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  1. Hello all, I am new to the forum but I have been reading for a couple years. I live in the heart of central Illinois in some of the HOTTEST soils on earth... We have that glacial till high mineral black sandy,salty,clay,rock,coal,coke stuff that makes corn and beans grow to yields not seen anyplace else. I have over 120 hours on the nox 800 and I understand what the settings do ect. My ground balance numbers are in the 74-90 range with an occasional 50ish. I cant find anything. I had an old BH3300 and I found 182 silvers last year in just my small town. I have maprika so you can overlay a map from whenever over current maps and know where things were. I have made all my finds by research. I never knew my soil was hot. I got about 6 inches on the 3300 and come to find out thats about as deep as anything ends up due to rock ans clayish layer 6-8 inch down. If someone knows anything about my soil I need some recommendations. I am not going to say where I live but one other area in central Il has the exact same dirt. Paxton Illinois in ford county Illinois. I came here due to me watching all tnsharpshooter and calabashdiggers(spelling) you tube videos.The best results I get is in beach 1 recovery 8 iron bias 2 and sens 16. If I use anything else I get perfect repeatable tones on something that makes me dig and dig and its never there. I shook a china mans hand one day i dug so deep!! Whats wierd about the soil is I can make a test garden and hit a penny at 14 inches in park 1 and 10 inches in beach 1...
  2. I'm a former XP Deus user and have been searching around for aptX LL headphones similar to my old Deus WS4 wireless backphones so that I can wear sunhats. I purchased the 66 AUDIO BTS Pro's last week and was pretty disappointed after syncing them up to the Equinox 800 and no aptX LL!!! I contacted their tech support and didn't hear anything for a couple of days. I boxed them up to return to Amazon and just as I was heading out the door to the UPS Store I received an email from them saying "We will send over a manual firmware update in 1-2 days to resolve the aptX-LL issue." Two days later (today) I got the firmware update. The update went smoothly on my PC, I synced up to the Equinox 800 and aptX LL now works GREAT!!! I tested them out around my garden and they're awesome. If anyone needs the firmware update file without having to wait four days send me a PM. These headphones sound great, loud, are comfortable and have some pretty impressive specs with a 40 hour battery and 100 foot range. https://www.66audio.com/bts-pro https://www.amazon.com/66-AUDIO-Wireless-Bluetooth-Headphones/dp/B01M8M4R7K
  3. It started in July of 2018. Took my new Nox to Mexico and even though I did testing at home before leaving it was disappointing to find that my Black Widows would not work, nor my Sun Ray pro golds. I did do some detecting but the wave noise on my beach made it difficult to really get into the machine. Fast forward to January, armed with the correct connector to use my black widows I starting learning the Nox. First impression was, chatty, difficult to PP, and issues with moving water and black sand. After the third time out I installed the update. WHAT A FAIL! I had a new machine alright but it was working way worse. I consulted a few people with the machine and was told that the update may not always take. I uninstalled and checked performance [seemed ok] Then put the up-date back on. What a difference! The machine seemed to perform better! Off to the report card! Saltwater Beach, Beach 2, GB auto. Dry Sand- [N/A] The dry sand is not worth my time where I hunt. Wet sand grade: [A- ]: I found the machine to work the wet sand well [no water]. With light black sand I could work in 21-22 sensitivity. Very little false signals, worked recovery between 4-6, iron bias 2-3. Even though I did not make any great recoveries in this part of the beach by the end of the season I felt confident there was not much getting by me. Wave Trough [moving water] grade: [ F] This is where I really like to hunt. To put it bluntly the Nox is a complete failure in moving salt water. It is like the moving salt water makes the machine blind to detect and see targets. The beach is rough where I hunt. At any point water could be over waist deep, then 50’ or more of wet sand to the water. If I were to stay in the wave zone completely I would have to significantly de-tune the machine do to the moving water causing the machine to false. When the water would drain out and I would locate a target the next wave is right there. When the wave would come through, repeated sweeping where the target was produced no sound at all. When the wave pulled back, re-sweeping showed the target was present. This happened over and over for 100’s of targets. Another drawback: It was clear there was two different set-ups