MORE INFO ON THE MINELAB GPX-4000


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Hello All,

Just wanted to let you know that the new Minelab GPX-4000 is running on a 7.4 volt Li-Ion Battery. There was some speculation about lower and higher voltages. The battery will weigh 870g and will last 12+ hours.

Looks like Jonathan Porter is testing the new machine right now in Australia. Maybe he can give us some more information and how it's performing. Can't wait to get my hands on for some testing here in Arizona.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Hello Rob, yes I have spent a decent amount of time with the GPX. I have a few reservations with the unit in some ground types which will probably not be an issue in the US. What does excite me though is the new SMOOTH mode (part of the Sensitivity funtions in the new menu system), which should just about ignore all those mongrel basalt hot rocks you blokes suffer from in the US :angry: . It might pay to give Minelab USA a call to see if the pre-production model they have has been tested on them yet. Going by what I have experienced here in OZ you should be able to detect with a mono coil in basalt hot rock infested ground, and also some of those black sand filled gullies, and still get excellent performance (heaps better than a DD anyway :) ).

I have worked some really noisy ground here in OZ with barely a murmer coming out of the machine, in fact the thing was so quiet I had to keep swinging over my pick to make sure it was still working, yet was finding gold in what would normally be DD ONLY territory.

Hopefully the ground I did have trouble with was the exception rather than the norm :huh:, as you can imagine I can only get the test units over so much country during the testing phase, only time will tell on how the GPX behaves as I revist other areas. :)

JP

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Hi Jonathan,

As Rob can attest we have some pretty nasty basalt cobbles at my mine at Moore Creek. Lots of faint signals, so much so that you just start ignoring them. Problem of course is some are small or deep nuggets. And some sing out very nice, like a 2 ounce nugget... and it is a rock. Luckily there are not too many of those.

Anything that helps with those pesky things would be helpful. I went back to trying the SD2200D and also some oversized DD coils with varying success but it sounds like the GPX-4000 may be what I'm looking for.

Are there any functions on the GP 3500 that are not on the GPX-4000? I use my GP in town a lot, and so controls others rarely use, like the Cancel, are important to me.

Thank you for all you have done to make helpful instructional inforamtion available to Minelab owners!

Steve Herschbach

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G'day Steve, all the functions available on the GP3500 are present in the GPX but with more flexibility, you can now numerically adjust the SIGNAL control for instance, along with a number (to numerous to mention them all actually) of other new functions such as different detecting modes to suit different terrains/detecting styles, a number of settings to help improve the sensitivity such as GAIN controls, there is even one mode called QUIET mode which holds a lot of potential for those particularly nasty locations.

I am still working my way through all the various functions, as you can imagine the variations on offer are huge. At the end of the day its all about flexibility, being able to fine tune your own personal machine to suit your preferences/tastes has to be a good thing :) .

JP

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This info is great. Thanks for sharing all the details Jonathan.

Much appreciated.

-Scotty

Scotty,

Just a note to let you and anyone else, Scotty's Nugget Shooter program is great and very easy to use. I use it for placer mining. I mark each bucket and its coords. and I've got a map of the way the gold flowed. So again, Thanks Scotty.

29 prospector

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Hello Jonathan Porter,

I looked at the spec sheet on the GPX-4000 and it mentions the battery is a 9.2ah 7.4v system. Do you know if the Minelab Li-Ion Battery is 12v or is it like the Coiltek Li-Ion System and running 7.3-7.4 volts?

Thanks for the help in advance,

Rob Allison

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Hello Jonathan Porter,

I looked at the spec sheet on the GPX-4000 and it mentions the battery is a 9.2ah 7.4v system. Do you know if the Minelab Li-Ion Battery is 12v or is it like the Coiltek Li-Ion System and running 7.3-7.4 volts?

Thanks for the help in advance,

Rob Allison

Hello Rob Allison, from what I can gather the Minelab Lithium Ion battery is not regulated, in other words it is made up of individual Lithium Ion cells (AA size) which are placed in a pack to achieve I suppose a 7.4 Volt/9.2AmpHr system, however just like a Gell Cell the batteries can charge up to a higher amount when fully charged (In the case of a 6V SLA battery this could be around the 7.4V mark). Going by memory the GPX showed a charge of a little over 8V when fully charged, but then averaged out around the 7.4V mark, my guess is Minelab have added the sum total of the AA Lithium cells to come up with the 7.4V/9.2AmpHr figure.

