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Minelab service department


Mike C...

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Well my 4000 display screen blinked out last weekend but I was still able to beep the rest of the day--so I sent it off last monday and emailed them and left a message-I received about 3 calls on my beeper from 3 different people which I thought was a good start to them bettering things there--so they received it on wednesday which I got a call about and we'll see how long it is before I get it back---that I will post here when it happens-hopefully I'll have it in time to go beepin next weekend--somebody said they got their beeper back from minelab in 8 days which is pretty darn good :thumbsupanim Mike C...:ph34r2: PS- I won't even say what they quoted me on how many buisness days it Might take- :blink: -but I do have my Gmt so not all is lost for next weekend :head:

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I sent my GP 3500 in for service on October 29, and haven't heard a word yet, except when I finally called on Oct 16th. I was told by Kathy Warren that it usually takes about 15 days before someone takes a look at it and calls with the details. It's now Oct. 20 which makes about 23 days since it was shipped. Maybe it will happen next week??

Keeping my fingers crossed!! Tom

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Holy Cow! If my New Baboo 4500 went down and I had to wait more than 7 days I'd explode out of my skin...The only time I ever had to send my Old Baboo 2100 in (due strictly to operator error...me) ML turned it around in about a week which is excellent...I'm hoping I never have an issue with New Baboo but if I do, I anticipate exceptional technical and timely service...Cheers, Unc

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Well, I guess I can finally uncross my fingers. Finally heard from Minelab yesterday. I shipped my GP 3500 on Oct 29, and got a call back on Nov 23. The guy really didn't have much good to say, as far as I am concerned. He said that since the machine was built 6 years ago, it was bordering on being obsolete. Said that they don't usually build replacement parts beyond 7 years. Minelab wants $461.00 to repair it. I don't really know if it makes much sense to spend that much money to repair an 'almost obsolete' control box. Seems like I am now the proud owner of a boat anchor!

Anyway, you can draw your own conclusions about the 'new' Minelab Service Dept. (Anybody want to buy a boat anchor??) :angry-smiley-010[1]:

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Well, I guess I can finally uncross my fingers. Finally heard from Minelab yesterday. I shipped my GP 3500 on Oct 29, and got a call back on Nov 23. The guy really didn't have much good to say, as far as I am concerned. He said that since the machine was built 6 years ago, it was bordering on being obsolete. Said that they don't usually build replacement parts beyond 7 years. Minelab wants $461.00 to repair it. I don't really know if it makes much sense to spend that much money to repair an 'almost obsolete' control box. Seems like I am now the proud owner of a boat anchor!

Anyway, you can draw your own conclusions about the 'new' Minelab Service Dept. (Anybody want to buy a boat anchor??) :angry-smiley-010[1]:

WOW!!....I am absolutely amazed.. Guess I can forget about any repairs to my 2200V2...WTF

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Tom $461.00 is pretty close to what it cost Minelab to build the GP3500 in the

first place....sounds like you had some major problems to solve...anyway for

$461.00 bucks you can still have a danm good machine to beep with....

those 3000 and 3500 machines were good gold finders....

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A big reason for this problem of machines becoming obsolete is getting the parts. Much of the circuitry is now very hard and costly for Minelab to acquire and some parts are obsolete. One of the problems a company comes across when each new model is different from the previous and as the models change old parts are obsolete and new parts will not work in older units. Trust me they are not doing this just to be jerks, but imagine trying to keep parts in stock to repair all the older models indefinitely....

There is allot more to it than meets the eye with specialized equipment like the Minelab PI Detectors including manufacture of internal components.

Many companies do not make these type advances in technology leaving their detectors mostly unchanged for the last 20 years and thus they will repair very old units.

There are other options out there than Minelab for repairs and upgrades to older Minelab PI detectors and the folks doing it are very good. So you do not own a boat anchor if you have a machine over 7 years old you just need to explore other options.

In electronics it is this way with many products including computers and I don't like it much either, but more time is spent at Minelab looking forward than backward giving us folks using these machines a huge advantage over most other detectors and I do like that...

ANY Minelab PI is worth a few hundred bucks to upgrade or repair in my opinion.

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If my 3500 quits on me Ithink it will be worth $461 bucks to make it run for another 6 years. I might have to sell a 10 gm. nug to pay for the repairs. Still have the ole GP Extreme for a back up.

Harry

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Good thinking Harry...that's the same reason I drive a 24 year old PU....

BTW Bill is the Las Vegas repair center completely closed?

You said:There are other options out there than Minelab for repairs and upgrades to older Minelab PI detectors and the folks doing it are very good. So you do not own a boat anchor if you have a machine over 7 years old you just need to explore other options.

It would be a big help if you know and could post some of the "other options" cause

I believe there's a lot more "antiques" out there than new machines.....Thanks

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Good thinking Harry...that's the same reason I drive a 24 year old PU....

