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I have a new beeping friend here in Brazil that just bought a White's TDI.....so far he's found most

of the junk that all of us find when we first start and later also....

My question here has anybody here used the TDI and what are your thoughts about it....

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I have only had a TDI in my hands for about an hour ... wasn't particularly impressed but then I am used to the GPX5000 as a PI machine. I tried it because I am used to the White's "feel" since I have used their VLF detectors since 1988 for coins, jewelry and treasures back east along the Maine and NH coastlines. Other than knowing this is a product at least in part with ideas from Eric Foster it will never be a replacement for a Minelab ... if it were, you would see a lot of professionals switching ... I'm not seeing that out in the field. On the other hand I have high praise for the White's MXT and GMT in the gold field ... disclosure ... I own and use a MXT as my goto gold vlf. I also have the older and very impressive White's Goldmaster V-Sat. In short if you want a PI machine get a Minelab ... if you can't afford a new GPX 5000 then find a used SD2200, GP3000 or GP3500, or a GPX4500. For the same $1500 you pay for the TDI you can find a SD2200 or GP3000 and all likelihood including a couple accessary coils with the deal. JMHO ... Mike F

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I use a TDI SL and wouldn't trade it for anything. It is like the GM3 and takes some

skill and time to learn,but once you get on to it they will surprise you. Hot ground or

iron doesn't even phase it . Most Minelab owners have a tough time trying to use one,

Because they try to set it up and run it like a Minelab.

The TDI and GM3 are both great prospecting machines in the right hands.

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I'm not disputing anyones opinion on this BUT
Tony the Tiger conducted quite a few different tests with a few different coils and was NOT impressed at all
Target tests were done with gold nugget samples. I was helping out an witnessed the results.
Now isn't there 2 or 3 different versions of this detector ???
Maybe there is a difference in them ?????

Edited by frank c
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TDI, TDI "through hole", TDI Pro and, TDI SL.

All based on Eric Foster's Gold Scan PI

I'll dispute the statement "Hot ground or iron doesn't even phase it."

This is simply not true of any detector.

When the TDI is set up to ignore iron its depth and sensitivity is affected.

This has been admitted by Reg Sniff the "Godfather" of the TDI platform .

Steve H has posted a great guide to setting up the TDI for coin hunting.

Steve's Guide to White's TDI Coin Settings
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First, there isn't that much difference between the three TDI's. All are built on the same platform but mainly differ in features. For example, the TDI and the Pro differ in the fact the Pro has slightly different filtering which allows for a little better response to really small gold. The TDI comes with a dual field coil while the Pro normally comes with a plain mono. Also, the Pro has an additional GB control that works as a vernier, making it a little easier to ground balance in really bad ground.

The SL is also very similar but has a noise reduction feature that makes the threshold very smooth and easy to use. Also, the SL uses a lower voltage battery system which includes using NiMh and AA Alkaline batteries.

The dual field coil design gives the best of both worlds in the fact it gives decent depth while being more sensitive to small gold much like a smaller coil would do.

Now, the fact is, it takes weeks to months to fully understand and learn the best settings for the TDI. Regardless of how well a person can run other detectors, the TDI is different and won't respond the same even though one might think it does.

Next, the TDI isn't a ML and one of the things that simply doesn't work is trying to mimic the ML. Even using a larger coil requires different techniques and will have different results.

The ML pushes the limits in the gain which results in the great depth it gets. The White's unit is more conservative and doesn't have the same sensitivity, thus doesn't get the same depth. On the other side of the coin, because of the lower gain the TDI can be used in noisy environments and is basically immune to many of the external signals that can wreak havoc on the ML.

Also, the TDI was never meant to compete with the ML. It has its own unique features which make it unique in many ways. Simply stated, there are places and conditions where the TDI excels. In other areas, the ML clearly is the best unit to use.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend older ML's as an alternative to the TDI especially for a casual or a weekend nugget hunter. The exceptions would be if a person doesn't care about possible costs of repair or doesn't mind buying a bunch of coils. Repairing the TDI is far cheaper and because of the design less likely to fail.

