Observations from first use of CTX after using Etrac for 2 years
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Thread: Observations from first use of CTX after using Etrac for 2 years

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,542
    18670 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!

    Observations from first use of CTX after using Etrac for 2 years

    My background from 35 years detecting focuses on the sounds. Learn the sounds and only look at whatever VDI your detector gives you after the sounds have given rise to your curiosity.

    Many on here have given basically the same opinions of the CTX, and these are mine:

    1) It's heavy! I'll be digging that "Detecting Buddy" out of what ever box I stored it in.

    2) The VDI reaction is slow, count one, two, three. Requires some patience in a trashy area when you hear a good tone amidst the trash. That makes the key to recovery of a good target as the good repeatable tone.

    3) The sounds and VDI readings are the same to me as on the Etrac, so having reasonably mastered that previously, I slide right into using the CTX.

    4) The things that I will need to master are the tracing, etc. I kinda like the visuals provided on the screen - gives you an idea of just what kinda stuff is beneath the grass. Not an x-ray machine by any means, but you sort of see the mess of iron, rust, and debris sweeping underneath the coil.

    5) I like how the target cursor shines bright red over a conductive target. I also like the screen showing multiple cursors when there's more than one target beneath the coil.

    6) I'm not sure about pin pointing yet. I'm going on the way the Etrac handled that.

    7) There was no paper user manual included, but they did put the 75 page manual in PDF format on the XChange2 CD.

    8) Settings menus? Good gracious! I thought the Etrac was complex! I've set nothing yet, just turned it on and started sweeping. I need to study the manual just like I did for final exam days.

    9) The beast is solid. This is NOT a toy.

    10) This is a REALLY high end machine, and not built for newbies.

    11) Only purchase this machine if you are VERY serious in this hobby. It's no toy time.

    I hope this helps anyone considering purchase in comparing with other machines on the market.

    I've detected my homesite for the last 35 years, so I expected to find nothing - just wanted to get my wheels under me before going somewhere else. I did dig one copper memorial cent.
    Last edited by DeepseekerADS; Aug 03, 2015 at 08:29 AM.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  2. #2
    us
    Aug 2013
    Great Lakes State
    CTX 3030, Whites GMT, BH Platinum w/ Fisher F5, 11" DD coil
    149
    108 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello DeepseekerADS,

    Coming from the Etrac, your learning curve should be a short one. You are already familiar with response tones which is the most important to start out.

    The CTX is both, much the same, and very different than the Etrac. The FBS 2, and Smartfind 2, are enhanced continuations of those technologies. Just better!

    You're right, the CTX is NOT a toy! It can be as easy, or complicated, as the user wants it to be. Simply turn it on, hit the noise cancel button, and you're ready to go in any of the stock programs. It can be customized in so many ways if you wish, to suit your circumstances. Tones, detecting discrimination patterns, you name it, you can customize it to suit you. Each stock program has two discrimination patterns, one with higher discrimination, one more wide open. You can switch between the two for better ID of targets, with the press of a button.

    I would recommend you use the stock programs until you are comfortable with it's responses, and target ID. From there you can customize it as much, or, as little as you wish to suit your circumstances.

    MOST DEFINATELY READ THE MANUAL! (several times)

    I have found it to be a very enjoyable and productive machine. Hope you do too!

    Good Hunting With It!
    Last edited by locater; Aug 03, 2015 at 10:10 AM. Reason: spelling
    DeepseekerADS likes this.

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,542
    18670 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Thanks Locator!

    One of the mistakes I made with the Etrac was getting into all sorts of patterns before really understanding the basics. Later, realizing that it was driving me stupid, I took the Etrac "back to basics".

    And that's the first learning curve conquered with the Etrac - just settle down and search one target at a time and learn the machine that way. That will be my focus with the CTX.

    I will say that I do love it already
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  4. #4
    us
    Aug 2013
    Great Lakes State
    CTX 3030, Whites GMT, BH Platinum w/ Fisher F5, 11" DD coil
    149
    108 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Sounds like you have a solid plan!

    One interesting feature I thought would be unused is the gps/geohunt. I was wrong! It can be VERY usefull when hunting large tracts, such as Civil War battlefields/camps, large fields, beaches, etc. You can mark find locations and record them, patterns can show up of the best places to continue hunting. The recorded hunt can even be overlaid on a Google map. You can use it to restart a hunt and begin where you had to quit days before.

    Not only is it a very nice detector, but, it is actually fun to use.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,542
    18670 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Quote Originally Posted by locater View Post
    One interesting feature I thought would be unused is the gps/geohunt.
    Yep, I scoffed at that feature. But then after reading about it, danged that's handy! You really can go right back to where you stopped.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  6. #6
    us
    Nov 2013
    TN
    Minelab Safari .......... Minelab Excalibur II ....... ........Minelab CTX 3030
    1,181
    1633 times
    Metal Detecting
    The GPS feature is way under some folks' radar. I do a lot of old map research and its a simple thing to get the lat/long of a site, create a Waypoint in Xchange2, export the WP to the CTX, and follow the map to the exact spot you want to hunt in the middle of bumfarknowhere woods.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.
    "Those who cannot compete intellectually tend to develop a cultural aversion to the whole idea." -- Fred Reed
    ========================================
    Minelab Safari
    Minelab Excalibur II
    Minelab CTX 3030

  7. #7
    us
    Nov 2013
    Long Island
    CTX 3030, Xp Deus, That's it, I'm done.
    1,747
    2260 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I wanted to wrap my CTX around a tree when I first got it. I came from a Whites background and never handled a Minelab. Let's just say I couldn't imagine using anything else. A friend called me over the other day and asked that I check a signal for him. I look at him and say it's the top to a pencil. He says yea whatever man. If you could see the look on his face when he pulled out that pencil eraser, priceless. Worth every penny IMO. Good luck with it.
    DeepseekerADS and jcobb like this.

