Questions after first Equinox 800 session
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Thread: Questions after first Equinox 800 session

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  1. #1
    us
    Dec 2020
    Seattle
    8
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Questions after first Equinox 800 session

    Santa brought me an Equinox 800 for Christmas.

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I had a Compass RM7A when in the 80s and got quite good at understanding what it was 'saying'.

    About 15 years ago I bought a Whites detector thinking my kids would enjoy it. They didn't and I only used it a handful of times. Got it out last summer to look for a corner stake on our property and the audio was completely dead. I never really 'understood' it.

    Enter the 800.

    I'll preface this by saying that it's the wet season around Seattle and the ground is saturated. The soil tends to be highly acidic topsoil over clay. Our neighborhood was built from the mid-80s to late 90s, so I wasn't expecting anything older than that. Ended up digging up two quarters, three dimes, five pennies, a bracelet, a bent nail, a Coors bottle cap, a hunk of foil, and two pull tabs in about 90 minutes.

    I was running in Park 1 and both ground and EMI balanced it in each of the three locations (our yard, the planting circle of our cul de sac, and a small neighborhood park). I think it was set at standard sensitivity for Park 1.

    The biggest questions I have are:

    1. Chatter (for lack of a better term). There was quite a bit of blippy, inconsistent signals as I swept, mostly in the mid-tones, with some higher. I was really wondering if I should be digging more until I hit the first coin and understood what a solid signal sounds like. Still, I'm wondering if the chatter is normal- it was a rare swing where it didn't make any sound.

    2. Disappearing signals. Often the chattery or clipped tones would disappear as I re-swept the area, or swept from a different angle. Is this the detector 'deciding' that the signal is junk?

    I'm trying to learn to interpret the communication from the 800 quickly- the RM7A was stone-age by comparison, but after time I understood it really well and had a pretty good idea what I was digging before I even knelt down. Back then I had every day all summer to learn. Free time is a bit more constrained these days.

    Thank you in advance-

    Loren

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    'Tectin likes this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, 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....
    11,008
    9296 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    Try lowering the sensitivity and rehunt the same area. I think the default setting is 20, so, start lowering it until you don't get the chatter. It's always possible that the area has some nasty EMI. Even after using the noise cancel, some areas are just to hot to hunt in multi-frequency. Try some of the single frequencies if all else fails. Usually, the higher ones are more stable, but, not always. The new 4khz is surprisingly stable for some reason. I'm assuming you have the latest software installed? If nothing seems to help, try a different area before you call Minelab.
    ​Avitech Associate

  3. #3
    us
    Dec 2020
    Seattle
    8
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by cudamark View Post
    I'm assuming you have the latest software installed? If nothing seems to help, try a different area before you call Minelab.
    I didn't, but I do now. Thank you for mentioning that.

    I wasn't implying there is an issue with the 800, just an issue with the operator

  4. #4

    Oct 2020
    6
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    If you were running in Park 1, by default it discriminates out iron. The disappearing signals you were getting is very possible iron falsing. You can check that very easily by hitting the horseshoe button for "all metal". Generally you will see that you get some sketchy higher tones, but when you come back across it you get nothing. In some cases you can pick that signal up and repeat it, but when you start making a circle around it you lose the signal and get iron tones when you get 90 degrees from the good signal.

    If you get chatter constantly, check with the horseshoe to see if you are actually getting a ton of iron or maybe just the soil is mineralized. I vary my sensitivity from 16 to 20 typically depending on what the machine is doing. Dropping that down can also help with some iron falsing. Lot of people run their iron bias at 0 and do not allow it to miss targets that might be masked by iron. If I can go 360 degrees around a signal and get a fairly consistent tone and number, I will dig it even if I am seeing iron as well. Many times that is going to be from multiple bent old nails, but has also gotten me some tougher coin pulls from heavily hunted areas.

    One other thing I can tell you about my Nox and my soil with my settings....deep coins do not display VDI the same as the clad that is sitting 2-3" down. Deep coins for me tend to bounce on the VDI. It might go from 19-26 or 23-30 and everything in between. The big thing there is that I know when I am seeing that it is deep and getting good tones that I have a pretty good chance at it being a coin. I pretty much always do a 360 around the target on any good signal, which also helps with pinpointing. You can also see that if the target center "moves" quite a bit as you circle it, that it has a good chance of it being falsing from iron.
    Hunting_Dad likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    499
    1246 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by bunkeru2k View Post
    ...I pretty much always do a 360 around the target on any good signal, which also helps with pinpointing. You can also see that if the target center "moves" quite a bit as you circle it, that it has a good chance of it being falsing from iron.
    This is great advice and well said. I haven't read anyone else describe iron's signal this way, but it's a good description.
    Restating it in my own words: a coin will pinpoint to the same location that the signal was indicating it should be, while iron (or the "halo" around the iron) might give a good VDI signal but when you pinpoint the center of the target will be off from where the good signal was being heard.

