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Found 25 results

  1. Hi all, I am looking for a simple and effective beach detector. If it wasn't too expensive that would be nice too. I used to use a Garrett Master Hunter so you know how long it's been since I hunted on a beach. I own two top of the line PI's but all the trappings required make it hard to just jump out of the car and detect. Any recommendations and why are appreciated. Feel free to move me if this is in the wrong forum Steve. Thank you
  2. This is crazy! A virgin beach loaded with silver, first with CTX and then with DEUS. Enjoy!
  3. I went out this morning looking for what the storm has brought in. We had some waves in the bay up to 15 feet! When detecting after a storm it can be good but it can also be 'blown out' with very little pattern. I hunt for 'focused energy' and patches. This can take a lot of walking but can also result in rewards. My initial pass at the beach was along the cut (such that it was) which was mostly pushed over. The waves and tide had gotten so big that nothing stopped and it blew right over the blanket line. This makes for a good day if you are a beach comber but difficult for detecting. I kept walking and finally found a patch while the tide was still high. I came back to it an hour or so later when there was a bigger beach. The gird began and I was in a nickel, dime and quarter patch worth sticking with. This got me $18+ and a couple of keys. Then on one of my shallow penny hits I looked in the scoop and GOLD! Really? I put it back down on the beach and tested again and still penny on my 3030 ... must be gold plate. I'll check it when I get my glasses on ... time to work the patch more. When I got home I looked and J A 585 with a diamond ... maybe it was the size ... a penny won't quite fit inside it. It weighs 11.5 g. Yahoo, GOLD RING.
  4. Hi went out today on an average tide on a spot i am trying to hit hard at the moment had a brass ring 2 days ago and today i decide to focus on an area i havent done well yet ,large iron and mineralised concrete blocks fragment.....anyway found a 18ct weighting 3.06 grs considering that the river Thames isn't really famous for Gold i am happy with that one .I found 3 others on the low tide line but didn't have much hope today ,as the tide was crap.F75 rules with the small elliptical giving me amazing result .....the Deus havent seen much mud since i bought the Fisher ,all my other machines are taking dust ,with my settings i found 9ct ,14ct and 18ct gold so i am pretty sure i am well tune.The first gold bit with the F75 was a part of gold watch bracelet weighting 11.5 gr of 18ct :) Would love to try the Rutus on that spot RR
  5. Platinum and Gold 49Grams!!!! Jeez I'd have a heart attack Beach and Water Forum
  6. "A police station in Melbourne's east has been forced into lockdown after a couple brought in a 19th century cannonball they discovered buried on a beach. Fairlie Pirouc, from Croydon, was trying out a metal detector she bought for $75 from a community noticeboard when she unearthed the 3-kilogram missile at Mornington on Tuesday." Full story at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-23/cannonball-found-on-beach-sends-police-station-into-lockdown/7873456
  7. Love the concept !!!!!!if it works it could be lots of work out but a wild harvest!!!!! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Beach-rakes-Beach-trawl-thin-gold-chains-/1723648… RR
  8. I hit the same beach yesterday that I found the big mens class ring last week. The good karma must have come back to me for returning that ring to the owner as the beach gave up some nice goodies yesterday. A hat trick of gold......a 10k mens wedding band, a 10k ladies ring with three small diamonds and a beautiful 10k ladies broach/pin with a diamond and pearls. After a little research, the pin looks to be from the 1920's. And to boot, $11.66 in change. Klunker....I was looking for your initials "18k", but to no avail. I'll keep looking. Rob
  9. Headed to a local beach this afternoon for a much needed break and managed to swing for five hours. Picked up $13.75 in change, including a 1942 wheat penny, a large mens 10K gold 1976 class ring (which has initials, so I'll do my best to track down the owner), a .925 ring and .925 earring. The class ring has a gross weight of 17.57 grams giving it a pure gold content of 7.32 grams. Plus found some other odds and ends including three junk rings. Hunted with the CTX 3030 with the 17" coil. Not shown in the photo, 37 corroded zinc pennies that I pitched in the garbage. Good luck and happy hunting, Rob
  10. Now have three beach sites with one thing in common. They are on old human activity sites with a long history of use for many different things, and they have a lot of iron trash from old buildings torn down there. The Makro GR sounds off nearly continuously in AM mode yet still finds coins, a surprising number of them, and some junk jewelry as well as pulltabs/larger foil, etc. These are popular beaches in continuous use by a lot of people for a very long time. They are hunted to death by the best machines in common use. That I was able to find coins in them was surprising, also surprising is that micro jewelry is conspicuously absent from the take. Most places I can find small gold no matter who hunts there, but not coins to any extent. These are the other way around. It has to be the sheer amount of iron trash. Prospectors are familiar with the problem and use vlf when they can, discrimination if they must, and various tricks to pull gold, but this is a slightly different problem. Here the sensitivity to desired target appears to be lost by the presence of so many cut nails and spikes and iron flakes that lie in and below the sand. The reason I think this is the case is because of the size of the foil I am finding. The reason I think it is not because someone else with a better skill set has pulled them out, is because I am finding pulltabs and all denomination of coins. Including quarters, which even the most diehard cherry pickers find hard to leave, along with pulltabs/nickels which should mean that at least medium size gold should still be there. In an experiment to see if high frequency was the problem, I ran the Compadre over one site today. Set to just reject some iron, what I found was...iron. And not much else, a few pennies. The machine ran nice and quiet and only the good sounding signals of proper shape/size were dug. Cut nails, spikes, bolts. Lots of them. The GR seems to have done a good job of taking out most available targets, targets that should not have been there at all and was able to leave the larger iron. But, it is not finding the tiny gold that should be there based on what was dug. Also, very small foil seems to be lost with it which is what leads me to believe the iron masking is strong at these particular sites and sensitivity to desired targets is lost. Tried so far is the small coils, high gain and low gain, discrimination, and the Compadre with a 5" coil. For the GR, the stock coil seems to work better, and medium high gain in AM mode. It just will not go small enough on gold to get the job done. It is of course entirely possible that this just is not doable in practical terms. It is looking for gold stud earrings in a relic site essentially, and that is a lot to ask. So the question really is, is it possible at all?
