Jump to content

Vlf's Detectors Best Concepts Of The Past, Hopefully Not Forgotten


Recommended Posts

I know we have had some great advancements in VLF metal detector's over the recent past, but I am hoping that we can keep some of the older design features that seemed to work well. 

My favorite new technological features being offered in VLF's are Multi-IQ and single frequencies options, fully programmable settings, waterproof, noise cancel, USB chargers, li-ion batteries, Bluetooth headphones, prospecting & coin/relic options, and lightweight. Really a great job by the inventors of these detectors.

IMHO I hope we do not lose some of the past designs that worked well, such as the ergonomics of the balanced s rod that would separate in three places for backpacking, the hip mountable brain box, the detectors that would not fall over when put on a little bit of an uneven surface, the 6.5 inch elliptical concentric or double DD coils for great access in rocky areas, the 1/4 inch headphone jack, the spare interchangeable battery pack that takes regular batteries to serve as a back-up for the li-ion battery pack, and higher frequencies options.

I would like to see what else had worked well with other detector user, seems like we are always buying aftermarket parts to retain some of these older features where possible. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, NV-OR-ID-CAL-AU said:

IMHO I hope we do not lose some of the past designs that worked well, such as the ergonomics of the balanced s rod that would separate in three places for backpacking, the hip mountable brain box, the detectors that would not fall over when put on a little bit of an uneven surface, the 6.5 inch elliptical concentric or double DD coils for great access in rocky areas, the 1/4 inch headphone jack, the spare interchangeable battery pack that takes regular batteries to serve as a back-up for the li-ion battery pack, and higher frequencies options.

1) hip mountable brain box -- what detectors available (new) today still allow this?

2) 1/4 inch headphone jack -- Minelab has made it clear they won't be using these in the future.  And as they continue to monopolize the market our options continue to disappear.

I hope we aren't forced into using either proprietary headphones or Blueooth T/R.  Some may contend that LL latency isn't noticeable, but I disagree.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not worried about detectors getting worse through the elimination of useful features. Tech advances make some features obsolete. Yes, you can hip mount the Deus control box, but do you need to? That was for heavy control boxes mainly. Wireless will only get faster, lag is just a growing pain that will be a memory soon in all devices. Why do we need 1/4” jacks, when universal high speed wireless is where we are headed?

No, S rods are not going away. There is not a conspiracy going on to eliminate competition, and therefore for everyone to agree to not make things people want. That’s not how the system generally works. Any lack by one manufacturer is an opening for another to be exploited.

Hint - the surest way to look old is to start talking about how rotary phones were better. They never got lost, since they were attached to the wall, and calls were better quality, and more reliable. Way easier for fat fingers to get dialed numbers right. We have all been “forced” to abandon wall attached rotary dial phones, because people in general would rather have mobile phones, even if that means a dropped call now and then. And some cell types are no doubt lamenting the demise of the 1/8” jack, at the same time detectorists are still trying to hold on the the 1/4” jack.

So we are in different boats I guess. In my case, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, and please ditch obsolete stuff faster. If you guys want old stuff, let me direct you to the Fisher website, where you can buy yesterday’s technology, new today. Plenty of heavy hip mount boxes and 1/4” jacks for those who want those things! :smile:

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank for your comment Steve. I agree there are some things that probily are needing left behind as we push forward. By this post I was hoping to get more feedback to companies of what the consumer wants in a detector, and hopefully say it’s been done before, not hard to do, why not bring it back, can it hurt. Kinda of like the 6000 being made lighter with a built in speaker or having a Toyota diesel in the U.S. let’s do what works best.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Wireless will only get faster, lag is just a growing pain that will be a memory soon in all devices. Why do we need 1/4” jacks, when universal high speed wireless is where we are headed?

We've already gone backwards.  Proprietary audio (wireless) T/R was introduced in detectors (and is fortunately still an option) before standard Bluetooth and Low Latency, wasn't it?  It seems right now LL headphones are falling by the wayside in favor of standard ('high latency') Bluetooth versions.  Apparently that's what the cellphone generation is satiisfied with.

The trend (at ML, anyway) has been towards inexpensive (and 'cheap' quality) consumer devices as accessories.  The high quality aftermarket headphones are fading away.  Part of that fault also belongs on the aftermarket manufacturers not making 3.5 mm plug versions.  (Gray Ghost does, but it took them a while.)  IMO the (niche) aftermarket companies are being driven out of business by less demanding consumers.

