How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

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How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Guppy » Sun May 19, 2019 7:53 pm

Having recently purchased the equinox 600 and viewed lots of videos and guides I thought it was about time to simplfie....

Some iron objects will give a positive signal (high pitch tone) regardless of your settings i.e; iron bios set at 0, or if you are detecting in 'all metal mode'.

This can be due to the shape of the iron object or its position in the ground.

The way to try and eliminate digging lots of iron when you hear a 'positive' signal, Is to sweep the target from all four angles.

If you've set your detector to ignore iron, then by using this method it should remain silent when sweeping from at least one other angle, and give a conflicting signal 'positive-negative tone' from yet another angle, your target ID will also be erratic.

If you're detecting in 'all metal mode' then you'll hear an obvious 'negative tone' and a conflicting 'positive-negitive tone' when sweeping from alturnative angles + an erratic target ID.


Disclaimer: The above is base on what I've learned since ownership and the tone of iron I'm no longer digging. If in dought?.... DIG! ::g



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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Sun May 19, 2019 9:35 pm

I think that these are the positive signal surrounded by negative ones that Nox users know and love. :D The iron tends to give consistent positive numbers on each site but it changes from site to site. As you reduce Iron Bias the positive numbers seem to get higher, often well into the thirties. More experimentation needed though.
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Sun May 19, 2019 11:40 pm

Zero iron bias on my machine, large iron rarely gives consistent numbers and "chirps," numbers wise it is usually under 25, if you have a wide but indistinct target in the 20's it's almost certainly iron, something big and non ferrous would be in the 30's and high toning.

Smaller stuff is a doddle to weed out as it's often one way signals or breaks up if scanned from another direction.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Mon May 20, 2019 7:42 am

Ten pence! wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:40 pm
Zero iron bias on my machine, large iron rarely gives consistent numbers and "chirps," numbers wise it is usually under 25, if you have a wide but indistinct target in the 20's it's almost certainly iron, something big and non ferrous would be in the 30's and high toning.

Smaller stuff is a doddle to weed out as it's often one way signals or breaks up if scanned from another direction.
How odd. Similar setups, different experiences! Fortunately on my sites I dig almost everything anyway so not much chance of missing too much. ::g

To me it shows that the Nox probably has hidden depths and minor changes can make quite significant differences to how the detector responds. :D
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Bors » Mon May 20, 2019 9:33 am

Ten pence! wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:40 pm
Zero iron bias on my machine, large iron rarely gives consistent numbers and "chirps," numbers wise it is usually under 25, if you have a wide but indistinct target in the 20's it's almost certainly iron, something big and non ferrous would be in the 30's and high toning.

Smaller stuff is a doddle to weed out as it's often one way signals or breaks up if scanned from another direction.


I read that ,as your using IB at 0 constantly, is that correct,
as this surely will mean you're getting lots of Iron signals constantly hence the chirping all the time.?
Have I read you correct?
Also do you use the Nox in All metal when you detect ?

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by littleboot » Mon May 20, 2019 10:01 am

Totally agree with Ten Pence.
Thing is, this Minelab isn't a Minelab. People who have always or mostly used Minelabs will describe things as if they are innovations ...but actually they are more akin to some of the qualities of other stables like XP. I was doing the waggle with my GMP and my Cscope and my Tesoros, Nothing specifically 'Minelabby about that. I also have got used to simultaneous tones and what they mean...did it with the GMP all the time, nothing new to me in that either.
Anyone who has really mastered a machine like the GMP (Ten Pence and myself are in that number) will find the whole 'weeding out iron' to be completely straightforward and intuitive. It really is.
I treat the Nox exactly like a GMP on steroids.
I now have my Iron Bias on 0 and am not digging Iron. (Except the occasional bit with a hole which I suspect but can't be sure is iron)
All Metal can be useful but isn't necessary all the time as it can be a distraction. Easy enough to notch a segment or two of iron back in instead.
Simple machine. Digging iron is really a non issue IF you stop fixating on finding magic numbers and get used to the subtle 'tells' in the sound quality, profile and pitch.
The 'fourway' repeatable signal is misleading. It is dangerous to ignore targets that are only repeatable in one direction. Lots of good targets can be missed that way.
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Mon May 20, 2019 10:14 am

Bors wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:33 am
Ten pence! wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:40 pm
Zero iron bias on my machine, large iron rarely gives consistent numbers and "chirps," numbers wise it is usually under 25, if you have a wide but indistinct target in the 20's it's almost certainly iron, something big and non ferrous would be in the 30's and high toning.

