I've only had my 800 for about a week, so I made some simple ID cards using Steve's graphic, to get familiar with the machine. I have extras, and with Steve's permission, I'm offering 1 to the first 50 interested. These are simple, pocket size, laminated cards, with large bold font. Target IDs on the front, detector settings menu on the back.
Edit 2/19/19 by Steve Herschbach. The offer to mail you one of these free is long past. Just download the pdf, print, and laminate your own.
By Jonathan Porter
I recently posted this to another forum and thought it might help benefit others and maybe generate some interesting discussion here.
A booster can only amplify whatever the detector audio delivers no matter what anyone try’s to tell you. The inbuilt booster speaker system in the Minelab GPX 4500, GPX 5000 is too coarse for effective use via the Target Volume control, this same control is also used on the GPZ 7000 in conjunction with the WM12 and is also too coarse!
I originally popularised the booster speaker concept when developing a series of instructional videos, looking for a way to obtain good audio that allowed ambient noise of a goldfields environment to also come through so viewers could experience as close as possible the way a detector sounds when in use. In conjunction with this I also discovered the benefits of removing the immediate audio from your ears and placing it further away allowing faint signals to come through (similar to a Television sounding loud in the kitchen compared to being right in front of it). Our ears are designed to collect sound, especially sound that is further away, our ears are also more sensitive to variation in pitch similar to our eyes are to movement so being able to hear the threshold at all times as a reference point is very important, but not at the expense of those around you and small target signals.
The aim with a booster speaker is to lift up the overall volume of faint deep targets without drowning everything else out, as such in less trashy sites a higher volume can be used in conjunction with the correct threshold level. You need to set the volume to compliment the threshold, which needs to be smooth and stable, if someone can hear your threshold miles away you’re doing it all wrong and negating any advantage as well as driving other operators around you nuts.
Best way to go is to set the detectors settings to be smooth and stable, I tend to use conservative Sensitivity/Gain settings along with Volume and Threshold. The Target Volume needs to be kept low to allow the booster to drive the audio without causing distortion, this is especially important on the GPZ 7000. If your detector Target Volume is set to aggressively the booster is then going to amplify that aggressive distorted audio. The threshold needs to be smooth to the ear to start with, if it stutters the amplifier will exacerbate that, if it is too loud it will drown the audio as you boost it.
The B&Z booster is best used for single or twin speakers, it has a very good range of amplification with hardly any distortion. This is especially important because you need to use the booster to adjust the overall audio to suit the ambient noise conditions, in quiet conditions you lower the booster volume so the threshold is not dominating, if its windy then you increase the volume so the threshold can be clearly heard.
The B&Z booster runs on 2 x AAA alkaline batteries which should last up to 3 weeks at 6 to 8 hours per day, it is in a plastic housing to cut down on any excess metal on your body. The B&Z can be used with headphones, to do so the volume of the detector needs to be lowered so the booster volume can be lifted above 2 1/2 to 3 to avoid noise and hiss from the potentiometer, with the GPX and GPZ machines this can be as low as 6 or even lower if required depending on the sensitivity of the headphones being used.
Higher tones tend to require less volume, lower tones more, lower tones (30 and down on Minelab PIs and ZVT) are generally better heard through headphones rather than speakers, this is due to all the natural low frequency noises heard in natural ambient environments, Noise cancelling headphones really compliment low frequency Tones.
The audio of the Minelab GPX and GPZ machines is converted to analogue via the speakers, boosted speakers tend to iron out the steppy digital nature of the Minelab audio, this helps a lot with running less noise floor filtering through the Stabilizer or Audio Smoothing controls, which is were all the edge of detection depth performance lays. The B&Z only ever magnifies the pure audio of the detector with no colouring of the audio through filtering, you only ever hear the “pure” audio intended by the designer of the metal detector. Call me a purist but that’s the way I prefer to hear my detector.
Hope this helps
New here based in the UK about to start this hobby. Looking at getting the equinox 600 or 800 for its underwater capabilities.
One question I have which I have struggled to find an answer to... How do the waterproof seals handle the pressure on air travel? Is there a pressure release valve?
Also is it recommend to detach the control box and take on carry on luggage?
Thanks in advance and looking forward to being part of this community
By Steve Herschbach
NUGGET SHOOTER JOURNALS Published on Feb 12, 2019 - In this video I am using the Minelab Equinox 800 in "gold 1", sensitivity "16 to 18", Multi IQ, and auto tracking. Rest of the settings are stock. It amazes me what this little beast if a VLF detector will do in hot ground (minerals) and finding the smallest bits of gold for the operator. Beautiful area with lots of Agate and other cool stuff just laying on the ground.
