It was my birthday recently, so I thought that I’d buy myself a well deserved present! After damaging the original shaft that came with the Equinox, it was always my intention to get a replacement, and the carbon fibre telescopic shaft from Raven Detecting caught my eye.
If the Equinox wasn’t already light enough, the Raven shaft weighs in at only 162 grams compared to the 297 grams of a standard Minelab Equinox three piece shaft. What’s more the sleek carbon fibre shaft is aesthetically pleasing, and enhances the visual appearance of the Equinox.
Fitting the Raven is a doddle, and requires a small Allen key that can be purchased in a hardware store for about 40p. It would be a nice gesture if the manufacturers included the Allen key with the shaft, so you can get up and running with minimal delay.
To fit the Raven shaft simply unscrew the arm rest from the original Minelab stem by hand, and use the Allen key to remove the control box, then re-attach both to the carbon fibre shaft. The whole procedure should take you no more than ten minutes, end even the most ‘DIY challenged,’ will be capable of this simple task.
One feature of the Raven shaft is the fact that the lower shaft is telescopic. I envisioned that I would be able to retract the lower shaft and significantly reduced the overall length of the detector for easy carrying and storage (like the Minelab CTX 3030.) However, on purchase I discovered that the telescopic lower shaft cannot be retracted significantly; the telescopic feature’s main purpose is to adjust the overall length of the detector, so the coil is flush with the ground.
The lower shaft’s overall length can be adjusted by a lever on the cam closure. At first glance the cam seemed sufficient for the job, and no wobble or creaking could be detected when doing a few test swings.
Overall I am happy with my purchase of the Raven carbon fibre shaft for the Equinox. Visually it’s an impressive enhancement to the Equinox. The carbon fibre shaft is 135 grams lighter than the standard Equinox shaft, however it’s highly debatable that you will notice this weight difference.
The downside for me however was discovering that the lower shaft could not be retracted significantly in a similar manner to that of the CTX 3030.
The Raven carbon fibre shaft for the Minelab Equinox, is made in the UK by West Sussex based Raven Detecting and currently retails for £125.
[UPDATE] I have been using the Raven carbon fibre shaft for some months, and have experienced no issues with it. So still stand by my recommendation.