Terry Soloman

New Garrett ATX Pulse Induction Unit

127 posts in this topic

I have used the ML 11" DD up there actually, DD's aren't really an option up there though, the gold is much much smaller on average and it's also much more difficult to hear due to the odd shapes spongey and crystalline (that DD coil doesn't even peep on some nuggets the mono will scream at). Short of a VLF, a mono is the only really usable option. And the ground is ultra hot for VLF's so I really want a chance to be able to use a PI.

So, hoping the ATX is an option if it's nice and quiet with a mono too, I'd like a chance to test it out if a dealer gets one in CO.

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Steve,

In your ATX post you mention about the hi-lo and lo-hi signals. I read someone elses post talking about the Delta 4000 and I got the impression most of these signals were trash. hmmmmmmm....Guess i'll have to go back and dig all these up. Are you talking about moving the coil over an object and getting 2 different signals? Would it be hi-lo to the right and lo-hi to the left? I'm confused.

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The Delta 4000 is a VLF and the ATX is pulse induction. Apples and oranges. Detectors like the Minelab PI detectors, the Infinium and ATX give either a low/high dual tone or a high/low dual tone on a target. The tones are an accident if the PI ground balancing system and not specifically designed as a target id system. But the tones do correspond to certain target groups. You can learn more about PI tones at http://www.detectorprospector.com/steves-mining-journal/coin-detecting-garrett-infinium-metal-detector.htm

.

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OK. Thank's! I get a bunch of those signals with the 4000 and they drive me nuts. lol Mostly aluminum.

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Thx for an entertaining, informative review Steve!

Ill wait a few more months, there is another trusted player coming out with a midrange GBPI perhaps by spring.

PI, its rumored to be waterproof military form factor.

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Do you need a waterproof PI Chris?

I like waterproof for what it is but what I really am waiting for now is a featherweight PI. The world has enough heavy PI prospecting machines. Right now the TDI SL is the only one that feels good on my arm, but I think we can all agree it needs a little more horsepower.

Edited by Steve Herschbach

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What is wrong with this video???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07frN2auisA

What do you see wrong with it Terry?

I am a rarity I guess in that I put no store at all in comparative detector videos. They almost never really mean anything to me the way they are done. I like to watch them to hear what a detector sounds like but that is about it. From what I can tell though people do seem to like them.

Just me I guess. I can't stand any of the Gold Rush shows or detecting shows either.

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I'd love to volunteer to test the ATX in the goldfields, I could try new ground, a few patches pounded by my ML, and see how it does on meteorites, and I would be willing to write an unbiased review or make a video. <--- Blatant hint for any ATX dealers in or around NW Arizona. :D

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Well, I heard the smallest nugget with the Minelab even over his continual not a peep speaking. Besides, this test is not much of a test.... just air test......

Steve, I do have a question. Not counting beach hunting, inder what conditions would you take the ATX and not the Minelab?

Edited by El Dorado

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Ha, ah, fair enough question. I have said it over and over on this forum and others - the ATX is not a GPX 5000. If a person has one and knows how to use it then great. I never expected the ATX to supplant the GPX and still do not. That said I will be using it prospecting in the immediate future just to learn more about it so I can answer that question in a more sensible fashion. Right now I would use the ATX instead of my GPX a. pouring rain b. wading in water or around water. and c. when I want to have the battery and speaker in the unit itself, like maybe in thick brush. I can see how the ATX collapsed short would be good for those crawling around on my hands and knees situations.

Let's put a sharper point on it. I am going to fly to Australia and spend a ton of money getting into a very remote location for a month. Big potential, very expensive, once in a lifetime shot. I get to take one detector. What do I take? The GPX 5000 of course!

I am glad I do not have to make the choice myself but where it gets interesting is a new buyer with $2500 to spend. The real question is does that person buy a used Minelab or a new ATX? I think a huge number of people have no real interest in used. They want brand new full warranty. What about them?

I think all prospectors benefit from competition and no matter what I applaud any company that brings in performance at lower prices. Most electronics gets better and cheaper over time. There has been a reverse trend in PI prospecting detectors for some time in prices going sky-high for better technology. Now maybe that benefits some of us by keeping that very same technology out of the hands of those who can't afford it, but me, I am voting for more, better, and less expensive detectors.

