After getting my RMA# and printing out the return label, I noticed the package is being shipped back to Naperville Il. instead of the repair center in Pa. The on/off button is difficult to operate, you have to manipulate it just right to get it to engage. I take it that it's going to be replaced rather than having the repair center take a look at it. Not complaining, just making an observation.
By Al F
Howdy....... I just got into this detecting a couple of weeks ago with an Equinox 600 and after 5/6 outings am still learning the howtoos and wherefores of this machine.... Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated.... I'm retired and since setting into this "diggin " thing I'm looking for a someone to partner up with to go "raid" some of the local beaches..... I live in the South Bay ( Gardena, California ) just South West of L.A. .....if you're interested, feel free to reach out.....thanks.... Al F
By Steve Herschbach
These tips are based on my personal use of the Minelab Equinox 800 at a few locations in Nevada and California. That means you have to take this with a grain of salt for other locations as far as exact settings but the basic process is the same. I will probably update this in the future as I learn more, including hopefully any observations and tips people may provide on this thread.
The Gold Mode is only available on the Equinox 800 and features a VCO boosted audio that is quite different than the other Equinox modes. It is very powerful, especially in Multi frequency, and will detect very tiny pieces of gold. The downside is that in highly mineralized ground you will encounter hot rocks and even the ground itself that wants to react and create signals. The basic secret of nugget detecting with a VLF detector is in tuning the detector for the best performance possible, while accepting that air test type results are not possible in bad ground. A balance must be obtained between sheer power (sensitivity) and the false signals generated in difficult ground.
The key default settings for Gold Mode 1 are:
Ground Balance: Tracking
Recovery Speed: 6
Iron Bias: 6
Accept/Reject: -9 through 0 rejected, 1 through 40 accepted
When I hit new ground when nugget detecting I want my detector to be running with manual adjustments. Initially knowing how the ground responds is very important and I want to make any settings that affect anything myself. Therefore, the first thing I do is turn off the ground tracking and use the Auto (pump coil over ground) method of ground balancing instead. Ground tracking can also track out faint nugget signals, so my preference is to run with it off if possible.
Frankly, I have not experimented with Iron Bias much and so far I have used the default settings. The default of 6 worked well for me, cleanly rejecting most ferrous targets, with no lessening of sensitivity to small gold noted. In theory at least reducing this setting will reduce the possibility of tiny gold being misidentified as ferrous. If I was working an area free of ferrous trash I would definitely reduce this setting. Starting out however I recommend leaving it alone since adjusting too many things at once may not be productive.
Recovery Speed is highly misunderstood. People latch onto one out of context statement "lower recovery speed equals more depth" and too many people therefore are immediately going to lower settings. Higher recovery speeds allow the detector to better separate trash targets from good and minimises any masking effects. "Masking" is where bad targets overwhelm and hide good targets. Mineralized "hot rocks" are really nothing more than a large ferrous target than can mask (hide) nuggets not just under but next to them. Reducing the recovery speed will often add no depth due to ground conditions, and mask nuggets next to hot rocks. Higher recovery speeds will reveal those nuggets, and so you are often getting more "relative depth" with higher recovery speed settings. I basically stick with the default setting of 6 and will not go lower unless the ground is relatively low mineral and free of hot rocks. Most importantly, in some ground you will find that the coil will tend to give false signals when bumped. This is directly affected by Recovery Speed. Going to lower recovery speeds will generate more false signals due to bumping on rocks.
Sensitivity is one of those “set it as high as you can without making the detector too unstable” type settings. My settings range from 18 to 25 but could go lower in bad ground.
Now, the extremely important Accept/Reject settings. Weak gold signals in highly mineralized ground will definitely run into the ferrous range. Starting out, I am going to toggle the Horseshoe button to remove all rejected settings so that the detector reacts to everything.
My starting point for Gold Mode 1:
Ground Balance: Auto (pump method)
Recovery Speed: 6
Iron Bias: 6
Accept/Reject: -9 through 40 accepted
The first thing I want to do is see how the ground responds with these settings. Find a place hopefully free of trash, and run the coil over the ground and observe what happens.
