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Tuning For Conditions?


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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

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If you feel like you are digging too much ferrous, increase the FE setting. Doing so increases the risk of missing a non-ferrous target, so simply set it as low as you can stand given the amount of ferrous you are digging.

In general the sparser the targets and lower the mineralization, the lower the recovery speed. The denser the targets and/or higher the mineralization, the higher the recovery speed may need to be.

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4 hours ago, UT Dave said:

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

Why don't you share with us your optimal settings so we can comment from that perspective?

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There's so much to your question(s) and I'm not experienced enough with MIQ to give a full and detailed response. But based on my research and from a few hunts in my yard and local parks (as well as using Monte's Nail Board), here's the approach I take with Iron Bias.

I leave Fe alone. I only mess with F2. Yes, any adjustments will be more extreme, but I hunt many locations where there's no heavy iron. Heavy aluminum, yes. But heavy iron? Not usually, at least not the amount or type of iron that makes me think I've got a coin. In other words, I'm usually not worried about digging up a rusted nail or bolt b/c it happens rarely enough where it doesn't bother me.

Right now, I use Park 1 with F2 at 0 (and everything else "stock," although I'll ground balance and adjust sensitivity as necessary given my EMI). If I sense I'm digging more rusted iron or bottle caps than I'm comfortable with, I may move F2 to 1. If somehow that's too much of a change, there's always Fe for me to mess around with.

Edited by mh9162013
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Very helpful.  Appreciate the input!

Increase iron filtering, if digging too much ferrous.  But, with a trade off of increased potential for masking?  That's a helluva conundrum.  The more iron you are in, the more likely a good target is in proximity to the iron, but reducing the effects of the thick iron on the audible signal by increased filtering, increases the chances of missing those good targets in close proximity to the iron.

In other words, hunting a rusted iron infested site and particularly hoping for old coins.  "Turning down" the iron influence by increasing the strength of the filter, has a drawback that might, cause one to miss more good targets than simply "living with" the iron being allowed to speak for itself.  

What do you guys think is the most direct tradeoff for increased recovery speed?  Depth?  With caveats?

 

2 hours ago, Chase Goldman said:

Why don't you share with us your optimal settings so we can comment from that perspective?

Sure.  Optimal settings for a specific target in my backyard.  My method for arriving at them could likely stand some improvement?

I always noise cancel and use a manual/automatic ground balance.  EMI is not bad in my yard - the machine never chuckles or sounds like it's attempting modem transmissions over a phone line when I first turn it on in my yard, like it does at some locations.

I don't know that the numbers of the ground balance scale mean anything I can interpret.  I've no idea what the data values are.  But they are consistently below 5 in my yard.

Using 50 tone audio.  I just started using 50 after the first week or so with the machine and feel kind of handicapped running it in 5 tone now.

I ran everything Multi.

I didn't mess with the Beach modes. 

On a 7" silver dime and a 10" silver quarter that have both been in the ground quite awhile.

All modes I tried hit both above targets at least one way, at least most swings.  Park 1 seemed to give the best signals of the factory presets with solid cross sweep signals.  Gold 1 and Gold 2 were definitely hitting the targets well too, but I like the sounds of Park 1, 50 tone better.

I never messed with FE,.  Just went to FE2.  Ended up at FE=2 giving what I felt was the best signal.

Recovery ended up at 4.

I habitually run sensitivity as high as stability will allow.  That's 22 in my yard with the above other settings.

Even if, all that is well and good though...

My back yard doesn't resemble where I most enjoy hunting.  My favorite spots so far are old (by Great Basin standards), and heavily infested with iron.  The oldest sites, the ones I like best, seem particularly heavy on rusted square nails at depth.

Using the above settings, makes for a pretty sparky running machine in these sites.  Lots and Lots of iron hitting high 30's.  Right now, at this point in my experience, I like letting the iron speak up a bit and listening carefully for a non ferrous tone in there that doesn't get too flutey and that I can get to repeat from multiple directions.  I really don't know how well I'm doing, compared to what's possible.  But I feel like I'm doing at least okay picking some good finds out of the iron this way.  I've found several silver dimes in carpets of nails.  But the iron is a constant attack on the ears.  

