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  1. Today I had a long day of hunting...my longest yet. It started off at a park and ended at a permission of an old home that is at least 120 years old. This post concerns my hunt at the latter location. I had a little under 2 hours to hunt the old home and just found a few clad coins, some trash bits and A LOT of aluminum siding peices. The aluminum siding pieces were mostly the size of postage stamps and half dollars, although a few were the size of a playing card. These larger pieces were likely targets I left in the ground after using my pinpointer (F-Pulse) and realizing the target was far larger than a coin. I mostly hunted the old house using the following three modes: One mode was Custom. Sensitivity varied between 2 and 8 bars and I notched out everything that was below 65 or so. This seemed to work ok, except I hit a lot of targets in the 70s, but they were almost always a peice of aluminum siding. Using this mode, I probably dug about 10 holes and found 1 coin, 1 soda can and 8 bits of aluminum siding (this is a rough estimate). The second mode was also Custom. Sensitvity varied b/w 2 and 8 bars and I notched out everything that was below 80. This was the most enjoyable hunting in that it was quiet and I wasn't digging as much aluminum siding. Using this mode, I probably dug about 6 holes and found 2 coins, 1 soda can and 3 bits of aluminum siding (this is my rough estimate). The third mode was Zero. Sensitvity varied b/w 2 and 8 bars and I notched out everything that was 35 and below. This was a very annoying mode, given how noisy the AT Max was, but at least I got to hear what my AT Max was "seeing" in the ground. I probably dug about 8 holes in this mode and found 1 coin, 1 soda can and 6 bits of aluminum siding (this is also a rough estimate). In case you're wondering, the soil was dark with little to no mineralized clay. I don't recall what the AT Max ground balanced at, but maybe in the low 80s, if I recall correctly. So my question is: what could I have done differently to dig more coins and less aluminum siding? Yes, the aluminum siding sounds a smidge different than coins. And the larger peices don't have the pin-pointy beep that a coin has. But for the smaller bit of aluminum siding, the sound is so close to the sound of a clad or silver coin. As a result, I can't bear to not dig something that sounds that close to a coin. I hope to go back to that old house and get permission to hunt it a second time. But if I do that, I hope to have a few changes I can make to make my hunting less tiring and less damaging to the owner's yard.
  2. I got in a few hours of hunting at an interesting permission this weekend. It's the construction site for an expansion to my local library. They already cleared out much of the top 6" of dirt, trees and shrubs. So all that's left are a few inches or rocks/rubble and sand, then highly mineralized clay underneath. Oh, and trash. Lots of trash. There's so much trash, it's impossible to ground balance in that area. So the approach I took was going into custom mode and notching out anything that was 68 (or so) and below. Basically, I was looking for coins (except nickels). I noticed that I'd often get a lot of short high tone "chirps" that I could not get to repeat, or could only repeat once or twice. I guessed that my detector was getting a "high VDI" target, but due to the trash and the size of my coil (stock 8.5x11), it was struggling to separate the "target" from the trash I had notched out. I also had sensitivity around 3 or 4, although boosted it to 6 or 8 to get a better read on a potential target if I thought I might have something. I did this because at least 6 inches of the top ground material had been moved into large piles or taken away by dump trucks. So I figured if there's anything good in the ground, it wouldn't be deeper than 6 inches or so. And if there's anything good that's deeper than that, I didn't want to spend the effort to dig it. I was digging in ground that was so soft and muddy due to heavy rains, I was sinking into the ground worse than wet sand. All that being said, here's the reason for this post: It's my understanding that I would have had a much easier time sifting through this construction site for coins if I had a smaller coil. The top 2 contenders for me right now are the 5x8 Garrett and the 4 inch Garrett hockey puck. Is my understanding correct? And if so, what would you all recommend if I could only pick just one of those coils? Or would you recommend both...or a different one? Also, another reason I'm thinking about a smaller coil is to reduce the weight of my machine. My current thinking is to get the 5x8 and use that full time, with the hockey puck on occasion. Then I sell the 8.5x11. And in the rare cases I need full depth AND there's little trash, I buy a NEL Storm or something along those lines. I'm considering the smaller coil b/c this isn't the first time I've received a permission to hunt a promising location that's filled with a lot of trash. Thanks ahead!
