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Attempt At Super Simplified GPX 5000 Settings

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Hi all. 

A fella I know, who we will call Jim, has been given (yes GIVEN!!) a GPX 5000 and has asked me for help to set it up.  I think it is a year or so old but never been used as the original owner is unwell.  I recently helped my sister's boyfriend who had issues with his 4500 so had roughly read the manual.  The 4500 actually had a speaker issue as well so although we got it working OK the Threshold was still quiet.  My less than expert diagnosis (from a bit of research here and PA Forum) was that his curly cord might be a bit defective and it isn't boosting the audio to the speaker.  

Anyway, I stopped around the other night and helped the bloke with the 5000 as best as I could having roughly ready the manual again.  Now this bloke is technology illiterate and is not someone who is going to sit down and read or understand the 112 pages of the Minelab GPX 5000 manual.  I did give him a print out of Steve H's GPX 5000 bit from the Detector Review area of this forum but even that is beyond him (the Timings/Mineralisation diagram for example). 

So, I have set the 5000 up to a point where the Threshold is humming nicely and we were finding targets in the bush quite easily.   With the 5000 are an 11" mono Commander and I think it was a 17"X11" mono Commander.  No DD which I thought was unusual but maybe they came in a package without a DD?  The original owner might still have a few bits and pieces too as it seemed there were a few things missing.  

Have written up what I think are the absolute essentials for Jim to know about and change if he feels confident to do so.  There are sooooo many controls on a 5000 that I feel like a 5 year old is in control of the cabin of a jumbo jet! 

The following is 112 pages condensed down to 2   😳

Wondering if those with the knowledge would be happy to peruse it and advise if they think it is a reasonable synopsis of all that is important. 

I have left out anything which I don't think is imperative for Jim to know or play with - at least at the start anyway.  Things like battery voltage, etc.  Have left many other things like Target Volume at factory presets.  

I also don't want it running really hot and Jim digging lots of ghost signals.  So are my timings suggestions reasonable for moderate mineralisation ground with some hot rocks, moderate amounts of red, wet clay, etc?  I generally cannot run Normal mode on the GPZ or the GPX6 in the local area if that is some guide.  

Rx Gain and Stabilizer - I think this is maybe going to raise the most discussion 😀   I have another old mate over near Mt Beauty that has a 5000 but he is a bit the same as Jim as he has no idea about technology either.  But, he does find more than his fair share of gold and his detector runs very smooth and appears particularly sensitive to genuine targets without digging a lot of ground noise.  He was previously running his 5000's Rx Gain and Stabilizer at settings provided by the dealer he had purchased off.   He was then told by another old bloke to try the Stabilizer at half of the Rx Gain.  Whatever the Rx Gain was, make the Stabilizer half.  So that is what he has done ever since and he feels it is heaps better.  

Having never used a GPX 4500 or 5000 other than twice in the past 2 weeks I would really appreciate some constructive feedback before I pass this on to Jim  🙏

Cheers, N.E.  


GPX 5000.


Front Panel::

Search Mode:

Choose General.

Deep is for detecting a small area slowly and carefully.

Custom - then provides you with Patch, Hi-Mineral, Hi-Trash and Pinpoint.



Normal - best wide range of performance.

Enhance - cancels most ground noise and hot rocks.

Special - If you choose Special on the Front Panel the following settings will then be available on the Rear Panel.

-    Sensitive Smooth - For severe soils.

-    Fine Gold - Good for small gold in mineralised soil.  Ignores a lot of hot rocks and ground signal.

-    Sensitive Extra - Can increase hot rock signals.  Better for mild ground.  Good with Double D coils.

-    Salt/Gold - For very salty areas - salt lakes, high salt content gold fields, beach.

-    Sharp - More powerful but will increase false signals.   

-    Coin/Relic - For low mineralisation areas.  Poor ground balancing ability in high mineralisation.

My suggestion is to start in Enhance.

Could also try Special (Front Panel) and then Fine Gold (Rear Panel).



Double D.

Mono.     Use this always unless you actually use a Double D coil.  



Ground Balance:

Tracking or Fixed - use Tracking.


Back Panel::

I have only covered the things which you might need to alter from the Factory Preset settings.

Rx Gain:  Has a Range of 1 - 20.

Adjust upwards until the Threshold starts to break up/get wobbly and then slightly reduce until the Threshold is stable again.



As Stabiliser increases it increases the sound of faint signals.  But, it also increases the sound of EMI and ground noise, etc.

Old mate thinks it should be half of what Rx Gain is.  So if Rx Gain is at 10, then set your Stabiliser at 5.   


Audio Tone:

Set it to suit your hearing.  Factory Press is 50 but lower tones for older people can be better.


On a day of detecting:


Set up your Front Panel - Search Mode - Soil/Timings - Coil Rx - Ground Balance.  

Turn on the detector.  

Set the Threshold so that you can hear it easily.

Do an Auto-Tune.  If the Threshold is not nice and quiet - do it again.  If it is still noisy check you Rx Gain and try turning it down.  

Set your Rx Gain (rear Panel) so that it is as high as you can go without the Threshold being wobbly.  

Set your Stabilizer at half of the Rx Gain.

Perform a Ground Balance.

Turn the Threshold down so it is just an audible Mozzie Hum.   


Start detecting.   

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With regard to the speaker not working well on the GPX for your sisters boyfriend are you sure the speaker is wired correctly to engage the amplifier in the battery? To engage the amp it needs audio to tip and the shield to ring with nothing to the sleeve.  If wired incorrectly it will think it's headphones connected and disengage the amplifier so you don't blow your ears off.  I had a thread on here with all the information but I had it deleted 😞

The other thing is the amplifiers in the batteries do have a component that can fail, unfortunately now Steelphase is no longer in business this might be harder to get, he used to sell the little kits to fix it for about $20.   He might say where he sourced the parts for the kits, probably Jaycar 🙂

It's easy for him to try another curly cord to see if it's the problem but I doubt it is. 

