Garrett Ace 150 Field Test
By Andy Sabisch
From Page 46
March, 2005 issue of Lost Treasure
Garrett Electronics is currently in its 41st year of operation and shows no signs of slowing down. Charles Garrett, the company's founder, and his staff are continually looking for ways to improve the detectors they produce by making them easier to operate and perform better in the field.
Unlike most manufacturers that often focus solely on developing new, high-end detectors which have reached the cost of what a used car sells for, Garrett decided to build a new dependable, low cost detector that offered features that weren't even found on top-of-the-line detectors just a few years back.
After an extensive development phase, the Ace 150 and Ace 250 detectors were introduced and have received rave reviews from users worldwide.
The Ace 150 is Garrett's new entry detector having replaced the previous Treasure Ace series of detectors. Beyond the "Ace" name, there are no similarities to the new Ace 150 & 250's predecessors in either looks or performance.
The new Ace series sports an entirely new appearance from other Garrett detectors both in the shape of the control housing and its unique color . . . . . a vibrant yellow! The entire detector has been ergonomically designed and is well suited for long periods of use with no fatigue even by younger treasure hunters. The Ace 150 weighs a meager 2.7 pounds and extends from 42" to 51" in length.
Once the Ace 150 is turned on, all adjustments can be easily made through the three touchpads located on the face of the control housing. These are (1) Mode; (2) Sensitivity and (3) Power. The LCD screen provides a great deal of information including:
Target ID: One of 5 segments identifies what has been detected; i.e., Iron, Nickel, Pull Tab, Rings or Coins. Target Depth: Displays the approximate target depth; i.e., 2", 4" or 6"+
Battery Condition: An icon appears alerting you when the batteries need to be replaced
Search Mode: Indicates which mode has been selected
The Ace 150 has three independent discriminate search modes: Coins, Jewelry and All-Metal.
The discrimination points; i.e., what items are accepted or rejected, have been preset at the factory based on extensive field tests and input from treasure hunters around the world.
The 5-segment discrimination circuitry accepts or rejects specific targets without any loss of sensitivity as typically occurs on most other non-notch detectors and aids in minimizing the amount of trash one recovers from even the trashiest of sites.
Amazingly, the Ace 150 is powered by four (4) AA batteries, which will provide between 40 and 50 hours of use. Rechargeable batteries can be used with no loss of performance; however, with the life obtained from 4 inexpensive AA batteries, you may not want to bother with NiMH batteries.
There is a standard 1/4" headphone jack on the rear of the control housing and as always, the use of headphones is recommended to extend battery life and ensure those deep targets are not missed due to outside noise.
The first stop in field testing the Ace 150 was my test garden checking its response to typical good and bad targets. The 150 was quite impressive in its detection depth and target ID accuracy - especially considering its price tag. After a few trips through the test garden, I jumped into the truck and headed over to a local elementary school to run the 150 through the playground which was covered by bark chips and always held a nice assortment of coins and other "keepers".
Selecting the JEWELRY search mode and setting the Sensitivity to the 3rd notch, I started hunting near some of the climbing equipment. The Ace 150 ran very quiet despite occasionally bumping the coil against the railroad ties the lined the area. It was obvious that the new open black epoxy coil had been designed to stand up to the rigors of treasure hunting and eliminate falsing found on some other coils. Coins were plentiful and an hour at this location turned up close to 30 coins, an Avon ring and a silver religious medal.
The next area I took the Ace 150 to, was a public park just north of Atlanta while in town on business. It was the site of a local club's annual hunt and was also hunted by locals on a regular basis but I was hoping that some goodies might have been left due to the sheer size of the park. There was a good deal of surface trash visible so I opted for the COINS search mode and dropped the Sensitivity to the 2nd notch to minimize chatter from the unwanted targets.
Over the years I have found that the large grassy parking area has always been good for 'a find or two' and so I started in that section of the park. There was some "popping" caused by pull-tabs and other trash; however, since the signals did not repeat, they were easily discernible from the good targets that were scattered throughout the area. I was somewhat surprised at the number of coins I was finding (although they were all recent dates) and stayed longer than I had intended. As the sun began to set I started walking back to the rental car picking up coins the entire way. A little more than three hours had netted me almost $11 in change, several sets of car keys, a Zippo lighter that still worked and a few coat buttons (unfortunately none were from Civil War uniforms . . . one can wish no?)
The last site I took the Ace 150 to before the field test was due was a schoolyard near our house in central Pennsylvania. I brought my son Paul and daughter Leigh to see how younger treasure hunters would do with one of the new Ace detectors.
Paul opted for the Ace 250 (and his experience will be covered in that field test report) while Leigh took the Ace 150. After a brief explanation of the controls and a demonstration of what good targets sounded like, she walked over to the swing sets and started hunting. It wasn't long before she hit her first target - a quarter at just over 4 inches deep in the wood chips. Pinpointing the target took her a little longer than with the detector she typically used; however, after a few signals and with the smaller coil size, she was able to get within an inch or so of the target before I was prompted to do the digging to recover it. We only had a limited amount of time to try the Ace's out but in that time Leigh picked up several coins - some of which had obviously been there for some time. She said that it had been comfortable to swing and easy to understand what the LCD was telling her.
The new Ace 150 offers surprising performance as well as features not found on detectors anywhere near this price range. Its intuitive controls and lightweight make it an ideal detector for competition hunts, novices or as a back-up detector. It is a detector that makes treasure hunting fun and does so without putting a dent in your wallet. The only drawback to the Ace 150 is that it does not have a non-motion pinpoint mode; however, with a little practice, targets can be pinpointed fairly accurately.
The Ace 150 lists for $179.95 and comes with a 2-year factory warranty. Optional search coils will be available for the new Ace series to fit a wide range of treasure hunting applications in addition to the new stock open 6.5"x9" PROformance coil.
For more information on the new Ace 150 or to request a copy of Garrett's Product Catalog & Company History Profile, contact the factory at (972) 494-6151 or 1881 West State Street, Garland, TX 75042 or http://www.garrett.com. Be sure to mention you read about the new Ace 150 in Lost Treasure magazine.