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Steve Herschbach

Fisher Impulse AQ (formerly Aqua Manta) Pulse Induction Metal Detector

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You have to remember that Eric Foster was the person that invented the PI technology.   Ones something is invented, other people will find ways to make it better.  Having use the Aquastar for a number of years. I can not wait to have a Manta to use.  

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Looks cool. That shaft attachment is very GPZ like. Knobs, no screens in a slick modern design, exactly what you want for a serious beach hunter. 

My only immediate thought/concern is it looks like no Freq Shift/Noise Cancel function?? That would severely limit where on the beaches I could use it, unless it is very immune to EMI. 

 

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To do freq shift, the mode switch is placed in the Nois cancel position and the pulse delay/noise cancel switch is rotated to find the quietest position. 

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9 hours ago, phrunt said:

Overprice a detector and it will sell, but not near as well.

Yeah, if this ends up being over 2K I will probably take a pass and wait for more models to appear.

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6 hours ago, PhaseTech said:

Looks cool. That shaft attachment is very GPZ like. Knobs, no screens in a slick modern design, exactly what you want for a serious beach hunter. 

Well, we need to remember this is still a prototype, not a production unit. Personally, I have mixed feelings about knobs. I like them from an operational aspect. I dislike them because they collect grit and are an inevitable failure point - the more knobs, the more chance of one failing. There is something to be said for a seamless sealed pod from that perspective. I prefer something like Garrett did on the ATX myself, but that’s just me.

I don’t see the point in the shaft attachment design unless there is a possibility of the cable running up the rod, which might be the case. Again, this is a pre-production prototype so we don’t know for sure on anything.

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17 hours ago, Rick Kempf said:

It wasn’t on their radar.  A PI detector is not something they had their sights on - then this opportunity presented itself and they went for it.  Pretty bold move for what is, after all, like all the detector builders, a small business. They bought more than the design, they hired the team.

Their own development goals proceed - I have no info on what that amounts to, my only insights were about the PI.

Hi Rick, thanks for the info. I know you got two Vallons and had one updated. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Vallons use on the beach and any comparisons to the Impulse.

Thanks,

Tim

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Both my Vallons are updated and the “ugly” one got the full checkout at the Vallon agent in PA.  Need to sell at least one.

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I like how small the battery is and at about 1.8kg it's a good weight, I like the T2 style rod too.  It seems they have listened to their customers.

I can't wait to see the gold detecting model when it comes out.

 

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    • By Rick Kempf
      The latest developments of the AQ pre-production platform continue to increase the utility of the ferrous discrimination capability of the machine. Steady refinement of the design have made the machine not only deeper overall but greatly narrowed the gap between sensitivity in all metal and sensitivity in the iron ID modes of mute and multi-tone. 

      I suspect that if no iron/steel trash existed at the beach, no serious beach hunter would use anything except a Pulse Induction machine - unless they were in dry sand, and maybe not then. The reason I say this is that the depth advantages of existing PI machines is well demonstrated since they can operate on most beaches without the penalty of using ground balance. Also, except for iron/steel, no other level of discrimination is useful since gold jewelry can appear almost anywhere in the ID range above iron. So of the iron wasn’t there - PI’s would likely dominate. 

      In the case of Phase shift discrimination systems like VLF IB detectors use, the strong iron signal dominates the audio output, either silencing the audio entirely in the case of a single tone VLF, by nulling like an FBS/BBS - or by giving a lower tone in a multi-tone Detector. Even in the case of the multitone VLF’s, hearing the non-ferrous target depends on the recovery speed of the processing hardware in the detector. 

      With the AQ’s PI time-based discrimination, The discrimination of iron is reported to the user either as silence (in the mute mode) or as a low tone (in the case of multi-tone). 

      In mute, not only do you not hear the iron, but you hear instead silence - unless there is a non-ferrous target, in that case you hear the target with no hint of the iron at all. In this mode, the AQ software simply makes the ferrous targets disappear - just disappear. 

      In the case of multitone, you hear a high tone for non-ferrous low and medium conductors and a high tone for ferrous targets - close or even superimposed, makes n difference you would hear both tones in any case. 

      This has several major advantages. 

