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Jeff McClendon

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About Jeff McClendon

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    Silver Contributor

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  • Interests:
    Prospecting, Mineralogy, Metal Detecting, Railroads,
    Coaching HS Golf, Professional Musician
  • Gear Used:
    TDI SL Equinox 800 Equinox 600 XP ORX Deus Lite F19 Tek-Point
    Garrett Carrot XP MI-6 Gold Hog River Sluices Flow Pan Royal High Banker

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  1. The Equinox coils have an 8 pin connector. The Vanquish coils have a 7 pin connector, so...............I wonder what that 8th wire does???? If it was the other way around I could see it working more easily. Jeff
  2. I am extremely happy with the performance of the Equinox 6" round DD coil for gold prospecting. Sure, I would definitely buy and use a 10X6" elliptical coil If they made one. For the moment anyway my gold prospecting is in dirt that is too mineralized for a VLF coil with a footprint larger than 6" to 8" however. When I need more depth I use a PI with a much bigger coil. For whatever reason????? Minelab doesn't even list the Equinox on their website as a gold prospecting detector. It is placed in the "Treasure" category. It is the same situation on all of the USA dealer websites that categorize their detector inventory. So, maybe Minelab could care less about what we Equinox 800 owners who use it successfully for gold prospecting, want or don't want. We are probably in the smallest minority as far as Equinox owners in terms of what we detect for. Jeff
  3. The times I have used my Nox 800 at southeastern Atlantic beaches I have mostly stayed in Beach 1 and did an automatic ground grab. I only used tracking in Beach 2 in the surf. That is just my experience. On the west coast, black sand is a big deal and settings may be different. I mostly asked this question "Are ground balance and pinpoint mode related" on the Equinox because the Equinox is not a threshold based all metal mode detector. On many older detectors achieving a proper ground balance and a somewhat steady threshold tone was essential for using the pinpoint mode since pinpoint mode was the closest mode to all metal and not having good ground balance could make the threshold tone and the pinpoint mode very erratic. I was a bit surprised to find a similar situation when using the Equinox. I just figured the Equinox ground balance would not have any bearing on pinpoint mode, as Minelab are constantly recommending leaving the Nox on zero ground balance in the manual. Since it does have a real effect on the quality of the pinpoint mode from my experience, maybe that is why so many people have trouble using the pinpoint mode on the Nox or just ignore it altogether. I find it to be extremely helpful personally no matter what type of detecting I'm doing. Sometimes in bed of nails situations where I'm digging everything or in gold nugget patch cleanup hunting, I just hunt in pinpoint mode. It works for me....... Jeff
  4. My GPX 4800 and TDI SL had the same coil connections. I recently sold my GPX 4800 with stock coils, kept the TDI SL, did a battery mod for more voltage and also kept the Nugget Finder Sadie 8X6" and Nugget Finder 17 X 11" mono coils for the TDI SL . They work great, way better than the TDI stock coils on gold. I mostly use the Miner John's 12X8" that came with the TDI SL for general detecting and relic hunting, not impressed with that coil on small gold. Jeff
  5. Chuck, If you are worried about passing on before you get a Vanquish................and if you have grandkids that would like to detect with their granddaddy right now.......or you have other younger newbies that just want to go have fun with their favorite role model, what are you waiting for?????? I know Rob personally and I guarantee you he would tell you how much he would like to sell you a Vanquish, (although the $30 to $60 dollars he makes off of the deal is minuscule.) He is an incredibly good human being and would really prefer that you spend some priceless quality time with your younger buddies whenever you can.The Vanquish is a really good entry level detector series that feels really lightweight and is super easy to be successful with right out of the box (especially the 340). I have handed a Tek Minuteman, Fisher F19 and my ORX to some teenagers and they were overwhelmed. I handed my Nox 600 to my daughter and youngest son (both 21 and over at the time and with some previous experience) and not only were they overwhelmed, they were also very unhappy with the ergonomics. She, my youngest son and an eleven year old newbie that I know have all tried the Vanquish 340 and each gave it giant thumbs up for how they understood what it was telling them (they found some good clad quickly) and especially for how comfortable it was to swing and use. Listen to Chase. If you were buying an intermediate or professional level detector (with a nice profit margin) buy it from Rob or Gerry or Bill, etc. Jeff
  6. Good, short and realistic YouTube video on the Vanquish 340. Goes over the features and basic performance by an experienced reviewer. Jeff
  7. Nordic, I had just the opposite experience from you concerning the pinpoint function and the firmware updates. My Equinox 600 and 800 have much better pinpoint function after the ver. 1.75 and ver. 2 firmware updates. Jeff
