Findmall.com
 
 






Minelab X-TERRA Forum


Welcome! Log In Register
Six full days enjoying the X-Terra 30 & X-Terra 50 afield .... Part #2 ... "Taking a look at the differences between the '30' & '50' .. Understanding the GB, Modes, and advantages of each model."
Posted by: Monte
Date: November 20, 2005 04:03PM
Just too much fun yesterday left me too tired last night to get to 'Part 2' of my field evaluation process.

Let me sort of pick up where I left off with Part #1. In my earlier post I stated that one thing I wanted to do was be honest with myself with regard to the differences in features and the field performance of these new X-Terra models. Well, I made sure I included about five or six models from other manufacturers which I like a good deal in order to pick-apart both of the new Minelabs, especially the X-Terra 30. I mean, why would I want to have a "turn-on-and-go" X-Terra 30 when I already have the more-featured X-Terra 50? I was able to reach that conclusion rather easily by simply comparing it with a few of the low-to-mid priced models that are also quick to get into action. These are the Garrett Ace 250, and White's Classic ID, Classic 5-ID, and my favorite, the IDX Pro.

To get an idea of the differences I saw/see and and to better understand the X-Terra's, please allow me to walk through their features, explain some of the control functions, and give you my impressions of them.

Control Housing: Perhaps the first place to start this out would be with the control housing's design. When the thin and light Minelab box arrives in your hands it might be puzzling to figure how such a thin box could hold the large-view display housing. Simple. It is not attached to the rod like many models are, making them wide left-to-right, nor is the display in a cumbersome and big box or housing that take up a lot of room. Instead, the control housing is unattached from the handgrip and laying flat in the box making this a very compact 'packaged' detector.

During assembly the owner has the option of just inserting the control housing's shaft into the handgrip until is snaps into place and leaving it that way. If they prefer, Minelab includes a small screw that can be used to anchor the housing's shaft in the foam grip.

To accomplish this in a neat fashion, Minelab has a circular pre-cut spot on the right side of the foam grip aligned with a hole. There's also a small hole in the housing's shaft. If you want to secure the housing, just gently pry the pre-cut foam piece out and insert the small screw. You're done!

When I first received my X-Terra 50 I wondered about how secure the housing will stay if the owner doesn't secure it with the screw. Now, I am not one for flying, and I am not too partial to bags and such to break-down my detectors. Instead, they travel on the back seat of our vehicles covered with a lightweight white blanket. The white blank keeps them out of eyesight, and also keeps the summer sun off of them. I don't have that worry right now. Anyway, I always have my detectors assembled and ready to grab and get into action.

Since I don't usually break my detectors down I knew that I wouldn't be putting a lot of wear-and-tear on the plastic snap-in parts of the housing's shaft and in the handgrip. Then it dawned on me that I knew when the X-Terra 30 came out I would want to give it a try, and the best way to try it might be to just use my X-Terra 50's rod & coil and just switch out the control pods!

So, for the first 2

avatar
Good reveiw Monte
Posted by: Rick(ND)
Date: November 20, 2005 09:57PM
n/t

thanks waiting for more.N/T
Posted by: ohio fred
Date: November 20, 2005 10:45PM

(This message does not contain any text.)


Re: Six full days enjoying the X-Terra 30 & X-Terra 50 afield .... Part #2 ... "Taking a look at the differences between the '30' & '50' .. Understanding the GB, Modes, and advantages of each model."
Posted by: JBM
Date: November 21, 2005 09:03AM
Yet another quality mail.
Got to hand it to you guys,well done.:thumbup:Jerry.

Six -
Posted by: Monte
Date: November 21, 2005 11:37AM
Good morning fellow hunters. I want to let you all know that it doesn't bother me to stand corrected on the occasion I happen to be wrong, nor does it bother me (too much) when I have to correct myself. I usually double check what I am posting if I have any questions, but that was one very busy week. I wanted to make sure I didn't cast a flash judgement after a 30 minute or two hour 'test' but I did discover that I ran into a little 'glitch' calling for updated equipment. So, before I get to the corrections to my last 'Part' post, let me explain.

Memories, Notes, and Details:.. I do try to stay on top of equipment improvements and like to upgrade as necessary. I can still go to the 10 acre Liberty Park in Ogden, Utah and stand within about 3' of where I found my first Indian Head cent in the latter '60s. I can walk thru my favorite ghost town in northern Utah that I have hunted since May 4th of 1969 and stick flags in the ground within inches of where I found my 1836 Capped Bust half-dime, or my first half-dime, an 1838 Seated Liberty, or any of the three 2

Re: Six full days enjoying the X-Terra 30 & X-Terra 50 afield .... Part #2 ... "Taking a look at the differences between the '30' & '50' .. Understanding the GB, Modes, and advantages of each model."
Posted by: JBM
Date: November 21, 2005 11:46AM
Thanks Monte,
Thats a very informative read.

