FIELD TEST

Metal Detector Field Test & Review - White's Electronics - TREASUREpro
By Andy Sabisch
From Page 44
December, 2015 issue of Lost Treasure

White's Electronics has earned world-wide recognition as a company that produces quality metal detection equipment and has provided unmatched customer support for 65 years! Started by Ken White Sr. and his wife Olive in 1950, Mr. White and a sole employee started out by hand-building one Geiger counter a day for people searching for uranium. Recognition of the quality of their equipment quickly spread and by the time the government stopped buying uranium 8 years later, Mr. White had 65 employees working at the factory. Switching over to metal detectors, White's Electronics continued building equipment that became known for its performance and dependability along with first-rate support . . . . core beliefs that have carried through to the present management and employee team. It is captured in the company's Mission Statement which is “Give the customers quality and value, and treat your employees like family.” The latest addition to the White's Electronics line is a pair of detectors that is linked to the Treasuremaster moniker which has been shared by several detectors over the past 65 years. In fact, one of my first underwater metal detectors was a 1970's-vintage White's Treasuremaster Amphibian which while it can't compare to today's technology, it did help me recover countless valuables from swimming sites throughout the Northeast in the day. When I heard the Treasuremaster name was being resurrected, I was anxious to see how the new models continued the legacy of the name and how they performed in the field. This field test will cover the TREASUREPro which is the bigger brother of the two new models - the TREASUREMaster being the other model.


FEATURES

The first thing that one notices when unpacking the TREASUREPro is that it does not look like any of the other models in the White's line. The control housing is notably smaller than that found on even the entry-level Coinmaster model despite having a much larger LCD screen. Even the upper shaft color has been changed from the conventional "White's Gloss Black" to a light brown. Assembling the TREASUREPro was quick & easy. Surprisingly, the TREASUREPro is powered by just two (2) AA batteries which can provide up to 20 hours of non-backlit use. While rechargeable batteries can be used with no impact on performance, with the price of AA batteries today and the operating life they provide, it's hard to justify using rechargeable batteries unless you already have a set available.

One of the differences between the two models is the coil that comes with each. The TREASUREPro comes standard with a 10" Double-D waterproof coil while the TREASUREMaster comes with a 9.5" Concentric coil. The coils are interchangeable between the two models along with other optional coils available from White's. The TREASUREPro and TREASUREMaster operate at 8.2 kHz which is slightly higher than the Coinmaster series and somewhat lower than the 14 kHz frequency used on the high-end White's models such as the MXT. The 8.2 kHz value was selected to provide strong all-around performance under a wide range of conditions and applications.

The TREASUREPro offers two distinctive search modes – a motion mode with full discrimination / notch and a non-motion all metal mode. An important feature to note is that the visual target ID system – both the coarse grouping provided by the arrow beneath the 8 groups along the semi-circle that runs across the screen and the larger VDI number providing highly accurate target differentiation - is active in both search modes which expands the TREASUREPro's versatility. The TREASUREPro's VDI target ID system provides values ranging from -95 to +95 similar to that found on other White's detectors and while the exact values do not match-up from model to model, a little bench testing and some infield experience will enable you to accurately identify targets you come across

The LCD screen provides a wealth of information for both setting up the TREASUREPro as well as operating it in the field. The display is extremely easy to read even in direct sunlight which is a challenge for many LCD-based detectors. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, target ID information is provided through both an arrow pointing to one of 8 probable targets (iron, foil, nickel, pulltabs, penny, dime, quarter and dollar) and 3 composition groups (iron, gold and silver) as well as via a large 2-digit number that appears in the center of the screen when in one of the search modes. The 2-digit value will be the preferred option to determine if a signal is worth recovering when using the TREASUREPro for non-coin hunting applications since relics and jewelry can often register in a bin that would be associated with trash; i.e., pulltabs, foil or iron. Additional information provided includes a real-time battery strength indicator, target depth, sensitivity, selected search mode and backlight status. When the OPTIONS touchpad is pressed, the center of the screen displays the various options described below and allows adjustments to be made.

