Minelab CTX 3030 Detecting Forum

Welcome! Log In Register
CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: mattysiam
Date: November 16, 2018 10:32AM
Hello All,

Before the CTX, I had a Garret AT MAX, but decided to get a CTX as it's a better machine all round, especially at the beach. I’ve had the CTX for a few months now. I live in Phuket and use it most evenings on the beaches around the island. I’m mostly hunting for gold rings, although other jewellery, coins etc, are also targets I look for. For the first two months all was good.

About two weeks ago though when I turned it on and began to use it, I noticed the tones I was getting for targets were different. They were, unstable, chirpy, and less audible. The target ID’s on the screen were also jumping around a lot more than normal. I checked and rechecked the settings, and they were as I had them before when the tones and target ID's were working normally. I factory reset the machine, and reprogrammed the settings I’d been using, but it didn't solve the problem. I carried on using it anyway, and adapted to the new and slightly different tones.

Then, a couple of nights ago while on a beach, I tested the CTX using two gold rings. One was a 24kt ladies wedding band, the second was an 18kt ladies band with 10 small diamonds. Actually, the second one I mention is a ring I found a few weeks earlier at a depth of around 7 inches in wet sand. When I found it, it had a tone as you’d expect from a CTX, with a steady target ID of 12.23. I did the ring tests the other night on the same beach, in roughly the same place, with the same settings.

I placed the rings one at a time in 6 inch deep holes, and covered them with sand. The rings I placed flat (Not on their sides / edges). The tones I heard for the both rings were either no tones at all, or a few chirps. and the target ID’s for both rings were all over the place from 3.50 up to 33.40 or something. Certainly something I wouldn’t dig, and started kicking myself for all possible iron targets I'd been ignoring which could have been gold.

So the settings I've been using before, and for the tests...

Mode: Beach 2.
Disc Pattern: All open apart from one thin line at the bottom of the screen.
Tone ID Profile: Same as standard beach mode.
Response: Normal.
Recovery Fast: Off.
Recovery Deep: Off
Seawater: Off in dry sand / turn on in wet sand (I've been told having it turned on will loose some depth.
Target Separation: Low Trash. (If use high trash then target ID's and tones are even more unstable).
Pinpoint Normal.

Sensitivity: Auto+3.
Target Trace: On.
Target Trace Pinpoint: On.

Ground Balance: Disabled.
Volume Gain: 27.
Threshold Level: Varies depending on where I am.
Volume Limit: Varies.
Threshold Pitch: Usually around 21.
Pinpoint Lock: Off.

I'm using the standard 11" coil it came with, and I've checked the connections are tight. I also use it with the coil cover on, but always remove to rinse with fresh water after every hunt. My phone is turned to airplane mode when I'm detecting, and there's are no new electrical interference possibilities I'm aware of.

I was thinking about getting an Equinox for the Mrs, but now because of these issues with the CTX, I'm not sure whether to get one, or another machine like the Makro Multi Cruiser.

I bought the CTX brand new of a dealer on @#$%& when I was in the UK three months ago. I assumed the warranty would start then, but I've just found a warranty card which I should have sent to Minelab within one month of purchasing it. I haven't contacted Minelab because of this, as I guess any warranty is now void as I missed the 30 day window?

I'm hoping this is a minor issue caused by myself missing sometime simple in the settings, which can be easily fixed by changing something in minutes.

If it matters, I can't use the Xchange app, as I only have Macs, both at home, and at my business. Everyone I know who has a computer, also uses a Mac.

Any help or advice, very appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Rgds, Matt

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: foggynotion
Date: November 16, 2018 02:52PM
All you need for the warranty is your proof of purchase. So anything wrong with your machine will be covered.
Sounds to me like you probably have a hardware problem, like a faulty coil.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: foggynotion
Date: November 16, 2018 03:09PM
One thing to check is to unscrew the coil connection and the connector next to it and make sure they didn't leak and get corroded.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: LTimedigger
Date: November 16, 2018 06:44PM
I don't beach hunt much but have always used the beach mode on the advice of my 1st dealer. Your settings are fine. The CTX is really reliable the only problem ive had is with bad coils. Would be nice if you had another one to test with. I assume your battery is fully charged. Unlike most machines a low battery will make it act goofy rather than dying. Call ML America. Their service techicians are really friendly and efficient since they do their own repairs now. Good luck.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: mattysiam
Date: November 16, 2018 11:12PM
Thanks for your replies and good advice. I will visually check the coil this evening when I get home from work. I actually have a friend from the UK coming here on 23rd Nov, and he's bringing me a the Coiltek 10x5 coil, so I'll be able to test it with that coil also.

