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Jeff McClendon

Pinpoint Mode And Ground Balance Related?

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With the Equinox being such a versatile detector, I have used it in many different detecting situations. Lately I have been helping a local municipality try to find the exact location of a 19th century narrow gauge railroad right of way on some of their city land. The rails and cross ties were removed long ago and the terrain has been altered. So I’m looking for the iron relic debris along the railway roadbed for their museum and to trace the railroad’s location and any other period non ferrous targets too. I get to keep the non- ferrous ones!!!!

One easy way to selectively find deep big iron targets with the Equinox like spikes, bolts and nuts, fish plates, etc. in Park or Field modes is to locate an iron target and then size it in pinpoint mode. We all know that the pinpoint feature can be a bit wonky sometimes. 

A friend of mine is helping me with this project and he is new to the Equinox (longtime CTX user). I was helping him setup his Nox in Park 2 and Field 1 and showing him how to ground balance and pinpoint. He didn’t know about the global and local settings difference so he just assumed that what he set in Field 1 applied to Park 2. He manually ground balanced Field 1 at 5 while Park 2 was unknowingly left on 0. The ground balance here can change from -2 to + 10 rapidly.  I was trying to help him hear the difference between what to me sounded like a short 6” or so piece of barbed wire (correct assumption btw) still in the ground and what sounded to me like a much more dense piece of iron (turned out to be a spike). The pinpoint audio “halos” were very different on my Nox 600 and clearly outlined a long, thin target as opposed to a target whose audio halo was at least as big as my 11” coil. His Nox 800 was in Park 2 and in pinpoint mode it responded with a loud, long cats meow that lasted for his entire 4’ coil sweep over what turned out to be the barbed wire strand at 8” depth. He tried several times with the same result. I just figured he was continuing to press his pinpoint button but after checking he wasn’t. I tried his Nox and got the same result. I switched to Field 1 and his 800 pinpoint mode worked just like my Nox had. I switched back to Park 2 on his Nox and checked his settings and fixed the ground balance discrepancy by doing a ground grab which set at 4. I then went back into pinpoint mode on his Nox in Park 2 and it pinpointed just like his Field 2 and my similarly setup Nox 600. It appears that obtaining a good ground balance reading may improve pinpoint mode function on the Nox. I sure don’t remember seeing anything about that in the manual. 
 

So, I have always wondered what pinpoint mode was on the Nox since there is no classic All Metal mode. I have also wondered how smart (or not) it was to just  simplify things and leave a Nox on 0 ground balance. This experience has reinforced my belief that taking the 30 seconds or less to do a ground grab now and then on this internally complex high gain detector during a hunt is definitely a smart idea. 
 

Jeff

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1 hour ago, Jeff McClendon said:

So, I have always wondered what pinpoint mode was on the Nox since there is no classic All Metal mode.

Could it still be minimally filtered, non-motion ("all metal" non-motion of, for example, the F75)?  It certainly seems that way in my experience.

 

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From my experience, I could never tell the difference, but I GB it anyway, but not always. The soil here easily jumps into 70-80. I think the range is subtle. Compared to PI machines, where GB setting is audibly different, on Nox, there is just no difference... The only thing I noticed is that on higher GB settings, coil bumps become audible.

I would rather relate the difference in PP to the firmware version. Original 1.5 has the sharpest PP, 1.7.5 and the latest v2 sound identical, but give somewhat broader-wider footprint signal... I find it is easier to size the target with the 1.5, as it cuts the sound right off when coil center is no longer over the target.

There is no easy way to tell which firmware you have between 1.5 and 1.7.5, only through PC update utility. V2 has got the F2 setting and multiple backlight levels on 600.

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Nordic, I had just the opposite experience from you concerning the pinpoint function and the firmware updates. My Equinox 600 and 800 have much better pinpoint function after the ver. 1.75 and ver. 2 firmware updates.

 

Jeff

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I'm mostly in Beach 1 so I can't help with the Field and Park.

It helps me to GB often because I'm in wet sand/shallow water/black sand all the time.  I turn up the iron volume and if there is lots of iron around I keep the speed above 5.

Mitchel

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On 1/12/2020 at 2:34 AM, mn90403 said:

I'm mostly in Beach 1 so I can't help with the Field and Park.

It helps me to GB often because I'm in wet sand/shallow water/black sand all the time.  I turn up the iron volume and if there is lots of iron around I keep the speed above 5.

Mitchel

Do you use tracking GB in Beach 1?

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The times I have used my Nox 800 at southeastern Atlantic beaches I have mostly stayed in Beach 1 and did an automatic ground grab. I only used tracking in Beach 2 in the surf. That is just my experience. On the west coast, black sand is a big deal and settings may be different.

I mostly asked this question "Are ground balance and pinpoint mode related" on the Equinox because the Equinox is not a threshold based all metal mode detector. On many older detectors achieving a proper ground balance and a somewhat steady threshold tone was essential for using the pinpoint mode since pinpoint mode was the closest mode to all metal and not having good ground balance could make the threshold tone and the pinpoint mode very erratic.  I was a bit surprised to find a similar situation when using the Equinox. I just figured the Equinox ground balance would not have any bearing on pinpoint mode, as Minelab are constantly recommending leaving the Nox on zero ground balance in the manual. Since it does have a real effect on the quality of the pinpoint mode from my experience, maybe that is why so many people have trouble using the pinpoint mode on the Nox or just ignore it altogether. I find it to be extremely helpful personally no matter what type of detecting I'm doing. Sometimes in bed of nails situations where I'm digging everything or in gold nugget patch cleanup hunting, I just hunt in pinpoint mode. It works for me.......

 

Jeff

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