Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7/17/14 Report - Testing A Good Inexpensive New Detector On a Yard and In The Woods. 1829 Large Cent Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1829 Large Cent Found By New Ace 250 Detector

I'm going to do something today that I never do.  I'm going to give you a review of a metal detector.  It is the Garrett Ace 250, which just out of the box was able to detect various types of old and new targets on its first three short outings.   I was surprised by one find in particular (See photo.).

The Garrett Ace 250 is an inexpensive but very adequate metal detector.  For the price, it is an excellent detector.   Selling for just a little over $200 as compared to something more like $1200 for an Excalibur, it offers excellent performance for the price.  Don't, however, confuse it with something like the Excalibur, which has a totally different purpose.  As I've discussed before, a detector should be selected based upon what you plan to do with it, where you are going to hunt, and what you want to find, etc.

The Ace 250 is not a submersible detector.  In fact you should not get the control box wet.  So if you think it might rain, be sure to carry a cover or something with you. 

It is very compact and light weight.

It is very easy to assemble.  It came with batteries and headphones.  I assembled the entire thing and had it working in probably less than fifteen minutes.  It might take slightly longer if it is your first detector.

After quickly taking it out of the box and putting it together, I did a couple quick air tests  on coins in the house.  Everything looked good.  Then to the outdoors.

I took a penny, nickel, dime and quarter, threw them on the ground with a small distance between.  I  ran my coin over them and got good audio and display responses.  Again, no problem.

If this is a first detector for you, spend a lot of time on this step.  Also take a nail, pull tab and bottle cap.  The more time you spend practicing the better off you will be.

I'd start in coin mode.

Ace 250  Display and Buttons

The detector has five different modes that are selected by push button.   They are coin, relics, custom, jewelry and all metals modes,

You'll short change yourself if you don't spend good time practicing with known targets, but I've talked about that a lot in the past.

After some time, place some test targets very close to each other and on top of each other, like a nail and a coin.  The goal is to really get to know your detector and how it sounds when you encounter things in the field.

The settings and adjustments on this detector are easy to select and use.

Within an hour of first opening the box, I found a wheat penny along with a handful of other newer coins with this detector.  I was working an old yard that had been lightly worked before.

The one thing that you might find disappointing if you are new to detecting is that target ID is not as simple as it sounds.  It has both a graphic display, which is well organized and effective, and audio tones to discriminate.

When you first read about target ID you might imagine that it is clear cut and simple.  Just wave the coil over an object and read the ID.   It is not quite that simple though.  Many targets will cause the meter to jump around.  A target might read pull tab then nickel and the pull tab again, for one example.

In this yard there were a lot of roofing nails,  The display usually jumped back and forth between quarter and iron on those.  After a while you know how they display.

It does take time to get to know things like that though.

When a coin was detected it usually gave a pretty consistent reading.   Some cases were more complicated though.  For example when multiple targets were on top of each other or close to each other.

On the first day using this inexpensive detector in the first hour of operation in the yard I found several regular coins, including a wheat penny.

The next day I took the detector out on an old path where I found a 1909 wheat penny and some other clad coins.  Then back to the yard for a little more hunting.  I switched from the Coin mode to the All Metals mode. 

If you know me, you might be surprised that it took me that long to go to All Metals mode, but I wanted to explore the Coin Mode, so played with that a while first.  After switching to All Metals mode, one more wheat penny and a nice brass relic popped up.  I'll show the relic some time.

Then the next day a couple of hours in the woods resulted in finds which included another wheat penny, a 1829 large cent and an old inexpensive ring.

You'd never believe where I found those.  It was a very steep hillside in the woods.  A lot of the time I was following a deer path.  There was no obvious reason to suspect those items were there.  Also found was the metal end of a shot gun shell and a bullet casing.  Those types of finds were expected.  I'll show a picture of that woods area maybe tomorrow.

You can use the various modes together too.   For example if you are hunting in All Metals mode and get a signal that you want to check in Coin mode, that is very easy.  Just hit the push button with your thumb to change modes. 

I would use All Metals Mode a lot and then switch modes when I want to double check a target.

That shows what you can do with a detector that costs not much more than two hundred dollars.  I thought it worked well.  Part of it was my search strategy.  I'll get into that more sometime too.

One feature that this detector has that is better than the high-end detectors that I use is how easy it is to change the modes and settings.  Just use your thumb of your hand holding the detector without letting go of the detector rod or using your other hand.  That is a feature that I'd really like to see on my high-end detectors.

To summarize, the Ace 250 worked well inland, and I'm sure it will work well in dry sand too, although I do not know how well the few exposed metal parts will stand up to constant salt spray without some extra protection.

One reason I did this review is that a lot of people ask what they should get for their first detector.  I'm not saying this is it, because as I've explained, it depends on a lot of factors, but in many cases this would be a good first detector.

I highly recommend this detector as a first detector, especially if you are going to hunt inland.  It is easy to use and effective.  It would also make a good back-up or special purpose detector.  I thought it was a great value at a low price.

I did not test it on the beach and suspect that it is better choice for hunting inland.  I suspect that it might function well in dry sand.  I don't know how it would do in wet sand. 

On the Treasure Coas the surf is still small, but the tides are unusually big now.

Happy hunting,