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First Hunt Nox 600

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I am getting ready tomorrow to go on my first hunt with the 600.  I was wondering what would be the best setting to start with.  The area I am going to hunt is an area old homestead sites which has yielded before is a 1857 coin.  




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I like to start in Park 2, keep sensitivity to around 22-23(your emi/soil may differ) 5 tones and run your recovery speed at 3 (thats as fast as you can go). Don't mess with too many things until you get at least 25-30 hours on it. You're going to start hearing a new kind detector in that the separation is so amazing you'll really want to train your ears to begin to hear the difference. Keep it simple and you'll do well. Don't try to compare it to any other detector you've used, treat it as if you're holding a brand new baby(so to speak!).

Be sure to post your finds!

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Don't get too caught up in the numbers. Look for solid (2 axis) repeatable hits. They should sound good. Then look at the numbers. Iron will be very hard at first to not dig. It will sound good one way but will not the other direction (90 degrees). Except for large iron and flat stock, they usually sound pretty good. Don't crank the sensitivity either. Go fairly slow, but not too slow. I do a 2 second swing in one direction. But most important  - have fun!

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1 hour ago, Milk86 said:

The area I am going to hunt is an area old homestead sites which has yielded before is a 1857 coin.

Old homesites (in my experience) tend to have a lot of iron trash.  Park 1 has a high iron bias (2 out of max 3 on the 600) which will reduce iron falsing.  I'm thinking this might be a good place to start.

Regarding the wild card -- gain (sensitivity), there are a lot of advantages keeping this is in check, such as reduced EMI, ground response, and iron trash response.  The stock default (20) is pretty high to begin with.  I've done well finding old coins on gains of 17 and 19, as well as 20.  Your site will usually lead to you how to set the gain.  My advice is not to feel like you're leaving something behind if you have to turn it down below the factory default.  This detector packs a lot of punch!

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1 hour ago, Milk86 said:

Thanks for the reply  I had been using an Etrac for a few years. I am soooo used to the 4 digit display.  I have been studying the vdi chart SteveG put out. 

As has been said don't rely on numbers but the sound of the targets and then do your wiggle. It's so good you can isolate the different sounds. 

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Sounds like a challenging site for your first run with the 600 as old homesites have a lot of iron.  A milk run park or beach coin hunt would be advised to get used to the tones.  But if this is an opportunity/permission not to be missed, I agree with the advice to keep it in Park 1 or 2.  Let me give you a quick rundown on the two modes so you can make your own call.  Whichever mode you choose, I advise sticking with it for the entire hunt and avoid the temptation to "mode hop".  Even though both modes are called "Park" they set up very differently and the underlying Multi IQ is optimised for different types of targets though either mode should snag a good variety of target types.  As result, if you switch between the modes too much before you are used the machine, it is like switching between two different detectors because they behave so differently.  No need to learn two detectors at once.  If you are feeling confident in your abilities with the machine, then by all means try out more than one mode, but definitely, do not do it because you are NOT feeling confident in the original mode you picked.  Either should snag you keepers and should stick with the mode that brought you until you start hitting some keeper targets and gain confidence.

Park 1 is a default 5-tone mode that is weighted to lower frequencies (the Multi IQ is still using the entire spectrum from 5 to 40 khz, but is "favoring" returns from the lower frequencies).  This makes it optimized primarily for high conductors at depth but it WILL hit on mid-conductors also.  It has a maximum recovery speed setting and a moderate iron bias filtering which helps with iron falsing (nail tips, larger, round iron) that can bleed through even if you have the iron range discriminated out (which is the default discrimination setting in this mode).  Because of the iron bias filtering, this mode is less optimised than Park 2 for unmasking non-ferrous amongst iron.  It is, however, a quiet and stable mode and a good "first time out" mode to get used to the machine.

Park 2 is a default 50-tone mode that is weighted to higher frequencies and also maximum recovery speed.  This makes it optimized for small, mid-conductive targets like brass, small lead, and gold.  This is more of a relic hunter's mode but the 50 tones and the propensity for it to light up small trash items like aluminum, can make it a little daunting.  There is also no iron bias filtering so you will also hear nail and round iron falsing (though the default discrimination cancels out the ferrous range just as it does on Park 1).  For starting out, I would recommend dialing back to 5 tones, but I also do not like to recommend a mode that you need to modify from the defaults for a first run, so I am partial to Park 1 even though Park 2 might set up better for the experienced Equinox user at your site.

