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Garrett ATX meteorite find at Gold Basin

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Hello all. I got my new Garrett ATX a few days ago. The weather forecast for Gold Basin Arizona was good so I decided to head out there for a few days to try out the new detector. Overall, I am very pleased with it. This is my first P.I. machine, I have been using a Gold Bug 2 for the last 3 years. The new Garrett was nice and quiet. As soon as it is ground balanced and the threshold was set it just hums quietly, almost never responding to hot rocks. The sling made the detector light and I used the headphones to improve sound and battery life. I ran the detector around 4 hours each day and the rechargeable batteries finally ran out on the last day, so around 12 hours of battery life.

The only issue I had was with ground balancing. Normally the auto ground balancing works with 5 or 6 pumps of the coil. On 2 occasions the detector failed to ground balance. The first time it failed I tried several more times a few feet away and it finally balanced. The next day, Tuesday, the ground balance failed again. This time I was in the middle of hunting and the detector was already balanced but I decided to balance it again as the ground changed and looked hotter. It failed to balance, even after 30 pumps or more. I tried a dozen or more times in different areas hoping to get it balanced because it was more or less screaming continuously. No luck. I finally gave up and decided to have lunch. When I turned the detector back on it balanced fine and was not an issue again that day or today either. I have re-read the owners manual and I believe it may have been a tuning issue. The manual states retuning is rarely needed unless in non-motion mode but perhaps the motion mode can have tuning issues as well. I am still not sure of the case, perhaps if I had pushed retune it would have balanced out. Any thoughts or suggestions from others?

On the way home I decided to have one last hunt and and it payed off with a nice 27.4 gram meteorite! All in all it was a great hunt, good weather, met some more nice folks out there, got comfortable using the Garrett ATX, and brought home a nice space rock!....jim

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