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Thread: Gold Nugget Detecting with the New Garrett ATX

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    DetectorProspector.com

    Apr 2005
    Reno, Nevada
    At the moment: Fisher Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro; Garrett ATX; Minelab CTX 3030, GPX 5000; White's DFX, GM3, GMT, TDI, Surf PI DF
    451
    478 times
    Prospecting

    Gold Nugget Detecting with the New Garrett ATX

    OK folks, here you go. I have spent about two days of nugget detecting with the new Garrett ATX metal detector over the course of three actual days at three different locations. I learned a lot about the detector, and did actually find some gold with it, no small feat for this prospector from Alaska. I am a total newbie in the Lower 48 and were it not for good friends would have a much harder time placing myself in some decent locations. I learned enough I wrote up a very long article with photos on my website which is a lot easier for me to maintain and update with new information than posting on a forum.


    Gold Nugget Detecting with the Garrett ATX - Hints, Tips, and Tricks


    The bottom line is a big thumbs up for the ATX for nugget detecting. I was very impressed by the ability of the ATX to find very small gold nuggets straight out of the box with the 12" x 10" DD coil. No special tuning, just a high sensitivity setting and careful hunting. My two smallest nuggets weighed in at 0.12 gram and 0.16 gram which says more to me about the ATX than finding larger gold. 1.36 grams total in four nuggets. Check it all out in the article.


    Steve Herschbach
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    439
    502 times
    Prospecting
    Nice! Informative and well written Steve. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Looks like there might be some new competition for a share of the PI gold detector market. Nice small gold, who would have thought that was part of the ATX new tricks?

  4. #3
    us
    Bill

    Aug 2013
    Coastal Orange County, CA
    Garrett ATX, AT Pro, ProPointer, and a weirdly good sense of direction
    535
    457 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    -
    Hi Steve,

    Great article on the "Gold Nugget Detecting with the Garrett ATX - 11/20/13"

    I also read your article on "Gold and Silver with the New Garrett ATX - 11/16/13" ... Very Nice

    How far down did you have to dig for the square nails and that old silver in that VLF unfriendly park in Reno?
    Last edited by SoCalBeachScanner; Nov 23, 2013 at 04:30 PM.
    First I got Hooked on Metal Detecting ... Now I'm Addicted to Precious Metals.

  5. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    DetectorProspector.com

    Apr 2005
    Reno, Nevada
    At the moment: Fisher Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro; Garrett ATX; Minelab CTX 3030, GPX 5000; White's DFX, GM3, GMT, TDI, Surf PI DF
    451
    478 times
    Prospecting
    Deepest penny was a measured 9 inches. Does not seem all that deep but well beyond what my CTX 3030 will do in this soil. The ATX is not all that hot on high conductive coins since it is optimized for low conductive targets. It is only in highly mineralized ground that you see any real advantage versus a VLF. Much the same when hunting small gold also. In moderate to low mineralization might as well use a VLF.

    PI detectors in general do not go deeper than VLF detectors in all metal mode. My Gold Bug Pro in all metal is like a cheap, lightweight PI. But PI detectors lose depth at a slower rate than VLF detectors as ground mineralization increases. You get a scenario where the VLF has lost 50% of its theoretical depth but the PI has only lost 20%, now easily besting the VLF.

    The ground, the ground, it is all about the ground!

  6. #5
    us
    Bill

    Aug 2013
    Coastal Orange County, CA
    Garrett ATX, AT Pro, ProPointer, and a weirdly good sense of direction
    535
    457 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Herschbach View Post
    Deepest penny was a measured 9 inches. Does not seem all that deep but well beyond what my CTX 3030 will do in this soil. The ATX is not all that hot on high conductive coins since it is optimized for low conductive targets. It is only in highly mineralized ground that you see any real advantage versus a VLF. Much the same when hunting small gold also. In moderate to low mineralization might as well use a VLF.

    PI detectors in general do not go deeper than VLF detectors in all metal mode. My Gold Bug Pro in all metal is like a cheap, lightweight PI. But PI detectors lose depth at a slower rate than VLF detectors as ground mineralization increases. You get a scenario where the VLF has lost 50% of its theoretical depth but the PI has only lost 20%, now easily besting the VLF.

    The ground, the ground, it is all about the ground!

    Thanks Steve ... good info

    My decision to go with the ATX is based on detecting in the surf in Southern CA, with all that black iron sand, especially in Long Beach.

    You can see the heavier concentrations of black sand in the photo below in Long Beach and it gets worse in the water.


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    First I got Hooked on Metal Detecting ... Now I'm Addicted to Precious Metals.

  7. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    DetectorProspector.com

    Apr 2005
    Reno, Nevada
    At the moment: Fisher Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro; Garrett ATX; Minelab CTX 3030, GPX 5000; White's DFX, GM3, GMT, TDI, Surf PI DF
    451
    478 times
    Prospecting
    Looks like a perfect location for the ATX. I will have to drive over and hit those beaches one of these days. Might make for a nice mid-winter break from Reno. Looks like plenty of beach to share!

    I seriously plan to do a lot of beach detecting with the ATX, specifically targeting high mineral beaches. It should pull targets missed by virtually anything else. Leave the low mineral ground to detectors better suited for it.

  8. #7
    us
    Bill

    Aug 2013
    Coastal Orange County, CA
    Garrett ATX, AT Pro, ProPointer, and a weirdly good sense of direction
    535
    457 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Herschbach View Post
    Looks like a perfect location for the ATX. I will have to drive over and hit those beaches one of these days. Might make for a nice mid-winter break from Reno. Looks like plenty of beach to share!

