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Everything posted by steveg

  1. dew -- interesting, and it confirms what I experienced... Curious -- do you know how much weight you are using? I'll be interested to see, once I start calculating necessary weights, where my findings fall, with respect to what you are using... Steve
  2. dew -- Absolutely. As you well know, putting, say, 10 oz. of weight at the butt end (let's say 12" from the "fulcrum" -- i.e. the handle, in our case) is different from putting 10 oz. of weight 6" BEYOND the butt end (18" from the "fulcrum.") Another way to say it is, if 12" from the "fulcrum," you need 10 oz. to balance the machine, you might only need 6 oz., if you move that weight farther out -- to a distance 18" from the "fulcrum." Anyway, yes -- a longer lower shaft (moving the weight -- the coil -- farther from the fulcrum) changes things weight-wise/balance-wise, and in the exact same way, moving any counter-weight farther away from the butt end of the shaft (farther from the fulcrum) ALSO changes things, weight-wise, in the very same way. And, finally, you sort of "subtly" introduced another variable, there at the end -- and that is, IN the water balance is totally different from OUT of the water balance, assuming you have part of the machine (the coil end) IN the water, and the rest OUT of the water... ? Steve
  3. Daniel, Yep, you are finding similar results as to those I found. When I was testing, with the stock shaft, trying to achieve "perfect balance" (meaning -- when the shaft was hanging freely, it would rest at an angle similar to what you'd hold it at, while detecting), it took about 14 ounces for me to achieve that, at my preferred adjustment length, with the 11" coil. Of course, as you noted, "perfect balance" depends NOT ONLY upon the weight of the coil, but also how long you have your lower rod extended (i.e. the distance of the weight (coil) from the fulcrum (handle)). Other factors, albeit somewhat lesser ones, include the weight of the shaft, the "angle" relative to the ground that a person holds the shaft at while detecting, etc. etc. etc. These are all variables, but by far the two most significant are the weight at the end of the shaft (the coil), and how long the rod is extended. Once I have both shafts built, I can begin compiling data -- I.e. how much counterweight is needed, for each of the different variables? It will take a lot of calculating and testing and design work, but I think in the end I can simplify it down to just a few different weights, for the different variables involved. While PERFECT balance, extended to ANY scenario, involving ANY coil, and ANY rod length adjustment, would require COUNTLESS different counterweights, I think "near" perfect balance can be achieved with just a few different weight options. I plan to figure it all out, and then market the weights in a way that is simple enough for everyone to understand, in terms of which weight or weights they might need. I will say this...I personally have NEVER had an issue with the "nose-heaviness" of the Equinox. YES, it's there; but it's not of a degree that bothers my arm or shoulder in any way -- even after hours of EQX use. HOWEVER, with that said, when I was doing the testing, and arrived at the proper amount of weight needed at the butt end of the shaft to bring perfect balance, I was SHOCKED at how different, and how GOOD, swinging the machine felt. It was truly "night and day!" It was a DREAM, a PLEASURE to swing! The unit basically "floated" in your hand! One thing I quickly learned through that was, while EVERYONE is so focused on how LIGHT a machine is (and I TOTALLY AGREE that "as light as is humanly possible" is a good thing), BALANCE is EQUALLY important, in terms of comfort!!! Sure, a 50-pound machine, even if perfectly balanced, would be WAY TOO HEAVY to swing comfortably. BUT, on the other end of the spectrum, a 3-pound machine, improperly balanced, is not comfortable either, for some. SO -- achieving the lightest weight possible is MOST important, INITIALLY (from a detector design perspective). But once you have the machine literally AS LIGHT AS YOU CAN MAKE IT, the proper next step, if you wish to maximize ergonomic comfort, is to turn around and begin to (somewhat counter-intuitively) ADD weight -- as little as necessary, and in the proper strategic locations -- but ADD weight nonetheless! And that's an especially hard paradigm, I think, to get across to some detectorists, as everyone right now is focused on OVERALL WEIGHT of the machine. It's hard to convince someone that a 4-pound machine can be WAY MORE COMFORTABLE than the VERY SAME MACHINE, at 3 pounds. If that extra weight is added in exactly the right place, I can PROMISE that the four pound machine can feel SIGNIFICANTLY more comfortable than the 3-pound machine... Anyway, these are just my rambling thoughts on the issue. It's a long-winded way of saying that I have come to learn that proper balance is important! I think anyone who feels that the EQX is a bit ergonomically uncomfortable, might be VERY pleasantly surprised, if they were to swing the machine with proper counterweight attached. In other words, I think many of these folks might surprise themselves, and end up PREFERRING a machine that the scale says is a bit "heavier," but their body says is "much more comfortable..." Steve