  3. In tot lots, they seem to be the same to me in terms of being able to find the coins. The 540 is more pleasant to use though, in that it's lighter (I think...feels that way, at least) and a lot less noisy or chattery. In my soil (which ground balances anywhere from the upper 70s into the low 90s), they both seem to perform about the same, although the AT Max might have a slight edge. After doing some direct comparisons b/w the two in my yard, it seems like that at least 95% of the time, whatever one machine found, the other machine would have found it too. I did the comparisons with the 540 in custom mode where only targets hitting 20 or above would come through. With the AT Max, I was usually in custom mode where only targets hitting 70 or above would come through. I was often hunting with the AT Max at 3-5 sensitivity, but could go to 8 if I needed a better VDI read on a deeper target. One thing I really like about the AT Max over the 540 is the all metal mode. Because of my highly mineralized clay layer about 2-6 inches down in my soil, I know the 540 has a tendency to increase the VDI numbers of target sometimes. And in some cases, I think my 540 has flat out falsed, saying there was a quarter 10+ inches down when all that was there was clay. This was especially evident when the soil was wet. Given the 540's tendencies, I tend to ignore its iffy signals that are 10+ inches down, assuming it's either falsing on the clay or its reading foil or iron as a higher conducting target. But with the AT Max, I have the ability to check an iffy signal and see what happens when I try to detect it in all metal mode. During one of my digs today, I got an iffy signal with the AT Max saying I had a dime or quarter target about 8-10 inches down. The Max's VDIs were all over the place, but I was getting a consistent high tone in at least 1 direction. Then in all metal mode, it was clear I was getting a signal, and while jumpy, the VDIs would sometimes hit 90. With my 540, even on max sensitivity, it was an iffy signal, hitting in the mid 20s and sometimes upper 20s...and sometimes nothing at all. In the past, I would have ignored this signal thinking it was iron or foil that was deep and my 540's inability to ground balance was making it seem like a better target than it really was. I dug it, and it ended up being 2 clad quarters located just inside the layer of clay that lies beneath the upper layer of milder brown/black soil in my yard. Anyways, this is only a half-dozen hours of comparison b/w the 540 and my AT Max, but I think the AT Max is going to stay and the 540 is going to go. Another factor in this decision is that I found out my AT Max is a much older machine than I thought and that its 2 missing LCD segments on the screen can't be fixed under warranty. Finally, there's the fact that I still have the Vanquish 340. Thanks to many of you who humored me and provided advice and feedback on my observations and questions with the AT Max over the past week or so. Oh, and I found my first IHP today too, thanks to the AT Max. It was at least 8 inches down and around the clay layer . My 540 was able to pick it up from the surface, so I probably would have found it with my 540...probably.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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. 👍
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. Hello all, A little primer first; as some of you may know, my Equinox is in "the shop", due to previously posted issues! No worries; using the old trusty At Pro! So between Covid, and the horrendous heat wave we are experiencing, i haven't been out much to detect! But many of you have been out, and posting! So i just had to suck it up, and get my butt out in it!! Summers here used to be a nice balmy Easterly breeze most every day! The last several years have been unusually hot and humid, with little to no breeze, and record temps! Dangerous conditions, if you don't hydrate well! So, i decided to hit a few local parks, that I've hunted previously, a year or two ago! And stick to the "shaded" areas to make it bearable! Yesterday i had the 5x8 stock coil on, and did about 3 hours, before it became unbearable! I was soaked, but did well enough for what i expected to find! Today was much the same, in a different park! With the 8x11 stock coil! This park has very large tree's, so the added depth helps here, due to very rich soil! My results; as you will see below; are fairly typical of my park area's! Oldest coin was a 1955 D nickel! Along with a few early 60's; and up to present day coins! Not exactly ideal finds, but goes with the age of the area's that are accessible here! And it keeps my skills up! I included some of the junk items in my "paper towel" displays for future reference! I'm looking forward (probably 6ish weeks) to getting the Equinox back, and get back to the beaches! 👍👍
  11. HI Guys! I know it's comparison apples with oranges but was curious about depth in mild ground between these two machines.I know in mineralized ground ATX is deeper than Equinox,thats for sure.I'm going to hunt a lake with no mineralized ground and in this condition I will know which detector is deeper.Any tips???
  12. Four inches under the surface, three feet from a paved walking/biking trail and four feet from the base of some support cables for a power pole, not far from one of the main entrances to the county fairgrounds in town. The fairgrounds have been used for that purpose since at least 1895 according to historic maps, and maybe longer based on this coin. It's pretty well worn, with a lot of the detail gone. But, I knew I had a lifetime event on my hands as soon as it popped loose from the dirt. I saw the edge and a little bit of one side, saw the shine, and knew it was silver. I about soiled myself and passed out. Not only because of the silver, but partly because it was 91 degrees F, humid, no breeze, the sun was pounding me like a professional boxer, and sweat was dripping off my nose. Yes, I scratched it, right next to the date. Somehow I always knew I would scratch my first silver, and I came to accept that in a dream some time back. But that's okay, it makes it mine. And it wouldn't have been for sale at any price, so it doesn't matter. Well, if it was mint condition and worth $3000, maybe I would have thought about selling it for a minute or two, but I really don't think so. Found 11 other coins today, all clad and pennies, along with a copper token from Grand Slam Sports, which is a laser tag and "family entertainment" place in Burnsville, Minnesota, about 45 minutes from here. The token rang up like an old penny or a dime. I didn't scratch the damn token. Oh no, of course not, not the token, that looks as good as the day it was struck. 😭 I have probably 20 hours into hunting this fairgrounds and I've found about 40 coins, but this one is the king (queen?). Just by chance, the head groundskeeper came by right after I found it, was pretty interested, took a picture of the coin, and told me that other people detect here from time to time, and drove off on his golf cart. Bad news about other people detecting there (which I suspected because of what I was finding and not finding), but they missed this one, the dumbasses. 🙂 I bought an AT Max to give some variety from using my Equinox. I found this with the AT Max. It rang up at 87-90 in the ground and 89-90 on the surface. I wish I had found it with the Equinox because it really has a hold on my heart more than the AT Max does, but I made the decision to use the Garrett today, and now I have to live with it. I think I'll be okay. My life felt complete for about 15 minutes afterward and I was walking on air, but then I realized that that fairgrounds is old, and even though other sad schlubs have been detecting there, there is still more old silver to be found, there has to be. I've only covered about five percent of the total ground available there, and I will keep at it. I have no choice now.
