So you just got an Equinox for Christmas...
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Thread: So you just got an Equinox for Christmas...

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,274
    6833 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    So you just got an Equinox for Christmas...

    For those who just got a new Equinox but who have less detecting experience (Equinox is their first or second machine), I recommend a few things to help you climb the Equinox learning curve faster:

    Test it out on test targets in a test garden or at a productive site like a park, athletic field, or on a dry sand part of the beach to get used to its language. It can be different than what you are used to, but the way to learn it best is to just get out there and dig targets.

    While you are learning the machine, avoid the temptation to adjust any of the user settings or to switch modes. Stick with a single mode, preferably Park 1 (works well even on the dry sand of a salt beach), at the default settings and get really comfortable with the machine. Since each of the modes behave somewhat like a different detector, you want to avoid the situation where you are climbing multiple learning curves at once.

    Even though each of the modes are "optimized" for certain types of targets and detecting situations/site conditions (see the manual), any of the Park/Field modes used at their default settings will work for 90% of targets and 90% of conditions and there is plenty of target overlap between modes (i.e., you can find silver coins in a relic mode such as field 2 and relics in a coin mode such as Park 1), so pick a mode and stick with it while getting comfortable with the Equinox.

    Quick Mode Summary (remember, these are the optimizations, all the modes will detect most non-ferrous target types, just that some will be more sensitive and you may get slightly more depth or the optimal targets will "pop" more in certain modes):

    Park 1 - high conductive and large deep targets like silver and copper coins, coin spills, and coin caches. (Low frequency weighted). Minimal falsing due to high iron bias setting and disc at 1. 5 tones

    Park 2 - mid-conductive coins and small, typically gold, jewelry items (higher frequency weighted). 50 tones. No iron bias. Disc at 0.

    Field 1 - Similar to Park 1, designed for plucking non-ferrous out of plowed fields, but weighted towards high conductive targets (most coins) therefore just a 2 tone mode. No Iron Bias. Disc at 2.

    Field 2 - Similar to Park 2 - but optimized for relics and small mid-conductive targets such as brass, lead, tin, nickel, pewter, gold, and, unfortunately, aluminum (nature's little practical joke on detectorists). Disc at 2.

    Beach 1/2 - Optimized for high conductors but will find gold jewelry on wet sand (Beach 1) and surf (Beach 2). Disc at 0. Medium iron bias.

    Gold 1/2 - VCO audio mode ideal for nugget shooting or mid conductive relics, will display a target ID but no audio ID just tone intensity and pitch raises with larger and/or shallower targets.

    The default settings are fine for 95% of normal detecting situations. The only adjustments you need make are to noise cancel the machine, run a ground balance (even then you can get away with the default ground balance setting for most situations), and then adjust sensitivity only as high as necessary to keep the machine running stable. Anywhere from 18 to 22 on sensitivity will give you plenty of depth. There are situations, especially in mild ground or where there is low EMI where you can run up to the max sensitivity, if desired. But avoid overdriving sensitivity just for the sake of trying to max it out, you will likely just introduce noise and instability and end up doing worse than if you just left it alone or reduced it a bit. Sometimes, even when the machine appears stable (i.e., no chatter with the coil in the air) at high sensitivities, there may be other subtle clues you have sensitivity too high such as excessive iron falsing or unstable target IDs, so be aware of these "tells" if you are running at high sensitivity. Site conditions other than EMI levels such as ferrous and trash density also play into the sensitivity level setting decision.

    In some cases, establishing target separation is more important than depth (discussed more in the recovery speed section below), so establishing your best recovery speed setting in balance with the right sensitivity setting will optimize the situation at hand.

    When you get comfortable enough to adjust other user settings such as discrimination, tone breaks, recovery speed, and iron bias. Go easy on the adjustments so you don't turn the machine into something you can no longer recognize. Performance settings such as recovery speed and iron bias only typically need need to be adjusted one or two clicks from the default at most. Higher recovery speed settings improve separation in high trash but set too high and you will affect depth. Trying to lower recovery too low to max out on depth (similar to overly increasing sensitivity) you will start to introduce ground noise, especially if you don't adjust your swing rate consistent with your recovery speed setting. Iron bias helps (a little) with iron falsing but it can also tend to mask keeper targets hiding amongst the iron (which counters the primary advantage of Equinox, its fast recovery speed enabling separation between trash and treasure). I just leave Iron Bias at 0 most of the time.