  4. NCtoad -- FOR NOW, you would use the OEM cuff on the shaft. However, I am working on the possibility of offering an aftermarket lightweight aluminum cuff as an optional accessory, one which would be produced by a friend "whose name you are probably familiar with" from the perspective of aftermarket arm cuffs! LOL! However, he's still pondering the thought, so for now this is still a "maybe." Thanks! Steve
  5. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! NCtoad -- yes, that was the whole idea for the design...to design/procure a cam lock that was very strong/stable/secure, and thus permit the elimination of the button/pin and hole design as was included on the Minelab stock middle shaft. YES, my design permits/provides infinite adjustment length -- again, a huge part of why I designed it the way I did. I got "spoiled" from years of swinging Explorers and, now, the CTX -- and I grew to LOVE those secure clamping cam locks which allow infinite adjustment ability at the simple "flip of a lever." I wanted to emulate that, with the Equinox. ? You asked about pricing; I'm thinking at this point that there are going to be a few different options of shaft available (with customizable options of course, but I'll just ignore that, for now). Here's what I'm thinking for rough pricing for the more "standard" options... I'm thinking that my "standard" shaft will come without a threaded butt-end of the shaft to accommodate the future, optional counterbalance system. This will be just an upper shaft with cam lock, plus holes drilled for the arm cuff and the control box, and a non-threaded "end cap" on the upper end. Preliminary pricing for this "standard" shaft will be $75-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and roughly $119 or so plus shipping, with the lower rod also included. For the same upper shaft, but with the inclusion of the threaded butt-end of the shaft (for future compatibility with the planned/optional counterbalance system), and a threaded end cap, $85-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and $129-ish plus shipping with the lower rod included. As I said, the shaft is designed so as to NOT require the button holes. However, the lower rods already include the spring buttons, so it's easy to allow the shaft to also utilize that spring button, just by drilling appropriate holes in the shaft. As such, any customer who WANTS the button holes included on the shaft for any reason, will be able to request that as one of the custom options. For that option, that would add $5 to $10 to any of the above prices. This is kind of what I'm thinking at this point. Let me know if you have any other questions... Thanks for your interest! Steve
  6. 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. Here are a few pictures... Thanks! Steve
  7. Dew -- That's pretty much what I'm thinking -- I'm planning to use lead shot (bird shot -- like #8) for the weighting, filling the inside of the tubes with the proper amount of shot to achieve the necessary weight (again, different-weight tubes will be available). And yes, with the tubes threading into the back end of the shaft, i.e. extending back beyond the handle and arm cuff, it makes it easier to achieve proper balance (the farther the weight is from the "fulcrum" of the lever, the less the amount of weight that is needed to achieve balance). When I was doing the testing, it was AMAZING what it felt like to swing a perfectly balanced Equinox! It basically "floats" in your hand! Steve
  8. Daniel TN -- what you are describing is exactly the "concept" I'm working on, though "implementation" will be a bit different. In my mind at this point, short lengths of carbon-fiber tube, that thread onto the back end of the upper shaft is essentially the exact concept I'm working with, BUT with different weighting requirements to be accomplished by different-length tubes (with different amounts of weight therein) being the way I currently plan to do it. But yes, I plan to offer several different weights (length of tubes) for the different coils, etc. Dig It -- THANKS for the kind words! I appreciate your business, and look forward to confirmation that you've received the rods, and are pleased with them! ? Steve
  9. Dew -- Interesting thought. I don't shoot a bow often, but I do have one, and I do have a stabilizer on it. The concept is similar to what I've been planning -- something that "threads on," to offer improved balance. I will take a look there, and see if there are any interesting things I can glean. As an update, I'm still waiting on shipment of my parts for the prototype shafts. UGH! The two companies I am working with are blaming being "swamped" due to "end of year" orders for the delay, but the bottom line is that things are frustratingly slow right now. I am hoping for good news soon....as I can't wait to not only evaluate the prototypes, but ALSO to continue forward with the design on the counter-balance system (as I need a completed shaft, before I can really work on the counter-balancing ideas...) Steve
  10. If anyone is interested in the "war nickel" thing, we have an ongoing thread over at Findmall, discussing this very thing, and some research I've done into the issue. Yes, Snohomish; what you dug and what it ID'd at is unusual, but NOT unprecedented... https://www.findmall.com/read.php?86,2467416 Steve
  11. El Nino -- Very interesting idea... Thanks for sharing these thoughts/ideas! Steve
  12. Dew -- A stainless-steel lock washer would certainly help; not sure on reverse threads, but "thin" threads would definitely help; the threads on my stainless-steel couplers I use for the CTX travel rods are VERY thin...
