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Equinox Newbie Help Required Please


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Hello all, I'm new to digging and have bought an Equinox 800. On my first dig I dug up enough iron to start my own scrap metal yard. On my second dig i altered my FE number and I dug less rubbish. the more experienced members seem to dig less but find more. There must be an indication as to whether the VDI is potentially worth digging or not. I've read the 64 page user manual and been out with a club a couple of times but have some basic questions that the manual does not seem to help with:

1) Can I set the accept/reject so that I never dig lead or ring pulls ?

2) Would the same target eg a silver sixpence give different VDI numbers at different depths ?

3) Will lead always be the same VDI number or does it depend on size and depth ?

I know its not an exact science and experience will help but I need to know what I'm learning.

 

 

 

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  • Steve Herschbach changed the title to Equinox Newbie Help Required Please

Welcome AndyMc, you're in the right church but you may be sitting too far back to hear the gospel. 😀

First thing we would need to know is where you hunt and what you are hunting for. Not specifics, but generally. Seems like you are not in the USA as you mention sixpence.

You are correct, sort of - that experienced users dig less and find more - but the truth is it may not be the ratio you have in mind.

I've been detecting with a 600 for a year now almost 5 days a week, and yeah, I'm pretty confident that I can get all the coins in a particular area without digging too much trash but reality is that even though metal detecting has come a long way, it will probably not ever be possible to just go out there and get all the good stuff without digging some junk.

You specifically mention lead and pull tabs (ring pulls). I have had lead give me tones and numbers on the display from about 8 to 26 - and some of the lead has been colonial buttons, civil war bullets, and other very desirable relics. Pull tabs run anywhere from 12 to 16, the exact same numbers and tones as brass buttons and other small relics, and gold. Gold can be anywhere from -5 to 18.

There is no secret sauce, no voodoo, and there are no magic settings that make you great right out of the door. The real magic is in experience, sweat, cuts, bruises, poison ivy, tick bites, mosquitoe bites, and blisters. With the right attitude great things are possible despite the risk! 🙂

We can help you minimize your trash digging, but you would probably need to minimize your expectations as well. Fact is you are always going to dig junk. It's all metal. 

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Welcome to the forum Andy,

  Glad you found us here, and F350's response says it all, for the most part! You can collect some practice targets to mess around with, to give your ears some "muscle memory"  and that will also help! Good luck!🍀

   And if you haven't done so yet, go to the Meet And Greet section and give us an informal intro as to where you are, how long detecting, and the types of items and conditions you may have!👍👍

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Iron.........really practice with some of those iron targets you recovered. The bigger ones may be impossible to improve response wise with adjusting the iron bias. The same goes for bent, crooked, misshaped iron/nails. They may always give some non-iron higher tone responses. So practice with them a lot to really get to know where they give high tones on your coil and where the response is correct. Practice swinging over them in different directions to see how the numbers change. If you switch to a program with iron rejected there may be audio drop outs and no number responses in some directions with non-ferrous numbers and even really high 39s and 40s in a different direction. Also, if you dug some really big iron objects that are way larger than your biggest coin denomination, you can lift the coil while swinging over them and see how high you can still detect them and compare that height to your biggest coins or relics that you are after. The same process works with large aluminum targets. Larger iron targets or bent/damaged iron targets can be difficult to pinpoint also. When you get more experience you can also use the pinpoint function to accurately size targets by their audio response circumference.

Lead and aluminum........lead targets are different shapes and sizes. So are aluminum pull tabs, etc. Then there are damaged pull tabs too. Each one may  read slightly differently. Most coin sized and smaller aluminum and lead will stay in the 8/10 (22 caliber fired lead round nose bullets for example) to the low 20s (aluminum screw caps) so if your coins or other desired targets are not between 8 and 23 or so, notching out that entire range of target IDs is a possibility. I have often been out just hunting for silver coins with a pattern that includes 12/13 (for US war nickels 40% silver and I like nickels......and gold rings that sometimes fall in that area) and 24 to 38 for silver objects. That might notch out small roman and medieval partial silver coins and objects in your area.

Deeper coin sized targets may have their target IDs slightly skewed higher especially if they are poorly oriented in the ground for optimum detecting or are slightly masked by other nearby targets or by the ground itself. So a US mercury dime (90% silver) may read 27 to 30 on or near the surface but may read 30 to 33 or even 38 if it is deeper than 8" or so. If iron is nearby or if you are hunting in iron mineralized soil or black sand beach conditions all non-ferrous targets may have their numbers dragged downward. That same Mercury dime that reads 27 to 30 might read in the 13 to 20 range or lower depending on how deep it is and how much iron is present. Luckily for you, you purchased the Equinox which is known for having much better target ID stability than most other detectors. For me that means except in the worst possible saltwater beach black sand.......your Equinox should ID silver targets as silver and bronze, brass, lead, gold and unfortunately aluminum as at least non-ferrous targets in badly mineralized dirt and will usually identify them correctly by tone and even give numerical target IDs that are in their corresponding conductivity range no matter how deep they are. Iron, steel, steel core coins and zinc core coin target responses are not as accurate and are the ones that I really had to learn carefully.

