'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary?

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Post  forester01 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:01 pm

G'day Gentlemen,

I'm going to approach this topic carefully, lest I bring down on myself the wrath of the initiated upon the uninitiated. Reading these pages dealing with detector modifications I've been mystified, let alone entirely mind boggled, why - bearing in mind the oft touted undoubted excellence of Minelab detectors, and I own two and love 'em - there is any requirement for 'mods' or modifications?

Surely the research done by Minelab prior to the release of any new detector would have obviated any need for 'mods' or any other alteration to the detectors' systems.

The frequent references to 'mods' on this means by our members must be a tad annoying to Minelab who are surely gaining the impression that their machines aren't all that hot without the oft referred to 'mods'. Can't be all that good for sales!

And now for the bit which probably gets me in the poo. Is it possible all these references to 'mods' is so much BS and is being pushed by blokes who make a quid out of frigging around with detectors which were in good working order in the first place?

Well, there you go gentlemen. I said it. I'm a cynic of the first order. Now I'm waiting for someone to shoot me down in flames and convince me that Minelab detectors aren't all that good without the 'mods'. And, as I hinted at before, my 2200D works a bloody treat without any 'mods'. Perhaps I'm setting my horizon too low.

Regards

Mike Wellington
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Post  Guest on Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:00 pm

G'day Mike,

I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. It appears to me after reading the posts on 'modifications' that those who are giving it the thumbs up could very well have a vested interest in promoting the mods for their own financial gains.

I often think that a big problem with a lot of detector operators is not so much what they are using, but their ability to use it and their lack of knowledge in seeking good ground. I met a bloke last year in WA who was using a GP3000 and he was not having a good run - he said he was going home and sending his machine away to be modified because he was not finding gold. He took me out to his spot that he had been working and it was no wonder he wasn't finding gold - he was working a flat with probably 5 or 6 feet of sediment covering whatever gold was there. When I pointed this out to him, he said that he always worked the flats and he wouldn't change.
He blamed the machine for his lack of gold.

caveman

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Post  MS on Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:20 pm

Hi Mike.
I can only speak for myself but I wasn't happy with my GP3500s performance ,sent it off to ML for testing
it came back about the same.Mabye I expect too much but thought I would
be able to have a unit run quiet and would detect gold in mineralised
ground where gold is most likely to be found.
I have spent a lot of time with very little to show for my time spent and also the many thousands of dollars outlayed.
Electronics is improving all the time and ML does not offer any
upgrades and you have to spend another $6 + thousand dollars to get a
better unit in the hope of finding something others have not heard and
missed.
For me this prospecting game has become very personal ,and I will not
give up or be satisfied till I have achieved a reasonable find.
I went with the mods to hopefully improve my unit and give me a better
chance out there, as what I was doing and using wasn't working, I'm not
stupid and and are putting in the effort and working in areas where
gold has been found and are digging targets all the time but I put it
down to a numbers game which means the more effort you put in, the more
targets you dig ,your chances of a good find have to go up.
My unit after the mods is better , I'm digging more targets and finding some in hammered areas that others have missed.
I can only speak for myself but your mention of what ML can or cant do
is up to them, but understand they are running a buisness and will make
as much money as they can and it's in their interest to farm out
improvements over time with new models.Good luck to them but I'm more
interested in making my own luck
Anyway thats my thought's and what I'm doing and I have no vested
interest in the mods except what I spent getting them done to my unit.
I have only been putting my thoughts and findings up to help others, as
I have received lots of information and help here myself and thats what
forems are about.
Regards Mark
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Post  forester01 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:17 pm

Goodonya Mark,
I appreciate your honest and well thought out reply. I suppose the best all of us can do is to got along with what we have - and cast a cynical eye on what we're told. This doesn't meant that I believe this forum is full of blokes who speak with a forked tongue. Far from it.

