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Garrett ATX Guts, Possible Dry Land Modification

Guest Paul (Ca)

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Guest Paul (Ca)

Good to hear your on top of it Steve being aware of the fine sand issue,  And you picked up the Whites pi as backup.

Here's something interesting maybe open a door for you down the road or help you decide not to do the ATX mod, Here's a couple of pics on the Recon innards was curious with the size of the board and the ribbon connecting both board and push pad together.  The board measures 3.5" X 9" inches, A thin ribbon connects the two together.  Was surprised the board was so big, Thin as a rail but length wise kind of long. I'm sure the ATX is similar maybe with a few minor changes.

Over all, The mod can be done. Remove the innards and remount into a different housing changing up the battery setup to a regular battery pack even change the headset plug to a standard type accepting plug in phones, The push pad can be removed and remounted flush onto a cool sporty looking miniature meter assembly above the handle with the same ribbon connecting down to the housing underneath the armrest, Not a difficult mod it can be done.

The only issue I foresee and it's a minor one is the Stock coil once removed from the stock shaft will need to be remounted onto a current shaft that will work with a T-handle or S-handle shaft setup, This will not be an issue with the Infinium DD coils for they are already setup for this type shaft setup.

Anyway, Very expensive mod if one wants to modify an ATX for land use.  Hopefully Garrett understands another model is needed for nugget hunters like you and those many around the globe.

Paul (Ca)



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Hi Paul,

Very nice! Thank you for posting that, it helps a lot. Yes, I think the prospecting world needs a dry land version of the ATX. With regular headphone jacks and regular coil connectors. It is not going to happen this summer but if I completely destroy my ATX housing using it in sandy water then at some point maybe ATX number one gets stripped down and I get another one. The problem is I really want the machine more for water use than prospecting so for now it needs to stay waterproof. My ATX and Lake Tahoe are going to get to know each other very well! After Hawaii it will need a lot of time in fresh water to get all the salt out. I may spend as much time water detecting as prospecting this year.

Seriously, I envision this detector that is an ATX electronically. It is a fantastic piece or work in that regard - Brent did a smash up job on the electronics. But a machine designed from the ground up physically for prospecting, no quarter given. Should be able to easily cut the weight in half, to about 3.5 lbs. And should cut the cost significantly, but if I was Garrett I would not cut it much. I would MSRP at $2350 and MAP price it at $1999. That would be one hot detector, and perfect for the world-wide market. And well worth the price.

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Guest Paul (Ca)

Hi Steve,

Good to hear you have no near future plans of gutting out your first ATX for a land version setup, hate to see a good machine gutted unless as you said it get's bashed and later you pickup another one.

Went ahead and gutted the Recon to see what I will be working with in the future, Quite easy no issues bringing this to a land version model with half the weight of the ATX.  What I may do is convert the Recon to a land version and post that at a later date.  This will give you and others a better vision of what a lighter ATX Pi will look like. 

After studying the Push pad assembly including the connecting portion to the handle it is possible to cut off the upper plastic portion and reattach the total push pad assembly onto the upper portion of a T-handle or an S-handle with the foam grip covering the two joined pieces.  Will show no signs of a modification in fact retain factory finish only of a land version pi, Can go with either the Minelab rear housing appearance or mount the housing horizonal like a Whites model.  Regardless, It will be much lighter and sporty looking.  Tossed a quick sketch together kind of give you a general idea.

Thanks Steve for your continuous push for an ATX land version, hopefully Garrett takes your idea and runs with it.

Take care,

Paul (Ca)



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Paul, how long is that circuit board exactly? Can that end sticking out be cut off? Your sketch looks nice indeed. White's style drop in battery box would be good.

Who knows, I started pushing for a waterproof TDI from the day I set hands on a prototype in 2007. Here we are all these years later, no waterproof TDI. I do understand however underwater machines are problematic for the manufacturers. So maybe pushing the other direction for a dry land machine can get more traction.