BTW Bill is the Las Vegas repair center completely closed?

You said:There are other options out there than Minelab for repairs and upgrades to older Minelab PI detectors and the folks doing it are very good. So you do not own a boat anchor if you have a machine over 7 years old you just need to explore other options.

It would be a big help if you know and could post some of the "other options" cause

I believe there's a lot more "antiques" out there than new machines.....Thanks

Minelabmods.com ring any bells :inocent: there are a couple of people in AU doing mods on the PI"s and making them better than they were---I once owned a 2000 and sent it to Finders in AU-I got it back in a little over a month and it was like day and night---it kicked butt-I wish I still had it as it was able to work in areas that the new generation PI's still have problems in :whaaaa: Finders no longer do mods :unsure: :twocents: Mike C...:ph34r2:

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Not meaning to Piss in anyone's Wheaties, Isn't that a lot of machines to be sent in for Repair?

I've purchased ten New machines and only had to send one back. It was a Garrett ADS back in the 80's.....

The Florida sun, My Stupidity, and the Green Box toasted a part.

I paid shiping there they fixed it, and sent it back postage paid. NO Cost.

Just what I see!

I have never owned a ML, I have had and us what ever I can afford.

Some day I'll make it to the one grand level.

$2000,0 and more is a long way away.

I

Seeing them go into repair, with issues an't making me want one any more.

Beeing a Electronics Stupido, I like to fix what I can.

They paint the things with comforment cover and make crap even harder to fix.

I will go with something else.

Yep! Hell I'm working on a convertion of the old Garrett sea hunter that I can mess with and get down to 6us timing and sounds a lot better over a target.

I want to hear the WOOP WooP over a target. Not the Wa Weeee Wa Soop Over Load, Dont know what to hell I found sound.

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I have never had a Minelab detector break down on me, also have never sent one I owned in for any repair. I have owned many from the 2100 up...

Have seen some needed sent in both operator broke and warranty issues. All fixed and returned and yes some fixed again...

Funny how most talking smack about Minelab detectors are using them, modded or not :yuk-yuk:

Those that have not used them need to try one in the field before passing any judgment based on hearsay. You are missing gold! Show me a hunted out patch in deep soil and I will show you something :inocent:

I will stick with Minelab until someone can come show me something that works better for me and that isn't going to happen anytime soon...

It is about gold recovery with me not smack talk simple as that. Show me a detector that will out perform what I use and I will be using it the next day.

Not giving anyone any crap just the way I see it and I would be using a Radio Shack beeper if it worked better than what I use now :rasberry:

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I too would like to see the specifics of these 'alternatives' to Minelab service. I have done an internet search and all I can find is Woody in Australia. Then the next search showed me it would cost at least $125.00 to ship it there, and presumably the sane to ship it back. That would only leave about $210.00 for Woody's repair, with no assurance that Woody's price could be any less than Minelab's. So it doesn't seem shipping to Australia is too much of an option.

If anyone can offer specific names, phone numbers, or websites of those 'alternatives', I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks----Tom

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Bill,

I wonder if you would be so incline to buy or even recommend the 5000 if you were to give up your dealership and had to move to Ohio. Actually, we can make your move closer like, maybe have to move to Oklahoma, the middle of Texas, or even Colorado for that matter.

It is easier to recommend what you do when you can walk out your front door and look for gold. Try the same thing when you live a 1000 miles away from gold country where large areas are open to the public and then we would like to see how your thought process might change.

Please keep in mind that a whole lot more people live far enough away than close and they can easily have a different opinion based upon common sense and basic economics.

To me, pushing a hard to sell a ML 5000 to the average working guy living a 1000 miles or more away from detectable gold is sort of like selling ice to an Eskimo in the winter. For the Eskimo that has all the comforts in the world and the money, sure, why not? However, for the Eskimo that is hard pressed to even put food on the table, that is a different matter.

As for your never having a defective ML, I am sure that is little comfort for those that have or will have and may have to face a $500 cost to have it repaired. I highly doubt they will feel better either. Worse yet, one guy mentioned if it only cost $500 and the detector will last 5 years again, why not? All I can ask is will ML give a 5 year warranty or even a 2 year warranty on the entire detector for $500? If they do , then the deal isn't so bad. However, if they only cover the cost of the part which probably will be less than $1 then that is a whole different story. Replacing one detective part doesn't renew the rest.

Homefire is correct in much of what he says except that even Garrett will not provide technical info about their older "obsolete" detectors so I won't waste my time with them either.

All detectors will become obsolete but 7 years is a little short time wise in my book, but again that is my personal opinion. At least, they didn't refuse to work on it this time. So, that is a step up from their previous position several months ago where they initially said they would quit servicing the units that were obsolete.

