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Garret Master Hunter ADS 1

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I am curious about this old metal detector I found in my father in laws storage. It's mine now but I dont' have a battery pack to try it out. He swears it's somewhere in that storage but that's just crazy, the storage is damn near the size of a semi trailer and full to the top. It's a


Garret Master Hunter ADS 1

VLF/TR Deepseeker ADS 1

Serial # 1180-045

Coil is a deepseeker co-planer 5.5


I am intrested in hearing anything anyone knows about the detector for curiosity's sake. However I dont' want to purchase a battery pack to find out if it works. If anyone has one of these battery packs and is in the area I would consider letting you try it out to see if it is even functional. As you can see in one of the pics the end of the shaft where the coil mounts is broken but other than that everything is intact. I am willing to sell it cheap if anyone is intrested but figure I can't sell it until I find out if it is functional or I find that one person that needs that one part.

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I've got one somewhat similar to that one, but mine doesn't take a battery pack.

On the back of the box is a plate of metal, with two screws, the metal looks just like part of the box.


Inside is a small fiber board that slides out and requires six square 9 volt batteries, if I remember the amount correctly, to be snapped into place on this board, then slid back into the box. Check and make sure yours might be the same.


Mine also came with two coils, the one you show, and a BIG one also. I seem to recall it is between 18 and 24 inches in diameter. Be sure and ask him if it had two coils.


Oh, it eats batteries like crazy. HTH. :)




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Yeah, that is what I meant by a battery pack. A unit that holds a ton of nine volts and screws in the back. I meant to post a pic of the hole in the back.

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The Garrett masterhunters are a VLF/TR... The masterhunter ADS I

is about 1980 vintage. Garrett kept updating them over the years.

As I remember the last one may have been the ADS 10... as I remember

ads stood for automatic detection system, a early autotune.


There was an attachment that could be added to make them a two-box.

As I remember they operated at about 5kHz...


As you held it in your right hand the contols were on the left side. If you were

left handed it was awkward to reach over to the left side to make any adjustments


The battery pack was a slide in tray which held 9-volt batteries. However,

several slots may have been to hold extra batteries as needed...


It may have been manufactured in November 1985 and the 45th made...

the coil is coplaner which meant the send and receive windings were

positioned in the same plane... If I'm correct about the serial number,

this might be the earliest Masterhunter I known... ???


Notice the searchcoil mounting lugs and the broken lower rod... This

happened frequently... I have an extra lower rod in my junk some

where. it is plastic like the one shown... (Can you believe it; the first

lower rods were metal and the coil-rod connecter bolt was metal)


Most likely it still works... but old technology... At this time Garrett came

out with the smaller box Groundhogs... they operated at about 15 KHz.

At first they were "coinhunters," but soon were found to be good nugget

machines... they became the ancestral Garrett Gold Stingers which are still

being manufactured... I found my first nugget with an early "non ADS"

coinhunter on a mine dump near manhattan about 1980... I still have it.


For those of you who have a copy of MAGNIFICENT QUEST, go to page 14.

My wife Gloria is shown using it at Middle Camp in Arizona back in 1984.


It still used the same slide in tray as did the masterhunter ADS.


Thanks for the trip down memory lane...

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Well Jag & Jim I think I might have 3 old Garretts of about the same


Vintage buried in my Garage--I had forgotten about them,


thanks for reminding me--had planned on fixing the up for


my grand kids---wounder if they will worK??? :P

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If you can find a slide-in battery pack those vlf/tr units still have some juice...actually the detection depth from those to modern vlf units has not changed much. You can use the "reverse descrimination" method for absolute true descrimination, you can determine the exact null point for iron/noniron for sampling mine dumps, you can trace the change in mineralization with one and for relic hunting I doubt there has ever been a better iron-finding vlf made...but they did eat batteries and the deepseekers had a low freguecy that didn't work as well as the groundhog series for gold...all that said I would not go back to using one.




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Thanks for the info everyone. Intresting stuff. I basically have no history with detectors so it's good to hear some of this stuff.

