When I asked Robbie Morin to share his views on the Garrett AT Pro, I started thinking that perhaps it would be appropriate to have a place with others can share theirs too. My only request is that you do not bash or insult a product or company. Over the 30 some years I have been involved with the pastime I have used a great many detector brands, and all did the job for me at that given time. As I said before there are Fords and there are Chevy's, and a reason to drive both if you look hard enough.....

If you have a detector, searchcoil, set of headphones, probe or anything other related product you'd like to tell about, please let me know. More than happy to include it here. Payment is made on the first of the month, and consists of free access to Stout Standards for a lifetime (mine that is...).

Garrett AT Pro/Review by Robbie Morin

Robbie Morin, a frequent contributor here recently purchased a Garrett AT Pro, and emailed me to tell me how much he liked it, and also attached a photo of a Franklin Half Dollar he found with it. I asked if he'd mind sharing his opinions of the AT here on the website, and he offered the following....

Robbie Morin
Robbie (aka Dimeman) Morin and his silver half


Took the AT Pro out to a park area that has lots of trees and is next to a school. The school was built about 1 1/2 years before the land next to it became a park area. The park was built in 1964. My assumption was the school kids played in the area at recess and after school activities.

Since it was first time out with the AT Pro, I used the STD mode, and wanting to test the tone roll audio on the bottle caps that are in almost every park I search, I notched out everything but the upper coins. I will have plenty of time to test out the other features of the detector.

On many detectors lots of bottle caps read as quarter signals----that is what I wanted to test first. I dug on every quarter signal, and on every quarter signal I rechecked it in the PRO mode, to see if the tone roll audio was correctly ID'ing bottlecaps from the quarters. Every time the PRO mode sounded its triple tone on a pass---low/high/low, it indeed was a bottlecap, and every time the PRO mode had just the high tone, it indeed was a quarter. I dug over 25 bottlecaps and 4 quarters. The Tone Roll Audio just by itself is worth a look because we all have been tricked by those quarter--bottle caps.

The AT Pro does sound very good on targets. One high tone signal showed 10 inches deep. I dug up a piece of copper tubing that was over 8 inches deep, according to my diggers length, and the signal was loud and clear.

The headphones are very good and are solidly built. A little bit heavy for warm days, but they do block out quite a bit of outside noise and even with a slight hearing loss in my left ear, I had to turn the headphone volume, down because it was a bit too loud. The phones have a separate volume for each side and a mono/stereo switch also.

While searching, I got a signal that bounced from quarter to half to quarter. I dug and got a clad quarter, rechecking the hole --there was another quarter...A 1964 Washington. Both quarters were less than 4 inches deep.

Two quarters, one hole 26 wheat cents
One clad, one silver, one hole
Robbie's wheat cent spill....

Then, while searching along a 3 foot long tree root that was just above the ground, I got a penny signal. Then another, and another. In that area alone I recovered a total of 26 wheat cents. Talk about pocket spills ! Though they were just a few inches deep, and most any detector would have found them, it was the AT Pro that did! While the AT Pro is lighter than the White's model I also use, the balance is not as even, as the coil side is a bit heavier. I spent 3 hours detecting and while it feels different than my Whites, it was easy to swing and I am starting to like it a lot....


I went back to the same park mentioned above....

As I am still in the learning process I kept the STD Mode on, and tried to recheck some signals using the PRO Mode. Still learning the VDI numbers I notched out everything 70 and below. I knew I could be missing some good items, but I also knew I could return and try again after I recover the higher VDI targets. While I had a better idea of the workings of the detector in the STD Mode, I did forget to recheck some quarter signals in the PRO Mode, and as a result dug a few bottlecaps. One cap was not the typical bottlecap and it did fool me as did another bottlecap that was a little larger in size. The Tone Roll Audio is a great feature. A lot of the parks I detect are loaded with bottlecaps, and it was nice NOT to have to dig them yet recover the coins close by.

