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Looking for opinions / reviews on the Whites TDI???


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#1 rtj3

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:41 PM

Sorry if this topic has already been hammered on this forum but I couldn't find much info on it when I did search....

I was curious if anyone has much experience with the Whites TDI machines? If so, whats your opinions, likes, dislikes, etc? Have you had any luck gold nugget hunting with it, which is primarily what I would use it for? I recently bought a new house and would really love a minelab GPX-4500 but just can't stretch the dollars that far at the moment. So would the Whites TDI be a decent subsitute for now and is it worth the $$? Thanks! Bob

#2 fredmason

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:57 PM

You aren't going get much from any one source... and only you can decide where to risk your money...$1500 is not much for a quality Pi...but it is no way expected to go head to head with the 4500.

Digger Bob, Steve Herschbach, Reg Sniff all speak well of the machine with qualifications...

Check out the Whites TDI tech forum, there are some good threads on Rob Allison's forum, Finds PI forum and Rod's forum...Reg Sniff knows as much as anyone technically and will study every possibility of a machine.

Good luck

Fred

#3 oakwoodtrucker

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:33 PM

ive heard they work decent on coins...as for gold..lol.lol.lol...iam sure everyone would agree if your gonna pop 1500.00...ide just get a old sd...truely would blow the tdi away as for finding gold...ive seen some gp 3000,s lately go for 1000.00....and a couple new gp4000,s go for 2200.00 to 2500.00..personaly i started with a 3000...upgraded to a 4000...i stole the 3000 and paid top dollar for the 4000..to tell ya the truth i wished i kept the 3000..cause it was dirt cheap...if you shop around you can get a 3500 for 1500.00...you dont see many selling there 3500,s..if that tells ya anything

#4 Mike Furness

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:26 AM

Bob,

Ask Uncle Ron about his old Minelab Sd2100 ("Baboo" as he affectionately calls it). He won't sell it to you but he sure speaks highly of its proven performance! If you are on a budget that is the only way to go in my book.

Mike F
Mike F


Mike Furness
Detector Training Instructor
Arizona Outback
To Schedule a Lesson: 928-777-0267
Email at: info@arizonaoutback.com
Novice and Advanced Training on Minelab PI and VLF Detectors geared to individuals and groups, Full Day (approx 6 hours) training on site at proven gold producing placer claims in the Northern Bradshaw's(Prescott, Dewey-Humboldt, Mayor area) or Rich Hill (Congress, Stanton) Arizona Gold Fields with your equipment or the free loan of ours. Other manufacturer's detector training available by special request. Drywashing and panning training available seasonally. Any gold you find during your instruction period is yours to keep! Please call Chris Gholson at AZO, 928-777-0267, for complete details and available dates.

#5 Ridge Runner

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:16 AM

Hi Bob
The detector is no better than the man behind it.I always say buy the best detector you can afford but if your not willing to put the time in learning the total in's and out's of it your finds will be lots less than the guy that does.
I've had the Extreme and the GP 3500 and I think both are good machines.I have a TDI now that I'll use for the first time nugget hunting next month and I'll be glad to let you know what I think of it when I get back.
If I come back and I'm not happy with the TDI and what it can do I'd go back to Minelab.You can look here sometimes in March to read about what I think of it.
Like Steve H. said a detector is a tool and in our tool box we have lots of tools.I don't know how the TDI will fair to the 2100 side by side but like I said neither is no better than the man behind it.
Chuck Anders

#6 Reg

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:25 AM

Hi Oakwoodtrucker,

You are correct, the TDI works great for coins. I have personally found over 100 older coins with mine in a park in town that has been beat to death by other detector owners. The discrimination works extremely well once you know how to set it up. In fact, I normally will not dig any trash at all during my coin hunting outings. BTW, set the detector up for coins and then hunt the Rich Hill area for gold bigger 1/4 oz or bigger and you can ignore, yes, ignore all iron including tin cans. Actually, I am not sure just how small of gold it will find while doing that, but I do know that 1/4 oz nuggets and larger will be detected. I have personally walked through the trashiest part of the ghost town Octave and picked out several non ferrous items including one old coin while basically recognizing and/or ignoring the iron junk including the cans and pieces of cans. Large cans do require the coil be raised to fully test the disc feature, but generally, most of the junk is simply ignored and produces no signal.

