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Jonathan Porter

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Jonathan Porter last won the day on November 7 2017

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About Jonathan Porter

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    Silver Contributor

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  • Location:
    Clermont, QLD, Australia
  • Gear Used:
    GPZ 7000, SDC 2300, GM 1000, EQX800

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  1. Hi Reg, there’s a huge difference between being proud of something I’ve achieved and pride. My pride always takes a beating, that’s why I love metal detecting so much, it keeps me grounded. All the best to you too Reg. JP
  2. To you too Reg and yes absolutely I’m very proud of the profit I’ve made with the detectors I’ve bought and received over the years, very proud indeed. 😎
  3. Yet you’ve greedily bought, bought, bought, for profit, profit, profit Reg!!
  4. There is no truth to that rumour whatsoever. JP
  5. I’m very lucky because I live in a country where I have the opportunity to actually pay for my detectors with the gold I find, in fact it is this potential that drives the demand for product which I then sell in our shop. From a gold perspective I’m pretty sure the Australian recreational market/demand for Minelab tech is bigger than the US market. This is down to a few factors, the main one being our soil conditions and the opportunity the Minelab product provides us and secondly the vastness of the detectable locations with ready access. No one in Australia seriously uses anything else other than Minelab if they want to regularly find gold, and I’d say Minelab know this. Steve I hope you haven’t misunderstood my comments about the GPS, the GPS in the GPZ is a carry over from the CTX 3030 and as such was never going to be more than what it was, discussions I’ve had on this subject over the years indicated to me ML were better off focusing on what they do best rather than provide a band aid carry over that is not really suitable for the application, especially if they have no intention of ever improving/investing R&D on it. Hence why I refuse to use it. In answer to others comments in regards to aftermarket coils for the GPZ, it is pretty clear from my perspective ML put a chip in the coil connector for a very good reason which is to circumvent counterfeiting, therefore anyone hacking that chip or modifying it in any way is breaching the intention behind its use, ethically that is a problem for me. Minelab have demonstrated they are willing to outsource coil manufacture, they have been doing this in partnership with Coiltek for years now. So why to date haven’t any of the coil manufactures put the case to Minelab so they can access the chip? There is obviously a big market there just waiting to be tapped into. Maybe they have but have not reached the level of quality and performance required for ZVT? I know a little about the latest aftermarket coils and in my opinion they were not ready for distribution, it is just pure greed that is driving their sale at present and owners will soon learn the trade off and why I feel it would not interest ML in its present form. Lastly Steve I sincerely hope you hang around and continue to have input on this discussion, in my opinion Minelab turned a corner with the introduction of the Equinox and I truly hope this direction change will flow through to future gold centric detectors. I’m not sure about your price point desire but I now know thanks to the Equinox they can make a really nicely balanced metal detector. JP
  6. There is a very famous saying about the word “Assume”, everyone is assuming the aftermarket coils are as good as the ML offerings. But of course if it is supplied as an aftermarket option there is a lot of latitude if the coil is not up to standard (especially in advertising and promotion) and as has been demonstrated over the years ML are more often than not blamed if there is a supposed problem anyway!! The Equinox is a totally different animal compared to the GPZ or SDC so is not a good example, just like the CTX is in a league all its own. The Equinox just does a good job of a lot of things all at once so is in my opinion a VERY good cross over unit, however in gold ground it does not stack up against MPF or ZVT, not even close. If you factor in the price of aftermarket and then add the expense of a sacrificial coil either via second hand purchase or cannibalising an existing very expensive coil the price is getting up there for springing for an SDC or on par if you go used! I understand the need for smaller coils on the GPZ, I also understand the need for less weight, but you have to ask yourself the question “why have Minelab done it this way?, and “why haven’t the major aftermarket guys not done anything by now?” The success for the GPZ should speak for itself I would think. If you want lighter and smaller then I’ve suggested the options available right now without the risk of voiding warranty or damaging your machine. Not trying to be a kill joy, just that assumptions can be very misleading and expensive when reality bites! JP