The DD coil does an excellent job at separating close together targets. I still have a little trouble pinpointing , but I am getting better with each outing. When I was hunting a few of the signals did sound off the high tone, but after scanning a few more times they would show as iron. Suspect most detectors have this "wrap around" signal where a larger piece of iron will sometimes show as a "good". target. Most of the coins I found today were clad, and only a couple were over 6 inches deep. The area I searched was one I had searched before, using my Whites M6 and 6 X 10 DD coil. I had thought it was pretty clean of coins.

After leaving the park I came home and searched a small section of my yard. It's an area I have searched with every other detector I have owned over the years (would you believe 12?). The AT PRO indicated a penny at 4 inches, and when I dug it up--- it was a wheat cent !


I've been digging some clad at 6-8 inches deep with the AT Pro in areas littered with all kinds of trash ( bottle caps, pull-tabs, soda cans..etc., ) and the AT Pro was easily able to "see" thru it. My two White's detector's had been over the same areas and didn't fare as well, even when using smaller coils. The Pro's larger 8 1/2 x 11 DD coil worked very well in these locations. I am also impressed at how deep this detector goes......in between trash.

A small "peanut" charm read like a nickel/pulltab item, but I couldn't see any markings on it. It seemed as heavy or a little heavier than the plated ring I also dug today. It sounded off loud and clear, and was at least 6 inches deep in the woodchips (in the same area where I found a 10K gold ring last year). So far I have about 14 hours of experience with the AT Pro, and I am still learning the VDI readouts and audio responses. Couple times I forgot to recheck the Bell Tones( higher audio tones) using the Pro Mode, and a result have dug a few bottlecaps. But that was the result of my learning curve, and the only time I have dug them. The Tone Roll audio features has worked correctly every time.


Went to Freed Park in Houston and concentrated on the grassy areas for a few hours, and dug a wheat cent, a cheap key charm and some clad. The park was not too trashy, and most of the clad I dug was at 6 inches, a few somewhat deeper. Qkslvr and TEXCAM (forum friends) also joined me about an hour after I arrived at the park. I recovered two silver dimes, a few wheats, a button and a bullet. The button and bullet were in the soccer field area where Qkslvr and TEXCAM had been searching. The first silver dime was being dug as TEXCAM came to the park.... There was a old style pulltab on top of the ground, and a dime signal not more than three inches away. The AT Pro indicated a dime at six inches, and it was right on the mark. (The detector read the pulltab and also the dime, no matter how slow or fast I swept the coil).
Freed Park finds Some of Robbie's other finds
Coins found in Freed Park
Few more of Robbie's AT Pro finds....

The second silver dime was dug between the sidewalk and baseball field along a line of trees. It was only 4 inches deep, but in an area that was layered with bottlecaps and trash items (once again amazed by the separation of good and bad). I had used my Whites M6 in this same park, with both a DD "shooter" coil, and the 6 X 10 DD coil. They didn't do as well as the larger DD coil of the AT Pro.

Silver Franklin Half was found on my 7th time out......

That's it for now. Will try to keep you all updated on my in-the-field experiences with the AT Pro.




Took the AT Pro out to a 1952 park and searched the grass area looking for older coins. Still learning the ways of the AT Pro I did come across an interesting thing on scanning for targets. When directly under the 1st small open rectangle just above the rod connection , targets will make a double sound if it is close to the coil when scanned. Haven't figured out if that is the hot spot of the coil and will have to test some different coins to see.

I didn't get too many coins but was digging them between 5-7 inches deep in an area I had searched before with my 2 other detectors just very recently. They didn't have the ability to see the coins because the trash had masked the "good" targets. The Garret has no problems.

One penny signal was a good solid number signal, where the VDI was very steady, and showed 8 inches deep. It was dug at least 7 inches down according to my new digger with a measured blade. I had to get a new trowel digger as the AT Pro does detect deeper than my other detectors I needed a sharper one to dig the deeper coins I have been finding with it.

My take for the day was 4 wheats, a 1989 Canadian cent, a key and some clad.


