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Logical Step For The Atx?


Aureous

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What is Garrett thinking I wonder, to advance the evolution of the ATX circuit? Its a good, solid detector for a single channel PI circuit. If it was removed from the big, heavy, bulky ridiculous housing with the big, bulky, heavy, ridiculous collapsing stem setup, I'm sure it would sell a heap more. Collaborating with a well known and respected coil manufacturer to make available the proprietary plugs and specs would also help heaps. A good coil range sells detectors as we all know.

My thoughts also stretched to how the QED (also being a single channel PI) can be adjusted to have faster or slower sampling with relevant timings to either find small gold/targets OR bigger, deeper gold/targets. Seeing how Minelabs patents (MPS) don't allow for multi-channel detectors to be built by any other company, I suspect that this adjustable concept is the logical step to make? Use a small coil: fast sampling/timing. Use a large coil: slower sampling/timing. 

Garrett has a very good PI circuit in the ATX....why not actually (FINALLY) turn it into the quality prospecting PI that it was supposed to be? Most of the engineering is already done so I'd imagine the cost of doing the rest wouldn't be a huge financial burden. God knows the Fisher Impulse Gold isn't on the horizon any time soon so perhaps a well positioned gold prospecting PI detector with ground tracking and great sensitivity should be a focus for Garrett? Especially now that Whites range of prospecting PI's are now gone from the marketplace. They have the 24K to cover the entry level high frequency VLF side of their 'lineup' so now its time to offer a practical prospecting PI as well. Undercut Minelab's high price point by a good margin (which won't be hard to do) and I would suspect that sales should flow, especially in Africa. 

I think I know Steve's thoughts on this....what about everyone else?

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Why Garrett did not immediately follow the ATX up with a dry land version, with standard coils, aimed purely at desert prospectors, goes down as a massive missed opportunity in my opinion. Yeah they can do it still, but had they done it years ago, it would have changed the direction of the prospecting market. There is still an opening, due to QED being a fail, TDI going away, and GPX 6000 being priced sky high. Fisher Impulse Gold stuck in development hell, and Nokta/Makro focused on multi to the exclusion of PI. The 6000 did finally address the ergonomics issue with Minelab detectors, removing one of the low hanging fruit, but the price point still leaves room for another option. Hard to believe, but if you want to buy a new ground balancing PI with a warranty, and have it not be a Minelab, the ATX is the only real option right now. Minelab has all but crushed the competition, and Impulse Gold is only known alternate possibility in the horizon at this time.

 

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The ATX could easily incorporate the best attributes of the QED and put it into a dry land ATX, the adjustable modes on the QED to bias towards small or large targets was a great feature of the QED for a single channel PI.    The QED is never going to be a mainstream detector, it's developer is dead set on keeping it a home made project with 3D printing and so on with him having full control of everything and as I've always said one person can't be good at everything and this is very evident with the QED, he needed others on the project, first an audio engineer would help, when your detector only works with a very limited range of headphones that have just the right impedance or they'll be super quiet you know you have a problem when every other product on the market can handle virtually everything you plug into it.   This way of operating limits where it can go and who will buy it.  

The biggest thing going for the QED was GPX coil support, and the ATX is so limited there by comparison so if they really wanted to make it a hit GPX coils would be a big bonus.

Garrett has an opportunity here, they can still do it, time is ticking though and who knows Nokta may even come out with theirs once the MF is out the door and fill the gap with a low priced PI.

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6 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

The 6000 did finally address the ergonomics issue with Minelab detectors, removing one of the low hanging fruit, but the price point still leaves room for another option. Hard to believe, but if you want to buy a new ground balancing PI with a warranty, and have it not be a Minelab, the ATX is the only real option right now. Minelab has all but crushed the competition, and Impulse Gold is only known alternate possibility in the horizon at this time.

That perfectly sums up the situation Steve. The price-point gap in the prospecting PI market is a huge opportunity for ANY manufacturer right now and Garrett is the only one able to exploit it....unless FTP has the Impulse gold more advanced than we are lead to believe. Lost opportunities......

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Yes, but is the ATX circuitry competitive or on par with anything that Minelab could re-release (from the last 15 years) whenever they feel the urge or need and at price point of their choosing. I did some recent side by side tests with the ATX and my “ancient” GP3500……. And boy oh boy, did the 3500 smoke the ATX 😳

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1 hour ago, Tony said:

Yes, but is the ATX circuitry competitive or on par with anything that Minelab could re-release (from the last 15 years) whenever they feel the urge or need and at price point of their choosing. I did some recent side by side tests with the ATX and my “ancient” GP3500……. And boy oh boy, did the 3500 smoke the ATX 😳

I did a number of SxS tests with a GP3000 and a GPX4500 when I owned an ATX and found it heard everything that the ML units did UNTIL it reached roughly a 3-5 gram size limit (depending on density of the gold) and then the ML units 'galloped away'. BUT, on undug targets, not on a test patch, the ATX could find gold that the 4500 couldn't hear. It excelled at thin, wiry bits and rough hackly specimen type gold better. I used it on several patches I'd hammered to pull an extra 30-40 bits. But then the weight and awkwardness of the damned thing completely f&%ked an already worn out shoulder and I was destined not to use a PI detector for 3 years. 

So, to my mind, given a new set of timing codes with a bias adjust (like the QED), with aftermarket coil support,  it most definitely has a place in the market. 

