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  #1  
Old 07-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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Default Equinox In the Sun w/Aftermarket Dust Cover

It looks like the Equinox doesn't like wearing a dust cover in direct sunlight on summer days. I was out hunting today with my Equinox 800 and needed to cut the hunt short after only 45 minutes because the screen gradually became unreadable as the hunt progressed. At first I thought it was just glare from the sun causing problems reading the display, but after shading the screen with my hand and even using my body as a shield, I realized the display was just plain wonky. It sort of looked like all of the LCD elements were illuminated, like this Minelab graphic:

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In addition, the entire display appeared like I was looking at it through polarized sunglasses, giving it a darkened, muddled look.

It really wasn't a very hot day - temps were in the lower 80s, low humidity (about 50%), with a nice breeze blowing. I was very comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt - I wasn't even close to breaking a sweat. I've always used a dust cover on the Equinox, and I'm pretty sure I've detected on hotter days. The only difference this time may be the direct sun at a high, summer angle - there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was noon. I cycled the machine off and back on again, with no change. The control head didn't feel particularly hot.

Anyway, I packed up and went home. Shortly after getting home, I turned on the detector in the house and all behaved normally again. I went out in the backyard in full sun, and the display was easily readable like usual, but I shut back down almost right away, not wanting to repeat any overheat symptoms and running the risk of permanent damage.

I know I've seen this issue mentioned in a few other threads a while back, but this is first time I've had the problem come up on my machine. I'm pretty disappointed and concerned - again, it just wasn't that hot out. I don't like the idea of using the machine without a dust cover - I always wear gloves, and the grit/sand/dirt from the gloves act like sandpaper and would ultimate cause unnecessary scratches and damage to the keypad over time. Plus it keeps the exposed charging port covered and protected from dirt and grime. I've always used dust covers on all of my previous machines (Garretts), and never had an issue even in the most grueling hot conditions.

As the summer gets hotter, I guess I'm going to have to make a choice between going without the cover, or just staying home and waiting for cooler temps...the Equinox appears to be a snowflake from that standpoint.

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  #2  
Old 07-12-2019, 05:23 PM
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Found one of the posts from our forum mentioning the same problem. Full thread can be found here:

Equinox 800 20 Hour First Impressions

The most relevant posts are #5 and 15, here:

Equinox 800 20 Hour First Impressions, post #5 by ChrisMD

Equinox 800 20 Hour First Impressions, post 15 by Darwoody

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Last edited by AirmetTango; 07-12-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2019, 12:36 AM
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I have heard of this issue, but I don't use a dust cover. I have had my 800 out with max temps around 95 degrees a few times on very long hunts with no issues. I don't like dust covers myself as they seem to me to add glare and make the screen harder to read. I can see their utility when it come to screen protection though.

If someone had a temp gun they could test temp with cover on vs. cover off. It looks like to me leaving in a hot car then turning it on would do the same thing. I have not heard of that happening.

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Old 07-13-2019, 06:30 AM
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Maybe thereís a better way to vent the dust cover to lower the temperature and still allow it to work. Good luck!

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  #5  
Old 07-13-2019, 06:53 AM
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Had this same issue last week. Hot sunny day here in Florida and I was hunting an open field. Direct sunlight on me and the Nox. It went to the "wonky" screen in twenty minutes. Gave up the hunt. Went home to let the Nox cool off for an hour or so. Turned it on to see if the screen was still messed up. Looked fine. Not happy that I need to keep it out of direct sunlight and heat because that is all we have here in the Sunshine State.
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2019, 01:16 PM
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I've had the same with my etrac, one trick is to actually turn on the backlit screen, for some reason it makes it much more readable...

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  #7  
Old 07-13-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachhunter View post
Maybe thereís a better way to vent the dust cover to lower the temperature and still allow it to work. Good luck!
Good suggestion - I went at my dust cover with a eyelet kit this afternoon, adding a bunch of 5/32Ē grommets around the top, sides, and back in an effort to provide better air circulation under the dust cover. Popped 16 new holes in the dust cover total:

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I figured it could serve as my summer dust cover if it worked, and switch to my spare for cooler weather - even had a slick name for it...Ēthe Full Metal JacketĒ

Unfortunately, it didnít do one bit of good. I put the detector out back this afternoon in full sun (93 degrees, 50% humidity, 5-10 knot breeze) wearing the modified cover, and the screen still crapped out somewhere between the 30-35 minute mark. It was later in the afternoon (6pm), so the sun wasnít even at maximum angle.

