Ace 400i Misleading readings

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Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:46 am

Evening all.


As a lot of you will have noticed, I am a complete novice, clocking in less than 10 hours in the field!

Nonetheless, I intend to get the best from my Machine.

I've posted a couple of "Find stories" where I've touched on a couple of issues I have.

1. IRON - Now I'm not sure if this is just a general issue, but my machine will read iron almost anywhere on the scale. I get the usual 'croaks' between 1 and 15 which I choose to ignore, but I often get readings of say 30 to 45, 50 to 57, 63 to 78, and often 80+. They can be anything from small flakes to angle iron. I appreciate larger iron will give a higher reading, but this much variation?


2. INCONSISTANCY - Sometimes I'll be swinging slow while walking, and a good looking 83 or something will ping nice and clear, I'll go back over the same spot and it will now be a 76, then an 87, then a 54. This doesn't make sense to me?! 8-} Other times it will not pick it up if I slow down with my swing?

3. THE PINPOINTER - Once I've established there is something there, I'll use the built in pinpointer to narrow down the search area. This will work fine before I start digging. For example; I'll pick up a clear 83, swing over it a few times for it to fluctuate between 63 and 88, then I'll locate it with the pinpointer. Start digging, then it will essentially disappear. Sometimes it'll still register with the pinpointer but not the full coil to give a reading, sometimes the other way around.



I'm now praying to the Gods that I've explained myself well enough to try to disguise the fact that I'm a hopelessly clueless newbie!

All the best

Rob


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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Saffron » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:38 am

IRON
Rusty iron, or large iron with holes in like chain links can confuse most machines - see my post in your "Take 2" thread. I have a good collection of both!, but not nice clean flat solid pieces of iron.
Try to learn the sounds rather than just going on numbers.


INCONSISTANCY
Again happens with most machines.
If a target is shallow and flat you will get a good consistant reading. BUT if deep and near the limit of the detector it will give a positive indication to say it has found a target, but the signal will be too weak to give a firm ID and the machine is just trying its best to give a guide to what it is. At the maximum depth you often get an audio response but no VID.
Also a target at an angle can give a different result depending on which which direction you swing the coil over it. Also some tagets are made of more than one metal so depending on which way you swing you might get a response for the one metal in one direction but the other when swinging back over it.
Also the 400i is motion detector so swinging TOO SLOW can cause it not to work properly so this might account for losing the signal.
If it sounds good and numbers are normally in the "good range" dig it.

THE PINPOINTER
Could be that you have dug it out of the hole and lost it - either dropped further from most of clod and you have not scanned it, or even stuck to the spade!.
If a very small shallow target and you dig a large clod out and turn it over the detector might not be able to see it as now has more soil over it than when in the ground. [This happened to me the other day, turned the clod the right way up rescanned and found a small shallow target].
Could be something like sheep urine that can give a false signal that detector thinks is metal but when dug breaks up and hence "disappears".

Evan

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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 am

It sounds like everything is working fine except me! I need to get used to the machine by the sounds of things!

As for shallow targets, should I really take the depth gauge with a pinch of salt? As I have started to notice it will say something is 10-15cm down, and I'll be in there nearly a foot!

I imagine the ground conditions play a large part in this too? My site is a mix of deep soil and shallow gabbroic clay in other places.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Saffron » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:49 pm

KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 am
It sounds like everything is working fine except me! I need to get used to the machine by the sounds of things!

As for shallow targets, should I really take the depth gauge with a pinch of salt? As I have started to notice it will say something is 10-15cm down, and I'll be in there nearly a foot!

I imagine the ground conditions play a large part in this too? My site is a mix of deep soil and shallow gabbroic clay in other places.

Yes I am confident the machine is working fine ::g

Maybe the user could do with a bit of fine tuning =)) but willl be fine once tuned in.

Depth gauge is a rough guide only. What you will find is if its a coin the depth will be roughly correct, but if its a very small target it will be shallower than indicated while if a big target it will be deeper than indicated.

Evan

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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:54 pm

Saffron wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:49 pm
KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 am
It sounds like everything is working fine except me! I need to get used to the machine by the sounds of things!

As for shallow targets, should I really take the depth gauge with a pinch of salt? As I have started to notice it will say something is 10-15cm down, and I'll be in there nearly a foot!

I imagine the ground conditions play a large part in this too? My site is a mix of deep soil and shallow gabbroic clay in other places.

