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Thread: Garrett AT Pro - Not Impressed

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  1. #1
    us
    Dec 2012
    Huntington, WV
    White's Classic ID
    44
    37 times
    Metal Detecting

    Garrett AT Pro - Not Impressed

    [I know that this is generally considered the most beloved detector which is why I couldn’t wait to use it.]

    So I’ve put about 10 hours on the AT Pro (I know that’s not a lot), but so far I’m not impressed with anything it does that the cheaper detectors don’t (if that makes sense).

    Maybe I just need a little more time on it or need to adjust some of the settings.

    The search coil being larger than the one on my White’s which I had previously used, makes digging a nightmare. Each object rings in, in an area that is about a square foot. The pin pointer (on the detector) is useless when there are multiple objects in one area. With the AT Pro I’m digging holes three times the size and spending 5 to 10 x more time searching for the object.

    The thing is all over the place with the sensitivity set higher, but the sensitivity seems to directly affect the search depth. You can’t take advantage of the deeper search depth (over 6 inches) if you don’t have the sensitivity up, but if you keep it up there seems to be too many false positives. I get coin range signals that go away. I get coin range signals when the detector is sitting still. There seems to be so many random signals that go away with this thing as well.

    Speaking of depth, I laid a quarter on the surface of the ground and took the detector directly over it. It rang in at 2 inches (which is what it should do)…but then at 4 and 6 inches with the exact same motion going over the same spot. So basically the depth indicator means nothing.

    Now on to the numeric metal values. The same coin could ring in (and does) at 7 different values or more. So what’s the point? Is a specific number from 70-99 really going to keep you from digging? The numeric values seem useless when there is so much inconsistency and such a wide range of values the exact same coin can ring.

    WIT reminded me below, I've also found more bottle caps than EVER! Which has translated to probably 5 x more trash digs.

    To me, every bell and every whistle on this thing isn’t worth the hassle…at least so far.

    What are your thoughts, feel free to put me in my place/tell me what I’m doing wrong. So far using it, for me, has been very frustrating.
    Last edited by Matt1344; Jan 10, 2013 at 07:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them.
    11,988
    2109 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I feel your pain.

    I have lots of experience with many detectors and have had two AT Pro's that were not up to par when a good friend bought me another AT PRO. This one almost works as advertised but I don't trust it and it hangs on my wall. Maybe you just received one of the first ones produced and it isn't working as it should. I don't know, but I have many detectors that I trust to not waste my time using or having to second guess what it is telling me.
    Matt1344, Frankn and extractor like this.
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Swingy Thingy

    Nov 2010
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    FisherF75 ,Garret Propointer ,Vivitar HD Cam, Lesche Digger.Only the best of the best Sir!
    2,167
    720 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    What your describing sounds like a ground balance issue. With a quarter on the ground you should be hitting hard and solid. The numbers should be in range, and consistent. You may want to try and ground balance a lil more since I did not see you make note of that.
    Normsel and kwebersole like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Son of Eagles

    Mar 2010
    mɪnɨˈsoʊtə
    Minelab SE PRO, Garrett AT Pro, Teknetics Delta 4000, Ace 250, BH Tracker IV
    1,341
    313 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I was just a little frustrated at first with mine due to all of the bottle caps.. I thought for a minute that it's all I'd ever find but then I learned iron audio and that solved that problem.

    I've only been detecting 3 years and I've upgraded my machine every year [but kept the old one] due to being addicted to the hobby.

    Year 1) ACE 250 - Found more gold my first year than the next two combined, includes a 22k gold necklace
    Year 2) AT PRO - Found more silver than I've found in year 1 or 3
    Year 3) Minelab Explorer - Found 0 gold but older, deeper and more unique finds to date

    My thought since joining this forum has been that people spend WAY too much time playing the numbers game, talking VDI and trying to memorize everything your machine does.. Even going as far as taking notes.. I'm not saying that's wrong but it's just not for me and it doesn't seem like much fun. I just go out and have fun, listen to the tones and use my gut instinct.... I've found gold, silver and key date coins and I know people in real life and on other forums that have been doing this much longer and still haven't found any gold and some not even their first ring.

    The AT PRO may or may not be frustrating to the user but I think any machine can be, right? There were times this past summer that I didn't think my Minelab was working properly but I was complicating things and messing with too many settings... I went back to factory presets and started finding the good stuff again.

    10 hours isn't very long for any machine.. Give it a chance


  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2010
    NC
    Garrett AT-Pro & White's TDI & Tesoro Compass uMax
    558
    62 times
    Relic Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt1344 View Post
    [The thing is all over the place with the sensitivity set higher, but the sensitivity seems to directly affect the search depth. You can’t take advantage of the deeper search depth (over 6 inches) if you don’t have the sensitivity up, but if you keep it up there seems to be too many false positives. I get coin range signals that go away. I get coin range signals when the detector is sitting still. There seems to be so many random signals that go away with this thing as well.

