Is there anyone who has never heard of Whites metal detectors? It always amazes me that the first name most people outside of our hobby mention, when the subject of metal detectors comes up, is Whites!
Its no wonder Whites Electronics of Sweet Home, Oregon, has done a tremendous job of marketing its company and products over the past 40 plus years.
Throughout Whites decades of manufacturing metal detectors, they have become well recognized for their high-quality products and innovative, leading-edge designs a tradition that continues today.
Whites deserves much credit. As I have said a few times before in other detecting articles, where would our hobby be and what kind of equipment would we be using if such companies as Whites were not around? I think the answer is obvious.
Whites and Microprocessor-controlled Detectors:
Up until the mid 1980's, metal detectors were somewhat limited in their ability to tune in what you wanted to find while tuning out what you didnt.
Standard, variable discrimination was a great innovation for metal detecting, and still is, but its broad selection range does not give the precise control and accuracy of target acceptance and rejection that microprocessor-controlled, multi-notching detectors do.
It all began with the original Whites Eagle their first computerized detector. The Eagle was unique and innovative and, for the first time ever, presented detectorists a way to easily and finely control each and every function of their detectors operation. The Eagle also incorporated a state-of-the-art display to indicate target type, depth and intensity and to monitor various control and program settings.
Recently, Whites released a total redesign of their microprocessor-controlled detector which they have named the Spectrum XLT. This detector is extremely popular, and for many good reasons. It is much smaller and lighter in weight than the original Eagle and is improved in so many ways that I could write a whole article about it alone. But, this field test is about the newly released Quantum II, which has many of the very same features that have made the XLT so popular.
The Quantum II is designed to be a high-performance, mid-priced, easy-to-operate detector and Whites has successfully met all of their design goals and more!
The first thing I noticed about the Quantum II, is that it is constructed with the new streamlined wrap-around control box the same as used on the XLT. This is a significant improvement over older designs that were much larger and heavier. The wrap-around design is very functional, as it keeps the top of the control box sealed, which helps to keep rain and dirt from penetrating to the electronic circuitry inside. A new slide-in battery system is used and is one of the best I have seen. A solid, 7.8-inch waterproof concentric searchcoil is attached to Whites unique counter-balanced S-pole assembly, providing a lightweight feel and exceptional balance.
The Quantum II comes with their standard (non-rechargeable) battery pack, which holds eight AA cell batteries. A new set of Alkalines will provide approximately 20 hours of search time. A rechargeable battery system is available as an option. Whites rechargeable battery, #802-5211, and charger, #509-0022, are recommended for use with the Quantum II.
One of the major design goals for the Quantum II was to make it very easy-to-operate without forgoing performance.
A big step in that direction is the automated ground balancing procedure. It is as simple as moving the detector searchcoil up and down until no change is heard in the audio threshold sound. Then, simply pull the trigger-switch and the Quantum is matched to the ground you are detecting over. If you do not pull the trigger within 20 seconds, a preset ground balance setting is automatically utilized.
A new wide-view display and a zoned discrimination function of the Quantum are also unique. They are divided into eight separate and distinct user-controllable acceptance/rejection zones. These zones are:
1 Low Iron, 2 High Iron, 3 Foil/Sm. Ring, 4 Nickel/Ring, 5 Tab/Lg. Ring, 6 Screwcap/Zinc, 7 150/1$ and 8 (ground).
When a target is encountered, a couple of things happen. First, if the zone is programmed to be accepted, the detectors audio responds with a beep to the speaker or headphones. At the same time, the display will indicate which zone the target falls into and what the probable target is. Across the bottom of the Quantums L.C.D. display is a continuous rolling indication of the intensity of the signal displayed, which helps in estimating the targets size and depth. If the zone is programmed to be rejected, no audio is heard when a target falls into that zone. However, the display will still indicate the probable target.
To pinpoint a target, squeeze and hold the trigger. This switches the Quantum to a non-motion all-metal mode. Two parallel bars are displayed on screen along with a numeric depth reading. Next, scan over the target until both bars are equal length this indicates the exact target center. At this point, stop and read the numeric depth reading this reading will be very accurate on coin-sized targets.
Controls and Settings
The Quantum II features a number of user-adjustable functions, settings and options too many to discuss in detail in this field test. I would however like to inform readers of just how versatile this detector is, so I will highlight the various options available.
The Quantum II provides three preset programs: Coins; Coin and Jewelry; Relic/Prospecting all of which are capable of being changed and user-edited. In addition, users can select and control eight different functions: Volume; Threshold; Search Sensitivity; Viewing Angle; Transmit Frequency; Discrimination; Coin I.D. Tone; and Discrimination Edit.
I quickly discovered that using the Quantum II was a breeze. The detector is very easy and intuitive to control and operate.
The site selected for my field test is a large field that has been used for well over 100 years as a baseball, parade and military drill field.
It has produced an assortment of items, as witnessed by many years of detecting there, but for some strange reason it has never produced many coins.
I began by ground balancing the Quantum, which is super easy to do. I am glad that Whites did not design the Quantum with only a factory preset ground balance. I am certain that by letting each detectorist accurately ground balance to the ground they are searching significantly contributes to the Quantums smooth operation and high performance.
I decided to use the Relic program, but increased the preset Sensitivity and switched the Coin I.D. Tone to on. I also decreased the audio Threshold slightly and rejected zones 1 and 2 (low and high iron).
In about seven hours of detecting, I recovered a pouch-full of items including a Pennsylvania State Seal button; 22 miscellaneous military uniform buttons (circa 1900); a very unique Turban Head button; an ornate Sterling silver wedding band; a gold-plated heart ring; a P&O? lead freight seal; a sling buckle; a 1920 Cuban Centavo coin and miscellaneous clad coins. The Quantum II was quite effective at this heavily detected site and, as a bonus, I retrieved very little trash!
The day of my field test I was detecting with two friends. After a short break for lunch, we returned to our detecting spot when Don asked me, Are you going to keep using the Quantum? I replied, Yes, its been working very well for me.
I find the Quantum II to be an extremely well designed and constructed, easy-to-use detector that provides many top-end features for its modest $499.95 (retail) price.
It provides very good detection depth, discriminates well and its target I.D. is accurate. It is easy enough for a beginner or casual detectorist to use, but has enough performance, versatility and features for a seasoned pro to use effectively.
In less than 30 minutes time, I felt as if I had been using this detector for years. It became an integral part of my detecting and did not get in the way of it, as sometimes a new detector can...until they are mastered.
The Quantum IIs workmanship is flawless and I just love seeing that red, white, and blue Made in America sticker on the control box!
Further enhancing the Quantum II, is an array of optional searchcoils and accessories to suit almost any detectorist, detecting-site or situation encountered.
In a day and age when far too many products are compromised to save a buck, its refreshing to see such high standards followed and implemented to such a degree!
I very much recommend the Quantum II for anyone who desires a high-quality, easy-to-operate detector with just the right combination of features and performance this detector will not overwhelm you!
Whites as a company, and their employees, distributors and dealers all have much to be proud of, and the new Quantum II is just one more reason!
For additional information, contact Whites Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, OR 97386. Phone (541) 367-6121, fax (541) 367-2968. E-mail, whiteshalcyon [dot] com. For a dealer near you call 1-800-547-6911.