X-coils test...???

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Post  jcgold on Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:08 pm

I've had a 7000 for nearly 4 years. I use it quite a bit, and, like everyone else would like it to perform even better. Thought Minelab might have some new software upgrades for us to play with by now - but no.  So it was with great interest I followed the development and performance reports of these new Russian X- coils. I was all ready to put my money down and buy one on spec.
Then recently I had to opportunity to test some  -  namely the latest 10", 12" and 15" round X-coils ('flat wound', I think was mentioned), owned by a detectorist I met in the goldfield.
The test was not what I would call a comprehensive one, or done in real conditions but it was enough to give me an idea of the performance of these coils. To explain, it was done in a proper goldfield in mineralised soil, but the targets were not in situ - we buried them. We (the x-coil owner and me) were both using the speaker of the wireless module and we matched our machine's setting exactly.
The targets were two gold nuggets, one a 0.2 grammer and the other a 2 gram piece. We buried them to a depth where the X-coil owner could only just hear them with his 12" coil, with the Z set in 'difficult' and 'high yield'.  Obviously the 2 grammer was buried much deeper than the 0.2g piece, but both signals were just a whisper using the 12" X-coil.
I had the 14" Minelab coil on my Z with my settings matching his and I too could hear both targets, just as a whisper, like him. Raising both coils in the air above the targets lost them at both the same air height. Hmmm....
He changed to the 15" X-coil and the results were similar. Maybe if I listened hard enough, the signal on the 2 grammer might have been slightly better with the 15-X than with the 14-M. Hmmm...again.  And.... may I say that I asked the mode to be changed to 'normal' on both machines and the signal on both targets was better with the 14-M... (explanation was that the X- coils were optimised for use with 'difficult' mode).
The X-coil that impressed me was the 10X one. The signal on the buried 0.2 grammer was loud and crisp. The 14-M signal was a whisper, but it was still there. Raising the coils above the ground was a bit strange though, they both lost the signal at about the same height. But, 10X coil signal went from loud to nothing whereas the 14M coil from whisper to nothing. The 10X coil signal would definitely stop you - couldn't be missed. 14M coil signal could be missed if not concentrating.  But... the 10X couldn't hear the buried 2 grammer whereas the 14M could, albeit a whisper.
What I loved about these coils though, was the weight - they were so light, compared to the 14M and especially the 19M brick (which I did not test). That alone is a big plus!
Another thing I noticed was the difference in target response - the double blip thing that you get with the Minelab coils when target is close to the coil. It was not really there (or not so obvious) with the X coils because of the differnt coil windings configuration, I was told.
So....  I know that my test was a silly one that only lasted for about an hour, but even so, I was disappointed that it did not yield the results I had read about (I think the X-coil owner was a bit surprised as well).
I don't wish to comment on other detectorist's reports on the coils, as most of their's are based on real situation results, so the coils must be good, but I would have thought that even with my silly test, I would have got some incling of better performance from those coils (10X excepted as described previously).
So, I'd love someone to offer to do a better test with me.  Until then, I suppose I should disregard my test and listen to the experts in the field.......

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Post  Kon61gold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:47 am