    Speaking of depth, I laid a quarter on the surface of the ground and took the detector directly over it. It rang in at 2 inches (which is what it should do)…but then at 4 and 6 inches with the exact same motion going over the same spot. So basically the depth indicator means nothing.
    Reduce the sensitivity down 2 or 3 notches from max. It won't affect your depth on coin sized targets very much. It will also help your pinpointing because you won't be picking up the extra small trash targets that the high sensitivity picks up.

    The false signals could be EMI. Again, reduce the sensitivity (same 2 or 3 notches from max). I hunt in a spot that mine goes nuts in because of EMI, I move 30' away and it's quiet. If the false signals continue, check your coil connection and wire. A loose connection will cause you all sorts of grief. The AT Pro is a booger to get the coil connected tightly with the O-ring and difficult, underside connection. I've got fat fingers, so it was really hard for me...

    Pinpointing does take some time to learn, but follow Garrett's instructions about moving back & forth, turn 90* and do it again then look at your pinpoint signal meters and listen for the loudest tone. The target should be close to the hole just in front of the shaft. Believe me, the 9x11 coil is a bit tricky to pinpoint with. The 5x8 coil is AWESOME!

    As for the quarter target sound, are you sure you're in Pro (proportional audio) mode? In standard mode you'll get the monotone audio response you described. In Pro mode, you'll get a proportional audio response depending on how far (deep) the target is from the coil. At 6"+ the sound will be a more quiet high tone.

    The VDI is only an idea of possible target identification. A lot will depend on ground balance and how the target lies in the ground. If it's a decent sounding, repeatable target, dig it...

    Give it 100 hours and report back. I think you'll find that you like it better.
    Dwight S
    Anyone up for some Dirt Fishin?

  6. #6
    us
    Dec 2012
    Huntington, WV
    White's Classic ID
    44
    37 times
    Metal Detecting
    Thanks Guys.

    Sandman...I'm glad someone else (right off the bat) knows what I'm talking about.

    Casca...I've Ground Balanced the heck out of it...haha

    Thanks for the tips Dwight...I'll try them!

    Glad you guys understand...I thought there may be some backlash being critical of the sacred AT Pro! hahaha

  7. #7

    Apr 2006
    Los Angeles
    Garrett Infinium, Compass Gold Scanner, Maxi Pulse, Gardner with a 3 foot loop, PDF1000, & Dowsing rods,
    464
    46 times
    Matt,
    Let us know what you finally replace it with!
    Rich

  8. #8
    us
    Aug 2011
    Riverside CA
    Current: Minelab X Terra 505, Fisher F2, Fisher & Centech Pinpointers, Lesche. Owned: Tesoro Vaquero, & Compadre, Whites GMZ, Fisher New Gold Bug, BH Fortune Hunter
    645
    184 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    2 words: Tesoro Vaquero.
    "We all have the right to find people's lost items and claim them as our own"
    Peggy Hill

  9. #9
    Charter Member

    Jun 2012
    623
    77 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Check out aquachiggers youtube Chanel I think he uses the AT pro and AT gold and finds a ton of civil war relics, I'd love to be able to upgrade to the AT pro though I don't own one now
    Get paid for taking surveys and doing offers, I've been paid almost $150 so far!
    http://www.cashcrate.com/3693474/15

  10. #10
    us
    Dec 2012
    Mesa, AZ
    Garrett ATG and thinking about another nugget hunter
    850
    235 times
    Prospecting
    I've got the ATG. Have had out for around 10-12 hours and still learning. I've run across ID and depth going crazy at times. After looking at area there was multiple targets and discovered different tones. Plus I've found stuff that was at the depth. So far I'm happy with mine. They say you need to spend 100 hours to fully understand these. I think almost all of them take time. I don't rely on numbers as much as tone. Since gold has various ranges.
    The pinpoint for me has worked very well. Sometimes depth is off. Deeper than says. There has been a couple times where I couldn't find my target though. Frustrating after digging a foot. That's where having a good pinpointer helps to use in the hole. After all you could be off an inch.
    Keep using and read up on unit. As well as watch other(s) videos. Don't think there is a perfect detector but its the user who uses the tool that makes it work.
    Happy hunting

  11. #11
    us
    Nov 2011
    920
    102 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Watch the videos at the Garrett website. Pinpointing with a double d coil takes some practice. Set out some different targets and practice. There are some good tips on the videos. When ground balancing, you must be certain there is no metal underneath the coil. If you have any iron discrimination your will never know if there is any metal because the machine will be silent. Bottle caps, especially shallow ones, many times do not pinpoint well. This is your clue to check with the Iron Audio. Highly recommended to start your practice in an area with low trash levels. Welcome to the learning curve.
    Fe2+ MD, RustyGold and JoeDiggs like this.
    Where your heart is, there you will find your treasure.

