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Found 264 results

  1. Lots of good stuff here to chew on! From https://www.minelab.com/anz/go-minelabbing/treasure-talk/equinox-technologies-part-4 EQUINOX Technologies (Part 4) March 20, 2018 10:05am Minelab Electronics This is the fourth installment in a blog series introducing and explaining the technologies inside our new EQUINOX detectors… (Read Parts 1-3 here.) In Part 3 we ended with mentioning the different Multi-IQ “frequency weightings” for the different search profiles. Part 4 explains further why it is not a simple matter of just referring to specific individual frequencies for learning more about Multi-IQ technology. Let’s now consider one of the key practical detecting outcomes and then discuss how this was achieved… “A lot of people are going to be surprised at how well the machine works in saltwater. At the outset we weren’t sure whether reliably detecting micro-jewelry in a conductive medium was even possible, but – with the help of our field testers and the subsequent fine-tuning of the Multi-IQ algorithms – we’ve found the EQUINOX to be more than capable.”Dr Philip Wahrlich Background and considerations While Multi-IQ may appear as ‘magic’ to some, to our team of signal processing experts, it’s the result of a significant number of man-years of development. So where did they start? By assessing the metal detectors and technologies available in the market at that time, along with typical customer perceptions about their practical applications; and actual detecting results achieved: So, an important goal with developing Multi-IQ technology was to retain the above simultaneous multi-frequency advantages AND greatly improve performance in the two key areas where many single-frequency detectors typically excel – fast recovery in iron trash and finding low conductors in all conditions. Speeding up the process Most comparable low-power Continuous Wave transmit-receive detectors (for the same coil size) will have a similar raw detection depth at which the transmit signal penetrates the ground and has the potential to energize a target. To increase detection depth significantly typically requires higher power and Pulse Induction technology. This has advantages for gold prospecting, but discrimination is poor for identifying non-ferrous targets. While we continue to push for depth improvements, Multi-IQ also aims to provide substantial speed improvements, resulting in being able to better find ALL non-ferrous targets among trash in ALL locations. You could therefore say “fast is the new deep, when it comes to EQUINOX!” Let’s start with considering signal processing not as a ‘black box’ where ‘magic’ happens, but more as a complex chain of applied algorithms, where the goal is to more accurately distinguish very small good target signals from ground noise, EMI and iron trash. Now, ‘fast’ by itself is not enough – you can have fast with poor noise rejection and poor target identification, giving no great advantage. Fast is also not just a result of microprocessor speed. Processors operate at much higher speed than is needed to ‘do the signal processing math’. You can think of the signal processing chain broadly as a set of filters and other processes which are applied to the metal detector signals to convert these signals into useable, informative indicators, such as an audio alert or a target ID. For Multi-IQ, keeping the ‘good’ properties of these filters, while keeping them lean and removing unnecessary processing, was an important step towards achieving ‘fast’ for EQUINOX. It’s also important to recognize that these filters are not the coarse filters of the analogue electronics hardware of last century – it all happens in software these days. Perhaps think of the older analogue TV standards versus current digital TV. (Standard digital HDTV has approx. 10 times the resolution of analogue NTSC.) With metal detectors, a fast higher resolution filter set will result in improved target recognition. Factoring in the ground conditions However, speed without accuracy is not enough to produce a “game changer” detector – and improved accuracy cannot be achieved with a single frequency alone. Why? – “multi-frequency has more data-points” Philip Beck, Engineering Manager. This is worth explaining in more detail… All transmit-receive detectors produce in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals that can be processed in various ways depending upon the response received from targets, ground and salt. This processing happens through ‘channels’ that have different sensitivities to the different signals received. It is important to recognize that channels are not exactly frequencies. This is why it is more complex to explain than just correlating optimum frequencies to specific target types. With a single frequency detector there are two basic channels for information (i.e. I and Q) that respond differently to good and bad signals, depending upon the frequency of operation and whether you are looking the the I or Q signal. It is also possible to scale and subtract these signals, while taking ground balance into account, to best maximize good signals and minimize bad signals. You could thus think of single-frequency being Single-IQ, with a limited set of data (e.g. I, Q, I-Q, Q-I) that works well for a particular set of conditions. To further enhance performance for a different set of conditions, you need to change frequency and detect over the same ground again. Therefore a selectable single frequency detector has an advantage with more data available, but not all at once (e.g. I1, Q1, I1-Q1, Q1-I1 OR I2, Q2, I2-Q2, Q2-I2 for as many frequencies that you can select from). Now, getting back to Philip Beck’s “more data-points”, and just looking at two frequencies, a simultaneous multi-frequency detector would be able to process (for example) I1, Q1, I1-Q1, Q1-I1 AND I2, Q2, I2-Q2, Q2-I2 AND I1-Q2, Q2-I1, I2-Q1, Q1-I2 to give better detection results. Increase the number of frequencies further and the number of extra data-points also increases accordingly. What Multi-IQ does is process different optimized channels of information (not just individual frequencies) for the different modes. We have previously explained this as “frequency weighting” (in Part 3), where the various EQUINOX Search Profiles are matched to the respective ground conditions and target types. Here is a very simplified example where you can see the result of processing more than a single channel of information (remember, a channel is not a frequency): Channel 1 has a strong target signal, but the salt signal is stronger still. Channel 2 has weaker signals for soil, salt and the target. If the detector just responded to either Channel 1 or Channel 2, the target would not be heard through the ground noise. If the detector processes a subtraction of the channels (e.g. ch.1-ch.2), then it is possible to ignore the ground noise and extract a strong target signal. Now, think back to the high number of possible combinations of I and Q for simultaneous multi-frequency compared to single-frequency and the frequency weightings for the modes. All of the EQUINOX Park, Field, Beach and Gold Search Profiles have dedicated signal processing to best suit the conditions and types of targets being searched for. Conclusion Multi-IQ = more data-points = sophisticated processing = better ground noise rejection = more finds Just as targets are more sensitive to certain frequencies, so is the ground – an important reason why air testing has inherent limitations when comparing detector performance. As soon as you have ground to consider in the signal processing equation, it can greatly impact on the ability of a single-frequency detector to accurately identify a target. Also, the deeper a target is buried, the weaker the target signal is, relative to the ground signal. The most difficult ground response to eliminate is the salt response, which varies greatly between soil, dry sand, wet sand and seawater. It is not possible to eliminate the salt response and the soil mineralization response (e.g. black sand) with just one frequency. However, within the carefully calibrated Multi-IQ channels, EQUINOX is able to identify both signals and therefore mostly ‘reject’ them (just as you would notch discriminate an unwanted target) BUT still detect gold micro-jewelry. If you haven’t tried EQUINOX yet – why not give it go – with Multi-IQ being fast AND accurate, those diminishing and elusive targets are running out of places to hide! (Part 5 to follow…)
  2. The World's First Smart Detector & Imaging System that can display the shape, depth and dimensions of underground metals in real time. Ideal for Deep Treasure Hunters, Archaeologists, Municipalities, Utility Companies, CSI and Law Enforcement Agencies. http://noktadetectors.com/invenio-metal-detector.asp
  3. So Im curious... with Makro/Nokta we saw a ton of You Tube videos on the Kruzer in various settings. Even Dilek posted on the machine on the forums before it came out. Even the AT Max we say a little here and there on the unit. Where was the early info on the Equinox? I know there was/is a "gag order" in place, and boy did they do a good job... not a word from anyone hardly! But when does the gag order lift? 1 year, 10 years Never? I'm interested in the "seasoned" testers that were able to use early models. These early thoughts to me are a real gem on what was changed, improved, altered. Any ideas?
