So Where’s the Beef!!

Have a feeling not too many of you remember the “Where’s the Beef” commercial but it seems appropriate when it comes to the current status of new products. I mean maybe I missed something but so far this year the only noticeable new detector has been the White’s MX Sport (and hopefully the end of the bread box).
Yeah I know a few manufacturers have added a letter, a number or a little fluff to previous models, but where’s the “beef” as in new, innovative and exciting?

No matter what you manufacture there’s always a demand for something new. Just because distributors and dealers can’t keep pushing the same old product, especially after it was really put to the test over a long period of time.

It doesn’t take long to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the facts from the bullshit.

The pressure to come out with new models was a constant when I was the marketing manager for Garrett in the late 80’s.  In fact one of our very large distributors (who shall remain nameless) took it upon himself to add a red light to one of our models.  It flashed and corresponded to the detector’s audio responses, and was advertised as “new and improved”.  It became a royal pain in the ass because then every other distributor wanted to know why he or she didn’t have or know about the ‘new and improved’ model.   Needless to say I was pissed and it was things like this that played a big part in my losing my job.  It was the ole don’t rock the boat, ever…..big money talks.

Anyway which of today’s companies will be next in bringing out a new top of the line model? Or some feature heretofore unheard of? What could they possibly add that they haven’t already? Have they pretty much peaked in this regard or is there still a lot of new and exciting technology to come? It’s anyone’s guess, but hey the holidays are coming so stayed tuned….

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Now having brought all this up I do hope one of the manufacturers brings out a detector that will get me so excited that I forget about my ills, all of them. It will have to be affordable, lightweight, easy to use, have a wine glass holder, and come with an attractive young gal to retrieve my targets.

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IT’S A CRAP SHOOT!

The interesting part about writing a blog is that you never know what topics or updates will resonate with your readers. A case in point was my post of July 13, “Just Being Cantankerous…”.

It was simply another sit down and write day, and I had no clue what to say or offer. Pretty much the case now that I don’t get out detecting any more. It bothers me because I know I am losing a few followers who come here to learn or hear more about metal detecting. On the other hand even I were getting out in the field I am not sure I could supply the sought after information. Just not that into today’s technology and having turned 75 I really just want to have fun, as in “that sounds like something worth digging” not “let me try that super-duper personalized program that took me two hours to set up last night”…

Anyway the Cantankerous update was apparently very popular, at least as it related to visits and shares. When I wrote it I was sure I’d receive a few negative responses but apparently we do have a sense of humor, or maybe the minutemen just didn’t bother to send off their “up yours” comments.

Look, old age plays a big part in what I post on Stout Standards. I like to write and sometimes I shoot from the hip. Maybe it’s a way to express myself or have an imaginary friend to talk to. On the other hand I do talk to myself a lot so that could be it too. I also do a lot of reminiscing because again, it’s what seniors do. Aches and pains and doctor bills are not a fun topic, but thinking about that hot date in high school, or that fabulous meal in France…..now that’s something to dwell on.

I will also add that metal detecting is a different ball game today, and it’s because of social media. Is it better? Not sure. It’s certainly more popular thanks to American Digger, Dig Wars, Diggers, Dig Fellows, and Facebook. It’s no longer a well-kept secret. It’s now the “hey I can be rich if I get one of dem suckers”…. My personal take is that our pastime has become thrown to the masses without sufficient education or explanation.

dice

You roll the dice when you check in here….

Anyway when I talk about what used to be it’s not meant to be insulting or detrimental…it’s just a little food for thought. There are a lot of other blogs, forums, websites and podcasts where you can get your particular fix, be part of the gang and talk shop. Here you will find old stuff. Sometimes funny stuff, sometimes bullshit and brainfarts. And as you already know you will find insults, arguments and pissing matches. In other words it’s a crap shoot.

So no matter your bent, your interest, or desire I do appreciate you checking in. Makes me feel wanted….now do me a favor and stay the hell off my lawn!

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14 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

14 responses to “So Where’s the Beef!!

  1. Roy R.

    If I could get a detector that would cut the grass as I swing it that, would be great. I will not hold my breath on that one.

  2. Paul T

    Friend Dick:
    The Whites detector sounds like a Winner. But don’t think I am in the market for one just yet. Still using the Whites MXT . Plus the Fisher 1265-x. Also in my bag is the Spartan 125 with the Large 13×24 inch coil. Sure the young one’s don’t remember the Spartan.
    Have a Great Evening and drink a glass of red for me.

  3. James M. Fielding

    Good post, Dick. I’ve been metal detecting since 1966, and I’ve been an engineer since 1975, now retired (mostly like “tired”) and about 10-years behind you in age. From an engineering standpoint, I think (And I’m probably going to regret this; I’ll just stack it alongside all the other regrets on the shelf) we’ve taken current electromagnetic field technology our VLF machines use about as far as it will go without a major paradigm shift in field theory. Maybe in 50 or 100 years they will have detectors that run off gravity-waves or some newly discovered physical law we are not even aware of currently. To me, the biggest candidate for an advance in consumer detecting, if they can get the cost down, and down a LOT, would be a light-weight GPR, ground penetrating radar. Notice I didn’t say METAL detecting, but just detecting…how much fun would THAT be??? “Lemme see here…outline of a POP tab…let’s avoid that!!!”