  8. #8

    May 2008
    Ft. Worth Tejas
    CTX3030...AT Pro & Garrett Pro Pointer Bounty Hunter 505 (Loaner)
    778
    863 times
    The CTX is pretty heavy, I switch from the AT Pro to the CTX. First couple of hunts it wore me out.

    The key is to let it rest in your hand and not try to muscle it around. I showed my buddy that had his first two hunts this weekend. Made a huge difference.

    I also have some amazing programs I will share of your interested. They are from a very rep dealer\user and tons of YouTube videos. They are only available on their website if you purchase from them. PM if you like

    James
    DeepseekerADS and MiamiFox like this.
    A Coward Dies a Thousand Deaths a Soldier Dies But Once

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    John

    Feb 2013
    Arkansas
    I’ve used about all modern ones but right now: CTX 3030, Nokta Anfibio, White’s TRX, Profind 35
    2,538
    1515 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Good write up. I agree with you. The detecting buddy will knock just enough of the weight off to allow you to not feel it as much. You can also loosen your grip. If you "palm" the handle too much and fight the machine, it will wear you out and hurt you (I've torn tendons cause of this). The Pro Swing harness will take away a good 70% of the weight, it is just too bulky for my tastes. If you start using the smaller coils, extend the lower rod out another 3 inches or so, to further counter balance the weight. i actually got hurt not on the large coils, but on the small one. I also shorten the lower rod and swing more with an extended arm when I use the 17" coil. I rarely use a harness as a result of finding what works for me.

    Concerning the slowness. In heavily trashed areas, I notice the machine will sound and but won't read. Seems the machine is still processing and the VDI hasn't displayed yet. I will pick up the coil from the ground and kind of let the machine catch up.

    The cursors are great sometimes if you have a higher tone, but the VDI is reading low, you can then look down and see what the cursors are doing. If I see both blue and red cursors I always dig because it could be a coin next to a nail or bunch of nails. If you get a few blue cursors even and no red ones, it could be reading a zinc penny that is sitting just above a more desirable target. Dig those too.

    Learn to toggle between an open screen and a discrimination setting of your choice using the button that looks like a detector coil. You will get 10% or so more depth with an open screen and you can use that to clean up weak signals.

    If you get mixed sounds, but you can momentarily get a good coin VDI reading, especially at more than one angle, I would dig it. When this happens also look at your cursor for red and blue.

    The sweet spot for pinpointing is right at the shaft. I always keep my detector moving and swinging while pinpointing. Narrow it down using the X method while the pinpoint is depressed and slightly pick up the coil to narrow the PP field helps. I also will retune the PP by pressing it once and then a second time. Sometimes the first attempt at pressing doesn't seem to narrow it down and respond, but the second time it will. Push the coil to the ground once you get a good PP and read the depth settings (I like it better than the Etrac and Deus) and rely on it. It is accurate except for the very shallow targets which will sometimes PP of of the coil edge instead of the center. The Etrac does this also.
    Last edited by Pointman; Aug 06, 2015 at 09:54 PM.
    DeepseekerADS likes this.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,542
    18670 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pointman View Post
    Good write up. I agree with you. The detecting buddy will knock just enough of the weight off to allow you to not feel it as much. You can also loosen your grip. If you "palm" the handle too much and fight the machine, it will wear you out and hurt you (I've torn tendons cause of this). The Pro Swing harness will take away a good 70% of the weight, it is just too bulky for my tastes. If you start using the smaller coils, extend the lower rod out another 3 inches or so, to further counter balance the weight. i actually got hurt not on the large coils, but on the small one. I also shorten the lower rod and swing more with an extended arm when I use the 17" coil. I rarely use a harness as a result of finding what works for me.

    Concerning the slowness. In heavily trashed areas, I notice the machine will sound and but won't read. Seems the machine is still processing and the VDI hasn't displayed yet. I will pick up the coil from the ground and kind of let the machine catch up.

    The cursors are great sometimes if you have a higher tone, but the VDI is reading low, you can then look down and see what the cursors are doing. If I see both blue and red cursors I always dig because it could be a coin next to a nail or bunch of nails. If you get a few blue cursors even and no red ones, it could be reading a zinc penny that is sitting just above a more desirable target. Dig those too.

    Learn to toggle between an open screen and a discrimination setting of your choice using the button that looks like a detector coil. You will get 10% or so more depth with an open screen and you can use that to clean up weak signals.

    If you get mixed sounds, but you can momentarily get a good coin VDI reading, especially at more than one angle, I would dig it. When this happens also look at your cursor for red and blue.

    The sweet spot for pinpointing is right at the shaft. I always keep my detector moving and swinging while pinpointing. Narrow it down using the X method while the pinpoint is depressed and slightly pick up the coil to narrow the PP field helps. I also will retune the PP by pressing it once and then a second time. Sometimes the first attempt at pressing doesn't seem to narrow it down and respond, but the second time it will. Push the coil to the ground once you get a good PP and read the depth settings (I like it better than the Etrac and Deus) and rely on it. It is accurate except for the very shallow targets which will sometimes PP of of the coil edge instead of the center. The Etrac does this also.
    I was going to narrow down the "Quote" to just one part of your statement, but it was all great information! Thank you for taking the time to point your experiences out!
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

 

 

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