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Gosh... since the ADS 1 belonged to your father-in-law it could have

sentimental value? The Garretts were built strong.


Changing the subject about sentimental attachment... I just

sent my nephew (now the closest and only male decendent

of my father) his old Winchester 94 rifle. It has the octagon

barrel and can hold about 10 30-30 rounds with one in the

chamber... It is an early serial number. My father

bought new about 1913...


I have had it in the closet since 1957... this is when my

dad, a WW-1 veteran died. It served the family

well during the depression years at muleshoe, just north of

Pioche Nevada; while were were in a depression day mining

camp... The campmeat was bartered.


I was offered over $1000 for it... but just could not sell it. So

I gave it to my nephew... He said he would treasure it.

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No. Father in law not sentimental.

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Yep... the Australian rush was started by Peter Bridge in the

late 1970's... He was using the Groundhog line which was in

a smaller box and operated at about 15 kHz. The Garrett

Groundhog Gold Stinger is the last of the series... It still is being

manufactured today... It may now hold the record for "longevity"

as it still is Garretts "flagship" VLF gold detector...

It still takes 3 each 9-volt batteries... But not in a slide in tray.

The control box needs to be opened to replace them...

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I still have a master hunter in the garage.

It is a fantastic beach machine, I have found tons of stuff with it.

As for it's ability for finding gold, I will leave that to the experts like

Mr. Straight.




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The master hunter really started the electronic gold rush. The gold was large and lying near the surface and was easy pickings. The machine was difficult to run on highly mineralized ground , but did the job with patience. I started with the Scorpion Gold Stinger and found lots of gold with it, but it was a miserable machine to run on hot ground and depth was very poor. Garret still makes it to sell to naive beginners and still sells a few of them because they are the cheapest gold detector out there. It's almost 30 years old with no changes, and those who buy them quickly give up on detecting or move on to something a little more modern. The fisher Gold Bug nudged the Garrets aside overnight as the leading gold machine and oh what a pleasure that was to run a Bug after the Scorpion. And the battery savings was amazing. The Garrett went through 3- 9 volt batteries in 3 full detecting days, the Gold Bug would go 1 1/2 weeks on 2- 9 volt batteries. The Garret control box had to be disassembled to change the batteries, the Gold Bug was drop in and took only seconds to change. Garrett apparently lost all interest in producing a serious gold detector long ago and concentrate on the airport and coin / relic market. ---Bob

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Thanks. Intresting stuff. I like to hear history pertaining to my intrests.

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Howdy Montana... Gosh I was about to send you a PM offering

you a good deal on my Garrett "Stinger." As far as Garrett

knows my Stinger may be the earliest serial numbered one out

there... As I remember off hand it is #23...


But Montana... Ya' gotta admit it takes a real skilled detectorist

to find gold with the "Stinger."


FlakMagnet... Jim here... I started out using a detector back in 1953.

ROTC summer camp. Camp Carson. It was a WW-2 SCR-625...

Anti- tank Mine Detector... With it, it took a highly trained detectorist

to avoid setting off a practice mine! We soon become highly skilled

in probing... And a strong arm to swing the pole mounted searchcoil.


As far as finding gold with the Masterhunter... I never did... but back

in about 1982, the Groundhogs were a good choice at Dome Rock

back when Jim Ross was there...

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VLF/TR Deepseeker ADS was my first new detector in 1980 and it was the best detector to learn the art in Victoria Australia. If you did not learn how to keep it in tune all the time you got nothing, even though they say gold was every where it was hard to get gold even then. By the way my deepest nugget to date was found with the deepseeker and i have found thousands of nuggets mine lab detector since then.

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geof_junk... thank you for your thoughts. You and Montana Bob

are both experienced and very knowledgable. I'm one happy

camper that jagdocter1's question has smoked you both out.


Now with this said, we all know how the early VLF/TRs struggled

with "mineralization," even operating at 5kHz. Thus I will ask

another question: Strange as it seems there exists gold fields

with mild mineralization. Also, there is very little "iron" trash.

