New Equinox owner-what do you dig

Indywar2

Greenie
Jun 27, 2020
11
13
Indiana
Detector(s) used
BH Quick Draw Pro, Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Good evening everyone,

I purchased an Equinox 800 several weeks ago and was finally able to take it out for a test for a couple of days (after reading the manual and numerous videos) to get familiar with the sounds and the TID of the targets.

I am curious what people are digging on the Equinox (kind of a poll):
  • Assumptions: Metal detecting in parks
1) Do you exclusive hunt by ear and dig a certain sound?
2) Do you use the sound and TID ? If so, what TID do you dig and what do you leave?
3) Is it recommended to upgrade to version 3 of the software? There seems to be mixed reviews as whether to upgrade or not.


Thanks,
Rob
 

beep1971

Jr. Member
Jan 3, 2015
74
87
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Good evening everyone,

I purchased an Equinox 800 several weeks ago and was finally able to take it out for a test for a couple of days (after reading the manual and numerous videos) to get familiar with the sounds and the TID of the targets.

I am curious what people are digging on the Equinox (kind of a poll):
  • Assumptions: Metal detecting in parks
1) Do you exclusive hunt by ear and dig a certain sound?
2) Do you use the sound and TID ? If so, what TID do you dig and what do you leave?
3) Is it recommended to upgrade to version 3 of the software? There seems to be mixed reviews as whether to upgrade or not.


Thanks,
Rob

Personally i dig by the quality/information of the audio, if it sounds right i dig it.
If you restrict yourself to TID numbers your only using a fraction of your Nox's ability.
This coin had a fracture, it read an ID of 5 in ground when it should have read between 9-12, but the audio was convincing enough to dig.
 

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gunsil

Silver Member
Dec 27, 2012
3,669
5,591
lower hudson valley, N.Y.
Detector(s) used
safari, ATPro, infinium, old Garrett BFO, Excal, Nox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Most likely the machine has the latest version if it was purchased recently. As far as what to dig, I only discriminate iron and the Nox will get fooled by rusty old nails. Here's my motto from detecting for fifty years, starting with BFO machines with little to no discrimination. "He who makes the most holes finds the most good stuff." Gold can sound and TDI all over the place depending on karat, alloy, size, and shape. There are NO machines available that can tell the difference between lead or aluminum and gold. If you hunt relics and artifacts they can be iron and if not run the whole range of sounds and TDI. Silver and higher conductives like copper can be fairly easy to identify, but again, depends on what you are looking for. In my soil silver quarters will have a nice high tone and TDI 32-33, clad quarters sound very similar and read 32 TDI. Of course if you want to hunt by sound you will have to run more tones, not one or two. 50 is the best but drives some people, especially those who are not used to Minelabs nuts. Many people suggest starting out with five tones. Always remember a nice clear repeatable signal is usually worth digging. He who makes the most holes finds the most good stuff.
 
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HighVDI

Silver Member
Feb 16, 2017
2,757
4,572
Pa
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Congrats on the purchase. It's been my favorite machine to date.

There really is no way to answer your question on what to dig. If there are 20k members here you might get that many different comments!

For me, it depends on 3 things. Location, how hard the spot has been detected and my mood (energy level).

As for what to listen or look for with audio and visual this takes time in the field. If I said listen for a "round" sound all those 20k members also might think of something different again! Id's can vary in different soils and they also are pretty much useless when an object is pinpointer deep so get out there and enjoy that beast! If you want a general idea of VDI's on the Equinox you could get lost in the sea of videos on Youtube!
 

