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Walter S. Fowler

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  • Interests:
    For the most part it's metal detecting, but also enjoy pop up tent camping, hiking, Lionel train collecting and my layout, following SF Giants baseball, 49er football, and being retired.
  • Gear Used:
    I had been using a Whites XLT for land and still use a Garrett Infinium LS for the water/beach the last 14 years. Switched to a Minelab Equinox 800 in April/2018 ., Fisher F-Pulse pinpointer.

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  1. I haven't been looked at the forum for a while, as I was awaiting the return of my control pod and coil. But, finally did get both a new control pod and coil back from Minelab just recently with extreme apologies for the delay which they attributed to a parts delay due to Coil-19. I'm sure they did the best they could in terms of getting me a new pod and coil. The issue was also very confusing and took them a while to figure out. Actually, they never did totally figure it out and just decided to give me a new pod and coil. I tried both the automatic pump method and manual ground balance when it first started giving me problems with the same bad issues occurring , but not all the time which made it even more frustrating. I don't use tracking. Also, installed new 3.0 update successfully and at least in my ground test garden does seem to hit better on my deeper test coins. As mentioned by Steve, very grateful to get updates from Minelab. Happy to be back detecting again. Spent the last 6 weeks water/beach detecting at Lake Tahoe with my pulse detector.
  2. Just throwing this out in case anyone else has had this problem or for future reference.in case anyone has it in the future. I bought my Equinox 800 in April 2018 and it has been great with no problems until a month ago. I started getting problems ground balancing and getting very different ground balancing numbers even over the same ground. I tried factory reset but didn't help . Also, it didn't always have the problem. I called Minelab and they had me send control pod and 11" coil to their service center in PA. in early June as it was under warranty. (thankfully). After getting message they had it and processing might be delayed due to Colvid-19 issues I finally heard back from them July 7. They indicated "after much testing the unit has begun showing issues. However, the issue is very sporadic and does it when it decides too. The issue is a ground balance issue. When trying to ground balance the unit it will ground balance correctly. The unit will be wildly off in the 80's. Next it will ground bale to 0, all in the same location of a couple of feet. The difficulty of pin pointing it however is that it seems to do it even when replacing an item. Our test coil will experience the same issue on the customer's pod. The I tried the customer's coil on our control pod and will experience the issue again. I have done factory resets and reloaded the latest firmware to insure it was not just a software problem. Out of an abundance of caution, I strongly recommend the replacement of both the coil and the control pod. NOTE: There will be a delay on the control pod as there are parts difficulties due to Covid-19. Once art is received we will update the ticket and return the unit to the customer." This all was very weird. I recontacted Minelab about what the new timeframe might be for getting my detector back and why I just couldn't have them send me a brand new detector(minus wireless headphones] . No response back as yet.
  3. The TID's were in the same range as a copper penny around 23-27 , but some jumped all over the place. Yes, there was sign of a fire and also bits of pottery and glass and large pieces of iron of various shapes. Does seem strange that so many are not bent and perfectly shaped.. Might have been that a building burned down at this site.? I'm still trying to do research . The ground is very mineralized at this site also. I haven't found any coins there as yet, but still hopeful. I think the ones without heads were just broken for some reason.
  4. I went out yesterday with my Equinox 800 to a previously located site and found a few more square cut nails and a few other interesting items. Well, actually 84 more square cut nails. Using Field 1, changed to 5 tones, recovery speed 4, F2 at 2. Makes you wonder why/how that many square cut nails ended up in such a concentrated area. Quite a few of them were found just using my pinpointer. It's always fun getting out in the woods and doing some relic hunting instead of the usual coinshooting in local parks.
  5. I used the old software on my Equinox 800 this morning using my Normal Field 1, recovery speed lowered to 3, changed to 5 tones, and everything else factory. I found a nice sterling silver Saint Christopher pendant and 25 coins. However, after successfully installing the new software 2.0 I did some testing on targets in the front yard. I did see a marked difference in the response (sound) to a bottle cap after bumping up the new F2 iron bias to 7. My question is the setting on the old iron bias should be similar to the new F2 iron bias setting(say 1 on both or 7 on both) , or, does the two somehow work in different reams? Can the iron bias be 1 on the old iron bias and 7 on the new F2 to get the best results of a different sound response on bottle caps? Im still playing with it, but curious to know anyones take on the settings question. Of course, there wasn't much of a explanation from Minelab on their website on how the the new feature works or the settings, but I am grateful that they do come out with updates/ fixes. Thanks.
