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Jonathan Porter

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Everything posted by Jonathan Porter

  1. Jonathan Porter

    Another Question About The Ferrite Ring

    Ferrite balancing is a "Calibration", the detector could care less where it gets its "X" excitation from but IMO using the supplied Ferrite is more accurate than having a random potentially inaccurate reading from the ground. The Ferrite "Calibration" will remain constant if the localised detecting conditions remain the same relative to ambient temperature and the temperature of the electronics, it has nothing to do with the ground except for aquiring an X balance either through having no Ferrite or if the X signal in the ground is different to the Calibration setting potentially causing spurious signals. If there is no X signal in the ground your working then the calibration of the detector is not so important, however there can be a lot of X signal in ground with minimal mineralsation so it is hard to tell by eye when it is present or not. Best bet in my opinion is to always "Calibrate" the detector with the Ferrite, use in Semi-Auto mode and check the Ferrite periodically, especially if Ambient temps fluctuate a lot. Hope this helps JP
  2. Jonathan Porter

    GPZ 7000 Auto, Semi Auto, Manual ???

    The Ferrite is needed to accurately calibrate the detector, the ground holds varying degrees of Ferrite like signals called X. In Auto mode the detector will slowly measure any X component in the ground but can be adversely affected by Salt and Saturation signals. If there is no Ferrite available then the detector can be used in Auto mode and hopefully the ground conditions will allow for a reasonable X measurement. When Quick-Trak is triggered the X balance and G balance track really quickly then throttle back to their respective speeds, in the case of Auto mode the X balance is really slow with an active G balance when Quick-Trak is released. In Semi Auto mode the X balance is FIXED once the Quick-Trak button is released. If you do not have a Ferrite then with Quick-Trak engaged used the "Walk and Detect" method shown in the Minelab YouTube tutorials. Ideally it is better to use the Ferrite at all times using Quick-Trak in Auto, Semi Auto or Manual mode. Using the Ferrite is far more accurate than solely relying on there being enough X signal in the ground. Hope this helps JP
  3. Jonathan Porter

    GPZ 7000 Auto, Semi Auto, Manual ???

    Combination of orientation and balancing it out. Fix the GB to Manual mode before committing to dig. Use the Semi Auto mode during detecting to keep the GB simple. Make sure the Audio Smoothing is OFF!! Lower the Sensitivity and Volume to suitable levels when using Audio Smoothing OFF, threshold needs to be 27 at this level. Hope this helps JP
  4. Jonathan Porter

    GPZ 7000 Auto, Semi Auto, Manual ???

