Treasure Find: 130 Years of Buried Family History

Published by Jenna Anderson on 07/13/20

Aaron had been working a permission with his first detector for a while and decided it was time to purchase a more versatile detector. After purchasing a new Equinox 800 form Kellyco, he decided to start fresh on the property and go back over everything.

Equinox 800 Metal Detector

Equinox 800 Metal Detector

The permission owner’s family had owned the property since the mid-1800s when they immigrated to America from Sweden.

He had been collecting things found on the property to make a birthday gift for the owner since everything found at some point belonged to one of his ancestors. On Aaron’s first hunt with his Equinox, he found something that had been talked about in the property owner’s family for over a century.

While detecting where the first home on the property had stood Aaron had a signal that he thought to be a penny. Upon digging, he discovered it wasn’t a penny but a larger coin. After some research, he discovered it to be a Swedish 5 ore copper coin from 1857.

1857 Swedish 5 Ore Copper Coin

1857 Swedish 5 Ore Copper Coin

The property owner says he always heard about the coin as a child. The coin served as a reminder and keepsake of his great-great-grandfather’s homeland and was a prized possession of his. The coin had been lost when the home burnt down in the late 1800s and had been buried for 130 years. It will be included in the birthday gift to the homeowner.

Equinox 800

The Minelab Equinox 800 brings a new perspective to the detecting world through the implementation of what Minelab calls Multi-IQ technology. The Equinox 800 can simultaneously operate on up to five VLF and LF frequencies (5Khz, 10Khz, 15Khz, 20Khz, 40Khz), designed to enable detection of small and large targets, both ferrous and non-ferrous. Or, each individual frequency (except for 20Khz and 40Mhz) can be selected separately, allowing the Equinox to operate as a traditional single frequency VLF detector.

There are a series of factory-preset detect modes: Park, Field, Beach, and Gold. These allow you to jump to different situations with slightly varying levels of discrimination, sensitivity, recovery speed/separation, number and type of tones, and so on. Each mode has two levels, the second of which is generally more finely tuned for that environment.

The Equinox 800 was operated primarily in Field 2, however, Field 1, Beach 2, and Gold 2 were also tested. In all modes, Multi-Frequency was used in order to thoroughly vet the detector’s Multi-IQ technology in the heavily mineralized environment. The all-metal mode was utilized frequently to assess the detector’s target separation fidelity and recovery speed. Tracking ground balance was unable to be used, however, because of the highly volatile, scattered soil conditions.

  • Weight: 2.96 lbs
  • Frequency: Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz
  • Waterproof: EQUINOX is Fully Submersible, Ideal for Detecting at the Beach and in Rivers, Streams and Lakes (3m / 10-feet)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited (detector), 1-year (battery)
Our Rating
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Weight and Balance
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Battery Life
  • The Equinox 800 has a noise cancelling feature that enables the machine to deconflict with interfering nearby detectors, power lines, or other forms of electromagnetic interference, and automatically select the optimal operating frequencies.
  • This is in addition to the ground balance capability, which optimizes the detector based on soil conditions.
  • Ground balancing the Equinox 800 can be done manually, as traditionally done with most detectors, or it can be set to automatic/tracking ground balance for more highly mineralized conditions or changing conditions.
  • Field 2 seemed to provide the most consistency once the recovery speed slowed down to 5, and with constant ground balancing.
  • The Equinox is also able to easily receive factory software updates by connecting the detector to a computer and following a few simple steps.
  • The Equinox 800 struggled throughout the day to consistently maintain lock on targets, or in several cases even detect the target.
  • The Equinox 800 can take some time to learn. It has a lot of detailed advanced and custom setting options that allow you to fine-tune the machine, such as threshold, threshold pitch, number of target tones from 2-50, tone pitch, and tone break.
  • However, good results can be obtained with the Equinox straight out of the box using one of the standard factory-preset modes.
  • Checks of the Field 1, Beach 2, and Gold 2 did not provide any increase in detection capability or consistency, although out of those three modes, Gold 2 did the best.
The Bottom Line

For this evaluation, the machine was operated first with the factory-installed v1.75 software, and then upgraded to the v2.1.12 update and tested again.

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