Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I mainly run a Minelab Vanquish 540 and search for coins and/or jewelry. So it's a rare occurrence for me to hear it sound off on iron or EMI.

I recently acquired a barely used AT Max and compared to my 540, it sounds like it's nuts, with chatter like crazy. Some of this appears to be EMI. But it also seems to be super sensitivity to faint signals, especially iron.

I used it outside for a bit and I usually needed to set the sensitivity to 2, 3 or 4 (out of eight) to stop the chatter. My understanding is that I have 3 realistic options to reduce chatter.

One, I can adjust the frequency/channel (F1-F4) and see if that helps.

Two, I can reduce the sensitivity while the machine is on. This seems to work, but I'm afraid it's killing my depth (although I don't know by how much).

Three, I can set the sensitivity to 1 and turn off the machine. Then, turn it back on and only then, adjust the sensitivity to as high as I can get away with. The higher the sensitivity is set when turning it off, the more chatter I get when I turn it on.

Are there any of things I can do to get a less fritzy machine?

Any insight or experiences will be appreciated. Most likely I'll sell either this or one my Vanquishes and right now, the AT Max is getting clobbered by the 540. But to be fair, I've used the 540 for probably 50 or so hours and the AT Max for less than 2.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Check the coil cable connection for snugness then do a Factory reset. This will get you a fresh base. Afterwards find a CLEAN patch of ground in Zero mode and get a good ground balance on the detector. At 6/8 sensitivity it should be stable with a good ground balance. If the ground is highly mineralized, then you may need to reduce the sensitivity more or run the Iron Disc up to around 5-10. If the EMI is bad it will false & flash VDI's with the search coil elevated, that is what the frequency shift is for. If you still have instability you may have a bad coil. To check, tap it lightly with your no jewelry hand.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was looking into these detectors as an AT Max popped up very cheap nearby and I was considering getting it I watched this video that compared the AT Series.  The seller of the AT Max here said it's very chattery but not faulty, they'd had it checked.  They basically didn't like it but were new to detecting.

In this video the Max likely had the best depth by a little bit but it was in my opinion very unstable compared to the AT Pro and AT Gold with the chattering you're talking about.  I think it's because they've got an At Pro and cranked this thing up as high as was possible to make the AT Max on the edge of stability so running a little lower on the gain is probably not that detrimental.   If it's anything like my T2 the performance is better on 60 gain out of 99 than it is at 99.

Either way, this video is worth the watch, the AT Max does do arguably a bit better, but you have to put up with a noisy detector which I don't like.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the responses. I'll take them into consideration when I next tinker/use my AT Max.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JCR said:

Check the coil cable connection for snugness then do a Factory reset. This will get you a fresh base. Afterwards find a CLEAN patch of ground in Zero mode and get a good ground balance on the detector. At 6/8 sensitivity it should be stable with a good ground balance. If the ground is highly mineralized, then you may need to reduce the sensitivity more or run the Iron Disc up to around 5-10. If the EMI is bad it will false & flash VDI's with the search coil elevated, that is what the frequency shift is for. If you still have instability you may have a bad coil. To check, tap it lightly with your no jewelry hand.

I checked the cable connection and did a factory reset. Still no difference.

I also tapped the coil and didn't notice any change in performance or odd sounds.

I was able to set the sensitivity at 5 and there was little to no chatter in my living room. But I had to use the "turn it on with a 1 sensitivity" trick.

It appears that, like many others with an AT Max, I don't have a faulty machine. Rather, it's just super sensitive. But in making the necessary adjustments, I'm curious as to what kind of performance I'm getting.

Like phrunt already alluded to, an AT Max on 5, 6 or 7 sensitivity might be equal to max sensitivity on the AT Pro. So running an AT Max on a 6 or 7 might give the equivalent depth ability as an AT Pro that's maxed out with its sensitivity.

Thanks again for your help.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, phrunt said:

The seller of the AT Max here said it's very chattery but not faulty, they'd had it checked.  They basically didn't like it

If my AT Max can outperform my 540 in my moderately mineralized soil (I get about 70-85 readings on my AT Max when ground balancing), then I'm willing to deal with some extra noise.

