Spectra V3 / V3i / VX3 Forum

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Re: V3 upgrade to V3i
Posted by: rayoh
Date: February 19, 2013 04:28PM
I would like to know what are pros and cons in making the upgrade! Would someone please explain to me some of the differences between the two? Ray

Re: V3 upgrade to V3i
Posted by: Larry (IL)
Date: February 19, 2013 05:02PM
Towards the bottom of this thread is a chart showing the differences between the V3, VX3 and V3i. I hope this is some help. There are so many, we can't list them all on here.,1750480,1751347#msg-1751347

Bells and whistles are nice, but nothing will substitute for the basic understanding of the hobby.

:minelab: CTX 3030

Re: V3 upgrade to V3i
Posted by: Rob (IL)
Date: February 19, 2013 06:15PM
Here is a run-down of all the facts regarding the new V3i and the software upgrade.

What is V3i?

V3i is a follow-on model to V3, much in the same way we went from 6000 to 6000 Series 2, or Eagle to Eagle 2. V3 has been discontinued. The primary changes in V3i are:

- Support for Foreign languages (i -> international)
- On-board Quick Reference system
- Stereo mix-mode audio
- Polar analysis plot
- Prospecting analysis scan
- Single frequency salt tracking
- Several other minor improvements

It is true that we have discontinued the wireless data transfer and removed the recommended gain.

Can I upgrade my V3?

Yes, upgrades are free for any V3 originally purchased on/after Nov. 1, 2009. Upgrades are $100 for units purchased prior to Nov. 1. All upgrades also incur a $25 return shipping fee.

How do I get the upgrade?

Upgrades will be handled by the factory, plus several remote locations including our UK division. This information will be posted on our web site and updated regularly. Before shipping a unit for the upgrade, you should call first to get an estimated turn time. Springtime typically has our service centers busy with out-of-the-closet repairs so it may be best to wait to avoid delays.

Is there a deadline to get the upgrade?

Practically, no, there's no predetermined deadline. Realistically, don't expect to still be able to upgrade in 2020. But if you want to wait until hunting season is over, or wait to see what the user feedback is like, that's fine.

Are there any hardware upgrades?

Sort of. V3 pod screws have a bad habit of stripping out, so we redesigned the plastic with metal inserts and machine screws. All V3i upgrades include a replacement pod shell whether needed or not, which includes a new keypad and screen film. If needed, we will also install a new set of headphone pads which are more durable. These are not the reason for November cut-off; we are eating the cost of all this and not asking our customers to pay an extra dime, as it should be. In fact, we have been doing this already on other V3 returns.

What do I need to send in?

We definitely need the main control unit and the wireless headphones (if you own them). We do not need the coil unless you want it checked out.

Is the upgrade worth it?

Carl's opinion: I believe that software upgrades make sense, at least for our top-end model. It protects value. Releasing a V3i without offering the upgrade would severely devalue V3, making a 98%-just-as-good V3 a bargain on the used market, as we've seen happen with certain competing detectors. This would hurt not only V3 owners but also White's ability to sell V3i. And really tick people off. Plus, considering the price point of V3, offering the upgrade was simply The Right Thing To Do. Whether we continue doing this in the future may depend on how this one goes.

Recommended Gain

V3 offered a recommended gain in the Sensitivity screen. Unfortunately, it was often overly conservative and the gain could easily be run higher without problem. Additionally, it became a method of testing loops which also wasn't necessarily a good indicator of loop quality, and many loops were returned to the factory which were perfectly good.

We've removed the recommended gain, and users should simply set the gain as high as they can and maintain stable operation. This is the same as any other detector.

Wireless Data Transfer & Dongle

Much ado has been made over this issue. When we released V3 I had intended to produce a dongle that would allow transfer of programs to/from a PC, and said so when someone mentioned this idea. In fact, I personally took this on, got the initial hardware working, and started on the software. Other priorities forced me to hand it over to another engineer, who got it mostly working.

However, we've run into two issues with this. One is that the transfer is slow and unreliable. Unless conditions are near-ideal, packets are dropped and, because the design of the RF module makes handshaking difficult, the whole transfer has to start completely over. Second, the release of V3i introduces a different program data structure that creates compatibility issues between machines. Dealing with this requires a lot more programming effort, both in V3/V3i firmware and in the PC software.

Unfortunately, we are a small company with a small engineering dept, and I have to make choices as to where our resources are spent. I decided that wireless data transfer was eating up too much time and not only halted the dongle but also dropped the feature from V3i. I know this has angered some people and I expected that. But given the choice between a troublesome feature that we probably won't continue using on future models, and some new developments that could fundamentally advance metal detecting, my choice was easy.

"Everyone has an opinion, but mine is free":devil:
"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment..."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2015 12:22PM by Rob (IL).

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