An Attempt to Demystify Equinox Multifrequency (Sort of...)
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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
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    An Attempt to Demystify Equinox Multifrequency (Sort of...)

    The purpose of this post, for those who are interested, is to dispel some rumors, confusion, and misinformation regarding the following questions - What is Multi IQ and what can it do for me? (Quick answer: See below), How many simultaneous frequencies does the Equinox transmit in multifrequency? (Quick Answer: It Depends) and Is Multi IQ implemented identically in the 600 and 800? (Quick Answer: Yes!). There is a third question - Does it really matter to the average Equinox user? (Quick Answer: No)

    As a result of a confusing combination of marketing and technical information regarding the Equinox detector technology that Minelab calls Multi IQ many were under the mistaken impression that the Equinox 600 Multifrequency capability was different than the 800 and were confused about the number and frequency of the multi frequency signals transmitted by the Equinox .

    Most folks don't really care about the details as long as the Equinox just works and does what it is supposed to do. While others endlessly debate the underlying meaning of ML blog posts and user manual explanations that generally result in a lot more questions than answers, presumably because on one hand the technology is complex and difficult to explain and on the other hand, certain details are withheld to protect ML intellectual property from the competition. This is further complicated by by ML inexplicably conflating the different single frequency mode capabilities of the 600 and 800 models with the Multi IQ frequency spectrum. Because the 600 can only transmit on three discrete single frequencies (5, 10, and 15 khz) vs. the the five available for the 800 (5, 10, 15, 20, and 40 khz), ML has confused users regarding the Multi IQ capabilities between the two machines because ML has used frequency spectrum "cloud" diagrams that prominently feature the 5 base frequencies of the 800. There really was no reason for ML to do this because there really is not hard correlation between the discrete frequencies transmitted in multi frequency mode and the 5 individual base single frequencies available in single frequency mode on the 800. What is important is that the transmitted simultaneous frequency spectrum covers the range 5 to 40 khz and more impotantly, what Multi IQ does to to take advantage of that to process the received target signals.

    Anyway, a lot of frequency spectrum analyzers, magnetic probes, microphonics, and other geeky test equipment gadgets have been enlisted to resolve the debate and because people are often debating apples and oranges, confusion reigns supreme with an underlying mistaken impression that more is necessarily better when it comes to the number of frequencies generated and/or transmitted.

    What is Multi IQ?

    There are plenty of detailed articles on the ML website and some explanations in the Equinox User Guide that more fully explain what Multi IQ is and is not. So I will keep it brief and to the point here. Multi IQ is a newer simultaneous multifrequency detector technology that ML has implemented on the Equinox detector. It is important to note that Multi IQ does not just refer to the multi frequency signal transmission the Equinox uses but also to the signal processing algorithms that Equinox uses to extract useful target information while in Multi.

    Why Multi IQ?

    Multi enables a lot of good things that makes Equinox one of the best performing VLF detectors available. First, multi enables superior ground phase compensation in both mineralized soil and salt. This makes it a great salt beach machine and enables a lot of versatility for other types of detecting including coin shooting, jewelry hunting, relic hunting, and gold prospecting. Multi IQ does not eliminate the need to ground balance the machine entirely but it does allow the machine to be very forgiving of a less than optimal ground balance. Multi IQ also helps with target ID stability, discrimination, and also enables a feature called iron bias which can be used to reduce falsing from large, round iron and small iron nail heads. Multi IQ also enables the multiple search profiles or modes that Equinox is capable of providing. The variation in responsiveness to different targets (e.g., high conductive coins, mid-conductive coins, small jewelry, mid-conductive relics, and gold nuggets) and different environmental conditions (mild and hot soil, salt beach, gold fields, freshwater) is facilitated by slight variations in the transmitted frequency spectrum and in the return signal processing. Thus what makes Park 1 different than Field 2 different than Beach 1 different than Gold 2 is not just the user adjustable settings of tones, threshold, recovery speed, and iron bias but in the underlying Multi IQ frequency spectrum and processing algorithms. That is why each mode must be individually noise cancelled and ground balanced, because the different frequency spectra of the different modes means they will behave differently to EMI and the actual measure ground phase. This also means that when you go to single frequency on the four Park and Field modes, you are essentially making all those modes identical except for the different default/custom user parameter settings.

