So you just got an Equinox for Christmas...

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
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:

b3y0nd3r

Hero Member
Aug 27, 2011
982
1,171
Detector(s) used
ctx 3030 nokta impact Equinox 800
"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.
 

dirtlooter

Gold Member
Jun 5, 2014
8,823
13,297
mid western ARK
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
3
Detector(s) used
XP Deus with 9"LF and 9" HF Coils and 600 Equinox with stock and 6" coils
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
go dig targets!
 
OP
vferrari

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
"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.
 

haxor

Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2015
94
88
Raleigh, NC
Detector(s) used
NOX 800
Primary Interest:
All 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.
 

Bodkin

Sr. Member
Oct 9, 2017
463
1,128
Bold Coast & Treasure Coast
Detector(s) used
Blue Excal 1000, Enox 800
Primary Interest:
All 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.
 
OP
vferrari

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
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.
 

Happa54

Full Member
Feb 20, 2016
130
321
Los Angeles
Detector(s) used
EQX 800
Primary Interest:
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.
 

smokeythecat

Gold Member
Nov 22, 2012
20,436
39,875
Maryland
🥇 Banner finds
10
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
XP Deus II
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hey V, now time to do a thread for the AT series, the F75 series, the Nokta series and the XP series.
 
OP
vferrari

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10

saanich2018

Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2018
254
471
Atlanta, GA
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
All 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.
 

pa-dirt_nc-sand

Silver Member
Apr 18, 2016
4,107
13,367
South Western PA
🥇 Banner finds
2
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
ACE 250 with DD coil
Equinox 600
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
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.
 

DeepseekerADS

Gold Member
Mar 3, 2013
14,879
21,703
SW, VA - Bull Mountain
Detector(s) used
CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
Primary Interest:
Other
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?
 
OP
vferrari

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
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.

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.
 

Horst

Sr. Member
Apr 13, 2017
319
1,206
Germany
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800 + SDC2300
Primary Interest:
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!
 

Investigator

Newbie
Jan 4, 2019
1
0
Boston
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
For those who just got a new Equinox but who have less detecting experience (Equinox is their first or second machine), ....

That would be me. So thank's for the information, I think I will find it useful to get started even though I've read the forum for a few weeks. I'm technically oriented, but I will say I think as an introduction for someone who is getting their first detector, it could have been edited down quite a bit. Probably the first 3 or 4 paragraphs lay it out given the title.

Keep Diggin'
 
OP
vferrari

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
8,369
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
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #17
That would be me. So thank's for the information, I think I will find it useful to get started even though I've read the forum for a few weeks. I'm technically oriented, but I will say I think as an introduction for someone who is getting their first detector, it could have been edited down quite a bit. Probably the first 3 or 4 paragraphs lay it out given the title.

Keep Diggin'

It's a lot shorter than the manual. Lol.

Thanks for the feedback. I've written about 10 variations on the intro tips for Equinox over the past 9 months here and elsewhere and believe me it as evolved to answer a lot of the typical questions new users have had. Most folks are confused about the search profile/modes so a lot of the writeup is dedicated to that topic. It pretty much covers the bases for getting started. Feel free to consume only as much as you need.
 

Normsel

Bronze Member
Sep 10, 2012
1,191
811
D'Iberville MS
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
E-Trac
Equinox 800
Equinox 600
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
I suggest everyone pay attention to what vferrari writes. He is right on. I put about 50 hours in on factory settings before I tried to tweak my detectors to what suited me. I read all of vferrari posts and always learn something new. I haven't been out in awhile because of honey do's and rain but I still follow most equinox posts online.

Unless you really understand detector technology for the most part you don't have to tweak the equinox very much to get maximum results with it. Don't try to outsmart the detector let it teach you.

I haven't been out since before thanksgiving but from March 12th when I received my E-800 until May 1st I found over $140 in clad and rings and from May 1st through August I found another $390 in clad. The equinox is a coin hog believe me. I also found a few granules of gold in New Mexico back in Oct.
 

pulltabfelix

Hero Member
Jan 29, 2018
998
1,606
North Atlanta
Detector(s) used
Currently have CTX3030 and Vanquish 440.
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Vferrari is as usual right on the mark. Wish I had this summary of 800 advice back in March 2018 when I got my 800. I made the mistake of trying to learn and utilize every feature from the outset. BIG MISTAKE. It just led to a lot of confusion.

The only think I will add to may help clarify his post. When he says park1 is weighted to lower frequency for silver coins, it means that lower frequencies are better for locating high conductive metals like silver and copper. On the flip site the higher frequencies are better for finding low conductive items like gold jewelry. So the Minelab engineers have pre-fixed these frequency mix into the standard modes.

The 800 is a hot machine and a complex machine for someone coming from a more simple VLF machine like the AT Pro series. I used an AT Pro for 3 years. Finally after almost a year I have my 800 under my control and can set it to optimize almost any hunt situation. Had I had this excellent post and paid attention to it, it probably would have cut my learning time by 75%. As the line in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" - "Learn it, Know it, Live it."
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top