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Thread: Problem with Garrett Ace 350

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  1. #1

    Jun 2013
    22
    19 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Problem with Garrett Ace 350

    Hi all,

    New to the site and just recently got back into metal detecting. I did it a lot as a kid but eventually got frustrated with it and gave up. I have kids of my own now and with the technology having improved some I thought I would get back into it. So I went out and bought a new Garrett Ace 350.

    Our first attempt was here on our own property in SW Texas near the border of Mexico. It's a new home with only a few deer hunters stepping foot on the property over the years. Otherwise it was only Native American's and of course they would not have introduced any metal to the area. It seemed to act mostly normal in no discrimination mode and was hitting on things like nails, welding rods, etc that were recently dropped around here.

    Second attempt was down on the front 5 acres of our property that was a previous hunt camp. It didn't matter what mode I would run it it... it just buzzes and jumps all over the place non stop. We managed to dig up a few small shell casings but eventually got frustrated and gave up. Way too sporadic to have any fun with it. I would regularly pickup really good signals than when rescanned would be completely non-existant.

    Third attempt today was at a friends place. A small working ranch established around 1920. I expected to find a lot of interesting things here but the detector was acting 10x more sporadic than it was here at our place. I finally put it on coin mode only and it was still making the good silver tones almost non stop, but when I would rescan the area it wouldn't pickup anything. If I look at the visual indicators, it constantly jumps all over the place - from iron to silver to aluminum... just all over the place. I can hold the machine in the air completely away from anything else and it will chime for various things. When it did send a good signal for something in the ground, it always seemed like a delayed signal. I guess that's because it would always chime the first time, but never hit again when I would scan back over the spot.

    At this point, we're all beyond frustrated and the girls want nothing to do with it. I am trying to get to the bottom of this. Faulty machine? Ground balance issue? Too much junk in the ground?

    I wish I could say. I now have a Garrett AT Pro machine on order. I am hoping the advanced settings on this machine will help us find some things out here without all of this trouble. What should I do? I feel like the Ace 350 is completely worthless out here, or perhaps not working correctly so I really don't know.

    Thanks in advance for any / all help! I would love to make this a regular hobby we share as a family but right now, it feels just like it did 15 years ago when I was doing it. Totally frustrating.

  2. #2
    us
    Apr 2013
    Rhode Island
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett ACE 350, Garrett Pro Pointer
    199
    59 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Miller View Post
    Hi all,

    New to the site and just recently got back into metal detecting. I did it a lot as a kid but eventually got frustrated with it and gave up. I have kids of my own now and with the technology having improved some I thought I would get back into it. So I went out and bought a new Garrett Ace 350.

    Our first attempt was here on our own property in SW Texas near the border of Mexico. It's a new home with only a few deer hunters stepping foot on the property over the years. Otherwise it was only Native American's and of course they would not have introduced any metal to the area. It seemed to act mostly normal in no discrimination mode and was hitting on things like nails, welding rods, etc that were recently dropped around here.

    Second attempt was down on the front 5 acres of our property that was a previous hunt camp. It didn't matter what mode I would run it it... it just buzzes and jumps all over the place non stop. We managed to dig up a few small shell casings but eventually got frustrated and gave up. Way too sporadic to have any fun with it. I would regularly pickup really good signals than when rescanned would be completely non-existant.

    Third attempt today was at a friends place. A small working ranch established around 1920. I expected to find a lot of interesting things here but the detector was acting 10x more sporadic than it was here at our place. I finally put it on coin mode only and it was still making the good silver tones almost non stop, but when I would rescan the area it wouldn't pickup anything. If I look at the visual indicators, it constantly jumps all over the place - from iron to silver to aluminum... just all over the place. I can hold the machine in the air completely away from anything else and it will chime for various things. When it did send a good signal for something in the ground, it always seemed like a delayed signal. I guess that's because it would always chime the first time, but never hit again when I would scan back over the spot.

    At this point, we're all beyond frustrated and the girls want nothing to do with it. I am trying to get to the bottom of this. Faulty machine? Ground balance issue? Too much junk in the ground?

    I wish I could say. I now have a Garrett AT Pro machine on order. I am hoping the advanced settings on this machine will help us find some things out here without all of this trouble. What should I do? I feel like the Ace 350 is completely worthless out here, or perhaps not working correctly so I really don't know.

    Thanks in advance for any / all help! I would love to make this a regular hobby we share as a family but right now, it feels just like it did 15 years ago when I was doing it. Totally frustrating.
    Sounds to me like you may have a faulty machine. They will bounce around in areas loaded with trash, especially if your sensitivity is cranked, but that doesn't seem to be your problem. You could also try a test area with different targets laid out and see how it reacts. You may also want to contact Garrett and tell them whats happening. Good luck and don't give up, you picked a good machine to start back up with!
    Last edited by marh415; Jun 27, 2013 at 08:09 PM.
    Chris Miller likes this.


