By Steve Herschbach
There is some stiff competition right now in the detector industry. We saw Tesoro go away recently, and I expect more consolidation to come. I also expect First Texas to be a survivor.
The electronics industry in large part depends on economy of scale. Yes, you do need to innovate or like Tesoro you eventually die for lack of new product. But manufacturing cost is a big part of the game, especially as regards global competition. And there is no denying now detecting is long past being a U.S. based industry.
First Texas has been taking some flak for slow introduction of genuinely new product, relying more of repacking existing product for some time now. What many may not know however is that they have been investing heavily, and the big investment by far was in a new state of the art manufacturing facility. From http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-releases/25974-first-texas-products-corporation-to-invest-7-2-million-on-new-el-paso-facility
"December 2015 EL PASO, Texas - Both the El Paso City Council and County Commissioners Court approved economic development incentives that will spur more than $7.2 million in private investment by First Texas Products Corporation, a leading consumer electronics company with domestic and international reach. Approval for the incentive occurred by the City Council on December 8th and the Commissioners Court did the same on December 14.
First Texas, which is currently headquartered in El Paso, will construct a new facility in the Mission Valley (1120 Alza Dr.), resulting in the retention of over 50 jobs which have an average annual salary of $65,331. The new facility will strengthen and expand the company's commitment to manufacturing high quality metal detectors for industrial, security and recreational purposes as well as high performance night vision devices for military and civilian markets.
Per the incentive agreements with both the City and the County, First Texas Products Corporation is eligible to receive the following incentives package:
City of El Paso:
A ten year, 50% real and personal property tax rebate totaling $256,019
A rebate on the City's portion of the sales tax, up to $12,000
Possible waiver of building permit costs, estimated at $21,700
El Paso County:
A ten year, 50% real and personal property tax rebate totaling $159,570.65
As part of the incentive agreement, First Texas Products Corporation is expected to begin construction within the next 12 months, with the certificate of occupancy being obtained within the next 24 months."
This facility has been completed and is now in operation. And in a stroke of luck, I doubt FT anticipated when that article was written in 2015 that trade wars and tariffs would add an extra bonus into their decision to invest in El Paso.
A peek inside the new FT state of the art facility
So what does this mean? We already know First Texas makes metal detectors and night vision products. Now they have excess capability to sell. Check out the new FIRST TEXAS PRODUCTS ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING website at http://ftpcircuits.com/ Take some time to explore that website and think about the capability described there.
"First Texas Products Electronics Manufacturing understands the dynamic nature of the electronics marketplace. We offer a full range of PCB manufacturing and assembly services to fit all your printed circuit board capability needs. One-stop printed circuit board manufacturer and quick turn PCB assembly solution. Serving OEM customers for many years in a variety of markets offering PCBA, wire harness, electromechanical assembly, build box and full system integration. We also offer auxiliary services - environment testing, conformal coating, machining, packaging and labeling. One-stop printed circuit board manufacturer and quick turn PCB assembly solution. Offering some of the most advanced PCB technology and convenient services found in the industry: Full Spec PCBs, Small Quantity - Quick Turn PCBs, Custom Spec - Quick Turn PCBs, Highly Specialized Precision PCBs, & Large Scale Production."
"International Fulfillment Services - We are process and results driven distribution warehouse having experience with hundreds of companies globally including online marketers. Let us seamlessly be an extension of your company; manage orders and inventory like it was our own. Release your order - we pick/pack and ship using our best shipping rates. Kitting, labeling included. We have been in the procurement business for 25 years. We have the contacts and the pricing history to kit your job at a reasonable cost. Don’t hesitate to inquire about how First Texas Products can help you focus on sales and the development of your business."
"First Texas Products Corporation is a consumer electronics company that manufactures metal detectors for industrial, security, and recreational purposes. The company also manufactures and distributes high performance night vision devices for the military and civilian markets. First Texas Products Corporation began operations in 1999. Today it operates more than 11 separate companies, exports to more than 110 countries and provides 397 jobs of which 254 are in El Paso. First Texas Products Corporation offers its products through retailers and dealers throughout the U.S, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Australia."
