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

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  1. The X coils are DOD wound (SuperD is the name Minelab give for that configuration), you need that style of coil for ZVT to work properly. The Spiral wound X coils have a flat Tx and a traditional Rx, because of the spiral they seem to behave a bit like a monoloop with a signal kind of coming off the side edges of the coils as well as the traditional receive points where the windings cross each other. Electronically they are flawed with what Minelab would consider to be too much saturation signal (Tx is most likely too close to the ground relative to the Rx in an attempt to save weight and simplify design and expense), the windings also allow too much knock and rub energy through the windings causing noise especially in General Difficult. Because they are hand made there will also be discrepancies and inconsistencies between coils which I also noticed with my coils. If Minelab made such a coil they would be constantly having to replace them under warranty. I gave all this advice when I was testing them to both the manufacturer and the importer. JP
  2. A common subject that has come up recently with all the coil discussions is X signal and what it portrays. This thread is to put some clarity on what X means to the GPZ 7000 end user and why you should use your Ferrite. When the 7000 was released its software was designed to automatically calibrate for a component in the ground called X signal, there is no need for me to go into the scientific aspects of what X is and nor am I qualified to do so however, in the case of the GPZ, it is NECESSARY that the Ferrite be used and operators, no matter what or where the ground is they are working, should make it part of their daily detecting regime even if they can’t discern or understand the need for it. The GPZ has the ability to ‘balance’ out X signals, to do this you need to activate the Quick-Trak button on the front of the handle. When you press the button you are also activating the regular ground balance that any high end gold specific metal detector uses, initially when the button is triggered tracking is forced or sped up briefly, this also means the GPZ 7000 is doing two things at once when the QT button is triggered. On the first release software the Auto Ground Balance mode was trying to actively cancel out X signals as well as G signals running in parallel with each other, to some extent the G balance will also try to balance out some X signal if the X signal is loud enough but overall the detector requires X balance to cancel out X signals effectively. The issue with the release software was the X balance was too lively and was being too easily dragged away from accuracy by Salt signals and Saturation signals of which WA and Victoria are well know for (most gold fields suffer from these signals). Minelab then released the Ferrite to help operators to let the detector ‘SEE’ what X signal really was in Salty and Saturable ground, during the release WA and Victoria had suffered a long and extended rain event so the ground was water logged, Salt is conductive so therefore is exacerbated by moisture. Because of the water logged ground during this time it caused lots of early complaints from GPZ users. Not long after this Minelab also developed a software update to slow the Ferrite balance down so it would not be so readily dragged away by those pesky signals, this helped a lot but I was still advocating using the GPZ in Fixed GB mode. At a later stage another software release was provided that allowed the user to use a SEMI AUTO mode where once the Ferrite Balance was completed the X balance would be FIXED whilst allowing the G balance to continue to actively track the regular ground balance, this is my preferred and advised mode. X signal in the ground is not like G signal, it is in varying subtle degrees but is not as VARIABLE as regular ground G signal, the reason a GPZ makes a signal on X is because since the last calibration the temperature of the electronics has shifted or if in Auto GB mode other signals in the ground have confused or altered the X balance calibration. The only real way to tell if your calibration is OUT or WRONG is to use the Ferrite to confirm if this is so, which is why it is so vital you make it part of your daily routine. NOISE: Noise is any sort of audio signal that should not be there, noise competes with targets plain and simple. The less noise you have the more obvious targets will sound and the deeper your detector will run or more accurately the deeper you’ll be able to discern a target (assuming you are also using the optimised Ground type and Gold modes for the ground you are searching and the size of nuggets targeted), all targets under the coil are being energised by the Tx evenly at all times relative to coil position, however user choice of settings, calibrations and coil control have a huge impact on the outcome. If the ferrite balance is out then a signal off any X in