    Couple of things that need to be thought about with any auto GB but more so with the GPZ. An edge of detection target will present itself to the detectors electronics as potential ground noise so the Auto GB is going to mess with it somewhat, this is why I always move away from a potential signal response onto clean ground, center the GB under the coil, and then get the GB averaged again by carefully sweeping before moving slowly back in over the target zone. In the case of the GPZ and why you should use Semi-Auto GB over Manual (I'll discuss the differences between Auto and Semi-auto below), the GPZ has a dual receive coil design (super D or DOD as some like to call it), this coil design is difficult to make because the two receive windings have to be kept in phase, you the operator can easily throw the coil out of phase through poor coil control. Out of Phase means that one receive winding is generating a different response compared to the other. If you are working variable ground where the GB is very active the interchange between different GB scenarios can cause a tonal break in the threshold as one winding passes into the new GB scenario while the other receive winding is still in the old scenario, this interchange is heralded by a target like signal response which usually the Semi-Auto GB quickly deals with. If you are using anything less the Audio Smoothing OFF then you will generally not hear these small interchange responses as the filtering masks them along with faint edge of detection tonal target responses. If you use Manual GB those interchanges will sound very target like forcing the operator to either check them out or if the ground is really variable ignore them through attrition! Either way your technically blind while the interchange signal is in effect, using Manual the interchange response is much more aggressive and longer in duration forcing a compromised on what targets are investigated, effectively leaving quite a large amount of undetected ground. A thing to note, quite a lot of nugget signals are nested in those interchanges of mineralisation. The nugget in the FB video sounded like a broad very faint variable tonal response but experience has taught me to check these types of signals out, because I was originally in Semi-Auto GB the target response between the High/Low Low/High channels was interfering with the response, this caused the Lead In and Tail Out of the target to be extremely wide as the two channels fought each other, especially on the Tail Out (the only way I can describe this type of signal response effect is when two magnets are moved near each other with like poles, they repel each other). Setting the GB to Manual on similar ground nearby brought the target response more into the Low/High range focus allowing me to centralize the response and confirm it was indeed an edge of detection target. In this case the target turned into a deep 6 gram slug. 6 gram Nugget Dig Differences between Auto & Semi-Auto: Auto GB on the GPZ 7000 is doing 2 things at once, it is actively tracking the ground and at the same time is very slowly tracking any Ferrite like signals in the ground. Semi-Auto is only actively tracking the ground with the Ferrite balance being fixed. I do not like to use Auto in the majority of ground types in Australia as we have a lot of ground conditions that interfere with the active Ferrite balance, one is Salt and the other is Saturation. If you follow the normal Ferrite balance procedure in Auto mode and then encounter salty or saturable ground the Ferrite balance will drift away from optimum allowing Ferrite signals into the signal response (assuming there are Ferrite like signals there). These signals add to the threshold and ground noise potentially masking targets or in a worse case scenario sound like target signals that disappear. Semi Auto locks the Ferrite balance, so when you use the Quick-Trak button over the Ferrite the detector is actively looking for Ferrite like signals and trying to track them out (triggering the Quick Track button in any GB mode does this), when you release the button the detector locks the Ferrite balance so the only way any Ferrite like noise can get into the signal train is either through temperature changes or not having preformed a good Ferrite Balance in the first place. Hope this helps JP
  5. Ash I've deliberately avoided this thread because of it being contentious and yet my name got dragged into the discussion anyway. Not really sure where your angling with your comments but I will now give my opinion so there can be no confusion on where I stand on the subject of mods. The SD 2000 benefited from two mods, one was an increase in battery voltage which helped increase somewhat the coil field strength and the other was a crystal change which improved the sensitivity to small targets. The crystal mod was not so useful on the SD2100, but both the SD2100 and SD2200D did get some benefit from running a higher voltage. The higher voltages on the SD units did improve target response however they also increased ground noise so then forced operators to use DD coils in variable ground which then had a corresponding reduction in depth compared to a Monoloop. Battery voltage increases on GP and GPX machines is no advantage due to the dual voltage technology, in essence the voltages of DVT are adjusted internally regardless of the input voltage however there is some evidence the audio is "brightened" by running a higher voltage on the GP series (highly speculative, and only really noticeable if the Minelab battery is low on charge). I am unfamiliar with the current mods other than experience with customers in our shop and Minelab's stance on modded units when it comes to repair work etc. If a detector comes into Minelab with mods the repair center just closes up the unit and returns it to the sender. Last year I had a customer who I've known for many years come into our shop to say Hi and talk gold, in the discussion he very enthusiastically told me about his modded GPX 4500 and how he felt it could beat a GPZ 7000 on all target sizes which was supposedly demonstrated to him on a test bed in Victoria, we had an interesting discussion where I put forward my case on mods and the differences in the different technologies etc (I had to do this very tactfully because he is a friend and a customer so I did not want to offend). This was not a heated debate, he is also not broke so could in this case afford to take the risk if the unit failed etc. Two days later he came back into the shop and bought a brand new GPX 4500, his modded unit although brilliant in his opinion on the test bed where he had seen it perform on known targets was next to useless in the real world where you don't know if a target is actually present or not. This is the sum total of my experiences with modified Minelab metal detectors, I have expressed my opinion in the past to try and put balance to discussions to help inform people like my friend above, especially those who cannot afford to have a detector become unusable, in almost all cases the discussions became personal to the extreme with suggestions about my Minelab bias etc. These days I just can't be bothered getting into all the debates. I won't be responding further on this discussion. JP
  6. Jonathan Porter

    Equinox Acting Crazy

    As mentioned I would try the frequency option, in Prospect mode there's only two, 20kHz and 40kHz. Also go into the GB mode and check to make sure the Ground Balance is accurate, best way to confirm is to have the GB in Auto then hold in accept reject then when you hear the little peep sound wave the coil side to side not up and down. If there is salt present pumping the coil will cause bad GB numbers which will make the detector extremely noisy to use, a side to side GB method makes sure the ground balance is correct for the ground and not trying to set itself to the salt signal. It is possible to have areas with low mineralisation that have high salt signals. Also the recovery mode is tied in with salt as well, the higher the recovery the greater the rejection of salt, lower numbers bring the salt signal in much stronger, in my areas with low mineralisation (can run the sensitivity on 20) where salt has been a problem I've found a recovery speed of 4 to be ideal. Hope this helps JP
  7. Jonathan Porter

