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steveg

In-the-field Comparisons Between The Equinox And Ctx...

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Great report Steve!  Those are some awesome data points for those of us hunting with the Equinox.  I would be interested to know how the equinox would have sounded using a faster recovery.. having just received my 800, I am experimenting with with 5 and 7 (since I got somewhat a feel for the 6 recovery equivalent on the 600).  I have found this as well, the Equinox has been giving me a more stable ID at depths where my other machines start to get squirrelly.  And... nice find btw!  A buff and a indian in the same small area is pretty awesome!!  Tim.

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Tim,

It's funny; I hunted for about 6 hours, and aside from that 5-mil tax token (shown in the picture I just added to my post), all those finds were found in about 15 minutes of time, in a ten-foot-radius circle!  I just couldn't find any other part of this park where I felt like I was hunting old, undisturbed dirt.  It's the first time I'd been there, and it's pretty big, but that's the only little "hot spot" I found.  It's been hunted heavily, like most public parks, but I try not to let that deter me -- usually there are a few deeper, or masked, targets, that have been missed, as you know.

Anyway, yes -- these were good "data points" for me, too.  It was really good that it worked out the way it did.  Back 7 years ago, when I was really getting serious about this hobby, this same hunting buddy I refer to was the first guy I ever hunted with.  He sort of "took me under his wing;" he was running the E-Trac, as I mentioned, and I was struggling with my machine -- part due to being a newbie, and part due to the fact that in my irony-red dirt, single-frequency VLF units are very poor on ID at depth.  So, I'd watch him find deep coins, and call me over to listen, and my machine would say "iron!"

So, I finally decided, based on his success and my lack thereof, that I needed a Minelab FBS unit, and got an Explorer SE Pro.  For MONTHS after that, I drove him NUTS, I'm sure (though he never let on).  We got in the habit (and it's a habit I've come to really appreciate, as a learning tool) of listening to each other's targets, when we thought we had a good one.  Doing that for months and months is how I learned to find old coins -- and it's his patience and willingness to teach, that was KEY for me.  We still, after all this time, "listen to each other's targets" quite frequently.  And so I'm really happy that this time, for the first time, I have a machine that I'm a bit ahead of him on, in terms of learning curve, and thus, for once, I am the one who was able to find the good targets, and let HIM listen -- to help HIM learn what a good, deep target sounds like!  😉  I'm indebted to him; on this day, perhaps I was able to pay back a little bit of that debt (7 cents worth, I guess!  😉 )

Steve

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Steve , I'm curious what the ground balanced on the 800 during this hunt if you were able to detect with a sensitivity of 25 on your CTX. My experience  in my dirt has not been exactly the opposite as both machines have been able to see the targets but the CTX has repeatedly had better ID. My dirt seldom lets me get above 15 or 18 sensitivity on the CTX (auto or manual) and balanced around 2 or 3 frequently on my ex-800. I run ground coin almost exclusively. I have noticed this both before I jettisoned the 800 and in multiple hunts with two friends  that are using the 800 and comparing signals with me. They are able to see the targets just not as clearly. Did you try detecting  in ground coin or do you always run in ferrous?

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Dusty --

I will ask my friend if (and if so, what number) he balanced at.  I know the recommended sensitivity on my CTX was running all day between 14 and 19 (at least, each time I checked).  I do run the CTX hot; in fact, there were times I had it at 30.  But, it was a bit falsy/chattery at 30, so I knocked it down to 25 in some spots, to quiet it down a bit.  I know he said he had sensitivity at 23 on his Equinox.  

I will say this -- you have different dirt.  I don't know how to interpret the numbers at which the machine balances, in terms of what that tells you about the dirt.  But, in my "slightly hot" red irony clay, I usually balance upper 40s to mid 50s on the Equinox.  But, when I hunt a rare site with more loamy, brown topsoil-type dirt, it balances in the teens.  So, my mind says -- and mind you, I've only hunted the Equinox in central Oklahoma so far -- that here, "mild" dirt is a lower number (teens), and hotter, red clay is a higher number (40s and 50s).  And then there's you, with balance numbers of 2 or 3?  Based on my (very limited) experience, I'd have figured your dirt was really "mild" based on that.  BUT, apparently not?  Where are you located?

Finally, no, I haven't run "ground coin" on my CTX yet.  I have only been swinging it for about 6 months, after about 7 years on an Explorer.  The Explorers offered no "separation modes," so that's something I haven't yet experimented with on the CTX.  I will, though.  But I'm not sure my dirt is bad enough for "ground coin;"  I have toyed with the idea of running "high trash" mode, but maybe "ground coin" is worth a try at some point, too.

