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Boogness

New Member Here - ATX Versus SDC

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I’m a new member from Wasilla, Alaska. I am new to detecting for gold and was hoping you can help me make a final decision on which P.I. detector I want to buy. The reason why I want to get a P.I. Detector is so that I don’t have to worry about hot rocks setting off my detector much like in Petersville, note I have been using a gold bug pro. Now saying that I live in wasilla and knowing that the majority of nuggets are small I will be mainly hunting in relatively close areas such as Hatcher Pass and Petersville. I know that VLF detectors are hard to use in Petersville due to the graphite slate hot rocks. The main reason I am looking towards an SDC 2300 and the ATX machines are because of there ability to be compact for hiking and waterproof which makes it easier to walk through the bushes following streams. Other wise I would love to save up for the relatively new gpz 7000 which I may consider later on down the line or maybe even get a gpx 5000. I like the fact that the 2 machines I am interested in are pretty good on small gold. I want to be able to detect mainly along streams with the thought that if I find a small nugget I would also be able to pan that same spot of a found nugget. The things keeping me from making a decision are the quirks of each machine. ATX can change coils and go deeper which I really like but also don’t like how I hear it can false on targets if bumped into a clump of grass or  protruding rocks. I like how the SDC is hot on smaller gold and specimen gold since I think the reality of me finding big nuggets are slim, but I also don’t like the idea of it being a shallow detector and mainly for small gold. Do you think you can help me out on making a decision here? 

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Welcome to the forum!

There is no right or wrong answer here. It is basically a minor trade. The SDC with 8” coil does not go as deep on a multi ounce nugget as an ATX with a larger coil. Yet I would not consider it to be a “shallow” machine - that is the VLFs! The ATX will not hit gold as small as the SDC can but is not bad also in that regard. The coil knock sensitivity thing is way overdone as regards the ATX and would not even factor into the decision for me.

Purely a personal choice but if I were in your shoes I would not worry about missing multi ounce nuggets. The gold in the area is small so the SDC makes more sense to me.

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Thanks Steve, I have been leaning back and fourth on which machine I would like to get. One being able to detect smallest gold possible without interference of hot rocks. Two wanting the ability to hit large nuggets deeper without false signals. Since I know you have detected in both areas and know the gold around my area, you have helped me make my decision to go with an SDC 2300. But since it’s winter time I won’t be getting one until spring time. Thanks again.

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Welcome Boogness,  Steve knows both machines well and his abilities with most gold detectors is TOPS.  Advantages of the ATX is the extra ground coverage per sweep, more depth on larger nuggets (not that many out there), also more depth on specimens (more of those to be found than large nuggets).  One factor I really like on the ATX is the Iron Disc abilities vs the SDC-2300 (none).  Now many people will tell you to dig it all, but I just can't waist that much time and energy as I get older.  I use features on the detectors at certain times to help my odds.  Steve is DEAD ON when he says "not a shallow machine".  Yes, the SDC-2300 will not go as deep as the ATX on big gold, but in fact will go deeper than ATX on 1 gram and less nuggets.  I have customers who have even dug 14 to 16" and found gold with the SDC, but I have yet to find or hear of any SDC nuggets at 18" or more.  The compactness of the SDC is better than the ATX and the weight is less as well.  I do like the fact the ATX has a variety of coil selection, which allows you more opportunities in the field.

The price of the SDC-2300 is steep vs ATX, but you get an additional 1 yr warranty on SDC (3 years total) vs ATX at 2 years. Ive used both, fold gold nuggets with both and also have used both in water when hunting gold rings, with success. If you show up at Rye Patch, NV (worked to death for 30+ years) I would bet money, the SDC-2300 will find more nuggets than the ATX.  So when I see it happen (while training customers) more than once, I realize the machine for RP is the SDC-2300. 

Not taking anything away from the ATX because they priced it much better and it fits in some folks budget easier too.

I just took in a lightly used ATX DeepSeeker with both coils and also have a used SDC-2300, as one of my staff just stepped up to the GPZ-7000.  Contact me direct if you are interested in either of them.

Here is a way to cool down in the hot summer temps and find gold..of a different type.

