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Steve Herschbach

Under 4 Pound, Under $2000 Gbpi Challenge

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22 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

I'm still kicking myself for not bidding on the ATX you modified and ended up selling on Ebay (with multiple coils) for ~$1k.

I really regret selling that custom ATX now. It would be my non-VLF alternative to the Equinox at this point in time. If this is the way things are going to be I may have to build another. I really don’t want to get involved in another detector modification project. Having done it once however I could do it again with less effort and get an even better final product. That was truly a project meant to poke a stick in Garrett’s eye in hopes of motivating them to do it right. That being the case I cut some corners. It really needed a built in rechargeable battery system with a charging port for instance. At 4.73 lbs it still needs some weight shaved to make the challenge. Revamping the battery system would probably get me those extra few ounces.

With my luck though I would make another one and Garrett would finally introduce a factory built LTX the next day. That’s what I really want. I think I will probably just get the Fisher Impulse AQ and switch from nugget detecting to jewelry detecting while I keep waiting and waiting. It took me 20 years of bitching to get the Equinox so I really am satisfied with my VLF options these days. I guess I can keep complaining and waiting for awhile longer on this. Somebody will crack the code sooner or later...

...or I will get so frustrated I make another LTX! :laugh: Garrett ATX Strip Down & Rebuild

garrett-ltx-lightweight-atx-modificationGarrett LTX (custom ATX) 

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I think many manufacturers are too caught up in developing mass produced detectors to keep the cash rolling in these days vs developing specialty detectors to cater for what is probably a smaller cross section of the market .  Possibly seen as too much of a financial risk vs return type scenario, especially if some previously released detectors have not fared as well as expected.

Would that mean that for a new lightweight PI gold detector to be a financial success, would they have widen its a appeal to both those new to the hobby through to the more experienced prospector by offering a simple though powerful platform that anyone can master in a short period of time.  The Goldmonster comes to mind as a simplified detector out of the box that can be a turn on and go proposition (despite being VLF), whereas previous Minelab gold VLF's require a decent amount of experience to gain optimum performance/setup, thus have limiting appeal to the masses.

That also means embracing new technology to get the weight down on these detectors, including use of lightweight lithium battery packs, composite materials etc - afterall this is 2019, not the 1990's.  

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I think the right lightweight pi would sell like hotcakes. That said, its not gonna be easy to develop a pi circuit that  is not full of detection holes, due to sizes and shapes of nuggets. We have seen this in the past with different machines and their limitations. Its gonna take a multi channel unit.  Maybe Fisher is well on the way to developing such a machine for us, time will tell. Plus these days we require a pi detector that can really reach down deep on 1/2 gram to 2.5 gram nuggets. These seem to be the leftover nuggets 8"-17" deep in old goldfields that havn't been detected as of yet. Plus an added bonus would be a machine capable of finding grain size gold deep. Those are the two types gold left in the old goldfields we are hunting these days. The gpz has been in the forefront in last couple yrs with finding this type gold, but at the price point of the machine and the weight of it, I am much more interested in investing in  a new machine under 4 lbs, and under 2K.

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The Garrett ATX is multi-channel PI as is the new upcoming Fisher. The number one reason I prefer the ATX circuit over the TDI is the TDI as a single channel machine does have that massive hole that travels with the ground balance setting. You can lose 50% or more of  your depth on 1/4 ounce gold nuggets with the TDI when ground balanced to normal goldfield mineralization. The ATX being multi channel is more on par with the Minelabs in that regard.

I would not begin to expect an under $2K machine to outperform the top dogs. Personally I am just looking for "good enough". Anything else is a bonus.

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Hey Steve. is there a file somewhere showing how you did the Mod? I remember reading it, but would like to have the whole thing. I might get around to doing that myself.:-)

Jim

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Way too much common sense in this thread for me to comprehend in on sitting.At this time I would not think twice about buying a used GP series (3000 or newer) over a new PI of any non Minelab brand. But you all know I highly value my own opinions.

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1 hour ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Huge long thread with tons of photos that anyone should be able to follow. Plus I added a link a couple posts back.

Garrett ATX Strip Down & Rebuild

Thanks, Steve.

Jim

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Well, we do have a detector now that beats the price part of the challenge and comes close on the weight. The Interfacion QED PL2 at 4.4 lbs and under US$2000.

And potentially in the running the upcoming Fisher Impulse that will beat on weight at an estimated 3.9 lbs but may be slightly over in price. First up is a beach hunting version but a dry land nugget hunter is supposed to follow soon after.

So a short list of possible options now or in the near future:

  1. White’s TDI SL Special Edition 3.3 lbs $1049
  2. Interfacion QED PL2 4.4 lbs AUD$1850
  3. Fisher Impulse 3.9 lbs? $2500?

I am seriously irritated with Garrett now and swear I will never buy another Garrett metal detector unless they come out with a light weight version of the ATX. To continue to hobble a very good PI circuit with a waterproof 7 lb housing (for desert use?) and the overpriced heavy rod/coil combos borders on “metal detector criminal negligence” at this point. Whoever is running the show at Garrett these days needs to get a clue.

whites-tdi-sl-special-edition.jpg.5f2562

interfacion-qed-pl2-metal-detector.jpg.5

fisher-impulse-aq-metal-detector-prototy

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14 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

To continue to hobble a very good PI circuit with a waterproof 7 lb housing (for desert use?) and the overpriced heavy rod/coil combos borders on “metal detector criminal negligence"....

🤣

15 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Whoever is running the show at Garrett these days needs to get a clue.

Another example of the founder leaving and the inheritors not having the same enthusiasm/vision/dedication.  Charles Garrett gets a lot of the credit (if 'credit' is the right word) for me being in this endeavor.  His books were (still are) inspiring.  Apparently he isn't looked upon as highly as a designer/innovator as much as some others, but he was (and at least his successors still are) at the top of advertising and marketing.  The 15 kHz Ground Hog is acknowledged by many as the first productive gold nugget detector.  Charles's books on how metal detectors work carried the banner for a long time (but are now replaced by Carl and George's Inside the Metal Detector).

I would have owned an ATX a couple years ago if they weren't so ridiculously heavy.  Your LTX was a great existence-proof mod and I still kick myself for not buying it when you put it on Ebay.

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