But over the years litterly thousands of .22 cal shell casings

now litter some of the "better" ground. Also the usual 22. cal



However, the ground on the slopes is very lightly (geologically)

mineralized... here shallow caliche abounds. I was out hunting

with "Sandtrap" the other day... we happened to be hunting in

such a area and I was using "another pulse"... I found out that

where ever I tried to ground balance, by pumping and twisting

the knob full range CC and CCC, it was "balanced." By turning

off the ground balance, I got more "depth." The area was mostly

disintegated "granite," specifically, the Atolia Quartz Monzonite.


With this said, I became interested in the soil timings of Sandtraps

GPX-4000. Thus, I hope to create a instructive discussion of

soil/timings (pg 36-37) and sensitive soil/timings (pg 55) within

the GPX-4000 manual. This is not to imply that Sandtrap is

doing something wrong as he recently pulled out a 4-gram

nugget at about 9-inches in hetrogeneous ground... but again

the mass was little mineralized...


It is interesting to me, that ground can very from "highly" to

"low" mineralization as judged by the magnetic "iron," and dry

to wet "alkali" content and how they react to each other... and

also the alloy and physical size/shape of the eluvial/alluvial

gold being sought...


This to me is a very interesting subject... and can lead to

having a better understanding... and more gold... the smaller

nuggets... into our pouch...


Any thoughts on this??? Anyone and everyone... please feel

free to jump in... this is how we learn.

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hello jim quick question..what detector do you use when your out for gold..sd gp series?...my first detctor was the 3000...never found any gold but i sure dug my fair share of 22 shot..almost 2 feet deep..nails and boot tacks almost as deep...i upgraded to the 4000..still the same ole same ole..but i did find some gold..less that 6 inches deep..i dont get to detect mutch..since i have to work and my job is 7days aweek 24/7...i just dont see that mutch diff between the 3000 and the 4000 except the 4000 can be tuned to run a bit smoother...ive tried all the diff timing etc etc...with no better results

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owtrucker... most of the gold in the Randsburg/El Paso/Summit Range

which is only about 100 miles from my house in Rialto seems to be mostly

"bread and butter" smaller gold... The area for the most part actually

isn't too mineralized... so the VLF's for the most part work well.


There is a Tertiary channel in the El Paso's and it seems to swing onto

the Rand mountan slope... Very complex geology...


However, there is now interest in using the minelab PI-types, as occasionally

large nuggets have been recovered; especially in the El Pasos. While some

nice nuggets have been, and still are being found on the northfacing Rand slope...


One of the posters on this thread has been detecting in the El Paso range

and he has been finding considerable small nuggets (and maybe larger

ones too?). For this, I believe(?) he may now be most happy with GPX-4500;

and before this, the GPX-4000.


When ever it works out; due to "Sandtrap" working at the base; and Gloria

and I are not babysitting two great grandchilden... a wiggly 5 month

babyboy and a 6 year old adventurous girl; I joinup with "Sandtrap" in the above

mentioned areas... Sandtrap bought his 4000 from someone who posts on

this forum... and received good instruction on how to use it; and he (Sandtrap)

is happy with it... He also uses a Gold Bug-2....


I have been using a Teknetics T2, Tesoro Supertraq, a minelab 17000

with the "hot-dog" 6-inch circular DD which was made for the 18000 and also

a Garrett Infinium and now a White's TDI... But earlier, a 2200d which Grubstake

now still uses (and it works much better for him than it did for me!)


Whatever the detector used... it will find gold... Being persistent

and familiar with the detector used and also knowing where to

detect... and knowing a little about the mineralization and the

size, shape, and purity of the local gold is important.


The area has varied mineralization. The nuggets can be found from

surface down... The caliche can be a temporary "bedrock." The country

rock can be limestone, schist, shale, "granite," and "volcanics"

which can vary from andesite to andesite-basalt... and there is

the fore-mentioned Tertiary channel which is clipped and locally entiched

by later channels...


