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'm in a bad way.....when I can't detect I look at detectors and when I look at detectors I end up buying detectors.
Now I've got an Xterra 705 on the way. I told my wife I was buying something light weight for her.....we will see if she remembers and gives me the normal big eye roll when it shows up at the door or a chewing out. She does like to detect, so it will be a fresh air outing, even if we don't detect very long or find anything.
Not always been a fan of the Xterra but it will do what I want it to do, which is give me a nice powerful all metal mode with a iron mask option.
With all this talk about the GPX 6000, I’m staying with my retro detectors. I’ve found teeny ones at depth and bigger ones that took an hour to dig out. Picked up these machines from a retired detecting couple who had them as backups.....they were “new in box”. Totally unmodified except for the external tune pot on the 2100 and regulated power supply. Hooked up to the legendary light weight 18” mono Kevlar coils makes a formidable nugget hunter......no bungee required. Two detectors and six coils for 1/4 the price of the 6000. Then again, my 70 Series Landcruiser has a manual gearbox and you have to wind the windows down by hand 👍