needed. One for wet sand, another for moving water. If I had the machine set for moving water that meant every time the wave swept out I was WAY under matched for wet sand only. Mainly I found I had to run around 17-18 sensitivity and 5-6 on recovery. Other issues comments. EMI grade[ F] I have over ½ mile of the beach where I need to back off the sensitivity by 1-2 regardless of other conditions or controls. Pinpoint Mode grade [F] The worst functioning I have ever used, Especially on a beach! All metal mode grade [A] Or as I nick named it the “truth mode” Almost every jumpy target I had would lock in somewhere, once put in all metal mode. Recovery of targets grade [D] Well part of this grade is due to the pin-point mode, but make no mistake there are other issues, Even though I had the target out of the hole, many time the detector was still sounding off. Also it seems to be easy to bury targets or make them undetectable after missing them in the scooping process. Thanks for listening. Please do not tell me how it works on land, in fresh water, or gold mode [I don’t hunt land] This is my honest review. Sure I have a few more things to learn, but I doubt my grades would change much. Over-all grade C+
  4. Just received Nox #3. The first two were bad out of box. The first thing I noticed about both of them, when I noise cancel, I had to press detect button 2 twice to return to detect screen at times. This didn't happen all the time, but often. I noise cancel and press detect 1 time and hear beep, but screen remains in noise cancel until button is pressed again. If in NC and 1 press doesn't return to detect screen, I can NC and 1 press a few times and then the detect screen will return after a NC and 1 press. Pulled Nox #3 out of box, connected coil, turned it on, did NC, pressed detect button, screen froze, tried again, same thing 2 or 3 times. Turned off, turned on, same thing. Went to video the problem and it worked like it should 4 or 5 times, before a screen freeze. Does anybody have this issue? Do you have to press detect button 2 times to return to detect screen?
  5. In certain areas I'm getting definite hits reading 1 and some times 2 . At first I thought it has to be tiny split shot but now I'm not so sure. I now believe most of these are tiny hot rocks. Spit shot I can handle and ID by sight. I've dug plenty in my day and always managed to get them in the scoop. With these hits there is nothing except a scoop basket full of small gravels. In some areas I have resorted to notching out 1 or raising the iron segment to include it. Any thoughts?
  6. Is there anyone that for any reason still prefers the older version 1.5.0 software over the newer 1.7.5? If so, why? Just curious. Equinox - How To Check Version Or Rollback To Older Version
  7. Friends, I have been hunting with my new Nox 800 for the last 5 months now on a nearly daily basis. I found a bunch of very interesting stuff and coins. There is a VERY interesting field right where I live. I know the area has been populated for several hundreds of years and that field is very close to even old houses. A hot spot from my point of view. Unfortunately a high voltage overland electric lines cross right over the middle of the field. I get so much EMI that the field cannot be worked Grrrr.......... Does anybody have a good idea? I went through the available channels manually and auto but still too much EMI. Reducing the gain doesn't do the trick! Any more suggestions from your side?
  8. My Equinox has been under the water at least 40 hours before this happened! The first thing that I noticed was interference, like the cell phone being too close... then she just went dead!! Bummer! And for anyone thinking about getting the Minelab waterproof headphones? Put on your headphones, turn the volume on your machine down to somewhere around 14 and see if you'd like to hunt like that? That's how low the sound is on the Minelab waterproof headphones! Surely the waterproof headphones were an afterthought for Minelab because I don't think you could hear them if you were under water breathing through a hookah or air tanks! I'm not sure but maybe they can come up with a download that will help with the volume! I'm just waiting for Minelab to get back to me so I can send it in..... Other than all the little and now an end of days problem........ I love this machine! I have over an ounce of gold jewelry that I have pulled off one beach in about 70 hrs of detecting!
  9. I have recently been using my Equinox 800 for saltwater hunting. The obvious settings, Beach 2, Iron off. Since I am forced to a slower swing, I drop recovery speed to about 2-3 (4-5 on beach). I am forced to drop the sensitivity to 15 or below. I have noticed the waves will cause signals and dips in the sand too. This has become frustrating as I use a CTX-3030 and do not get nearly the false signals. Any suggestions to try?