Then, if you want to hunt small gold, you can set the detector to ignore most ferrous junk and hunt away. Much of the ferrous junk will again be ignored. Small pieces of cans will be detected, but using a couple of tricks and one can determine that type of junk with very high reliablility so one can just about walk by most of that junk also.

Then of course, the TDI can be set to hunt all sizes gold at the same time and still able to recognize much of the iron junk. So, in simple terms, the TDI works great for nuggets and really does well for relics. Now, that combination is hard to beat when you think that the TDI doesn't suffer from electrical noise anywhere like some other PI's do.

You mentioned one should buy a ML, well that is fine, they do work well in most places. Try working under power lines and you may have a problem. There are also places where the emi noises makes things extremely difficult to overcome.

So far, I have not had any of those problems with the TDI. The design is such that it minimizes such problems. Yes, the TDI does have less overall sensitivity and as such the reduced sensitivity allows it to be used about everywhere.

Oh yeah, I do have an SD, but considering the TDI weighs far less, gets about the same depth on smaller gold, the type we find here in the US, plus allows me to ignore most ferrous junk, I prefer to use the TDI.

Now, I doubt you have used one, but that is fine. There are a lot of people who will not want to use one let alone own one. However, before condemning a detector, you really should spend some time with it and find out what it can do. No, it will not compete directly with the 4500, but it holds its own against some of the other models. Now, anyone who tries to compare the $1500 TDI to a $5000 GPX is not even using common sense.

The trick to using the TDI is knowing how to set it up. It does have some features that allow for a wide range of different hunting conditions, so it can be set up to look bad if one wants to try hard enough. BTW, with a tweak or two that takes less than 5 minutes to do and that includes taking the unit apart and the original 200 TDI's built can be adjusted to detect gold too difficult for even the higher priced 4500's to detect. I know this is true because I have done it.

As I said, the TDI is extremely versatile and can be adjusted to do a lot of different things, some of which conflict with nugget hunting. As an example, a good PI will also detect small foil just like it is a nugget. Now, that can be a problem when coin hunting, so with a simple adjustment, the foil can be ignored. Make this same adjustment when nugget hunting and yes, you will ignore small gold too. Fortunately, the TDI was built to be used by someone with a little common sense and as such, such people won't make the wrong adjustments when gold hunting.

The common sense is required and some knowledge of the controls are required to take advantage of the abilities of the TDI to be able to recognize most ferrous junk. So, it does take a while to fully learn the detector so you can appreciate just what the detector can do.

So, the TDI is far more versatile than a basic PI, but it is not for everyone. Common sense, a little patience and the willingness to learn are the requirements to maximize the features of the TDI. Obviously, there are people who want more of a turn on and go detector and could care less about the ability to discriminate junk or think they will miss something.

Keep in mind, there is nothing out there that acts the same or uses the same techniques so it is something new to learn. The TDI has the ability to distinguish ferrous junk even when using a mono coil as well as the DD type.

Just my two cents on the issue.

Reg

#7 Wirechief

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:29 PM

Hi Reg, Thanks for the post on the TDI and I wanted to ask if you have tried other brands of coils on yours yet? Can one go into the machine and tweak it to a different brand coil? Thanks Reg and I hope your fillin yer poke.

John Tomlinson,CET

#8 Ridge Runner

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:11 PM

Now if all of you would like to see what a American made low end VLF detector can do then read this.
http://www.findmall.com/read.php?31,891142
Chuck Anders

#9 rtj3

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:38 PM

Thanks guys for all your input on the Whites TDI. Definitely will help me make a better informed decision I believe.

And Ridge Runner,

I'll be looking for your feedback on your TDI sometime in March as you mentioned.

Thanks!

