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Daniel Tn

Thoughts On CTX And Equinox After Long Term Use

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Go for it Daniel!----The wife loves yah, she probably won't beat you up too bad!-----Mine didn't---my wife does keep telling me though that "the beatings will continue till moral improves".-----Not just sure what that means---might mean I'm buyin too many tectors!-----I'm kiddin, I'm kiddin (of course).:wink:

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I see where you are coming from and you make some good points.  Im more of one of those guys who do chase those smaller targets in the salt water.  Most of the foil or really light stuff moves more toward the high tide line....... but those pesty chair aluminum punch outs or rivits can be a pain.   Fresh water i can see even more just because stuff dont move as much nor does it desolve a quickly.  Ive always said the CTX is a more refine machine and the smart screen has so much more info.   If you want to do a pattern and have the time in on  the CTX....... clearly id use it.   You WONT dig a bottle cap thats for sure.   No chatter in the salt water...... just a little falsing in the surf with black sand swinging up the slope.   More of a coil flip thing.   BUT.... the CTX can be like swinging a dead horse out there.   Once the box is submerged it feels a little floatie.   I hear more complaints about getting headphones with enough volume for the CTX over the Nox as well.  There is some advantage to just wanting to chase the heavy gold ...... you can move along a little faster and like you said NOT have to chase the small targets...... or mybe gold.   The Nox does have an advantage on the small gold.   Weight didnt really bother me either.... since the Nox isnt balanced very well it can be just as tiring to swing.    You are right about that screen and the sun too....... Nox clearly is easier to see.   Lot of its preference i guess......... i still see a lot of people who swing the Xcal and prefer it over any other water machine.

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I had the luxury of being able to go back to some of these swim areas when the water level was dropped this past fall/winter, and recovering all/any targets that remained after hunting all summer and early fall. It was clear to see why these had fallen through my scoop. Just a short list....small split shot sinkers, .22 LR bullets, swim trunk drawstring eyelets, etc.  These were all mostly single digit hits on the Nox, with some venturing into the 10-11 range.  I didn't find any jewelry doing this, althoughI was hoping to. I use a Stealth 920 scoop, so it does have fairly large holes.  I bought a scoop with smaller holes but find it more trouble to use because it keeps too much in the basket...rocks, clay, etc. Takes a lot of digging to find what's in the basket. The only effective way of using it was to actually make a floating sifter out of pool noodles and dump all the scoop contents into it. That grew a little annoying to me, so I reverted back to the Stealth scoop. If I realize that what I am scooping is falling thru, I just move on now.  

Another thing I failed to mention is that the Nox can make it somewhat difficult to decide what to use when it comes to what mode to use.  Nobody is absolutely clear as to what the "secret sauce" does between the modes....say Park 1 vs Park 2.  When all other settings are changed to make them match...disc, iron bias, tones, etc...there is still a difference in how each mode handles/responds to particular targets.  I have all the books written on the Equinox, have read lots of posts over the year too, plus my own trial and error testing.  At best, everyone is still guessing as to what is going on, based on Minelab's description of the algorithms and weighting. But here's the thing in a nutshell as it just happened to me a couple weeks ago...just one example.  I was hunting a freshwater swim area looking for a ring that a young lady lost over Memorial Day weekend.  I had pretty much cleaned this beach out last yr of all trash and such so any signal located meant that it was a recent drop, which is exactly what I was looking for. Well, as far out as I could get while keeping my head above water (not diving). I hit it with Park 1, because to me, it runs quieter and I was looking for a recent drop.  I was finding a few recent coins out in the water.  But no ring.  I hunted for an hour and covered most of the suspected lost zone...the area she said she was in when she noticed it missing.  I had actually turned around and was rehunting it from a different pattern direction (thinking maybe I had missed getting the coil over it) when I got a scratchy one way hit.  I kept going over it and over it.  Down in about thigh deep water I could see a round shiny object on the bottom that looked suspiciously like a ring. Something told me to try Park 2....flipped over to it and that signal was high tone, loud and clear repeating every sweep over it.  Park 1...broken up. Hmm. Checked disc...it was the same (everything positive was accepted, 50 tones, iron bias at 1, recovery speed the same) and  Scooped it and there was her ring.  I decided to just rehunt the whole area in Park 2 just for kicks.  Found a lot more small junk but also found 1 more ring and even some more coins that took me a few scoops to get (meaning they were deeper).   The catch there is...I was also able to get out deeper than I could last year.  Last year it was unseasonably wet...rained pert near all summer.  So water levels were higher than normal.  This summer has already started out dry and I noticed I was able to get out considerably further than I could last year.  What would have been 2 feet over my head in depth last yr, is now just around shoulder deep.  Anyways, Park 2 is typically more noisy overall for me but did respond better to this particular ring.  Ring had no stamp in it for metal type.  The young lady said her father had made it to fit her and that it had a lot of sentimental value to her.  Whatever the case...it was just one recent example of many like it that I have personally saw over the past year. I like having the versatility at my disposal but don't like how easy it is to pass right over and dismiss a good target as trash in one mode but then it turn into a no brainer "dig me" in another mode.  Especially in an area when something good could turn up all across the metal size and compilation spectrum.  It truly is like having multiple detectors in one. When time has allowed, I have often hunted an area in one mode, then rehunt it with a diff mode to see what turns up.  I have been surprised by this several times now.

