2019 – Is the Best Yet to Come?

Any Day Now…

Well so far 2019 has been somewhat of a boring year. Detectorists are still plodding along doing their thing – digging holes, making videos, showing off their finds to everyone (including the archaeological community) and slowly but surely devouring places where one can use a metal detector.

On social media the rock stars seem to be taking a rest from YouTube while the rest of the pack continues to be boringly predictable, as in I’ve seen it before a few hundred times.

I’ve noticed too that organized hunts are now becoming much bigger events with large hunt fields, hundreds of entrants and pricey entrance fees. Nothing wrong with this – I just hope they don’t get too commercial leaving the little guy who’s on a tight budget out in the cold. $100 a day is a bit much for me.

Fortunately we will have two new detectors to ogle and debate. Both the Minelab Vanquish and the Nokta Makro Simplex are due out in September.

Not a lot of info yet on the Vanquish, just the usual Minelab “wouldn’t you like to know” promos (sure hope it lives up to the hype). After delivering the Equinox via parachute I can’t wait to see how this puppy arrives.

The Nokta Simplex should be a HUGE player when it comes to entry level models. It’s waterproof up to 10 ft., wireless, comes with built-in rechargeable battery, 11″ DD coil and weighs 2.9 lbs. The best part? The price – only $299!



From June 2016


StoutinitialsK.I.S.S. or “keep it simple stupid” was a term coined by Kelly Johnson,  a naval engineer in the early sixties.  Supposedly Johnson handed his team of engineers a few basic tools and told them to design and build a plane that could be repaired using these very same tools by an “average” mechanic in the field. In other words, if you keep it simple you will keep it flying. Today unfortunately KISS is a thing of the past.    

Yes I’m older and yes I know I constantly bemoan the complexity of a lot of things but I do it because I think so much of it is gimmicky – add this, add that, take it to the extreme and people will have to have it.

I was reminded of this just recently when Fay and I went appliance shopping and discovered that you can now buy a refrigerator that allows you to see what is stored inside via your smart phone. Nice to have when you are grocery shopping but how many eggs are in that carton? If that’s not enough the fridge also comes with a large 20 inch touch screen, wi-fi and your choice of music.  

Another example – The house we recently moved into had a “Nest” thermostat, which I understand is a highly sought after and very cool item (no pun intended). Well for some maybe, but not for us. We had to print out and read through an owner’s manual to figure out how it worked, and all we really want is basic thermostat that has a heat and cool switch, and a way to adjust the temperature.

Of course, like so many things today, what happens when that new feature (gimmick) goes bad or stops working? Those of you who have had power window failures in your car know what I am talking about and have you recently had to have a new car key made? I did….. a 2000 VW Beetle key set me back $100. Used to be able to go into a hardware store and have one made for $2.

The $100 key!

Someone please tell me why we continue to buy items loaded with complicated, unnecessary features? Is it because you want to be part of the “in crowd”, not left in the dust, or is it because you really see the need for all the extras?

The Compass Yukon....photo compliments of Doug Moore

The old Compass “Yukon”….photo courtesy of Doug Moore

What prompted me to bring all this up? It was when I saw Doug Moore’s photo (Vintage Detectors/Facebook page) of the old Compass “Yukon”.  A one knob, entry level model that sold for $79.95 back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Why not a one knob detector today and it doesn’t have to be a low-end inexpensive machine.

Think about it…all we really need is an “all metal” detector that has auto tracking and that adjusts for the best depth without chatter. We don’t really need a display or metered readout, nor do we need discrimination. This one knob wonder would have automatic tonal ID (Low – trash, Hi – Good stuff). Trigger switch for depth/pinpoint. As for GPS, don’t have one in my car and don’t need it on my detector. I might have trouble remembering things but if I found a productive site you can bet your ass I’d remember how to find it again.

Yup, this would be the “Stout Detector” (“Dick Detector” just didn’t sound right for some reason). What do you think? Is it possible?  Did I leave out something?  Would you buy one?

For years I’ve heard “when are they going to build a detector that actually shows you what’s beneath the coil?”  Well careful what you wish for. If such a detector were available how many people would buy it, how many holes would they dig and how long before our pastime was outlawed?  It would be disastrous, and honestly it wouldn’t be much fun anymore!

Okay, laugh, criticize, shoot me down, call me crazy but listen up manufacturers….I want 5% of every “Stout Detector” you sell. Just keep it simple stupid.




Filed under Metal Detecting

24 responses to “2019 – Is the Best Yet to Come?

  1. Ed B.

    Dick……I totally agree with you that nowadays things are getting to be too high tech and of course way too expensive. It used to be that you’d buy a TV, plug it in the wall, turn it on and a TV show popped up. Now you have to program it before you can watch it and connect more than a single wire like before. And whatever you do, DON’T accidentally push the wrong button or a blue screen will pop up and you’ll need a team of experts to get the tv show back on.
    As for the car keys………I got my first jolt of reality a couple of cars ago when I lost a key and went to the Chevy dealer where I bought the car because regular keys didn’t work. I’m thinking a few dollars and the guy tells me $29.95. That was bad enough but when I lost a key to my previous car I’m now thinking $29.95 only to be told $85.00 and had to order it. Two weeks later the key arrived. Since then I’ve been told by this same dealership that to replace the key on my other car which has a remote start feature the price is a mere $199.00. For that money I could get another pinpointer and have change left over.

