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Should I Trade My Detectors For A TDI Beachhunter?

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Just wondering if it is worth selling my garrett sea hunter and Equinox 600 to buy a TDI beachhunter instead? of couars the money i will make selling thoese two detectors is not enough to buy a TDI Beachhunter and i have to put som extra money on that.Please help! I want just more depth in saltwater and think TDIBeachhunter goes deeper than thoese two

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How is it going to be on Southern California beaches?


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I’ve never detected Southern California beaches. In general west coast beaches are full of black sand magnetics derived from the coastal mountain ranges, and so a good place for the TDI.

The other factor is trash levels and your desire for digging trash. :smile: In general places with lots of ferrous rusted stuff are a pain. PI detectors love ferrous stuff. Think hair pins and wire tie wraps.

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38 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

What region are you in? The TDI as a ground balancing pulse induction detector shines in mineralized beach conditions. Volcanic islands for instance. Not so much on coral derived white sand beaches.

Live in Sweden.The beach i hunt have moderate black sand,but a lot of iron pieces.Have no problem digging iron,just want more depth.

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10 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

I’ve never detected Southern California beaches. In general west coast beaches are full of black sand magnetics derived from the coastal mountain ranges, and so a good place for the TDI.

the other factor is trash levels and your desire for digging trash. :smile: In general places with lots of ferrous rusted stuff are a pain. PI detectors love ferrous stuff. Think hair pins and wire tie wraps.

The question is if its worth trade my detectors for a TDI beachhunter.

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I have the SeaHunter too and with the larger 10x14 coil it hits close to what a TDI Beach Hunter does. Big turn off for me when I was looking at pi machines for the beach was the TDI Beach Hunter has a hard wired coil so you can't change it out and if it breaks the machine has to be sent in for repairs.

I use the hip strap on my SH and can swing it all day with the larger coil.

I would sell the Nox 600 and get the Nox 800 and snag the larger SH coil.

Lastly when beach combing or wading I use the M2 headphones on the SH, audio is so much better. Much easier to hear the tiny targets.

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I'll cautiously throw in on this since I live in S. CA and have been hunting the beaches out here since the early 1980's.  I have used the TDI Beach Hunter and the Equinox 800 extensively.  Cautiously since I want to preface this by saying that this is only my experience.  The last time I posted a comment about this same subject, on a simple YouTube video, I got torched by PI loyalists.

So here goes.  From my own experience and observations, the Equinox is every bit the match for the TDI Beach Hunter.  Its depth is amazing, as is its sensitivity to small gold.  Let me share one experience with you that will prove my point.  Last winter, at one of our beaches, a storm had come in and created a huge cut.  Several of us hit it hard, a group of about six guys.  4 had Equinoxes, one had an Explorer and I decided to use my TDI Beach Hunter.  While I did find a single small gold, I was so busy digging deep iron trash that my buddies were killing me in total gold finds.  The reason for this is that the ground balance mode of the TDI Beach Hunter is just a gimmick and really limits your depth.  You have to use it as a pure PI to get maximum depth.  After several hours of digging trash I gave up and switched to my Equinox 800.  My reward: a nice 14K gold chain and a 14K gold signet ring at about 15" down.  Again, this is just my experience but if you have an Equinox 600, which you do, and you hunt in beach 1 with the stock coil you will get great depth and you can discriminate.  The TDI Beach Hunter does get excellent depth but the "dig all the trash" aspect of it is why I generally stay away from PI's.

So my advice would be to keep what you have.  I have never used a Garrett Sea Hunter so I can't comment on its capabilities.




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Let me add that from a beach hunting perspective, there is not much, if anything, to be gained performance wise in going to the 800, so I agree with Bill that the Equinox 600 should be able to get it done depth wise if you decide to stick with the Equinox.  No need to upgrade to the 800 unless you also want a more diverse and tweakable dirt machine (which doesn't appear to be an objective for you).   Can't speak to the two other PI's in question as far as beach hunting is concerned.  I have recovered nickels at 15+ inches in wet salt sand.  My gold recoveries have been shallower, but from a target property similarity standpoint, if those nickels were gold rings, they would have been similarly detectable at depth.

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11 hours ago, PPP said:

Live in Sweden.The beach i hunt have moderate black sand,but a lot of iron pieces.Have no problem digging iron,just want more depth.

Here is how I go about deciding what to use. Since you have and Equinox and a Sea Hunter I assume you know when you want to use a VLF for discrimination and when you want to use a PI to dig it all. It sounds like you lean to the dig it all for more depth mentality that leads to using a PI.

So for this discussion I am assuming you have decided to use a PI. The question then is whether you need a ground balancing PI or not, which is why I asked about your beach conditions. I have not used the Sea Hunter but have a lot of experience with the White's Surf PI, which is similar. The Surf PI and Sea Hunter do not ground balance. The TDI has a ground balance option, so that is the difference we are exploring.

In general with a ground balancing PI you will get the best depth with the ground balance off. Most PI detectors for saltwater detecting like the Sea Hunter therefore have no ground balance. There are conditions you will encounter however where this presents problems. First, in heavy black sand you will find that if you raise and lower the coil off the bottom the machine will signal due to the mineralization. This is a particular problem in heavy waves or when working a very uneven bottom. If you can keep the coil at a perfect distance over the bottom it is no problem as the autotune will smooth the signal, but if you raise the coil off the bottom the autotune can't keep up, so you get a false signal.

In heavy waves where you can't keep steady footing raising the coil causes these false signals. If the bottom has lots of troughs and depressions, passing over these areas creates a false signal. The only way to deal with this if you have a Surf PI or Sea Hunter is to detune the detector until the false signals from lifting the coil off the bottom go away. But now you lose depth. Or you can leave the settings more for depth and try and sort the false signals out mentally, but this is very tiring.

You can also run into hot rocks, typically basalt or rhyolite rocks embedded in less mineralized beach material. These will give a nice gold ring signal. Again, with a Surf Pi or Sea Hunter, you either detune the machine until they go away, giving up depth, or try and sort them by ear.

In either of these situations a ground balancing detector allows you to eliminate the false signals I have described while retaining more depth than would be sacrificed by detuning the detector. The ground balance is basically just a ground notch setting that let's you eliminate troublesome ground signals. Gold rings that read close to the ground balance setting lose some depth. It also creates two tones, one for objects above the ground balance setting and another tone for those below the ground balance setting. Generally on the TDI if you ignore the low tone you will pass on most high conductive coins, large ferrous junk, and possibly very large or exceptionally high purity rings. Digging the high tone only gets the vast majority of rings, aluminum, nickels, and zinc pennies plus small ferrous trash. The dividing point is around zinc penny but it depends on the ground balance setting. See this thread for more details.

So if you have having problems with false signals from heavy beach mineralization and hot rocks a TDI may be your solution. If not, you probably won't see much benefit, unless you think you understand and can apply the weird discrimination properties for some advantage. That's just my take on it. I'm perfectly content to use a Surf PI and dig everything in a lower cost more waterproof package than a TDI. Unless I run into conditions like I describe above, which for me were common in Hawaii. Than a ground balancing PI like the TDI can be a good alternative.

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