Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

FYI


richs

Recommended Posts

This is from Rob's Site. I hope Rob or Bill don't mind.

Hello All,

Just wanted to let you all know Minelab has been making some changes here recently. Minelab USA, Inc. is committed to providing excellent support to the customers and dealers like most of you know.

However, due to unavailability of service parts, Minelab will no longer be supporting repairs on the following machines:

Goldseeker 15000

Sovereign

Musketter

Musketter XS

GT16000

Excalibur - NY & BK w/Sword

Sovereign XS

SD2100e

Eureka Ace Dual

Sterling

SD2000

Explorer S

FT16000

XT17000

SD2100

Relic Hawk

Eldorado MK2

Gold Striker

XT18000

Golden Hawk

Minelab will no longer perform after market mods to detectors or the following work -

Changes to electronic circuits except under warranty as authorized by a Minelab Technician.

Changes to electronic circuits except as directed by Minelab Corporate Engineering

Connection, disconnection, adjustments, etc. of non-Minelab accessories

Fitment of non-Minelab coils (after market coils)

Just wanted to update you all.

Rob Allison

LINK

Rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:twocents: This DOES NOT SOUND LIKE ANY COMMITMENT TO SERVICE WHEN YOU DON'T SUPPORT YOUR CUSTOMERS UNITS. Servicing units would make a GREAT biz for a good electronic tech to start NOW!!! TESORO just completely rebuilt with new pots,connectors,free coils,covers,battery covers etc etc on a 25 YEAR OLD GOLDEN SABRE and it was all for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!! Now thats customer service!!!! John :coffeetime:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. What amazingly POOR service. Kind of like giving the finger to all your customers.

I wonder when my GP extreme will no longer qualify for any repairs. Next year? The year after?

Since the new SD units and the old ones are virtually the exact same units, the flimsy excuse of "parts availability" to service one and not the other is a joke. How stupid does ML think we are?

I guess if you cant afford a new $5000 machine every few years ML does not want you as a customer. That does not seem to be very smart business sense.

Imagine the outcry if any of the auto makers announced they would no longer service any vehicle made before 2000?

Maybe Doug and his "hate Minelab" forum is right on the money after all.

I know from experience that certain ML employees do read these forums (I had a discussion with one once about a post I made once that caused some minor level of ruckus). I hope you guys are reading this and seeing the reaction of your customers. I plan to be in the market for a new detector later this year and your decison will give me pause because you dont even back up your own stuff for a full 10 years. That means by definition you have poor support for your own products. I will seriously consider other makes that do back up their own equipment.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well !! That sure disturbs me as I have a Gold Bug 2 , Whites MXT and a GP3000 that is almost new. The

GP3000 I was considering replacing with a new GPX4500 but now I might just hold off for a long time.

I always had good service on repairs with Fisher and Whites and had not used minelab..Something

sounds strange about not servicing the SD models----anyway if so one is adept at repairing minelabs certainly

sounds like a good opportunity to step up and get it going.

anyone with the talent to repair these units that minelab is dropping, get a hold of me maybe we can

get something going E-mail me --or send me forum mail...thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were a manufacturer, and I am, I'm sure I could see an immediate boost to my bottom line by dropping the service on twenty products. Just think: no more parts to stock; the techs don't have to be trained on older product repair; customers are forced (in a small brained way of thinking) to upgrade to a new unit. Life is good. IN A PIG'S EYE! Let me tell you, Minelab----Service is what makes and breaks companies. Something like this clearly comes across for what it is: a convenience to the manufacturer at the expense of the customer. Good luck with that! And as I read the list, I guess my GP Extreme won't be far behind. I believe I will rethink my upgrade plans as well.

PS: Hey Minelab-----Don't forget to fill your hole. You know: the one in your foot you just shot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations to all!

I never thought I would see a threat on an American forum, that would criticize a popular manufacture for failure to stand behind its recent product models,(That is within at least the past 10yrs).

The above statement sounds a little weak, if it wasn't for the fact that the same manufacturer went to extreme measures to obscure the technology that went into those very expensive devices. Sounds wild, but who would with a patent would would go to the extent to grind off the identification marks off the chips used in the unit. My god, the manufacture has a "legal patent". What more dose he want? Has his technology been developed far beyond what he is selling now? In case of upgrades, why can't the upgrade be purchased as a add-on, or mod#1. What is the big darn secret!

What is it, market deception or, outwright fraud?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dean,

If you have looked inside your ML you will see they also coat the pc boards with some form of paint to further obscure their design.