    A related trick I'll use is this: if I'm getting a signal that is a mix between good VDI's (20's into 30's) and some negatives I will go into pinpoint mode and find the center of the target, then when I come out of pinpointing I pay close attention to the first signal the detector gives me. If it's negative, I'm almost certain it's iron (but I probably dig it anyway). If it's a good positive 20-30 signal then I have hope (and it's still sometimes a bent nail).

    And when I dig the plug and run the detector over the hole again, if the signal got better/more consistent I get really excited (but sometimes it's STILL a bent nail). If it got worse then I prepare to remove one more iron object from the earth.

    Check out this video that I captured earlier this morning. I captured it because it is typical of many of my digs - a mixed good signal that ends up being a nail.
    I welcome anyone's input on how to read these situations better, and I hope it helps lorennerol to see that others struggle with these signals.
    My comments:
    - I realize the signal VDI/sound jumped around a lot. That was my first hint that it was iron.
    - I know I could skip these signals, but if I skipped targets with so many good VDI/sounds I would miss good stuff.
    - I noticed that the pinpointer was finding the actual target on the wall of my plug, meaning the "good" VDI's were not coming from the actual nail but I think they were coming from the "halo" around the rusty nail
    - I was hoping that a good coin was next to the nail; I rechecked the hole and there were no more signals. I was detecting the nail, even with those good sounds/VDI's.

    Last edited by brianc053; Dec 29, 2020 at 09:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, 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....
    11,008
    9296 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    What happens when you turn the iron bias up to 6 or higher? How does it react in Park or Field 1? Don't get me wrong, I get some of those too, but, usually they don't sound quite that good. Most of the time I'm using the 11 or 15 inch coil however. Does that make a difference in your situation?
    ​Avitech Associate

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    499
    1246 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by cudamark View Post
    What happens when you turn the iron bias up to 6 or higher? How does it react in Park or Field 1? Don't get me wrong, I get some of those too, but, usually they don't sound quite that good. Most of the time I'm using the 11 or 15 inch coil however. Does that make a difference in your situation?
    cudamark, I think your questions are for me (sorry lorennerol for jumping into your thread - hopefully the discussion helps).
    Thanks for confirming that this target was sounding good; it gets discouraging to find 10-15 of these for every one good target, but I realize it's part of the hobby.

    I will try a higher iron bias number when I return to this site (too cold today). I turned iron bias down because I believed it would help give better depth (I'm not convinced it does).
    I don't think that the 6" vs 11" makes a difference; I get strong signals from bent nails with the 11" too (I don't have the 15", and most of the sites I'm hunting are dense with targets/trash so I don't think it would help me much and might make it harder to isolate good targets).

    If a higher iron bias helps I'll let you know.
    - Brian
    Molewacker likes this.

  8. #8

    Oct 2020
    6
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Higher iron bias will help eliminate the iron falsing like that. The problem being that it also can make you miss targets that are also being masked by that iron that it now calls iron. There are tons of youtube vids where people test that setting and I think the F2 did a better job, but still eliminates some good targets. There is definitely a trade off there. If it was purely my opinion, I think if it was a fresh site that no one else had hit before and you wanted to uncover a higher count of good targets in less time, run your FE2 setting at 7-9. When you recover all the good targets, then you can drop iron bias back down and start looking for the harder masked targets.

  9. #9

    Oct 2020
    6
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    And after watching the video brianc posted, I noticed you were running Field 2 and had sensitivity at 22? I typically am running Park1 in my square nail hell area. I keep my sensitivity under 20 anytime I am in the field o'nails and with my settings and my soil etc, I tend to not get those strong falsing signals all the way around the hole. I will see my numbers on VDI typically be from 21-28 and can almost guarantee when I turn 90 degrees that it will be pure iron signals. With the larger coil I would often get some good numbers mixed with iron all the way around the hole like that video (but again lower VDI) and in most cases it is because that coil was picking up other nails doing the same thing but 8" away from the first one. Some very good Nox users have repeatedly made points about how hot the Nox is and that sensitivity can be run way lower than you might think to get good targets and also to eliminate some of the big falsing.

  10. #10
    us
    Dec 2020
    Seattle
    8
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by brianc053 View Post
    sorry lorennerol for jumping into your thread - hopefully the discussion helps
    Great discussion, very helpful, no apology needed!

  11. #11
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    499
    1246 times
    Metal Detecting
    Hi all. I returned to the site of the bent nail this afternoon and took a few more videos of some signals, and I think this might be helpful for some folks.
    I'm not a pro YouTube person (I even forgot to talk during the first section of the video), but I managed to capture two different targets (spoiler: first is a nail, second is a dime) and comparing the two is pretty revealing.

    BUT - even with the bent nail the sound and VDI's after I dug the plug were good, better than before I dug the plug. And that's surprising, because...the signal shouldn't get better on a bent nail once there's been dirt removed.

