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Been fishing for about 2 years and I must say the break from the detecting has done me a world of good.

Dug up the CTX from the attick, gave it a dusting off. And while I was figuring out how to ride a bike again.

All the mist was blown out of my head and we got down to the nitty gritty.

Bought myself a new GPS unit to log waypoints. I’m not wandering around like a drunk anymore, this time around I’m gridding.

As a beach hunter, tried the dirt and parcs. But my heart belongs to the beach, pretty obvious when you like fishing and fresh air.

So the obvious choice for logging finds and hotspots is Navionics Boating App, weather and tides integrated.

Several outings with the CTX and a scarred coil protector has opened my eyes and forced me out of my comfort zone. Last time around I tried to use the CTX like an Excalibur. This time I listened and let it talk to me. Learned the CTX language a bit.

A few outings later I the happy owner of another ring and my most prised CTX targets: a stainless screw of 0,8 gr found on the wet slope that was just a slight blip in the landscape. And a piece of stainless wire 4 cm in length weighing in at 0,3 gr at the wash.

People say the Equinox 800 can find gold chains, but surely if the CTX can detect such small stainless items. It has a chance at bringing home the goods. GB manual, Sens running borderline, All Metal and trying to wear out the coil cover.

I’ve watched countless Equinox 800 vids, seems like no other detector is made anymore 🙂 But at the beach people aren’t finding gold chains by the dozen. Just the usual rings and coins. Are they not using it to it’s full potential??

Anyhow still happy with my CTX, but that gold chain I found with my Equinox 800 MKI is still bugging me to get another. Maybe the Equinox 800 V3 MKIII will be more to my liking. Or have I learned a valuable lesson,... LISTEN and DIG.

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If you tune out saltwater you eliminate the small gold signal along with it. Any detector can be pushed to the edge of just barely detecting the saltwater, and no more. Otherwise the detector would sound constantly. A machine that is experiencing just the slightest bit of salt water falsing is right on the edge, and can go no father.

We have had machines that can pick up thin gold chains since the 1990s at least. Any decent VLF nugget hunter would do the trick. Gold Bug 2 for instance. Except they do not work on wet salt sand. They are TOO SENSITIVE!

The whole pick up tiny earrings and thin chains in saltwater is one of the most overbaked yet least understood areas of detecting. We hit the wall on what the tech can do there ages ago. There are a lot of tiny low conductors that will be eliminated along with the salt signal because to the metal detector it is the same signal, the same thing. All the detector sees is a very low conductive signal - period. We can set the machine to find those, but now it won't work in saltwater. Or you can tune out the low conductive salt signal, but now you miss all those tiny gold and platinum targets also.

Get the Equinox, and using my nugget settings you will be able to find exceptionally small gold. But those settings will not work in saltwater.

Or you can use the Beach Modes to deal with the salt, but now you can't hit the tiny gold. The capability is there, but it is one or the other, this or that. You can't do both at once, it is the nature of the technology.

The minute Equinox came out and people started speculating on gold chains, etc. I knew it was the same old same old. People do not understand the physics, and so they think a new detector will somehow change things, but it can't happen. Not as long as conductivity/eddy current retention is the tool we use to make our determinations.

Long story short, if micro gold is the desire, I would use any detector that can tune across the salt transition zone - in other words that can balance to salt and beyond. The machine needs to be able to pick up saltwater. Then slowly detune it until there is just the barest indications of salt false signals beginning to occur. You are now on the edge, and you can go no farther. If a machine cannot be made to pick up saltwater, then it is tuned to be well below that threshold. Salt content varies around the world, and many saltwater machines are set up to ignore the worst. But if you get into lower salinity water, now you have poor sensitivity to tiny gold, or at least poorer than is possible.

This is why numerous detectors, especially many single frequency machines, have a "SALT" setting. The MXT for example. If not around saltwater, leave Salt Mode off. If you hit the beach, use the Salt Mode. Engaging it eliminates the salt signal, and the thin chains and tiny earrings, etc.