Smaller stuff is a doddle to weed out as it's often one way signals or breaks up if scanned from another direction.


I read that ,as your using IB at 0 constantly, is that correct,
as this surely will mean you're getting lots of Iron signals constantly hence the chirping all the time.?
Have I read you correct?
Also do you use the Nox in All metal when you detect ?

Yes, zero iron bias. What is the point of running all metal and then using iron bias to knock out some of the iron signals? It just seems illogical to me! You will get more deeper junk targets running all metal but you'll get virtually no depth gain on good targets, again this is not a guess but as the result of running the machine over a test garden.

I see no point in running all metal, unless of course your land is almost devoid of signals, I simply run a set up that notches IN some iron, I also run in the sparkier F2 mode, I run the sensitivity as high as it will go and of course drop or raise it as ground conditions dictate, the upshot of all this is I do not hear small iron but bigger bits come through as broken signals that are unmissable once your ears are in, typically you'll get numbers in the high teens (and mid twenties with big stuff), plus deviations into the minus zone, this does not happen with non ferrous targets that are big. Below is a screenshot of the settings I use on a very lively site that has plenty of modern iron and coke, hence the first three positive numbers being knocked out as well, on cleaner sites with no coke I notch these back in,
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Bors » Mon May 20, 2019 10:25 am

Thanks, I`ll investigate it. u;@

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Easylife » Mon May 20, 2019 10:45 am

littleboot wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:01 am
People who have always or mostly used Minelabs will describe things as if they are innovations ...but actually they are more akin to some of the qualities of other stables like XP.
Exactly my own experience Jan coming from a Deus, when I first got my Nox I instantly thought of it as just being like a simultaneous multi-frequency Deus. It has the same features just with different names.
On my pasture I run Iron bias 0, sense 25. All metal in Field 1 or a little disc in Gold 1. I dig most targets unless obvious iron, though still dig some known iron out of interest - my last one was a huge spanner that looks to have some good age to it, so one for a zap.
One target gave a good tone one way and broken tone with minus numbers the other, but enough for me to think there was non-ferrous there. From about 6" down came a 5" rusty nail but I knew that was not the target I heard, there was a tiny bit of lead in there also. My point here being that many people just think of a single target being below the coil rather than a good target next to iron. If a target sounds more positive than negative, even say 60/40 then it's worth digging as it may just be masked by iron or close to limits of detection. ::g
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm

Here is another downside to running in all metal and using iron bias to quieten things down, try this simple test. Bury a desirable object at the limit of the detectors range, before the target eventually disappears completely it'll give an iron signal, now if you are running iron bias start to lower it and the target will give a positive signal again, basically more iron bias less depth on iffy but potentially good signals, this does not happen if you have no iron bias and notch in some iron.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Mon May 20, 2019 6:25 pm

Ten pence! wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm
Here is another downside to running in all metal and using iron bias to quieten things down, try this simple test. Bury a desirable object at the limit of the detectors range, before the target eventually disappears completely it'll give an iron signal, now if you are running iron bias start to lower it and the target will give a positive signal again, basically more iron bias less depth on iffy but potentially good signals, this does not happen if you have no iron bias and notch in some iron.

I haven't tried all the permutations yet but I seem to get more depth with All Metal on than with it off. I agree that the signal deteriorates beyond the limit of the TID. With All Metal off there is a much sharper cutoff between a good signal and no signal at all. :D

Iron Bias is useful when you are learning the Nox but it eats depth (that's probably why some iffy signals become positive when you reduce Iron Bias). I also suggest that it is reduced as much as possible as you get used to the machine. ::g
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Guppy » Mon May 20, 2019 6:59 pm

Ten pence! wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm
Here is another downside to running in all metal and using iron bias to quieten things down, try this simple test. Bury a desirable object at the limit of the detectors range, before the target eventually disappears completely it'll give an iron signal, now if you are running iron bias start to lower it and the target will give a positive signal again, basically more iron bias less depth on iffy but potentially good signals, this does not happen if you have no iron bias and notch in some iron.

I personally set the iron bios to 0, and I will sweep a positive signal from all four angles.

