Jump to content

Nox 800 Help / Mentor


Recommended Posts

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.



  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!



  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites


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.


  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By TnRebel
      I have some places in the south where the soil is too bad to get very good depth. Any ideas?
    • By GoldPanDan
      As I stating in Gerry's Topic "Does Size and or Success Matter?" I have a follow up question for folks. Again there is no right or wrong answer, more just an open discussion on what you do.
      When do you consider a patch played out? Do you keep expanding the area even though you've been skunked several times? If so how far do you keep going? How often do you go back to "played out" patches in hopes for finding the ones left behind? Will you scrape a whole are searching for deeper bits? I could keep going on with more questions but I think you are getting my point. When do YOU finally say "I'm done here". 
      I am slightly expecting different answers between those who are hobbyist and those who do this for a living. I would expect those who do this for a living to move on once it does not make financial sense to stay there, but it also might not be as much fun to pick up your scraps when there could be more virgin patches near by. I think this is an interesting topic to discuss and I am curious to see what the more experienced members here have to say!
    • By Gerry in Idaho
      If you just purchased a gold detector are you most interested in the finding of any size of gold?  Does the size of the gold have any effect on you or does it matter most if you go home with a few nuggets, no matter the size?  Is it most important to be driving home from your prospecting trip and you have a few clinkers in your nugget holder?  Or would you mind knowing you missed a few small pickers just to find a 1 grammer (a nugget).  My asking this question comes to mind as of the last month and a half, I have seen more of my customers showing/sharing pics of Success with their GPX-6000 and many from Rye Patch and surrounding areas.  Heck I have a few customers that are already over 100+ count.  Nothing big, but they seem to be happy and to me that is what counts most.
      What's most amazing to this long time 25+ yr detectorist of Rye Patch is the new PI technology of the GPX-6000 and how it's changing my mind and how I sell detectors.  You see, I used to say if I wanted to find 10+ pieces of gold a day, I could easily do it with a VLF and small coil.  Heck, I used to have many 25 to 30 and an occasional 40 piece day with said VLF.  When I would run a PI, the last 10 yrs there at RP, a 10 nugget day is extremely rare, but I've done it.  The SDC-2300 really opened some old patches and 10+ days came back.  Then those went away and the GPZ-7000 came out.  It certainly opened up the old patches again, but even 10 a day was really tough, but I did it more times than most can imagine.  Now today, a 10 nugget day at RP with a SD/GP/GPX-5000 is almost failure.  In fact I would not even try it.  Even with a VLF at RP today, I think a 10 piece day is tough and I doubt but only a few can do it.  Here is the catch though.  If I did run a VLF to find 10 pickers, I'd have maybe a gram of gold at most = approx $50.
      Now here is what I'm seeing.  The folks who go out there with the new technology PI GPX-6000 is literally tearing it up.  Many customers are having their best Success in numbers that they have ever had at Rye Patch.  Quite a few of them have had 10+ nugget days, but they never had a 10+ day with their GPZ-7000?  No they are not finding the 1 or 2 gram nuggets of old, but they are certainly finding $100 and some even more each day.  Heck I'm even getting customers who have yet to take my training going down and finding a few pieces with their GPX-6000 and that was unheard of in times past.
      The GPX-6000 right now is the #1 producer for gold at Rye Patch and all other previous patches.  The GPX-6000 will be doing the same thing this winter is Arizona at all the worked patches and there will be many happy customers.  Will there be GPZ-7000's out there in the field, most certainly, but their numbers will not be up even close to what the 6000's will be.  Can I find gold at RP right now with a GPZ-7000, YES and I have done it for the last 7 yrs.  Each fall I go down and find an ounce of nuggets with a 7.  Each year it has gotten harder and harder and last Fall it actually took a couple extra days, but I hit my 1 ounce mark.  There lies the problem, it has been out for 7 yrs and for 7 years all the old patches have been covered again and again with a GPZ-7000.  From Rye Patch to AZ all the known nugget producing areas have been flogged and if you want to have Success, you better step over to new technology if you want best chance of Success or you can keep swinging the 7 and possibly get lucky for a 1 grammer or 2.
      As a dealer who sells detectors, I feel Success no matter the size of nuggets is best for my customers, especially the new ones just getting involved. 
      BTW, If anyone is interested, I know of a couple used GPZ-7000s at nice prices (less than the cost of a GPX-6000), just email me for details.
      So I ask you again.  Going home with any nuggets possible to show Success or 1 nugget of a gram or don't care as you got to go prospecting and the gold is just a bonus?  There's a twist.
      Looking to hear your answers and I know Australia will be different perspective, which is totally acceptable.
    • By TnRebel
      What is a good detector $2000 or less to begin gold prospecting?
    • By Erik Oostra
      There’s a lot of posts on this forum of prospectors complaining that gold is getting harder to find.. It’s not just that their favourite patches have run dry but also that the size of nuggets found is getting smaller.. This has made me wonder if beach hunters are catching up in the amount of gold recovered each year? If their posts are anything to go by, the amount of gold jewellery found on popular beaches is pretty mind boggling..
      I realise that the purity of gold in its natural form is higher but often when it’s made into jewellery it becomes more valuable, especially when a piece of jewellery also has gemstones in it (like diamonds, rubies or sapphires).. So I guess this question is twofold: which of these two groups recovers the most gold by weight? And which group can make the most profit from their finds? 
    • By Erik Oostra
      A recent post offering advice to newbies has inspired me to put in my own two cents worth.. My advice to those wanting to take up metal detecting is: Don’t! You’ll be far better off trying another hobby like banging your head against a brick wall, pulling out your hair in sheer frustration, or crying yourself to sleep at night.. 
      Of course I’m only joking but any newbie has to prepare for the never-ending toil of digging junk, lots of it.. If you can handle this without having a nervous breakdown or flinging your detector out to sea, you’ll be amply rewarded when you finally hear that magic sound telling you there’s buried treasure below your feet.. A hard-won experience like no other! Metal detecting truly is a game where dogged determination and persistence will eventually pay off.. 
      The only problem is that when you finally get to this stage, all you’ll ever think and dream about is metal detecting.. Your marriage will fail and your kids will starve but none of this matters as long as you can get a few more swings in.. In metal detecting there’s no such thing as an unhealthy obsession.. A house filled to the brim with all the latest detectors that you’ll never use is not weird at all.. Just rest assured that there’s many others just like you! 
  • Create New...