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Minelab Not Interested In Making Coils? Their New Patents Disagree.


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Chet is away at an outing…he’s one of the few who could comment something worthwhile on this!😂

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I seem to recall someone mentioning that the GPZ7000 replacement coming next year will use a form of concentric coil for extreme depth :biggrin:. Extra Depth can always be attained by reducing/eliminating noise. The multi axis form of this coil will present problems in manufacture (due to flexing) but obviously provide a very quiet receive end.

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It's similar to the main reason I've said I don't think PI or any other detection tech is at it's limits yet. Signal processing and noise reduction have a ton of room to improve.

We don't have a depth problem. We have a noise problem. Every time you lower the noise floor, you increase the effective sensitivity without having to increase gain. So really you can get around around the x^3 or x^6 exponential decay problem right now by just concentrating on signal processing, reducing noise, hearing the hidden signals that are already there with current power levels.

And we have a ton of chips almost custom built to do stuff like this today. Not to mention a lot of algorithmic approaches in science and engineering which have been developed to reduce noise for other devices that could be employed as well. I've been saying this for 2 decades, it was one idea I wanted to bring to White's when I graduated and tried (and failed) to get an application in Sweet Home in 2004 or 03, to zero interest.

It occurred to me because I started studying radio telescopes the last year of my degree and was amazed at the fact that we could detect and sense elements, molecules, and other specific data across such a vast distance and through vast amounts of noise, dust clouds, and other massive interference. And the way they do stuff like that is through clever noise reduction via signal processing and things like interferometry and arrays. Different than a metal detector entirely, but shares concepts.

Good to see Minelab working on similar ideas (not radio telescopes, but noise reduction/signal processing).

I've said it before: the perfect detector makes no noise on anything but an actual target. 

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Essentially what I'm explaining is this. Right now there are a lot of signals that we could be detecting with current tech, they are echoing back up to surface, but we don't hear them because the noise floor is too high.

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But if you lower the noise floor, you can now hear some of those same signals, without increasing RX or TX power at all. This is also the same theory and fundamental idea behind why I've always tried to run as hot as possible, while still staying somewhat stable to avoid signal masking from too much EMI, and sensory adaptation.

I think in a way, Geosense sought to automate this idea. But it seems to have somewhat failed in some cases. But I think the automation process has a lot more potential to be released and developed in future detectors. Computers/AI should do 100% of the repetitive measurement stuff, leaving human brains free to do all the interpretive parts of detecting. 

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14 minutes ago, jasong said:

Essentially what I'm explaining is this. Right now there are a lot of signals that we could be detecting with current tech, they are echoing back up to surface, but we don't hear them because the noise floor is too high

Many years back at a ML sponsored "sausage" sizzle here in FNQ OZ, roughly around the time of the early ML PIs, essentially  what Jasong is explaining above was explained by a ML representative. Gold detectors ML have produced have tackled that problem in increments, some may cynically say at the users expense, of course the user pays for Tech. gains albietly more painful for us because of our relative small consumer base. I see the GPZ probably being the biggest performance gain for its time after the first PIs, because it tackled that noise in a new way, with the GPX6000 tackling that noise in another approach (Geosense??). Further as we who embraced X coils especially their CC coils know, they have given us performance gains again by "quietening" that noise somewhat. Now it appears ML may be again tackling this noise from the coil end.

Good exciting stuff and thank you Jasong for ferreting this info out from the mountains of info out there. 

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You engineer types can comment on all that technical stuff I don’t understand....but I can tell you with certainty that coil in the first photo is gonna be hell to X Ray 🤣

strick

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7 hours ago, jasong said:

I think in a way, Geosense sought to automate this idea.

Geosense tackles the noise generated by mineralization, not EMI nor the noise generated by the circuitry. But yeah, I fully agree with your summation with the 'noise floor' threshold. The lower the 'floor', the more gain achieved.

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Ground noise is part of the noise floor too though. Anything that isn't target (or otherwise desirable) signal is noise, technically speaking. Unless someone set out to specifically listen for ground noise to gain some info from it, which I know some people like to do. I usually can tell enough for my needs just by looking at the ground though, so I personally just consider ground all noise by default.

Anyways, I'm not so convinced Geosense itself only alters ground related adjustments, and that there isn't more it's controlling, potentially RX circuit related beyond just ground effects. Simon mentioned something similar as a possibility some time ago, I'm guessing because the X Coil guys said something to him since it was right when he first bought the 6000 and the effect is kinda subtle to notice right away, especially if you are swinging slow and in mild ground.

But after Simon mentioned it, I started paying more attention to the times and places it loses stability and I think it has something to do with both ground and EMI combined in some places because I can make it lose stability quicker in the same place when I'm swinging it vs letting it sit on the ground and slowly drift to unstable. And I can make it lose stability even quicker while swinging it if I'm going over conductive to hot to mild ground, especially swinging quick like exploring. It seems harder to do swinging slower and with less variable ground though.

Dunno, maybe I'm just seeing patterns in clouds. But I feel pretty certain there is something else at work under the hood there, maybe some automation other than Geosense, which was my first thought before Simon mentioned it might be Geosense. It's definitely more pronounced using the speaker too. To me it feels like the 6000 just plain gets overwhelmed when there is just too many external stimuli, and loses some kind of equilibrium occasionally.

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I think a large part of the whole GPX6000 system is to eliminate knobs, switches and settings to make newbies largely at ease about starting out in the prospecting game. Automation, with the variabilities being handled by clever 'on the fly' software and relevant hardware. By the patent summary, Geosense's whole aim is to handle mineralization (hence the name 'geo')....but you're right, there are some vaguaries in the user experience that make you wonder.....

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