Went and searched a park area that was the site of an old German gun club up until about 1945. In 1956 the grounds were turned into a park. As I was mostly searching for old lead bullets, I notched out everything below the bullets, which came in like a Zinc cent. I like the AT Pro notch system, where you can notch in, or out any area from iron up to dollar. If you look for a specific item like a ring or a piece of jewelry, you can notch out everything else and it will sound off, only on those items in that range.

I dug 4 lead bullets, a silver dime and some clad coins. All the lead bullets were dug at less than 4 inches deep. All the coins were between 4-8 inches deep. The silver dime showed a 8 inch depth and indeed I took out a lot of dirt to get to it.

I still am amazed at the way the AT Pro cuts through all the trash signals and still gets the coins that are very close to the trash items. This is my 13th detector ( who said the number 13 is unlucky??) and I got one that CAN get thru the junk and "see" the goodies.


Went to a old park this morning, in a section of town built in the late 1800's. Lots of 1920's-1940's small houses in the area that are still standing, with many new 2 story homes being built all around them

The park was aquired by the city in 1949 but lost some park ground, when a major freeways expansion cut through some of the park. A few of the natural shallow gulleys still are in the park area, with a little added fill dirt, and some of the trees are large enough to provide nice shade.

I took the AT Pro to a small section, where I had searched with my M6 and 3 different size coils trying to get every signal from a 20X20 foot section. I had gridded the area at least 3 times, once each with the small, the medium and then the large coil. The AT Pro located deep rusty bottlecaps, clad coins, 2 wheat cents and a Barber quarter.

Freed Park finds Some of Robbie's other finds
Robbie's Barber Quarter
11th Outing and Over Nine Dollars in Clad....

The AT Pro still amazes me, as I have been digging deeper coins within a few inches of shallower trash targets and it will read both targets very precisely. Been going to areas I had covered with my other detectors and have been digging deeper coins that they missed.........either that............or I just didn't get my coil over the exact spot where the coins were at. Still using the STD Mode until I get a Bell Tone, then I recheck the target in the Pro Mode. This seems to work out very well as the Pro Mode is a bit more noisy and makes it harder to listen for the other target signals.

I changed batteries before todays search, because of 1 bar of battery life left. From what I have read on forums, I could have used it some more, but I wanted a fresh set in for the 10th hunt.

Having a total of 32 hours of searching, the AT Pro learning curve has been pretty easy, considering a change from a 20+ year stretch of using one make only, and used 6 of their models, over that time.


Spent 4 hours this morning, searching in 4 different park areas, looking for some older coins. I missed them this time, but did get a good amount of clad in the ground. I thought I would have to dig to China to get one of the quarters as it showed 8 inches on the depth on the AT Pro. The signal on it was constant and good tone.

I did pick up a cheap "football" toe ring in a tot lot, that was stamped “made in China".

Mostly I was using the Pro Mode today, trying to learn what the "good" and "bad" targets sound like. The Pro Mode-zero with the iron audio ON, and set on 30 is very busy noise, as it grunts on iron the coil goes over. There were many signals sounding off that you have to go slow just in case a high tone sneaks in there, by chance---and you sure don't want to miss it. The AT Pro will let you know of any target under the coil, no matter how fast or slow you scan the coil. The recovery speed is very quick. The Tone Roll Audio works great on identifying targets that have iron in them such as older bottlecaps. You hear the low/high/low tone, and it is correct 99.9% of the time.

At one park the area had quite a few pieces of copper strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and all different lengths and shapes. They had been cut off of a much longer piece for something. Some pieces of the copper strips, read exactly like a dime( 82-83), and like a quarter(86-88) to the AT Pro--both the icon and numbers showed the targets as coins. No iron "grunts"------ just the high tone, and correct number. Just had to dig them up so I won't be getting those signals when I return to that park. Hoping that once the surface trash is removed, the deeper coins will be easier to locate. With 36 hours of using the AT Pro, I am starting to get the hang of it No old coins today, but $9.09 in clad made up for it.


Received this email from Robbie on April 13 as a follow-up......


Sunday April 10th, I went to the old German gun club location to see if I could find any more of the old rifle lead bullets (there used to be an 8 foot tall mound of dirt for the marksmen to shoot at targets). I believe I found where they leveled the mound in the area, and had dug a few bullets there with the AT Pro last time out.....