  4. Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Another title for this may have been the Tale of the Equinox In reading many forum posts across the Internet there appears in many instances to be an undercurrent of anger towards the Equinox simply because Minelab produced a detector with the technology and feature set it possesses, and not a U.S. based competitor. Minelab took the road less traveled! More than a decade ago First Texas purchased Fisher Labs and also took into their employ the engineer that developed the CZ a multi-freq based platform. So right from the start they had the ingredients in house to produce an Equinox type of detector. When they began releasing their F75 and T2 series which were ergonomic, lightweight, and modern interface based detectors, a hue and cry came from CZ owners that pleaded for a CZ update with similar characteristics. Waterproofing to 3m would have just been icing on the cake! But alas it was not to be and after a while CZ owners lost faith that it would ever happen. Another U.S. manufacturer White's has also had multi-freq technology at their disposal for a very long time and instead of targeting their last multi-freq release at a sub $1K lightweight detector, they decided to go after the Minelab deep turf machines. Even in their more recent mid-priced efforts multi-freq is nowhere to be found. Garrett should at least get some credit for producing a waterproof mid-price detector because it was a milestone for the industry. But with the second generation if they were capable of producing multi-freq in the AT chassis with a reasonable premium, say $200USD more, then they would likely have had a real high selling model. But they dropped the ball also. Tesoro, well........ I like Tesoro but I don't think anyone has expected them to move the needle now for a very long time. So U.S. manufacturers have squarely squandered the opportunities for a decade or more. And now there is a Dragon in their house. And it is not the Equinox 800! As Steve H. has mentioned a couple of times with very little reaction, the Equinox 600 is a very big danger to the financial well being of many metal detector companies. Right now because of initial demand the unit is likely selling at or close to the $649USD MSRP. By this time next year I would not be surprised to see a street price of $599USD and possibly lower. $589USD or $579USD may not be out of reach. Anyone with any sales or marketing experience can go to their favorite online metal detecting seller and take a look at the offerings between $450USD and $600USD. Comparing features and performance on units in that range will be eye opening. The problem with the reaction that some companies have already taken, which is to push their former flagship models down into mid-price range, is that they then have to push their mid-price units down into entry level range which will lead to simply pushing the entry level units out of the market, or selling them at a loss. You can only sell a loss leader for so long unless you are able to up sell that customer, which you hope to retain later on(very risky). So a thinning of the herd or else value packages where, buy this model and get 2 extra coils etc is coming. But those coil packages kill profitability as accessories are where the money is. The solution is obvious and has been for over a decade, produce a NOX like detector! The Equinox exists because U.S. manufacturers sat on their hands, and if you want to be angry about it then point the anger to where it belongs. There was a vacuum in the market and Minelab filled it, simple economics 101.
  5. I love analogies. Maybe this one will help some people. Low recovery speeds magnify signals and fast recovery speeds truncate signals. Digital machines usually chop signals into discrete portions. A target is “grabbed” and then it is “released”. A new target cannot be “grabbed” until the last one is “released”. Imagine a conveyor belt going by with a line of wooden blocks. The blocks have anywhere from 9 to 16 sides. You are standing there blindfolded as the blocks go by. You can pick up a block and feel it for as long as you want to try and decide how many sides it has. The longer you roll it around in your hands, the better. Your chance of deciding if it is a thirteen sided block or a fourteen sided block is better if you have more time. However, you are being graded by how many blocks you identify correctly, and if you hold one too long some pass by before you can pick them up. The conveyor is passing 8 blocks per minute past you. If you have a recovery speed of 1 you hold each block one minute and you get a great “signal” on that block. But seven other blocks go by as you are taking your time identifying the one block. You increase your recovery time to three and now get 3 out of 8 blocks but have less time to hold each block. Less signal information. Still, you get them all right. Now you increase recovery time to 5 and are only missing three blocks. Your slower buddies are having a hard time keeping up now and making mistakes, misidentifying blocks, but you are doing great. You notice that people standing back are having to reach farther to grab a block and put it back. They are “going deeper” but it is costing them time. You step closer to the conveyor belt so you don’t have to reach as far, and are now a little faster by not reaching as far. You lose a little “depth” but gain some speed. You go to recovery speed seven and your arms are a blur. Your buddies all give up and stand back in awe as you pick up and put down blocks at lightning speed, and are still calling them right but you can tell you are at your limit. You finally go to 8 and still get almost all right it every now and then you have to put a block back down before you can tell what it was. You don’t have enough time, enough signal to work with. You also get to change the conveyor speed. You can swing your coil slower, and now you have more time to look at each target. That means you can lower the recovery speed and still keep up with the targets. Great for the slower workers (detectors) who have a hard time keeping up. That is a decent analogy for recovery speed and what it does for the ability of a detector to clearly examine a target versus how many targets it can process and how far it can reach. Slow detectors, slow conveyor workers, don’t have a chance. Only the fastest workers, the fastest machines, can pick up and process all the targets correctly in a short period of time. They are a rare breed. One of the biggest advantages you possess in Equinox is the lightning fast recovery speed. I see far too many people throwing that advantage away thinking a lower recovery speed gets “more depth”. No point in getting an Equinox then, just stick with the slower machine you already have. Give Equinox a real good go at the default higher recovery speeds before deciding to toss away what is perhaps the most important advantage the machine has - lightning fast recovery time coupled with accurate target id and minimal depth loss at those high speeds. That is the Equinox difference. Don’t waste it. Recovery Speed, Recovery Delay, And Reactivity
  6. HI everyone. i'm student of Electrical Engineering and in last year. Our group making final year project named as "Landmines detection using Drone". So far we have completed the Drone which have a payload of 1.5kg and a "Base Station" which will get the coordinates from Drone upon mine detection using its composite GPS module. Now we are stuck with Metal detector which will be less in weight and has more detection range. Please guide us which one will be suitable for us . Either from Pulse induction or EMI... If anyone has a design then please share with me. Thanks a lot..