  6. Funny you should mention that. There was some evidence of a campfire or some other type of fire at the site including some pieces of melted glass. As always, thanks to everyone for the added information about square cut nails and comments. Good hunting!
  7. I've been metal detecting with my Minelab Equinox 800 all summer sine getting it in April 2018, but just finding the usual coins and nothing exciting to post. The last several days outside Reno I made it out to a new site and found a cache of 75 square(actually rectangle) cut nails and some other interesting items. One item appears to be the end of an old spoon. Using Field 1 pretty much factory settings, but when in town and hunting parks I lower recovery speed down to 3 and slow speed rate speed way down . ( I find gets better depth) . Also, switch target zones to 5 to get more different sounds on the various targets. For the first 1 and 1/2 years of using the Equinox I used Park 1 all the time, but after getting more experienced with it, help from this forum, and reading a couple of books on the NOX( Clive James Clynick and Andy Sabisch books) I feel comfortable enough using some other modes and changing the factory settings. After using a Whites XLT for 15 years it definitely was a learning curve with he NOX , but well worth the learning process. Now, up to 1061 coins and $71.16 for 2019 including the water/sand finds with another detector. (including 9 wheat cents). The forum does great job of speeding up the learning process. Great day in the field.
  8. Thanks Steve. Looking at the YouTube reviews of the Fisher F-Pulse pinpointer, but more importantly your original writeup of the F-Pulse was what influenced me to get it. What has been your most effective way to ground balance it, if necessary? Per the instruction manual there are several different ways to ground balance it. I tried both methods myself and they both seem to work. Thanks for doing such a great job on the forum.
  9. Got out today with the Equinox 800 for a short hunt. Not a lot of coins, but did find 1944s wheat penny and Malibu Castle & Showboat Fun Center token. I believe this amusement park was active in the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's in North Holleywood, Ca. and closed and then burned to the ground in 1998. Correct me if I'm wrong. The live round was a PMC .270 Win. I have no idea how it got to where it was. Used my regular Park 1, recovery speed down to 4, and sensitivity up to 23. Also, first time out with my Fisher F-Pulse pinpointer which replaces my Garrett (black) Propointer. The F-Pluse definitely goes about 1 1/2 inches deeper on most coins and has a lot more features than my older pinpointer. It is much more powerful and does require ground balancing to operate smoothly. Anyone have any experience longer term with the Fisher F-Pulse they would want to share? Thanks.
  10. Got out again today with my Equinox 800. Did not find a lot of coins, but did pull 1942s wheat penny and 14k gold ring. Stones in ring tested as diamonds at least according to my diamond tester. I used my usual Park 1, with recovery speed lowered to 4. Ring came in at solid 12 at about 5-6 inches. Excellent day.
  11. I was able to go out detecting with the Nox 800 for the first time this year several days ago. The weather has been bad in Northern Nevada this year and I had minor knee surgery in early March. I didn't find a lot of coins , but did manage to find an unreadable date wheat penny, a tiny gold ring, and beautiful 17" necklace(unfortunately not gold.). The gold ring measured in at .9 gram and was by far the smallest gold ring I have found in 16 years of detecting. The Nox sniffed it out at about 6 inches down with a solid "9" . The ring was so small it was even hard to locate with my pinpointer , but finally managed to capture it. I was using my standard Park 1, recovery speed 5, iron bias 1, and sensitivity 18-20 based on conditions.
  12. Messed up on my original post and forgot the wording. However, just got back from visiting family in Denver , CO. and found the coins and items in a local park. Found 1955d wheat penny, hose nozzle, and what appears to be address name plate before zip codes which I believe started in 1963, Don't know what it was on as was not found at the same address as shown on the item. Any ideas? Used my normal Park 1 mode with recovery at 5, iron bias at 1, and sensitivity depending on conditions.
  13. Finally got to download MUU and successfully loaded the new software to the Equinox. Used Chrome.After download went back and tried again and showed message my detector had most current software update (1.7.5) . All is good in the world at least with this. Computers. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Be very interested to see how the upgrades do the next time out. Thanks Minelab.
  14. Also having problem even downloading the Minelab Update Utility to my computer. Computer is a Apple MacBook Pro with all the minimum system requirements present. Couldn't download MUU using Safari so tried Chrome and that didn't work either. I typed in the long Utility address and comes up not found. Am i going to have to send back my Equinox back to the factory to get new update??? Very frustrating to say the least.
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