    Use Beach mode only on salt sand beaches (wet sand and surf). Any of the modes will run stable on dry salt sand beaches and in freshwater conditions. The beach modes can be slightly less sensitive in normal terrestrial hunting because they are optimized for salt ground conditions and will also throttle back transmit power when high mineralization conditions are sensed, so don't use the Beach modes other than at wet salt sand conditions.

    Avoid the prospecting/gold modes at first, until you have a level of comfort with the machine, because it does not have tone ID and uses VCO pitch audio, which is a whole different ball game and has a learning curve of its own.

    All modes and settings have their advantages and tradeoffs (downsides). Learning how to master the Equinox by balancing those tradeoffs and understanding what the tonal nuances are keys to success. To get there, you need to put in the swing hours and dig a lot of trash targets and you will gradually kill it out there. There are no shortcuts, so avoid deviating from the plan out of frustration. Be patient, learn and you will do well.

    Finally, there are no absolutes, so don't be afraid to experiment a little but also, if something is working for you, stick with it.
    Last edited by vferrari; Jan 02, 2019 at 02:21 PM.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  2. #2
    us
    Aug 2011
    ctx 3030 nokta impact Equinox 800
    986
    1173 times
    "Avoid overdriving sensitivity by trying to max it out, you will just introduce noise and instability and end up doing worse than if you just left it alone or reduced it a bit."

    This depends on a number of factors one of which is, which version of the software you are using. I run the older version of the software always maxed and not many issues arise.
    Bucket list still needed:
    • Silver thimble
    • Spanish silver
    • seated half
    • flying eagle
    • early copper
    • 1700's coin
    • 1600's coin
    • silver 3 cent piece
    • nickel 3 cent piece
    • seated quarter
    • capped bust silver
    • draped bust silver
    • silver dollar

  3. #3
    us
    Title? old fart

    Jun 2014
    mid western ARK
    XP Deus with 9"LF and 9" HF Coils and 600 Equinox with stock and 6" coils
    8,760
    13025 times
    Relic Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    go dig targets!
    LUKE 15 : 8 "OR WHAT WOMAN, IF SHE HAS TEN SILVER COINS AND LOSES ONE COIN,DOES NOT LIGHT A LAMP AND SWEEP THE HOUSE AND SEARCH CAREFULLY UNTIL SHE FINDS IT?" 15 : 9 "AND WHEN SHE HAS FOUND IT, SHE CALLS TOGETHER HER FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, SAYING, "REJOICE WITH ME, FOR I HAVE FOUND THE COIN WHICH I HAD LOST!"

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,274
    6833 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by b3y0nd3r View Post
    "Avoid overdriving sensitivity by trying to max it out, you will just introduce noise and instability and end up doing worse than if you just left it alone or reduced it a bit."

    This depends on a number of factors one of which is, which version of the software you are using. I run the older version of the software always maxed and not many issues arise.
    Primarily wrote this with the Equinox and detecting novice in mind, so the default settings are usually the less risky way to go. But there are exceptions, so I clarified the sensitivity writeup to make that point. Thanks.
    b3y0nd3r and Normsel like this.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2015
    Raleigh, NC
    NOX 800
    94
    86 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    As a Nox800 noob, I'll only bump a setting 1 or 2. And only 1 setting at a time. Baby steps. MFG typically knows what they are doing; that helps sales.
    Normsel and Bodkin like this.

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2017
    Bold Coast & Treasure Coast
    Blue Excal 1000, Enox 800
    382
    880 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just wrote my Nox 800 manifesto but for whatever reason Tnet always logs me out as I'm about to "Post Quick Reply". Probably best for all around. As a guy who started on an Excal 20 years ago and hasn't had any other machine, the 800 is like learning a new language. It's gonna take me some time, regardless of how "novice" vferrari writes things. It's like starting from scratch for me.
    Dragonscout likes this.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,274
    6833 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodkin View Post
    Just wrote my Nox 800 manifesto but for whatever reason Tnet always logs me out as I'm about to "Post Quick Reply". Probably best for all around. As a guy who started on an Excal 20 years ago and hasn't had any other machine, the 800 is like learning a new language. It's gonna take me some time, regardless of how "novice" vferrari writes things. It's like starting from scratch for me.
    Understand, so take is slow and put it in Park 1 or Beach 1/2 as appropriate and just go detecting.
    Larwar likes this.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2016
    Los Angeles
    EQX 800 & 600, Minelab Safari
    127
    318 times
    Metal Detecting
    Excellent tips and recommendations V.