Don't expect anyone to step up and offer to try to work on these detectors. ML refuses to release any schematics on their units so unless you have lots of time on your hands and are willing to strip off the paint and then trace the circuit, fixing them will be a real pain.

A while back one guy from OZ did just that and ultimately drew up the schematic of the older SD 2000. He posted this schematic on the Geotech forum for all to see. It didn't take ML long to make a bunch of threats demanding the schematic be removed. Well, it never happened and the schematic is still there.

Now, here is the humor, there is nothing truly dramatic or innovative in the design. Better yet, they really do not follow their patent all that close. So, what is the secret? Well, they do use good audio techniques to try to reduce typical noise and then crank up the gain to the point where the detector is borderline unstable. Extra filtering is implemented to try to reduce the noise and this is what creates the well known warble so common in somewhat noisy environments.

Because the design works well overall and does generate good depth, the design is very popular.

Can it be basically duplicated if desired without stepping on patents? Yep, but who wants to do that and put up with many of the other quirks?

There are a couple of parts in the SD 2000 that the original part is obsolete but a satisfactory replacement is already in place. So, the so called lack of parts really doesn't hold much water. So, the bottom line is somewhat of a mystery.

Regardless, ML feels this is the way to go. To compound matters, there are rumors that new models will no longer be made in OZ or Ireland, but in Asia.

One last note about something mentioned by Reno Chris and that is Doug and group are not ML haters, they simply do not like some of the things ML does and have been willing to openly express their views. Considering that Aussies pay more for their detectors than people in the US, would have a tendency to irrigate people living there. At least it would me.

This latest decision by ML and group now and how this latest decision by them affects people here in the US seems to have generated some of the feelings that the Aussies have had for some time. When it only affected the Aussies, the Aussies were considered whiners. Today when the decisions by ML are having a serious impact here, suddenly people look at things differently.

In any event, ML still makes a good detector with great depth so they will still sell quite a few. The difference is does the average person want to spend the money for one of the new units? This is still the decision to be made. With gold being harder to find, doesn't help matters.

Reg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Reg -

Hey I respect your opinion and we probably agree on more than you might think. I'll agree with you that calling Doug's group "minelab haters" is an oversimplification. As you noted the group "simply does not like some of the things ML does and have been willing to openly express their views". I'll say it another way: if most ML dealer sponsored forums can be termed somewhat "pro-minelab" then Doug's group is more or less the inverse of that. Even as someone who does disagree with a number of the things Doug says, I'll say that his forum certainly provides a certain amount of balance against the more "pro-minelab" forums.

In the past, ML has offered (in my personal opinion) a perfectly acceptable level of customer support. This new policy represents a radical departure from that - one that throws the long term customer under the bus, and its right that the customer speak out and let ML hear the objections and what an offense this is. Dean rightly points out how very important customer support and a company that stands behind its products really is, especially when you are buying an expensive detector. If Codan is no longer going to do that, it will affect their sales in the long run.

As you noted:

"ML still makes a good detector with great depth so they will still sell quite a few. The difference is does the average person want to spend the money for one of the new units?"

I'd add that the new element is that the buyer needs to consider in his purchase is how long he plans to own and use the ML detector he is considering to purchase, and consider the fact that in about 8 to 10 years, ML will declare his detecor to be obsolete junk that they will no longer support. In my opinion, that constitues poor long term customer support. If one can afford a new $5000 detector every 5 years or less, then you'll probably be OK. If $5000 is a big expense to you and you hope to use your detector for the long haul, then you can expect that ML will not support your intent.

Thanks for adding your your thoughts to this discussion,

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AMEN , John!

Whites & Tesoro have always bent over on repairs, I sincerly hope that Tesoro comes out with a PI machine and kicks ass!!

:twocents: The only things I hate are--death,taxes,x wives,environutz,bureauratz(RATZ),watered down booze and darn dredge permits-- :Huh_anim]: John
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

What is interesting is ML is doing somewhat like what US manufacturers did back in the 60's through the 80's and that is to try to hide as much info as possible. Many of the much older TR detector manufacturers used to grind off the IC numbers so trying to figure out just what they were was a little bit harder. Fortunately, painting the boards was not common place back then. However, Garrett used to embed some components in a special module to try to limit duplicating their design. The sad part is their design was really not worth duplicating.

Today, more and more of the design of about any detector is created inside a micro processor and the program is locked. So, it is a little different today but not much. Instead of paint, new techniques are used.