Regards

Mike W
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Post  Tarnagulla on Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:56 pm

G/ day mike, yes I believe that mods are a part of life. The light weight battery ,. the 12volt regulated supply what an improvement, the push button ground balance, I put this on my gp3000 and guess what??the 3500 came out with p/button ground balance.Remember this Mike Minelab did not invent the pi detector they improved it (modded it ) with a ground balance feature.
Regards Tarnagulla

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Post  Wombat on Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:50 pm

Hi Guys. I've got to agree with Mark, as I have done the same with my 3000. and modified it with better results for much the same reason. Before the mod. I had been working hard in well known areas with very little returns. Not being able to afford a new model detector, I started looking at it this way :- when ML brings out a new model detector, it is the best of it's type at the time. Then ML works out how to improve that model, or should I say how to modify that model, and drings this modified model out as a new detector. Then modifies this new model and call's this detector a newer model detector, ect. So when you do a modification to an older model detector, all you are trying to do is bring this model up to the latest model as your detector will allow (2000 up to 2200V2) (GP3000, Extream & GP3500 up to a GP4000, if possible) So really we are not doing much more than what ML has done to their earlier models to get to were they are now, with their lates models. One day there will be modifications for the 4000, 4500 & 5000, when newer models come out to supperseed them.
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Post  nero_design on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:41 am

A dealer said to me last week "If it ain't broken, why 'fix' it?".

There's about a half dozen people modding Minelab detectors now. Probably even more who are only known by word of mouth. Whilst I can't state that all mods are effective (or useless), some of the so-called "adjusted" detectors were actually shorted in a manner which reduced their ability to perform altogether. One person who handles the stripping of such mods referred to the process of modding them as "a complete scam". He explained further that the person who had modded the most recent units he'd been examining had a very poor understanding of electronics, ruining the ability of the detector to function properly.

I have spoken with at least one of those known for his modding of earlier model ML detectors ...and I feel he probably knows what he's doing. He has a good background in electronics and has been doing this for quite some time. I haven't used his mods so I can't vouch for him for this reason alone. As for the other handful of modders out there, it's worth reminding people that this industry attracts a LOT of scammers that prey on the fact that there are a lot of unwitting people without access to the internet or advice who are easily parted with their money. Greed from both the detectorist and the scammer ensures a never ending supply of cash to the scammer. Just look at the sale of LRLs (Long Range Locators) out there. A glance at 15 year old GT magazines reveal that these scammers have been out there for quite a while. The simple fact that ML brought out the 4500 so soon after announcing the 4000 ought to show that they don't just bleed out a new model on a set calendar. People aren't forced to buy a new model when one is released and it's not rocket science to figure out that that each progressive release attracts a MASSIVE exodus of detectorists trying to be the first to update their detector and under the impression that a new release will make them an instant millionaire (I'm serious, many upgraders actually believe this). A new model DOESN'T make the previous detectors redundant unless the newer models offer a significant advantage. Usually the changes are minor. Sometimes a new feature makes quite a difference. A few modders will claim that you can end up with the equivalent of the "next model up" and that's patently false. They'll also say that you don't need to buy the next model along, just buy their mods for $XXXX? and find out what you've been missing. Any modifications (assuming they actually work) will be fairly minor. Anyone claiming they can turn your SD2000 into a GP-3500 or your second hand GP-3000 into a GPX-4500 needs a punch in the nose for insulting you by making this statement. All these Pulse Induction detectors have similar (and sometimes identical) depth capabilities to begin with. Sensitivity is about the only things these tweaks can hypothetically manipulate ....but, as I've seen, some modders are actually dumbing down perfectly operational detectors.

If you have an old detector from the Minelab range and believe you can trust the person offering to modify the electronic package within it, then by all means negotiate a modification with him. But if those in the know claim that the mods they've inspected are bogus, it should serve as a caution to others. If you're a modder and happen to brows my post here, I'd urge you to reflect on what it is you do ...and how scammers can make you look bad by claiming to deliver something they can't. If there's any good modders out there, they are being tarred with the same brush due to the incompetence or dishonesty of the majority of others. This isn't like chipping a Sony Playstation so that it can read games from overseas... or unlocking hidden features on your DVD player.... the modding of detectors is the replacement of parts and (quite often) the shorting of the circuit boards and their components. If the people who make or manufacture these computer chip boards are finding them "dumbed down" or damaged from modding, it should have some of us scratching our heads and asking questions. Many detectorists return to the same haunts and dig gold before returning another day to the same flogged location and find yet more pieces left behind after they (and countless others) felt that the ground there had long since given up it's last piece. It's easy to see why people will return to a "flogged" location with a tweaked detector and think that it's performing better. In reality, it could be weather fluctuation, soil conditions and moisture or detector settings, approach angle and coil choice which reveal new gold in an old location.

