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  #61  
Old 06-10-2018, 03:43 PM
lytle78 lytle78 is offline
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I am working hard gleaning every thread of information publicly disclosed on the Manta project. I am totally fascinated by PI detectors. I had one of the first 200 TDI’s, a ML GP2100 pulse, a Garrett CTX and a Reg Sniff modified TDI. When I stumbled across the Manta in 2016 on the Geotech Forum, a lightbulb lit up above my head, like in an old cartoon.

I am thinking that I might even do a Facebook Group for it when it appears so that folks who are interested can get the latest feedback and news.

FT has made it clear that this is merely the first in a series of highly focused special purpose PI detectors which they already have under active development or advanced concept development.

PI detectors sort of hit a dead end. Minelab took them as far as they could for gold nugget hunting, then more or less abandoned them in favor of the Induction Balance time-domain GPZ. Garret did the Infinium, then the CTX and it looks like that might be the end of the line. Eric Foster never wanted to make mass production machines and his work with Whites seems over and the TDI is fading away.

Now there is new life breathed into the technology through Alexandre’s team. His goal was to sell the work he created to a manufacturer in order that it could reach production. Now he has not only done that but put his little team on FT’s payroll. They are smart, hard-working and ambitious. Perhaps now we will get the lightweight, powerful and ergonomic PI’s we have never had previously. I want one for nugget hunting and another one for relics, and maybe another one tuned for US deep silver - seeing right through aluminum trash.

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  #62  
Old 06-10-2018, 05:57 PM
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I'm hoping the price point on the Manta will be reasonable (sub $1,000) and the battery will be rechargeable. For me, that was the weakness of the CZ-20/CZ-21 series.

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  #63  
Old 06-10-2018, 07:34 PM
lytle78 lytle78 is offline
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The proto’s were lithium, so I doubt the production models would back off that. ML has kind of opened the door to multiple power options, so perhaps FT will think along the same lines.

About the price - this will be their new water machine, so CZ21 pricing might be a guide, perhaps modified by the new realities of the prevailing detector market pricing.

FT are pretty good at Marketing, I expect that they will price this as low as they need too to sell it and as high as they need to to make a killing if it succeeds! Lol

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  #64  
Old 06-11-2018, 07:57 AM
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Rick.... i believe the price is going to reflect how much faith they have in the machine. The team seems to be pretty excited about it and what it will do compared to other high end PIs that even Eric developed. Now they have to make it useable. If its to difficult to use, bulky, real pricy, or just another fancy PI that loves iron ..... it could be a hard sell to older hunters. They have to change how many think about a PI being just a nitch machine. Most arent going to pay $2000 or so for a closet machine....... they have to make us WANT it as our primary machine..... or at least have to make that difficult choice before we leave the house.

Rick...... i know Carl said fall or early spring ... maybe. Ive not talked to Tom lately so are they still on track for that? Fisher sometimes gets their gurus distracted way to much on other projects. Hopefully this wont get put on the back burner and will be given the priority it deserves.

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  #65  
Old 06-11-2018, 09:22 AM
lytle78 lytle78 is offline
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I have no information available beyond what is publically posted various places - LE JAG’s posts especially. It is clear however from all of it, that far from losing focus or slowing down, the Fisher PI project is moving forward rapidly. They are highly confident that this machine will KILL on gold at the seashore.

It is a specialized machine - not an all purpose one. Unless gold is your passion, there are other choices - multi-function like the Nox. It is Fisher’s intent to demonstrate that if you are serious about finding gold, this will be the go-to machine.

The proof will be in the experiences of the first users to hit the beach and decide for themselves. I certainly plan to be among them. It isn’t far from Arizona to the CA coast and I plan to hit the road in my travel trailer as soon as I can get my hands on the Fisher **** **** PI.

As far a pricing, ML charges $7k for their top of the line nugget hunter, the GPZ7000. That price - like all the pricing on the ML PI machines - is the result of what I have often called the Minelab “”Tax on Gold” - their policy of pricing the tool according to what it can produce - not what it cost to build. FT has never gone down that road and I susect that this PI will be no exception.

The fact that this PI will be a specialized machine is not a bug, it’s a feature.

Specialized machines are the future I believe. With the fact that casual “mucking about” with metal detectors in the US is getting progressively less convenient and less rewarding, manufacturers who hope to sell detectors at a premium price need to appeal to committed, enthusiastic users. These folks tend to specialize.