Looking forward to the next one.

Jerry.

Thanks for the comments, Jerry, but there won't be another 'Part #' post.
Posted by: Monte
Date: November 21, 2005 05:12PM
I just wanted to get some field work done and then share what I have found with others. I will tell you that my favorite X-Terra is the '50,' but I am sure most would figure that out. I prefer more manual control, and it offers it. I like versatility, which it will definitely have when the 18.75 kHz coils are released. I like the extra audio and visual information for most hunting sites. Finally, I just happen to live in a part of the country where we have to deal with high mineralization. very high. Due to that, the X-Terra 50 has the definite 'edge' because it lets you tailor the GB to handle the environment.

There's nothing wrong with the X-Terra 30, but it is like many other turn-on-and-go models in that the preset GB might not be designed to deal with nasty mineralization. It is a good low-to-moderate mineralization detector that is easy-to-use and has enough in the way of features to work OK for many people. I'll just dedicate the use of my X-Terra 30 for those locations where it will do 'OK' for me, and have the advantage that I can use the X-Terra 50 when I loan it to friends or family or a landowner to hunt with me because the Noise Cancel/frequency Shift works EXCELLENT!

I have hunted a couple of others sites today that have allowed me to do a little more comparison to get an 'educated guess' about the equivalent GB setting of the X-Terra 30 compared with the '50'. Now, I need to do more serious detecting and let the field comparisons take a back seat to just having FUN!

Later,

Monte

Re: thanksN/T
Posted by: ohio fred
Date: November 22, 2005 06:12AM

(This message does not contain any text.)


Re: Six full days enjoying the X-Terra 30 & X-Terra 50 afield .... Part #2 ... "Taking a look at the differences between the '30' & '50' .. Understanding the GB, Modes, and advantages of each model."
Posted by: Cody
Date: November 22, 2005 06:56AM
There are advantages to multiple frequency so was wondering what the advantages are for single frequency. As an example the Explorer operates at 3.5 kHz to 100 kHz. One reason is to respond to both high and low conductive coins such as silver and a nickel. Another is for sensitivity to very small targets and the other is ground balance to both salt and iron mineral at the same point in time. The DFX processes 3.5 kHz and 15 kHz which covers the range for silver to a nickel and includes gold.

The X-Terra splits the difference between the operating frequencies of the DFX more or less at 6.5 kHz then goes to a higher frequency and different coil for greater sensitivity to smaller targets. Have you tested the X-Terra on silver, gold, and nickels for sensitivity to the metals with different conductivity and if so how does it respond? While there is no attempt to match the X-Terra to an Explorer what is the advantages or disadvantages of single frequency compared to multiple frequencies?

As and example, being able to ground balance to salt and iron minerals at the same time is a major advantage of multiple frequency. Do you know or have you heard how the X-Terra does on beaches? A single frequency can only balance to salt or iron minerals but not both at the instant in time so is the X-Terra considered to be a good machine for hunting beaches.



Cody

A fairly easy set of answers, Cody.
Posted by: Monte
Date: November 22, 2005 09:48AM
"There are advantages to multiple frequency so was wondering what the advantages are for single frequency."... There are advantages both ways, as well as a fair amount of misleading info regarding "multiple frequency" detectors. I have five, no six, now, good friends who have switched over to owning and using the Minelab Explorer XS or Explorer II exclusively and all for the same reason. Also, all know that I can give them a heck of a challenge in certain sites to include very salty beaches and for going after lower-conductive targets.


"As an example the Explorer operates at 3.5 kHz to 100 kHz. One reason is to respond to both high and low conductive coins such as silver and a nickel."... More than being able to respond to low and high conductive targets, the benefit of hunting with certain frequencies is more the ability to handle the ground signal and thereby process any target signal better. In sort, possibly ground handling rather than improved response over a broad range of conductors.

"Another is for sensitivity to very small targets..."... We can't forget to include coil sized and types when wee are after smaller, lower-conductive targets. ALL detector should be able to respond to small targets, but I use a few that put an Explorer (FBS) or Sovereign (BBS) to shame on thin gold chains and some other tiny stuff.

"... and the other is ground balance to both salt and iron mineral at the same point in time."... Well, it isn't ground balancing to salt and iron all at the same time as much as 'handling' the ground and salt. It also isn't always doing it better, either.

"The DFX processes 3.5 kHz and 15 kHz which covers the range for silver to a nickel and includes gold."... I've owned 3 DFX's as well as 6 Explorer XS or Explorer II's and they do have their strengths .. but they also have their weaknesses. Again you've got the terminology a little askew. The DFX doesn't "process" 3.5 kHz and 15 kHz to cover silver and nickel coins. It operates at two different frequencies in order to better handle different ground conditions and, possibly, have an end result that it's more responsive to higher or lower conductive targets.