  8. With the Equinox being such a versatile detector, I have used it in many different detecting situations. Lately I have been helping a local municipality try to find the exact location of a 19th century narrow gauge railroad right of way on some of their city land. The rails and cross ties were removed long ago and the terrain has been altered. So I’m looking for the iron relic debris along the railway roadbed for their museum and to trace the railroad’s location and any other period non ferrous targets too. I get to keep the non- ferrous ones!!!! One easy way to selectively find deep big iron targets with the Equinox like spikes, bolts and nuts, fish plates, etc. in Park or Field modes is to locate an iron target and then size it in pinpoint mode. We all know that the pinpoint feature can be a bit wonky sometimes. A friend of mine is helping me with this project and he is new to the Equinox (longtime CTX user). I was helping him setup his Nox in Park 2 and Field 1 and showing him how to ground balance and pinpoint. He didn’t know about the global and local settings difference so he just assumed that what he set in Field 1 applied to Park 2. He manually ground balanced Field 1 at 5 while Park 2 was unknowingly left on 0. The ground balance here can change from -2 to + 10 rapidly. I was trying to help him hear the difference between what to me sounded like a short 6” or so piece of barbed wire (correct assumption btw) still in the ground and what sounded to me like a much more dense piece of iron (turned out to be a spike). The pinpoint audio “halos” were very different on my Nox 600 and clearly outlined a long, thin target as opposed to a target whose audio halo was at least as big as my 11” coil. His Nox 800 was in Park 2 and in pinpoint mode it responded with a loud, long cats meow that lasted for his entire 4’ coil sweep over what turned out to be the barbed wire strand at 8” depth. He tried several times with the same result. I just figured he was continuing to press his pinpoint button but after checking he wasn’t. I tried his Nox and got the same result. I switched to Field 1 and his 800 pinpoint mode worked just like my Nox had. I switched back to Park 2 on his Nox and checked his settings and fixed the ground balance discrepancy by doing a ground grab which set at 4. I then went back into pinpoint mode on his Nox in Park 2 and it pinpointed just like his Field 2 and my similarly setup Nox 600. It appears that obtaining a good ground balance reading may improve pinpoint mode function on the Nox. I sure don’t remember seeing anything about that in the manual. So, I have always wondered what pinpoint mode was on the Nox since there is no classic All Metal mode. I have also wondered how smart (or not) it was to just simplify things and leave a Nox on 0 ground balance. This experience has reinforced my belief that taking the 30 seconds or less to do a ground grab now and then on this internally complex high gain detector during a hunt is definitely a smart idea. Jeff
  9. I have finally been able to do a little testing of the Vanquish 340 with V10 coil with no coil cover, which somewhat duplicate the testing done by abenson. The 340 has no high/low iron bias adjustment and has Coin, Jewelry and All Metals accepted modes. The only other settings difference was that I did not set the sensitivity on maximum. I set mine at half strength. The Vanquish 340 in All Metals accepted easily passed 4 for 4, the Monte's Nail Board test with a zinc penny in position 1. It also scored 4 for 4 in Coin mode. In Jewelry mode it was 3 for 4 with failure on sweep direction 4. I have not done this test with a zinc penny in position 2. Nails of course are different. I have my Nail Board test set up with older square nails. I used two 2" square nails and a zinc penny for a second test with all three targets on the same plane in this configuration with the space between the nails and the zinc penny at 1/2": l-------------- O ---------------l. In All Metals accepted and Coin mode the Vanquish 340 was able to hit the zinc penny if I paid close attention to making medium speed swings and very good coil control while keeping the coil very close to the targets. If I lifted the coil more than an inch above the zinc penny it was completely masked in both modes. Sensitivity adjustments made no difference. Jewelry mode failed. This masking remained until the space between the zinc penny and nails was widened to 1 1/2". At this amount of target separation the 340 could easily detect the zinc penny all the way to 3" height in all three modes. With targets separated 2" or more there was no problem at all I tried this same test with aluminum shards, pull tabs and other coins with similar results. With pull tabs and similar sized and shaped can slaw there was barely a hint of the penny unless the coil was within 1" of the targets in any mode. Coin mode seemed to be the best with Jewelry the worst. Separating the aluminum from the zinc penny by 1 1/2" or more alleviated the masking. I put a US nickel on the right of the penny and a US quarter on the left and spaced them 1/2" apart. In Coin mode these targets sounded awful with broken sputtering audio and wildly fluctuating numerical target ID. In All Metals accepted these targets produced negative and positive numbers and iron audio, medium and high tone responses almost like iron falsing. To be honest, if hadn't known what these targets were I would have guessed a rusty tin can, rusty iron or a rusty crown bottle cap. Moving the coins apart so that the spacing was 1 1/2" made them clearly identifiable with no nulling or iron responses. The left outer edge of the V10 coil was able to separate these targets at 1/2" if I tilted the coil and moved it very slightly. Otherwise, it was a mess. So target separation/recovery speed on the Vanquish 340 is definitely not as good as on the Equinox nor should it be for $199. So, when I'm using this detector or letting a family member or friend use it I will have to remember this and investigate any close to the surface targets that seem larger than normal and that sound like rusty iron in All Metals mode and nulling/falsing iron if the Vanquish is in Coin or Jewelry. Could be multiple close spaced targets like a coin spill. Jeff