  7. Rob you’ve answered your own question in your post and most everyone else’s questions as well. There are VERY good reasons why ML have not gone down the path of more coils for the GPZ, as a dealer the complaint of what a detector does coil wise is answered in the options of products made available. If you WANT a smaller coil and better sensitivity in tight areas then use an SDC 2300, that is what they are designed for, conversely if your an SDC user looking for more depth then I as a dealer would be encouraging the owner to look into the GPZ to cover off on their need for more depth. Both these units have been designed for a specific purpose. The SDC has what is known as ‘narrow band width’ timings, this means they are very good in extremely variable ground conditions with minimal noise, thanks to MPF they are also incredibly sensitive to fast time constant targets (tiny or prickly gold). Narrow Band width means they do not react to a lot of ground noise and salt signal that ‘wide band width’ units like the GPX and GPZ react to! Putting a larger coil on an SDC will increase depth to some degree but open up a whole lot of other issues that go against the original design, in effect fighting against the MPF concept and special tuning of the coil that was required for the SDC to work properly. The SDC was never designed to have coils swapped out so this also opens up a can of worms with regards to warranty etc. An SDC user who goes over some deep ground with a larger coil will still miss a lot of deeper gold that a GPZ will easily find, this comes back to the timings of the SDC and what it was purposely designed for. BTW yes I carry stocks of these coils, customers want what customers want, but I always inform our customers of the draw backs involved and I’m very reserved about installing a coil on an in-warranty unit. In the case of aftermarket coils for the GPZ, I can see Minelab being very unhappy about connectors being cut off other coils to get past the security chip, in essence this is a direct hack against their IP so I’m not sure how this would go legally speaking, unless as Steve has said they are experimental and not offered as an aftermarket option. Minelab take a very dim view of counterfeit and other attacks on their IP. I suppose its a ‘watch this space’ on this subject awaiting further developments. Lastly Steve, IMHO the GPS functions in the GPZ are a carry over from the CTX. I do not even use the GPS function because to my mind it is a resource hog, I would rather my GPZ focus on the act of sensing metal not telling me where I am. If you look at any online GPS forum they are full of hacks on how to deal with data and mapping associated with GPS! Minelab make metal detectors and I feel they should just focus on improving them not worrying about a thing as complex as a GPS! I carry a GPS with me at all times for safety and can do a whole host of different things including interfacing neatly with a PC when I get back to camp. This is just my opinion and I understand everyone has a different viewpoint. JP
  8. The biggest issue is the intrusion of Saturation/VRM into the threshold without the user realising it. Careful coil control is required to keep the coil right on the edge of the Saturation response so that it does not colour the threshold. Anything that colours the threshold impacts on depth because a disturbance in the threshold is the only way we can hear a target in the ground. The GPZ has two receive windings, a bad operator can tilt (left to right tilt) one winding into saturation and remove the other causing an imbalance or if you like throw the windings out of Phase. Any variation in signal created by this will impact on depth, it has to because it lifts the noise floor. This is why I ALWAYS use Audio Smoothing on OFF, this lowers the electronics noise floor, then I focus on maintaining a smooth coil swing and height variation occasionally coupling the coil to the ground to see how much saturation there is and adjusting my swing height accordingly. There is no point getting the coil closer to the ground if the saturation level then masks a deep target response. JP
  9. We’ll see how cheeky you are when your chain breaks!,🤣 Last time I let you watch me dig out a 3 ouncer!!
  10. Competition is a great motivator Steve, as a detector user that bodes well for my passion. ML have been alone in the desert doing their thing for a long time now yet they still continue to innovate and provide real improvements in their new products on a regular basis. BBS, MPS, FBS, DVT, FBSII, MPF, ZVT and Multi IQ with multiple model releases associated with a few of them. Maybe competition would be a good motivator to see more coil varieties? JP
  11. Steve, there is a huge difference in the tech these guys are selling compared to the tech ML are selling. There are very valid reasons why Minelab seem slow on the coil variety front.
