Pro-Pointer woes

Like many detectorists, I bought a Garrett Pro-Pointer when I bought my first detector. They’re invaluable for finding stuff down holes. Unfortunately Garrett’s gadget has long had a poor reputation for falsing, or suddenly starting to bleep like buggery in the absence of any known metal. I’m told Garrett fixed the problem some time ago but that’s no help to those who bought the older version. Once they start the manic bleeping the only solution is to switch them off and then back on again, rather like computers, and see if that solves the problem.

Sometimes, especially in the early days of them going wrong, this does indeed work, but as the fault develops it stops working and the damned thing has a nervous breakdown as soon as switched on and ends up driving you bonkers – as well as becoming completely unusable.

This very problem has been creeping up on me for a couple of years. It starts almost imperceptibly, with the odd and brief outbreak of random bleeping which convinces you there is something where there isn’t and you spend 5 minutes hunting for a non-existent find. It ends with you ditching the pro-pointer and passing handfuls of soil in front of the detector coil, gradually narrowing down the location of the find. During my two sessions this week it’s been driving me mental, going bezerk as soon as switched on.

Unfortunately it’s out of warranty but I phoned Regton and spoke to Craig in the repairs department. Repairs are possible but not necessarily economically viable in most cases since the most common problems cost £50 to repair but a new unit with full warranty is about £90.

“Check the battery,” quoth Craig. “It might be a duff one. That can cause falsing.”

“By the way, do you use the tip for digging? That can crack the ferrite core and lead to falsing.”

As it happens, I have never used mine for digging though I’ve seen plenty of others doing precisely that. Clearly an expensive mistake.

I agreed to check the battery and if necessary try the pro-pointer with a different one. I took the battery out, inspected it and the terminals in the battery compartment for corrosion. Nowt. Battery good for another 2 years. Put the battery back, screwed the cap on and switched the pro-pointer on.

Silence.

The minutes passed.

Still silence.

Pointed it at metal just to check it was still working. It was.

More silence.

Well bugger me sideways.

Eventually, after at least 5 minutes, it did give a few bleeps but then shut up again.

After 10 minutes it started bleeping again and had to be switched off and back on again. I can live with that.

By Jove! I think it’s sorted. Not entirely but as much as makes no odds.

I can’t explain it, unless somehow the battery had been slightly dislodged in use and had not been making full contact with the contacts inside, so that taking the battery out and putting it back in again aligned it better with the contacts. One way or another the problem is well under control, if not completely resolved.

I am a happy bunny again.

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