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This is the first instalment in a blog series introducing and explaining the technologies inside our new EQUINOX detectors…
When Minelab started developing our EQUINOX detector, we looked very closely at all of the current market offerings (including our own) to reassess what detectorists were really after in a new coin & treasure detector. A clear short list of desirable features quickly emerged – and no real surprises here – waterproof, lightweight, low-cost, wireless audio, and of course, improved performance from new technology. This came from not only our own observations, but also customers, field testers, dealers and the metal detecting forums that many detectorists contribute to.
While we could have taken the approach of putting the X-TERRA (VFLEX technology) in a waterproof housing and adding a selectable frequency range, this would have been following the path of many of our competitors in just rehashing an older single frequency technology that had already reached its performance limits. Another option would have been to create a lower cost waterproof FBS detector, but that also had its challenges with FBS being ‘power hungry’, needing heavier batteries, heavier coils, etc., and relatively high cost compared to the more recent advances that our R&D team have been making with the latest electronics hardware and signal processing techniques.
When Minelab develop a new detecting technology we aim to create a paradigm shift from existing products and provide a clear performance advantage for our customers.
Our Technology History
The multi-frequency broad band spectrum (BBS) technology that first appeared in Sovereign detectors in the early 1990’s provided an advantage over single frequency coin & treasure detectors. This evolved into FBS with Explorer, all the way through to the current CTX 3030 (FBS 2).
The multi-period sensing (MPS) PI technology that first appeared in the SD 2000 detector in the mid 1990’s gave a significant advantage over single frequency gold detectors. This key technology exists in the current GPX Series detectors today.
Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) is our latest gold detection technology implemented in the GPZ 7000 and is a recent example of Minelab’s continued innovation beyond ‘tried and true’ technologies to achieve improved performance.
Further to our own consumer products, our R&D team also has significant experience working with the US and Australian military on multi-frequency technologies for metal detection.
Multi-IQ is Minelab’s next major innovation and can be considered as combining the performance advantages of both FBS and VFLEX in a new fusion of technologies. It isn’t just a rework of single frequency VLF, nor is it merely another name for an iteration of BBS/FBS. By developing a new technology, as well as a new detector ‘from scratch’, we will be providing both multi-frequency and selectable single frequencies in a lightweight platform, at a low cost, with a significantly faster recovery speed that is comparable to or better than competing products.
We have come out with a very bold statement that has captured a lot of market attention:
“EQUINOX obsoletes all single frequency VLF detectors”
Multi-IQ achieves a high level of target ID accuracy at depth much better than any single frequency detector can achieve, including switchable single frequency detectors that claim to be multi-frequency. When Minelab use the term “multi-frequency” we mean “simultaneous” – i.e. more than one frequency is transmitted, received AND processed concurrently. This enables maximum target sensitivity across all target types and sizes, while minimising ground noise (especially in saltwater). There are presently only a handful of detectors from Minelab and other manufacturers that can be classed as true multi-frequency, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
There’s much more information to share with you about Multi-IQ, as we put the finishing touches to EQUINOX and carry out final field testing around the world. Stay tuned for Part 2…
* 20 kHz and 40 kHz are not available as single operating frequencies in EQUINOX 600. The Multi-IQ frequency range shown applies to both EQUINOX 600 and 800. This diagram is representative only. Actual sensitivity levels will depend upon target types and sizes, ground conditions and detector settings.
Read part 2 here.
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Recharging makes sense on a phone. You don't have to get out of your chair to plug in and recharge because your phone is right there with you.
But when you want to metal hunt you must at least walk down the block to a vacant lot, or take a automobile trip to the country. You have plenty of time to just pop in some batteries. You do NOT want to see a run down battery. The very idea of recharging will make someone forget the whole trip.
Recharging is a hassle, aggravating, time consuming and unnecessary when AA cells are so very cheap and handy these days.
I did at first think the sealed battery on the Equinox was going to be an issue, but after speaking to Minelabs sales manager Charlie Mulholland, he has re-assured me that the battery is of the highest quality and if anything were to happen, it could be easily replaced.
I have many of acres of land in Wales that has never been detected, so it should be nice to test my shiny new Equinox on some very virgin Roman fields.
Keep an eye out for my Equinoz stories and videos online in the next few months..
Lee T - aka TreasureGuy