  10. Some folks here may find this interesting, I certainly did! Testing my equinox 800 in my home test garden today, ground not high on mineralisation, but full of iron, old rusty nails etc. Had a silver UK sixpence 1930's buried only about 4/5 inches deep iron nails below and all around. (Difficult target) Imagine a clock face, I'm sweeping from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock , good 2 way tone, no problem, now sweeping from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock, 1 way signal, one tone only sweeping from left to right (from 3 o'clock back to 9 o'clock) Here's the interesting discovery reference ground balance, on my test garden there's so much iron getting a true GB is impossible, when I do try to auto GB it jumps up to the high 90's! However most of my permissions here in the UK read a GB in the mid 40's to the mid 50's so generally that's where I leave my GB most of the time. Ok GB set at 50, one way target from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock, sweeping from 3 back to 9 gives me a one way tone. Increasing the GB to 90 gave the opposite, still a one way tone, but in reverse ,now sweeping from 9 back to 3,, still a good 2 way tone sweeping from 12 to 6! Lowering the GB to 75, amazing, perfect 2 way tone, 3 to 9,, and 9 to 3. Just thought I would share this as I found the results very interesting! (GB set at 0 gave no tone whatsoever from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock) Program used field 2 , 50 tones, multi, discrimination -9/+1, iron bias 1, stock 11" coil, sensitivity (tried 17/21 not a great deal of difference) Regards Dave. H
  11. In a previous post of mine, I made the case for using 3 tones based on Low, Medium and High conductive targets; a system I routinely use in hunting our Florida beaches. It's simple, effective and gives me the information I really need. The videos below however, make a strong case for 2 tones and the "Dig it All" approach when using the Equinox series detectors. Why? As you'll see in those videos, the tested targets span the VDI spectrum based on metallurgical composition, shape and size. Granted, these are nothing more than air tests which aren't affected by depth, moisture or ground mineralization but they at least provide some indication as to how a variety of targets range the VDI scale based on their individual characteristics. If using 2 tones, I would personally set the tone breaks at -9 to 0 using tone pitch 1 indicating probable junk and the second tone break at 1 thru 40 using tone pitch 25. If I were interested only in a more detailed target description, I would lean heavily toward the CTX 3030. However, in the type of beach hunting I do, I favor the Multi IQ, faster processor, enhanced sensitivity and weight of the EQX over the CTX...just my personal preference or as I always say, "Just the view from my foxhole." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsgspduZA_8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7345qtsc7s&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMHH5ynSwW0&feature=youtu.be
  12. Since the Equinox first came out and the Facebook groups started up covering it, there have been several examples of settings that are posted and stated as absolutes. One that warrants some discussion is GROUND BALANCE. The common response to the question “Should I Ground Balance my Equinox?” is “No, leave it at preset as there is no need to ground balance it since it is running Multi Frequency.” Before we accept that statement as gospel, let’s step back and ask a basic question which is if there was no need to use the function, why would Minelab had included it in the first place? The answer is they would not have and it is there for a reason which is to address the adverse effect caused by mineralized ground. The more mineralized the ground is at your selected search site the more the performance will be impacted. Remember, the factory preset for this is “0” yet it offers an adjustment range from “-9” to “99” So, do you know how mineralized the ground is in your area or the sites you frequent? Do you know that mineralization levels can change dramatically in a short distance? A good example is an older house where the front yard can be mild in terms of mineralization while the backyard can be severe due to coal cinders and other stuff in the ground. On a site such as this, settings that would be ideal for the front of the house might be mediocre at best in the backyard and ground balance may be the setting that corrects that issue. In the area around where I live in Michigan, the Ground Balance registers between 55 and 75 on the Equinox. I do extensive testing on actual targets before recovering them (great use for poker chips) so I can see if making a change or changes will improve performance and I have found that performing a Ground Balance at my sites makes a noticeable difference over leaving it at preset. In fact, several times I have found that a deeper target either is not detected or mis-identified with the GB at preset compared to setting it correctly. It also runs quieter which helps pick out those marginal signals. So, I could make the absolute statement that “Ground Balancing is always