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Great post, Daniel!  I say that because it has given me a lot to think about, particularly when you said:

5 hours ago, Daniel Tn said:

When time has allowed, I have often hunted an area in one mode, then rehunt it with a diff mode to see what turns up.  I have been surprised by this several times now.

I'm about 40% through Andy Sabisch's book.  He talks about how all the possible adjustments/settings provide a universe (my word, not his) of setups, and that not taking advantage of them could mean running the detector in suboptimal mode for the given site.  He emphasizes occasionally not immediately digging a target but rather to change modes and/or settings and trying to find the combination that best responds to that target.  Now you add the above.  Nice day today and I'm pumped to find a few hours to rehunt with different mode/settings!  Thanks.

Regarding small items, I had an interesting experience the other day.  I was in my favorite hunting ground and got a weak but clean signal with TID varying between 26 and 28.  No iron grunt whatsoever -- two directional nice signal.  I was sure it was at worst a Wheat Penny and hoping for a silver dime.  I mean this was as good of a signal as I've ever heard in that TID sweetspot, and the fact that it was weak meant 'deep'.  I was running Park 1, gain 20, recovery speed 4 or 5 (don't remember).  I put the TRX tip on the ground fully not expecting a peep and got a weak to moderate response.  My heart started to sink right then.  About an inch or inch and a half the target was out of the hole.  Thumbtack!  I've found thumbtacks before but they've never been this high of TID.  For comparison, roofing nails usually hit around 22-23 when they are optimally oriented.  Maybe this thumbtack was brass/copper, but I still wouldn't have expected such a high hit.  Now I'm starting to wonder if there was a coin deeper....  I almost always recheck my holes no matter what I pull out, but in my disappointment maybe I forgot.  Another lesson learned.  Now please excuse me while I go get my detector and head back to that spot.  ?


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GB_Amateur -- One site in particular made me take note as to hunting in different modes.  I was hunting a Civil War camp and hunted about half of it in one of the modes. I can't remember which but I did do a video of it and the following hunt. Anyway...that first day I recovered several minie balls and larger pieces of camp lead, etc.  I came back the next time and finished the camp area...then kinda skimmed through it in a different mode.  During that skimming process, I realized I was going to have to rehunt the entire area...cause now I was finding small brass, buttons, etc that I had somehow missed.  Sure enough, I think the 2nd hunt produced a half dozen buttons, smaller bullets, etc whereas the first one was mostly .58 cal bullets and 1 button.  Oddly, I have NOT hunted all that much in the Field modes. In my particular testing, I have favored the Park modes.  

Currently, I admittedly have been using/testing the Tarsacci MDT detector more than the Equinox.  Except for in the water.

