In February I was repairing some GPX 4000 detectors from Mongolia and needed some parts from Minelab, these included end caps and the Mylar strips that they use in replace of wires in the GPX models. This has never been an issue until now. Apparently, without naming the individuals, they had attempted to do mods on a GPX detector and in the process caused some damage that they could not repair, this is due to the fact that the GPX models are a 6 layer PCB compared to 2 Layers on previous models. They then proceeded to buy end caps and labels so that they could disguise the detector to make it appear untouched hoping Minelab would think that they had previously worked on the detector. The technicians at Minelab are well aware of their work and also keep a record of the detectors worked on. The culprits caused a major upset with Minelab to the point that Minelab will no longer provide parts that require a Level 1 service. A Level 1 service means that they must open the case to do the repairs ie; changing an end cap or even a switch. The supply of parts to 3rd parties includes dealers as I also was told that.
Again these individuals have caused a head ache for people that are capable of doing such tasks for themselves and also in essence Minelab Service staff as it will mean a greater cost to you and more work for the Minelab staff.
A point to remember when contemplating modding a GPX model is the 6 layer PCB as even Minelab would not be able to repair in a lot of cases and would need to replace the PCB completely. If a track within the inner layers is destroyed you cannot repair if there are no connections on the 2 top layers to these tracks. In my opinion there is no need to mod a GPX model and I have heard from a client who got me to mod his 3500 that his mate had a GPX modded and for the first 2 hours it ran okay and then a large popping noise and smoke started emanating from the case. Needless to say this was one of the detectors trying to be smuggled of to Minelab.
Points to always consider when modding a detector:
1. Can I afford to upgrade? If not then modding is an option.
2. If I decide to sell, will I be able to?
3. Who is doing the Mod? Are they reputable? Search the forums and web to see if they have good feedback.
4. Will they be able to repair the detector if it fails. A guarantee is worthless if they cannot do repairs.
I hope this gives a clearer idea in whether to mod or not. Remember that also Minelab no longer have parts for a lot of the detectors, these are obviously SD models and GP's are almost at that point now.