FIELD TEST

Garrett Ultra Gta 1000 Power Master
By Reg Sniff
From Page 20
April, 1996 issue of Lost Treasure

The Ultra GTA 1000 Power Master is the next evolution of the already sensitive and popular detector of the Garrett metal detector line, the GTA 1000. This new generation of the GTA 1000 has a couple of distinct improvements, including a 20 percent increase in sensitivity over previous models and improvements in the surface elimination feature whereby the depth where detection occurs is adjustable.

For the technical buffs wanting to know more about the specifics of the Ultra GTA Power Master, it is a computer-controlled, low-frequency detector (7 kHz), equipped with a large, simple and easy-to-read liquid crystal display. This display is so simple that you can tell the current operating mode at a glance, as well as what will be accepted and rejected, what supplemental features are activated and what a detected target probably is.

The display is also user-friendly when you want to change one of the adjustable features such as the sensitivity. To do this, press the Select touchpad until the desired feature is displayed and make the adjustment.

You can select six different operating modes including Coin, All Metal, Beach and three programmable modes labeled A, B and C. All six modes are of motion-detection design, which means the searchcoil has to be in motion for a target to be detected and analyzed. When initially turned on, the detector comes on in the Coin mode, which is pre-programmed to accept coins, including nickels, and reject the more common junk, including pull-tabs.

All of the nine operator controls are of touchpad design. Pressing the Power touchpad turns the instrument on or off, while other adjustments normally require operating two or more pads to make adjustments. These adjustments include sensitivity, threshold and audio levels. The types of tones include a standard tone and a belltone when a coin is found.

You can also activate a feature known as surface elimination to adjust the depth of elimination. For those not familiar with this feature, surface elimination lets targets less than the depth selected is ignored while deeper targets are detected. Finally, there is a non-motion pinpoint mode which also displays the probable target depth.

The Ultra GTA Power Master detector is powered by eight AA batteries which can be alkaline, heavy duty or optional ni-cad. The searchcoil supplied is 81/2 inches in diameter and is of concentric design. To add to the versatility of this instrument, several optional search coils are available including a 5-by-10-inch elliptical, a 3-by-7-inch elliptical, a 41/2-inch and a 121/2-inch round coil.

INITIAL TESTING

Like the first GTA I tested several years ago, I found the Ultra to be one of the best-balanced lightweight instruments I have ever used. It is also one of the easiest to use. Basically, all a beginner has to know to get started is how to put it together and turn it on.

What I first noticed when I tried this new detector over my typical test coins buried in my front yard was its sensitivity. Even in the preset settings, I was able to easily detect the more difficult test target buried in my front yard, a 61/2-inch-deep dime. The other coins I have buried in my yard were also readily detected.

The Target ID of the Power Master seemed to work very well even in the highly mineralized ground. Targets buried three inches or less displayed very accurately, but as with other target ID machines I have tested, the Power Master had a tendency to read high on very deep targets, such as the 61/2-inch-deep dime, which read as a half.

The initial testing did indicate one weak feature of the Ultra GTA Power Master. Although the discrimination mode ignored the highly mineralized ground, the pinpoint mode was temperamental. Trying to get this mode to respond reliably to a target proved difficult in the really bad ground. Pressing the pinpoint touchpad with the coil near the ground never seemed to give quite the same response. To solve this inconsistency I had to press the pinpoint touchpad with the search coil well above the ground and then lower the coil.

IN THE FIELD

The initial field testing was done a little differently with this detector than previous field tests. To determine the ease of use of the Power Master, I enlisted the aid of a young lady named Laurie Hendren who, although she had never tried a detector before, was interested in how they worked.

After giving Laurie a quick tour of the controls, I let her proceed on her own. She turned the detector on and in just a few feet found her first target, which she quickly determined to be a coin by her observations of the ID system. Digging a couple inches produced the properly identified penny. Upon its retrieval, Laurie cracked a big grin and was quickly off finding more coins. Since the yard she was searching was relatively new, no really old coins were found. However, there were several detected and retrieved, all identifying correctly.

Next, it was my turn to try the detector in a well-hunted park. Because the ground was extremely dry, I did not try to retrieve targets more than 5 inches deep, which resulted in my finding a handful of newer coins along with one lonely Wheatie. The object wasnt to see how many old coins I could find, but how the detector reacted overall.

I started with the detector set at preset sensitivity and coin mode. Operating with this setting, the detector was respectably quiet, giving an occasional short false indication on trash objects. Next, I switched to the beach mode and dug a few of the typical trash objects along with the coins. The footprint tabs found on the soft drink cans of the 1970s and 1980s were the more popular finds indicating in the tab range. However, I did find three nickels buried about 3 inches deep that also indicated as tabs.

Next I tried to operate the Power Master at maximum sensitivity. As I expected, the increased sensitivity setting proved to be too much for the area I was hunting.

As with other very sensitive detectors, the abundance of trash found at the park, compounded with extreme ground mineralization, resulted in a large number of short, choppy false signals. As a solution I reduced the sensitivity back to near preset and continued hunting. I concluded the maximum sensitivity setting could only be used in selected areas.

While at the park, I gave the surface blanking a quick try. I found I could select the minimum blanking depth which would allow me to find coins on the surface but ignore aluminum screw caps. Next, I increased the blanking depth to about 3 inches, which quieted the detector significantly. With this setting I found very little trash and several coins deeper than 3 inches.

The next phase of field testing took me to an open area of city property where houses built around the turn of the century once stood. Today this site displays similar conditions to those found at a ghost town. Because I have found some unique items at this location which would normally read in the pull-tab range, I selected the beach mode of operations and left the sensitivity at the preset level.

Unlike the park, the only thing growing at this site was weeds, so I was able to dig as deep as I wanted. Targets were found at depths from just below the surface to one about a foot deep, which happened to be a jar lid.

The depth of other items recovered ranged from near surface to about 8 inches.

At this site the Ultra GTA Power Master tackled the ghost town type environment quite well, considering the amount of trash in the area. The usual false indications occurred over some junk and the frequency of such indications increased when I tried to scan the ground quickly. I found that slowing down and taking advantage of the ultra-slow motion detection capabilities of the detector significantly reduced the number of erroneous signals.

Nothing spectacular was found on this outing. What I did find were the typical items, such as numerous pieces of lead, brass, pieces of watches (including two backs from pocket types), old and new bullets and several other non-ferrous items. The only unique thing of interest found was a blank token about the size of a penny.

CONCLUSION

It is simple to see why the Ultra GTA Power Master is such a popular detector with the recreational coin hunters. Its wide range of high-tech features, such as the graphic target ID and notch discrimination, combined with its simplicity of use and increased sensitivity, all at a reasonable price, will make the Power Master a popular detector for years to come.

This detectors ease of use makes it a good choice for both the new treasure hunter and one who wants a wide range of features without the frustrations of having to learn a wide range of controls.

It is easy to recommend the Ultra GTA Power Master as a coin or relic-hunting detector.

Information about the Ultra GTA 1000 Power Master or any other Garrett instrument can be obtained by calling or writing Garrett Metal Detectors, 1881 W. State St., Garland, Texas 75042-6761; phone (214) 494-6151; fax (214) 494-1881. You can also call toll-free (800) 527-4011 for a free buyers guide.
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