Right now, I'm trying to see if "MIQ, but no GB" is better than "GB, but no MIQ."

For shallow targets, I think the AT Max might be more accurate with its VDI...at least in some instances. For example, a copper penny rang up with a range of 23-28 on my 540 and about a 73-79 on my AT Max. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2021 at 2:32 PM, mh9162013 said:

If my AT Max can outperform my 540 in my moderately mineralized soil (I get about 70-85 readings on my AT Max when ground balancing), then I'm willing to deal with some extra noise.

Right now, I'm trying to see if "MIQ, but no GB" is better than "GB, but no MIQ."

For shallow targets, I think the AT Max might be more accurate with its VDI...at least in some instances. For example, a copper penny rang up with a range of 23-28 on my 540 and about a 73-79 on my AT Max. 

As you have experienced, the Vanquish 540 is a very well behaved detector, gets excellent depth and has excellent target IDs even on very deep coin sized targets. Absolutely smokes it on dry and wet saltwater beaches.

As you have also experienced, the AT Max is a bit poorly behaved (but can be trained) detector that gets excellent depth (might go a little deeper than the Vanquish 540 but you won't get an ID or it will call whatever it is iron), has an outstanding, very hot All Metal mode and target IDs are good down to a depth that depends on your soil mineralization. So it is a chatterbox especially if it isn't ground balanced properly and if there is plenty of EMI. Its gain is definitely on steroids.

The AT Gold is more tame but with excellent depth. In my opinion, Garrett took the AT Gold, not the AT Pro, and cranked it way up, added a few features that are missing on the AT Gold and lowered the frequency.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Its gain is definitely on steroids.

Yeah, that's the impression I'm getting. But I'm trying to quantify that concept to my conditions and in relation to the 540.

I'm hoping that there's some "rule of thumb" I can rely on. For example, an AT Max with its stock coil and 4 sensitivity might be the rough equivalent of a Vanquish 540 using a V12 coil with its sensitivity set to 8.

Based on some air testing indoors, my 540 needs to have its sensitivity set to 8 for it to be fairly quiet. There will be a blip or chirp every few seconds, but it will be faint. Even when set at 10, the 540 isn't so chattery that it can't be used, as solid targets can still be easily identified over the chatter.

In contrast, my AT Max needs to be set at 4 sensitivity to achieve relative silence that's on par with the 540 at 8 sensitivity. However, when on max sensitivity, the AT Max is totally unusable. Also, when at a 4 sensitivity, its air test range is probably about 1/6 to 1/4 less than the 540 on 8 sensitivity.

I know this is just a basic test, but I'll see how real world testing seems to compare between the two, both in soil and tot lot conditions (my tot lots have wood chips, ground up tires or sand which are almost like doing air tests, at least with my 540)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

I used the AT Max at a local tot lot and it did just fine in sand. I was also able to bump up the sensitivity to 6 with the machine still being usable (for finding dimes, pennies and quarters) and 7 worked too, although was a bit chatty and somewhat usable.

At a tot lot, it's definitely not as quiet as my 540, but seems to perform as well in terms of being able to find the same coins (except nickels). I think it'll struggle more if I'm looking for jewelry or nickels. Might need to keep the sensitivity around a 1 or 2 instead of a 2 or 3. I look forward to doing more testing in the future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They will both find about the same as far as coins/relics. Where the multi-IQ shines is with small jewelry and low conductors such as foil/nickels. The Max will give a more scratchy signal and targets can be easily walked over because they can get lost in with the chatter. As you probably already know, multi will still give you clear signals even down to 1.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By JCR
      I purchased the new Viper coil for my AT Max and have run it thru my Test garden. I think it will do just what I had hoped; a little deeper than the excellent 5x8 with near matching separation coupled with the ground coverage of the stock 8.5X11. Very stable & sensitive.
    • By Dances With Doves
      With all the talk of Minelab dominating the prospecting part of metal detecting lately   how often has any one used a Garrett for gold prospecting in the last  few  years?  
    • By B0SC0
      Is it me, or am I missing something here.
      How do you tell how much battery capacity there is?
      I believe somewhere I was reading about the universal  Z-link  module led will blink with 3 hours left.
      Is this true for the headphones?
      If so, that would drive me crazy not knowing the level until then.
      Scenario: Leave the house to detect 6-8 hours or more, hour into the hunt led flashes, meaning only 3 hours left,  for a total of only 4 hours.
      This will cause me to recharge the headphones before every hunt. Even iIf they didn't really need it.
      Probably shorten battery life, too.
      If this is the case, maybe Garrett needs to add a battery level meter on the headphones or wireless to the AT MAX with an icon showing the level on the display.
      Your thoughts?
    • By GB_Amateur
      As always I look forward to your review (if you get one of these new coils).  And you're the first person here that I can remember in a long time (since Steve's review) saying something good about the AT/Gold.  👍

