The "hands-on" portion of my field test mission with the White's 6000/Di Professional proved so pleasing I readily admit I had a difficult time settling down at my desk to accomplish the actual writing. My reaction to this top-of-the-line member of the White's Coinmaster family was something akin to the feeling I get when I am enjoying myself working out productive placer gravels in a gold pan. It is so much fun, I keep telling myself, "One more time before I quit. Just one more time."
Similarly, my experiences with the 6000/ Di Pro were so rewarding I kept convincing myself I needed just one more session in the field in order to complete my research efforts. As a result, my testing endeavors consumed an extended time span, covering a wide variety of test sites ranging from old wagon trails in the historic gold country of Northern California to the sun-kissed beaches in Southern California. In the process I developed a great admiration for the Coinmaster Pro and what it can accomplish.
As the name implies, the Coinmaster Professional is designed for treasure hunters whose primary interest is locating lost coins, jewelry and similar valuables. The title is most appropriate because the detector is loaded with features that can make coinshooting both productive and pleasurable.
Offering four different search modes (GEB Normal, GEB Discriminate, GEB Maximum and TR Discriminate), a visual meter that identifies the probable denomination and approximate depth of buried coins and a full range variable dicriminator, the 6000/Di Pro is capable of meeting any challenge a coinshooter will encounter. As a bonus, the electronics wizards in the White's think tank at Sweet Home, Oregon have devised a unique blend of components which allows the instrument to automatically ground balance itself to cope with varying soil conditions encountered during a search mission. Anyone who has not heard about this White's breakthough simply has not been reading any of the publications in the treasure hunting field. Automatic GEB Tracking is big news and as such has received a lot of ink from a news-hungry press.
Automatic GEB Tracking is an extension of the Ground Exclusion Balance circuitry found on other Coinmaster models, which allows the detector to compensate for the effects of mineralization in the soil when the unit is being operated in any of the three GEB search modes. When the 6000/Di Pro is programmed to search in GEB Discriminate, the automatic tracking feature takes over to enable the instrument to self-adjust should changing ground conditions so warrant. Auto tracking is designed to solve the problems which occur at trouble spots where soil conditions change radically only short distances apart.
Such areas are prevalent in many parts of the nation, and problems can easily occur if the detector operator is not aware they exist and, as a result, fails to make compensating ground balancing adjustments; The Coinmaster Pro is built to take mineralization readings and automatically make any necessary adjustments.
Since GEB Discriminate is a motion mode in which the detector can be programmed to either accept or reject designated metal targets while at the same time neutralizing the effects of ground mineralization, it is the recommended primary search mode for use when coinshooting. The procedure for making the initial ground balance adjustment is A-B-C simple. Let's go over it step by step. This same process should also be followed when setting up the detector to operate in any of the three GEB search modes.
Notice the little triangles outlining the letter "P" beside each of the seven knobs on the control panel. These are factory recommended PreSet positions, placed there to enable a neophyte to start operating his or her detector with a minimum of effort. These Pre-Set positions provide for satisfactory performance under average conditions, but may not be the best setting for an individual control under all instances. This is why the individual controls are adjustable and not locked in position.
To initiate the ground balancing procedure, we'll move the Mode Selection Control to GEB-Norm, and the other controls to the Pre-Set position.
To establish the threshold tone, hold the search coil in front of you at waist level, squeeze and hold the trigger switch located under the meter, then turn the Tuner clockwise until you hear a slight audio response. You'll hear this signal pretty close to the Pre-Set position, by the way. Release the trigger and the threshold point is now set.
While continuing to hold the coil walst high, push the Automatic GEB toggle switch forward to the indicated AIR position, then release it. The detector should immediately respond with a beep.
Next, lower the search coil until it rests flat on the surface of the ground. Now pull the AGEB toggle switch backwards to the GND/TRAC position. Do not move the loop until the instrument responds with a second beep, which may take a second or two to accomplish.
To check whether the ground balancing was properly completed, lift the loop and listen for a change in the threshold sound. If the audio response remains the same, the instrument is ground balanced. If the tone changes, move to another location and repeat the AGEB switching process.
