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Metal Detecting Blog

A blog all about metal detecting and metal detectors

  • In Depth Minelab Equinox 800 Review

    Big Thanks to Silverfiend for this excellent Equinox 800 guestpost!

    When I first read the announcement of the Minelab Equinox detector at the Detectival event in England, I must admit to feeling excited! What they promised was an affordable, multi-frequency, waterproof, lightweight detector which you could change from multi-frequency to a choice of single frequencies. I finally got to open my very own Minelab Equinox 800 detector on the spring equinox of 22 March. Even though I only have a few hours on it, I LOVE what I am seeing.

    Even just taking all the parts out of the box, I could tell this was going to be a feather weight compared to the Minelab CTX3030 I have been using for the last 5 years. The fit and finish of the parts are nice, and if you’ve ever put a metal detector together before you won’t have to look at any instructions to figure it out. For anyone looking to buy one, PAY ATTENTION HERE: This detector does NOT come with a power source. You get a USB charging cable, but you supply your own USB power source. Minelab recommends a 5V 2Amp charger. Charge time is directly based on the power supply. The recommended power supply will take 4 hours to charge the battery from flat to full. My initial charge took almost that long. If you use a lower rated power supply, such as a computer USB plug it will likely require much longer to charge. You can download the full PDF user manual from Minelab’s website to read their recommendations and warnings on charging the detector.

    Ergonomics can be the “make or break” of a detector. Because this detector is so light, most of the weight winds up being in the coil and that can make the whole setup feel “nose heavy” if not adjusted correctly. First, the lower rod can be extended a long way to accommodate someone who is tall. If you aren’t that tall, but still try to hunt that way then you are going to feel the consequences in your arm. Best practice (for this or any detector) is to shorten the shaft so the coil is right in front of your feet. Ergonomically, the closer you can get to your natural stance with your arm hanging loose at your side, the better off you will be. For anyone who wants to put the coil as far out as possible, adding a little weight under or behind the cuff is something to consider and it’s something I might play with to help with balancing. To Minelab’s credit, slots are made into the footrest to make it easy to strap external batteries, counterweights, or both combined.

    One of the most helpful features Minelab has made available on recent detectors is the ability to have wireless headphones so that you are no longer tethered to the detector. This began with the CTX and the WM-10 module. The Equinox comes with a new version of the same technology, called the WM-08, however it also can connect to any Bluetooth Low Latency headphones. The EQX-800 stock wireless phones are what I have been using so far. One thing to keep in mind is that the Equinox uses 1/8 inch (3.5mm) headphone connectors instead of the more common 1/4 inch. If you have an older set of phones that you absolutely love and want to use with this, you will need a 1/4 female to 1/8 male adapter.

    Of course, the first thing everyone wants to know is “how does it perform”. That is always a dangerous and loaded question. It’s difficult to offer a true, honest answer until you have a solid grasp of the functions and language of detector and THAT takes time. What I do feel comfortable saying is that I am VERY happy so far. You can read my first experiences with the Equinox and judge for yourself. Whenever people ask me for advice when starting out with any new detector, I always tell them to start out easy, don't hunt trashy sites. Even better to start in a tot-lot to learn tones, responses, pinpointing, etc. Jumping head-first into a trash filled site is never a good way to start. That is a solid, smart bit of advice aimed to help learning while preventing frustration. Of course, I didn’t follow my own advice. I went straight to a previous hunt site, one that is extremely trashed out. So why did I go there?

    Because this was a place I had already dug a lot of old coins! It’s hard to resist the urge to see what you might have missed with an older detector. Predictably, the non-stop barrage of tones left me feeling like "what the heck have I gotten into? Is this thing any good? Am I even going to like listening to this?" The biggest obstacle to learning language of the EQX is that it is so sensitive and fast that trashy sites will lead to sensory overload. I suggest you learn from my mistake and head my long-standing advice. Start in the “bunny slope” level of sites and work your way up to hunting the expert level grounds.

