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New member
Tech Tips
By Rusty Henry, Service Manager


Just in the U.S. alone, there are thousands and thousands of our detectors out there carrying the Lifetime Warranty. It just stands to reason that we are going to get a certain number back for repairs for a variety of reasons. Considering the number of metal detectors we have manufactured, it always amazes me as to what a small number of units actually have to be returned for repair.

I get to be the first and last person to see each of these units, and it has been my observation that approximately 25% of the returns could have been avoided if the user had a little more knowledge about their particular model, and/or took a little more care with it.

If an unnecessary trip to the factory can be avoided, then it is a win-win situation for both the owner and the company! With this thought in mind, I have decided to write this article with some information, which should help prevent unnecessary downtime for some of our customers due to repair. It is my intention to write an article with information that can be of use to all. Therefore, some of the information is general and can be used toward many of our models—current, past, and future—while other things apply to specific units.
The biggest single contributor to detector malfunction are the batteries. Many batteries (especially 9V batteries) will appear to be good and yet they break down under load. A typical description of the symptoms would be, “My detector will run fine for 5 or 10 minutes, but then become erratic. I can turn it off for a while and then it seems fine, but then after a few minutes, it goes crazy again”!
This will happen more readily with heavy-duty batteries, and it’s just one of the reasons we recommend that customers only use alkaline type batteries. Not only do alkaline batteries last longer, but they are less prone to leak should the detector accidentally be left on, or if the owner forgot to remove the batteries before storing the unit for several months!
Occasionally, someone will ask about rechargeable batteries. Tesoro detectors are engineered to have excellent battery life and since rechargeable batteries can never be charged to the full voltage (only 1.2 volts instead of 1.5 for each AA, for example) and require recharging so often, they are not a good alternative to alkaline batteries.
Many of our earlier units used various packs of AA batteries. Silver Sabres used a pack of 6 penlights. Original Golden Sabres and Eldorados used a rectangular pack of 8 AA batteries whereas the Mayan & Inca used a long pack of 8. No matter what battery holder arrangement is used, the AA batteries have to be inserted properly.
As unbelievable as it may sound, we have had many units returned for “repair” simply because two new AA batteries were installed in the holder backwards. Not only does this immediately subtract 3 volts (1.5 x 2) from the power, but worse than that, it causes the other batteries to start discharging, which can lead to them going dead, which can lead to acid leakage, which can….etc!
Several of the earlier units with the metal housing such as the Eldorado, original Golden Sabres, Royal Sabres, etc., were powered by a single rectangular-shaped pack of eight AA batteries. When the battery door on top of the housing is removed, the owner is only able to see four AA batteries on one side of the holder. If the four hidden batteries on the other side of the holder are forgotten, then only half of the batteries are getting replaced with new ones! Therefore, the battery supply still doesn’t have enough voltage to power the unit, so it gets sent in for “repair!”
On at least a couple of occasions, these four “forgotten” batteries were left in so long that they went totally dead and leaked enough battery acid to ruin the circuit board below. A new circuit board required because of battery acid damage is obviously not covered under warranty. Therefore, something that was simply embarrassing has now suddenly become expensive as well!
In relation to batteries, I will mention one other thing that has happened many more times than most of you reading this will believe. Whether it is from a lack of understanding or actually thinking it might increase performance, many owners of instruments using two long packs of 4 AA batteries such as the Lobo, Golden Sabre II, etc., have substituted two 9V batteries in place of the two 6V packs. The unit is designed to operate on 12 volts and they try to operate it on 18 volts! I’m not saying this to make you laugh, because it’s certainly not funny when we receive these units with blown voltage regulators and other circuitry damage from the excessive voltage.
Our latest models have “drop-in” 9V batteries or “drop-in” battery packs. However, the vast majority of the Tesoro units out there are using battery leads with clips to snap on to the battery terminals. Battery leads and clips can be fragile and if unnecessary stress is not kept off the leads, they will not hold up. You would be surprised how many detectors are returned for repair with the leads jammed against the sides of the battery compartment. It’s only a matter of time before the leads break when this is done.
I want to provide a tip for all the different models which have front access battery doors such as the original Bandido/Bandido II, Silver Sabre II, Diablo II, Lobo, Golden Sabre II, etc. Whether we are clipping two 9-volt batteries or clipping the two 4-AA packs for the longer housings, it is very important to arrange the batteries/holders in such a fashion that the red and black wires come away from the clips in the center of the battery compartment with the leads going straight over to the holes at the top edge of the compartment and the excess wiring being inside the housing.