    I, coming from a ML Safari, which is basically run as a tone machine more than TID, rolled right into my Nox with 50 tones. I couldn't use it any other way.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
    Maryland
    XP Deus, Tesoro Cibola, Full sized shovel and a backhoe
    14,729
    26172 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (8)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Hey V, now time to do a thread for the AT series, the F75 series, the Nokta series and the XP series.
    calabash digger likes this.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,274
    6833 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    Hey V, now time to do a thread for the AT series, the F75 series, the Nokta series and the XP series.
    Never heard of 'em.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  11. #11
    us
    Apr 2018
    Atlanta, GA
    Equinox 800
    187
    230 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Use Beach mode only on salt sand beaches (wet sand and surf). Any of the modes will run stable on dry salt sand beaches and in freshwater conditions. The beach modes can be slightly less sensitive in normal terrestrial hunting because they are optimized for salt ground conditions and will also throttle back transmit power when high mineralization conditions are sensed, so don't use the Beach modes other than at wet salt sand conditions.

    So what setting do you use if you are on the beach going between wet and dry areas as you walk down the beach?

    Do you have to keep switching back and forth every few feet?

    This is how I plan to use my detector mainly (when I get it shortly) and the beach has dry and wet areas all mixed in every few feet.

  12. #12

    Apr 2016
    South Western PA
    ACE 250 with DD coil Equinox 600
    3,279
    9612 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by saanich2018 View Post
    Use Beach mode only on salt sand beaches (wet sand and surf). Any of the modes will run stable on dry salt sand beaches and in freshwater conditions. The beach modes can be slightly less sensitive in normal terrestrial hunting because they are optimized for salt ground conditions and will also throttle back transmit power when high mineralization conditions are sensed, so don't use the Beach modes other than at wet salt sand conditions.

    So what setting do you use if you are on the beach going between wet and dry areas as you walk down the beach?

    Do you have to keep switching back and forth every few feet?

    This is how I plan to use my detector mainly (when I get it shortly) and the beach has dry and wet areas all mixed in every few feet.
    Beach1 should work in the wet and dry sand stroll along the beach, Beach2 if you decide to wade in the surf or dive.

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,465
    18459 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    I've gotten so danged lazy in retirement, had planned to take the 800 out around my property this morning - a day break from the incessant rain - but I woke up lazy again. It'll rain for a few days again. I dump my cat litter on the ruts in the driveway to keep it as passable as possible with something I have to deal with anyway. But it will wash out as usual = whatever.....

    I've had the 800 since April, maybe have 15 to 20 hours on it. Summers are with the Excal.

    I think I have a case of spending too much time on TNet, and not enough time living the hobby - but then aren't they both the same?
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,274
    6833 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by saanich2018 View Post
    Use Beach mode only on salt sand beaches (wet sand and surf). Any of the modes will run stable on dry salt sand beaches and in freshwater conditions. The beach modes can be slightly less sensitive in normal terrestrial hunting because they are optimized for salt ground conditions and will also throttle back transmit power when high mineralization conditions are sensed, so don't use the Beach modes other than at wet salt sand conditions.

    So what setting do you use if you are on the beach going between wet and dry areas as you walk down the beach?

    Do you have to keep switching back and forth every few feet?

    This is how I plan to use my detector mainly (when I get it shortly) and the beach has dry and wet areas all mixed in every few feet.
    Quote Originally Posted by pa-dirt_nc-sand View Post
    Beach1 should work in the wet and dry sand stroll along the beach, Beach2 if you decide to wade in the surf or dive.
    Correct - to clarify what I was saying is that you should avoid using Beach mode anywhere than on a salt sand beach (dry or wet sand or surf). However, the other non-beach modes will tend to be stable on the dry sand of a salt beach if you want to give them a go there but Beach 1 works well on the dry or wet sand and Beach 2 in the surf, as pa-dirt_nc-sand stated.
    Normsel likes this.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  15. #15
    de
    Apr 2017
    Germany
    Minelab Equinox 800 + SDC2300
    256
    938 times
    Prospecting
    I got my Nox 800 for christmas traded in my Whites GMT and took it out for 3 hours or so. Found a 12 gauge slug, some foil, bottle caps shotgun shell bottom cap and a 2 Pfenning Deutsches Reich 1875 coin. First time out in the woods where I live (Germany) I found that coin. I used Field 1 and set iron bias to 1. Should I stick to Field 1 mainly searching on Fields, live stock grasing grounds and forest? There is one spot where a house has been standing some 50 years ago or so with lots of iron trash, fence wire etc. I'm planning on going there using Park 1. What is your suggestion? All help is highly appreciated!

 

 
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