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I have really been enjoying using the Whites DFX for the last month. Mine came with the stock 9.5" coil and I bought a used Detech 8X6" SEF for it too, all of which cost way less than half the original retail price. It won't get much depth in my area, but it is a very feature rich detector with a ton of information using all of the display functions and full tone ID. It almost IDs 4" low to mid conductor targets (don't laugh) with good numbers in the moderate to highly mineralized dirt in my area as well as the Equinox and Vanquish, although they will give correct numerical  IDs down to 8 to 10" targets easily. I love the full tone ID, Signagraph display and the excellent ergonomics of the DFX. I do not like the lack of depth and the feeling that I am walking over good targets mostly caused by the limitations put on the DFX with how it was engineered......Salt compensation is always on, underpowered single frequency operation, EMI susceptibility  and nebulous ground tracking.

So, I started looking at Whites other multi frequency VLF: the Vision, VX3, V3 V3i series. Why have I never been interested in these detectors before??? There was a fully equipped, well taken care of V3i for sale in my area with multiple coils and other extras for about half or the original retail price plus  I knew the original owner who is now deceased. I picked it up for even less than the asking price. 

When Steve says there has never been any detector like the V3i he is making a gross understatement. This detector is incredible. It is definitely not perfect. I may eventually not keep it and I may grow to dislike it BUT, what a fine detector. No denying that. If you have never owned/used one and you are even slightly interested, I would get one before they are really hard to find. Yes, it is a complicated, highly detailed jumble of possible combination of settings, but for the most part I think I can handle them eventually.

I probably would not use it for prospecting or for iron trash infested sites but for everything else it would be like driving a well made luxury car that actually performs as well as its luxury price tag. It is a bit heavier than the DFX but it has even more features, adjustability, and power than the DFX. In my area, the V3i handles EMI as well or better than my DFX.

I actually dug a 6" nickel yesterday in pretty bad dirt with the V3i. That is not a big deal except that the DFX (which I had with me too) totally missed it in modified coin and jewelry mode (I mean silence over the target) and the V3i with similar settings and the same Detech coil hit on the target AND identified it well enough that I knew it was probably a nickel before I dug it. Up until now, only simultaneous multi frequency detectors made in Australia/Malaysia can do that in my area.

Jeff

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Yeah, the DFX is well behaved for a reason. It’s no powerhouse. I’ve found the V3i on the other hand to pull up a good target id at depth as well as anything I have used.

The V3i for what it is really is an incredible detector, if you are into settings and customization options. If you can’t program a VCR and don’t read manuals, not so much.

When I got the V3i the future was revealed to me as clear as a bell. Electronics as a rule gets smaller and more powerful. V3i was the first true multifrequency with true single frequency options, unlike the DFX with the workarounds employed. The V3i also innovated with integrated wireless. It clearly represented the future of detecting. White’s unfortunately never had the vision to see what the original Vision represented. Obviously the same could be done in a lighter weight package with a simplified interface.

I started lobbying for such a machine from the moment I got the Vision/V3i. My idea for a V4 was not an enhanced V3i, but a V3i in a pod with a simplified interface.

About a year before the Equinox was introduced I met with Carl Moreland, a key person in getting the V3i to market, and once again described what I thought people really wanted. Multifrequency, plus the ability to choose single frequency, in a light weight detector with a simplified interface. Carl was no longer with White’s at that time, having moved to First Texas.

He never got a hint however from me that somebody had listened, and I had a working prototype at home. We all know now what became of that - one of the best selling detectors ever made.

White’s had it all first with the V3i, the full recipe. All they had to do was take the proven concept, and bring the design forward into the 21st century. White’s basically showed Minelab what needed to be done, and so Minelab did it instead of White’s. White’s not following up on the V3i will go down as one of the greatest missed opportunities in detecting ever.

If you want to learn about metal detecting and how metal detectors work, getting a V3i, reading the manual, using the detector, and reading the manual again, is a college course in metal detecting. The detector is basically a programmable build-your-own-detector kit. You can customize everything. The color screen and customization options for the screen alone could fill a book.