  13. Ha! Thanks for the kind words, Del! Obviously I'm not sure on a "travel shaft" design yet, as this is a kind of new thing which has come up; I wasn't thinking a "three-piece" travel shaft would be "in demand" -- as I figured that anyone needing to travel with the EQX would simply use the stock three-piece. SO I wasn't expecting a lot of demand for a "travel shaft." BUT, meanwhile, I have high hopes that the "one-piece" upper shaft that I'm working on, which will of course incorporate the lowers already being made, is going to be a pretty nice one, that I think people will be pleased with. I expect to receive the parts I'm waiting on from the two different companies this week -- which will include two slightly different -- but overall very similar -- clamping cam locks, which meet my specifications/design requirements. After some evaluation/testing of the two prototypes (specifically, the two cam locks), I expect to be ready to begin production. The "accessories," (the counter-balance system, in particular), I hope/expect will follow shortly thereafter. I really appreciate everyone's input, through the process. Thanks! Steve
  14. El Nino -- That is a nice-looking shaft setup! Looks like you went with a one-piece carbon-fiber LOWER rod, that telescopes up inside the Minelab upper rod, totally eliminating the middle shaft section. I'm still not following, though, what you did to eliminate the problem of that "nipple" on the bottom of the handle, such that your lower rod will slide into the upper. Are you saying that you trimmed/cut that nipple down to where the nipple is only about 1.5mm long? That way, it still fits into the HOLE in the upper shaft, but is now too short to protrude down THROUGH the hole and INTO the upper shaft -- thus allowing the lower rod to freely slide into the upper? That is a very interesting approach, and intriguing idea. The only issue for me to offer such a solution/product (i.e. an extra-long lower rod, that telescopes into the upper) would be that I am not sure how many folks would be willing to permanently "alter" their control box handle by trimming down that "nipple" to 1.5mm in length, or whatever. For anyone who WOULD be willing to do that, I'd be willing to build them an extra-long one-piece LOWER rod, that would telescope into the upper. The only other issue would be that if using the Minelab upper section in such a setup, where an extra-long, one piece lower shaft is used, is that there would need to be some spring-button holes drilled into the upper shaft section, to allow the extension length of the lower rod to be adjusted per user preference? Steve
  15. Dewcon, OK, now I got what you are meaning, by "telescopic." Makes sense now. Thanks! That would have been an interesting experiment -- but sounds like it wouldn't quite work, with the handle issue being the problem. Also, very interesting thought there, about using that nipple on the bottom of the handle as an advantage, instead of an impediment. It makes some sense that it might be able to be utilized for "alignment." Hmm. Meanwhile, I have been trying to think through some possible ways to make a threaded stainless coupler an option for a "travel rod," that you, or afreakofnature, might think would possibly be useful. A roughly 1mm thick rubber "washer" or "grommet" added, where the two threaded pieces come together/meet, when tightened, thus utilizing the rubber's friction to reduce any tendency for the coupler to accidentally loosen/unscrew while detecting? A very tight-fitting silicone-like sleeve that could be slid up and down on the rod -- such that a user could slide it down over the connection point to keep sand out (that probably wouldn't work; just brainstorming)? Bottom line is, that threaded connector approach -- if it could be made to be a solution that doesn't suffer from any of the issues you two point out -- would be the easiest way to produce a travel shaft, for those interested in such a shaft. Hmm... Oh, and thanks for the kind words, Dew! Steve
