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New Prototype Detector - My First Analog Attempt

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   Seems like you have a pretty good handle on your design and implementation! I don't think any of us could have guessed you were so far along on your prototype when you got here! Congratulations! I really like the carbon fiber over the aluminum! Keep up the good work, and keep us posted! Interesting to have a window into the birth of a new detector design! Thanks for sharing!👍👍

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There is also Shapeways, might be a bit more competitive to 3d Hubs. When 3d Hubs first started it was everyone under the sun with a 3d printer then they tightened up the requirements for quality assurance and now it seems only the big shops are supplying.

You could check out Stratasys directly for fdm part they offer printing services. Alternatively if you don't require high temp fdm parts like the nylon series you can take a look at the Flashforge units. They have a dual extruder for $879 delivered and upgradable to high temp. Dual extruder so you can print a pva support material to prevent your part from distorting or failing during the print process.

I'm pretty good at spending other peoples money 🙂

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Yeah Joe, I've been dabbling with the design for several years, it's just now gotten to this point, you know, life happens, you step away from it, may not get back to it for months or years.  I can't do everything else I used to, but this thankfully is keeping my brain busy.  And I'm surprised how light the parts are coming out, aluminum is really pretty, and I wanted to go with it, but the price is just to high.

I haven't used Shapeways, but I'll definitely look into them and get a quote on my next parts.  Yeah I used 3d Hubs when it was folks in there garages and you didn't always get what you were expecting, but I knew that going in, so I would take my warped coil forms and do my best with them, lol.  I'm not interested in 3d printing enough to  buy one, I know me, I'll do a few prints and then the machine will sit idle, better to send out for my parts.

I've gotten my mechanical parts in for the housings, and interconnects, as well as the new main electronics pcb, I'll update the thread later tonight with some new pic's.  Still waiting on my components from Digikey, and then the soldering begins again.

A buddy of mine who is a software guy, really expert with embedded micro's dropped by yesterday, he wanted to see how it was going.  I walked him through the design, and he gave some idea's, I was amazed at how well the unit would see his gold wedding band.

...so it continues, hope to upload some pic's tonight...

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As an electronics engineer, I have to say your project is very neat and well planned.

Are you a member of Carl & George's "Geotech1 Forum" ? It's a useful resource, if nothing else, and there's always the angry Lithuanian/Bulgarian/ etc guys to keep the place entertaining.

Re: the coil. I would advise designing your machine to work with a known good commercial coil, then when you're confident it's working OK, consider making your own coil. Your chances of success are much improved that way.

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3 hours ago, PimentoUK said:

As an electronics engineer, I have to say your project is very neat and well planned.

Are you a member of Carl & George's "Geotech1 Forum" ? It's a useful resource, if nothing else, and there's always the angry Lithuanian/Bulgarian/ etc guys to keep the place entertaining.

Re: the coil. I would advise designing your machine to work with a known good commercial coil, then when you're confident it's working OK, consider making your own coil. Your chances of success are much improved that way.

I second Pimento's call out of the Geotech forum as a tremendous resource for detector DIY'ers.

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Getting some parts in:

Display housing, main pcb and other miscellaneous parts.


Display housing parts and display pcb


Display board in housing


Internal frame to hold pcb, batteries, and other connectors


Inserted into the carbon fiber housing, with front feet attached


Display frame laying on top of the main tube housing


Coil form


Wire attachment area and cover



Spent some time today cutting carbon fiber tube, doing a little spray painting, nothing major.  I'm not looking forward to cutting out the openings on the tubing without a decent mill or cutting tool, only two of the drilled holes will be showing, everything else will be covered by frames, so no jagged holes will be showing - but this stuff isn't the easiest material to work with.

About Carl and George's Geotech1 Forum, is it on this forum somewhere?  I would like to check it out.

...we'll see if I'm able to get anything done tomorrow...



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   Minelab could take a lesson from you on how to beef up their coil ears! All the parts look great!👍👍

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    • By geof_junk
      So I thought I would throw a spanner into the discussion. Here goes.
      We have heard of the double D coils what about a triple D coil. Well that outside my knowledge but let look at a quad D coil the oldest ground balancing coil. Have a look at these links.


      and more detail.


