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I was really eager to get my hands on the new GPZ 7000, as a lot of the functionality was borrowed from the CTX 3030, a machine I know well. I was particularly interested to see the improvements made to the CTX 3030 features and related products.
Some of the improvements are subtle and don’t currently transfer between models. These include a redesigned arm-cup, which now has a push button locking system that secures to a new saw-toothed arm-cup rail. This is much better than using a hand tool (e.g. pliers) to secure a twist lock on the CTX 3030.
Another GPZ 7000 hardware upgrade is the two-piece bottom stem. I’ve travelled abroad with the CTX 3030 and have always had problems finding a suitcase to pack the bottom stem, so much so that I now have spares waiting for me in Norway and Croatia. The GPZ 7000’s two piece bottom stem means the detector now packs down to under 23", ideal for main luggage. Unfortunately this two-piece stem doesn’t readily transfer to the CTX 3030 as the coil-connecting bracket is totally different.
The GPS functionality has seen a major overhaul. It now incorporates a spinning compass style widget tool making the 'Go to' feature a lot easier to operate.
I also love the fact you can load a previous Geo Hunt and view it on the map screen. So now you can pick up the previous days Geo Hunt, gridding a site and not wasting your time covering the same area more than once. This feature has been on my wish list from day one for the CTX 3030.
The user button has also received an upgrade; it can be customized to short cut 25 features/functions, which is more than the CTX 3030’s meager 10.
One in particular has already been a godsend, to re-center the map during a Geo Hunt or when using the 'Go to' feature. It’s made the map much easier to operate; I’m no longer waiting for the map to scroll as I walk off the map. The re-center feature has always been available in the CTX 3030, but having on the user button makes the feature more user friendly.
I also see a big improvement to the PRO-SWING 45 supplied with the new machine, which now’s has two 'J-struts' and a chest 'harness crosspiece'. These improve the stability of the harness.
The GPZ 7000 lithium ion battery pack is physically larger; in fact it has over twice the power capacity of the one fitted to the CTX 3030. These rechargeable battery packs are interchangeable between detector models, giving double detecting time for the CTX 3030 when using the 72Wh battery. The CTX 3030 34Wh rechargeable battery pack makes a good cost effective emergency battery pack for the GPZ 7000, giving around 4 hours of detecting time. Please note though that the CTX 3030 AA alkaline pack isn’t compatible and should NOT be fitted onto the GPZ 7000.
Over the next few months I’ll take out the GPZ 7000 and see what it can find on good relic and coin sites.
Read Chris Ralph's Blog Examining the GPZ 7000 Menu and Display System to see his comparison of the CTX 3030 user interface to GPZ 7000.
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I live in San Isidro Perez Zeledon Costa Rica. I have a detector that I want to take out to Violin Island in the Osa for nuggets as well. I have been investigating the situation for about a year now. I am looking for someone like your self who has more experience detecting and has a desire for adventure. I want to spend a night out on the island surveying the geology and then make a plan to start looking based on the logistics of the geology.
I see you mentioned you will be coming down this way in 2016, I would like to discuss the possibility of collaborating a visit to Violin or multipal visits if you are interested.