The new GPX is regulated internally to suit the electronics requirements, which is probably a higher voltage than that of the previous GP series to achieve a more efficient power supply (obviously if you regulate down too far you loose a lot of power to heat which equals less run time).

Hope this helps

JP

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Hello Mike,

Talked with Dick Shultz earlier today from Minelab. He wanted to know if I was going to pick up my bundle of GPX's this weekend at the outing. I won't be able to make the Nuggetshooter outing since I have another workshop. This same thing happened last year also and I had to miss the last outing. You have room for 10 GPX's in your truck?

If you get a chance, report back here after the weekend and let me know how the GPX-4000 performed for you. I'm sure you're going to like it from all the feedback I heard from the testing in Australia and here in the US.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Dear group;

The more info that becomes available, the more I am starting to get the impression that the GPX-4000 is just an upgraded GP-3500. It seems that Minelab is continuing the trend of building upon an already very well established and accepted platform and they are continuing to make incremental improvements upon existing technology. This fits in nicely with our previous predictions, it seems. the LCD was no suprise, in fact had they not incorporated one, I would have been very suprised. What does suprise is the ackward looking placement of the screen. It also seems that ML has removed an entire array of buttonsl, knobs and switches in favor of a scroll through menu and this should do a lot to ease a lot of the confusion surrounding the proper use of the machines' settings. Overall, I think it's a nice unit, except for the price tag of course.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Hello Mike,

No problem with picking up the detectors. I'm just having them shipped since it will be a large shipment. I should have them early next week at the latest. I'm hoping to hear some good feedback from you and maybe some others that will be using the new GPX-4000's up there. I would hope you're going to take it back to your famous BB patch, right? :huh:

Wishing you all the best of luck up at Gold Basin this weekend. Hoping to see some nice gold and meteorite finds on the forum soon.

Take care,

Rob Allison

Hello Lamar,

From what I have heard from people testing the machine right now it does have some features that make a difference. I won't know for sure until I get it out and over some old patches. I have a couple places in mind right now. If the GPX-4000 is getting more true depth I should be able to pluck a few nuggets from these patches.

I'm also excited to know that you can use a mono coil across nasty ground with some of the ground balance features on the GPX-4000. I was never impressed with the performance of the DD coils.

Hope to know more soon,

Rob Allison

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Hi,

Now that I've seen both ends of the unit, I am disappointed there are so many knobs and switches left on the GPX-4000. LCD menu systems can be annoying at times, but the big benefit is in getting rid of knobs and switches that can get knocked out of adjustment in thick brush. They are also areas prone to collect water and dirt. I've had units temporarily go bonkers due to one drop of water getting in a switch, grounding out the control. Does not hurt the unit, but puts you temporarily out of action until you dry the control box out.

Let's face it, once you get the machine properly set up, there is little need to fiddle with controls. I've run all day in places never using more than the on/off switch. I think it would have been nice to see all the controls incorporated into the LCD system along with the ability to store several custom programs. Hit the on/off switch, choose the program, off you go. Default to last used program and ground balance settings, and basically you could just turn the machine on and off.

I do not understand why so many switches and knobs had to remain. Now for the plus side...

Funny thing about depth of detection. It often is not a case of making the machine detect deeper. It is in getting the operator to actually hear the target. This is most apparent in the novices I watch. I'm convinced they are getting over targets, but their untrained ears simply are not recognizing those faint clues more experienced ears pick up.

So anything that reduces background noise or enhances target response, or both, leads to a perception of greater depth of detection. It sounds like the GPX-4000 offers settings to both reduce background noise in some areas, and enhance signal response. The ultimate goal is a machine that runs dead quiet but really sounds off on legitimate targets.

We will see how it all works out, but it sounds to me like the GPX-4000 could have settings that significantly reduce ground noise and enhance target noise. If this allows people, both novice and pro, to get targets that they would have missed previously, it will be perceived that the unit "is getting more depth". After all, you are getting nuggets you missed before, right?

