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Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

June 08, 2019 12:19PM avatar
First: I have wanted to review my previously posted reviews to edit them and bring them up-to-par with the additional notes I have. However, I've been sidelined with medical issues and detecting outings and such.

Secondly: I've added other metal detector manufacturers to the AHRPS 'brand' listing and had considered listing my reviews by brand, However, I figured many people would not like to hunt around for them on a busy Forum, and also they could be organized, by Brand and Model if posted on a Metal Detector Model Evaluation Site I'll review former Evaluations, get them organized, and after next week's WTHO I will prepare a new Evaluation Site and get it up with all of the evaluations posted. It will be a closed forum. Once it is up, in Brand order anyone can read a review and go to a specific Brand Forum to have a discussion about that particular model and any comments I have made in my evaluation.


So, for now, the XP ORX Evaluation I am working on will be three-parts, with Part One a review of my product evaluation up to now I will cover my pre-purchase thoughts; then my initial impressions when I opened the box to remove and prepare the unit for use; I'll touch on the gripes and frustrations I had with the device; then the favorable comments about the unit. naturally these are things that bothered me and I didn't care for along with those things I liked from MY point of view.

Part Two will relate the in-the-field performance, setting choice I found worked best for me, and both the physical packaging as well as the good and bad performance behavior I experienced to this point in my evaluation. That will include both things I liked or didn't care for.

Part Three will be a final review after I have returned from the WTHO to several Nevada Ghost Towns as some of them are mellow to average challenges while a few of them present some very difficult and challenging conditions when it comes to handling dense ferrous debris.

So, for now, let's start with:

Part One I have a 'complete' Detector Outfit with a Nokta CoRe and Relic filling my needs for a dedicated Relic Hunting device to handle a dense iron nail contaminated site. I also have several detectors I'll call "general Purpose" that can do some Relic Hunting in older-use sites that aren't the toughest in nails and iron, and also hold their own for urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting. Great for casual to a little tougher challenged older places. One model being my White's MX-7. And I have my two favorite non-display Tesoro models that are my quick grab-and-go units for a lot of urban Coin Hunting places, but also do quite well for some of my Relic Hunting at older sites.

Do I really NEED any other detectors for any category? No, not really. However, when a model intrigues me, AND if it is affordable, comfortable and versatile enough, I often like to check them out and see if they might be a good 'fit' on my team. I have owned a number of high-dollar detectors, especially during the past 20 years, but I never had a very expensive detector grow on me, and one reason is that for me, a lot of them just had too much 'fluff' with an over array of adjustment features. Quite often they had a few good things about them, but when it got right down to serious, active detecting my selected favorite sites, and doing so often, I had a very good selection of detector that provided me very ample performance in the lower to higher 'mid-range' price point.

I have been in touch with a few people through the recent years after the XP Deus was introduced to the sellable market here in the USA. An interesting detector, and it has proven to perform reasonably well for those people in similar types of sites I most enjoy, and those are iron littered old relic type sites. But there were two problems with the Deus for me. One was it was over-featured and I prefer a detector to be 'Simple' yet 'Functional' while providing me 'Performance.' And two, it was also more expensive than I wanted to spend.

When the announcement of the XP ORX started floating around I started watching all I could find on this new model in a comparable configuration to the Deus, but it is 'Simpler' with fewer adjustment features, and yet it has comparable/close general 'Performance' and, best of all, it is at a more affordable price. So, I thought I'd take a chance and wanted to buy a brand new unit. I contacted Joel, aka 'Kickindirt', here on the AHRPS Forums. The package arrived the morning of Thursday, May 30th. It was more $$$ than I wanted to spend so I justified it as a tardy birthday present to myself.

Now, to understand how I review or get to know anything that is new-to-me is I base a lot on 'First Impressions' and in doing so I consider a worthy product investment to be close to ready-to-use. To fit my 3-step criteria of being 'Simple,' 'Functional' and providing 'Performance' and, with over 54 years of handling and working with some developers of metal detectors, I would hope them to be easily assembled and quick to figure out without relying on a User Manual like a novice would (should).

So I start out by opening the box and we'll take it from there, adding my thoughts and out-loud comments as I checked this new device out:

The box is colorful and attractive, and it is very light weight. For an old, falling apart guy with a bad back and extremities, that was pleasing.