    "Rise Up, Be Counted, Stand Tall and Unite"

  3. #3
    us
    Jeff

    Apr 2013
    Wisconsin
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Ace 250, BH IV, Fisher F2 and Garrett pro pointer
    82
    14 times
    Metal Detecting
    I have a 250 and it will do that jumping around if the sensitivity is at full bars in a trashy area. I usually hunt with 2 bars from the top and if it is a clean area I will run 1 from the top or full bars. I'm not to thrilled with the 250 but it has found some silver,some rings and a large cent. I know your frustration, that thing drives me crazy some times. The tones on the 250 suck too !
    Chris Miller likes this.
    Danger Dude !!!

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
    Whites GMT, Goldmaster Vsat, 5900, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 and Falcon MD-20.
    294
    101 times
    Prospecting - Gold and Silver
    Many people don't understand how motion based detectors work. Signals will go away if your detector coil stops moving (many years ago, BFO and TR type detectors did not operate this way, so pinpointing was easier to learn, however motion based detectors are supposed to work that way; you have to keep your coil moving), so that may be one problem. If your sensitivity is set too high, a detector will trigger from just about anything - even bumping the coil into things like grass - back it down. If you have a lot of minerals in the soil. or lots of hot rocks (rocks that falsely trigger responses, and yet have nothing of value in them), you will have a hard time detecting at that site no matter what VLF detector you have.

    If you find that switching to a higher end detector gives you the same results, the issue is in how you are using your detector, and not the detector. You might want to locate a local Detector club (or find other local detectorists) to help you learn how to use your equipment.
    Chris Miller likes this.
    Whites GMT, Whites GM Vsat, Whites 5900, Gold Mountain King Cobra, Bounty Hunter 3300

  5. #5
    us
    WP

    May 2012
    4,588
    2980 times
    A couple times in the past, when soil types varied on site as well as moisture, an area would not tolerate high sensitivity and machine would give machine gun tones all over the scale. A reset was called for and by holding power button till it beeped and reset then lowering sens. cured it. A trial run in a reasonably clean area after reading manual should help adjust. For coin, custom setting with sens two notches below max. and lower three notches works in soil i,m in usually. machine will still chirp on iron, when nulling icon for iron stays on with big iron, till it goes off its not really detecting. chatter back and forth on scale in this setting is now often mixed targets or mixed metals in a target. don,t be afraid to back sens down if it seems like tons of targets till you recover a few of them. Even if your halfway down the scale its worth trying if lots of hits still. With ability to hit tiny targets, if alot of lead shot or some thing in site it can be interesting.Some of those shell casings ring up nice as coin,and means there is lead around too. good luck!.
    Chris Miller likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    its never lost

    Mar 2013
    mass
    fisher f75ltd, (had, deus xp,whites v3i,minelab xterra 705,atpro,prism 4,sunray probe minlabe profind,garret propointer, and many more)
    3,812
    782 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    i agree id try doin the factory reset if that doesnt work then u may just have to send it to garret but not to worry they are quick and great to deal with good luck with it
    Chris Miller likes this.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Treasure Probe IV, Minelab E-Trac. White's 6000 Di Pro SL. White's Eagle ll SL90, Minelab Excalibur, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, TinyTec, AutoScan, UniProbe, 15" WOT, 5X10 Joey, Stea
    3,810
    1167 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    Welcome to Tnet! If you're getting a signal with the coil up in the air away from anything metal, either the machine is bad or you have serious EMI in the area. If you have the AT Pro coming in, you can compare the two machines and see what the problem is. You didn't state which machine you used to have but some machines that were around 15-20 years ago are better than the one(s) you have now!
    Chris Miller likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Jun 2013
    Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland
    Ace 150, Bounty Hunter QD2,Fisher ID Excel, Fisher F2, Ace 350, AT Pro
    430
    243 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Chris, I bought a 350 few months back and at first everything was fine, was very pleased then I decided to hit the beach and trouble started. i was getting all the same stuff(odd blips burps and cursor jumping) I detected for a few hours trying to work through it and finally I found the problem as I was leaving. My coil plug had backed out just enough from the control box to wiggle and give me false and erratic signals. Only by accident did I find this problem and it looked as if it was still well plugged in but as soon as I tightened it I was back in business and have had no more of the weird actions.

    OR it could be the coil like a club member just found out, he went to the local dealer and they put a new coil to test it and found that to be his problem, they called Garrett and had a coil to his house in a week free of charge. I say check your plug, see if it is tight or maybe have dirt etc in it or check your coil if possible. That 350 is no joke and even though I have an ATP I know my 350 is my good back up machine. Best of luck.
    Chris Miller likes this.
    To Dig or Not to Dig-That is the Question.

