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Whites TDI for nugget hunting


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Wanted to here some opinions..on the performance of the Whites TDI Pi on the gold fields. Anyone out there who has or uses one regularly for nugget hunting, I'd like to here how the iron disc on the pi performs and how well it does on the hot rocks. Looking to purchase a pi , but not sure if I should go for the ML or Whites. Anyway all opinions will be appreciated. Thank You !

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Hi Relichunter2,

I have both the Whites TDI and the detector it is based upon, the GS 5 and have found gold with both. I have also used these detectors in a heavily hunted park and found a bunch of older silver and copper coins. The coin hunting uses the ability to ignore iron also, as well as ignore foil, etc. The detector is quickly catching on as the desired detector when hunting Civil War relics also.

The TDI handles hotrocks exceptionally well. In fact, I personally feel it does one of the best jobs of any PI available today that is close in price. It does so well at ground balancing only a minor change in the ground balance (GB)system was needed for the harsh conditions in OZ, which are hundreds times more difficult than here in the US. This change is found on the Pro version today.

There is/was a wealth of info on a particular website specifically for the TDI, but that site is down at the present. That info will be posted again over time, but it is too bad it is lost for the moment.

As for the disc feature, I have used it and hunted the ghost town of Octave AZ and walked through the trashiest part while hunting for larger gold and coins and basically ignored all the iron junk. Most ferrous junk is simply ignored completely, but very large junk such as a tin can could give an overload signal, but lifting the coil a couple of inches caused even those targets to disappear.

The TDI has three modes, All, High conductor, and Low conductor, each of which allows you to change techniques. When hunting in the ghost town or in a park, I use the High conductor mode. High conductor means just that, it detects the higher conductive objects, normally made of silver or copper, but will also detect gold nuggets or coins approximately 1/4 oz or larger if the purity is high enough. At Rich Hill, the gold meets this spec. However, the gold I found near Model Creek did not and nuggets up to 1/2 oz still responded as a low conductor. This is why one should be familiar with the gold in the area they plan on hunting.

The Low conductive mode allows one to ignore nails and large ferrous junk while finding small gold or gold that is not as pure.

The All mode detects all metals regardless of size or composition.

Now, it does take some experience to fully use these different modes for the maximum effectiveness. On the plus side, with knowledge of what will happen and some practice, one can quickly catch on to how to best adjust the detector.

The TDI has excellent noise immunity and can be used even under most power lines with no interference. I have yet to experience any noise from aircraft, fences, etc. One will or may hear noise from your cell phone when it rings, or may hear a short noise burst from lightening nearby, but overall, only noise generated inside the detector or very from noise generating sources very close such as a TV. As an example, I can operate mine inside my house while having 3 computers operating within 15 feet or so and a TV within 25 feet. I do have some noise but orienting the coil and adjusting the frequency control allows me to minimize even that noise.

Part of the reason for the superior noise rejection is the TDI doesn't have the extreme sensitivity of more expensive PI's, so it isn't as susceptible to such problems. The down side is it won't go as deep as the more expensive PI's either, especially at regular ground balance. Now, in areas where no GB is required, the difference in depth is reduced considerably. Yes, there are plenty of places even in gold country where one can run with little or no GB. I know, I have done it.

I could go on but this gives you some of the basics. I strongly suggest you find someone who not only owns a TDI but has for some time and has learned to use it effectively. The reason I say this, is because the ability to ignore trash can also cause depth loss on some desirable targets also. Simply changing the settings a little can make a very noticeable difference in depth capabilities on those particular objects. So, knowing how to adjust the detector for the hunting conditions can make a difference. The detector works well by basically setting the controls for turn on and go, but can be enhanced for maximum depth with just a few tricks.

Reg

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Very good post, but that begs the question, what are some actual sample settings one might start off with for one extreme: trashy areas, and the other extreme: maximum depth hunting. I guess both would be important for a place such as Rye Patch, Nevada. I don't think that many bother with the few trashy areas over there since most of the wide open space is trash free, and lots of Rye Patch gold is known for being deep (well relatively deep compared to a place like AZ or Australia), pretty shallow if you're comparing it to Montana or Colorado.

