NOTE: This Product is no Longer Offered Due to Discontinuation of Host Hardware and Operating System
The MetLSurvey Metal Detector Mapping System
MetLSurvey is a combination software and hardware product for mapping anomaly hits from commercially available metal detectors. The resulting surveys can be saved as survey files. They can also be recalled for analysis (in review mode), or to add extensions to a previous survey (in append mode).
MetLSurvey (Metal Locator Survey) operates on the Garmin iQue 3600 GPS/PDA. This specialized PDA uses the Palm operating system and has a quality, half-VGA screen (480H by 320W). (Note: GPS is short for Global Positioning System, and PDA is short for Personal Digital Assistant.) The Garmin iQue 3600 is no longer in production, but there is currently an ample supply of Garmin factory reconditioned units available on eBay and from other sources. The approximate $200 USD cost of the iQue 3600 often includes an automobile adapter and extensive road maps.
The MetLSurvey system uses a custom, smart converter built into a cradle mount for the iQue 3600. The converter circuitry translates the audio output of several basic types of metal detectors into digital data that the GPS/PDA can use. The metal detector must have a headphone-output jack that provides one of several types of tone patterns. The four basic types of tones that can be interpreted are 1) varying pitch due to size or proximity of the target, 2) varying pitch steps due to the type of metal detected, 3) pitch steps, as above, but with a bell sound for the highest conductivity metals, and 4) varying amplitude due to the size or proximity of the target. A calibration function allows these frequencies, along with the appropriate conversion factors, to be remembered by the converter-cradle’s microcontroller “brain”. The last stored set of calibration values for each of the four basic metal detector types is available for quick recall.
The area of a survey screen is 0.031 minutes of latitude by 0.031 minutes of longitude, or about 188 feet by 188 feet at the equator. Positions of detected anomalies are stored by “map element”, and the width of a single map element is about 6 feet by 6 feet at the equator (0.001 minutes, lat or lon). The further from the equator, the narrower (east-west) each map element becomes, although the north-south dimension remains fixed. Detected anomalies are displayed as dots (the more significant the anomaly, the larger the dot). The screen also indicates where detecting was done with logging enabled (this is shown as a tan background).
CAUTIONARY NOTE ON POSITIONAL ACCURACY: Please note that this preliminary mapping system pushes the limits of the available accuracy of the GPS satellite system -- positional errors may be encountered. Surveys need to be conducted outdoors with a good view of the surrounding sky, and with a minimum of surrounding structures or dense, tall vegetation. When performing surveys, the operator should strive to maintain a clear shot from the GPS antenna to the appropriate high-above-equator, WAAS differential correction satellite. In the US, the direction to the main geo-stationary satellite (#51) ranges from southwest (on the east coast), to south-southeast (on the west coast). MetLSurvey will not plot anomalies unless a strong position is obtained, and the initial acquisition can take several minutes.
Detector Mounting Shown Upper-Arm Mounting Shown
ACQUIRING THE PRELIMINARY MetLSurvey SYSTEM
The complete system consists of two groups of elements:
1. Limited quantities of the experimental version of the MetLSurvey system are available at $595 USD, plus $12 shipping/handling (USA). Please include 6.5% sales tax for shipments within Florida, only. This price includes the following components (Important: see the cautionary note, above):
· The MetLSurvey.prc operating program for the iQue 3600.
· The MetLSurvey smart converter-cradle unit.
2. The following items are not included, and must be provided by the customer:
· A Garmin iQue 3600 GPS/PDA
· A compatible metal detector having a headphone jack that outputs one of the four general classes of audio output signals described above.
· The customer must associate and use a personal computer for certain setup and data transfer processes (all PDA processes are normal Palm operating system functions and are fully described in the iQue 3600 documentation).
Converter-Cradle and Mounting Strap Optional External Battery Pack for Extended Surveys
SOFTWARE INSTALLATION AND SETUP
It is best to completely set up and get familiar with your iQue PDA beforehand. Note that MetLSurvey does not require an SD memory card for operation):
HARDWARE INSTALLATION AND CALIBRATION
a. The cradle assembly can be strapped to the top of the paired metal detector’s housing, or it can be strapped around the operator’s upper arm (left arm preferred). The mount has provisions for rotation and angular adjustments.
b. After attaching the mount, insert the iQue 3600. Assure that both of the latching pins are properly inserted.
c. Plug the unit’s ¼” phone plug into the metal detector’s headphone jack. If headphones are to be used, plug these into the 1/8” jack on the back of the converter-cradle. If the audio level is adjustable, it must be set to the level it will be used during the survey.
d. Extend the GPS antenna to a position that it will remain horizontal during the survey, with a clear view of the sky.
a. On the MetLSurvey initialization screen, click “Initial Metal Detector Calibration”.
b. Another screen will appear. Click on the type of audio output that your metal detector provides. The calibration screen for that type of detector audio will appear, and will display additional information.
c. With the metal detector over the least significant anomaly that you want to record (the lowest audio pitch or the lowest-conductivity metal), click the on-screen button to calibrate the low level. In the case of motion detectors, you will need to time your tone generation with the press of the button – you will get a message indicating whether or not the tone was “caught”.
d. With the metal detector over the most significant anomaly that just provides full scale deflection (the highest audio pitch, the highest-conductivity metal, or the highest audio amplitude), where necessary, time the beep and click the on-screen button to calibrate the high level. The calibration parameters will be stored, and this will become the associated metal detector for that particular type of audio output.
e. Check for proper calibration by detecting your metal test objects and observing the bar patterns at the top of the survey screen. Especially in the case of motion detectors, if the bars are not correct then you will need to repeat the calibration procedure.
f. Any time a different metal detector having that particular type of audio is used with this converter-cradle, you must repeat the calibration procedure, above, to associate that exact metal detector. You can, however, select any of the other three types of detector audio, previously calibrated and stored, by clicking on the appropriate buttons on the first calibration screen. Only one metal detector can be used for recording on any given survey.
a. Position checkbox: Selecting this checkbox displays current latitude and longitude.
b. Point checkbox: Selecting this checkbox displays the latitude and longitude of the last point that the stylus touched within the screen survey area.
c. Distance checkbox: Selecting this checkbox displays the approximate distance and direction from your current location to the last point that the stylus touched within the screen survey area. You can use this feature to conveniently point-to and return-to any point of interest.
a. Click the iQue “Memo Pad” icon.
b. Click the file to be viewed, modified, or deleted.
c. TO EDIT THE FILE: MetLSurvey files can be modified as long as the file length and formatting is unchanged. The lines and columns mimic the map layout of the survey (no matter the hemisphere: north is always up, and east is always to the right of the screen).
d. TO DELETE THE FILE: Any file can be deleted by clicking “Details”, then “Delete”, and then “OK”. It is good practice to delete any superfluous memo files on the device.
GENERAL NOTES ON USING THE iQue 3600
Please contact PSI directly for further information on obtaining a preliminary MetLSurvey unit.
Perception Systems, Incorporated 8117A Northboro Ct, West Palm Beach, FL 33406 USA
Tel: 561-433-0033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org