Cheers,

Marco
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Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:00 am

Mods are totally not necessary at all, its just like a car. Put extractors on and a race cam and bigger carby and the performance will increase. But a detector will still beep on gold if it can electronically detect it. There are many statements being said about mods, yes there are some who do mods who have not got the faintest idea of what they are doing. To give you an idea, the GPX4500 has many adjustments, its basically a fully adjustable GP-3000 if you understand the electronics one would see that the transmit coil drivers and receiver preamps are just the same, the only thing to change is timings and variable sensitivity. These can all be performed in the analogue domain to give the same overall performance. I have been doing electronics engineering for 28 years, I do have an understanding of how these things work and so far the mods that I carry out are pulling more Gold from old patches. The reason why there are no hands up for owners of modded detectors is that they want to keep an edge on the rest of the prospectors.

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Post  Jonathan Porter on Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:13 am

The only mod I have seen that really does work is the crystal mod on the venerable SD2000, when everyone was raving about 12 Volt regulated battery systems I was using a 6V gel cell that was half the amp hours of the supplied/standard unit (was a lot lighter) and detected all day digging deep holes right up until the unit signaled the battery was going flat (on one occasion I had to wait a number of times on a deep dig (2 foot plus) to give the battery a chance to recover somewhat so I could retrieve a one ouncer before the shut down alert went off again). If I was detecting in the Kimberley or areas around Marble Bar, Nullagine or even over on the East coast up on the Palmer river country I would happily take an unmodded GP 3500 with a Gel Cell battery and find good gold for the season, in fact in a lot of ways I actually prefer the analogue units especially the audio.

I am no electronics expert but I know a few people who are (the very same people who make your detectors BTW) and I often run some of the techno jargon posted on various forums past them (one forum in particular) and in just about every case they come back to me absolutely incredulous about the crazy claims and obvious naive misunderstandings posted as expert mumblings on the forums especially when these mumblings are about Minelab machines and more particularly about the so called mods or attempts at improvements over said machines (Woody some of your claims/comments have been a part of this at times scratch ).

I can't comment on what's out there in mod land at the moment because I haven't tried them but I can say I would happily take any of the unmodded bog standard Minelab machines and go and find gold with them because they all work very well, in my case I have the advantage of experience which helps no end but if you look at it that would just suggest others could do the same if they were prepared to put in the time and become more experienced with their detector rather than trying to find the holy grail of detecting through mods.

I am not trying to rain on anyones parade here, but in a lot of ways am forced to because as Marco Nero has said there are modders out there who are actually damaging machines which then have to be repaired. Take faith in the knowledge that Minelab make very good detectors and that no matter what model you choose they are still VERY powerful pieces of equipment that can reward the operator once the techniques of successful detecting for gold is learned. I would suggest to new chums that it is nigh on impossible to make an informed decision about any improvements of a detector after mods are done until they become more experienced through hopefully the finding of what they seek on a regular basis.

The reason why there are no hands up for owners of modded detectors is that they want to keep an edge on the rest of the prospectors.
Comments like this are meant to keep all of us worrying we might be missing out and fly in the face of the rest of the post which was more benign almost conciliatory, I would strongly suggest anyone contemplating having a mod performed on their detector do a lot of research and ask for hands on demonstrations with other experienced operators present before having anyone but Minelab open up their expensive detectors. I get around a lot in this industry and so far the only people I have seen who are being successful with any modded unit is the SD2000 and that is in direct comparison with the original SD2000 not what is on offer today.

JP
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Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:12 pm

Fair comments jonathon,

There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in this industry, some of the claims for some coils leave me having a cackle as does some of the hype and contadictory information in Minelab manuals.

But would you not agree that a 2100 is a modded 2000, a GP-3000 is a modded Extreme, and the 4000 and 4500 are modded GP series detectors. There are some areas of electronics that Minelab are NOT experts in, it is very obvious in some of the detector designs, sure they can bring a concept to market but I will say some parts of the design are a little bit lacking in refinement. To prove a point (as everyone wants proof) I will post on youtube a Cockup with the GPX series. It will piss Minelab off but I do need to defend my electronics credibility about the statements that i make. Both yourself and Marco are very connected into Minelab so its obvious that you will tow the Company line, I have no allegience to Minelab.

