NEW Garrett ATX Metal Detector

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New 11” x 13” DD Coil For Garrett ATX
Posted by: steve herschbach
Date: July 08, 2017 03:32PM
I have been out and about recently with the new 11” x 13” DD coil Garrett has introduced for the ATX. I have both the DD and mono versions of the new coil but so far most of my time in field has been with the DD coil although I have also used the mono. The new coils are aimed at a few issues that owners of previous ATX coils have complained about. First, the rather unique rear hinge design of the previous ATX coils that allows the detector to fold up into a particularly compact configuration. This design has two issues. As the coils age the weight tends to cause the coil to slowly sag forward. Not a huge factor but it can result in constant small adjustments to level the coil out. More important it throws the weight of the coil forward, hurting the center of balance. Again, not a huge issue, but one that becomes more apparent if you try and mow through high grass and weeds with the ATX. Finally, the original ATX coils had a tendency to catch an edge on a rock or other hard object and generate false signals when pushed to the highest sensitivity levels.

Garrett came up with an ingenious fix for these issue, that both allows the coil to fold up as desired while delivering that center mount coil so many have craved. The new coil design in a fully enclosed design that has a sliding channel that lets you move the coil attachment point from rear to center or anywhere in between. You don't see something new in metal detecting very often but this really is. And it works. Here is a shot of the new coil with the old design inset into the upper right. The new design is completely enclosed. This is a benefit especially while nugget detecting as putting a full scuff cover on the old design creates a catch area for weeds, twigs, and other debris. The new design sheds debris and so is better for dry land use, but the old designs will remain the coils of choice for in water use.

I was initially more excited about the mono version of the coil because of my experience with other PI detectors which often favor mono coils for overall performance. The ATX however was designed specifically around a unique Garrett DD design that modifies the overlap area of the double D design to create what is in effect a small inner coil region that is exceptionally hot on small gold. This roughly 4.5” x 5” inner coil area is nestled directly in the middle of the overall 11” x 13” area. This inner area is not visible due to the enclosed housing design but it is there and a user wants to be very aware of this fact when hunting for the smallest gold. The mono version of the coil lacks this hot inner coil area and so lacks the extra sensitivity to small gold created by the dense electromagnetic field generated there. The mono coil is actually hotter around the perimeter of the coil where the windings run but overall it is a bit less sensitive to the smallest gold than the DD coil although in theory the mono should have an edge for depth on multi-ounce nuggets. The mono coil also lacks the DD ability to engage and use the rather decent ATX shallow ferrous rejection circuit, which only works with DD coils. For these reasons I think most people will be better served by the DD version of the new 11” x 13” coil, with the mono being a better choice perhaps for those seeking some small advantage on the largest gold nuggets at depth.

I own the Garrett ATX mostly because of its versatility. It is my favorite beach and in water detector due to the robust physical design combined with an ability to handle the worst combinations of salt water plus magnetic black sands and cobbles. This works very well at most western U.S. ocean and lake beach locations and at volcanic island locations like Hawaii. I actually do a bit of coin detecting with the ATX also. The ATX is also a very capable prospecting detector that complements the other detectors I have very well. The ATX can ground balance to just about anything, making it very useful in desert salt flat areas and for handling certain hot rocks that other detectors struggle with. The ferrous discrimination, while not perfect, is one of the best available in a PI detector, with the main failing being that it only works on shallow targets. It does not help for those really deep nails but is a definite aid in an area littered with surface trash. I also discovered another advantage with the ATX on a recent trip.

I had been doing some prospecting for most of a week in an area that seemed like it might have good potential but with little to show for the time spent. I finally decided to fall back to an old known patch to get a little gold at least before I headed home. This year I have run into a new issue in northern Nevada. Several years of drought left areas relatively bare of grass and weeds, but extreme wet conditions this last winter really produced a bumper crop of grass in some areas. Another detector I often employ has a little larger coil than the Garrett 11” x 13” coil, and so I found it advantageous to switch to the ATX with the new coil specifically for hunting these grassy locations. It is still tough going with the ATX in this kind of stuff but it did help make it more manageable. The new center mounted coil works far better in the grass than the old rear mount design, and the enclosed housing sheds the debris that would quickly pile up on the old coil with a full scuff cover. Best of all, running the ATX full out at sensitivity 13 resulted in almost no false signals from knocking or hitting the coil on rocks or other obstructions. The new coils are at least as good if not better than other competing brands now in this regard. Instead of the careful coil control required of the old coil I could manhandle the new coil as I pleased and basically just did not have to think about the issue at all. I think the new enclosed housing combined with the new scuff covers has a lot to do with this by providing a cushioning effect of sorts.

The old stock coil sensitivity to knocks at high sensitivity I think was overdone by many, as it can be dealt with by careful coil control. However, being freed of the need for careful coil control absolutely makes for a more positive prospecting experience as it frees the operator from paying as much attention to the detector. Instead, more attention gets spent just hunting naturally with the detector while paying more attention to surroundings and visible signs of gold mineralization. In my opinion for my use it actually results in a tipping point being reached. Before, I was less prone to using the ATX for prospecting because of this issue. Now, I am far more likely to employ the ATX than I was in the past with the knock sensitivity issue all but eliminated.

The patch I hunted has been pretty well pounded, but I targeted a trashy location that had seen less detecting than the trash free areas, and was pleased to have not one but two nuggets turn up, one weighing 1.5 grams and the other 2.19 grams. Not small nuggets at all really – anything over a gram is a pretty decent nugget in my book.

I am far from done using or reporting on these new coils and as I get more time on them in the field I will report back. Right now I am very pleased with the new DD coil in particular, and would not hesitate to recommend that anyone buying a new ATX for gold prospecting get the 11” x 13” DD as the stock coil via one of the new packages Garrett is offering. For existing owners it is a bit more complicated. I have to say that for overall depth and sensitivity I perceive there to be no real difference between the 10” x 12” DD and the 11” x 13” DD. Since a DD coil has a transmit coil and a receive coil, each just over half the size of the overall coil ,you get very little actual increase in the receiver coil size when you increase the overall coil size by only an inch. Once the new housing is taken into effect there is very little difference if any in the size of the actual coil windings involved. Long story short from a depth and sensitivity perspective I have experienced no real difference between the 10” x 12” DD and 11” x 13” DD coils. What difference there is there is so small I can’t personally recommend a person get one of these coils based strictly on that factor. For me the real benefit is the debris shedding enclosed coil housing, superior coil center mount handling, and extra resistance to false signals from coil impacts. The advantages in those regards are real and substantial and worth the upgrade for those who are troubled by these issues. The old 11” x 12” DD will probably never be used on my detector again for gold prospecting, but will be reserved for water use only.

Minelab GPZ 7000, Equinox 800, Fisher F-Pulse, Sun Ray Pro Gold

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2017 03:50PM by steve herschbach.

Thanks For The Field Use Information Steve!:thumbup:
Posted by: John-Edmonton
Date: July 15, 2017 02:07PM
It looks very promising. Glad Garrett made some changes.

Re: New 11” x 13” DD Coil For Garrett ATX
Posted by: stephenscool
Date: July 16, 2017 05:11AM
Why not fill the.coils with foam or light weight epoxy instead of the concrete they currently use? Then offer a coil weight that can attach to the coil for those that want to water hunt?

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