By Steve Herschbach
Here are three detectors that offer three different ways to do multi-frequency.
First up, the detector on the right, the XP DEUS. This detector allows you to choose from one of four different frequencies, and run any single one at a time. You can choose from 4, 8, 12, or 18 kHz.
Second, we have the detector on the far left, the Minelab CTX 3030. This detector looks at a range of frequencies and analyzes several at once. Transmitted frequencies is a bit of marketing magic; all that matters is what a detector processes. The CTX 3030 processes two or three frequencies simultaneously, comparing the results with advanced algorithms to deliver target information. There is no option to process single frequencies.
Finally, the detector in the middle, the White's V3i. This detector employs three frequencies, and is unique in that it can process and compare results from all three simultaneously, or run any one single frequency. The choices are 2.5, 7.5, and 22.5 kHz.
In a nutshell low frequencies are less reactive to ground minerals and produce cleaner signals on coin size high conductive targets. Low frequencies also better discern ferrous from non-ferrous items. High frequencies are more reactive to ground mineralization and have more issues identifying ferrous trash, but respond better to small low conductive items. Frequencies under 10 kHz tend to be "coin frequencies", 10 kHz to 15 kHz is a good "all around frequency range", and over 15 kHz tends to be the realm of prospecting detectors, though higher frequencies are seeing more use now with others attempting to pull small non-ferrous items out of ferrous trash. European hunters looking for small coins and relic hunters looking for bullets and other items are leaning higher frequency these days.
Usually choosing a single frequency will deliver the most power and depth. That is why you do not see multi-frequency nugget detectors, and why out of the three detectors discussed here the Deus with its 18 kHz mode and V3i with its 22.5 kHz mode offer better potential as prospecting units than the CTX 3030. Detectors that process multiple frequencies have a clear edge when running on mineralized salt water beaches. A single frequency can handle the mineralization, or the salt effect, but not both at once. Multi-frequency detectors are the preferred solution for salt water beach applications (not counting PI detectors), and so the CTX 3030 and V3i have a clear edge over the Deus in this regard.
Multiple frequency analysis can offer superb discrimination capabilities. When people talk about depth on multi-frequency detectors what they are really talking about is accurate target identification at depth. Many detectors will detect deeper than the multi-frequency units, but not while delivering accurate target id results. The Minelab Explorers and CTX are generally acknowledged as being on the forefront in this regard, no doubt due to the highly secret algorithms they employ to deliver target id results.
Anyway, the three detectors here have three different ways of handling the options. In theory the V3i offers the best of both worlds - the ability to run any one frequency or three at once. In practice the V3i is so complex few people ever fully master its capabilities but I do think they have the right idea. A much requested idea for the XP Deus, which is updateable via software, is the ability to run multiple frequencies. On salt water beaches at least this offers an indisputable advantage. Presumably an update to the CTX could offer the ability to run a single frequency, but so far Minelab has shown no interest in such options. It does appear that is where we are heading though - detectors that through proper design and software can become most anything the operator desires.
By Steve Herschbach
I have a White's DFX that is perhaps my favorite park jewelry detector, though my Minelab CTX 3030 threatens to change that. The trump card for the DFX still is that I have a rare and highly sought after Big Foot coil. The Big Foot is a 3" x 18" coil specially wound internally in a figure 8 pattern that eliminates electrical interference and allows the use of the front half of the coil for pinpointing with the DFX, which was designed with the coil in mind. The coils were hand made by Jim Karbowski who called his company Applied Creativity. Jim unfortunately passed away in 2007 and the coils now go for far more used on eBay than they ever did new. http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/obituaries/james-karbowski/article_c8505ae6-50ec-5639-8a21-33a96b718ad4.html The coils are labor intensive and despite lots if lobbying I never could get White's to make them.
When White's announced the V3 I was excited by what I see as a "Super DFX". The DFX allows you to run either 3 kHz or 15 kHz or both together. It is highly programmable, too much so for many people but for me it pretty much turned into a 15 kHz detector to drive my Big Foot coil. The Big Foot is not made for depth, but at 18" long it is great for sweeping large parks or sports fields cherry picking targets. Here is my Big Foot attached to my old MXT in the UK, sitting next to a friends unit similarly outfitted. Huge fields like that in the photo is where the Big Foot shines.
