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Nox 800 Help / Mentor


Ezrider2

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Hello I am in northern Virginia and am completely new to the detecting world. I am a gold prospector primarily but interested in detecting in general. 

I have the nox 800 and the 6" double d coil on the way.  I have watched tons of videos and read a lot about the detector. Is there anyone out there that would be willing to meet up and give me a lesson on how to use it? I am having trouble and would be nice to be able to ask questions and learn from someone. 

I know it's snowing now and cold but spring will be here soon enough. Thanks for reading. 

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The Equinox is a turn on and go detector.

Start with Park 1, leave everything as is and start hunting.

It is amazing how well the stock programs are.

Put a few hours on this program before switching to another program or making adjustment.

Go to page 11, start guide, follow instructions and off you go.

I guarantee you'll be good to go.

minelab-equinox-quick-start.jpg.cd25d65d

 

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Basically what Mark said, with the added advice that you decrease sensitivity to get stable operation when starting out if you are experiencing any instability.

  1. Turn On
  2. Select a Detect Mode
  3. Noise Cancel
  4. If still noisy, Reduce Sensitivity until quiet
  5. Begin Detecting

What sort of trouble are you having?

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Once you got the basics down, I posted this in other forums but geared to those with a new Christmas present who are new to detecting and/or the Equinox...

For those who just got a new Equinox but who have less detecting experience (Equinox is their first or second machine), I recommend a few things to help you climb the Equinox learning curve faster:

Test it out on test targets in a test garden or at a productive site like a park, athletic field, or on a dry sand part of the beach to get used to its language. It can be different than what you are used to, but the way to learn it best is to just get out there and dig targets.

While you are learning the machine, avoid the temptation to adjust any of the user settings or to switch modes. Stick with a single mode, preferably Park 1 (works well even on the dry sand of a salt beach), at the default settings and get really comfortable with the machine. Since each of the modes behave somewhat like a different detector, you want to avoid the situation where you are climbing multiple learning curves at once.

Even though each of the modes are "optimized" for certain types of targets and detecting situations/site conditions (see the manual), any of the Park/Field modes used at their default settings will work for 90% of targets and 90% of conditions and there is plenty of target overlap between modes (i.e., you can find silver coins in a relic mode such as field 2 and relics in a coin mode such as Park 1), so pick a mode and stick with it while getting comfortable with the Equinox. 

Quick Mode Summary (remember, these are the optimizations, all the modes will detect most non-ferrous target types, just that some will be more sensitive and you may get slightly more depth or the optimal targets will "pop" more in certain modes):

Park 1 - high conductive and large deep targets like silver and copper coins, coin spills, and coin caches. (Low frequency weighted). Minimal falsing due to high iron bias setting and disc at 1. 5 tones

Park 2 - mid-conductive coins and small, typically gold, jewelry items (higher frequency weighted). 50 tones. No iron bias. Disc at 0.

Field 1 - Similar to Park 1, designed for plucking non-ferrous out of plowed fields, but weighted towards high conductive targets (most coins) therefore just a 2 tone mode. No Iron Bias. Disc at 2.

Field 2 - Similar to Park 2 - but optimized for relics and small mid-conductive targets such as brass, lead, tin, nickel, pewter, gold, and, unfortunately, aluminum (nature's little practical joke on detectorists). Disc at 2.

Beach 1/2 - Optimized for high conductors but will find gold jewelry on wet sand (Beach 1) and surf (Beach 2). Disc at 0. Medium iron bias.

Gold 1/2 - VCO audio mode ideal for nugget shooting or mid conductive relics, will display a target ID but no audio ID just tone intensity and pitch raises with larger and/or shallower targets.

The default settings are fine for 95% of normal detecting situations. The only adjustments you need make are to noise cancel the machine, run a ground balance (even then you can get away with the default ground balance setting for most situations), and then adjust sensitivity only as high as necessary to keep the machine running stable. Anywhere from 18 to 22 on sensitivity will give you plenty of depth. There are situations, especially in mild ground or where there is low EMI where you can run up to the max sensitivity, if desired. But avoid overdriving sensitivity just for the sake of trying to max it out, you will likely just introduce noise and instability and end up doing worse than if you just left it alone or reduced it a bit. Sometimes, even when the machine appears stable (i.e., no chatter with the coil in the air) at high sensitivities, there may be other subtle clues you have sensitivity too high such as excessive iron falsing or unstable target IDs, so be aware of these "tells" if you are running at high sensitivity. Site conditions other than EMI levels such as ferrous and trash density also play into the sensitivity level setting decision. 

In some cases, establishing target separation is more important than depth (discussed more in the recovery speed section below), so establishing your best recovery speed setting in balance with the right sensitivity setting will optimize the situation at hand.

When you get comfortable enough to adjust other user settings such as discrimination, tone breaks, recovery speed, and iron bias. Go easy on the adjustments so you don't turn the machine into something you can no longer recognize. Performance settings such as recovery speed and iron bias only typically need need to be adjusted one or two clicks from the default at most. Higher recovery speed settings improve separation in high trash but set too high and you will affect depth. Trying to lower recovery too low to max out on depth (similar to overly increasing sensitivity) you will start to introduce ground noise, especially if you don't adjust your swing rate consistent with your recovery speed setting. Iron bias helps (a little) with iron falsing but it can also tend to mask keeper targets hiding amongst the iron (which counters the primary advantage of Equinox, its fast recovery speed enabling separation between trash and treasure). I just leave Iron Bias at 0 most of the time.