    How Many Frequencies are Used in Multi IQ? and Is Multi IQ the Same on both the 600 and 800?

    The "It depends" answer depends on what you are talking about - the signal fed into the coil is most likely two square waves of different frequencies. When those two square wave signals are combined the result is an transmitted electromagnetic signal with a wide spectrum of prominent frequencies. The number of useful frequencies is probably more than 5 and those prominent frequency spikes do not necessarily correspond to the single frequency base frequencies of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 40 khz, but the frequency spectrum certainly falls within the 5 to 40 khz range. The spectrum is different depending on the mode selected and that plus the way Multi IQ processes the target and ground signals gives each search profile/mode its custom performance capabilities. Park 1 and Field 1 spectrum weighted to the lower end of the spectrum (i.e., it has primarily low frequency components between 5 and 10 khz but also some high frequency components) because that favors high conductors and large targets like silver and copper coins and large silver artifacts. The Park 2 and Field 2 spectrum is weighted more towards the higher end of the spectrum (i.e., most components towards 15, 20 and 40 khz) which favors smaller targets and mid conductors like nickels, gold, aluminum, brass, and lead relics and small jewelry. The Beach modes are also low frequency weighted but since they also have high frequency components, will find beach gold. Finally, the gold modes are very high frequency weighted (mostly towards 40 khz) for small natural gold hunting. So is the answer to the multifrequency question 2, 5, 7, 50. Frankly, it doesn't really matter but if you want to wade into these debates it is important to at least fence off the territory that you want to talk about - i.e., the signal fed into the coil, the signal that is emitted from the coil. Regardless two things are certain - (1) the multifrequency spectrum does not line up with the 5 single base frequencies - they simply conveniently define the frequency range the Multi IQ transmitted signal spectra fall into and (2) The multi IQ transmitted frequency spectra is identical for the modes common to both the Equinox 600 and 800 detectors.

    A recent back and forth I had with another forum member on this subject was primarily the result of us talking past each other while each of us was referring to different aspects of the above discussion - I was referring to the signal fed into the coil and he was referring the coil output spectra (his detailed frequency spectrum analyzer measurements showed no less than 7 frequency spikes and also showed the multifrequency output spectra was identical for the 600 and the 800). Turns out we were both essentially correct in the aspects of the multi frequency signal sequence to which were each referring. Go figure. Regardless, without ML explicitly weighing in with more facts and with a lot of the above information being "reverse engineered" by hooking up various pieces of electronic test equipment and analyzers to an Equinox the debate will continue to rage on most probably. Again, the detectorist doesn't really care about this as long as it works. Better understanding of this does not necessarily translate into improved user technique, just satisfying geeky curiosity mostly.

    Recap:

    Is Multi IQ and the frequencies used for common modes the same for common modes between the Equinox 600 and 800? Yes.

    How many Multi IQ Frequencies are Used Simultaneously? Probably two square wave frequencies combined and fed into the coil resulting in 5 to 7 frequencies transmitted from the coil in the range of 5 to 40 khz. The spectrum for each mode is slightly different.

    Does anyone really care? If geeks count as anyone, then yes.

    Does it really matter to the detectorist? Not really.

    If you are still with me and interested in this geeky deep dive, hope that answered some questions and put to rest some confusion and rumors. Welcome more discussion, questions and debates for those who are interested.

    HH
    Last edited by vferrari; May 20, 2019 at 05:19 AM.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  2. #2
    My head exploded. V, you get a FREE KITTEN for your efforts.

    Gotta have the stuff in the ground to begin with, don't forget that part. Sites are getting harder to find. Good ones, that is.

  3. #3
    us
    Tennessee Digger

    Sep 2011
    Nashville
    Tesoro and Troy Shadow Fisher Gold Bug Pro Minelab Equinox 600.
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    Very good explanation V. Thanks for taking the time to explain this in detail.
    vferrari, sprailroad and Hawks88 like this.
    "Failure is not the falling down, no no, it's the staying down"!

