Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

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Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  twobit on Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:09 am

sunday afternoon my brother and I went to a new area fairly close to home for an exploration journey. We found some gold but the sd2000 my brother was using found pieces smaller than i could detect i refered to the manual adjusted everything once again still couldnt get a signal 5 nuggets were match head size all i picked up was a 1.3 grammer so we did a test he followed my tracks and found 4 more nuggets....So I drove back and picked up the 2100 and left the 5000 at home and we found another 8 nuggets 5 with the 2100...
Old technology is great, coil size old detectors out performed the 5000 and im not bloody happy. I see a lot of gold finds on here from the 5000 which is why i brought one but somehow I got a suspicion some textured gold is blind to the 5000.

If im wrong well im wrong but i cannot find the gold using the 5000 but i can with the 2100 yes the 5000 goes deeper on big targets it all good an well but how many thousand detectorists are finding 40 ounce nuggets at 5 feet? None.... Sad thing is the ol sd2000 is an old 2 switch grounding junker whilst the 5000 has cruise control central locking adjustable headrests... Mabye thats why so many people love the older cars simple and works well lol...

"end bitch session here"

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re: starting to wonder about the 5000

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:16 am

Hi twobit
U didnt mention the type or size of the coil you had on...maybe this was a problem...I always take a 1gram piece as a tester in a film canaster to be sure...Try the 10" original coil--

Regards
Oneday69

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  TheGoldenChild on Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:55 am

Metal detectors are a bit like cars....sometimes you get a lemon Sad . I found quite a bit of small ones using a SD2000 with an 11" Mono years ago and I'm still finding small ones with my 4500.
Might pay to hire another GPX5000 for the day and do the same thing with your brother, if it picks up those little bits with the same settings and coil then you know your 5000 isn't one of the better ones.
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  goldendream on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:06 am

Why not address your concerns directly to Minelab?After all you've just lined their pockets with your hard earned money.Unless they can provide sufficient info or support to resolve the problem I would say you wouldn't be out of line demanding a replacement 5000. Having said that, the previous suggestion of hiring one for comparison,whilst involving extra cost and bother to you,is not such a bad idea.The results of such a trial would be of great interest to many on this forum I'm sure...Cheers,Trev.

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:32 am

hey twobit, i was the same withthe 4000 when i first brought it my mate was finding gold with his GP and i wasn't finding anything. i would get him to come and get me when he found a target so i could try mine over it, i couldn't pick his targets what so ever. i played around with the settings and couldn't get it. it took me about 4 or so months to learn everything about each setting on the 4000 and what's the best combo for each ground type. now i'm picking gold up everytime i go out, it might come down to knowing the best set up with each coil and ground type. as you said you used your older detector and found 5 bits the reason could be your use to that detector and know every little sound and best set up for it. keep playing around with the 5000 and you'll get it worked out.
cheers
stoppsy

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:58 am

Hi Al,

Get to know your machine!!!!, I havn't and still use the GPX 4000m but the missus has persevered and it's 9 o'c here and already she has got seven nugg's... make that eight (just texted) and ones a speci.

Try Pinpoint!!!!!!, its deadly on the small stuff

Ron

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  nero_design on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:42 pm

The GPX-5000 runs rings around the older SD series detectors. Even the GPX-4000 does.
None of this makes sense at first glance. Otherwise, all the pros would be out there with the older machines and we know that's not the case if they can afford newer models.

You should take the time to determine the nature of the issue and then resolve it. The most common cause of error is almost always human, especially in relation to metal detectors. Be sure you actually read your instructions and remember to select the appropriate settings. What type of coils were you using on each machine? What size of coils were you using? What were your settings on both machines?

From what I've noticed, the 5000 is still finding a lot of smaller nuggets on really hammered locations and almost all of those overlooked pieces appear to be irregular shaped and sharp-edged in appearance... which would suggest that it does better at finding what you refereed to as "textured" nuggets. The dilemma you mentioned doesn't make sense. Check your settings and equipment carefully to resolve the problem. I'd be curious to hear what the cause was.
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Flakmagnet on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:15 pm


Totally agree about the 5000's ability to find "textured" pieces.
That is one of the major advances on this model.

Most of the early problems with any new generation of detector, even with people who
are making an incremental move up to the next step in the ML series, is operator experience with it.
All the good detector operators I am acquainted with, immediately hit the field and start experimenting
not necessarily coming up with an opinion until they have gone through a number of hours of figuring out what they are doing.
It's just the way is is...I don't think even people like JP form opinions until they have learned how to run the machine.
That is not necessarily what the problem is in this case,
but it's highly probable.

