Old Names, Old Times & More…

Spent the first 22 years of my life in Lambertville, a small river town in central New Jersey. The population at the time was right around 3,000, and it’s pretty safe to say most everyone knew each other. Wasn’t a whole lot to do there, though as I look back I had a helluva lot of fun doing something.

Lambertville was most definitely a blue-collar town, and I knew people with names like Razor, Weezer, Moose, Spigot, Meat, Chalk, Earsy, and last but not least two cousins named Booger and Bimmer. Booger had a glass eye, and they would often stop the high school football games to look for it. True!!

Lambertville today...

Lambertville, New Jersey on the Delaware river….

What does all this have to do with metal detecting? Not much really, but I got thinking about all the metal detector models throughout the years.  Early on there were cool names like Beachcomber, Ghost TownerDaytona, Chief, PacesetterChallenger, Groundhog, Master Hunter, Red Baron and Big Bud. Then there was the Coin Scanner, the Judge, the Coin King, the Nugget Hunter, the Condor, the Backpacker, the OutlawRustler and the Thunder Stick, just to name a few.


From top, left to right…the Red Baron, Gold Bug, Frontiersman, Grandmaster, Usika, Condor, Judge II, Rustler and the Challenger

Then, for whatever reason, the manufacturers decided that using numbers and alphabets would make metal detectors sound more hip.  We had the 6000d, AT-3, VLF-840, Mark I, 555d, 1210x, CZ-5,  and of course today we have the MXT, ATX and the V3i.  And we all know that if you add the word “Pro” to any of these products they automatically make you a much more efficient treasure hunter. You dig deeper, find more, swagger more, and you are finally able to talk to all the geeks out there in Tekkie World.

I can hear you saying “and your point is?”….   Well nothing really, though I sure would like to see simple, easy to remember, names like Groundhog, Judge and Backpacker return.  I’d also love to go back and spend time in Lambertville, but alas my home town has changed like everything else. Last time I visited the faces were different, the stores I remembered were gone, the high school had burned down, the movie theater was now a hardware store and I couldn’t find anyone named Weezer, Spigot, Earsy or Booger.

Those were days my friend. I thought they’d never end…



A little bird told me that the much-anticipated TreasureMaster Pro should be available before the end of this month.  If you are in the market for a great detector at a great price….give this one serious thought. It’s a winner!! Check out the following


Price is subject to change….



I just now saw this new page on Facebook, and don’t understand the need, never mind the implications.  I know the intentions are well-meaning but do we really need a page called:


And of course it’s a “closed group”……



Today’s high is 107, and there’s not much relief in sight, unless you call tomorrow’s projected high of 99 a cold front.  I had a couple tekkies email me and told me I was a wussy, or something like that, and I plead guilty.  I have this thing where I sweat even when it’s not hot, so these temps are really kicking my ass.  And, even if I could get out, there’s no way to penetrate this soil.  So this wussy is cooling his heels and napping with the Digger Doo.





Filed under Metal Detecting

17 responses to “Old Names, Old Times & More…

  1. Great article! Fun to read, especially on a Monday 🙂

  2. Hi Dick,

    I remember all the metal detector models you mentioned except the Pacesetter and the Thunder Stick. Do you remember who made those?

    If you want to wait until it dips below 100 degrees to answer, be my guest.

    — Daniel Bernzweig

    • Hi Daniel,

      If I waited for it to dip under 100 you might never get an answer. It’s that hot!

      The Thunderstick was made by Gold Mountain, but don’t think there were many made. The following is a fairly close explanation. Jim Brackenridge was the one who hired me when he was the CEO at Garrett, and when he got fired he bought Gold Mountain. Not too long after I was let go as well, and Jim asked me to come to work for Gold Mountain. I declined.



      Jim wound up making detectors for Stu at Kellyco…the Cobra, etc. but later was forced to go out of business when Garrett charged him with copyright or patent infringement.

      The Pacesetter was made by Relco, and if you hurry you can pick one up on Ebay…


      • Dick,

        Monte gives a pretty complete description on the thunderstick in his findmall post. Didn’t Monte work for Compass at one point?

