Equinox Care and Feeding
This is a pretty solid charge system although the actual cables have a limited life.
Oxidization is your worst enemy. Second are iron filings. When you see that the charge won’t start or complete, suspect one of these. (Green light won’t begin or stop flashing). Where you have iron filings stuck to the magnetic points on the charge fitting, use a toothbrush to remove them. This takes a quick, sharp movement. You may have to finish by using your fingers to pinch and remove the filings. This will allow the detector to charge and complete properly.
Over time, both charge surfaces will oxidize. This can also be a cause of charge initiate / complete problems. Use a pencil eraser to remove this oxidization from the flat contact surfaces. Then spray with some contact spray. This will restore proper charging. Be sure to make a few power on “touches” of the contact to get the spray working.
In an emergency, take a sharp edge and lightly score the charge surfaces to restore current. This should be done only as a last resort as it will remove the conductive coating. At the same time, a coating of corrosion on these surfaces is what is preventing a proper charge.
These corrode over time too—both the contact surfaces and the aluminum threads. This can be seen by the flat grey appearance of the threads and how they become harder to start and turn.
Treat the threads with dielectric plumbers grease periodically to keep them working smoothly. I work the grease in thoroughly by going around the thread with a toothbrush. When these are severely corroded it’s not impossible to break off a contact pin trying to place the jack. Its a good idea to be careful when installing a coil so as not to bend any of these pins. Try to have good light, and eye the machine from above or straight on at the side. This way it’s easier to see if you are cross-threading. For beginners, the best way to install a coil is to use two hands with the screen flat across your belly. This gives you a perfect view and a stationary target. Begin by seating the plug with a light, careful touch. Turn the collar backwards to feel the thread. Then wiggle the plug into full seating and begin to turn clockwise. If you feel any resistance or grit start again. If you don’t have much practice with this, eye the plastic part of the coil side jack for the gap that goes at the top. Rushing at this stage is the easiest way to break or bend a pin. Never force the fitting.
The actual contacts can become oxidized too. This can cause the coil to give an error message when connected, or with the headphone jack—corrosion can cause weak, “tinney” sounding audio. I recently restored one of these by using contact spray, (with live “touches” to break up the oxidization) and a quick, light touch across the male side with a wire brush. A final coating on both sides of the jack / plug completes the restoration. Be careful not to point the spray right into the machine side jack—its just not necessary.
These are a few tips to keep your Equinox in top shape.
Good Luck Detecting,