I don't have the rechargeable battery pack, but use 8 x AA batteries, which I change when the battery meter gets low.

I'll update this thread when I know more after either checking the coil, or testing with a new coil.

Thanks again.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: IDXMonster
Date: November 17, 2018 03:13AM
Matt....I don’t know why you wouldn’t have the rechargeable battery pack,they come standard with the CTX. As stated,you’re fine with the warranty when you present proof of purchase,and you can register your machine online as well. Your settings should work just fine and give you stable,identifiable audio and TID. As also stated,either there is a connection issue or a straight away faulty part,such as...your coil. I can ASSURE you,this is not the way the CTX operates,and you know this as well since you’ve had proper performance at the start. The service center here in the States is quick,thorough and professional in their repairs and return time,I know this firsthand as I sent mine in for a routine checkup.
As a land hunter,I’ve had unbelievable success with my CTX,it has been great with high conductors and low conductors alike. If you are considering the EQ for the wife I wouldn’t hesitate at all based on Minelabs reputation for building a machine that PRODUCES RESULTS!
You will be fine,don’t be afraid to send it in to be checked out if your friends coil doesn’t cure it,you’re covered. WHATEVER YOU DO!....don’t just say “Phuket”.:smile:

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: mattysiam
Date: November 17, 2018 03:28AM
Mine didn't come with the rechargeable battery pack as standard. I assumed it would do too. When I contacted the vendor he said it was offered as an optional extra. I plan to get one next time I'm in the UK. I'm using 8 x AA Duracel batteries at the moment, they're about US5 for an eight pack, and give me a good 10 to 12 hours of detecting time. Import taxes here in Thailand often double the cost of things if buying online.

I still haven't checked the coil, but the advice given makes perfect sense. I'll check it this evening, visually anyway, and take it from there.

BTW, compared to my old AT Max, the CTX is (Before this issue) 10 times better, or even more. And yeah, I'll go with an Equinox for the Mrs, she'll love it, especially being a lot lighter for her to handle.

Thanks again.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: IDXMonster
Date: November 17, 2018 04:02AM
One last thing quickly...depending on your hunting times, you might consider the Minelab GPZ 7000 battery and charger. It is around 1/3 more expensive and provides double-ish the hunting time as the rechargeable CTX battery. Your settings(backlight brightness,external speaker or headphones,even discrimination level) will impact your battery life. Hopefully your machine came with the WM10 module?? If it did NOT(if you bought the absolutely stripped down version of the CTX) then you will want to consider the wireless module(WM10) as it provides completely untethered operation along with better battery life from the machine itself. The battery charger(BC10) will charge both the wireless module AND your machines battery at the same time.
The Equinox uses different ops and none of the parts interchange with the CTX....
The CTX is the “Mac Daddy” of machines,you did well by choosing it!

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: Mr. Carolina
Date: November 17, 2018 12:37PM
I have never heard of a CTX rechargeable battery as an option. Somthing is not right. I would call Minelab and ask them. Good luck on your repair.

Minelab CTX, Minelab Excalibur ll, Minelab Excalibur 1000, Minelab Excalibur Sword
Whites Dual Field, Vallon VMH3CS, Makro Multi Kruzer,Minelab Equinox 800 Tarsacci MDT 8000
DiAblo sand scoop

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: mattysiam
Date: November 17, 2018 10:38PM
I will let them know when I contact them on Monday. I bought the CTX I was in the UK for a week, as to buy one and import it to Thailand would incur hefty import fees, taxes, and shipping costs. I used an unmentionable online market place beginning with the letter E, and the seller I assumed was a minelab reseller as they offered hundreds of items, all brand new. The price was cheaper than other markets, which is probably why the battery wasn't included??

