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Not alot of Performance information being shared
Posted by: Grunter
Date: October 04, 2017 07:27AM
I know there are a lot of units being used right now but there does seem to be a lot of performance information being shared. I would like to hear about VDI's are they the same as the Pro? How about GB are you getting about the same numbers as the Pro? How about depth on your finds? One thing I'll add at this time is when you are water hunting, turning on the iron audio is going to give you an almost constant screech unlike the Pro grunt but when you do get a good tone it is very strong and the VDI's lock on pretty stable. That's just an observation from yesterdays hunt. I found a quarter,a dime 2 pennies and a broken silver plated ear ring.This machine is definitely different from the Pro but we can all get a better handle on its performance if we share.

Re: Not alot of Performance information being shared
Posted by: WaterWalker
Date: October 04, 2017 08:02AM
Garrett has 3 ATMAX Instructional Videos posted on YouTube. A must to view.
Ground Balance has 175 steps to include Salt water beach hunting.
Lower operating frequency and higher output that previous ATPro and Gold detectors
Suggested detecting settings for beach: Zero Mode, Iron Discriminate at 38, GB or set to ~15. and sensitivity down 2 bars. (I had to drop it to the lowest – 1 – bar setting and it was still very noise with false signals, or signals from targets too small to find while shallow water detecting.)
Use Iron Audio to ID bottle caps.
Adjust the Audio Volume with headphone volume set at the 70% of the maximum setting.
Sounds are sharper and different from the ATPro’s
The display’s ID numbers are bigger than the ATPro/Gold’s. The are even readable when the control box is submerged.

Detector run time is approximately 20 hours on 4AA alkaline cells, Headphones approximately 30 hours on internal rechargeable cells via a computer USB cable.
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The two following notes were found on the internet and were helpful to me:

Lots of hot rocks where I hunted. They are easy to ID. In true all metal mode, they sound off an audio signal, but don't display a VDI just stays blank. Below are the finds from today.
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Salt / fresh water test Max depth of 3 feet Oct 1,2017 Zero Mode, Iron: 35, wireless headphones on the ATMAX and Gray Ghost Amphibians on the ATPRO.

I had to lower the ATMAX’s sensitivity to 1 in the salt water to lessen the false signaling. I ran the ATPRO at 3. Both detectors hit on the targets the other detector hit on first. Both picked up bottle caps and the ATMAX hit on a ring (costume junk) and a I-Phone as did the ATPRO.

I dropped two 14K rings, a silver ring, silver quarter and a clad quarter in wet sand holes 9 inches deep. Each hole was filling with sea water as soon as I dug the hole. I filled and packed sand in each hole.

Both detectors hit on each of the targets, with a “dig me” response. BUT with the ATMAX, I had to lower the sensitivity to 1 to get a clear response, eliminating the trashy noise before and after the target’s “good” signal. I could only run the ATMAX at a sensitivity of 1 or 2 bars without getting a response signal I could live with. At 3 bars and above the ATMAX’s sensitivity was just to much for the wet Cape Cod environment and scattered hot rocks. The ATPRO was usable at sensitivity settings of 3 and 4 bars.
In the fresh water I tried the ALL METAL Mode…I’m liking the ALL METAL Mode much better than the Zero mode I used in the salt water. No weird signal sounds just a nice solid signal tone. Back at the salt water beach the ATMAX in the ALL METAL Mode; the ATMAX just could not be used to my liking. Lowering the Ground Balance, Sensitivity and Threshold yielded an almost acceptable scan.

My conclusion is: for MY detecting requirements the ATMAX is not going to be my next detector, for several reasons – all dealing with its water operation. I detect 98% of the time in the water.

Having to lower the sensitivity in the wet water detecting areas leads me to the assumption that the ATMAX’s lower operating frequency, higher output and better signal processing will revile some very deep target’s miss by its predecessors. Especially off the salt beach areas.

Like several others have noted this machine pops and crackles like crazy – probably due to its higher sensitivity. It throws even high tone pops very frequently. An option to help me was to hunt in true all metal mode with a negative set of the numbers for the threshold in fresh water and on land.