 

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      Just swimming trunks with tshirt. I use cheap knee brace pullovers you get in the pharmacy area in a general store as knee pads. Cheap rubber coated work gloves to protect my hands while digging. Surf shoes to protect my feet, and a good mask and snorkel. I hook the velcro strap on the ATX armrest around the handle of a clasp closure mesh goodie bag to hold stuff as I recover it. I bend bobby pins before dropping them in the bag or they slip through the mesh.
      I hunt with mask and snorkel until I get a target. I look around for surfers and boogie boarders, evaluate the wave situation, and do a breath hold and duck to the bottom. I generally fan the bottom with my hand or excavate by hand to find the target, then stuff it in a goodie back hanging off my ATX armrest. Scoops are just one thing too many for me to handle in the surf and no good on hard surfaces anyway. I focus on the area where the sand is tapering into a hard coral or rock bottom that will catch and hold targets from sinking too deep.

      My main change of strategy this trip was to not dig everything. The ATX makes a hi-lo tone or a lo-hi tone on targets. Lo-hi is high conductive stuff like copper pennies, dimes, quarters, and large iron junk. Or silver rings or very large mens gold rings. Hi-lo is almost all gold or platinum jewelry, zinc pennies, nickels, aluminum stuff, and small steel stuff like bobby pins and rusted bottle caps. I was getting lots of copper pennies, dimes and quarters plus some large junk the first couple days. Dimes and quarters may sound nice but when recovering them in surf at risk to life and limb they are a definite trash target as far as I am concerned, though I did get a large silver ring also. I decided that gold rings were the main goal and with the short week I had no time to waste, so switched to digging hi-lo tones only. I was happy with the results and would recommend this to anyone using an ATX who for similar reasons what to improve the dig to ring ratio. Be aware though certain high value targets like very large mens rings will be missed.
      I recovered a couple earrings and that impressed me very much in an underwater scenario. The ATX hits gold about as small as is possible in salt water. There was one well made fake diamond ring in particular that would have been my best ever had it turned out real. I recover them underwater, can't really tell but they sure look good underwater, and do not know until I get back to my room and empty the goodie pouch if I have made a big find. I hope the whole rest of the hunt, only to be let down back at the room. Gold rings on the other hand I know immediately are good finds. I also found a couple more old Sheraton hotel big brass keys to add to my collection. These are rare now at the beach as they are large easy finds, but if the sand scours out one will still turn up now and then.
      All the quarters, dimes, and copper pennies were recovered in the first two days. After that it was nickels and zinc pennies only and I toss the zincs in the garbage. Unless only a day or two old the salt water rots them away to junk. I had a nice pile of lead fishing weights I donated to the dive shop where I rented my weight belts. There was the usual junk as seen on the other page linked at the start of this post but this year I discarded it daily as I have done enough "here it all is" pictures.
      All in all given that I had half the time to hunt my finds were on par with the last trip though the beach is depleting out. I considered going to other locations but by the time I drive somewhere else and back that is another hour or more that I could have been in the water. I do not hunt just Poipu beach but the next several beaches in a row so there is a large area I can walk to. There are always newer rings lost but it is the combination of many years of old rings and new rings that make it good, and as the old stuff depletes out then all there is to find is recent drops and the pickings get slimmer. Still, the location is far from worked out.
      I only saw one other person with a detector, a local I saw last trip, who walks the beach at waters edge at low tide. He seems as concerned with being out for a walk as detecting as he covers ground real fast.
      I like the ATX ability to easily adjust the rod length on the fly from very long to extra short. I did experience a little sand binding in the rods but took care to work the rods and flush them out before leaving the water each time and everything worked fine. I only charged batteries twice on the trip. The 8" mono with rod assembly is now my dedicated water coil, with the 12" x 10" used above water. The water use is rough on the rod and internal cable assembly and so I figure having a coil and rod just for that keeps the stock coil in better shape for normal use. I came away very happy once again with the Garrett ATX. It suits me very well for my style of water hunting.
      The four 14K rings weighed in at 21.9 grams total. The silver colored 10K white gold ring with five small diamonds weighed 4.1 grams. The excellent gold smelt calculator at http://coinapps.com/gold/scrap/calculator/ reveals that to add up to 14.47 grams or nearly 1/2 oz of pure gold or about $500 bucks if sent to a smelter. I plan on refinishing and selling the rings in the future instead of having them smelted as I have in the past though so they should bring a bit better value that way.


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