      First, there is “zero recovery speed” - All targets produce an output signal if they return one - the ferrous is - by operator choice - either silenced or assigned a low tone. The low/medium conductors always return their characteristic high tone. This occurs 100% of the time - there is no “switching delay” from target to target based on processor speed limitations happening. 

      Separation distance between adjacent ferrous and non ferrous targets is ZERO. 

      By zero, I mean exactly that, even non-ferrous directly beneath ferrous gives a clear non-ferrous high tone and the iron simply “isn’t there” (in mute - in multi-tone it gives a low tone which you would hear along with the non ferrous high tone). 

      This means that “silent masking” that Tom wrote about long ago, where even a tiny bit if ferrous like a common staple can mask a deeper and larger valuable target, is largely eliminated. 

      Now this isn’t magic, it’s just that the iron is above the ground balance point (or at it) and you are hearing the signals below the GB point and the ones at or above the GB point are silenced (or give a low tone). 

      Is it perfect? - no. In discrim on the AQ some high conductor targets will be “above the GB point” and be treated as iron. If your idea of a good beach hunt is finding a bunch of dimes and quarters in dry sand, then stick with whatever light, cheap VLF you want, they can help you avoid all that aluminum and gold which would just slow you down - lol 

      All this is clearly demonstrated in the video I have linked to before. The machine in the video is the Manta prototype from 3-5 years ago. The system has gone through a lot of development since then, including the very latest gains in overall depth and depth in the iron ID modes which I reported in the first sentence in this post. 

      Will the AQ “obsolete” any other detectors? Depends on what you mean by obsolete. The gas turbine aircraft engine (the jet) quickly replaced the extremely complex, high maintenance multi cylinder reciprocating aircraft engines for heavy, fast and high aircraft, but lots of light aircraft are still piston powered. The piston engine is still undergoing development for some aircraft applications. 

      So I expect that IF the AQ in the hands of the early buyers lives up to its claimed capabilities, that serious beach gold hunters will adopt it quickly. When a new tool in the hands of early adopters proves to be superior at doing a specific job to the previous best tools for the job in question, those who are really serious about performance for economic or other reasons will adopt the new tool and stop using the old one. How many framing carpenters still use a hammer. Not many if the compressor/nail gun noise at any construction site is any guide. The framing hammer is not obsolete - it still works just fine - but for serious users the nail gun became “compelling”. 

      Time will tell how “compelling” the AQ will become for serious beach jewelry hunters.
       
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      There is on-going field testing of the Fisher Impulse AQ in progress trying to improve the discrimination. This despite the machine getting ready to go to production at any moment.
      For those that do not know metal detector development never stops. It just gets to a point where it is good enough and you launch. Engineers can improve for eternity if you let them. This does raise a concern however. This machine is as far as I can tell using a new premise for what it does, and is obviously up against deadlines to get out the door. There is nothing here about internet update capability, and in fact it seems I recall somebody at FT saying there never would be such a feature on their machines. But given that nearly every serious platform released by FT sees software bugs and updates in the first year, including the recently released F-Pulse, the odds are this machine would benefit from an update once it gets into user hands and the inevitable bug is found. It really is a set up for having to mail machines back to be updated.
      I would like to be one of the first to jump on one of these but given the First Texas poor track record in this regard a lack of update facility does give me pause, especially in a detector that will likely be over $2000. I get a cheap detector having no update facility, but First Texas may end up regretting not putting the capability in this detector. Forget the unhappy customers - it costs the company money if it ends up having to physically reprocess every machine sold to perform some kind of software fix. In this day and age internet update capability is an expectation - every Nokta/Makro machine no matter the price has it, even the upcoming under $300 Simplex. I am a bit amazed that there is no mention of this capability on what appears to be the most expensive First Texas metal detector ever made. 
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      In a weird way I see this as good news. Apparently Fisher was ready to start producing the Impulse AQ. The reason I know that is there has been a publicly announced "production delay" over some sort of mechanical aspect of the detector. So I read that as meaning that as soon as this hardware bug gets addressed units will be rolling out the door. The only problem is we don't know how long it will take to fix the bug, but they must be on it 24/7 at this point. Management has to be cracking the whip hard by now to get it out the door. I have to assume we will see this before end of summer. Fingers crossed! 
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