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steveg

Equinox Complete Carbon-fiber Shaft Prototype Is Complete (more Pics Added -- Prototype #2)!

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Hi all!

I've been talking about this for so long, that I figure some of you may have wondered if it was ever actually going to happen, BUT...

I am happy to announce that parts for one of the two prototype Equinox complete shafts arrived today, and I finished assembly.  I am VERY pleased with the quality of the parts -- especially the clamping cam lock, which was a large portion of the focus for the design.  I have done a small amount of testing/evaluation, and I am happy to say at this point that the strength/security of the clamp is impressive, and meets the design intent.  Overall, I see nothing about the shaft that needs to be changed/tweaked at this point.  I plan to build the second prototype when parts arrive for it on Tuesday, and then will do more testing and evaluation of both shafts.  Soon thereafter, I expect to place a "first order" for parts, so that I can begin offering them for sale.

Here are a few pictures...

Thanks!

Steve

 

fullshafttop-50.jpg

fullshaftside-rot-50.jpg

camlockandcoil2-50.jpg

camlocktop-50.jpg

camlockopen-50.jpg

camlockleft-50.jpg

camlockright-50.jpg

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That looks awesome!  I take it without any holes for a pin to set into, the shaft is not only stronger, but infinitely adjustable in length.  Any idea on the pricing?  

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Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

NCtoad -- yes, that was the whole idea for the design...to design/procure a cam lock that was very strong/stable/secure, and thus permit the elimination of the button/pin and hole design as was included on the Minelab stock middle shaft.  YES, my design permits/provides infinite adjustment length -- again, a huge part of why I designed it the way I did.  I got "spoiled" from years of swinging Explorers and, now, the CTX -- and I grew to LOVE those secure clamping cam locks which allow infinite adjustment ability at the simple "flip of a lever."  I wanted to emulate that, with the Equinox.  🙂

You asked about pricing; I'm thinking at this point that there are going to be a few different options of shaft available (with customizable options of course, but I'll just ignore that, for now).  Here's what I'm thinking for rough pricing for the more "standard" options...

I'm thinking that my "standard" shaft will come without a threaded butt-end of the shaft to accommodate the future, optional counterbalance system. This will be just an upper shaft with cam lock, plus holes drilled for the arm cuff and the control box, and a non-threaded "end cap" on the upper end.  Preliminary pricing for this "standard" shaft will be $75-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and roughly $119 or so plus shipping, with the lower rod also included.

For the same upper shaft, but with the inclusion of the threaded butt-end of the shaft (for future compatibility with the planned/optional counterbalance system), and a threaded end cap, $85-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and $129-ish plus shipping with the lower rod included.

As I said, the shaft is designed so as to NOT require the button holes.  However, the lower rods already include the spring buttons, so it's easy to allow the shaft to also utilize that spring button, just by drilling appropriate holes in the shaft.  As such, any customer who WANTS the button holes included on the shaft for any reason, will be able to request that as one of the custom options.  For that option, that would add $5 to $10 to any of the above prices.

This is kind of what I'm thinking at this point.

Let me know if you have any other questions...

Thanks for your interest!

Steve

 

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4 hours ago, steveg said:

Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

NCtoad -- yes, that was the whole idea for the design...to design/procure a cam lock that was very strong/stable/secure, and thus permit the elimination of the button/pin and hole design as was included on the Minelab stock middle shaft.  YES, my design permits/provides infinite adjustment length -- again, a huge part of why I designed it the way I did.  I got "spoiled" from years of swinging Explorers and, now, the CTX -- and I grew to LOVE those secure clamping cam locks which allow infinite adjustment ability at the simple "flip of a lever."  I wanted to emulate that, with the Equinox.  🙂

You asked about pricing; I'm thinking at this point that there are going to be a few different options of shaft available (with customizable options of course, but I'll just ignore that, for now).  Here's what I'm thinking for rough pricing for the more "standard" options...

I'm thinking that my "standard" shaft will come without a threaded butt-end of the shaft to accommodate the future, optional counterbalance system. This will be just an upper shaft with cam lock, plus holes drilled for the arm cuff and the control box, and a non-threaded "end cap" on the upper end.  Preliminary pricing for this "standard" shaft will be $75-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and roughly $119 or so plus shipping, with the lower rod also included.

For the same upper shaft, but with the inclusion of the threaded butt-end of the shaft (for future compatibility with the planned/optional counterbalance system), and a threaded end cap, $85-ish plus shipping without the lower rod, and $129-ish plus shipping with the lower rod included.

As I said, the shaft is designed so as to NOT require the button holes.  However, the lower rods already include the spring buttons, so it's easy to allow the shaft to also utilize that spring button, just by drilling appropriate holes in the shaft.  As such, any customer who WANTS the button holes included on the shaft for any reason, will be able to request that as one of the custom options.  For that option, that would add $5 to $10 to any of the above prices.

This is kind of what I'm thinking at this point.

Let me know if you have any other questions...

Thanks for your interest!

Steve

 

Thanks Steve!