    General Vs High Yield

    All the Gold Modes behave differently to each other on targets, this is due to the 2 channels having cross over points where the target response is a blend of High/Low and Low/High all at the same time. This "confused" type signal can make the audio sound muted compared to a dedicated one way signal in another mode, tricking the operator into thinking the target was louder in one mode over another. This is why it pays to go over patches in a range of modes to allow for each mode to respond best on any targets that were not so obvious in the mode used previously. The GPZ has a larger "range" of information available compared to previous PI machines, call it resolution if you like, which means each and every target is more individual in the way ZVT responds. JP
  8. Jonathan Porter

    2 Wm 12's

    You need to think of them as the Master and the Slave (Is it politically correct to use that terminology these days?), the Master is connected as per usual and the Slave is connected to the Master. The Slave won't work without the Master present. JP
  9. Jonathan Porter

    Gold-n-nox

    Based on what your saying I would recommend you stick with your Gold Monster until you can get your 4500 or even an SDC if the gold in your area tends to be small. On the other hand if you want a detector that has a foot firmly in both camps then the Equinox 800 is an excellent choice. Notice how I said 'choice' and not 'compromise' because with the Equinox compromise is no longer a word associated with the abilities of this detector on either side of the spectrum, it actually has near zero compromise between the Coin and Relic modes and the Prospect mode compared to other dedicated VLF style detectors. Even the Equinox 600 has excellent gold finding abilities using Multi-IQ with some of the modes on offer. See Steve's recent Treasure Talk article for more info at https://www.minelab.com/anz/go-minelabbing/treasure-talk/equinox-600-vs-equinox-800
  10. Jonathan Porter

    Gold-n-nox

    In some ways I wish we weren't spoiled for choice with GPZ and SDC options, I could really go for Multi-IQ if I went back to a time of VLF only where the world seemed so much bigger! Since MPS/MPF and ZVT the Goldfields seem tiny somehow, you tend to gobble up so much country using them. I now need a million times more available space with ground ignoring type of detectors whereas with the EQX I've spent many happy hours wandering around an acre of ground getting to know every little bump and rock. JP
  11. Jonathan Porter

    Jonathan Porter Talks Equinox And Gold Nuggets

    There are a few things that I love about both detectors, the GM is designed for ease of use and does that job brilliantly with the ability for more aggressive sensitivity if required. Probably the 2 best things I love about the GM is the solid coils and the Auto Sensitivity, I'm not a real fan of zero threshold but it does allow the GM to be used in some pretty terrible ground. That ability is a compromise though because the zero threshold is acting like a filter essentially filtering out good info which then harks me back to the auto sensitivity+ aspect of the GM 1000 which does an amazing job behind the scenes. Equinox goes about things in manner I love, pure horsepower with full control for the driver if they dare. There is however a side to the Equinox that is unique and to be honest is hard to nail down. Multi-IQ is hard to describe, the only way I can really analogize it is to say its kind of like digital audio compared to analogue audio, there is a smoothness to Multi-IQ that is very Analogue like to the ear, a rounding or evening out, kind of like someone filling in all the gaps to smooth out the ride. Because of that behavior I can then step into a horsepower mindset with the EQ800 that is simply fascinating. Please keep in mind I am comparing apples with apples, the EQ is in no way a MPS or ZVT beater. It has it place with high frequency VLF type detectors and should only be compared to them, especially in variable mineralised ground. In the right locations the EQ800 and GM1000 are good fun and will find tiny pickers the other techs just will not see, learn to target those locations and you have the gold that's available all to yourself. The key is selecting the right locations and using the units where they perform best. JP
  12. Jonathan Porter

    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
  13. Jonathan Porter

    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
  14. Jonathan Porter

    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
  15. I've seen parts of this comment re-posted numerous times now and feel I need to clarify my remarks on the subject of warming up..... (originally posted here http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/665-my-take-on-the-minelab-gpz-7000/page-2 post 34) When you first switch the GPZ on at the start of a session, the auto GB electronics require the coil to be moved across the ground to get good averaging data to allow the detector to run as smooth as possible, this is over and above the initial GB which removes the bulk of ground signal. This averaging process can take 10 to 20 minutes depending on the ground you are working in and the Gold mode used (especially High Yield). There are multiple components to the GB of the GPZ 7000, removing the bulk of the ground signal noise is only one part of the equation. Hope this explains things more succinctly. JP
  16. Jonathan Porter

    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
  17. 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
  18. Jonathan Porter

    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
  19. Jonathan Porter

    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
  20. Jonathan Porter

    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
  21. Jonathan Porter

    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
  22. Jonathan Porter

    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
  23. Jonathan Porter

    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
  24. Jonathan Porter

    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
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