In most gold locations you should see lots of target responses at -9 and -8 plus possibly -7. These are ground responses and are giving you direct feedback on your settings. The first thing I want to try and do is reduce those ground responses as much as possible by employing a mix of ground balance, sensitivity, and recovery speed. Simply ground balancing should cause those signals to alleviate somewhat. You will want to note hot rock readings especially. The ground will balance out (ground noise reduce) at one ground balance setting, but it may make some hot rocks worse. Sometimes you can manually tweak the ground balance to also reduce the hot rock response while not really making the ground itself worse by trying intermediate settings. You can only do this when not in tracking since tracking decides for you where the settings will be. I always will stay in manual until forced to use tracking for this reason alone.
Reducing sensitivity is also a good thing to do in many cases, yet people are very resistant to doing so for fear of losing depth. The thing is, unless you can get the detector to settle down and run relatively smoothly you will struggle with hot rocks and false signals. Reducing sensitivity will reduce hot rock signals faster than it will reduce metal signals in most cases, so back it down as needed to get stable performance.
If the ground is mild enough you should be able to find settings that reduce or eliminate the readings in the -9, -8, and -7 ground range, plus hopefully alleviating any hot rocks that are present. However, in very bad ground you may still have a lot of signals in that region. If so, try a couple things. First, go ahead and try out the tracking. Tracking has an advantage in that it will typically tune out a hot rock in a single swing or two, while being extremely resistant to tuning out metal objects. If you can get smoother performance over the ground than with any reasonable manual settings, it may be the way to go.
In the worst ground and hot rocks the magic ability to switch frequencies can be a serious aid. I have found that Multi is very powerful... more powerful than any single frequency. That does mean that by simply going to 20 khz a lot of ground and hot rocks that are noisy in Multi settle down and become manageable.
One of these options may allow you to go detecting without rejecting any target id numbers. That would be ideal. However, do not be surprised if residual signals remain in the -9, -8, and -7 region. If they are still too prevalent, then hit the Horseshoe button again to engage the Accept/Reject function, but go in and open up everything except the offending signals. That for me commonly means blocking -9, -8, and -7 but accepting -6 and higher. Or maybe you need to block -6 also. You have to listen to what the detector is telling you and adjust accordingly.
If you do end up blocking out some low negative numbers you may find you can also bump the sensitivity back up a point or two as long as everything stays quiet.
Again, the goal is to try and shut down ground and hot rock responses to the greatest degree possible while retaining as much detecting power as possible. It's a balancing act.
Tiny nuggets will often read as solid hits at target id 1 and 2. The larger the gold, the higher the target id reading. Gold can appear anywhere on the meter all the way up into the 30's if the nugget is large enough. I have not had it happen yet but be very suspicious of 0 and -1 readings as also being possible gold readings.
This is just an example of where I end up at on my ground a lot so far:
Gold Mode 1
Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method)
Recovery Speed: 6
Iron Bias: 6
Accept/Reject: -9 through -7 rejected, -6 through 40 accepted
Note: the following works as well on both Equinox 600 and Equinox 800. Since Gold Mode lacks target tones, going to Field 2 and using the solutions above plus the additional possibility of tones is another alternative. Instead of using Gold Mode and blocking the lowest target id numbers they can be left open to signal as ferrous or mixed ferrous targets. And you now have 5, 10, and 15 kHz options that Gold Mode lacks. Be very careful because the default rejection pattern for Field 2 rejects target id 1 and 2. This will reject most small gold nugget readings and reduce signal strength on larger gold by blocking part of the signal. Field 2 set up properly is quite close to Gold Mode performance and a perfectly acceptable nugget detecting alternative.