Now, the humor of all of this "hiding" of design is really quite interesting because much of the design still has flaws. One of my good friends is one of the most noted design engineers of all time when it comes to VLF's and he has pointed out indirectly that most of even the latest designs have serious flaws when it comes to trying to eliminate ground signals.

I have pleaded with this guy to write a book so his knowledge isn't lost, but so far that hasn't happened. I will say something that isn't known about anywhere else and that is he is working on a new design that, hopefully will be out in a few months. I think I know who he is designing this new detector for, but since it would only be a guess, I will not say anything until he says it is ok.

What I don't know for sure is if it is an advanced motion detector or a totally new design meaning it is or will be the first true non motion discriminating machine.

In the future I do hope he fills in some blanks as to his design of a PI that had the capability of detecting a quarter at a distance of 3 feet. Yep, that was the depth capability he indicated was possible. How was this done? Well, he pulsed the coil with currents multiple times the present designs. I just hope this concept does become part of a book he is supposed to be writing.

So, there is always hope a new design will be forthcoming.

The point of mentioning this is there are still different ways of improving even the PI's. Joint efforts on such projects as the QED are another technique that has gained popularity. A lot of extremely intelligent people have been involved in the design and/or discussions relating to this unit. The badmouthing of this detector isn't going to stop it and personally, I am glad it hasn't. It is through joint efforts that new ideas are generated. This same detector is named a little differently on the Geotech forum where there is no political agenda, so there isn't any comparisons to other PI's. There some of the best engineers have offered their ideas. Right now, the QED is approaching the ML in depth capability and that is done more by multiple sampling to eliminate the ground signal. This idea of how the ground signal should be eliminated is not new. I have known for a long time that the basic design used by Eric Foster has some weaknesses, but the advantages such as the tone feature or the iron ID stutter would be lost. So, whatever is done, there are always tradeoffs. I personally prefer a better idea of the target than give it up for a little more depth.

The fact is, there are prototypes out there that many people will probably never see. As an example, I have a modified PI right now that will generate a signal on a meter for most iron objects when they are detected and no signal on non ferrous silver and copper coins. So, iron Id is pretty solid. This design was developed for park hunting for older coins The design is different in the fact that now I lose no depth on these targets but still can identify most iron junk. Only a handful of people have seen it. Now, people can try to condemn this idea if they so desire like they do the QED but, who cares? My design exists and is serving my purpose while I figure out the best method to advance the idea.

Today I can hunt the trashiest areas without pulling my hair out trying to guess each object. In simple terms I can leave most junk behind and still not miss much gold or older silver and/or copper coins for that matter.

Reg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reg, if you don't mind missing gold and coins, that's great for the rest of us. Thank you sir!

One of the major reasons for Minelab's success IMHO is the resale value of their older machines. It has been very high, making a Minelab a real asset for the prospector. This change in company policy will undoubtedly change that. With the stroke of a pen, Minelab just made many of their older machines worthless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting fellers..... How many companies do the same thing? Most at one time or another. The newer machines are far superior to most of the models no longer made as well as Minelab actually acquiring parts with newer technology not being compatible with older circuitry.... As for the I hate Minelab croud, WONDERFUL because they are leaving gold and I have proved this more than once comparing to other companies products. Funny thing is though that many of the I hate Minelab crowd is using them to hunt nuggets, coins, or relics.... :laught16:

What do you want them (Minelab) to quit and only spend effort on past units? Like many of the other outfits still offering 10 and 20 year old technology?

Yes it sucks a bit the old stand by Minelab units are being discontinued, but heck I cant even get parts for my old Harley at a Harley Davidson dealer without them having to order aftermarket replacements. Cars, Trucks? Same thing....

This leaves an open door for someone to build a business servicing older units and that is a good thing for he who does it.

look I am a poor bastard too, but upgrading can really boost your finds as well. Got a "worked out" patch with an older model with moderately deep soil? I'll show you what a 4500 will do.

OK fire away because I am a dealer, but it's my 2 cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE from Minelab....

July 7 2009

Dear Minelab Dealer,

A number of our dealers have expressed concerns about our proposed discontinuation of repairs on older Minelab detectors. We have listened to these concerns and we greatly appreciate the constructive response from those who took the time to give us their opinions. In response we have reconsidered our position.

In essence our intent was, and still is, to only provide the best quality service level possible for our customers. Therefore we have made the following changes.

1. We will repair any product ever manufactured by Minelab provided we can get the

spare parts.