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Looks great Steve! I did some playing with my Nox and dug out some of my archery gear.  I figured out if I moved my arm cuff forward, that I could get some of my stabilizer weights and attach them via the last hole in the shaft,  behind the cuff.  I ran a threaded bolt thru the hole and attached weights there.  Thus far I have 12 ounces of weight on the back and with the 12x15 coil, it seems to counter balance it close...I actually think a few more ounces might be better for it.  I think it would be too much for the 11 inch coil...probably just need 8 ounces for it.  This will vary on the overall length that a person uses too.  On the stock Equinox setup, I am in the 3rd hole down from the cam lock.  Once you get your full setup ready it will be interesting to see what weight options everyone favors.  

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5 hours ago, NCtoad said:

Forgot to add:  Does your rod use the OEM cuff or do you supply your own?

NCtoad -- FOR NOW, you would use the OEM cuff on the shaft.  However, I am working on the possibility of offering an aftermarket lightweight aluminum cuff as an optional accessory, one which would be produced by a friend "whose name you are probably familiar with" from the perspective of aftermarket arm cuffs!  LOL!  However, he's still pondering the thought, so for now this is still a "maybe."

Thanks!

Steve

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Daniel,

Yep, you are finding similar results as to those I found.  When I was testing, with the stock shaft, trying to achieve "perfect balance" (meaning -- when the shaft was hanging freely, it would rest at an angle similar to what you'd hold it at, while detecting), it took about 14 ounces for me to achieve that, at my preferred adjustment length, with the 11" coil.  Of course, as you noted, "perfect balance" depends NOT ONLY upon the weight of the coil, but also how long you have your lower rod extended (i.e. the distance of the weight (coil) from the fulcrum (handle)).  Other factors, albeit somewhat lesser ones, include the weight of the shaft, the "angle" relative to the ground that a person holds the shaft at while detecting, etc. etc. etc.

These are all variables, but by far the two most significant are the weight at the end of the shaft (the coil), and how long the rod is extended.

Once I have both shafts built, I can begin compiling data -- I.e. how much counterweight is needed, for each of the different variables?  It will take a lot of calculating and testing and design work, but I think in the end I can simplify it down to just a few different weights, for the different variables involved.  While PERFECT balance, extended to ANY scenario, involving ANY coil, and ANY rod length adjustment, would require COUNTLESS different counterweights, I think "near" perfect balance can be achieved with just a few different weight options.  I plan to figure it all out, and then market the weights in a way that is simple enough for everyone to understand, in terms of which weight or weights they might need.

I will say this...I personally have NEVER had an issue with the "nose-heaviness" of the Equinox.  YES, it's there; but it's not of a degree that bothers my arm or shoulder in any way -- even after hours of EQX use.  HOWEVER, with that said, when I was doing the testing, and arrived at the proper amount of weight needed at the butt end of the shaft to bring perfect balance, I was SHOCKED at how different, and how GOOD, swinging the machine felt.  It was truly "night and day!"  It was a DREAM, a PLEASURE to swing!  The unit basically "floated" in your hand!  One thing I quickly learned through that was, while EVERYONE is so focused on how LIGHT a machine is (and I TOTALLY AGREE that "as light as is humanly possible" is a good thing), BALANCE is EQUALLY important, in terms of comfort!!!  Sure, a 50-pound machine, even if perfectly balanced, would be WAY TOO HEAVY to swing comfortably.  BUT, on the other end of the spectrum, a 3-pound machine, improperly balanced, is not comfortable either, for some.  SO -- achieving the lightest weight possible is MOST important, INITIALLY (from a detector design perspective).   But once you have the machine literally AS LIGHT AS YOU CAN MAKE IT, the proper next step, if you wish to maximize ergonomic comfort, is to turn around and begin to (somewhat counter-intuitively) ADD weight -- as little as necessary, and in the proper strategic locations -- but ADD weight nonetheless!  And that's an especially hard paradigm, I think, to get across to some detectorists, as everyone right now is focused on OVERALL WEIGHT of the machine.  It's hard to convince someone that a 4-pound machine can be WAY MORE COMFORTABLE than the VERY SAME MACHINE, at 3 pounds.  If that extra weight is added in exactly the right place, I can PROMISE that the four pound machine can feel SIGNIFICANTLY more comfortable than the 3-pound machine...

Anyway, these are just my rambling thoughts on the issue.  It's a long-winded way of saying that I have come to learn that proper balance is important!  I think anyone who feels that the EQX is a bit ergonomically uncomfortable, might be VERY pleasantly surprised, if they were to swing the machine with proper counterweight attached.   In other words, I think many of these folks might surprise themselves, and end up PREFERRING a machine that the scale says is a bit "heavier," but their body says is "much more comfortable..."

Steve

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Steve....... balance can also come from the other end.   If you have an adjustable weight behind the elbow..... the farther out you go the less weight you may need.... just like reducing the lower shaft length.  I like my nose IN the water a little heavier..... but adjust it out of the water.

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