      Are we on topic.
      Regards Geof.
      geof_junk Contributor Plus
        Number of posts : 794
      Location : Gippsland Australia
      Registration date : 2008-11-11         
    • By KellycoDetectors
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      But the important thing to remember with all of this is that there has to be proper training. Training isn’t complicated or arcane — if you made it through the police academy, you can learn how to properly use a metal detector. But the training has to be done right at the beginning to ensure that officers are finding what they are looking for and not becoming frustrated by a series of false positives. Once this training is done and the metal detector comes into common use during crime scene investigation, officers will likely wonder how they ever got by without one in the past.
      Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Collection originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
    • By Gerry in Idaho
      Norvic asked why I was so proud of a VLF when I own and have posted much success with the other higher end detectors.  It was my post on rating the higher end Minelabs....so here goes.
      There are many factors to my craze and style of detecting, but my finds are the facts and not many people can compare, unless they too use the tools (detector) and hunt the style I do. I consider myself a gold hawg or gold pig.  I chase it all in terrains flat or tall. 
      Terrain -  I live in the Northwestern state of Idaho and much of my detecting in the surround state of ID.,  is Oregon, Nevada and occasional Montana.  For the most part, OR, MT and ID are pretty much the same with steep terrain mountainous rough country.  A day of electronic prosecting and hiking in such states, is much harder on the body for a guy my age, heck it’s harder for anyone.  Going to Arizona, Rye Patch and other Northern Nevada high desert areas is a treat for my body in more ways than one.  Maybe that is why so many people detect there?  It’s easy to drive and get to without walking…boy are most of us lazy?  YES, including me at times, but not in my home state (backyard where I play).  The ID, OR, MT mountains have steep ravines/canyons and the water is at the lowest point. Here is the many miles of hand placer workings, dredge tailing and hardrock mining ore dump piles.  The gold I am chasing is the stuff the old timers missed. 
      Pic below - This huge ore dump pile produced a few thousand dollars in Specimens.  This is the not so steep side and we had to tie off with ropes on the other side.  Half the targets would roll down the hill and need to be found during a break when we were at the bottom.  The PI's can't see this time of gold.

      Trash - Trash is my treasure in a way.. as I know the site has not been hunted as hard.  Trash is what most detectorists hate, and I too get that way on occasion, but I know if I'm patient, I'll eventually be rewarded.  A big factor I run into is 100 to 150 yr old man made trash from the early prospectors.  They left much of it on the hill, in the placer digs and tailing piles.  Many of the small mining camps were right on or near their diggings and they just tossed the old food cans, tobacco/coffee tins and worn out leather boots with hundreds of nails and broken, picks/ax heads shovels aside.  
      Pic below- In old tailing piles a lighter, faster, better ID detector is best.  He who digs the most non ferrous targets in a day, get to smile all the way home.

      Pic below- is the 1 pound specimen after cleanup.

      Tools – Know your detector, its limitations, strong and weak points.  Bigger deeper detector is great in flat terrain and areas with limited trash.  Raw depth and power is amazing to have, when the target you dig a foot or so deep is not a sardine can.  How about a shovel head at 2 feet or more?  Think about it and what you do when digging 5 or 6 of those an hour with your big deep penetrating detector.  What does your body have left in the tank?  My lighter VLF is easier to swing in rough terrain,  has better Iron and Target ID, is not as deep or powerful in trashy sites.  It saves me time from digging unknown iron targets, it saves me energy from digging deep holes, it saves me energy from having to pack around a bigger bulky detector.  The proper detector for the site is a must and in many cases my lighter, faster, better target Identification, sub $1000 investment is the right tool.
      Pic below - This golden oreo was recovered in old hand placer workings with my VLF.

      Having what I consider the best identification VLF gold detector on the market saves me time.

      Pic below - It was recovered at 16" with Minelab EQ-15" coil.  Yes I'll be going back over this area with the new CoilTek NOX 15" round as it is even deeper.

      Gold Knowledge-  This is confusing to so many people as they think gold is gold.  Yes I too used to think the same way.  Luckily I hunt a variety of gold producing locations and sites I like to detect and learn from.  My many years of comparing/testing detectors at such sites has given my staff and I an understanding of gold, its characters, density and how the elusive Au responds to the varying detector models from the different manufactures. Many of the nugget photos being shared on social media in years past were dense solid gold pieces and they are beauties.  That’s what the detector could easily respond to. In more recent years, the sizes of the nuggets became smaller and we started reading about and seeing some nice specimens.  The newer GPX detectors with their advanced tuning and soil timings (Fine Gold) would outperform their older brothers (SD/GP’s) on smaller and courser gold, so when get to make more of those finds and share them.  Most recent years has us using SDC-2300 and GPZ-7000’s.  Again, the gold gets smaller and the amount of crystalline gold, wire gold, salt/pepper specimens are being unearthed with these detectors supersedes that of their older brothers the GPX series.
      Pic below - This softball sized specimen was found with a VLF and has multi ounces of gold.  VLF picks it up deeper than many bigger detectors.

