So here's the latest SAGA (Swing Assist Guide Arm) news. As someone mentioned, maybe SAGA was not a good name as the development of this product has become something of a SAGA. The initial test run of 50, we took some and put them into the field. MONUMENTAL FAIL. These things were falling apart faster than you could swing your detector. To say they were under-engineered was putting it lightly. I had the basic concept of how this should be designed, but ultimately I depend on my fabricators to use the right material and finally design the product to withstand the rigors of metal detecting. Literally the only thing that performed well was the handle and the storage clip. I was shocked because I have been using the same company for 25 years and they have never let me down. And considering that they are working to totally re-design the piece, they didn't let me down this time either, it's just that it is taking a lot of time to make sure we get it right.
The straps were totally worthless. If you pulled on them, with very little force, they broke. We are now making the straps of super rubber. The pivot joint, was made too weak. Various pieces were just snapping. The pivot pin was either falling out of the joint or simply breaking. The ball joint which I thought would be a great idea, was actually a pitiful execution. It actually allowed too much play in the joint and made it feel like you had little to no control over the Swing Arm. Precisely what I did not want to happen. There were only really two movements I wanted. Obviously the first, a pivot joint that would allow you to move the Swing Arm out and away from the detector, to the right or left depending on which side you mounted the SAGA on. The second movement was a rotation joint allowing up or down movement to prevent breaking the pivot joint. Literally every Swing Arm out there has the ability to move out and away from the machine by some method that is not a true pivot joint, and designed with some very minor collateral allowance of up or down motion, but this limited range of motion causes a lot of breakage of the competitor's fake pivot joints. After going through the process I now know why competitors have designed their fake pivot joints in this manner, because they only needed one mold, which lowers costs significantly. My design requires 4 different parts and 4 molds. That does not count the 5th mold for the rod storage clip which my competitors do not offer. In addition to which competitors Swing Arms will not work on all detectors. The shafts on detectors have started to come in all shapes and sizes making it difficult to design a mount that will fit them all. I think I have accomplished that feat. The swivel joint and storage clip can be mounted on a variety of different rod sizes and shapes.
I could only laugh at what an absolute failure this thing was. If it had been one little thing that was wrong, then I would have been mad, but when the entire damn thing is an abortion, well all you can do is laugh and say let's go back to the drawing board. Literally, until the Corona Virus came along, this Swing Assist Guide Arm was the worst thing to ever come out of China.
To save time I went to a local tooling shop with my new plans on how to make this thing bullet proof. I am happy to report that the resulting prototype is strong like a bull, and extremely sturdy. It is in the hands of my factory in China and they have already done the CAD renderings. This one (SAGA Version 2.0) will be a winner! -Doc
By Steve Herschbach
It has been common knowledge among those paying attention that Nokta/Makro has been working on a new simultaneous multifrequency detector for some time now. The Simplex+ has been specifically stated as being the potential housing for the new unit when it appears. This post from 2/17/2020 reconfirms work on the new model:
"Hello all... yes, the name has been chosen and the machine is in the works. Cannot confirm the release date as of today but hopefully I will be able to share more info further into the year. Hope this helps...."
People often bring up patents as a reason why new multifrequency units have been so rare to appear, but the fact is patents on machines like the 5 & 15 kHz Fisher CZ, White's 3 & 15 kHz DFX, and Minelab BBS (billed as 17 transmitted but more likely 2 - 3 processed frequencies out of 17 transmitted) have all expired. Nokta/Makro has plenty to work with.
Given the speed with which Nokta/Makro has brought new machines to market in the past and the fact they have a mostly proven housing in hand now via the Simplex, I expect an announcement by this fall with a detector available either before Christmas or next spring. If I was them right now I would be collecting warranty claim info to make sure the Simplex housing is bullet proof before launching the new unit, and that should be going well by now. In the meantime work can proceed on design and testing of the circuit.
Frankly, there is no need to do anything radical to be successful. If Nokta/Makro simply did what Fisher should have done years ago and mage a digital clone of the CZ but with target id instead of meter, put in a waterproof Simplex box with wireless, and at their normal great pricing, they will have a winner. Many people would kill for a Excalibur BBS clone in a Simplex style housing. The main thing multifrequency offers is good VLF saltwater performance, and a Nokta/Makro Multiplex (my guess ) model would be an easy sale for a lot of beach hunters plus the general coin, relic, jewelry market.
