One school of thought Esther Boserum argues that necessity is the mother of invention; this argument bears true testimony to one Ralph Chipoyi a natural inventor who was faced with a need for a gold detector which forced him to design and make one.
His humble story bears testimony to the fact when there is a crisis real men will face the challenge head on and conquer at the end of the day while others decide to quit in life when they face a stumbling block in their line of business.
By spanyoge Phillip Madziwa
The thirty year old Chipoyi who is well known at Majuru Growth Point in Goromonzi for his technological inventions said he uses natural intelligence to come up with his inventions that he believes is a talent from God.
“I do not have any college or qualification in electronics whatsoever but I uses natural intelligence to make all these gadgets I have made over the years.’’
The idea came up in 2013 when I went to zvishavane where there was a gold mine claim I wanted to exploit and I had to borrow a detector from a colleague who turned me down on the basis that he was also using the detector.” He said.
A few years down the line, Chipoyi’s innovation is now making great strides after he managed to come with two more detectors with each equipped to search the precious mineral underground.
The detector is made up of local scrap materials that that include a PVC pipe, plastic food plate, broom stick, piece of a garden irrigation pipe electrical plastic plug cover.
“I started researching on this project for the past five years and managed to compile all my researches and made it in a single day. The research was not an easy walk in the park.” Chipoyi said.
This incredible gold detector is powered by cell phone power bank batteries or a laptop battery which are charged by solar energy. He said plans are underway to come up with a solar back pack so that when one is on the field the battery will be charged.
Some of the transistors and diodes are from different electronic components which. However, Chipoyi did not mention some of the components he uses so as to protect his invention until it is formally registered.
He has made three detector types which are pulse induction, heat frequency oscillator and mono search coil.
“My detector uses pulse induction technology which has a range of 100 to 1000 pulses per second. When pulses reaches the ground where there is a metal (ferrous or non-ferrous), the metal makes an echo sound electronically which bounces back to the system. When that happens, I programmed the machine to produce a sound meaning there is a metal underground.” He said.
Pulse induction is one of the latest technologies used in modern gold detecting machines.
He has taken his detectors to Chakari for testing and the detectors performed so well competiting with other imported detectors. The bigger the gold nugget, the louder the alarm sound it makes.
His detector can also be used as a land mine detector. Zimbabwe has a problem with land mines especially at border towns where the Smith regime used these explosives to get rid of freedom fighters that were crossing borders to join the liberation struggle.
“The government can make use of my detector technologies so as to reduce land mine accidents in affected areas as well as other African countries which are affected by these explosives.” He said.
The cheapest gold detector costs not less than three thousand dollars and all of them are imports. Chipoyi’s innovation has a capacity of creating a huge manufacturing industry that can employ a number of people.
Currently Chipoyi is working on a gold detector which has a shape of a map of Zimbabwe instead of an ordinary plastic plate he used on his first production.
Gold mining is on an increase in Zimbabwe with the majority of miners being artisanal miners who hardly use detectors because they are so expensive. Chipoyi’s detectors can assist the small scale miners and save them time scouting for the mineral.
His quest for a bigger space to make his innovations made him relocate from Mablereign to his farm in Goromonzi a few years ago.
Chipoyi’s farm house uses a digital borehole pump mechanism he designed and developed which electronically updates him on the levels of water in the borehole.
The technology genius made a radio transmitter which can be used to broadcast like any other radio station does. He also made alarms, motion detectors, security fence energizers which are backed by a battery for a week, incubator, electronic billboards, amplifiers, mixers and invertors among other electronic gadgets.
His projects like all other projects are financially demanding. He looks forward engaging private-public partners so that he will be able to develop more technologies that will be used in Zimbabwe and beyond to improve lives.
“Currently I sponsor my projects alone and it is financially demanding but I will not lose hope because am a fighter and true believer that all my efforts will go further.” He said
However, he is grateful to two sponsors who are assisting him financially on his latest project of a wind mill that will produce electricity which at full throttle will add to the national grid.
“The windmill am working on is a million dollar project which is so financially demanding and I call upon stakeholders to come on board. It is unfortunate that as a people we do not believe in each other that we can create competitive gadgets.”
Chipoyi’s technologies can be traced way back during his primary days and at Ellis Robins Boys High School where he would make gadgets and share with his peers.