I started metal detecting with a Tesoro Mojave, and while it was great, I needed a beach detector that could handle black wet mineralized sand. Good beach metal detectors that can handle badly mineralized sand often cost big dollars. I also wanted a machine that was versatile. The best price point at that time, and even now, is the Minelab Equinox. I opted for the 800 and took it down to my favorite weekend beach for a walk and right away felt confused. Little did I know it is known as one of the worst local beaches to detect due to the concentration of black mineralized sand. The machine was going crazy; it sounded like Star Wars R2-D2 making love, beeping in all different directions, and the VDI numbers going crazy. Frustrated, I turned to the Minelab Equinox | Beach Hunter Facebook group reading past posts and asking questions. From there, Chris Furr privately messaged me and offered guidance on how to handle mineralized sand. He directed me to have metal detecting success and to not be discouraged and keep going in this hobby. Chris and I stayed in touch, and I began to follow his metal detecting informative posts and metal detecting finds he found along South and North Carolina.
Then, a couple of years back, I teamed up to revamp a detectorist blog. Knowing Chris Furr is a Graphic Designer and I have a design block, I paid him to make the logo. I knew he understood what visually would appeal to a metal detectorist.
There are four people I have to thank for my metal detecting success, four men, Damon, Michael T., Randy, and Chris Furr. When the Focus Speed beach and water detecting edition was getting planned as a tribute to the seasoned detectorists who took time to teach the struggling newbie beach detectorists, I had to interview and give thanks to at least one of my teachers. Make sure you read to the end, Chris points out his favorite Equinox Detector settings and shares some other useful tips.
How long have you been graphic designing?
I’ve always been the artistic type, but I’ve been designing with software for about 6-7 years. I design pretty much everything on the front-end including logos, t-shirts, business cards, web pages, app icons, sports logos, labels, pretty much anything and everything I can.
What sparked your interest in metal detecting?
Well, honestly it all started about 6-7 years ago when I started watching the Discovery Channel TV series, Gold Rush. I absolutely got hooked on this TV show and caught the gold bug very fast. I was walking in a local hobby store one day looking for gold pans and I came across a Bounty Hunter Tracker IV Metal Detector. I thought to myself since I don’t live in the mountains this could be the next best thing.
Where do you generally metal detect?
I definitely consider myself to be a beach hunter. I detect anywhere from South Carolina to North Carolina. Saltwater beaches are my favorite beaches to detect. The tide changes are always covering and uncovering treasures!
How long have you been metal detecting with the Minelab Equinox, and why did you choose it?
I actually bought my Minelab Equinox about 4-6 months after it was released. To be honest the only reason I got the Equinox was that it was the newest Minelab machine on the market and it had all the bells and whistles I needed for beach hunting. I stay in the wet sand 90% of the time and I also wade in the water when the ocean lets me.
What are some of your favorite beach detecting finds?
That’s a good question. I’m gonna be honest my favorite beach finds are the gold ones. Haha…I absolutely love seeing gold in the scoop. But I will say I also love finding old coins and artifacts. There are so many shipwrecks out there and like many other detectorist, I’ve found my share of copper sheathing, ship spikes, and bullets. There was this one time a few years ago after a hurricane I found a really old cross. It’s probably one of my favorite artifacts in my collection. I had local archaeologists look at it to determine if it was from a shipwreck or not. Let’s just say I was very happy to hear it was.
For those who live in your area and/or are traveling to your area and want to beach detect, where do they look up the laws for what beaches they can and can not detect?
SC and North Carolina beaches are good to detect. The only thing is we have to stay away from National parks. Definitely call local authorities if you question anything and read all the signs.
What are some of your favorite accessories for the Minelab Equinox, specifically for beach hunters?
My favorite accessory is my beach scoop! Haha. I use a T-Rex
Yeah to be honest the stock coil is all I need. Also, a carbon fiber shaft is always a good upgrade for a beach hunter!
Do you have any programs for the Minelab Equinox you like for beach detecting? If so can you write it out so others can try the program?
I love Beach 1 and 2. I will say I gravitate more to Beach 2 because it’s a little quieter. I also prefer hunting in 2 tones. I have the Minelab Equinox 800 so I go into the settings and I change my pitch so all my tones above 0 are to the highest pitch and I set everything below 0 to the lowest pitch I can hear. The reason being is so non-iron target sound the same so I don’t miss anything. I honestly dig every good signal I can on the beach. The Minelab Equinox loves gold and the gold range on the machine can be anywhere from 1-27. I’ve found gold all between. Actually, I know of someone who found a 24k gold ring at a 27. That’s a U.S. quarter most of the time. I also dig all 20-22 tones. Most of those are U.S. penny’s but occasionally you will also find a gold ring!
Can you give us two advanced tips for beach detecting using the Minelab Equinox?
- Don’t be afraid to dig one-way signals. One day I got a signal that was a good tone one way but faint in volume and when I swung the other way it was an iron low tone. I was thinking it was another bottle cap. But to my surprise, it ended up being a deep 10k ring!
- Hunt in all metal! Why do you ask? Well because when the Minelab Equinox is in the all metal mode it’s actually still in discrimination mode because you can still look at the screen to check for good targets and hear good tones. Most other machines in all metal mode normally change to a monotone so you are not able to discriminate. On the Equinox all metal mode just gives you those extra iron tones. I have to listen to iron when I hunt. If I’m not hearing iron then most of the time I’m not close to any other targets and that includes gold.
If readers want to follow your metal detecting finds, where is the best place for them to follow you?
Find me on Friendly Metal Detecting Forum. InShepherdsArms is my forum name.
Joanna Jana Laznicka, a Czech-Canadian residing in Southern California, is passionate about all things associated with metal detecting. She mainly detects on the West Coast, from Southern California to Northern British Columbia. As the founder of Focus Speed, her goal is to bring quality content to metal detectorists.