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Reg.. Bigrex ..thanks for all the info on the Whites TDI. Of course we can not fairly compare the Whites TDI and the ML, but at around 1,500 dollars it appears the Whites TDI comes 2nd for Pi detectors for nugget hunting. I have my GM3 and MXT and both have found nuggets, ( rather small ones) but like anything else, it takes time to fully master any detector VLF or PI. The only problem with the VLF detectors they lack the punch to go deep for the multi-dwt nuggets. I like the fact that ML coils can be used on the TDI such as the nuggetfinder advantage 14 mono coil. Anyone know when the Whites TDI Pro will hit the market ?

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Hi Bigrex,

I hunt Colorado with the TDI and the unit it was patterned from, the GS 5 and have hunted across AZ. I have not hunted Rye Patch.

When looking for gold, I set the delay at 10 usec, which is the minimum setting. The shorter the delay, the more sensitive the detector is to all objects, especially small gold. Adjust the frequency for the quietest signal, set the gain at mid position to start, and set the threshold for a comfortable audio. The Conductivity switch can be set to all, or if you know more about the more common size gold being found where you are hunting, can be set for either high or low conductivity. Most gold smaller than 1/4 oz or so normally generates a signal in the low conductivity range. Larger gold can also generate a low conductivity signal also even when the gold is larger, lets say 1/2oz to 1 oz or maybe even more. This can happen if the gold is coarse and/or is not as pure as it could be. Very pure gold, maybe 92% and higher usually will begin to transition at about 1/4 oz or so. In other words, smaller than 1/4 will cause a low conductor type signal (high tone) while larger gold creates a low tone (high conductor response). Gold containing more silver and/or copper or other alloy can remain a low conductor over a wide range of sizes.

When in doubt, I will hunt the area more than once using different mode settings and will increase the gain to max when possible. At max, there is more noise, but using one of the single tone modes, reduces this noise quite a bit.

Contrary to popular belief and what has been posted by owners of other PI's, many places do not have that bad of ground, so the ground balance setting isn't that critical in a lot of areas. The normal setting usually is around 9 on the control, so that is a good place to start if one doesn't know.

Let me give you and example at Rich Hill. I used to belong to the 24K club and at the pushes, many areas required little or no ground balance (GB). The exceptions were strange colored clay or the deeper red clay, which did require a GB at or near the 9 setting. On the side of the mountain where the primary conditions were gravel around the rocks, little or no GB could be used quite often. Out on the flats around Octave where the soil was quite red, again, the GB was needed, but other areas white or having a lot of gravel, required little GB to no GB at times. In all areas I normally use a single tone mode to eliminate the more common trash I have to deal with.

Active stream beds normally don't require much GB if any. However, leave the active area and it can change dramatically.

Not having hunted Rye Patch, I can't say how to set the detector, but when it is possible, I normally use little if an GB. This setting gets the greatest depth while sacrificing any ability to distinguish between trash and gold.

If there are other questions, I will be happy to answer them.

On a little different note, I thought a recent comparison between the GPX and the TDI by a well known treasure hunter was quite interesting. Here is the link to the test mentioned.

http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,7514,8192#msg-8192

Keep in mind this is a test over a very limited condition. Also, I don't know how familiar Dankowski is with both detectors.

Reg

Note, Here is another way around the fact I can't link the test. I provided one below, but here is another.

http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/list.php?2

Select the heading of" Tom what detectors do you like best and why?" and check out page 2 by dropping down to the post on July 8, 1010. Hopefully, that will get you there.

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richs... As a coincidence, I'm a member of the

various TDI forums. So is Reg. I happen to have a referbished TDI... I believe it was the

the 13th off the line and is known as a "hole"

TDI... Digger Bob was involved in testing the TDI and came up with a suggested setting. Back in January 2009 I took my TDI out to a club association claim and to my surprise I found a nugget with it that first day using Digger Bob's suggested setting, but I used less gain.