  7. A common misperception among those new to metal detecting is that metal detectors can identify one metal from another. How much we wish that were true. The reality is that for all practical purposes the common metal detector target id scale is based on a combination of the conductive or ferrous properties of the item multiplied by the size and shape of the item. There are two common terms in use for this scale. The Target ID or TID scale is the most generic. White's also popularized the use of Visual Discrimination Indicator or VDI numbers. You will see references to both TID and VDI numbers and both refer to the same thing. The problem when you use Google is that TID also refers to Terminal ID number, which is for credit card machines. VDI gets far better results as the preferred term and so is what I will use from now on. The VDI scale is almost always arranged the same way by common convention although in theory it can be rearranged any way you want. The common scale has ferrous items on the low end and non-ferrous items on the high end. Ferrous items are like mirror images of non-ferrous items and so the most common arrangement of the VDI scale is with small items in the middle with ferrous getting larger in one direction and non-ferrous getting larger in the other direction. The ferrous and non-ferrous ranges actually overlap in the middle. Large Non-Ferrous Medium Non-Ferrous Small Non-Ferrous Tiny Ferrous/Non-Ferrous Overlap Small Ferrous Medium Ferrous Large Ferrous We can assign a numeric range to this basic VDI scale any way we want. Many early machines went with a 0 - 100 scale, with the ferrous compressed into the low end of the scale: 100 Large Non-Ferrous 50 Medium Non-Ferrous 20 Small Non-Ferrous 5 Tiny Ferrous/Non-Ferrous Overlap 3 Small Ferrous 1 Medium Ferrous 0 Large Ferrous The idea of ferrous as negative numbers made sense due to the mirror imaging in size between ferrous and non-ferrous. A very common White's scale runs from -95 to 0 to +95 95 Large Non-Ferrous 50 Medium Non-Ferrous 15 Small Non-Ferrous 0 Tiny Ferrous/Non-Ferrous Overlap -15 Small Ferrous - 20 Medium Ferrous - 40 Large Ferrous The "positive only" 0 - 100 VDI scale seems most popular these days with other manufacturers, but the scheme varies. Two very common setups are 0-40 ferrous and 41-99 non-ferrous OR 0-10 ferrous and 11-99 non-ferrous. But as I noted you can set this up any way you want and so other scales do exist. When we look at just the non-ferrous part of the scale, what is important is how the detector "sees" the target. In very simple terms conductive targets are either very weak or very strong or somewhere in between. Small items are weak targets. Low conductive metals are weak targets. Large items are strong targets. High conductive metals are strong targets. The shape matters. Irregular shapes or thin items are weak targets. Rounded and thick items are strong targets. On a conductive scale of 0 to 100: 0 = very small targets 100 = very large targets 0 = very thin targets 100 = very thick targets 0 = very low conductive metals 100 = very high conductive metals 0 = very irregular shaped targets 100 = very rounded targets, especially is a hole in the middle Add this all up and small gold items are low on the VDI scale and large gold items high on the scale. Silver being a better conductor than gold, a silver item will read higher on the scale than the identical size and shape gold item. In general silver will read higher than gold. However, a very large gold item can read higher than a very small silver item. Chasing thin hammered silver coins in the U.K., especially the cut varieties, is not that different than hunting gold nuggets. What you rapidly figure out is the metal detector VDI scale can only get repeatable results on certain man made items that are the same every time, like a U.S. nickel or a U.S. dime. And even these signals degrade when deep in the ground or in proximity to other items under the search coil at the same time. Given all the limitations, it is a wonder we get any degree of accuracy at all with detector discrimination systems. With that, I give you a standardized White's VDI scale taken directly from the control box of my White's DFX. This -95 to 0 to +95 scale is common on many modern White's detectors. Nearly all other detectors have the same relative positioning of items just with different numeric scales, an exception of note being the Fisher CZ detectors, which use a rearranged scale. This DFX scale is helpful because it includes gold coins. The main thing I want you to focus on here is the relative positioning of items on the scale. As a detectorist operating in the United States, I always pay attention to just three things 1. where do the ferrous numbers start? 2. where does a U.S. nickel read? and 3. where does a U.S. dime read? If I know those three things, I can adjust almost instantly to any detector scale in existence, because I know how everything else reads in relation to those three points on the scale. Standard White's VDI scale Looking at the scale you can use gold coins as a rough guide to where large gold nuggets will read, although coins being pure gold and round will read much better than gold nuggets of the same size. It might take a one pound gold nugget to read the same as a one ounce $20 gold coin, which in turn reads very close to the U.S. silver quarter reading. On the other end, tiny gold, tiny ferrous, and salt water, being a low conductive target, all overlap. This is why if you tune out salt water on the beach, you also tune out single post gold ear rings and thin gold chains, which read like small gold nuggets. If a prospector tunes out salt alkali readings on a salt lake, there go the small gold readings. And the chart shows that if you get too aggressive in rejecting all ferrous items, good items can be lost also. When I say small it is important to note what we are really talking about is small/weak readings. A large gold item buried very deep in mineralized ground will have a very weak reading and appear as a small target to the detector. This means a very deep large items can appear just like a very small gold item and be lost for the very same reasons as those small items. Again, think weak targets and strong targets to get a better feel for how things react in the field. To sum up, gold and platinum are low conductive metals, and when also small in size read very low on the VDI scale, even dipping into the ferrous range. The foil range is the sweet spot for ear rings, thin gold chains, small womens rings, and platinum items. In general women's gold rings will read below a U.S. nickel and men's gold rings will fall above a U.S. nickel on the VDI scale. Nearly all gold nuggets found by most people are going to read