I used the Pro Mode because of all the old bottle caps, and other trash items from years of use since 1956. I was intent on digging all the targets to clean out an area so I could get to the deeper "keeper" items. Next to one tree I got a 2 tone signal.... a mid tone and a high tone close together. Typically on a iron object it would have been a low/high/low tone--triple sound. This time it was only two tones and I had to dig it !

At about 4 inches I uncovered a rusty bottlecap, but upon rechecking the hole I got a high tone showing a quarter at 6 inches. After a little finessing I pulled out a very well used 1877 Seated Liberty quarter....my first one of these. I was glad nobody was in the park to see me do the happy dance.....they would surely have thought I was a nutcase.

The Garrett AT Pro read both a bottle cap and a quarter underneath it, in the same hole. It can read multiple targets so very close together better than any other of the 12 detectors ( ooops, make that 13--- with my new Fisher F5) I have owned.

On the other side of the same tree, I received a signal indicating a dime at four inches, and dug a 1905 Barber dime. ( yep--another happy dance!!)

After three more hours of searching, I had took home 32 clad coins, a few more old rifle lead bullets, and a Dave And Busters token.

Took along my video camera, and here is a short video

If you have questions about this detector or Robbie's views you can contact him at Robert3984@aol.com


XP Deus

Have heard from more than a few pals in the UK about a detector that is garnering a lot of attention there, and thought I would pass it on here. It's called the The XP Deus.

What I've been hearing....."As deep as an E-Trac", "faster than an XP Goldmaxx", "lighter than anything you've ever used", "no wires.....no hassle".

I will be looking into this more, and will leave you all to do the same..... And no, this not an endorsement of any kind. Just some chatter from across the pond.


The Garrett Ace 250 & Wet Sand – A Warning To All Owners!

There’s a UK metal detecting ‘guru’ who advises ACE 250 owners and potential buyers thereof, that while it’s great on dry sand, it’s less well suited to wet sea water soaked sand, adding ominously, to “Stay well away from pools of water unless you intend to wash the coil!” Oh, dearie me. It ain’t necessarily so!

In truth, these top-selling machines work so extraordinarily well in and around sea water-soaked sand, and over seawater-filled sand-pools that you are in serious danger of enhancing your treasure hunting finds and enjoyment.

I have mine kitted out with the 9”x12” coil, and the SENS control knocked back to the 3rd or 4th segment, and regularly use it in and around exposed low tide sand bars and pools, where it easily locates £1 and £2-coins to between 4” and 6”, depending on the size and type of coin. The £2-ers make the biggest hit, and from their strength of signal, I reckon there’s loads more depth availability.

Beach Finds

Certainly, with greater levels of experience, you can rack-up the SENS control to much higher settings, so long as you keep the searchcoil about one inch off the sand since any touchdowns will set off the ‘Belltone’ in a series of confusing false signals. In all cases and modes, when operating over wet sand, try to REJECT everything to the left of the ‘5c’ mark.

You will be amazed at the results. But always bear in mind: It’s dry sand for quantity, wet sand for quality.


Current Matters – New Kids on the Block!

Batteries of the right type, especially rechargeables are vital for successful treasure hunting, and amongst the best, in my experience are Uniross Hybrio’s. The official blurb on these new types of rechargeables reads:-

“If on the other hand you use your batteries less intensely, maybe irregularly or infrequently then the Uniross HYBRIO battery is by far the better choice. HYBRIO batteries are the battery of choice for almost every application. Don't for one minute think that you are getting a lesser battery simply because the capacity is rated at 2100mAH whilst our regular high capacity NiMH AA batteries are rated at 2300,2500 or even 2700mAh.

“The reason for this is simple and comes down to the 'self' or 'natural' discharge found in all regular NiMH rechargeable batteries.

“What self discharge means is that once charged, a fully charged NiMH battery is losing a small part of its charge on a daily basis even when not being used. In fact, the higher the rated capacity of the battery, the faster the rate of self-discharge becomes!

