Garret Ace 250 Metal Detector

The Beginning.

When I decided I wanted to have a go at metal detecting the first thing I did was to log onto the internet and have a good scan around. My first thought was what is this new hobby going to cost me. After a short time I realised there was an array of different metal detectors out there, and the cost of them varied a heck of a lot. I tried to understand all the different functions they all did but most of it went way over my head. The most expensive machines seemed to have a control panel like an aircraft, all dials, knobs and buttons and some you had to, way to tekky for me so that ruled out going for an expensive one. Plus what if i didn't like metal detecting, or got fed up with it etc, and it ended up collecting dust in a cupboard under the stairs, along with all my excercise gear.

So now with the top end range of machines out the way this left the low range and the middle range. Even some of the middle range machines sounded a bit daunting and the price of them still seemed a bit much for a new venture I was about to undertake. All I wanted was a switch on and go machine, no messing about and just get out there and see if I could find anything.

After reading a lot of advice about the very cheap machines for around £30 - £80, I discarded this price range as really they more or less toys. Ideal for a young child as a first machine to see if they would get interested in the hobby, but for me I wanted something a bit more serious.

Now I had narrowed it down to just the basic machines costing around £100 - £200. Just concentrating on these low cost machines it soon became apparent that there was one machine, no matter where I looked or what I read, this machine was always there. My first thought was this machine must be popular so I concentrated just on that one finding out all I could about it.

That machine was a garret Ace 250. nearly every metal detecting forum on the internet that I visited recommended this machine as a good entry machine into the hobby. After having a good look at the Ace 250 I knew I could handle this machine, it was a switch on and go, easy to understand controls, and was very popular. People were finding stuff with this machine plus the price tag at the time was £180. I made my mind up and bought one.

Within two days it was with me. I was now the proud and excited owner of a metal detector. Was very easy to assemble and I was soon out in the garden as it came with a set of batteries. I only had a brief read of the instructions so didn't really know what to expect. After switching it on and setting a couple of knobs in the recommended position I was soon swinging away...Hell, beeps, dings, pips and squeaks flowed through my headphones. i didn't dig anything at first, to be honest i didn't know what to dig as these different sorts of signals were all over the place
After covering my garden in less than 3 minutes I was back inside reading the instructions proper. Then out I went again a bit more organized. Picking a little area I started digging anything that gave a good strong signal, a signal that was telling me something was there. I was finding stuff, all rubbish but I found it, pull tabs, nails, silver paper, bits of god knows what, but I was like a kid with a new toy. Then it happened, I found my first coin, a 1p piece. You'd think I'd found a Roman gold coin as I rushed in to show my missus my coin. She looked at it and said, very nice dear and I rushed back out for more hunting. After finding a couple more decimal coins amounting to about 6p if I remember rightly I dug a signal and low and behold it was an old pre-decimal half penny, 1940 something, that was it, I'm sure at that moment the metal detecting bug bit me. Again I rushed in to show my missus who again said 'yes, very nice dear'. Bet she thought silly 'ol booger, but I was on cloud nine, this was the hobby for me.

My metal detecting apprenticeship.
In those early days of my detecting apprenticeship I was out as often as I could but soon realising there is more to this hobby so I joined an on line metal detecting forum and the knowledge I picked up there was fantastic. It wasn't long before I found a local metal detecting club which I joined and that was great as they had organized digs twice a month and that gave me somewhere different to go and dig. Plus I had a small permission of a couple of fields a local farmer let me on.
Now I had all the gear, somewhere to get knowledge, and somewhere to dig. Now all that was left was experience which still goes on today. Its a never ending learning curve with all sorts of new challenges opening up. Because of my experience over time and knowing I love this hobby and am going to keep it up, I upgraded from the Ace 250 to a more advanced machine, one of those machines that frightened me in the beginning. I still have the Ace 250 which I keep as a back-up machine or to lend out to family and friends. Before the machine I have now I upgraded to another machine that I just couldn't get on with. Lots of people recommended this machine but for me it just wasn't the one and I went back to using my Ace 250 and sold the other one on. The machine I have now as a main I like very much. Still learning it but am happy I made a good choice.
Now I am further along the line going from a brand new newbie to a more experienced detectorist and having used a couple of other machines, I can look back and see how good the Ace 250 was. Its a great machine for the low cost. I have detected alongside other detectorists who were using high end detectors costing many hundreds of pounds more than the Ace 250, and at the end of the day I was finding just as much and as good finds that they were, even sometimes I found more. I know to find a good find you have to walk over it which is down to luck, but it shows the Ace 250 does find stuff as good as a person with a more expensive machine, I've seen and done it.

I came to the conclusion that their machines cost a lot more money because of all the added tekky stuff, more bells and whistles, and that's what costs all that extra money, but at the end of the day most of those machines don't go that much deeper. Ok, they do go a little bit deeper as I found with my new upgrade and I'll tell you a little secret here. After having my Ace 250 for a few months I started to want a bit more out of it, mainly depth. What I done was bought a new coil for it, an Ultimate 13" coil. This coil transformed the Ace, old detecting ground came alive again with just that little bit more depth and I was covering more ground quicker. What I'm saying is, if you want the performance of a higher end detector say costing around £600, just pop a larger coil on the Ace 250, you won't have all the bells and whistles of that £600 detector, but in my experience you get the same sort of performance. The 13" Ultimate coil cost me £120 new. The Ace cost me £180....180 + 120 = £300 for more or less what a £600 detector does. So keep in mind that sometimes you don't have to upgrade your machine, just upgrade your coil.

Good luck in whatever you choose.

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