I do question how much more we can push the absolute limits of detection depth, but I do think there is significant room for improvement in making nuggets that are in detectable range jump out at you more. Kind of like the difference I see using a Fisher Gold Bug 2 for tiny gold versus most other units. I can usually hit that tiny nugget with other machines, but it is the faintest whisper, so faint I almost think I imagined it. Nearly any novice operator would pass it over, but my trained ear perks up to it. But use the Gold Bug 2, and that same little nugget goes "beep!!" and sounds much larger than it really is.

That is what I'm hoping for from the GPX-4000. Get rid of my ground noise at Moore Creek. Make the faint signals from the basalt cobbles go away. At the same time, make the nuggets themselves stand out even more. You do that, I'll find more gold. Finding gold nuggets is not all about sheer depth alone. The end effect can end up being the same, however. Right now I've been ignoring thousands on extremely faint signals at Moore Creek, in favor of those I know are "for sure" signals. There are just too many of them. Some I'm passing up are smaller nuggets, in fact quite a few, as proven by Dan Judd. But a few are also going to be very large nuggets at the extreme edge of detection depth. If I can pick those out clearly now from all the ground noise, as far as I am concerned I'll be getting more depth.

Therein lies the real promise in the GPX-4000 for me.

Steve Herschbach

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Dear Steve;

It seems that I may have written something similiar to what you have wrote on Bill's forum on October 14th of this year, in a thread titled "What's the scoop?" It is post number 18 and here is the link for anybody interested in reading it:

http://www.nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/index...c=8197&st=0

This is my 1st response to the topic in it's entireity;

Dear Daza;

Yes, it seems that some of our predictions have came true as well as the prediction that it may be falling short of expectations. The LCD screen, although welcome by many operators, is placed in just about the worst possible spot that an engineer can think of. Why not place the screen on top of the grip handle like every other manufacturer is currently doing? Minelab needs to SERIOUSLY consider hiring some ergonomic engineers IMHO. Also, the lith-ion battery pack looks to be about the same size as the old lead-acid battery. While weight is always a factor, so is overall size and that is just another reason why I like my CTK Pocket Rocket system so well. I absolutely detest lugging a bunch of stuff to the field when I go out detecting and portability is a prime concern of mine. As far as improved depth capabilities are concerned, I strongly feel that if the new GP4K does in fact boast improved depth performance, then it will be vey incrimental in comparison to Minelabs' earlier efforts. I feel this way because in regards to depth, pulse induction techology has reached it's limits and I'll be willing to bet that Minelab has instead improved upon it's sensitivity circuitry. The new GP4K will probably be able to handle hot ground better than any of it's previous models, and it will most likely permit the use the larger mono coils in areas where they once had to use a DD coil in. One area in which Minelab has yet to improve upon is issuing it's dealers a BS/hype filter. When extolling the virtues of this amazing new piece of technology, if there were a BS/hype filter incorporated, the prospective buyer could crank the filter up to maximum and recieve a true opinion of the machine in question.

Your friend;

LAMAR

Strictly as an aside, the BS/hype mentioned above is still in it's Beta testing stages and it won't becme available to the general prospecting public for sometime yet. Until then, the ol' trusty "Just your damned common sense" method will have to continue being utilized.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Hi Lamar,

I have a White's DFX. I used to not be much of a DFX person. I thought all the scrolling through menus was a burden, and there are so many settings it is overwhelming.

But now I really like the machine. I have a custom program I developed, and so I just turn the unit on, load up the program and go. Absolutely no knobs or switches on the unit, so it is nearly waterproof in rain. Put a sticker on the speaker, and you are good to go. And the SignaGraph readout would be something Minelab would do well to emulate in a PI unit for target ID. A GP that looked pretty much like a DFX and with drop-in L-Ion batteries would be killer.

Good news. Minelab just called and the price of the GPX battery has been lowered from a retial of $499.95 to $349.95. That was one area I actually emailed them about. $499.95 is way to much for a spare battery. $349 gets it down closer to what the aftermarket people are offering.

One thing that is not hype... I am really looking forward to getting my hands on a GPX.