To activate the automatic ground tracking circuitry, move the Mode selection control to GEB Disc, then squeeze and release the trigger switch. The instrument is now programmed to ground balance itself should changing soil conditions warrant.
Although it may sound a bit complicated, the entire ground balancing process can be easily accomplished in less than a minute. The procedure is clearly explained in the informative 22-page operating manual.
Keep in mind, however, that although the Automatic GEB switch is used to ground balance the detector for searching in all three of the ground balance modes, automatic tracking is only operative when GEB Discriminate is used as the primary search mode.
Is automatic ground balancing essential? Ieoes it really work? Will it help me find more coins? Questions of this nature were on my mind as I embarked upon my test mission with the Coinmaster Pro.
After all, my experience with the Coinmaster 6000/Di Series 3 produced such "good vibes," I certainly was not about to write off this excellent model as being outdated. Furthermore, I was well-satisfied with the performance of the Pre-Set ground balance adjustment of the Series 3. Frankly, ground balancing has never been a problem with any of the many metal detectors I have been assigned to evaluate. So I couldn't help but wonder if the automatic tracking was a significant development.
My questions were quickly answered, and I soon became a member of the "Auto Track Fan Club." I'll recreate one convincing incident.
The search location was one of the older campgrounds near my home. The site dates back more than 100 years and has produced several silver coins for me, plus numerous wheatbacked pennies. The spot has been searched extensively by other treasure hunters and I presume they found some goodies, too. Even though the area has been used by the public for over a century, however, I have yet to find a single Indian head penny or any of the earlier dated silver coins here. I'm certain such items are still hidden in the area so I try and schedule a visit or two each time I field-test a detector.
My first two recoveries were pennies. Both were correctly identified as such by the visual meter. Positive audio contact number three came as I was working the loop around the base of a large sugar pine tree, a spot which had produced several "wheaties" during previous hunts. Checking the visual meter, I noted that the needle had moved out to settle on the half dollar reading.
Hmmmmm! I knew I had searched around this particular tree several times and was certain that other coinshooters had done the same. Nevertheless, with both the audio signal and the visual meter indicating a good target, and the depth needle reading 4 inches, I figured that someone must have recently lost a four-bit piece.
I inserted my recovery tool in the soft dirt at the base of the tree and careflllly opened a hole. Much to my delight, I caught a glimpse of silver-a beautiful 1900 Barber half dollar!
How was it possible that I, and the other searchers, had missed this little gem?
The most plausible explanation seemed to be that the automatic ground tracking feature had selfadjusted the detector so as to overcome the effects of something in the ground that had precluded our finding it before.
Continuing to search, I soon recovered another old coin-a vintage wheatback penny dated 1923. Again, it came from a spot in the middle of the campground area that has been heavily hunted. Neither of the coins were particularly deep, so I assume their presence must have been masked out by some type of mineralization.
Anxious to try out auto-tracking at another spot noted for its "mean" ground conditions, the next afternoon I visited another highly minerslized camping area. Here too the detector came through with a trio of older wheat-backed pennies and a small silver ring, targets that have been missed during previous search efforts. The answer again seemed to lie in the automatic GEB circuitry.
None of the coins I discovered in these highly mineralized areas were beyond the depth capabilities of other VLF/TR detectors I had used at the same spots. Which brought up the question: Does the Coinmaster Pro provide greater depth than the 6000/Di Series 3 and the other premium-grade detectors I have tested?
For answers, I returned to some of the more favorable search locations that have produced older coins for me in the past. Many of these are private lawns for which the owners have granted me exclusive grazing rights. If I was going to gain some extra depth using the Coinmaster Pro, it seemed likely that these areas would yield some choice targets.
I wish I could show you a photograph or two of a handful of treasures recovered from these "happy hunting grounds," but, alas, I can't. My dreams of finding older targets at greater depths just never materialized.
Please don't interpret my observations as being a put-down of the Coinmaster Pro, because this is not my intention. The Pro is an excellent instrument with depth capabilities equal to any metal detector I have tested at these particular search locations. Maximum depths attained using the Pre-Set level of discrimination were around the 6-inch mark, which is doggone good as far as I am concerned.