    O God of compassion, You alone can justify me and Your will never reject me when I, contrite, approach Your Merciful Heart, where no one has ever been refused, even if he were the greatest sinner. For Your Son assured me: Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy fail to embrace a trusting soul.

  12. #12
    us
    Jan 2013
    louisiana
    garret at pro
    54
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    i suggest you get a smaller search coil
    rook3434 likes this.
    LIFES A GARDEN, DIG IT

  13. #13
    us
    Mark

    Apr 2012
    West. Michigan
    Minelab CTX 3030, Minelab e-trac, Garrett Pro pointer, Lesche digger, Lesche Sampson, Predator 31 Digger, Minelab pro pointer
    138
    114 times
    Metal Detecting
    E-trac is king.

  14. #14
    us
    Aug 2011
    Riverside CA
    Current: Minelab X Terra 505, Fisher F2, Fisher & Centech Pinpointers, Lesche. Owned: Tesoro Vaquero, & Compadre, Whites GMZ, Fisher New Gold Bug, BH Fortune Hunter
    645
    184 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt1344 View Post
    [I know that this is generally considered the most beloved detector which is why I couldn’t wait to use it.]

    So I’ve put about 10 hours on the AT Pro (I know that’s not a lot), but so far I’m not impressed with anything it does that the cheaper detectors don’t (if that makes sense).

    Maybe I just need a little more time on it or need to adjust some of the settings.

    The search coil being larger than the one on my White’s which I had previously used, makes digging a nightmare. Each object rings in, in an area that is about a square foot. The pin pointer (on the detector) is useless when there are multiple objects in one area. With the AT Pro I’m digging holes three times the size and spending 5 to 10 x more time searching for the object.

    The thing is all over the place with the sensitivity set higher, but the sensitivity seems to directly affect the search depth. You can’t take advantage of the deeper search depth (over 6 inches) if you don’t have the sensitivity up, but if you keep it up there seems to be too many false positives. I get coin range signals that go away. I get coin range signals when the detector is sitting still. There seems to be so many random signals that go away with this thing as well.

    Speaking of depth, I laid a quarter on the surface of the ground and took the detector directly over it. It rang in at 2 inches (which is what it should do)…but then at 4 and 6 inches with the exact same motion going over the same spot. So basically the depth indicator means nothing.

    Now on to the numeric metal values. The same coin could ring in (and does) at 7 different values or more. So what’s the point? Is a specific number from 70-99 really going to keep you from digging? The numeric values seem useless when there is so much inconsistency and such a wide range of values the exact same coin can ring.

    WIT reminded me below, I've also found more bottle caps than EVER! Which has translated to probably 5 x more trash digs.

    To me, every bell and every whistle on this thing isn’t worth the hassle…at least so far.

    What are your thoughts, feel free to put me in my place/tell me what I’m doing wrong. So far using it, for me, has been very frustrating.
    Ok just one more thought: Do you only draw an 'X' through the target when pinpointing it? If so, be sure to draw a circle ('O') around the target as well, to see where the signal stops using the edge of the coil. So first I do the 'X' as most detector instructions suggest, then I draw a circle around target, large enough to NOT get a signal and then I make the circle smaller until the target just starts to beep. Now the target should be in the exact CENTER of the circle, which is also the center of the 'X'. It only takes a couple extra seconds. This has helped me alot and I've narrowed down my plugs to 3-4 inches with the target being either in the plug or in the bottom of the hole, not on the sidewalls of the hole. So the 'X' tells you where the target IS, and the 'O' tells you where the target ISN'T. Give it a try if you arent doing this already, and it may really help. Good luck, Scott
    JRMan and danloop like this.
    "We all have the right to find people's lost items and claim them as our own"
    Peggy Hill

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Retired Air Force E-8

    Aug 2012
    Columbus, Ms.
    Garrett AT Pro, Eurotek Pro, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche digging tool. 5x8 and 8.5x11 DD coils, 4.5 Super Sniper coil.
    582
    296 times
    Coin Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I had to read the book about a dozen times to understand the writers "logic tree." Got the 5" x 8" search coil and put in the hours learning it. I LOVE THE MACHINE!
    "If it's not where you're looking, it's got to be someplace else!"

 

 
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