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REVIEW Minelab Equinox 800

Travelling around Australia, you get to visit some amazing country. Whether its the vast interior with its red soils and ancient ranges, the endless coastline of white sands and deep blue seas, or the alpine bush areas, Australia is a treasure chest of wonders for the eyes and the soul. Lying beneath this beauty is a treasure of a more economic nature. Gold, money, jewellery, and valuable fragments of human history lie just beneath the surface of almost all this country, and it's all out there for you to find. You just need one thing to find it: A metal detector.

Like many other travellers, I had long considered getting a metal detector to take with us on our adventures. The idea of going out for a long walk somewhere, swinging the coil around and unearthing a few valuables really appealed to me. If we were able to make a little money from our finds along the way, all the better. The problem was trying to decide which metal detector to buy from the hundreds of different models available. It seemed like a nearly impossible choice. Until now.

MINELAB EQUINOX 800 METAL DETECTOR

Golf may be the way to ruin a good walk, but with a metal detector you're getting paid to exercise

WORDS AND IMAGES MARTY LEDWICH

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You see, I'm no expert in the field of metal detectors. I used to think “its all just metal, right?” Why would one metal detector be any better than another? What's the difference between a $100 detector and one that costs $3000? A little research and talking to some enthusiasts and I quickly found the answer.

Essentially there are two types of metal detectors, those that are designed to find coins and other metal relics and those specifically designed to find gold nuggets. The reasons for this and the technology behind it can fill a book, but essentially, it has to do with the highly mineralised soil in which gold nuggets are found, plus the hardware required to find them that is built into these specialised detectors is extremely expensive.

Now if you plan to go and take out a mining lease in a secret location somewhere in the many vast Goldfields of this continent and make a living finding and selling gold, then I highly recommend you spend the money on a specialised gold detector. Otherwise, a good coin and treasure detector will most likely satisfy your needs.

The problem for me was I didn't want to exclude gold nugget prospecting completely from my fossicking activities. I wanted a metal detector that could do both and I didn't want to spend a mega fortune doing so. This seemed an impossibility until Minelab, a name synonymous with metal detectors, released the Equinox 800.

ABOVE ProFind pinpointer zeros in on targets // BELOW Rome wasn't built in a day, and these aren't Roman. Or worth anything 

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
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release
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The Equinox 800 is as close to the ultimate metal detector for the travelling enthusiast as you are ever likely to find. It is extremely easy to use, it sports the latest technology, and it will find coins, relics and, most importantly, gold nuggets.

Using the Equinox 800 is dead easy. Switch it on, perform a simple noise cancellation, select the environment you're in and start detecting. You will find stuff immediately. Most of it will be junk. Aluminium cans, ring pulls, and bottle tops are everywhere and constantly digging up this rubbish can quickly put you off the hobby. But you will soon learn to read the display of the Equinox 800 and be able to identify various targets without having to dig them up. On my first outing on a nearby beach, I found a few coins and an old pendant. The next time I went to a small park after New Year's celebrations, and in less than an hour, I found more than $10 in gold coins. Just about every time I've gone out with the Equinox 800, I've found money and jewellery.

I had little experience using it out in a goldfield location but, from what I've read online from other owners, while it cannot match the performance of specialised gold detectors, it does a remarkably good job given its price. The secret is the Gold Detecting Mode which operates in the higher frequencies of 20khz and 40khz to detect gold nuggets in highly mineralised soils.

The other modes are Park – great for recreational spaces often full of discarded metal rubbish. Field – tailored for searching in historic sites like old homesteads and farms; and Beach – optimised for salty conditions including wet and dry sand.

ABOVE A 17 scores aluminium on the conductivity scale  // BELOW Now we're getting somewhere, in hardware anyway

“There are two types of metal detectors, those that are designed to find coins and those specifically designed to find gold nuggets”

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The Equinox 800 is lightweight, it’s waterproof to three metres and comes complete with a set of wireless headphones, a low latency Bluetooth interface and a very comprehensive book about treasure hunting with a metal detector. The Equinox 800 is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery that is USB rechargeable, and it will run for hours on a single charge. It also comes with a Minelab ProFind pin-pointer, a small metal detector itself, which takes all the guesswork out of zeroing in on your targets.

I could go on all day about how good the Minelab Equinox 800 is, how much new technology is packed into it and how it can be tailored to suit your individual needs and the conditions you’re detecting in. Suffice to say that this is the first, near-professional grade metal detector that a complete novice can use to find valuable stuff straight out of the box. After doing some research, reading the manual and learning more about its features, you'll be finding more good stuff and less rubbish, and you'll have a detector that can find gold nuggets on the goldfields as well. At $1150, it definitely isn't a toy, but when you consider many people buy a cheap metal detector and soon find out it cannot do what they want and end up buying another more expensive detector anyway, you'll probably end up spending this sort of money in the long run. In any case, buying a good metal detector should be considered an investment that makes the metal detecting hobby a rewarding experience. The Minelab Equinox 800 will do just that.