The V3i runs at 2.5 kHz, 7.5 kHz, and 22.5 kHz, all together or each separately. It can do all sorts of frequency comparison tricks and has the best color display on the market, that can be programmed to show an amazing array of target response and information. Again, maybe too many settings for some people - this set of note by V3i engineer Bob Canaday will give you an idea of how complex adjusting the V3i can get http://www.metaldetectingintheusa.com/files/bob-canaday.pdf A tweakers dream however, and it works with the Big Foot, but not perfectly, as some target VDI information is skewed at different frequencies. Good enough though.
I really wanted to love the V3i!
The problem is with two different units I ran into serious electrical interference issues with the V3i in Anchorage, Alaska, my old home town. The same places where my Fisher F75 would shut down. The main culprit was buried power lines, which in Anchorage meant nearly all parks, school yards, and other places I might want to use a metal detector. I worked with White's on the issue to no avail, my main suggestion being that a figure 8 wound EMI coil be made specifically for the V3i, but it never came to pass. Sadly for me, I just finally gave up on the V3i.
Then I ran into a guy named Marko at Ganes Creek in two different years. He was running the V3i in the 22.5 kHz Prospecting Mode with a Detech 10" x 12" SEF coil. Marko killed it at Ganes Creek two years in a row with the V3i finding many nuggets large and small. Everyone gets lucky now and then but Marko consistently did well, and I always pay attention when I see results like that. You can see pictures of Markos 2011 finds at http://www.whiteselectronics.com/finds/?view=gainesgold
Fast forward to my moving to Reno, Nevada. It has crossed my mind now and then whether the V3i might behave better here. I still am intrigued by the 22 kHz mode, perhaps for hunting the miles of cobble piles around here looking for that big gold filled cobble. You need something with a combination of depth and good ferrous discrimination for that, and Markos results still intrigue me. The kicker however is that I have a new XP DEUS detector on the way. The Deus has many of the programmable aspects of the V3i and can run at 4, 8, 12, or 18 kHz, though only one of those at any one time. The V3i offers more ability to actually identify targets, but the Deus is reputed to be much better at target separation.
So I have a V3i on the way. People may wonder how I can afford to load up on detectors like this. Well, being in the industry for 35 years has advantages, and one if them is I get my detectors nearly always for less than I can sell them for later. I do have money tied up in them but it basically rotates as I sell one and get another. I am not pouring money into detectors. That being the case, I find it worthwhile strictly from the aspect of satisfying my own curiosity and continuing my never ending education in all things metal detecting.
The fact is though I will be selling a bunch of detectors and accessories this winter. I will be doing lots of testing and comparisons and then deciding eventually what goes and what stays. That in itself ends up being the most important test of all. The good news is you all get some of the benefit I derive from all this craziness!
White's V3i Advanced Users Guide http://www.metaldetectingintheusa.com/files/advanced-users-guide.pdf
Hi Y'all. I've been all over the map as far which detector I think I'm going to buy. Right now I think it's either going to be the CTX3030 or White's V3i. I got some questions.
How does the Minelab's auto ground balance technology compare to White's auto ground balance technology?
In particular, in terms of ground balancing, how does the CTX 3030 compare to White's V3i?
How do the discrimination abilities of the CTX3030 and V3i compare?
White's user manuals are written much better than Minelab's user manuals. How much do you agree with this statement?
Minelab claims, "FBS (Full Band Spectrum) simultaneously transmits, receives and analyses a full band of multiple frequencies."
Whiteselectronics claims, "... digital waveforms also produce unde- sired harmonic frequencies. Lots and lots of harmonic frequencies, 10’s or even 100’s of them. These harmonics have no useful energy and are not part of the signal processing. So while we can claim to transmit many, many frequencies, we cannot claim to process or use them. Therefore, we could easily claim the Spectra V3i transmits 17 frequencies, or 28, or 39, or 55—we could get plain silly with this. And such a claim would be true, technically speaking, but since all those extra frequencies are not actually used, it would be misleading to make such a claim. White’s chooses, instead, to claim the number of frequencies we are actually using and processing. It may not sound as impressive as a 55-frequency detector, but it’s honest and accurate. "
So, either Minelab's claim is false, or White's multifrequency technology is not as sophisticated as Minelab's, which is it? Or I'm misinterpreting something.
By Steve Herschbach
I have been bouncing back and forth between the White's DFX and V3i for many years. In theory the switch to V3i should be a no-brainer.