    Once I got onto a cleaner hunting spot, learning the tones of this new detector became much easier. I began learning to differentiate target sounds and the responses of deeper coins from shallow ones. I finally started digging old wheat-cents and then I dug my first silver dime (a Mercury dime) next to a chunk of iron. This was in a place I have previously hunted with the CTX, the E-Trac and my old partner had hunted with a DEUS. My second day to get out with the Equinox was at an old park where I previously never found anything old. My previous hunts only produced modern clad. So, I’m sure you are again curious “why I would choose this spot”. It was a 100+ year old park, in small town. It would likely have seen countless parties and celebrations with hundreds of people in attendance in its time but is far enough out of site that most detectorist would have missed it. Even though it hadn’t produced for me yet it still had great potential. My first hunt there with the EQX800 gave me a Barber dime (as well as some wheat cents), my first for the year and my first silver from this place. In these first trial runs, I learned quite a bit! At first glance, the depth meter seems completely unreliable. As you gain experience you see it is great if a target is alone. I think the problem people have with it is that it gets confuse in trash (and trash is practically everywhere). The VCO pinpoint really helps give you a great clue on the depth, and I think that this may be the best method overall.

    My third hunt, I took it to a site that has been pounded hard by other detectorists. Its public, its old, its been hunted for decades. I dug 13 silvers from there in one day with my CTX (after which, other local hunters pounded it AGAIN). With the Equinox I pulled more deep, on-edge wheaties. I dug my first Indian Head from this site (and first for the year), I dug 2 Buffalo nickels and then I hit GOLD! A tiny, old, deep, gold pin with a 1929 date inscription. It was a measured 6 inches deep and still gave a solid nickel response. After that, I knew this detector was a game changer for me.

    How would I summarize the first few days of using the Equinox? Simple, “We have a winner!” Everyone wants to compare the Equinox to it’s brother the CTX. I have been using the CTX since it’s release 6 years ago. So far I haven’t found anything that the CTX could see which my Equinox couldn’t. HOWEVER, the Equinox is worlds better at hitting low conductors like gold and nickels. I have dug more buffalo and V-nickels in a week with the EQX than I dug all last year with the CTX. The tiny gold I have dug are things the CTX could never find. Every detector has its niche, but the Equinox seems to be a very, very large niche in this hobby. If you are looking for your first detector, or just your next, I wouldn’t hesitate to offer this as a very strong choice to consider.

    Good Luck and Happy Hunting, Silverfiend

  • What is the difference in the Minelab Equinox 800 and the Minelab Equinox 600 metal detectors?

    I get asked many times a day what is the difference between the Minelab Equinox 600 and the Minelab Equinox 800. Many people just want a good all around metal detector that is great on the pocket book but competes with the big dogs.  A lot to ask but the Minelab Equinox delivers with its different models and lineup.

    The EQUINOX 600 is limited to 5 kHz, 10 kHz, and 15 kHz single frequencies and leaves out the super cool wireless headphone option. Although you can add the Minelab Equinox wireless headphones set separately that will be available this summer.  They both still work the same way and have no noticeable difference in the way they detect or depth.  Great price and options for a good light metal detector.

    The most in your face and obvious option is the wireless headphones the Equinox 800 provides. It it a very good all around detector. It has Wireless headphones with help from the minelab WM-08 wireless audio module and 2 more frequencies, a total of 5 frequencies, 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz, 20kHz and 40kHz.  Great for gold nugget hunting and relics with those added higher frequencies! If gold nuggets are not your thing save the $ and get the 600. Of course you lose wireless headphones as well.

    The 600 has 3 ranges for detector swing speed while the 800 had 8. Faster swing speed does loose a bit of detection depth but seperation is GREATLY increased. The stock setting is perfect balance of speed and depth. The added 8 settings of the 800 give great advantage to fine tune your machine.  Slow swing speeds give amazing depth! The lower you can use the better you will be off for more depth.

    The 600 iron range is also different from the 800. The 600 has four settings. Fifty tone, 5 tone, 2 tone and single tone. The 800 allows the user to shift non ferrous targets tones and the volume which can help when your a tone only hunter to hear slight differences in metal detector targets.

