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Selecting the best settings for your Garret ACE 250 will help you use it more comfortably.
They depend on many variables such as the nature of the soil you’re hunting or the desired metal you’re looking for.
The settings for gold aren’t the same for hunting coins. Metal detecting parks isn’t like fields or woods.
So, I’ll give you general guidelines after a quick overview of Garrett ACE 250 settings. Then, I’ll show you which one you should select for gold.
Quick overview of the settings
In order to learn how you can adjust the ACE 250 settings, you need to know what each button can do and the meaning of certain terms and symbols displayed on the screen.
This way, we’ll be on the same frequency.
One of the things you need to adjust is the sensitivity.
The greater the sensitivity the deeper you can scan the ground.
At first glance, you may think that you have to adjust it as high as possible to get more depth.
But, when hunting places containing a lot of junk like parks or nearby power lines, you’ll get false signals and the detector will be haywire.
Therefore, you have to find the optimal sensitivity.
And doing this is super simple.
Press the (+) side on the sensitivity button. If you hear false signals, press the (-) button until it calms down.
The metal detector will beep whenever it detects a buried metal within range.
These buried items could be pull-tabs, coins, nails, horseshoes, keys…
If you want to focus on only one type of them, you can set your device to keep silent when it detects objects that you don’t want to dig.
This is called discrimination.
The ACE 250 has four preset discrimination modes and one custom mode.
I’ll give more details about each mode in the next paragraphs.
The Ace 250 has an LCD screen, which shows much useful information such as the target’s estimated depth, the battery level, and the sensitivity.
It also displays the probable nature of the buried metal based on its conductivity.
The way it works is simple. Above the screen, there’s a legend that indicates common things you can find with your metal detector.
They’re arranged from left to right in order of increasing conductivity.
On the left, there are iron and bottle caps. In the middle section, there are gold and pull-tabs. On the right, we find silver and coins.
After detecting a metal, a cursor will be displayed under the legend indicating its nature.
The info displayed by the screen concerning the target’s nature isn’t always accurate. But, it’s helpful.
The screen also displays the selected discrimination mode, which will be encircled by a black rectangle.
You can also know what metals are discriminated by looking to the lower scale.
You’ll only hear a beep if there’s a black square under the legend. The upper cursor will indicate the metal’s nature regardless.
Garrett ACE 250 settings for gold
The recommended settings for gold is the jewelry mode. It focuses on bracelets, watches, necklaces…
After doing that, the lower scale will disappear under the left section (iron, nails…)
This means that the ACE 250 will only beep if it detects something in this range. And the cursor of the upper scale will indicate its probable nature.
For the rest of the objects, no audio signals will be emitted. You’ll only see the cursor.
The jewelry mode is a preset mode. But, you can customize it by using the DISCRIM and ELIM buttons.
I’ll show you how these buttons work when I explain the custom mode.
For now, just select the jewelry mode and adjust the sensitivity as high as possible just before you hear false signals.
Remember that even when this mode selected, you’re going to dig a lot of pull-tabs before finding a gold ring.
The metal detector usually confuses gold rings and pull-tabs. If you’ve noticed they’re on the same section on the legend above the screen.
Pull-tabs are boring. However, if you find a good ring you’ll forget the pain.
The Garrett is a good tool for finding gold if it was processed into jewelry.
However, as far as I know, the Garrett ACE 250 isn’t suitable for gold nuggets.
You need a more advanced machine. A metal detector designed to detect gold nuggets, which should be good at canceling the ground mineralization.
Best settings for beginners
If you know nothing about metal detecting, keep the default settings and start digging targets to learn how the machine works.
If you don’t have a digging tool, you can a Lesche trowel. Detectorists use it a lot.
Do air test to learn the tones. Just swing some metal objects in front of the search coil.
If you already started playing with the buttons and the settings were modified, you can reset the factory recommended settings by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds.
If you hear a beep, you’re all set.
After using the Garrett ACE 250 for some time, you should be experienced enough to make your own discrimination mode.
You can use it if you think the rest of the preset modes don’t fit your needs.
By default, the custom mode settings are the same as the coins mode.
To personalize it, press the (+) and (-) signs on the DISCRIM button; the cursor on the upper scale will move from left to right.
By pressing the ELIM button, you can activate or deactivate the black squares on the lower scale directly under the cursor.
You can do that for all the modes. However, your settings will only be saved in the custom mode.
You can also customize the discrimination modes by passing an item in front of the coil.
Then press the ELIM button to activate or deactivate the black square under the cursor.
The other modes
For the all-metal mode, nothing will be discriminated. The Garrett ACE 250 will emit a beep whenever it detects a metal object.
If you’re hunting a “clean” area like a plowed field, you can select this mode.
The coins and relics modes are self-explanatory.
If you’re looking for relics and you’re on a promising site, dig any target you detect.
Anything with history has a value even if it’s rusty. Also, don’t forget that nonmetal objects like Indian arrowheads are valuable too.
The settings that you should select depend on many factors. There’s no passe-partout combination.
It’s good to start with the default settings to learn the basics. Then you can customize the settings.
You can also upgrade your device by using headphones.
They extend the battery life and eliminate the surrounding sounds so you could focus on the tones.
If you’re hunting parks and struggling with the trash, you can replace the stock coil with another one.
If you detect the presence of a target, look to the screen to identify it. If you think it’s valuable, it’s time to dig it.
To make the hole as small as possible, you should pinpoint its exact location.
You can do that by pressing and holding the PINPOINT pushbutton.
In this mode, the upper scale will have another role. It will tell you the strength of the signal instead of its nature.
The signal is stronger if more segments are illuminated (going from left to right).
The maximum strength is obtained when the center of the search coil is directly above the target.
So keep sweeping the coil from side to side and front to back until you reach that point.
Keep the coil at a steady height over the ground.
You need to practice to learn how pinpointing works. If you want an easier way to do it, you can use a pinpointer.
It’s basically a mini handheld metal detector that you can attach to your belt. And you don’t have to keep sweeping it to pinpoint the metal.
Just touch the dirt with its tip. And you’ll be able to locate it.
I recommend the Garrett AT Pro, which is the most popular pinpointer on the market.
It’s fully waterproof. The detection is done by the tip and the sides of the pinpointing probe.
It will indicate the presence of a nearby metal by audio signals and vibrations. The stronger they are the closer the target.
The detection range and the sensitivity are easily adjustable.
It has a ruler carved into the outer casing so that you can measure the depth of the target if you want to.
It has an LED light to help see what’s inside the holes and to help you identify your find in low light condition.