Edited by Steve Herschbach

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As I said on another forum I felt the GPX was poorly set up by the tester ... too much warble in the threshold for a DD coil setup. Proper ground balance and maybe a tweak of the RX gain and Sensitivity would have made the GPX more stable in my opinion. It seemed the tester had more faith in the ATX before the test was even started ... perhaps a little biased toward the new Garret. Goes to Steve's point about not trusting comparisons ... JMHO of course.

Mike F

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Steve: Why would you take the 5000 over the ATX? Or why do you see it as not a direct competitor to the 5000? Just more comfortable with it at this time, or do you see specific performance issues where it lags behind the 5000? Depth, sensitivity, lack of adjustment to changing conditions, battery life, durability, reliability, etc? Sounds like it's superior in the EMI cancellation dept so just wondering where it's lagging at this stage?

I realize people are against detector comparisons, but without some sort of relation between them all we would have no basis on chosing between them so it's kinda necessary to understand these things I think.

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In my opinion,the comparison test vidio was apples and oranges for all practical purpose.

The GPX machines do their best work with a mono coil for sensitivity. The stock Minelab 11 inch DD ,

is not the best choice for small nuggets. Actually we always just kept them to put on the detector for

resale. Also the coil on the ATX is a double loop,with a small loop for small targets.

Not being tuned right,and a stock DD coil,the GPX was not even close to its real potential. Also

was the ATX being used in non motion mode for the test? I noticed that he had to rebalance

several times in some of the vidios. Our old GPX 4000 would have hammered any one of those

nuggets with a 7x14 NF mono. I also heard the GPX hit the small nugget.

garimpo likes this

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Steve: Why would you take the 5000 over the ATX? Or why do you see it as not a direct competitor to the 5000? Just more comfortable with it at this time, or do you see specific performance issues where it lags behind the 5000? Depth, sensitivity, lack of adjustment to changing conditions, battery life, durability, reliability, etc? Sounds like it's superior in the EMI cancellation dept so just wondering where it's lagging at this stage?

I realize people are against detector comparisons, but without some sort of relation between them all we would have no basis on chosing between them so it's kinda necessary to understand these things I think.

I think a Minelab GPX 5000 will find smaller gold than a Garrett ATX. I think a Minelab GPX 5000 will find large nuggets deeper than a Garrett ATX. I think a Minelab GPX 5000 will handle more extreme ground and worse hot rocks than a Garrett ATX. The Minelab GPX 5000 has a longer battery life and less weight on the arm. It has approximately 50 times more accessory coils available than the ATX.

You actually do get something for nearly three times as much money. The only way they compete is in value for dollars. If the ATX outperformed the GPX in head to head sheer performance people would be ditching the GPX 5000 for the much less expensive ATX.

Don't hold your breath!

The machine the ATX more directly competes with is the Whites TDI. I have a TDI and I would say the ATX is superior in most every way except it A. weighs 1.6 lbs more than a TDI (forgiven somewhat for being waterproof) and B. Is about $400 more than a TDI.

Edited by Steve Herschbach
garimpo likes this

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Appreciate it, that's what I was looking for.

$2500 is still a big chunk for me, and I can't find a dealer to let me test it out. So reviews are my lifeline here.

I do feel at some point a company will come out with something half the price of a 5000 but with better performance. I mean, just in the time between now and when the 5000 was released look at how advanced a phone has become and how much cheaper they have become. Or LCD TV's, or video graphics cards (all of which are significantly more complex and advanced than old PI detector technology) I have no clue why detector companies seem to buck the trend of the rest of the technological world and continue to release only marginally improved products for a significant price increase... And I don't really view price as a reflection of quality or permforance, I mean, a fine example is ML coils. A bit of wire, plastic and foam. For probably 500x markup...crazy. And the second party coils have only marginal real innovation over the OEM ML coils so no real reason to charge that much. Price seems so arbitrary in this business.

Anyways, thanks for the reply, sorry for the rant above, I think I will hold off on a purchase for now.