required” but is that really an accurate statement for any location worldwide? This past weekend my wife and I attended a hunt (rally) in central Pennsylvania and we stopped at an old school (circa 1924) on the way to the hunt site. I Ground Balanced the Equinox 800 and the site registered between 14 and 18 . . . much different than my home sites. I searched for a few minutes and got a good, deep signal. I reset the GB to “0” and checked the target . . .it was still discernible. So, in this case, adjusting the GB off of the preset did not buy me anything. The hunt site was a bit different and in some areas, the ground registered 50 or higher. In those cases, coins on edge were not as clear with the GB at preset (0) as compared to setting the unit for the ground conditions. I used the Equinox on my last trip to England and rarely saw GB values above 20 in any of the fields we visited. The takeaway from this is that there is no “one rule fits all conditions” as site conditions can and do change which will cause you to reassess your settings and make the adjustments needed to compensate for those changes. If you want to get an accurate answer to the question “Should I Ground Balance my Equinox?”, do the following . . . . 1) Do an Auto Ground Balance at your site to see what the ground mineralization is. 2) Find and mark a deep target. 3) Sweep over it with the GB set at “0” (preset) and then again with it at the value you found when you GB’ed the Equinox. If you get a cleaner, stronger signal with the GB set off preset, you have your answer for that location. If not, leave it at preset and reap the rewards. But avoid saying it always should be left at Preset based on an Internet forum or Facebook post as the person that made the post might be searching sites totally different than what you are. Dial the detector in to YOUR sites and YOUR targets . . . you will always do better than simply taking advice that might be fine in one area and not another and usually that other area will be yours. Hope this helps . . . . . remember, the answer to virtually any question that pertains to setting a metal detector is almost always "IT DEPENDS" as conditions vary so greatly!
  13. I have never used a detector that has such a problem with a coil cover filling full of dirt and sand.Got tired of having to remove coil cover to clean.It's really bad at the beach, if I'm working just above waterline and a wave comes in and fills my cover full of water and sand, even though it's only a few ounces it feels like 5 lbs. And it's nice after hunting dry sand and putting it in the back of my Jeep and watch sand pour out. Had enough of that. Drilled some 9/64" drain holes in the cover, be sure you take it off the loop first. It will help a lot. Had very little sand after a beach hunt, usually the coil is packed.Since I took this pic, I have drilled 1/4" holes at 12:00 and 6:00, use those for flushing, put the hose to the top hole and let it flow out of the bottom. Don't run the water full blast, unless you wanna get wet.
  14. ..it finally arrived - happy like a little boy Will probably hit the beach with my son for some first tests this evening
  15. Hi friends! So I’ve had my equinox 800 for about a year now but have yet to try prospecting with it. I live in Maine and find some pickers while dredging but wondering if the equinox would pick up gold hidden in bedrock cracks and crevices?
  16. Testing out the Jones beach Land program...
  17. Hi Folks I have been busy making quite a few finds recently. After more than a year with the Equinox, it continues to impress me with it's capabilities. Some of my recent finds include some early 1630's Kettle Points and Turtle Effigy, Spanish Silver, KG's and more. I even have had it scuba diving. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed with the volume with the Grey Ghost headphones. I have a new pair of Tony Eisenhower headphones ready to try out with the hopes that the volume is better. We shall see. HH Everyone...
  18. I was having a relatively slow morning detecting at La Jolla Shores Beach in San Diego today, about $1 in clad and a euro coin when a young woman came up asking for help finding a ring. She was frantic and her husband was second guessing, saying it must be at home and asking when was the last time she saw it? She kept insisting it was here right here, next to the seawall. With just a couple swipes of my Equinox 800/15" coil I had it in the scoop. She was ecstatic and gave me a big hug. I've always dreamt of finding a big expensive engagement ring whilst detecting. I've gotten a few gold bands but nothing like this! I obviously didn't get to keep it, but it seemed to bring some good karma to the day and I found two large silver rings shortly afterward. She insisted on getting my info and address so I might be getting a reward or thank you letter later. Here's a couple pics of the expensive ring, the happy owner and the two silvers I got afterward.
  19. Need help. My equinox 600 doesn't change discrimination patterns when I switch detect modes. I am always in all metal mode. My boyfriend has the same machine and his changes with each mode...he doesn't know why mine does not. I can't figure it out...help please.