For ages I needed two detectors. A beach detector, and a hot tiny nugget detector. Nobody made a machine that could do both. Equinox is special because I can hunt Hawaii one week, and hunt tiny gold nuggets another week. It can do both very well - but not both at the same time.

The chart below shows where salt signal occurs relative to other targets. Just barely into the positive range. This is also where small low conductors read - foil, thin chains, post earrings, tiny gold nuggets. Keep in mind platinum reads lower than gold.


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Thx for the definitive explication!

Back when the CTX came out people we’re complaining it was unstable in the wash.

Minelab added the Seawater setting and you could instantly up your Sens. I found that a bit contrary. Make it numb and then try to get it sparky again.

I found the small 1,8 gr gold chain with the Equinox 800 MKI at the high tide line during ebb. As we get tides of up to 5 meters in height salt influence has been mitigated somewhat. Add a little rain and neap tides into the mix and the high tide line becomes VLF territory. But people don’t like small foil. Most expensive foil I’ve ever dug 🙂

SDC in the wash is just the same as the CTX. It needs time to tune in and out as the seawater runs over the coil. But on the other hand I was digging an awfull lot of stainless fish hooks down below on the wet slope, rings and coins on edge too.

Sold it because the coil is solid and tends to stick to the wet sand. A major pain. Held on to it far several years and then coiltek decides it want’s to make solid coils as well. Oh well time to move on.

With all this talk about the IQ and the unavailability here in Europe I stumbled upon VALLON. Had a nice chat with their representative and they are testing 1 mm multi stranded stainless wire in a salty environment as per my inquiry. They have a nice selection of open coils. A 1 mm stainless wire and not a gold chain because I need to hit robotic mower wires 5 cm deep along the coastline. People want quiet mowers in summer during tourist season. But hey why not give it a go on the beach as well.

Anyway, so there it is. Beach performance of detectors is physics. Just need to get one you can drive to the edge. 

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7 hours ago, scoopjohnb said:

I stumbled upon VALLON. Had a nice chat with their representative and they are testing 1 mm multi stranded stainless wire in a salty environment as per my inquiry. They have a nice selection of open coils. A 1 mm stainless wire and not a gold chain because I need to hit robotic mower wires 5 cm deep along the coastline. People want quiet mowers in summer during tourist season. But hey why not give it a go on the beach as well.

Hi scoopjohnb, I own two VALLONS and one AQ. They are both deep and sensitive. Gold chains I’m not so sure though. My VALLON here in the US has had a  software modification by our US representative and I also have two 12” coils as well as the stock oval coil. Eric Foster wound me a special 12” coil using a TDI shell and a friend in Australia gave me the VALLON 12” coil. They both have the same performance so I am partial to Eric’s coil. At $800+ for the VALLON 12” few if any here in the US own one. If you swing the VALLON for a week or two, it will make the CTX fell like it’s the Equinox Lol. It’s a beast. All and all, the Fisher AQ limited is the one to beat. It is lighter than the CTX by roughly a pound, ( I use an after market battery that is 7 oz. lighter than the stock) and several pounds lighter than the VALLON. I think you will have no trouble detecting the wire at the depth you mention with the VALLON should the soil compensation be set properly. Good luck and let us know.


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I will indeed keep you guys informed. Haven’t the faintest idea what the Vallon could be.

Never seen anyone on the beach with a PI over here. Excals, sovereigns and noxes RULE 🙂


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That is probably a good deal.

The only number that the sales representative quoted me was something like 2400 USD. 

I’ll try and get his attention again and see where they are at.

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On 10/1/2020 at 7:08 PM, phrunt said:

Would you say this is a good deal on a Vallon?


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7 hours ago, phrunt said:

none on ebay 🙂

You must have missed this one.  Price is low enough you could even afford the USA --> NZ shipping.  :biggrin:  And it's lightweight!


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