Best of luck sorting it out


Last edited by Flakmagnet on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Dig24crt on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:29 pm

Hi Twobit,
1 What coils were being used on both machines.
2 When you say that the 5000 couldnt detect certain pieces, where they in the ground or out of it.Why I ask is that gold in the ground has a halo,that makes it bigger and more detectable.Remove it from its place and its target response is greatly diminished.
3Gold is easily missed and only by detecting an area three ways with overlaping swings do you have any possibility of getting it all and using one coil wont get it all.
I hope you can solve this problem and have only included these points as a possible solution.Because really your 5000 should be the master of gold of this size and depth.
Cheers Dig
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:37 pm

Hi there Twobit, from what I recall when we met out in the field a month back, your settings and coil were as follows:

Coil: Coiltek 14" x 9" Blitz monoloop
Ground Balance: Fixed
Special soil/timings: Fine Gold
Search Mode: Deep

Based on what I've seen in instructional videos and in the "Minelab Times" (not from personal experience) I think you should try the special timing "Sensitive Extra" and then flip the search mode switch to general instead of deep. In addition to this I would also consider getting a smaller coil. You probably already know this, but make sure that when you're using the special timings you move the soil timings switch on the front panel to the special position.


I can understand your frustration, but as pointed out by Nero you probably just have to spend more time tweaking your settings to get the best results for the area you'll be working in. In my opinion, as having a GPX5000 as my first detector I found it very confusing to operate and comprehend all the different terminologies and menus and I'm usually fairly cluey when it comes to things like this. The whole menu system and switches on the front are counter-intuitive, awkward and cumbersome. The fact that you need to physically switch the timings switch to special when you select a special timing in the menu is absolutely ludicrous. For the price these detectors command I really think they are an unpolished work in progress. The electronics are an archaic five-stage sample-and-hold based analogue detector cobbled to a microcontroller driven LCD display. I am at a complete and total loss as to why another company hasn't come forth and wiped minelab off the board with a reasonably priced machine that has equal or better performance. Perhaps it is because Minelab would tie up their competition in court with all their patents, or maybe they have got some kind of black-magic happening in their box which nobody else has figured out yet.

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  shelby23 on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:43 pm

Hi
I had trouble with my detector.
I sent it in to Minlab for a check and it had 3 blown capacitors.
Now it is going great.
Regards Neale


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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Flakmagnet on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:52 pm

that's a major point byteman alluded to...

If you want to use Fine Gold, Sensitive Extra, Sharp, Coin/Relic, Salt-Coarse ,VerySmooth and Salt/Gold
you have to be in Special on the Soil/Timings switch on the Front End Cap.
If the switch is on either Normal or Enhance, if you switch to any of those "special timings"
you will not be able to use them.

I'm sure you probably know this, but it bears repeating.



Last edited by Flakmagnet on Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  spinna on Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:49 pm

This has been mentioned many times before on other threads but no harm repeating:

Check to ensure your front panel setting is in mono or double d and not in cancel.
Not as easy to mistakenly do on the 5000 as it was with the 4500 but.........!! Embarassed

cheers spinna

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  twobit on Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:18 pm

another 5000 on the way the other one met a untimely death. All day ive messed with the setting restoring factory tried all coils settings FRUSTRATION
set in boom I snapped and its sitting in the bottom of macintryre river.

First the battery was faulty
The harness fell apart
DD coil end was squashed slightly
Car charger wouldnt work
Then this!!!
Screw it its gone badluck machine

PS i have spoke to minelab regarding all problems but from the conversation i had with one of the staff it was "seems like user error"
I still havent got back the battery i sent away 395.00 worth 4 months)
Car charger is still not back (4 months)
And they want me to send a detector away for repairs already.....4 months old... The new one better be good!!

Thank you for all the help post though i tried it all appreciate that.
Cheers
Twobit

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  spinna on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:02 pm

Nooooo... You didn't! affraid

Threw my golf clubs into a dam and stormed off once.
Had a think about it and returned, stripped, dived in and recovered clubs much to the amusement of my playing partners.
Got car keys out and threw the suckers back in.