"Sandtrap" Jerry Balcer happened to be with me and gave me a container and took several photos of the event... I happen to mention this as I cannot post a photo of it; but their may be someone reading this thead who happens to have access of a photo of it. However it is small, less than a pennyweight

and was about 5-6 inches deep and in shallow

caliche... However, I took it eleswhere throughout the Greater Randsburg Quadrangle and found out that it could be used w/o ground balancing. And I have done pretty good

(for me) in finding more througout the quadrangle... but none are small or deep. But

I'm totally impressed by the smoothness and that it seems to very stable even around power lines.

I'm not into expermenting with other coils. I'm sticking to the 12-inch dual mono. (However I have the eliptical Digger Coil and

one of Herb's 6-inch circular monos)

Bigrex... I recommend hunting the trashy areas. This is were the oldtimers camped as they lived with their claims.

Also... I recommend reading all of Reg's posts. I have known him for many years. He is

very knowledgeable. I read... and learn... from him...

What is known as Ryepatch is actually Majuba placers... The real Rypatch is on the west slope of the Star Peak range. It is well described in Bulletin 414. I post about this in "What's New... Products and Accessories Available" as Dutch John.

Sorry about the typos... I use two fingers and

miss the keys... Slow...

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Hi Relichunter2,

I believe the TDI Pro is available now or will be in a few days. The Pro has been enhanced a little to perform better in OZ by adding a vernier GB control, a volume control and a minor hardware change to give a little more sensitivity to small gold. I know a few people have purchased Pro's already.

I wouldn't pass up one of the first 200 TDI's made either if you can find one for sale. They are like Jim Straight's TDI. One reason I say this is they are easier to modify and can be adjusted for a shorter delay quite easily by someone who knows how to do this. If the delay is reduced, they do detect even smaller gold.

Mr. Bill is one who could make the adjustment if he decides to do so. It is not something that should be tried by anyone else that isn't authorized by Whites or by Eric Foster. The reason being all the rest of the controls are critical adjustments with at least one that has to be accurate to 1mv, or stated another way, 0.001V. Most test equipment commonly available will not read that accurately.

Reg

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Just want to thank you all for posting your opinions on this subject, Whites TDI on nugget hunting. Although I have been using metal detectors for a very long time, 25 years, my first being a 7-t Detectron, than the GM3 and MXT. I have never owned a PI detector. You guys really know your stuff and I do appreciate the time you all took to educate me on this subject. Thank You ! See you all on the forums.. Relichunter

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Thanks for all the insight Reg and graciously taking time to give your expertise on the subject. I still bat around the idea of picking up a TDI. I think someone could clean up by detecting the roads around Rye Patch with one. Most just keep those as off limits due to the trash. Probably some have already tried it, or will beat me to it anyway. One last question if you do not mind, you've mentioned the various responses varieties of gold will make, I just want to clarify, so you're saying if set with the correct adjustments the majority of trash will just not make any sound at all? Does this just apply to iron relics?

Hi Jim,

I've tried hunting the trashy areas at the Majuba Placers, but guess I was more drawn to the wide open country that is more trash free, but I have also heard of the occasional intrepid, or determined detectorist finding some really nice gold in the trashy areas. As you mentioned, I guess that is where most of the mining took place during the depression by the oldtimers. I know the ground out there is really mild so when not hunting the trashy areas I suppose the "no ground balance" option would be ideal for tracking down the deeper nuggets out there.

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Hi bigrex,

The TDI's disc feature isn't perfect and works better in one mode than the other. When looking for large gold or high conductors, it is quite common to set the GB at around 4 and select the High conductor mode. In this mode and at the ground balance setting mentioned all ferrous targets, or at least most will generate a high tone (low conductive) response. When the detector is selected to the High conductive mode, all high tone signals are eliminated and only low tone signals cause a response. So, in a nutshell, most ferrous items will not cause any signal at all. Once in a while something causes a signal thatgets through but it is usually because the object is very close to the coil and causes an overload. These can be checked by simply raising the coil a few inches and the strong overload signal disappears.

So, basically, all or at least almost all ferrous trash causes no signal while large gold or high conductive objects cause a nice clear low tone.

