I have been a longtime fan of Garrett Metal Detectors GTA series and especially the GTA-1000 and GTAx-1250* models.
The GTAs are extremely well-designed metal detectors that are very easy to operate, fun to use and productive. They provided ample and accurate target information and are versatile and adaptable to almost any site and search condition or situation.
Combine all of this with a very comfortable, well-balanced ergonomic design, and you will understand why the GTA series has been so very popular with detectorists worldwide.
Likewise, the GTI series has many loyal users and has become a very respected top-of-the-line metal detector. Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity to try one just yet, but I have heard enough success stories and talked with some GTI owners to know that it is an outstanding machine.
Every detectorist, regardless of the brand or model detector that they choose to use, is always trying to achieve better results and make better finds. They are continually looking for an edge to help them find more, trying to gain better sensitivity, improved target-separation and of course, better detection depth.
Most detectorists are aware that various size, shape and configurations of searchcoils deliver different results. Some coils work best in trashy areas. Others, are good for wide-open, minimum-trash locations. Some have better depth than others and some pinpoint more accurately.
Overall, a coils design can affect a metal detectors depth, sensitivity, pinpointing ability, ground coverage, electrical interference pickup or cancellation, discrimination ability, ground canceling ability and how close it can search to other metal objects - like metal fence posts - without actually responding to them.
Always anticipating and in step with their customers needs, Garrett Metal Detectors has just released a new 10 x 14 widescan, elliptical, searchcoil for their GTAx and GTI series detectors. If you are a GTI or GTAx owner, take one look at Garretts new Power DD searchcoil; I think youll want one!
I first became aware of the Power DD when I viewed a Garrett advertisement for it on the back cover of Lost Treasure magazine. My first impression was, This is one, sleek, good-looking searchcoil! The streamlined aerodynamic shape, the vibrant graphics and the contrasting black color. If it works as good as it looks, Garrett clearly has a winner!
The Power DD searchcoil is designed to do three things exceptionally wellhandle mineralized ground, cover a lot of ground and search very deep!
Most knowledgeable detectorists know that widescan, double-D or DD coils, as they are commonly called, are better suited to searching mineralized ground - more so than concentric designs. DD coils also cover much more ground per sweep, as their pickup area covers the entire middle length of the coil from the leading to trailing edge. This equates to an impressive fourteen-inch swath of coverage per sweep for the Power DD.
Due to its elliptical shape, it is more rigid and maneuverable than a concentric coil. Its 14 length gives it a long reach that is handy for searching under low lying brush, bushes and downed tree limbs.
Because the Power DD provides such a large cross-sectional electromagnetic field, depth-of-detection capability is markedly increased and enhanced. Garrett claims its strength nearly doubles the detection-depth of conventional coils in mineralized soil.
Garrett engineers have designed the Power DD as a solid, epoxy-filled, open coil to give it stability and durability. The coil is fully submersible, making it an excellent choice for beach and surf hunting. It is also ideal for prospecting and relic hunting.
The Power DD searchcoil is ruggedly constructed of strong, ABS plastic. For extreme rigidity and stability, the coil windings are epoxy-filled within the black ABS coil housing. I found the Power DD coil to be extremely stable and quiet operating.
Everything about this coil speaks of quality. The substantial epoxy-filled mounting ears . . . the durable searchcoil cable, matched with an equally-strong connector plug. All of this, contributes to a first-class accessory searchcoil!
Now, on to the most important questionHow well does it perform?
Before heading out into the field to test the Power DD searchcoil, I wanted to see what kind of depth capability I could expect from the GTAx 1250/Power DD combination.
To obtain an approximate depth-capability reference, I air-tested a few items using both the Power DD and standard Garrett Crossfire II searchcoil. The results are shown in the table below.
Air Test Item 10 x 14 Power DD 8.5 Crossfire II .69 caliber minie ball 10 8 .58 caliber minie ball 9.5 8 Iron Trade Axe Head 16 11 2 Diameter Crotal Bell 14 10 Silver Dollar 10 9 Barber Dime 8.5 8 Barber Quarter 9 8.5 Indian Head Cent 8.5 8
Having performed the bench-test, I was now ready to hit-the-field.