"A HYBRIO battery on the other hand has a VERY LOW self discharge and which means it can maintain its stored power for months and months on end. This very low self-discharge characteristic is what makes HYBRIO batteries so very popular with most battery users.

“If you charged a 2700mAh AA and a 2100mAh AA HYBRIO battery and put them both to use immediately in a power hungry device then the 2700mAh battery would give you approximately 25% longer use due to its higher initial capacity.

“However, if you left the batteries in a digital camera for example and came back to them a few weeks later then the HYBRIO batteries would now give you much longer use simply because they will have held on to most of their stored power while the 2700mAh battery would have lost a considerable amount of charge due to the self discharge mentioned earlier.

HYBRIO Batteries
HYBRIO Batteries

“In a nutshell the numbers game (mAh capacity) goes out the window unless you really hammer your batteries and are constantly charging them when used in extremely power hungry devices. For the average user, Uniross HYBRIO batteries offer a much more reliable solution and this is why we now sell more AA HYBRIO batteries than all other AA batteries put together!

“If you use your batteries hard and fast and regularly charge your batteries on an almost daily basis then 2500 or 2700mAH AA's could be the better choice,” continues the advertising blurb.

Well, I use Hybrios in my Garrett ACE 250, re-charging (topping up) constantly, maybe three to four times a week, and have done so for the past year. They are the best I have ever used. Indeed, I use them exclusively (8 x AA’s) in my pulse induction Garrett Sea Hunter II, which in a battery-munching pulse machine like this, they still manage about 8 to 10 hours hunting.

However, since Uniross’s men-in-white-coats probably never tested them in a metal detector, I have to say that 2100m AH’s, have ample capacity, and are quite superb.

Unlike non-rechargeables, Hybrio’s maintain constant, full output, power supply to your metal detector. The downside however, like all rechargeables, is that when they expire, they die without warning. Therefore, after hunting for say, seven hours, (with a Sea Hunter II) you must be alert to the fact a power failure is imminent. My ACE250 also thrives on Hybrios, but the same warning prevails.

To find out more about these superb batteries, visit www.batterylogic.co.uk


Garrett Super Sniper Coil

Who Says Size Does not Matter?

It’s a leap of faith to clip on a 4.5” coil and go beach hunting. Small coils jar against every natural treasure hunting instinct. Everyone wants depth, and lots of it, and big coils are the way to get it. However, coils half the size of Texas when used amongst the garbage, screw things up big style, but sensitively, in much the same as some Real Estate Agents smile as they shaft you. But this is all set to change.

There’s an old English saying that ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’, and never is it truer than in treasure hunting. Hunt amongst in the trashiest areas and you’ll always do well for a number of reasons; not least because these areas, being so trashy, everyone else avoids them like the plague. But the secret in plucking the best from the worst depends on the type and size of searchcoil you use.

Items found with small coil
Found amongst the trash

Small diameter coils work on other detector brands too, but being a Garrett aficionado, I have to say, welcome to the 4.5-inch world of the Garrett Super Sniper (other small coils are available). This little beauty will locate coins - depending on size - to between five and seven inches in dry sand when hooked up to an ACE 250 set to ‘MAX SENS’. It’s a beachcombing delight. That doyen of the double entendre, Mae West, once asked a Texan how tall he was. “Six foot eight inches ma’am,” he said,“Never mind the feet,” replied Mae, “But oh, those eight inches.” And so it is with the Super Sniper. Try to forget super depths, and think of Mae and her eight inches!

For the purpose of this feature, I took my Super Sniper for a test drive to a section of local beach that the previous day I’d worked with a 9” x 12” coil for the purpose of comparison: An area packed with trash of all kinds; beer cans, pull tabs, heavy foil, and the remnants of portable BBQ’s. The results were less than impressive.

In one 200 yard sweep, working the same path as I had previously with the 9”x12” coil, I recovered the coins shown in the picture; totalling some £9, or about the $13-ish from amongst the trash.