  13. Is the connector for the headphones the same on a max as the at pro. Thanks!
  14. Garrett Detectors June 27, 2019 - The AT Max is not just another AT Pro. Tim “Ringmaster” Saylor and George “KG” Wyant discuss the superior performance and key feature differences between an AT Max and Garrett’s popular AT Pro.
  15. 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!
  16. A look at two detectors and talk about the detecting game of odds...
  17. Hi guys, I have a question, can a coil break the detector computer? because a friend has a garrett at gold and he placed the Nel Storm coil for AT GOLD, after using it for a few hours I turned off the detector for lunch, and when turning it on it did not work anymore, the garrett guarantee said it was a factory problem and it replaced. Now, I want to try that coil with different large nuggets 5g, 10g and 15g but I'm afraid to break my detector, is there any way to check the resistance of the coil and values are optimal for AT gold? Could the coil break the detector? I clarify that it is a coil for AT gold
  18. I swapped out my Nel Big coil on my AT Pro and put the stock coil on and just for kicks I did a quick air test to see if there was any difference and I found that the targets now hit 15-20% further away ie dime at 10 inch instead of 8. For those that don't have Garrett machines and a 3rd party coil, the procedure when changing coil Garrett says to do a factory reset of the machine. So if anyone knows, does using a large coil setting on a stock coil essentially do a tx boost? Do other machines require factory reset after changing coils?
  19. https://www.detectingdoodads.com/store/p21/AT_Pro-luminator.html
  20. I have the AT Pro for a while now and it is very reliable. I got it just before the AT Max was released. Buddy just got the Max recently as he was using my Pro and the controls were familiar for him. If you don't already have a pinpointer and looking for a complete package then the Max is a great choice. Depth wise it goes about 50% deeper than my AT Pro with the same size coil. That is the equivalent of my AT Pro with a Nel Big coil weighing 3 lbs and measuring 17x15". The true All Metal mode is great in open areas with little or moderate trash, Iron Discrimination on Max is better. AT Pro with stock coil hits quarters 12" or less on average on the ground around here that has high mineralization though I had picked up a Spanish Reale at 14" but it was really faint. Typically in poor conditions the Pro hits in the 10" and under range" which is average for any machine with an 8 1/2 x 11 coil Comparing the 2 machines I think the AT Pro audio tones are a little easier to follow and notch discrimination is just a simple 2 clicks. The Max has a threshold control that is adequate but I find the lowest tone is none and next tone click up is a little loud. That could be just my preference as I also use a Tesoro with much finer controls since it has potentiometers and is an audio only machine. Both the Max and Pro have fairly course id blocks as compared to other machines out there and can limit discrimination but going a block under or over is not a big deal. Learning curve on the MAX is really short, no menus to decipher through and you should be up and running in a few minutes. There are no canned pre-sets as many machines have. The AT Pro has canned Standard (noob) mode that bings on a target and is rarely accurate and Pro modes with tone roll that I ended up using quickly and found it more responsive. The Max is basically a more of a professional model of the older Pro. I had considered upgrading my Pro to the Max, maybe next year as they are solid and reliable machines and the Max does pretty well in the Salt in the single frequency class. If you decide to get one also consider the RnB lithium battery for them. I get over 40 hours running with no performance drop as compared to alkalines that as they wear down the machines performance diminishes. Think the rechargeable battery runs around $80.
  21. Are the Garrett AT series detectors (Pro, Gold and Max) that good? Based on youtube personalities, it looks like it. But after doing research on online message boards, it seems like they're "good, but there are other comparable or better options out there," a la the Equinox. How much of the prevalence of Garrett AT metal detectors on youtube is due to effective marketing and how much is due the AT metal detectors being that good? I'm not intending to start a flame war or anything as I eventually plan on upgrading my machine and I'm considering the AT Max, Equinox 800 or Fisher F75.
  22. I been looking for another coil for my AT Pro. I have the stock and Nel Big and find the Big coil hard to gb in most the areas around me and also too heavy. I was looking at the smaller Nel coils and see that a comparable coil in size to the Ultimate 13 is way heavier. The Ultimate weighs in lighter than the stock coil. Anyone have opinions on it's performance ie depth and separation? I plan on using it in open fields that have a good amount of iron in them. Thanks
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