Field Mode 2
Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method)
Recovery Speed: 6 (default is 7)
Iron Bias: 0
Accept/Reject: Everything accepted, rely on tones
In closing, I want to say that gold nugget detecting demands far more expertise from the operator than most detecting. People who rely on canned settings provided by others will never be expert unless they really understand what the settings are doing. It is imperative that you be able to observe ground responses as I have noted above, and know how to best alleviate them while losing as little depth on gold as possible. It is a very fine balancing point done correctly and can only be done properly by a person who genuinely understands how the detector operates. The only way I know to become proficient is lots of experimenting in the field with different settings on test targets and hot rocks. The settings above are less important than the methodology, and if you want to truly become a proficient nugget hunter you do need to work at it.
I hope that helps somebody out - best of luck to you!
First gold nuggets found with Minelab Equinox from Jonathan Porter report...
Last night I detected under a tree in a rain storm and still found a 1919 wheatie and today I used the Field 2 program with 5 tones, sweep speed 1, sensitivity 23, and horseshoe mode to find 2 IHs and what looks to be a counterfeit quarter. The settings found the pennies @ 9+" I also used the CGTime Golden Plated 3.5mm MONO 1/8 inch Audio Male to 6.35mm 1/4 inch Female Jack Converter Cable Cord Adapter (25CM/10Inch) to connect my more comfortable headphones.
By Nuke em
This morning i took my Mum out with me for a drive and thought take the Nox with me . I drove 30 miles West and parked at a town with a sandy beach and river . The tide was going out and the sand goes out for around 500 meters or more alongside the river . I started on the dry and worked down , as i was going i picked up the usual 14 to 18 TID which always turned out to be crown caps and Aluminium . When i got to the groin that is next to the river entrance it turned to black sand and from there was black sand with around 3 or 4 inches of normal sand on top .
I picked up a high tone with occasional low tones , there was lots of Iron in the area too but i will dug all targets on sand and when i eventually found the target it turned out to be this ring below . It looks like its a Silver band with a Gold top part with an Amber stone set in it , there are no Hallmarks or none i can make out but i'm sure its Silver and Gold and possibly 18k , i did a scuff test on the Gold part to see if it was plated but i didn't see any Silver below . I am thinking the band itself might have been Gold plated at one point and the ring sold as full Gold ?. The stone is scuffed and looks old . Its now 3 Gold i have had with the Nox and 16 Silvers if i count the Silver on this.
After that find i worked the sand for 2 hours but only found 3 coins for £1.06p .
Wwe left the beach we went to my local Dealer which is Detecnicks and i looked at a Macro Multi Kruzer , i have been wondering about it for a while and as i sold my Explorer 11 a short time ago and had £341 for it i could buy the Macro if i wanted with the extra cash coming from somewhere else . But it was that somewhere else that i was wondering about . As coin hunting is getting harder and the cashless society is getting worse i decided to sell my X.Terra 705 . It has had enough money off the beach to cover the small loss i would take from selling after buying it new . So that is what i have done . Now i have another new machine to learn , my mate Martin says it works well in the salt wet , we'll see. But i want it for land too .
After staying at Detecnicks and chatting for around 3 hours we left for home.
More than anything the Macro is another lighter waterproof machine . I now only have the ET for the noisy tops of my local beaches . But that should be enough .
Also i will be buying a few sets of wired XP backphones for the Nox , i want to see if the WIFI still affects the Nox using them . I think its the Wireless Module not the machine .
SO I took my NOX 800 to the beach for first time. Ran in Beach 1 and Beach 2 for about an hour each and found one quarter lol Couldnt believe there was not at least some trash since this is literally 50 yards from a casino and heavily trafficked. Dead quiet the whole time, scanning my boots occasionally to make sure it was still detecting lol This beach is covered in leftover fire pits that are used by people on a weekly basis. I find it hard to believe there is not at least trash out there?
Out of curiosity switched to gold mode to see what it would do in the dry sand several feet up from the wet line. It was non stop sqeaking. tried noise cancel and ground balance, still non stop noises, manually put ground balance to zero and same thing. Is it impossible to use gold mode in the dry sand? Am I missing something?