  20. Editor note: split from https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/9945-my-salt-water-report-card/ I agree with ya on some of your points and grades. After a year of using the Equinox, I can give a fair assessment on where it ranks and how it compares to other detectors for the uses that I do. If I were solely a beach hunter, I would personally feel more confident with a CTX 3030. I personally feel it has more depth to it in that arena. Even in freshwater, I put a good season of water hunting in with the CTX and all last year with the Nox. I found more rings last year with the Nox but I also found triple as much small junk that slowed me down...stuff that fell through the scoop, and or just disappeared. This alone has me wanting to snag a good used CTX. On saltwater beach...this is an even stronger feeling of favoring the CTX to me. I personally didn't mind the weight of the unit. I find the screen is easier to see on the Nox, particularly in direct sun light. I even like the feel of the Nox. I just feel from what I see, that the 3030 has more muscle to it in that area. I can't ever remember having a target that disappeared/vanished on me once I scooped a hole while hunting with the CTX. I had some I almost gave up on cause they were so deep though. The Nox will do the Houdini act in salt sand and in dirt....it doesn't like open holes at all. When it comes to hunting in mineralized soil and coin/relic hunting back home...this changes big time. Even though the CTX is revered as a great coin machine, it is handicapped a lot by red dirt. The Nox runs circles around it there. Like night and day difference. Hunting in iron...same thing. Heavily favored to the Nox. This leaves me in a split mood. Most of my summer hunting IS in the water for jewelry, albeit freshwater. The Nox will find the same rings as the CTX...but it also wants to lock onto those small pieces of crap that fall through the scoop. I need to figure out a way to have both and hope the wife doesn't find out 🙂
  21. This is my Equinox 800 in the folded position, and in its tennis racket bag. Its really the ultimate in portability, I just flip up the coil, press the lock button on the folding mechanism and fold the detector in,where it will lock in place folded.the length folded is 24",and its at the height that I use it at. The folding gizmo weighs 5 oz. and doesn't add any noticeable weight, though it can be easily offset. The bag has a zippered compartment for my shovel and the aptX headphones are in a net bag on the front. I can wear it like a backpack. I have the 600 set up the same way with its own racket bag.
  22. Posted on Minelab Treasure Talk Gold Nugget Detecting with the Minelab Equinox Metal detecting for gold nuggets is one of the most difficult detecting tasks, and learning to run a VLF detector in highly mineralized ground will challenge even the best detectorists. There is more to this subject then can be covered in a brief article but I will try and offer some tips to get people started with the Minelab EQUINOX for gold nugget detecting. Minelab Equinox with new 6" coil at work gold nugget detecting The Equinox can find very small gold nuggets! The EQUINOX 800 has two modes that are not available on the EQUINOX 600 – Gold Mode 1 and Gold Mode 2. The two Gold Modes are identical except for the default settings. Gold Mode 1 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 6 and Gold Mode 2 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 4. These modes employ a boosted audio that increases both in volume and pitch as a target is detected. This in turn accentuates the signal on tiny gold nuggets. The threshold is also different than the “reference threshold” employed in the other modes and is more responsive to ground changes, providing important audio feedback about changing ground conditions. The Gold Modes are similar to the threshold based all metal modes available on most VLF nugget detectors with a major difference. A target id number is displayed for strong targets and each target id number can be independently set to accept or reject. In this regard the Gold Modes are a hybrid mode with more discrimination capability than is available in normal threshold based all metal modes. Normal VLF nugget detecting relies on the operator having their ear very tuned into the threshold sound of the detector. Slight variations in the threshold tone can indicate potential targets. The threshold tone is also very sensitive to changes in the ground mineralization. This includes the so-called “hot rocks” which have mineralization different than the ground they reside in which makes the detector react to them as targets. The challenge is to get the detector to operate with a relatively smooth threshold as the coil is swept over the ground so that desired targets will stand out. If hot rocks are signaling with every sweep of the coil, then progress will be extremely slow if not impossible. Tuning a VLF detector to hunt nuggets starts with the theoretical most powerful settings, and then reduces those settings until the detector becomes stable. Every setting is a trade off, because making a detector more sensitive to gold also makes the detector more sensitive to mineralized ground and hot rocks. The key settings for the EQUINOX 