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Equinox Ground Balance Observations

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FloridaSon said " Most Beaches are GB=0

Does anyone else agree with that statement? I've hunted Saltwater Beaches on the East Coast and West Coast. Not to mention (oh, I just did) freshwater beaches all over the country. I know for a fact that CA beaches are totally different than Florida beaches as far as GB numbers go. Freshwater beaches are also totally different. 

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This topic comes up often (for metal detectors in general, not just the Minelab Eqx).  From what I've learned here and in other readings, 'mineralization' as used in metal detecting refers to ferromag

Those numbers and indications are for the Fisher Gold Bug Pro/F19/G2+/Time Ranger Pro. They do not necessarily correlate with the Equinox which has a ground balance number range from -9 to +99 and Min

This is from the Equinox manual, page 15 and there is a lot more great information about your statement elsewhere in the manual. Ground Balance Ground Balance i

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Multi-IQ has ground balancing algorithms built in, and so is more forgiving than most detectors. A lot of ground is mild enough the default setting works fine. However, a proper ground balance will always offer the best possible performance on any detector that offers the control. Both depth and target id may suffer from an improper ground balance. 

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4 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

A question I ask myself a lot for no good reason, just curious.......since the Equinox has ground balance numbers from -9 to +99, is the default 0 (zero) setting really the numerical value of zero on that -9 to +99 scale or is it just a default setting that lets the Equinox do its thing in the background, kind of like an on/off switch?

I asked a similar question a couple years ago, around the time it was released.  It seemed strange to me that the magic number 0 just happened to be chosen as the most typical/neutral setting.  I recall Steve H. saying (paraphrased) "no, there's nothing special as far as the meaning of zero."  In other words, only a slight change occurs going to either -1 or 1, as would be expected for ground adjustments of detectors.  Of course he might have changed his mind since then.  😄

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I'm not an Equinox 800 owner, now, but I had one.  For some Multi-IQ tasks I have it covered with the Vanquish 540.  I have another SMF unit but mainly a group of different Single Frequency detectors that function quite well.  With every detector i own and use, with the exception of he V-540 that doesn't have adjustable GB, I always make sure I adjust the GB f each unit before starting any hunting session.

Having a 'proper' GB with any detector can be beneficial for a number of reasons, and, yes, in some cases it can help with depth-of-detection.  In "some cases" refers to those makes and models that have a GB that functions in the search mode.  One thing to be aware of is there are a lot of detectors, some featuring a 'Ground Grab' type automated GB or even Manual GB, or both, that is only a function of a Threshold-based All Metal or Pinpoint mode and does not function with the motion-based Discriminate mode.  Even some higher-end models that rely on an internally fixed GB in Discrimination.


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Well I can tell you in the hot Culpeper dirt of VA that the Equinox ground balances in the mid to high teens in Park 1 and that's really hot ground. So it appears the higher the number the milder the ground. But maybe I'm wrong. In Utah I ground balance in the low teens, on the Fisher F75 it's 4-5 bars.

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As Steve, Monte, and others have stated in this thread, I can 100% emphasize how critical a proper ground balance on the Equinox (or any machine with ground balance capabilities) will make on how you hear a deep, masked target.  If your ground balance is not properly set to the ground you’re detecting, a deep target may not even ID (audibly/visually) to a level that would make you aware you even had a target to dig.

I always ground balance my Equinox immediately after power up, and as I detect from one area of my turf location to another, I‘ll repeat the ground balance.  I never leave my GB in auto.  I lock it.  I hunt in very trashy ground, and I feel auto GB would be detrimental to my hunting of deeper targets.  I’ve hunted for over a decade with my ML Explorer, and know quite well how detrimental “auto” sensitivity was on that machine in trashy/noisy ground, thus I always used manual sens.

