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NEW Garrett ATX Metal Detector


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ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 09, 2016 03:45PM
Hi All,

Well I think the ATX (used) I recently got is down for the count:cry:

After the park test I took it to the lake for a water hunt. It was running real quiet and smooth at the first two beaches. Scored a silver ring and St Christopher medal on a chain:crylol: Good frequency scan and GB. At the third beach I got a low batt indicator and did a battery change back at the truck.

Upon returning to the water the machine was acting real erratic with lots of false signals and LED indicators flashing up to the 7/8 range and even locking at this level. I thought well maybe its EMI or drift so I checked with my buddy who is running an infinium and he said his machine was purring like a kitten. So I did another factory reset and decide to run in ground tracking. I was still getting signals but hard to hear the faint ones with all the falsing.

I checked the battery compartment when I got home and no leaks. Decided to take it to the park today where I originally tested it with a fresh set of batteries. Did Freq Scan and GB. The GB seemed a little off from when I first got the machine. That is when I press the button and get the two tones I'm not hearing much ground signal. I noticed this at the lake also. Anyway tried to run and with the coil stationary I'm getting a pulsing signal from 1-4 range and spiking up to 7/8 range. The signal then locked at 8 and wouldn't go away without a reset but then continued the pulsing. So I decided to do a factory reset and that's when it got interesting. Usually on a factory reset I get two tones followed by the 4 battery check tones. The machine went straight to 4 tones with no LED display. So the machine is on and making spurious noises but no LED's are on. Did this a few times with the same results.

So I put the machine away and got my GP3000 out as a control test. The 3000 noise canceled and GB'd in this park fine and I dug a few signals till the rain started. Anyway this kind of rules out that there was some type of crazy EMI that can't be eliminated.

Next I called the local dealer who sold the machine to the guy I bought it from and he thought it might be the coil. back at the house I slid the shaft out a bit and had a look at the coil wire connector. Put in a new set of batts and checked the coil connector for leaks saw none but where the wire goes into the black connector there is some type of rubbery gasket material that is squeezed out a bit. Any way I fired up the machine and it went through a normal cycle with LED's and did the frequency scan but still getting that spiking signal. I can turn sens down and bring that signal down but then cant hear test targets through the signal at the low sens level.

Dealer told me to call Garrett on Monday and that is the plan. I think there is still 6 months on the Warranty but well see. Anyone have similar problems?

HH

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Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Syd BC
Date: April 09, 2016 11:25PM
Atlas, I was just thinking, if your dealer or someone else had a replacement coil that is known to be good, then you could try that one and if the problem is fixed then you might have identified a coil problem. I think there was an earlier post on this forum where someone had a coil problem that had been caused by abrasion on the coil cable. I know it's hard to pull the cable out enough to get a good look at it. Just a thought...Syd

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 10, 2016 12:10AM
Great idea Syd. I'll ask around and see if anyone in the area has a coil to test.

I'm thinking there may be a break or leak in the coil connector area. After hunting in the water the only way I know to get the water out of the shaft is to tip it back toward the housing so all that water went back across the connection. I pulled the connector out and no water made it past the O ring but maybe it leaked where the wire passes through the black connector that attaches to the silver one?

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: dmnz
Date: April 10, 2016 02:37AM
Hi There - I am SURE this is a coil issue, the same happened to me AGAIN today - and has happened several times. This time with a coil of less then 5 hours use. I think water gets into the coil cable / screen area. The machine will be fine I am sure. The erratic sounds and 'locking' on a high number are exact symptoms :( Faulty coil.....

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 10, 2016 11:52AM
dmnz -- Thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear you have had similar troubles. So was your first coil replaced under warranty and then the replacement coil failed after 5 hours? Were your troubles with the DD or mono?

After studying on this a bit and looking at the coil wire and how it is attached to the connector I'm a little concerned about the engineering here. That is, the coil wire is under constant tension and more so when the shaft is at operating length. I understand it is done this way to allow for the unit to be collapsible but it appears there are some side effects. At the same time I haven't heard of to many complaints on the issue so maybe I just got a bad one.

