Several years ago, Garrett intro-duced the Freedom series in answer to a demand for simple-to-operate detectors in a comfortable design.
The first Freedom series started with the Freedom Ace, Freedom I, Free-dom II with twin discrimination, and later Freedom with Garretts unique zone discrimination.
For 1988-1989, Charles Garretts engineers have developed a genera-tion of detectors led by the Grand Master. All of Garretts new detec-tors now Sport the Crossfire 8.5-inch search coils which are lighter and more sensitive then their 73-inch predecessors. The circuitry behind this coil has been developed with new technology. The circuits have been com-puter designed, hence the CDC logo stands for Computer Designed Circuit.
The Freedom One CDC is one of three land-use detectors in the Freedom series and occupies its perform-ance place in line be-tween the Freedom Ace and Freedom Three CDC.
The GarrettFreedom One, like all Garrett de-tectors, is built with a quality feel all its own. I particularly like the ABS finish on the new Garrett products.
Most noticeable on the Freedom One was the Crossfire search head, wider, lighter, and thinner than the smaller but heavier 7.5-inch coil. The detector was simple to assemble and the instruction manual was easy to read.
In my test garden, the Freedom I CDC Out performed an older Free-dom II with a stronger response on my quarter planted at eight inches.
The overall feel with the new coil was better.
The controls are simple enough with Trash Elimination Control, Ground Elimination Control and Depth (Sensitivity) Control. All of these controls are marked with user- friendly preset marks. The Freedom I CDC also utilizes a static or non-motion Pinpoint Mode. This static mode is also useful for target analy-sis purposes.
Summer was now at an end and I received a phone call from two of my coin shooting buddies, Henry and Baldwin. We decided on a fa-vorite saltwater beach. Upon arri-val, while they were struggling to hip mount their detectors, I was off and running with my the Freedom
The tide was coming up so I elected to hunt perpendicular to the waterline. The Freedom CDC I has an external ground balance. Since the sand is dry on top, I elected to ground balance there which set the unit just to the right of Preset. I then proceeded to hunt down to the eaters edge.! was running the Garreu CDC I depth control at Preset. Beyond that, the Garrett CDC I chattered too much.
At approximately three feet from the tide line, the detector sounded off with a strong, solid beep. Using my long-handle sand scoop, two scoops of sand recovered a Jefferson nickle weathered kind of a greenish color at about five inches. Several lift tabs were then located as I de-tected up and down the beach. The next two good targets were like the first nickles.
Up high on the beach, I received a repeatable but soft signal. At this point, I had moved my depth control down a bit morehalfway, in order to smooth out the mineral response even more. I kicked a few inches of sand off the target area, and the volume response dramatically in creased to full volume. About 10 inches down, I recovered an alumi-num can.
All during the first hour of hunt-ing, I was using a discrimination level of 3 1/2, just below the recom-mended factory Preset mark. Only a few bottle caps were recovered, and their responses were broken.
The Garrett CDC was being oper-ated with a slight threshold which had been turned down from one much louder. You must slide the electronic circuit board from the detector hous-ing in order to access the threshold potentiometer as well as change the three, nine-volt batteries. The thresh-old itself did not really accomplish much, as junk targets like hot rocks don't seem to cause a tell-tale thresh-old drop out.
For about 30minutes, I decided to run the Garrett CDCI's discrimina-tion level down at minimum. At this level, the detector will respond to all metal. It is a motion, all-metal re-sponse so any target, regardless of its size, sounds like a coin. Several rusty junk items gave a multiple beep sound and were easily identi-fied in the all-metal mode. Running the discrimination level this low seemed to smooth out the minerali-zation effects a bit more.
The Garrett CDC I was respon-sive over the saltwater wave action. Reducing the depth control resulted in less reactivity but false targeting stiff persisted. Raising the 81,2-inch search coil up another couple of inches resulted in. more false target-ing.
After 2 1/2 hours, I noticed that my buddies were growing weary; it was time to compare finds. I had found the most coins.
Hermy had chosen to not dig aluminum pull tabs and ignore nick-els by setting his detector to reject those items and increase his effi-ciency in recovering clad. His strat-egy back fired on him as he suc-ceeded In only locating about two thirds of my target total. He did luck out finding two quar-ters (to my none), thus winning the high amount category.
Baldwin, in all fair-ness, was still getting used to his new detector and his third place fin-ish was understandable.
My second time out with the Garrett took me to a local park that sports a playground, small beach and lawn area. My son was involved with soccer, so I decided to detect while he was practicing with his team.
With the Discrimination control set at present, my first target off the bat was next to the slide part of a set of earrings. After recovering several aluminum tabs, i moved over to a small sunbathing beach where I recovered additional coins, some as deep as seven inches. I finished up with a handful of clad coins and a nice silver sing which I located under some monkey bars among with several quarters which came up together in one scoop of my sand basket.
Conclusions and Recommenda-lions
The Freedom CDC I is typical of Garrett quality excellent. I love the sharp, solid audio response on coins including nickels. Its depth capability is above average for its price range. It enjoys a loud coin response with a slow-motion sweep down to about six inches. Beyond that, the response drops off, so one must be aware of target repeatabil-ity.
Access of the batteries is not as easy as some of the competition, and I would like to see future designs of Garretts detectors offering drop-rn batteries ala Fisher and Compass.
Several years ago, when I first met Charlie Garrett at a dealer semi-nar in San Francisco, a majority of the dealers questioned the use of nine-volt batteries in Garretts de-tectors, mainly because they were designed around using four to six nine-volt batteries depending on model. Now with the circuits growing more efficient, I have to say he was right; I like the three, nine-volt system as it is lightweight and takes up less room than most.
This battery system is currently in all the Freedom units so I was surprised to see Garrett go to C-cell batteries in. their new, top-of-the-line Grand Master Micro-Processor detector. Although the use of C cells adds weight, it does aid in balancing on that particular model.
The Garrett CDC I with its new 8 1,2-inch search coil can best be described as a flashy, high-quality performance package for a very reasonable price of $349.95. For those treasure hunters that want good performance, hate hip mounting and dont mind not having visual target identification, the Garrett CDC I Detector may have your name on it.
Charles Garrett and his engineer-ing staff have taken another step forward in terms of CDC technol-ogy resulting in a completely rede-signed line with better performance and depth than 1987 models.
Authors note: Greg Moscini is the owner of Trans-Bay Metal De-tectors, a multi-line detector dealer. For questions regarding the Garrett Freedom I CDC or detectors in general, please send a self-ad-dressed, stamped envelope along with your questions to: Trans-Bay Metal Detectors, 321 Sea Horse Ct., Foster City, CA 94404.