nickel and lower just because nearly all gold nuggets are small. However, as this photo I made using my DFX and some gold nuggets shows, gold nuggets can read all over the place due to their shape and purity. Surprisingly, if you add silver to gold the conductivity drops as alloys are less conductive than pure metals. This makes many gold jewelry items and gold nuggets far harder to detect than would be the case were they pure gold. See this article for details on this nugget photo Some Gold Nugget VDI Numbers Target id numbers for naturally occurring gold nuggets You can get some great spreadsheets for jewelry VDI numbers for White's and Minelab detectors here. There are no doubt many people who have read this who are just shaking their head and thinking "this is why I just dig everything". I absolutely agree, when at all possible, that is the best solution. Unfortunately it simply is not possible in some locations where trash targets outnumber the good by thousands to one. This is where knowing the VDI scale and how it works can pay off. The best book ever written on the subject of discrimination is "Taking A Closer Look At Metal Detector Discrimination" by Robert C. Brockett. It is out of print but if you find a copy grab it, assuming the topic interests you.
  8. I’m by no means the biggest multi line dealer or the oldest and in fact not even Top 10. Certainly not one of the smartest…as I sometimes ruffle a few feathers. But I do know detectors and know many of them very well. In the 20+ years I have been selling all the top brands of detectors, I have never witnessed this kind of buzz for a new model. What caused the Equinox Blow Up is COMPETITION, so I’m not giving Minelab all the kudos just yet. Lets give credit where credit earned. Hats off to White’s for 1st digital Smart Detectors, and then colored LCD screens. My Ball Cap is tipped to Tesoro for making a fine series of Micro Max (smaller than your fist) detectors that find many small items many other units miss. I just wish they would have done something more in the last 15+ years. I heard they are working on it though. Hats off to Fisher for their fabulous 2 frequency detectors… 15+ years ago. At least they dropped the prices of some very popular F series…They have to be competitive. 2 Hats off to Garrett #1 for offering us a completely waterproof detector with digital processor and priced easily under $1000. #2 Garrett for grabbing 2 of my crazy (and now very popular) friends from MT and putting them on TV using the AT series detectors. Even though you may not like some of their tree humping antics… you have to admit…Just brilliant marketing. In person, those two guys are stand up citizens and ambassadors for our hobby. My big Cowboy hat goes off to XP Deus for making a compact wireless detector with extreme speed. They really came out of nowhere and have done us detectorists fantastic finds in trashy sites. They’ve become a serious player…I’ll admit it. Now we have the NOX and this can only be accomplished with my Giant 5 Gallon Sombrero Hat to Minelab. Today and for the next few months anyways, Minelab earns the honors. Not only do we get Waterproof, Compact & Lt wt. Wireless/Digital, True Multi Purpose, Lighting Fast Processor and new Multi IQ Technology all for under $1000. And even with one of them being $650. Is Minelab out of their minds or is this just another genius chess move? So now we see the direction and future. At least I do and many other sets of inquisitive eyeballs are peaking in. Equinox Multi IQ is soon going to be the norm for Minelab. The up and coming Hurricane series should be even more exciting. Isn’t Hurricane season just a few months away? After current model inventory is moved and cleared out..the new models could be: Go Find equivalent with Multi IQ will be the - Hurricane Force 1 X-Terra equivalent will be Hurricane Force 2 Safari equivalent will be the Hurricane Force 3 E-Trac’s equivalent will be the Hurricane Force 4 CTX 3030 equivalent is called the Hurricane Force 5. Will these new up and coming models cause the firestorm the Equinox did? I don’t think so as I expect the prices to be more at that time. Why do I think the tag will be higher, at least with the Force 3 – 5? By then the majority of NOX users will have seen the benefits of Multi IQ and once that fuzzy feeling gets in your veins, its hard to not want the next best thing. Now with the other manufactures? It’s not over by any means. They are watching, working and strategizing. Deus, White’s, Garrett, Tesoro & Fisher all have their Engineers working behind the scene. Their teaser ads and leaks will start to appear in the next 18 to 24 months. Only if you folks knew… As a user, boy I sure love Competition. BTW. The big hat. Yes that's me. I'm a big Boise State football fan. Yes we're the little guys who play at home on the blue. I was at the BCS Fiesta Bowl when little Boise State took down Oklahoma, it was a David vs Goliath moment in my life. Actually one of the best college football games I have ever witnessed. Thanks Gerry Gerry's Detectors www.gerrysdetectors.com Gold Nugget Field Training & Genuine Metal Detecting Experts
  9. When I started the GPZ 7000 thread at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/1230-minelab-gpz-7000-the-controversy-ends/ it was for owners of the detectors who have had time on it to air their opinions. It became apparent lots of other people wanted to weigh in with their opinions. I am therefore starting this thread for everyone else who owns anything else or not to voice whatever opinions they have on the detectors or companies themselves. Say anything you want, no holds barred really, but it would be nice if it was kept constructive. I prefer myself to keep things upbeat and positive. It is just who I am and I have tried to keep the forum as a whole along those lines. But I do not want people to feel like certain opinions or viewpoints are not welcome and so this is the place for whatever opinions you may have about any detector manufacturer or their products. I am not going to get involved as long as people do not get personal. This in no way is my relenting on my overall expectations for the forum as a whole. There is a time and a place for everything however and going forward this is the thread on which to air suggestions, complaints, issues, or just plain gripes. Again, all I ask is keep it civil. Thank you. Just to get you going here are some new metal detector bumper stickers for you.... First Texas - Even we don't know how many we make or what they're for! Garrett - We already made a flagship detector so quit asking for one. Minelab - The most hated name in detecting! Tesoro - Search for the past with detectors from the past. White's - Anything happen while we were sleeping?
