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I recently treated myself to the Garrett Ace 250 after reading loads of excellent reviews.

But I've been out with it twice and it has driven me nuts both times, to the point where I've been put off using it.

*  Why would it give a signal but then when I pass back over the same spot for confirmation I get nothing.  

*  Why would I get repeat definite signals but then dig a hole and find nothing - then check hole and dirt pile for a signal and get nothing.

*  Both times I've used it (different locations) I was getting signals 75% of the time I scanned the ground.  I didn't bother digging after a while.

*  Even on high discrimination I still dug up old tin cans and rubbish.  Shouldn't these be eliminated ?

I've got an ancient £30 detector that is easier, more accurate and more fun to use than the Garrett.

But all the world seems to love it -  so what am I doing wrong ?

Thanks.    John.

 

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, mayfly said:

But all the world seems to love it

Not me.

Welcome by the way.

Keep asking questions.

If you did your research online without going to actual detector user forums like this one, I can see where you might have been mislead a bit. The ACE series is fairly old tech with fairly old school abilities except for the new ACE Apex which hopefully shows that Garrett is ready to move forward instead of stand still development wise.

There are much better entry level detectors on the market than the Garrett Ace 250. There are the Nokta Makro Simplex and the Minelab Vanquish series to name two that are in the same price range as the ACE 250.

Personally, if I am not hearing signals (especially from trash) I will probably not find much of anything in a coin/jewelry/relic situation.

A VLF detector's sensitivity to targets of many sizes, its ability to handle ground conditions in regards to soil moisture levels and mineralization, and its ability to handle electro-magnetic interference are all factors in whether an inexpensive detector can do better than an ACE 250 or a Nokta Makro Simplex. Sometimes not being able to hear a lot of signals because a certain detector does not have much transmit/receive power is a real blessing. No detector can correctly identify trash from treasure when target IDs overlap like they do in the mid conductive target range above iron.

Do you also have a good quality handheld pinpointer? If not, those can really help find targets that are still in the hole or in your plug. They can also let you know if the target is shallow (sounds off on it) or not, very quickly or if it is tiny (won't detect it) or coin sized and bigger.

Also, do some in the ground or at least on top of the ground testing with targets you expect to find or that are common in your area, with your ACE 250 and learn how it responds to them. Use conservative settings if you are getting responses when you hold the coil well off the ground. EMI could be an issue. Try some of these suggestions out before you give up on it.

 

 

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Thanks Jeff.  Maybe I should have come on this forum before buying.  I didn't realise the Ace 250 was old technology. All the reviews and videos I watched made it sound like brilliant up to the minute science.

Your reply doesn't give me hope.  It sounds like I've bought a turkey.

I'll give it another few goes.  But it could be on ebay soon - at half price.

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Here in the USA, the ACE 250 has been discontinued (I think). I also think it was introduced in early 2005 or 2006. Check Steve’s Detector Database on this site. I don’t know if it was discontinued in Europe and other areas. The ACE series detectors usually hold their value fairly well for the same reason that you were attracted to it due to popularity and advertising. 

There is nothing wrong with the ACE 250. It is a perfectly good entry level detector for the occassional/casual user. For anyone doing some serious coin/jewelry/relic detecting on a regular basis, there are much better options.

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Mayfly, the narrative you posted leaves out a lot of details.

1) Did you buy new or used?

2) Did you buy from an authorized dealer?  Online or in a brick-and-mortar store?

3) Did it come with a warranty?

The cause could range from improper setup, poor coil connection, even a faulty unit (and that's only the start of a list of causes).  Was there a startup guide or quick checkout instructions in the manual?  (I'm assuming it came with a user manual.  If not -- see 1 and 2 above.  Regardless, you should be able to download a manual from the Garrett website -- click here.)

Difficult ground conditions can lead to difficulty in operation of any detector, but that's down the list.  Running an air test should give you more information since there is no ground to complicate the detecting conditions.