The "good old days vs. the cutting edge" discussion has existed for over a century (maybe longer) and although it's true that in general the new ways are an improvement, it's not universally true.  Sometimes it's 2 steps forward and 1 step back (and occasionally worse).

The McDonald's business model (make what we want and convince the consumer it's what they want) has (obviously) been successful in fast food and many other areas.   Maybe that's where the detector world is headed.  Lack of competition is fueling that.

Oh, and if I cared how old I look I wouldn't dare be seen swinging a metal detector!  Got any Grecian Formula I can borrow?  You've convinced me to don my bell bottoms and head to the discotheque.  Maybe I can muscle John Travolta aside and dance with Olivia Newton John.  :biggrin:

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the future!🤣

Link to post
Share on other sites

GB_Amateur, I agree technological advancement can be a double edged sword. I definitely like the new technology, even though it does feel like it sometimes moves to fast and forgets the older and more reliable features that did not change for the better. One example is that I’m basically dirt farming and camping in the most remote places in the U.S. so having a ruggedized detector with a long lasting battery would work best for these situations. We used to have detectors that could run on 40 plus hours on one set of batteries and now the detector I use most frequently has an internal battery that can only last 12 hours. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the case of the Equinox system, you can carry as many extra USB battery packs as you like to supplement the internal one. With car chargers and solar chargers, there's no excuse for dead batteries......and no need to buy throw-away ones either.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cudamark, I agree the backup battery system sounds like a pretty good option for my circumstance. Have you heard how long the factory Equinox batteries last for?  I’ve heard it’s also not recommended to try and replace the factory battery DIY?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NV-OR-ID-CAL-AU said:

Have you heard how long the factory Equinox batteries last for?  I’ve heard it’s also not recommended to try and replace the factory battery DIY?

They will outlast most owners. I have three equinox, probably older than anyone else owns, and all three batteries are going strong. I have a spare battery I scavenged from a prototype, but I don't think I'll ever need it. They are not hard to replace yourself.... but I do not think that's an issue for about the first five years at least. They get 12 hours when brand new, and over three years later, they have degraded so little I've not noticed any drop off, though there must be some.

It was a big worry for people when Equinox came out, lots of long threads.... and it all turned out to be worry over nothing.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By GB_Amateur
      This is a topic relevant to every(?) form of detecting -- ground coverage.  I'll list several questions concerns I've had but any replies of course aren't limited to these, nor do they need to address  any of them.  Just tossing out some ideas to prompt further discussion.
      1) What methods and efforts do you apply to ensure full ground coverage in the cases where that is one of your goals?
      2) Is your sweep a straight line path or an arc?
      3) How long is your sweep?
      4) How much do you overlap consecutive sweeps in the direction you walk?
      5) How much do you overlap side-to-side swings when following parallel paths (e.g. when walking two side-by-side swaths in the same direction how much does the left end of one path overlap the right end of the next path or vice-versa)?
      6) Have you ever measured your coverage?  How well do detectors with GPS (e.g. Minelab GPZ-7000 and Minelab CTX-3030) monitor ground coverage to this detail?  Have you used other devices to measure ground coverage.  E.g. I can imagine a drone with camera could provide useful data.  Are there smartphones app that would help quantify coverage?
       