The truly sad part of all of this is the older units have no dramatic design secrets that have to be kept a secret. So, helping third party repair shops makes sense to me, rather than try to hide obsolete info. At least, from a technical standpoint they don't have any technical breakthroughs that I see and again that is my opinion based upon the schematics I have seen. Don't get me wrong, ML has a good design and they do push the limits to get the depth they do. That is why they really haven't gained much depth since the 2100 was introduced. Instead, they have refined things a little each year so they can find smaller gold and made the detector a little quieter, which will result in a little more depth. They have also added additional lights bells and whistles which make the detector easier to adjust for certain areas for those who are fully knowledgeable in the various programs. However, overall, the old 2100 will go just about as deep as the newest model on much if not most of the gold found. What the 2100 won't do is allow the operator to adjust the detector to reduce signals from hotrocks, or reduce the gain, adjust for certain noise, etc, etc.

We can do the same comparison on vehicles also. One could burn the rubber off the tires with the Shelby 65 mustang and get from one place to another almost as well and fast as one can with the a new high performance mustang. You just can't do it as comfortably or with all the luxuries or conveniences. So, do I concentrate on a high performance car now? Nope, I am happy with my American brand Hybrid. With it I just wave as I pass the hypos sitting at the gas stations.

Sorry if you feel I am knocking ML, but that isn't my objective. Unfortunately the M&M boys will probably surface as result of this post, but who cares. To be honest, I feel anyone who really likes the new ML's, is comfortable with them, feels they are the best or simply wants one, should buy them, especially if it makes the guy feel like it is to his advantage to do so. However, for the guy who will seldom hunt for gold and really can't afford to spend excessive money, then they should know what to expect in the future when their detector gets old. Fortunately, this thread has provided some eye opening information. It also should help those thinking about buying one of the older units.

Personally, I buy used metal detectors all the time and don't worry when I do. Like Bill, I have had very few failures of any brand of detector. Right now I have a 2200 and if it fails before I sell it, I will send it to Woody. The shipping cost to send it there and back will probably be the $120 or so. If I had to have it fixed, I would have him do his mods also, which enhance the detector. So, my expenses would be probably more than what ML would charge. Again, this is just my opinion of what I would do. On the upside, the 2200 has fewer of the bells and whistles, so things like the display screen are absent, thus it (the screen) can't fail on my unit. So, with luck, my 2200 or any other could have a long and happy life. Actually, any detector could run for years and years without a failure. However???? There are no promises in this world.

Remember, much of this post is purely my opinion and opinions are like ears, so most of us have at least one.

Reg

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Well, I guess I can finally uncross my fingers. Finally heard from Minelab yesterday. I shipped my GP 3500 on Oct 29, and got a call back on Nov 23. The guy really didn't have much good to say, as far as I am concerned. He said that since the machine was built 6 years ago, it was bordering on being obsolete. Said that they don't usually build replacement parts beyond 7 years. Minelab wants $461.00 to repair it. I don't really know if it makes much sense to spend that much money to repair an 'almost obsolete' control box. Seems like I am now the proud owner of a boat anchor!

Anyway, you can draw your own conclusions about the 'new' Minelab Service Dept. (Anybody want to buy a boat anchor??) :angry-smiley-010[1]:

I assumed for much of the detector parts they used fairly common standard components, you know transistors, resistors and the like, maybe I'm wrong? Do they really use lots of unusual "exotic", seldom used, or even custom manufactured parts? I would think unless you have some odd part that failed, you maybe could have it taken to a place that can check out electronics, circuit boards, etc. If it is a simple burnt out part, I wonder if they could find the problem, order the parts and fix it, but that's just semi-educated hopeful thinking since I'm not sure. As far as tuning the detector, a repair shop not familiar with metal detectors probably wouldn't have a clue, and you would most likely have to determine if it worked after repairs were done yourself, which shouldn't be a problem.

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Rex,

As a general rule, the components are standard off the shelf items. Now, on the SD 2000 they used a special transistor for a preamp that is no longer available but there is a substitute that seems to work as far as I know. Outside of that one part, I don't know of any particular part that is specialized outside of the micro.

As just mentioned, one item that is custom is the pic chip used. Actually, the chip isn't special but the software is protected, so someone would have to write the program for any new chip. Obviously, this gets more complicated with the screen.

Now, the problem with repairing ML's is the goop they put on the pc boards. It becomes time consuming to try to remove this stuff once a part has been determined to be bad, but even getting to that stage can be a problem because of the paint or whatever it is. So, I suspect what some of the repair departments are doing is simply replacing the pc board suspected to be bad. This would expedite things and reduce the training time of a tech. This board changing certainly speed things up but does make a repair more expensive.

