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Who Has Had Issues With Their Gpx 6000?


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Some years ago a friend brought his GPX 4500 to me to see if I could fix it. He had taken a hard fall on a large rock pile when it quit working. It had been through multiple owners and long past its warranty period.

Attached is a photo of a broken ribbon cable that resulted from his fall. Evidently a rock impacted the battery cable and connector flexing the aluminum faceplate far enough to tear the thin plastic ribbon cable.

At the time it occurred to me that that the short span between the 5 pin battery connector and the adjacent toggle switch did not have enough flex loop. The ribbon cable may have been weakened by many years of repeated flexing from connecting and disconnecting the battery cable and sideways straining of the cable in normal use. In our detecting areas the cable gets tangled in a lot of brush and suffers many stretch events.

With a lot of patience I bypassed the five broken circuit paths with thin flexible jumpers.

In Jennifer’s photos the blobs of solder may have come from replacing this ribbon cable? 
 

GPX 4500 Broken 5 broken circuit paths.jpg

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Malaysia has had a really hard time with Covid, it's had long strict lockdowns throughout the time the GPX was being made, I can guess the workers at the factory had more to worry about than if some rich person in another country gets a detector that works perfectly, they likely wouldn't even know whatever lack of quality control they were doing would cause instability or whatever problem a random detector gets.    Their Covid rules would have had social distancing requirements meaning less workers on the factory floor and I guess many other reasons why quality control has fallen off a cliff.  They're out of lockdown now and just accepting the virus is there so other than the ramifications of that I guess quality control and detector build quality will improve again.  I wish them the best and hope things improve for them, it's been a pretty hard hit country.  In hindsight Minelab are probably thinking they may have been better to delay the release, especially when it's been marred with shortages and disgruntled would be customers anyway.

A little statistic and I can guess which one the factory floor workers for Minelab would be getting...

Malaysia income rates (2021)

   
AVERAGE SALARY / YEAR             
95,358 MYR
$23,668 USD
        
MOST TYPICAL SALARY / YEAR
28,202 MYR   
$7,000 USD
 

 

It looks like the GPX 4500 has had a few components with re-flowed solder seeing the paint was undisturbed on them other than browned from heat, perhaps some were showing signs of dry solder joints or their was inside technician knowledge of which ones were problematic.  It doesn't look like any were replaced or you'd see with the paint.

The hot glue falling off the capacitors is just unlucky but happens, its just there to dampen vibration and movement and unlikely to cause issues in the short term if at all. 

My 4500 is one of the early Aussie ones and it had the mylar ribbon cable fail on me too which I replaced myself and seems it was the common fault with them.  It can cause a whole range of problems even crackly audio.  It looks like it was the case with the one Steve had in the pictures above, you can see the technician likely replaced the ribbon cable which requires a fair bit of soldering and where the solder splash came from, perhaps the tech did a few cold solder joints too and the solder fell off causing the little rattling bits of solder.  You'd normally pull the board out to solder it so I don't know how solder splash would end up in the box otherwise so very careless of them not to shake it down afterwards to ensure no solder slash is hanging around, a bit weird.

The ribbon cables with the bends and flex required to fit them into the housing were sometimes getting cracks internally causing poor connection which is why they can cause so many different issues, they're the arteries of the detector going across to everything.  I put some hot glue on my cable once fitted to stiffen it up in the areas where it bends especially near the connections to prevent it flexing around in there during use but I'd say they used an improved version of the cable once they found the problem and I used a GPX 5000 cable for the repair.  The early 4500's sometimes had a bit of shielding issues too with the way the housing was painted where paint flowed over the screw holes where the shield connects and easy to fix by scraping off some paint which quietened mine down after doing that.  I really like my 4500, they're like the older cars, easier to fix than these fang dangled new detectors 🙂

We had the same ideas Chet, you were just faster at typing, good idea on bridging the wires on the ribbon rather than replacing the ribbon as ML refuse to sell them to end users to fix themselves 🙂 I had to get one from China.

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5 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

To fill in a missing detail on Jennifer’s saga, I did sell her my used GPX 4500. It worked perfectly for me, but there was a recall out at that time for the 4500 regarding a circuit board issue. I thought I was doing a good thing sending it in under the recall before selling it used, as I sold it to Jennifer with fresh paperwork stating Minelab had just serviced the detector, and given it a thumbs up. I never used it after it was serviced, assuming that it was now ok to sell. The irony here is it was that repair work that left the solder bits in the control box. In retrospect it would have been better if it had never been serviced. Puts new meaning in “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Oh that's right... I totally forgot all those details... that's wild.... thanks for filling in the missing info Steve...so the warranty that was covered was because you'd just had it in for the upgrade... ok... makes sense.... My feelings still stand, once I cracked it open, regardless of my reasoning, they could have denied it plain and simple and for not doing that, they have my eternal gratitude.

Jen

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This shot really jumped out at me as they didn't bother trimming the legs off the threshold potentiometer and it was so close to ground potential at the case/case shielding junction point.... but I'm taking the topic off topic, that was a 4500, not a 6000... but I just wanted to add my personal experience to JP's statement about them stepping up and going above and beyond (as did both Steve and JP).

DSC00463.jpeg

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My 6 has been working as it should and last hunt a few days ago the wind was blowing so I broke out the corded Sennhauser phones and finished off the day cleaning up on some re-hunts I've re-re-hunted many times.  After about 1.5hrs with the phones I "thought" maybe the 6 ran smoother with less emi issues I normally experience in my area???  Today was all cleanup again but today I used the phones for my entire hunt.  All the talk here on the forum about emi possibly related to the speaker seems to be spot on.  My 6 has never run quite this stable...ever and I didn't even do any noise cancels or re-sets today, not a one.

Oh yeah....that 6 is definitely the "Super 6 Vaccume" and my last few cleanup work hunts has produced quite a few grams of "bonus" gold missed the first few go-rounds.  I'm impressed....

PS...almost forgot..  Had some emi today from aircraft while using the phones but not anywhere near as annoying as when using the speaker and I was able to work right through the airplane emi.....

Thanks again everybody for the info and tips....they definitely help!!!!!

Keep on diggin....!!!!!!

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Wow, this really is a great thread of wisdom.....as someone who is still trying to save enuff $$ and gold to get myself a 6000, I am definitely going to fully test the detector as soon as I get it from the dealer for a couple hours prior to heading home now.... The experience of buying an expensive detector and using it for the 1st time with great anticipation of success....only to find its an unusable 'dud' is something akin to a horror movie to me! But, I've just clocked up 40 years as a detectorist and owned over 35 detectors without this ever happening..... and 12 of them have been ML machines with zero failures BTW. I just hope that my next new 'toy' wont be the first.

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  • 2 months later...
9 hours ago, Lee123 said:

Hi all. received new gpx 6000 today. Wouldn't power on at all. lol

Do you know if it was old stock or a recent batch? They just have to be aware of the massive failure rate so you would assume they're doing something to resolve it. 

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3 hours ago, phrunt said:

Do you know if it was old stock or a recent batch? They just have to be aware of the massive failure rate so you would assume they're doing something to resolve it. 

Not sure mate. Will be making a phone call today.

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