    • By N7XW
      Hello Detector Prospector forum!  I've been inactive in detecting for quite some time and am now getting back at it.  I've used this forum in the past and received great advice so I'm back for more. 
      I'd like to detect the national forest for gold particularly in the rivers and areas of exposed bedrock.  I currently have an AT Pro with multiple coils (among other machines but none are dedicated gold detectors).  I'm thinking of using the 5x8 and sniper coil.  I don't foresee spending a great deal of my time gold detecting, particularly due to the distance I would have to travel and lower chance of success as compared to coin detecting.  So, given this situation, my question is this - do you think I would be much better served by buying a dedicated gold machine?  I was thinking the AT Gold due to river detecting (waterproof).  But would the AT Pro do "almost" as well on gold?  Loaded question, I know.  How much difference does 3 kHz make in detecting small gold?  I'm going to do a little testing on small lead fragments to get an idea as to how small of a nugget the Pro will pick up.
      Thanks in advance!
       
    • By GB_Amateur
      I watch a lot of adventure shows on cable TV and this past Sunday evening Discovery Channel had a 2 hour long one titled "Everest's Greatest Mystery".
      To set the background for this post, in 1924 two British climbers (one quite experienced -- George Mallory, and a novice climber -- Andrew Irvine) disappeared from the view of others (below) within a few hundred meters of the summit, never to be heard from again.  It took 29 years until Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay accomplished and documented the supposed first human conquest of the summit, but questions remained.  Did Mallory and Irvine actually reach the summit and succumb in their descent?  In 1999 an expedition went to find Irvine, who carried the camera for the 1924 attempt, to hopefully determine if his photos would show that they reached the top.  That expedition ironically failed to find Irvine's body, but Mallory's instead.
      Four experienced (each with multiple Everest trips) climbers from the USA were filmed in a spring 2019 expedition for this program.  Their goal once again was to find Irvine and his camera.  The weather in 2019 was particularly bad (12 climbers perished) and they spent over a month at base camp (17,000 ft = 5200 m) or above.  Their ultimate trip lasted 3 consecutive days above 27,000 ft (8200 m), apparently shattering a record for most time consecutively at or above that altitude on Everest.  Although they carried supplemental oxygen, for most of that time they had to conserve it and breathe the 33% (relative to sea level) dense air.  At night the temperatures dipped to -20 F (-29 C) and although I don't recall the daytime temps I doubt they were much above 0 F (-18 C).  Those are air temps, not windchills.  (BTW, their high camps were set up by local guides who departed as soon as their task was complete.)
      I noticed a metal detector in the backpack of one of the expedition members, and he carried it all three days they searched near the summit.  That's pretty amazing when you consider the conditions:
      1) With so little oxygen, weight is critical.  Even carrying an extra pound matters a lot;
      2) At these temperatures I'm surprised a metal detector will even function;
      3) The setup and operation had to be simple and any searching looking for just metal signal or not.  The brain doesn't work well with low oxygen.
      As it turns out I never saw the detector being used, and I doubt it was.  The climbers wore ice crampons but much of the terrain was windblown and thus rocky, not icy.  Movement had to be delicate and anything held/carried in hand made it that much more dangerous.  Also, without snow/ice cover there was nowhere for metal to hide.  But that didn't stop the climber with the detector to bring it along every one of the three days they searched.  He had to have considered it quite important.
      Oh, you may be wondering which detector he had with him:  Garrett AT/Pro.
×
×
  • Create New...