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Jason, while I tend to agree with you, a smartphone or plasma TV just can't find nuggets...so, when they still make the best detector, they get to command the highest price. Not to mention that even the oldest 2100 will still find gold.......

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There are not many toys that could or would eventually pay back their cost...that is one reason why metal detectors donot fit the usual pattern of better/less costly/ better...

You will never have a chance of finding a thumper nugget or any other valued object watching vids/tv or playing music....

the people selling Minelab want their pound first-y'all can have whatever is left.

this is not being critical of that profit motive

fred

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And tiny, tiny market by comparison. No true economy if scale like that enjoyed by phones. More iPhones are probably sold in a day than all the Minelabs ever.

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While searching for some pictures of the Garrett ATX Pulse Induction Unit, i stumbled on a link that shows you how to make your on PI detector...many versions of it with all the peeps that made them...I like the ones made out i think 3/4 pvc pipe with a frisbee where you mount the coil...pretty cool!!! But some lacked appearance...not pretty at all...haha!

Some Kansas meteorite hunters who go after the big deep ones with a back hoe, make their own pvc type loop pi.detectors. Those guys even made the local TV news here in my area. Showed them making the pvc loops and digging huge meteorites found probably over 7 ft deep. The loop I think (but it has been a while since seeing this) can be large enough to stand inside as you walk, just hold it using straps..

Edited by Red_desert

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I agree with everything more or less. But, I'm just ready for a new competitor to arise. I love my 4500 but I am not afraid to say that these machines are grossly and embarassingly overpriced.

And I think even $2500 is too steep. I firmly believe it can be done at the $1000 price point. Maybe $1500 max. There are enough advances with DSP that almost everything can be done with one $25 ARM chip that is almost as fast as your laptop computer now, the power electronics section is nothing that hasn't been around for decades so there is no great cost there either. Texas Instruments is manufacturing a nice series of MCU's that are almost custom tailored to this, I have one on a Dev board and the entire board cost $25 including an HDMI interface and full HD graphics card, ethernet port, usb port, and built in A/D converter so you don't even need to buy an external AD chip. Come on companies!

A new company would have to navigate patent hurdles and R&D and tooling costs, but a ML, Garrett, or Whites could do it right now. And I'm not sure their market doesn't actually improve by allowing 6 or more people who don't want or can't pay for a $6,000 detector to buy a machine they wouldn't have bought otherwise. You would also see much less 2nd party used sales occuring and instead people buying new. Not to mention which ever company did it first would have an absolute flood of new customers from the other companies. I honestly don't see the business or market side argument for not doing it?

Or do all the companies have some sort of genetlemans agreement to release slowly and keep prices inflated? I hate to sound conspiritorial, but I can't honestly figure out why one of them doesn't do something. I guess ML has nothing to gain at the moment, but Garrett or Whites sure does.

Anyways, sorry for the sidetrack. Was just really hoping for more from the ATX I guess.

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I hear you Jason. I hold no loyalty to any of the brands. My loyalty belongs to whoever makes the best machine. As I wrote in my review of the ATX I thinks it's a really good machine and will find a lot of gold for many people. But other than being able to use it in water and perhaps thick brush I can't see using it rather than my GPX. For new ones it's a great buy because it's very capable and you can spend the difference between the GPX on almost 3 ounces of gold. Few detectorist will ever find 3 ounces.

As for myself, I detect to make a living and have to buy the best no matter the cost. Thankfully, I've always found enough gold to pay for my expensive detectors in short time. As long as I can do that I'll have to keep buying the best - whoever makes it. I would prefer it didn't take as much gold to pay for the machines though.---- Mike Greyshock

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Hey Mike, I think I'm being dense here but I can't find where your review is posted...? Or is it on another site? I would like to read it. Sounds like you and Steve reached the same assessment, I like to stay updated on reading though.

I try to make a living detecting but thankfully I have dredging and a bit more than that too coming soon to help me along. :D I give big props to anyone who can truly detect for a living.

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Cool so it's starting to sound unanimous that in addition to the waterproofing that it's major high points are the sensitivity to the small bits and EMI resistance.

So I guess now the question is, how small can it actually go? :D

Good luck sniping with it, sounds like its a good tool for that too.

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