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LukeJMG1986

How Do I Know My Equinox 800 Is Functioning Properly?

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I was curious about the depth I was getting when doing an air test with different settings. I noticed that with a recovery speed of 7, the target (no matter the size) seemed to drop off, and disappear at about 4 1/2 to 6 inches. The most I was able to squeeze out of it was 11 1/2 to 12 inches, but this was with very unstable readings. I know air tests are not the same as an actual test bed, and even a test bed dosent account for the halo effect theory. I live in Northern California, so I have to deal with some highly mineralized ground conditions. I like hunting for everything from relics, to gold Jewelery, but what I'm really searching for at this moment is old coins, namely silver, but any old coins (seems to be my favorite kind of treasure so far) I thought the conveyor belt analogy was great by Steve H, and I adjusted my recovery speed to 7. I see people posting videos where there Equinox 800 is getting depths of 10 in and up with a recovery speed of 7, but my air test only produced 4 to 6 in. I unfortunately don't know the machine well enough to know if it has any issues. I'm also generally running minimal sensitivity, because most of the areas I hunt are pretty trashy. The only spot I'm able to hunt under the lockdown order is an old junkyard turned into a trail head. The ground is saturated with old car parts, and modern trash. I read everything on this forum, and have learned a ton, but I'm still struggling to find even one silver coin, or indian head penny. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! 

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The Equinox is a really hot detector and does not do well in EMI at higher sensitivity levels. Air test results done where there is lots of EMI will not be very good especially with the Equinox. I just use them for possible target recognition and to test weird target combinations. I have bad dirt like many of us in the western USA so test garden testing for me is just to make sure that a detector will actually work out here on 5" targets!!!

I have dug coin sized targets that I could hear clearly and correctly identify at 12" and even a V nickel and 58 cal. bullet at 14" and I rarely can turn up the sensitivity past 22 due to EMI and ground noise. Others have asked me how that could be since their air tests were not showing that. I actually remembered to do a quick air test recently in an area that has virtually no EMI or at least I could not hear any interference and my Nox 600 was running Park 2, 11" coil, 25 sensitivity, no discrimination, 5 tones, recovery speed 3 (6 on the 800). I had a ruler with me, a US Jefferson nickel and a .25 gram flat nugget. The nickel was easy to hear with correct tone at 14". The 0.25 gram nugget was easy to hear at 6". Subtract 1/3 of those totals for EMI/mineralization and its still pretty good. Supports the reality of using Park 2 and the 11" coil for prospecting!!!!

Finding silver coins is definitely ALL about location and for us out here, being willing to dig some extremely iffy targets. If you are in an area that is producing wheat pennies and buffalo nickels you might get lucky.

Jeff

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1 hour ago, LukeJMG1986 said:

The ground is saturated with old car parts, and modern trash. I read everything on this forum, and have learned a ton, but I'm still struggling to find even one silver coin, or indian head penny. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Well, you haven't chosen the easiest site to hunt.  Iron tends to give stronger signals than non-ferrous for pretty much every detector I've used, and that may extend to every detector ever made.  (It's the ferro-magnetic properties that cause that.)  "Old car parts" in your hunting grounds, I assume, are made of iron.  I have one site in particular (but I don't think it's as bad as yours) that I go back to fairly often for a couple reasons:  to see how different detectors respond, and (optimisitically) to see if I can squeeze one more decent find between all the nails.  I can't prove there are still some goodies there until I actully find one, but I'd bet $ there are still some old coins there.

Reading posts here as well as YouTube videos, books and magazine articles, particularly those written years ago, tends to make one think that old coins are easier to find than they are in reality.  Yes, when you find an untouched spot where coins were dropped, and it will happen to you as you persevere, it's like taking candy from a baby.  But for the most part things are going against you.  Besides the obvious previously searched sites, you'll find virgin sites that are old, and that you think "oh, this is going to be the one!", and then they produce very little.  From my experience those are more common (and here I'm talking about old private residences) than the ones where old coins are plentiful.

Here are some numbers for my detecting, which of course don't reflect everyone's.   I'm not one of the best or most prolific, but I'm also not one of the worst, either.  I keep track of all my coin hunts, with locations, temperature, and finds (mostly the coins and jewelry but also pulltabs).  For the two full calendar years of 2018-19 these are the old coin counts in 488 hours of detecting:  130 Wheat pennies and 39 other old coins.  (I define "other old coins" as any silver coin, any penny prior to the Lincolns, any nickel prior to the Jeffersons, and any key or semi-key Jefferson).  If you divide those numbers you get one Wheatie for every 3 3/4 hours, and one other old coin for every 12 1/2 hours.  My hunts average around 3 hours in length so on average I only find one Wheatie per hunt and it takes about 4 hunts to find a silver or other old coin.