I am in the process of selling a SD2200 simply because it isn't superior or even competitive in some ways to the TDI in my opinion and I have found gold with both models.

Nvchris is correct, when using the TDI for coin hunting, depth will be lost if one wants to ignore most iron junk. However, using similar techniques for gold allows a person to lose very little depth on smaller gold while ignoring most thicker iron junk also. Most nails can be ignored while being able to detect gold up to 1/4 oz in some locations and well over a half oz in many other places.

Testing once, twice or even a few times really doesn't let a person know what the TDI can do. It takes weeks to months to fully understand the best settings. So, the TDI is not for the person who isn't willing to put the time in or use the right techniques.

A perfect example is most TDI owners sweep way to fast in areas where small gold is the common gold found. The Pro works a little better at faster speeds because of the filter difference. Fortunately, this is something that can be changed.

Once again, the worst thing a person with a TDI can do is try to mimic what people do to their ML's.


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  • 2 weeks later...

AD this guy is hanging in there with his TDI.....first detector he's ever owned.....just this morning we were about

1/4 mile apart and he's hollering his fool head off and motioning for me to go there.....I thought he had a kilo of

gold.....so I walked over there and he was in a pile of blood red hot rocks.....

Is the coil that comes with it a DD?

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Sawmill---I'd crack a joke about reading manuals as it applies here in Brasil--- but will let Don do that.

TDI probally not the easiest beeper to learn as a first detector--- but once he rounds the curve he should be ok.

The TDI SL interest me --- can see using one here in tite spaces in soil I have learned. Ground here changes so rapidly I know I've walked over plenty while learning my curve.

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Like Mac said the ground here changes very rapidly.....the Minelabs handle it pretty well for the most part in manual

track but so far as I can hear this TDI it practically has to be in auto ground balance all the time and that sure cuts

down on it's depth and sensitivity....

The owner is a nice guy but I think it would have been better if he had got something else for his first detector and

he doesn't read or speak English.....Whites doesn't have any manuals in Portuguese.....even the switches are in


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I totally agree Frank.....but the prospectors here don't take any kind of care of their machines....it's totally

baffles me....their poor as a church mouse for the most part....they usually borrow the money from a

grand-parent with no intention of repaying the loan....then they beat the crap out of the machines.....and

even a beat up 2200 here would cost around R$5,000.00....$2500.00 USD.....

I think his best choice would have been a Good VLF beeper but to late now.....

An example for the difference in languages: English=ground balance switch....

Portuguese=interruptor de contrapeso à terra

Once and only once I took it upon myself to help out a guy here and translated his manual from English

to Portuguese.....WHAT A PAIN IN THE A$$ THAT WAS!!!!

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Hello Don. The TDI doesn't have an auto ground balance. The ground balance is either on or off. The OFF position is for very mild ground, which you don't have. The ON position allows for manual ground balancing using the knob.

Does he have a TDI DVD? If not, PM me your address, and I'll send you one. You can watch it together and translate for him.

Make sure he brings plenty of beer and popcorn !!

Patrick .....

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Problem with those translators is that the translate the word straight up. Any slang--- cultural or " new " word doesn't translate.

We say spark plug-- they say farol--- which translated means candle. The context of the discussion determines the translation. I make a little scratch here by teaching English to large companies like CAT-- the techs have Manuela that are translated but are crappy for the reasons above.

Don--- your not kidding about how they take "care" of their equipment. The one partner/ contact I had disappeared after I made it clear that I didn't loan.

Sucks cus I got to start all over finding a bud/ translator. But I once let a fishing rod for ten minutes and when I got it back it never cast again.

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  • 1 year later...

what about changing the coil on a whites TDI to a coiltek does it make it better ?

The TDI will accept just about any coil made for the Minelabs. Some coils you may have to bump up the delay a bit to get them to sing. I'm really liking my TDI Pro the more I get out and use it. I'm learning more and more of the tricks that make this detector unique in it's category.

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