It's good that you first asked if you are doing something wrong (instead of blaming the detector from the start) but it's difficult to determine that from you description of the problems you are encountering.  Best would be to contact the seller.  Contacting Garrett is also an option.  Either of those should be able to step you through a setup procedure and confirm along the way if what you are experiencing is what they expect.  If you have an experienced detectorist nearby (especially one familiar with Garrett detectors) that would be a good source also.  But I realize that often isn't the case and you probably would have already done that.  (Where are you located, BTW?)

Bottom line is that the more info you have that you can reveal, the better help people on this site will be in position to provide.  But (at least traditionally) the seller bears the most responsibility, having made money off of you.  Unfortunately in the internet age that tradition has severely faded.  But there are still some honorable sellers; hopefully yours is one of them.

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A friend of mine uses an ole Ace. He does mostly coin shooting and shallow target hunting. It that respect for poking around school yards and parks he does very well but anything at a half a foot deep the machine seems to struggle and signal will skip. I think part of it is that Ace has an automatic ground balance that is on the conservative side to make it stable.

Ace Apex is their latest roll out and as Jeff mentioned the Nokta Simplex is an affordable machine.

There are larger coils for the Ace series which will get you more depth than the stock but the big question for you is do you want to invest more money into that or for a little bit more jump to another machine and keep that as a backup.

For the time being you can practice getting your swing nice and level and close to the ground at a nice even speed which will help the machine lock onto targets. Putter around some parks and learn the machine as you can apply a lot to other machines.

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Nothing wrong with the Ace, just a little long in the tooth. Since this is the Garrett forum, suggesting other brands is generally frowned upon.

You may have bought a counterfeit detector. Hopefully a machine from a legit source.

You may be in an area with high electrical intervene. Reduce sensitivity. If the area is bad enough, move to a new location.

You may have the sensitivity too high for the ground. Reduce sensitivity.

Your coil cable may be flopping around near the coil, causing false signals. Secure it properly.

So there’s a few to check.

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Are all the older Ace series similar in depth with the stock concentric, not counting the new Apex?

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I've ran one of these many years ago. I even found a real gold ring with it. Matter of fact the only gold ring ever found by myself in all these years.

It is capable of finding the stuff but also has some weaknesses. Depth being one of them. It could reliably detect and ID down to about 4 inches from what I seen. Mine loved the can slaw and iron. Forget using it in heavily mineralized soil, it will randomly beep when nothing is there. It's also possible you may be into some interference like others mentioned. Reducing sensitivity is also another wise thing to try, because when that is too high the machine can even pick up moving of the coil cable. Which leads me to the next thing, check that your coil wire is tightly against the rod. If that is loose and it moves it could set the detector off.

Do some air testing with your ACE 250. After reading your original post it sounds like to me something is wrong with either the coil or the control unit itself. That is not normal behavior. I echo what others said and would suspect if it is a "real" Ace 250 or not. Lotta counterfeits out there.

On the large cans, the detector will see that as a very conductive target and will respond accordingly. You can always check that by raising your coil off the target. If you are still getting a strong response when you raise it 6 inches off the ground that is a good indicator you have either a flattened can or something large under the coil.

I wish you the best with this, however the behavior of that detector does not sound very much how mine acted.

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22 hours ago, mayfly said:

Thanks Jeff.  Maybe I should have come on this forum before buying.  I didn't realise the Ace 250 was old technology. All the reviews and videos I watched made it sound like brilliant up to the minute science.

Your reply doesn't give me hope.  It sounds like I've bought a turkey.

I'll give it another few goes.  But it could be on ebay soon - at half price.

What are you trying to find, targetwise, and where are you hunting? I know it's a bit late now since you already have the detector, but, choosing the proper detector should be based on the answer to those two questions. If you have highly mineralized ground and/or salty conditions, you may not have much success with an ACE 250 compared to another brand/model.

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  • Steve Herschbach changed the title to Garrett Ace 250 Newbie Advice Needed

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