This same logic on GB also holds true with EMI and the Noise Channel setting.  Being on a noise channel that is as EMI-free as possible is critical to the operator in being able to hear those deeper, fainter targets. Most every time I ground balance my machine throughout the day, I will do a noise cancel also.  If you can commit to doing/repeating these two steps if your ground/EMI fluctuate, you will be pocketing more keeper targets that others have passed over.  Even if you’re not 100% certain a change in Noise Channel and/or GB is warranted, do it anyway....you may be pleasantly surprised!  For me, it’s easier to decipher if my Noise Channel is not optimal (if you hear noise in your headphones without moving your coil) but it’s more subtle (for me) when my GB is not optimal...that’s why I GB often throughout the day...another reason I try to do these steps throughout my hunts is I typically hunt turf that has been hunted by myself and quite a few local hunters countless times over the decades, so having that “extra edge” in hearing the few deepies left in the areas I hunt (Needles in the haystack) will make/break my hunts.  Let’s face it...many of us are hunting heavily pillaged ground anyways...unless your ground has been whited-out from the surface to around 5” (which is highly unlikely), you’re gonna have to hunt at snail pace and from every angle possible, and also at different times of the year (when ground is more saturated and/or when the grass is cut low or is dormant/dry) to eek out those remaining, elusive oldies hiding, patiently waiting to see the light of day again! 😃

I also read that someone said Iron Bias affects depth of the machine.  I haven’t noticed that, but definitely sensitivity (Higher value = more depth, obviously) and Recovery Speed (higher value = less depth) are directly proportional to overall depth of your machine.

Lastly, and this could probably be a topic/thread on its own, is the cadence of your swing speed...the proper cadence/swing speed of your coil can definitely influence how well/poor you can hear a very deep target...swinging your coil too slow over the ground could make your machine completely pass over a deeper target without any audible/visual indication.  The same holds true if you swing your coil too fast over the ground while detecting...it’s gonna take time/hrs/days/months of hunting for some of you to realize this.....but you will eventually. Practice proper swing cadence by swinging over a known, whispery deep target, and monitor how the target sounds based on your swing cadence.

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4 hours ago, longbow62 said:

Thanks for the comments. I would like to see a chart from Minelab on what the GB numbers actually correlate to. I assume my ground is at least medium hot. 

Like I said earlier, Minelab has not published a chart for the Equinox. As Steve said in his article that I linked, they possibly never will. It might give away too many clues about the frequencies, how they are processing the return signals and averaging multiple ground balance points. Plus, you would need 8 charts to cover the 8 search modes in multi along with possibly more charts for the Park, Field and Gold modes in single frequencies for the Equinox 800.

What Abenson described above is exactly my experience in 4 to 5 bar dirt as read on the Tek G2+, Gold Kruzer and almost full mineralization bar on the Deus except that my usual ground balance numbers are -3 to +9.  

You can find out if your ground is medium hot pretty quickly if you use Park or Field 2 with default settings except use 5 or 50 tones. Find some clean ground, do a noise reduction and ground balance. Hit the horseshoe button to accept all targets and sweep your coil. If you get lots of low tone pops and clicks that register in the -9 to -6 range as you sweep your coil your ground has plenty of magnetite or fertilizer. If your ground is pretty quiet, your dirt at that spot is fairly mild.

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13 hours ago, nordic said:

Apologies for off topic a little, but, perhaps, related a little. Did anyone notice Nox performing different - "better" when left motionless on the ground for some time, coil face flat. It would be not first time I meet walkers while detecting and after having a few minute chat I find Nox starts picking up things a lot clearer suddenly. Is it just my mind having some rest or Nox performs some on the fly adaptations? 

You have probably enabled tracking ground balance. Check your settings / user manual.

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I don't think the ground balance numbers mean anything at all on the Equinox, the reason I say this is at a super hot black sand and hot rock beach my Nox ground balances at 0, at home in my crazy mild soils my Nox ground balances at 0. 

First the beach video, if I left tracking on those numbers seemed to change between 0 and 12.

Then at home tonight in my mild soil.

The numbers make absolutely no sense to me 🙂

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