Steve Herschbach

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Steve and Lamarr. The screen placement might not be a big factor as it will only be used on initial start up. It isn't like a DFX or other coin detectors where you are watching for ID numbers or other functions. Once set , you shouldn't have to refer to it again unless you want to change your program. I do think that it is a big jump in another direction for PI users and I like the idea. I don't think I would be so hot on it if I hadn't gotten a Quattro last year and seen what amazing things can be done with a programable coin machine. No serious coin hunter would be without one these days. The next few weeks will be fun as the results start coming in. The large size of the battery is because the charger is built in from what I can figure out. Hopefully this will eliminate the tangle of wires around my gear shift .----Bob

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Dear Montana;

I feel that you are correct about the LCD screen in that once the unit is up and running, then it rarely needs fine tuning. Yet. But it can be done and it WILL be done. This much is obvious if you look at things from a generational point of view. The SD2100 is your basic "fire that booger up and go" type of detector, with slight adjustments being made to CHANNEL 1 as necessary. As the Minelab PI series of detectors has progressed, with every new model, there have been more fine tuning adjustments made available to the operator so they can prospect in a wider range of soil conditions. This holds true all the way out to the GP3500. Minelab placed the switch on top of the handle so the operator can fine tune the detector on the fly, as it were. This is where an LCD screen becomes advantageous. Instead of the operator having to listen for audio changes and make adjustments as needed, all that will need to be done is to monitor the LCD readout for soil changes and a touch of a softpad button on the screen makes everything right once again. The technology is there for this to happen but developing that technology is expensive and this is most likely why we haven't seen it yet on the Minelab PI detectors. But it WILL happen, unless something new comes along first.

I also believe that you are correct about the battery pack having an incorporated charging system but I am hoping that you aren't. It stands to reason the battery pack does indeed have a built-in charger and while there are some obvious benefits, there are also some obvious disadvantages as well. Having a charger built into the battery pack adds to the cost of the pack and it also adds to the overall bulk and weight. Next, if the battery goes out then the battery pack becomes a disposable unit unless there is some way of removing the charger and installing it in a new battery pack, which looks doubtful at this point. The same is true if the charger goes on the fritz. If that happens then the operator will need to shell out another $350 skins for a new battery pack. It sort of reminds me of the VHF/TV combos units that were being marketed throughout the '80s and into the '90s. If either part of the unit went bad then the owner was basically screwed and they had to purchase an individual component to replace the bad one, and most likely they would purchase a new TV and a new VCR as separate components. Most likely, if a part of the TV/VCR went bad, the repair cost would be higher than the purchase price of two brand new, separate units.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Hello Guys,

I just breezed some of the most recent posts and seen where you guys are thinking the charger is built into the battery system.

I seen on the battery specs where it says

"The intelligent charging system is self-contained in the lightweight aluminum housing, offering rapid recharging times of 3 to 4 hours, from either the 12v auto or AC outlet adaptor (both included)."

Then again it shows on our dealer price sheet where the AC Charger Plug-pack and 12v Car Charger Plug-pack can be purchased separately. :mellow:

Sure sounds like the charging system is built into the Li-Ion Battery System, and this would contribute to the larger housing size.

Looking foward to getting my hands on one!

Rob Allison

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Hi Bob,

I do not think the LCD screen under the arm is a problem at all. As you say, once you get it set up, you should not need to look at it often.

But I do think someday we will see something different, and it appears to me a GP would fit well it a White's MXT/DFX type box. I always preferred wide flat boxes to tall flat boxes as they do not tip over.

Steve Herschbach

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Rob ,I charged mine up and the charger definately is in the same housing as the battery. Even at that it isn't very heavy . The nice thing is that the charge indicator light works whether you plug into the house current or the car power outlet. You just have 2 seperate cords. Much less of a tangle of wires to deal with. It is slick!! I'm sure that adapters will be available soon so that we can use our after market lithiums if we want to. There are still some knobs and switches, but not near what there would be if all the new functions weren't on the screen. I like the way they did it. There is a dedicated threshold dial. The on/off button is also used for returning to factory presets by holding it down for 6 seconds. -----Bob

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