G'day jcgold

Firstly, I'd like to say that no test is a silly comparison test, all will give you some form of result, whether targets are found buried in their natural state, placed flat on the surface, or in soil that has been recently dug-up/disturbed. The main difference being, is the missing of in ground variables, associated with the air test &/or the placing of a target, in a freshly dug up hole, then back filling it.
Unfortunately, I can't be much of assistance/help here, for I own none of those X-Coil sizes you speak of.
What I can say about the X-Coils I currently own & being quite conservative in my figures/estimates during comparison/testing with the GPZ 7000 & 14X13, using identical timings/settings, over identical size/shape/weight targets etc, etc, is that on gold 0.2gm & bellow, the 10X9 inch X-Coil gives me 100% + greater depth advantage, on the same size/type target, over that of the 14X13 inch coil. On bits of gold 0.1 gram in size or smaller, try 200% depth advantage increase, over that of the 14X13 & this is being conservative with my testing results, so that I don't get caught up in a pickle.
As for the 17 inch round spiral or 18 inch round X-Coil DD, tested on/over an 11.7gm flat bit of natural found gold nugget, 20% above that of the 14X13 ML in/over mineralized soil & that again, is being conservative with my figures.
The above stated results were achieved, when testing/comparing the 14X13 to the 10X9 X-Coil, using High Yield/Difficult, in/over mineralized soil, using a gain of 11, smoothing off, with all other settings to suit the individual.
General/Difficult, with the same other settings were used for the comparison testing of the larger coils on the 11.7gm bit of gold.
We all love the lighter weight factor of the X_Coils as compared to the original Minelabs, but my question to you is, your disappointment of not seeing or expecting to see the results you read about. Can I ask what results are you referring to & from whom? For unless comparison testing is performed over the same section of ground, using the same settings/timings/gold nugget/positioning of gold nugget, time/temperature of day by all or any doing the testing etc,etc, one just might see or come up with slightly different results.
On another note, I would like to mention here that, I'v just about always achieved greater depths on/over undisturbed naturally buried, positive in ground targets, than when target was dug out & laid flat on the surface. This I contribute to 2 factors;
1) The density/conductivity of target, as in gold, compared to the same size in lead or iron, and 2) the "Halo Effect" surrounding a ferritic/iron target, buried in the ground for a long period of time.
Experts, what experts, for everyone out there when asked plays the expert, just before they bolt off  Shocked   Q35

Cheers Kon. T25
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Post  jcgold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:26 am

Thanks for your good response Kon.....  Wow!... I'm impressed with the figures you quote regarding the performance of your 10x9-X coil. I saw nothing like that with the 10" X-coil I tested, but I must say, my test was very brief. You own your coils and have had plenty of time to do things thoroughly. What can I say? I'll have to try a test again in a less hurried setting to convince myself, before I hand over nearly $2000 for one of the coils (probably the little one) and adapter.
You ask about who's results I'm referring to - mainly those who post to this forum, plus the detectorist I met in the goldfield who raved about them.
I'm not a novice to the game and have used just about every detector there is in the goldfields and am aware of all the factors you mention, but you, and others who have used the coils can't be wrong, so I'm now trying to work out what factors contributed to me not getting favourable results in my simple test...

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Post  Nightjar on Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:37 am

Never have and never will waste time testing targets that have been placed in a hole then covered.
Really what is achieved other than false information? You don't walk around with your coil in the air so why air test? scratch scratch The true test is to concentrate, take a break every few hours so as to not to miss the faint signals.
Another is, when you get a very faint/unsure target, go through the start up procedure, all the settings to establish you have your machine ultimately set for the ground you are walking over.
We recently caught up with Davsgold and he was swinging an X coil and called me over to check a signal he had walked over.
My Z with standard coil, difficult/high yield, sensitivity 16, did not pick up a whisper (I might add, this machine is new to me, have a lot to learn), Dave, difficult/high yield clearly signaled a target which when dug was a small specie.











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Post  davsgold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:14 pm

Nightjar wrote:
We recently caught up with Davsgold and he was swinging an X coil and called me over to check a signal he had walked over.
My Z with standard coil, difficult/high yield, sensitivity 16, did not pick up a whisper (I might add, this machine is new to me, have a lot to learn), Dave, difficult/high yield clearly signaled a target which when dug was a small specie.

All true, exactly as Nightjar describes, can't quite remember the depth but it was reasonably deep, 6" or maybe 8" I guess. All I know is I have not used the GPZ14 or 19" coil this year in WA and with the results we are getting we don't need to, Just the X-Coils 10" round for cleaning up and depending where we are at, either the 12" or the 15" or the 17"x12" or the round 17".  They all work extremely well

cheers dave
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Post  Kon61gold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:31 pm

Got to agree with both the above posts. Well put & said Nightjar. Air testing over targets or targets that are purposely buried in the ground, are just that, air tests. They do not depict the true target signal response, of a positive target buried in its natural state, for donks years.
The reason for air testing, is a quick response/short cut, to see the differences between coils in an air test, nothing more nothing less. The true evaluation, will always lie in hearing that faint target signal response, buried in undisturbed ground and have a variety of coils/settings/detectors/timings etc, go over it.
Here's a question I'd like to put to all or any detectorist out there. If by testing 2 different size/type coils, over a positive target in an air test, using the same timings/settings (all things being equal on both detectors, less coils), & one coil shows a clear depth advantage on that same positive target over the other, does anyone here believe or has ever witnessed the opposite happening, on a buried undisturbed in ground target, by the coil who showed the least in depth on an air test?  
Hence & although far from being spot on accurate, even the testing of targets in an air test, play some form of role, towards some hint of understanding.