You make the call as I cannot factor in your level of detecting experience and am not familiar with the machine you are coming over from (eTrac) other than you will be surprised at the speed of the Equinox vs. your eTrac.

A recommended above, listen for repeatable, tones and don't get too caught up in TID numbers other than to note whether they are fairly stable (not bouncing by more than a couple points).  Big bouncies and flutey tones typically indicate ferrous or even non-ferrous trash.

Other pointers:

The best thing you can do is get the machine stable and quiet.  Maximizing signal-to-noise ratio is key, not maximizing signal gain (which also increases the noise floor).  That means that once you have eliminated EMI and ground feedback noise to the extent practical by keeping your cell phone away from the control head (or better yet, putting it in airplane mode, if possible), running a noise cancel, and ground balancing as necessary, then don't be afraid to lower sensitivity, if necessary, to get the machine stable.  Believe me, it is a hot machine and lowering sensitivity is not a handicap and in some cases can even enhance your detecting ability by increasing the overall signal-to-noise ratio and relative depth capability. 

Regarding ground balancing, Multi IQ is very forgiving on less than optimal ground balancing, so in 80 to 90% of detecting situations, you can probably get away with not ground balancing and just running the default.  The main thing ground balancing does on this machine is lower ground feedback noise which you can hear if hit the horseshoe button to remove all discrimination and listen for iron falsing tones and TIDs of -9 to -7.  Ground balancing is easy however so it just makes sense to do it at the beginning of your hunt then forget about it unless the site has a lot of mineralization, then you may want to periodically check it.

In addition, to not mode hopping, try not to mess with the default settings, if possible, if you are learning the basics of a particular mode on the machine.  At most, you can switch tones between 5 to 50 or vice versa if necessary, and only adjust recovery speed or iron bias if absolutely necessary.  On the 600 you have less range of adjustment on these latter two parameters vs. the 800 so a single click change results in a significant change in response. 

Finally, if you do want to try more than one mode, the paradigm on this machine is a little different than most in that you really do need to treat each mode as a separate detector.  This also means that each mode needs to be separately noise canceled and ground balanced (because each mode uses different frequency combinations which affect both of these settings).  You will notice that the noise cancel channel selection and even the ground balance reading for Park 1 and 2 will be different even if you are standing in the same place when you set up each mode.

Good luck and happy hunting.


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You got some excellent advice here.  I would echo one thing, to stress it -- and that is that unless this site you are talking about is something you need to "jump on quickly," for some reason, I would NOT start there.  The trashy/irony sites are TOO MUCH for someone, in my opinion, to start out on with a brand-new machine.  Too easy to get confused/frustrated.

I would, like Chase said, start on a less trashy site -- one you are familiar with, preferably.  You need to learn the machine's language, and to do so, a site you are familiar with, that is NOT over-polluted with trash, is best.  Irony sites are PARTICULARLY difficult, and PARTICULARLY PARTICULARLY so, with a machine you don't "know."  

Just my thoughts.  HAVE FUN, it's a great machine!


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9 hours ago, schoolofhardNox said:

Don't get too caught up in the numbers. Look for solid (2 axis) repeatable hits. They should sound good. Then look at the numbers. Iron will be very hard at first to not dig. It will sound good one way but will not the other direction (90 degrees). Except for large iron and flat stock, they usually sound pretty good. Don't crank the sensitivity either. Go fairly slow, but not too slow. I do a 2 second swing in one direction. But most important  - have fun!

Thanks again 


about what is a good rate of swing for the nox. I am used to a very slow pace with the Etrac or could it be about as fast as a Garrett?

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9 hours ago, schoolofhardNox said:

Don't get too caught up in the numbers. Look for solid (2 axis) repeatable hits. They should sound good. Then look at the numbers. Iron will be very hard at first to not dig. It will sound good one way but will not the other direction (90 degrees). Except for large iron and flat stock, they usually sound pretty good. Don't crank the sensitivity either. Go fairly slow, but not too slow. I do a 2 second swing in one direction. But most important  - have fun!

Thanks  man all this great information.

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