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Thread: Second detector, Ctx3030 to compliment xcal

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2006
    Orlando Fl.
    Excalibur 1000
    534
    200 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Second detector, Ctx3030 to compliment xcal

    Can anyone who has used both advise if the CTX3030 would be a useful addition the the Xcal I have been using for years? What can the 3030 do that the Xcal does not? My daughter asked if she could have her own detector so she could hunt with me, how can I say no? I hunt mostly the beaches, but also parks from time to time. Is the 3030 good for both areas?

    Thanks for any feedback,

    Tek
    I love the rain. A day without rain is like a day without sunshine I always say.

  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    Wilmington NC
    Nox 600; CTX; Fisher CZ21; Minelab Excalibur II; White's Surf PI DF; 920i Stealth Scoop
    567
    448 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by teklord View Post
    Can anyone who has used both advise if the CTX3030 would be a useful addition the the Xcal I have been using for years? What can the 3030 do that the Xcal does not? My daughter asked if she could have her own detector so she could hunt with me, how can I say no? I hunt mostly the beaches, but also parks from time to time. Is the 3030 good for both areas?

    Thanks for any feedback,

    Tek
    The 3030 is awesome in both of those places. Differences from the stock excal are changeable headphones, multiple coils, better ergonomics, Target ID, GPS, Nice color screen, and more...The excal shines when diving vs the CTX which shines on the beach/park. The CTX is also lighter.

  3. #3
    us
    Jun 2006
    TreasureTerrain.com
    XP DEUS NOX 800
    622
    217 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The CTX gets heavy I can't see your daughter having fun with that machine.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    ZO6 Guy

    Jan 2014
    Los Angeles
    Minelab Excal II, Garrett AT Pro, CTX3030
    1,136
    1164 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    They are very different machines. I have both but prefer the Excal when hunting in the wet sand. It's deeper and more sensitive in my opinion plus you don't have to worry about the wireless module getting wet. If I'm hunting the dry sand or a trashy beach, I use the CTX as I can pass up junk and dig less. The CTX is the go to for parks. I like both machines but if there is beach erosion, I'll take the Excal 100%.

  5. #5
    us
    Dec 2011
    71
    53 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by teklord View Post
    Can anyone who has used both advise if the CTX3030 would be a useful addition the the Xcal I have been using for years? What can the 3030 do that the Xcal does not? My daughter asked if she could have her own detector so she could hunt with me, how can I say no? I hunt mostly the beaches, but also parks from time to time. Is the 3030 good for both areas?

    Thanks for any feedback,

    Tek

    Having a screened machine that shows a visual target ID is a very nice complement to the Excal, and will be especially useful when you're hunting areas with higher target density where you need more discrimination than your ears can provide.


    But the CTX 3030 may not be the best choice, at least initially, due to its weight, complexity of operation, and its cost. I would suggest that you look at one of the Equinox series detectors, either the 600 or the 800. Either of these machines would give you a very reasonable visual target ID, and would also have much of the CTX 3030' s small gold sensitivity. Also the weight of the Equinox series is less than the CTX 3030.


    If you have never used a screened machine with software/keypad entry of selections, it can be intimidating and can have a very steep learning curve. Adapting to one of the Equinox series detectors would probably be easier than learning the CTX 3030, and certainly would be much cheaper; and if you decide that a screened detector is not for you, I suspect the Equinox series detector would retain much of its resale value for a while.


    Good luck, and let us know what you finally decide and how it works out for you.


    Charles
    RustyGold likes this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    11,465
    14001 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    I have both the CTX and an Excal - but I have an Equinox 800 on order. Yes, the CTX is fairly heavy - but it really is ergonomic, I can swing it for hours without cranking my elbow.

    And it also is a very complex machine - though you don't have to make it complex, you can just turn it on and go. A solid signal in two directions is a dig. Water season here is coming up soon, and it's time to pull the Excal off the shelf for the water. Both machines go deep. Last year I scooped out a silver ring over 12" deep in the sand with the Excal.
    redcobra8u likes this.
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  7. #7

    Apr 2015
    CZ-21, Minelab Equinox, Garrett AT Pro
    1,239
    1083 times
    Metal Detecting
    If this is for your daughter and a backup for you, I'd consider an Equinox 600. It's a killer dry sand and wet sand machine and works well enough in the water that she could water detect with you. It's extremely light, has a backlit screen, 11" dd coil (very light coil) and it's rechargeable and supports wireless headphones. 5 simultaneous frequencies. Many CTX users are now using the Equinox.. and prefer it. For me it's a dream come true because I could never afford a CTX.

    I have an EQ800 and have been using it for everything including water hunting. It doesn't always hit as hard as my CZ-21 in the water on deep targets, but I have no hesitations about water hunting with it if I am expecting to do some walking as well and not 100% in the water. I do primarily water hunting and wet sand and this machine has almost completely replaced my CZ-21. I used to bring an AT Pro for hunting the dry sand, but this machine does it all and it's lighter than any of them.

    We were hunting dry sand last night and my buddy with an Excal declared he thought he had a deep quarter but couldn't get it, it was so deep. I swiped with my EQ800 and said "it's higher than a quarter.. it's like 32 and big! Sounds like you are digging a stainless steel scoop!" we started laughing.

