Working out the kinks…

Have been checking out the metal detecting forums, and saw where a few people were not all that happy with their recent “top-of-the line” purchases. Both the newest  Minelab and the Blisstool detectors were not quite meeting their advertised hype.  Apparently the CTX3030 has instances where it will simply shut down, and other times  where it freezes up. Likewise the Blisstool apparently is not all that user friendly, and takes some getting used to.

While the latest detector technology has long since by-passed my train of thought, I can relate to these happy, rush to be the first customers. Having worked for  a major manufacturer I know the need to get a product on the market quickly and in a timely manner. Yes, field tests are done, models are sent all over the world, and kinks are  worked out, but the ultimate test comes when they are sent out in huge numbers, as in that golden day when the marketing department says “this is it!”…..when all the  ads, field test results and promotional events are scheduled.

I became the marketing manager for Garrett starting in 1988. Just in time for the release of the Grand Master, the company’s first computerized detector. It was sent  out to many of our knowledgeable testers, and of course all of us at the factory put it through it’s paces. It was a good machine without question. Next a release date was set to coincide  with the marketing department’s plans….after all, what good is your newest and best detector if no one knows about it.

Well the big day came, we had a backlog of orders, and we were on top of the world. Then after about two weeks or so we started getting complaints. The Grandmaster  was unexpectedly shutting down….going dead. We heard from our distributors, our dealers and of course our customers, and we started seeing them come in for repair.  Our distributors started referring to it as the “Grand Disaster”.

To make a long story short, the engineering department literally worked night and day, as did everyone else at the factory, and finally found a tiny clip in the battery department would sometimes lose contact with  the battery pack. Solution a slight physical bend in the clip, and that took care of the problem. Corrections were made to all the models being sent out, and the Grand Master  wound up being an extremely popular model

It’s taken me much too long to figure it out, but I no longer need to have the very latest, the very best product on the market. No matter my obsession with the area of  interest, be it metal detecting, computers, guitars or cell phones, (I certainly learned it the hard way with computer operating systems and programs). My theory  now is give it six months to a year, and then if all seems well, go for it.

Metal detector manufacturers do not throw out new models before their time. They do however put them out on the market, knowing full well that then, and only then,  will they really know how good they really are. So, knowing that,  you can be ahead of the game with the latest and the best, or you can be the first to really put it through it paces and determine it’s limitations.  It’s the chance you take. Either way you will win….only one of you just might have to wait a little longer.

As for me, my MXT-Pro is getting smarter every day


Well Chicago Ron now has his own channel on YouTube. What’s next? I figure a reality show, a Ben and Jerry ice cream named after him, and a bobble-head doll.  Wish I knew how this guy manages to spend his whole life metal detecting, finding neat things and pissing off everyone else who even tries.



As for me I am hoping I might get out and do a little detecting in a few days. Just finished a rewrite of one my learlier books, sent it off, and the weather forecast calls  for a chance of rain over the next three days. All things considered maybe I can finally have some fun…..knees don’t let me down now.


To all you manufacturers….. If you are going to charge well over $2,000 for a detector, can’t you at least include a “printed” owners manual? I understand it’s cheaper for  you to put in online, but it is not convenient for the user to read through it when he is watching TV, eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, or turning in for the night.  Stop being so damn cheap!



Filed under Metal Detecting

7 responses to “Working out the kinks…

  1. wintersen

    Food for thought there, Mr Stout.
    I have Tweeted your post to 464 followers and, at some stage, will mentioned it on my blog.

  2. I’m a motivator Dick! I just put in the hours to get everyone else excited. I don’t really enjoy it at all. LOL

  3. Hah, I’ve finally exposed you Ron……

  4. Robbie Morin

    Out of the 14 different detectors I have ever owned, only 3 were the top of the line models. I had a Garrett Master Hunter III……had it for about 6 months and didn’t like it……I had a Whites 6000 series 3—–too many knobs and settings to mess with–but had it a few years, and a Relco Frontiersman ( my 1st detector–2 1/2 years I owned it).

    I have had beginners models Fisher 1210X, Whites 3900DL, Garrett ACE all the way up to top of the line and it seems like the mid priced detectors are the best ( at least they are for me).

    For $1200 or even $2200 I can get 2 or 4 different mid priced detectors and have a nice selection to choose from–even have a spare one or two, if one breaks. With only 1 high cost detector if it breaks you are without one until it gets fixed and returned.

    I don’t need the highest cost detector to find items at 8-10 inches in the ground when a mid price one can do the job. If the other people want a detector with a 12-15 inch coil to locate every item 12 inches or more in the ground—–they can dig all the holes to China they want.

    I’m happy to dig 6-10 inches and find older coins where those Extra large coils miss the targets I can locate.


    • Like your thinking Robbie….thanks. Like I have always said, doesn’t matter what you paid for your detector, if you aren’t searching in the right place it matters not.

      • Robbie Morin

        I have read many a forum post on those high dollar detectors, that the person just can’t grasp all the “bells and whistles” and all the settings you have the option to play around with. When I had one of my top of the lines a guy with a mid priced unit turned his on and was hunting before I finished all the settings to get mine ready. He dug silver while I was still adjustings knobs and tuning. I learned then, that you don’t need the best–you should be the best with what you have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.