brianc053

Hero Member
Jan 27, 2015
885
2,949
Morris County, NJ
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
2
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Here's something I posted on another thread about the Equinox. I hope it helps a little:
----------------------------------------
...any detector will get confused to some degree when there are many targets under the coil, but the Nox does a nice job of separation even in those situations - but it's really important to scan the target from multiple directions (the typical "rotate 90 degrees and swing again" technique). As you gain experience with the Nox you'll learn what coins sound like when you do that multiple direction scanning.
You'll also learn what cans, foil and pulltabs sound like through experience, but the thing that helps me with those is the "size/shape" of the target. Using the pinpoint mode you'll learn to hear whether the target is small (coin sized) or large (can, large foil). Small bits of foil will still fool you (and me, and everyone).
Pulltabs ring up between 12 and 15/16 on the Nox - but so do nickels (and rings/jewelry). As with any detector, if you want nickels / jewelry then you gotta dig pulltabs. BUT, I've noticed:
- the complete pulltab ring up above 13 (like a 14,15,16), and they jump around a little on the VDI.
- the tongue of an older pulltab (i.e. no ring) give a 12 VDI very consistently.
- nickels will also come a solid 12 (maybe a squeak of 13, less often a squeak of 11).
- so in summary, if I'm in an area that will have buffalo nickels or if I want to earn $0.05 then I'll dig a 12 (even if it squeaks a 13) but will avoid anything that jumps to 14+. I don't get much jewelry where I've hunted so I'm comfortable skipping those 14+ midtones.

I also recommend that you get used to the detector using the stock programs before you start to customize (I know you didn't even mention this - I'm just being proactive here). Eventually you may want to create a personal program that notches certain VDI numbers out (my personal program is my coin shooting one, where I notch out anything below 11 and between 14 and 17), but I think you learn a lot about the detector by digging all the signals during the first...3 months or so?
I've had mine for about 2 years now and I'm still refining my knowledge.
--------------------------------------------

Indywar2, the one other thought I'll share is related to false good signals on iron. During my first year with my Equinox I dug A LOT of iron, and it frustrated me. But over time I learned a couple of things that helped me dig less iron (though I still dig rusty pieces with a "halo" that fools the detector, and I dig the bent nails because they sound so good. I also dig some targets that I think/know are iron just to prove to myself that I'm hearing the targets correctly). My thoughts on the way the Equinox hears good signals vs. iron:
- a good target will be "clean" from two directions and the sound/VDI will be pretty consistent.
- an iron target might sound good from one direction but really bad from another direction; on these I use the pinpoint mode to try to see if there are two targets or just one iron one with a "halo".
- If I've got a questionable target my son and I always used a tiebreaker: we go into pinpoint mode and pinpoint the target, then when we come out of pinpoint mode if the very first sound/VDI signal is good we will dig for sure. If the very first sound/VDI is clearly bad, we'll avoid the target. (but sometimes I'd still dig it to prove to myself that it was bad - and it usually is).
 

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,348
Near Ground Zero for Insanity
Detector(s) used
XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Even though you appear to have some experience on an entry level BH detector, I am presuming you have relatively little overall detecting experience.

Before you get to the "detecting in parks" phase with your new detector I suggest the following structured approach to ultimately best learn what signals to dig with your new Equinox:

If you are new to detecting or even just new to a detector, it makes sense to 1) place some test targets of common objects on the ground (penny (copper and zinc types), nickel, dime quarter, iron nail, bottlecap, pull tab, foil, aluminum can, can slaw, large rusted chunk of iron, copper wire, lead sinker, brass button, screw cap, gold ring, silver ring, large silver coin) to see how your detector ID and audio respond to them individually. An additional but not necessarily essential step is to bury and mark those objects to see how the ground may affect those same tone and visual ID indications. This way you tune your brain to what both junk and "treasure" sound like. Detect your yard to see what you can find, too.

Then, when in the field (or your own yard) try to guess the target then recover it to see how you did. This means that while learning you intentionally should dig targets you think are going to be trash as well as those you think or non-trash as well as every iffy signal provided the place you are digging can accommodate the numerous recoveries. The beach or a farm field anywhere you have permission is ideal because you may be also learning how to recover your targets while leaving little trace of the recovery. So you don't want to be "learning" at a lawn, park or ball field that cannot accommodate a lot of recovery plugs (especially poorly dig/repaired holes).