the ground is going to join the audio and potentially compete with you being able to discern a target signal. X SIGNALS and X COILS The GPZ 7000 is a very versatile metal detector, if can be used even if the Ferrite calibration is WAY OFF as is evidenced by users who refuse to update their detectors or who refuse to use the Ferrite (or both), or if users are using X coils that make a signal on the Ferrite regardless of doing a Ferrite balance. I am a purist so will always check my Ferrite balance because even 0.1% less noise in the audio is an advantage in my opinion. The X coils do actually balance out the Ferrite over the receive winding part of the coil (not as cleanly as a ML coil but acceptable), but they do manifest a LOUD signal in another location that any savvy X coil user will soon identify unless a mod is done during manufacture (I am unsure of coils made in the last month or so but it is easy to tell). The manufacturer was unwilling to do the mod due to feedback from customers not complaining, the resistance was based around the mod adding a lot of weight to the coil (gets the coils up into Minelab coil weight territory, isn’t that interesting?). I am unsure how he went about removing the Ferrite signal or the mod required to do so and am not at liberty to discuss why a ferrite signal happens in the first place. The reason I was pushing so hard for the mod was to try and get the X coils across the line for PERFORMANCE parity with ML coils in the hopes of accessing the dongle, the X coils showed potential but needed to be refined, in the end the current option was decided upon and I was no longer needed. As it currently stands any coil that makes a noise on the Ferrite (especially a LOUD noise) will by default make an unacceptable signal off X signal in the ground, operators will not really notice this signal as it will blend in with general ground noise responses, believe me it is there and it is COSTING you depth!! I do not use the X coils in Clermont because of these main reasons, our ground is saturable and the X coils saturate much more readily than the Minelab coils, most of my coils have the mod so X signal is not such a problem but a couple of them do not so they don’t get used either, with the larger coils I always use GENERAL/DIFFICULT and every X coil I have used makes touch and knock noises, some are acceptable (The Spiral wound ones seem best) but in most cases General/Difficult is out thereby negating the advantage of using a larger coil for larger deeper nuggets. To fully appreciate the differences in the coils I am going to include the settings I use so GPZ operators can benchmark what I am experiencing with their own settings. SETTINGS Audio Smoothing: OFF Ground Smoothing: OFF Sensitivity: 9 Threshold: 27 Gold Type: HIGH YIELD (To experience Knock and rub noise use GENERAL/DIFFICULT) Ground Type: DIFFICULT Volume: 6 to 8 for Headphones (either through a B&Z booster or GPZ direct), 12 for WM12 Ground Balance: SEMI-AUTO Conclusions and Suggestions: At no stage have I said the X coils are unusable just user beware. In quiet ground they should be OK and in variable ground, like I operate in here, they are usable but twitchy. I have found gold with them but choose not to use them full time in my areas due to the above issues and my being fussy about noise. I did during supervised testing (under duress I might add for the very reasons that have been borne out online) find gold in ground I frequent, I expressed that I was impressed that I was able to find gold with them in such a flogged area and that they showed potential which was borne out by my continued involvement till I was no longer needed. I have since been back to that area with customers on training and as always have found gold over the same ground as is typical of Clermont thanks to its high variablity ground. My favourite X coils are the flat wound ones because they seem to handle our ground better and have less touch sensitivity, however they are a LOT heavier. In essence they are what they are and did not meet required standards to be officially recognised, which is a shame because I too desperately want to see more coil options for the GPZ. JP
  3. When I was doing the prototype testing for the GPZ 7000 the initial coils had GPX connectors because the board was in a GPX housing, once Minelab went to the current housing the connectors changed so I had to go to an adapter to use the older GPX terminated coils on the newer housings, THAT then opened up a whole new can of worms with extra and unacceptable noise thanks to the extra connection. I personally DO NOT want to use any Minelab coil with a double connection let alone the hassle of having to use the X coils with one. In EACH and every case it has ALWAYS caused problems with noise!! The proto GPZ was a nightmare to use when it had GPX connectors on it, an absoute nightmare!! The pins on the GPX connector allow for way too much movement for high end electronics like the GPZ! JW you can colour whatever your saying with whatever