    Both of the machines offer Minelab's Multi-IQ simultaneous multifrequency technology and operate the same way as was said before. Both operate on multiple frequencies at the same time. and give the same target evaluation as the other when in multifrequency. Not so in single frequency operation. Not many machines can say that! Huge advantage for areas with high mineralization, bad ground, iron infestations or high trash. Salt water beaches included!

    The advanced settings the 800 provides over the 600 is quite an advantage as well! 800 on the left and 600 on the right in picture below. You can adjust automatic noise cancel with the 800 giving some advanced users the option to battle cross talk with other metal detectors and power lines causing EMI.

    Equinox Advanced settings Minelab Equinox Advanced settings Options. 800 on left, 600 on right.

    Now which one do you want? That is up to you and what options are important to you. Both are great metal detectors!

    If you have any questions feel free to email us at Bart@bigboyshobbies.net or call us at 405-206-9010.  Be glad to help you any way we can!

  • Take the kids metal detecting with you!

    As parents, often times it's difficult to find new and exciting things to do with our kids in this technology age. One of the best things we've heard from our customers is that their kids absolutely love to go out and metal detect with their parents!

    Metal detecting is great for the younger generation, you can use it as a tool to teach history, create excitement hunting for treasure, and get some great physical exercise all while spending quality time with your children.

    While younger children may not be able to handle full size metal detectors, letting them help with a pinpointer or hand digging tool is a great way to include them in your hobby and let them share the excitement of your finds. we also offer a great selection of cheaper detectors that are really light weight and easy to use for children around 11 and up. The Garrett Ace series would be a fantastic starting point for early teenagers who show a strong interest in metal detecting.

    Here's to the next generation of history lovers, treasure hunters and metal detectorists! As always please contact us at any time if you have any questions regarding the products we sell and service we offer. Happy hunting to you and yours from everyone at BBH

  • MAKRO MULTI KRUZER WATERPROOF METAL DETECTOR - IN STOCK!

    First shipment of the MAKRO MULTI KRUZER WATERPROOF METAL DETECTOR came in today! These things are DEEP! Be sure to ask about special deals!

  • Don't forget this years Charles Garrett Memorial Hunt!

    It's almost that time of year again, the annual Charles Garrett Memorial Hunt for 2018 will be a fun filled day out for the whole family. Be quick, there are limited spaces still available and this even usually sells out pretty fast!

    The event will be in Jefferson, Texas and will be a great weekend of detecting activities, plus a lot of fun things to do with the family, including rides on the Jefferson railway, a free kids hunt for ages 12 and under, cannon firing demonstrations, special guests and much more!

    Head over to the Garrett Website for more information and have a fantastic time!

  • FISHER F-PULSE PIN POINTER In Stock!

    We just got in first batch of the all new Fisher F-Pulse Pin Pointer. They seem to be outstanding! Free shipping off our website!

  • MAKRO GOLD KRUZER METAL DETECTOR

    MAKRO GOLD KRUZER METAL DETECTOR Will be shipping Mid February! Get your order in for this 61 Khz, waterproof Gold nugget beast with wireless headphones included!

  • Garrett Metal Detectors Gets a New CEO

    New leadership is incoming over at Garrett headquarters.  Steve Novakovich will be stepping in as CEO announced in the company press release on Jan 19th.

    Eleanor Garrett, the current president of Garrett says:

    “We felt that it was the right time to add to Garrett’s management team,”

    The current President of Garrett Metal Detectors. In 1964, Mrs. Garrett co-founded the company from her Garland, Texas home with her late husband, Charles Garrett, who was considered to be one of the pioneers of hobby metal detecting.

    “Steve Novakovich brings more than 30 years of experience to us from all facets of the business world,” Mrs. Garrett added. “Adding Steve to our existing core management team, I feel secure that the company Charles and I founded 54 years ago will remain strong for its next 54 years.”

    Lets hope we see even more innovation we've come to expect from Garrett and wish Steve Novakovich luck in his new position at the company.