Regarding how to otherwise approach learning the Equinox check out this post:

http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/equinox/596895-so-you-just-got-equinox-christmas.html

After you learn the basics on tone ID and VDI (I suggest sticking with 5 tones regardless of mode) you can get into learning how some of the tonal nuances and target ID "behaviors" clue you into the nature of a target to help you have a better chance of determining trash from treasure within the VDI target IDs are similar.
For example a steady 13 with a solid tone is probably a nickel whereas a jumpy 13/14 with a more "hollow", "lighter" or distorted tone is likely an aluminum pull tab or can slaw. More symmetric objects like rings, coins, and buttons tend to have smoother, punctuated audio than non-symmetriic, jagged, or broken targets. You will also learn how junk targets especially aluminum cans and large flat iron or bent nails can fool you with high TID false tones and how to identify or mitigate digging those targets through proper use of advanced settings such as Iron Bias and use of the built-in pinpoint feature to "trace" target footprints to ID those large, probable junk targets that are giving you good high tones and IDs.

Ultimately learning the audio nuances of the detector is key, especially at 50 tones if your brain can sort it because the audio contains way more information that your brain can integrate to make a target dig decision than just the one or two target ID digits on your screen.

HTH

Good luck!
 
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charlives

Full Member
Jan 16, 2012
210
235
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
The ways I hunt parks vary widely...even within the same park, the moisture in the soil that day, the time I have, what I want to find, history of the soil, amount of iron, and the depth of the target all matter to me.
Tone, depth, and vdi all play a role in my decision process.
 

cudamark

Gold Member
Mar 16, 2011
12,163
11,862
San Diego
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
3
Detector(s) used
XP Deus 2, Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Good evening everyone,

I purchased an Equinox 800 several weeks ago and was finally able to take it out for a test for a couple of days (after reading the manual and numerous videos) to get familiar with the sounds and the TID of the targets.

I am curious what people are digging on the Equinox (kind of a poll):
  • Assumptions: Metal detecting in parks
1) Do you exclusive hunt by ear and dig a certain sound?
2) Do you use the sound and TID ? If so, what TID do you dig and what do you leave?
3) Is it recommended to upgrade to version 3 of the software? There seems to be mixed reviews as whether to upgrade or not.


Thanks,
Rob

To answer your 3 questions specifically......
1) No, not exclusively, but, partly
2A) yes, as part of a total test. 2B) It will depend on the park. Modern park with little hope of old coins or relics, I dig solid (as in one number TID's) low tones and 22 and above high tones. Old park and I'm looking for old coins, I go by depth after I've determined where the layer of the old stuff is, and I don't go by the TID hardly at all, except to take a stab as to what it is ("name that tone" guessing game!).
3) Yes. It comes with some nice upgrades. You can always revert back to an older version of you don't like the latest for some reason.
 

Xraywolf

Silver Member
Feb 28, 2005
3,576
4,357
MI USA
Detector(s) used
Ace 400, AT Pro, equinox 800, Simplex,Vanquish 540
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Parks are challenging for any detector, requires alot of patience due to the abundance of trash, and you never really know what the target is until you dig it up.
I stay away from parks for that very reason, I feel the potential returns are not worth the time and effort spent, and look to go off the beaten path doing research combined with luck, and have stumbled on quite a few hot spots producing oldies.

That said, there are some tricks that can increase your odds and reduce the time spent digging holes to nowhere.
First and foremost for any machine, use it to your advantage and use logic. If you come across a nice repeating signal, lift your coil up a bit while swinging. If it is still chiming in loud and clear 5" inches up, you can be fairly certain it is a large metal object. Also use the machine pinpoint function to your advantage, if the object has a profile over 2", you can be fairly certain it is not a solitary coin or ring.
Might be a cache, a spill or a treasure chest but more than likely a chunk of obnoxious iron giving a false return, and its up to you to investigate further, hoping against hope it is something other than junk, or pass and move on.

I'd go for any private property you can detect, including your own, family and friends before a public park. Beach too if able, easy digging and easy learning.
 