  10. Since it snowed today here in Boise, I was stuck inside with nothing to do but fiddle and experiment with the new Equinox. I was able to do a basic spectral analysis of my Equinox 800 to try to see what frequencies it uses. I got some very interesting results. Bear in mind that this only measures all frequency outputs and does not measure if they are being "fired" in rapid sequence. An oscilloscope (something I don't have anymore) would be required to make that measurement. Here is a shot of the Equinox in Park1 mode with "0" ground balance setting: It looks like the two fundamental frequencies are 7.7 kHz and 38.8 kHz (with a possible third frequency at 18 kHz, but that would break with the past precendent of two basic frequencies in BBS/FBS). The short spikes around 30 kHz is external noise. Clicking through the different modes made NO difference, so all the difference between the modes is all being done in DSP, not by varying frequency. All the different modes looked identical to this screen shot I posted below for multi park1. Here is the background noise with the machine off, so you can see what is external interference:
  11. I'm wondering from those of you using detectors much longer than I have what would you say was the first 'smart' detector? Part of this question will be a definition of smart. I think of smart as being a detector that can do more than just 'respond' to a signal. It would do some processing. Certainly smart devices now have chips with algorithms. Would you define smart as a detector with a coin meter? Just wondering. Many definitions of smart devices now say it is a connected device. I'm not very 'smart' so that is why I am asking the question. Mitchel
  12. The latest issue of the ICMJ is out, and I have an article in it titled Selectable Frequency vs Multi Frequency Detectors. Those of you with a digital subscription can read it online. The ICMJ has a policy against mentioning brand names in articles so I wanted to post this as a supplement to the article. Most metal detectors run at a single frequency. Low frequencies, that is single digit frequencies under 10 kHz, react well to high conductive targets, like coins, or large items, even if those items are of low conductivity. If you look at this typical metal detector target scale below you will note that non-ferrous items read higher not just based on conductivity but size also. Low frequency detectors also do not "light up" the ground or hot rocks as much as detectors operating at higher frequencies. Many do not even offer ground balance controls because a factory preset level works well enough for some uses. Low frequency machines under 10 khz therefore tend to be aimed at the coin detecting market. There are too many models to list but most people have heard of the 6.5 khz Garrett Ace 250 as a perfect example. High frequencies 30 khz and over have extreme sensitivity to low conductive and small items, but also struggle more with ground penetration and hot rocks. Their extreme sensitivity to tiny trash items like aluminum bits do not make them very practical for any detecting except gold prospecting. Machines 30 khz and higher tend to be dedicated prospecting machines. Examples would be the 48 khz White's GMT, 71 kHz Fisher Gold Bug 2, 56 kHz Makro Gold Racer, and 45 khz Minelab Gold Monster 1000. In 2002 White's introduced the White's MXT at 14 kHz, and it is a perfect example of how detectors running in the "teens" make excellent "do-it-all" detectors. Since then everyone and their brother has jumped on that bandwagon, and there are too many machines running in the 10 kHz - 20 khz region to mention. Prospectors in particular would recognize the 19 khz Fisher Gold Bug Pro, but few know it is also sold in slightly different versions as the Teknetics G2, Fisher F19, and Teknetics G2+, all 19 kHz detectors sold to the general coin and relic market. Garrett has the 15 kHz AT Pro and 18 khz AT Gold to name a couple more popular metal detectors. Well if low frequencies are good for coins and high frequencies good for gold, why not make machines that can do both? Or both at once? Selectable frequency refers to machines that can select from one of several possible frequencies, but analyze the signal from only one frequency at a time. These may also be referred to as switchable frequency detectors. Multiple or multi frequency detectors analyze the signal from two or more frequencies at once. In theory this multifrequency analysis can be done simultaneously or sequentially at a very high speed. The end resultant is the same - the results from two or more frequencies are compared to derive information that cannot be had by analyzing a single frequency alone. Multiple frequency detectors usually have a fundamental frequency, and then other "harmonic" or secondary frequencies they also use, but the power (amplitude) fades with distance from the primary frequency. From page 9 of Minelab's Metal Detecting Terminology: You can find more information on harmonic frequencies at http://www.ni.com/white-paper/3359/en/ and here also. Coils normally must be wound specifically to make use of any given frequency or set of harmonic frequencies. A coil will usually work best at the given fundamental frequency making it difficult to get the best possible performance at all frequencies using one coil. The Minelab X-Terra series specifically requires a coil change to achieve a frequency change for this very reason. People who own them know 3 kHz coils weigh more than 18.75 kHz coils. Why? Because heavier windings are used at 3 khz for optimum performance at that frequency. Here is what is probably an incomplete list of selectable frequency detectors and year of release: 1989 Minelab Eureka Ace Dual 8 kHz 19.5 kHz 1993 Minelab XT 17000 6.4 kHz 32 kHz 1994 Compass X-200 6 kHz 14 khz 1997 Minelab XT 18000 6.4 kHz 20 kHz 60 kHz 1999 Minelab Golden Hawk 6.4 kHz 20 kHz 60 kHz 2002 Minelab Eureka Gold 6.4 kHz 20 kHz 60 kHz 2005 Minelab X-TERRA 50 7.5 kHz 18.75 kHz 2006 Minelab X-TERRA 70 3 kHz 7.5 kHz 18.75 kHz 2009 Minelab X-TERRA 305 7.5 kHz 18.75 kHz 2009 Minelab X-TERRA 505 3 kHz 7.5 kHz 18.75 kHz 2009 Minelab X-TERRA 705 3 kHz 7.5 kHz 18.75 kHz 2009 XP DEUS 4 kHz 8 kHz 12 kHz 18 kHz 2016 Rutus Alter 71 Variable 4 - 18 kHz 2017 XP DEUS V5 Additional 14 kHz 30 khz 55 khz 80 khz options 2017 Nokta Impact 5 kHz 14 kHz 20 kHz 2017 Makro Multi Kruzer 5 kHz 14 kHz 19 kHz 2018 Nokta Anfibio 5 kHz 14 kHz 20 kHz Multiple frequency or multi frequency machines have become very confusing, as a lot of marketing material has focused on the number of frequencies transmitted. What really matters is what frequencies a detector receives, and how the information is compared and processed for results. Some commentary here. Many people look at the marketing material and assume that a machine processing multiple frequencies is somehow working across the board to deliver the best possible results at all frequencies. However, the two issues outlined above do apply. The machines are employing harmonic frequencies, and so cannot compete with a machine optimized at a single frequency as opposed to one of the distant harmonics running at less