brush you care to use, you can also imply I am scare mongering but at the end of the day you would have to for sure have known about the X balance problem with the Ferrite and chosen not to mention it in your reporting because lucky you it is not an issue in your area (nor in Russia BTW), but what about all the other people around the world whose circumstances are different? Tough Titties for them I suppose? Is the distributor going to drive to every person who ends up having a problem with a dodgy connector or was this just an isolated case because it was up on the forum? I find it fascinating how you think because you are getting away with the coils in NZ that you automatically assume every one else will have the same experience? You even have the audacity to suggest I've been succesful with them supposedly mirroring your wonderful experience!! But of course you do have the caveat of your benign ground and 'In my experience' to hide behind when people have problems or if all else fails you can do what your attempting to do to me, discrediting their feedback as scaremongering or some such thing!! I'm often at the centre of lively discussion because often I'm the guy with the knowledge who feels compelled to keep everything factual, thats my job with Minelab and is what I've been doing for well over 20 years now! People might NOT find the salient facts appetizing but facts they are!! JP
  4. Seeing how I’m the only one on the net that seems to actually be criticising the X coils I presume the distributor has no interest in publicly debating me on the subject for fear it might affect sales. Also it might cause too many awkward questions to start floating about on what I felt was the premature lead up to the coils becoming available for sale. So to put clarity on this subject and why I’ve been advising caution, this current thread is a good example of the whole reason why I got involved in the first place. Initially my involvement was based around curiosity, no strings attached just ‘Hey I’d love to take a look at one and give it a whirl’. This then lead to further conversations about the logistics of distribution and sales (after all I am in a retail business), the obvious issue was and always will be the coil connector. In my opinion to make this as problem free as possible there needed to be two things to happen, the coils needed to be as good or better than the standard coils (I’m talking electronically here, something that is extremely important when your dealing with complex technology like the GPZ) and secondly for me to be involved I needed to get Minelab on board to legally and consentually access their security tech. As people are aware I was able to procur a dongle so I could use the coils but as has already been shown this is easily circumvented by anyone willing to sacrifice a coil to do so. A meeting was then set up to try the coils although I would have preferred to just use them on my own using my own testing regimes in the privacy of my own surroundings. I found gold immediately so the coils did work, but there were inconsistencies between coils and modes, there was a Saturation problem, there was a coil lead shielding problem, there was an touch sensitivity problem and of course the major ‘sore thumb’ issue the continual ‘Loud’ noise on the Ferrite. What I found most amazing was none of these issues had been noticed (even privately) before I started testing the coils in spite of all the YouTube videos and forum promotion. My aim and involvement was initially two fold, as a business man I saw the potential of good market demand for this product as has been shown in recent months and secondly I am always curious and interested in anything pertaining to what I am most passionate about as is eveidenced by my metal detector and accessories collection. To this end I became involved in trying to have the coils improved to a level they might be acceptable so the most necessary part could be sourced to avoid the drama of customers having to hack into a functioning coil to circumvent a security chip. I worked long and hard on this subject and had many meetings, telephone conversations and swapping of emails. It is a logistical nightmare expecting customers to hack a good coil so they can use another coil, how do you do the right thing by your customers if they have the issue of what this thread is about or worse blow their expensive $9500 metal detector? Maybe this is why the two major aftermarket coil manufacturers have kept well away from this area? Having a business model that throws the legality issue of the circumvention of a security chip onto the customer is a major negative in my book also. The coils did improve and changes were made during the period I was testing them, but not enough. Unfortunately some coils were sold prematurely and accessing the VITAL parts died along with it and the rest is history as is evidenced by people being forced to breach the security chip if they want to play. This is a business model I was never comfortable with especially