Yes I am confident the machine is working fine ::g

Maybe the user could do with a bit of fine tuning =)) but willl be fine once tuned in.

Depth gauge is a rough guide only. What you will find is if its a coin the depth will be roughly correct, but if its a very small target it will be shallower than indicated while if a big target it will be deeper than indicated.

Evan
I need fine tuning in so many ways Evan! 8-}

I have found that small iron plates (about half playing card size) will give good signals at full depth, but only be sitting 4 or 5 inches down
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Mud Max » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:57 pm

KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 am
It sounds like everything is working fine except me! I need to get used to the machine by the sounds of things!

As for shallow targets, should I really take the depth gauge with a pinch of salt? As I have started to notice it will say something is 10-15cm down, and I'll be in there nearly a foot!

I imagine the ground conditions play a large part in this too? My site is a mix of deep soil and shallow gabbroic clay in other places.

The depth gauge and the numbers are only rough guides.

The 400i is a lovely detector but as with other machines, the numbers will change when you dig because the coil will start to read the conductivity differently now the conditions are changing.

Depth gauges are easily fooled by the size of items.

Stick a black bag over the control box for a few hours and see what you learn with your ears [:)
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Roberts » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:05 pm

Mud Max wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:57 pm
KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 am
It sounds like everything is working fine except me! I need to get used to the machine by the sounds of things!

As for shallow targets, should I really take the depth gauge with a pinch of salt? As I have started to notice it will say something is 10-15cm down, and I'll be in there nearly a foot!

I imagine the ground conditions play a large part in this too? My site is a mix of deep soil and shallow gabbroic clay in other places.

Stick a black bag over the control box for a few hours and see what you learn with your ears [:)
::g An excellent idea as sounds are just as important as numbers and will help immensly in mastering the beast. :)

Off topic, but when the new detectors with screens came out about 20yrs ago there was a lot of heated discussions on boxed vs screens and a lot of people said it was just "eye candy" and should not be relied on. Of course today with the technology things are different and they have proven themselves in the field.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:11 pm

Yeah that's a great idea! I showed the detector to my grandfather and he dodn't know they came with screens! He used to do a lot of beach detecting 20-30 years ago and his machine has a dial that "sometimes shows you the resistance"
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by stillair1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:31 pm

Hi Rob are you using the iron audio feature to discriminate iron. If you are getting ghost signals, it maybe the sensitivity needs turning down a notch.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:35 pm

Hi Neil. I am using the iron audio, it helps me pick out the difference. If that makes sense?
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by oldartefact » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:40 pm

I would say that if you are digging rusty flakes then you aren't discriminating what you dig sufficiently. The general rule when starting out detecting is to dig everything, so you learn what is a good signal, and what indicates junk. However this assumes that there are alot of varied targets to dig (ie. nice finds mixed in with the junk), if however there are few nice targets then I would advise you do one of two things. Either move to another field, or only dig the sweetest of the sweet signals.
We all need a confidence boost now and again, especially when we are starting out I guess ..... I am sure that there is nothing wrong with your ability, nothing wrong with your machine... its just a matter of time, and alot of holes dug, before you find some nice bits. Keep the faith.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:48 pm

Yeah that makes good sense. The trouble I'm having is that some bolts etc give off a good clear 'ping', so I think I'm making progress then that'll happen. I'm not sure the clay makes a difference, but i'm yet to find out how
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by HoardingDragon » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:12 pm

Hi Rob, Ace250 with NEL coil here,

I also just started and have the same issue like you where i find something and after digging it seems to have gone! I have recently ordered a manual pinpointer which everybody recommends and should solve this issue.

If you don't have one (yet) I would recommend that when you lift a slab and scan over it, turn it over and scan over it again. I think it all has to do with orientation/size/depth of the piece of metal.

very slow swings also give no signal here, like the poster before said, it needs a certain speed to register.
Last edited by HoardingDragon on Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:26 pm

Yeah I'm slowly learning not to slow down too much. I do have the Garrett pinpointer in mybshopping basket, but being half way through moving home so it's not at the top of the list (as much as I want it to be!)
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by shaggybfc » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:18 pm

I can confirm, being a newbie myself, with a Garrett machine, at first I thought it was broken, giving all sorts of signals. It's taken about 20 - 25 hours of use but I'm now confident that I can identify aluminium pop cans (lovely sound, great on the scale but off PinPoint, it seems to be a large target, but on PP, a small target) , large iron (tones jump from grunt and up 3 - 5 notches and with PP like the can) and modern steel. (like the iron, but the signal jumps from 3 - 7, same as above on the PP)

Keep at it, everyday is a school day with the Garrett.

