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Hello All,

A couple of days ago Minelab USA, Inc. called and talked to me about the forum post. They are currently working on the issue with the repairs. They stated by no means did they want the customers to think they are trying to turn their back on them. However, at the same time, there are some other issues.

When Minelab does repairs, they want to make sure the repairs are under warranty. At the same time, it's hard to do this.

The Minelab Service and Repair Center has had a bunch of people trying to take advantage of them.

For example - Someone sends in their detector for repairs. They have it repaired and Minelab sends it back. The customer receives the unit, and then calls back and states it's not working as it was prior. They send it back, Minelab checks it out and sends it back in operating order per the specs. The customer gets it back and they states it's worse then ever. As you see, Minelab can never make it right and the customer demands a new detector. Some customers have had problems with older detectors such as the SD's, but demand new GPX models for their time.

There are a bunch of customers that have tried to abuse the policy with Minelab. They continue to make it hard on the repair center hoping to get new detectors out of them.

Minelab did state that some of the older components are very hard to get a hold of, even if they can anymore.

They have make it clear they are working on some type of solution to make it right. They don't want to turn their backs on any customers in the past, present or future.

The minute I find out more, I will let you all know.

This is good news.

Rob Allison

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Thats great news ROB, no way, would I ever demand a new detector for my used 2200sd that my uncle bought for me from Jim Straight. It was one of the very first in the states and I think Jim told me he got it from Someone else used. When my uncle got that detector for me, he made me promise to never get rid of it. And I never will. one detector that will never be for sale or trade. Grubstake

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Rob

There is two sides to every story.

My Son has one of the 4500's that was recalled. It worked fantastic until

it was sent in on the recall. It has been sent back 3 times since because

after it has ran a few minutes it starts falsing and warbling so bad you can't

stand it. When it does this you can't get it to balance and you have to rub the

coil on a test nugget to even get a signal.

Each time it comes back it has been worse. The last time Minelab said it was

the coil. After trying several different coils the machine ran just as lousy with

all of them. We used the coil from it on another Minelab and it ran perfect.

The last time we tried to use it ,it wouldn't tune or balance and made so much

noise it wouldn't find anything. My GM3 ran quiet as a mouse and found gold in

the same hole where the 4500 wouldn't run. Our 2200 worked quiet and smooth

in the same hole.

So far Minelab has had the 4500 more than we have and still haven't made it

run right, We have not asked for a new detector. All we want is to get the new

detector we have fixed. Any decent company would have replaced it before now

instead of trying to BS their customer.

We have bought 5 new Minelabs ,but I think this is the last one. I think they should

check out their so called repair department. Then they may understand why people

keep sending their detectors back and are a little pissed. It kinda burns a guy up to

buy a Cadillac and have to depend on a Model T because the Caddy doesn't run.

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Hey Rob -

Thanks for talking with ML and getting them to think about how they really want to handle this. I think we all agree that to send in an old broken SD and ask for a new detector if it cant be repaired is completely unreasonable on the part of the detector owner. On the other hand, if you just have a worn out adjustment knob and they send your detector back and ML says "buy a new one - we wont touch that dinosaur because its 8 years old", thats pretty darn unreasonable too. "We cant warantee it our repairs, so when it breaks we are going to refuse to even look at it" - also seems like a pretty hollow excuse.

So I hope they will work out a reasonable compromise - that will allow folks to pay their own money to get their detectors fixed, and show that ML does indeed back up their detectors for a reasonable number of years, just like their competitors. I'd say at least 15 years seems reasonable to me.

Thanks for your help on this Rob. You are helping your customers and probably helping ML more than they understand.

I look forward to hearing more.

Chris

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I know that the Minelab service department can fib on the repairs being done correctly.

I think they need to look at their staff and get procedures in place so they don't make

customers angry sending back machines with problems over and over again.

At the same time, I am sure there are some people trying to get something for free....a new GPX detector for their old unit.

That is easily handled, Minelab just needs to draw the line and say NO to those unreasonable requests.

Every business has to deal with unreasonable customers from time to time. They are out there!

