The Garrett AT Pro is a fantastic metal detector that when used correctly, and with the right settings can have you finding all kinds of deep valuable targets.
Here are some Garrett AT Pro Tips and Tricks that will help you get the most out of your Garrett AT Pro detector and will help to make your metal detecting hunts more productive and enjoyable.
Garrett AT Pro Tips and Tricks
Keep the Coil Flat
The coil on the AT Pro as with many other detectors can be adjusted up and down depending on your height and how close or far you hold your detector away from you.
What can happen is that sometimes the coil will get bumped or pressed on the ground or bumped off an object and will become out of parallel with the ground you’re detecting on.
This causes you to lose depth and can also cause your machine to report back to you information that is inaccurate.
Ensure that you are keeping your coil as parallel to the ground you are detecting on as possible for maximum depth and accuracy.
Keep Coil Wire Tight
It is important to keep only a very small amount of slack in the coil wire near the coil to allow for the adjustibility of the coil.
Having too much slack in the wire near your coil will cause your AT Pro to false frequently when you swing your detector.
The slack should never be long enough for the wire to move when the detector is moved. Also ensure that the coil wire is tightly wrapped around detector shaft.
Some MDers use an elastic or zip tie to fasten the coil wire in place.
Move the Coil Slow and Steady
You can always tell the newer metal detectorists from the experienced ones. The newer detectorists tend to fly around an area swinging their metal detector like its a golf club (okay maybe a bit of an exaggeration).
Metal detecting is not about how fast you can swing your coil and finish a detecting area. It is more about going slow and listening to what your detector is telling you about the items in the ground.
It is important that if you want to find those good deep targets that you slow down both your swing and your pace.
Ground Balance the AT Pro Often
The Garrett AT Pro comes with the option for auto or manual ground balancing. What this does is tells the detector what kind of mineralization is in the soil it will be detecting. The detector will then use this information to compensate for the level of mineralization so that you get a much better target ID as well as less falsing.
It is important that before each hunt you take the time to ground balance your machine. You will also want to re-ground balance every time you go to a new location, new soil type, or areas where there is more moisture in the ground.
Below is a video to show you how to ground balance. Note- the ground balance actually starts at 1:49 of the video, however I suggest watching the entire thing as it gives you some great pointers on using your AT Pro properly.
Pinpoint Off the Tip of the Coil
Normally when using the pinpoint function on the AT Pro you would end up with the target in the center of the coil. However, I have found that because of the DD coil it is not always completely accurate especially on deeper items.
I have found that during the pinpointing process once you have the item in the center of the coil, if you continue holding the pinpoint button and slide the coil back until the bars and sound stop. The target is right at the very tip of the coil.
Doing this can also give you a good idea as to the overall size of the target as well.
Use Pro Over Standard Mode
The “Pro” mode of the Garrett AT Pro is far superior to the standard mode. This pro mode is what you basically spent the added money for when buying this detector.
The Pro stands for “Proportional” and basically describes the audio alert of the detector in this mode. The Garrett AT Pro uses proportional audio which means that the shallower the target the louder the audio and the deeper the target the quieter the audio.
This mode also allows for the use of the iron audio function and the tone roll audio. These functions help to paint you a much bigger and more detailed picture of what the target under the coil is.
Pro mode is a bit trickier to understand at first but I would suggest learning it right off the bat because it will greatly help you on your detecting hunts.
Don’t Always Trust the VDI or Depth Indicator
Don’t get me wrong the VDI (numbers that represent target types) and depth indicators are great and there are many times where they are quite accurate.
However, there are also many times where the target may be smaller and deeper, or surrounded by junk or other metal types and it may cause the VDI to display a false number or to display nothing at all and may cause the depth indicator to read deeper or shallower than what it really is.
It is important to not rely so heavily on the visual indicators so much so as the audio indicator of your AT Pro. Learning the different tones and tone variations the detector is giving you, especially when you use the iron audio function will tell you more about what type of target you’re looking at and how deep it likely is.
An example would be:
You are in Pro Zero mode and as you pass your coil over the ground you receive a good tone however no VDI or Depth is shown. A lot of newer detectorists may just walk on, however there are many times that this is just a smaller target that is deeper than what the detector can visually give information on.
Control EMI with the Frequency Option on AT Pro
The Garrett AT Pro comes with 3 different frequencies that can be changed should you be in an area with a higher electrical interference.
If you are hunting an area where you have ground balanced and have made sure your connections are tight and are still getting a lot of chatter or falsing, try changing the frequency to quiet your machine up.
(also shown in video above)
Switch up the Detection Direction
There are times when you will be metal detecting and you will get an iffy signal. This can include:
- Tone one direction but not the other
- Clear tone one way, with scratchy tone the other
- Jumping signal
- Growling with a blip of a good signal.
Before writing it off as a junk target and moving on change the direction of your swing to see if the audio tones get any better or more clear both ways. Doing this can save you from deciding a target is junk when in reality it is a coin on edge or a ring that has been bent or broken or even a target that is surrounded by iron.
Use the Smaller DD Coil
The DD coil that comes stock on the AT Pro is fantastic in most situations, however if you are going to be hunting areas where there is a lot of trash or iron infested areas or you will be hunting areas with tight spaces you will want to put on the smaller DD coil.
The benefits of the smaller DD Coil:
- Pick good targets out of the trash more easily.
- Give more accurate ID of targets in trashier areas.
- Pinpointing will be more accurate on the smaller coil.
- Lighter and easier to swing for longer periods of time.
- Less susceptible to heavily mineralized ground.
- Very small if any loss in depth.
The 5 x 8 Coil is a lot lighter and is the most popular coil that is used with the AT Pro. Definitely a must if you plan on getting the most out of the AT Pro in trash infested areas.
Get more details and reviews on the 5×8 DD AT Pro Coil
The Garrett AT Pro truly is a great machine, and with these Garrett AT Pro tips and enough time spent out in the field to truly learn your detector, you will be pro and finding a ton of great targets in no time at all.