  11. .....the goodies start to show up. Hit a beach with some major erosion and found some nice items. 18K gold solid link bracelet, 9 gold rings - all 14k - two with diamonds, 4 .925 silver pieces and a 14K gold stud earring. As a bonus.....over $60 in clad. All found with a CTX 3030 (the one I bought from Steve........Thanks Steve!) Rob
  12. The only detector I've used is a GPZ 7000 chasing gold in the gold fields far from the coast with great success. Very recently we have experienced sum huge swells hitting the east coast of Oz, taking thousands of tons of sand away and possibly exposing sum lost treasures. It got me thinking can you kill two birds with one stone? Would there be any problems with using the Zed on the beach ? Is it overkill ? Should I buy a machine suitable just for detecting on the beach ? I know I would be digging big holes and every target because it doesn't have discrimination like sum of the other machines (its the thrill of the chase & the unknown that gets me buzzing) Any input you guys can give would be great !! Cheers ozgold
  13. I think maybe I should have asked you all what you would recommend for a beach scoop before I purchased one. I looked on line a while and my thinking was the bigger the better. So I bought the 9 1/2 inch T-Rex. It didn't look that big in the picture but when I took it out of the box it was like "wow". Maybe I should have got the 8" model. I see how it got it's name. They told me the 3030 goes deep but I don't think I'll be missing a lot of targets on the first try with this thing but It may take a second person to operate it. Not only is it large but it's incredibly heavy duty. I looked at the welds on it etc and they are perfect. Between that and my big coils I best start working out. Terry
  14. picked up a few king Georges along the swash line , the tides have been high and erosion fairly deep. Actually thought someone was playing a prank planting 5 cent pieces till I knew what they were.
  15. Went beach detecting with the old sovereign and it keeps on surprising how well it goes on beaches already swept with newer detectors . The same ground had been covered by a mine lab 3030. The sovereign had no problems picking up the silver ring at the bottom of the hole , I even dug a drainage channel to allow water to escape . After half an hour was about to give up when the ring popped out.
  16. Hello all OK. firstly not talking about dedicated beach machines like EXCAL II, CZ21, AND THE TIGER SHARK. What would be the best top 3 (decending order ) normal, single freq, prospecting, vlf machines that would be good on wet salt water beaches. I know they wont be as good or as ideal as a dedicated beach machine, but having this capability on a general purpose or prospecting machine would be nice. I'm assuming 14-15 kHz maximum freq, ruling out the AT GOLD, FORS RELIC & GOLD+.? I'm thinking:- MAKRO RACER 2, WHITES MXT & MX SPORT, GARRETT AT PRO, FISHER GOLD BUG/F19/T2, etc,etc. How much are they giving away to the EXCAL II or the CZ21? 20-30% in depth? Looking ahead, is this where the new multi frequency NOKTA IMPACT & FISHER CZX/MOSCA machines might be even better all rounders? thanks jim
  17. Not many finds posted lately so I thought I would share mine. Headed to Hawaii for a Spring Break Vacation in April. Took my trusty old Excalibur with me on this adventure as it is a really good beach/surf detector. With all the new detectors being released lately I contemplated getting something new for the trip, but decided that I don't beach hunt enough to justify it. Instead I replaced the stock S shaft with a new Pluggers carbon fiber four piece dive/balanced shaft that I purchased on Ebay. Normally I like a S shaft but the Excal is really heavy and the new shaft is a blessing. Liked it so much, maybe for next year I will add GG head phones and the PP mod. Really planed to get into the surf this year but end up with a bad case of ReanalGlacoma ( could not see getting my ass in the water) Alcohol may have been involved. So I ended up spending my time dry sand hunting. WOW the beaches seem to be really worked over this year and pickings were slim, not even a lot of trash. I did come up with the usual lots of clad and some junk and several cool relics but not much to brag about until the morning I happen to stroll down to the area the surfers head out from. I saw the beach had washed out about two plus foot overnight. I had been over this spot the day before and not much. But wanted to see if the wash out changed anything and to my surprise the area was loaded with coins ( still no silver ) And jewelry. Hit a nice little silver toe ring a few silver ear rings a silver clad ring and my first gold ring at the beach. The lesson here is anytime the beach changes dramatically get in there! Its kind of like taking a bulldozer to the tailing piles. Excalibur with the new shaft . Beach that washed out. Finds from the washed out beach.............And the fist gold from the beach. WooHoo HH everyone.