- Dave

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23 minutes ago, UT Dave said:

Lots and Lots of iron hitting high 30's.

That's interesting.

The only time I got iron getting that high (or high enough that I thought I was going to get a coin, only to get a rusted hunk of iron junk) was after a rain, when my soil was moist/damp. And I was hunting with a Vanquish 540 with its Iron Bias set on "high." Actually, it rarely got into the 30s, but did get into the low 20s on many occassions. And on the 540, this was prime penny territory for me.

You also mention how iron is a "constant attack" on the ears. But what targets are you gunning for? Silver coins, right? If so, those sounds should be much louder and higher pitched than the iron, right?

Maybe it's b/c I am coming from a Garrett AT Max, but sometimes, when I'm hunting (for coins, most often) I'll be swinging along my merry little way and forget that I've pressed the Horseshoe button. So all targets are being accepted, but I almost don't notice that.  And this is true even when the iron is relatively thick, such that I'm getting "machine gun fire" low-coductor hits on my Equinox 600. So the iron signals sound like soft thuds compared to the high tone of a copper penny, dime or quarter.

All of that being said, this is one reason why, for now, I have F2 set at 0. I don't mind hearing the iron signals if that means there's less of a chance of masking going on. Of course, I don't deal with iron like you, but my point is that even if I did, the constant iron signals aren't that bad. But again, maybe that's b/c I'm coming from a Garrett AT Max with its overpowering low tones. And note that I haven't messed with any of the tone settings in my Equinox 600...and these settings are far more limited than what you have with the 800.

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Hi Dave,

in 50 tones, you can lower the volume level of the iron range tones to a background low volume level so they are not so overwhelming. 
 

Higher recovery speeds will result in shorter length tone responses and slightly less depth in “normal” dirt. In high iron mineralization slightly higher recovery speed may be necessary to “see” into the ground better

Rusted/ bent square nails, especially deeper ones can have nonferrous responses throughout the target ID range. Really high tones and 38,39,40 numbers are almost always deep iron responses

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Yes, in those type of sites, I see a lot of 39's.  And every 39 I've dug so far, has been rusty iron.  Either big iron, bent square nails, or a pile of square nails in various orientations.  I don't dig near as many of them as I did even a month ago 😁.  I'm finding these signals mostly don't stand up to cross sweeps, with the horseshoe button engaged.  They'll give a beautiful tone and show a high 30 sweeping one way, but usually start to break up on cross sweeps.

Not the bent square nails though.  They sound GOOD from multiple directions.  Too good not to dig.  For me, at this point, at least...

Silver coins are the prize finds.  I'm happy as heck with just about any interesting nonferrous relic though.  Buttons, Levis copper rivets, old spent ammo cases, harmonica parts, lantern parts, tools, whatzits etc.  I'll dig pretty much any two way repeatable signal on these hunts.  Do dig a lot of iron.  Sometimes, too though, I'll dig a big iron piece on purpose, out of curiosity.  I got a mule shoe and a valise frame last hunt doing that 😀.  Nonferrous, some old Schofield .45 Colt cases, a .40-65 case, an Eley Bro percussion cap tin lid.  And, a single Mercury dime, only coin I found all day.

untitled-5W.jpg

- Dave

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13 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Hi Dave,

in 50 tones, you can lower the volume level of the iron range tones to a background low volume level so they are not so overwhelming. 

Excellent idea!  I suppose 38, 39 and 40 might not always be considered iron range tones, but those are the ones I'd like to quiet down a bit.

- Dave

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As Steve said, increasing iron bias (F2) might mitigate the wrap around falsing.  Of course depth and separation might be affected, but unless you are frequently finding silver after you've dug the iron, I would worry less about iron masking and try to just knock down the falsing. HTH

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