By Jeff McClendon
I couldn't wait to get the Equinox 800 to Arizona for some gold prospecting especially since the area in Colorado where I live is frozen pretty solid.
The first site I hunted was in the Little San Domingo Wash area which has been pounded by lots of people for over a hundred years. I used the Nox 800 exclusively in Gold 2 with the 6" coil due to an abundance of human metallic trash, with sensitivity at 15 to 16 (falsed over those settings) with -9 to -4 discriminated out, iron bias 3 or 4, recovery speed 4. Hot rocks were hitting in the -9 to -6 range and also sometimes in the 12 to 14 range with the classic boing sound just at the edges of the coil and almost nulling in the center. I dug every detected metallic target in roughly a 30'x40' area. Iron targets were consistently in the -9 to +16 range depending on depth, size and amount of oxidation. Many of them jumped that whole range depending on direction of swing. When I was not using the horseshoe (all targets accepted mode) the iron targets would have very brittle, broken, clipped sounding audio and would be easy to identify just by sound alone. 100% of the time I checked those targets by pressing the horseshoe button and iron was suggested with -4 to -9 numbers included in the very jumpy target IDs. After digging each of these targets, (60 or so) iron was confirmed. I detected 19 non ferrous targets which all turned out to be lead, brass, aluminum or steel bird shot. Small lead, aluminum and shot gave beautiful evenly rounded tones and target IDs in the -1 to 4 range which were very steady and repeatable even after checking the target from a different direction. Larger lead and shell casings came in between 8 and 20 consistently with even, repeatable tones and solid numbers.
The two nuggets pictured were both found near other targets, which is probably why they were missed. The .5 gram nugget was 4" deep with an iron target about 2" away and above the nugget. I never heard the iron initially. I only heard the classic zip-zip with a solid 3 target ID. When the horseshoe button was engaged I could hear and see target ID evidence of the iron target too. The two targets were clearly and separately defined and easy to identify as ferrous and non-ferrous. I was really exited to find that small nugget attached to caliche in that situation! The 4.5 gram nugget was 5" down, up against a large piece of hot volcanic tuft/basalt bedrock. The Nox 800 gave soft boings on the bedrock in several places near the nugget but the nugget screamed out a fantastic round signal at a rock solid 14. I thought it was going to be a 38 cal. or bigger slug. I was really surprised when I saw that first bit of gold peaking through the dirt!!!!! I lucked out on one other tiny picker at this location too during final clean up with the XP Deus.
I also got to detect near Stanton on some placer/pegmatite deposits with tons of hot and cold rocks, huge prickly pear cactus and my least favorite----cat's claw bushes=OUCH. I completely shredded a virtually new pair of gloves on those things along with my hands too. I didn't find any gold with either my GPX 4800, XP Deus or the Nox 800. The GPX 4800 is one deep machine and hunted beautifully in this rugged area. I dug several up to 1 foot deep, less than coin sized lead, iron and tin targets that could have easily been gold with a NF Sadie and stock 11" mono coils. Any thing bigger was just not very practical since this was a boulder strewn, thorny area with very little open ground. The Deus with 9" HF coil at 54kHz handled the hot and cold rocks fairly well and was reasonably quiet in Gold Field. It always gave excellent audio responses to detectable targets and gave a predictable horizontal XY graph line for buried iron targets and very angular zig zags on near surface iron. Lead targets had more of a rounded, almost cursive writing indication on the XY graph which looks a lot like gold responses. The Nox 800 with 6" coil in Gold 2 again gave very clear indications of what to expect from the targets under the coil and after digging, those indications were confirmed every time with no surprises. There was some nasty hot magnetic schist, cold ironstone and unbelievable amounts of magnetite which sometimes confused the Deus and especially the GPX 4800. The Nox dealt with them very consistently with the magnetite giving iron signals, the magnetic schist reading in the 12 to 14 range and the cold ironstone high pitched VCO screaming at 39.
Special thanks to Bill Southern and Tammy and also Rob Allison for their guidance during my fruitful trip.
The Equinox 800 proved to be an outstanding and very trustworthy prospecting detector!
Steve Have you ever heard of this problem and tell me if you think you know what it is... I have a Equinox 600 and I got vdi issues where I will be swinging the Detector hit a signal and then not want to dig that and keep swinging and it will show another vdi and then freezes up while I'm still swinging and then -- will show and then after six seconds or so 00 and then go again and same thing and I have turned sensitivity to 20, recovery speed 3 iron bias 2 and ground balance on auto tracking.... I also will swing over a vdi and it will jump and lower and jump and lower. And on pinpointer mode it sometimes won't have audio but I back out and try again it does. This is for sure a bug. Right?