amplitude. Second, making one coil run perfectly at all frequencies is extremely difficult, again giving the dedicated machine an edge. I highly recommend people not go down the technical rabbit hole but instead focus on what the machines do, on how they act. Two things are very apparent. First, the big market for a long time was coin detectors, and the goal always was to identify coins as deep as possible while ignoring trash as well as possible. Processing two or more frequencies simultaneously gives the detector engineer more information to work with. All the focus was on developing great coin detectors and guess what, the multi frequency machines for all intents and purposes act just like very good lower frequency coin detecting machines. Good ground rejection, and great discrimination on coins for as deep as it can be achieved. The multi frequency machines don't really go deeper than single frequency coin detectors, they just do a better job delivering clean discrimination results to depth. Here is a list of introductory models of multi frequency detectors and year of introduction. I am not listing all the derivative models to reduce clutter. I will post that later. 1991 Fisher CZ-6 5 & 15 kHz 1991 Minelab Sovereign BBS 1999 Minelab Explorer S/XS FBS 2001 White's DFX 3 kHz & 15 kHz (Simulates single frequency by ignoring half the dual frequency signal) 2012 Minelab CTX 3030 FBS2 Second, single frequency detectors have a ground balance problem. They can ground balance to mineralized soil, OR they can ground balance to salt water. Multi frequency machines can reduce signals from both mineralized beaches and salt water simultaneously, making them ideal for saltwater use. 1993 Minelab Excalibur BBS (Sovereign in waterproof housing) 1995 Fisher CZ-20 5 & 15 kHz (CZ-6 in waterproof housing) 2001 White's Beach Hunter ID 3 & 15 kHz (DFX in waterproof housing) There is a third class of machine that can run either as selectable frequency OR multi frequency detectors. Quite rare at this time. 2009 White's Spectra Vision 2.5 Khz or 7.5 kHz or 22.5 kHz or all three at once 2018 Minelab Equinox 5 kHz or 10 kHz or 15 kHz or 20 kHz or 40 kHz plus multi frequency options In my opinion multi frequency has delivered well on its promise. The Minelab BBS and FBS machines are renowned for their ability to discriminate trash and detect coins due to their sophisticated processing. Again, focus on what they do. Not even Minelab in their marketing tells anyone these are prospecting detectors. Second, the Fisher CZ-20/21 and various Minelab Excalibur models are without a doubt the most popular and successful non-PI saltwater beach detectors made. I have a White's DFX and I think it is a fantastic jewelry machine in particular. A good coin machine but lacks a bit of punch. The Vision/V3i upped the ante but while amazing on paper suffers from interface overload. The Minelab units are simple by comparison and a lesson on how people in general just want the detector to get the job done. Feature overload is not a plus. However, I think White's has the right idea. The ability to run either separate frequencies or multiple frequencies at once is very compelling. I just think nobody has really done it right yet in a properly configured package. The V3i has the ingredients, but needs to be stuffed in something like an MX Sport with a simplified interface and improved ground balance system. (2018 note - Minelab Equinox released). It really never did beat the White's MXT in some ways and many people when "upgrading" to the V3i end up going back to the MXT. Selectable frequency has yet to really deliver on its promise in my opinion. So far it has been difficult to produce a selectable frequency machine that truly performs at all frequencies on par with a dedicated single frequency machine. The Minelab Eureka Gold at 60 kHz just never gets mentioned in the same breath as the White's Goldmasters/GMT or Fisher Gold Bug 2. Also, most selectable frequency machines in the past have been very feature limited prospecting machines, restricting their overall market appeal. I personally think we have seen enough variations of single frequency detectors. I do not believe much can be done to exceed the performance of the dedicated single frequency VLF type machines we currently have. What can obviously be done is a better job of packaging machines that deliver true punch at different frequencies, or multi frequency machines that bring across the board performance closer to what is expected of PI detectors. I do think we are seeing this happen now. The new Nokta Impact and the new DEUS V4 update are expanding the available options in selectable frequency in more usable packages. The Minelab GPZ and other hybrid platforms blur the line between what is traditionally considered PI and VLF and simply need the addition of discrimination to go to the next level. There is still a lot of potential to deliver machines that might reduce the number of machines many of us feel compelled to own by delivering more across the board performance in a single machine that would now take several detectors. Exciting days ahead. For those who want to try and get their head around selectable frequency and multi frequency technology, Minelab and White's have a gold mine of information in a few of their references. Dig into the following for some great explanations and diagrams. Minelab - Metal Detector Basics and Theory Minelab - Understanding Your X-Terra White's - Spectra V3i Owners Guide White's - V3i Advanced Users Guide Better yet are the last three parts of the DFX instructional video by White's featuring engineer Mark Rowan explaining frequency and multi frequency methods:
  13. I am primarily a prospector but have also been coin and jewelry detecting since 1972. Like most people when in parks I use discrimination to pick targets but when prospecting I usually dig it all. Not always though, sometimes I am tired or an area is just too trashy so I crank in a little VLF discrimination to sort things out. The problem is when prospecting I have seen some pretty scary things. It is one thing to walk away from a dime because your detector called it a nail. Think about walking away from a solid multi ounce chunk of gold because your detector called it a nail. Not likely, you say? Far too likely, I am afraid. I and others dig big nuggets other people leave behind on a regular basis, and I know I have missed some very big ones myself in the past. It gets your attention to realize you may have walked away from $40,000.00. I have this pile of detectors headed my way to check out. One, the Nokta Fors Gold, showed up yesterday. Good first impression out of the box, but that is another story. The main thing is today I got it out along with a Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro, F75, White's GMT, and CTX 3030. I rounded up a 1 gram gold nugget and a collection of nails and hot rocks and did a little playing around this afternoon. I am still waiting for the XP Deus to show up and a V3i so this was more about coming up with some methodology more than anything. My interests run more towards hot rocks and magnetite sand than would