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
IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
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.
MY “BUBBA” LIFE IN TEXAS
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!