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Wanted: Information On Minelab Equinox Gold Modes


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I was out yesterday and remembered that the Gold Modes (I use Gold 1, if that matters) can be used to investigate iffy targets.  Then I had a thought when I noticed a lot of ferrous hits per swing (likely nails) while searching in Park 1 (no notching/discrimination), gain of 24, Recovery Speed = 4, Iron Bias F2=0 -- I switched over to Gold 1 and the target rate per swing increased dramatically, something like a factor of two!  (Note:  there aren't hot rocks in this location and I checked that ground balance was correct.  I'm pretty sure these are bits of iron such as nails or pieces of wire.)  I also checked in Park 1, 4 kHz since there have been reports here that this sometimes eliminates iron grunts.  That wasn't the case.

This got me thinking about what the Gold modes are, or at least how they are different from the other modes.  In limited testing (@40 kHz) I've found that they can detect coins deeper (or maybe 'farther from the coil' is a better description) than the other modes.

Once again having to deal with the confusing (non-standard) nomenclature, it seems that the Equinox Gold modes act & perform similarly to the "all metal" modes of other manufacturers' detectors such as the Fisher F75.  (For example, the only tone option is Voltage Controlled Oscillator = VCO.)  Dave Johnson has used multiple terms to describe that kind of mode, including 'single filter' (see F75 user manual).  In other words, it's as close to a raw signal as you can get if using motion to maintain stability.  So that leads to the question:   is this all the Equinox is doing in Gold Mode -- using the minimal amount of signal processing to keep the response stable?

I can think of one filtering option available in the Gold modes which isn't present on traditional all-metal modes of other detectors -- discrimination/notching.  But even for that, the F75 all metal mode has digital target ID readout so something is going on there, although in that case possibly in parallel.

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  • GB_Amateur changed the title to Wanted: Information On Minelab Equinox Gold Modes

The fact that you can disc out target id numbers means the Gold Mode is not a classic all metal mode, but a very powerful "accept all items" discrimination mode. Add iron bias, recovery speed, etc - filters galore.

 

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Add to the already mentioned features, an actual threshold tone that helps with smaller/deeper targets and to me the real clincher= very high gain simultaneous multi frequency operation weighted towards detection of smaller and more difficult targets ......... and very small targets, very deep targets, targets partially masked by man-made iron, targets partially masked by natural iron, targets partially masked by high mineralization, and targets partially masked by hot/cold rocks have a much higher likelihood of being detected by the Gold modes.

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I’m new to the equinox but I’ve been exclusively using the gold mode in my old cabin and town sites. I have picked up more nuggets than coins in the old sites haha (3-1) but it’s hard to even run the other modes because I get too many hot ground signals. And, I feel l should be digging everything that’s not iron in these sites so the gold mode seems to work well. I might be doing it wrong as I learn this machine but for now gold mode it is. 

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I relic hunt in Gold mode sometimes. Multi has shown to be deeper than the single freqs in Gold mode at my test garden. I run single tone and disc out everything below 0, or higher if needed. My ground is generally pretty mild so it behaves quietly most of the time.

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3 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

...Targets partially masked by man-made iron, targets partially masked by natural iron,... have a much higher likelihood of being detected by the Gold modes.

Sounds like I need to give Gold Mode more of a workout than just investigating questionable ('iffy') targets.  I've become dependent upon multi-tones (5, not the full spectrum) when I hunt which saves my neck (don't have to watch the screen like I used to do with the Fisher Gold Bug Pro) but unmasking is worth the pain.  I guess this is a case of not trying to cover too much ground as my need for unmasking is driven by the large amount of trash (especially iron) targets.

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7 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

The fact that you can disc out target id numbers means the Gold Mode is not a classic all metal mode, but a very powerful "accept all items" discrimination mode. Add iron bias, recovery speed, etc - filters galore.

 

Thanks a lot for that link, Steve.  Obviously I had read it back then as I had given it a thumbs-up, but it didn't sink in, at least partly because I didn't even have one yet (and I've been learning it ever since; continuing to do that).  You must have quite the ability to see the future, having answered my question perfectly three years before I asked it!

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10 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

Sounds like I need to give Gold Mode more of a workout than just investigating questionable ('iffy') targets.  I've become dependent upon multi-tones (5, not the full spectrum) when I hunt which saves my neck (don't have to watch the screen like I used to do with the Fisher Gold Bug Pro) but unmasking is worth the pain.  I guess this is a case of not trying to cover too much ground as my need for unmasking is driven by the large amount of trash (especially iron) targets.

With Gold mode, it's best to not look at the screen at all and just hunt by tone because the numbers can be way off, especially around iron.

 

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Fascinating... still trying to fully understand all the comments above.  I have used gold mode when hunting on occasional tot-lot... to "dig it all" including any small gold that may have been dropped by parents or kids while playing... but have steered away from it in more "trash populated" sites...   So, If I am following the comments above correctly, gold mode has a potential to be a great tool in un-masking targets... and honestly, I never even considered using the discrimination aspect of the mode, leaving it in stock settings when I used it.  As I said... fascinating... and I have just the site to test it out on!  

Thanks GBA for the thread, and everyone for the comments and links.  

~Tim

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Hunting the first sandbar on Lake  Ontario  where the water is clearer and it is   easy  digging I would use the gold modes to hunt.I would  go mostly by how the zip sounded but would glance at the numbers. I found a small    316   stainless steel ring with small  stone that rang as a 1 that was near a foot.If i did not have gold mode i would have not dug it because it would have sounded terrible.I dug a tough  gold earring hit with this method too.The gold modes have a place in certain situations other then  nuggets.  

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