MackDog

Bronze Member
Nov 20, 2013
1,365
2,689
Spokane Wa
Detector(s) used
Garrett At Pro, 8 x11" and Nel Storm coils
Garrett Propointer er, Pro Pointer AT
White's V3i Standard, 10" DD, 13" Ultimate and 4 x6" sniper, 6 x10 coils, Drect 12 x 15 coil
Whites MX Sport With Detec
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Love doing parks with my Knox. First thing I recommend is you run Park 1 50 tones all metal and multi freq for as long as you can stand it. Start out first laying all your preferred targets out on the ground then go over them with the detector. Make note of the VDI and sounds. Then when you actually start detecting dig everything paying close attention to VDI and tones (are they crisp, clear, cut off or crunchy). After a while you will be able to know what signals sound good for the targets you want. Good luck
 

Esto Perpetua

Greenie
Feb 8, 2021
13
20
Idaho
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800 - Tesoro Bandido II Umax
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Rob,

I also recently purchased an Equinox 800 - I've got 3 days in on it so far, for about 3 to 4 hours each day... so not much time at all, really. I started in Park 1 mode, and just hunted around our property... which I have also hunted many times with my old Tesoro single-tone analog machine. Honestly, I was not expecting to find much more than trash.... but I was surprised, as the 800 found coins that I had obviously missed, and most were deeper than I'd dug here before. 3 day totals * 1 quarter, 4 dimes, 4 copper pennies... (all 1970~1980's) and 11 crusty Zincolns that were way deep. And yes, quite a bit of trash... as expected, but not nearly as much as I was digging before.

This was using the 6" coil - I haven't ran the stock coil over the ground here yet.

So.... to answer your questions - I'm using it on our properties to learn it (suppose similar conditions to a park.... with random junk mixed in everywhere)

1) I'm used to hunting by ear, with my old machine. If it's a good round solid tone, I'd dig it. But..
2) With the 800 - I'm half by ear and half by TID and tones. The Nox has much more information than the old single tone machines, so I'm relearning.
3) The upgrade should be fine. Did you by chance check your unit to see if already has the V.3 software? If you bought it recently, it may already have it - mine did. I can't see why it wouldn't be useful.


Like I said, I've got very little time in on the 800 so far, but what it's done in that short time is pretty impressive to me. I still haven't ran it in 50 tones (Park 2) yet... well, I did for a section - then I got tone overload. Next time I'm out, I'll try 50 tones. I'd also recommend getting Andy Sabisch's book on the Nox, it's got a good amount of useful tips and info.

Overall, I think it's a very well designed machine, and can't wait to get it to some spots where I know the older/deeper stuff has been missed. Just for fun, I tested the 6" coil on some sub-gram to 1 gram nuggets I have, and it picked them up fine in Gold mode.... these little guys are invisible to my old machine.

Best of luck, and solid advice the other folks gave 'ya as well.
T
 
OP
I

Indywar2

Greenie
Jun 27, 2020
11
13
Indiana
Detector(s) used
BH Quick Draw Pro, Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
Thank you to everyone for the advice. I realize the lack of background and generic nature of the questions yields itself to a lot of interpretation. Thank you for all of the perspectives.

Most likely the machine has the latest version if it was purchased recently. If you hunt relics and artifacts they can be iron and if not run the whole range of sounds and TDI. Silver and higher conductives like copper can be fairly easy to identify, but again, depends on what you are looking for.
Hi Gunsil. I did confirm I have software version 2. It sounds like most people are in favor of installing V3. I didn’t want to do anything that might slow down the learning process. If the upgrade went sideways, I wouldn't be able to tell the root cause due to my newness to the instrument. Of course, I don’t want to learn on v2 only to upgrade and need to learn all over (granted it wouldn't be like a whole new machine to learn). Thank you for the advice with relics/artifact MD.



… but it's really important to scan the target from multiple directions (the typical "rotate 90 degrees and swing again" technique). As you gain experience with the Nox you'll learn what coins sound like when you do that multiple direction scanning.”
Thank you Brian. I have read some advice previously to take that approach and I have been doing that in my initial trips to several parks. I have found the VDI numbers you noted have held true for my conditions so far (nickels 12/13; pull tabs 14/15; piece of metal 14-18; zinc pennies that get severely corrode around here 18-21; non-correded zinc ~20 and copper pennies/dime ~ 25+/-). I am also using only the park 1 at this point with sensitivity around 16 until I became familiar with the detector (and maybe even after).