Good luck with the new one
cheers spinna

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:07 pm

hhhmmm sounds like a bit of a lemon, i would just send it to get it tested out Twobit then you'll know if there was anything up with it... you pay the big money out of your pocket and you need the confidence in that detector everytime you go out with it.
cheers
stoppsy

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Starting to wonder about the GPX5000

Post  sandy2010 on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:47 pm

Your story about the fate of the "under-water" detector reminds me of a story my mate tells:
He was out prospecting some years back and came across a detector leaning up against a tree......with bullet holes through the control box !!!

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  maka on Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:14 pm

GPS marks for the minelab? Txt them to me, I am in the car driving out to get it.Any idea how hard it is to drive with a pair of flippers and face mask and snorkel on?

I dont blame ya mate. If i could afford it i would have smashed mine a dozen times. Biting the curly cord helps when you count to 10, unless you chip a tooth doing it... then go bazerko like i did...
And have to drive 14 hours to get a new one....
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  shelby23 on Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:25 pm

Hi
I paid $4000for my second hand 1 year old GPX 4500 it was well used in WA gold fields lots of red dust on the case and red stain on the gold he found with it.
I have had the detector for 1 year, I have paid $ 80.00 to service it and it runs great.
I guess I will wait fo the GPX 6000 to come out before I up-date.
Regards Neale

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  vasilis on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:17 pm

What a dismal outcome when you pay so much money and with so much enthusiasm to get out on the field. I am not impressed with Minelabs quality assurance measures and they really need to get themselves in order.
I remember buying a brand new lead and then got to the field to find that it had been stepped on and bent at the connection point. A lesson learnt to check it all first but the dilemma was that it only lasted about 2 months before the wires broke at the joint on both ends. What more can I say. OH the battery was also faulty !!!
My last trip to WA was wasted (at least hindered) due to all the faults that just keep occurring with out wonderful gadget.
cheers Bill
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Narrawa on Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:26 am

I snapped and its sitting in the bottom of macintryre river.
Im hearing ya!!... good to know im not the only one with a bad temper.
A good mate of mine at the time when my 4500 was nearing a months vintage, was watching me through the bush and shaking his head as i used my 4500 to ring bark a tree at Waanyarra.
I figure he was more disgusted in the terminology i was using while trying to fell the tree, then the act of using the detector for which its not intended. Laughing

Im not like that now when confronted with things that dont function as they were intended. Especially man made items sent with a book full of literature that says one thing while the item performs another.
There is however another way my angry brothers than smashing things, to which i must admit, gives you some satisfaction while you walk from the wreck site and mumble.....you messed with the best ya peace of sh*t now say uncle!!
No, iv found a much better alternative, and that is......initiate a verbal altercation with ones other half Razz . Think about it ...you could kick and curse some more at your newly killed item, but!!...its dead on the floor good buddy, and dead is dead my friend, you've got all the satisfaction out of ringing its neck the first time round that your going to get from it.

From now on consult insult you cuddles and kisses and save on the cost of your items. Laughing



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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Wedge on Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:36 pm

Byteman wrote:

Based on what I've seen in instructional videos and in the "Minelab Times" (not from personal experience) I think you should try the special timing "Sensitive Extra" and then flip the search mode switch to general instead of deep. In addition to this I would also consider getting a smaller coil. You probably already know this, but make sure that when you're using the special timings you move the soil timings switch on the front panel to the special position.
In general I wouldn't suggest Sensitive Extra to someone who is having trouble with their detector, unless the ground is very benign it is too sensitive. I would suggest starting in Fine Gold, it gives great sensitivity and depth over a wide range of ground conditions including quite highly mineralised, so I think it is the best timing to start with for trouble shooting. I don't think you need a smaller coil, but if you want to try something
different use the standard 11" mono, again it has proven itself many times over.

Byteman wrote:
The whole menu system and switches on the front are counter-intuitive, awkward and cumbersome. The fact that you need to physically switch the timings switch to special when you select a special timing in the menu is absolutely ludicrous. For the price these detectors command I really think they are an unpolished work in progress. The electronics are an archaic five-stage sample-and-hold based analogue detector cobbled to a microcontroller driven LCD display. I am at a complete and total loss as to why another company hasn't come forth and wiped minelab off the board with a reasonably priced machine that has equal or better performance. Perhaps it is because Minelab would tie up their competition in court with all their patents, or maybe they have got some kind of black-magic happening in their box which nobody else has figured out yet.
I think the design of the 5000, while not perfect, is very good. The timing switch on the front cap allows the user to change between 3 timings quickly. What would you suggest Byteman, an 8 position mechanical switch/dial for timing selection?
I agree the 5000 is hellishly expensive, and the ergonomics and included features could be improved. But as far detecting goes, I don't know if it can be improved substantially, because I have not seen nor heard of any other detector that comes close in performance. There is certainly plenty of incentive for a competitor, so I am sure there are some bright sparks working on it.
To the OP: you have the best detector on the market today. Stick with it, get some help from your Minelab dealer if nevessary. Other feedback I've heard about Minelab themselves is they resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:12 pm

Wedge wrote:What would you suggest Byteman, an 8 position mechanical switch/dial for timing selection?

