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EQUINOX Technologies (Part 3)

January 15, 2018 10:05am

Minelab Electronics
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This is the third instalment in a blog series introducing and explaining the technologies inside our new EQUINOX detectors… (Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.)

Our goal was to develop a true multi-purpose detector that could not only physically be used in all-terrain conditions, but also be suitable for all types of detecting for all detectorists, and particularly those not requiring a specialist premium flagship detector optimised for only one aspect of detecting – e.g. coins, beach, gold, jewellery, water, discrimination, artefacts, etc. This multi-purpose requirement is something that could only be achieved by going beyond single frequency and creating the next generation of multi-frequency technology.

Equally adaptable to all target types and ground conditions – just select your detecting location and go!


An important update on the Detect Modes…

Previously we have stated that Park, Field and Beach would run in multi-frequency and that Gold would only use the single frequencies of 20kHz and 40kHz, giving better results for gold nugget hunting. Our ongoing collaborative field testing feedback from around the world has resulted in further improvements to Multi-IQ to the point where multi-frequency is now the best option for Gold Mode as well, and will be the default setting.

Please refer to the revised Getting Started Guide for updated product functions.

Now, back to the technology: looking into our Multi-IQ diagram further… a single frequency is most sensitive to a narrow range of targets and multiple frequency is equally sensitive to a wider range of targets (e.g. the orange curve versus the white curve below).

According to Philip Wahrlich, “From our testing, the Multi-IQ deployed in EQUINOX detectors has shown no significant trade-offs relative to the best single-frequency detectors and exceeded performance benchmarks in many important attributes, especially discrimination. And, for good measure, EQUINOX can also be operated as a single-frequency detector”

While we could delve into this aspect further, many of our readers are likely more interested in what happens within the white Multi-IQ band itself, rather than single versus multi. What has Minelab developed new, and uniquely, with frequencies to give better performance across the whole range of targets for different conditions?

The Multi-IQ transmit signal used in EQUINOX is a complex waveform where multiple frequencies are combined in a very dissimilar way than our proven BBS/FBS technology in Excalibur II / Safari / E-TRAC / CTX 3030 detectors.

If you view the BBS signal amplitude on an oscilloscope, it looks something like this:


In comparison, Multi-IQ looks something like this:​


Hence – Multi-IQ is not a derivative or evolution of BBS/FBS. Multi-IQ is a DIFFERENT method of simultaneous multi-frequency metal detection. We could also debate “simultaneous” versus “sequential” semantics; however the real detection ‘magic’ doesn’t happen with what is transmitted to and received from the coil alone. Remember, in Part 2, we discussed how frequencies are “combined AND processed” as being important for achieving better results?

Let’s assess Multi-IQ for the different Detect Mode search profiles:

  • Park 1 and Field 1 process a lower weighted frequency combination, as well as using algorithms that maximise ground balancing for soil, to achieve the best signal to noise ratio. Hence being most suited for general detecting, coin hunting, etc.
  • Park 2 and Field 2 process a higher weighted combination of the Multi-IQ band while still ground balancing for soil. Therefore they will be more sensitive to higher frequency (low conductive) targets, but potentially more susceptible to ground noise.
  • Beach 1 also processes a lower weighted combination, BUT uses different algorithms to maximise ground balancing for salt. Hence being most suited for both dry and wet sand conditions.
  • Beach 2 processes a very low weighted frequency combination, using the same algorithms as Beach 1 to maximise ground balancing for salt. This search profile is designed for use in the surf and underwater.
  • Gold 1 and Gold 2 process the higher weighted combination of the Multi-IQ band while still ground balancing for soil. However, they use different setting parameters better suited for gold nugget hunting.

Will Multi-IQ technology really obsolete all single frequency detectors?

We’ll continue the discussion in Part 4…



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Thank you, Minelab, for your ongoing efforts to provide some technical insight into what the Equinox -- and especially the new Multi-IQ technology -- are designed to do. Having this knowledge, I believe, will personally help me to better utilize this new detector, reducing the learning curve and helping me to more quickly become capable of "detecting intelligently" using this new platform.
Posted By: steveg on January 15, 2018 05:35pm
Great information. Keep up the good work of keeping the public informed. Will be great to see the new detector out in the field finding all new treasures!
Posted By: casabisch on January 30, 2018 12:51pm
Not sure where to post this .
Has anyone got an idea when there will be adaptors for other headphones . I need or want to use my own Gray Ghost headphones . The tones are sharper than the phones supplied .
The part number i am interested in is 3011 0369

I could do with a few of them .
Posted By: Richard N on February 24, 2018 05:59am
Richard - I made my own adapter to allow me to connect my CTX3030 Waterproof headphones to the NOX and go diving..

Have to say, I still like the Koss over the GGA.
Posted By: on March 08, 2018 11:10pm