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Guest Paul (Ca)

Here are the dimensions of the board, Thin as a rail but the board has the length as a football field. 

After cutting off the excess piece, it's still 9" inches in length.  Still, With the right housing will appear normal have an idea to hide at least two inches from the board yet as you mentioned use the slip in Whites 12-volt battery pack.  Do have a couple of spare housings that accept a Whites battery tray, So the battery issue is a now a non issue just need to disguise the remainder 2-3" inches already have it in my minds eye it will look very cool!

I remember back then you, myself and many others wanted a waterproof TDI. At the time came close to putting one together was going to use a Whites Beach Hunter housing but with work and such lost interest, Have done a couple of waterproof Pi's before very professional looking so I understand what is needed to make them waterproof from the coil/cable connections, Pots and such they were waterproof with full function of all features no short cuts like many do today putting them in a camera box these were top notch factory appearance mods.  I'd admit they are a nightmare putting together a waterproof detector with all features working then to water pressure them making sure they don't leak no room for error, Land mod versions are so much easier.

For this mod going with the TDI handle setup with a Whites housing not the Minelab Pi look, Should be under 3.5 pounds when all put together.  The cool thing is all controls will still be above the handle as in the quick sketch above, Be balanced extremely well light as a feather.

Take care Steve enjoy your time at the island,

Paul (Ca)



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Hey Paul...

You have more Guts than I do...But thanks for the innard view..

At first I thought you tore into the ATX..but then I see its the Recon!!!Whew...

I wil admit the ATX is one fine Unit as you already Know...Im enjoying getting out and putting mine to use also...

One the board is there any Variable resistor's...I see maybe 3?

I like that...!!!

The TDI has a ton of them and they have to be prefect to make it work...

the less VR's inside a unit I like..especailly if it performs as well as the ATX...But man that board is simplistic is it not...?

Im serioulsy thinking of adding the 5x10 to the ATX....

I actually worked the edge of a house site today in the woods with the ATX and was impressed with the way it talks to you on the iron signature's....I believe the 5x10 if it retains the audio quality's of the stock coil it would be nice on the edge of the house site's....

I plan on using the ATX mainly in open grond relic sites like tranch lines and such but I do occasionally envison some true Arcaeological type digs with it on some more important sites and hope to use one of the smaller DD's for that work...maybe even the smaller 3x7 for some tight work in iron site's for a dig it all hunt..

I think me and the ATX will have  a great future togehter.. And hope you and your machine do to...

Im really into total site analysis and the ATX has that audio feel to it for a more revealing hunt..

Humm maybe I should of kept My recon for spare part's....LOL!!


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Guest Paul (Ca)

Hi Keith,

Good eye, Actually has four Variable resistor's the forth VR is shadowed in the pic but it's there.  Yes, Very simple board and much room to have shorten this board down the size of a handheld calculator but some reason or another Garrett choose to go with a football field size board, instead?

Keith, You can always get another used Recon you need to use that shaft for future Infinium coils.  My take is until Garrett makes the coils we need the Recon is the best source of a lower shaft if one has an ATX that lower Recon shaft is a must have.  However, You will need to remove the Recon 8" coil cable and switch it out with the 5"X10" Infinium coil cable so the Recon shaft can collapse down like the normal stock setup with using the Infinium DD.  However, If you prefer not to switch coil cables you can still modify the shaft with the Infinium coil but the the shaft will not collapse down all the way.

I use the 5"X10" DD more than the stock coil for land hunting, Overall for my type of hunting it's the better coil.  I feel you'll enjoy the 5"X10" DD for your type of hunting, Especially around older sites or tight places or even in the bush, If you do get the Recon you won't be disappointed after modifying the shaft.

Take care Keith,

Paul (Ca)



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Guest Paul (Ca)

That is one cool looking detector setup for sure Keith,  Appreciate the tip I may do that and contact Nokta.  Actually have a box just need to modify it a little it will be the horizon type and use the Whites Battery tray, But still may contact Kokta for the handle it looks very cool.

Thanks again,


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