  • I'd suggest first and foremost that the unit have a well performing and selectable "Autopilot" mode that constantly reads the conditions and adapts to give the best response possible without the user having to worry about anything rather than where he's swinging the coil. Of course a full manual mode will still be available to more advanced users and those that like to tweak. Engine management computers in cars have been doing this for 25 years, surely some level of automatic condition adaption is possible in a metal detector which only has to process a single input variable.
  • Scrap the poorly designed user interface which is composed of two rotary encoders, a tiny LCD screen, and a bunch of ridiculous toggle switches which are difficult to access with a larger, higher resolution monochrome LCD touch screen.
  • Harden the control box to withstand harsh environmental conditions. At present the control box has no seals or gaskets on the two plastic end plates, nor are the switches, plugs or encoders protected (or rated) to prevent the ingress of dust and water. They could also use something a lot more robust than the crappy, el-cheapo 5-pin microphone plugs that they insist on using
  • Lighten and miniaturise the control box or make it wearable and also include an integral speaker. The current set up with a harness interconnected with curly cables to a bulky battery pack and headphones/speaker is asinine and more like something a military minesweeper would use in the second world war.
  • Drop all the antiquated mumbo-jumbo terms like stabiliser, threshold, timings etc with something more meaningful and relevant. Many of these terms were coined in the early days when the first PI's were based on counters, dividers and timers made from TTL logic gates and is mainly relevant to the tinkerers at that time, and certainly not to a new user.
  • Include a much more detailed instruction manual of how one might use the machine in the field. Ideally the manual would be complemented with a DVD set explicitly detailing the use of the product in the field.


Of course I could go on and on, but I think the GPX5000 can be best summarised as a work-in-progress and unpolished as I stated earlier. I can state with a fair degree of certainty that they manufacture their machines for between $120.00 - $200.00 and this figure would include the coil, all accessories and packaging etcetera. They are making an incredibly large profit on their units yet the actual build quality is rather poor considering the outrageous price. I guess they just don't care as for now they don't seem to be threatened by any competition.

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:58 pm

That sounds like a Lemon you had there Two bit!
Maybe you should fit floaties to your next detector,just incase mate lol!

I have to agree with Byteman about the control box having water resistant seals. For the price,and being a piece of electronic equipment that is only used outdoors,its a no brainer!

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Wedge on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:40 pm

Byteman wrote:

  • I'd suggest first and foremost that the unit have a well performing and selectable "Autopilot" mode that constantly reads the conditions and adapts to give the best response possible without the user having to worry about anything rather than where he's swinging the coil. Of course a full manual mode will still be available to more advanced users and those that like to tweak. Engine management computers in cars have been doing this for 25 years, surely some level of automatic condition adaption is possible in a metal detector which only has to process a single input variable.

I'm not an expert but I know a little about engine management. When operating in closed loop mode, they tune for a target AFR, a simple number from a single sensor. The way I see it the analog output from a metal detector is much more complex, and only a human ear can identifiy a target or ground noise accurately.
Byteman wrote:
  • Scrap the poorly designed user interface which is composed of two rotary encoders, a tiny LCD screen, and a bunch of ridiculous toggle switches which are difficult to access with a larger, higher resolution monochrome LCD touch screen.

I'm not a fan of a larger screen, it would use more power. Touch screen would need to be at least 4inches, difficult to fit on the current sized control box, let alone your proposed compact control box.
Byteman wrote:
  • Harden the control box to withstand harsh environmental conditions. At present the control box has no seals or gaskets on the two plastic end plates, nor are the switches, plugs or encoders protected (or rated) to prevent the ingress of dust and water. They could also use something a lot more robust than the crappy, el-cheapo 5-pin microphone plugs that they insist on using

Excellent ideas.
Byteman wrote:
  • Drop all the antiquated mumbo-jumbo terms like stabiliser, threshold, timings etc with something more meaningful and relevant. Many of these terms were coined in the early days when the first PI's were based on counters, dividers and timers made from TTL logic gates and is mainly relevant to the tinkerers at that time, and certainly not to a new user.