  18. I don't get to the desert as often as I would like and it seems lately my results haven't been what I like either. When I do get out several times a week it is here at the beach where I live. Last night I went out with my wife in the weeeee hours of the morning when the tide was low and we had a good night. These are my finds. I use my 3030 with the large coil. This lets me cover some ground but also find coins in the wet sand down to 14 inches or so. Most are not that deep. My best target last night was a moonshiner (on the surface) and didn't need any digging. The ring is 14k/7.5dwt with 3 puma type cats on it. The more I look at it the more I like it but it doesn't fit except on the pinky. You guys post so many of your gold nugget finds it was time that I show you what I find. Happy Hunting on the Beach or in the Desert.
  19. Hi Guys New to the forum and metal detecting. Trying to make a decision between the 3 detectors mentioned above. I'm going to be doing most of my detecting on the Northwest beaches. I will also be doing some park hunting and then once a year prospecting in Arizona. I may try a little prospecting in the Northwest too if I find extra time. Initially thought the Excalibur was the way to go, but then after reading posts on several forums I'm starting to have doubts about its durability. I'm leaning towards the ATX at this point, but would like to get some final input on these 3 machines before I make a final decision. Any thoughts and input would be greatly appreciated.
  20. Hello all. I'm pretty new to this forum. Great stuff posted by many. My question is: What type of sand scoop do you folks prefer for beach hunting, both ocean and/or river. I saw a guy a while back, on a northern California beach, with a long handled scoop which was driven into the sand like a shovel (by foot). The entire head also pivoted. It appeared to be made of aluminum or stainless steel. Any pictures and or links would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike
  21. Ok, so what about SDC 2300 for beach hunting? I can't find anything about that... this is weird. Any videos, reviews just nothing. How to compare ATX to SDC 2300 in salt conditions. Steve could you help with this?
  22. Minelab CTX3030 beach hunting presets by Gary Drayton (factory beach mode preset) Rocky Areas on the Beach and waterPattern 1Pattern 2 in cross reference with Pattern 1 for checkingTarget TraceTarget Separation Low Trash or High TrashRecovery Deep OFFRecovery Fast ONSeawater ON on lower parts of beachSensitivity manualIn water try dig only low and high tones Rough Surf HuntingRecover Deep OFFSeawater ONTarget Separation – Low TrashVolume Gain – few numbers down to cut false signalsSensitivity Auto Deep Water HuntingPattern 2Seawater ONSensitivity Manual to MAX or AUTO +3 (rolling surf) until threshold becomes unstableVolume Gain 24 for flat surf Volume MAXRecovery Deep ONRecovery Fast OFFTarget Separation – Low Trash Shallow WaterSeawater ONSensitivity AUTO or manual to first unstable at fully submerged section try to wait few minutes to stabilize temperaturesVolume Gain 22-24Recovery Deep OFFRecovery Fast OFFTarget Separation – High Trash Eroded BeachesPattern 1Sensitivity Manual try to crank up to maximumTarget Separation – High TrashVolume Gain 24Recovery Deep OFF Wet Sanding Hard packed sandSeawater ONPattern 2 or Relic Search ModeSensitivity ManualRecovery Fast OFFRecovery Deep ONTarget Separation – choose to conditionsSoft sand Pattern 2Sensitivity Manual or Auto +3Recovery Fast ON or OFF (dependent on the amount of targets)Recovery Deep ON (for soft sand on lower beach)Recovery Deep ONTarget Separation – choose to conditions Dry SandingPattern 1Target Separation – High TrashRecovery Fast ONRecovery Deep OFF Shipwreck BeachesPattern 2Sensitivity ManualRecovery Deep ONTarget Separation – Low Trash or High Trash – conditionsVolume Gain 244 CO TonesTarget Trace ON Tourist BeachesPattern 1Sensitivity Manual or AutoRecovery Deep OFFRecovery Fast ONTarget Separation – High Trash4 CO TonesTarget Trace
  23. Well, back home safe and sound after a couple weeks in Hawaii with my wife. We visited the island of Kauai for the umpteenth time. We like the laid back vibe, made even more so by being familiar with everything. We do what we both like - she relaxes in the sun and I go metal detecting. And lots of walks and dinners together. I am glad I waited to post this as I have calmed down some now. A post a week ago would have been a bit much and made the Garrett ATX sound like God's gift to metal detecting. Now I can be more even handed about it. I will do up much more of a story for Steve's Mining Journal soon. This is just a post about how the Garrett ATX did for me in Hawaii. The back story is told at Steve's Mining Journal about prior trips made to the same location over the years. Hawaii has always been a pet project of mine as it is the most difficult environment I have even encountered for a metal detector. There is of course the salt water. There is also literally military grade electromagnetic interference (EMI) from military installations plus missile and satellite tracking stations. Finally, there is a mix of non-magnetic coral sands and volcanic basalt derived sands and cobbles. If you stick to the tan to nearly white sands you can get decent performance from many detectors. But when the basalt gets involved is where things get fun. Most prospectors are familiar with basalt rocks and the challenge they present in gold prospecting. Well, just take the same hot rocks and douse them in really salty water and heavy duty EMI and you have Hawaii. Multi frequency VLF detectors like the Fisher CZ or Minelab Excalibur do ok in in the stuff but lack any real punch. They do best in the whiter sands, but the basalt sands and cobbles really leave them feeling gutless. I went to PI detectors early on, and overall probably had my best results with the various White's Surf PI models. Again, however, they worked best in homogenous materials. Places where the white sands and basalt cobbles mixed gave the Surf PI fits as it hit on the basalt cobbles. In darker sand beaches it was near impossible to keep the machine steady over the bottom in the surf, leading to lots of false signaling. I tried several Garrett Infinium detectors in Hawaii and got tantalizingly close to the detector I wanted. The Infinium as a ground balancing PI could tune out the black sands and hot rocks and eliminate many of the false signals. But it introduced just as many if not more by an inability to play well with salt water and EMI. The interference in particular made the Infinium almost unusable at times. I