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Air Metal Detectors Now Shipping To Backers


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Air Metal Detectors, a machine that uses your cell phone as a passive remote, is now a reality. It has existed in prototype form for years now, but has finally entered production and now is in the hands of some backers. Backers of its Kickstarter campaign will be first in line, so it may be months before the general public can get our hands on one. Below are some photos of an unboxing. Instantly it reminds one of the XP Deus in many ways. It also functions similarly with the main hardware stuffed in the coil while your phone replaces the remote. This unit is around 7khz if I remember correctly, so it this model is neither selectable nor multifrequency, but the inventor has said he plans for his next machine to be multifrequency. This machine faced many hurdles before the inventor was finally happy with it. So it will be interesting when the first reviews pop up. What do you think of the concept?46E2AE79-6BF4-44E3-9F59-43D903C97A20.thumb.jpeg.1199b3a0622b82cf6ca81ec18c3dc7be.jpeg3C82DFE4-4980-446B-BF31-3EF2BF10D05E.thumb.jpeg.09072730554e448cf630f52bb81803d9.jpegBE1E1440-C5F2-424E-810C-8ED3D17A845C.thumb.jpeg.42eaf47704db37756ac9b39a5b6b3bbc.jpeg55DA12BE-C837-4CEF-8ADD-AFB7D7830820.thumb.jpeg.51d3ad1aec9de33e8d7e965ffa79daca.jpeg

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I've been following this.  Not impressed.  I really have a problem with using a cell phone as an interface because the cell phone already has too much stuff going on and the last thing you need are sports score notifications and random phone calls messing up your detecting session.  Besides, my phone is already doing triple duty as my GPS path tracker for the site and for taking recovery pics.  It is not compelling from a performance standpoint (vanilla single frequency VLF) other than to say - "Yay. We did it!"  Which, of course, you knew they could.  Just didn't think it was going to take 2 years to do it from the start of the Kickstarter when they supposedly had a pre-prod ready to go and delivery slated for November 2019 (it was shown at CES, Las Vegas in 2018 and the concept design was started in 2014).  Now it is nearly July 2021.  Perhaps the pandemic had an impact on material supply chain or manufacturing, but it sounds like they were mainly working out out design glitches on the material used for the rod/stem assembly and software issues.  Then they fell asleep at the switch and allowed Google to boot their app off the Play Store. - oops!

Ergonomically, the thing looks uncomfortable to swing and scratching my head on the decision not to center the coil rod.  I like the LED flashlight on the bottom of the coil, though.  Really no new ground has been broken here in terms of ergonomics (XP already lives here and the Simplex, Vanquish, and Apex are not too far behind on weight), convenience, or performance.  Cost is just OK at $300, but frankly that is basically what the Simplex costs.  Better hope your phone uses APTX-LL codec or you are going to get lag if you go wireless audio (you already have lag from the coil to the phone, because it is using bluetooth to send the info to the phone).  The Kickstarter comparison chart compares it to the Xterra 705, the AT Pro, and the F75.  None of those detectors are using cutting edge technology.  It basically gives off a "cool" Sky Mall vibe for those not very familiar with metal detecting but with plenty of disposable income.  I know I am being harsh, but frankly it will probably end up in most folk's closets after the novelty wears off.  

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17 hours ago, Chase Goldman said:

I know I am being harsh, but frankly it will probably end up in most folk's closets after the novelty wears off.  

I don’t think you’re being harsh at all. It all sounds about right. It’s really only the novelty that has any appeal. It doesn’t appear to bring anything new to the table performance wise. Many of us chimed in when it was just a prototype that multi and selectable were the way to go, and going with single frequency is just more white noise. 
 

Personally, I’m not a fan of tying up my phone to use as a metal detector. By now we probably all have spare phones or an iPod touch, which might be a better option. Otherwise it’s just asking to damage a very expensive phone (who hasn’t knocked over a metal detector?) and deal with the interruptions that come with a live phone

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Curious what kind of delay you have from the coil to detector.

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You can go to their Kickstarter page and view their latest demo video here:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/airmetaldetectors/air-metal-detector-the-smart-bluetooth-metal-detec/posts

The responsiveness of the phone app and interface doesn't look half bad.  I like being able to use a touch screen interface to quickly access and change settings.  Not sure if you would get audio lag from the phone to your wireless phones should you choose to wear headphones (as most experienced detectorists do).  That would be dependent on the wireless phones and the compatible codecs shared by your cell phone and the headset.  I can see the potential for issues there. 

But again, everything comes back to the fact that you are stuck using a single frequency machine without any ground breaking performance features. In that case, going with the Simplex might be a better value. 

When these guys started this effort, I don't think they anticipated that ML, Nokta, and even Garrett would bring more capable, affordable, and light weight detectors to market before they even got off the ground.  

They have only about 299 backers committed to buy these things, yet they seem to be having a lot of trouble rolling out fulfillment of even that small number of pre-orders nearly two years after they were originally supposed to be delivered (Nov 2019).  There are a lot of unhappy campers if you scroll through the comments section of Kickstarter page.

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The machine looks pretty descent and audio is pretty good. Only other concern is using the phone as a screen in the bright sun. Not sure if you guys have trouble seeing your screen in the sun but I do.

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It seemed to do fairly well on in ground depth testing and promises around 12” on a quarter. The nail board test seemed pretty good too. Hopefully the app design would take into account visibility issues. There’s some potential in using a spare cell or iPod touch. One is durability of the platform. The control can be replaced cheaply and at will if damaged or pixels die etc. Apps are also very versatile and you could probably add things like a signagraph over time. Another advantage is color screen. If they ever decide to go multifrequency there’s potential for color coding the frequencies like the V3i and/or maybe even developing crude imaging. 
 

Air Metal Detector’s potential future development is probably going to depend on how well this unit is received and how much capital it raises. That’s anybodies guess. The fact is that the features we’d like it to have, it doesn’t have right now. So it depends on how many newbies will buy it and how many more experienced people will buy it just as a novelty. If it flops as bad as it theoretically could, especially with the production issues, what it is now may be all it ever will be. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/29/2021 at 10:18 AM, kac said:

The machine looks pretty descent and audio is pretty good. Only other concern is using the phone as a screen in the bright sun. Not sure if you guys have trouble seeing your screen in the sun but I do.

From what I can tell looks is about all they have.  Actual user reports range from disappointment to scathing to "maybe I can repurpose the hardware into something useful" based on monitoring at least one dedicated AMD facebook user group with reports of phones constantly falling out of the cradle, phone software compatibility issues, lack of appreciable in-ground target depth, jumpy and inaccurate IDs, lack of tone customizations, and disc, theshold, and ground balance controls that don't seem to do anything. That's only after they manage to ship one to you in the first place which is a whole other issue.  Any DP forum members get one of these and what are your thoughts?

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https://3dshoes.com/blogs/news/treasure-hunter-metal-detecting-sandals

THIS, is the future....  😂  the site doesn’t even have info on them anymore but apparently you can purchase 3D printed novelty sandals and 3D printing materials.

Check out the “Teslas” or the “Covid-19s” under their product offerings. New beach detecting footwear anyone?

This is all this made me think of. 

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Wow. 399.- USD for this!? And you have to have a phone which can handle the app. Runtime will be less than two hours on my samsung I think (that sucks the batt pack in no time). Well, I can use a power bank but no, thanks. For that I'd better add 25 bucks getting a new garrett ace apex for sure.😉😜

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