    As for the dime, I was surprised that it's modern because of the location, which is a homesite that's on our town's 1850's map. I found a silver spoon at this location a few days ago with a maker's mark that dates to the late 1700's. So my mindset was that I'd be finding colonial and 1800's era stuff. But - people could have walked there last week too (the dime was form the 1980's).

    cudamark if you watch the video you'll see that I moved the iron bias up to FE2 value 6. I don't think it made much difference.

    bunkeru2k, yeah I've been running in field 2 because this is a field where I want to hear the buttons (15-18) and other relics. As for sensitivity, I was pushing it up (to 24 on this trip) because I think it's giving me more depth () and I have a theory that here in NJ the older stuff is deeper, so I need the depth.

    I hope this helps someone:


  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, 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....
    11,008
    9296 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    I probably wouldn't have even cut a plug on that first one. Just too many iron signals mixed in for me to get excited enough to dig. Once you did though, it sounded good. The second signal (the dime) didn't have those one-way iron sounds, and the depth was shallower than the first signal. I would have dug it, but, in most of my locations, wouldn't have thought it to be old with a 4-6" depth signal. In disturbed or plowed ground, the depth signal would be virtually meaningless to me. I run Park 1 in areas where I've found hundreds of buttons, so, I wouldn't worry about that. You might give it a try just to see if it helps with the nails. You might also try running the recovery speed up a few notches to see if that will help too. I find it helps on separation....especially with the bigger coils.
    brianc053 likes this.
    ​Avitech Associate

  13. #13
    us
    Dec 2020
    Seattle
    8
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just looping back with a quick report from session 2.

    I started in an old, old orchard that was overgrown with Himalayan blackberry until last summer. I thought I might hit on some older things. Turns out it was chock full of old aluminum cans. The circular and 90 degree search patterns helped eliminate a lot of the falsing- great tip thank you, and my body remembered the 90 degree trick from back in the 80s with my RM7A- don't know why my brain didn't.

    I found one clad penny and a drug stash (on the surface) before I retreated to a nearby park.

    It was getting dark but I thought I'd gotten a silver quarter- it came out with that sort of dull silver glow. Turns out it was a 2014 state commemorative. One copper penny and some other clad stuff in just 10-15 minutes in the park. I quit because it was so dark I was searching by feel. Head lamp next time. Total: 49 cents. My wife is skeptical of my claim that I'll be able to quit my day job soon

    The tip about switching to all metal to see if the tone is predominantly iron was also helpful.

    The 800 came with a Minelab 15 pinpointer. These didn't exist back in the 80s of course, and it's really handy. But its range is really limited (seems like 1-1.5")- I'm having to use the 800 to check plugs and then break them down before the pinpointer works. Sounds like the Garrett device might have some advantages, or the Minelab 35.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Really appreciate the tips and wisdom!
    brianc053 likes this.

  14. #14
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    499
    1246 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by lorennerol View Post
    Just looping back with a quick report from session 2.

    I started in an old, old orchard ...

    I found one clad penny and a drug stash (on the surface) before I retreated to a nearby park.,,,Total: 49 cents.

    The 800 came with a Minelab 15 pinpointer. These didn't exist back in the 80s of course, and it's really handy. But its range is really limited (seems like 1-1.5")- I'm having to use the 800 to check plugs and then break them down before the pinpointer works. Sounds like the Garrett device might have some advantages, or the Minelab 35.

    Really appreciate the tips and wisdom!
    lorennerol, I'm glad you're getting back out with the detector, and that you're finding lost coins. My opinion: once you get confident finding coin-sized objects, finding older/silver coins is just a matter of location and time spent. (Quick example: I've been on a silver drought lately, it had been a few weeks since I'd found one, despite digging hundreds of targets (mostly bent nails...). But my local town cleared out an area of "open space" on the 29th, removing trees and brush in preparation to convert the empty lot into a park. So yesterday I grabbed the Equinox and scanned the quarter-acre sized area and boom, boom: two silver Roosevelt dimes in 10 minutes. Once you learn to identify the sound of coins, it's about location and time).

    I wanted to comment on the pinpointer: honestly the one you got with your detector will probably work just fine for you (disclaimer: I've never used the Minelab one). The reason I say that is once you learn your detector a bit more you won't have to dig large plugs because you'll be able to pinpoint pretty accurately before you dig.
    And once you dig you'll know where the target is by just swinging the coil over the hole/plug to check whether you dug it up or not, and from there the pinpointer - any pinpointer - will get you to your target. Yeah a Garret ProPointer might save you a few seconds, but is that worth spending $130 on another pinpointer? (Maybe it is - only you can say for sure).
    One other thing to keep in mind is that the Equinox will find very, very small bits of metal - BB sized bits - and those can be tough to pinpoint with any pinpointer. Once in a while you'll chase one of those tiny bits around a hole for a while, thinking you're going crazy because you can't find the target. It happens to everyone.

    Enjoy, and good luck finding silver!

    - Brian
    Molewacker likes this.

 

 

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