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Well, I hope your short-lived company offering works okay.

February 13, 2019 10:25AM avatar
I had the Shadow X5 that I got directly from Troy Galloway. and when everything was set up correctly and no adjustment changes were made, it worked pretty well. I used the 7" Concentric almost exclusively but did work the other coils in several locations, but was generally working in trashier areas so the 7" Concentric got the nod.

Anyway, I liked it when it was working OK, but I didn't like the weird interaction between the Disc. control and Ground Balance setting, and on the X5 the preset GB was not a good option to use, either. I have never been a 'Discrimination fiddler' and like to se the Disc. level as low as tolerable and just hunt away. It's the good old-fashioned ... and proven ... 'Beep-DIG!' search method. I do not tinker around with 'thumbing' the Disc. control up and down to try and narrow down or try to guess what might be hidden out-of-sight. It is a waste of time, for me, and it can cause some operational problems with some detectors as well.

I have seen problems on some other brand circuitry designs like this, but it's a real annoyance with some like the Tesoro Sidewinder µMAX, 'original' Conquistador (before the Conquistador µMAX circuitry), some others and the Troy Custom Shadow X5. The X5 kind of behaved similar to those Tesoro models, even though it had a different design engineer. Here're the problems I had with that Shadow X5.

One problem was the factory preset Ground Balance setting was way too positive, and I was living in rather mineralized NW Oregon, but also took that X5 with me on a couple of trips to my favorite old RR ghost towns in Utah and Nevada. If I chose the preset GB operation it hampered my detection of high-end conductive targets like big Silver Dollars and Half-Dollars in some areas.

Also, the Disc. setting I used when in a manually Ground Balanced operation was shifted a little if I toggled to the preset GB operation.

The Second problem I had was an interaction between the Discriminate control and the Ground Balance control. It's been quite a few years now since I had the X5 and I can't recall how I noticed the shift, but here's what occurred. I like to set my detectors up to just barely Accept common size iron nails if using a 2-Tone model, such as a Teknetics Omega 8000 or Nokta FORS CoRe or FORS Relic, or to just barely Reject those nails with a single-tone model, such as a Tesoro Bandido or Silver Sabre or White's Classic ID.

I set the Shadow X5 up to just barely reject a few nails at a site with a low suggested proper control setting. But when I moved a short distance over where the ground mineral conditions were obviously different, I paused to readjust the manual Ground Balance. The GB for my All Metal mode was then spot-on, but I noticed a shift had resulted in the Discriminate level setting which I then and to tweak a bit to just barely knock out the same nails.

I also noticed at one time where I was ready to hunt but someone had checked out the X5 and messed with the control settings. I first selected the All Metal mode, adjusted for a proper slight audio Threshold hum, then manually Ground Balanced to be 'spot on.' Then I noticed the Disc. level control was off from where I like it so I adjusted the Discriminate level to just reject a couple of sample nails I had in my pouch. I was about to hunt when I double checked and noted the already 'spot-on' Ground Balance had to be readjusted. That shouldn't occur, but there was an interaction between the Ground Balance and Discriminate control adjustments.

The preset GB on the X% was, as I stated, way too positive, but that might have been done intentionally to keep forgetting a false-response if I changed search coils to one that would be out of calibration and negative, unless the preset compensated for that potential by being set too positive. Like many detectors, if you change search coils you will often have to adjust the Ground Balance to properly 'calibrate' or 'tune' the detector for peak performance with that particular search coil.

That's one reason I prefer to have a manually Ground Balance controlled Tesoro, such as the Bandido II µMAX (microMAX) if I plan to hunt a wide-range of mineralized environments, and especially if I plan to use more than one search coil. That gives me the manual control to 'calibrate' the GB setting for the search coil in use. In the case of my other Tesoro favorite, the Silver Sabre µMAX, it is an internally preset GB model but I have assigned it only one search coil, a 6" Concentric, that I plan to use exclusively on it and I tweaked the internal GB trimmer for some very mineralized ground to be certain that model, with that specific search coil, was likely to not have a problem.

I have seen quite a few preset GB models that needed attention when the operator changed from the originally supplied factory coil to a difference size or type coil. Sometimes a coil change might result in a preset GB model actually having a higher GB setting due to the different coil, but the operator is seldom aware of the change.

At other times, however, a coil change, let's say from a 7" to a 9" or down to a 5", might result in a negative GB shift and the new coil will have a negative GB to the point where the detector will false with any variance of the coil being lifted away from the ground, or from sweeping over a void, a hole, a depression or just irregular ground. That requires a GB adjustment, and on the factory preset designs it calls for a very careful tweaking of a small and gentle internal trimmer. Those trimmers are not intended to be messed with very much.