And that my friends is why First Texas is not going anywhere. They can crank out detectors in large volumes at very low cost. How do you think I can see a pile of First Texas detectors, good detectors, at Costco by the pallet load selling for $99.99? Take engineering costs out and basic manufacturing cost is very, very low for these pod on a stick models.
The only area First Texas probably struggles with is the old legacy devices, like the old Fisher CZ models and the Gold Bug 2. Basically hand made compared to the newest models, lower volume, which means higher component costs, and therefore they can only sell for as long as the prices can be kept high enough. With the new competition coming online many of these older models are doomed, it is just a matter of when. And I have to wonder about something like the new Fisher Impulse AQ - does it really fit with the low cost high volume business that is FTs bread and butter? I guess only time will tell. One thing I am very sure of however, is that First Texas will continue to be a player in this industry, probably for longer than I will be around.
By Rad Rocks
A Nokta/Makro P.I. machine... Now That could be a home run...
The Gold Kruzer is playing out as I had hoped...But I am finding that I am very much desiring the other half of the equation, So a P.I. is now at the top of my list..
By Steve Herschbach
White's Electronics is having their fall Garage Sale that features some deep discounts on select products. There is one deal in particular that nugget hunters may want to be aware of.
The White's Sierra Gold Trac was a Jimmy Sierra limited edition product not carried by regular White's dealers. They were only sold by a few west coast dealers and White's themselves never really promoted the machine. That makes them a rare item, and with Jimmy now having left the scene it looks like White's wants to liquidate the remaining units.
I only bring this all up because the SGT is basically a stripped down White's GMT with only two control knobs - on/off/gain and threshold. That's it. the detector runs at 48 khz and is locked full time into ground tracking mode. There is no discrimination. Just a hot on tiny gold all metal detector.
I did up a product page on these for historical purposes since there is so little information on them. Normally sells discounted for $369.95.
White’s Sierra Gold Trac (SGT) Data & User Reviews
Review by Mike Hillis
White's Electronics Sierra Gold Trac Metal Detector
All Metal Operation: Hear all metal targets. Auto Trac: Iron mineral interference from soil and rocks is tuned out automatically. Only Two Controls; Gain & Threshold: Threshold adjusts the background hum. The Gain control adjusts for maximum sensitivity in your conditions. 48 kHz Frequency. Waterproof 6x10" inch Elliptical DD Search coil. Slide-In 12 Volt AA Battery Holder: 25-40 hours of hunting. (varies depending if you're using headphones or the external speaker) Approximately 3.5 lbs with batteries: The SGT is light weight and well balanced for all-day hunting. Can be used with any Goldmaster Series (48 kHz - 50 kHz) Search Coils. Optional Accessories (Sold Separately): NiCad Rechargeable Battery System Two Year Transferable Warranty MSRP $399.95.
White's Sierra Gold Trac Owner's Guide
White’s Sierra Gold Trac (SGT) Data & User Reviews
By Bohemia Miner
I reached out to Jimmy through his website for Discovery Tours.
Here was his response:
Hi Walter, We are still doing our Discovery Tours to England. In fact this was our 29th consecutive Year .I have personally missed participating in the tours for the past 4 years for "health issues" ....I turned 89 years old this year, but I hope to make at least one more trip if I can get a better handle on health. Meanwhile, I do all the paperwork from here. Get the participants, collect the funds, keep all informed of details and handle the return of the finds to the participants when I get them back from David and Trish in UK. So the only difference is that I don't get to participate in England. I hope to make one more trip at some point when health improves....but age is not on my side, sorry to say. Our website is still active and David and Trish keep it up to date with pics and finds and info, as always. If you are interested in a future trip.........let me know and I will keep you on my mailing list.
Best regards, Jimmy