really wanted a stable Infinium, and confirmed this idea by using the White's TDI in Hawaii. It seemed to solve the issues I was having with the Infinium and so I waited for White's to make a waterproof TDI. And waited. And waited. I waited so long that Garrett had time to take what they learned from the Infinium and another model, the Recon, and build a next generation PI, the Garrett ATX. I was cautiously hopeful that all the noise I had made over the years had been heard, but frankly, I was not getting my hopes up too much. On top of that, the good old days are gone. I used to spend a couple weeks in Hawaii years ago and never see anyone with a detector. This trip I saw people every day! Ok, often the same guy but also more different people detecting than probably all my previous trips combined. The competition has gotten fierce by comparison to the old days. And yet I just had my most successful trip to Hawaii ever. I recovered over a couple dozen rings with the ATX and half of those were gold or platinum. Some silver rings, a nice 14K bracelet, and a pile of coins and there inevitable PI junk. You will have to wait for the full story for details and more photos but here is a teaser of many of the good finds taken a few days before I wrapped up. Eight Gold and Two Platinum Rings Found by Steve Herschbach with Garrett ATX in Hawaii (Click on photo for larger version) You can probably see why a post earlier might have been a bit overly excited! This despite bad weather early on and all the extra detecting competition. The Garrett ATX is the best PI detector I have ever used for difficult water hunting. Hands down, no comparison. I have to qualify that by saying that what makes it shine is the severity of the conditions. A person buying it and using it on clean white sands in Florida would probably have a less enthusiastic reaction. There is a lot of confusion regarding ground balancing PI (GBPI) detectors like the Garrett Infinium or White's TDI. They do not air test well against good VLF detectors and indeed do not really perform all that well against them in mild ground. People never really understand what detectors like these are all about until they get into difficult ground. The kind of ground where the best VLF detectors lose half their depth, the GBPI detector just keeps plugging along, and all the sudden now have a big depth advantage. Not because they go so deep to start with, just that VLF detector fare so poorly in really bad ground. GBPI detectors only really shine in the worst conditions. Let that sink in because it is very important. Anyone reading this should not get the idea these detectors are the be all or end all for all circumstances. But when the going gets tough, when other detectors fall on their face, a GBPI detector like the Garrett ATX can be the answer. Tuning a detector like the Garrett ATX can really bother some people. There is this resistance to doing anything that reduces the theoretical max depth of the detector. As soon as you start getting into reducing settings the feeling is that "well, yeah, but now it does not go as deep". The reality is that any machine that can be run maxed out in bad conditions has left some performance on the table. You may be able to max settings in benign ground, but you should have to back off of max settings in really bad conditions. That is why the controls exist - to compensate for bad conditions. The goal is to be set as high as possible while getting stable performance. The ATX is a powerful detector, and so it should be expected the machine has to be dialed back in severe conditions. The ATX has three adjustments that affect the depth. The Gain control is the simplest. You decrease the sensitivity of the detector to help compensate for conditions that are introducing too much noise. Just like the Gain or Sensitivity control on a VLF detector. This control was lacking on the Infinium and is a major reason why the ATX is superior. There is the pulse delay, which Garrett labels as a discrimination control. It is, sort of. Without getting all technical on you it is also a sort of sensitivity control, in that increasing the delay or discrimination also eliminates signals from weak conductor targets like foil, hot rocks, or salt water. This is really the only control you have on the Infinium to deal with false signals and it serves a similar function on the ATX. Finally, you have the ground balance. The ground balance is basically another type of discrimination circuit or filter. The signal produced by the ground is determined and then eliminated. However, this comes at a cost. Items that read the same as the ground signal are also eliminated, and items near to the ground signal will exhibit reduced signals. The White's TDI makes it easy to demonstrate this. You can turn the ground balance completely off, and when you do so the machine air tests far better than it does when you turn the ground balance on. This is because of the subtractive nature of the ground balance circuit on the TDI. Also, because it has a manual ground balance, you can see the effect of tuning the ground balance control closer to and farther from a particular target response. Instead of tuning out the ground the control can be manipulated to tune out other items instead. It is just a basic discrimination circuit. Different ground balance methods can affect items to greater and lesser degrees so the example shown by the TDI should not be taken as being the same with all detectors. But the effect is real and does exist to some degree on all ground balancing detectors, both VLF and PI. So why use ground balance? That should be obvious - to tune out ground responses. If there is no detectable component in the ground you would be better off without the ground balance circuit. Such conditions rarely exist, but they do exist. Absolute pure white coral based sands are one of them. The ATX at its hottest will detect salt water however, and new to the ATX is the ability to ground balance out the salt signal instead of the ground signal, but you are trading some sensitivity for stability doing it. Long round about way to explain that when the Garrett ATX is turned on with factory default settings the ground balance setting is at a minimum. The ATX should be tried first with the factory default setting and on many beaches you will not want to ground balance it. Just leave the discrimination (pulse delay) at zero, set the gain as high as possible while still allowing the machine to be stable, do a frequency scan, and go. In Hawaii at my location however I could not do this. I could on clean sand but not in the cobbles I wanted to hunt. But first, a