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White's V3i - My Third Try

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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 https://www.detectorprospector.com/files/file/33-whites-spectra-v3i-advanced-user-guide/



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The v3i is a *beast* insofar as "configurability."  The book alone doesn't do it justice and is almost a joke - you'll have to read the forums and advanced guides as you've already noted.

Here's another set:


It's interesting because you can run it in single, double or triple-frequency modes and it'll actually process all of them simultaneously.

Can't wait to see your thoughts on it!


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Hi moxford,

I am more interested in your thoughts - do you own a V3i or used to own one?

There is an Advanced Tips book online which is a collection of the many posts done about the V3i which can save lots of Googling and reading. It goes well with the guides we have already linked to but is more informal in nature. http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/white-s/266393-v3i-advanced-posts-book-new-version-2-65-pages.html

I mainly just hope the V3i will behave well around Reno. I do not see myself seriously using it much for prospecting as it is a bit overkill for that but you never know. I would like to tune it up for jewelry to possibly replace my DFX but it basically just comes down to EMI issues. Between it and the DFX I like the ability to assign tone schemes any way I want on the V3i plus the ability to customize the display to get what I am looking for.

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On the Big Foot coil;  I still have one that works on the older detectors, 6000-1, on up to when they went to a different frequency with the blue max loop I think.  I have the list at home of which ones it works with.

Anyway, it still works and if anyone is still using those older machines, drop me a line, I'll sell it cheap.


Digger Bob

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Hi Bob,

I believe there are three versions of the Big Foot. The original was the 6.59 kHz model that you have, that works on the XLT, 6000XL, QXT, IDX, ID, CL III, and 5900 models.

Then the 3 kHz/15kHz version for the DFX, MXT, and M6.

And finally the last version made for the Prizm series before Jim passed away. A note on Jimmy Sierras site mentions over 12,000 of the coils being sold so there are a lot out there. They went for $219.95 new but I have seen DFX/MXT versions going for $500-$600 on eBay.

Here is a picture of my Big Foot on my first try with the V3i - the original Vision model produced in 2009.

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

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  • 1 year later...

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