And since you brought up the DFX, keep in mind that when operating in BOTH the operating frequencies there is a lot of give-and-take going on. The design engineers of the DFX were sharp enough to realize that there are definitely going to be times when operating at ONLY ONE FREQUENCY will produce much better results, and they provided that option. Some of the better DFX users are well aware of that and use programs that operate as single frequency detectors based upon what they are after and the site environment.

"The X-Terra splits the difference between the operating frequencies of the DFX more or less at 6.5 kHz then goes to a higher frequency and different coil for greater sensitivity to smaller targets."... It's not really 'splitting the difference,' and the standard operating frequency of the X-Terra 50 and X-Terra 30 is 7.5 kHz. Only the X-Terra 50 can be used with the higher operating frequency coils at 18.75 kHz.

Most of the single frequency detectors sold over the past 20-25 years have been from Bounty Hunter and White's and operate at 6.59 kHz

Monte and Cody.......
Posted by: Ralph Bryant
Date: November 22, 2005 12:16PM
Good to see two of the most knowledgable detector people I know on the same (forum) page, and even the same subject/thread.

I think what some of the major manufacturers are obviously discovering is that there is much greater market share in mid and lower priced machines than in the more esoteric top-of-the-line detectors these days. Along with lower price, the simplicity and "fun factor" seems to be back in vogue, even amongst the hard-noses and old pros. It seems like a matter of full-circle evolution in which we have gone from the basics, through the most complicated, and now back to basics, or at least more "user friendly" machines offering features that weren't even a dream 30 years ago.

Monte, agree completely with many of your comments on the X5, that's a given. ;) It's just sad that such a good machine was so relatively short lived, but think Troy still has some very well thought out tricks up his sleeve. Talk about "human versatility"! :)

Interesting you discussion about multi-frequency "handling" of simultaneous salt and iron mineralization, or conductives and non-conductives as it were. I think too many times it is not completely understood what "ground balancing" is really all about, more a very low-level discrimination process rather than "defeating" the actual effects of the ground. Just like discrimination negates the "response" of certain target ranges on the relative conductivity scale, the ground balance process simply negates the ground resonse in much the same manner. The detector still sees the discriminated targets and the "balanced" ground, and it's really only a matter of neutralizing the perception of the operator.

Case in point at both levels:

During discrimination, we can knock out the "response" of certain items, but that does not necessarily negate the "effects" of that discriminated item, such as so-called "target masking" caused by the "bad" target in opposition to the signal of the "good" target. Little can be done in the actual process of discrimination on the RX side to do away with the actual EFFECT of the discriminated target on the performance of the machine. The same applies to the RX side of the "ground balance". Balancing does not change the ground from what it is, or the basic affect it has on the detector. It just creates a quiter environment or basis point for the user to work from, or a more defined perception of signal changes for the operator. Where that affect can be changed is on the TX side, via different frequencies, different power values, or different field patterns actually put into the matrix. This all, of course, in describing a single frequency machine with no variation within the design to use as "comparators". Once there are more frequencies available to be "processed" (I agree with Cody on that term), and information to compare within the RX, then we have a whole different ballgame, in both the ability to handle harsher ground conditions (salt and iron), but also in the realms of target identification/discrimination.

Sure there are some advantages to multi-frequency, but there are also places where it is of little more benefit than single frequency technology. When we get right down to the nitty-gritty, we can use our machines to analyze a target signal all day, but we will never be 100% sure until it's out of the ground......as Monte says, the shovel and eyes are the best discriminator. Maybe it's just a matter of multi-frequency not being advanced anywhere the point of perfection at this stage in the game, as there is always more information in the signal than is ever extracted from it, even with the best of todays machines.

These X-terras have managed to pique my interest, as I was looking at the little Ace 250s and White's Prizm line awhile back, thinking to myself how I would like to see them with numeric VDI readout instead of the simple bar indicators. Then along comes the X-terra 30 which seems to have very similar features in a much higher quality machine. I'm sure the 50 with it's manual ground balance capabilities is the more versatile of the two in some areas, but unlike Monte's part of the country, the ground is relatively calm here in most locations, and pre-set GB machines from the various manufacturers have little difficulty. I also have little or no need for frequency shift or a second pattern mode, so thought I'd try out the 30 and see how she flies. It's just nice to see that "fun factor", and something a little different finally coming out of Minelab.

Ralph



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2005 12:40PM by Ralph Bryant.

Re: A fairly easy set of answers, Cody.
Posted by: Cody
Date: November 22, 2005 01:00PM
Thanks for the interesting responses and I am thinking of giving the X-Terra a try. I look forward to how you are doing with the detectors.



Cody

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login