Upon opening and unpacking the contents, I was even more pleased by the physical design of the detector and, again, how light it felt. That includes the nice 5X9 HF DD coil I ordered mine with since that's the smallest coil XP makes for it, and I need lighter weight and a coil that better fits in and around and under all the brush, building rubble and debris I usually encounter at my preferred sites. And then I started undoing the smaller packages to get the coil mounting hardware out. eye popping smileyconfused smiley

It's an unusual looking lower rod and rod-mount section with two unusual parts I haven't see on any other make or model detector I've ever handled. There are two coil bolts, two nuts for the bolts, and two rubber washers to fit between the dog-ears on the coil and the rod connection. Inside the front cover of the User Manual you see a few illustrations that kind of show the steps to take to assemble to rod and coil using the mounting hardware, but that's it. Just illustrations.thinking It is the first thing you read regarding the assembly, but pictures and no explainable test. It's not on the back of that page either.

So we have a show-and-tell type of mounting instructions and nothing immediate to explain how to do it, or what's up with the unusual parts in the bag. That left me a little frustrated because I could tell immediately that two rubber washers were not going to fit between the 'ears' without risking the chance of breaking the coil ears right from the start. After looking the rod tip and parts over I had it figured out, but I had to rely on logic and not follow a 'normal' coil mounting method.

Hey, Monte, why not just read the User Manual to find out how to do it? Well duh, not a bad idea ... IF their User Manual wasn't printed in a very dinky-size font!! I mean it is tiny and for an old character with bad eyes, that wasn't going to happen. That was frustration #2. Eventually I got the coil parts, old style and two new pieces, all together and the rod-located Lithium battery also installed (and I will give a thumbs up to it being a very light weight battery now in a better position than in the coil), and that was a positive thing.

My eyesight isn't like it used to be and I get headaches trying to read and decipher the User Manual to get this unit up and ready-to-go. Then I struggled to figure out what their adjustment functions were named as they don't work like I would expect a 'normal', non-France built device to work. Once assembled I'd read the manual a little at a time as I tinkered with it to understand how it works and why they named the settings as they did. I did have some struggles at first because I kept accidently shifting the search modes, or programs, when I didn't mean to and that irritated me a lot. Would have been better with better glasses to be able to read the micro-sized lettering of the manual all the way through. Oh well, back to what I experienced.

Like I've stated, I am a guy who likes things to fit properly, and that means line up correctly, and I also pamper all my detectors. I keep my recovery tolls on the left side of my belt and use ONLY my left hand for recovery tasks and getting dirty. My right hand, since I am right-handed, I keep clean. I don't get my right detector-operating hand dirty because I try to also keep my detectors very clean. I don't handle them with a dirty hand, and I don't lay them down and let them get dirty. I prefer to have them set on the ground in a safe and upright position while making a target recovery with my left hand, and here comes my frustrated gripe on this topic.angry smiley

The ORX, like the Deus, doesn't have an angle to rest from coil bottom to the small and narrow 'stand' under the armcup. The bottom of the grip handle hits the ground first and therefore they can't stand alone but, instead, fall over. That gets the grips dirty and the control housing and display face can also get dirty, scratched, chipped, dinged, damaged, bang on the ground, rocks, sand and anything else that gets in their way.

And while on the topic of being picky about things being nice and straight, or you could say 'organized,' with any detector I own I like to look down over the top of the control housing and see that the horizontal line along the top edge of the housing can be lined up with a horizontal line where the center of the lower rod coil bolt is, and across a center-line of the search coil, thus making the coil align properly across the center, and an elliptical coil will be positioned at a proper 90° vertical angle.

Well, my new XP ORX isn't properly aligned. It annoys me when things are not made nice and straight. My elliptical 5X9 search coil is canted off to the right site a bit. With most rod and coil sets with rod locks you can loosen it a little and twist the rod just a little to get the coil to align properly and then tighten it up. But not the ORX or, I presume, the Deus, because the odd-shaped upper rod, has a lower rod that is also odd-shaped and fits in the upper rod and they can't be twisted.

So the cause of the 'problem' of 'poor search coil alignment' is caused by the isolator piece that is pressured into the lower rod, but twisted just a bit to leave it canted and at an un-true orientation to the lower and upper rods. The only way I can correct my problem is to find a lower rod that has an isolator piece inserted into the lower rod so that it is in a 'true' orientation instead of being canted in alignment.

