Hi, so I've been metal detecting for a while now and have had some really good metal detectors like the Garrett Ace 400 and such and last week I just purchased the whites DFX Spectrum E-Series because I couldn't beat the price. This metal detector is awesome but really advanced and what I really would like to know is if this Jewel can be set up to find small gold nuggets or any gold nuggets for that matter. Any advise or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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 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 thought 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.
White's DFX and White's V3i metal detectors
I'm still new to the forums, so forgive me if I've covered an old topic. I'd like to invest in a few coils for different grounds/targets, but I'm struggling to find coils specific to my machines. I just bought a V3i (Thanks to everyone who helped me sort out the EMI issues I initially found) and have an XLT as a backup. I primarily hunt trashy parks for coins and jewelry but will likely occasionally get permission to hunt private properties and fields and may hunt for relics too. I already know White's coil serial numbers start with a "V" if they're ideal for my V3i. If there are any coils that will work with both machines, I'd be happy, but I'm managing my expectations.
Yesterday I drove an hour to pick up a V3i off Craigslist. Everything tested out fine when I bought it. By the time I drove back, I had about half an hour of sunlight so went to the park and found about half a dozen coins. When I got home, I restored the modified programs and went out in the grass to adjust to my liking when the machine started behaving erratically. I noticed the battery voltage was getting low, so thought that might be the problem. Today when I got home, I inserted the recharged battery and it’s still acting up. I searched the forums here and found someone else has reported the same issue, but I didn’t see a post about it being resolved. Any help is appreciated!
I have just returned to detecting after 6 years and am disabled. I used my DFX and DFX 300 (which I just bought before the injuries) previously and have now found they are too heavy for me. I now have a Minelab EQ 800 and have stopped using these two Whites. The DFX300 is mint for sure and the DFX is also in great shape. Trying to find comparative values before posting in classifieds. Saw one on Ebay. Any ideas? Thanks.
By Jeff McClendon
My Craigslist Whites DFX purchase happened successfully......... I brought it home, stock 950 coil and original 1.0 software with two battery packs, $250. After making the mistake of turning it on in my backyard using preset Coin and Jewelry mode and listening to R2D2 have a heated conversation with me I almost called up the guy that sold it to me in order to return it. Then I had a momentous, cogent revelation and remembered that the DFX is simultaneous multi frequency, so I figured out how to get into the basic adjustment menu and lowered the AC sensitivity to 40. Whewwwww. Problem solved. In my house I have to run it at below 30 sensitivity but that is fine for learning how it works and learning how it responds to targets. I have to do the same thing with the Equinox. EMI in my area sucks!!!!
I really like this detector. I can usually tell in minutes of actual field use whether a detector is going to work for me in the short or long run. This Whites model looks like a keeper. My DFX has already been on two 2 hour hunts and even though I did not challenge it with super deep targets or with lots of trash (2 baseball/soccer field hunts) I can easily see both why this detector could drive some people nuts (in full tones) and why some people that I know personally, absolutely cleanup on coins and jewelry in the shallow to 6" depth with a big foot or SEF coil. I have seen them do it repeatedly at club hunts. It happened again yesterday at an impromptu wild targets club hunt......... I have the mighty Equinox and I am coming in second or third to a guy with a DFX in both quantity of coins and value along with good jewelry finds too and I worked my butt off. I did out hunt the XP and Garrett guys however......
The DFX has really good target ID and I particularly like the full tones (which I still don't like much on the Equinox and could not stand on the Deus) and all of the easily accessible settings. Now I have to learn what those adjustments do and how they may help in moderate to high mineralization. The in-ground and air testing that I have been able to do in the coin and jewelry mode and the prospecting mode with the 950 coil has been very comparable to my previous M6, MX5 and MX7 results. It will hit sub-gram gold ( .25 gram) easily in prospecting mode. It actually has more accurate target ID than the M6, MX5 and MX7 in my dirt and I really like those detectors except for their single frequency and slow recovery speed. I look forward to picking up a decent 10X5 elliptical DD coil for my DFX and maybe a small concentric down the road. Very impressed for an 18 year old detector