Being lighter, the small coils are faster, cover a lot of ground by virtue of the speed at which they can be used, and have a fast ‘target response’. It dodges in and out of the beer cans and is rarely, unlike the larger standard or extra large coils, swamped. On the ACE250, setting the DISCRIM to reject those pull-tabs (the ones that are supposedly attached to the cans), opens up a whole new world of treasure hunting.

June 2008

June 2008

Fisher F5 Report, Courtesy of Robbie Morin


Got my F5 yesterday, April 2, from my local dealer, and took it out this morning for it's first official hunt. Went to a school, aka, Spark Park (a school yard area where after school and weekends a fenced-in yard area is used as a public park). From my past experiences there I know I can almost always dig some clad there.

After using a Whites for 20 years, to still learning the Garrett AT Pro, I now have another new machine to learn.....

I downloaded the manual, and have been reading it going over and over again. Next, having the detector in my hands, reading the ground balancing instructions, and attempting to get it close was a real test. After the Whites M6 and the Garrett AT Pro, the Fisher F5 makes you think some before you ground balance.

I got it close---but because of some sections of fill dirt in the park, the GB numbers kept changing. The manual says it is best to re-ground balance when the numbers on the left and right of the screen are way off (they both should be very close). I re-balanced about 4 times hoping it was close enough....

Tot Lot Finds F5 Control Panel
Robbies Take 1st Day Out
The F5 Control Panel....

I did a quick scan of the totlot to see if the F5 was working..... I came up with two dimes, two quarters, a penny, and the police car was at the bottom of a slide. The F5 was obviously working OK so I decided to try the grass areas hoping to find some older coins in this 1920's schoolyard.

I played with the DISC settings for about 20 minutes while searching, then set it where it knocked out zincs and everything below zincs. I know I missed a few decent items.... but I was experimenting with a new detector, and was just out to see what the F5 was about.

I went thru the four different tone settings and settled on the d4-- 4 tone mode.

The F5 was finding coins, and since the coil size is about 5 1/2 X 10, I really didn't have to use the pinpoint button on the detector only but a few times. By using the X- pattern pinpointing was quite easy.

I played around with the DISC settings some more and got a few nickels along with some older discolored clad coins. The F5 is lighter than the AT Pro (which was lighter than my Whites IDX)........and it's very easy to swing.

I don't think I was getting the full potential as I think I had the Gain ( SENS) setting at about 40 or 60 and the ground balance was off. But the ring tones were very good on coins, and even with the lightweight headphones, I heard them loud and clear every target.


This morning, April 6th, I took the F5, to two different parks, and at each one, did a quick scan of the totlot, then hit the grassy areas. The F5 worked great in the totlot area, as I could get very close to the metal equipment with the 5 1/2 X 10 inch coil. I like the 4 tones mode, so I am using it, as the nickels are a higher tone than pulltabs.

I pretty well had the ground balance figured out, and know how to adjust the gain up or down to get better depth. It will take a little time to get used to this one also.

Coins from 2nd Outing How the F5 Reads a Target
Coins from 2nd Outing
How the Target ID's....

I had air tested some common coins to get the VDI numbers ( different than the garrett or Whites) so I brought a little cheat sheet to look at, trying to learn the Fisher number system. The numbers are nice and big, and easy to read. When you press the pinpoint button, the numbers in the center show the depth of the target.

When the VDI shows 30 ( nickel) and it doesn't jump a number or 2 up or down, it’s a nickel, and not a pulltab. All the clad dimes I recovered today were at number 70 and the clad quarters were all number 80 or 81 (no jumping up or down a couple numbers---they stayed a steady number). The targets with numbers that jumped up and down more than 3 were all junk today.......bottlecaps, pulltabs, can slaw and a couple of AA batteries in the wood chips.

Almost all the high tones with a steady number were good targets. Only 2 items, which were larger cast aluminum pieces, were showing as dimes, with a steady number reading.

Any large junk target under the coil, makes a low grunt sound. I assume that is the "overload" signal. I recovered a metal part from some equipment in the totlot (base for one of the small spring horses). It was 8 inches in diameter and was about 10 inches deep so the detector will get larger deeper targets with the stock coil, and I was pleased with that.

