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Jonathan Porter

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Jonathan Porter last won the day on November 7 2017

Jonathan Porter had the most liked content!

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About Jonathan Porter

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    Silver Member

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  • Location:
    Clermont, QLD, Australia
  • Gear Used:
    GPZ 7000, SDC 2300, GM 1000, EQX800

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  1. Jonathan Porter Talks Equinox And Gold Nuggets

    What's been made redundant? Maybe the Xterra, definitely not the GM. I love the Equinox because it is so versatile, it ticks a lot of boxes for me, but I still own my GM 1000 and have no plans to sell it any time soon, it's too good a machine to get rid of it. JP
  2. Gold Monster 1000 Vs Equinox 800

    I love the target ID numbers on the Equinox, there is also a horsepower rawness to the 800 when in Gold Mode that I prefer over the simplicity of the Gold Monster. My son who has had no real experience with VLF type detectors preferred the Gold Monster thanks to the less complex feedback "switch on and go" detect type approach. If the ground becomes too variable both units will start to struggle requiring the operator to back off on the sensitivity, in hot variable ground that is the only way to deal with mineralisation on this type of detector. Reducing sensitivity reduces depth in a rapidly sliding scale, in those situations the rapidly sliding scale goes the other way for MPS, ZVT style detectors, so just like in real estate, Location, Location, Location. JP
  3. Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

    I'm a dealer and at no stage have Minelab told me I would have stock in January. As frustrating as it is fielding constant questions about Equinox I look at each and every inquiry as a contact point with my regular customer base but also an opportunity to make contact with potential new customers. It is better to have the phones and emails running hot than be sitting in a quiet shop during the off season (obviously things would be different the other side of the equator except for those dealers further north who are snow bound). I'm not trying to defend Minelab just state the facts, at no stage have Minelab told me I would have stock before this past week. I too am seeing people across the globe un-boxing and enjoying their new toys while my customers are asking "when's mine arriving", knowing that I will only have a limited supply from the first batch when they finally do arrive. At the end of the day it is what it is and all I can do is be patient, to my mind how I deal with customer inquiries at this stage is just good investment in any future dealings I have with them. BTW We are still waiting on stock. JP
  4. Equinox First Gold Nugget Photos

    Thought I'd post some more pics of some of the tiny pieces I've found with the Equinox 800. JP
  5. Steve it takes guts to take a stand and speak so powerfully and passionately about a new metal detector especially when you consider the nature of various commentators and the usual furor raised around past Minelab releases. I have to agree with you, the moment I got my hands on the Equinox I knew I was using something special and remember thinking to myself "I hope Steve Herschbach has been involved in this detectors development, because this detector is exactly what he has always been asking for all these years". For me the highlight of my career was the 3 year development and then release of the GPZ 7000, to this day I still find myself smiling at the wonder of ZVT, in my case I'd waited 28 years for the detector to be developed, as far as I'm concerned the GPZ 7000 was made for me so can honestly relate to how you feel about the Equinox. Of course not everything is perfect with either detector and I'm sure we'll see even more beneficial changes in the time we have left to us as detectorists. A very well put line in the sand Steve and as usual it comes with decency, decorum and balance, just one more example of why I hang around this forum. I know some will see this as a "Minelab praise fest" but the real people will know instantly the truth behind the passion and enthusiasm in your words. JP
  6. Gold Monster 1000 Vs Equinox 800

    Steve well put as usual, I like the Gold Monster because it is simple to use and has really good sensitivity, but most of all I like the Auto Sensitivity. I also really like the Equinox 800 because it allows me to listen to everything and make my own calls on what the detector is seeing and reacting to, I also really LOVE the Target ID. I hate the spoked coils for gold prospecting. Fingers crossed they one day do a 10" elliptical similar to the Monster. What I really love about the Equinox is I can poke around prospecting for gold in the morning and in the afternoon chase coins in the park, all with the same familiar detector. There is no trade off from one way of operating compared to another, the detector holds its own against the high end coin relic machines (dare I say is actually better in some respects) and at the same time is chasing down nuggets in territory the Gold Monster specializes, that's pretty amazing for a "General Purpose detector". JP
  7. Endings And New Beginnings

    Hi Steve, logging in this morning I felt a thread of chill go down my spine as I read your post, I hadn't fully realised just how much I've come to rely on your input at the start of each and every day, its become a treasured part of my morning routine. Please, please, do not disappear and if you do its only because you are out here in Australia chasing gold with me. I wish I could have been front and center with you on Equinox here on the forum, the truth is your expertise on coin shooting is far beyond my basic knowledge, my level of involvement during development has only revolved around the Prospect mode. Your voice here on the forum is the one place where decorum and common decency always come first, for that I thank you for your professionalism and passion in spite of the hyper focus of the various user groups. I'm sure the Equinox is so much better for your involvement in its development. JP
  8. My First Equinox Silvers