  9. #9

    Jun 2013
    22
    19 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Well the AT pro came in today so I set out in the same areas and at first I was having similar results. Then I ground balanced it and WOW.... it changed the entire experience.

    But... It still sent us on several wild goose chases. We had a number of great sounding, high numbered signals that would show 8+ inches and we would dig and dig and dig.... the signal would be gone from the hole and in the dirt pile, then back in the hole and then gone all together. Even the Garret Pro Pointer was hitting on stuff that wasn't even there.

    Then on the last 2 of these this evening we found a possible source. Apparently we have a LOT of rocks that are metallic out here. I thought only meteorites were metallic but we have a bunch of spotted rocks that show a great signal and always show 8+" inches - even when you're detecting them right on the surface. So... I think these rocks in our area are another part of our problem. We're here in the Big Bend Region of Texas though and in the high desert, everything is covered in loose rocks. All sorts of minerals, gemstones, lava rock, etc. Lots of geology here.

  10. #10
    us
    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
    Whites GMT, Goldmaster Vsat, 5900, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 and Falcon MD-20.
    294
    101 times
    Prospecting - Gold and Silver
    Sounds like Hot Rocks in your area - these can make an area next to impossible to detect in with a VLF type of detector. When you run into hot rocks, they tend to be everywhere at the site. Mineralization in the area you detect is always going to be a challenge.
    Chris Miller likes this.
    Whites GMT, Whites GM Vsat, Whites 5900, Gold Mountain King Cobra, Bounty Hunter 3300

  11. #11

    Jun 2013
    22
    19 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by jmoller99 View Post
    Many people don't understand how motion based detectors work. Signals will go away if your detector coil stops moving (many years ago, BFO and TR type detectors did not operate this way, so pinpointing was easier to learn, however motion based detectors are supposed to work that way; you have to keep your coil moving), so that may be one problem. If your sensitivity is set too high, a detector will trigger from just about anything - even bumping the coil into things like grass - back it down. If you have a lot of minerals in the soil. or lots of hot rocks (rocks that falsely trigger responses, and yet have nothing of value in them), you will have a hard time detecting at that site no matter what VLF detector you have.

    If you find that switching to a higher end detector gives you the same results, the issue is in how you are using your detector, and not the detector. You might want to locate a local Detector club (or find other local detectorists) to help you learn how to use your equipment.
    Appreciate the reply. I am finding some very similar results with the new detector although the ground balancing seems to have helped a LOT. The detector balanced itself at 93 on auto. That seems really high but I am not sure.

    Sensitivity seems to have zero impact on these issues. I have run it at less than 1/2 and we're still picking up ghost signals and non-existant targets. Nothing like digging target after target that present a good, strong signal only to have the signal stop after the hole is dug. Not in the pile, or in the hole either. This can make a person a little crazy.

    I think we've got a good feel for the machine and we do understand the importance of keeping it moving. I actually prefer that "jiggle / shake" method for pinpointing because the machine's built in pin pointing feature seems worthless. Once that button is pressed, I can move the coil anywhere out here and it pretends to pickup a signal even in areas where no signal was present without the button depressed.

    Apparently we're just fighting a losing battle in an area that is very difficult to hunt in. That's a bit discouraging after investing so much in this stuff. I really wanted our girls to love the hobby but it's been so much work, and so frustrating that the whole family seems to be giving up on it.

    For what it's worth... the AT Pro never picked up signals in the air like the Ace 350 was doing. It did send us on many goose chases though.

  12. #12
    us
    Commodore

    Mar 2013
    Cincinnati, OH
    E-Trac with Sun Ray probe, Garrett AT Pro, White's Classic SL, Garret Pro-pointer
    810
    286 times
    Metal Detecting
    It sounds like electrical (EMI) interference. Are there power lines in the area? Above, or below ground?

  13. #13
    us
    I deal in reality

    Mar 2010
    Maryland
    XLT , surfmaster PI , HAYS 2Box , VIBRA-TECTOR
    7,856
    1949 times
    I think it's time to get a detector that starts with a W.
    Frank...Name:  hand print-2_edited-6.jpg
Views: 786
Size:  48.6 KB

  14. #14

    Jun 2013
    22
    19 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanM362 View Post
    It sounds like electrical (EMI) interference. Are there power lines in the area? Above, or below ground?
    We're completely off grid and in the middle of nowhere. No power lines around at all. :/

  15. #15
    us
    Commodore

    Mar 2013
    Cincinnati, OH
    E-Trac with Sun Ray probe, Garrett AT Pro, White's Classic SL, Garret Pro-pointer
    810
    286 times
    Metal Detecting
    [QUOTE=Chris Miller;3449442]We're completely off grid and in the middle of nowhere. No power lines around at all. :/[

    Hmm, I think I'd at least call Garret, they may have some suggestions, or they may have you send the unit in to get checked. My AT Pro does what you describe, but only around electrical lines.

 

 

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