Jump to content

Pinpointing/ Target Tracing

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, I've been swinging the equinox since I got it in February, moved up from simplex, and been loving it since, despite a rocky start

I've found a small bit of gold, and been killing it on silver.  I bought a couple of Clive James clinick's books. Skill building, and gold jewelry hunters handbook. I found both to be helpful. 

I am running into a bit of trouble understanding target tracing/pinpointing. 

When I first get a target I can tell if it's huge by the sound, but for regular targets, in pinpoint, I'm getting better at telling the size, but still having trouble. Everything still sounds largeish. 

Clive talks about tracing the outline of a target in pinpoint to ",see the shape" but I'm stuck there. Everything is just blob shaped, with no real definition.

I've noticed on some YouTube videos when they are showing the response to a target, the sound is super quiet.

I'm wondering if I'm just running the volume too high (21 on the machine, and a couple down from Max on headphones. I'm using the equinox ones). Or too high sensitivity (average of 18 in my parks)

Could someone make a YouTube demo on target tracing?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No Video But it not complicated --

The pinpointing on the Nox just basically has a Zero point set when you push the pinpoint button,

SO, put the coil a few inches away from where you think the target is, move slowly in whatever directing it takes to increase the signal, as you get closer hit the button again to Re-Zero it at that point, repeat as you get closer until you are centered over the target, at this point you have De-Sensitized to a point where the signal is only heard directly over the target. BE SURE to keep the same height as you are pinpointing.

As for Size -- I often just lift the coil to see how high up the signal can be detected with the same settings, the bigger target the greater depth from the coil it can be detected, this gives you a general idea of size, widening a swing around the target will give you an idea of shape, especially if it's long and narrow, such as a buried pipe.

You can also use the pinpoint to trace edges of larger targets using same basic techniques as pinpointing, just pay attention to when you get a signal near the edges of the target, De-sensitize as needed if too jumpy.



  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so it sounds like I've been pinpointing without desensitizing, and this makes the target sound bigger. Are you guys Able to use this tracing to tell a strange shape like can slaw from say a pull tab rectangle, or a ring?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Mr Swing king said:

are you guys Able to use this tracing to tell a strange shape like can slaw from say a pull tab rectangle, or a ring?

The signal is too processed on an Equinox to tell these differences.  I am speaking for myself. I find the pinpoint mode on the Equinox one of the worst features. For many reasons. I do all my pinpointing for removal in the horseshoe mode. 


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should have said that doing the things I mentioned are best done in All Metal, And Gold Modes.

BTW, Gold Mode will By Far get you the best depth in nearly all situations, sadly it has only one tone, but the I.D readout works well in all but the worst ground.

No detector will really give you the shape of targets like pull tabs and can slaw.

But, the Nox with small coil is good at cherry picking in iron in gold mode with No Discrimination, IF you pay Close attention to the number readout, if at different angles of swing you get mostly Negative Numbers BUT one or more Consistent Positive Number popping up, there is a Good Chance there is a Non Ferris target in with that iron trash.

The exception is if the plus and minus numbers wildly jump all over well into both positive and negative numbers, in those cases it is almost always an odd shaped iron target such as Can Slaw.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not in great position to answer your question. However, after 1000+ hours of Minelab Equinox operation, including using the pinpoint function with more than half of the targets investigated, I still find it puzzling and even occasionally frustrating.  I'm glad you brought this up and I'm going to sit back and read replies before chiming it.  (I'm talking about replies which directly address the question; less interested in those that argue for other pinpoint methods even though those are 'tools' that should be in everyone's 'toolbox'.)



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the perception that the pinpoint function does not work well on the Nox is both Right and Wrong.

As I understand it the De-Sensitizing or Re-Zeroing during pinpointing is suppose to be automatic at least to a degree, However that Automatic Resetting works slowly and poorly. But Re-Pushing the pinpoint button as needed manually works just fine. Just remember to move towards the target slow as you repeat the Zero Point, AND be careful to kept the same height, the system essentially does not know the difference between being closer to the target side to side and up and down.  Overall manually Re-Zeroing is much like most separate pinpointers, you re-zero as you get closer to the target.

