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Re: Almost TDI Time....:detecting:
Posted by: H2OAU
Date: February 10, 2019 12:52AM
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lytle78
“Just some tweaking” ...

If by that you mean the whole process of completing a totally new mechanical design, spending dozens of thousands of $ on tooling, many tens of thousands more on production planning and verification - field testing of pre-production prototypes - re-working the “bugs” revealed in that testing, qualifying the production process including set-up and calibration of inside products - then yes, there is just “some tweaking” likely left to do.

Anyone who has ever been through the process of “productionizing” a prototype will tell you that that is the most difficult and highest risk part of new product development.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. I personally watched Boeing go into a subcontractor's factory and had them completely rearrange the factory to a just in time system. They had to completely retool the CNC lathes and all manor of other machine shop equipment. Redesign parts and begin manufacturing. They were required to produce a million parts where only ten thousand were required before. This company was given one month to put this together and pulled it off in two weeks. So yeah, two + years is enough time to get it done.

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Re: Almost TDI Time....:detecting:
Posted by: lytle78
Date: February 10, 2019 07:59AM
Detector manufacturers are small businesses. They don’t have a ten-thousandth of the resources of Boeing.

It will take however long it takes - and at the end of the process there either will or won’t be a production machine introduced or there won’t.

A specialized salt water gold hunter is new territory for First Texas. The total market demand is hard to estimate, but it is doubtless a niche market compared to the tens or hundreds of thousands of conventional detectors they produce every year. The realities of purchasing premium electronic and mechanical parts in low volume mean this thing is unlikely to be cheap to build with the sales price further limiting its market penetration.



Rick Kempf

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Re: Whites TDI Beach Hunter
Posted by: H2OAU
Date: February 10, 2019 08:58AM
this is not an argument you're going to win with me, the reason being I am Boeing and First Texas is my subcontractor. Not only me but an untold number of detectorists over an untold number of forums and Facebook pages, who, since getting tidbits of information tossed at them over two years ago have all said the same thing, put one in my hands take my money. and that's just in the USA, who knows how many detectorists in the world have requested the machine. I would be willing to bet the number is way up in the thousands of people who would like to have this machine.
every other company I have seen, when they have had a demand for a product so high, will go out in search of resources be able to accommodate the demand. If that means going out securing loans, so be it.
Every year that goes by cell phones double in storage capacity and computing power, the same with desktop computers. Every gaming system within a year or two is doubled in its capacity. by the time first Texas actually does come out with a product they're going to be behind the times having already lost out on a huge market that has been forced to go elsewhere for its needs to be filled. That or they're going to constantly be having to catch up with the technology to incorporate it into a design they've been taking this long to work on.

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Re: Whites TDI Beach Hunter
Posted by: lytle78
Date: February 10, 2019 09:54AM
With respect, First Texas’ detector business is a “prime” and not anyone’s subcontractor.

The TDI is a slight modification of an Eric Foster design which dates back at least 20 years. It is a decent machine, I have owned two of them. For beach use, the advice was to turn off the Ground Balance since using it imposed a significant loss of detecting depth. I used mine at Virginia Beach a good bit when I lived in Yorktown. I felt uneasy about the fact that it was wide open to water and salt spray. The new version of the SL in the BHID case removes that worry at the cost of having a permanently attached coil.

The manta project is the result of Alexandre Tartar’s intense study and development of the sort of ground balancing PI that Eric first produced. The Manta has unique aspects of its operation which allow it to provide usable iron ID/exclusion while retaining full depth - this is likely due to some modification of how the GB channels work. In addition the entire design has been optimized for extremely low noise levels, the result of this being the ability to detect extremely weak returns. Another unprecedented feature is the ability to operate in wet salt beach environments at extremely short pulse delays - less than 10 microseconds.

All of this took years of development by a very small team in Europe.