You're pretty much covered your own question on usage and done very well to understand the detector quickly.  I always found this Phil Beck treasure talk good for understanding GPX audio https://www.minelab.com/community/treasure-talk/gpx-audio-controls

Your guy by running his stabilizer at half of his gain obviously likes the smoother running with a lot of stabilization, to me that's not so good as he's weakening the performance on very small gold.  I preferred to run mine as high as I could get away with.   1 is maximum stabilizer and 20 is basically off.   A lot of people seemed to run theirs with a gain of something like 12 and stabilizer of 10, the 2 digit rule of two below the gain but I never liked that, I ran mine with as little stabilizer as I was comfortable with while still keeping a reasonably stable threshold.      When you're just learning the detector though running high stabilizer can be beneficial as the smoother the detector the easier to learn to use it.  It's confusing as low numbers are high stabilizer and high numbers are less... kind of back the front 🙂

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Thanks gents for the feedback and thanks Steve for the link.  Hopefully it is straight forward enough for Jim not to get lost.  

3 hours ago, phrunt said:

are you sure the speaker is wired correctly to engage the amplifier in the battery?

He has a dual speaker set-up that previously was working and now it is not, thus why I am thinking it might be the curly cable.  Made sure that absolutely everything was connected properly, plugged in the full way, etc.  He has another curly cable at home with a single speaker so he was going to try that when they returned home.  I've just texted my sister to see how things went - will report back when I know more  👍

3 hours ago, phrunt said:

The other thing is the amplifiers in the batteries do have a component that can fail

This is something I hadn't found in my research.  Thanks, that is a handy hint and may be something to pursue if the second curly cable fix doesn't work.  


3 hours ago, phrunt said:

unfortunately now Steelphase is no longer in business

What, what, what???  When did this happen?  Is the SPO1 no longer?  

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1 minute ago, Northeast said:

What, what, what???  When did this happen?  Is the SPO1 no longer?  

He has moved onto different ventures, and Nenad is going to take over production of the SP01.

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3 hours ago, phrunt said:

unfortunately now Steelphase is no longer in business

Sorry Phrunt - posting at the same time  😉


I had a search on Facebook and found this from the Steelphase facebook site.  So Nenad is continuing the SPO1. 

I would just like to thank everyone who has supported steelPHASE as it has grown from a small hobby into a manufactuing business with a worldwide customer base.
As of this week, I have passed all the manufacturing over to Nenad at Phase Technical. There may be a small delay as he ramps up manufacturing but he is in more of a position to build the brand even bigger.
I will now be able to concentrate on other projects including new products that may go into manufacture under the steelPHASE banner.
Thanks again for all your support.

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NORTHEAST..in my opinion( and at my age I feel I don't need to edit my opinions especially) I think you would be doing your friend a GIANT service if you were to tell him to sell the 5000 and use the $ to purchase something else. Especially if as you say he is NOT  a technologically proficient person! You and everyone else commenting here are setting him up for a load of frustration! I owned one for 5+ years and I feel it was a total waste of valuable time gas travel etc.! Gerry of Gerry's detectors gave a demonstration of a "slew" of detectors on several hundred thousand dollars worth of gold in all sizes and compositions. The 5000 simple would not "see" a lot of specimens that a "simple "VLF detector would pick up with ease! I wish I had known this years ago..instead the dealer(in Az) who sold it to me said "well look at the price of the 5000..there is a reason it costs so much..because it is a proven detector". Bull Pucky! Buddy you wasted 5 years of my life! Ask Gerry of his opinion..I know him as a guy "who tells it as it is". Yes, really really experienced detectorists could probably make it work .. but with the GPX6000 out now why would anyone go thru the torture of a 5000 with dozens and dozens of setting? And as for the claim that the 5000 handles mineralized ground better.. again Bull Pucky..you have to detune it so much you may as well use a EQ800 which in fact handles mineralized ground better!

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17 minutes ago, aerospace guy said:

GIANT service if you were to tell him to sell the 5000 and use the $ to purchase something else

AG - I love your honesty and I actually agree with you whole heartedly re: him getting something more user friendly.  

2 issues arising is that Jim has been given the 5000 but I am unclear if he has it to do whatever he wants with or just given 'the use of it' for as long as he wants.  The second issue is that Jim needs to spend some time getting out and prospecting to see if he actually enjoys it before investing his own $'s in some new equipment.  Hence why I'm just trying to get him set up and working in a manner that is going to effective but not overly frustrating re: ground noise/ghost signals/EMI. 

Your commentary re: the performance of the GPX 5000 is likely quite accurate but beyond my user knowledge.  All I do know is that my GPX 6000 is everything that I hoped for re: sensitivity and ease of use and would absolutely be a better option for Jim.   Although, given the option of paying Australian $8,000 for a GPX6 or being given free use of a GPX5 I would be in a right quandary - free is right in my preferred price range  🤣

Thanks again for your comment and honest opinion.  'Bull Pucky' gave me a laugh too  😉

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Your cousin gave me a list of his settings he uses for his 5000 in the Bendigo area.  Have Jim use those settings and he will be fine.


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4 minutes ago, mn90403 said:

list of his settings he uses for his 5000 in the Bendigo area.

Hi Mitchel, nice to hear from you.  

Do you still have a copy of them? Happy to post them up?  Cuz won't care as he has moved onto a GPZ 7000 now  😉

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