With my first feel of new camlocks, I thought they might just be an improvement. I have the original ATPRO that does not have camlocks, therefore nothing to compare them to except the ATX. Unfortunately, they are be only slightly better in the fact that they can be easily replaced without any tools. In one hour in salt/fresh water sand infiltrated the cams. When taking them apart they were scored before the sand could be removed. Once the outer cover (nut) is removed the internal part can easily be removed by lifting the small tab and working the part off the middle shaft. The upper cam lock will come apart in a similar manner. If cleaning after each in the water use is necessary, which I think I would do, I would have a spare set of camlocks on hand for replacement when needed.

Can you use the ATMAX in salt and fresh water? YES, but you are advised to use waterproof headphones (Garrett - optional) and put up with the different signals than I am accustomed to. Or tweak the Custom setting to fine tune the ATMAX. It is all in learning a detector which I could not do in a two hour test. The ATMAX just can not replace my ATX, Infinium or my Excalibur detector all are in a different league than the ATMAX. If I were a dirt-digger I would have to give the ATMAX a serious consideration for a replacement of a few of my older detectors.

The PROS for the ATMAX are several over the ATPRO.
Hand grip was a pleasure to hold
Wireless headphone – ease of use, superb comfort, sound and response time
Volume control on the detector and on the headphones
Extended Ground Balance range
Threshold settings
Four frequencies to choose from when detecting with others also using the ATMAX
Back lit display with larger numbers. My ATPRO is my only detector out of 13 with a display. I just do not use the display, I go with the signal sound.
The true ALL METAL Mode
As with previous AT(Pro and Gold series) there is a drain hole at the coil connection end a, great help in keeping the shaft clean.

Re: Not alot of Performance information being shared
Posted by: Grunter
Date: October 04, 2017 11:39AM
Thanks WaterWalker, I'm a dedicated water hunter also. I know for a fact if you don't rinse your shaft almost immediately after use in fresh water that it will lock up with silt and you usually have to use a silicone spray to unloosen it. I don't use the cam locks when I'm hunting for that reason. I did find out yesterday running zero,two bars down on sensitivity and threshold at 0 with max iron discrimination and iron audio on there is almost a constant iron screech but when you hit a good target you get a solid tone and the vdi locks up good. Are you getting the same vdi's as the pro on most non-ferrous targets?

Re: Not alot of Performance information being shared
Posted by: WaterWalker
Date: October 04, 2017 02:02PM
As the ATPRO is my only VDI detector and I do not use it as much as my grandson, I hardly ever look at the display when I do use the ATPRO. I had a chance to try out the ATMAX and did not pay much attention to the display. I do know a blank screen, 00 or 99 was always a hit on a hot rock in the two hours I had the ATMAX. I will get another chance to swing it after the 21st. At that time I hope to get out chest deep in salt water and use the GG Amphibians. I hope to hit a few deeper targets where I can test the sensitivity/threshold/GB changes make as to target detecting. I believe with trail and error and a bit on knowledge I will more than likely be able to run the ATMAX in an acceptable way. Heck, I might just go hit an old park or farm house. Believe me, I will bring a pin pointer. Just with the short time on dry sand and minute targets I retrieved I will need it especially if I try to run it on the hot side.
If I did not own 13 detectors (3 PIs , 2- Excaliburs, a DetectorPro UW, and Fisher 8X) to choose from I would consider the ATMAX. but right now I have the water covered. I only detect land about 2% of my time and my other detectors (ATPRO, Troy 2X and 5X, Tesoro, and 2 Whites) pretty well cover the land. I am not into relics, fields, tot-lots etc. I mainly hunt land for lost items for which I know the owner.

Without a doubt if a PI water detector comes out that can out preform the ATX, be submerged and still connect to waterproof headphones...I will buy it. Until then another detector will have to be a big improvement over what I have in my arsenal already.

Re: Not alot of Performance information being shared
Posted by: John-Edmonton
Date: October 04, 2017 11:54PM
The VDIs share the same logarithm as the AT Pro. The AT Gold is different. I have has at least 2 water hunts where the erratic chirping was totally eliminated by changing the frequency. It made hunting in true all metal mode a real joy. Sometimes hitting a patch where the machine becomes erratic. You can correct this by raising the coil to quiet it down and get better target separation.

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