FT’s challenge is to take this excellent hand-built platform and turn it into a product which can be sold at a profit. Your comment on demand being “in the thousands” is part of the problem. If that’s all there is to it, it would be a disaster. To make a reasonable return on the millions invested, along with the opportunity cost of all those thousands of engineerings hours which could have been spent elsewhere, a product needs to sell in the thousands PER MONTH. I suspect that the management and the marketing department at FT are having very serious discussions about the opportunities and risks of this new device.

As far as the pace of development in the field of metal detectors, no truly new platform has emerged in the last dozen years. The excellent progress in ergonomics, wireless coils and headphones, selectable frequencies notwithstanding, there represent no real breakthrough. The only truly new platform I know of is Minelab’s GPZ which is truly novel. Even there however, three years after it’s introduction and therefore at least 5 years since its design, no further development had emerged to give the device any discrimination. Progress in metal detectors is slow. The challenges of extracting useful information from the incredibly weak signals emitted by metallic targets in the earth matrix are enormous - very much in the same league as advanced radar systems. In the case of radar systems, there are thousands or tens of thousands of RF engineers and software developers working on the problems at companies the scale of Boeing. For metal detectors, there are likely not more than a dozen engineers in the world able to make significant new breakthroughs. The money simply isn’t there

Minelab is the only publicly traded company in the business. Last year they reported that their base business in metal detectors was in the range of $100 million Australian. With the $7000 GPZ being a significant fraction of their total sales, it is possible to make some “WAG” of their total unit sales. Assuming an average sales price of $1000 US, you get a figure of 100,000 units. This is the kind of unit sales number you need to make a profit on R&D.



Rick Kempf

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Re: Whites TDI Beach Hunter
Posted by: *Fred*
Date: February 13, 2019 12:58PM
Quote
lytle78
First Texas acquired the Manta project just short of 2 years ago. Turning a prototype into a product takes time.

They have released zero videos and except for a couple of brief posts by Carl Moreland, the Engineering Director, FT has released no information about the project.

The videos out there were done by Alexandre Tartar, the developer and posted prior to FT’s acquisition of the project and hiring the team.

The guilty party in any hoopla on the forums is likely me. I have posted numerous times on various forums about what I know and suppose about the Manta. What I know is what is on the videos and what has been posted by Carl and by a French guy who posts as LE.JAG. He was the chief field tester of the development team and continues with the project.

My suppositions are my own and I have no inside dope on where they are with the project.

I also have no idea what the name of the product will be - probably not unicorn.

If and when a product is released to the market, we will all see what it can do. I have owned 7 different PI detectors 2 TDI’s, a ML SD2100, an SD2300, a Whites DFPI, a Garrett ATX and lately a Vallon VMC3CS. When I eventually get my hands on the Fisher PI, I will be able to pretty quickly decide where it fits in.

Hi,

I'm on a french forum with Le_Jag, Alexandre, and another user of manta prototypes. All I can write is that I've seen process, and evolution of the manta(s) since few Years. I dont Know what Fisher labs will do with it, but I hope to use it one day. Alexandre is an hard worker...
LE_JAG is probably the top of beachcombing here, he has used every Eric Foster's machines with success, so you can trust him.

Re: Whites TDI Beach Hunter
Posted by: Dancer
Date: February 22, 2019 04:07AM
Technology comparison. So I use a Track cell phone, $50. Got the internet, text, calculator, camera, etc. Someone just came out with a folding cell phone for $1,800. Got all the stuff the Track phone got. I got no doubts that some of these are going to start being found on the beach by next year. Lost by some sleepy eyed teenager. Who mostly text their friends claiming their "Bored" So in recent years, there's been some new machines introduced that lets say are a little more involved to operate. But truely for beach work, if your machine can handle iron, and bangs on coins/ Jewelry & unfortunately tabs your most likely going to dig it anyway. I would guess that most of us (while wading) have had to give up on a target that we couldn't recover cause of conditions like, deep sand, wave action etc. Now on the dry , different story. So , what I'm always looking for is a area that (probably just might ) be giving up some Treasure under conditions my machine can handle. The shallower the better. Just another way of looking at it.

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