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Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: roboworm
Date: April 18, 2018 06:09PM
I found these recently cleaning out my dad's house. My dad owned Semtech Inc. back in the day (now a huge electronics corp). He hired Jack Roach and somehow started producing these METL-SENSOR detectors. I think my dad wanted to mass produce Roach's design. When I was a kid (1970's) I remember using the original Jack Roach square head detectors and cleaning up at the schools and parks. I remember how easy it was to separate the trash from the treasure. I found an ad in Popular Science in 1978, but otherwise I think this venture didn't get very far. I removed the old mercury batteries and hooked up a 12v supply and they both fired right up! I don't know what to do with these units. If anyone has a suggestion please let me know. BTW my dad is still around if anyone has a question about the history.




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Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 19, 2018 01:51AM
Congratulations! You sure do have something special here, I've heard of these but never seen one before.

The two holes in the coil, I'm sure one is for ferrous the other for conductive targets if its designed similar to the Roach square coil. The meter, if similar with the Roach detector will ID targets based from conductivily. I'm not sure if this model does ID, pretty sure it does if its a Jack Roach design.

I would be willing to purchase one, seriously would love to have one. I do have two Roach detectors, but one isn't working now has a coil cable issue right smack were it connects to lower square coil.

Thanks for sharing, please keep me in mind if you can let one go. I collect vintage metal detectors, this is one model I'd like to have.

Please tell your dad detectorist out here still remember his Metl-Sensor model, and a few of us remember the Jack Roach model with square coil.

Take care,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2018 01:59AM by Old California.

Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: April 19, 2018 08:30AM
Glad to see one of these make it into the famous Paul collection.

thanx for sharing roboworm !

Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: roboworm
Date: April 19, 2018 04:55PM
Paul, Is your collection near Camarillo by chance?

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Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 19, 2018 08:20PM
Hello roboworm,

I'm more north of you central Calif, 3 hour drive. I can take a drive down there, if you were to consider parting with one of your vintage models. Trade or sell, if you can.

I once met someone who was a silent partner of Jack Roach, he had loaned Jack some money to start his business with the square coil Roach detector. That's how i obtained the first square coil Roach detector, the silent partner had one model.

Thanks,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR

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Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 19, 2018 08:24PM
Hello Tom,

That would be nice, always enjoyed the Roach detector with square coil. Detention was different from today's technology even different from detectors of same era, has a set of ferrous and conductive coils within the square coil.

The METL-SENSOR models appear to operate similar, only the main coil is round with the two small ferrous and conductive coils within.

Take care Tom,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2018 08:27PM by Old California.

Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: roboworm
Date: April 19, 2018 11:22PM
Paul,
So I just had dinner with my dad tonight and asked for more details. He met Jack Roach when they both engineers at Hughes Aircraft. My dad, Jack, and one other person left and started a company called Trans-Electronics, making solid state diodes. This was in the 50’s and was soon bought out. Several years later, my dad started Semtech (also diodes) when he eventually “bought” the rights to Roach’s detector, after prospecting with Jack as a hobby. My dad says Jack’s innovative “pulse” technology was novel at the time, he doesn’t remember the details but probably a handshake deal.

My dad doesn’t remember if the pulse technology was used in the original square Roach detector, or it was something new. It would be interesting to compare the circuit boards to see if thay are similar. One interesting side note is I probably soldered up the circuit boards when I was a kid. My dad would bring home projects and teach me electronics, he said the detector was one of them.

So that’s the story of the Semtech Metl-Sensor.

I also still have a sack or two of silver coins my dad found back then. I have some 1700,s coins from a kingdom in Europe. He was on a business trip with his detector and found them in only a couple hours. He wanted to go back until he realized he stole the Kings property!

Paul, if one or both of these detectors would add to your collection, I can let them go. I am near retirement and have always wanted to hunt again like I did with my dad, so possibly a trade? I’m having back surgery Monday so maybe in a few weeks we can talk about it.

Greg

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Both meters are the same, Roach and MetL-Sensor
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 20, 2018 02:03AM
Hello Greg,

Wishing you a quick and speedy recovery from back surgery, near retirement too best to get these done as soon as possible so you can enjoy retirement.

That will be great, yes let's talk some more in a few weeks and I'll purchase or trade for both if its ok. Have modern detectors to trade, or sell out right which ever you prefer.