All adjustments are made using the 8 touchpads located beneath the LCD display on the face of the control housing. Showing thought for the end-user in the design phase, all of the touchpads can be accessed using the thumb of the hand holding the detector. The touchpads include - OPTIONS, 25b2, ▼, ☑ /⊠,PINPOINT, +, - and TRACK - which provide the following functions:

• OPTIONS: Pressing this touchpad brings up the menu of adjustments that can be made - the specific function to adjust is selected using the ▲ & ▼ touchpads. Features that can be selected and / or adjusted include Search Program, Discrimination, Volume, Threshold, Tone Identification (1, 2, 4 or 8 tones), and Depth Units (in. or cm)..

• ▲ & ▼:: These touchpads scroll through the options available on the menu including Discrimination, Threshold, Volume, depth display in either inches or cm., Search Program and Tones.

• ☑ / ⊠ or PINPOINT:: This touchpad is used to accept or reject any of the segments that fall within the 8 main target type categories described above - there are 16 sub-segments that can be selected with the 8 main groups for more precise discrimination as conditions dictate. It also is used to activate the non-motion pinpoint mode to zero in on a detected target

• + & -: These touchpads are used to make the actual adjustment to the option selected using the ▲, ▼ touchpads.

• POWER: This serves a dual function – it turns the detector on, and if held briefly, activates a very useful backlight ideal for hunting in low or no light conditions such as beaches after the crowds leave. There is a slight reduction in battery life but having the ability to turn the backlight on is a feature that is a real asset in the field.

• TRACK: The TREASUREPro features a fully automatic ground balancing system which will continually monitor ground conditions and make any adjustments that might be called for. If you find yourself in ground where mineralization changes frequently or contains traces of rusted iron, press the TRACK touchpad which will lock the Ground Balance to prevent the TREASUREPro from trying to continually adjust to the ground which can improve overall stability.

The TREASUREPro provides a non-motion all-metal pinpoint mode which allows for highly accurate pinpointing of targets to reduce the time required to recover a target and minimize the chance of damaging it. Pressing the center touchpad activates the Pinpoint mode and pressing it again returns the TREASUREPro to its selected search mode. One can shrink the response from shallow / large targets by pressing the Pinpoint touchpad as the coil approaches the center of the target which makes it easier to zero in on the target before recovering it and reducing the size of the hole needed to unearth it.

The search modes that can be selected through the OPTIONS function include Coin & Jewelry, Beach, All Metal and High Trash. Each of the modes (with the exception of All-Metal) has been designed to provide the appropriate level of discrimination so as to eliminate a good deal of the trash one might encounter while not missing out on the desired targets one hopes to find. If you hunt saltwater beaches or areas with high alkali content such as the deserts of the Southwest, selecting the BEACH mode changes the range of the ground balance & tracking circuits to better handle these conditions.

Operating the TREASUREPro couldn’t be easier . . . simply turn it on, select the preferred search mode, adjust the desired level of discrimination & sensitivity for the specific site if needed, sweep the coil across the ground to set the ground balance for conditions present (or bob the coil up & down a few times), and start searching for a good target. Another useful feature is the “short term” memory which retains all the settings (except for the ground balance setting) making it simple to move from site to site and not having to readjust things that you have tweaked based on personal preferences.

A final feature which can be useful if your TREASUREPro is acting strangely or if you have made too many adjustments and want to go back to the factory presets is the RESET function. Selected through the OPTIONS menu, it will reset the entire detector to the way it came from the factory if the need arises.

FIELD TEST

The first part of any field test is the obligatory air test to see what response is (audio and target ID) from the type of targets one might be searching for as well as those that hopefully can be ignored. The one feature that warranted closer scrutiny was the TONES option. The intent of this feature is to provide coarse audio target identification through the tone each target or group of targets produces. Set at “1”, all non-rejected targets have the same sound. As you select “2”, “4” or “8” tones, specific targets will produce different sounds. While more time with the TREASUREPro would have helped train my ear to the “8-Tone” option, I found that combining the right level of discrimination with the “4-Tone” option made the unit a powerful tool in deciding whether or not to recover a target.

