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Re: Youtube Video Showing Conversion Of The Minelab DTI 550 Meter To 180
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: July 29, 2012 05:18PM
Just watched this video all the way through. A few notes, first, here's the intact link...





Second, if you watch the video to the end they tell you what K resistors and POT to replace with written text at the end of the video. They had bought the "kit" off the web but really you only need to know what K the two resistors and POT are to replace to do it on your own to convert an old 550 Minelab meter to a 180 one.

Third, I noticed he was using a solder wick to suck up the solder to remove the old resistors and POT. While that's handy if you have it, truth be known I've down extensive soldering for years and never used a solder wick to suck up/remoave old solder. I just will put pressure on one end of the part I'm removing and then put soldering iron heat on that end of the part I'm trying to remove. Once the solder heats up that end will pop out if you've got proper leverage on it with a screwdriver or something.

Finally, and this is for ANYBODY with ANY Sovereign meter from ANY company...If you can't seem to calibrate the meter to the proper number (180 for a 180 meter or 550 for a 550 meter), then you need to take it apart and adjust the coarse pot on the circuit board. As you notice in the video, before calibrating it with the external knob POT control they adjust it to 180 on an internal circuit board coarse pot via a screwdriver. To do this you first set the external pot control about mid way through it's adjustment range. Then calibrate the internal pot to go 180 as close as you can (or 550 if you are still using an old non-converted meter). Then, once the internal pot is set, you can fine tune via the external POT. By setting the external POT mid way through it's travel, you are insuring enough adjustment left/right wise to set it properly once the internal one is set as close as possible.

For this reason, I have read of some meter users in the past who couldn't get their meter to adjust to the proper number of 180 (or 550 on an old non-converted meter) to a clad dime or quarter. It's because you need to center the external pot and then adjust the internal one to as close to that as possible if not right on. Then fine adjustments can be made with the external one.

Also, this is a handy trick for meters who develop a dead spot with the external POT adjustment. The more pots are adjusted the harder they are to tune as they develop dead spots. By moving the internal POT a bit in adjustment you'll move the external POT's adjustment a bit on where it needs to be to say go 180 on a clad dime or higher, and thus make it much easier to adjust the external POT on hunts by being away from the dead spot.

For that reason, I have told people to never play with the external POT until the machine has warmed up for several minutes. Chances are once warmed up it will read 180 on a clad dime or higher without playing with it, but if you keep screwing with the external POT you can wear dead spots into the POT. If you haven't bumped the external POT then chances are it will calibrate fine once the machine reaches "steady state". If after say 10 minutes or so of warmup you find it extremely hard to adjust to 180 on the external pot, you've got a dead spot there. When that happens it might be worth opening the meter and tweaking the internal POT a hair left or right, and then the external POT will calibrate to 180 easier since it's not riding on the same dead spot. Just make sure to center the external POT somewhat before playing with the internal one. Get the internal one as close to 180 (or 550 on an old non-converted meter) as possible and then you should be good to go with final calibration on the external one as needed.

You might think to yourself..."These Sovereign meters sound kind of primative." Nope, don't think that. The Sovereign processes the conductive nature of a target inside the control box and then sends a voltage level (on I think a 2V scale) back down the coil cable to the meter to read. There are benefits. The VDI isn't sent through layers of processing as is on other machines, so you get a very "instant" VDI # on the Sovereign compared to even much faster machines. There is no lag between the audio and what the VDI is telling you as compared to even much faster machines, and because the VDI isn't sent through layers of processing it's a more "true" representation of the targets conductivity than on machines I've used with more "enhanced" VDI displays. In fact, as slow as the Sovereign is, I find it's VDI not only more trusting, but also more "instant" with no lag when wiggling between targets than the fast machines I've owned. Without naming names, some machines will say one thing in audio while the VDI says something else. That's why many say to pay attention to the audio on some machines and not the VDI. Not as true on the Sovereign, but just the same audio should always be your first choice as to whether to dig or not, regardless of what the VDI is doing. Having said that, I trust the VDI on this machine more than any other I've owned.



mining members for own forum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2012 05:31PM by Critterhunter.


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