total surprise. My ATX was almost totally immune to the EMI that I had previously experienced on Kauai without even doing a frequency scan. The frequency scan was basically redundant. That one thing made the ATX a huge advantage for me before I did anything else. I would not have believed it had I not had a White's Surf PI along for backup and sure enough, when I fired it up, the EMI was there. It was discernible in the ATX non-motion mode but even then nothing to worry about. I. Do not know what Garrett did or if I have a magic ATX but this one thing alone really floored me. It absolutely eliminated my number one problem with the Infinium. Basalt cobbles in sand on Kauai A detector with all controls set to max is in theory getting the best depth. But if it is not stable you cannot work with it, so you have to adjust back to find the best balance. The ATX is a very powerful detector and so I found a combination of settings that worked for me to get quiet, stable performance. This is in no way being advertised as a setting to for you to use! It is what I did for this location and other locations will take different settings. In general, the more powerful all your settings can be the better while still being able to have a stable running detector. So the ATX with factory default (minimum) ground balance, zero discrimination (pulse delay), and max gain would be at its most powerful. The worse the conditions, the more you may need to dial the settings back. The problem is with all the settings maxed out the ATX is very sensitive to small gold, but that also means it picks up salt water and hot rocks. I played with the gain control and the pulse delay (disc) control looking for a balance that left the detector running quiet. A discrimination setting of three and a gain of seven made the ATX submerged in salt water run like a VLF. I periodically reduced the disc setting or bumped the gain higher and noise was introduced, so settled on the 3 and 7 setting for my Kauai beach. Then I found a fat basalt rock buried in the sandy bottom and ground balanced over it, eliminating the signal. I would be the first to admit these settings were probably aggressive and of course costing me some depth in theory, but I got what I have always wanted in Hawaii. A PI detector running quiet as a VLF and by that I mean just purring along with a threshold sound, and when it made a noise, it was because I had a target under the coil. Here is another way to look at it. A very hot detector will detect salt water. It will detect hot rocks. And it will detect things you want. EMI can also be an issue. The trick is to reduce the signals from the things you do not want to hear as much as possible while enhancing the good signals as much as possible. It may be letting unwanted signals through will also increase depth on desired targets a bit. It may also be true that too many signals from undesired targets will inhibit success. You have to decide for yourself where the balance lies. If maximum depth is the goal then digging more undesired targets may indeed pay off. In my case I had plenty of targets, so the goal was quiet, efficient operation. I would not hunt clean white sand set like this. I would have the settings maxed out. I had a strategy in mind here, and my goal was to detect in the basalt cobbles. I was not tuning the machine for maximum performance in the easy stuff, but for maximum performance in the worst stuff. I wanted to detect the places where targets were more likely to have been missed by other detectors. Finally, after one go with the stock coil, I switched to the 8" mono coil. A few reasons. First, it is easier to handle underwater and fits in depressions better. It can be pushed through sand ridges and is less likely to move on the shaft. And I could find items edge on with it easier than with the stock coil. By that I mean turn the coil on edge and drag it in the sand and it acts like a pinpointer on small surface targets. The edge of a mono coil is very sensitive. A smaller coil is easier to pinpoint with to start with anyway. And honestly, I used the 8" mono because I was worried about sand getting in the twist locks and giving me problems, possibly even seizing up the rod assembly. The 8" mono and shaft assembly was my sacrificial lamb. If it got totally screwed up my stock coil would still be fine. Garrett ATX with 8" mono coil (goodie bag attached to arm strap, waterproof watch on handle) I may as well relate now that I did have issues with sand in the twist locks but not as bad as anticipated. The lower two twist locks seemed just loose enough that at the end of every outing I just worked them back and forth and the rod in and out and they cleared. But the upper one gave me problems. It got sand inside that refused to come out, even after taking it off and working on it under running water for a half hour. For some reason that upper most twist lock was just a bit tighter to start with and the sand would not clear out. Yet it never quit 100%. I lost most of the ability to twist the lock but it still twisted just enough to hold the rod in place. I am asking Garrett for advice on where to drill a couple holes or maybe slots to see if we can get these things clearing sand a bit better. Overall I actually am ok with them but they need improvement. In other types of sand it could be a big problem. I am going to see if I can get my upper lock to loosen up similar to the lower two and will report back later. The rod assembly got scored up quite a bit from being extended and collapsed with sand in the assembly. I will post photos later. Nothing that bothered me but some might hate seeing their expensive detector getting ground up like this. I have to say at the end of the day the physical design and the rod assembly in the water were nothing short of brilliant. I have given the ATX low marks for prospecting as being a duck out of water. The waterproof design adds weight, complexity, and expense not required for most dry land prospectors. But in the water the ATX felt really, really good on my arm. It is slightly negative so will settle on bottom if released. But not much; it is essentially weightless on your arm underwater. The rod assembly was a dream. I was working in heavy surf with 40 lbs of lead weight on. I steadied myself many times by leaning on the ATX with absolutely no fear it would break, and the rod never slipped. I could get in the shallows on my knees and shorten the rod down as short as I liked. And just right, no fumbling for the right holes, just loosen a twist lock or two and put it right how I wanted it. Better yet, due to the three piece design, I could also extend