Cheers Kon. T25
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Post  davsgold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:55 pm

No I can't say I have ever noticed that a coil air test being reversed in an in ground undisturbed target, but it might happen.

All I usually say is, any test as in an air test or a test bed comparison, is that the settings used need to be able to be also use in the field when actually detecting for real.

There is no point cranking up all settings to make a result happen if it can't be used while actually detecting, the starting point for any testing is first to use the settings you have been using and then tweak them for better, but then check then around the paddock to make sure you can actually detect with the machine setup like that.

This goes for any coil on any detector.

cheers dave
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Post  jcgold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:26 pm

Interesting responses from all of you. I take on board all that has been said about detector testing and am aware of the complexities of proper testing. I did say mine was a brief and simple test, but even so, a simple test is not totally useless to get a quick idea of a coils performance. If a coil is deeper in air, it should theoretically be deeper in ground, except, as you all know, that is largely dependant on how the coil handles the soil mineralisation (amongst a few other things), which can blank out or reduce depth of target signals. Handling soil mineralisation is an electronic thing determined by coil technology and windings configuration, so it sounds like they may have done something right with the X-coils...
Are there any others with first hand use of these coils that can give an account of their experiences?
After all these comments, I wish I could try the test again but do it better...  Anyone in Adelaide with these coils that can help??

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Post  davsgold on Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:52 pm

jcgold wrote:  Anyone in Adelaide with these coils that can help??

There are two members on here from Adelaide that have the X-Coils, they may reply to your request it's upto them.

cheers dave
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Post  Travelergold on Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:20 am

Just a comment about coil testing. When I first got my 18" xcoil we used a test bed that nenad had in adelaide hills against the 14 and 19" minelab coils. The machines were set up same settings. (Factory settings from memory)  Yes you can get an idea, but in reallity that is not how we normally set up machines out in the field, you tweek and set up your machine so the coil/machine can take most advantage of the ground it is on and be able to use and hear your targets for the period you are on that ground, may be the odd tweek as necessary. 
The difference with the xcoils is that the settings you can run on machine are different to what you set up the 14" minelab coil to run the same ground.   This is where the true testing comes out and shows if a coil is better or worse.
In a spot in mt. Crawford we detected over an area where gold had come from (6oz plus has been mentioned to me) and most coils/machines with untold setups had gone over that spot. Totally hammered.   ( named the maiden patch)  Within 10 minutes of turning on 7000 with new 18" xcoil we pulled out first nugget. Also before disturbing ground after picking up target our friend with us ran his 7000 and 14" over target had had no response what soever. Also no response from sdc2300.  It is only when we had removed a good 3 inches that the 14" minelab coil could faintly get something but you would have kept walking except you new something was there. When target was first found was a loud dig me signal.    We pulled other nuggets from this same patch and will be giving it a good hammer as health lets me. The 10x9 xcoil also pulled a nug but we only spent very short time there.
So this is where air testing excetera is only a very loose guide.
Anybody in adelaide is welcome to contact me if they want to try these coils, and I must state, I purchased these coils and have no interest or any gain to be made by talking about these coils.   I also have absolutely no regrets in purchasing them either.

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Post  Nightjar on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:05 am