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Daniel....... ive been testing those two machines as well.   One thing i can tell you on a salt water beach ........ maybe running the trough N to S isnt the best way to get the deeper gold.   It might net you a ring on its side thats been pushed up against the rise because you get more of the ring.   But it tends to see more of the black sand veins........ thus reducing a bit of depth and giving just enough chatter on the slop to miss a deep one.   It does much better going WITH the grain....... E to W in a grid.    I buried a 21 gram 10k ring in the very wet sand at 16 inches the Nox didnt see the ring going N to S.  But might get it E to W.  IF the Nox gets a target it does give a bit better TID.  What i noticed about the MDT....... i hunt in AM i dont like all the ping pongs of disc.    The Nox has better TID IF the target is in depth range...... BUT the MDT will tell you there is a target there better.   I noticed something today when i pulled a cross and was just digging GOLD targets...... 13 and below digits....... in AM i got a BANG over that cross.... a HARD bang with a solid 4 just want i expected for a cross.   BUT i got thinking...... it was just a really hard BANG just like you get off a bottle cap...... which got me thinking........ its just saying TARGET TARGET not giving me a crappy signal that another machine might on a cross with a lot of tones does.   Some of those tiny aluminum rivits that fall thru the scoop....... read high with the MDT so i dont go chasing them.   So ..... im looking for DEEPER targets with the MDT ...... and in a pretty narrow window.   You have to make more decisions than me working in fresh water with the Nox.   BUT..... i like both machines for what they do.   

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Some good info in this thread.

My experiences relic hunting.  Park 2 generally gives stronger signal vs field 2 yet tone provided in park 2 is not as pure sounding.  Where field 2 can give weaker signal yet more pure.  Same settings used for both detect modes.

The mighty prospecting modes shouldn’t be overlooked either.  Both allow more coil position error to alert a user to possible nonferous lurking.

New users of Equinox.  I would be willing to bet the farm that some folks, quite a few actually are discounting signals they hear as ferrous, yet some are infact actually nonferrous.  How do I know this? Guess.  Been there and done that.  Quite the detector - the Equinox is.  Not all nonferrous is real obvious.  Shove quite a few other VLF detectors over such targets- they might just go whiffle give what I call hard iron signal.  Wish the weeds weren’t so high now.  Shucks.

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:26 AM, Daniel Tn said:

Great post, Daniel you certainly pay a price for those high fq's in the amount of small stuff that gets your attention.  In G2 hunting fresh I sacrifice everything under "6" to get off these.  CTX does have more pun ch in salt but does not like fresh water black sand at all.  Any disc you add kills the depth.   Nox has that nice sharp audio--very  nimble that way but theres always a tradeoff.  This is wy I promote a broad-based approach to signal selection with the NOX-- it's a great consistency checker of you take the time to  et it deliver. 


Editor note: split from https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/9945-my-salt-water-report-card/


I agree with ya on some of your points and grades.

After a year of using the Equinox, I can give a fair assessment on where it ranks and how it compares to other detectors for the uses that I do.  If I were solely a beach hunter, I would personally feel more confident with a CTX 3030.  I personally feel it has more depth to it in that arena.  Even in freshwater, I put a good season of water hunting in with the CTX and all last year with the Nox.  I found more rings last year with the Nox but I also found triple as much small junk that slowed me down...stuff that fell through the scoop, and or just disappeared.  This alone has me wanting to snag a good used CTX.  

On saltwater beach...this is an even stronger feeling of favoring the CTX to me. I personally didn't mind the weight of the unit. I find the screen is easier to see on the Nox, particularly in direct sun light.  I even like the feel of the Nox.  I just feel from what I see, that the 3030 has more muscle to it in that area. I can't ever remember having a target that disappeared/vanished on me once I scooped a hole while hunting with the CTX.  I had some I almost gave up on cause they were so deep though.  The Nox will do the Houdini act in salt sand and in dirt....it doesn't like open holes at all.  

When it comes to hunting in mineralized soil and coin/relic hunting back home...this changes big time. Even though the CTX is revered as a great coin machine, it is handicapped a lot by red dirt.  The Nox runs circles around it there.  Like night and day difference.  Hunting in iron...same thing.  Heavily favored to the Nox.  This leaves me in a split mood.  Most of my summer hunting IS in the water for jewelry, albeit freshwater.  The Nox will find the same rings as the CTX...but it also wants to lock onto those small pieces of crap that fall through the scoop. I need to figure out a way to have both and hope the wife doesn't find out ?


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