the ATX to be longer than any detector I have used underwater. I was in 6 foot of water with just my snorkel in the air, and easily detecting around me. I do a lot of breath hold recovery in deeper water and the ATX was just so easy to adjust for whatever depth I was working at. So easy and so solid and tough that I 100% forgive any little work needed to sort out the twist lock situation. This is one really great handling detector underwater in rough surf conditions that would leave other detectors in serious danger of breaking. The 8" mono was perfect for me. It stayed where I put it and I pushed it around a lot. I learned quickly if I wanted to adjust the coil position to be flatter all I had to do is turn the detector over and push down on the nose of the coil. Maybe not as easy as pushing down on the heel of a coil with a rod mounted in the center instead of the rear but no big deal, mainly because the coil stayed put. After two weeks of heavy use I never had to adjust the coil tension and it showed no signs of having any issue with all the sand it ran through. I had no scuff cover, and the coil shows no sign of cracking, just your normal scuffing from use. The epoxy appears much improved from the old Infinium days. A weak point - that tiny spring loaded rod lock, the one you flip to disengage the rod and coil assembly. The tiny spring popped out on me once. I took it apart, made the spring end ninety degrees again, and it worked for most of trip, but slipped out again last day. Not a big deal but needs beefing up. Be sure when twisting the rod and cams while cleaning to not hold the detector body. You will be twisting against that little lever. Hold onto the rods themselves and twist the cams. We need to find out what the part number is for the coil and headphones connector covers. Everyone should have a couple extra. Better yet, a couple spare caps like are fixed to the back of the ATX to cover the male headphone connection when not in use. One of these to put over the male coil attachment point inside the housing would be very helpful when rinsing and cleaning the ATX. Take the coil off, put the cap on, and now no worries while cleaning. I will find out the part numbers and pricing for those and get some and suggest ATX owners do also. OK Steve, quit delaying! What about the rings? I saw no point on beach hunting with all the competition. One guy in particular walked the beach a couple times every day with a Surf PI. I saw a couple Surf PI detectors at work, a Minelab Excalibur, and a Tesoro Sand Shark or Piranha. They all walked the beach and only the Excalibur guy ventured into the trough when it was calmer once. I spent all my time in the surf or deeper water with a weight belt and mask and snorkel. I recover targets by fanning or digging. And I went looking for mixed coral/basalt harder bottoms instead of deep sand. I played on the beach a bit and hit deeper sand underwater but basically all my finds came off of more solid bases. I am not going to say the ATX was some kind of super depth monster. That would be misleading and really missing the entire point. I have no doubt it was getting as good as depth as could be wrung out of the conditions. I was easily getting nickels down to ten inches in the basalt, maybe a tad deeper but honestly it is hard to tell recovering targets underwater while holding my breath in the surf. The real thing I am trying to relay here is the ATX was rock solid, just like using a good VLF above water, but in the worst detecting conditions I have ever encountered. It allowed me to just get on with the business of detecting targets and recovering them. If I was lacking for targets maybe fighting for another inch would be the name of the game but I never ran out of targets. The rings just banged! Nickels hit hard. By virtue of the ground balance system large junk goes low tone and I ignored many low tone targets. That cost me some dimes, copper pennies, and quarters but that is ok. Nickels, zinc pennies, and rings go high tone. As do sinkers, bottle caps, hair pins, and aluminum. Still, being able to ignore low tone targets upped my odds some. Though I dug a lot of low tones also just to learn more and frankly, because I have a hard time passing targets. You just never know for sure until you dig them and I was there to dig targets. Still, this photo shows my target mix skewed to high tone targets. With the exception of a few large items discarded at the trash can this is every item I dug over the two week period and about 50 hours of detecting time in the water. Steve's Finds in Hawaii with Garrett ATX (Click on photo for larger version) Another benefit with the ATX is the adjustable target volume and threshold, a real boon in an underwater detector. I had brought Gray Ghost Amphibian phones with me that started out loud enough but then got too quiet to hear, so I had to FedEx a set of Garrett phones in quick. I like the sound of the Ghosts better but not if I can't hear them. I surmise the sound chamber was filling with water and so will return them to get checked out. First time DetectorPro phones ever let me down. The Garrett phones have a lower tone but worked just fine. The volume and threshold control on the ATX makes them much nicer to use since they can be set comfortably for both above and below water use even though they have no volume control themselves. You can even set the volume on the fly easily while underwater. This is a very nice thing that most underwater detectors lack. I have read a few posts by people very concerned about the placement of the headphone connector. Total non-issue for me. It is under my right elbow and was never a concern at any time. Icing on the cake? The ATX retains all settings when turned off. Once I found my magic settings I was so happy with how the ATX was running I was afraid to change anything and did not have to. Just turn it off, turn it on, and ready to go. Everything is just the way you left it. This is very important with the ground balance setting. It is the one setting you have no idea where it is set. I wish and am suggesting that when the detector is manually ground balanced the LED indications reflect the entire range and show you where you end up at for future reference. Right now the LEDs simply follow to audio and reduce to nothing when the unit is ground balanced. But where am I and can I get back there? You have no idea and neither did I. All I knew was my ATX was running great and recovering targets at what I thought was good depth so I left it be. I used rechargeables exclusively. I kept rough track of detecting time and charged up about every ten hours. Again, it was