With iron bios on. If you sweep your 'positive' sounding target from alternate angles, and your hear a conflicting signal (positive surrounded by negative tones) and your target ID is also erratic? then your target is most probably iron.

With iron bios off. Hit your target again from yet another angle it will stay silent if it is iron, thus having the bios setting at 0 helps eliminate a multi target scenario when a 'coin' for instance lies very close to an iron object, therefore... no tone = no positive target/s = iron.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Saffron » Tue May 21, 2019 1:38 am

Easylife wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:45 am
<cut>
My point here being that many people just think of a single target being below the coil rather than a good target next to iron. If a target sounds more positive than negative, even say 60/40 then it's worth digging as it may just be masked by iron or close to limits of detection. ::g
Yesterday had a solid "19" signal, but swung back over it again and it became -5 (IRON).

Not impressed swung over it a few more times and in the one direction always a 19, while in the other always -4 / -5.

As it was easy digging I dug it and found a musket ball, the 19 signal, and about an inch from it a bit of iron. Just shows how good the Nox is at picking out different items. Maybe if I had changed recovery speed and slowed the swing even more it would have showed the 2 different targets in the one swing.

But it shows that even if a "good" signal in only the one direction it can be worth digging.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Easylife » Tue May 21, 2019 3:12 am

Saffron wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 1:38 am
Just shows how good the Nox is at picking out different items....
But it shows that even if a "good" signal in only the one direction it can be worth digging.
Or even a not so good one both ways, but having a positive hint. If it's a noticeably quieter target response then that gets my full and undivided attention as it will no doubt be a good target at a very good depth, in fact quite close to limits of detection. The target volume is quite consistent until a sudden drop off when close to being out of range. ::g
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Tue May 21, 2019 6:50 am

Easylife wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:12 am
Saffron wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 1:38 am
Just shows how good the Nox is at picking out different items....
But it shows that even if a "good" signal in only the one direction it can be worth digging.
Or even a not so good one both ways, but having a positive hint. If it's a noticeably quieter target response then that gets my full and undivided attention as it will no doubt be a good target at a very good depth, in fact quite close to limits of detection. The target volume is quite consistent until a sudden drop off when close to being out of range. ::g

Most of my pasture fields are well detected and the really good stuff now tends to be very deep. In almost any setup the Nox will bleep enthusiastically at good targets up to eight inches more. It's the signal that make you doubt your pinpointing because 'it simply can't be that deep' that I am much more interested in. :D

It is obvious from the discussions we are all getting the hang of making the Nox works for us. It's even better that people are sharing their experiences to help others think about things they might otherwise have not tried. ::g For a switch on and go machine the Nox is actually a bit of a beast but I think that we are starting to tame it. :D
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by SuperRed » Tue May 21, 2019 11:40 am

fred wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 6:50 am
Easylife wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:12 am
Saffron wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 1:38 am
Just shows how good the Nox is at picking out different items....
But it shows that even if a "good" signal in only the one direction it can be worth digging.
Or even a not so good one both ways, but having a positive hint. If it's a noticeably quieter target response then that gets my full and undivided attention as it will no doubt be a good target at a very good depth, in fact quite close to limits of detection. The target volume is quite consistent until a sudden drop off when close to being out of range. ::g

Most of my pasture fields are well detected and the really good stuff now tends to be very deep. In almost any setup the Nox will bleep enthusiastically at good targets up to eight inches more. It's the signal that make you doubt your pinpointing because 'it simply can't be that deep' that I am much more interested in. :D

It is obvious from the discussions we are all getting the hang of making the Nox works for us. It's even better that people are sharing their experiences to help others think about things they might otherwise have not tried. ::g For a switch on and go machine the Nox is actually a bit of a beast but I think that we are starting to tame it. :D
I totally agree Fred... turned out to be an interesting thread. I made the point in another thread that 'switch on and go' for any machine is a bit of a misnomer. My old 1220b will find stuff. The experimenting and experience of others is vital to getting the best out of the machine.
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Tue May 21, 2019 3:42 pm

It might be worth reiterating that it's a good idea to get a few hours on the machine (any machine!) before you start playing around with the settings, if you are a recent convert to the Equinox it'll take a few hours to get a feel for the detector, ignore the numbers and concentrate entirely on the tones and compare what you hear versus what you are digging, constantly chopping and changing before you are familiar with the machine is the best route to confusion!