    I don't do a lot of coin shooting, its not because I'm not interested, its because I literally live on a gold field so its actually easier for me to go find a nugget than it is to go find coins. Clermont the town I live in has a colourful past with gold being discovered here in the 1860's, so some of the coins to be had are quite old by Australian standards. Clermont also suffered from a massive flood in 1916 that killed over 60 people whilst they slept, this happened because the town had been built on the flats beside Hoods Lagoon an ancient river channel that is now a water hole, Hoods lagoon is away from the main present day water courses that flow past Clermont (the confluence of Sandy and Wolfang creeks). When both creeks get major flooding upstream (in the case of the 1916 flood it was due to a cyclone crossing the coast 300 kilometers away) the water backs up and flows out over the flats, in 1916 it backed up so far the water ended up inundating the town completely (some say 10 to 15 feet). The tragedy was further compounded because it not only happened in the middle of the night when people were in their beds asleep but also flash flooded at tremendous speed. For those interested I've included a couple of links to recent newspaper articles marking the centenary. ABC news article ABC news article 2 I have a good friend Paul who is mad on coin detecting, especially wading in the surf. He has an advantage in the surf because he looks like he's about 10 feet tall (obviously an exaggeration) so can wade deeper than most with some amazing finds for his efforts. He and I often go gold detecting together and on occasion we go on a coin shoot, the fact I had the Equinox 800 to play with was a good incentive on a 40 degree Celsius day, so out we went while it was still coolish targeting an area he had scoped out on previous occasions. The area he selected was near the banks of Hoods lagoon and was selected because the old town was once there but also more importantly the size of the gum trees told him they were old enough to have been there providing shade for people trying to escape the heat of summer. People like to lay down in the shade, they also place articles of value at the base of trees when they go for a swim, so the immediate areas around the bases of old gum trees are prime locations for coins. Paul having a play with the Equinox I have not even tried the EQ in the coin modes (other than having a bit of fun with Field mode when I was out prospecting, but that's another story) so you can consider me to be an absolute new chum, all I did was set the threshold tone to my liking and put the Tones on 50 using the Park mode. I wondered off from were Paul was digging up a 1 cent piece (he rubbed in the fact he had the first coin for the session, so it was game on). Now to be fair to Paul he did kind of "lead me" to the path of silverness and I was making him use an Xterra 705 as his CTX was back on the coast on lone to a friend. Sure enough in no time I had a sweet signal that screamed "dig me", it's funny how metal detecting for non-ferrous has a universal language even coming from my "Gold Prospecting" background. To me the signal sounded very sweet and mellow with the target ID complimenting what I was hearing, even though the dirt in Clermont is highly mineralised (it is a Gold Field after all) the Equinox 800 just purred along. My first Silver with the Equinox 800, a 1931 Shilling This coin would have been lost long after the 1916 floods but was still a decent find in my books, especially considering I'd only just turned the detector on. By this stage poor old Paul was a little distracted, I don't know who was more pumped him or me, he sure covered some territory with those stomping long legs of his as he hot footed it over when I screamed I had a silver coin. We shot the breeze for a bit, probably one of the highlights of this type of detecting with a good friend and definately more sociable than gold detecting where you have to keep miles away from each to avoid interference. Getting back to it I then pinged onto another "good" sounding target only inches away (the EQ really does makes a stand out signal on silver that's for sure), this time my second coin for the morning popped out of the ground. 1920 Six Pence I've really enjoyed being involved with the Equinox, its well outside my normal scope of detecting which I found challenging, being away from my comfort zone has helped me to grow in ways I had not expected as a long term gold specific metal detectorist. Tapping back into my roots chasing high frequency gold has also been extremely rewarding, I'm really looking forward to the coming months as others start to talk about their experiences with this brilliant detector. JP
  9. Mono Coil Versus DD Depth Difference

    When I'm detecting I do exactly as Steve has just mentioned, so the overlapping is dependent on the "Chances" of a piece of gold, but I always have an ear out for a whisper target that might require further coil manipulation to manifest properly. I think this "ear out" approach is crucial to my success. I have a highly developed sensitivity to slight threshold variations that might indicate a potential deep target which I then zone in on with coil manipulation (speed, height, coil center location etc), I "Feel" around with the coils receive pattern to try to get the potential response exactly in the sweat spot of the coil. Also with this approach you have to be VERY careful with the auto GB to make sure it is averaged correctly for the given location, continually swinging in over a deep edge of detection target is not a good idea!. Getting all these things aligned properly only takes seconds but will produce results to a savvy operator. Basically its an information gathering exercise which I then make a decision on probability wise. JP
  10. Mono Coil Versus DD Depth Difference

