A while back my Minelab Excalibur II 800 crapped out on me and at about the same time I purchased a second-hand Minelab Excalibur 1000 (Blue) metal detector.
I sent the Excal II in to KellyCo for repairs and also had them add the Gray Ghost Amphibian headphones. It worked great for a while and then crapped out again on me this last metal detecting trip at Nadan Beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Fortunately, I brought along my back-up beach detector, my Tesoro Sand Shark and it worked just fine but, since it is a pulse induction machine, it finds tons of trash. It also found a nice gold ring though.
Now, the Excal 1000 (Blue) never has worked properly but since I had the Excal II working, I delayed getting it repaired.
So, now with both Excals needing to be fixed, I turned to my buddy, Stefan at Metal Detecting Thailand & Global Diggers to see if he knew of anyone that did Excal repairs. He immediately recommended Mark Watts in Australia who had done some work for Stefan.
I contacted Mark via Facebook Messenger and explained my problems and he was more than happy to assist, but he was on vacation in Italy. So, he told me to hold off on shipping for a week or so that he would definitely be back home when the box arrived.
It took the Thai Postal folks and the folks that deliver packages in Australia almost three weeks to get my box in Mark’s hands. Once he got the machines he gave them a once over and told me that both machines were in dire need of prayers. He told me the best solution would be to cannibalize the two machines and get one working fast and then see if the other could be saved later.
The cost for the work would be parts plus whatever I thought was fair after receiving the detector(s) and making sure all was in order.
Time was of the essence as Mark told me to contact a buddy of his, Derek Williams, as he would be heading to Thailand in the near future.
Contacted Derek (Siam Metal Detectors) via Facebook and he said he would be more than happy to hand carry my detector to Bangkok from Australia and then ship it to me locally saving me a bunch of money (shipping + Thai government duty).
Once Mark got one detector operational using parts from both machines Derek picked it and told me he would put the bubble-wrapped detector in a hard case and bring it with him to Bangkok on November 7th and send it to me on the 9th.
I thanked Derek and asked him how much I owed for express shipping via tnt.com. He told me “nothing”. WOW! What a great guy. Picks up my detector from Mark’s place, packs in a hard case, brings it to Bangkok from Australia, and then ships it to me express for free. Can’t find a nicer guy than this.
Mark was busy with family matters so my other detector would have to wait. In the meantime, I have posted at a couple of forums to see if anyone has a Minelab Excal control pod for sale. I posted at Findsmall, Friendly Metal Detecting Forum, and Treasurenet.com. So far, no luck. I guess I just have to keep looking at eBay and see if I can find one there.
The detector arrived on 10 November and I immediately put it back together to give it a test run in my front yard. All is good and I have my baby back – or should I say – my new baby.
I contacted Mark and asked what I owed him and he also told me “nothing”! Amazing couple of guys. He said all he did was take the good parts off both machines and made one working detector. Really appreciated. An equally nice guy – like Derek.
I am hoping that Mark can get the circuit board operational and fix the headphones. If he can do that, it is a matter of getting lucky and finding a control pod and then buying another coil and maybe a new pair of Gray Ghost Amphibian headphones- together those will cost around $500. But, to me worth it if Mark can get it all in working order. I will have to wait and see what wizardry Mark can perform.
So, I want to thank Stefan, Mark, and Derek. It shows what can happen when good guys get together and work together to help each other out. Really appreciated.
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