  12. This is always going to be a complex subject but at the end of the day demand will drive supply. ML have every right to be concerned about an add on that is taking the product away from its original function (in this case getting away from being compact, foldable and water proof). Aftermarket coils have been available for many years, funnily enough I was on the ground floor for ML PI machines after seeking permission in 1995 to have coils hand built under licence which then highlighted the demand and need (amazing how things haven’t change much in 24 years). Over the years I’ve seen a lot of aftermarket coils that were far from ideal, a lot of detectors they were attached too often went back to ML under warranty at ML’s expense, quite often it was more than once due to nothing being found wrong with the actual unit. Obviously things have improved over the years but from Minelab’s perspective there is a very good reason why there is a chip in the GPZ 7000 coils. I have not tried the new Coiltek coils so currently have no opinion on the subject but as a dealer I’ve ordered a few which I will trial first on out of warranty units and make my own conclusions on stocking/promoting them or not. I will say I’m not a huge fan of flat wound coils (I doubt if the new SDC coils are flat wound) but they have put a lot of life into the GPX product line as a VERY viable solution to improving sensitivity and depth, using them in variable saturable ground however I can easily HEAR the “Cheat” of the forced early demodulation and the way it causes the detector to behave, if there was no GPZ then of course I would use them but it would be under duress. The key point in the case of the SDC is MPF (and I’d say Minelabs chief concern), FAST means very tight electronic parameters which means the coils are critical to the equation, get them wrong and the detector is not going to play nice. Coiltek seem to have done their homework and are confident enough to go to market in spite of the need for removal of components and special tools required to revert back to original. I’d say early adopters will be the people who have SDC’s that are out of warranty, their feedback and successes will be what drives demand. JP
  13. This is the whole point of this thread, you need something like the B&Z to deliver better quality audio to your ears that the WM12 using its own speaker in combination with the Target Volume cannot do. IMHO the Target Volume controls of the GPX and GPZ are too coarse to give effective audio volume control, either through a directly connnected speaker to the battery on the GPX or the inbuilt speaker of the WM12. JP
  14. Lots of misinterpretation in this post Steelphase and most of it is aimed at continuing the marketing ‘story’ behind the sales pitch that now seems to be taken as ‘fact’ because its been said so often. The GPX machines have filtering in them that condition the audio, its called Boost, Quiet, Normal, Deep, these are audio profiles designed by Minelab to make the audio sound different and perhaps improve personal preference and performance, you will note it is not included in the GPZ. These audio profiles are generated from the raw signal of the detector before being delivered, so could be considered first pass not conditioning after the fact. A ‘booster’ is required to amplify the audio because the audio out of a headphone jack just does not have enough grunt to power speakers, any amplifier can do that. Not all amplifiers do this well though, especially when the audio needs to driven louder in noisier environments. The audio out of the detector is provided as a whole unit with everything mixed in, I’ve spent enough time in video editing environments to know what a hassle it is to try and remove certain frequencies without the audio ending up sounding awful because of poor original audio recording. You have to look at the audio supplied from the detector as being ‘whole’, because once the detector has formed and delivered that audio there is very little you can do to change the underlying fundamentals. Filtering can remove or change certain frequencies which will change the overall way the audio sounds but you will always be affecting the whole audio supplied from the detector thereby negating the way the audio was originally delivered in its pure form. (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just pointing out the restriction of trying to manipulate a delivered audio that has warts and all, and also the risk associated with changing something which will always has a flow on effect both negative and positive). My complaint of the Minelab audio is to do with the volume controls and how they affect the way the audio sounds, in the case of the GPZ the threshold sweetspot is 27 unless you use too much Audio Smoothing and Volume settings (Volume = Target Volume). Using the detectors volume controls are my main complaint because they are too steppy and coarse. For MAX performance, something that takes priority in