I think the technology Jack used on the Roach detector was a beat-frequently type setup and it was something new. I'll have to look it up, but this sounds about right. Just amazing, how your father started these two businesses, Trans-Electronics and then Semtech Corporation which I believe you mentioned is still around.

Sounds great Greg, please get back with me after you've recovered from surgery. Looking forward to meeting you, have so many questions to ask you pertaining to both the Roach detector and MetL-Sensor model.

Here are two pictures, one of a Roach detector meter and your MetL-Sensor meter, both are the same meter only differences are models. I'm sure your meter ID with conductivity, same as the Roach.

Thank you Greg,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2018 02:26AM by Old California.




Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: April 20, 2018 07:44AM
Hey there Paul : The only place I know of, that has a collection of vintage detectors, is Fisher Co. When they were headquartered in Los Banos, I went to their place. And in the lobby of the building, was a room or two that was dedicated to vintage detectors. Not only their own Fisher brand, but also other brands. Did you ever get to see that while they were in Los Banos ? And in addition to detectors, there was also displays of various things their customers had found over the decades.

Not sure about their present company headquarters in El Paso . As to whether or not they have continued these displays there. But if they DO, then you ought to write in your last will & testament, that upon your passing, that your collection goes to them. Then future generations could continue to enjoy some of the unique items you've gathered.

And be sure to not only say "Paul", but also say : " Aka : Old California". So that anyone familiar with your forum avetar will remember "oh yeah! that Paul fellow", haha

Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: April 20, 2018 07:47AM
Thanx for the nostalgic look back on this vintage line. Although they were not well sold or well known (compared to the major brands like Whites, Fisher, etc...), it's good to have a record of some of these more unique one-hit-wonder brands.

Re: Both meters are the same, Roach and MetL-Sensor
Posted by: roboworm
Date: April 20, 2018 10:48AM
Paul,
You now know the extent of my knowledge of metal detectors! The Roach is the only one I’ve ever used!!! I haven’t hunted for 45 years. My dear wife bought me a discovery 1100 for Christmas a while back and has collected dust since. You can bring me up to speed and maybe my dad can help with any questions you have.

I can tell you back then there wasn’t anyone faster than me in clearing a playground of its loot !!!! :detecting: :clapping:

Glad I found you Paul. See you soon.

Greg

Re: Both meters are the same, Roach and MetL-Sensor
Posted by: roboworm
Date: April 20, 2018 11:05AM
P. S. How do you exchange contact info privately on this forum?

Re: Both meters are the same, Roach and MetL-Sensor
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: April 20, 2018 11:43AM
Maybe this forum doesn't have a "PM" system. If not, (and if Paul doesn't see/reply to this), you can PM me via the forum: "Friendly metal detecting forum" . My avetar there is Tom_in_CA And I will hook the 2 of you up via email.

Thanx for helping Paul preserve a unique sector of md'ing nostalgia !

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My apologies to roboworm and forum, discussing trade or sale on open forum
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 20, 2018 01:03PM
Hello Greg,

I apologize, I may have placed myself in harm's way of being banded maybe even placed you in that position as well. For bringing up a possible trade or sale for the vintage detector on an open forum, I should have found other means to contact you. Noticed you were a new member, and I new your private messaging feature would not be activated until a certain period of time. That is why I asked openly, was wrong to do so.

Sorry Greg if I caused any problems, please continue to share your experiences and post when you can. I believe after a certain period of time, a number of postings you'll have access to the private messaging feature.

Thanks again for sharing, look forward to taking with you in the future.

All the best,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR

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Re: Vintage Roach / Semtech Detectors Found
Posted by: Old California
Date: April 20, 2018 01:16PM
Hello Tom,

I've never been to the Los Banos headquarters, missed out on that opportunity wish I had though.

Carl and a couple of others are the true collector's, Yes, collect them but use them as well. Always been fascinated with older technology, heck I still use an analog TV with converter with one of those flea market antennas.

Been a while since heading out in your direction, suppose to get with El to give him quick lessons with the Equinox. Maybe we can meet somewhere, scrub our coils over old dirt.

Take care Tom,
Paul



AKA..Paul (Ca)

Whites GoldMaster BFO
Compass Klodike BFO
Bountyhunter BFO
FisherScope TR
Metrotech TR
Detectron TR
Rayscope TR
Mity Mite TR
Garrett BFO
D-Tex BFO
Goldak TR
Relco BFO
Jecto BFO
Teknetics
Roach TR

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