Best Regards,

Don

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I've seen plenty of owners claiming their detectors isn't working properly... and when I talk to them a little more about the issues, it becomes apparent that they are wearing a large metal object on their belt (eg: Pick axe) which is making it impossible for the detector to balance. Heck, I did that myself once with a large knife... took me a while to realize why my larger coils wouldn't balance when I was wearing it on the front of my belt. I had one guy tell me his GPX wouldn't balance and further discussion revealed it was being used in a torrential downpour (heavy rain). He said the water was an inch thick on the ground and it had been raining for three days straight. Another claimed he was getting strange feedback though the speakers - had it sent back to ML and returned, only to complain the noise was still there (it turned out that he was using a very old 3rd party coil that was damaged and the terminals were corroding). My favourite involved returned VLF units where both operators claimed their detectors simply stopped working without any reason and they wanted refunds. A look inside the battery compartments showed salt water and beach sand inside. Unsecured coil cables are often triggering Ghost signals and still nobody realizes that this could be a factor ...and so they send their detectors back for a "repair". One guy showed me a GPX that had a broken control handle with the green tracking button in it that had snapped off the shaft. He said it was faulty yet his friend happened to mention that he had stumbled over a rock and had fallen on the detector and didn't want to pay for the replacement part. A chap once asked me why he wasn't finding any gold and he felt that the detector was obviously faulty. It did not occur to him that he had never researched the area he was detecting and that there simply wasn't any gold deposits nearby. A guy who bought a Eureka VLF wanted a refund from his local dealer and claimed it didn't work... he gave all sorts of excuses as to why it wouldn't perform. But the truth in that instance was that he had spent money that belonged to his girlfriend and she was now pressuring him to give it back. These are not legitimate detector faults.

Remember that when you send a detector in to be examined, there's a bunch of these frivolous and mistreated units sandwiched into the repair lists - each demanding attention from the technicians. Some requiring field-testing. If we took user-error out of the equation, the system might be streamlined a lot better. The MASSIVE number of users who refuse outright to even read their instruction manual is staggering. Many expect to be able to turn on a PI detectors and have it work 100% of the time with 100% of accessories in 100% of the soils and locations they visit. They don't consider the variables, can't believe that they shouldn't be penalized for wearing steel toed boots and refuse to accept that carrying their steel pick near the coil is likely to be giving them interference.

Most of the guys here on forums like this one have fairly realistic expectations and aren't likely to make those kind of mistakes --- but remember that many prospectors don't have access to the internet or haven't embraced it yet.

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Hey Grubstake... "Our" 2200d seems to work better for you than it did for me...

However, I have no "squawk" as I did pretty good with it while working (patented long

idle) propery on shares.

I bought it new from Lifesyle and as I remember it was about $3000 with state tax

and a couple of accessories... I was glad that you have been able to sing a most

happy tune with it... But I knew you would...

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Nero

That makes for a good story,but we treat our detectors with great

care,because we depend on them like any quality tool.

Ours don't get banged around,left in the sun,or ever allowed to get

wet. All of our machines still look like new and all but the 4500 still

work great.

The 4500 was finding gold so deep,and running so well before sending

it in for the recall we were amazed. Now it won't even run on the same

ground without sounding like a shoebox full of gremlins. Since the recall

it has been totally useless.

Each time it has came back they have claimed to change a part except

the last time. We don't use junker coils either.

So far all we have got from the Las Vegas bunch is BS,and a lot of wasted

time. Not all of us has just fallen off off a turnip wagon.

When a company starts fabricating excuses because they can't fix their own

product ,that's just pathetic.

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I agree. You guys and many other professionals won't intentionally damage their machines. I tend to "baby" my own detectors from harm in transit and even take the time to disassemble and wipe the unit down free of dust & dirt at the end of each trip., including retaping the skid-plates to prevent the tape from getting all "gummy". They all look pretty new, even now. Not everyone does that though and I've known a few hardcore operators who literally beat the heck out of their machines. They look like smashed up relics after just a fortnight of use! Of course they're finding enough gold to give them a different perspective about their detector.