My pal Keith Southern hunts old sites, littered with iron, for 19th century artifacts, This forum is full of keen beach hunters who are always “for the gold”. The gold nugget hunters have been waiting for decades for a light weight PI machine to challenge the ML GPX/SDC machines. In Europe, relics are the thing and everything above iron is important.

I’ll give you another example. Deep silver hunters pretty much all settled on the FBS/BBS machines (with a few dedicated CZ folks around). I will suggest that the FBS/BBS machines were not in fact designed specifically with this in mind and were in fact not at all ideal for this job. Yes, they were able to detect and correctly ID deep silver better than anything else. They suffered however from masking to a high degree - nulling over iron and missing adjacent goodies - just read all the Nox enthusiasts who previously used these FBS machines - finding good coins in places they pounded with the earlier multifrequency detectors.

The result of decades of hunting US silver in parks and public spaces has resulted in folks like Tom D arguing that most of what is left is not necessarily deeper, but masked by adjacent or overlying low conductor targets.

Consider the Whites TDI “trick” which Reg Smith and Steve Herschbach documented - offsetting the GB setting to detect high conductors only and “see through” the masking ferrous and aluminum. Worked great, but not to great depth. What if the FT Euroteam fiercely focus on the development of a deep silver hunter - one where the “silver bias” existed, but without the depth losss that the TDI suffered when doing this? Is this doable? I sure don’t know, but my point is that a better deep silver hunter, one which ignores everything but high conductors and which can do this in any soil, would sell like hot cakes and at a premium price.

If you patiently got this far in reading all this - thanks for your kind attention!

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  #66  
Old 06-11-2018, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by lytle78 View post
ML charges $7k for their top of the line nugget hunter, the GPZ7000. That price - like all the pricing on the ML PI machines - is the result of what I have often called the Minelab “”Tax on Gold” - their policy of pricing the tool according to what it can produce - not what it cost to build.
Originally Posted by FelixtheCat View post
I'm hoping the price point on the Manta will be reasonable (sub $1,000) and the battery will be rechargeable. For me, that was the weakness of the CZ-20/CZ-21 series.
$1k would make it more justifiable to me. During the last few years, I've often skipped bringing the CTX just because it was so darn expensive and I didn't want to risk theft or damage during a vaca. Its a low risk but still a risk when you considering we live and vacation in and around FL, and detectors often get left in the car while sight seeing / shopping...
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  #67  
Old 06-11-2018, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DaviDs View post
$1k would make it more justifiable to me. During the last few years, I've often skipped bringing the CTX just because it was so darn expensive and I didn't want to risk theft or damage during a vaca. Its a low risk but still a risk when you considering we live and vacation in and around FL, and detectors often get left in the car while sight seeing / shopping...
Agreed. $1k or less. This is the major reason why the equinox is selling like hotcakes. Fisher knows this. Its why their BH brand probably sells more detectors than all of the other detectors sold by every brand combined. The CTX was way too much. Way overpriced. Not worth it considering the safari was just as deep.

Fisher has the technology. I loved my CZ21. They could easily come out with a nox competitor that is VLF and probably will. Me, I would just love a pi that discs out iron. Its all I need. PI has so many advantages over vlf detectors, especially if you can disc out the iron. Eric Foster was so close which is why I am glad to see this group continuing that work. The Manta is at the top of my list right now.

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  #68  
Old 06-11-2018, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by adamBomb View post
Agreed. $1k or less..... The CTX was way too much. Way overpriced.... Not worth it considering the safari was just as deep.
..... Me, I would just love a pi that discs out iron. Its all I need. PI has so many advantages over vlf detectors, especially if you can disc out the iron.
I think the CTX price was fair, especially when it came to market. It was the only waterproof VDI detector and only model to offer GPS. It also had a backlit display (not available on the Safari). I used the GPS to identify trends and data on the eb and flow of targets. Also "HAD TO" use GPS in order to legally hunt and log artifacts. If you add the cost of a new Safari, labor and materials to waterproof it, and then separate waterproof GPS, the cost was similar...but the CTX put it all together in a convenient package.

I find the PI is ideal for some beaches, but not others. Disc'g out iron would be great, but I'm not sold as it being the best for all areas. Meanwhile, if I want to get any decent money for my PI's, I might need to sell them prior to the Manta.

