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Condor last won the day on December 11 2017

Condor had the most liked content!

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About Condor

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  1. Hey Steve, Thanks for correcting my spelling as well. I saw it after I posted, but as always, my computer skills are limited.
  2. I really needed the Equinox on a collapsible shaft so that I can put it in my backpack or stow it on the Rokon for riding cross country. I already had the Golden Mask shaft that I had modified for the Deus, so I started tinkering. The original Equinox shaft has a smaller diameter than the Golden Mask, so the shaft mounts will not mate up directly. I took the dremel tool and relieved the areas around the screw holes just enough to get the Nox handle brain/screen section to snug up to the Mask shaft. I removed the original Mask handle and fitted the Nox in the same location. (Mask handle is bolted and glued to the shaft, it takes some work to get them apart.) I then used longer NOX sized metric bolts (shown below) snugged them into the NOX handle around the Mask shaft. Its a very tight fit so the bolts end up a little bent. I then cut the heads off the bolts to make them more or less studs. I cut and drilled a hose clamp band, fitted it over the studs, then pulled them down tight over the shaft with a nut and washer combination. I added a little black paint and the whole thing is really stable. I'll had a little black Duct tape to the whole mess so that it doesn't hang up on my shirt or pants. It collapses to 24 inches and fully extends to about 50 inches. The Golden Mask shafts are all carbon fiber so corrosion, weight and shaft wobble are not a problem. I gave it a test run this morning was quite impressed. For whatever reason I can not explain, my bump falsing was cut by about half. That was the first thing I noticed so I went through all the set up functions to make sure I hadn't accidentally changed something like Sens or Recovery. Nope, all my same settings, but now a noticeable reduction in bump sensitivity. I don't know how, but I'm liking it a whole lot better now.
  3. Summer has come early here in the Desert Southwest, Sunny Yuma. Mid 90's today, approaching 100 through the week, must be a climate change kind of thing. I had time to spare this morning so I took the Equinox out to an area of old Dry Wash tailings I found recently. I found a number of small pieces last week with the Z7000, so I wanted to see what the Z had missed. I fired up the Equinox in Gold Prospecting 2, "made sure recovery speed reset to 6", Sens at 22, notched out -9 through -6 which covers most hot rocks down here. I moved through the old coarse and fine throw-out tailings, low and slow. I had to double check a number of hard black hot rocks that tried to blow through my notch. They generally sound off in one direction only and are easily moved with a boot scrape. I started finding these tiny nuggets about an inch or so down, resting on a layer of red clay. The Equinox was audibly sounding off with a classic "Gold Bug II" kind of Zip tone, though choppy and broken at low and slow. Unfortunately, the Screen VID could not keep up. It was generally showing -8 of the red clay, but the audible target tone was breaking through no problem and was so crisp and clear that I knew I had to dig. I'm using higher end EarBud earphones plugged directly into the machine. What I've learned so far: 1. Higher recovery speed helps control bump falsing. It's still there, but manageable. 2. Don't rely on the VID to identify gold. Even when these targets were out of the hole, the VID ranged from 1 through 9. 3. The 11" coil is plenty sensitive on small gold. I don't see a 6" coil in my future. A solid 5"X10", heck yes. 4. The Equinox is as good as any VLF gold prospecting detector out there, if you take the time to know the machine and learn it's language. As always it helps to get the coil over some gold to build confidence.
  4. Condor

    Equinox, Prospecting Work-around

    Yep, break out the Dunce Cap. I had messed with that Recovery Speed setting the very first day over test nuggets and liked the way it sounded on a setting of 4. I never thought to change it back, the machine stores your last settings. Little did I know how bumpy it would make that coil. With the factory default of 6, the coil is much better behaved, but still falses occasionally, certainly no where near what I was experiencing before. Belay all my previous complaints.
  5. Condor

