Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf? - Page 2
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  1. #16
    us
    ARRG

    Feb 2005
    Sarasota, FL
    Whites Surfmaster PI Pro and Whites Surfmaster PI, Minelab Excal NY blue sword. 2 White's Dual field pi, Garrett sea hunter pi II (but don't use it for obvious reasons) 5' x 3 1/2' coil underwater Pi
    2,109
    248 times
    Shipwrecks

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    I have 2 White's surfmaster PIs one is stock and one has been reworked by Mr Bill to what is equal to what a PI pro is. There is a big difference in the one that has been reworked. It will find tiny gold. But they both will go deep, and will find anything. Very tiny interior parts of a lightbulb, microscopicily tiny. Little earring backs, little lead shot from weight belts about 1/8th". I have dug a lot of stuff. I finally bought an Excal and finally digging no more iron. It doesnt go as deep, but I also dont have to dig a bread bag wire at 18", or a sparkler wire or 20 of them, after 4th of July. They all have their own place.

  2. #17
    us
    Jan 2009
    Florida
    White's MXT, Garrett Freedom 2 C.C., 1st detector was a 1970's Compass, Finished a MD Surf PI from a kit - my most recent MD.
    142
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    Originally when I started this thread I was trying to decide which would be the best way to get a PI detector, and get my feet wet... literally... Since then, I posted this stuff below in a thread in the Tech Talk section... But it fits well here, especially after the last post by Stevemc, and the reworked PI detector... Here's my last post....

    Well, I may eventually buy a new PI detector... However I just found these Surf PI kits available from SilverDog. http://www.silverdog.co.uk/shop/index.php (click on the kits link, under catagories) Found this looking through the Geotech forums, and from the thread about this kit... Sounds like a pretty darn good one. I've built a few guitar stomp boxes in the past so this kit shouldn't be too tough.

    The price was so good, I bought two PI kits... Two whole boards and all the electronic parts for $92.00, that even includes shipping! From what I understand, it's basically a White's Surf PI clone. The schematic is freely available around the net... Best deal I've found for a PI kit. I'd still have to make the coil, housing, etc.

    Anyway, for now... I don't really even care if the whole entire unit is submersible... However I'd like to be able to wade out into the water a bit. I'm sure there are better detectors out there... But compared to saltwater and using my Whites MXT... This kit should do well for me. The MXT goes crazy even just over wet sand.

    Here's the forum thread, shows close ups of the PCBs, builds of this detector, etc. http://www.geotech1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17121

  3. #18
    Charter Member

    Nov 2007
    somewhere between here and there, south of over there but north of that place
    titan 3000xd/seahunter mk ll/Ace 250/whites 6000XL Pro
    3,073
    1125 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    how does one accurately make a coil at home or in a home based shop? I would think the necessary items to do the checking of frequencies would preclude such a product, along with making a waterproof case with sealed entries for headphones/coil.

    I'm not busting nuts I'm just thinking it's a little more involved than buying a proven unit.
    when you tug on a single thing in nature, you'll find it's connected to the rest of the world. John muir

  4. #19
    us
    Jan 2009
    Florida
    White's MXT, Garrett Freedom 2 C.C., 1st detector was a 1970's Compass, Finished a MD Surf PI from a kit - my most recent MD.
    142
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    Davest~ Well one would think so... But apparently from that link and others on the Geotech site... Many others have done it... However a dive suitable setup could be a bit more difficult. I read on there that one guy encased the electronics in epoxy, making it water proof, even if water got all inside the housing... I thought of encasing it all in parafin wax... However if any electronics did burn out... you'd need to make a whole new one... However the price for the kit wouldn't set ya back too much. The sealed entries is another question, along with water proof potentiometers... A good question I'd like to know myself.

    As far as the coil goes, PI detectors use a simple coil, unlike other detectors... Basically it's just one wire looped several times... There are links to coil calculators on the site that can give you the best amount of turns equivalent for the electronics, I've read that 24 turns of 22 gage enamel coated wire works well for an 11 inch coil. Also the coil should be caged, like a faraday cage.... Or wrapped in a metal, since PI detectors are prone to outside interference... You could use strips of tin foil as an example...

    Many guys on that forum are getting metallic items, coins being picked up from the coil at 10 to 16 inches away in the air, since it's a Pulse Induction detector, it should do even better in salt water. I wouldn't say this project is easy necessarily, however, I've played with electronics in the past, and I've got a basic knowlege of building stuff from schematics. The Geotech site has most of the info you need... Or you could just post more questions... Lots of guys on there have way more experience than I do.

    From what I understand... The White surf PI detector is a very, bare bones, vanillia P.I. detector... One of White's earliest PI detectors... I'd guess that's why white's electronics doesn't seem to care that it's out there for anyone to build. Plus, it's a good platform to start out with... with room for modifications. Maybe someone else could explain this more than I.

    I think the tricky part is getting everything (tuned)... And from what I've read... To tune it... for maximum depth... would be best to have an oscilloscope, which I don't have... However a tuned, and not tuned detector, may only be a few inches of depth reaching ability.