    When we finally dug it up it was a stainless steel mesh woven sheet of metal which looked exactly like the material a scoop is made of!

    I have about 50 hours on mine, found a ring in every water hunt with it so far, but unfortunately only tungsten.
    Last edited by flgliderpilot; May 03, 2018 at 11:33 AM.
    RustyGold likes this.
    Minelab Equinox 800 + Fisher CZ-21

    ... waiting to see that elusive dowser on the beach with a bucket of gold rings ...

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2009
    8,434
    7124 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Get the equinox instead of the CTX. I have all 3 and I wont be taking the CTX back to the beach again. If you want to hunt plowed crop fields, then thats the one I'd recommend, but not for beach / water use.
    OBN and RustyGold like this.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Aug 2013
    OC, CA
    XP Deus, Equinox 800
    5,653
    4469 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Check out the Equinox thread/posts and see what folks are saying about the new 800 and 600 models from Minelab.
    Super fast recovery, deep and light weight.
    I’ve had two Excals and two CTX 3030’s and I believe the new Equinox line can compete with them both if not a little better.
    First time out in the yard with the 800 and I found my lost gold wedding band that had been lost for a couple of years.
    So I know it will find the gold.
    Best of luck!

  10. #10
    us
    Oct 2009
    8,434
    7124 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Main problem with the CTX is its battery compartment sealing. Too finicky and easy to get something in the channel that compromises the seal. EQX eliminates that problem.

    EQX is better on small gold too, and half the weight of the CTX.

  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2006
    Orlando Fl.
    Excalibur 1000
    534
    200 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Thanks everyone for the input. The Equinox sounds like a good choice and I will check it out.

    " The CTX gets heavy I can't see your daughter having fun with that machine."

    I agree. Kellyco has a Bogo program where you can get a second detector with the purchase of a higher end unit. I could pick up a kids detector for my daughter, who is mostly concerned with it being pink and having a Princess on it and less concerned about depth and discrimination.

    Question on the Equinox, will it work in the rain as the Xcal would? Has anyone used it at night?

    Thanks all,
    Tek
    I love the rain. A day without rain is like a day without sunshine I always say.

  12. #12
    us
    Oct 2009
    8,434
    7124 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by teklord View Post
    .... Kellyco has a Bogo program where you can get a second detector with the purchase of a higher end unit. ....
    Just keep in mind that those "free" bogo detectors are widely considered to be pure garbage. Maybe sufficient for a 5 or 6 year old, maybe.

  13. #13

    Apr 2015
    CZ-21, Minelab Equinox, Garrett AT Pro
    1,239
    1083 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by teklord View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input. The Equinox sounds like a good choice and I will check it out.

    " The CTX gets heavy I can't see your daughter having fun with that machine."

    I agree. Kellyco has a Bogo program where you can get a second detector with the purchase of a higher end unit. I could pick up a kids detector for my daughter, who is mostly concerned with it being pink and having a Princess on it and less concerned about depth and discrimination.

    Question on the Equinox, will it work in the rain as the Xcal would? Has anyone used it at night?

    Thanks all,
    Tek
    Yes... my buddy hunts with an Excal and keeps calling me over to ID things for him haha. If you are hunting at night get the 800. The screen on the 600 does not have a brightness adjustment and is BLINDINGLY bright. The 800's dimmest setting is perfect if you want to preserve your night vision. I hunt no lights, except a red headlamp only when I need it. Running the 800 on low screen is fine.

    If you really only want to pay for the 600, you can use red plastic static cling film to dim the screen.
    Minelab Equinox 800 + Fisher CZ-21

    ... waiting to see that elusive dowser on the beach with a bucket of gold rings ...

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Colonel

    Jan 2014
    Central Florida
    CTX 3030; EQX 800; Excal II
    410
    477 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Alot of good advice here.

    I own all three and beach detecting makes up 99% of my effort. The CTX is a great compliment to the Excal. The Excal is much more waterproof than the CTX but the CTX provides many more options/capabilities. Is the Excal more capable than the CTX? That's not been my experience but alot depends on the beaches you hunt. As with all detectors, the soil, sand and water have an impact on every detector. Performance on the beaches of east Florida is much different than the beaches of the New England states for example so each machine will react somewhat differently in different environments.

    Were I in your situation, I would seriously consider the $899 EQX 800 before going the $2,500 CTX route. Explore the EQX forums and YouTube videos and see what you think about it compared to the CTX. I think the right decision for your circumstances will become clear the more you learn.

    Just the view from my foxhole...
    ~ Preserving the Spirit of '76 ~

    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"~ Leonardo da Vinci

  15. #15
    us
    Jun 2006
    TreasureTerrain.com
    XP DEUS NOX 800
    622
    217 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just run a red colored screen protector on the 600 at night.
    A Better Red-Light Filter for Your iPhone - Sky & Telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by flgliderpilot View Post
    Yes... my buddy hunts with an Excal and keeps calling me over to ID things for him haha. If you are hunting at night get the 800. The screen on the 600 does not have a brightness adjustment and is BLINDINGLY bright. The 800's dimmest setting is perfect if you want to preserve your night vision. I hunt no lights, except a red headlamp only when I need it. Running the 800 on low screen is fine.

    If you really only want to pay for the 600, you can use red plastic static cling film to dim the screen.

 

 
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