2. On some older products, some parts are available but others are not, meaning we can

do some repairs but we may not be able to do others.

3. If a detector is sent to us and we cannot fix it, we will phone the customer and advise

them. If the customer wishes us to send their product back we will do this at our cost.

Of course there will be no other charge.

Part of the feedback was that customers with older detectors that cannot be repaired might want to replace it with a new or second hand Minelab detector. We would like to be able to provide them with a list of Minelab dealers who carry a number of second hand Minelab detectors in stock. If you do, and would like us to provide them with your company details, please advise us.

I assure you that we value constructive feedback from our dealers and customers and ask that you continue to give us your ideas, thoughts and concerns. I am personally available at any time to speak to any dealer about any matter.

I always have faith in Minelab for this very reason and am posting this so you all know they DO have your best intreststs in mind where and when possible to do so. This is a stand up company despite the nay sayers and others eager to jump on the "I hate Minelab" bandwagon.

Cheers, Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys, the white stuff that's sprayed on the boards is called Conformal Coating. It's a very good thing to spray on printed circuit boards since it protects them from dirt and corrosion, especially for what we do. I see it used all the time on printed circuit boards in the aerospace industry.

Got some info on this I thought I would share- Since I'm getting ready to send my old Army green SD2100 in I called Minelab today and had a pretty lengthy conversation with Bill about all this and it doesn't sound as bad as everybody thinks. He made it crystal clear to me that Minelab will continue to support our detectors provided (here's the catch) that they can get the parts. Apparently what is starting to happen is some of the companies that manufacture the parts that were assembled into the older Minelabs are starting to get discontinued and Minelab doesn't have the time to invest in finding equivalent parts.

While we were talking I threw out the hypothetical situation of a person who knows enough about electronic parts to go out on their own and find an equivalent part and he told me that Minelab will still do the repair if you have the ability to this. I then asked him how we would know the exact specifications of a part (since Minelab schematic diagrams are proprietary information) and he informed me that they are willing to tell you enough information so you can go out on your own and find an equivalent part.

The good news- Minelab will still provide support if they have the part on hand. If they don't have the part, they are willing to provide you with the specifications so you can find an equivalent part on your own and they will still repair it for you.

The bad news- For those of you guys who aren't familiar enough to spec out electronic parts you might need to find some help on this. Maybe post the specs on one of the forums and ask since there are a lot of knowledgeable guys here that can help.

After talking to Bill it kind of makes sense to me now and I can kind of see where they are coming from.Minelab has a lot of different parts coming in

from many different sources and if a specific manufacturer stops making a part it's out of their hands and they have no control over it.

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I'm fortunate enough to work with a few printed circuit board designers that can point me in the right direction to

find the correct parts as long as I have the specifications. So I'll admit I'm a happy camper after all this because I know I can still get my SD2100 fixed in the future even if it requires a little bit of research on my own.

Just thought I would share what I learned today with everyone else.

Del

PS- Bill it's great to see you posting back on the forum!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info Del and as fast as the electronics industry moves these days parts become obsolete seemingly overnight for all kinds of products and often the new replacements are not compatible with older technology making finding parts for older units a hard task.

And yes it is good to be back from under my.....er.....rock.

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got a "worked out" patch with an older model with moderately deep soil? I'll show you what a 4500 will do.

Hey Bill - great to see you posting. If you ever make it up this way, I'd be happy to take you up on that offer, and I'll be in the market for an upgrade to my GP extreme later this year. I got a spot thats yielded more than 3 ounces to me, and even more to other guys. On the other hand, I've pounded it with my GP Extreme using all types of coils from a joey 9 x 6 to a 20 inch round NF coil (found some gold with nearly all of them, too..). Lots of trees, this is actually a good spot for warm weather beeping.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now we're talking. This is exactly the way most companies making a consumer product should handle repairs. Keep repairing until parts inventories are gone. I applaud Minelab for recognizing and following through with this as their new policy. Maybe they just mis-stated their original intention. In any case, when it comes time for a new detector, I will reconsider my reconsidering. :confused0013:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not metal detectors, too? Since 1990, I've had to discard 9 computers because they were obsolete. I've had to dump three cell phones because they were obsolete. Wouldn't work with the new technology or programs of the day. The computers averaged $3,000 each when purchased, the cell phones were anywhere from $60 to $768. I guess MineLab was just trying to keep pace with the world of technology. I see that they have backed down a little now because of feedback from users/customers. What does the future hold? I think my upgrade will be to a different brand.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...