    A mono coil in my opinion does not send a cone shaped signal into the ground, the field radiates out from the windings in all directions and becomes wider and gradually less powerful the further away it goes. A DD coil does the same thing and is only constrained by its original shape which I would say infills the area around the Tx anyway. The Tx power of the Minelab machines is identical regardless of which timing is used BTW. When comparing the coil sizes relative to field strength it comes down to the actual size of the Tx, so a similar overall sized DD will have a lot smaller Tx than a Mono of the same dimensions. The receive on the other hand is where the magic is done, size for size a Mono has the advantage because of its surface area and lack of a null that dampens sensitivity but they are prone to ground noise and salt so require timings like Fine Gold etc to deal with ground noise, which has a trade off but the trade off is extremely variable dependent on the target etc. Generally speaking a good rule of thumb for depth comparing like for like DD and Mono coils using Normal timings is to allow for an approx 20% less depth across the board on the DD but this is highly dependent on the ground conditions. DD coils are used a lot in detectors because they create less ground signal response (thanks to the overlap of the windings which require a null), a lot of ground signal response kill depth, DD's also allow for things like discrimination and out of Phase cancel modes etc. The key to getting max depth is to pass the receive winding exactly over the center of a deep target so the coils receive points are evenly exposed to the targets field, in the case of a mono loop the whole coil is the receive with the apparent response seeming to come from the center of the coil whereas a DD manifests its response along the line of the cross over points of the windings, but once again the very center is the max signal spot for a deep target. The key is to move the coils receiver evenly and smoothly through the field of a target trying to create a good lead in signal response but more importantly transition smoothly out of the tail of the target signal so the response is recognizable from ground noise etc, generally a deep target well be quite broad relative to coil sweep. Hope this helps JP
  11. So What Is Gold Mode Exactly?

    Depends on the level of mineralisation. When hunting gold you have to look at discrimination differently, it becomes part of your tool set in combination with a lot of other things like, swing speed, coil height, audio response (a very important one that one) ground type etc. I use all metal almost exclusively, if that helps. JP
  12. So What Is Gold Mode Exactly?

    Steve I think you've done a stand up job and it is definitely food for thought at this early stage. From my perspective (Gold Prospecting-centric) I'm no longer trying to get max depth from this type of detector so just do not focus heavily on deeper sounding responses, I have an SDC and GPZ for that type of detecting. With that restraint removed I'm then freed up to focus on what the Equinox is truly good at, ping little nuggets in quieter soils with real time data on target probability. To me the EQ brings me into a whole new world of information not previously available in a decent auto Ground balancing VLF gold machine, I am now, whilst prospecting, able to tap into some of the features I love so much on the top end dedicated coin and relic machines, and whats even more impressive, I can take that exact same detector and go chase coins and relics if I want to, no re-familiarization process just change modes and away you go, brilliant! A really good read and food for thought as we all patiently wait for the Equinox. JP
  13. Swinging The Equinox At Partner Conference

    I honestly think Minelab have achieved a remarkable result with the EQ, it actually is a class act on all fronts from a Multi-purpose perspective both as a dedicated coin and relic machine as well as a VLF like gold nugget hunter. Like Steve has said, generally a Multi Purpose detector will be trying to do lots of things at all at once and ends up having to compromise in the process, especially when you consider how broad its market base has to be. The EQ actually does everything VERY well (dare I say exceptionally well), and at the same time brings innovation to the equation that makes it a stand out even among other dedicated machines both sides of the spectrum. I have to keep reminding myself the Equinox is actually a Multi-purpose machine because it sure doesn't act like it, made even more poignant when you consider the price point. To my mind Multi is the new Minelab word for Specialized. JP
  14. Equinox First Gold Nugget Photos

    I've been using the Equinox with audio straight out of the receiver unit and not using the B&Z at all (The EQ audio is perfectly fine straight to headphones without any real need for a booster), due to the hot weather I've been wearing my Camel Back for the water and my B&Z is permanently attached to that. Strongly suggest readers go to the Treasure Talk link and read the Important Update section, which goes a long way to explaining why as testers we can't specifically comment about a lot of aspects of a detector still under development. JP Some of the gold I've found with the Equinox, to put it into perspective size wise there is just over a gram of gold in the pic.
  15. 2018 - Year Of The Equinox!

    I think the main thing that has been missed here is although Steve is a VERY accomplished detector operator and obviously he will be achieving very high levels of competency from any detector he chooses to use even stating that very fact, his experiences have been measured against himself. He is frequenting areas that he is extremely familiar with, areas where he has given his best shot on many previous occasions. His testing methods are exactly the way I go about testing any new detector, constantly going back and forth from one detector to another is not good practice or the "be all and end all" in any testing regime. You need to spend time giving the detector every opportunity to show what it is capable off in an environment that is base-lined through familiarity. Once you know a target is present it takes a lot of personal honesty to say if another detector would have found the target or not, whereas just going detecting over familiar terrain gives a much more balanced insight into the detectors capabilities. Find targets in familiar ground repeatedly over many sessions is a true insight into the capabilities of any new detector. I can relate to the hours and hours of trouble shooting a prototype, it is nice to just go detecting sometimes without all the distractions. JP