RRP $1150. minelab.com.au

ABOVE Some of these are still in circulation, except the minor cents. And the Datto // BELOW Marty's tools; he's very happy with his apprenticeship

REVIEW Minelab Equinox 800

Travelling around Australia, you get to visit some amazing country. Whether its the vast interior with its red soils and ancient ranges, the endless coastline of white sands and deep blue seas, or the alpine bush areas, Australia is a treasure chest of wonders for the eyes and the soul. Lying beneath this beauty is a treasure of a more economic nature. Gold, money, jewellery, and valuable fragments of human history lie just beneath the surface of almost all this country, and it's all out there for you to find. You just need one thing to find it: A metal detector.

Like many other travellers, I had long considered getting a metal detector to take with us on our adventures. The idea of going out for a long walk somewhere, swinging the coil around and unearthing a few valuables really appealed to me. If we were able to make a little money from our finds along the way, all the better. The problem was trying to decide which metal detector to buy from the hundreds of different models available. It seemed like a nearly impossible choice. Until now.

WORDS AND IMAGES MARTY LEDWICH

MINELAB EQUINOX 800 METAL DETECTOR

Golf may be the way to ruin a good walk, but with a metal detector you're getting paid to exercise

SEPTEMBER

Friday 20 - Sunday 22

Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

You see, I'm no expert in the field of metal detectors. I used to think “its all just metal, right?” Why would one metal detector be any better than another? What's the difference between a $100 detector and one that costs $3000? A little research and talking to some enthusiasts and I quickly found the answer.

Essentially there are two types of metal detectors, those that are designed to find coins and other metal relics and those specifically designed to find gold nuggets. The reasons for this and the technology behind it can fill a book, but essentially, it has to do with the highly mineralised soil in which gold nuggets are found, plus the hardware required to find them that is built into these specialised detectors is extremely expensive.

Now if you plan to go and take out a mining lease in a secret location somewhere in the many vast Goldfields of this continent and make a living finding and selling gold, then I highly recommend you spend the money on a specialised gold detector. Otherwise, a good coin and treasure detector will most likely satisfy your needs.

The problem for me was I didn't want to exclude gold nugget prospecting completely from my fossicking activities. I wanted a metal detector that could do both and I didn't want to spend a mega fortune doing so. This seemed an impossibility until Minelab, a name synonymous with metal detectors, released the Equinox 800.

ABOVE ProFind pinpointer zeros in on targets // BELOW Rome wasn't built in a day, and these aren't Roman. Or worth anything 

new
release
Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

The Equinox 800 is as close to the ultimate metal detector for the travelling enthusiast as you are ever likely to find. It is extremely easy to use, it sports the latest technology, and it will find coins, relics and, most importantly, gold nuggets.

Using the Equinox 800 is dead easy. Switch it on, perform a simple noise cancellation, select the environment you're in and start detecting. You will find stuff immediately. Most of it will be junk. Aluminium cans, ring pulls, and bottle tops are everywhere and constantly digging up this rubbish can quickly put you off the hobby. But you will soon learn to read the display of the Equinox 800 and be able to identify various targets without having to dig them up. On my first outing on a nearby beach, I found a few coins and an old pendant. The next time I went to a small park after New Year's celebrations, and in less than an hour, I found more than $10 in gold coins. Just about every time I've gone out with the Equinox 800, I've found money and jewellery.

I had little experience using it out in a goldfield location but, from what I've read online from other owners, while it cannot match the performance of specialised gold detectors, it does a remarkably good job given its price. The secret is the Gold Detecting Mode which operates in the higher frequencies of 20khz and 40khz to detect gold nuggets in highly mineralised soils.

The other modes are Park – great for recreational spaces often full of discarded metal rubbish. Field – tailored for searching in historic sites like old homesteads and farms; and Beach – optimised for salty conditions including wet and dry sand.

ABOVE A 17 scores aluminium on the conductivity scale  // BELOW Now we're getting somewhere, in hardware anyway

“There are two types of metal detectors, those that are designed to find coins and those specifically designed to find gold nuggets”

Call the 6 wheeler experts today on 07 4662 5424 or visit www.sixwheeler.com.au

4X4-Great...
6 Wheeler-Better!
ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

The Equinox 800 is lightweight, it’s waterproof to three metres and comes complete with a set of wireless headphones, a low latency Bluetooth interface and a very comprehensive book about treasure hunting with a metal detector. The Equinox 800 is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery that is USB rechargeable, and it will run for hours on a single charge. It also comes with a Minelab ProFind pin-pointer, a small metal detector itself, which takes all the guesswork out of zeroing in on your targets.

I could go on all day about how good the Minelab Equinox 800 is, how much new technology is packed into it and how it can be tailored to suit your individual needs and the conditions you’re detecting in. Suffice to say that this is the first, near-professional grade metal detector that a complete novice can use to find valuable stuff straight out of the box. After doing some research, reading the manual and learning more about its features, you'll be finding more good stuff and less rubbish, and you'll have a detector that can find gold nuggets on the goldfields as well. At $1150, it definitely isn't a toy, but when you consider many people buy a cheap metal detector and soon find out it cannot do what they want and end up buying another more expensive detector anyway, you'll probably end up spending this sort of money in the long run. In any case, buying a good metal detector should be considered an investment that makes the metal detecting hobby a rewarding experience. The Minelab Equinox 800 will do just that.

RRP $1150. minelab.com.au

ABOVE Some of these are still in circulation, except the minor cents. And the Datto // BELOW Marty's tools; he's very happy with his apprenticeship