As expected, I quickly discovered that the Power DD/GTAx 1250 combo was a little heavier than what I am used to swinging; Yet, I was able to search all day in relative comfort. I attribute this to the open-frame design of the Power DD, which reduces its weight significantly, and the excellent ergonomic, well-balanced design of the GTAx 1250 itself.
As indicated in the chart above, I was finding some coins (in the ground) at up to about 9-inches depth. Most coins hit well, producing solid, repeatable audio and meter readings. At over 8-inches depth, small coins (cent, dime) would usually produce broken audio and would not always lock-on with correct meter I.D. In the pinpoint mode, they had that nice, small, round sound we all love to hear and I could usually tell that they were worth digging.
You will notice that the best depth gains to be made with the Power DD will be on larger targets. This is to be expected and normal and is exactly what I discovered in actual field use. In my test garden, the 6+ inch deep coins all produced stronger hits with the Power DD as compared to the standard Crossfire II coil.
Because the Power DD is big, I anticipated that pinpointing would be difficult. It was, at first . . . until I figured-out the best method to use.
Pinpointing targets can be achieved in several ways. One, is to center the target under the coil by moving the coil back and forth in an East/West direction. Once centered, slowly slide the coil forward (away from yourself) until the signal drops out. The target will be located directly beneath the trailing (back) edge of the coil.
The pinpointing method I prefer, is this: For loud surface targets, press and hold the pinpoint touchpad. While scanning the target, keep raising the searchcoil until the audio response becomes very weak. At this point, scan the target back and forth in an East to West and North to South direction listening to the loudest response. You will notice that this will be exactly under the searchcoils Pinpoint label.
To pinpoint deeper targets, use the same method, but you will not have to raise the searchcoil as high. For extremely deep targets, the searchcoil can be kept on or very near the ground surface. I have found that pinpointing using this method is very precise and accurate for such a large coil as the Power DD.
As with all open-design coils, woods hunting was a little difficult at times due to the coil snagging on brush, but I did make use of the DDs long eight-inch reach (measured from the pole to the leading edge) to effectively search under brush and downed trees and limbs.
I believe that the new Power DD searchcoil is an essential component to complete every Garrett treasure hunters detecting arsenal and is a must-have item for use with the Garrett GTI 2500, GTI 1500, GTAx 1250, GTAx 750, GTAx 550, GTAx 400 or Treasure Ace 300.
The Power DDs performance is first-rate! It is deep-seeking. It covers a lot of ground and its operation is very smooth and stable. The coil is rugged and durable, and its overall mechanical quality is excellent! For such a large coil, its comfort factor is also very good.
I think Garrett should consider using different coil-hardware nuts for the Power DD searchcoil, as it is somewhat difficult to tighten the existing smooth, tapered nuts tight enough to hold the coil solidly in the desired angle for searching. Perhaps nylon wing nuts would be a better choice. I also found that inserting the threaded rod through the coil ears was difficult, as the mounting holes seemed to be slightly undersized.
In summation, the advantages of using the Power DD searchcoil are:
1. Considerably more detection depth on large items.
2. Fourteen-inches of ground coverage per sweep.
3. Smooth, stable operation over mineralized ground.
These three reasons alone should be enough to convince any Garrett user to purchase a Power DD searchcoil. I cant wait to take mine on my next Civil War detecting trip!
The Garrett Power DD searchcoil is available in two models: Model #2217300 - $179.95 - GTI 2500/GTI 1500 and Model #2217200 - $179.95 GTAx 1250/750/550/400 & Treasure Ace 300. Garrett Metal Detectors, 1881 West State Street, Garland, TX 75042-6797. For general info, call (972) 494-6151, or toll free at (800) 527-4011, via fax at (912) 494-1881, email: salesgarrett [dot] com