Because of the nature of the PI, the brute force system can fail, especially when you have wiring dangling out of the machine. If the power lead pigtail fails, this could lead to lots of different problems form power supply problems to audio problems.

Now, the cable going to the coil can also be a problem, since it ties into the transmit circuitry. So, I suspect problems can occur there also if too much strain is put on the cable.

I suspect a lot of problems can be attributed to the external wiring. However, following some of Woody's posts, other components appear to be failing for other reasons such as heat, or simply design conditions.

So, there are potential sources of future problems people should be aware of and inspect periodically. The procedure should be when in doubt get it checked and repaired if necessary. Waiting for a catastrophic failure generally leads to more problems, longer delays and higher costs.

The bottom line is this, if you sink thousands into something especially that is also brute force, expect repair costs to be more expensive also once it is out of warranty. For those who walk out the door and find enough gold to pay for their detector quickly, this is a non issue. However, for the recreational prospector, it probably is something to prepare for but hope never happens.

Reg

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A top end detector is like a high end rifle or fishing gear, Not many need or want it, But for the ones lucky enought to have saved the funds and work hard for there skills, A top end tool is always prefered.Remember like anything ,The top 10% get 90% of what ever they do or look for.Rather it be sales ,fishing,Hunting, and so on,I never had a problem with a pi detector till the 4500. And that has been repaired without extra cost to me, It is baffleing to me seeing all these detectors bouncing around in trucks jeeps and quads that more dont break down,Guess that must mean something, I would never put a high end fly rod or Rifle thru what i have seen people do,Nor would i bounce and beat up my detector,Say what you will the most and deepest gold if not recovered by heavy equipment is taken up by Minelab operators. Anyone with a old beat up patch that sees a 5000 with a modest operator run over it will have to agree, Do not believe it ,try it, My detectors have amazed me at times with what was found and where.Each new model has it,s own very clear improvments, when i was green i was always crafty and waited till the new model was proven only to be to late at the old patches,Well i quit thinking like that after the 3500.And all but one has paid for it,self and then some,That was only because life thru me a curve ball and i did not or was not able to put in the time and hike the hills. :twocents:

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Valid points indeed Reg and I also do often recommend customers in places like Ohio etc. consider the X-Terra 705 or Eureka Gold for the very reasons you mentioned. It all depends on the customers needs and we can offer a unit to fit most. I feel making sure a person confiding in me to get what will fit them best gets just that and can enjoy the hobby, this is much more important to me than getting a sale on a higher end unit.

I just enjoy helping others in the hobby and my site was around for many years before I sold any equipment. I sell Minelab because they have shown me that their detectors will do what is needed done to find gold in the hot soils of the desert Southwest VLF or PI. So I am willing to share this equipment and the knowledge I have gained in using these great detectors that are in my opinion #1 in the hobby at this time.

Your reality checks are always welcome Reg...

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Hi Denny,

I am one of those guys who lives 600 miles or so from my favorite spots to hunt. I do hunt here in CO but the locations are scarce. Given that info, it makes more sense when I say I only hunted maybe 7 days or so this year if that many. However, I am one of the lucky ones who managed to find a nice nugget weighing over a half oz.

Now, here is the kicker, it was found in a super trashy area with a VLF, a GM 4 I picked up used a while back. The VLF sold cheap because it was noisy. Fortunately, the problem of the noise came from a loose grounding wire.

The day I found the nugget, I left my PI in the vehicle and took the GM 4 for a spin to make sure it was going to work correctly in the field. About 10 minutes into the hunt I got the signal from the nugget. Since the GM 4 has sort of a iron id feature, I was able to ignore most of the nails and junk nearby.

The nugget is one of the more beautiful ones I have ever found. It is too bad I can't capture its beauty with a camera. The gold varies from almost crystaline to smashed wire gold all wrapped around a red quartz.

Here are a couple of pics of this nugget showing front and back. It isn't so impressive in the pic but the gold crystals are sure beautiful in real life. Also, the red quartz enhances the gold in real life but not in the pic.

The point being even a guy using an older detector can find decent gold once in a while.

Reg

post-449-0-99508500-1290878229_thumb.jpg

post-449-0-72646300-1290878241_thumb.jpg

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Well, this subject comes roiling back to the surface from time to time...as some know, I had a terrible time with my 3500. Finally, I too thought I had a boat anchor...it didn't work right so I would not sell it and quit using it for the same reason...

Then Jonathan Porter suggested I give Minelab Oz a try...

I am and continue to be amazed at the change...the 3500 really is a great machine...

But the cost to and from Australia, including the repairs was about $500...........that hurt but now that I am consistently finding gold again...I forgive all those others that should have got it right the first, second, third and maybe forth time before I sent it home to be fixed correctly...

I hope the new repair facility provides a similar standard of preformance...

fred

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