  2. John Winter

    I agree with everything you say, Dick . . . almost. Having no detector and no car gives me a head start. If things become intolerable I’m sure someone will sort it out – for you and all the other old fogeys.

  3. Bob Sickler

    Dick… I think this boils down to an ongoing electronic evolution. What were our parents saying to themselves during the 70’s when the VCR recorder hit the stores and we tried to teach them how to program it! I don’t regret CD’s vs. 8-Tracks for sure! 🙂

    I quite agree about a simple single knob detector and the weight they used to be. I keep saying “sophistication is simplicity”, but the fact remains what was buried during the 60’s at 4-6″ in high traffic areas is now 8-10″ and those old “one knobbers” could barely reach the 4″ targets in high negative mineral ground. For me I’ll stick with the modern ground eliminating, low-noise circuit advances, but I do like it simple and stable without menu driven interfaces.

    • Bob I never could program VHS….AND I’m stuck with a bunch of blank CD’s that don’t seem to be useful for anything….

      Hope all is well in the empire state….

      • Bob Sickler

        Dick… Yes, CD’s are going to the wayside in favor of streaming music these days. Seems like if they can keep you from owning anything and keep you paying for it over and again, that’s the plan! Some days I want to sit back and watch it all pass by. I truly believe social media will be the eventual downfall of humanity as we know it. It has bred contempt and division among us all.

        Things in the Empire State are too damn hot to metal detect, but then again I’ve always been a Fall/Winter/Spring hunter anyway!

      • Yup, try as I might it’s all passing me by and it’s a lot faster than me.

      • Yup, try as I might it’s all passing me by and it’s a lot faster than me.

  4. Tony

    Dick, I couldn’t program a VHS either so I would have my son assist. Nowadays he can’t help program a Detector so maybe those beginner models are the way to go. I hope they are simple or I am screwed!

  5. john taylor

    you are correct ..dick! (a “dick detector”) is something i would shy away from also!now, a “stout detector” ain’t winning’ any races either, because i “dis like” intensely that “crap” from ireland that’s served at “room temperature” in the pubs over there! like to “puke” when i get a ”sniff” of it. (k.i.s.s.) technology is making a comeback.foreign built, analog,no screen, and tones..ohhh! crap,time for another run to get the ”purple passion!” life’s ”elixir” of joy!”..i’m just sayin’


  6. john taylor

    dick! you need to take a “happy pill!” my god! you are more “negative” than me and howland combined! maybe you should get some exercise and take a walk down to your local “piggly-wiggly”and “snatch”
    a couple of pints of the “mad dog” off the shelf for short money. guaranteed it will “improve your mood!”make ya “less harsh” for sure!..i’m just sayin’


  7. groundskeeper52

    I agree with too many unnecessary features on a lot of items. I like to KISS whenever possible! My co-workers often laugh at how I get things done in a q-dos manner but I usually finish jobs sooner.

    Regarding detectors the Simplex sounds like a great machine. Hopefully they don’t add too many features. Once again keep it simple. I think entry level machines really don’t need much of a depth gauge anyway. I figure most finds are under a foot deep, I don’t want to dig much deeper anyway. My shovel digs a plug which usually encompasses the find (if I’m lucky) or it’s nearby in the side of the hole. Whereupon I will close in using my pinpointer. So I don’t see much need for knowing whether it was 2, 4, or 6 inches deep. Anyway thanks for another great article. I really enjoy the information every time it arrives!

    • Groundskeeper I think it’s a cycle tekkies go through. Im the beginning you want it all. You want the advantage or at least you think it’s an advantage. Then you realize that investing all that money for all those extras isn’t providing the expected results. Ultimately you just decide to save your shekels, keep it simple and have fun. JMO though.

      Love the “groundskeeper” moniker….

    • john taylor

      hopefully the “simplex” will have audio modulation at depth.my tesoro mojave has it,and it’s so nice to know ya got a ‘deep hit”,that ya forget all about a depth gauge,because you are excited to dig .the feeling of “anticipation” afforded by a “modulated “hit cannot be overstated.analog technology ain’t dead yet.the “turks” are on the march, and threatening to blow domestic manufacturers out of the water.
      i’m just sayin’


  8. As always, I think, despite how complex, or how simple, a detector you purchase may be, the key is to learn the machine well and use it often. And like cars and other expensive items, there is always a gimmick it seems in pushing a new model. A new sized screen, “killer depth!” and even a new “paint job.” I’ve used an older Minelab Excalibur 1000 water machine, no screen, and just a few controls for many, many years until the “new” Excalibur II was announced. What was new about it? Literally a new color scheme and nothing else! And some of the newer technology being announced today, when given a good field test, usually don’t exceed older and current models performance much if at all. It is a shame it has come to a technical race for “features” on today’s newer machines, but in this digital age, they have little else to market to people who cannot think or breath without staring into their little pocket supercomputers. Good post, Dick.

  9. john taylor

    reverend! you can get anything your little heart desires at ”the pig”
    american largess in all it’s glory. hell’s a fire! i think they even sell “garrett!”..
    heaven forbid! any way, my apologies “reverend” no intention to offend.
    i’m just sayin’


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