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Mancave-man » Tue May 21, 2019 4:25 pm

In the April 2018 edition of the Searcher mag, Gordon Heritage gives details of his "Killer" programme which includes Iron Bias set at 4 and Recovery speed at 6. Surely he wouldn't do that if he didn't think it would work!
Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works. :-/

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Tue May 21, 2019 6:11 pm

They will work because most settings will 'work'. We have gone a bit beyond just working and are now trying to wring every bit of performance out of the Nox that we can.

For a start Iron Bias 4 alone will reduce the depth by something like 2 inches and is likely to cause smaller or deeper targets to be misidentified as iron. A high Response Speed will result in short, sharp signals so swing speed will become more critical than usual.

These settings are what I'd expect to see Americans using on very trashy parks to winkle out modern silver and copper coins. They may indeed have a use in the UK, perhaps for hauling out abundant silver coins from a junky site in a very restricted timescale, but I'll probably not be experimenting with them on my sites. :D
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by SuperRed » Tue May 21, 2019 8:06 pm

Mancave-man wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:25 pm
In the April 2018 edition of the Searcher mag, Gordon Heritage gives details of his "Killer" programme which includes Iron Bias set at 4 and Recovery speed at 6. Surely he wouldn't do that if he didn't think it would work!
Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works. :-/
This was out when I purchased my nox and the first settings I tried. Not wishing to be disrespectful to them, but 'testers' are there for a purpose. I would personally give those settings a wide berth.
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Easylife » Tue May 21, 2019 9:11 pm

SuperRed wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:06 pm
Mancave-man wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:25 pm
In the April 2018 edition of the Searcher mag, Gordon Heritage gives details of his "Killer" programme which includes Iron Bias set at 4 and Recovery speed at 6. Surely he wouldn't do that if he didn't think it would work!
Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works. :-/
This was out when I purchased my nox and the first settings I tried. Not wishing to be disrespectful to them, but 'testers' are there for a purpose. I would personally give those settings a wide berth.
Maybe ok for shallow targets but no good to me either. x;
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Easylife » Tue May 21, 2019 9:14 pm

Different settings also have differing degrees of effects depending upon which coil you are using, more so with the 15” coil. ::g :D
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by littleboot » Tue May 21, 2019 9:34 pm

Mancave-man wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:25 pm
In the April 2018 edition of the Searcher mag, Gordon Heritage gives details of his "Killer" programme which includes Iron Bias set at 4 and Recovery speed at 6. Surely he wouldn't do that if he didn't think it would work!
Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works. :-/
Blimey. x; x; Not only a spanner but a crowbar and a monkey wrench as well. :E
It was in the April edition....that explains it. It was obviously an April Fool.
:))
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by fred » Tue May 21, 2019 9:36 pm

littleboot wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 9:34 pm
Mancave-man wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:25 pm
In the April 2018 edition of the Searcher mag, Gordon Heritage gives details of his "Killer" programme which includes Iron Bias set at 4 and Recovery speed at 6. Surely he wouldn't do that if he didn't think it would work!
Sorry if this throws a spanner in the works. :-/
Blimey. x; x; Not only a spanner but a crowbar and a monkey wrench as well. :E
It was in the April edition....that explains it. It was obviously an April Fool.
:))

Me being polite and diplomatic was obviously completely wasted on you lot! :D
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Bors » Wed May 22, 2019 11:36 am

I wholeheartedly agree with what your saying, however in all Fairness to Gordon, he IS well up on his Minelabs and if you care to delve further into what he also says , he does also say , Quote Gordon,....

" Re: Iron bias settings.

I’ve said from day one not to get bogged down in someone else’s settings.
Learn the machine and adjust it to the field you’re searching.
I usually start on a new field with iron Bias at 3, then adjust where necessary. I regularly search with iron bias at “1”, but have fields giving so much iron falsing that I turn it as high as 4... but rarely above. " un quote.