Am I a bit 'picky' about things? Possibly, but I'm not alone. I can also be picky about a detectors weight, feel, balance and the way it performs and the settings it has. So, with most of my nit-picking done about annoying things, let's continue to some in-the-field evaluation time:


Part Two After taking a break to rest up and get over the annoyances and frustrations I've had so far, I figured I ought to start working with the ORX by doing some testing on my deck using a few sets of test samples, with the #1 sample tool being my Nail Boart Performance Test. I was simply using a Indian Head or modern Zinc cent since they are comparable size and conductivity levels. For over 25 years now, the NBPT has been a make-or-break test for me to sort out the models that fall short of my requirement to provide at least 7-out-of-8 hits, and preferably all 8-out-of-8 hits, which I require to best handle very iron nails littered sites.

My ORX w/5X9 DD HF (High Frequency) coil provided all 8 possible hits. I will add, however, that the individual hits are there, discernible, but not like a nice and clean audio response I get from a Nokta CoRe or Relic, or White's MX-7, or any Tesoro I have used. I was using the #4 Coin Deep 'mode' with the Reactivity at '3' and Discrimination at '7'. Also with both the labeled Iron Volume turned 'On' as well as 'Off.' (More on their Control Naming in a bit.)

I have several other Test Scenarios that help me sort through detector performance and use some Audio Target Classification (ATC) techniques to also see how the ORX can perform and provide me good telling audio information on questionable targets. When I complete my ORX evaluation I will try and have photos of some of the test samples I am using when I evaluate and learn any detector I get in my hand.

The last Test Scenario I use is one that separates the better iron nail challenges I have that only two detector models have excelled at so far. It is a simple 'test' where I use a brass or copper non-ferrous Button Front. It has a RR engine on it, and measures almost the same diameter as a US 1¢ coin, but has no back section and is very thin. On that I place an iron nail, about 3½" in length, right down the center of the Button-Front. I use, and ask for others to test their detectors, with the Discrimination set to just barely accept an iron nail. Then sweep cross-wise completely across the set-up, both left and right, and then do the same sweeping lengthwise right down the center of the coil. Going from the left and then right provides a potential to get 4 hits out of 4 sweeps.

The ORX with my settings as I would be using when searching ghost towns gave me just 2-out-of 4 hits.

I then did it by increasing the Discrimination to just barely Reject the iron nails, and again I got 2-out-of 4 hits. Finally, I increased the Discrimination level to the Ferrous / Non-Ferrous break point and tested it again. I got, once again, 2-out-of 4 possible hits. The final result is that the ORX only produced 6-out-of-12 possible dig-worthy hits. But that is what I get out of almost any other good detector that can hunt reasonably well in a sparse number of iron nails. Some get fewer hits that 6-of-12. sad smiley Only two detectors give me 12-out-of-12 hits on that single nail target-test challenge.

Then I have taken the ORX to four hunt sites so far to get a better idea of the strengths and weakness of it as I have worked to see if the ORX is, or isn't, a detector I think will work for me.

....Time out is needed at this point but this will give you some idea of how the ORX is doing and my thoughts to this point. I'll continue with my Evaluation later this evening.

Monte

"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
503-481-8147
Nokta-Makro:(3), Teknetics:(1), Tesoro:(4), White's:(1), XP:(1)
Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's 'Pro Star'
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2019 08:10PM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

Monte 142 June 08, 2019 12:19PM

Re: Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

GeoW 51 June 09, 2019 01:38PM

Picking up the evaluation in Part Two: The XP ORX.

Monte 113 June 09, 2019 10:37AM

White's and Tesorothumbs up

Hombre 82 June 10, 2019 01:58PM

My revised thoughts on both White's and Tesoro.

Monte 29 June 19, 2019 06:48PM

Re: Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

D&P-OR 52 June 09, 2019 09:11AM

No decent stand makes it more prone to falling over than I am ... and that's not a good thing.

Monte 60 June 09, 2019 10:41AM

Re: Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

Kickindirt 69 June 09, 2019 08:18AM

Re: Metal Detector Evaluation Part One and Part Two: The new XP ORX.

Digstrashtomuch 51 June 10, 2019 05:42AM

Good reading. thumbs up N/T

UtahRich 41 June 09, 2019 12:31AM



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