I'd be jaded too if that had happened to me. Do you have any guess as to why the replacement parts of the recall might have caused the unit to become less sensitive? From memory, it was just a single component from a particular supplier that was deemed to be faulty, prompting the recall.

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Nero

To be honest I don't think they replaced anything. I think it was

just a load of BS to cover their butts. The people in Las Vegas have

even admitted that they are having service tech problems. If they

can't fix things,the least they could do is send it back to the factory.

I have bought a few million dollars worth of heavy equipment and

trucks over the years. Every time a manufacturer comes up with a

new model it takes a couple of years for the service people to get their

act together. When they started to computerize trucks and equipment

it was a service nightmare. The technology was coming out faster than

they could train the service techs. Some companies resorted to out right

lies to cover the fact they couldn't fix their own stuff.

Some of the dealers wouldn't spend the extra cash to hire competent

service people either. I think some of this is happening with Minelab too.

Sometimes you can test an electronic device and it will show to be fine.

But when it has ran for a while and warmed up it will fail. The 4500 will

run just fine for about 10 minutes then it just gets worse with every additional

minute.

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Sawmill, Trust me, they did replace something!

"From memory, it was just a single component from a particular supplier that was deemed to be faulty, prompting the recall."

Yes Nero, and It was a pretty important component and not that easy to replace.

Do you know what It was???

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Rob I'm very happy to hear that!! Thanks for following up on that, now I'll send my SD2100 in to get some legitimate repairs done that I will happily pay for.

Nero you raise some very good points and yes I've heard of people sending in their units for some of the reasons you list. I have to admit when I first got into this I was guilty of sending in a unit that was false signaling a couple years back. As with any consumer product (especially if it's new technology) every model has their own little quarks and if you're unaware of them it can be a bit frustrating. The problem I had turned out to be a crappy used coil that was false signaling that I bought off of one of the forums. I honestly had no clue about this untill a more experienced prospector pointed it out to me in the field.

I've had to send my 4000 in a couple times in the past year for some repairs. The first was the the power switch fix and the second I accidentally fried my unit. Every time I sent my detector in I would call first, then write a follow up letter that clearly explained what the problems were. I feel calling them is not enough since I'm sure they talk to hundreds of people everyday and if you write a follow up letter then there will be no question as to what is happening to your detector and you don't have to rely on the persons memory that you talked to a week prior. I also think it helps the technician troubleshoot and fix the problem a lot faster. I felt writing a follow up letter helped my repairs go through flawlessly and I got my unit back a lot faster than I expected. So any of you out there that needs to send your unit in, it might be a good idea to write a letter that clearly explains the problems and send it with your unit. If you do this, there will be no question whats happening with your detector since the problems have been clearly explained in a letter.

If the members of this forum would like, I can attach an example letter I've sent in that anybody can download and use as a template in MS Word.

Del

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Hi Rob

did you ever send your 4500 back for the recall if so how is your running i need to send mine in but i thought i would wait for your verdict. there are a few guys out there that are not happy with the unit when it returns to them .But I'm sure a lot of guys are happy we just don't hear the good . I sent in the 4000 a few weeks ago it came back just great. some times you can do everything in your power to try and keep someone happy and no matter what you do they are pissed. pissed at life and want every thing for free and you have to know when to say no more i think this is what needs to be done lol good luck

Lon

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Hi all, 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

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Del, that's great info and a very sensible and satisfactory position from MineLab...I've got lots of experience sourcing electronics and it's really not rocket science with the internet being what it is .... Far as I'm concerned they've reversed the negative that's gone on the past few days since their original announcement and are on my goodguys list again...Thanks MineLab....Cheers, Unc

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Hello Guys,

Sawmill - I've heard stories like this, so it kept me from sending my GPX-4500 for a long time. I finally broke down and shipped it off last week. Minelab Repair Center stated I needed the upgrade.