      Pic below - This beautiful 3" long quartz and gold specimen came from a trashy ore dump pile with a VLF.
      Pic blow-  These quartz cocoon wire gold specimens bring a premium and come out of hard rock ore dump piles.  

      Pic Below - The PI's don't see these rare pieces, the 7000 barley does on a select few.  

      Pic below - I have a feeling the extra sensitivity of the new GPX-6000 will do even better.
      Proof – The facts are in the vault at the bank.  I own beautiful specimens pieces recovered with detectors and have tested many on a variety of detectors.  I have gold finds that are multi ounce pieces and they contain 2 or 3 ounces of gold in them, but for some reason an SD or GP don’t see them, even less than an inch.  I also have such pieces my GPX 5000 does not see, but my GPZ-7000 does.  What is most amazing, is I have pieces of gold with multi ounces of metal and even the ZED has issues or can barely respond an inch or two away.  If this is the case, then why do I have these find gold pieces of art?  I’ve taken the time to test and learn my detector tools and have found a certain trusty VLF sees them all, can ID them all, is lighter in weight and so I get to hunt longer, saves me energy since I don’t dig as deep for unwanted targets.
      Pic below - This specimen came from dredge tailing and the speckled pieces like this get missed by most PI's.

      Pic below-  Over $800 in gold in this 3 ounce specimen and my VLF does better than my GPX-5000 and my SDC-2300.  The SDC goes deeper than the GPX.  You better know your gold and your detectors capabilities or lack of.

      Pic below - This 3 ounce specimen was found in trashy hand workings.  I actually had a GPZ-7000 here for a couple hours and gave up because of the amount of item trash.  A GPX-5000 with DD coil run with DISC mode would be better than my GPZ, but then again my NOX does even better.

      Better target identification of my NOX, is most important at the site this 3+ oz'er came from.

      GPX-6000 – A new tool and one that has Gerry very very excited. Now we are about to get a revolution of Geo Sensing Technology with PI power and capabilities for a wider variety of gold textures, densities, characters and sizes.  Minelab (and their track record) is even telling us some of such capabilities and so I and a few of the guys who do not like to miss gold, are getting ourselves prepared, getting our old sites, lined up and making sure we are going to take advantage of the stragglers.  Remember when the SDC-2300 and GPZ-7000 came out and all the slow response from the majority.  You folks missed the opportunity of a lot of gold.  My guys and I were killing it in NV and AZ on those so called worked out sites.  Was it a gamble to spend that kind of money?  If that’s what you love/enjoy and if you have a good track record with Minelab, it’s bet I’ll take most every time. I don’t lose detector bets very often.
      Pic below- This stunning collectible specimen was found by my brother with his SDC-2300.  It came from a place he had previous hunted and found gold with his GPX-5000.  The 5000 does not even whisper on it.  Minelab claims the GPX-6000 is more sensitive than the SDC-2300 & GPZ-7000.  I can't wait to use the GPX-6000 at the site and many others.

      Hopefully this story and the pics I shared will help educate some of you on how the different detector technologies produce more gold.  I realize it's hard to put down your old reliable detector as it has probably and hopefully served you well.  If your sites are getting thin of targets and or gold, just maybe a new detector can put the smile back on your face? I'll go back to this simple statement I have said below in other posts and it is the absolute truth.  You can't find what your detector don't see.
      PS - I’ll be honest though, for me it’s the lighter weight, better ergonomics, not being tethered in a harness and User Friendly that has me sold.  The extra gold my new GPX-6000 is going to find, is a bonus.
      PPS – I’m just as eager to test the GPX-6000 with some of my gold and see how much better/worse it does than my GPX, SDC and GPZ. (I'm educating myself).
      PPPS – I still feel there will be a place for my VLF, as it’s lighter, and have better target ID.
      See you in the gold field, where the most knowledge is learned.  Or speed it up with our 3 days Field Training at www.gerrysdetectors.com
      Happy Hunting.  Gerry
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