Usually I alternate swinging the detector from one arm to the other after 15-20 minutes to keep from my arm getting tired--------The F5 is so light compared to the other detectors I have owned I didn't switch arms that much this morning, and I detected for almost 3 hours. No old coins but located over $7 in clad--a good total for just the 2nd outing.

Will keep you posted as I continue to learn the F5.....


April 23rd

In the last few days I have been taking the F5 to various parks, and coming home with a lot of clad. I did howevr recover a silver dime in one woodchip play area. Today in one park ( my old elementary school) I received a half dollar signal on the F5, and the numbers stayed steady, as I scanned the coil back and forth over the target. The depth showed to be 6 inches, so decided to give it a go. Believe it or not the F5 can count....two clad quarters in the same hole.

I had searched one area (a ballfield next to the parking area) at least 6 other times with 2 other metal detectors, as did my brother, and his grandson. Today however I came home with a total of forty coins (little over $5 in clad), proving once again no matter how many times you search an area, you never find it all.

I am still learning the different numbers for the targets, and have gotten the ground balance sequence down quite well. I like using the 4 tone mode best, as the nickel range is a tone higher than the pulltab, and most of them read higher on the VDI number scale. The notch system on the F5 also works well you are looking for a particular target.

As I said before, the F5 likes quarters and dimes, and they almost always read at their appropriate VDI numbers, and with a good strong audio signal. A few broken pulltabs might bounce back and forth on 28/29/30/31/32, but a nickel is a solid 30.

Tot Lot Finds F5 Control Panel

April 28th

I have been using the F5 at all the tot-lot areas, and then searching the grassy areas afterwards. The F5 has located more than a few clad coins in spots that were very close to metal poles, and in the past when I searched with the Whites IDX, I wasn't able to locate them. The F5's 5 X 10 inch coil was able to detect closer than the 6 inch coil on the IDX. My clad coin finds have greatly increased since I purchased the F5 April 2nd of this year, and needless to say, they buy batteries and gas!

April 30th

I returned to the "clad producing" schoolyard, and as usual, found more clad coins to end the month.

I did get one signal that I thought was a 4 inch deep dime, but it turned out to be the top of a Barbasol shaving cream tube. After checking on the internet I saw that the company made the tubes from when they started in 1919, up until the 50's (when they started putting the shaving cream in aerosol cans). Since the area was also a WW1 traing grounds years ago it's possible the tube top might be from the camp.

I emailed the Barbasol company to see when exactly they had stopped using the metal tubes, with printing on the top, and hope to hear back from them. I did get a couple pics off their website showing the tube, and it is the same as mine.

Todays clad total was $7.84. 20 quarters, 23 dimes, 7 nickels and 19 pennies. The F5 is light, reads very good on coins, and I have recovered a few coins at 6 inches while having the gain set at less than 60.


The Fisher F5 is finding coins at park areas I have been searching in the past 5 years, and it has located coins in sections of park areas I have hit hard. Most of the coins have been at 4-5 inches deep and many have been very close to non coin signals. The F5's coil design is very efficient, as it does allow it to find good targets very close to other items in the ground.

In a 5 mile radius from my house there are about 20 city parks.....going to a 10 mile radias there are almost 40 parks. I have a lot to choose from, and most of them were built in the 1940's-1960's.

May 7th

Saturday I went to 2 parks, and the first was "slim pickins", so I tried the second one two miles away. It was a good choice, and I did much better there. In the area around the playground, that I had searched many times before, with a couple of my old detectors, I dug a 1906 Indian Head Cent, at 5 inches deep. Less than 6 feet away, at the base of an oak tree, I recieved a dime signal, and retrieved a 1938 Mercury dime at about 4 inches deep. My total clad for Saturday was $9.56.

May 7th and May 9th finds......