  4. #4

    Apr 2013
    N.E. Ohio
    XP Deus, NOX 600
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Yep.
    vferrari and Hawks88 like this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Colonel

    Jan 2014
    Central Florida
    CTX 3030; EQX 800; Excal II
    564
    876 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Super explanation V. Very much appreciated indeed.

    Being an old cavalry guy, my level of desired understanding is based solely on how I can make use of the functionality to help me improve the odds. The "geek" level, as you put it, is good info but how I can apply it simply is of more importance to me.

    Just the view from my foxhole....

    Thanks again for that comprehensive and understandable explanation!
    AARC, vferrari, sprailroad and 2 others like this.
    ~The Challenge: Big Beach; Little Coil; Tiny Targets~

    ~"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"~ Leonardo da Vinci

    ~Pre-determined settings serve only to get you in the ballpark. Itís up to you to pick the best seat~

  6. #6
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    My head exploded. V, you get a FREE KITTEN for your efforts.

    Gotta have the stuff in the ground to begin with, don't forget that part. Sites are getting harder to find. Good ones, that is.
    There is a nasty rumor going around that my Multi IQ post was responsible for the untimely passing of Grumpy Cat - I want to say for the record that is patently false. Now where's my kitten?
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    sprailroad

    Jan 2017
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    Garrett A3B United States Gold Hunter, GTA 1000, AT Pro, Discovery Treasure Baron "Gold Trax", Minelab X-Terra 70, Safari, & EQ 800.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vferrari View Post
    There is a nasty rumor going around that my Multi IQ post was responsible for the untimely passing of Grumpy Cat - I want to say for the record that is patently false. Now where's my kitten?
    Ah...be careful what you ask for.
    vferrari and Hawks88 like this.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
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    Sep 2015
    Southeast Grundy, Illinois
    EQ600, EQ800 and a Carrot
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    Thanks V. Although most of what you said is still way over my head, at least it clarifies to me a little more then the generic description that Minelab puts out there.

    Do I really care what’s going on in that little brain box on a stick, ehh, probably not,(just the basics on how an md works, ya). I’m just glad the EQ can find the goodies that have been missed , and it won’t break the bank.

    Thanks for taking the time on the write up!
    "See your doctor if your detector has a detection for more then four hours!"

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2013
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Tesoro Sidewinder Umax, Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Very informative write up and "demystification". And for the record, I'm not a geek but it's useful information nonetheless. It helps to understand what the machines are actually doing in the various modes.

  10. #10
    V, MetalarchSC has it. You going to Montpelier, she can drop it off to you. 6 week old tortie female and a real looker and VERY affectionate! She's all yours!
    vferrari likes this.

  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    TerrysKnifeStore.com

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
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    I have a couple for you. They get kinda big, but just more to cuddle!
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  12. #12
    NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am talking about a real kitten someone dropped off at her house a couple days ago. I already have 5 and three chickens.

  13. #13
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Treasure Probe IV, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am talking about a real kitten someone dropped off at her house a couple days ago. I already have 5 and three chickens.
    5 cats and 3 birds? Gee, what could go wrong here?
    sprailroad and smokeythecat like this.
    "jus cuz it's wrote down, don't make it so"

  14. #14
    us
    Nov 2017
    SE Arkansas
    Minelab Equinox 800, Whites MXT All Pro, Whites Treasuremaster, Fisher F5, Multiple coil options
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    Relic Hunting
    Great explanation and as a previous post stated, how I can apply it is important to me. Thanks for taking the time to write that up.




    On another note.....

    Quote Originally Posted by cudamark View Post
    5 cats and 3 birds? Gee, what could go wrong here?
    We used to have three cats and one bird, an African Grey parrot. It did not go well for the cats who quickly learned, rather painfully at times, that parrot was not on the menu.
    Last edited by Coinucopia; May 20, 2019 at 02:10 PM.
    vferrari likes this.
    So many relics, so little time.

    Retired USAF. 1982-2008

  15. #15
    The birds can whoop the cats real good.

 

 
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