Keep asking questions and welcome to this forum.

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Wow, thank you guys for such quick and comprehensive replies. I must admit I was hoping for some magic solution but I'm a logical realist and I guess I knew really that there's no substitute for blood, sweat tears and experience. One of the guys at the club said you need time, patience and luck. I have an abundance of time and patience but I reckon I must have killed a dozen robins and smashed a load of mirrors in my time because if it weren't for bad luck I would have any luck at all. I'm in the UK and its such a shame that I cannot get together with some of you experienced guys to do some one on one in the field training. Unfortunately the majority of my digger buddies use the XP Deus and although the principle is similar, the settings and methods are specific to the Equinox. I know there are books and videos a plenty but I like having an expert in front of me talking me through what is happening. I'm out again Sunday and will be trying a few mods to the settings that I have looked up on Youtube. On my first day out with the club I dug 61 holes in semi hard ground and found nothing but nails, lead and shards of iron. Last week I found 6 roman coins none of which were "good" condition but I dug a lot fewer holes basically because I switched the iron off. Problem is I guess I might have missed some good finds. Good luck everyone and again thank you for your replies.         

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Ah, but we here in the USA wish we were there. 😀 We would all love to dig stuff that was lost 1,000 years ago, but our original population didn't make a lot out of metal. We do have quite a few members in the UK! Hope they will help you.

We're not done. Jeff gave you some useful stuff, and here are some simple suggestions which should help you a lot. Sorry your pals all have Deus detectors, they are great but do not really offer a huge advantage. Additionally they are more broke than you:

Research is key to finding the good stuff. If you browse the forum searching for "maps" you should find some great websites that may help, and of course local records help. Remember you have to get your coil over something to find it, even the Deus doesn't make stuff appear. If you're searching for artifacts from Roman times, you have to be where they were! Look for settlements, emplacements, battles and skirmishes, but mind your borders - some places may be off limits. In Virginia hunting on some battlefields is a Felony. You write you hunt with a club, that's probably a good thing.

I stumbled upon some early colonial stuff in a farm near my house but it was quite by accident, or the luck of which you write.20210315_180700.thumb.jpg.b34ef8d9b755d2224b6d3cd8d26c6da2.jpg

That's just one of them. My area was settled in the 1600s, specifically in the 20 or so mile radius around my house, much to my surprise. I dug stuff like that using a website called historicaerials.com, and USGS mapping that goes back to the 1800s that showed some of the earliest houses. I haven't as yet visited my county records but those would help.

Believe me I have dug tons of junk to get a few good things.

You're best off not using the settings that famewhores on YouTube do unless they did their videos where you are standing. Ground conditions vary everywhere. Here in Virginia I could not use the same settings in Culpeper that I use in my farms around my house. I can't use the same settings at a beach either. You should stay with the basic modes and tweak them a setting at a time to see what works. If you do 10 things at once you will never know what worked.

I started using Field 2 in the farms, always using all metal (horseshoe button). When I am around a house, I use Park 1 and all metal. At the beach I'll use beach 1 or 2. In the river beach 2 is the only mode I can use! I always use all metal unless I don't have time and want to just cherry pick. About the only setting I have changed is iron balance, but I'm still learning it. Sensitivity varies all the time, but I try to run it as "hot" as possible.

If you have found a ton of iron consider this: You may have to remove it to get to the good stuff! When I come upon an old house I have to deal with tons of nails and scrap metal, the farmers just knock 'em down and push 'em in the woods. That's where experience comes in, many of the sites I visited were "trashy", so revisiting them a second and third time after gaining experience and digging a lot more will help. If you're in a place where your detector is silent, you're probably in the wrong place. 😀

One great tip I post often for new detectorists like me is this one: If you get a great signal, something you know is good but seems unlikely and strong, hold your coil a foot or more above it and check the depth display. If you still get the same tone and pretty much the same depth it is a huge piece of junk. For me those are beer cans (farmers like beer) which are in the 20s,  and large steel objects which can false all the way to 40. If the signal disappears or gets faint at a foot or more, you should dig it.

Last thing is to make sure you really understand how to noise cancel and ground balance the detector. Run noise cancel when you start, if the detector gets noisy on it's own you will have to do it again. When ground balancing manually you can mess up and turn auto tracking on. Auto tracking is specialized.

Sorry this is a lot but the Equinox is a lot. 😀 The Deus is a lot more.

HTH, HH

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Welcome aboard Andy !

You just got a heap of good advise (you guys can pay me later) ...

LOL But seriously , the factory settings are all pretty good , don't stray too far for now.

Once you get some time in and the Nox becomes more familiar , you'll be much more able to hear what your changes are doing and can tweak it in easier .

I'm not far ahead of you with a Nox and this place is (as many of my musician friends say)   "the balls"  for info on one  !  Take notes , there's a lot to absorb  . 