Lots of possiblities to find placer; but the bottom line, "persistence" is the game...


RR... I found my first nugget... small one... using a non-ADS "Coinhunter"

VLF/TR which was manufactured about 1978... It was the original "groundhog"



It operated at about 15.8 kHz and was a good choice at middle

camp (Dome Rock off ramp about 5-miles west of Quartzsite) back around

1982--- 1985...


However, it was in Manhattan (Nev) where I found my first nugget in late 1980

using the "coinhunter." I will give full credit to Sharon Pauley for giving me

the knowledge to detect old dumps... she had a good eye and was finding small

nuggets by eye... and selling them at her store which was part of the old abandoned

electrical plant...

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I noticed Jim Straight mentioned his WWII detector. A little side story with Jim's permission. A couple of years ago he took a detector of the same vintage to the Riverside Coin hunt and participated in the hunt with it. I understand a few folks might have been upset thinking his detector might have been interfering with theirs, however, the joke was on them in that he did not have a working battery for it and was just having fun picking up coins that happened to show up while scuffing the surface with the nonworking coil(GRIN)..... Here's to you Jim, have a good evening. Jerry

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Jim. Ever since my first trip to the El pasoes , I have used that area for my testing grounds for each new Minelab PI detector. Specifacly the Last chance gulch area. The first trip over there was with the 3500 and the Basalt/andesite/scorria boulders mixed in with the tertiary gravels were a nightmare to begin with. Virtually every one was a hotrock. The soils on the other hand were easily handled by the 3500. The challenge was to hear the relatively small gold amongst all the noisy hot rocks. The first day was a real chore, but things began to change on the second day. I went to Minelab 8" mono coil which allowed me to work in between some of the large hotrocks. The nuggets started showing up, but still was having hotrock headaches and digging way too many of the smaller buried ones. Then I tried balancing on one of the milder hotrocks until it was balanced out and found that if I balanced on just the right one , almost all the basalts that I still heard from then on would give a negative response while the metal targets gave a good strong positive response. Now this made things a lot easier and the nuggets really started to roll in with over 100 nuggets in the next few days. I could now just cruise through the basalts and patch hunting was a snap . Several new patches showed up on that trip . I was running the 3500 in sensitive timings. When the 4000 came out with the sensitive /smooth timings added, it made things even easier on that ground, and even more of the hotrocks were eliminated and a 2 day trip turned up another 50 or so nuggets. And then came the 4500 and another improvement with the enhanced timings and another batch of nuggets. With a little experimenting it was possible to find the key to finding those small nuggets in the very hostile detecting environment that had always posed such a problem for the VLF detectors. Next time you and Sandtrap are over by Randsburg under that huge double power line that runs right down the guts of the main patch, Have him put on his stock Minelab DD coil and put his coil switch in cancel mode while running in the sensitive extra timings and then do an auto tune. He should be able to run with little or no interference from the power line and still be extra sensitive to small nuggets.----Bob

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Hi Jim, I have a Garrett Master Hunter BFO and the Sidewinder. My wife's Grandfather used them in his work years ago. I have a lot of older instruments like telegraph keys and test equipment. Ok I will sign out for now. Dah Dit Dah


John Tomlinson,CET

Cowpatty Country

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wirechief, pondmn, sandtrap, montana....


I'm sorry to be getting behind... My earthlink keeps

cutting out on me...


Montana... the El Pasos nearer hiwy 14 have in the past

yeilded some nice gold... You continue to find "tons" of

nuggets. However you are dedicated and give it your very



Times are changing fast... Sandtrap and I needed to get

a vehicle pass to drive off the asphalt to access dirt roads

in the Rand Mountain/Fremont BLM district in Kern Co. The

El Paso's could be next???


The map may include the power lines you refer to in the

Osdick area... But we have the map with permission


Am I right Sandtrap?


Pondmn... I'm getting older and weaker... I cannot any

longer swing the SCR-625... Hah ha... I had fun faking it.


As you know... some really thought it was walking over theirs.


Wirechief... you seem to be doing great...

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