However, the original Vision model I got had bad EMI issues in Anchorage, Alaska, especially with buried power lines. When the V3i came out I tried again with no joy. When I moved to Reno I tried again, and EMI was less a problem. The next issue is the main reason I have a DFX is to run a BigFoot coil. Most coils need to be tuned for the specific detector operating frequency. The BigFoot is tuned for 3 kHz and 15 kHz especially for the MXT/DFX series. My BigFoot works well enough in V3i 2.5 kHz and 7.5 kHz single frequency modes. However, in 22.5 kHz single frequency mode or in three frequency mode the target id (VDI) numbers all skew very high (they tripled on the last V3i that I had). This more or less limited the BigFoot to being used only in 7.5 kHz mode on the V3i where I would generally prefer to use 22.5 kHz single frequency mode. The coil runs just fine on the DFX in 15 kHz mode so after lots of back and forth I finally settled on the DFX.
The DFX has weaknesses however. The DFX always transmits a combined dual frequency waveform. When single frequency mode is chosen, the machine still transmits the same waveform optimized for dual frequency use, but simply ignores half the return signal to process either the 3 kHz portion or the 15 kHz portion. The transmit waveform is not optimized for single frequency and so some punch is lost compared to a dedicated single frequency machine like the MXT.
The V3i in single frequency mode actually modifies the transmit waveform for use at the single frequency. It is still not quite as efficient as a dedicated single frequency detector, but a big improvement over the DFX way of doing things. The V3i also adds transmit boost capability, that can bring bit that last little bit of lost performance as compared to a dedicated single frequency detector. The lost efficiency shows up more as shorter battery life than actual lost performance.
Second, the DFX while in multi frequency mode is always locked into "Salt Mode" for saltwater beach operation, effectively tuning out the salt range. This unfortunately means that small gold capability is degraded in DFX dual frequency mode. The V3i allows the salt mode operation to be deactivated while in multi frequency mode, allowing for better small gold performance while in MF mode. The closest the DFX can get is to run in a single frequency mode, which turns off the dual frequency salt compensation. But now you are back to running a less optimized single frequency mode as compared to the V3i in single frequency mode.
Long story short there are too many benefits and neat features on the V3i that I have been denying myself due to my desire for BigFoot compatibility. The fact is I normally run the BigFoot in 15 kHz single frequency mode on my DFX for a little extra gold hots. However, after some though I have decided the V3i running at an optimized 7.5 kHz is likely just as good if not better than the DFX running a "soft" 15 kHz. So I did talk myself into a new V3i recently.
In theory the V3i at 22.5 kHz should be a decent nugget detector, but you rarely hear of it being used as such. Part of that is a ground balance issue. The DFX and V3i tracking systems really are not up to working that well in heavily mineralized ground. The DFX does offer a normal manual ground balance mode with both a coarse and fine adjust, although you have to dive into the menu to access it - not so handy for making constant tweaks. The V3i actually has no true Manual ground balance mode. The best you can do is track and lock, as on the MXT. However, the V3i "Live Controls" can be set up to give the operator direct access to a ground balance offset that can tweak the "locked" setting up or down. That may actually be easier to access and use than the DFX version of manual ground balance but I need to play around more to find out for sure.
By Deft Tones
Finds first for the TLDR people.
As the finds in my current primary patch dwindle in numbers from being worked heavily the past two years, I'm scouting for a new primary patch to begin working. Using the criteria and method outlined in a previous post, I've located a very good location that is certain to hold gold, silver, and more. Today will be my first time boots on the ground at that location and I'll walk the reader through it along with my scouting method. Maybe it will help someone and provide insight or encouragement.
Here is the sat. view
5 playgrounds, one skate park, basketball, tennis, two soccer fields, two softball fields, two shelters, one former 1890's to 1950's church location on site.
Here are my paths while scouting. Deus in red, V3i in green.
So, from the sat. images there are many hot-spots to strike, and I won't try to get them all as this is a long term prospect, and I only desire to determine 3 primary things today.
1. Pressure - hunting pressure from other detectorists.
2. Trash composition and density.
3. Presence - Is there jewelry where I expect it to be.
Deus gets the top spot today as it's the ideal scouting unit. Light, fast, great tones to read the trash. From the parking lot I begin and move to the skate park since it's close and can hold silver and junk jewelry along with lots of coins. Foil seems to be the primary trash along the way, and around the skate feature the aluminum kicks in - light can slaw and tabs primarily. I can hear lots and lots of coins, zinc and copper cents mostly, but a healthy quantity of dimes as well. I select a few targets I know are quarters and pennies, then intentionally sample some of the larger better sounding trash before moving on.
