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Bought a new detector..

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Since the forum's sooo slow right now I figured I'd do a quick write-up about this -- just so everyone has something new to read..

With both my all metal beach detectors being temporarily out of commission and in the throes of what's turning into long-term parking varying states of manufacturer repair services, I've been doing some inland coin-shooting as a means to try to quell the jones.. This is ok, other than at this time of year it's kinda the same thing as being in the desert nugget shooting, except with the additional thrill of 164% humidity tossed into the mix as well.. So if you're not going out very first thing in the AM or just prior to sunset, don't bother -- unless you have an exceptional fondness for watching heat shimmers while watching yourself dissolve at the same time.. At least on the beach it's almost always a few degrees cooler with air movement too, which keeps you from realizing you've burnt yourself to a crisp until it's wayyy past entirely too late to do anything preventative about it..

Having these good beach thoughts in mind, and having grown tired of losing the battle against the beach detecting jones' continual onslaught in the process of elevating itself beyond the point of already total distraction, I deceided to stop thinking about and instead went and picked up a detector whose primary purpose would be, what else, finding gold jewelry, or, coin-shooting on the beach -- whichever scenario ends up playing out as the more likely of the two..

Detector = Garrett AT Pro.. Price = $580 & change, tax, title and CCW license included OTD, along with its $2,187.68 mandatory un-swappable Bonus Pak chock full of really important stuff n things.. Never can tell when ya might need another 6X plastic-lense magnifier, right..?

Anyhowww, she visited the beach with me last Fri. & Sun. evenings for a bit over four hours total detecting time.. I chose an eight-block stretch of beach beginning approx a mile north of the Cocoa Beach Pier (which put me into Cape Canaveral) and worked north from there.. I chose this stretch because it gets both a lot of beach goers and a lot of detectorists.. It's also been at least six months since there's been any sort of abnormal wave action anywhere between Port Canaveral - Sebastian Inlet.. The high tide line today is the same as it was in January, meaning nothing new inland-wise has been exposed for dragging toward the ocean.. This stretch of beach has been detected hard during this time, including by me.. For this test I detected the highest line possible, one pass each direction at the toe of the now nearly deteriorated 0" to 2' tall high tide embankment cut remnants..

The first thing I must say is it's a real pleasure having target ID on the beach..! Considering how well the hot-rock-like mineralized clumps can mimic coin tone & ID sig #, of the coins I dug nothing was off by more than a point -- and that was only on a couple of them.. All the others lined up with the machine's ID scale, and boy I sure dug some ugly looking change.. And unlike hot rocks, mineralized clump tones go away as you dig into ground rearrangement..

It's a toss-up between #s 2 & 3, which is as far as I can qualify right now.. One of those is the iron disc function.. Love it; works great..! The other is even though beer caps and removed pop tab starters do sound off, unlike my other coin-shooter where they almost always show up the same as a coin reading, on the AT Pro they show a couple points lower.. This caught my attention early on, to the point I set up a test bed on the beach with them, pocket coins and found coins.. Son of a gun..! How kewl is this?!, I'm thinking.... I hope these readings holds true forever..! If I never again have to dig a solid xx that turns out being a beer cap I would be absolutely elated..!

Depth: Deeper than the visible readout can indicate (which goes to 10"s..) 12" at least for sure, which puts it right there in the mix with the other price-point comparable detectors.. I did have deeper sharp-sounding signals too, but both couldn't get to them and/or gave up on them because I was carrying a sporty shorty shovel and had reached comfortable digging depth limit.. Didn't care nor want to know badly enough what those targets were to justify required hole expansion effort.. This was at about 16", which I found impressive enough considering where the on-board tech break point is $$-wise.. I'm assuming approx the same on dry land, even though we haven't yet been there..

Additionally: The machine is well balanced, all the controls are one-digit operable within easy reach of one's swinging-arm's thumb and the learning curve is nearly self-evident to everyone other than a newly minted detectorist.. This machine is a joy to use..!

I have only two complaints, one of which is very minor and needs to be the way it is.. This would be the headphone connector design, which can be a bit of a PITA getting aligned and snugged down.. However, waterproof capability more than off-sets.. As I think about it now, this really is more a fat-fingered accessability / placement problem than a design flaw..

The other is much more valid.. I have a bit of a problem with how the tear drop control box is attached.. It's always appeared to be a weak point to me.. This was confirmed recently as a machine, while leaning against a life guard tower, fell over sideways.. Just prior to a nice soft sand landing the control box hit a cross-member and snapped completely off the detector.. O.M.G. ! ! 

Solution: 2 X 3/4" pipe straps.. Remove the four screws that attach the speaker cover.. Lay the pipe straps across the stem (the holes in the straps line up perfectly with the speaker cover's,) reinsert screws and tighten down.. Voila..! Instant reinforcement..!




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Congrats on your new purchase swamp! Nice, fair write up as well. Garrett makes a fine product.

My first detector purchase was the Ace 150. Actually, my wife bought it for me many Christmases ago. Price was her main focus at the time. I think she regrets getting it for me now.

I really had a lot of fun with that machine. A total beginner machine, which I needed. It was so easy to use and the target ID was spot on. But, it had its limitations...

Keep us posted on your finds and thoughts on your new toy.


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Thank you, gents -- I appreciate the kind words.. :D

Steve -- Just back from Cocoa Beach.. In keeping with your request, here's the best find of the day: 


Unfortunately it is neither Au nor Ag -- It's tungsten carbide.. Still, it beats the beach bully kicking sand in my face.. :4chsmu1:


PS EDIT: If the photo looks strange, that's cos it's a scan n you're seeing it through the bottom.. I set the band on a thumb pick to kick it an angle..

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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Nice swamp, I found one very similar last time I was up in Tahoe. That was in February. We had a couple weeks of spring like weather. Good time to detect Tahoe, had the place to myself.


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21 hours ago, spa in nv said:



That's a really great photo..! I haven't been there since before the 1st oil embargo.. Every shot of the lake I've seen since then, generally one associated with a magazine article, has been an arial in order to show, welll, more.. Nice seeing one shot from the shore..


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Yeah, it was an incredibly nice day. I actually got in the water and did some detecting. Had the waders on of course. Water detecting is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Especially retrieving targets. Found the ring on dry land.

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  • 6 months later...
On 12/23/2016 at 9:44 PM, River Styx said:

...I know you were having fits while we were at the beach together... ...Good on the AT...

Fits indeed..! Took a 10X to the Infinium coil shortly thereafter and that's where the problem was, not a connection point as I'd initially thought..

When I contacted Garrett about servicing the control box (it was time -- the pots were getting really stiff and external hardware was greening up nicely) & getting a new power coil is when I found out the machine was being discontinued and all pieces parts were 35% off.. Team Garrett did a fantastic job on the control box, pretty much rebuilding it for their fixed-price bench charge..

That the machine I picked up also happens to be a Garrett is purely coincidental.. It just turned out to be the most functional machine for the tasks I had in mind within the price points I was willing to work between.. There's no way it could replace the Infinium in either the western gold fields or on the beaches when it comes to deeper seeking necessity.. Both are really good at their intended purposes within their limitations.. (Your SDC 2300 certainly showed its mettle and earned its keep, that's for sure..!)

Cya back out there after this Matthew-deposited sand gets sloughed away or a nor'easter slices some decent cuts..


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