By cool riverr
Just by coincidence, this 25mm * 23mm carbon fiber tube fits both models, so it's a "win win". I needed a 1" * 7/8" tubing clamp to make the conversion complete. I didn't want to drill a bunch of holes and not have them line up, so I used the "GM 1000 clamp on" cuff. As you can see, I trimmed off about 4" of the mid EQX section. I wrapped sand paper around the cf tube and slowly increased the clearance in the handle/clamp combo, until I was happy with the fit. Total un-extended length is 25", and could be less if you remove the coil.
As for the counter-balance weights, it's just another happy coincidence. The washers fit like a glove (.90"), and by adding an over-sized washer, I can move the weight in or out of the shaft. That 1.5" bolt with 14 washers weighs about 4 ounces, and is infinitely adjustable with regards to length, weight, and positioning.
I have had a 600 for over a year now. There is much to like about the detector; however, the ergonomics are something of a problem. Unlike all my other detectors, I must use the Equinox arm strap, otherwise my arm will not stay within the arm cuff while swinging the detector.
My original plan was to try to turn the middle rod into an S rod. I wasn't sure I could do this with just bending, or, if it would be smarter to attach a separate S section either mechanically, via welding, or even via epoxy. Since then, I have acquired two additional middle rods, one for each coil. This would now mean three times the work if I alter the middle rod.
The other day I was looking at my AKA Signum MFD. It has the older style plastic housing. Rather than being a straight rod, or an S rod, it is more of a V setup. This got me thinking that if I bend the upper rod of the Equinox so that the arm cuff is higher, (similar to a hockey stick) this may solve the ergonomic problem, or, at least let me get rid of the arm strap.
Has anyone tried bending their Equinox shaft? Will a simple conduit bender be sufficient to do the job?
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).
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...