Do you have any suggestions for more meaningful terminology? Maybe we could adopt them on the forum here? I suspect they have kept the old school terminology to keep the old pros happy, they guys who have been detecting for 20+ years. Or perhaps Minelab themselves are just stuck in their ways.
Byteman wrote:
  • Include a much more detailed instruction manual of how one might use the machine in the field. Ideally the manual would be complemented with a DVD set explicitly detailing the use of the product in the field.

Yes, a dvd is definately required I think.
Byteman wrote:
Of course I could go on and on, but I think the GPX5000 can be best summarised as a work-in-progress and unpolished as I stated earlier. I can state with a fair degree of certainty that they manufacture their machines for between $120.00 - $200.00 and this figure would include the coil, all accessories and packaging etcetera. They are making an incredibly large profit on their units yet the actual build quality is rather poor considering the outrageous price. I guess they just don't care as for now they don't seem to be threatened by any competition.
Hence my comment about there being plenty of incentive for a competitor.

A mate of mine used to work for Codan in the late 90s. He said there was an alarm bell in the building that used to ring to alert everyone that a salesperson had just made a $1M+ sale. He said sometimes it would ring a few times a week. This was in the military comms area. I think they are used to rolling in it.

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Re. lemon detector?
We have stated this comment before in another thread. We had two 4500's and they were like chalk and cheese. Same settings, same coils and one was so noisy and could detect half the depth when gain and stabiliser turned down to get it to run so could be used. Yes we changed coils between machines, changed battery packs between units ect. There must be tollerances between circuit boards and they must affect operation on detector. Its interesting on the gold fields in WA how many times somebody would stop and say 'Howdy'. They would sometimes also ask, "How high have you got your gain'. makes sense to us.
Got rid of detector. Could have sent it back to minelab but at the time 4500's were selling above new price $$$$ and being sent O/S. You could not buy a new one for shortage of them. Purchaser probably would never have realised machine never quite right. Others we have spoke to also mention some detectors can run a much higher gain than others and I believe if you can run a higher gain and keep stabiliser up machine must be punching deeper and finding more. We spent a lot of time on target signals before digging target experimenting with settings and coils and the time is well worth doing.
Hope you sort out issues. A lot of money spent and item should perform well and be same as its other brothers.
Best of luck
travelergold

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  twobit on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:03 pm

new detector showed up today, it runs like a well oiled machine. I can now detect the gold we found sunday even smaller now ... woot.

So therefore the other 5000 i had was a piece of junk and it got what it deserved.

alll the setting were factory presetts the same as i did on the old detector so definatley was a rubbish machine.

Drown you b**tard drown and begone evil detector demon!!!

Happy again
twobit

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Hoof Hearted on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:17 pm

Byteman's comments are all valid (my opinion)... Codan make military spec radios, virtually bomb proof, why can't they build control box's likewise!!! I'm at the moment playing with the idea of a Bluetooth connection from control box to head phones/ear buds, others have done it and it works well in most cases, I thought that if I could configure a Bluetooth set up surely MineLab could as well so I sent a Email to them inquiring as to the likely hood of them incorporating that feature on future machines... The reply was... To expensive/hard/complex....... Read we can't be bothered...

Money for jam if you ask me, electronic components are as cheap as chips these days, and I'm betting that the guts of GPX machines isn't all that wizz bang it's cracked up to be.

Plug $35

Circuit board $299.

Processor circuit board $299.


You don't have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure it out.

Cheers. HH.
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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Guest on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:40 pm

.


Last edited by fencejumper on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : pointless)

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Re: Starting to wonder about the GPX 5000

Post  Dig24crt on Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:50 pm

Hi all
1Have never had any trouble in sending any of my machines back to Minelab if they werent running properly
2 As there is no real opposition we do pay the price for the technology.
3 Am no a minelab groupy and will (like anyone)jump on the bandwagon of any new machine that will out perform them.
4 We pay for a product that has found multiple thousands of ounces of gold where no other machine could
5With every year that passes secondhand machines get cheaper and cheaper.
So there are now plenty of choices.
Every Minelab PI detector was the best in the world for its time.The dirt hasnt changed.
Cheers Dig
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