The V3i never reached its full potential in my opinion due to the ability to save and exchange programs being deleted from the original game plan. If people had the ability to save programs and trade them on the internet, a programming sub-culture would have developed around the machine. You would have seen some amazing interface customizations. As it developed unfortunately, the only way to trade programs was to fill out a page of settings for somebody, that they could then key in on their V3i. It’s just too much work, and so people focused only on what needed to be employed in the way of tuning to get the job done. If we could export and import programs, there would be a huge library by now, with some pretty crazy stuff.

If I could have one wish from White’s or whoever takes over, it would be that they open source everything available on the V3i, so it could be hacked, and program exchange capability possibly added by some intrepid programmer. The machine could have an amazing life still if they just had faith in the magic of open source. Maybe an impossible dream, but it can’t hurt to dream.

whites specta-vision-herschbach-big-foot-coil-2009.jpg

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2 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

If you have never owned/used one and you are even slightly interested, I would get one before they are really hard to find.

Thanks, Jeff.  I thought I was in good standing in my local "Detector Buyers Anonymous" chapter and now you're trying to push me off the wagon??

1 hour ago, Steve Herschbach said:

White’s unfortunately never had the vision to see what the original Vision represented.

:biggrin:

1 hour ago, Steve Herschbach said:

If I could have one wish from White’s or whoever takes over, it would be that they open source everything available on the V3i, so it could be hacked, and program exchange capability possibly added by some intrepid programmer.

So the programmable V3i would become the Linux to every other company's MS/Windows or Apple-OS X?  Hmmm, that is quite the vision....

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17 minutes ago, GB_Amateur said:

So the programmable V3i would become the Linux to every other company's MS/Windows or Apple-OS X?  Hmmm, that is quite the vision....

The thing is, they would have nothing to lose. White’s does not sell software, they sell hardware, and this would drive hardware sales. It would never happen with the old White’s, but I’m going to hold just a flicker of hope somebody buys White’s, and has a more open mind as regards such things.

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Here, Here Steve, The capabilities of the v3i is just mind blowing. once you have a hold of the settings.

I have an area which has been used for many years for festivals. My approach to detecting the area completely is to start on the boundry and string line one section to start with Starting off in a program in the high 80's with the vdi down to 53 vdi this is covering our ozzie $2 & $1 through to our  copper coins pennies ,through to silver coins and knocking out  1 & 2 cents.

After that i move over the same area again with another program covering from vdi of 53 down to 38 vdi  which includes our 50cent coin and our 20 cent. I then have another program set for larger gold rings this is using correlate . After cleaning those targets i then go to another program which covers 38 vdi down to 20 vdi. After using that i have a program which is for gold rings from 20 down to 1 which covers smaller gold rings & our 5 and 10 cent coins,

My final program using prospecting mode is for fine gold chains . With all these programs the silver coins and copper coins has a low buzz set about 70 tone  our $1 & $2 coins has a high tone of 225 . And i alot a different tone to the gold rings and chains. 

After removing all these targets the same process moving through the area. You might say this is a lot of work but you can walk away with confidence that you have covered the area well.

All these programs are set up one under the other & for aluminium screw caps which land on our $1 & $2 coins i have a seperate program to distinguish these caps from coins.

Also gold rings i have tighter programs for seperation useing correlate.

The v3i is just an incredible piece of technology and i only hope that someone moves to take it to the next stage, But if not the v3i is the ants pants in todays standards of of metal detecting.

 

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I do think the V3i is an amazing detector, and that being the case it gets asked as to why it was not more popular. That can be answered by looking at what happens whenever anyone posts that they are doing better with other detectors. V3i fans always fall back on "if you only learned the detector better......"

That is the problem in a nutshell. People want to go detecting and find stuff. They do not buy metal detectors so they can learn how to run metal detectors. I sold detectors for 35 years, and nobody ever told me "I don't care about finding anything. I just want to get a metal detector so I can study the manual and learn how to make the detector work. I'd prefer something complex, as ease of operation is the last thing I want."

Nope, never happened. :laugh:

That's why I am confident we will never again see a detector like this. It is not what the average buyer wants. You can buy a truck with a 20 speed manual transmission, but your average car owner is pretty sold on automatic transmission. The V3i can do just about anything, IF you can learn how to make it do just about anything. In a day and age when people never crack open an owners manual, that's a pretty big ask.

16-gear-shifting.jpg

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