By Steve Herschbach
ATX, TDI, GPX. What is it with detector companies and three letter acronyms? I liked it more when they were called Coinmaster or Goldmaster. At least that gave you a clue about what the detector was supposed to do.
The three detectors representing the state of the art in ground balancing pulse induction (GBPI) metal detectors. The Garrett ATX, White's TDI, and Minelab GPX 5000. You rarely see them all pictured together so I thought I would post one.
Garrett ATX, White's TDI, Minelab GPX 5000
These three detectors are all very good at what they are basically made for, which is dealing with ground mineralization and hot rocks that make using VLF detectors very difficult. In particular VLF performance is severely impeded in extremely mineralized ground. In low mineral ground a good VLF prospecting detector running in all metal mode can deliver results rivaling PI detectors with the added benefit of having good discrimination options. Anybody doing much prospecting, however, will eventually run into locations where ground mineralization and hot rocks makes using a VLF such a challenge that a good ground balancing pulse induction detector is the only real option.
The GPX 5000 represents the current state of the art, and is the easy option if money is no object. It is well designed for long hours of prospecting, has an incredible variety of optional coils, and can handle most any ground conditions with many tuning options.
The Garrett ATX provides performance that comes close to the GPX at a much lower price, with the added benefit of being waterproof to ten feet. Actually, this is only a benefit if you need it. Otherwise it makes the detector heavier than need be and limits the available coil options. Still, if the GPX is not an option the ATX would be my next choice in a new detector with a warranty. For those needed waterproof it is the only real option along with its predecessor, the Garrett Infinium.
The White's TDI is an older design but still very capable. It costs less than the other two options, and unlike the Garrett it has light weight versions and models that can be hip or chest mounted. It is a good option to explore for those on a budget or needing the most ergonomic solution. The TDI is also a very respected beach detector, like the ATX above, but it has no waterproof option.
I'm a bit puzzled on timings, I've pretty much left mine in sensitive extra since getting it and it seems the go-to timing for around here. I only use mono coils and I'm basically chasing tiny gold in soils with very low mineralisation, 1 gram is huge for me so we are talking 0.0X to 0.3 gram bits on average that I am chasing. I was looking at timings charts on this site here and found the two best options for me below, I think. Sharp appears to be best if using a DD, does that mean I'd be best off sticking with my sensitive extra seeing I use a mono coil or is a DD coil worth considering?
I'm trying to see if there is a way I can scratch out a bit more depth on these little nuggets.
This chart is the one that throws me out the most, basically no timings are "Excellent" for mono coils except Fine Gold, Enhance and Sens Smooth which are more for mineralised soils, only DD coils seem to have Excellent for the timings I'm trying to use for the small gold in mild soils..... ?
And this chart below describes the two timings I think might be best for me.
GPX 4500. Been detecting for a while in the hills in California (Sierras) where I got started in 1970 ish with my White 5000 D I purchased from Jimmy Sierra at his shop in San Rafael. We’re still in touch although he says he doesn’t get out anymore but loves to read about others adventures.
then moved to New Mexico. I decided recently I needed to try my hand with Minelab and purchased the GPX 4500. I’m finding it difficult to find reading material on settings or proper videos. I have a friend that suggested a setting for the area I prospect in. I got a mono Commander and a GP Series coil with it. Hopefully I’ll find good info on this site. ?
A package I've been very much looking forward to arrived in the mail today, I call them the twins. It made sense to package them both in one package for postage reasons and fortunately JW was working doing some renovations at his house around the corner from mine today so he had his a few minutes after the courier arrived at my place with the package as I shot straight over to give it to him.
I tore the box open to find them extremely well packaged
And now the twins
15x10 spiral wound X-coils, one for the GPZ, one for the GPX. The GPZ's coils curly cord seems good to me.
They came with a spare coil cover. This is obviously the GPZ coil.
And the GPX one.
Hopefully I can find some gold soon with it, I've on a dry spell at the moment, although the football field of coins has kept me busy. It's been about a month since I've attempted to find gold as my weekends are filled with skiing as my daughter is addicted to it and my week days have been busy doing the local coin hunting, now this coil has arrived I best get out there soon. It snowed yesterday and today there is a freezing wind blowing off the snow, if it wasn't for that I'd be shooting off now to test it out. Only about 2 weeks left of ski season.
JW's been doing pretty well lately with his 10x9" X-coil and he rarely takes it off he loves it so much so it will be interesting to see how he goes with this new one being spiral (flat wound) when his 10x9" is bundle wound.