    I do agree the game has changed and I too am limited on getting out with my detectors and enjoying a quiet day in the field…much less often now than I would like. Lung cancer, Diabetes, heart valve issues and a list of physical problems keep me from hitting the ground running nowadays, I spend time enjoying other things like researching in an air-conditioned museum or library. I do find, having a great deal of contact with 21st Century detectorists, that the game has indeed changed. Now, too much a a good thing, like a gold or silver mine, metal detecting resources are slowly playing out, and beaches cannot be replenished, here fast enough for the hordes of people scanning the sand. It’s gotten to the point that even pop-tabs are becoming a rarity.

    There are literally 1000’s of social media sites about metal detecting “show-us-your-finds” stuff. Some good, others not so good. We have had to run people off our site who were posting WWII remains stacked next to a hole, while they retrieve a rusted rifle or bayonet! A large percentage of “newbies” seem to be throwing out, or are totally ignorant of, common sense notions of metal detecting etiquette; trespassing,unfilled holes, destruction of property, et al, and are becoming rampant. We have lost access to several parks because someone dug up flowerbeds and left gaping holes on park property…parks we have been detecting for 30 years or more…gone in a second.

    The gold-rush of 2008 has leveled off, with the word-in-the street being detector sales have taken a 60% to 70% nosedive. But with a declining economy STILL (and not without some prompting from the sales side, I might add) has certain folks thinking they can actually make a living off scanning the beach. The closest analogy I can think of is a lot of fisherman around a shrinking pond…it’s not going to end well for either the fish OR the fishermen.

    • Hi James….

      What a great response. Thank you so much. You pretty much nailed it with regards to what’s going on today. Your thoughts on what is technically possible today is spot on, and I also think it will take some time before “seeing” what’s in the ground is a given. Loved also your last sentence:

      “The closest analogy I can think of is a lot of fisherman around a shrinking pond…it’s not going to end well for either the fish OR the fishermen.”

      Thanks James and hope you will find time to share your thoughts and ideas again.

  4. Arthur J Fleming

    Dick, you may be getting a little too long in the tooth. Affordable, AND an attractive lass to retrieve? I agree with the fishing analogy, but since I already own the detector, and there’s really not any other costs associated with hitting the beaches, I think I’ll stop when I stop having fun.

    Was at a beach yesterday, at 4:00 am to get there two hours before the low tide. I left at 8:00 (the time the parking meters start charging) There was maybe 20 other guys on the beach, that I could see, I found $1.32, and when I was leaving the attractive lasses in bikini’s were starting to arrive [always makes my day 🙂 ] I love watching the sunrise over the ocean, I had fun. Haven’t found gold or silver since Halloween day last year, but still have fun.

    I also understand about the light weight, main reason I swapped my Eagle Spectrum for an AT Pro was weight savings. I am also getting long in the tooth, and cannot swing the heavier detectors for long periods anymore. Know what else is fun? Reading your posts, keep em coming. Artie

    • I do know it’s fun Artie and want badly to get back out. I often think that if I were back home in NJ I would be hunting full steam, but that’s water over the dam.

      I think you got our sentences mixed up though… You said “and when I was leaving the attractive lasses in bikini’s were starting to arrive [always makes my day:) ] I love watching the sunrise over the ocean”

      Didn’t you mean to say “and when I was leaving the sunrise was over the ocean. I love watching the attractive lasses in bikinis…”?

      Thanks Artie, find some for me and have one for me….

  5. Great post Dick.

    Athough I’ve only been at it about 10 years, I noticed a huge change in the hobby over about the last 3 years to less of a hobby, more of a show off/show and tell. For a while I stopped posting my finds on FB, deciding to concentrate on my blog, but then the rumor was that I had retired from the hobby. Really??? Because I wasn’t showing off I had retired?

    I blame cell phones with their instantaneous click and post ability. Why take the time to read about someone’s hunt, or the hobby, when you can sum up someones detecting experience, or the day they had just from a photo?

    I like your posts, and I like to read about the hobby, so keep at it–us “old folks” still appreciate your efforts.

    • Thanks Allyson,

      I also think smart phones, FB, and social media in general have changed the pastime dramatically. To me it looks a lot different but I know I can’t blame the newcomers because that’s the only world they know. I often wonder if the time they spent making videos and posting photos might be better spent researching but that’s just me talking.

      And “us old folks”….come on now.

  6. Coin25

    Dick, it’s good that your out there banging on the keys, trying to get folks to share this crazy hobby. We all know that you have shared the how to’s over the years.

    How about a little dreaming – I would love to see two coils in one. Flip a switch and the machine uses the center four inches to detect, flip it back and it uses the outer nine inches. That’s just crazy.

    • Interesting Tony…hadn’t thought of that.

      • Roy R

        Garrett had a detector exactly like that years ago. The BFO Garrett Master Hunter. Large coil with a smaller coil inside of the larger coil. Flipped a switch to toggle between the two coils. No disc. Would dig you to death.

  7. Coin25

    Glad you liked that one –
    They are making double A recharagble batteries stronger these days so detectors that use six batteries might be able to use three – not much weight savings but it is a start.
    I also like to browse through the modification web sites – folks come up with some cool inventions/creations on older machines that are out of warranty.

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