 

Many many  questions are already answered in Steve's Guides. so don't miss that !

https://www.detectorprospector.com/magazine/steves-guides/steves-guides/

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, AndyMc said:

Wow, thank you guys for such quick and comprehensive replies. I must admit I was hoping for some magic solution but I'm a logical realist and I guess I knew really that there's no substitute for blood, sweat tears and experience. One of the guys at the club said you need time, patience and luck. I have an abundance of time and patience but I reckon I must have killed a dozen robins and smashed a load of mirrors in my time because if it weren't for bad luck I would have any luck at all. I'm in the UK and its such a shame that I cannot get together with some of you experienced guys to do some one on one in the field training. Unfortunately the majority of my digger buddies use the XP Deus and although the principle is similar, the settings and methods are specific to the Equinox. I know there are books and videos a plenty but I like having an expert in front of me talking me through what is happening. I'm out again Sunday and will be trying a few mods to the settings that I have looked up on Youtube. On my first day out with the club I dug 61 holes in semi hard ground and found nothing but nails, lead and shards of iron. Last week I found 6 roman coins none of which were "good" condition but I dug a lot fewer holes basically because I switched the iron off. Problem is I guess I might have missed some good finds. Good luck everyone and again thank you for your replies.         

So, are you hunting in plowed farm land, parks or other land that has or hasn't been heavily cultivated? Is there a lot of coke in the area? If so, you might want to hunt in the Field 1 mode in Multi. It is a  great place to start for pastures and most of the coke will respond in the  0, +1 +2 area of Field 1. The default F2 iron bias setting is 6 which is plenty for identifying iron and the Recovery Speed (=reactivity on the Deus) is also 6 which is just right for nice audio responses and quick recovery (audio separation) between targets that are close together. Your Equinox may need to be manually set for Iron Bias (Deus does not need this setting so they can't help you). Your Nox has two different Iron Bias setting ranges....FE and F2 which are the last setting in the Settings Menu and they share that slot with Recovery Speed. You need to see F2 on the screen and leave it alone. You may have to toggle that setting to reach it if you instead see FE . FE will not help you much at all in thick iron since its default setting is a wimpy 0. Learn how to check and adjust those settings. They are important.

So this is just a suggestion, if there is a lot of coke I would not hunt in Field 1 by just pressing the horseshoe button and accepting every target ID in that mode. You can compromise (and learn your detector) by using default Field 1 which has -9 to +2 rejected and add in some of the iron range like -8,-7, -6, -5, -4, -3, -2. You can also hunt in Field 1's default two tones which has one low tone for anything below +2 and one really high tone for anything above +2. You can adjust the tone's pitches and tone volume levels if you don't like the default presets. You might want to put this slightly customized Field 1 version in your User Profile slot so that you can also hunt in default Field 1 if the iron is overwhelming.  You will end up with a custom Field 1 with gaps at -1,0,+1 and +2 to take care of most coke and possibly a gap at -9 if you choose to. Due to that gap around 0 you may hear some partial or broken up audio responses which will let you know you over over some coke, etc, but at least it won't be coming through as a good signal.

Hunting in this customized form of 2 tone Field 1 with simplify the tone responses, let you hear some of the iron, and will help better identify those non-ferrous targets that might be really deep (8"+) from actual iron targets. 

I left out -9 in that customized pattern to give you the choice of adding it back in if you want. Sometimes the really tiny iron particles which are from disintegrating man-made iron or are natural to the soil will create a -9 "iron fog" of ground noise so you will get iron responses around non-ferrous targets with the whole iron range accepted.

Make sure you noise cancel around your Deus friends and try not to run you Equinox at max sensitivity around them. They will hate you. Running your Equinox at 20 to 23 will still get you plenty of depth and it won't cause interference problems.

Also make sure you do a proper manual ground balance over clean ground. You can check for clean ground by using your Equinox pinpoint function or by using any mode with the horseshoe button pressed. Hitting those deep, masked or poorly oriented non-ferrous targets will be enhanced by doing a good ground balance.

 

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On 9/9/2021 at 6:02 AM, AndyMc said:

I'm in the UK and its such a shame that I cannot get together with some of you experienced guys to do some one on one in the field training.

There are several people on here from the UK, and maybe you can locate a few of them and see if they would like to meetup.

You may want to post something asking for help in your area on another thread.

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I didn't have time to read everything here but if no one mentioned it, when just starting out, the best way to avoid digging iron is to focus more on the sound than the numbers. Dig only clear, repeatable, 360 degree signals. Walk around the target and if they sound smooth all the way around with no low tones mixed in, it is more than likely non-ferrous. Some large iron might also sound good but the target profile will be large in pinpoint. Most non-ferrous targets like coins will have a small profile. Once you get familiar with the sounds, a lot of iron can easily be avoided.

You definitely want to dig the pull rings and lead because they could also be gold or hammered silver.

 

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