Stepping back many years here to when the SD2100 hit the market.
Firstly used all the recommended settings from the manual and other owners but there was always a bit of a warble that I thought I'd have to live with using the 18" mono.
The other annoying point was the intermittent moan when I swung wide to the left. Soon discovered my hip mounted pick was the cause. Hence from those days onwards the pick hangs from my chest. Problem solved.
Next was the warble. Some may recall the 2100 was fitted with screw driver adjustable endless tuning pot. One very windy day I took a milk crate for a seat and parked myself in a thick grove of trees out of the wind and near the ground being detected to have a play with the settings. Among other experiments rotated the screw 20 turns clockwise without any change to tune. Rotated anti-clockwise 20 rotations (back to start) continued rotating and low and behold somewhere in the 20 anti-clockwise turns the threshold went from warble, warble etc to a constant Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! From that day on for the next 10 years that machine talked to me. Many prospectors I met along the way often commented that there is no way I could detect the ground we were on with an 18" mono with out being driven mad with constant warble. They were all using DD's.
Walked away smiling and dug my next gold, that machine paid for itself 10+fold.
The point I'm making here is, definitely experiment with settings on the actual ground you're working, even going outside the expert advice. By all means the initial advice and set up is essential with a new machine. (Just ask me how I was going bananas with the GPZ until Davsgold gave me some priceless advice to get me started.)
Forget about the air testing and test beds, burying targets etc you're wasting time that could be well spent out on your patch.Very Happy Basketball
When you get a faint but positive target, experiment with all the settings..........  
Have attached a photo of that day minus the SD2100, we were not untidy campers, a huge wind storm had nearly blown us away. (Hence all the debris laying around)


X-coils test...??? Balagu11





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Post  moredeep on Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:24 pm

spot on nightjar,experiment experiment and experiment,each machine might be slightly different.
looks like you had the party to end all parties Laughing Laughing Laughing

cheers moredeep
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Post  jcgold on Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:19 pm

I'm glad I started this thread. There have been some interesting comments made that definitely contradict the results I got on my little test with the x-coils. After that test, I was pretty well convinced that the X-coils were just hype and that  no-one can better Minelab's tried and true technology, but it seems that is not the case. Proof of that, of course, are the coils produced for the GPs and GPXs by the other two major coil manufactures. You rarely see an original ML coil on the likes of a 4500 or 5000 nowadays. While Minelabs coils are good, they don't seem to spend much time 'thinking outside the box' or trying to improve their original designs. And they always seem to make their coils heavy, despite knowing that detectorists want the lightest gear possible.        R & D costs money and I suppose they have more lucrative projects to pour their resources into..
I was very interested in Travelergold's comments regarding detecting with the X-coils in Mt Crawford, being familiar with the area and having found gold there myself, and I'd appreciate a contact somehow, to lay all these silly doubts of mine to rest.
This is the first post I've done on this forum and am not familiar with rules for contact.

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Post  Kon61gold on Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:20 pm

"No one can better Minelabs tried & true technology", but I do believe you'v answered your own questions there jcgold.  Although tried & true Minelab coils designed specifically for their own make of detectors are, there is always room for improvement. The recent make of Coiltek coils to better suit the Minelab SDC are a great example of that. If they didn't serve a better purpose or advantage, over that of the standard 8 inch SDC coil, do you think people would be interested in buying them, or after buying them (through the advertising alone) would lay still in silence & not be yelling murder by now if they were proven to be a complete waste of money ? Hence come's the saying "how quick man is to point the finger, but so slow to give praise or credit to where praise or credit is due"
There are one to many X-Coil buyers now, that have come forward giving praise, with results, not on belief & hearsay alone. I am dead certain people wouldn't praise them in that way, if the X-Coil lineup were a string of incompetent duffers.  Shocked  Q35
The X-Coil range of coils might not be as well constructed/made as what the 14x13 or 19 inch GPZ tank coils are, but there are reasons for making them the way they have & one of those most important is weight factor. I'm pretty sure if the Russians wanted to build coils like tanks, they sure have all the credentials of doing so, but like all/any new new range of coils ever introduced, minor hiccups are expected & only when brought to the manufacturers attention, are ironed out over time.
The air tests or disturbed ground buried target tests are one thing, but what the X-Coils are capable of & have shown me on/over undisturbed buried targets in the ground is another. This is self evident of the odd bits/pieces that keep showing up over ground I absolutely thrashed on more than one occasion with the GPZ 7000 14x13 & 19 inch round.
My advice to you, knowing that you're not a novice (but on the right track of thinking) & although you'll find it tedious, go with someone who has/uses some of the X-Coil range on there 7000, you with the standard 13x14 & search for faint but clear dig me signals on/in undisturbed ground & compare results with each other. This is the only real way of understanding, if the X-Coils or particular make/size of X-Coil works to your satisfaction, suiting your needs.

Cheers Kon. T25
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