NEL AT Pro Big Coil Field Tests

Boy, it has been an incredibly long winter.  I have had very little chances to get out to detect.  So, that part has been depressing.  However, the temperatures have been periodically broken as of late, and so I have been getting out with every chance.


One of the things I did this winter was invest in the NEL AT Pro Big coil.  I have nicknamed it “El Gigante.”  And it is indeed an absolute giant of a coil.  It also isn’t cheap.  And it also isn’t light.  The Big is 15×17.  Yes, I said 15×17.  It makes the stock big coil for the AT Pro look like a toy.  It will also set you back a couple hundred bucks.  And it weighs about 2 lbs.  You can swing it for a little bit, but you are going to get tired.  That is, unless you do what I did, and invest in a shoulder harness. I got the Swingy Thingy on ebay.  It’s a real must for this type of thing.  And, I would say, if you are dedicated to staying in the hobby for more than just a few years, you should be thinking about it anyway.  I have seen a ton of older detectorists getting shoulder surgeries these days.  Another tip for the starting detectorist is to slow your swing down.  Not only will this result in more quality finds, but it will save your shoulder.

Let me talk about the NEL AT Pro Big coil now.  When I first unboxed it I was shocked as to the size.  I knew the coil was big, but you just can’t get over it when you see it.  It means business.  My first outing was very disappointing.  And let me explain why – now that I understand what is going on.  First, it is heavy and a shoulder harness will save you utter exhaustion.  Invest in it when you get the NEL Big coil.  Second, ground balancing is difficult.  I contacted Ron at The Gold Digger Metal Detectors (where I bought the AT Pro NEL Big coil from) about my problem.  He told me to lower the sensitivity when ground balancing.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that before, but he was right.  It was much easier to ground balance then.  Before it gave me that sound like a metal object was under the coil – that constant ringing that wouldn’t settle down or move the ground balance numbers.  Now it was moving up or down.  The balancing is much lower than before.  I’m assuming this is because it can now encompass much more material/minerals than before.  It ran so much quieter than before.  So, my first outing pretty much sucked.

The last time I went out was much different.  I put my harness on and did the ground balancing with lowered sensitivity.  Now I could crank the silver-rosiessensitivity all the way up with very little chatter.  Yes, you have to be much more careful with coil disturbance.  It is more sensitive afterall.  I had been completely skunked at this location many outings before.  It is older, but I simply couldn’t get good, old targets.  This time was completely different.  After 5 minutes, I got a 1941 wheat penny on edge.  It rang out super clear.  After 20 more minutes, I got a very clear silver sounding tone.  I was utterly shocked when I dug way down (about 8 inches) and there, at the bottom, sat a silver Rosie.  I grabbed the dime out with total glee.  I rescanned the hole (you do rescan your holes – don’t you!?) and would you know it, another silver tone.  Yep, another silver Rosie.  I know I have pounded this particular area.  Now I could get to the lower layers.

On another location, I had similar results.  I have very little time to detect as snow was starting again.  But I grabbed 3 wheaties in an area I have been over probably 10 times.  Those outings made me believer.  It’s not like any of those tones were difficult.  All of them sounded like the coin was sitting at about 4 inches.  Super clear, clean tones.

Now, I have already talked about the weight.  I have also talked about its sensitivity.  You have to be careful moving that coil or it will balk at you.  Don’t hit the ground or debris.  Just be careful.  And remember about the ground balancing.  But what you gain is pretty incredible.  You gain all that depth and clarity.  But you also gain a much wider swing sweep.  Those giant fields can be intimidating with even the stock large coil on the AT Pro.  The AT Pro NEL Big coil makes those large areas seem pretty easy.  It’s also great when you are wanting to recon new, open areas.  All my old locations are now new again.  I can’t wait to hit some of those giant, open areas that have produced in the past.  Lastly, don’t expect to hit trashy areas with this coil.  That would be a nightmare.

In conclusion, there is a coil for every type of location.  You have to know what coil to use where.  And this is in addition to all the other skills you pick up as a detectorist.  People seem to think they can just pick a detector up and find treasure.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

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5 Comments to “NEL AT Pro Big Coil Field Tests”

  1. So true. Many people I have introduced to treasure hunting started off thinking that they can simply pick up any old detector and instantly start finding nuggets – ha!

    I agree with your views on the AT Pro, and in fact it is my detector of choice most times when I go out. I find that it is easy to configure and the stock setup is about as good as you are going to get in that price range.

  2. Ted Penrod says:

    Hey there,
    What is the harness that you bought? Does it work pretty well? I was kinda having the same issues, Ron sent me the link to this blog. Good read, thanks for taking the time to post!

    • mdfanatic says:

      Hey Ted, thanks for visiting my blog! I bought the Swingy Thingy off of ebay. The guy that sells those is really great. It basically makes the setup weightless, if you set it up right! I could go all day now. If you get it, just make sure you do not tighten the bracket on the rod too hard – it will break! best of luck!

  3. […] been rehitting some spots that have absolutely skunked me in the past.  I wrote previously on my NEL Big field tests that showed much promise.  I have found silver and wheats at spots I knew contained them.  The […]

  4. al says:

    Just got my nel big 6/15/2015
    First 2 hours at a pounded old park and found 10kt diamond rings and a 18 kt gold bracelet

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This entry was posted on March 3, 2014 and is filed under Metal Detecting Stories, Metal Detecting Tips. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.