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Post  geof_junk on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:22 pm

When you take the occassional luck factor out of it It's 95% Operator and 5% Machine unless the machine smells of diesel.
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Post  CJ on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:39 pm

Hey mike I see the two greed representative want us all to part with six grand for the latest and greatest but what else would expect take it from me if you want to increase performance on an older model detector for what is after all a small cost for the battler mods are the way to go I can recommend ismael or woody
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Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:19 pm

Hi Geof Junk,
Couldnt agree more there are percentage differences with each Minelab Model.Small differences.Some one said to me they only had a sd2200 "Only".Any of the sd and gp series are great machines.Detect in a group that run 4 generations of machines.No one person on time spent out does the other to any degree.90 percent of it is walking over it.
Cheers Dig

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Post  Jonathan Porter on Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:11 pm

woody wrote:Fair comments Jonathan,
But would you not agree that a 2100 is a modded 2000, a GP-3000 is a modded Extreme, and the 4000 and 4500 are modded GP series detectors. There are some areas of electronics that Minelab are NOT experts in, it is very obvious in some of the detector designs, sure they can bring a concept to market but I will say some parts of the design are a little bit lacking in refinement. To prove a point (as everyone wants proof) I will post on youtube a Cockup with the GPX series. It will piss Minelab off but I do need to defend my electronics credibility about the statements that i make. Both yourself and Marco are very connected into Minelab so its obvious that you will tow the Company line, I have no allegience to Minelab.

Woody modding is for guys like you who think they can improve on the wheel, for the people who make the things it is improving on their already proven design. Minelab don't need to mod their own tech they just improve. My point is Woody if Minelab do such a crap job of things why don't you beat them at their own game and bring out a detector of your own? Can't be all that hard if your as clever as you say you are finding all the major faults and developing fixes for their stuff ups. confused


by CJ on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:39 pm

Hey mike I see the two greed representative want us all to part with six grand for the latest and greatest but what else would expect take it from me if you want to increase performance on an older model detector for what is after all a small cost for the battler mods are the way to go I can recommend ismael or woody
cj


Once again I see Kris has deemed it important enough to cast some one line pearls of wisdom upon the forum, I don't think I have ever been present when the money has been handed over to a dealer when someone shells out the hard earned to purchase a detector, it is a free world and people can make their own minds up but I would be very shy of sending off my beeper to anyone but the guys who make and understand them. affraid

Regards

JP

PS Dougys forum must be down or something all the hangers on are out in force today, and they call me a spin artist? cheers
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Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:03 pm

Jonathon,

How many product recalls has Minelab had over the years? Its well documented that when the experts make a new detector then out goes the recall. This proves that they are not the best detector designers or the QC is RS.

To come out and say "why dont you bring out your own detector" That comment does not justify an answer due to start up costs and the logistics of such an enterprise. Then again the QED on the other forum may just knock Minelab P.I detectors into a forgotten hole. I have been in contact with the designer and this one is coming along nicely. THe QED design does have a lot more A to D resolution than current Minelabs and that will give better signal to noise ratio's.

Jonathon, The modded detectors work much better than standard offerings, if you want to either tow the company line or be an Ostrich with your head in the sand is up to you. To make comment on something that you have never seen, used or tested is just ramblings of a company man.

The mods being done to the older detectors must be making a huge dent in the sales of 4500 detectors for the company men to keep targeting anything posting to do with modding detectors.

I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on my mods. Do you offer that on your products? Does Minelab offer that on their detectors?

PS Did you view my new Video.

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Post  nero_design on Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:51 pm

CJ wrote: .... greed representative ....

With all the HATRED out there, why don't you do yourselves a favor and use ANOTHER brand of detector? WAIT....What's that? There's no alternative? Hey, there's that 16 y/o technology inside the Garrett Infinium you can use. After all, it's a Pulse Induction detector... right? What's that? It's too heavy and there's no serious coil alternatives? How about performance? What's that? Doesn't work so well on our mineralized soils because it was designed for US conditions? LOL!

It amuses me to hear people complain about product pricing when they simultaneously fail to notice that rival companies are unable to put out a similar product at a lower price. If the could, they would. But they don't. What's that? ML have too many Patents in the detecting industry to allow another person to produce something better with the same technology? That's not entirely true PLUS you could always pay to lease this technology for your own designs - that's assuming you can't come up with something of your own design and creation. What's that? You can't afford a measly $1.6 million dollars per year to enforce and register EACH of your Trademarks overseas? And how about sales and distribution plus warranty and repairs? I don't expect to be able to buy a new Mercedes sports car for under $50K. I'd buy one if they were but I certainly don't complain about the fact that there's a few nice cars and homes I'd love to own that each exceed the $1M mark. I've spoken to a LOT of prospectors over the last decade and one thing they've always agreed upon is that the top of the line detector is worth every cent - regardless of the model and the year this question was asked.