The primary traffic flow from one side of the park to another is divided by a slight drainage ditch with the easiest pass being on either end... and people naturally take the easiest route, so I do too. Pennies everywhere! Zinc mostly, healthy dose of copper, decent selection of dimes, quite a few quarters...light trash mostly foil and ferrous bits... but I keep on moving through without digging a single target. Not interested today.
Moving to the goal at the primary soccer field I work my way over to the nearest corner, then down the sideline to mid-field before cutting over to the center. Then I work my way to the opposite goal before coming around the back net.
From there, and because of its close proximity to the goal, I briefly enter the playground before hitting the nearest corner of the soccer field diagonally opposite from the first corner I hit. Quarters everywhere! I decide to spend some time here sampling, cherry picking the best sounds. Within 10 minutes I found the heart pendant necklace. Jewelry confirmed, nice. So I pause, crank up the notch to 93 and take all the quarters before moving on.
Erasing the notch I notice an area of the playground is different. Something was removed and not replaced. I suspect one of the super dangerous merry-go-rounds that children today get no experience or joy from used to be there. Clad everywhere....move on.
Swing-set looks vintage so I check that and the mostly abandoned softball backstop area nearby. The trash picks up and bottle caps start to appear below the coil. I dug a first (for this park) beavertail ring pull, nice...a sign there might be some silver coins lurking around here.
I'm getting hot by now so start thinking of shade and where to find some. It's scarce, so good places to concentrate. I mentally discriminate everything but quarters. Lots of nice signals, lots of trash and rusty caps. So far this is the trashiest area and I'm impressed it's not worse.
Out of water and thirsty, I head back to the parking lot where I started, taking any quarters I come across. There are so many coins around it's obvious to me this park has never been heavily worked over by much of anyone in a long time, if ever. This place is a clad mine. Exactly how my current patch started out!
I switch out units for the V3i and head towards the nearby secondary soccer field goal. I work one small corner of the goal net taking everything in a 6 foot diameter...clad and tabs mostly. Then I work right down the field towards the only clump of trees between the two fields and casually work the area randomly, still cherry picking signals but expanding the range down below zinc cents a little plus taking all nickel range targets as I find them.
Getting tired and hot I'm thinking of wrapping it up so I head out to the sideline and try to find the trash zone where people sit and spectate. There isn't much trash to detect so I decide to just pick a line inside the playing field and take everything not obviously trash out of the ground. As I reached the corner of the field the silver ring shows up. Someone threw the ball into play and lost a ring perhaps. Now we're talking!
Satisfied with the mission I walked off and swung over the curb area near the parking lot to get a feel for the trash there, too.
With light to moderate trash, tons of clad signals, two pieces of jewelry - I have all the intel I need to know that this park is going to produce a few gold items, eventually. I'm hesitant to give 5 stars so we'll rate it at a 4 plus star park, IMO. Next hunt the tedious process of clad layer removal begins, oh, joy.
Thanks for your time. Good hunting.
By Steve Herschbach
I just purchased a brand White's V3i from the factory as noted on another thread. The brand new machine much to my surprise comes with new new redesign of the White's D2 10" round DD coil. I say surprise because I ordered a scuff cover for the coil, and although it went on the scuff cover is larger than the new coil, especially along the inner edge of the right side and so there are large gaps between the edges of the coil and the scuff cover. The new coil has been shaved here and there for a thinner more modern appearance versus the older squared off look.
I looked and have seen no change in the part number on any sites nor any mention of this new coil anywhere. White's needs to make this known and hopefully a properly fitted scuff cover is available or in the works. It could be it just happened and I am one of the first with this coil and so jumped the gun a bit while dealers clear old stock.
The old D2 coil has been quoted at 17.9 oz or 498 grams which I have to question as my new coil weighs 18.8 oz or 532 grams on my postal scale. Can anyone get get an accurate weight on the old D2 coil? Include the cable as I have done - I hate it when cable weights are excluded, as if we are going to swing the coil without a cable. That may account for the discrepancy as I find it hard to believe the new coil weighs more than the old coil, unless the internal windings are different/heavier.
This coil is also compatible with the White's VX3, all versions of the MXT, the MX5, M6, and DFX.