The first site my wife Charlene and I visited was a private residence a short distance from the house. Charlene has been using a White's MX5 for most of her hunting of late so she offered to take the TREASUREPro for its maiden voyage at the new site. Not expecting a great deal of trash at a residential site, she opted to use the preset COIN & JEWELRY program. The only other change she made was to bump the SENSITIVITY up to “6” and select “4 Tones” for the audio target ID option. Bobbing the coil up and down a few times set the ground balance she was off in search of good targets. The first few produced target ID's in the coin range and recovering them showed that the TREASUREPro's audio & visual identification and depth circuits were “spot on.” Near the corner of the house she received a solid, repeatable signal that registered about 4” deep. Cutting a plug that should have revealed the target, a check with the pinpointer indicated that the target was still in the hole. Removing a few more inches of dirt, we could see something metal sticking out from the side of the hole and after carefully digging it free, we were holding what appeared to be a sheriff's badge. It's been a running joke when my wife and I go out that I usually find the “coin of the day” while she finds something unusual that is the typically the “find of the day” and this find would keep that streak alive. When we cleaned it off at home and did a little research (the Internet is truly amazing for that), it turned out to be a badge issued as part of the Wyatt Earp TV series that ran from 1955 to 1961 . . and her badge was dated 1957 - it definitely earned a place in one of our display cases. Before someone questions the depth reading versus the actual depth of the badge, remember, the depth indication is calibrated for coin sized targets so a larger target (which this was) will show depth as being shallower than it actually is. The converse is true for targets smaller than a coin where they will indicate as being deeper than they really are.

A few days later we visited as a park that sat on the main road through town so you can imagine how many times it had been searched over the last 30+ years. After the Wyatt Earp badge find I had to pry the TREASUREPro from my wife but after convincing her I needed to put some time on it, we swapped detectors and I headed towards the picnic area. Opting again for the COIN & JEWELRY program, I used the Discrimination option to add the PULL TAB and SCREWCAP regions back in to see what fell in those areas and possibly pickup a keeper that might otherwise have been rejected. I started out with 8-Tones selected but as I found in the test garden, the tones from targets that registered close to the audio breakpoints tended to bounce from one bin to the other making it somewhat difficult to tell which tone was associated with the specific target detected. The 4-Tone option produced much more consistent signals and a quick glance at the screen provided a Target ID value that could be used to determine if a target was worth recovering or not. Even with the Sensitivity set at “7”, the TREASUREPro was extremely quiet producing very few chirps over non-targets. Many models tend to false at higher sensitivity settings but the TREASUREPro was not suffering from that in ground that I knew was more mineralized than many areas I've visited. A deep signal beneath one of the older trees in the park produced a 1937 Wheat cent from just shy of “8” which impressed me considering the price point that the TREASUREPro was sitting at. Another Wheat, several recently lost coins and a Chucky Cheese token that a young girl who had been watching me quickly accepted when I offered it to her and her mother rounded out my hunt.

Over the next few trips, I was able to give the TREASUREPro a workout at sites that were considered both coin-hunting and relic-hunting locations and in all cases, it had been able to handle changing ground conditions and varying levels of target concentration (good and bad) as demonstrated by targets recovered from depths that were more than impressive considering the price tag it sported. The only spot that caused some impact on performance was when I tried to hunt a lot where the house had been torn down and the ground was littered with trash. Having a smaller coil such as the 4”x6” Shooter coil that I often use on my MXT Pro when hunting extremely trashy sites such as old cellar holes would have helped and this might just be the next coil we add to our arsenal for the TREASUREPro.

SUMMARY

If you are looking for a light-weight, fully featured detector that can handle a wide range of site conditions without requiring a number of complicated adjustments, the TREASUREPro is definitely worth your taking a closer look at before you decide on a new detector. With the rugged but lightweight housing and reduced battery requirements, the TREASUREPro tips the scales at the 3 pound mark which allows anyone to spend the day in the field searching for and more importantly finding treasure. As technology has improved, detector prices have come down while performance has increased and the TREASUREPro is a great example of just that.

To check out the new TREASUREPro and TREASUREMaster, stop by your local White's dealer. The detector comes with the standard 2-year transferable warranty and retails for $399.95. Accessories and optional coils are available to meet specific needs or site conditions. Contact the factory at 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, OR 97386; (800) 547-6911 or visit their website at White'selectronics.com and be sure to mention you read about the latest addition to the White's line in Lost Treasure Magazine.

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