nice being able to pull batteries out, charge, reinstall, and when the detector was turned on again no tuning was required due to the retained settings. I carefully looked for water in the battery compartments each time but never saw a drop. I have total faith in the waterproof integrity of the ATX after what I put it through. I just got back and blasted this report out but will probably edit it a bit to smooth it up over the next couple days. I will also post a more story like version with more details and photos on my journal in the next couple days. I am cleaning up a few of the rings. There is one very old class ring I thought was junk but is encased in sand and lime I am dissolving away and I have a couple silver rings to clean up. Once again the big diamond eluded me but no complaints here, it was my best haul ever for a beach hunting trip. In no small part due to the Garrett ATX but I will take some credit also for really hitting the water hard. Again though, do not take this as some kind of crazy ATX testimonial. Pay attention to my caveats. Beach hunters in clean white sand with tons of hair pins have less to be excited about here. But if you have black sand beaches or worse, the ATX is a machine to at least be aware of. I just can't help it though, I really like a detector that puts gold and platinum in my pocket! Things I most wanted? An indication of what the ground balance setting is and an ATX version of the 14" Infinium mono coil. Thing I liked most? The way the ATX handled in the water and the way it adjusted up to handle the conditions. My last detecting nut cracked - thanks Garrett and especially Brent Weaver for obviously listening to my suggestions all these years! I would like to learn more about this detector as there is much it is capable of. How exactly does it compare with factory default minimum ground balance mode versus PI detectors that have no ground balance at all? I tried the no-motion mode a bit but saw no real value for what I was doing - there has to be more to it that is of value in other situations. Most importantly, what combination of pulse delay, gain, and ground balance is optimum for various locations and targets? I found some that worked for me but I am not swearing they were the best settings possible. I admit to focusing more on detecting than fiddling and so it is hard to get me to stop and do comparative tests when detecting time is at a premium. I look forward to seeing what works for others and will add what I can as I learn more about the ATX myself. Steve Herschbach The reuse of this post and images is strictly protected under the copyright laws. You may not do so without my express permission. Image reuse on other websites will normally only require a credit and a link back to this page... but only if I am notified in advance for permission.
  24. I am an avid metal detector user and I like always being at it. Just because there is no gold prospecting for me in a given time frame is no reason to not go metal detecting for gold. There are a lot more ways to find gold than prospecting, and so jewelry detecting is very high on my list. If you like finding a gold nugget, I do not see how you could not also be excited about digging up a gold ring. Jewelry detecting and nugget detecting share many common traits, not least being the hunt for gold. Both also require a high tolerance for digging trash items, and both are best done with detectors made for the purpose. It just so happens that the detectors best used for nugget detecting are often the best to use for jewelry detecting. In other words, a lot of you guys are already outfitted for this! There are two general ways to hunt for jewelry - on dry land, or in and around water. Let's leave the dry land for another article and focus on the water detecting for now, since I am gearing up for a water hunt myself right now. Almost any detector, with the remarkable exception of the most expensive one you can buy, comes with waterproof coils and can be submerged to the control box. Minelab PI stock coils are not warranted waterproof but only water resistant so it takes aftermarket coils to get them up to speed. But they are a poor choice for wading as there is probably no machine I would like dropping in the water less than a GPX 5000 with high amp battery attached. Detectors that can be hip or chest mounted offer even more flexibility for wading applications. Few nugget detectors are fully submersible, but there are a few, most notably the Garrett AT Gold, Infinium and ATX, all waterproof models. Water detecting can be broken down into fresh water and salt water detecting. Fresh water detecting is pretty straight forward since fresh water is invisible to your detector. The tuning and operation of the detector is similar to what you do on dry land. All you have to worry about is keeping the electronics dry, and recovering targets underwater. Fresh water swimming holes are great for jewelry detecting, and there are many fresh water stream and river opportunities for gold prospectors. Any good gold prospecting detector also works well for fresh water beach hunting. The Garrett AT Gold has an obvious edge for being water proof. The Tesoro Lobo gets special mention for being convertible to hip or chest mount. In fresh water VLF detectors usually have an edge due to large amounts of trash often being present but PI detectors do have their place in fresh water detecting. The only way to know is to just give it a go and see how much trash there is. The nice thing about beaches though is the digging is easy compared to what nugget hunters often face. Salt water adds a whole new dimension. Salt water is conductive, and therefore a hot metal detector can actually get a signal from salt water or wet salt sand. Many prospectors already know the issues surrounding salt and alkali flats. Detectors that are used in salt water need some way to tune out the salt signal. The problem is even worse on beaches that have mineral content, classic black sand beaches. A white beach composed of broken down coral and shells is no problem at all, but add volcanic material and the issues compound. Most prospectors would not be surprised to hear that pulse induction (PI) detectors have an edge in dealing with salt water scenarios. There is an unsolvable conundrum however. The signal for salt water and small gold items, like post earrings or thin gold chains, actually overlaps. When you tune out the salt water, you tune out these items also. There is no solution to this problem with existing metal detectors because of the way they work. It is possible to find these items at the beach using a hot detector, like a White’s Goldmaster or Fisher Gold Bug 2, but you must be on bone dry sand. Any attempt to get near wet salt sand with these units will result in the sand acting like one giant target. Most mid-frequency gold machines handle salt water beaches to varying degrees. They will generally have no problem until you get on sand currently seeing wave action or actually in the water. The higher the frequency, the less able to handle wet salt sand. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro at 19 kHz and Garrett AT Gold at 18 kHz are not happy on wet salt sand. They can be made to function but only by losing a lot of depth. The Tesoro Lobo has an alkali setting and White’s MXT a salt setting specifically designed to handle wet salt sand. In general though these detectors will all work better higher on the beach and have an edge on small rings, earrings, and chains that other beach hunting machines tend to miss. The Minelab Eureka Gold and X-Terra 705 have low frequency options that make them well suited for beach hunting. The Eureka can be hip or chest mounted, but be aware the stock coil is another that Minelab does not warranty as waterproof. The PI detectors fare better, the Garrett Infinium and new ATX having an edge again for being waterproof designs. The White’s TDI and Minelab series do well but must be kept dry. The TDI excepting the SL model have an advantage in being convertible to hip or chest mount. Be aware that turning off or not using a ground balance system can often add extra depth with a PI on white sand beaches. The TDI and GPX 5000 can turn off the ground balance setting, and the factory default on the ATX before ground balancing offer possibilities on low mineral beaches. For serious salt water beach detecting hunters turn to detectors not normally used for prospecting. Ironically, this is because the general lack of sensitivity that makes prospectors eschew these models makes them ideal for salt water. Multi-frequency VLF detectors are not very good prospecting machines but they excel in salt water. Two detectors that vie neck and neck in the salt water VLF market are the Fisher CZ-21 and Minelab Excalibur. On the PI side the Garrett Sea Hunter, Tesoro Sand Shark and White’s Surf PI are the three popular models. Minelab Excalibur II There are lots of options but if you ever want a specialized waterproof detector for both fresh and salt water and want to make a safe choice, get a Minelab Excalibur. It is probably the most popular water detector made and for good reason. It gets the job done with minimum fuss and will work well anywhere. I am a PI guy myself however. I have used the Garrett Infinium extensively trying to deal with salt water and volcanic sand and hot rock conditions in Hawaii. I have had success with the model but it is difficult to deal with, suffering from an inability to ground balance into the salt range and susceptibility to EMI interference. Huge numbers of posts exist on how to try and get an Infinium to behave in salt water. The new ATX has taken steps to address these issues but the jury is out there yet. I will be giving the ATX a good go in Hawaii soon. My latest water detector is a White's Surf PI Dual Field to back up the ATX. I have had good luck in the past with the White's Surf PI models and recommend them for people interested in a waterproof beach PI. Again, a simple unit that gets the job done, and at a bargain price. Where to hunt can fill a book, but really boils down to two things. The first is that the best finds will be made where people who wear quality jewelry congregate and engage in some kind of physical activity. On fresh water beaches where items get dropped is generally where they stay. The second item comes into play more often on salt water beaches. The waves and seasons concentrate items on layers, much like placer deposits. They sometimes bury the items too deep to find, and at other times expose them for easy recovery. Beach watching can teach you a lot. There is the towel line, where people set up shop for the day. Lots of items get lost here. Then there are the places where people tend to play beach sports, like Frisbee or volleyball. Best of all, are areas in the water where people congregate, with areas where people can actually stand on the bottom being best. Items dropped in sand obviously sink over time, but hard sand will resist this longest and keep the targets close to the surface longer. Extremely soft sand swallows items quickly and is not a good place to hunt. Areas where the sand tapers into a hard rock or coral bottom can be very good when the overlying sand is shallow enough to reach that hard layer with a detector. Beach detecting is very popular, but beach hunters have on tremendous advantage over prospectors. The finds are being constantly replenished. There is no beach, no matter how heavily hunted, that does not have the potential for finds. The more activity there is the more items are lost in a given period of time. The finds made by beach hunters can rival the best made by prospectors, as not many gold nuggets come with diamonds attached. I know for many prospectors it is about getting out into the middle of nowhere and away from the crowds. Beach hunting is not for everyone. But you can hunt early in the morning or even on rainy days, when people are few and far between. As more and more areas accessible to prospectors get hunted out, it is possible other places are near to you where gold may be easier to find. If you have a detector already you certainly have nothing to lose by giving it a go. Hopefully this post has at least made you consider the possibility. As always, volumes more information can be found just by Googling “beach detecting forum”. Here is an example of a hunt at White's Surf PI Pro and Platinum Rings in Hawaii I got four platinum and three gold rings over a couple week period. One of the gold rings is white gold so it looks like only two gold. All fairly plain men's bands reflecting the rough surf area I was hunting. There is a picture of everything I dug at the link including the junk. All the platinum I have ever found was rings, and when platinum peaked at over $2000 an ounce I cashed in over two ounces of platinum. Another very successful hunt was Detecting Gold in Hawaii with the Garrett Infinium Please note that unlike my prospecting outings I do not spend every hour of every day in Hawaii detecting. These finds are being made hunting on an average of two or three hours a day. I am not one to just sit around so detecting keeps me busy. And a good vacation can be paid for in finds or at least subsidized with some hard work and a little bit of luck.