        My first real detector after a Radio Shack kit, was from the first Gold Mountain company with Bill Mahan. It was a Gold Mountain Boss with the latest technology at the time. Not only did it have a discriminating TR mode but also a super deep seeking all metal VLF mode. If I ground balanced just perfect in VLF, I could get down about 6-7 inches on silver coins. As you know, that was too deep to use a coin probe. LOL My Boss detector was into the factory 3 times in 3 months and I quickly moved on to a fisher 551d for land and a Garrett Sea Hunter for water hunting.

        Never did own a Relco unit as they seemed like old tech even when I started detecting around 1973 or 74.

        Thanks for all the info you put together. Great pics on these old units. Most were built like (and heavy as) a tank!

        — Daniel Bernzweig

      • Daniel, I have to admit I never looked at the name Monte in the forum post. I just Googled thunderstick to see if I could find something on it, but yes indeed Monte Berry was the compass rep (Alan Canon came later if I remember right). Monte used to represent Compass at our FMDAC Atlantic City events. Here’s a photo from ’87.

        Which explains why he was so familiar with all the details about the Gold Mountain/Garrett stuff. I need to share another story about Compass/Garrett soon. Happened after I left Garrett and was really hilarious.


  4. Banned from Findmall? May we ask why. By the way the metal detectors you mentioned brought back lots of memories. I think metal detecting was a lot more fun back in the late 70’s ealy 80’s just my opinion

    • John, can’t remember. Was a long time ago, and I really don’t care. Just wanted to let people know that it was not me posting the comment. The individual did give a fairly accurate explanation of the thunderstick, the Gold Mountain situation, etc., and I thought it was easier to simply share it.

      Most of the forums I’ve been banned from were just fine with me. I personally think there are too damn many of them, and the same people are on all of them.

  5. Mike Smith

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I use to own/sell some of those models mentioned in your article.
    Here in Alabama, we have a club member that goes by “Bugger” maybe he is a long lost brother to your “Booger”? Nice guy!

    • Hey Mike, haven’t heard from you in a long time. Glad to know you are still alive and kicking. You are welcome for the memory jog….those were good times.

      And, face it anyone called Bugger or Booger has to be a nice guy just to let you call him that. LOL….

      Don’t be a stranger here.

  6. del

    So , Mr.Stout were you detectively active when you were growing up in Lambertville , sounds like a great place to explore as a kid. I shown up a bit late on the detecting hobby but Its very interesting to see the vintage machines and to wonder about “the glory days” you fellas had with them. Thanks for the link with their info but to tell you the truth , who hasn’t been banned from findmall , its almost a right of passage for anyone who’s been around the last 10 or 15 years. Always entertaining to read your laments Dick , I hope the heat breaks soon for you ,


    • I was not “detectively active” when I was growing up, but spent a lot of time there when I did get involved in the pastime. Schools, athletic fields, corner lots, fishing areas, picnic groves, carnival sites, etc..

      As for Findmall, I can’t remember why I got banned but as I said above, it really doesn’t matter. They are just one of many out there. And yes I do lament a lot…should be selling these:

    • Findmall may not be anything to brag about but American Detectorist is even worse. You can kiss up to stay on AD but AD is mostly self serving and not a place to address the issues hurting the hobby.

      • Gary I posted your comment, but I will not get into a “which is forum is best, or which forum is worse”. I probably shouldn’t have shared the comments from Findmall but found Monte’s explanation a decent one.

        Consider the comparisons over and done with.

  7. Joe(TX)

    Dick…I found it amusing that one of the links that you gave for the Thunderstick was mine….I use the user name of Au Ranger on the Compass Metal Detector forum. Again I have never seen one of the original Thundersticks except in Photos…I did have one of the original GMT Gold Scorpions which was very similar to the GMT 1650….very RARE now …I should have kept it !!…….I have been metal detecting since 1970 and have gone thru a Mac Truck load of detectors….a few I still have.!!

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