Lon - Yep, shipped it in for the upgrade. Hope it comes back working well.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Hey Ron the original ground balance pots for your 2100 machine are Vishay/spectrol #534-50K Ohm wirewound not cermet. Bourns also made them. My opinion Dont buy the new Mexico made plastic case cermet ones they suck. So Minelab repair, do it your self or maybe have a buddy do it.. if you buy them ahead you'll have less down time. Take Care AzNuggetBob

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Hi all,

I have been reluctant to send in my 4000 for the on/off button change over to a toggle switch, and another upgrade

that Minelab does automatically (at least from statements other Minelab 4000 owners have made) when a machine is sent in, for the toggle switch changeover/upgrade.

I too, have heard through various sources, that the service work, in some cases was not as good as it it could be, and verified via posts

made to the subject on this very thread.

We have beat this dead on/off switch, horse controversy ad nauseum over time.

The very fact that MINELAB put the toggle type on/off switch on the new 4500 model, is an admission that the push button on/off switch was a bust.

It is a shame that MINELAB simply doesn't call the 4000's in and fix the problem straight away, and not have 4000 owning customers machines go TA TA's up, out in the field, and ruin a much looked forward to gold excursion.

But then again, should a person risk the chance of having their machine working WORSE than before it was sent in? It's really kind of a crap shoot, as least from reading some of the above posts...

It can't be a complicated fix, so why not take care of it, and have it done correctly the first time??? Sounds like a technician, and a final inspector problem to me, and perhaps it may be one and the same individual performing both jobs?

If so, then not good...

Well, now I can go to sleep and cool my jets for a while...

~LARGO~

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Kamikaze

Yes we offered to send the complete detector and

they refused. We have several brand new coils that were never used,

and it runs the same with all of them. You can pull the coil off of it and

run it all day on any of our other machines without a glitch.

You can pull the mono coil off and change to the DD coil that came with

the machine and it still runs just as bad. This machine was running perfect

until it had the update.

Inhere

I am sure they changed a part doing the update,no one said different.

But the 3 times it has been sent back since they have claimed to have

changed a part. One note said they changed a board that was bad .

This detector has not ran over an hour between getting it and shipping

it back. We get it and it runs quiet for about 10 minutes then just gets

so bad it won't balance or tune. I think they fried something doing the

update,and haven't changed anything since. This machine doesn't have

over 10 hours total time since new. Every component used on it is what

came with it new. The ground is not too hot or too much EMI. We have

one SD 2200D and a new 2200, that run just fine in the same place.

Our 4000 ran perfect there too. Hell I even run the GM3 and a Eureka

on the same ground. There is no excuse for the way this detector works

except a bungled repair by Minelab.

Rob

I sure hope your 4500 comes back just fine. I wouldn't be saying anything

if Minelab had of treated us better. Our other Minelabs have been great

machines. The 4000 is the only other machine that we have had any problem

with and it was just the switch. Minelab took care of that just fine.

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Hello guys,

unfortunately, Minelab have had a long history of quality control and repair issues. The sheer intricacy of these latter units obviously have their inherent failures. What we should take into account is their US$700 build price versus their US$4600 sale price. And, with circuitry that costs

around US$100 per board to build, ask yourself why they would waste time repairing the electronics with a technician costing them perhaps $50 per hour? In Sawmill's case, the whole issue would have been much better handled if after the second time it went back with the same problem, the whole board should have been replaced. After all, they still have their US$3200 profit on his unit to reply on <_<

And before any of the irrational folks start jumping up and down defending Minelab, please note that all the major detector makers build machines with the same amount of effort, quality (perhaps better in some cases?), R&D, advertising etc without having to charge the consumer such exorbitant prices. The supposed 'small number of units sold' excuse wont wash either as Minelab have now sold more 4500's than the 4000 did, which was somewhere in the 6,000 units range. The only apparent reason why we endure such ludicrous prices is because Minelab have no real competition and they are milking us while they can. Good, sound business logic but it certainly puts a sour taste in my mouth! Regardless, I will continue to use and praise my 3500 quite happily! A terrific Minelab product!

It runs flawlessly, finds me a lot of gold, has never broken down and I bought it used for only $2,000. You will never see me using one of those GPX EMI detectors, all that woo-wooing is enough to drive me mad! Enuff of my ranting, Thanx, Andy

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