FIELD TEST

Garrett Electronic's Treasure Ace 100 Metal Detector
By Joe Patrick
From Page 15
October, 1997 issue of Lost Treasure

Garrett Metal Detectors is a world-class manufacturer of both hobby and commercial type metal detectors. Many firsts in detecting technology are innovations of Garrett and for over 30 years, they have produced some of the most advanced and popular detectors ever designed and manufactured for the hobby.
For many years, their ADS (Automatic Detection System) circuitry was considered by many to be the deepest, most stable design in existence. Garrett produced the worlds first talking detector and recently, their GTA series has received much acclaim and praise, and its various models are productively used by many satisfied detectorists world-wide. Garretts GTA 1000 is considered by many to be the best detector available in its price class. Garretts new Graphic Target Imaging Detector, the GTI 2000, is currently turning many heads as it is the first detector to feature an imaging system that not only indicates the probable target but also its relative size!
With this amount of technology and innovation solidly behind it, Garrett is a formidable company that can and does produce a broad range of detecting equipment specifically matched to each particular market and detecting requirement.
Understandably, many novice and casual detector users do not have the intense zeal and passion for the hobby that most of us old-timers do. They are simply looking for an enjoyable and low-cost way to add some excitement to their leisure time, and treasure hunting with a metal detector just happens to fit nicely into that quest!
Garretts response to these fun-seeking adventurers is its new easy-to-operate Treasure Ace.
FEATURES
Two of the most requested metal detector features asked for by new hobbyists are: simplistic operation and low cost. Both requests are well met by the Treasure Ace 100. Its simple one-knob microprocessor-controlled operation could not be easier and at a retail price of just $179.95, it is definitely low cost!
The Treasure Ace 100 features Garretts unique S-pole design with integral padded handgrip and armrest. The underside of the armrest features a built-in detector stand which keeps the detector upright and off of the ground when set down for target retrieval. A solid, 8 1/2-inch diameter hard-wired waterproof Crossfire searchcoil is used the same as used on Garretts top-end equipment!
Although extremely simplistic and user-friendly to operate, the Treasure Ace 100 has a surprising number of features!
An automatic battery test is performed each time the unit is powered on. This test checks the condition of the two 9-volt batteries and indicates their status by beeping from one to four times. New batteries will give four beeps. As battery condition declines, the number of beeps will decrease from four; three; two; one, to none. New batteries should be installed when a single or no beep tone is heard. Batteries can be accessed at the rear of the control box beneath a slide-in battery cover.
The battery compartment features a drop-in design, in which no wires or snap connectors are used to attach the batteries. The design has keyed terminal-contacts so that the batteries cannot be installed with their contact terminals accidentally or improperly reversed, thus preventing possible damage to the detector. If the batteries are accidentally installed backwards, the battery access door cannot be closed and the detector will not power up.
Two 9-volt batteries are required and there is storage space inside the battery compartment for a spare 9-volt battery. The unique design of its automatic battery test makes it bullet-proof and with its varying number of beeps, a user can accurately determine the condition of their batteries when needed. As an added bonus, each Treasure Ace 100 comes factory-supplied with two 9-volt batteries!
The front panel of the Treasure Ace 100 has a 1/4-inch headphone jack as well as a loudspeaker for clear target response. I found the audio tone and volume level of the Treasure Ace 100 to be extremely clear and loud as compared to some other low-cost detectors. This is important, as you cannot find what you cannot hear! The audio response is very quick and intense something that I like and prefer in a metal detector!
A single knob controls the Power on/off and full-range Trash Elimination (discrimination) feature of the detector. Once powered on, the extreme counter-clockwise position of the Trash Elimination control sets the Treasure Ace 100 to its all-metal mode of operation. As the control is rotated clock-wise, more targets are eliminated; from foil, nails, bottlecaps, pulltabs, screwcaps and beyond.
The electronic circuitry of the Treasure Ace 100 features microprocessor control and a surface-mount printed circuit board both, state-of-the-art and quite amazing for such an economical detector! Automatic tuning and ground balancing further simplify and enhance its operation.
The Treasure Ace 100 is very lightweight, 2 pounds 10 ounces, and can easily be used for long periods of detecting with much comfort and minimal fatigue. An adjustable shaft, using a hole/spring button adjustment, enables pole-length adjustment to match each detectorists individual preference.
FIELD USE
I visited two different sites during my field test and found the Treasure Ace 100 to be easy and enjoyable to use... and productive. With only one control to adjust, it was easy to locate good items while eliminating most trash targets.
The depth capability of the Treasure Ace 100 was good and I located many coins, some as deep as six inches. The enhanced audio tone and above average volume level of the Treasure Ace 100 helped me to hear all targets... loud and clear! I also liked the smooth operation of the detector and its accurate discrimination ability. I found target pinpointing to be easy enough, but not as easy as with a non-motion all-metal mode a small trade-off, considering its very reasonable price.
The first site I detected was an older elementary school. I have detected here several times in the past ten years and although I occasionally find silver coins, its mostly clad heaven. In about three hours, I recovered $3.87 in face value (clad and pennies) and one silver 1958-D Roosevelt dime. None of the finds were very deep (up to about four inches) and the Treasure Ace 100 was deadly on these! Hardly any trash was retrieved as the Treasure Ace 100 filtered out the good targets.
I noticed that for maximum depth and optimum target response, a moderate sweep speed worked best. If moved too slowly (a crawl), the Treasure Ace 100 would not always produce a target response. Picking up the speed just slightly worked best.
Site number two, was my old standby park that has a long history of twentieth-century activity. The main problem with detecting here is two-fold. First, it is extremely trashy in spots and second, it is heavily detected making finds more scarce with each passing year.
Many years ago, it was not uncommon for me to find 5-10 silver coins, or more, per visit. Now, I am lucky to find one! The detecting pressure has taken its toll on this park! Having detected here for so many years, I very-well know the best, and worst, locations within the park and selected a site that has been good to me in the past.
Knowing the high-trash content of the location, I adjusted the Treasure Ace 100 to eliminate trash targets up to and including aluminum screwcaps. I then headed directly for the trash this is where most of the coin-losing activity has been and let the Ace do its thing. Using a medium sweep-speed and a methodical, highly overlapped search pattern, I began to find coins rather quickly the fast signal response of the detector worked well in my favor.
Like the first site, I recovered a number of clad coins and a total of five Wheat cents. One quite surprising find was a 1944, Mercury dime, located on a slightly sloping barren hillside. Slowly making my way along this rocky, trash-covered hillside (which people sitting at a nearby picnic shelter apparently used to pitch their trash to) I suddenly heard a strong, loud signal. Upon pinpointing and looking down at the target center, I was surprised to see a very dark, oxidized, Mercury Head dime smiling up at me... on top of the ground!
CONCLUSION
Although the Treasure Ace 100 may be considered a casual-use or beginners detector, it certainly is capable of more. It would make a great backup detector or perhaps spare, for those times you may want to take a detector-less friend along detecting. It would also make a great hunt detector due to its light weight and fast target response. It hits on targets with a fast and solid response, making it well-suited to competition hunts.
The Treasure Ace 100 has surprising performance for its simplicity and can easily make one successful at locating treasure right from the start!
For additional information contact: Garrett Metal Detectors, 1881 W. State Street, Garland, TX 75042-6797. Phone: 972-494-6151. E-mail: emailatgmdi [dot] com



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