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NBPT with the AT Max, Racer 2, Impact, Relic, CoRe, F19, MX Sport, etc., etc.

July 23, 2017 07:17AM avatar
First, let's address your post questions:

Did anyone see the nail board test on utube for Garrett ?
I saw some foreign testing of a Garrett AT model that was described as the AT Max, but I couldn't tell for sure which Garrett AT model was being used as there was no close-up. Plus I couldn't understand the foreign language. It was of a fellow working an AT model with what appeared to be an 8X11 DD coil over a sample coin on the NBPT.

Do the racer , impact do better? Thanks
It will always be a matter of which search coil is used, as well as the settings chosen and some other variables. I have used most of the modern competitive models on the market over my Nail Board just to evaluate them, but more specifically to learn what a detector might have to offer me in the way of performance to see if it is a good 'fit' to be in my Regular-Use Detector Team that I rely on.

Therefore, since I like to hunt trashier sites that tend to have a lot of nails and other iron contamination, I tend to prefer:

► a smaller-size search coil to better work in and around the debris

► I limit my selection to models that provide me no less than 7-out-of-8 good hits using a US Indian Head or a modern Zinc 1¢ coin

► I also make sure my search coil presentation is using the center-axis of the coil

► and I use a most efficient sweep speed and work completely across the Nail Board

It is an easy 'YES' answer to your question, only based on my personal use of the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold models. The AT Max isn't out yet and/or I haven't had the opportunity to evaluate it in-hand to know for certain how it does. With the AT Pro and AT Gold I have done best when using the 5X8 DD or the 4" Concentric coils on the NBPT and they worked reasonably well. However, they didn't provide me with the overall comfort and feel I want to use, and I compare all detectors and coils against my favorite Tesoro models and want results as close to what I can get from them.

I currently do not have a waterproof detector in my personal arsenal and I want one, but it has to meet my levels of field performance. I considered the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold, but even though they passed the Nail Board evaluation (and that requires at least 6-put-of-8 to 'pass' in my opinion), I didn't care for their top-heavy feel, dinky-size display read-out, a lack of some modes or adjustment functions, and sometimes a quirky audio response.

Note that while I can, and will, own any detector I want and don't limit myself to only one or two detectors, other than my favorite Tesoro's that wear only 6" Concentric coils, or a 7" on the Mojave, ALL of the detectors in my Regular-Use Detector Battery are the Nokta FORS CoRe, FORS Relic, Impact and Makro Racer 2, and each one is equipped with either an 'OOR' DD coil or the 5¼" DD coil.

These are what I grab for hunting the sites with a lot of trash, especially very dense iron contamination. When dealing with low-to-modest amounts of nails and other trash, I also have a mid-sized 5½X10 Concentric coil on a 2nd Relic, a new 5X9½ DD open-frame coil on a 2nd Impact, and for sparse-target areas a standard 7X11 DD on a 2nd CoRe.

I will put any of these detector and coil combinations against any competitive model using a similar-size coil and rest assured that I have a very decent performing detector & coil in my hands. Part of that is because I also know that what I am using provide me with a very clean and pleasant audio response, and that is something I often don't hear from a competitor's detector, even if it seems to work okay.

Second, let's address a proper and complete test using my Nail Board:

Let me start with the foreign You-Tube video of what is supposed to be the AT Max and my Nail Board Performance Test. To many people it might appear to be a good test comparison on the Nail Board, but it wasn't. Not overall for comparison because there weren't any other detector models compared against it at the time.

But here are the main concerns I have about that test and others that I see.

a.. The sample coin I saw being used was larger than an Indian Head or US Zinc Cent (which share similar sizes and conductivity levels) and that can alter the results from being a fair and consistent comparison. (Note: I am now going to include a US Zinc Cent in the Nail Board Performance Test 'kits' so that everyone will also be able to use the same coin for consistency.)

b.. In the AT Max You-Tube video the fellow was doing a very tight 'wiggle' over the coin. That's fine and I do the same, but only when I test or demonstrate how to isolate the target once it has been detected during a normal search. To make a 'proper' or truly comparable test valid and duplicate a likely in-the-field encounter with a coin in a site littered with iron nails, you have to make a complete sweep across the entire Nail Board following the four marked routes. Not sweep over only a sample coin, but ALL of the nails on the test board layout with the search coil starting and finishing a sweep from outside the nail's border, just as if encountered afield.

c.. It is also important to make a sweep across the Nail Board with the center-axis of the search coil. Not towards the front edge or back edge of the coil, but as close to the center axis as possible being swept along the 4 different marked sweep routes. This will provide the most consistent and realistic test and ability to compare any coil or detector in this evaluation.

d.. Sweep speed is also important to consider. Some detectors are designed such that they actually have a more 'controlled' sweep speed requirement. Some detectors have to have a pronounced pause or hesitation at the end of a side-to-side sweep before you can reverse the direction. If not, performance can be very impaired.

