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Used CTX 3030 Issue

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I decided I'm going to sell my GPZ 7000 and Equinox 800 and go with one detector because I could use the money right now. So I picked up a used CTX 3030 to be my somewhat all around machine for now and on my first hunt I noticed that the target ID numbers were all over the place and target indicator jumped around as well. I think I got taken unless someone can tell me some possible reasons.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to send to Minelab and pay for repair and bump my out of pocket up so high I could have bought a new one. ☹️ 

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Are you sure it's not EMI, have you lowered the sensitivity and obviously done the noise cancel?

You may have a bad coil, I assume you don't have a second coil to try on it?

You could try a factory reset on it if you haven't already.... with the detector switched off press and hold the power button, it'll turn on and play the startup tune, keep holding the power button down until you hear a low tone and then release the button, a menu will come up and go to Reset All.

The other thing you could try is checking if it has the latest firmware, if not update it, long shot but worth a try.

Are the numbers all over the place in air tests? Say waving a coin over the coil will it give a solid ID?   If it does that sounds positive... I assume you tried a ground balance too?

A video of your problem would be helpful but I've read in the past someone with a problem like yours with a CTX and they had a coil where the cable was damaged internally where the cable comes out of the shaft down near the coil, so a replacement coil was the solution so if you've got someone you can borrow a coil off to try that'd be helpful if all else fails.

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Phrunt, all good suggestions, I did all of the following before I decided to post. noise cancel, lowered sensitivity, the software is the latest, I did a factory reset, ground balanced, it came with a six inch coil and tried that but still have the same problem. Maybe there is dirt in between the coil covers and coil, will check when I wake up😁

If not call Minelab I guess. Thanks

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The only thing that will make your CTX go nuts like that besides it being broken is underground electrical wires. I had a coil go out on my first CTX and it did not act in the way you are describing it just quit working. But anything is possible. 


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If it is happening on both coils then maybe the connection to the control box is bad. Is there any signs of corrosion on the connections?

A bad coil would usually be knock sensitive.

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Sorry you are having issues with the used CTX 3030.  Just curious why you selected a CTX 3030 for "all around use"?  Yes it's great for coins/rings, but pretty crappy at prospecting gold and Minelab makes so many other detectors that are better than a CTX 3030 for that purpose.  Heck a used X-Terra 705 with 18.75 kHz coil for $300 can find more gold than a CTX 3030.  Now if your purpose is deeper coins and rings, yes the CTX 3030 is better.

Find someone local to your location or the nearest dealer and compare their CTX 3030 to yours.  Make sure you both do a Factory Preset and then see if they are doing the same things.  If not, then you know if your detector.  But before you ship the unit, change out the coil and put their coil on your machine to help find out if it's the actual detector or just the coil.

I'm not saying the CTX 3030 won't find gold, any detector will.  But when used next to a gold detectors or a true multi purpose detector like the Equinox 800 or X-Terra 705, the CTX 3030 is really weak.

Good luck either way.

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I think I have solved the problem.  The 11 inch and 6 inch coils had silicone sealant around all the inner and outer edges. Upon close inspection there was sand embedded in the silicone and when I removed the covers sand had found its way under them.

Took the machine out last night at sunset and it was much more stable and found four coins (and two nails) in half an hour but I still have a huge learning curve. I will keep my Equinox 800 for awhile (maybe forever) to help me learn targets on the CTX 3030 and for friends to use also. As far as gold hunting I don't have a vehicle to get me off road and the time or energy to be hiking in and out of some areas here in AZ with my GPZ 7000 (news flash the GPZ 7000 is heavy) which I've only used a few times after my intial training so I'm going to sell it along with the brand new 19 inch coil. I could use the cash as it's just hanging in my garage. I would list it on this forum but I haven't had 10 posts yet.  I just love the GPZ 7000 as I have dug up tiny flakes of metal at great depths and it makes me sick to sell it more than anything, it hangs in my garage with pride but it should be out hunting.

As far as my reason for the CTX 3030 I do want to find deeper coins and jewelry at parks and also hunt some of the rivers here because we have alot of drunken tubers that flip.  I guess I'm a masochist but I do like the visuals on the CTX 3030 and the programmability of it, and I got a pretty good deal ($1500) on it with the extra 6 inch coil and an extra battery.  Thanks for the reply Gerry and in time I will probably find out that your concerns were right.  You have so much experience and knowledge your comments and questions are kind of bumming me out. Live and learn I guess 😄

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I wouldn't be too worried, I've found in my area the CTX beats the Equinox for deeper small silver coins and it's target ID accuracy is a real joy to use in a place where you only should dig if you have to.   Don't get me wrong I'd never get rid of my Equinox as I use my Equinox for gold as well and in some areas it will be better than the CTX possibly if I strumble into a really trashy area, but I choose the detector for the task at hand and now I've got a CTX 3030 I'd never be without one.

I hope you've fixed it, must be some weird sand to cause that. 


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