Steve

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Good report Steve.  I noticed you were running the 17” coil which is around an inch deeper the 11” stock CTX coil in my ground.  Sounds like the Equinox held its own even sporting the smaller coil. I’m not surprised given my experience with the Nox..

Bryan

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There is no doubt the equinox is deeper then the CTX. I noticed that right away. Yesterday I hit an old park that I have not been to in a long time with my equinox.  I have hunted this park a lot with the CTX. There is a little grassy knoll where previously I had found some coins and two junk rings with the CTX. Perfect spot for people to picnic. I got a faint deep signal with the 800 reading in the 30 and above range. My Lesche digging tool was almost maxed out after a long struggle to get the target free out pops a silver half dollar 1963. I know that I covered this area 4-5 times (20x 30 foot area) with the CTX and missed this nice find. I dig a little more crap with my 800 then the CTX but I'm learning to live with it. 

strick 

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18 hours ago, steveg said:

I will say this -- you have different dirt.  I don't know how to interpret the numbers at which the machine balances, in terms of what that tells you about the dirt.  But, in my "slightly hot" red irony clay, I usually balance upper 40s to mid 50s on the Equinox.  But, when I hunt a rare site with more loamy, brown topsoil-type dirt, it balances in the teens.  So, my mind says -- and mind you, I've only hunted the Equinox in central Oklahoma so far -- that here, "mild" dirt is a lower number (teens), and hotter, red clay is a higher number (40s and 50s).  And then there's you, with balance numbers of 2 or 3?  Based on my (very limited) experience, I'd have figured your dirt was really "mild" based on that.  BUT, apparently not?

Ground balance numbers have nothing to do with the amount of mineralization. My ground is intensely magnetite laden and ground balances in the single digits. Ground balance reflects the type of mineralization, not the amount.

In the end I think the CTX and Equinox are just two different options, and for most people it will make a difference that we are talking a 5.2 lb $2500 detector versus a 3 lb $900 detector. The fact there is a $1600 price difference and that the performance difference is even debatable at all is pretty remarkable in my opinion.

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52 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Ground balance numbers have nothing to do with the amount of mineralization. My ground is intensely magnetite laden and ground balances in the single digits. Ground balance reflects the type of mineralization, not the amount.

In the end I think the CTX and Equinox are just two different options, and for most people it will make a difference that we are talking a 5.2 lb $2500 detector versus a 3 lb $900 detector. The fact there is a $1600 price difference and that the performance difference is even debatable at all is pretty remarkable in my opinion.

Well put.  My friend asked me after the hunt what I needed the CTX for and I said to dive one day LOL.  The 800 is asking me to use different muscles so my wrist was sore after a full day, but I think that will change over time.  In all seriousness I am toying with selling the 3030 and getting a second 800, but I want to see people figure out the weak points for the waterproofing and take it up to 20 feet. 

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steveg,

Minelab's Etrac and Ctx don't give you a lot of ground info other than the sensitivity readings but the Equinox does at least give you a number which is why I inquired. The F75 and Deus both give you a mineral concentration scale as well as a numeric value and I have always tried to correlate them with the Minelabs. Apparently  the Equinox "reverses" the others scales as both of the previous detectors read in the high 80's (88 to 90) and had 3 and 4 bar F75 or above half way on the Deus mineralization graph,,,,I never found a previously hunted area with the Equinox that ran above 5 when I GBed and ,of course , no real idea on the mineral concentration other than ground noise and minus readings. My dirt is dry , alkaline , high chaparral with a basis of weathered granite from Rocky Mountain alluvial fans mixed with obnoxious fill dirt with liberal doses of artificial fertilizer , all sculpted to imitate mid western grass parks. Irrigation and sprinklers use water that has a ph in the mid 8's,,,,It is abysmal ground I assure you.

I should , as a good detectorist , use the GB feature on the CTX(although i do occasionally run in "seawater") but , not being a good detectorist , I'm not concerned about depth as antiquity here was obliterated years ago by urban sprawl and concrete. Discrimination is the order here which is why most park hunters rely on the V3i but I have always favored the Minelab FBS machines and have found the Etrac and CTX to give me superior ID than the Equinox under these conditions , both in my own personal use as well as with the other detectorists I have mentioned. This is not a knock on the Nox but actually a confirmation of Minelab's own corporate ratings of the machines when discrimination is considered.

Mr. Dankowski often reminds us that the utmost importance when making observations is the elimination of variables and my observations have been that the absolutely most difficult variables to remove are first the dirt and second the detectorist.

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