#10 Steve Herschbach

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:20 PM

I run a "pay-to-mine" operation at my gold mine at Moore Creek, Alaska. The location has mixed hot rocks that severely impede the performance of regular metal detectors. As part of the operation we want to provide detectors for our visitors that do not have their own. These people by nature have little or no detecting experience. We chose to get four TDIs because they are affordable and because they are a pickup and go machine. A bonus is they come with two batteries so we can always have batteries charging while people are using the machines. I was happy to find some stock settings for the TDI that worked well at Moore Creek. I could basically set the detector for somebody and as long as they did not touch the controls it worked well. Just turn the detector on and go.

Still, experience counts for much and novices have a tough time finding gold nuggets, just due to lack of basic detecting skills. We have found in the past that regardless of the detector used we are happy if novices can just find any gold at all metal detecting during their visit. So I was very pleased that half a dozen new detectorists found their very first nuggets metal detecting with the White's Pulsescan TDI. The unit is not only very capable but also quite easy to operate and so really the only task left to the novices was to get over a nugget.

And that is the bottom line - these people all had little or no experience and in each case were able to find their very first gold nuggets with a metal detector using the TDI. Does it compare to a top end Minelab? No, but you can find gold with it.


Mike B & Karl E of Anchorage with TDI Finds


Close-up of Mike and Karl's Gold


Moore Creek visitor Pete W from Paducah, Kentucky. Pete hunted hard with the Pulsescan TDI but was having little luck. I was out with him at one point and was sitting nearby when he got a signal. He started to dig with his scoop but the target was deep, and so I cam over with my pick to help. I scooped a pretty deep hole, but when he checked the target was still in the ground. So I dug some more and out popped a really good looking nugget! A very nice piece weighing .27 ounce that put a huge smile on Pete's face. I did not measure the depth but I was impressed by it. The TDI did a good job getting this one.


Close-up of Pete's Nugget


Moore Creek visitor Jens S from Hupstedt, Germany with nuggets he found with the White's Pulsescan TDI. The larger nugget is .62 ounce and the smaller .37 ounce. Jens found the smaller nugget first within ten minutes of turning the TDI on for the first time.


I was doing some bulldozing at our gold mine at Moore Creek, Alaska to stir up some nuggets for our visitors. I got to one little knob of gravel and after I flattened it out I thought "that looks like a good spot". I had not done any detecting in a couple weeks and figured it was about time. So when I got the dozer back to camp I got the White's Pulsescan TDI out and headed to the location. A guy had just come into camp as I was leaving and so I told him to head up the same way.

I got to the spot and started detecting. First down one row and up the other. After about ten minutes I got a nice signal, and dug up a great .31 ounce specimen. It is a little section of a quartz vein with a nearly solid gold core of gold running through the middle.

I turned off the detector and headed back to camp. The other guy was now just arriving and asked me what was wrong. I told him nothing was wrong, but that I'd got my nugget and so was done. You should have seen the look on his face! Poor guy had been looking for gold for days and I walk right out and find a nugget in ten minutes.

We had an 82 year old gentleman in camp that week who was not having much luck detecting so I gave the specimen to him to take home to Florida.

We had three days of pouring rain and although a couple other detectors temporarily failed all the TDI units came through with flying colors. One unit was strapped on the back of an ATV and the guy driving did not know that as he went through mud puddles the tires were throwing mud all over the unit. The control box was literally cased in mud, but the unit worked just fine after I cleaned it up.

This is not a sales pitch for the TDI. I have a GPX-4500 and have used Minelabs for many years. But I also think the TDI is a capable unit. I like being able to hip mount it and I like having the built in speaker. Coils are waterproof so it is nice for working around water. The fact it can use my Minelab coil collection is a huge plus. The largest nugget I found with mine weighed 1.93 oz so I easily paid for my TDI.

Seriously, the GPX is my main unit and anyone who is a serious prospector will be well served spending the money for a Minelab. But if I had a choice between a new SD2100 or a TDI personally I'd rather have the TDI. I'm not claiming the TDI is "better than"an SD2100 so don't waste your time trying to argue that point. I'm just saying that for my particular use as a person that already has a GPX-4500 that an SD2100 offers me nothing in the way of alternative capability. The TDI complements my GPX and allows me some options in situations where I may not want to use the GPX. The fact it shares coils means it is also my backup unit should my GPX go down for any reason.

