Troy Custom Detectors is no longer manufacturing metal detectors. As a tribute to Troy Galloway, Graphique Du Jour is
hosting a copy of his original website for his achievment in designing and bringing to market a the Shadow line of detectors,
with features and performance previously unmatched. Graphique Du Jour Home

Ed Fedory Field Test/Evaluation- SHADOW X2
(Ed Fedory is a well known author in the field of metal detecting
and has written for
several major treasure hunting magazines.)


By Ed Fedory

Courtesy of "Western & Eastern Treasures" Magazine

One of the great facets of the human experience is its unpredictability. There’s always magic about to happen, and surprises await us at every turn… there’s mystery afoot, and wonders abound. I’ve spent the better part of my life being a teacher, and my entire life being a gradually aging student. Life seems to be an endless series of lessons, both big and small, and the truths we assume on one day may prove false when viewed in the light of another dawn.

I wondered if I would be learning a few new lessons when I viewed the Troy SHADOWx2 for the first time. I sensed its ease of use and no-frills basic toughness the first time I held it and swung the coil across the ground--- and I knew the SHADOWx2 was a "hot unit" when I felt the weight of my collecting bag at the end of the first day of relic hunting!

Having assembled the SHADOWx2 in a matter of minutes, I stood it against a display case in my office and stepped back to take a look at it. All black… great graphics… compact control housing… ultra-lightweight. I knew that someone at Troy Custom Detectors must have had the idea of Stealth fighters in mind, and I had more than a hunch that this small package could deliver a big punch!

Babies are cute… so are puppies and kittens. But when your buddies use that term to describe your detectors, you just have to prove to them that big, bulky and complex are things of the past. "This SHADOWx2 is a ravenous wolf in sheep’s clothing, and we’re going to eat up some ground," was my reply.

They didn’t believe me then… they believe me now!

The SHADOWx2 is a compact, ultra-lightweight, easy to operate, "grab and go" detector of the transmitter-receiver (TR) type, which operates in the very low frequency (VLF) portion of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. It employs the latest surface-mount technology and has a factory preset ground rejection circuitry which allows for operation in virtually all ground mineralization situations. The SHADOWx2 comes with a 7" round concentric searchcoil for all-around performance with good depth, and there is a variety of optional searchcoils to meet any special needs the detectorist might have.

The control panel of the SHADOWx2 is a lesson in simplicity. There are two knobs—one adjusts the discrimination level, and the other turns the detector on, runs through a short battery check, and then allows the user to select the sensitivity level he wishes to use. There are also two buttons conveniently located at the tip of your thumb. One, when pressed, puts the detector in an all-metal Pinpoint mode, while the Coin Check button allows the detector’s discriminator to eliminate all targets below the conductivity of a copper penny.

One of the features I enjoyed the most about the SHADOWx2 was the simplicity of the power source. A single 9-volt battery provides 20 hours of operation, and battery replacement takes only seconds. Just turn off the detector, pop out the old battery, and snap in a new one! You don’t have to fumble around with connectors with this detector, as the battery contacts are already fixed into the battery compartment.

An additional feature which I liked was the silent-search mode which the SHADOWx2 employs. I will admit that this feature took a little getting used to. Having listened for so many years to a continual threshold sound humming in my ears, I found myself sweeping the coil over the brass eyelets of my boots to make sure the SHADOWx2 was still on. However, the more I used the detector, the more my confidence in it grew… and the less I bothered with my boots.


Figuring out where to field test the SHADOWx2 was easy. Gene and I had planned a relic hunting trip for the last week of April, and the following weekend our club, the River Bottom Band, would be heading south to a competition hunt put on by the Mid-Jersey Research & Recovery Club at Seaside Heights, New Jersey. So, both some slow swinging and some fast-paced hunting would be in line for the SHADOWx2!
One of the hardest things to do when relic hunting is to leave your old detector in the truck and hit the fields with a unit you have never used before, but I was determined to put the SHADOWx2 through its paces. Gene was still glancing over at me and shaking his head as we crossed the field to the point where we would begin our search. As we walked between the cornstalks, I thought how strange it was to be using a detector which weighed less than my digging tool!

I set the discrimination level to 2, boosted the sensitivity on the SHADOWx2 to 8, and began running a loose search pattern across the field. After two shotgun shells and a slug, the first musketball came into the light of day after being underground for over 200 years. Another musketball and a button dating from the French & Indian War were found shortly afterward. I had been using the SHADOWx2 for half an hour!

As we approached a small rise in the field, Gene and I knew we were coming to the area of the suspected outpost. A loud signal suddenly ran through my headset, and I pressed the Pinpoint button to get some idea of how big a target I would be digging. By the spread of the signal I could tell it was large. Five minutes later, I was walking over toward Gene, carrying the target in my hand, a large axe blade from the Colonial era. Gene was amazed.

One of the qualities I liked about the SHADOWx2 was its ability to "mask" small iron, such as nails, while still giving a good, solid signal on large iron at lower levels of discrimination. This became especially appreciated when I later recovered a 4 lb. Cannonball at the same site.

At the end of the hunt we walked off the field with several cannonballs, the axe, a handful of musketballs and grapeshot, a dozen Colonial buttons, and an assortment of relics dating from the middle of the 1700’s. The SHADOWx2 proved itself to me on that hunt. It went nose-to-nose and toe-to-toe with a detector retailing for almost twice the money, and twice the weight. Relic for relic, Gene and I were about even for the hunt, but there was one major difference. I didn’t have years of experience behind my detector… it was only the first day in the field!

I guess Gene summed up that relic hunt with the best line of the day. "If I didn’t see it… if I hadn’t been right next to you, I wouldn’t have believed it! Where can I get one?" I’ve never considered myself much of a competition hunter. Average would probably be the best word to describe my capabilities in the fast-paced arena of "the sand between the flags." But as we stood there with coils raised in the pre-hunt ritual, I knew I would be doing a lot better than I had on previous hunts.

Those of you who are competition hunters know how the first 20 minutes of the hunt become a blur of activity: pinpoint… recovery… check… shake the basket… move! During those initial minutes there is no thought process involved. You’re running on instinct. To think is to slow sown, and that’s the last thing you want to do on the hunt field!

The 7" coil and the light weight of the SHADOWx2 really helped during the hunt. When I finally took time to look in the bottom of my basket after 20 minutes into the hunt, I knew I had far exceeded the number of targets I had ever been able to recover on any previous hunts. At the end of the event, I had 94 more targets. Both of these hunts were a "personal best," and it was achieved not through any change in hunting strategy or mere chance. The only factor that changed and contributed to my being more successful that day was the detector… the SHADOWx2.

That is the plain, unvarnished truth. It would be nice to say that during the hunt the laws of physics were temporarily suspended, and that I am actually getting faster as I get older, but such statements would be immediately suspect.

Simply put, the SHADOWx2 is a no-frills, lightweight powerhouse which gives detectorists, competition hunters, and relic hunters the depth and reliability they demand. It is well designed and manufactured for rough service in the field, and easily disassembles for backpack storage for those of us who head far off the beaten path in search of history. There are a few things I may forget on our next expedition to the deep woods, but the SHADOWx2 will not be one of them!
© 2003 All Rights Reserved

Webmaster - Shadow21