Also, we are using a test sample of an actual in-the-field encounter in a dense iron nail littered site and that means we should be using a slower, more methodical sweep to efficiently cover an area. It can impair performance of the search coil is swept too fast. In many videos I see, the coil is presented across the Nail Board in more of an arcing fashion, not a straight seep, and I see many cases where it is being swept at a much too brisk speed. For peak efficiency, a complete side-to-side sweep should be made at s slow and efficient sweep speed.

e.. Note, also, that the original NBPT was done using detectors with a Discrimination adjustment set to just barely reject the four iron nails. This field encounter was in May of 1994 and many/most detectors on the market at the time had a minimum Discrimination that was above iron nail rejection. Most of my favorite Tesoro models use an ED-120 Disc. circuitry which, when set at the minimum Disc. position, reject all four iron nails. This is the primary way I evaluate all detectors, by first just barely rejecting the four nails.

Then an additional way to compare detectors and check the audio enhancements your detector might offer, is to use a 2-Tone or 3-Tone audio ID with a Discrimination adjustment that is low enough to accept the found nails. This should provide a distinctive Low-Tone/Iron Tone audio on the four nails. Then, with an Indian Head or Zinc Cent positioned in the centered #1 position, sweep completely across the entire Nail Board, coil centered on the lined sweep route to cross the coin, and listen to the audio response.

It should either be a blended audio in a 3 or more tone mode caused by the mix of the iron signal degrading the coin response, which will vary with the different sweep routes or even direction of coil sweep. Generally the cleaner, more distinctive audio response will come from using a single tone audio model with the iron nails rejected, or a 2-Tone, with or without VCO enhancement, when iron nails are accepted and you can easily hear a sharper audio response from the higher-conductive coin with a better sounding audio design.

Some makes and models have sort of a 'muddier' sounding mid or high-tone audio that comes across as more of a lower, iron tone report. It is best to evaluate detectors and listen for the best audio distinction between lower iron audio and higher audio tone that is pleasing and distinctive to your hearing.

f.. One more reminder is to keep the search coil, any search coil, working at a height of 1" to 2" above the ground, or in this case above the Nail Board. Almost every detector User Manual will comment that the coil should be the close-to but not touching the ground, with many encouraging a ±2" coil position away from the ground. This is more important than many hobbyists realize because if a coil is too close to ground mineralization or a metal target, it can cause 'overload.' This might be heard with a distinctive overload audio response, with a blaring noisy sound, and with some models no sound at all as it even cuts out the metal target's signal that has swamped the EMF.

Also, if a search coil is too close to a targets you can get multiple responses, like 2, 3 or 4 quick hits, but raising the coil slightly to a proper sweep height will improve that audio to a clean single-tone response. So maintain a function coil position of at least 1" and usually closer to 2" and be sure to not scrub the ground when searching.

NOTE: It is also beneficial to not use an auto-tracking GB during this evaluation or when searching any iron nail or dense ferrous trash target site. It is best to adjust the GB manually or use an automated GB and have that setting 'locked' for general searching.


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells
Trading Post

Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
'How-To' help for Coin & Jewelry Hunting, Relic Hunting and Useful Techniques.

My Regular-Use Detector Team are various models from: Makro, Nokta, Tesoro and White's
Pinpointers: Using Nokta and Makro and Uniprobe Pointers.
Headphones: Using Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's Pro Star and Detector Pro's Uniprobe ... All w/'tank style' ear cups.
Recovery Tools: Using White's DigMaster digging tool.
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen as desired based on search site conditions.
Other models from Compass and Garrett are on-hand for 'Specialty Use.'
Additional search coils, mounted on spare lower-rods, are on-hand in my Accessory Coil Tote.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
(503) 481-8147

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2017 07:32AM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Garrett At max

Albert 560 May 25, 2017 07:19PM

NBPT with the AT Max, Racer 2, Impact, Relic, CoRe, F19, MX Sport, etc., etc.

Monte 368 July 23, 2017 07:17AM

Re: Garrett At max

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Re: Garrett At max

NWCindy 270 June 30, 2017 04:23PM

Re: Garrett At max

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