2020…Will We Dig It?

Not sure if I will be around, but it will be interesting to see what the pastime looks like five years down the road.  Will the big name manufacturers still be around? Will there be more foreign influence in the US market?

Will there be new technology that drastically trumps what we have now? Might we finally be able to differentiate between the pull tab and gold ring? How deep will detectors effectively go, and how willing will we be to dig down to that depth? Then again will we even have a hobby in 2020?  The concern I have, and what continues to be the devil in the details, is detector depth. That never-ending quest for the extra inch…the advantage over the next guy.


“Why just tell ‘em it will go deeper and they will buy it”. That was the mantra for the manufacturers back in the 70’s and 80’s and still is today, although to a much lesser degree. Today it seems to be more add-ons…pinpointers, coils and cameras. Another old marketing phrase was “New and improved”, and what that meant wasit’s a new year, we don’t have any product to offer, so paint the case a different color, reconfigure the coil, and call it new and improved”.

Now that I have pissed off the manufacturers, let me ask….how deep are YOU willing you dig?  If there’s a detector that is able to detect a coin at 2 feet, will you buy it?  Well, of course you will, but where would you use it?  Certainly not at the park or schoolyard, and with a detector like that, what would happen to our image and hobby?  I mean damn, we already are into the “shovel over the shoulder” thing. Will we start using long-handled garden spades? Post hole diggers? Backhoes?

Another example….  What would happen if a manufacturer finally found a way to visually show you what the target is?  I’ll tell you.  Everybody and his brother would buy it, the manufacturer would make a helluva lot of money short-term, and a few months later metal detecting would be banned nation wide. Yes I know I am being over the top with all this, but we really need to think about the consequences of our actions and where we are going with technology.

Right now all is well with the world. The hobby is growing by leaps and bounds, and everybody is a professional treasure hunter (well at least they say they are). Nothing to worry about, right?  Wrong!  We have a lot to worry about, and we better start slowing this roller coaster down.

The manufacturers need to start thinking more about marketing the pastime, instead of the product. They can also be the catalyst for bringing everyone together, under one umbrella.  Putting together that one, financially viable, full-time, organization that we all want to be part of.

The future of this hobby is up to all of us….the manufacturers, the distributors, the dealers, the magazines and we tekkies. Let get our heads out of our asses and start getting serious about it.

Our pastime is digging.  Let’s not dig our own grave.


I finally figured out the real reason for the short handled shovel.  It’s for taking photos of your detector leaning on it.



Filed under Metal Detecting

13 responses to “2020…Will We Dig It?

  1. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee and a good thoughtful laugh in the morning. Thanks Dick for all your effort. You are of course correct on so many levels. Who knows someday they may actually listen to you.
    X-professional treasure hunter
    Chicago Ron

  2. Excellent post Dick. humorous and seriousness, Certainly food for thought.

  3. Dick, you hit the nail on the head on so many issues that you spoke about. I have been saying a lot of this for some time but people don’t want to listen, and the manufacturers are only thinking of the bottom line and that is MONEY!! They don’t care about anything else. USA made will be a thing of the past when they start hooking up with the overseas manufacturers. They keep dishing out this detector will reach coins at 2 feet, and all they are doing is blowing smoke up everyones ass. They don’t care about the past and the veterans of this great hobby.

    Until ALL!!!! the manufactures come to the same table and work for the same outcome, we will never see change. I still have my old machines from back in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I have a few more machines but they are used for different things, lot line stake locating, water machine, ECT. I don’t plan to buy another new machine the rest of my life. My kids and grand kids will be getting my equipment when I am through. I just hope the hobby will be around for them to enjoy like I have for the last 46 years.

    Kenny Briggs

  4. Very interesting. You didn’t mention the one resource we have that is the closest thing to any type of central organization we have–forums. Of course they are going to hell in a handbasket just as the hobby is so maybe they are best left out.

    Detecting is up for the short term though and you make some very good points. I use to think that we were better off without any type of organization as it would just put us in the spotlight. Sort of like a park that no one gave a thought to until someone start tearing it up or asking “can I”

    But once the damage is done there may be a need for something for reference to try to get things turned back around. An organization might be good if there were enough people in agreement of what that organization stands for to draw members.

    Might be a good idea to not let members join that go door knocking loaded for bear, trying to see how many coins they can score in one day. Might be a good idea not to promote them and compliment them and tell them we want to be just like them.

    Might have to be a different type of organization than what most people in a metal detecting organization are use to. I would probably be willing to join. After all if it failed I could just go on Facebook and pretend nothing is wrong like most people do.

  5. Gary, I don’t have all the answers, but consider….what if the pastime suddenly took a big hit, like a statewide ban on metal detecting. Would the locals within that state have the numbers, the wherewithal, and the money to overturn it? Somehow I doubt it.

    And forums? Surely you jest!

    • No,I don’t think they would be able to overturn it. I think it would be hard to get even a ban on a small park overturned. There is ,as you pointed out, no organization to point to as a tool. If you just look at the “damage to the park” issues one would have to show why they should be allowed to detect vs the “damager.” An organization to point to where a person is a member could be very helpful.

      Issues such as how one looks detecting in a park is another issue that could be dealt with in the same way.

      An organization that would be formed without any standards would just be a group of detectorists that,although may be able to speak in numbers, would not have much that could help them. It would only show that a lot of people detect. That may be the problem.

      As for the forum question. Ha Ha

  6. Bigtony

    Dick, the next thing we will see is those pictures of Detectors and Shovels, hanging on a wall over the display of their finds. Sort of like wedding photo’s or family pictures

  7. I was just checking out your Facebook site and came across this article of your’s from not long ago–https://stoutstandards.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/latest-from-united-detectorists/

    I was somewhat amazed at how much of it I am in agreement with. I don’t know why there seems to be such a lack of failure by groups that say they are representatives of the hobby. I’ll still stand by my assertion that the closest thing we have to a central voice is detecting forums.

    There is really only one major one that is called a metal detecting forum although there is a treasure hunting forum that covers metal detecting. Both forums offer other categories than metal detecting.

    The issues that are hurting our hobby are the issues that are most often stopped from being discussed because no one wants to moderate them. I can’t say I don’t see where it could be a difficult job but they are what they are.

    If a person does a search on those sites and looks at the locked threads they will see what happens when these issues that affect us most,as far as how we are seen by those that don’t detect, are discussed.

    When you talk about responsibility I think you have to take into consideration the responsibility of forums as well as manufacturers,dealers,magazines etc.

    While I’ve had more bans from detecting forums than I care to list,both permanent and temporary, I think the root of most if not all, lies in my attempt to discuss these type of issues that affect the hobby at large. I have not seen anyone actually show a reason why I received a ban. I’m thinking I may have gotten them because I did something really bad and unusual in the present day hobby. I probably acted responsibly.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.