    Anyway... This is all an experiment... I'm far from an expert at this stuff. If it works... then great! I will be happy... However, If the outcome is less than satisfactory... Well then I'll have learned quite a bit about how metal detectors work, and for me... projects like this are fun, so, I'm anxious to see what happens here!

  5. #20
    us
    ARRG

    Feb 2005
    Sarasota, FL
    Whites Surfmaster PI Pro and Whites Surfmaster PI, Minelab Excal NY blue sword. 2 White's Dual field pi, Garrett sea hunter pi II (but don't use it for obvious reasons) 5' x 3 1/2' coil underwater Pi
    2,109
    248 times
    Shipwrecks

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    Its not the depth, its the speed of cycles and the speed of delay. Cycles is pulses of electricity, and delay is the switching from TX to RX, transmit and receive. In fact a slower pulse will actually go deeper, given the same power, but mainly find large iron objects, but wont find tiny things, or gold jewelry, same as a J W Fishers PI does, they have a slow pulse and wont find gold jewelry. That is because a slow pulse will hit a deep large object, and then find it, eliminating or not picking up tiny objects that may be around it. They are no good on gold jewelry. The faster those both are, the better it is on gold jewelry-not very conductive. Gold jewelry is the first thing that is discriminated out, because it is not very conductive, especially lower carat gold. Pure gold is very conductive, about up there with pure silver, but alloys like gold jewelry, good stainless steel, are not very conductive. On a stock old type White's surfmaster PI, the rate of delay was too slow to find all but large gold jewelry at very close range, if at all. The lower conductive metals loose the pulse too fast and it is very weak. But with the newer PI Pro, the delay is faster/shorter to catch the transmitted pulse with the receiving cycle before the pulse is gone. Some newer PI units also have 2 coils - TX and RX , instead of one to do both, to allow a faster delay, and even more sensitivity. White's Dual Field, TDI, Minelab's GP and GPX series and several other UK made PIs have this.

  6. #21
    us
    Jan 2009
    Florida
    White's MXT, Garrett Freedom 2 C.C., 1st detector was a 1970's Compass, Finished a MD Surf PI from a kit - my most recent MD.
    142
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    Stevemc... I wonder what exactly Mr. Bill did to upgrade your old P.I.? I understand there's a lot of mods that can be done to this detector.

  7. #22
    us
    Silver Fiend

    Oct 2009
    9,356
    8927 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    I don't know exactly what he does but it works! I had him mod my surfmasters and the next season I found more gold than ever before!
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  8. #23
    us
    ARRG

    Feb 2005
    Sarasota, FL
    Whites Surfmaster PI Pro and Whites Surfmaster PI, Minelab Excal NY blue sword. 2 White's Dual field pi, Garrett sea hunter pi II (but don't use it for obvious reasons) 5' x 3 1/2' coil underwater Pi
    2,109
    248 times
    Shipwrecks

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    He speeds up the pulse rate and shortens the delay. White's apparently saw this going on and made the Surfmaster PI Pro, which is about what a Mr Bill's reworked Surfmaster PI is. I have a Garrett XL 200, its about mid 80s model, and it will not find gold jewelry. I have also tried a Garrett XL 500 and it too is too slow, and wont find alloys. I have heard, but not ever used one, the new Garrett Seahunter II is good on gold, but like I said, I have not tried it.

  9. #24
    us
    Jan 2009
    Florida
    White's MXT, Garrett Freedom 2 C.C., 1st detector was a 1970's Compass, Finished a MD Surf PI from a kit - my most recent MD.
    142
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    I put together a Surf PI detector kit this week... One of the electronic kits from Silverdog... Everything seems to be working well and as described. I built a little 4" coil to test with, and with a nickel, I'm getting strong signal depth in air, at least equal to the diameter of the coil... Nothing that great, but I still need to experiment with the coil windings, and coil size. Next, I need to box everything, build the body and attach the coil and box, tune everything... And eventually test it out in the field. There's lots of modifications that can be done with this kit, similar to some of the comments above. I don't expect this to be as great as a commercial metal detector... However some folks have gotten fairly good results so have to see how this all works out. I'm just glad to have a working Pulse Induction detector, which is something I've never owned/used before. Looking forward to seeing how a bigger coil does near and slightly under the salt water.

  10. #25
    us
    CASPER

    Jan 2012
    NEW ENGLAND
    WHITE'S XLT, PI PRO, GARRETT 2500, 3- FISHER CZ21s, JW FISHER 8X
    15,767
    16606 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (5)

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    i started with Compass no discrim myself
    used a PI Pro for many years
    follow the minelab guys and find the gold they miss under the iron they pass up
    try a White's dual field PI
    or buy used PI Pro off of Harold - he is a great guy
    you dig it all but if you go back to the same places over and over
    youll get less and less junk if you take it all out
    Motto = "I try to hit where others cant or others wont "

  11. #26
    us
    CASPER

    Jan 2012
    NEW ENGLAND
    WHITE'S XLT, PI PRO, GARRETT 2500, 3- FISHER CZ21s, JW FISHER 8X
    15,767
    16606 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (5)

    Re: Anyone here use a P.I. detector for beach and surf?

    a lot of the gold here was found with PI

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/casper-1/

    just a small sample
    Motto = "I try to hit where others cant or others wont "

 

 
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