There is a great article by Tom Dankowski which is a real eye-opener.  He searched a sports field (I think it was a baseball field) with an IB/VLF detector until he could find no more good (coin) targets.  He went back with a PI and dug everything it signalled on.  (Yes, that took a lot of time!)  In the end he found 4 times as many coins had eluded his initial search as those he actually found.  He concluded that it wasn't so much that the PI was deeper than the IB/VLF (it was), but mostly that by hearing and digging every target he found coins that were masked by the surrounding trash metal.  That's what we all have to deal with.  There is probably an exception to this statement, but coins are only dropped in places where trash is also dropped.

Steve's advice (as always) is sound -- it's about location.  But finding those locations is still a lot of effort.  IMO, it's worth it but there are thousands of 'closet queen' detectors out there which prove that for the majority who try out this hobby, it isn't.  I don't say that to discourage you, just the opposite.  You'll get better and you'll get luckier.  The people who stick with this hobby are the persevering types.  If that's you then welcome aboard!

 

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By the way, since you are searching an area with automotive parts, listen out for some screaming signals on the Nox in the mid to high 30s that may seem a little large and are deep. They could be chrome/chrome plated parts and when cleaned up can be worth a lot if they are in good condition. I dug out a 1920s Ford Model T hub cap (the little ones about the size of a baby food jar) yesterday that was hitting hard between 34 and 37 with little or no iron response. I got pretty excited digging it out since the site I was on has had lots of activity since the mid 1800s. That is pretty old for the Denver area. I was a little bummed when I could see it wasn't silver at the bottom of the hole but when I realized what it was my mood changed quickly. This grease cap was 14" deep and it took me quite awhile to dig it out of really rocky dirt with a Lesche hand shovel. The photo is after unfolding it (looked like a crushed aluminum can) and cleaning it up a bit.

Jeff

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Reading this makes me realize how spoilt I've been with my locations.  I can go out for a couple of hours and get annoyed if I don't find at least one silver and a few other early date coins.  I guess what that demonstrates to you is it's ALL about location, I'm not by any means an advanced detectorist, I mostly run canned settings.  I'm sure anyone who's posted in this thread would do very well in my locations too, it's not me doing well, it's my locations.  Out of interest while I was on a holiday I tried a sports field over summer in a bigger city, I expected I was going to clean up, this place would be a hundred times more popular and busy than my little town. It also had a Rodeo on it the day before and the entire area was covered in people.  I found no coins at all...  Not even one from the rodeo, people don't use coins anymore.   There are good locations out there, you just have to find them but don't get down on your detector over it.

It sounds like people in bad soil could really use a PI with target ID's 🙂 We can only dream.  Rarely is a silver I find less than around 8 to 10 inches, often more..... I bet I miss a lot of the smaller silvers as they get out of my depth range.

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This may be worth mentioning.  After performing a noise cancel I generally test the machine to see the approximate air distance.  Using a dime, then EMI is not so bad I can get a good repeatable on the dime at 12".  When I can't get a repeatable beep at 10 I will check the EMI and adjust accordingly.  I know this might not be exactly what you are asking but if EMI is high, you'll loose a lot of depth.   I have two marks on my lower shaft, one at 10 and another at 12".  If I can't get at least a 10" signal I adjust accordingly.  There's been a few locations where nothing helps.

Just my 2 cents.20200503_152419.thumb.jpg.a7b1fe6125b82f309bfcfcdba407acea.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Mark Gillespie said:

I will check the EMI and adjust accordingly.

I like the tic marks on the shaft.  But what do you mean by the above statement - are you talking about the noise cancel channel setting or sensitivity - i.e., what are you "adjusting"?

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I've also found in my areas if EMI is making my detector false regularly I'd get less depth than if I lower the sensitivity so EMI is not causing any falsing.  I also get far worse target ID's if EMI is effecting the detector so I always lower my sensitivity until EMI is no more.

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Mark G.

your Equinox shaft and coil look spotless aside from the depth marks. Mine looks like it has been dipped in a mud bath or painted with earth colored spray paint. I can't remember the last time the lower part of my Nox looked that clean even after cleaning it!

Jeff

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