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MX5 Quick Look
I just finished bench testing a production MX5, and since everyone has been
asking about it, I thought I'd post some top-level info and results. As I
have done other units, I'll add field test notes as I complete other testing
.... They've started hitting dealer shelves so keep an eye peeled ....
Type: VLF - IB
Freq: 14 Khz
Programs: 2 (Coin / Beach)
Search Modes: Disc / Beach / All Metal
Search Audio: Threshold with selectable Tone ID
All Metal Audio: Selectable VCO / Non VCO
Audio Output: Speaker / Phones (1/4" stereo jack)
Stock Coil: 9" Concentric Spider
Coil Compatibility: All Eclipse Series
Weight: 3 lbs 9 oz
Length: 45 - 60"
Power: 8 AA batteries (Pack is like CM GT / 6T)
Battery life: About 30 hours (24 hours with backlight on)
Warranty: Standard 2 year
I unpacked the MX5 and set up per instructions. Nothing unusual or special.
The housing is CM GT but gray like previous 6T.
Powered up and noted chatter right off the bat. I had received a "heads up"
that this unit requires a manual ground balance (just bob the coil up and
down a few times), for quiet ops, so I did the obligatory balance and sure
enough the unit quieted down.
I looked over the features and functions as described in the 23 page Owner's
Manual, and watched the included DVD. I found both to be helpful, as there
are some "switch combinations" required to activate / deactivate specific
functions, but they are covered in the manual and in the DVD.
After familiarizing myself with the unit, I ran some air testing. Setup was
Coin Program, Sensitivity = 8, All ferrous rejected, Tone ID = 8. VCO = ON
and a light, comfortable threshold. The unit could "see" a quarter with Tone
ID and solid VDI at a safe 8". If I bumped the Sense up to Max I could get
the quarter at 10" in Disc mode with good VDI. I could get a "chirp" at
close to a foot.
All Metal showed the quarter at 12" with a definite VCO audio change.
Setting Accept / Reject criteria within the 20 ranges is easy. Arrow to the
range and press Disc to Select / Reject.
All coins / tabs / etc tested as expected with "standard VDI readings" for
The "notch out" in the 20 selectable "ranges" was accurate and results as
Note' bene': Ala 6T, the VDI is still displayed in All Metal mode.
Discrimination is disabled as is Tone ID.
I found the tracking to be stable and quite responsive. I could "track out"
the rebar as well as the mineralization in my driveway pavers and still get
an accurate VDI on all targets.
Tracking is still active in All Metal mode, so motion is required to
maintain a target in this mode. If you hover over a target in All Metal mode
it will "track out". As in other Whites units, Pinpoint mode locks tracking
and no motion is required.
Pinpointing with the 9" concentric is easy and accurate. With VCO (pitch
increase) or without (audio level increase) pinpointing was "spot on".
Highest pitch / strongest audio = target in center of coil. Best results are
achieved if you initiate the pinpoint process OFF the target ....
Note' bene': I found that pinpoint depth was just a bit deeper with VCO =
ON. Might be because I am used to running with VCO audio enabled on ALL my
The display readout changes from VDI to Depth when Pinpoint mode is
Controls are compact enough to be "run with one thumb", but large enough for
easy manipulation. An exception is when changing from VCO = ON to OFF. One
must press the PP switch and then the UP or DOWN arrow key to change VCO
Pressing Pinpoint + Select simultaneously is used to change the depth
readout between In and Cm ...
There are three Tone ID modes:
1 Tone Coin and Beach. Accepted VDIs = Tone. Reject VDIs = No tone
2 Tone Coin and Beach. Accepted VDIs above 0 = High tone. Accepted VDIs
below 0 = Low tone. Rejected VDIs = No tone
8 Tone Coin and Beach. 8 Tones for 8 VDI ranges. Accepted = Tone. Rejected =
Best depth was achieved by using a light "barely audible" threshold.
Can be set to 0 to emulate a "silent search" machine. Not recommended as I
found this to have an adverse effect on depth.
Adjustable to user comfort.
The backlight is an ON / OFF function, but is set at a comfortable level,
usable even in daylight. Selected with "Lightbulb" (Backlight) switch on the
control panel. Running the Backlight continuously will reduce battery life
by approximately 20%
Tapping the ON / OFF switch puts MX5 in a "Stand-by" mode for quiet target
recovery. The display replaces the VDI readout with two horizontal lines to
let you know you're in standby. In case you forget, the unit will "chirp" at
you after 30 seconds. After 5 minutes of unattended "stand-by" mode MX5
Built In Resets:
Press Power + Beach to reset current program to factory settings.
Press Power + Select to reset all programs to factory settings.
End of the day quick look:
MX5 offers a lot of features / $$ in a lightweight, easy to learn, easy to
use package. I am impressed with the balance and how "intuitive" the
controls are. The Owner's Manual and DVD are complete and easy to
The unit is stable and the 14Khz is not as sensitive to EMI as the 3Khz DFX
/ 2.5Khz V-machines.
I am extremely happy to see the compatibility with the Eclipse coil line.
This makes MX5 much more of an "investment" than a "purchase", as
accessories can be shared by / among other units including M6 / MXT / MXT
Pro / DFX / VX3 and V3i.
MX5 is an excellent addition to the Whites lineup. Reasonably priced ($600),
lots of features, easy to learn and use. For someone wanting to upgrade from
an older unit and who's looking for "light and feature-rich", MX5 fills the