be the case with most people. So the particulars do not matter at the moment, except this. Discrimination sucks! You fire these babies up in all metal and they are all powerful detectors that do the job, with some amazing depth for VLF units (not counting the CTX which lacks a true all metal mode). It is pretty easy to compare units as it really just boils down to depth and how well they handle hot rocks, which is mostly a function of frequency and ground balance. EMI is a big factor in urban areas also but much less so when prospecting. So then I put the detectors in disc mode and I just cut the legs out from under them. Bam, instant lost depth. Also, target masking or so-called reactivity is usually a non-issue in pure all metal modes. Not so at all in disc modes, and disc modes that lack true zero discrimination settings mask targets immediately even when set to zero. Anyway, all I can say is playing around for awhile with these units and my pile of hot rocks and little nails was rather disheartening. It was just so darn easy to get that little nugget to bang out loud in all metal, then disappear entirely in disc modes. Or get detected but called ferrous. Or get masked by a nearby hot rock or nail. It just hammered home with me once again the huge difference in raw power between something like a GPX 5000 and even the best VLF detectors in all metal mode, and how that huge difference becomes an almost impossibly large gulf once you turn to disc modes. When you just go detecting in a park you do not see what you are missing. But in my case it was all to visible and really kind of bummed me out seeing just how far we have to go when it comes to metal detector discrimination. The only icing on this cake is that there is a huge amount of fantastic stuff in the ground, and not deep at all. It is there, quite shallow, just under or near that thing you discriminated out. If we could see through discriminated items rather than be blocked by them an amazing amount of stuff would come to light. Beneath The Mask by Thomas Dankowski The Painful Truth by Thomas Dankowski
  14. I think maybe it's time for some additional terminology. We now have more and more machines with one single freq, some with with multiple single freqs, and some with multiple simultaneous freqs. There seems to be some confusion when using the term "multi-frequency" as to whether it means "more than one" or "several at the same time". Even machines with one-at-a-time multi-frequencies are sometimes referred to as being single frequency. Saying "simultaneous-multi-frequency" is more than a little cumbersome I think. "Multi IQ is proprietary and soon there will surely be more machines coming out from other companies with simultaneous-multi-frequencies. I have tried but so far I can only come up with silly suggestions like "1F", "MF", and "SMF". If you agree that there is this problem with confusing terminology then I'll bet many of you can come up with much better, compact, catchy terms.
  15. Minelab Electronics Pty Limited Method and Apparatus for Metal Detection Employing Digital Signal Processing US 20070296415 A1 This invention relates to a metal detector using multiple frequency signals generated and processed digitally. The detector transmits sinusoidal signals using a multiple frequency resonator or square waves, with optional modulation. The operation of the transmitter is continuously monitored to allow for tuning, detection of abnormal conditions and correction of phase shifts.
  16. https://www.minelab.com/usa/go-minelabbing/treasure-talk/equinox-technologies-part-3 Cliff EQUINOX Technologies (Part 3) January 15, 2018 Minelab Electronics This is the third instalment in a blog series introducing and explaining the technologies inside our new EQUINOX detectors… (Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.) Our goal was to develop a true multi-purpose detector that could not only physically be used in all-terrain conditions, but also be suitable for all types of detecting for all detectorists, and particularly those not requiring a specialist premium flagship detector optimised for only one aspect of detecting – e.g. coins, beach, gold, jewellery, water, discrimination, artefacts, etc. This multi-purpose requirement is something that could only be achieved by going beyond single frequency and creating the next generation of multi-frequency technology. Equally adaptable to all target types and ground conditions – just select your detecting location and go! An important update on the Detect Modes… Previously we have stated that Park, Field and Beach would run in multi-frequency and that Gold would only use the single frequencies of 20kHz and 40kHz, giving better results for gold nugget hunting. Our ongoing collaborative field testing feedback from around the world has resulted in further improvements to Multi-IQ to the point where multi-frequency is now the best option for Gold Mode as well, and will be the default setting. Please refer to the revised Getting Started Guide for updated product functions. Now, back to the technology: looking into our Multi-IQ diagram further… a single frequency is most sensitive to a narrow range of targets and multiple frequency is equally sensitive to a wider range of targets (e.g. the orange curve versus the white curve below). According to Philip Wahrlich, “From our testing, the Multi-IQ deployed in EQUINOX detectors has shown no significant trade-offs relative to the best single-frequency detectors and exceeded performance benchmarks in many important attributes, especially discrimination. And, for good measure, EQUINOX can also be operated as a single-frequency detector” While we could delve into this aspect further, many of our readers are likely more interested in what happens within the white Multi-IQ band itself, rather than single versus multi. What has Minelab developed new, and uniquely, with frequencies to give better performance across the whole range of targets for different conditions? The Multi-IQ transmit signal used in EQUINOX is a complex waveform where multiple frequencies are combined in a very dissimilar way than our proven BBS/FBS technology in Excalibur II / Safari / E-TRAC / CTX 3030 detectors. If you view the BBS signal amplitude on an oscilloscope, it looks something like this: In comparison, Multi-IQ looks something like this: Hence – Multi-IQ is not a derivative or evolution of BBS/FBS. Multi-IQ is a DIFFERENT method of simultaneous multi-frequency metal detection. We could also debate “simultaneous” versus “sequential” semantics; however the real detection ‘magic’ doesn’t happen with what is transmitted to and received from the coil alone. Remember, in Part 2, we discussed how frequencies are “combined AND processed” as being important for achieving better results? Let’s assess Multi-IQ for the different Detect Mode search profiles: Park 1 and Field 1 process a lower weighted frequency combination, as well as using algorithms that maximise ground balancing for soil, to achieve the best signal to noise ratio. Hence being most suited for general detecting, coin hunting, etc. Park 2 and Field 2 process a higher weighted combination of the Multi-IQ band while still ground balancing for soil. Therefore they will be more sensitive to higher frequency (low conductive) targets, but potentially more susceptible to ground noise. Beach 1 also processes a lower weighted combination, BUT uses different algorithms to maximise ground balancing for salt. Hence being most suited for both dry and wet sand conditions. Beach 2 processes a very low weighted frequency combination, using the same algorithms as Beach 1 to maximise ground balancing for salt. This search profile is designed for use in the surf and underwater. Gold 1 and Gold 2 process the higher weighted combination of the Multi-IQ band while still ground balancing for soil. However, they use different setting parameters better suited for gold nugget hunting. Will Multi-IQ technology really obsolete all single frequency detectors? We’ll continue the discussion in Part 4…
