Minelab Equinox Tip of the Week # 7: “It’s all in Fun Until Someone Loses an Ear…”
There’s nothing worse than getting started on a hunt and having a part of your machine break—especially the coil ear. Unless you are very good with the “zip” ties—you’re done. I recently had an ear on my big Minelab Equinox coil break and later found out that it was mostly my fault. Here’s how to avoid making the same mistake. These coils are made of what you might call “space age” plastics. These have great tensile strength but can be brittle. What makes them break is constant pressure—creating fissures (tiny cracks). When there is something padding where the ear connects to the wand this cracking won’t happen.
Figure 1 shows my coil ear broken. Figure 2 shows the condition that I’d let my “teardrop” washers get to. Note the ridge going across it and all around wear. Keep an eye on these and replace them before they look like this way. This wear creates a “bone on bone” situation that will weaken the coil ear over time. Good washers also prevent you from pinching the ears in to stop the coil from flopping. Even flipping them over in the seating will extend the use of this washer. Even putting a little nylon washer in is not a bad idea if you can find a material thin enough to make one from. Don’t jam something too thick in though.
Figure 3 shows how the coil attachement should look–with some visible rubber in the two “gaps.” I was very lucky that Minelab helped me out. If you are past warranty this kind of problem can be fixed. Ive included a picture of a flat soldering tip. Using one of these you can actually “weld” with ABS plastic. Just get an old coil cover and with the iron really hot—reconnect the ear and then build up material to strengthen the join. It wont look great but the coil will be usable. If done properly (a magnifier might help) it can be made thicker and stronger than the original. Be sure to line up the bolt hole before the bond cools. For more Minelab Equinox tips, settings and information on preventing damage and having success in the field with the Minelab Equinox check out my page: clivesgoldpage.com