Sincerely,

Steve Herschbach
Moore Creek Mining LLC
website http://www.moorecreek.com

#11 rtj3

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 08:52 AM

Steve,

Great info on the Whites TDI! Thanks for the post!

Bob

#12 Wirechief

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:01 PM

Wow nice gold Steve, does anyone experience much overloading with their TDI? I talked to a tech at Whites and he told me where he hunts he can run the Gain wide open. I am just really beginning to understand the machine. I have a lot of magnetite in my soil, you know the real fine stuff that makes wiskers on a magnet. Is anyone trying other brands of coils on the TDI yet? I just wanted to get some thoughts on the TDI myself. Ok good hunting all and be safe.

John Tomlinson,CET
Cowpatty Country

#13 Steve Herschbach

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:12 PM

Hi John,

I've been able to crank the Gain on the TDI with no problem.

I've tried a bunch of Coiltek and Nuggetfinder coils on the TDI and they all work, although on some you have to lower the pulse delay setting. But it is hard to beat the White's coils as they are optimized for the unit. They are very light, waterproof, and feature a new patent pending design that literally puts two coils in one housing. The so-called Dual Field coil. It is like running a large and small coil at the same time. So far White's has a 12" (the stock coil), and 8" round, and a 5"x10" elliptical.

I don't know if the White's coil will work on the Minelabs. I'm too chicken to plug one into my GPX!

Steve Herschbach

#14 Wirechief

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:40 AM

Hi Steve, yes I am glad that Eric designed the TDI to work with the other Minelab coils as well, but I agree the Whites coils seem to work best. I don't think I would chance putting the Whites coils on the Minelab machines because of the greater output of the Minelabs! I will try to get the other Whites coils for the TDI soon I hope. I like the self contained feel of the TDI and even the Infinium. I think the Infinium is a good machine too. I have an aquaintance that uses the Infinium for coin hunting on school yards, but they aren't real trashy. He uses the 8" coil and the depth is amazing. I have been using the Infinium with the 14" mono for relic hunting and meteorites too in the farm fields here. Ok Steve be safe and good hunting to you.

Hi Jim S, like I said looks can be deceiving Jim. Its getting pretty rough around here business wise. Thank God I have a fulltime job. Jim have you found any more nuggets lately and even old coins too? I have also been putting in the time on the Minelab Etrac, it will open up old hunting patches for sure! Well Jim I think your doing very well too and I hope it will stay that way for you. I wish I had just some of the knowledge you have. So you be safe Jim and don't find too many nuggets because I want something to find when I come back out to Arizona someday. I hope to meet ya also Jim!

John Tomlinson,CET
Cowpatty Country

#15 Montana

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:48 AM

Steve. Thanks for your excellant report on the TDI. The fact that you feel the TDI is comparable to the SD2100 says a lot for the unit. Lets hope that Whites continues to work on this machine with future improvements as Minelab has done with their PI line. I don't have much hope for Garrett to do much with the PIs since the Infinium is old stuff now and no real updates have been offered. It just seems that Whites is more committed to the gold detecting end of the detector business, and they aren't shy about coming out with new gold machines on a regular basis. I also wonder about Fisher as the GB2 is still their main gold detector offering after 15 years or so on the market. In the electronics business if you aren't on top of your R&D game you find yourself on the bottom of the heap very quickly. Some people fault Minelab for coming out with new detectors at such a rapid pace , but that shows that they are not about to reliquish their place in the industry. What Whites does in the next few years will tell us exactly what their commitment to the PI market is.---Bob

#16 Steve Herschbach

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:44 PM

Hi Bob,

Never could understand the heat Minelab takes for introducing new models. Heck, you buy a computer, and next day you can get a better one. Let's face it, Minelab could have stood pat with the SD2100 all these years and only now be facing anything kinda sorta like competition. The only guys they have been competing with for years has been themselves.

