Based on feedback I have received from fellow treasure hunters across the country as well as my own observations at hunts and shows I have attended, the Whites Spectrum series is probably the single most popular model of metal detector ever produced. As a matter of fact, Melissa Wise, advertising director for Whites Electronics said that the popularity of the Spectrum line has been nothing short of phenomenal and the growth shows no sign of slowing down with the newest addition to the line the XLT.
First introduced in 1991, the versatility of the Spectrum quickly became its trademark. While beginners could use it right out of the box with only a quick glance at the manual, seasoned treasure hunters were able to precisely adjust it for their specific application. The wealth of information provided by the meter was another feature that was unique to the Spectrum. One could more accurately determine if the target was worth recovering and its enhanced discrimination system allowed high trash areas to be worked effectively.
While the engineers at Whites developed a top-notch detector that has produced amazing finds world-wide over the past five plus years, several firms have come up with after-market accessories which have helped Spectrum owners become more proficient and successful with their detectors in the field. The purpose of this article is provide an overview of several of these products and describe how they can be used for maximum effectiveness.
Spectrum Secrets by Kevin Mulrooney
Considering the instruction manual that comes with the Spectrum it is almost 70 pages in length and covers all aspects of the detectors operation, you might wonder why anyone would want to even consider buying a book that covers the same subject. Well, after getting a copy of Spectrum Secrets, I can honestly say I was surprised at how much I DIDNT know about the Spectrum until after reading this book.
Despite its diminutive size, veteran treasure hunter Kevin Mulrooney has crammed a wealth of information between its covers. The first section provides invaluable insight into many of the Spectrums features that the factory manual and engineers report do not cover. The following section provides some custom programs which has proven to be killers in the field. And the section on diagnosing and troubleshooting some common hardware/software glitches with the Spectrum is worth many times the cost of the book since it will save you from having to send the unit in for service when you can correct the problem yourself. Kevin writes in a style that makes the technical information easy to understand and immediately put into practice.
I have used the two programs he provides in the book with surprising results. At a Civil War skirmish site I was able to find several bullets and a button at depths that many would dismiss as being a fish story. Hunting a plowed field near Atlanta also produced relics and a few coins that my partner could not detect using the same detector that I was. Again, Kevin has developed the techniques described in his book through hundreds of hours of in-field use and based on the results obtained since programming them into my Spectrum, I must commend him on his efforts.
The book sells for $9.95 plus $1 shipping and handling. To order a copy, send a check or money order to:
Kevin Mulroony, 276 E. Main Street, Dept. TF, Newark, DE 19711.
Superphone II by Detector Electronics, Inc.
Detector Electronics was founded in 1983 with the express goal of providing treasure hunters with innovative and high quality accessories at reasonable prices David and Sondra Bernzweig who founded the company are avid treasure hunters themselves and their intense interest in the hobby has lead to the development of many of the products in their current line.
One of their most popular products is called the Superphone II which incorporates their patented signal processor circuit into a set of high quality headphones. Before you simply dismiss this as just another set of headphones, you need to read further. The circuit that Detector Electronics developed in 1983 and has improved on since that time is unique to the metal detecting industry. The circuit takes the audio signal from the detector and through the magic of electronics, enhances even the weakest signals which most treasure hunters would either miss entirely or simply ignore assuming it to be caused by changes in ground conditions. Typically however, these signals indicate a target just at the edge of the detectors detection envelope or one buried on edge. In addition to enhancing the weak signals, the circuit built into the Superphone II also reduces the strength of the audio signal produced by large or shallow targets. This prevents the users hearing from being temporarily affected by a loud signal causing him (or her) to miss a weak signal that might be nearby.
Due to the unique audio circuitry on Whites detectors, you need to specify the brand (Whites or other) when buying a set of Superphones. The only difference is the cord used on the two versions (the Whites version is called the Blackbird) which allows users with different brands to simply buy an additional cord and select the appropriate cord for the unit being used. The replaceable cord is a great feature as the cord on other headphones often gets snagged on branches or stepped on when standing up in the field rendering the headphones useless. Now, if the cord becomes damaged, you simply have to replace the cord rather than buy a new set of headphones.