    • By nebulanoodle
      Just dreaming...
      What'dya think? Minelab technology going on the next moon mission?
      X6 must be space-worthy.
    • By AUgetter
      If this question has been addressed elsewhere, I apologize in advance and hope someone can give me a link for it.  I have noticed that other companies besides Minelab are coming out with PI detectors for less than $3K.  How do these detectors compare to the best Minelab detectors for Gold and also relic hunting?
    • By JCR
      On the Anfibio Multi (and I think Kruzer & others) there is a definite step in sensitivity between 39&40 Gain and again between 69&70 Gain. Is this a change in the Internal Threshold? In a way this would be the inverse of the way the F75 adjusts sensitivity according to Mike Hillis.  Regardless, it is a very good set up in difficult sites. Most NM users know about the difference in response speed between 89 & 90 Gain on 3DI. This is different. I had read about these steps in a forum post that quoted Alper of NM. I can't seem to find that post now that I want to re read it.
    • By jasong
      https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2021016649A1/en?assignee=minelab&scholar&oq=minelab&sort=new
      This is the most out of this world Minelab detector patent I've ever read. There is so much here, some very sci-fi like, I don't even know where to start. My takeaway is they seem to be positioning themselves for a drone based detector eventually (main details in this patent could be easily transferred to a drone based platform - IMU, GPS, magnetometer, heads up display, FPV, remote control, robotic/vehicle mount, etc) . That is 100% a guess. But in the meantime, there is some interesting, novel items in the pipeline that we might actually see on a machine in closer future?
      No clue if this is a coin machine or gold machine or if it's something they are actually working on right now or just trying to get control patents on such things for the future which may or may not arrive. One thing is for certain, Minelab is BUSY in the engineering department. A few of the highlights:
      Heads up display over glasses/head mounted display (aka augmented reality). Settings, target visualization, shading of detected/not detected areas (I asked for this specifically 5 or 6 years ago here, awesome to see it in a patent now). Plus a camera showing the coil (why would you need that if not operating remotely as from a drone?) The detector has a camera, IMU (accelerometer) and magnetometer to determine position with accuracy. The IMU tracks the position of the coil in real time in relation to both the ground and the target, and combined with the camera video feed will provide a "visual" of the target in the ground through the glasses/head display, as in form of a heat map which increases accuracy with each pass of a coil over the target. A GPS tracks the machine position to properly map the IMU/coil visual target data on the ground and let's a user see the mapping as they detect. This data is recorded for future historical use and can be shared.  Centimeter accuracy with the visual target heat mapping. Potential operators/users include entities other than humans such as "robots" and "an AI (artificial intelligence) using a metal detector" and this line: "The metal detector may be handheld, mounted on a robotic arm of a vehicle or a robot."  Wireless connectivity to computers and phones, transfer of files containing settings configurations from instructors or expert users Remote control of the metal detector through apps on laptops or phones Ability to upload maps, including detecting data, historic human activity, buildings, or other items that seem to indicate custom mapping capability Internet connectivity, potential control through the internet (again, why if not for a drone type device?) "Teamspeak" to other detecting members in the area wirelessly Visual/spatial discrimination Accurate depth measurement Synthesized audio mode, eliminating noise completely and allowing the detector to "recreate" a synthetic audio stream based on data from prior swings Delayed audio processing (enhanced audio) mode or real time audio mode, ability to seperate multiple close targets, reason for this I venture a guess why below ---> This patent actually seems to be describing a completely new method of RX in a detector. Which is actually similar in some ways to the wacky idea I had years ago of reducing EMI/ground noise by emulating a radio telescope array. But in this case they appear to be describing a fairly ingenuous method of doing something similar with only one coil by monitoring RX of the same target at different points in the swing (with the IMU tracking these points) and combining all those RX signals. In this way (and this is my guess, the patent doesn't explain this), you can form a sort of comparator, gradiometer, or interferometer to seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. If that's what they are doing, then I find it to be brilliant. If not, then I just gave them one hell of an idea to patent for the future. 
      That probably sounds like jibberish to non-engineers. But I want people to understand the brilliance in simple terms. Consider this: EMI is random. At any given point in your swing you'll get noise here, but not there. So if you compare two points in the same swing, you will hear noise one point but not the other point because the "zap" already ended. But you might hear a good target at both points in the swing since it's not random like EMI, it's always there in the ground. So, you can effectively eliminate EMI by comparing what signal is not there at two very close points in the swing, and keep the target since it's always there.
      Similarly, with ground, the ground changes as the alluvium changes since soil is inhomogeneous. But a target is still the target. So, a similar method can be applied to the ground.
      In theory, you could use ideas like this to essentially get rid of the Difficult type timings and keep your gains boosted high, and deal with EMI/ground in this way instead which does not require reducing sensitivity. A totally new, novel approach to RX in a metal detector. The audio processing is very slightly delayed because they are using that time to compare measurements at a few different coil positions before letting the audio processor signal that there is a target present. That's my guess. If that isn't what they are doing, then someone else should patent that and thank me for it later when Minelab buys it. Either way, they have something totally new in the RX department here. And the future of detecting looks bright and interesting to me still.
    • By WhiteRabbit
      Hello, now here’s an opener that might just get me banned on my first post!
      Bear with me, my intentions are pure :)
      Does anyone know if it would be possible to jam an MD signal? The reason I ask is to combat the evident problem we have in the UK with “nighthawks”, illegal detectorists.
      Over here, any landowner can grant permission for detecting on their land (with caveats, known historic sites are protected by law). What often happens is that such a permission is granted and a detectorist innocently sets about his / her business. Someone less scrupulous spots this person and assumes there may be something important there, so shows up at night with a couple of friends and the landowner awakens to a field / lawn full of holes, then bans metal detecting.
      Historic sites are also looted.
      Just an off the wall question, how tricky would it be to build a device to block this on a piece of land? Anyone any ideas?
×
×
  • Create New...