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About ColonelDan

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  • Location:
    Central Florida
  • Interests:
    Metal Detecting, Cowboy Action Shooting, Baseball, Writing and Traveling
  • Gear Used:
    CTX 3030; EQX 800; Excalibur II

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  1. Even if you shrink the size of the beach to 300 ft wide by 1 mile long ( normal for Daytona, Cocoa and St Pete) you're still looking at 19,008,000 sq inches. Now let's say through effective beach reading skills you focus on the towel line, wet sand and shallow surf. And let's say that reduces your actual search area by 50%. You're still looking at 9,504,000 square inches compared to the 95 sq inches in your 11" coil and you're still searching for that elusive 1 sq inch target! 😝 Pretty daunting eh? 😁
  2. In my signature, I wrote that our challenge is : Big Beach, Little Coil, Tiny Targets. Just as an amusing exercise, I thought I'd see what that looks like in terms of square inches. 1 square mile of beach = 4,014,490,000 square inches Standard 11 inch coil = 95 square inches a good target = 1 square inch...maybe Given that reality, I think it's amazing we find what we do! Of course you can reduce that beach area with careful beach reading skills but you get the point! Big Beach, Little Coil, Tiny Targets.😁
  3. “Do you use these covers to protect from saltwater spray?” Yes, Protection from salt spray and sand.
  4. Allow me to suggest one more caution about full covers that I learned the hard way. Last June, I took my EQX to the Florida Keys and it was HOT!!!. I had a protective cover over the control box and after a short while, my EQX started to malfunction. The display went crazy and the buttons didn't work properly. I removed the cover, allowed the EQX to cool down and everything returned to normal operation. At that time, I made a "wild guess" that the cover, which covered up the speaker/vent holes in the back, may be preventing the EQX from "breathing properly." Again, just a guess at that point. I cut out part of the cover exposing the holes to the air and have not had a problem since and I hunt on Florida beaches year round. If this cover you describe is a full silicon cover and your hunting in hot weather, you may, and I say may, experience the same malfunction. I'd be very cautious were I you but that's just the view from my foxhole...Good luck.
  5. I hunt the dry sand in AM. I found disc works best in wet and surf. I use PP and have had no adverse effects in iron but again, that’s on the beach and we don’t have as much iron trash as on land. Our trash is mostly bottle caps, can slaw, pull tabs, and aluminum by far. Sometimes we have iron trash but it’s the above that gives us the most trouble.
  6. I bury the sticks together about 2 inches apart. This time, the ring and cap were at the same depth...about 6 inches deep. My test is always done in the mode I’ll be using. In this case, Beach 1 and 2.
  7. I hit Cocoa Beach Friday and the conditions were much changed and improved over my hunt on Daytona Beach last Sunday. During that Sunday hunt, I reported my observations of the 2.0 update focusing on the F2 function. You can read it here: https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/10845-my-observations-of-eqx-update-201-and-iron-bias-f2-at-daytona-beach/ There was a lot of EMI on the Daytona beach that Sunday and the overall conditions were such that I found the sweet spot sensitivity settings ranged from 13-16. At Cocoa Beach, the conditions were markedly different which allowed me to range from 18-22. Regarding the F2 function, I found the sweet spot centered around level 5 at Cocoa. When I first arrived at the beach, I buried my test sticks to determine the best combination of sensitivity and iron bias. I define the sweet spot as that which gives me good separation on two distinct targets...a bottle cap and a gold ring...the bottle cap giving me a distinct iron grunt and the ring a nice mid tone. Sensitivity was set at 20 and F2 at 5. Anything higher than F2 at 6 and the gold ring was masked..a single tone. Any thing lower than 4 and the bottle cap increasingly rang up as a fairly good target...again, a single tone. Throughout the morning, I dug several targets that my EQX told me were bottle caps just to validate the F2 function...and by golly, each time the target was indeed a bottle cap! During the remainder of my hunt time, I trusted my 2.0 EQX and never dug another bottle cap unless it was one of those pure aluminum twist off caps and of course, pull tabs...they both still sound great...something we’ll just have to live with at this stage of metal detecting technology. Bottom Line: For those new to beach hunting, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to “dial in” your settings as conditions do change from beach to beach. Secondly, I have great faith in the F2 function for the beaches I hunt.
  8. Just clarify, I hunted in All Metal on the dry sand and disc in the wet and surf. Most times in the dry on many other beaches, I can run 18-22 sensitivity. This weekend I adjusted the sensitivity to suit the local conditions...as I always do in order to smooth out the EQX operation and reported those settings in my OP. As I reported, there was also more than average EMI in that area at the time.
  9. I hunted in All Metal...as I always do. F2 was designed for All Metal and that's what I use on our beaches anyway. I may use Disc in the wet and surf if conditions call for it. I also use 0 threshold....again, just personal preference.
