My new T2 arrived this week so I decided I'd take it out for a test run today, I haven't bothered detecting football fields before, it never really crossed my mind to do so especially small town football fields that barely ever get used. I think the last time I even saw people on this thing was about a year ago and they were riding a horse 🙂
I guess back in time it was probably a popular place and my results today show this. This is going to be more of a picture story as the pictures tell 1000 words!
I started using the T2 with Mars Tiger coil and within two minutes of arriving I had my first coin, then another, then another..... it was nuts, coins everywhere and very little junk, I was finding nice old coins, possibly one of my oldest in a while too
1938 British Penny
The T2 was getting good depth, easily hitting on coins with good ID's, another silver!
1948 Penny - Now NZ currency, not British like the older Pennies, we used some British currency until 1967.
Prior to 1933 United Kingdom currency was the official legal tender of New Zealand, although Australian coins and notes were also generally accepted.
The first New Zealand penny was minted in 1940. The penny ran until 1965, when New Zealand stopped minting pre-decimal coins in preparation for decimilisation in 1967.
I have no idea what this thing is
This is the football field I was detecting, under the goal posts and along the end of the field had a good collection of coins, I guess from all the diving with the ball and coins in the players pockets, I don't know much about football, probably the only NZ male who has no clue about the game 🙂
My oldest find of the day, a British 1912 One Penny
It was quite deep down but the T2 banged on it real hard with a solid ID. At this point I decided I'd go home and gear up better as this place obviously has a lot of good old coins. I was only using my T2 with Carrot and Lesche digging tool which was hard work with all the coins being so deep. I wanted a bigger coil to cover more ground but there was no way I was going to strap on the 15" Teknetics coil to continue using the T2 as it weighs a tonne. I opted for the Equinox with it's 15" coil and almost straight away after turning it on, another coin
1950 NZ One Penny. I left the bit of dirt on the coil up the top it came out of, I love when you get the impression of the coin in the soil.
Another silver, 1934 Shilling
This is the hole it came from, I always recheck my holes and I'm glad I did, another target in the hole, then another... this was crazy
3 Silvers in the hole so far, 1934 Shilling, 1934 Shilling and a 1946 Sixpence, I was sure this was it but I did another check and off to the side of the hole, ANOTHER SILVER
Another 1934 Shilling, 4 silvers in one hole, incredible! Someone had a bad day.
1964 Sixpence... the coins just kept coming, all old ones. No longer are they made of silver in 1964...
Nice and deep though
My first modern coin, a $2
But look how deep it was, it was deeper than a lot of far older coins.... weird!
Another two in one hole, just one cent coins from back when NZ had one cent coins.
Another coin leaving a cool impression of itself in the soil, just a one cent I think
It sure a lot of ground to cover, I'll be at this place for weeks... plenty more coins to find I'm sure. Time to head back to the car, with my coil to the soil.
Another for the road 🙂 Double sided impression on the soil with this one. I couldn't possibly put up a photo of every coin find as there were just too many, all in about 3 hours detecting.
The good stuff
The bad stuff... not a bad ratio, good stuff far outweighed bad stuff, unusual for me.... I'll be back there tomorrow.... and the next day.... and the next day 🙂
At last, I am meeting an old friend for our first detecting session together. We bought our Equinoxs last March and I have used mine a lot. He hasn't used his very much. It just dawned on me that I don't know how to adjust our machines to reduce/eliminate interference with each other. The manual says to keep about 45 feet apart. That is my recollection, but I will check that simple factoid against my simple memory. But I am hoping to stay closer if it is possible to adjust settings.
My instinct would be to go through my normal routine first- before turning on his detector. Recently, I have my pinpointer on before I turn my detector on (thanks Steve). This has nearly eliminated pinpointer jitters in my headphones. I plan to turn both pinpointers on before I set up my unit as usual. Once all is set, then I will have him turn on #2 and.set it up and noise cancel it against the competition. Any and all suggestions to revise my plan are welcome.
Last consideration, which is highly improbable, is using WM08 to share audio on a single machine. The one time we shared audio was in the cockpit of his Cessna, and we reverted back to 5th grade behavior at 5000 feet. We barely made it back. I have high confidence that it would be extremely unproductive to be linked to him for any amount of time. He would be in full agreement.
I finally broke down and got serious about updating my 800, and like most people that has had problems when using Windows 7 I looked for a fix.
After a short time of confusion about what was going on and not really finding any answers, I turned to YouTube and found the solution.
Simply put the problem is not the program but the compatibility to Win 7.
So all one has to do is the following:
Before running the program,
Highlight and right click on the program and scroll down to troubleshoot compatibility.
Click on troubleshoot compatibility and click on Try recommended settings, click next, and then start program.
That is all you need to do to get it to work.
I hope that this helps someone else out there.
Ive seen a post that someone put up giving the program for a 3d printer coil ears.... and one that slips over the ears. But... how many of us have access to the 3D printer? I checked Ebay .... where i expected to see a few ...... but nada. Anyone selling these? Id like to get my hands on a couple for the Nox. Ive broken the ears off mine once and this seems like a good solution to protect them OR repair them once the warranty is out over the price of a new coil.
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. In theory at least reducing this setting will reduce the possibility of tiny gold being misidentified as ferrous. Since I am mistrustful of filters I have been running the Iron Bias at 0. Starting out however people may want to leave it alone since adjusting too many things at once may not be productive for beginners.
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 target that 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.
With all that said however, reducing the Recovery Speed can add extra sensitivity to very deep or very small targets. A setting of 4 is easily manageable in low mineral ground and can work for the Equinox in higher mineral ground with a skilled operator. It is possible to go even lower though the detector will typically become less stable at the slower recovery speed settings.
Sensitivity is one of those “set it as high as you can without making the detector too unstable” type settings. My settings normally 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: 0
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)
Sensitivity: 18 - 23
Recovery Speed: 4 - 6
Iron Bias: 0
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 Park 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. Park 2 set up properly is quite close to Gold Mode performance and a perfectly acceptable nugget detecting alternative, and actually superior for some situations.
You may also use Field 2 as a starting point. Be very careful however 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. I therefore recommend Park 2 to avoid this possibly fatal error.
For Park Mode 2:
Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method with manual tweaking)
Sensitivity: 16 – 25
Recovery Speed 800: 4 - 6 (default is 6)
Recovery Speed 600: 2 - 3 (default is 3)
Iron Bias: 0
Accept/Reject: Everything accepted, rely on tones (alternative reject -9, -8, and -7 if too much ground feedback)
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!
Updated Nugget Detecting Tips 9/2018
*This article recommends keeping as many negative numbers set to accept as is possible. It has been confirmed that as I suspected that nuggets range well into the negative numbers.
First gold nuggets found with Minelab Equinox from Jonathan Porter report...