Obviously you get what you pay for. And obviously the detectors are priced correctly to reflect the cost of production, demand, research and staffing. If you disagree, then you are welcome to keep whining about the brand that offends you so much that you feel a need to verbal them online. But you also have to realize that you make a hypocrite of yourself when you berate a product for price &/or performance ... and then continue to use it because it's the best tool for the job. And if you're doing it for fun and as a hobby, you can spend whatever you want to support your hobby. But if you Prospect professionally or as a serious part-timer, you'll be attracted to the highest end machine because it will maximize your returns compared to anything else on the market. The number of modded detectors turning up as a result of those users wanting to upgrade to the current top-model shows they simply can't be satisfied. So who's a greedy monkey now?

With the price of gold bouncing from $15 per gram to $50 per gram in just four years, why don't you complain that something should be done to lower the price of Gold so you can buy it more cheaply? Personally, I'm outraged at the cost of Gold at the moment. It's ridiculous!
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Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:40 pm

broker bill gives a 100% money back garentee too! Laughing

I had a chance to use a couple of modded detectors a while ago, both owners where not impressed and neither was I.
No doubt they possibly could have gone that bit deeper like the modder claimed, unfortunately though they both screamed like a wombat being sodomized with a 2 ltr coke bottle making any improvement unusable.

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Post  nero_design on Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:38 am

Just to clarify: Woody's mods were not amongst those causing concern recently.
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Post  PATCHES JUNIOR on Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:39 am

g'day everyone. This is my first post here. So I guess I am a newbie!!! I see we lost woodie as a member, so I figured I would take his place. I do mods to Minelabs also. Except the only tools I have is a big hammer and a aluminum block for testing after the mods. I am sure it works as good as woodies mods!!! affraid

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Post  MS on Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:05 am

I think when the slugging match starts nothing much interesting gets posted and nothing gets resolved or sorted
I also think ML created a need and opening for the modders ,as when you look at the cost of any electronic item or component they all are getting cheaper and I don't know of any other electronic circuit board in the world that even comes close to the cost of what is in that blue metal box. {Worth more than it's weight in gold}
I would think this is a result of lack of compition and yes ML have done a great job in ground breaking work but they should also consider giving us a bit of a break ie ,lower cost units will = more sales and more happy customers.
Mark
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Post  forester01 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:26 pm

Jeeezus,

just what did I start here with the initial post? Although I knew full well that blokes would have their own opinions on the topic, I believed I'd learn something from it. Well I did. Basically I learned how little it takes for mature men to become incensed when others don't agree with them.

If the 'mods' are for you and you believe they're useful, then go for it. And if you don't, well leave well alone. It's an interesting subject in my opinion and everyone should be able to put forward their opinion but it just doesn't matter very much in the long run does it? It's surely a matter of personal choice and certainly shouldn't result in the type of acrimonious exchanges we've seen over the last couple of days.

Regards
Mike W
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'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary? Empty Re: 'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary?

Post  Wombat on Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:28 pm

I agree full heartly with you Mike, there is no need for this sort of sling bashing on a world wide web. What do you think when the rest of the world that has been following this topic are thinking of us Australians right now. I can tell you:- Do not voice your own point of view on a subject in Australia, because if your oppinion is not agree with by at least 90% of the people invovled, you will get slammed and made to feel not wanted and your oppinion is also not wanted. Australia is a democracy, and free to voice your oppinions without being slammed for it. I got my detector modded by Woody and I'm more than happy for it. I'm not sticking up for Woody personally, but he did a good job on my detector. But he or anyone else for that matter should have the right of speech WITHOUT ABUSE. This topic has ended up only as a slinging match with no results. So please fellows keep this subject clean without personal slinging, it will not help this site or this subject. I'm not new to prospecting,(have been doing it of and on since the mid 70's) but I'm reasonably new to this site, and I'm starting to think what have I come across. Ask a question and you may get hammard down, voice your oppinion and you may get slammed or called a D/Head. So just think about it fellows "PLEASE"

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'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary? Empty OMG

Post  Curley on Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:22 pm

OMG Wello what have you started affraid
It seems that this is a very passionate subject for some. Never had a modded detector myself although I did consider getting the 2000 done. The new ones are getting so confusing in the stock standard mode I would shudder to think of one with more options on it.
I wish they would keep more to the KISS principal.
My 2 cents worth.
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'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary? Empty Re: 'Mods' to Minelab Detectors - Really Necessary?

Post  Qld Sandy on Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:22 am

Topic is now locked.
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