Equinox Complete Carbon-fiber Shaft Prototype Is Complete (more Pics Added -- Prototype #2)!
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have finally been able to kick into shaft production mode, after the last of the long-awaited parts shipment arrived last Wednesday. Shaft building has been underway since, and I'm happy to say that I've managed to start shipping a first handful of shafts to customers on the wait list.
Everyone who has contacted me in the past, and had their name added to the wait list requesting a shaft from the "first batch," has been contacted; each of these customers' shafts are compete -- and are now in the midst of a few days worth of epoxy-cure time. I expect all customers on the wait list, who requested a shaft from the first batch and have been contacted within the past week, will have their shafts ready to ship by Wendesday or Thursday.
MEANWHILE, I have more than enough parts to build a couple of dozen shafts beyond those allocated to customers currently on my wait list. So, if you are interested in purchasing a shaft, please contact me, or be on the lookout for a "for sale" ad in the classified forum later this week.
Finally, I have typed up a couple of detailed documents as well -- one providing lots of information on the counterweights (including assistance/advice on how to choose the "right" length/weight for your personal needs), and then a second document discussing the "spring button hole" option that is being offered, for those who feel they may wish to still utilize the spring button in the lower shaft.
Please contact me if you would like to receive either or both of these two documents, or if you have any other questions regarding the new, complete carbon-fiber shafts now available for your Minelab Equinox!
www.stevesdetectorrods.com (see the "what's new" section for complete shaft information)
By Steve Herschbach
One of these days I am anticipating getting the V4 update for the XP Deus and along with that the new 4.7" x 9.5" DD coil. This should be a great coil not only for better "see through" capability is thick trash but a very good prospecting coil. The V4 update is supposed to include the ability to use 15, 30, and 45 kHz but only with new coils designed to operate at those frequencies. The 4.7" x 9.5" coil is the first of the coils designed to work at the higher frequencies. The Deus running at 40 kHz with this new coil should be a formidable gold prospecting device for trashy locations in particular.
I did not want to have to swap my 11" coil around with the new coil and XP rod assemblies are a bit pricey. The full rod assembly is $264 and just the lower rod is $57.00
I had heard about the Golden Mask Universal Rod Assembly for sale at on eBay for about US$120 plus US$30 shipping from Bulgaria so ordered one on May 31 and it arrived today just over two weeks later. There was no issue buying the item and the seller answered questions promptly. That seller is gone now so here is a link to the manufacturer website.
The bottom line is the rod is much higher quality than I imagined it would be. The tubes are carbon fiber. The armrest assembly looks like cheap plastic in the photos but is powder coated metal. The rod locking rings have rubber grip surfaces and are some of the best I have ever felt. The unit collapses to 21" and expands to 55" with a weight of 1 lb 1.8 oz without the included armrest strap compared to XP rod assembly at 1 lb 0.4 oz also without arm strap. Slightly more weight but also more compact when collapsed. The end is 5/8" diameter and same bolt as the XP. The rod is just a tiny bit loose in the XP coil ears but will work. It is a hair tight on White's coils but also will work. It would be loose on most other brand coils and bolt too small. However, many lower rods will swap out with the lower rod on this unit so should be easy to mate up with most anything.
I am very pleased with this purchase.
Now that I have the prototype shafts built, I've been able to work some more on the counterweight design, and I have moved very close to finalizing the design.
I have discovered through this extensive testing/design that the amount of weight needed to achieve proper counterbalance is a bit more than I was originally thinking, after the preliminary, "rough" proof-of-concept testing. I would like to present the findings, and get some opinions -- from anyone who has been potentially interested in the counterbalance system -- as to whether these changes are acceptable, or if this would change your desire to possibly purchase the counterweights.
1. The weight needed to counterbalance the 12" x 15" coil, (based on an "average" lower rod extension length), is roughly 28 oz. This is a fairly substantial amount of weight -- BUT -- I must note that when the weight is applied, the machine swings BEAUTIFULLY. It FEELS lighter, even though the "absolute weight" -- i.e. according to measurement as provided by a scale -- is obviously greater. With my forearm in the arm in the arm cuff, swinging the machine normally, I was literally able to hold the handle of the machine with only my thumb and index finger -- and swing the machine effortlessly! The sensation is that the machine FLOATS across the ground! (For the 11" coil, the amount of counterweight needed is of course slightly less -- roughly 25 oz.)
2. To include this amount of weight in the tube extensions, and yet not have the extensions excessively long, I must use larger-diameter carbon-fiber tube than I planned -- I've decided on 31mm outside diameter tubes. I had intended to use the same diameter of tubing as used on the upper shaft (22.15mm outside diameter), but the extension length required was far too long.
3. Using the 31mm outside diameter tube for the counterweights, I calculate that length of the tube extending beyond the end of the shaft will be 7 1/2" for the 12" x 15" coil, and 6 1/2" for the 11" coil.
4. There would be no changes to the shaft design needed; anyone wanting the counterweight system in the future would still purchase a shaft with the same threaded female fitting installed in the butt end of the shaft, and the same threaded end cap that screws into the butt end. The only changes would be to the counterweights themselves (as comparted to what I had originally planned) -- i.e. larger diameter carbon-fiber tubing, and thus a larger end cap for the ends of the counterweights themselves.
SO, my questions are, with the counterweight lengths needed now a pretty-well "known quantity" -- i.e. 6 1/2" and 7 1/2" long (11" coil and 12" x 15" coil, respectively), and the weights to achieve balance being also a pretty-well "known quantity" -- i.e. 25 oz. and 28 oz., respectively, would those interested in the weights find these specs acceptable? Please offer your comments.
Preliminary/rough pricing info would be as follows. One counterweight, $22.50 plus shipping ($30 total). If an EQX user only wanted to order one weight, I would suggest the 6 1/2" long, 25 oz. weight, designed for the 11" coil; this amount of counterweight still achieves a degree of balance that feels GREAT with the 12" x 15" coil. I am of the opinion that no counterweight is needed, for the 6" coil. Two counterweights, one for the 11" coil and one for the 12" x 15" coil, $42.50 plus shipping ($50 total).
By Steve Herschbach
Subject came up elsewhere so I thought I would run a little poll. The poll only gives you two choices but if you want to post about what you think your number one most comfortable detector model has ever been that would be great. It could be a lousy detector in every other way, all I am looking for it what detectors feel best on your arm when held for long hours. There are no right or wrong answers - this is a personal preference thing, determined in large part by hand and forearm size.
The "S" rod grip is where the grip is just part of the rod itself, not a separate element. The Post grip is a separate post attached to the rod. Lots of people call this a pistol grip, but that really is more about the shape of the grip. I have seen good pistol grips in an S rod design. There are also Post grips on S rods so it is not the S that makes for the S rod grip but the fact it is integrated into the S. The photos here make it more obvious. There is a difference simply between curved shafts and straight shafts but that is actually a separate subject so I will make a separate poll on it.
By Tom Slick
Decided to mod the 800 rod by switching out the straight middle rod to the White's S rod. I know a lot of folks like a straight rod but by switching it out, it eliminates the detector's handgrip from wanting to twist at the end of each swing. In a side by side comparison, both myself and a buddy with an 800 both like the feel of the modified version. The mod requires the middle rod from a White's DFX, or MXT. The rod needs to be drilled on the upper top end for the spring plunger and again adjustment holes need to be drilled on the bottom for length adjustment. The Lower rod from a Makro Racer or Kruzer is used as the lower rod from the Nox is larger in diameter. The top of the S rod also needs to be shimmed about .040" in diameter to fit snug into the Nox upper rod. Now it swings about as close to an F75 as you can get.