The electronics in the Superphone are powered by a single 1.45 volt hearing-aid type battery which will provide at least 50 hours of use.
I have used the Superphone II for several years on a wide variety of detectors and have always been impressed with their performance. In preparation for this article I took my Spectrum to an area in downtown Atlanta that had produced a fair number of older coins and artifacts in the past and was slated to be leveled in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games. Using kite string, I grided out an area 50 feet square and began hunting with a standard pair of off-the-shelf headphones most treasure hunters use. Using small flags, I marked all of the signals that I thought were worth recovering. Several of the signals were real ear-ringers and Im sure any deep targets in the next few sweeps were missed. After completing my search of the area, I switched headphones and re-hunted the area using the Superphone IIs. Seven targets produced signals that were undetectable or so faint with the standard headphones that I would not have stopped to recover them. Each of these targets was a keeper including two .57 caliber Minnie Balls, a 1902 Indian Head, three wheat cents and a small silver locket. The Indian Head and two wheat cents had been buried almost on edge at a depth of 4-5-inches. What this test had shown me was that had I not been using the Superphone II, several nice finds would have been missed and would now be under a brand new parking lot.
The Superphone II sells for $119.95 and comes with a one year warranty. Replacement cords can be purchased for $21.95 if needed. Considering the additional detection depth, comfort and overall performance this product provides, its a piece of equipment youll wonder how you ever did without!
For the name of your nearest dealer or more information on any of the other products in their line, call the factory at (508) 626-0244 / (800) 446-0244 or write them at 419 Worcester Road, PO Box 2132TF, Framingham, MA 01701.
The Iron Eliminator by
International Treasure Hunter
When I first saw the ads for this device, I thought for sure it was simply just another gimmick with very little actual benefit in the field. After all, would a claim that says Detect gold, silver coins and jewelry right through a handful of nails and iron junk in the all-metal mode without hearing the iron or losing any sensitivity to the gold or silver sound believable to you? Well, I called the company that produced the product and spoke with Karl Chulick, owner and long-time treasure hunter.
Karl spent a fair amount of time on the phone with me explaining how his quest for the ultimate detector had led him to develop the Iron Eliminator. Combining his background in electronics with his extensive knowledge of how the Spectrum (and Eagle before that) worked, he spent almost two years developing the device that is so unique it received a U.S. patent.
Best described as a sealed cylindrical plastic tube 5-inches long and 1/2-inch in diameter, most treasure hunters Ive showed it to are highly skeptical as to how it would work in the field. The Iron Eliminator actually prevents the Spectrum from seeing smaller iron objects such as nails, bolts, wire, etc. which can mask a good target laying nearby.
Also, since it eliminates iron objects, it makes pinpointing good targets in amongst trash much easier and accurate. The instructions that come with the device include an easy-to-follow program which can be saved as one of the custom programs.
To demonstrate its effectiveness, I took it to a Civil War campsite virtually every relic hunter in the area has hunted over the years. Again, marking off a set area with string, I hunted it thoroughly without the Eliminator. Loading the program provided by Karl, I then re-worked the area using the Iron Eliminator. Four signals gave clear, repeatable signals that previously had registered in the negative region and produced the smeared display typical of trash. Careful digging revealed 3 bullets and a musket ball from depths of 4 to 7-inches and in each case, either a large rusted piece of iron or several nails were in the immediate area of the good target. Had I not re-checked the area with the Iron Eliminator, I would have ignored the four targets and left them for some other relic hunter to find.
Some of the applications for which the Iron Eliminator is ideally suited for include hunting for coins in old parks and picnic grounds littered with rusted bottle caps, searching old homesites and ghost towns which typically have loads of small iron trash and hunting for Civil War relics in campsites or staging areas. Your Spectrum will no longer see the trash which discouraged others before you.
The Iron Eliminator sells for $32.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling. To order one or to request information on the other products International Treasure Hunter puts out including books devoted to the Eagle Spectrum line, contact Karl at (408) 281-1980 or write to International Treasure Hunter, 243 Beldon Drive, Dept. TF, San Jose, CA 95123.
In summary, while the Whites Spectrum is a detector that can meet the needs of virtually any treasure hunter, the accessories described in this article will help you achieve the maximum performance this detector has to offer and improve your overall success in the field.