on a larger scale but at the end of the day it wouldn’t have mattered because I was shut out anyway. I could be selling these coils if I had so chosen, I could have just gone about this quietly with the MANY people I know in this industry who were seeking more options, if I had done so I would NOT have left them holding the problem of procuring or modifying the chip and if it was deemed a no go by Minelab I would have ceased and desisted. My relationship with the Russian manufacturer is still very amicable BTW. As the coils currently stand they still have the three major issues, Saturation noise, Touch sensitivity and the big BIGGY Ferrite noise (there could still be a coil lead shielding problem as I have not tested that recently). To not tell your customers of these problems even if it has NOT been shown by people reporting on the forums and social media is in my opinion dishonest. Remember I was incredulious the ‘Stick out like a sore thumb’ issues had not already been identified when I first tried the coils, but now they DO know. I understand the need, the BIG need, for GPZ users to have more choice with their detectors, this was the main driving forced behind my getting involved in the first place. I desperately wanted the GPZ to more option friendly when it came to weight and coil choices. I always expected flack if I dared to criticise the X coils for the many reasons that are obvious through my position in this industry and also my serious attempt at looking into an ethical working business model, at the end of the day I would like to think my actions have been cautionary and ethical. JP
  5. There is no actual mod after the fact, its based on feedback I gave during field testing for which they found a work around. Most people reporting here are either unaware or deliberately ignoring the issue (I’ve been pretty voiciferous about it so it must be the latter)🤔. I’m pretty sure the manufacturer has not included the changes in the final designs due to added extra weight. Actually its pretty funny when you think about it, maybe they’re called ‘X’ coils because they can make a lot of noise on ‘X’ signals? 🤣 JP
  6. Good to know my adivice saved you a lot of hassles out in the bush Dave. 😎 I always carry a spare WM12 but they are expensive little suckers so I also carry a spare GPZ to go with it just in case one of them packs up! 🤩😅 JP
  7. It will be the stereo jack, WA dirt gets in there and they wear out. Give it a good spray with some contact cleaner and rub out with some paper towel and a cotton bud to see if that improves things. Can’t be the speaker because it gets disconnected when you plug anything into the jack. Also try using the reset button on the WM12, I’d doubt if it will help but is worth a shot before plumbing for a new WM12. JP
  8. This is lifted off a post I made on the Prospecting Australia forum and is referring to the coil making a noise on the Ferrite which I’ve discussed here and which no one seems to be experiencing or are neglecting to talk about. (Link provided for context) Prospecting Australia Forum If the coil makes a noise on the Ferrite especially a LOUD noise then logically it will also make a noise on anything ‘Ferrite like’ in the ground. Any unnecessary noise added to the threshold costs depth plain and simple. JP
  9. Getting back to Salt signals, as Steve has mentioned there can be a moaning sound created in the bed of gullies especially when the coil goes from the bed of the gully too the sides. This is caused by the gully bed having wet clays when the sides have a layer of wash over drier deco (decomposed bed rock which is what the clays are), the GPZ is by its nature worse on salt signal than MPS machines and then you add the complexity of the Super D coil where the two receive points are quite a distance from each other. Careful coil control is especially important on the GPZ because it is very easy to throw the two recieved windings ‘Out of Phase’ from each other, in the creek bed scenario one receive winding will be transitioning onto the dry non salty ground whilst the other is on the wet clay section of the gully bed, this then creates a signal across the dry winding that causes the Semi Auto GB to try and compensate, this action also tends to force the operator to lift the coil which exacerbates the salt signal, combine the two and you end up with a noise that will drown out targets especially on the interchange between the two GB states. Steve has mentioned detecting the gully bed without crossing into the drier sides which is a good idea, another way to go about it is to GB to the gully floor then place the GB into Manual mode (I select Ground Balance Mode as my User Button function to speed things up), you can then cross the interchange section with predicable results without upsetting the Semi Auto GB function, this cuts back on a lot of noise. I will then do another pass over this ground by GBing to the gully sides then Fix the GB for that Ground Balance scenario. In essence you can make three passes over this type