  17. After years of a reputation for high priced equipment, Minelab now seems to be on a more for less campaign and it could have lasting effects on how much we are willing to pay for metal detectors and what we expect for our money. At this point, even an X-Terra 305 starts at $259. It seems that even at the low end we are going to begin to expect a couple of frequencies to play with. Minelab has the low to mid range locked down for those that are paying attention. Is multifrequency and multiple selectable frequencies becoming an industry standard like VDI? What low end machine can compete with an X-Terra 305 at $259? What mid-upper range machines could compete with the Equinox 600 at $649, or an 800 at $899. How will Garrett's AT Series and Whites' MX Sport compete with even the Equinox 600? How will they justify offering less at $722 and $749 than the Equinox 600 does at $649. How Will XP Deus justify $800-$1,500 for a machine that cannot run its frequencies simultaneously, with some requiring a whole new expensive HF coil to attain. One thing is for sure. Watching the industry clamor to figure out what their response to what Minelab is offering for between $259-$899 is going to be very interesting. Add this to the fact that Minelab now offers the only pinpointer of its kind with iron tone. It's going to be an amazing year for them, and a year of huddling for everyone else as they figure out how to market against so much performance at these values.
  18. I am writing this in hopes that some metal detector manufacturers will read this and see what is wanted by the people in the field. What manufacturer to you think is on the leading edge? (why) What manufacture do you think needs a wake up call? What is your favorite all purpose detector? (coin, jewelry, and relic) What is your favorite prospecting detector? What do you wish the manufacturers would incorporate in new machines? I am not going to answer the question as I do not feel my knowledge base is at the level of the people on this forum. I still use a 30 year old detector. Everything I have read shows that this forum has the highest knowledge base of ones I have seen. Add any additional question that you think may be of interest.
  19. After you've had the top of the line detector from what ever the manufacturer, it's almost impossible to settle for a lower end machine from the same company. Case in point, over the past several years I've owned, actually remember, seven Fisher F75's, some original and some the LTD mode. I've had the opportunity to try lower cost machines like the Gold Bug Pro, F19, F5, but can say for surety I've yet to find a machine that comes close to enjoying anything like the F75. I recently purchased a new F19 with the intentions of only using for relic hunting, but even though it is a great machine, it still can't fill the void filled by the F75. Just amazing, you get what you pay for, in most cases when it comes to detecting. It's something how companies put out a flag ship machine then do spin offs of lesser performance an features.
  20. This post is in part to help newbies and or folks who don't hunt as often. I'm posting it here, as the Equinox is getting many people excited and even Prospectors who are used to running gold machines without depth indication on their units. If it helps you, then great. I'll even post a video I did on pinpointing a few years back that could help some swingers. Reading some posts below, I read a statement Steve H replied to pertaining Pinpointing and signal strength. He brought up a very very valid point that WAY TO MANY people don't understand. Why do I say so, because when all the training classes we do on Coin/Relic detectors, that seems to be one of the points most folks miss. I'll try to explain it again. The depth readout on the screen of most detectors is set from the factory on Coin Size Targets. Remember that bit please "Coin Size Targets" as well as a few other engineer magics I won't go into. But if you remember the above, you'll be fine. So here are two examples I'll use to show the opposite of correct Depth ID (incorrect). A beer can at 12" deep could read .25 coin on readout and depth show at 5-6" giving a strong signal tone. It is actually much bigger than a coin and so that is why it says it is shallower. When I hunt beaches for gold rings or old silver coins and my Depth readout says 6", but I have dug down 8" or more, I am most certain it is not a ring or coin and in fact is a larger target that is deeper. A stud earring could read 4" with a soft chirp weak tone, when in actuality it is less than an inch deep. I enjoy hunting for diamond studs and have learned they are near the surface and not as deep as the Depth Indication shows. Also point of interest for those who don't know. My White's TRX Pointer is much better at finding gold nuggets and stud earrings than my Garrett Carrot. But I do prefer my Carrot when hunting coins/rings size targets. Here is a video that is of an older machine, but the technique is the same. Hope it helps some of you newer users or old salty prospectors converting to new machines.
  21. I few years ago I was giving a class on "How to Find Gold Rings" with the Minelab X-705 and realized something different about a coupe of the detectors in the class? Most gave the same readout display, but a couple machines were a number off? I went home stumped that night and tried to figure out how the same model of detectors with the same SENS setting and same DISC patterns could give a different reading on the same target at the same depth? Finally I figured out the puzzle and when doing so I actually upped my odds of finding gold rings. So my questions is? Has anyone attempted changing the kHz setting before digging a target to see if the exact same Identification # is given? Or do you think it will/will not do it? Watch the video to see what I learned/taught myself.
  22. Someone here please tell me what is exactly is the break point for calling a detector Vlf vs HF frequency wise?? I will be using the Equinox and reporting on it. The coil sizes that will be available at first,,there is chance we may not know just how good or bad the Equinox is. Should prove interesting nonetheless.
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