Keep in mind that these were the results obtained at the locations I searched. Greater depths may be possible at other locations. Or, they may be less. Nothing is really cut and dried in this wonderful world of electronic treasure hunting.
For example, I did find several coins at around the 8-inch level when searching along a Southern California beach. Blacksands posed no problem and the signals came through sharp and sweet. The PreSet discrimination level-Number 5 on the dial between Nails and Foilproved to be right on the button when it came to locating nickels. Since nickels and small rings produce basically the same signals, I was extremely pleased with the performance.
Although GEB Disc, with its automatic ground tracking feature, is the recommended primary mode for coinshooting, the other three search modes are available for use when needed. Of course, the two all metal modes (GEB Norm and GEB Max) should get the nod when you are relic hunting and wish to receive responses from all types of metal targets. I also found both modes useful when it came to pinpointing coins located near the surface. Such targets are often difficult to zero in on when the detector is being operated in the motion mode (GEB Disc). Switching to either of these non-motion modes may provide a solution.
Moving from GEB Discriminate to GEB Norm is quickly accomplished with a pull of the trigger switch. Simply pull and hold the trigger. This action also activates the depthindicating needle which further facilitates the pinpointing process.
GEB Maximum proved effective as I tried to zero in on deeper targets. According to the manufacturer, GEB Max will give you approximately 30 percent more depth; however performance may be erratic at times. I really don't know how to verify this figure, but appreciate the fact that GEB Max does go deeper. Occasionally you may hear a positive audio signal without seeing a corresponding movement of the needle into a good target zone. Switching to GEB Maximum may help verify the presence of a deeper target.
Don't expect to hear any so-called "faint whispers" when coinshooting with the 6000 Di Pro. Audio signals come through loud and clean, even on targets hidden several inches deep.
Many of the spots during my travels were first-time areas for me. Because I didn't know what to expect, my search plan called for relatively fast scanning while getting a feel for what the location had to offer. Here's where the target indicating visual discrimination meter proved extremely helpful. By determining the probable denomination of a coin while it was still hidden, I could concentrate on recovering good targets.
While I don't consider a meter as being a "must," a well-designed, easy-to-read unit such as found on the Coinmaster Pro sure comes in handy. If you accept what the meter tells you, the chances of recovering "questionable" items are low. Occasionally a chunk of melted aluminum can, such as found around a campfire area, will show positive, but by and large the meter tells the truth. The indicated setting found on the visual meter proved accurate for all types of coins from pennies to a dollar. Yes, I found a cartwheel. Alas, it was a 1972 Eisenhower clunker, not a silver clinker.
From a performance standpoint, the 6000/Di Pro came through with flying colors. Well, we did get off to a shaky start when the detector arrived with a malfunctioning meter, presumably the result of rough handling in transit. This problem was solved by a round trip to Sweet Home. From here on, the performance was smooth sailing all the way.
I found a lot of other things to like about the Coinmaster Professional, as well. Design-wise the detector is definitely a winner. The controls are functional, well-placed and easy to adjust. The operator's manual clearly explains the purpose of the various controls and how to obtain maximum performance from each. Especially noteworthy is the "quick look" explanation that provides a condensation of how to complete the various
Positioned at the end of the hand grip, the visual meter is readily visible no matter which hand is holding the instrument.
The variable discrimination control, which operates on both the GEB Disc and TR/Disc search modes, offers a wide range of target acceptance or rejection levels. Audio signals generated by targets above the established level of discrimination sound off loud and clear, while those below the set level produce broken or muted tones. As stated earlier, the Pre-Set position proved very effective when it came to accepting nickels.
The Coinmaster Professional carries on the White's tradition of providing a rechargeable nickel cadmium battery saver as standard equipment. Battery life is estimated at from 8 to 10 hours per charge, and since you can re-juice the rascals up to 1000 times (according to the manual) this system is a true budget stretcher.
A second pack of alkaline batteries is furnished as a backup unit should the ni-cads poop out in the field. This can happen and when it does, simply open the hinged cover at the rear of the instrument body and insert the fresh pack.
Quality-built and a first-rate performer in all respects, the Coinmaster 6000/Di Pro is just that--a detector for the discriminating operator who is seeking the maximum in coinshooting. rewards.