Use Beach mode only on salt sand beaches (wet sand and surf). Any of the modes will run stable on dry salt sand beaches and in freshwater conditions. The beach modes can be slightly less sensitive in normal terrestrial hunting because they are optimized for salt ground conditions and will also throttle back transmit power when high mineralization conditions are sensed, so don't use the Beach modes other than at wet salt sand conditions.

Avoid the prospecting/gold modes at first, until you have a level of comfort with the machine, because it does not have tone ID and uses VCO pitch audio, which is a whole different ball game and has a learning curve of its own. 

All modes and settings have their advantages and tradeoffs (downsides). Learning how to master the Equinox by balancing those tradeoffs and understanding what the tonal nuances are keys to success. To get there, you need to put in the swing hours and dig a lot of trash targets and you will gradually kill it out there. There are no shortcuts, so avoid deviating from the plan out of frustration. Be patient, learn and you will do well.

Finally, there are no absolutes, so don't be afraid to experiment a little but also, if something is working for you, stick with it.

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Wow Chase, this is the perfect post at the perfect time for me, thank you!!!  I got my Nox 800 on December 13th.  It is arguably my first detector.  I did have  D-Tex Professional back in '68 but at 15 years old, I never did learn much about using it to it's best potential.  I'm determined not to repeat that mistake with the Nox, so your post is fantastic for me!

I'm in southeast Michigan and although we have had an extremely warm winter thus far, the ground is starting to freeze and limit a few of my learning opportunities.  I've had the Nox out a half dozen times, mostly in my backyard but also to a couple of parks.  As suggested, I've stuck to the Park 1 setting so far but need to experiment with reducing sensitivity and gradually playing with ground balancing.  I don't want to introduce too many variables at once and not be able to associate effects with causes.  Of course, the fact that I've already had the adrenaline rush of a couple small but interesting finds makes it more difficult to stick to a disciplined approach to learning.  Dang, this is an addictive hobby. 

I won't bore you with the details of my penny ante finds, preferring to save those fish stories for my non-detectorist friends.  They are more easily impressed with the ever expanding glories of these small adventures than you seasoned veterans who would instantly recognize my blind squirrel scenario.  I will however let you know that I have printed your post and highlighted portions of it to help me more quickly learn to speak "Nox".

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

 

Cheers,
Jim

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Jim,

Bury some targets like relics and coins at various depths.  Play with your settings to see their effects.  Vary sweep speed.  You’ll start to get the picture. The chart in this link will help too.

 

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Thank you TNSharpshooter, great idea!  I'm assembling a small assortment of the good, the bad, and the ugly things that I do and don't want to find.  It was 12 degrees F. here this morning but should warm to the mid-thirties by afternoon.  I may not be able to dig holes in the frozen ground without destroying my suburban lawn but may be able to make some slots in the lawn with a screwdriver to insert some targets.  Thanks for the tip and the chart!  Cheers, Jim

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4 hours ago, Bozko said:

Thank you TNSharpshooter, great idea!  I'm assembling a small assortment of the good, the bad, and the ugly things that I do and don't want to find.  It was 12 degrees F. here this morning but should warm to the mid-thirties by afternoon.  I may not be able to dig holes in the frozen ground without destroying my suburban lawn but may be able to make some slots in the lawn with a screwdriver to insert some targets.  Thanks for the tip and the chart!  Cheers, Jim

Also, when you practice in your test garden, focus on the different types of audio coming through the headphones and correlate that to the numbers.  The number is just a number but the audio can give you much more information about the nature of the target.  Start with 5 tones and test out 50 tones.  Also use the all metal horseshoe pushbutton to remove discrimination and listen to the iron tones.  Finally, learn how the pinpointer sounds for different target sizes, shapes, and depths.  You will find in time, the pinpointer does more than pinpoint targets, it helps you discern the nature of your target.  For example a quarter and a crushed aluminum beer can can give you the same target ID number, even a similar tone quality, but the pinpointer will clearly tell you that what you have underneath your coil is too big to be a coin.  Gold mode has different audio audio as well.  It is similar to but still different than the pinpointer in audio type.

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On 1/14/2019 at 7:10 AM, Bozko said:

Thank you TNSharpshooter, great idea!  I'm assembling a small assortment of the good, the bad, and the ugly things that I do and don't want to find.  It was 12 degrees F. here this morning but should warm to the mid-thirties by afternoon.  I may not be able to dig holes in the frozen ground without destroying my suburban lawn but may be able to make some slots in the lawn with a screwdriver to insert some targets.  Thanks for the tip and the chart!  Cheers, Jim

You are welcome.  The Equinox essential info thread in this subforum is loaded with good info. Some good you tubes too.  Any exposure at all to Equinox is better than nothing.

Stay warm Jim.

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