That's why when people had some problems with their 'turn-on-and-go' Tesoro's (meaning they had a factory preset GB model) they were asked to send the detector and ALL of the search coils the person had to the factory service department for proper 'calibration.' That meant two things. First they would make sure one of the search coils wasn't defective, and then once all the search coils were within design specs, the would 'calibrate' the detector to work with all of the search coils. That simply meant they would tweak the internal GB trimmer so that NONE of the search coils had a too negative GB which would cause falsing from being too negative.

The good news was the consumer got a detector and several coils back and could hunt most anywhere and not experience falsing from having a too negative GB with any search coil. The bad news is that, in some cases, the new GB setting might be effective for one or teo of the coils, but it could result in a too-positive GB setting for one or more of the other search coils, and without any falsing, the consumer might not know of any negative results from that setting.

That could be why Troy Custom designed the X5 to have a very positive preset GB. So there wouldn't be any falsing in bad ground with any coil change. Unfortunately, I noticed the impaired performance, at least with the specimen I got from him, so I was aware of a design weakness. Manual GB brought me the best success, but it was touchy due to a change in either the Disc. or GB control effecting the other function.

You could check out your Shadow X3 to see how it behaves for you with a few simple tests:

#1.. Adjust the Disc. level to the minimum setting, hold the search coil about 6" to 8" above the ground in a clean, metal-free area and press and hold the Pinpoint button. You should hear a functional Threshold audio. Then lower the search coil toward the ground, to about ½:" and listen for any audio change in the Threshold.

a.. Does the Threshold audio increase, decrease or stay the same as the coil is lowered toward the ground?

b.. Do this over lower mineralized ground to some of the higher mineralized ground around and compare the preset GB setting as described.

#2.. Increase the Disc. level to the maximum setting and repeat test #1 to check the GB behavior. This will suggest if there is any difference in the preset GB adjustment or not tied in with the Discriminate control.

#3.. With the Discrimination set low, such as to just reject a common size iron nail, sweep over one US Silver Dollar, then a "short stack" of 5 or 6 Silver Half-Dollars and/or Silver Dollars to check the audio response.

If your Shadow X5 seems to be working OK without falsing or a wildly off GB in the Pinpoint function, or trouble with the single or short stck of big, high-conductive silver coins, you might want to consider hanging onto it. If you get any additional search coils for it, try these same three quick tests to make sure the preset GB is functional with both/all the coils you have.

If there are any performance concerns, you might want to not have the X3 because it will be bugging you in the back of your mind when afield. But if everything is checking out OK with your specimen, then enjoy some good days afield with that 19 kHz detector. Once we good favorable weather again, of course.


"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
Detectors from: Minelab '1' --- Nokta / Makro '4' --- Tesoro '2' --- White's '1'
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive & ProPointer AT .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... MS-3 Z-Lynk ... ML-80
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

Like finding a relic

Kickindirt 484 February 12, 2019 04:02PM

Well, I hope your short-lived company offering works okay.

Monte 319 February 13, 2019 10:25AM

Re: Well, I hope your short-lived company offering works okay.

Kickindirt 267 February 13, 2019 03:54PM

Re: Well, I hope your short-lived company offering works okay.

RickUK 262 February 13, 2019 11:46AM

Re: Well, I hope your short-lived company offering works okay.

Cal_Cobra 309 February 22, 2019 11:07AM

To RickUK and Cal_Cobra.

Monte 320 February 24, 2019 09:36AM

Re: hey Cal Cobra

Kickindirt 275 February 23, 2019 11:53PM

Re: Like finding a relic

NWCindy 320 February 12, 2019 05:14PM

Re: Like finding a relic

Kickindirt 274 February 12, 2019 05:45PM

Re: Like finding a relic

NWCindy 259 February 14, 2019 07:35PM

Re: Like finding a relic

OregonGregg 217 February 12, 2019 05:53PM

Re: Like finding a relic

Kickindirt 203 February 12, 2019 06:59PM

Re: Like finding a relic

OregonGregg 230 February 12, 2019 09:48PM

Re: Like finding a relic

Kickindirt 245 February 12, 2019 10:02PM

Re: Like finding a relic

OregonGregg 268 February 13, 2019 11:34AM

Tough to hunt places.

UtahRich 203 February 13, 2019 01:32PM

Re: Tough to hunt places.

Kickindirt 194 February 13, 2019 03:31PM

thumbs up

Remfire 185 February 13, 2019 01:44PM

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