    I seriously plan to do a lot of beach detecting with the ATX, specifically targeting high mineral beaches. It should pull targets missed by virtually anything else. Leave the low mineral ground to detectors better suited for it.

    Well, if you want to target the most mineralized beach in CA to play with the ATX in, Long Beach is your place to be.

    With that Federal Breakwater three miles offshore that expands 6-miles from San Pedro to the Orange County line (Seal Beach), the water does not move, cut, or erode the beach, so the black sand just keeps on building.

    Thanks for all the info, I'll give your thread back to the nugget guys
    Last edited by SoCalBeachScanner; Nov 23, 2013 at 05:48 PM.
    First I got Hooked on Metal Detecting ... Now I'm Addicted to Precious Metals.

  9. #8

    Dec 2012
    on the rocks - so cal county line
    Gold bug pro / Whites coin master II
    586
    105 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    most of the black is coke a buy product from the arco refinery were the coke is washed and is all around the harbour . this you might see in a ash tray at a casino , black coke , cabon in black steel ,comes in lava rock fourm after the coke is cut off the barrels.
    What can I say? I drive an isuzu therefor I have no friends.
    __________________

  10. #9

    Oct 2013
    224
    7 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Herschbach View Post
    Deepest penny was a measured 9 inches. Does not seem all that deep but well beyond what my CTX 3030 will do in this soil. The ATX is not all that hot on high conductive coins since it is optimized for low conductive targets. It is only in highly mineralized ground that you see any real advantage versus a VLF. Much the same when hunting small gold also. In moderate to low mineralization might as well use a VLF. PI detectors in general do not go deeper than VLF detectors in all metal mode. My Gold Bug Pro in all metal is like a cheap, lightweight PI. But PI detectors lose depth at a slower rate than VLF detectors as ground mineralization increases. You get a scenario where the VLF has lost 50% of its theoretical depth but the PI has only lost 20%, now easily besting the VLF. The ground, the ground, it is all about the ground!
    I believe this is my problem with my VLF .. The places i went hunting are highly mineralized lost depth and senitivity. Guess i will have to go to places are known to have larger nuggets ..

  11. #10
    us
    Aug 2007
    Medford, Oregon
    GTI 2500/Infinium LS/ Ace 250/ Scorpion Gold Stinger/AT Gold/AT Pro
    177
    73 times
    Good review and tale of your nugget hunt!


  12. #11

    Jan 2008
    Canada
    F-75, Infinium LS, MXT, GoldBug2, TDI Pro, Spectrum XLT, 1280X Aquanaut, Garrett ProPointer
    846
    312 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    “I recently acquired a Minelab Pro-Swing 45 harness and bungee system. This new harness incorporates a plastic strut that transfers weight from the shoulder to the waist belt. This not only relieves shoulder strain but helps keep the harness belt from creeping up your back as the front of the harness is pulled down. I have other heavy detectors I thought might benefit from using this harness and so it was a happy coincidence I already had one on hand to use with the Garrett ATX.

    The Pro-Swing comes with a clip and Velcro wrap you can position wherever you like on the detector. I keep as much weight as possible to the rear by keeping the shaft short, basically just using the lighter two lower sections and about 3 inches of the uppermost rod section. This makes a nice little spot between the upper rod locking rings to attach the clip. The bungee can be disconnected at both the detector end of the bungee by slipping it off the clip or off at the shoulder also, which I found I preferred.”


    A very positive, informative report Steve. Appreciate that you included the above information… you know my concern about the ATX weight. It seems I’m constantly searching hillslopes… usually tailings where the footing is awkward and unstable. The Infinium is about all I can physically handle for prolonged searching of such ground. I had thought that the approx. 7 lb ATX would be too much for me. So thanks for the heads-up on that issue, and of course… congratulations on those four handsome nuggets!!!

    Despite a swirling snowstorm and 10F degrees, I boldly ventured out to the patio and cleaned the 5˝ lb specimen referred to in an earlier conversation with you. Both the silver and the calcite are very pure… there are no visible inclusions of any other minerals… it is only the structure that prevents this piece from a “penny / dime” target ID. It is inundated with countless tiny silver veinlets that aren’t visible in the photo due to camera distance required to capture the entire piece.

    Jim.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jim Hemmingway; Nov 26, 2013 at 01:05 PM.
    Clay Diggins likes this.
    Time, oh good sweet time...where did you go?

  13. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    DetectorProspector.com

    Apr 2005
    Reno, Nevada
    At the moment: Fisher Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro; Garrett ATX; Minelab CTX 3030, GPX 5000; White's DFX, GM3, GMT, TDI, Surf PI DF
    451
    478 times
    Prospecting
    Weight is a big issue for me. I prefer detectors that weigh under 3 lbs. Darn few of those! Hip mounting or chest mounting is an acceptable alternative but that option is also getting rarer. 3-4 lbs is certainly acceptable. Anything over four pounds I start griping at the manufacturers for not trying hard enough. Although I do tend to give waterproof detectors a pass for obvious reasons. The plain truth is there needs to be an ATX crammed in the lightest box possible, forget the waterproof. That would be one sweet detector!

    Doc's Swingy Thingy harness is another nice option worth investigating.

    Your specimens by and large would be a welcome addition in any museum. I am going to chase some silver in Nevada and Arizona but I do not think there is much that could come close to rivaling your finds for quality. Beautiful stuff for sure!!

 

 

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