    Equinox, Prospecting Work-around

    Forgot to mention I'm hunting with no Discrimination, digging all targets for practice.
  6. I spent the past couple days playing around with the EQ on some undug targets, some that I detected with the GPZ, then went over with the EQ. My observations in Moderately Mild ground of Sunny Yuma. Dropping the Sens down to 18 or lower didn't improve the bump falsing, but the targets disappeared. Raising the Recovery Speed to 5 or higher knocked out 75 percent of the bump falsing. If you raise the Recovery speed, you need to raise the threshold for low and slow or you won't hear the targets. At a recovery speed of 5, you need a pretty good swing speed to make the micro nuggets sing out. The smallest I found was .04 gram, the biggest was .48 gram. I can't be sure what I'm losing in depth with the higher recovery speed, most of these targets are 1 to 2 inches. Just like any new detector, it takes some time on the ground to get to know the nuances. For most of my ground, a Sens of 23, Threshold 8 to 10, Recovery Speed 5 or 6. On the hotter red dirt, Sens of 20 held up pretty well. Park 2 got the bigger nuggets just fine, Field 2 nothing. Bear in mind I'm concentrating on micro nuggets simply because there are more of them and I'm having fun finding something for my day out in the sun. I'm liking this detector more every day. One you electronic geniuses can tell us why the higher Recovery Speed setting knocks down the bump falsing.
  7. Condor

    Equinox, Micro Nuggets

    Many thanks JW for keeping everyone's Equinox expectations realistic as it relates to gold prospecting. There is no sense hyping the attributes of this machine without talking about its potential disappointments. Prospectors can be an unforgiving bunch. I well imagine that Steve H is behind the scenes, working his keen powers of persuasion, encouraging Minelab to give us a gold prospecting coil. I was out yesterday with a Gold Monster and only ran it for a few minutes at a time, so I really don't speak the Monster language, but I can honestly say that given my limited time with both machines, I would pick the EQ over the Monster for a small gold VLF. The weight, balance and versatility just make the EQ a lot more value for the money. I know JW and Steve H have said this, but let me reiterate, finding gold this small with an 11 inch coil is remarkable. I will try and get the EQ over a faint, undug target today, and adjust the sensitivity down until I lose the target. That should give us a better idea of how far we can go on Sensitivity to eliminate bump falsing.
  8. Condor

    Equinox, Micro Nuggets

    Steve, you're spot on and we're on the same path here. We have all seen the knee jerk negative reactions to Minelab's various detector releases in the past. All or most of the negativity has fallen silent after general use by unbiased consumers. My goal here was to get out in front of this weakness (for prospectors) and I raised it on the prospecting page rather than the Equinox fan club page. The Equinox is an awesome detector given all that it accomplishes at this price point. Minelab has certainly not touted this detector's gold field prowess, it seems an afterthought to their innovative technology, and may well become a major strength with a dedicated coil. I am certainly looking forward to that day. I applaud Minelab for not dumming down the detector and leaving the choice of adjusting to extreme sensitivity in my inartful hands. Just because my mini-van's engine is capable of 120mph, doesn't mean I should drive it at those speeds, but the option is mine and I sacrifice any claims that my mini-van sucks because it won't corner at 110mph. It simply wasn't designed for that and I am the first to admit it. Power on Minelab, innovation is king.
  9. Condor

    Equinox, Micro Nuggets

    JW, If you manage to do some filming, please include the bump sensitivity part. If people think the new Equinox is the ultimate VLF gold detector, they're going to be disappointed. It is a very fine gold detector, assuming you have some experience and understand the absolute skill of coil control. At these extremely high settings, you simply will not be able to poke that 11" coil down between rocks and crevices without bumping and falsing. I was very happy on the flat ground and tailings mounds, but deep down in the rocky gullies and desert washes I was quite frustrated. Now that I better understand the machines limitations, I will concentrate on the areas where it excels and leave the others to my more capable machines. Just remember all the complaints about the Monster falsing with higher settings. This machine is no different and perhaps worse because of the coil design. I'm not a basher, just realistic. I like this machine for all its flexibility and I wouldn't trade mine for anything like priced. Caveat Emptor. Edit 3/10 - See follow up post.
  10. Condor