800 in Gold Mode are: Frequency. Multi frequency is the default and the most powerful frequency setting, with 40 kHz and 20 kHz single frequency options. Multi is the most sensitive to gold, but also reacts the most to bad ground and hot rocks. The goal is to get the EQUINOX to run well in Multi but if bad ground or hot rocks make that impossible, going first to 40 kHz and then to 20 kHz will make the EQUINOX progressively less reactive to the ground and the hot rocks. Ground Balance. The default is ground tracking on. Tracking attempts to keep up with and smooth out the variations in the ground. In doing so it has a filtering effect and can possibly tune out the slight audio variations that come not just from the ground but from very small or very deep gold. Tracking off is therefore the most sensitive setting, with adjustments made via the Auto (pump) method or manually. Sensitivity. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 20. Increasing sensitivity increases the audio response from all targets, plus the responses from things like electrical interference. Most importantly, too much sensitivity makes the ground itself into one giant target, and so if the detector refuses to ground balance properly then reducing sensitivity until a proper ground balance can be obtained is critical. The default of 20 can easily be too high for the worst ground, and settings in the mid to low teens may be necessary. Recovery Speed. The range on the EQUINOX 800 is from 1 – 8. The defaults are 6 for Gold Mode 1 and 4 for Gold Mode 2. Recovery speed as regards nugget detecting can be viewed as a smoothing filter. Higher settings act to smooth out audio responses from the ground and hot rocks. Lower settings enhance audio responses from weak gold signals, but also make hot rocks and bad ground stand out more. False signals from the coil bumping a rock also increase at lower settings. In general the EQUINOX will be easier to handle at higher Recovery Speed settings, with more careful coil control required at lower settings. Iron Bias. The range is 0 – 9 with a default of 6 in both Gold Modes. Lower settings reduce the chance of gold being identified as ferrous, while higher settings reduce the chance of ferrous items being misidentified as gold. Accept/Reject. The default is -9 through 0 rejected, 1 through 40 accepted. The discrimination range on the EQUINOX runs all the way into the ground signal, with ground signals in highly mineralized ground normally coming in at -9, -8, and possibly -7 though it depends strictly on the ground itself. Hot rocks can read almost anywhere, even in the positive number range in the mid-teens or elsewhere. Electrical interference is also likely to exhibit in the low negative number range. Any offending numbers including trash targets can be blocked directly, but the more numbers that are blocked or rejected come at a cost of slightly less signal strength on desired targets. Threshold. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 12. This is normally set to be just loud enough to hear, but no more. Just a barely discernible tone. However, the threshold can also act as a backend filter. Once all other tuning has been completed, the threshold can be set lower until it is silent, or set higher than normal. Running silent can suppress small variations in the ground signal but also the weakest gold signals. Running the threshold higher than normal can smooth out weak variations, again with a subsequent loss on the faintest gold signals. My starting point (initial settings) for either Gold Mode are: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (pump method) with manual tweaking Sensitivity: 20 Recovery Speed: 6 Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: -9 through 40 accepted (either through the settings or by hitting the “Horseshoe button”) The main thing I am going to try and do is operate the EQUINOX in Gold Mode without blocking out or rejecting any target id numbers. The goal is to find settings that reduce and smooth out ground responses while reducing the signal from gold as little as possible. These two things fight each other and there are no perfect settings, but simply the best compromise possible. For some people that will mean making the machine very stable, while others may prefer hotter settings that require more audio interpretation from the operator. The first step is to find an area clear of trash, and walk a bit waving the coil over the ground. Chances are you will get lots of ground noise. Go into the settings and adjust the ground balance. This normally means pumping the coil over the ground while holding the accept/reject button (see the manual) until the ground response evens out. If the ground is highly variable with mixed hot rocks, waving the coil from side to side may work better than pumping the coil. With any luck the machine will settle right down. However, in bad ground it will not, and the solution normally will be to lower the sensitivity setting. Basically this just takes some experimentation, lowering the sensitivity and adjusting the ground balance until the detector reacts very little or not at all to being waved over the ground. If you can get the EQUINOX set to where no target id numbers are popping up at all as the coil passes over the