Anyway, back to the original issue I have with my CTX. I took removed the coil last night and visually inspected it with a magnifying glass, looking for small cracks or any visible damage. I checked the connections for corrosion, and checked the coil wire wasn't damaged. Everything looked okay and I could see no sign of any exterior damage. I dusted everything with compressed air, and put it back together, including the coil cover, as normal. I tried testing (Was going to air test a few items) it in or just outside the house, but there was too much EMI around, so I went to the beach ten mins away to check it out.

Because I'd removed the coil, I reset the CTX. Wasn't sure if I needed to or not, but with my previous non-Minelab machine it was necessary. I then recreated the setting outlined earlier in this thread, and tested a ladies 24kt gold band weighing 4.6g, a ladies 18kt gold band with ten small diamonds weighing 4.7g, and a mens silver wedding band weighing around 8g. The max depth the CTX would detect all three rings (Laying flat) was 6, or maybe 7 inches. When I placed them on their sides, the max depth was between 4 and 5 inches, and the tones were chirpy with unsteady target ID's. After the testing, I worked the beach for an hour, and the max depth of any targets I found was around 6 to 7 inches. I also tested on some coins, and some 1 Baht coins which should ring a low to medium tone with a target ID or 12.09 were undetectable, even on the surface.

So, I'm guessing your diagnosis's that the problem lies within the coil, is correct. I'll contact Minelab on Monday to see if they want me to send them the coil, or if they want me to test the CTX first with the Coiltek 10x5 coil which a friend is bringing me on the 23rd.

Being that I live in Thailand, should I assume I need to contact Minelab in Australia, as they're closer than Minelab in the USA?

Again, thanks for all your help. I'll update with the outcome later.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: Jason in Enid
Date: November 18, 2018 09:17AM
no battery included? I think you bought a fake. Secondly, the service center is likely to tell you that you have to send to the facility for the region it was bought in.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: IDXMonster
Date: November 18, 2018 10:42AM
Are you able to post pictures here of your CTX? If so,include front,rear,top,bottom and sides. We will be able to tell...if it is genuine or not. The other much(US dollar equivalent) did you pay for it? This might be another clue as to the authenticity.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: mattysiam
Date: November 18, 2018 01:36PM
Pretty certain it’s not a fake. Bought it on e bay dot co dot uk from a UK seller, brand new, for £1,579, so in US$ it was around $2,050. The seller has a lot of Minelab stuff, and other brands too. Here’s some hastily taken photos, sorry about the poor quality, took them with this iPad.

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: namron13
Date: November 18, 2018 03:40PM
Contact Minelab HQ and give them the Serial # the will tell you if it's a fake or not good luck.

CTX 3030
White's Spectra 3Vi
AT Gold
GTI 2500
Ace 250,
Garrett Pro-Pointer.
Garrett Pro-Pointer AT

Re: CTX Tones & Target ID's Unstable - Help Please. :confused:
Posted by: IDXMonster
Date: November 18, 2018 08:07PM
Absolutely authentic,and the price is exactly what it should be. The Chinese knockoff is a GTX(notice the “G”)3030 and sells for like 200 bucks....they also don’t have genuine ML logos and I think there is also something different with the tether holes at the base of the handgrip where you can attach a harness or tether so it doesn’t take off when you’re in heavy surf.
Don’t worry,we don’t think you’re an idiot. But there is an amazing abundance of dunces out there who are looking for a “great deal”. It’s still hard to fathom the rechargeable pack not being included,you might want to check with the person you got it from to ensure there hasn’t been a mistake. That would be like buying a new car with no steering wheel,but it comes with a cool set of handlebars!
To be SURE!....and to register the machine for warranty(don’t worry,you haven’t blown your warranty) send the serial number in off of the machine(inside the battery compartment) and the serial number off the coil. They should have the info from the dealer,but photocopy your receipt and have it handy anyway.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login