    Equinox, Micro Nuggets

    The machine with these high settings is very bump sensitive. From my previous tests with test nuggets, if you were concentrating on 1/2 gram and larger nuggets you could turn down the threshold to near silence. It will cut out about half of the bump falsing and still hit the nuggets pretty clearly. You can certainly turn down the Sens and achieve less falsing, but over test nuggets the depth drops off dramatically. Real world results on undug targets may differ. Bear in mind this is basically my 3rd time out with this detector, so don't count my word as gospel. I like the machine, and I want to like it even more because of its weight and ease of use. Paul: No problems with EMI 10 miles outside of sunny Yuma. The Marine F22's fly here everyday and they play havoc at times with the GPZ, but no issues with the Nox. I detected directly under power lines and there was a noticeable hum, but no real problem. Edit 3/10 - See follow up post.
  11. I've been laid up for over a week with the friggin flu, but JW's finds with the Equinox inspired me today. A sunny 78 degrees in the Desert Southwest, so I decided some fresh air and detecting were in order. I picked a spot for easy access and easy walking, not wanting too many challenges to my recovery. An old hillside placer that we had found a number of tiny nuggets with the 7000 seemed like a good prospect. I plugged my earphones directly into the the Nox and ran the Gold 2 program with no discrimination. I jacked the sens to max and just puttered along, low and slow. I picked up these 4 micro nuggets for about 2 hrs effort. None of them registered a VID, just a barely repeatable tone. The biggest was down maybe 2 inches and gave a nice steady hum. The others were less than an inch, just a squeak of a tone. The hillside was fairly flat, so I was able to manage some decent coil control, otherwise the Nox at full power will false with every bump. You'd have to be pretty bored to make this kind of detecting a habit, but it served its purpose today.
  12. I purchased an Equinox 800 hoping to put a little more fun into gold prospecting and try my hand a coin/relic detecting. I've put about 5 hrs detecting time in, first in a really trashy shallow bedrock wash then in running through old drywash tailings. 5 hrs is not enough to really get to know the machine and I was not able to get that coil over undug gold, but some initial observations can be shared. In the shallow bedrock, littered with bits of ancient decomposing food cans from an old mine camp, Nox is awesome. I ran it in the standard Gold I setting, with no discrimination. The rotting can trash was unmistakable in the -3 to -5 VDI reading. Modern steel items like machine fittings etc, sometimes ran up to +2, but lead and my test nuggets consistently gave VDI of 8 to 10. A 1 gram test nugget consistently hits 9 to 10. Hot rocks show up in the -7, -8 range. In the drywash tailings, I was looking for depth and the ground was a little hotter. I ran in Gold II with the sensitivity between 19 and 21 where conditions allowed. Again, ferrous trash was unmistakable with good logical VDI numbers. I ran into a lot of hot rocks in the -8 VDI. Given that I could not get the coil over undug gold, I opted to do a little testing with test nuggets. First, a .2 gram nugget sounded off perfectly to about 3 inches, VDI at depth is iffy. I think more depth is possible on that size with a little more tweaking. Then, a 1 gram nugget down 6 inches in the fine drywash tailings. Tone was unmistakable, but the VDI was all over the place. I went down 8 inches and the tone was clear, but now the VDI starting hitting at -8, the same place as a hundred hot rocks I had been over and had quit digging. I'm still not sure how to interpret that bit. More practice and more testing. Ideally, an undug target is the place for that, I just need to get over one. My one gripe is that the coil is very bump sensitive. That spoke design catches on brush and the tops of rocks causing a hard chirp from machine. A few times I was trying to work that 11 inch coil down between rocks and every bump gave me a chirp or 2. It really breaks the concentration when you're trying to find those whisper signals. At this point I would not opt for the 800 as my exclusive gold prospecting machine. Good thing I have the workhorse GPZ for that. Edit 3/10 - See follow up post.
  13. Hey Steve, Do you think the EQX can be made to fit the Golden Mask collapsible rod assembly?
  14. Condor

    Short Trip To Baja

    The tire options are even better now. Great radial tires out there really help the side hilling goat trail riding. I'll be out to SawTooth this summer exploring the "ghost roads" up in those hills.
  15. Condor

    Scams Out There

    I had a similar one on Treasure Classifieds. I kept stringing it along to see the cashiers check and turn it over to the Postal Inspection Service. I think he smelled it out and quit emailing.