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Steve Herschbach

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Everything posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. Different strokes for different folks. The VLF vs PI thing gets a bit silly. Use whatever you like, and quit trying to prove one is better than the other. I just enjoy using a PI, like to use one for everything, and digging trash is not a big deal to me. Plus when desired, I can cherry pick my targets better than most VLF people would ever think, thank you very much. But if the trash is thick, then a VLF makes more sense most of the time. On the other hand, if VLF has made targets nil to none at shallower depths, a PI can make things like new again. Inevitably, as VLF machines clean places out, for VLFs, people will turn to PI detectors to get what's left, as long as somebody thinks what is left is worth going after. My best example is the Culpepper relic area. It was all VLF until VLF would not deliver well anymore. Now it's mostly PI hunters. Any nugget patch will deliver with VLF early on, but inevitably PI comes into play as shallow targets go away. Beach is no different. A VLF is great as long as you have targets aplenty. But what do you do when a VLF finds nothing any more? It's go somewhere else, or get a PI.
  2. Yeah, but like I said, without me getting out my calculator, can somebody who knows this stuff lay out in real terms how much the import taxes and duties would add to the price? I laid out a fairly good case for exchange rate and shipping leading to AUS$5999, and am curious how much of the extra $1300 can reasonably be attributed to duties and tax. This is not a situation requiring opinions, but a calculator, and facts.
  3. Lots of sad faces this morning, especially in Australia. How can the machine be double the price? Can't be the exchange rate, though that's a lot, would add maybe 30%, so about $5750 based on that alone. Can't be shipping, high as it may be, it could not account for thousands of dollars. maybe AUS$5999 once you factor shipping, if that. Are there some crazy high import duties and taxes? What are they, and how much are they?
  4. As far as Minelab coil compatibility, there has been zero intent that I am aware of to provide such a thing, and zero reason to expect it. Maybe ATX coils could be made to work, but even that I'd sure not count on at all. Maybe some modding wizards out there will pull something off, who knows. Me, I consider the coils we have to be it, until Garrett or the aftermarket makes more, which I do fully expect. Any third party people want me to test any, give me a yell!
  5. I honestly do not know if the unit I have now is a RTM model or not, and if it is not, not sure that it does not mean Garrett is at that stage or not. To the best of my knowledge what I personally have, I assume is a very late stage prototype. It looks done, no 3D printed parts, camera ready obviously. But before all is said and done, I also expect to get a model actually new in a box to replace this one, which Gerry seems to have been sent, going by the photo he posted below. His almost certainly are RTM units. I don’t rate the pretty box, carry bag, etc.
  6. Yes, very unfortunate. Just like the 24K being almost double in Australia than the U.S., completely ruining the price/value “bang for the buck” proposition. It will undoubtably hold back sales in Australia, and in my opinion that’s a genuine shame.
  7. Thanks for bringing this back to top Simon. Not only is it a great explanation of dual channel ground balance systems, but also highlights my pointed criticism of the ATX, and my never-ending quest for what I called the LTX (Lightweight ATX). Now finally seeing the light of day seven years after this original post, in the form of the Garrett Axiom.
  8. I am not using a “final version” and it is not likely the first buyers will also. The Axiom is updateable over the internet, and every detector released with such a capability has seen one or more updates after being released. There will be feedback from all the early buyers, and they inevitably find things, or want things, that demand an update. That being the case, field testing continues until the moment the detector ships. If I find a bug tomorrow, it will be reported and addressed. Then after buyers get one, early feedback will be very important. Again, 1000 users in places around the world have more chance of finding some oddball combination of circumstances that requires an update, than a handful of prototype testers. However, do not expect the machine to change in some big way, that some magic feature or ability not advertised on release, will get added later. The update feature is more like insurance against bugs, not some promise of a detector that gets endlessly improved for eternity into being something newer and better. People think of the update feature as a promise that the detector will evolve over time into something completely different, the last detector they will ever need to buy. Well, my iPhone gets updates, but that does not stop Apple from selling a newer model to me every few years. Hardware does ultimately matter, and any software updates are always constrained by the underlying hardware. I am hopeful for uses for the Axiom outside of gold prospecting, but it is important to note it is not being designed as a multipurpose detector, but instead all efforts are focused on it being a nugget detector. If there is some capability that is needed for nugget detecting, that made it worse for beach detecting, or relic detecting, the nugget detecting aspect will win out. The coils for instance, are being made as light as possible, and enclosed to shed debris, but this means they float like corks, and are no good for wading at the beach. So while I am personally hoping to use the Axiom for more than nugget detecting, there is no promise whatsoever that I am aware of from Garrett, that any such capability is on their radar. There are not troops of beach or relic hunters testing the machine; the focus is on nugget hunters. If the machine is ever going to be a decent beach machine, Garrett, or somebody else, will need to release a coil that will be neutrally buoyant for underwater use.