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  #69  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:39 PM
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Rick, I believe the manta might also be used for nugget hunting. It might have to be tuned/set for specific areas... not much of a leap between salt water hunting and desert gold nugget (18k?) hunting. Might be worth checking out as the potential market would double if it is nugget suitable

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  #70  
Old 06-11-2018, 01:06 PM
lytle78 lytle78 is offline
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The AquaManta (A1) uses an unconventional arrangement for the GB function to help focus it for low conductors. This means that it doesn’t have full range GB for extreme mineralization. It may in fact work extermely well for nuggets where the ground isn’t extreme, but it won’t be marketed for that.

The TerraManta (T1), on the other hand will be for inland use. I have no idea if it will be more relic oriented or nugget oriented. It may bery well be that a specialist nugget hunter is under development, but they’re not saying anything about it.

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  #71  
Old 06-12-2018, 11:54 PM
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if you read between the lines of what le jag says i think its ready for production being that testing has moved on to the land machine.As for price i would guess being that it looks like it will smoke a cz or excal ,its going to be around 2,000&
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  #72  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:37 AM
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After NOT reading through the 10,000 posts, here's my thoughts and opinions. Firstly, I started detecting with an Excal. I learned it.. After playing with the faints, whispers, nulls, trying to determine the faintest threshold breaks etc I decided I wanted to try something new. And I still use the Excal. I bought a CTX. That took some time. It's a complicated beast if you choose to make it complicated. What I love about it is that there are no faints, whispers, etc. If a target is there, you'll know it and you'll usually know what it is to a science. The main issue for me with the CTX is water intrusion and weight. Introduce the NOX. Literally 1/3 the weight of my CTX. Basically if a CTX was an Iphone with normal settings, The NOX is an Iphone with the Geriatric basic set up settings. You get most of everything that the CTX has. You don't get the GPS (I've NEVER used it), you don't get a clock (big deal) you loose the weight, water intrusion is minimalized (notice I didn't say eliminated) . What you do get is a terrible shaft and a terrible arm cuff. Also some have said, and I don't really notice it is the balance of it. A few friends gripe that it's nose heavy. For me, its the first detector that I don't have to have a harness on to use for several hours. It seems to be a penny magnet. The CTX is a dime magnet.
The NOX LOVES small items. I've already found 2 super thin gold chains. I dig the SMALLEST, TINIEST pieces of metal. Like a earing backing 3 scoops down. I thought I was falsing until I finally found it because it kept falling through my scoop. The NOX is impressive. Lastly there is ALOT of EMI. With the CTX I could walk up to anyone and it wouldn't have an issue. The NOX I cant be 25 ft from anyone w/o it going nuts. I guess that's a good thing. Must mean it's a powerhouse?!

I vote YES for the NOX 800.. Just get a Plugger or Anderson shaft.
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  #73  
Old 06-13-2018, 06:25 AM
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Obviously there is a place for both a multi use and nitch machine. As far as the Nox being nose heavy..... get real people, of course its going to be nose heavy with that size of coil and the lower shaft extended. I find it hard to put the Nox down...... but there are places and times id just as well use the Xcal or CTX. But i think price point ..... thats selling a lot of Noxs.

Its going to be interesting to see just what Fisher does sell the machine for. I know ML said they make their own boards and such now making it MUCH cheaper to make. Cant really compare the Manta to a high speed gold machine YET. Its going to have to earn its place.... and that price point. This machine is built for water hunters...... if it works as designed they should sell a good many of them. I mean how many times have we read people trying to make a choice ...... PI or VLF? BUT..... on the down side, unlike the Nox...... we are a smaller group so i expect a $2000 price tag..... especially since Jag said he sold one of the proto types for that price.

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  #74  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:55 AM
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I posted this a few minutes ago on another forum, in response to a question of whether a special purpose gold hunting beach PI like the Manta would be a machine that folks would buy and then not like.

I think the answer is some will love it, some won’t. Pretty much like any other detector. You build PI machines which a lot of folks have used and most really love, but they are clearly not for everyone.

Beach hunting is hard work and unless you live near the beach it is a thing you can only do when you infrequently travel to the beach. PI beach detectors have been on the market for decades. They are niche machines in beach detecting and beach machines are a niche within the overall detector market.

Fisher’s primary challenge is to produce a machine which is light and elegant and lives up to the picture painted by enthusiastic folks on the forums.Their next challenge is to present it correctly. I am pretty sure that they don’t want every hunter who goes to the beach to buy one. FT are busy developing new platforms which will address the challenge posed by the latest crop of “go anywhere” detectors - water resistant VLF’s with salt beach capability (mostly but not exclusively multifrequency).

