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My coil preferences for coin detecting

April 11, 2022 12:07PM
I detect parks and schools (and private residences/permissions when I can get them) for old coins. Although I will dig the occasional ring or other jewelry, it's because it ID's in a specific coin range; I'm not looking for them. I dig modern coins (except often skipping Zincolns) since although depth and time-of-deposit are related, it's not 100%. I.e. sometimes I get shallow oldies and sometimes deep clad+Memorials. I hate to miss any old coins and thus dig all signals with good coin VDI's, regardless of signal strength. But if a location hasn't been around long enough to have silver coins I don't bother hunting it. I want oldies!!

Since getting a Minelab Equinox 800 in March of 2018 it's been my go-to old-coin detector. I hunt in Park 1, 5 tone, with all tone options (pitch, volume, break) customized and no discrimination (threshold or notching). Before getting the Equinox I wasn't comfortable with larger coils but was forced to use its 11" stock -- only available coil for the first few months -- and really got to like it.

The 11" coil has good separation and the digital Target ID is pretty consistent/reliable even when trash is close to desirable targets. The only downside I experience is in areas of particularly high density trash (such as near picnic tables), where the larger footprint means multiple targets can be sounding off for a particular coil position. That's where the 6" coil has its place in my sites.

The Equinox's 6" DD coil is deep enough. My soil has moderate mineralziation -- 2-3 bars on the Fisher F75) but that still limits depth for larger coils. Thus the idea that I'm losing depth with the 6" compared to the 11", or gaining depth with the 12"x15", is of minor importance (if even that) in my experience.

I've used the 12"x15" DD a few times in my parks and schools. I expected the larger coverage per swing would speed up my detecting but even in sparse trash (which is definitly the only situation I use it), that doesn't seem to work out for me. The reason is that although it gains time on sweeping, it loses on investigation time (deciding to dig), pinpointing time, and recovery time -- this last because for my skill level it doesn't pinpoint as well as smaller coils, leading to more often having to widen the initial hole. As mentioned, I haven't noticed improvement in depth vs. the 11". And of course it's heavier and toe heavy = unbalanced, although not as bad as some large coils I've used on other detectors.

I will finish with earlier coin detecting experience (i.e. prior to getting the Equinox) as that relates to some of the other questions in this thread. I started in 2015 with a Gold Bug Pro and 6" DD coil. I followed that up in 2016 with a Minelab X-Terra 705 and several coils, but found that the 18.75 kHz 6" DD coil worked best for me at that time. In 2017 I got a Fisher F75 and the 5" DD was my favorite although the 7"x11" stock DD was fine. All the coils I "grew up with" were small DD's. I have the 7.5 kHz Minelab concentrics (6" round and 9" round stock) for the X-T 705 but didn't like the iron wraparound I got at that operating frequency. (It was worse at 3 kHz....) I've never been bothered by crown caps (don't get that many) so the so-called advantage of concentrics ID'ing them better than DD's never mattered to me.

I bought the 6"x10" concentric for the F75 and initially didn't bond with it. I have since changed my mind but the F75 is only a backup for old coin detecting and I have other coils for it. (Different story for relic hunting in ghost towns.) I picked up a Tesoro Vaquero for cheap on Ebay, with stock 8"x9" concentric. Because of my earlier disappointments with concentrics I then grabbed a used 6"x10" DD (stock on the Lobo Supertraq) but in the end preferred the 8"x9" after giving it more chances. A few days ago I bought the 6" concentric and have just gotten in a couple hours playing around with it. It won't be for park and school old coin hunting but rather for other sites (see below).

Bottom line is that for coin hunting parks and schools, the Equinox with 11" stock DD does the job 95% of the time. My other detectors (F75 and Vaquero) and coils (small concentrics and/or DD's due to trash density) are my go-to's for ghost town detecting at this time. (And when I get to locations with native gold, the Equinox with 6" DD is my choice.)
Subject Author Views Posted

QUESTIONS: Search Coils for mainly Traditional Coin Hunting in urban locations??

Monte 557 April 09, 2022 09:40PM

My coil preferences for coin detecting

GB_Amateur 640 April 11, 2022 12:07PM

Re: QUESTIONS: Search Coils for mainly Traditional Coin Hunting in urban locations??

jmaryt 548 April 10, 2022 07:25PM

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