of area, one in Semi Auto GB, one in Manual fixed to the gully floor and the other Fixed for the Gully sides. Salt signal has a nasty way of throwing or drawing the GB away from optimum, this is often heralded by a twitch or signal like response that is not repeatable but causes you to stop or pull up to investigate, in worse areas there is also the one sided of two sided moaning sound. Salt signal also messes up the Ferrite balance which is what I advocate using Semi Auto mode. Careful coil control in both pivoting of the coil from side to side and slowing down the speed have a huge effect on the amount of salt signal experienced, as Steve has said quite often with the GPZ you can work quite nasty ground very effectively without resorting to use of the Ground Smoothing filters which kill depth simply by controlling your coil movement. JP
  10. There is always going to be deeper information available on any detector as is evidenced by Andy Sabisch’s new book on the Equinox. To be fair to Minelab they do invest in my continued involvement in the development of their detectors so its not like my experience and knowledge are wasted. The GPZ 7000 is by far and away a much simpler detector to use out of the box than any other High End detector they have ever built, if we could address the weight issue there would be even more happy users out there world wide. For my part the effort required to put together material in written form or in video format is a mammoth task I am no longer willing to undertake, I prefer to just focus on our customers in the shop and continued involvement in this forum when I have the time. Moving forward I intend to continue on giving feedback to Minelab for as long as they need me, hopfully this will be in parallel with my getting out detecting more frequently or one day even full time again if I’m lucky. JP
  11. Hi Bill, Salt is always going to be a problem, especially if you want to also achieve depth. Deeper targets are slow responses, salt signal kills slow signal responses. My advice on salty areas is to try your most sensitive modes first and go down from there, in this instance it would be High Yield, then General then Xtra Deep Normal before I changed any of my other settings. Your Threshold is too low, stick to 27 especially if Audio Smoothing is in the Off position, I would also recommend using Semi Auto mode because Salt signal messes with the Ferrite Balance in Auto mode. There is a huge difference in Salt signal if you go from Normal to Difficult, this also might have been a good option for you dependant on the ground in your area. A lot of people shy away from Difficult especially in quieter soils because there is a perceived depth reduction, however on Half ounce nuggets Difficult actually gives a better signal response than Normal does in any of the Normal modes (HY, Gen or XtraDeep). Minelab introduced the Ground Smoothing mode in the last update, this mode was specifically designed for Salty ground conditions, essentially they are Motion filters so there is a depth reduction when you select either Patch or Salty mode so I tend to avoid them but it does smooth the machine out a lot. Finally, having a controlled swing speed helps immensely with Salt signals, try not to suddenly vertically lift the coil as this exacerbates the salt signal immensely. To confirm it is salt signal just lift the coil from detect height to abover your head, as the coil transitions from your waist height to shoulder height you should hear a moaning sound, the level of salt signal is determined by how loud this response is. The other way is to place the coil in the air out in front of you with the coil parallel to the ground then rotate the coil from left to right and listen to the audio response, the greater the noise the greater the salt levels. This will help you to decided how aggressive you need to be in reducing sensitivity via the Gold/Ground type Modes or the use of the Ground Smoothing filters. Hope this helps JP
  12. Hi Rick thanks for your replies, I hope me replying to you is not taken the wrong way. I am just trying to make sure others understand the importance of the Ferrite and how the detector actually operates to avoid misconceptions etc. The information following is my opinion only and is based around what you have ‘actually written’ asssuming I have understood it correctly. Semi Auto locks the Ferrite balance therefore there is no learning in Semi Auto Mode, Auto Mode learns but is a lot different to the original Auto GB mode in the first release software. In essence in your case you are actually only ever using whatever you locked in originally relative to the temperature so there will be a lot of times where the Ferrite balance is wrong, an easy way to confirm this is to wave the coil over the Ferrite, if there is a BIG signal then your Ferrite balance is way out. IF there is a big signal that means the detector is going to make a noise on any Ferrite-like material in the ground which then means you are going to have unnecessary