As a side note. -- that new 5x10 Coiltek coil has unusually sensitive pointed ends, by that I mean it will detect even small targets with the tips of the small ends ( just not as far away as being in the center of the coil ). SO you can often turn your coil 90 degs and use the very end of the coil as a pinpointer.!  Just keep in mind doing that will have limited depth. But that can also tell you that the target is not very deep. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Knomad said:

As a side note. -- that new 5x10 Coiltek coil has unusually sensitive pointed ends, by that I mean it will detect even small targets with the tips of the small ends ( just not as far away as being in the center of the coil ). SO you can often turn your coil 90 degs and use the very end of the coil as a pinpointer.!  Just keep in mind doing that will have limited depth. But that can also tell you that the target is not very deep. 

Thanks for that tip. I hadn't noticed that before, but saw it happen in a sand volleyball court this week. The 10x5 picked out a tiny target in the sand that I couldn't find with my handheld pinponter. So while trying to re-pinpoint the target with the Nox, I inadvertently found it with the tip of the coil. It was a little push-on earring back for a stud earring. I tested it on my pinpointer and could only detect it if it was touching the side of the tip, and only if the flat part was touching it. The 10x5 picked it up with no problem regardless of the earring back's orientation. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2021 at 9:20 PM, Mr Swing king said:

I also remember Clive mentioned the equinox has ratcheting pinpoint? Could someone demonstrate how to do that?

I know diddly-squat about electronics, so here is my best explanation of ratchet pinpointing. This was also called (and electronically controlled by) VCO i.e. Voltage Controlled Oscillation. So this basically means the electronics are tuned to push voltage to an oscillator device (internal to the detector) --- the closer to target, the more electronic feedback (signal strength) being received drives the oscillator higher and higher in pulses. The White's XLT I used back when had a function setting that would turn off the ratcheting of VCO, but still allowed the pitch and volume to get higher when you were directly over target. I use the EQ 800 and cannot hear any 'ratcheting' but I definitely can hear the gain in volume and pitch when in pinpoint mode and I have center just in front of stem; using the 6" coil. I understand that different sized coils and designs will change the performance a bit from coil to coil. The 11" coil was and still is a mother-bear for me to pinpoint with in dense trash parks and when detecting parking strips too. Wiggle is the word with Double-D coils, so you advance forward and back, move around 20 degrees or so and repeat and where the coil comes off the sound from 2 or 3 angles, this will be the sweet spot for center. I hope this helps rather than confuses you. Happy Hunting

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By ColonelDan
      I've read several threads on the soon-to-be-fielded Deus 2 and how it will compare to the Equinox. There have been many good views on this topic so I thought I'd share mine. As you read this, keep in mind the views expressed here are worth just as much as you've paid for them. 😁

      1. Wireless vs Wired: I'm 99% a salt water beach hunter with my EQX 800 and the way I grid a beach, I often go from the damp sand to the wet sand and then into the surf (only about 1 foot deep due to concerns over water intrusion so I keep the control box dry). Given that, a Deus II for me would have to be constantly wired from coil to control box in order to work in the surf. For that reason, a totally wireless capability would not be that enticing since the wire from coil to box would be a permanent configuration.

      2. Waterproof: I owned a Deus and found it to be a solidly engineered machine so I'm not a skeptic where XP claims of being waterproof are concerned. Were I to make a wager, I'd bet on much better waterproof performance in the Deus II than was the original ML waterproof claim for the EQX. Being truly waterproof is important for me and not because I hunt deeper than 1 foot in salt water these days because I don't. Ours is an outdoor hobby so I think all detectors should be waterproof...at the very least, reliably weatherproof. How many times have you been caught in the rain or dropped your detector in a puddle of water? Even if you are a land hunter and never go near any water, replacing a damaged or inop machine due to moisture intrusion isn't a trivial thing.

      3. Build quality: The Deus I had was quality built, rugged and reliable. No coil ear issues, wobbly shafts or arm cuff breakage. In my view, it was a much more rugged detector than Minelab products in certain areas. XP doesn't seem to pinch pennies as did Minelab on simple things. Recall the original skimpy gaskets they put in the CTX 3030 that caused flooding of the battery box. The issue was solved when they came out with merely a little thicker gasket! Their use of cheap coil ears, arm cuffs and wobbly shafts on the EQX series is another example. For a few pennies more per unit, they would have saved untold thousands in warranty replacement costs in both the CTX and EQX series machines. Although they are among the very best where software technology is concerned, I never understood that "penny wise pound foolish" approach in their physical build design.