When in the low conductive mode and the ground balance is set at 8 or more, most thicker ferrous junk such as most nails, bolts, washers, etc. will be ignored and they will not cause a signal. Certain thin ferrous junk such as a bottle cap will still cause a low conductor tone as will small pieces of tin cans. So, there will be some junk that will cause a signal similar to small gold, but usually there is far less of this junk in many areas. In littered areas such as a camp site or a ghost town, separating the thin metal from the small gold is much harder but not completely impossible in many cases.

Now, much of this thin tin can type junk is at or near the surface so the response is usually quite strong even for a small piece. With experience most of this ferrous trash can be determined because of this strong signal and the with of the signal. If one can raise the coil 8" or so and the signal is still very strong, it is highly unlikely it is a small piece of gold. Small gold usually generates a nice softer signal if it is a few inches or more from the coil.

Unfortunately, there will always be some of this junk that will fool even the best of operators.

So, once again, the disc feature isn't perfect, but it can reduce the number of objects dug or the signals heard.

Reg

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bigrex... this is in reply to post #12, As you mention, the Majuba placers

and Ryepatch dam area plavers are the same, To confuse the issue; the

Ryepatch is actually a mine on the west slope of Star Peak Range and four

miles east of what wasa known as Ryepatch station. The mine, being first known as the Alpha and Butte had a reported production of over $1,000,000. It was then sold in 1871 for $80,000 and then known as the Ryepatch Mine, or just Ryepatch.

The Majuba/Ryepatch were very productive with the fulltimers/snowbirds during the 1980s; being first was everything... There were "sunbakers" that

could be specked by sight if the ground surface was wet as the nuggets while wet had a sheen.

The trashy areas are still good. Use the smallest coil; go slow; grid

both ways while cleaning out the trash as you swing... Being first is still everything!

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Lanny... Hah, ha... You know that as you have done well working trashy area.

"By necessity the old-timers usually camped near their claims.

There was no trash service so the trash piled up."

Jim

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bigrex... this is in reply to post #12, As you mention, the Majuba placers

and Ryepatch dam area plavers are the same, To confuse the issue; the

Ryepatch is actually a mine on the west slope of Star Peak Range and four

miles east of what wasa known as Ryepatch station. The mine, being first known as the Alpha and Butte had a reported production of over $1,000,000. It was then sold in 1871 for $80,000 and then known as the Ryepatch Mine, or just Ryepatch.

The Majuba/Ryepatch were very productive with the fulltimers/snowbirds during the 1980s; being first was everything... There were "sunbakers" that

could be specked by sight if the ground surface was wet as the nuggets while wet had a sheen.

The trashy areas are still good. Use the smallest coil; go slow; grid

both ways while cleaning out the trash as you swing... Being first is still everything!

Wow, I never knew they used to have "sunbakers" at Rye Patch, I've seen sunbaker quartz crystals there, but nuggets would have been quite amazing.

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bigrex... Sunbakers... they would give a sheen when wet. I was familiar with the area even before anyone thought of nugget hunting... I first used a Fisher 660 Motherlode... It is not widely known Mr. James Owen Greenan was working tinstone (tin) placers at Majuba Hill back in the 1940's... I was told (by the late)A.H. Scott (Scotty the Assayer) that coarse gold was specked at Placerites and Rabbit Hole. I understand that the first prospectors may have specked small nuggety to flatish gold-silver (electum) in the early 1930's.

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I have wondered about the Tdi also. Will it work with the blanket coil from SSP?

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Hi Capt,

My guess is the TDI will work with the blanket coil, but you probably would have to change connectors or build an adapter. Most likely you would have to adjust the delay also to a higher number.

I know guys have built 1 meter coils and made them work quite easily.

BTW, instead of paying $1600 for a coil that size, build one. It isn't that hard for a TDI. If you don't want to build one yourself, there are a couple of guys building coils that might build one a lot cheaper. One guy is building coils to help pay medical bills for a family member. I have not tried one of his coils but others have and I have not heard of a complaint.

Reg

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