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Garrett ATX - Iron Grunt

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I am very new to the ATX, just received mine this past Tuesday, but have been out for a few hours each day since, including a couple attepts at a local lake/swimming home.  My hunting at this point is mainly geared toward jewelry and coins (prospecting at some point.. but that is another forum).  My question is about the iron grunt feature...  will a non-iron target give an iron response depending on depth or mineralization surrounding the target?  Especially in the lake, where I have to trust the feel of my foot and scoop in murky water...  I have experienced several hard hitting targets (both low-high and high-low tones) giving the iron grunt.  Am I making a mistake by passing up those targets? 

Thanks, Tim

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All you can do and I recommend it is to dig every target to see what it is.

When you are new and the machine is new you have to take the time and energy to learn what the machine is telling you... This means dig every target for the first few weeks of use.

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Welcome to the forum - nice to have another ATX user on board!

Excellent advice above. The only way I know to learn a new detectors discrimination capabilities is to play the "guessing game". Use whatever discrimination feature you wish, and prior to digging call it good or bad. Then dig them all and see how you scored with your guesses. I promise this will build genuine confidence better for you than anything else.

PI detectors are notoriously poor when it comes to discrimination. My basic method is dig everything if I can. If that seems impossible due to lack of time and too much trash, then I just do the best I can, but I KNOW there is a cost in missed good targets. If nothing else removing trash can reveal hidden good items below the trash that are "masked" by relying on discrimination.

The ATX and Minelab GP series both have a iron discrimination feature. The Minelab's blank on ferrous, and the ATX grunts. I have personally seen the Minelab detectors blank on pretty sizable gold specimens and after that never used it. I guess that habit carried over to the ATX as I rarely employ the iron grunt feature, though I do have a bit more faith in it than the Minelab system. There is something more proactive about repeated solid ferrous grunts than the rather vague blanking or breaking of the signal the Minelab's employ. But when in doubt, dig it out!

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Thanks John and Steve, sage advice.. of course you are right, the only way to know for sure is to know for sure.  ;)

And thanks for the warm welcome Steve.  Happy to be here as the proud owner of the ATX!

I am drinking from the firehose with the ATX.  As with any new machine, I am trying to understand the features, and hopefully figure out how to use all the technology and programming built into the machine.  Plus... it is my first foray into the world of PI.  So I have a lot to learn (and a lot of digging to do). 

Having said all that, I spent some quality time at my local swimming hole today, and found myself digging solid tones, rather than testing each signal for iron.  I found the expected assortment of lake items, 15 coins (including 3 nickels which makes me happier than the 4 quarters I found), 4 or 5 fishing lures, a small silver ring, and standard rusty nails and metal bits, pull tabs and bottle caps... and stainless steel fork haha.  But the best part was starting to catalogue the way each target sounded.  

Also, Steve... your comment about revealing masked targets played out in the lake today... twice I scooped out a low conductor to reveal a high tone.. one was a nickel masking a quarter, the other was a ketchup packet masking the small silver ring.  

I am looking forward to going out and playing the guessing game now that I have a few reference points to compare to.  

Thanks again for your comments.  Tim


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I've found that the iron discrimination on the ATX is very reliable on surface trash.

But, as Steve said, trash can mask good things....

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