  9. It depends how close the ground balance points are to each other, and if they overlap to any degree.
  10. All Minelab PI detectors ever made have dual channel ground balance. And despite people thinking it was Minelab only due to patents, Infinium, ATX, and now Axiom, are all dual ground balance models. The Infinium was introduced in 2002, twenty years ago, and Minelab never sued them then. So either the MPS patent had already expired by then, or Garrett used some way of doing it differently that dig not trigger a patent dispute. As the explanation below discusses, this is why the White's TDI, as an older single channel design, was always a machine with an inherent disadvantage compared to the dual channel designs. Learn about "The Hole!" Good explanation here The PI Ground Balance "Hole"
  11. Almost everything was done with the 13” DD coil. Ground in these videos is fairly high magnetite content.
  12. If you mess around with the detector on too many hot rocks or whatever, it is easy to reset the machine and start over. While up and running, press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the machine double blips. The ground display will now show the default 49 49. I like to power off at this point, and power back up. You are now just like new out of the box with default settings, and can start over. Note ALL settings have returned to default, so reset whatever you need to. You should not need to do this very often, but I did find there were times I thought I simply had too much ground cancellation dialed in, and it felt best to just clear everything and start fresh. As a rule, I like to do this anyway whenever I make a major location change with Axiom, just to be sure.
  13. Should also mention iron check can also work on some specific types of hot rocks, for those who do not want to aggressively balance out the rocks, or for extreme rocks that may not balance out. Again, just a tool, use wisely. For nugget hunting at least I will always recommend digging all targets - if possible. That is the problem. Limited time, too many nails, you have to do the best you can. Iron Check give you another tool for dealing with those types of situations. The best way to learn Iron Check for your specific area and targets is to use it, but continue to dig the targets. Note the responses, see what you have. Don't stop digging anything until you have done this enough to have built some confidence. Again, I will make this warning. If you are in a place where a magnet dropped on the ground comes up with a large gob of soil attached, your ground is loaded with iron. The system will see this iron, and it can overwhelm the non-ferrous response. The system is not broken, your ground is full of iron! In general only lean on this for moderate to low mineral ground, and only then after you have used and checked dug targets long enough to have some idea what you are soing.
  14. Here is a short video showing the Axiom manual ground balance (ground grab) and a few methods for dealing with hot rocks.
  15. Yes. But can't be done without a complete makeover, since the telescoping fiberglass rods are actually part of the coil assembly. Garrett ATX Strip Down & Rebuild
  16. You might get lucky in air tests, but ground balancing on bad ground etc….. it’s simply not usually the case. But hey, you won’t blow up the detector, and if you have coils you can experiment, why not? Maybe you will discover something really good!
  17. The detector now works fine, but I’ve not actually used it in the field. Too busy with other detectors it seems No, other coils will not work, it’s not just a matter of swapping connectors.
  18. So far the mono coils I have used have worked in mineralized ground as well, even better, than the DD coils.
  19. What it is most similar to is the ATX, though the polarity was reversed to give a more positive iron sound on targets. It is unlike the Minelab function, which is set, and then blanks or breaks up on possible ferrous. The Axiom iron check only kicks in when you first find a target, then press and hold the Menu button while sweeping the target. Iron gives a distinct low growl. It’s actually pretty good in moderate to low mineral ground. However, just like with the Minelab version, iron mineralization in the soil interferes with the process, and if there is enough magnetite in the ground, you will get an iron reading, or at least iron indications, on some non-ferrous targets. I saw quite large gold read ferrous with the Minelab system at Moore Creek in Alaska, and it did kind of ruin me on this stuff. The other issue is both systems only work on shallow targets, not the deepest, where you really need it. So I almost 100% rely on the tones only, which works to full depth, and at all times. Long story short, I recommend that the iron check only be used in lower mineral ground as a rule, or in cases where it’s more for something other than gold nuggets. Missing a Civil War bullet is one thing, a 1/4 ounce nugget another. I did find it useful for me personally as a sort of last check. I’d be reading the tone and situation, and saying “this is a nail” and be ready to walk away. Now, also give it a quick Iron Check. If it does not read ferrous, dig it! It’s more a good way to reverse a “no dig” situation, than the opposite. And that’s in line with my general philosophy of “look for reasons to dig, not reasons to pass a target.” One thing that is indisputable. It is better to have this tool than not to have it, and it that regard it is one of my favorite Axiom controls. I suspect some people will become real wizards with it, more so than I, as I tend to forget it’s even there. It’s probably the relic hunters that will figure it out to it’s best potential, as they simply need something like this more than I do. Me, if I get that sweet high tone, it’s going to get dug, end of story. There will be a video soon specifically on the iron check function.
  20. Putting aside all his ignorance about the Axiom, I agree with his basic premise, which is that Garrett needs a heavy hitting multi frequency to compete in the general coin and relic market. He is typical, however, of people that think the big money is in coin detecting. What put the U.S. companies in trouble was exactly his attitude. Ignore the worldwide gold market, and let Minelab own it. The U.S. companies were picking up pennies, while Minelab picked up dollars. Then Minelab used this money to dominate coin/relic/beach. Not the other way around, so he has the reality of what is going on exactly backwards. If Garrett can’t get into the worldwide gold market, then efforts in the maxed out U.S. coin market will lead to naught. That is not where the real money is, and anyone thinking it is, needs to go read Codan (Minelab) corporate reports. People think Apex was Garrett’s main offering in multi. Really? It’s just an entry level model, was intended as nothing more. A tiny taste of things to come, while the real work proceeded on Axiom. No, what we all want to see next is the machine Garrett is working on to challenge the other top multis on the market. But that won’t be this year, that’s for sure, as there is a lot to do to get Axiom out there still.
  21. I discussed the mono outside edge sensitivity in my last post. So you mean the DD coil outside edge? Pretty dead, just like a standard DD. The power is up the middle strip, with the expanded donut in the middle, and then expanding outwards overall as target size increases.
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