May 9th

Monday I went to a park I haven't been to in over a year, and was getting signals that were sounding off double signals. When a coin is on the surface or just under the grass layer most of the coins make a fast double signal. Even found a few coins, right on top of the grass. I like these sites, because they haven't been searched in awhile. A few feet away from a couple of trees, I recovered a Cub Scout slide,(possibly 1950's-1960's vintage) that had a good steady number on the screen, but was different than a coin. Most trash items will not lock on a number, but jump up or down 3-4. Any target that offers a steady readout is a target to dig. I have dug enough targets to know pretty much which are keepers, and which one would go in the trash container. But there are always a few targets that are different, and won't read like they should. I recommend digging these to get idea of what it is that causing the questionable readout, and also so you have to deal with it next time out.

About an hour later after digging the scout slide, I had a half dollar signal that I thought might be another 2 quarters on top of each other. I was pleasantly surprised to dig a 1936 Walking Liberty half (the F5 showed it as 5 inched deep). I also found three wheats and $9.95 in clad.

May 11th

This morning I took the F5 to one of my favorite parks where I have found quite a lot of silver. I’ve learned “most” of the VDI coin numbers, and know a good coin target has a steady number reading. I wound up not getting any keepers, but managed to find a quite a few newer coins.....$8.29 in clad (which included 2 JFK halfs). I also found a $5 and two $1 Peso’s.

I’ve found that getting the correct ground balance, your threshold just above a slight hum, and your Disc set at iron, will have your F5 at its best performance. So far most of my finds with the F5 haven't been real deep, but I also have not worked on those very faint signals to any extent, but will be checking them out next.


June 2008

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011


No, they’re not a firm of shyster lawyers nor is this an ad for Rice Krispies (delicious though they are). This is all about is hunting in the PRO Mode utilising all the whistles and bells and interpreting the target response data to discover what’s really under the searchcoil whilst beach hunting.

Switching to PRO Mode puts you into what is called proportional audio, meaning that the signal strength received from the target is proportional to it’s depth; faint signals are usually deep targets and loud signals, shallow, because the ATpro (like most other metal detectors) is tuned to coin-sized objects. Well that’s the theory in a perfect world, but as we don’t live in a perfect world, a little human interpretation is required of the data presented.

When searching in the PRO Mode, there is an ever-present, but gentle, Snap, Crackle and Popping sound as if the machine is actually alive, which can be curbed if you so wish by the Sensitivity control. I choose not to. It’s unnerving at first especially to anyone used to operating a silent running machine, or, when switching over from STANDARD Mode. But the detector, when ‘alive’ never misses a trick. During my first outing with the ATpro, and before I got to grips with the PRO Mode features, I wasted a lot of time digging a wretched bottle cap from 12.5-inches down in damp sand.

Deep cola cans for example, usually sound like shallow coins, and shallow coins like deep cola cans! Pull-tabs from these cans give clear positive signals with all the appearance of coins or thin-section rings having a Target ID (TID) value of between 50 and 54 – ish!

So how can you differentiate between cans and coins? By simply raising the searchcoil about 12-inches from the sand and if the signal remains strong, it’s a can. Why so? Because at about 12-inches a coin is on the limits of in-ground detection and in the PRO Mode will become faint. Though this is a Rule-of-Thumb, it works in the main.

John Howland's hideway,in Broadstone, UK.,
where the best of the single malts await.....

Bottle caps on the other hand, the bane of all beach hunters, have a TID value of anywhere in the 65 to 75, well up into the high value coin and jewellery range and often difficult to decipher. However, the ATpro is equipped with a variably adjustable High Resolution Iron Discrimination Circuit (HRIDC) allowing the operator to set values of ‘0’ (All Metal) through to ‘39’ at which nearly all iron and ferrous objects are eliminated. Bottle caps however, tend to give a confusing signal leading the operator to believe something of high value is in the offing, only to discover in the final scoop of sand that the bottle cap has won again.

But there’s one final weapon in the operator’s armoury….the Iron Audio Circuit (IRC) that allows the operator to hear a unique response from all iron targets. This response comes in the audio sound of all iron being accompanied with a fuzzy buzz, a high tone, followed by the fuzzy buzz. IRC works in all six ATpro search modes and never lies. It’s quite brilliant.