We are lucky Minelab makes the effort as unfortunately we don't see much action otherwise. The Garrett Stinger is the prime example - talk about resting on your laurels. The Stinger is basically just the old Groudhog from the 1970's! Hard to believe somebody still makes a detector that requires you to pull the circuit board out to replace the batteries.

And as you note there is the Gold Bug 2. Great unit for flyspecks and wire gold but very poor depth in mineralized ground. The Gold Strike was meant to address that, but it bombed so bad it was pulled from the market. Maybe Fisher will surprise us with a new prospecting unit since Dave Johnson is now working for First Texas. I'd like to see him take a stab at a PI unit.

There is the good old Tesoro Lobo, still one of the better VLF units but again looks like Tesoro is satisfied to leave it at that.

So that leaves White's. They are late to the game with the TDI but for a first effort it is not bad. With Carl Moreland now at White's I'm hopeful for the future.

For now I expect the next new unit we will see will be the GPX-5000 in 2010. I can't wait!

By the way, did you ever get your GPX-4500 sorted out? I need to send mine in to get checked out but after reading about your experience I have been afraid to as mine seems to be working fine.

Steve Herschbach

#17 Montana

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

Steve. I sent mine in at a bad time when they were swamped with the recalls. It went in with major problems and came back with different major problems. Eventually they replaced the control box which was also within the recall number range. It has worked excellant so I am like you , hesitant to send it in. Most people have been satisfied with theirs after the turn around, so I will send mine in as soon as it gets too hot out to enjoy detecting. In the meantime we're in the middle of our prospecting season and unless it gets goofy on me I'll wait a while. Lots of people never sent theirs in and are having no problems. It seems like if there was a problem it showed up right away, but I wouldn't bet money on that.----Bob

#18 Beer Beeper

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:37 PM

This is a very good thread. But I want to know more about the discrimination feature of the TDI? Both Reg and Steve have been very kind but still not totally clear how it works. Reg said it will detect 1/4 oz nugget or bigger while rejecting ferrous(iron) trash. BUT so will a VLF discriminator as well.

In a very, high iron trash littered goldfield what is the best metal detector(1st and 2nd choice) to use to cherry pick nuggets out of it? A TDI, GMT with Full-time Iron ID Bar Graph and Audio Iron ID "Grunt", MXT, Eureka Gold, X-Terra 70, E-Trac, Musketeer Advantage, Lobo ST, Vaquero, Gold Bug II, or F75??


#19 Steve Herschbach

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:47 AM

Hi Beer Beeper,

Good question but I'd have to write a book to answer it! Here is the Reader's Digest version.

I can achieve near absolute iron discrimination with the TDI if the goal is high conductors like coins. Pretty amazing to see in action and in fact I never believed it could be done with a PI until I did it myself. Gold however refuses to play by the rules and so the best bet unless you really know the machine and what it is doing is to dig it all when nugget hunting. That said, I can get just small gold and reject large ferrous junk with theTDI, or go after big nuggets only while rejecting small ferrous junk. But if the gold ranges from little to large and you want to get it all, dig it all. No magic bullet here.

Most any VLF can get good separation on ferrous versus non-ferrous. But the more mineralized the ground and the smaller or deeper the gold, the more likely a VLF unit is to call gold ferrous. What unit might be best is again site specific, depending on ground mineralization, the nature of the gold itself, and the amount and type of ferrous junk. I've had good luck with the White's MXT and GMT, Fisher Gold Bug 2, and Tesoro Lobo, all Dave Johnson units.

I wish I could offer pat answers. I used to think detecting was simple but after getting to watch novices the last few years I've come to understand how complex detecting is and how few people have a real talent for it. Asking what detector is best is like asking what truck is best, or what rifle is best, or what fishing pole is best. Simple question, but the more you know the harder it is to give a simple answer. It simply depends on the situation.

Steve Herschbach

#20 fredmason

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 08:59 AM

Steve and Reg, it is good to have your opinions and expertise here...
We all want the one perfect detector but after trying many and almost 59 I have learned there is no simple answer, no best detector, no perfect truck and only one nearly perfect woman...my wife, of course!

Fred




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