I`d say a lot of what Gordon tries to do is not just hand out advisory settings at one group such as advanced detectorists . He tries to offer help to those new to the Equinox too,hence his 4x4 settings. Its only suggestion after all not chizeld in Stone tablets.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Mancave-man » Wed May 22, 2019 1:01 pm

So, lets get this right. If I were to reduce my Iron bias to "1" or "0" and my recovery speed to say "3" would that be a better set up than the killer programme that I currently use?
I am something of a timid fiddler so tend to let other's programmes guide my thinking. However in this case I'm wondering if I am actually causing myself problems by clouding my judgement?
I have reduced my Iron Bias to "3" on my last couple of digs but I haven't really noticed any difference in the performance of the machine. Mind you it is very dry up here at the moment making digging very difficult. So that might be one of the problems.
I would be very interested in knowing your pasture and ploughed/rolled settings though. :-/
Best regards to all,

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Easylife » Wed May 22, 2019 2:01 pm

Mancave-man wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:01 pm
So, lets get this right. If I were to reduce my Iron bias to "1" or "0" and my recovery speed to say "3" would that be a better set up than the killer programme that I currently use?
Less Iron bias and slower Recovery will get you more depth, but Recovery speed should be set to suit iron presence. I find that 4 is about optimum in relatively clean ground though will increase it according to iron saturation. ::g
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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Wed May 22, 2019 2:37 pm

Mancave-man wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:01 pm
So, lets get this right. If I were to reduce my Iron bias to "1" or "0" and my recovery speed to say "3" would that be a better set up than the killer programme that I currently use?
I am something of a timid fiddler so tend to let other's programmes guide my thinking. However in this case I'm wondering if I am actually causing myself problems by clouding my judgement?
I have reduced my Iron Bias to "3" on my last couple of digs but I haven't really noticed any difference in the performance of the machine. Mind you it is very dry up here at the moment making digging very difficult. So that might be one of the problems.
I would be very interested in knowing your pasture and ploughed/rolled settings though. :-/
Best regards to all,

M-m [:)
At the risk of sounding like a parrot, bury some targets and see for yourself! :))

Put some targets in the ground, along with some iron or other junk, and compare various settings head to head, you'll very quickly work out what works well and doesn't work so well, and of course if you KNOW what you are detecting the signals can be taken at face value, ie no guessing! Sweep at the same speed you detect at and preferably on the land you detect on!

Just to add, I don't have special settings for ploughed land or pasture, I use the same, or very similar settings, and just run the sensitivity as high as it will go without excessive chirping, this has been as low as 18 and on one occasion I managed to get it up to 23 on an especially find free site!
Last edited by Ten pence! on Wed May 22, 2019 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by Ten pence! » Wed May 22, 2019 2:43 pm

Easylife wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 2:01 pm
Mancave-man wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:01 pm
So, lets get this right. If I were to reduce my Iron bias to "1" or "0" and my recovery speed to say "3" would that be a better set up than the killer programme that I currently use?
Less Iron bias and slower Recovery will get you more depth, but Recovery speed should be set to suit iron presence. I find that 4 is about optimum in relatively clean ground though will increase it according to iron saturation. ::g
Agree to a point. More iron bias means you could lose iffy targets at depth or near iron, there is also minimal depth gain with slower recover speed, you also risk target masking slowing down the recovery, through testing I've found recovery speed 3 (6 on the 800) is fine, just don't swing the coil to fast, try and pick out individual signals!

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Re: How to Stop digging Iron - for beginners

Post by littleboot » Wed May 22, 2019 3:25 pm

Thing is, its pointless using someone elses settings and expecting them to be a perfect fit if your land is different to theirs.
TenPence says it all really...but to clarify:
If you get to know your machine, the sounds it makes, the way it behaves in various conditions from clean pasture to iron infested arable etc AND learn what the various settings do, what the pay-off is of increasing or decreasing a value and what is cost, how each control works with the others....then the actual settings you use come in with the tide.
I don't really think about settings in terms of trying out a 'killer' that or ''ultimate' the other. What the hell does THAT mean? I simply start with an average or a pre-set and then if the ground tells me to I can increase or decrease sensitivity, I can speed up or slow down recovery, and whatever else the field conditions call for. Too chirpy? lower sensitivity a tad. A lot of close mixed targets? Increase recovery and make sure I go slow. Clean ground? I can set it up to deliver depth. Iron Bias is a depth killer and needs to be as low as you can cope with/ still enjoy using.
That's it. Its all really very simple in one way. The art is, as ever, the judgement call in what you do and don't dig. And of course you have to set up your machine in a way that appeals to you and you get satisfaction and enjoyment using.
Equinox 600, GMP, wellies.

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