ground but where you can still hear faint variations in the ground, you are there. Then it is simply a matter of going detecting, and digging every target that stands out above the faint ground variations present in the threshold tone. Gold can read anywhere from negative numbers all the way up into the 30’s so typical nugget detecting involves digging everything. However, most nuggets weighing under 1/10th gram will give a target id number of 1 or 2, nuggets under a gram in the single digits, and several gram nuggets reading in the teens and higher. The smallest or the deepest large nuggets will produce no target id number at all, just a variation in the threshold. In real bad ground you may have to not only reduce the sensitivity setting, but possibly even increase the recovery speed setting to 7 or 8. In ground that refuses to behave, switching to first 40 kHz and then 20 kHz will progressively detune the EQUINOX , making it easier to get a stable ground balance. Engaging ground tracking may also help smooth out the worst ground – you have to experiment. In severe ground all this may not work, with ground signals still coming in around the low negative numbers and possibly higher. Some hot rocks may read as positive numbers. This is where the EQUINOX can go to the next level. Go into the settings and reject or “notch out” the worst offending target id numbers. This will usually be -9, -8, and -7 but may include even higher numbers, including positive numbers. Block as few numbers as you can. Simply rejecting the bottom three negative numbers will usually settle the machine down a lot, especially if there is any residual electrical interference being encountered. Rejecting target id numbers does come at a cost in reduced signal strength on desired targets, but you may find now that the sensitivity level can be increased from one to several points, reclaiming that lost sensitivity. In theory if you can get the EQUINOX running stable with no target id numbers rejected you have the ideal situation. However, EQUINOX allowing some offending signals to be rejected with an attendant increase in the sensitivity setting may be the better way to go. It just depends on the situation. So far we have been trying to deal with bad ground by using various detuning methods. In low mineral ground you can go the other direction. If the detector ground balances immediately with a sensitivity setting of 20, then try higher settings. You can also try reducing the recovery speed setting from 6 to 5 or 4 or even lower. Each reduction of the recovery speed setting is fairly dramatic and you will find it suddenly very hard to get and hold a decent ground balance if you go too low with the setting. In mild ground however it can add substantially to the signal strength of the weakest targets. Finally, for the worst ground and for EQUINOX 600 owners we have other alternatives. There is no reason at all why the other modes cannot be used to nugget hunt. Park 2 and Field 2 are both very hot on small targets and offer the ability to use tones while nugget hunting. Prospectors who encounter salt lakes/salt flat situations would do well to remember the Beach modes as possible last ditch settings. Either Park 2 or Field 2 can make for very good nugget hunting modes. I prefer to use Park 2 as a base because by default Field 2 blocks out or rejects the key target id numbers 1 and 2. Small gold nuggets read there, so using Park 2 makes sure somebody will not accidently reject nuggets in that range. You can use Field 2, but beware those blocked numbers and adjust accordingly. For Park Mode 2: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method with manual tweaking) Sensitivity: 16 – 25 Recovery Speed: 4 - 6 (default is 6) Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: Everything accepted, rely on tones (alternative reject -9, -8, and -7 if too much ground feedback) I have suggested accepting everything, and then using the two tone mode to hunt by ear. If trash is minimal then set the tone break lower than normal, so that 0 and several negative numbers read as non-ferrous. This way you can have ground signals reading as low tones (and possibly at a lower volume) and signals from gold as higher tones. Again, this works well with both EQUINOX models. To sum up, I suggest trying to use the EQUINOX 800 in the Gold Modes with no target id numbers rejected. Tune up just like any normal nugget hunting detector, and dig all decent audio signals. Some nuggets may deliver a negative number response or no number at all. A secondary method for more difficult ground is to reject or block out offending ground and hot rock signals. And a third method for both EQUINOX 800 and 600 owners involves using the Park 2 mode as a nugget hunting mode. That should give people plenty to experiment with. Nugget detecting can be very challenging, but learning to do so means you will learn how to wring every bit of performance possible out of your EQUINOX , and that can benefit you in other areas of detecting as well. Good luck! Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com Earlier post on same subject Gold found in Alaska by Steve with Minelab Equinox Gold found in California and Nevada with Minelab Equinox
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