZ method I've been using is a scape or two and if the signal is there keep going, if not reject it or else you'll spend all day digging pellets.  Thats not to say you won't be digging pellets, you will, many of them but it cuts the numbers down 🙂
      First bit of gold was quite an easy one, maybe the sheep helped me here.

      I didn't have to dig far for that one, a real screamer.  I also knew it wasn't a pellet as the signal was so booming, more so than with a pellet.

      12x8" now broken in. 

      Then right near it, not even a meter away I had another target that survived a few scrapes.

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      Another decent lump!

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      There rocks are heavy! The pick levers them down off the edge.  Unfortunately the target turned out to be a really tiny bit of metal.  Who knows what it is or why it was there.

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      This is the sort of terrain I was weaving through while testing it out.  It's a shame I didn't test it back where I found the two bits of gold as It'd help make sure I didn't miss any ground, I'm terrible at missing ground.  I might start using it more often.
      I continued flipping rocks and after flipping a huge one that almost landed on my foot I had another signal under where the rock was.

      The big rock at the top of the hole was where the hole now is, the hole ended up quite deep and it was my biggest bit of gold for the day.


      Different to the other bits too, far more smooth and flat.

      Come up nice after a clean.
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      So that was my total, my 3 bits and it's now dark and time to go to KFC to refuel.   We never did end up walking further afield, we were doing OK in the first spot right near the car, that sure surprised us both.

      And my junk, not too bad on the pellets as these were just ones I had to dig for, the rest that I was able to identify with the GPZ double blip and scrape or two were ignored.
    • By phrunt
      I finally got out to test out my new 8" X-Coil, I've been wanting a size like this for a long time.  I thought it was going to be impossible to fit the GPZ Super-D design into such a small coil however X-coils after some time have achieved it and it works exceptionally well.  I was running my GPZ in HY Normal with gain of 20, manual ground balance all day.

      My first pellet recovery 🙂

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      This area has a lot of hot rocks, by a lot I mean they're everywhere and they're often green, you can't do a swing of a VLF without hitting them on every swing, I've been to this area a lot lately, its where I recently found 9 grams.  I've moved on from that exact area I found the gold last time as it dried up but the same general area.  The GB2 was of course having a lot of trouble with them, with the Nox I just notch out -8 and -9 and all is pretty good and the Nox doesn't appear to lose depth when discriminating like the GB2 and Gold Monster do.  The 8" X-Coil was handling the hot rocks well, most of the smaller ones it was blind to, the big ones, some the size of a football or bigger it would get a signal on, so I tried the quick track button and waving it over the top of one, it took about 10 or so sweeps but it was able to give minimal reaction on one afterwards so I had my GPZ in manual balanced over a big green hot rock for the day so instead of using my Yellow ferrite ring I used a hot rock, it made more sense to me seeing they're the areas problem, correct me if I'm wrong.
      My first bit of gold was downstream in the old timer wash channel from my 9 gram spot.  I did my usual pellet scrape, the signal lasted longer than a few scrapes, so I did some bigger scrapes and the target was getting better so I took a short video as I was starting to get pretty confident.
      It turned out to be a nugget in the gravelly layer below the top soil, pretty small nugget too.

      The GB2 did not pick this one up at all until I was closer down to it, that was in maximum settings with audio boost.

      Little longish bit.

      0.177 of a gram, my biggest of the day 🙂
      I walked across to the next wash as that was my plan for the day and was finding my usual pellets and comparing the two detectors, I was finding the GB2 was handy as a pin pointer and it's 71kHz wasn't interfering with my GPZ at all.  I was also tipping my GPZ on it's side and using the edge of the 8" coil as a pinpointer and that was working pretty well for me.   Seeing I was finding so many pellets, way more than usual in this location I was getting plenty of target recovery practice 🙂

      Off to the edge of this bedrock I got another bit.


      Almost a little ball, when it was dirty I thought it was just another pellet.

      After cleaning the dirt out of it it's not as much like a little ball as it looked. It's a ball with a tumor.
      I heard a couple of bikes coming along the nearby track, turned out it was JW and his wife Robyn, they knew I was going to be there today so popped in for a visit, JW also has unfinished business in the area where he's been attacking a rocky wall of the wash for months and still getting gold out of it, he had his 15x10" X-Coil on which was a surprise, he put his 10" on and I thought he'd forgotten how to remote it and it rarely left since, he just loves that little 10".  He was impressed with my little 8"', especially the size knowing It can get into places the 10" can't.   We started detecting again and Robyn found comfy spot to read her book.
      It wasn't long and I could hear JW's usual TAP TAP TAP as he's smashing away at the rock 🙂 I kept checking out the lower areas of the wash and it wasn't too much longer after 5 or so more pellets I found another bit of gold.

       
      It was down in that bit of a gap in the rock.



      It was starting to cool down a lot now, well the day was never warm, I guess a maximum of about 5 degrees Celsuis but once the sun starts to go behind the mountains it cools down quickly so I went back to a bit that still had some sun 🙂
      At this point I'd seen the bit of gold and knew where it was sitting down in the gravels but I wanted to show the crazy prickle bush I was dealing with, I'd already broken some branches off at this point, look at them thorns! This video also shows the sideways method I was using to pinpoint.  The center of the coil is definitely it's hottest deepest spot but the edges are still good.
      This was my last bit of the day

      And just some scenery shots of the area, gold can be anywhere around here, even in the most unlikely of places.

      In between the bedrock is has been the most productive for me, which is why I like little coils.

      Everywhere you look are old timer rock piles, they're gradually getting buried by plant life.

      Once those giant prickle bushes grow in them, they're no longer detectable.

      Piles everywhere though, it goes for a few miles

      It's starting to get very overgrown in places, every year it's getting worse, gradually disappearing.

      Some of these cliff edges would be great to detect and would hold quite a bit of gold I'd imagine but they're just too steep for me.

      This is the sort of stuff JW is chunking away at all day getting gold out of the cracks, he said he's now bought a little battery powered jack hammer type thing to help with the job as it's hard work with a pick, hammer, cold chisel and screw driver but there is a fair bit of gold trapped in the rock.

      It's all in layers and you can smash them out slowly with your pick.

      And my junk for the day, well the junk I didn't lose from my pocket.  So overall I'm very impressed with the 8".  It seemed to me like it was exceeding the GB2 in performance on small pellets at depth.  I'm still better at pinpointing with a small coil like on the GB2 but with practice I'll get better.
      As I was about to leave I went over to see how JW was going, right as I got there he had a target, I took over my GB2 as I know he often uses his one as pin pointer too, especially when smashing out rock as it can save a lot of time.  He was using the nose of the 15x10" coil as his pin pointer and said it was working really well, he found the tip to be pretty sensitive but still too big to get down into the spot well so we used the Gb2 to get narrow down where to smash out... after a fair time of hitting he had the signal out, and it was a bit of gold smaller than my smallest bit and the 15x10" was sounding on it loudly.  He had another signal in the rock to recover so I left him to it as they can take half an hour or more each to get out.
    • By Chet
      Finally got out again with the 15" x 10” X-Coil. It ran really quiet and smooth continually in High Yield, Normal, at Sensitivity at 20. Found 10 small nuggets for a total weight of 4.55 grams. They were between 5 to 8 inches deep in a California pine tree area.
      The X-Coils work great, but the 15 x 10” is now the go to coil.  
      Have a good day,
      Chet
       

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