  • An in Depth Guide to The XP Deus 4.1 Software Update

    Fellow Deus users, my name is David and I am an avid Deus user.  I have several hours on the detector model and have run versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.1. 3.2, 4.0 and the latest version 4.1.

    What can version 4.1 do for you?

    First of all version 4.1 is NOT a bells and whistle update.  Granted the update seems did improve performance associated with use of the MI-6 pinpointer, V4.1 does offer additional performance in the field.  The following data compiled from use of using the 9" LF and 11" LF coils.

    I have been testing, comparing and detecting using both versions 4.0 and 4.1 on 2 different Deus setups.

    Folks reading the new Deus 4.1 manual will notice ground tracking has been changed, the way it works based on a user's soil mineralization and also depends on this new setting that Version 4.1 brings called ground sensitivity.

    Well, granted using version 4.1 and using tracking ground balance, Deus on average will run quieter.  But folks, quieter is not always better.  What I am trying to say here, yes Deus will when tracking ground balance is selected and medium and lower ground sensitivity settings are used, Deus programming stands a good chance to make Deus go to default ground balance ground phase setting of 88.  By the Deus doing this the detector will not be as deep at finding, or calling nonferrous actually with nonferrous tone, or deeper nonferrous targets could become choppy, misleading a user to thinking indeed there is iron under their coil.

    So, in order to get peak performance for depth, manual ground balance using V4.1 has to be used or higher ground sensitivity settings be used to force Deus with the new V4.1 programming to track to the ground.

    But using higher ground sensitivity settings come with a price.

    What exactly?

    Deus for whatever reason is a better separator, unmasker with  usually mid level ground sensitivity level settings of between 5-7.  Users of version 4.1 will notice default ground sensitivity is indeed level 6, and for good reason.

    I should point out based on actual testing and live undisturbed buried nonferrous targets in the wild, it seems V4.0 is identical with identical settings of version 4.1 as long as V4.1 programmed unit has ground sensitivity level set to level 10.

    Comparing signals on nonferrous during testing placed in challenging situations as well as nonferrous targets in the wild, comparing V4.0 and V4.1 ( with ground sensitivity) set to level 6, I witnessed many times where targets swept with V4.1 to have either or/ and fuller tone, cleaner tone, less chopped, less irony sounding on the edges, just tone period, less static.

    When actually even taking the V4.1 unit and sweeping these same targets with ground sensitivity to level 10, I again noted what I say above about what happened to the signals on nonferous targets.

    A side note here, and I after discovering this tendency was able to make some nonferrous finds.

    Deus tendency using V4.1 and using mid level settings 5-7 ground sensitivity levels, if Deus coil is actually over ferrous and trying to signal (provide high tone wisp) say on nail or iron, if a user changes ground sensitivity setting to level 10 and the signal is the same or gets stronger, this what Deus is signaling on is likely iron.  But if going to level 10 on the ground sensitivity setting and the signal drops out or is more compromised likely nonferrous.

    A skilled Deus user using V4.1 can in fact IMO hunt behind a skilled Deus user using V4.0.

    I encourage all folks to try V4.1, and with time if a person will compare targets with varied ground sensitivity settings, it won't be long until all what I have said here becomes apparent.  Granted hunting in areas already hunted hard using previous Deus versions likely will bring this to light for folks faster.

    This ground sensitivity setting is seems related to ground mineralization, but it is my opinion based on testing, even folks with milder ground yet polluted sites can benefit from V4.1.

    The advantage of V4.1 Deus will not be apparent with all nonferous targets discovered(comparing signal data using ground sensitivity levels 6 and 10),  but given time in the field it will be.

  • All New Makro Multi Kruzer Waterproof Metal Detector

    Check out the all new Multi frequency Makro Multi Kruzer Waterproof Metal Detector!

    Be sure to click the link above with more info on the Multi-Kruzer on our website. We will update it with more info as we get it. Check back often!

    Set to hit our store Mid February! Pre order now!

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