noise which will then compete with target signals especially deep edge of detection target signals. You have mentioned ground noise, with Volume as high as you have gone the ground noise response will be extremely variable because you have taken a smooth information packed surface (your Audio Smoothing OFF threshold) and magnified it immensely, this means all the little variations are now very loud which then drown out any edge of detection targets. I note you have lowered your threshold from 27, this is a sure sign of what I am describing. The same could be said for lifting the sensitivity especially in combination with a high Volume setting, however increasing sensitivity can improve signal responses a lot, especially the smaller deep targets. Deep big target signals are very similar to ground noise, they are slow responses that require careful coil control to be heard effectively. Increasing the Volume too much on any Minelab since the GPX series (Target Volume) will also lift all the surface signal responses potentially drowning out the deeper target signals. This is especially true for Low/High targets which we all crave so much. Using a lower Threshold Pitch really improves the Low/High signals especially below 40. Not having a correct Ferrite balance adds extra uneeded noise to your signal train, if you can remove it why wouldn’t you do so? Any noise that does not need to be there either through poor coil control or bad ground balance or bad Ferrite balance can cost you performance, this is my constant mantra when I am training in GPZ users. I am unsure how you’re actually listening to the detector so some of this information will vary especially with headphones. Hope this helps and I hope I have not offended. JP
  13. Steve, all I can say is DITTO. The target on the back scenario is a tiresome thing. In my case my main motivator over the years has always been from remembering what it was like when I was inexperienced and hungry for information. Don’t get me wrong the old ego loves a good petting and it sure does feel good when you can help in some small way or correct a misunderstanding, but the constant misinformation and supposed expertism wear you down. I too crave solace in anonymity and want to get back to the fun factor, I find it interesting after reading my comments to you from 5 years ago how we both seem to have come to a very similar conclusion. I made a New Years resultion to try and post more on your forum and have done so but in my many attempts at correcting what I often feel is “Fake News” I find myself constantly having to defend myself and my ethics. It seems packing what I write with useful and factual information is not what people want especially if it goes against the popular consensus, science and the truth of a matter no longer seem to count if it doesn’t fit in with ‘WANT’. BTW I fully accept and own my part in the reactions I tend to generate from others, it takes more than one to tango. 😄 Bravo Steve for stepping into a ‘Brave New World’, its nice to know your still going to be around having fun. JP
  14. Or it could be because a “Coil Not Connected” problem is too scary to deal with?🤔🙉🙊🙈 Rick, the idea behind the Ferrite is to calibrate the detector so it does not make a noise on X signal in the ground (of which Victoria has huge amounts). When X signal is present it adds additional noise to the audio akin to not achieving a correct Ground Balance, it also means your ‘G’ Balance will try to compensate thereby causing a ripple effect to the general behaviour of your machine. If anyone refuses to use the Ferrite then I HIGHLY recomend they use the Auto Ground Balance mode. As an example every time you visit a location your machine will behave slightly differently depending on where the X balance ends up which then affects the G balance, this might explain why some targets are still present (although you have mentioned not finding anything of note for some time at the location). Using Auto Ground Balance also opens up another can of worms in the form of Salt and Saturation signal, Salt will be problematic on any larger coil on GPZs, Saturation signal is very bad on the X coils. Any of these signal responses WILL throw the X balance out!! This is why I advocate the USE of the Ferrite and to use the SEMI-AUTO mode at all times. Edge of detection targets really benefit a lot from having a correctly set X balance through the use of the Ferrite, after all this is what the GPZ 7000 is all about, DEEP gold! Why allow any sort of noise into the signal train when you have the option of removing it? Out of curiosity are you using Audio Smoothing at all? Also Volume, Sensitivity and Threshold levels would be interesting? JP
  15. So the coil Ferrite balances OK? I presume you were using High Yield Difficult? Give General Difficult a run on stick and knocks and see how it goes. I also presume this is a Spiral wound coil? Not stirring the pot here am genuinely interested and value your feedback. JP
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