Even though you appear to have some experience on an entry level BH detector, I am presuming you have relatively little overall detecting experience.
Vferrari, I am new to the current technology of metal detectors but I did metal detect with a Garrett Groundhog some 30 years ago quite a bit. This was well before there were any pinpointers (handheld and otherwise). Our pinpointer was how well you could narrow down the target using an X method and really learning the sounds of the machine. As you have noted, with the Equinox I am starting back at ground zero, so I value all of the advice ! However, the recovery of targets (God bless the Garrett carrot) are some skills that are still transferrable from that time period. Also, I have read quite a bit of your posts, including the link you provided below. To you and the rest of the folks that have imparted that wisdom on this forum, thank you. That was the genesis of the original question to tap into some of that wisdom.

Before you get to the "detecting in parks" phase with your new detector I suggest the following structured approach to ultimately best learn what signals to dig with your new Equinox…
Thank you. I will take that advice to heart. I also plan to make a test garden as suggested. A dumb question: is there any good way to mark the location other than measure from a landmark in the yard? Something I can mow over, but won’t disintegrate over time and won’t interfere with the target underneath it.

Parks are challenging for any detector, requires alot of patience due to the abundance of trash, and you never really know what the target is until you dig it up.
If you come across a nice repeating signal, lift your coil up a bit while swinging. If it is still chiming in loud and clear 5" inches up, you can be fairly certain it is a large metal object. Also use the machine pinpoint function to your advantage, if the object has a profile over 2", you can be fairly certain it is not a solitary coin or ring.
Thanks Xraywolf. I have been going to parks to work out/learn the sounds and VDI. You are correct about the amount of trash, but at the same time it gives me an opportunity to learn what is trash and what are coin signals without having to detect all over. In this learning phase it is actually a benefit, later maybe not :unhappysmiley:. I have not heard about raising the coil, so thank you for that tip. One of the bigger challenges right now is learning pinpointing on the detector. I have used the pinpoint function and used the method where you scan until the target sound is gone and dig at the tip of the coil. More practice definitely need there, but getting marginally better.

Thanks again for all the advice and help.
Rob
 
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BH505Man

Full Member
Nov 18, 2013
123
151
Granite Falls, WA
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800, 6",11" coils, Teknetics T2SE,&T2 Classic, 5", CORS Fortune 5.5x9.5", 11", CORS Strike 12x13", 15"coils, Legacy 3500, 4", 8",10" & 11"DD coils, Lesche digging Knife, Lesche T Handle Shovel
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Most likely the machine has the latest version if it was purchased recently. As far as what to dig, I only discriminate iron and the Nox will get fooled by rusty old nails. Here's my motto from detecting for fifty years, starting with BFO machines with little to no discrimination. "He who makes the most holes finds the most good stuff." Gold can sound and TDI all over the place depending on karat, alloy, size, and shape. There are NO machines available that can tell the difference between lead or aluminum and gold. If you hunt relics and artifacts they can be iron and if not run the whole range of sounds and TDI. Silver and higher conductives like copper can be fairly easy to identify, but again, depends on what you are looking for. In my soil silver quarters will have a nice high tone and TDI 32-33, clad quarters sound very similar and read 32 TDI. Of course if you want to hunt by sound you will have to run more tones, not one or two. 50 is the best but drives some people, especially those who are not used to Minelabs nuts. Many people suggest starting out with five tones. Always remember a nice clear repeatable signal is usually worth digging. He who makes the most holes finds the most good stuff.

Don't make the assumption that the detector has the latest software version (3.0). I bought mine new and it didn't. You simply do not know when your dealer received your detector from Minelab. It may have sat on your dealers shelf or in the distributer's warehouse for a while. The easiest way to tell if you have software version 3.0 installed on your detector is to toggle thru your frequencies. If your detector has 4khz than your detector has software version 3.0 installed. If not you can go to Minelab's website and install it in your detector by using the magnetic USB charge cord connected to your detector and an USB port on your computer. Just follow the on screen instructions. And BTW version 3.0 by giving you 1 more frequency to use is another advantage in your favor for finding that once in a lifetime find. You don't have to use 4khz but it's nice to have that option available. Others have said that 3.0 enhances detector stability (less chatter) and less prone to EMI.
 
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