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Everything posted by mh9162013

  1. That's the impression I'm getting concerning that coil. People would rather use the NEL Storm instead...
  2. That's good to know. Out of curiosity, how do you know that? Did you do some air or real world tests to compare the machines/coils? Based on my research, the NEL Big gives the AT Pro about an extra 25%-33% increase in depth on coin targets during air testing when compared to the stock coil. However, in real world conditions, I'm getting the impression the depth increase is closer to 5%-15%. However, the ability of the AT Pro to accurately ID the target goes up. That alone is a good reason to get the bigger coil as I know one weakness of the AT Max or Pro against an MIQ machine is that it
  3. In my yard, I seem to have a lot of EMI. When using my 540, I usually have my sensitivity no higher than 8. With my AT Max, I keep it around a 2 or 3, but no higher than 4. However, at a local park, I can run my AT Max at 5 or 6 sensitivity, no problem. Even 7 is usable, although not the most enjoyable or easy to use. As for red clay, no, not in my yard. But I do have some reddish-brown-yellow clay that's about 1-4 inches below some relatively mild dark brown/black soil. I've attached a pic of what my soil (in terms of color) and its profile roughly looks like. This isn't from my yard (i
  4. That does help, but it's such a neurotic machine, I still get an occasional blip or chirp even when I set the iron discrim all the way up to 44. Luckily, it's not bad and doesn't hinder my coin/silver hunting attempts at all. It's just not as quiet as my 540, but I can live with that.
  5. What do you mean by trouble ground balance? I ask because I have the following question: Is it normal for the AT Max to be chattery while ground balancing? Generally, I need to keep my AT Max at around a 3-4 on the sensitivity to stop most of the chatter while detecting in my yard. Sometimes I can get to 5, but 3-4 is the norm. When ground balancing, an otherwise quiet AT Max will start getting chatty and jittery. This occurs even if I have the sensitivity at a 1 while ground balancing and it's completely quiet when just sitting still. In other words, is it normal to have all tha
  6. That makes sense. Right now, I'm leaning toward keeping the AT Max and selling my 540, as I still have a Vanquish 340 which I think should do just fine at a salt water beach or tot lot.
  7. 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 i
  8. I love having devices that use general battery types that are easily replaceable by the user. That's one reason why I like the AT, Vanquish and F70/75 series of detectors so much - they all use AA batteries. But I know this isn't the most efficient or practical way to operate a detector, especially one that's supposed to be waterproof. Therefore, I'm willing to accept an internal battery, as long as it's easily replaceable by the user (both in terms of labor and finding a replacement cell).
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Thank you both for the responses. I'll take them into consideration when I next tinker/use my AT Max.
  13. 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 fre
  14. Great point, OP and I agree. I'm always skeptical of any software updates, whether it's for a computer, video game console or a metal detector. So I haven't even considered updating my Vanquish 540 due to the assumption that the update will make it worse. But if there was a way to undo it, or easily swap b/w the two software versions, I'd definitely be implementing the updates.
  15. That's what I figured. Buying a brand new coil for $230 then an Equinox 800 control pod for $225 (or even $350)? Definitely way too good to be true.
  16. Oh, I didn't mean to impose! Your initial post has gone above and beyond already. 🙂
  17. They are only available when trying to get out of warranty repairs completed, right? In other words, can we buy control pods a la carte?
  18. Do you know how the batteries are wired? For example, are they all in series or parallel? Or maybe 2 are in parallel and series and the other 2 are in parallel and series?
  19. The price you used to describe it made it clear what pinpointer you were talking about. The other one(s) they make are more expensive (as far as I know at least).
  20. I've heard good things about the Nokta/Makro pinpointer. The only drawbacks I've seen is that it can be a little twitchy at max sensitivity and the button are at the back, which can make on the fly adjustments slower. The F-Pulse is good in hot ground, but not immune. But it's biggest advantages come from using AA batteries and its sensitivity. The Garrett "Carrot" is a solid choice (and one that I currently use), but I'm not happy with its ratcheting ability (aka: closing range). This refers to the pinpointer's ability to let you know when you're getting closer to a target, but have
  21. In a perfect world, sure. But there are probably economic reasons as to why machines that work well on a beach aren't at least weatherproof. I'm sure Minelab considered making a waterproof or weatherproof version of the Vanquish, but choose not to. Perhaps it would add $50 to the price of the machine, but they could only raise the price by $35? Or maybe it would sell like hotcakes, but cannibalize Equinox 600 sales?
  22. From what I've heard, it's nowhere near as good as the Equinox, but it's not a fair comparison as the Apex is designed to be a middle-of-the-road machine while the Equinox is considered high-end. The difference b/w the 2 machines is most clear where there's trash and iron (from what I've read and heard). But at the beach, the Apex holds its own. I honestly wouldn't get the Apex given its price. I'd either save the money and get something cheaper, but 95% as capable or spend an extra $100 or so and get something far more capable. That's just me, though.
  23. I am considering all of those machines and did extensive research on each. Right now, I'm using a Vanquish 540 because I basically got it for $170, so I couldn't ignore that machine for that price. I like it, but not having the ability to ground balance or adjust recovery speeds is a bit of a limitation that I don't like. I also don't like how it's not waterproof. Therefore, I think the Equinox 600 is a better option for me. But, is it more than $450 better? For now, no, especially given how the 540 is an S-shaft design and uses AA batteries (both are important factors for me). Ok, w
  24. Love it! It's always fun to try finding ways to reduce the weight of metal detectors.
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