There will probably not be any real news for some time but when I hear anything, this is the thread I will post on.
Nokta/Makro Multifrequency metal detector?
By Steve Herschbach
From the Prescott Daily Courier http://www.prescottaz.com/m/Articles.aspx?ArticleID=140625
Jack Delano Gifford, 75, passed away Jan. 3, 2015. He was born in Miami, Arizona, the son of Norval and Mayme Gifford. When Jack was about 6 years old, he and his family moved to the Phoenix area, and he lived there until he moved to Prescott, Arizona.
After high school, Jack served his country in the National Guard for six years. During that time, he also earned a technical degree in electronics and started a family. In his early electronics career, he worked in the aerospace industry. During a slowdown in the '70s, he was recruited by a metal detector company and worked in that industry until his retirement. Jack was an entrepreneur and an electronics design engineer, and founded three companies. The last one, Tesoro Electronics, brought him many friends and national and international acclaim for his designs and his support of the industry. He started that company in Glendale, Arizona, in 1980 and when he moved it to Prescott in 1991, it provided new technical jobs and industry for this area.
Jack started visiting Prescott when he was in high school and, during his careers, he and Myrna would visit the area for some much needed R & R. Eventually he realized he could move the company to Prescott so they could enjoy the Prescott lifestyle full-time.
Jack loved his family, motorcycles, metal-detecting and working on vintage stereo equipment. He also built the speakers to complete the systems, many of which he gave to family and friends. After retirement, he became a PADI-certified scuba-diver. Jack joined American Lutheran Church and served on their board. He was part of the Tuesday night men's Bible study and worked in ALC's outreach programs such as The Rock and Teen Closet. He also worked at the Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank and served on their board.
Jack is survived by his wife of 54 years, Myrna; sons James and Vince (Katy); three amazing granddaughters, Isabella, Lily and Charlotte; sister Gloria Gray; and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents, infant daughter Kelly Jeanine, and sister Glenna.
By Steve Herschbach
From the Codan news release at http://www.codan.com.au/Portals/0/investorpubs/22 AXS Announcement - Minelab awarded $6.7m contract.pdf (copy below):
"Cooperating with NIITEK Inc., the HDD will combine Minelab’s new Multiple Frequency Continuous Wave metal detection technology and NIITEK’s advanced ground penetrating radar."
31 August 2016
MINELAB AWARDED CONTRACT TO DEVELOP NEW HANDHELD DEVICE DETECTOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE
Minelab Electronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Codan Limited, has been awarded a $6.7m contract by the Department of Defence to develop a new Handheld Device Detector (HDD). The funding received under this contract is to further develop a dual sensor metal detector which incorporates ground penetrating radar. It will partially offset the development costs of the product, and the project is expected to be completed by 2018.
The development of the HDD builds on Minelab's success in technology development and product innovation for use in military programmes.
Codan is particularly pleased to be of service to the ADF and to provide an enhanced capability that currently does not exist. Once the HDD enters into service with the ADF, we are confident that other militaries will seek the same level of capability, broadening our market for countermine products.
The contract supports Codan's stated strategy of growing its profitability by improving and broadening our product offerings while ensuring our value propositions remain relevant and leading-edge.
Previous to this award, in March 2014, Minelab was selected by the Department of Defence's Rapid Prototype Development and Evaluation (RPDE) programme to receive
$1.0m in funding to further integrate metal detection and ground penetration radar technologies into a lightweight and compact mechanical platform. In December 2014, RPDE provided an additional $1.3m in funding, and Minelab subsequently produced an advanced prototype of the HDD.
Cooperating with NIITEK Inc., the HDD will combine Minelab's new Multiple Frequency Continuous Wave metal detection technology and NIITEK's advanced ground penetrating radar. The HDD was designed taking into account the comprehensive requirements of the ADF, supplemented with feedback from Army User Groups. It will include advanced detection technologies as well as new standards of compactness and ergonomics.
On behalf of the Board
Michael Barton Company Secretary
MORE INFORMATION ON THE NIITEK/MINELAB GROUNDSHARK