If we look at existing PI water machines we see detectors with depth on low mineral beaches equal to or superior to machines like the Excal, CTX and CZ21 (on black sand or other mineralized beaches they clearly beat the VLF’s). The current machines lack any practical means of identifying iron. The result is that users often find that they end up digging more and deeper holes without increasing their finds. They also are no more sensitive to small gold than VLF’s which can operate in Salt. A lot of them end up being sold on or put in the closet, and the user either giving up beach detecting or reverting to a VLF. Some dedicated hunters, especially where mineralized beaches prevail continue to use them and get super results.

The new Fisher PI will be a specialized tool. It’s for gold, just like a Minelab GPZ which costs $7000. The difference is that finding an ounce of gold nuggets is really, really hard. Lots of folks try for a year to find their first tiny one. Head to the beach with a good beach detector and the odds of finding gold are nowhere so remote - and the gold you find is in bigger chunks than the average nugget hunter will ever find.

The Manta has two key characteristics which aim to make it a deadly gold hunter. First and most important, it claims to be more sensitive to ALL gold than any previous salt water detector. It does this by having an adjustable pulse delay control which goes down below 10 microseconds pulse delay - this has two effects, it enables finding smaller gold than any current detector in salt water and second Manta has more depth on all gold. All this sensitivity would be no good if weak target signals were swamped by circuit and ground noise. The Manta’s design has been refined and every design trade off made in the direction of extremely low noise, letting weak signal be heard.

So, folks might say - OK maybe it will find more gold, but PI’s also hear every tiny flake of metal and drive me nuts and wear me out digging deep holes for nails, hairpins and aluminum trash.

The feature of the Manta which has probably gotten the most attention is its ability to ID or eliminate ferrous targets. The iron ID/elimination capability of the Manta is based on the operation of its ground balance system. This function puts iron and high conductors into the excluded “bucket” (it has two modes, no return or multitone) and puts low conductors - gold jewelry and aluminum - into another “bucket”. The degree of operation of this feature is variable from “all metal” level through increasing amounts of rejection. Use of this will greatly reduce or eliminate digging ferrous junk. Unlike the primitive iron ID of the Minelab GPX machines, this feature works to nearly full detecting depth of the machine. Since it works on the strength of the return signal, vs. its phase shift, it will likely eliminate those dreaded smashed and ripped deep aluminum cans.

At high levels, the largest ferrous targets and other targets with high conductivity are rejected. With use of the ferrous rejection feature clad and silver coins are excluded. Not so great for “clad stabbing” The testing so far has concentrated on finding gold in the water and France doesn’t have recent high conductor coinage. The use of iron ID when silver is the target may work fine by adjusting the pulse delay to a higher value and choosing a lower level of iron exclusion, or it may be necessary to hunt in all metal with a high pulse delay value to eliminate small ferrous and all aluminum. In any event, LE JAG has reported that in his 3 years or so of testing and using successive Manta prototypes he has mainly operated in all metal - stating that most iron gives a double “blip” especially if the coil is lifted slightly. In this mode, silver and clad are detected, just like everything else.

Using the Manta for gold in salt will be just like any other beach machine in one way - the user will have to adapt control settings and search techniques to extract the maximum information from the ground and to make effective use of his time and energy. Fisher’s argument is that between the gold finding power of the Manta and it’s abilities to avoid digging ferrous junk, it will obsolete all previous PI beach machines and outperform any current beach machine of any type - tall order, we will see if it measures up.

The upcoming testing of pre-production machines here in North America will no doubt clearly reveal the best use of the machine’s capabilities - When that data is in, I’m pretty sure Fisher’s advertising and social media information on the PI will reflect its strengths and limitations. They are well aware this is not a mass-market machine. I suspect also that they are putting off setting a price target for this until they have a firmer grasp on the scope of its usefulness and appeal. The GPZ costs $7000 - why? - because it finds gold nuggets better than any other detector in the world and gold is valuable - Minelab charges a kind of tax on gold. If the Manta can demonstrate that it really finds gold jewelry in salt water better than any machine in the world it will totally dominate an admittedly niche market - fortunately, I doubt that Fisher is interested in “taxing gold” - so I’m sure the price will be much more reasonable.

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