everything I do, I always use the GPZ with the Audio Smoothing on OFF (Audio Smoothing = Stabilizer on GPX), this is the point where the noise floor of the detector is at its lowest point, where you get the MAX amount of target information with zero FILTERING, in essence RAW information with no colouring. If you introduce Audio Smoothing you then tell the detector you do not want to hear any audio below the filtering point, this audio can then not be recovered because it never made the cut to be included into the audio train in the first place, no amount of volume or audio conditioning will bring it back. What I am often seeing with people using Enhancers is they tend to introduce Audio Smoothing to soften or quieten the audio to make it sound more pleasing, because of this they then introduce even more Target Volume because they can’t hear the audio because of the muffling caused by the Audio Smoothing, this in effect causes a cascading of detector behaviour ending up with only shallow targets being prominent because when the coil passes over them they crash into peak signal almost instantly, in essence the GPZ is now just a souped up SDC. The audio provided by the Minelab machines is perfectly fine, it is designed well and sounds great, if however you go to town using the target Volume then things start to deteriorate. The key is to start from a stable point and then introduce volume, I prefer to do this via the B&Z but any decent booster that can deliver good amplification without distortion will do the job. The Target Volume control however has a tendency to zoom in on the threshold magnifying every little bump and jump in the threshold, operators running much past 8 on the GPX and GPZ are introducing all the minute little variations created by surface signals which then drown out the broader deeper signals. I feel every point above 8 on the Target Volume is like increasing the sensitivity by 2 points. Sensitivity above a certain point does not do much for deep targets if anything it can hide or mask them. This is extremely important if you are using the raw information provided by not using Audio Smoothing. IMHO a booster should sound crisp and clean, it should not colour the audio provided by the detector but instead should remain true. For best performance you should only ever use the booster as a VOLUME control not a sensitivity control, with that in mind you should always set the detector to be smooth and stable and then only ever amplify that smooth stable audio as cleanly and without distortion as possible. I use the word COLOUR in reference to anything that makes the audio sound different to what is delivered by the detector. Minelab machines have plenty of ways to make the audio sound different, there is Threshold Pitch, Audio Smoothing, Target Volume & Threshold. Saying or suggesting Minelab do not prioritise audio is just plain silly, the constraint is in the many ways a person can go about using the audio because of individuality, how we hear audio is very personal and as such impossible to design for. The intent behind this post is to bring to peoples attention the need to make sure the audio settings of the detector do not end up compromising performance especially in the case of the GPZ. JP
  15. Volume control on the B&Z is not stepped. Volume is set to suit local ambient noise so generally there is no favourite level. The key is hearing a smooth stable threshold which is then controllled by the booster dependant on external noise levels. In the case of headphones, the booster can also help but depending on the amount of volume the headphones can achieve determines the level of volume you need to put out from the detector, I generally recommend lowering the detectors volume then using the booster to increase the volume to a comfortable level. Some headphones do not reach this critical point no matter how much volume you use on the detector, hence needing the B&Z to get the volume loud enough without increasing/elevating detector noise. I am not a fan of the Volume control on the 7000 or the Target Volume control on the GPX series, they are too steppy and lift the noise floor to unacceptable levels without really improving the fainter targets. Best bet with headphones is to have a reasonable sized target that gets the detector to reach Max volume when the coil is right on the target and adjust the Volume of the booster there (in the case of the GPX and GPZ start at Target Volume of 8 and be prepared to go lower), then listen to the threshold and confirm if you can hear it clearly, especially any faint variations in the threshold. I usually increase the booster volume a touch till a close to coil target is bordering on slightly uncomfortable, especially if I am working deep ground with minimal trash signals. Adjusting the Target Volume of the detector one point at a time can also help a lot to even out the threshold without affecting the outright max volume. JP
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