  10. As promised, below are my observations of the Equinox update 2.0.1 with concentration on Iron Bias F2 when used on Daytona Beach. Emphasis is on “MY”observations. These are mine and mine alone. You’re observations could very well differ depending on your beach...they’re all somewhat unique. The beach I hunted was at the Bahama House Hotel in Daytona Beach Shores. The conditions were sanded in but I did hit it at low tide. I can’t speak to or test in an environment that some characterize as a “bed of nails” since we don’t really see such conditions on our beaches. The junk we routinely have that causes detector problems is bottle caps from a variety of manufacturers, pull tabs, can slaw and aluminum foil with a few tent stakes thrown in now and again. Primarily I wanted to observe the 2.0.1/F2 function based on detected targets found at an actual beach using various 2.0/F2 settings vs the 1.7.5 FE iron bias function. You’ll not find any “scientific data” here as these are just my subjective observations….as was always the objective. Bottom Line Up Front: As fully expected, update 2.0.1 F2 is better at identifying various forms of “junk” alloy than 1.7.5 FE in this beach environment. Observations: 1. The signals I got from a variety of bottle caps not surprisingly differed depending on the metallurgical composition. Not all bottle caps are the same although they ring up as junk if they aren’t 100% aluminum. Some have more aluminum than others while others have more ferrous material. Success in identifying those signals ranged from “no doubt junk” to “no doubt good targets.” The all aluminum twist off caps for example still ring up solidly as good targets...same with the ever present pull tab but I have to dig them or risk missing out on gold. 2. I once again confirmed the importance of properly “dialing in” the settings appropriate to the environment. The relationship between sensitivity, recovery speed and F2 made a big difference. I found that a lower sensitivity (13-18) was best when paired with a recovery speed of around 3-4 and an F2 setting of between 5-7. Those were the “sweet spots” for me that day at that beach. Anything lower on the F2 scale than 5 the more the targets sounded like “dig me” targets. Anything above 7 and I sensed a potential masking issue. Again, just what I saw that day in an environment that had significant EMI I might add. The sweet spots will differ when EMI is not as much of a problem. The takeaway however remains...”dial it in” regardless and you’re detecting life will be much improved over the FE settings on the same targets. 3. I didn’t detect any caps in the surf so my testing was limited to the wet and dry areas. I did try my test sticks again as well and they confirmed what I was finding in the “real world.” “Dial me in Colonel and you’ll be rewarded.” 4. Not many targets that day but I did find a productive coin line...which even yielded an English 20 pence coin. Conclusion: I’ll use F2 with a high degree of confidence and be diligent to “dial it in” after noise canceling based on the local conditions. Any additional thoughts from your beach experience is highly encouraged and most welcome. Just the view from my foxhole...
  11. The purpose of my preliminary test was twofold: 1. How much better F2 ID'd a bottle cap than FE...the difference was stark as I noted in the OP. No question, F2 is much better. No more pumping or drawing the coil back to see if we get the tell tale iron grunt. 2. How the signal was affected, if at all, when a good target was in close proximity to the bottle cap. As noted, the closer the two targets were together, a compromise signal was heard. It wasn't the high tone of silver and it wasn't the iron grunt, it was a single "compromise" medium tone. My takeaway from this very preliminary test was if I get any solid tone other than the erratic iron grunt which definitely indicates junk, I'll dig it. I may find a bottle cap in the hole but chances are very high that it will be close to a good target. My plan for Daytona Beach is to confirm this test bucket result on an actual beach. I also plan to initially dig some bottle cap signals to verify and validate, in my own mind, the upgrade is working as designed....a personal confidence builder you might say. Stay tuned...
  12. Prior to testing the new Iron Bias F2 update at Daytona Beach this weekend, I ran a few preliminary tests using a silver quarter and a bottle cap; first an"air test", then using my beach sand test bucket. Just to ensure a degree of controlled conditions, I ran Beach 1 and Beach 2, recovery at level 3 in both tests adjusting only the iron bias level. The first test was simply placing the two selected targets on the ground and running my coil over them using the original 1.7.5.FE settings and then each level of the 2.0.1 F2 settings. The difference was stark. The new update performed as designed by clearly ID'ing the bottle cap with an iron grunt while hitting on the quarter with the familiar high silver tone. I did notice that the closer the two targets were in proximity to each other the tone was a "compromise" between the grunt and the high tone. In any case, 2.0.1 performed the Iron Bias function much better than 1.7.5 FE under those "air test" conditions. I then moved the test to my beach sand bucket. The bucket shown here is filled with sand taken from New Smyrna Beach. I also have several gallons of actual sea water taken from that same area that I use to soak the sand prior to conducting my wet salt sand tests. Disclaimer: I've noticed that New Smyrna Beach doesn't appear to have experienced any adverse environmental effects from this lack of sand and salt water since I brought it home! I used the same two targets for the test as before: the silver quarter and the bottle cap: I inserted the bottle cap at the 3 inch level and the quarter at the 6 inch level at angles that placed them close to each other in the center of the bucket...the cap being obviously above the quarter and closer to the surface than the quarter. I found that under these conditions, I had to adjust the F2 level in order to achieve distinct tonal separation. It wasn't as clear cut as in the "air test" scenario. Under these conditions, I found F2 at level 3 was best at separating the two targets. Preliminary Observations: 1. The 2.0.1 F2 does ID/separate iron much better than 1.7.5 FE...have no fear there. 2. Given the need to adjust the F2 level in order to achieve the best result, I suspect this will be true when I get on the real beach this weekend...I'll keep that in mind. I'll use my test sticks to determine the best setting for the area I'll be hunting. My test sticks: A gold ring, a bottle cap and an iron washer (not shown) I bury these in the wet salt sand and then adjust my settings accordingly to achieve the best level of performance. 3. One important reminder. Leave your phone in the car. I forgot to leave it in the house on my first run and my wireless Quest headphones soon reminded me of my forgetfulness with all the chatter! More to come when I return from the beach...the actual battlefield test!
  13. I have (2) 800s. I left #1 with update 1.7.5 and updated #2 with 2.0.1. I plan to test both in wet salt sand this week/weekend and post my observations. Stay tuned.
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