Report on the Garrett Infinium LS
Here are our preliminary findings on the Infinium Land & Sea, pulse induction metal detector.
On the 22nd and 23rd of June, Phil Stearnes, the Australian Garrett Distributor arrived in Dunolly to demonstrate the capabilities of a final Pre-Production model of the Infinium L&S in our local highly mineralised ground. He left it to Finders to choose the areas that the demos should take place as we have been testing detectors in these spots for fifteen years and they are really telling as to if a detector can cut the mustard in our bush or not.
We opted to take an SD2200D along as a side by side comparison of the current technology (we did not have a GP Extreme available at the time).
The first area we tested the Infinium (with 14" elliptical DD - equivalent to an 11" round DD), and SD2200 (with 11" DD), was in the Goldsborough area near Dunolly. The particular area we commenced the testing in, was over an iron stone reef which has been used for many years by Finders to test ground handling capabilities of various machines. This area has constantly changing hot ground and really tests the auto tracking machines and you can almost forget using the manual ground balancing VLF machines in this area.
Upon setting the machine up, it was good to see only 3 controls, which makes it a very user friendly machine, there was no trouble ground balancing and tuning the machine in to the extremely hot area we were in. We found the Infinium to have a considerably more stable background noise with a steady constant threshold, whereas the SD2200 was a more wavering background noise with burbling threshold. We did find the Infinium made false signals at the end of each sweep ( we were assured that Garrett would be rectifying this problem in the production model). The Infinium in our opinion had a much clearer/sharper audio response which made it easier to hear the faint target signals. We then used a post whole digger to dig the hole in hard, hot rocky ground and buried a 5.3 gram nugget firstly at 130mm then at 185mm both machines detected the first one clearly and the infinium had the sharper signal on the second. The Infinium was also discriminating at both depths correctly, whereas it is common knowledge the 2200 is just a surface disc.
At the second test site which was not quite as highly mineralised, but with hot spots which tend to play havoc with pinpointing and giving off other spurious noises, we found both machines were about equal on the ground and on a test nugget of 32 grams buried in heavy gravel soil at varying depths up to approx. 200mm. The Infinium once again gave the signal to say it was a target worth digging. We then tested an iron target at about 200mm and the Infinium gave a signal which indicated trash. So to this stage both machines were very similar in depth capabilities with comparable size coils, but the Infinium clearly had the crisper audio and smoother tracking in the most highly, changeable ground.
One of the advantages of the Infinium are that it has two choices where the control box can be shaft mounted (forward or aft of the hand piece) as well as being able to be hipmounted which in turn makes the machine considerably lighter so it can be used for longer periods without operator fatigue setting in. The control housing has only 3 controls which make it more user friendly and also has operating instructions clearly printed on the bottom of the housing.
There is also a definite advantage in the dual tone and reverse discrimination which worked at full detection depth in all the situations in which we tried it. Another bonus is that this machine is also water proof to a depth of at least 200 feet ( we are told this figure by Garrett), and can be used in salt water as well as fresh water lakes and creeks for locating gold and other treasures (LS = Land & Sea). The power source is 8 AA batteries, supplied with NiMh rechargeable batteries with approx. 12 hours use on each charge (we were also given these times by Garrett). This report is still only preliminary as we will be doing further tests and also taking customer feedback on board (which we consider to be the ultimate judgment) once we receive a completed production model.
In conclusion, from what we have seen from our brief encounter with this final pre-production model we feel that the Infinium Land & Sea being such a versatile discriminating detector will prove to be very popular detector with many of our customers.
(see our Garrett Infinium LS web page for Australian Retail Price and further information)
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