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White's Bullseye TRX Pinpointer product review by John Winter -The Searcher, July 2014
White's Bullseye TRX
by Paul Southerland
I watched as a fellow hunting partner's pit grew deeper while he searched for an object his metal detector told him was still in the hole. It was typical Oklahoma red clay with the current summer drought baking it into a hard mass tough to dig.
As he tried to get deeper I offered to recheck the hole. My White's MXT Pro showed the object was possibly a quarter, still there and not centered in the hole but off to one side.
Checking the side of the hole indicated by my detector a bright silver quarter was barely visible resting on its edge. Retrieving a nice 1925 Standing Liberty quarter my partner's head dropped in disgust as he noticed, while trying to get deeper in the hole, the point of his digger had scraped along the side of the coin leaving a very noticeable scratch.
The pinpoint mode on most metal detectors will only get you close to begin digging. If your using one of the really large coils while out detecting you can be off a couple of inches when you start to retrieve an item. The use of smaller coils on a detector will be more accurate when pinpointing but at a loss of depth while searching.
I've attended many seeded hunts put on by metal detecting clubs. As I search the hunt field I make a point of sweeping my coil over the holes dug by other contestants that have been filled back in. I often discover tokens or silver coins buried for the hunt left behind by those who don't own or use a pinpointer and have given up on the hole in their haste to move on.
Both of these common occurrences can easily be avoided by the use of a small handheld pinpointer. The Bullseye TRX pinpointer just released by White's can help speed up the recovery time and insure accurate locating of targets while digging. With its excellent sensitivity and ability to detect items you can even zero in on shallow targets before you start to dig, thus avoiding damage to a find while retrieving it. More on the sensitivity of the unit in the bench test below.
Using the latest miniaturized components available, White's has put a complete ground-balancing VLF circuit inside a rugged weatherproof housing. Operating at a frequency of 12 kHz it searches in an all metal non-motion mode. The unit is 10 inches in length and weighs only 6.5 ounces.
The TRX indicates targets with Audio and Vibrate Alerts that are both turned on by default or can be turned off and used independently. The Audio Alert operates as a series of beeps that increase as the tip gets closer to the target. Within 1/4 inch of the target the beeps become a continuous tone. Equipped with an Overload Indicator feature the TRX alerts will give a series of long responses to indicate detection of an excessively large target.
Upon unpacking the unit the first thing I noticed was the dual battery holders the TRX comes with. You can operate with either two AA batteries or a single 9-volt. Most detectors on the market today use one of these two battery sizes and if you carry spares in the field for your detector, as you should, you'll also have extras with you for this pinpointer as well. The unit is equipped with an audio alert that issues a two-tone alarm indicating a low battery status.
There is an LED light that shows the unit is turned on and can be used in low light to illuminate a digging hole. It will blink continuously to indicate the batteries are low.
The TRX comes with a sturdy well-sewn holster that will fit up to a 3 inch belt. That is a plus for those like me who prefer to use a wide belt around our waist to carry digging pouches. A loop to attach a lanyard is provided on both the holster and rear of the unit if you desire to use one to avoid laying your pinpointer down and forgetting it. Should you do so White's has incorporated a Lost Pinpointer Alarm mode in the electronics of the unit. If you walk off and leave it on the ground when left powered on the TRX activates the Lost Pinpointer Alarm after 5 minutes of inactivity and will issue a long beep every 15 seconds. The TRX also has an automatic power-off mode and will turn itself off after five minutes in the Lost Pinpointer Alarm mode to conserve battery power.
The outside shell of the unit is marked with a ruler in one inch increments and the rear molded in bright orange so it can be easily seen if left in the grass. The shell is easily replaceable should it get damaged. You simply remove one screw inside the battery compartment, slide out the main interior and slide on a new shell.
The TRX is made in America at White's Sweet Home, Oregon plant and comes with a full two-year warranty.
I popped an almost dead 9-volt battery in the unit to test the low battery tone alarm and flashing LED warning. Both worked as stated by the manufacturer.
I used a penny, nickel, dime and quarter to check the Audio Alert. I found that it worked perfectly with the beeps increasing and becoming one continuous tone as the tip of the unit was against the coins. The unit detected a quarter from 4 1/2 inches away.I also found that by using the on/off button I could shrink the size of the search field the unit was seeing. When hunting playgrounds in the city parks this will be useful to pinpoint items that are only a few inches away from the large metal poles holding up the playground equipment.
On checking the TRX's sensitivity I tested the unit to see how it reacted to one of the smallest items of value I find while hunting park playgrounds, a .925 (sterling silver) earring back. It detected it with no problem. I then tried it out on some very small pieces of gold. The smallest was a tiny .042 gram flake. This was about the smallest piece of gold the unit would sound off on. I tried it on a .512 gram picker and found the TRX could see a piece that small from 1 1/4 inches away. A .078 piece was detected at 1/2 inch from the unit's tip. Those are extremely tiny pieces of gold and I was amazed it saw them. A lot of the metal detectors on the market will not locate gold that small for you to even begin searching for with a pinpointer.
I took the TRX along with a White's MXT Pro to hunt a large field that was the former site of a dairy farm started around statehood. The field has yielded a lot of coins, mostly wheat pennies, along with a few of the tokens good for one quart of milk the dairy supplied to customers.
We usually can't hunt there in the summer as the ground has gravel mixed in with the clay and gets extremely hard. The recent melting snow left it much easier to dig this time of year. The first item detected was a WW II silver nickel at 4 inches. I then dug several pennies. My detector's screen finally flashed the VDI number of 75 I was looking for that the tokens usually read at. The target was 5 inches down and my digger was glancing off pieces of gravel as I tried to dig. I kept using the TRX to keep the item centered in my digging hole. The tokens are made of aluminum and easily damaged. I was lucky not only to dig one of the dairy tokens but also a version not found before.
The TRX is very effective in detecting the smallest of metal objects and accurately locating their position for digging. The sensitivity is very impressive. I found the unit to feel both sturdy and very comfortable in my hand.
If you wish to avoid a lot of unnecessary digging, speed up your recovery time and lower the chance of damaging an item then you should check out the Bullseye TRX pinpointer. Visit White's website at www.whiteselectronics.com or contact their friendly staff at (800) 547-6911.
Reviewer's Note: The TRX unit used for this review and field test was selected at random from dealer's stock at Wayne's Treasure Shop in Oklahoma City.