      4. Overall Performance: This is where the EQX was superior to my original Deus. The multi-frequency/multi IQ of the EQX vs the selectable single frequency of the Deus was an obvious choice in my salt water beach hunting environment. I eventually sold my Deus for that reason. Now, if XP has really overcome that limitation in the Deus II with their FMF feature, I'll be happily impressed.

      5. Final Thoughts: I'm with the others who will take a "wait and see" approach. But, given my past experience with XP engineering, I have no doubt the Deus II will be a very capable salt water beach detector. Will it generally outperform the Minelabs? TBD. Will it be found that XP pinched pennies on their build quality? I say no. It will be a well built unit. Will it be more comfortable to use than the Minelabs? Yes. Will it be more complex in its settings options than the Minelabs? Yes. Will it's overall performance justify the higher price tag compared to the current EQX? TBD but that will be determined solely by and in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes.

      Just a few thoughts from my foxhole...  
    • By UT Dave
      I'd like to increase my knowledge and skill in tuning my Nox 800 for specific conditions.
      Those of you who tune your machines off the factory defaults, please share what you have!  Not what your settings are, but how you arrive at those settings.
      For instance, is there a relationship between different settings, such, that a preferred order of operations is suggested for optimal results?  I noise cancel, then ground grab, then adjust sensitivity.  FE2, Recovery, Threshold, is there a best practice for the order in which they are set?
      How do you know when you should increase or decrease FE2 or Recovery?  What factors or indicators go into that decision?
      I've arrived at my current default beginning state, by trying to make things first "worse" in my test garden.  By adjusting each setting individually up and down though the full range of adjustment, noting whether signal got better or worse at each step, to get what I considered the best signal on a deep silver coin.  But doing so in a controlled situation with a known target like that is one thing, knowing how to read variable conditions and how to tune accordingly is quite another.
      How do you make your tuning decisions in the field?  What are the settings you most frequently find need adjusted to accommodate search conditions?
      - Dave
    • By Veisal
      Here are some improvements to the ergonomics of the minelab equinox 600/800 made with a 3D printer 

    • By Momokahn
      Just like the college sports transfer portal, I too have decided to change my mind.😁  I was set on buying the new NM Legend.  Instead I visited a local MD dealer today and had a chance to test drive the dealers Equinox 800. The Equinox 800 checked every box and then some.  It will get me where I want to be in metal detecting.  The dealer was pretty impressed on how I was able to navigate through the controllers menus and settings. It is on order and will be here next week.  Now for the "goodies" getting thrown in for free.  Both editions of Andy Sabisch's Handbooks on the Equinox 600/800, a Minelab Hat (I love hats), and any magazine, current or past editions that are in stock.  And there are a lot in stock.  Excited is an understatement.
    • By Dan(NM)
      I had a very productive day hunting a city park in a nearby town. Took me 7 1/2 hours to round up all these keepers. The v nickel is the fifth one I've taken out of this park in the last 2 weeks. Ended up with a nickel trifecta to boot.  I think I'm going to get the 5x10 coil due to the amount of iron and debris in the places that are producing the coins. I did pretty good by going nice and slow and digging all iffy tones. I was very surprised to see the Canadian quarter come out, that's the second one I've found this year.
      Nox 800
      Park 1
      Recovery 3
      Iron Bias 0
      Sens 23
      Manual GB 30
      2 Tones
      Tone break at 10
      No Disc-wide open

    • By Dan(NM)
      I went back to a park that's been producing some good finds. Today was a very unusual nickel day. Ended up with 3 silver war nickels, a v nickel, an unidentified coin, 4 Wheaties and a religious medallion. I didn't really have a goal this year for silver coins but with today's finds that puts me at 112 for the year. Running park 1...2 tones..no disc...manual gb at 30..recovery speed 3..iron bias at F2-0.. tone break at 10...sens 23.  All war nickels hit at 15, the V hit 12-13, the unidentified coin(?) hits at 12.

  • Create New...