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Important Tip - Global Vs Local Settings

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Very informative, thank you.

A question for you...how often did you find yourself "trusting" the auto GB, versus "trusting yourself more," and running manual GB and adjusting as needed?

I am so "not used to" ground balancing a Minelab machine, that it will take some time for me to "get used to" doing regular, manual ground balances with the Equinox, IF INDEED it is something that proves to be a "better way" of operating.  Obviously, I know this question of "which way is better, manual or auto" is something that is very much ground- or site-dependent; would it be fair as a generalization to say that if hunting in mild to moderate ground, that is not changing rapidly over short distances, that auto GB in the Equinox is plenty good, but if hunting harsher, or rapidly changing ground, that manual offers some possible performance benefit?


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So far I have found the Equinox ground tracking to be very good, and I have not made up my mind yet what is the best way to go. As an old timer I tend to always default to manual because I know I am in control. Yet in variable ground this can be very tedious to keep up with, and if you do not keep on top of it being in manual is actually a bad idea. Minelab claims, and I think they make a good argument, that most people do not know well enough how to stay on top of manual ground balance, and so tracking is recommended for beginners especially.

One of my last prospecting runs on really bad ground, I experimented with tracking both on hot rocks and small metal targets. Hot rocks would usually track out in just two sweeps. On the other hand, I saw no evidence of metal items tracking out, though I know when targets get extremely faint there is still risk of it. Bottom line is tracking looks real good.

Automatic ground tracking largely keys off ground mineral response. Many white sand beaches in particular have such low mineral content tracking can go astray. Even ground grab methods can fail in extreme low mineral ground and you may have to use default values. This is not unique to Equinox, and if there is one area I would use extreme caution with tracking it would be very low mineral and/or saltwater situations. The salt range and gold overlap and tracking could possibly track into salt more aggressively then intended, blocking gold signals. I don’t have enough experience with Equinox in salt environments to say this is a fact; I am just saying this is one area where I would be very cautious of ground tracking.

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Great response, Steve.  Especially the musings about mild/salty sand.  Never thought of that nuance, but makes complete logical sense.

Thanks for sharing your experience with auto-tracking.  As a long-time Minelab user, I am the opposite of you -- NOT used to manual ground balancing, so we are coming at it from two opposite directions.  But you have given me some things to think about...


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I'm wondering what the reasoning is for the default GB setting of 0 in park and field modes? To me it would make more sense for the default to be GB tracking. 

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Depends who you ask. That is the thing about defaults - they work for some people and not for others. The rationale is simple - the thought was that it is a good starting point for most people, to be changed by those who think differently.

Defaults are relatively safe starting points for beginners, nothing more. Safe being the main goal, not best performance. That would be like putting your young daughter in a car for the very first time with the gas peddle glued to the floor. A wreck waiting to happen!

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Please don't take this wrong; I'm not challenging you -- instead, I'm just seeing if there is anything else in your brain that can be "picked," by additional questions, on this...

At first glance, I would agree with relicmeister...auto-tracking would seem OBVIOUSLY to be the best "default" mode for a machine to be in -- or to use your words, the "SAFEST" starting point for a beginner.  An "expert" could easily adjust, while a "beginner" would have a "well-functioning machine" with no input needed (maybe not the "highest performance" possible, but perhaps the "safest" mode, for a beginner).

HOWEVER, thinking back to what you said about NOTHING being done by Minelab on this unit without considerable thought, THEY must know a reason why "GB 0" is a better "default" setting than "auto-tracking."  So, my assumption is that my assumption (auto-track is a better default) is "mistaken."  LOL!  Do you have any insight into what Minelab may know, that suggested to them that this was a "better" setting, as a default?  Is it perhaps a tiny hint, maybe, that manual ground balance is a "preferred" setting?

Again, just trying to understand, and thought you might have one or two more "nuggets" of info in your mind that could be teased out.  If not, NO PROBEM!  It is, after all, a simple thing to adjust.  Just wondered if Minelab knows something that "we don't," i.e. is not obvious, on the surface...


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Honestly, I think you may be overthinking things. The fact is some situations like rapidly variable ground, call more for ground tracking. Prospectors run into this often, so tracking is the preset default. In parks ground is often more homogenous, and manual usually works fine. So it was made a default. You could also argue tracking was the better choice for a default with some merit. My personal perspective is that defaults are meaningless to me and I do not read anything into default settings other than what I have already stated. So if you want to try and read the tea leaves and divine meanings that is fine, but I can’t help with it myself. There is no one correct default setting and in the end you have to pick something, so it ends up being a choice by committee.

There is nothing wrong with running a detector in a park with a preset ground balance point if you are a beginner. Many detectors work no other way. And many detectors that can be adjusted never are. How many Deus users ever employ anything other than a factory preset manual ground balance setting of 90? Probably not as many as never touch it and do just fine. A lot of mild ground is very forgiving and requires nothing else.

I was asked about my suggestions for defaults at one point and my basic response to Minelab was “I don’t care because I will change them anyway”. The defaults I would choose are what works for me, and that would probably make the machine a hot mess for others.

In general with defaults you hand the detector to a complete novice, they choose a default mode, and the detector works. It will probably not be optimum but it will perform well without going off the rails.


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Super.  Thanks.  Makes sense.

By the way...ME?  Overthinking things?  I NEVER do that...


Actually, as I'm sure you already have noticed, I ALWAYS tend to over-think things.  I figured I was trying to glean details out of something where there was really nothing to be gleaned...parsing details WAY to excessively.  Just wanted to ask. 

Thanks for humoring me.  :happy:


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