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5 hours ago, Tony said:

Yes, but is the ATX circuitry competitive or on par with anything that Minelab could re-release (from the last 15 years) whenever they feel the urge or need and at price point of their choosing. I did some recent side by side tests with the ATX and my “ancient” GP3500……. And boy oh boy, did the 3500 smoke the ATX 😳

There is nothing wrong with ATX performance, but nobody says it slays Minelabs detectors. If Minelab were to release something even better, that undercut them…. that’s better yet. Let’s create some competition. I don’t care if it is Minelab, Garrett, or anyone else, I’d just like to see somebody make a decent, affordable GBPI detector that does not weigh a ton. I’d be thrilled if Minelab repackaged an older model. Just reintroduce the SD2200v2, add built in battery and speaker, and we have a good contender.

The ATX is better than most Minelab users give it credit for; it can and will find gold in the right hands. It handles ground and hot rocks that trouble Minelabs latest and greatest, the GPX 7000 and GPX 6000, with ease. It exceeded the models prior to the GP Extreme for small gold performance. Boost the battery power to Minelab levels is about all it would need to narrow the gap on larger gold. But again, I’m not pushing the ATX per se. I just think Garrett can build a better ATX that better competes for the intended gold prospecting market. I’d like us not to live in a world where only Minelab makes these types of detectors, and dictates whatever price they choose.

 

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Living in a world with only one brand to buy is never a good thing, it's why I gave the QED a good go as I was hoping it was going to become a cheaper option for people, to bring in some competition.  It has the small gold hots required to rival earlier GPX models and if configured correctly it can beat them on some smaller gold, it seems to be able to find bigger deeper stuff, it's ground handling is reasonable, it works great at the beach and it can find some prickly types of gold the GPX and GPZ struggle on.  It's so close but so far from being this cheap lightweight PI that the market really needs.  It could get there, it could get there quite easily, but sadly it won't but we won't go into that, it's not the detectors fault as is stupidly close to being the detector the market needs but it's held back by people.

The QED is so light and compact a waterproof version of it could be produced quite easily, it would require different coils for waterproofing of the connector unless some sort of adapter can be made but the actual waterproofing wouldn't be an impossible task, especially if they used the PL1 style housing where the entire detector was in the control box, with just the batteries being separate.  Maybe an adapter could be made for normal coils and then if you're going in deeper water you'd need specific diving coils that have the correct waterproof fitting to directly connect, and ordinary GPX coils for shallow water and land use via the adapter.

So they could have a QED Terra Firma and QED Aqua models relatively easily.

One of the big guys should have bought QED out, rumour was White's considered it.  A shame it didn't happen as I think they could have done a lot with it.  Nokta could likely turn it into a magical low price PI as they excel at making great housings for detectors with excellent build quality, the area the QED really lacks is where Nokta excels.

Garrett can do it by adjusting their ATX, Nokta can possibly do it starting from scratch... Garrett has something to work with already and like Steve describes the changes are doable if they desire to do so.

Nobody is expecting a Minelab killer, it's just an entry into the market at the right price that gives people a cheaper option to get a PI powered gold prospecting machine.  Sure they won't find 100% of the gold a GPZ or GPX user might, but they'll find a good chunk of it and that's what you get for a cheaper price.

Fisher doesn't seem to be much good for anything these days but we'll see how the Impulse Gold pans out, it sounds like it'd be a decent machine, the lack of GPX coil support is a bit of a negative but if the design requires custom made coils so be it, as long as a good range is available then it's fine.  I just wonder if it'll ever make it to market, the AQ hasn't really been a good example of a success story.

If the entry PI whoever produces ends up being a good seller, then they'll see the reason to develop it further and improve it and make a version 2, and then we may have the start to some good competition.

I'm probably just day dreaming with the above, but it sure would be a shake up for the gold prospectors out there having cheaper lighter options like that.

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My “problem” is that the gold is deep and “nuggety” and way bigger than 3 to 5 grams……a nice problem to have. The side by side tests were on undug nuggets in a small patch in hot ground. The ATX does have its place…….just no where near where I typically hunt. 

Using the ATX in really hot ground, I just could not differentiate small gold targets from ground noise….we are talking Western Australian heavy ironstone country. The earlier SD and GP machines excel in this ground.

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26 minutes ago, Tony said:

My “problem” is that the gold is deep and “nuggety” and way bigger than 3 to 5 grams……a nice problem to have. The side by side tests were on undug nuggets in a small patch in hot ground. The ATX does have its place…….just no where near where I typically hunt. 

Using the ATX in really hot ground, I just could not differentiate small gold targets from ground noise….we are talking Western Australian heavy ironstone country. The earlier SD and GP machines excel in this ground.

So use something other than a Garrett. Nobody is trying to sell you anything. This is the Garrett Forum however, not the Minelab or QED Forum, so let’s stick to Garrett here please. We are discussing where Garrett might go with the ATX, a newer and improved ATX. Not dwelling in why the old ATX does not serve. That’s kind of the point. One would hope it could not only be put in a better package, but close that gap with Minelab. If not for you, then for others. The world is a bigger place than Western Australia, and people use these machines for more than just nugget hunting. The beach and relic market here in the U.S. may actually be bigger these days for a properly built and priced GBPI.

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