On the bright side I'd rather the problem be a coil issue than some type of board issue or water leak into the housing. I'll be calling Garrett on Monday.

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: dmnz
Date: April 12, 2016 04:09AM
Hi there....

Actually had issues with both the standard DD and mono and the end result is the same - similar behavior as described above. I think this is caused by;

A) initial cables degrading the insulation (look for small cracks) and then salt water entering and damaging the shield wire?
B) expanding and collapsing the shaft - and possibly the stretch on the coil connector end, or more likely, on the coil end.

I have a feeling the shield in the coil cable is breaking - unsure!

However, I am very careful when expanding the shaft. Give me a standard shaft and coil cable anyday! I feel the collapsing shaft is the one fault with the ATX....

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: togg77
Date: April 12, 2016 11:38AM
Buy used--buy someone else's problems.

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 12, 2016 01:38PM
Update:

I agree there is always a danger to buying used. But I did check the machine out for an hour at the guys house and it worked fine. I also ran it in the park for 2 more hours and it ran fine. I should have got the serial # first to see it was still under warranty. I called Garrett and it turns out the machine is out of warranty. That's on me:stars:

So I decided to take it back to the park and retest. First try I got similar erratic results. So I slowed down and tried again Freq. Adj and GB again and the machine ran perfectly. It may be that I wasn't ground balancing properly or had an unknown target under the coil when doing so. Or as another has pointed out, I had my cell phone with me:surrender: Once the machine started running smooth I telescoped the shaft in and out a few times and moved the coil and the machine continued to run quiet for the next two hours. this doesn't exactly correlate with my cell phone being the problem because I had it with me when the machine started running smooth.

dmnz -- Sorry to hear you had trouble with both coils. I agree that the coil cable being under constant tension is not an ideal situation. I'd be interested to know the percentage of ATX owners who have had coil troubles. It seems odd to me since the design is originally for the military (Recon) and those guys can't be having their detectors go down.

I'll continue my testing. Maybe it was operator error or an intermittent problem. Time will tell I guess. If it continues I'll try and find someone locally with and extra coil to test on the machine.

HH

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Booty Hunter
Date: April 12, 2016 01:40PM
I use the infinium 10x14" dd coil with a home made carbon shaft. Not only lighter but swings through the water with ease compared to the original coil and shaft.

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: emptyhole
Date: April 13, 2016 11:59PM
I had to send two coils back to Garrett. The first one split the shaft where the coil connects from the bottom up about 3 inches, in a couple places.On the second one the coil was so loose I couldn't even ground balance without the coil flopping up and down, I tried everything to tighten it even broke a couple tension screws off.Garrett was real good and replaced them both.

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: dmnz
Date: April 14, 2016 02:28PM
I Agree - the Garrett Support is AWESOME. I have used the machines a great deal - and I think the only slightly weak design point is the collapsing shaft. Just take real care in expanding and contracting the shaft and clean INSIDE the shafts as well to remove sand and debris - otherwise this will wear away at the coil cable. I also never collapse the shafts completely - as the inner diameter smallest tube comes in contact with the coil cable.

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 14, 2016 03:09PM
Really good observations and suggestions. I can see where sand in the smaller shaft tube could really wear away at the cable.

I did another test in the park and the machine ran stable and quiet for around 2 hours. So maybe it was my cell phone or operator error with GB. Next test will be back at the lake

I also noticed where sand really likes to get into the shaft locks. I flushed these at the lake and I've sprayed mine out in the shower but still kind of gritty. I guess Garrett makes a tool to get those apart. Has anyone tried any other type of spanner wrench to open these up?

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: dmnz
Date: April 15, 2016 04:13AM
no - just the Garrett tool, have not found anything else to fit.....

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: Atlas
Date: April 15, 2016 02:02PM
OK thanks. Looks like the pin holes are 2mm or 1/16" so if you could find a spanner that size it would probably work.

How do you get the Garrett spanner? Direct through Garrett or from a dealer? Anyone know how much?

Re: ATX down for repairs.
Posted by: dmnz
Date: April 16, 2016 01:55PM
From a Garrett dealer - forgot the price. I guess you could also make one out of wood, and fixed position pins.....

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