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View Full Version : Done Detecting for Now

Steve Herschbach
10-14-2012, 07:51 AM
I got out Wednesday evening and found a couple silver dimes with my Minelab CTX 3030 and new 6" coil. It worked so well I was all fired up to go coin detecting this weekend. I have not been into coin detecting for many years. But winter came so it was not to be. So time to put the gear away. The good news is I can now focus on writing since there are several things I would like to get done in that regard. Winter is a great time for things I never have time to do in the summer.

Reno Chris
10-15-2012, 10:08 AM
Still sunny and in the upper 60s to mid 70s here in the Sierra Nevada high country. I've been exploring around looking for places to try next year. I was out yesterday poking around an old hard rock mine and picked up a few pieces of vein quartz that sounded off on the GB2. One piece was around 100 pounds and sounded off only on one end. I spent a while breaking it up into smaller pieces I could haul away - still ended up with about 25 pounds of fragments that beeped.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of that writing.

10-16-2012, 07:52 AM

I'm ready to read some more. Bring it on!!!!!!

And Chris,

It would be interesting to know how much gold comes out of the 25 lbs.


10-16-2012, 08:17 AM
So Steve,
Tell us about that new CTX 3030,.. Did it flash 'Silver Dime' on the LCD screen, give you the depth, compute the current value of your find base on the spot market price for silver, and plot the GPS coordinates so you can find your way back to the park? Ha, Walter

Steve Herschbach
10-16-2012, 09:02 AM
Coming from a nugget detecting perspective I do not and have never found the Minelab BBS and FBS detectors to be any kind of depth demons. From my perspective they are relatively simple to operate detectors that make hunting for silver coins an easy task. That is what they are designed to do, and they do it cleanly and efficiently. The multi-frequency operation means they also do well in salt water environments, though again, compared to PI units they are not particularly deep. They just do the job and do it very well.

The CTX is nothing magical. It offers a nice combination of features attached to a pretty stiff price tag. The feature set suits me particularly well however and I have to say it has quickly become one of those rare detectors I really enjoy using. It actually makes me want to get back into coin detecting again just because I am having so much fun using the detector.

The CTX runs clean with very good EMI resistance, good target separation, excellent discrimination both audio and visual, and good depth. It weighs too much but is very well balanced. I like that it is waterproof which makes the weight acceptable. I have not even turned on the GPS. The fact it has a clock built in means more to me than the GPS.

I know you have the F75 and the CTX and the F75 are complete opposites in almost every way.

Anyway, I am not going to hype the CTX at all. It is a pricy unit. Those expecting it to vastly outperform other units just because it costs a lot are barking up the wrong tree. It is a premium priced unit for those who are into that sort of thing. We know who we are! I looked at the CTX and just knew I had to have one. But that's just me.

It matters little what detector people own these days. They are kind of like computers. All the good ones are really good, more than most people need. The real secret to detecting is just getting out and doing it with a detector you know and like.

10-19-2012, 08:26 AM
Thanks Steve, good report. Besides the 'extra' features, how would the capabilities of the CTX 3030 compare with the Garrett AT Pro, and perhaps with the target identification and discrimination of the Whites MXT running in coin mode? I have always hoped that Whites would eventually release a waterproof version of the MXT which I would buy in a heartbeat,.. But perhaps my preference for the MXT for coin hunting in areas needing iron discrimination is just bias because of familiarity. I definitely hear what you're saying about learning a detector, finding places to go, and just getting out there,.. the ground has gotten awful hard around here in the past couple days though. Walter

Steve Herschbach
10-19-2012, 11:16 AM
Hi Walter,

Well, the AT Pro and CTX are waterproof, the MXT is not. So if that is a desired feature that sets the AT and CTX apart. The AT is kind of a no-brainer for the price. Kind of like the Garrett Ace 250. Lots of capability for a very low price.

The MXT breaks non-ferrous targets down into a +1 to +95 range (ferrous is -1 to -95) with some limited abilty to reject or assign tones (two tones MXT or seven MXT Pro) to target id categories. On the AT Pro target id range 0 to 40 is ferrous and 41 to 99 is non-ferrous. The AT allows for a slightly better ability to reject some target ranges independently of others and up to three tones. Fairly equivalent capability. The CTX offers a much finer ability to accept or reject targets than either of these machines, the ability to assign user selectable custom tones to user selectable target id ranges, and a far superior ability to visually display targets.

The MXT or AT Pro you sweep and get a number. Sweep repeatedly and mentally average the range of numbers displayed, because they almost always vary on each sweep. The CTX reports all the numbers collected on a sweep simultaneously on a two dimensional color coded display, and can be set to acculmulate the results of multiple sweeps. Very few detectors have the ability to report multiple target results at once (the White's DFX and V3i being a couple others) and this ability gives a much truer picture of what the detector is seeing than the single target number displayed by nearly all detectors on the market.

For me I either:

A. Dig it all. No explanation needed there!

B. Dig all non-ferrous. All I need there is something that allows the threshold between ferrous and non-ferrous to be adjusted.

C. Pick and chose specific target categories or ranges. For this I prefer a detector that can give me a full picture of what it is seeing in the way of target id numbers and target intensity. Right now for me that boils down to the White's DFX and V3i plus Minelab Explorer/E-TRAC/CTX series. With the Minelab I am using the CTX. The White's I have both the DFX and V3i. The V3i is technically superior but it has more EMI issues than my DFX and my DFX runs my Bigfoot coil better so I have not yet been able to let my DFX go. As soon as I got the CTX my E-TRAC went away.

Another difference is the MXT and AT Pro are hot single frequency detectors. This means they are "noisy". Lots of spurious signals when coin detecting. Multi-frequency detectors when running properly are far quieter and less mentally tiring to operate unless run in wide open tone modes.

The Minelab two-dimensional target display and White's Signa-Graph (DFX) and Spectra-Graph (V3i) displays are very useful tools. There is a lot to be said for hunting by ear, but there are some things a display can make pretty obvious. For instance you may get what sounds like a good target, but the display on the DFX will "smear" with multiple target reports over a wide range which is a pretty sure indication of a ferrous target. Below you can see two targets, both giving a good audio report as being a coin. Unfortunately, ferrous targets can sometimes give an audio coin response for reasons too complicated for me to explain right now (have to wrap this up)! But on the DFX readout the difference is clear.


The CTX can do similar tricks. I like both the Minelab and White's units. Too be simplistic about it when hunting turf I prefer the White's for jewelry and the Minelabs for silver coins.

10-21-2012, 10:28 AM
Thanks again Steve,
As usual, you provide a wealth of experience and good information to ponder,... I had never even considered the DFX. It appears that my collection of MXT coils is compatable with the DFX? If so, that would be a plus,.. But then there's that waterproofness issue again,... and just when I thought my 'detector collection' was complete! Like you, I like to feel like I'm using the optimum detector for the particular location conditions and task at hand, since good detecting opportunities are limited. I think the problem with living in Alaska is having so many months of frozen ground to read about detectors and what others are finding elsewhere. Walter

Steve Herschbach
10-21-2012, 03:28 PM
MXT and DFX coils are one and the same. They will also work on V3i but when V3 came out White's tightened the tolerances on the coils. Newer coils are stamped with a V as being V3 certified. Older coils will work but may not be able to use the V3i Boost function.

DFX Engineering Report (http://whiteselectronics.com/info/field-reports/51.html)