Fisher new PI - Rick’s manifesto
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  1. #1
    Jan 2007
    Gold Canyon AZ
    ML SDC-2300, Fisher F-75, XP Deus,
    694 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Fisher new PI - Rick’s manifesto

    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.
    verbious and BVI Hunter like this.

  2. #2
    Jun 2012
    Elizabeth, PA
    Fisher F75 SE Bounty Hunter Platinum (back up)
    614 times
    Metal Detecting
    Interesting read!

  3. #3
    Charter Member

    Feb 2017
    4228 times
    Metal Detecting
    Can't wait to see what lies ahead at First Texas.



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