  10. Hi, I haven't seen your sister in a while but we do get to hunt together sometimes. She can find the gold jewelry too!!!!! I keep my Nox 800 charged up and ready to go for special occasions like gold prospecting and relic hunting. My Nox 600 does all of the daily grunt work but it sure does find jewelry!!!!!! In the Denver area along with my awesome metal detecting, goose poop eating dog, I use an 8" long flat head screwdriver that I keep very sharp, a homemade 10" ice pick type probe (with a golfball handgrip) and a Teknetics Tek Point pinpointer set to maximum sensitivity which usually gets down about 3.5" here. If possible I do coin popping by cutting a 4" long slit in the grass/turf. I pry it apart and excavate from there unless the target is shallow in which case I don't even dig. I just pop it out with my probe. With the Nox, I use every tool available on it, especially the horseshoe button, the on board pinpointer for sizing and exactly locating targets and the depth meter. I have to be very precise and can't afford to just use the coil tip approximate pinpointing method when I'm digging with a screwdriver. Sometimes soil conditions are bad and the slit turns into a very small plug............. I do my absolute best to leave no trace however. I know most of the park workers and rangers at the 30 or so parks I go to and they often are very interested in what I find and have never given me any trouble since I pick up a lot more trash than I dig and they are well aware of that. I also help them find wayward sprinkler heads and stuff they have lost either at a park, at their maintenance facility or once even at one of their homes. thanks for the questions, Jeff
  11. I use my Nox 600 most of the time for coin and jewelry hunting in the super trashy parks in the Denver area. It takes a real beating in all kinds of weather and I must have put 1500 or more hours on it already. The Nox 600 needs more Love😘 in my opinion. It can definitely get the coin, jewelry and even relic job done in really bad soil conditions. I was mostly looking for deep silver today in some of the most trashy areas of the park so I was bouncing back between default Park 2 and a trashy park notched Park 1 depending on the tiny aluminum fragment chatter. Luckily I was in basic Park 2 when I got the coil over this target since it came up as a steady, beautiful, round, medium toned 18 at 7" (3 depth arrows), which I had notched out in Park 1. I had three targets under my 11" coil. Initially I thought it might be a coin spill. I had already dug a 6" 22,23 screw cap and a 3" 13,14 pull tab and moved over to the last target close by which sounded even more beautiful. I was expecting either a giant pull tab, beaver tail, a thick chunk of aluminum, brass shell casing or a large caliber modern bullet. I was super stoked to see that gold. Way to separate targets Nox 600!!!!!!!!!!! And, way to go me for being willing, able (I work out a lot!!!!) and happy to dig what some people think is trash. If I hit a target with tight numbers or even better, just one number with solid tone in the 6 to 23 range I patiently dig it. I get cut, scraped knuckles and frustrated occasionally but if it sounds good I dig it............ I have yet to dig a good quality jewelry target at 10" deep or less with the Nox 600 that didn't sound fantastic. Deeper than 10" anything can happen....... Jeff
  12. I try not to think about my finds off setting the cost of my detectors. I love detecting too much and especially my Equinox 600 and 800, my XP ORX and my modded TDI SL. I purchased all but the TDI SL new, and got the TDI for less than $400 and purchased all of them since January of 2018 so roughly $2500. I keep good records of finds and hours in a journal, so just for fun, in 2018 my clad total for the year was $288 (mostly after getting the Nox 600) and jewelry melt value was $625. My totals for 2019 were, clad $581, gold nuggets and flakes $530 melt value, and jewelry $915 melt value. Total from January 2018 through December of 2019 is $2939. So, technically my detectors and extra coils are paid for in material terms.I don't need that kind of justification to enjoy this hobby. My love for this hobby is totally priceless....... To me, using these great detectors and finding anything is what is so rewarding. The fact that I can find enough to actually add up to something tangible is pretty amazing. I gladly volunteer at my expense to detect for university archeology departments, historical societies, State Park lake lead removal, municipal governments and law enforcement for free, with pleasure. Like Chase earlier, it is not about the money for me. I'm retired and I metal detect for exercise, love of the outdoors, solitude and/or working with a team, skill development and for the thrill of it. When my body won't let me do this anymore I will still have countless wonderful memories. Jeff
  13. I would take anything more ergonomic, with modern features and performance like: better target separation, masking, recovery speed, higher frequencies or selectable frequencies, (simultaneous multi frequency is too much to ask probably) and lots more audio adjustments for their VLF mid level line and any weight improvement and coil options on the ATX. Jeff
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