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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:27 pm

Yeah so far I can give a rough guess,l as to what things are. Having picked up 18 20mm shell casings I was getting pretty confident what they were before digging them. I took a little note book with me to jot down my readings for each find with depth etc. But left my pen in the sodding car!
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Mud Max » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 am

KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:35 pm
Hi Neil. I am using the iron audio, it helps me pick out the difference. If that makes sense?
I would not advise using iron audios in the UK. Leave that for coin shooters. Watch the Garrett official video and it will make sense. You don't want enhanced iron audio on UK historic lands.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:36 am

Mud Max wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 am
KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:35 pm
Hi Neil. I am using the iron audio, it helps me pick out the difference. If that makes sense?
I would not advise using iron audios in the UK. Leave that for coin shooters. Watch the Garrett official video and it will make sense. You don't want enhanced iron audio on UK historic lands.
Oh really? I thought being able to hear a clear difference would help me to understand the numbers better?
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Mud Max » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:35 pm

KernowViking wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:36 am
Mud Max wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 am
KernowViking wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:35 pm
Hi Neil. I am using the iron audio, it helps me pick out the difference. If that makes sense?
I would not advise using iron audios in the UK. Leave that for coin shooters. Watch the Garrett official video and it will make sense. You don't want enhanced iron audio on UK historic lands.
Oh really? I thought being able to hear a clear difference would help me to understand the numbers better?

Iron audio won't necessarily give you a clear difference. Find a clean area and put a high conductor on the floor then put a nail 3 inches away from it. Using something like Jewelry mode, sweep over the targets with iron audio off. You should see that the machine is able to discriminate out the nail and give you the bell tone for the high conductor. Then do the same with the iron audio on. You should see that the IA gives you a crackle from the iron, which can mask the good target and make it sound very iffy.

Iron audio is primarily there to identify junk targets that have a small iron content. This is why on the American video you see the machine registering a positive tone on a bottle cap, and then the IA is used to enhance the iron content and tell the person not to dig it. It's mainly for coin shooters who need to avoid bottle caps and other similar items.

Think of iron audio as a form of iron amplification, which is not helpful when you have a good target close to iron. Have a play around with it and see what you think.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by Mud Max » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:50 pm

HoardingDragon wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:12 pm
Hi Rob, Ace250 with NEL coil here,

I also just started and have the same issue like you where i find something and after digging it seems to have gone! I have recently ordered a manual pinpointer which everybody recommends and should solve this issue.

If you don't have one (yet) I would recommend that when you lift a slab and scan over it, turn it over and scan over it again. I think it all has to do with orientation/size/depth of the piece of metal.

very slow swings also give no signal here, like the poster before said, it needs a certain speed to register.

Good advice. You will often get a two way signal, dig a hole, and suddenly it disappears. All you are doing is moving the target. When you dig the hole, you may end up putting more earth/distance between the object and the coil than there was when it was in the ground, ironically the digging has made it harder for the machine to see the target. Also, the digging can change the position of the target, so before it was a flat object in the ground, and now you have moved the earth and it's on it's side. You have to scrap about a bit and eventually you will locate the target. It can be a bit of a pain on very small shallow bits but it's all part of the hobby.
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Re: Ace 400i Misleading readings

Post by KernowViking » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:49 pm

Thank you Mud Max it all makes perfect sense. Next time I'm out (finally nearly moved in!) And report back. I have received confusing signals before giving an iron 'croak' over a clear ping. It threw me off, dug it anyway to find a mastitis tube under an iron bracket, so I do see what you are saying!


As for the second bit, I picked up a really hopeful looking signal, I think a 45-47, indicated 10cm down, found it easily with the built in pinpointer, so started digging. Got 6 inches down, foot across, no sign. Broke up all the clods over the coil, nothing. Detector back in the hole. I got a very slight ping so made the hole wider and deeper. 3 foot round and a foot deep. No sign at all. Checked all of the dirt and clods rhat came out. 45 minutes on 1 signal and it vanished!
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