  16. EL NINO -- I agree that a telescopic solution would be optimal. I think, if I understand correctly, you are suggesting an "adapter" of sorts, that would attach to the upper rod, and allow the control-box handle to attach to that ADAPTER, as opposed to attaching to the upper rod directly? I assume the purpose would be to eliminate the problems associated with that "nipple" that protrudes into the upper shaft -- and thus permitting a middle rod the ability to "telescope" into the upper rod? Dew -- Tell me more about what you are saying; I am not following. You said you "tried a telescopic shaft," before, but it "wouldn't allow the handle to be kept tight due to inconsistencies in the O.D. of the shaft." But I think you are currently using an Anderson shaft with your EQX, and the Anderson IS telescopic, right? So I must be missing what you mean by saying you "tried a telescopic shaft once." We must be using a different definition for "telescopic shaft;" to clarify, I refer to, for instance, the CTX 3030 shaft as being a "telescopic" shaft -- since one shaft piece slides up into another. Please help me to better understand what you are referring to. Along those lines, I am not sure what you mean when you say "telescopic might work on the Equinox" due to that "hole required for the handle." To me, that handle "nipple" that fits into that hole is what would make a "telescopic" idea NOT work, on the upper portion of the EQX shaft, as that nipple "blocks" the inside of the upper rod, preventing a "middle" rod from sliding up into the upper rod... As for the "folding" fittings, I seem to recall someone posting those, but didn't look real closely, as I wasn't thinking about them with respect to a possible "travel" shaft design at that time. I guess that would be another possibility?
  17. Cal_Cobra -- did you find what you were looking for, in terms of a supplier for your 15x12? My dealer is sending mine tomorrow, and he said his wait list is relatively short now, after this most recent shipment... Steve
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Hi all! I just wanted to mention that there is another possible solution, though I'm not sure if it would work the way everyone would prefer, or not. The issue I have found with the idea of a "middle" shaft telescoping into the "upper" shaft, is that the Equinox includes two "protrusions" into the upper shaft, that are problematic (with respect to the desire for a telescopic middle/upper rod) One of these "protrusions is the arm cuff bolt, but the other, more difficult one, due to location, is the little "nipple" on the bottom of the handle assembly that protrudes into the inside of the upper rod. Presumably, in the mods shown in this thread, that "nipple" was cut or sanded off, so as to allow the "middle" rod to "telescope" into the upper? With the complete shaft system I'm working on, which will be ready soon, I had not been considering the idea of a "travel-rod-type" three-piece option, as it was my assumption that anyone wanting a "travel rod" would simply use the stock shaft (with that shaft already being able to be collapsed in a relatively compact manner). HOWEVER, this thread suggests that there are folks who want something other than the Minelab shaft as a "travel shaft." So, from that perspective, one option I could offer for a "custom" design would be a slightly shorter lower rod, which would telescope into the "upper" via a clamping cam lock (the same cam lock that will be included in the "standard" shaft setup I will offer). HOWEVER, I could then also "split" the upper shaft into two roughly equal, relatively short lengths, via use of a stainless-steel threaded connector (similar to what I do with my CTX 3030 travel shafts -- see the attached picture). I could locate this connector at a position within the upper shaft just "below" the handle assembly, similar in position to where the current "upper" twist lock is located on the stock Minelab shaft. Built in this way, this would result in a compact, collapsible shaft system that would include a lower rod that telescopes into the "lower" section of the "upper" rod, and then -- by unscrewing via the connector -- two separate, relatively short sections of upper rod. While the stainless connector would add a bit of weight, that weight would reside very close to the handle of the machine, thus not upsetting the "balance" of the machine in any way. Anyway, this is another possible way of fulfilling an apparent desire amongst at least some Equinox users to have a fully collapsible, compact carbon-fiber shaft system. If this is something anyone would be interested in, please contact me with your thoughts. Thanks! Steve
  21. PseudoShooter -- Thanks for the kind words! That's always the goal -- happy customers! ? Steve
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. soks -- I agree. Here in central Oklahoma, that red clay stains ALL the water around here! Steve
  25. Thanks for the kind words, Bryan! You are REALLY making some GREAT finds over the past few days with the 15"... I can't wait until I receive mine! Steve
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