Brought the detector back inside and cooled it down, then removed the cover and put it back outside in full sun again. Itís been out there for 45 minutes, and no sign of screen problems. Might not be a fair test because the sun is lower in the sky, but itís pretty clear the Equinox canít wear a dust cover on warm, sunny days. The dust cover just traps too much heat.

I suppose someone could fashion some sort of bonnet to shade the screen from direct sun, but Iím done fiddling with it. Iíll just have to remove the cover on sunny summer days and live with a scratched up keypad.

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  #8  
Old 07-13-2019, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TNTGross View post
Had this same issue last week. Hot sunny day here in Florida and I was hunting an open field. Direct sunlight on me and the Nox. It went to the "wonky" screen in twenty minutes. Gave up the hunt. Went home to let the Nox cool off for an hour or so. Turned it on to see if the screen was still messed up. Looked fine. Not happy that I need to keep it out of direct sunlight and heat because that is all we have here in the Sunshine State.
Thanks for confirming Iím not alone with this issue, TNTGross. Just to be clear, was your experience with or without a dust cover? I imagine the same issue can happen with an Equinox without a dust cover, it just might take a lot longer and/or more solar energy.

Pretty frustrating, especially since I never had an issue with other detectors with LCD screens using dust covers all summer long.

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Detecting Since 4/2017 - Addicted Since 5/2017
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by zeemang View post
I've had the same with my etrac, one trick is to actually turn on the backlit screen, for some reason it makes it much more readable...
Thanks for the suggestion, zeemang. I actually did change the backlight setting when it happened in the field yesterday, and I didnít see any improvement at any of the backlight levels.

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  #10  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:52 PM
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Even a brand new truck has to haul a load of dirt once in a while.

That Equinox will do fine without a cover.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:34 PM
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Got your solution right here. Solved. You are welcome, sir.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2019, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by goodmore View post
Even a brand new truck has to haul a load of dirt once in a while.

That Equinox will do fine without a cover.
Great analogy! Yeah, I know youíre right...just gotta relax my OCD self.

Iíll get over it. In the grand scheme of things, if the worst problem I have with the machine is that the screen overheats when I wrap it in a blanket and sit it out under a nuclear furnace with no shade, I guess Iím doing pretty good!

Originally Posted by teotwawki12 View post
Got your solution right here. Solved. You are welcome, sir.
FantŠstico!! That tallies us even for that oil can ID!!

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Detecting Since 4/2017 - Addicted Since 5/2017
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by AirmetTango View post
Thanks for confirming Iím not alone with this issue, TNTGross. Just to be clear, was your experience with or without a dust cover? I imagine the same issue can happen with an Equinox without a dust cover, it just might take a lot longer and/or more solar energy.

Pretty frustrating, especially since I never had an issue with other detectors with LCD screens using dust covers all summer long.
It does have a dust cover. Homemade out of a large waterproof phone bag so it is loose fitting.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:14 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on this. I was about to get a dust cover for my Nox but I'll pass.

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  #15  
Old 07-14-2019, 05:46 PM
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Looks like the mechanical engineering department and the electronics engineering department didnít communicate. Heat load apparently too great for the electronics.

Makes me suspect that this is just another example of the disadvantages of outsourcing the mechanical design which is something Minelab seems to be doing on all their recent products.

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  #16  
Old 07-15-2019, 08:32 AM
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Nearly any LCD display will do as described in the original post. In the old days, when LCD watches came out, people quickly learned not to leave it in the sun while swimming,etc. I think it may be a property of the display itself and just keeping it cool may not solve the problem. Maybe Minelab will determine if it is just the LCD panel getting too hot and make a screen protector that cuts the wavelength of the sun that makes it get too warm. If it is like the LCD watches, they always worked perfect after cooling off.

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