I’ve had some pretty good luck finding small gold with the Equinox. One reason is that I’ve learned to set it up to give me a lot of target information. In a high trash environment –taking a large number of high quality responses is the key to increasing your odds. I alternate between several systems– each does different things:
1/ Gold 2 with a Notch. I knock out 24 to 28 to bring up responses in the gold range. Have yet to test any gold that reads above 24–although it probably exists. Where I hunt there are a ton of caps–people just dig them and drop them back down. Gold 2 gives a :”stuttering” tone on these whereas clean aluminum and gold have a solid tone. Anything that’s up above 24 will also break up. (These distinctions are harder to make with the big coil though). With this system I can concentrate on recognizing a few of the tab varieties present. 13/14 tends to be an oval tab, but there is also a lot of 10 k that hits at 14, so anything that’s climbing higher should be looked at. Those (unbroken) signals that are from 15 to 23 are ideal gold range targets. Targets that come in from 6 to 12 are of interest too. In the right location there will be things like earrings, chains and bracelets down lower too. However where you have a lot of light foils being kicked in by the waves–these are not always the best targets to spend time on. While system 2 is wide open–this one rejects 6 and under–there just aren’t the small “adornment” type finds where I hunt–here in Canada anyhow.
Today I dug a very wide variety of tabs, some “cake tray foil” some bent caps that sneaked though, some aluminum bits–basically all good signals. Right at the end I dug a clean, even 12–turned out to be a 2.1 gram 14k band. Now had I been less directed in my digging–going after coins and digging super low foil range stuff–I’m pretty sure that ring would still be there. I also stayed off targets that gave “wild” meter readings when checked on the cross sweep–misshapen or alloyed stuff. I took anomaly gold range signals–odd tabs and unusual foils–all prime targets. With practice these will come to stand out.
2/ I also use a “Horseshoe Mode” set up for more depth . This can run 2 Tone (to hear the “sides” of targets) so as to determine consistency, or 50 tone to get more detail on the alloying and consistency. I also set up a Notch disc –same as above–as a checker. Using the cross sweep with either one of these settings is a great way to hear the consistency and alloying of targets. In the “Horseshoe” setting you can also run the F2 up high (7,8+) to knock out caps or even slag where they are a problem. It’s great to have this extra layer of discrimination in the form of Iron Bias–breaking up on alloys. With these tone ID modes it’s important to find a Recovery Speed setting that doesn’t clip your signals and is in keeping how much trash there is–quite an exact setting. The stock 6 is well chosen
For finding gold in dense trash–where a lot of signals have been dug and left–this, to me is a good way of getting some real accuracy with the Equinox’s features–cutting down on the distractions so that you can focus on the signal tone and meter. Gold hunting in dense trash is about accurate dig selection and time usage. I like to think that today–this is how I beat the “dig all” guys who had been working this section for weeks before I came–by way of focus. Next time you want to accurately pick though a junk-strewn beach or edge–give it a try!