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steveg

Complete Carbon-fiber Shaft System For The Equinox...

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Hi all;

Just wanted to give a heads-up that while lower rod sales continue at a brisk pace, I'm also nearing completion on the design of the complete carbon-fiber shaft system (that I've hinted about before). I will have two prototypes (using two similar, but slightly different clamping cam-lock systems) built in about 2 weeks (parts are in production now), and then, after some final testing, I'll be ready to ramp up to production mode.

I think these will be really nice shafts; my main focus over the past couple of months has been the cam lock system -- specifically the strength/security/stability of the cam lock. The goals are two-fold -- 1.) to eliminate ALL wobble issues experienced by some users with the factory shaft, and 2.) to HOPEFULLY eliminate the spring button/button hole design.

While I will continue to offer my lower shafts WITH the spring button (so that my lower rods will remain compatible with Minelab's middle shaft), my expectation is that the clamping cam locks on my shaft will meet the design spec for strength/stability -- which would mean NO BUTTON HOLES REQUIRED in the shaft. The intent of the design has been with an eye toward the final result being somewhat akin to the CTX 3030 type of shaft -- i.e. a secure cam lock, permitting "universal" adjustment lengths for the lower rod.

Anyway, I expect to have these shafts ready soon; shortly thereafter, I expect to have a rather unique counter-balancing system available as an optional add-on accessary, to achieve perfect balance for the machine (through the availability of several different weights, each one appropriate for each of the different coils, and for different lower rod adjustment lengths). Finally, a custom arm cuff may also be an optional add-on accessory in the not-too-distant future.

I'll offer more information later -- and I also have a more detailed post up on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stevesdetectorrods if anyone wants more information.

Thanks!

Steve

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flakmagnet --

As soon as the parts come for the prototypes, I'll get the assembled -- and then take plenty of pictures and post them (and will provide more info at that time, as well).

THANKS for your interest!

Steve

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I can vouch for Steve's workmanship. I purchased a lower rod off of him recently and the quality was top-notch.

It was extremely well packaged for shipping as well.

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PseudoShooter --

Thanks for the kind words!  That's always the goal -- happy customers!  😉

Steve

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Hey Steve any chance of making a travel rod? So it can fit in a carry on.  I am really interested in your design and camlock system.

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afreakofnature --

I don't see any reason why I can't do that.  Please allow me to check with my supplier, who makes the stainless-steel couplings for the tubes I use for my CTX rods, and see if they can make one for the Equinox-sized tubes.  I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be able to.  Using one of those couplings, it would just be a matter of making the upper shaft a "two-piece" shaft, with that stainless coupling being the "break point."  

THANKS for your interest; I should have the parts for the 2 prototype rods within a week, and I'll see what I can figure out with respect to the travel shaft, and the associated coupling.

Steve

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I am not too sure on the stainless steel coupler.  If you have to screw it together sand will easy get caught in that and cause problems.  I was hoping it could involve your new cam lock and perhaps slide together.  Maybe with a smaller diameter carbon fiber tube?  I'll wait to see your new locks and maybe we can go from there.  I have until Feb until I need one.  The only one that I have seen was made by Plugger, but I'm looking more for that CTX feel. :biggrin:

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AFF....has a good point Steve.  I have a 2 piece for the CTX....I ended up having to Re-glue it twice... and it kept unscrewing when used in the water.  If they are aluminum sand wears um pretty good to...especially if they don’t stay tight.  They need a lock to keep them tight.  I ended up using a SS clamp ...ugh

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Guys,

Thanks for these thoughts, they are much appreciated.

Dew -- interesting thoughts on two-piece rods with threaded connectors.  The ones I have made in the past use stainless-steel connectors, not aluminum, and they seem to "stay tight" pretty well.  But even so, it's good to hear your feedback, as I try to think through the possibility of offering a "collapsible" or "travel" shaft for the EQX.  It sounds like such a design -- using threaded connectors -- would not be optimal in your experience?

afreakofnature -- I hear you, on the desire for a telescoping travel rod.  A fully telescopic system would be great, but there are some non-trivial challenges, that would make it hard to implement a design using a "second" clamping cam lock for the middle and upper sections of a travel rod (versus the "lower cam lock, upper threaded connector" type of design, that I have suggested here).

The two biggest challenges are:

1.  Minelab's design of both the Equinox handle, and the arm cuff, essentially preclude simple implementation of a shaft design featuring a middle tube "telescoping" into the upper.  The reason is, both the arm cuff and the handle require "protrusions" into the upper shaft (a "through bolt" in the case of the arm cuff, and a "nipple" in the case of the handle) that would prevent the ability for a smaller tube to "slide inside" the upper.  So, to achieve telescopy with the middle and upper rods, one would have to "cut off" or "sand off" that "nipple" on the bottom of the handle, and -- possibly -- create a re-designed arm cuff that does not attach via a "through bolt" (unless the middle rod was able to be kept short enough such that the arm-cuff through bolt would be far enough toward the end of the upper shaft so as not to be a hindrance).

2.  If this first challenge were overcome, the other issue is that such a shaft would of course require 3 different tube sizes -- ultimately forcing the O.D. of the tube used for the lower rod to be a relatively small 17.75mm O.D.  Not only is a 17.75mm tube getting pretty small, in terms of outside diameter, but the other concern is that with a 19.75mm O.D. middle rod connecting to that 17.75mm O.D. lower rod, a new cam lock would have to be designed; likewise, a new design would also be required for the "clevis/head" piece at the lower end of the lower rod, where the coil attaches (again, due to the smaller lower rod size).  And therefore, since these "travel" rods would probably be in somewhat limited demand, as compared to the regular "two-piece" complete shaft, the costs of designing/producing another cam lock and another clevis, and possibly a new arm cuff, would be tough to recover, without a rather significant increase in the cost of the shaft.

For these reasons, my brain envisioned that the way to avoid these issues entirely would be to implement the screw-type connector for the upper shaft.  But -- as someone not intimately familiar with the difficulties of dealing with sand, perhaps the threaded connector is not the best option, as the two of you are suggesting.  Hmm...

Steve

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      Hi all!
      I've been talking about this for so long, that I figure some of you may have wondered if it was ever actually going to happen, BUT...
      I am happy to announce that parts for one of the two prototype Equinox complete shafts arrived today, and I finished assembly.  I am VERY pleased with the quality of the parts -- especially the clamping cam lock, which was a large portion of the focus for the design.  I have done a small amount of testing/evaluation, and I am happy to say at this point that the strength/security of the clamp is impressive, and meets the design intent.  Overall, I see nothing about the shaft that needs to be changed/tweaked at this point.  I plan to build the second prototype when parts arrive for it on Tuesday, and then will do more testing and evaluation of both shafts.  Soon thereafter, I expect to place a "first order" for parts, so that I can begin offering them for sale.
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      Steve
       







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