Minelab E-Trac accessory. Back to Notice Board
“Your Treasurer has added an accessory to his Minelab E-Trac after experiencing exhausted arms after wielding the machine for more than 2 hours at a time! The need to “spread the load” became obvious and the following purchase has made it possible to be able to use my arms while driving home again after stints of 3 hours detecting or more! Old age is starting to creep up on me!
I examined the body harnesses available for suspending the whole machine and soon discarded any idea of purchasing the Minelab double shoulder-strap design. It has a full-body approach and is fitted with a stiffener device (fibre-glass rod?) to provide added support. It looks to be very constrictive to wear when digging and it may be awkward to “change hands” rapidly when in the field. Worst of all, it costs in excess of £100 and – to my mind – compared very unfavourably to the price of a decent finds probe. I have not tried the Minelab product so cannot make a full comparison.
There are other suspension harnesses available but the only one which was not supplied from a transatlantic source and appeared to fit the bill on price and convenience of usage for me was the “Detecting Buddy”. Now, to be clear, this does seem to be a North American design and manufacture but there are local British sources willing to supply the Buddy at a good price with ordinary postal delivery charges. The design has gone through extensive field use and a few amendments have been made to the design over time – especially in the area of the attachment cord where the bungee termination was significantly improved to increase reliability/reduce wear. It is now a well proven product and provides fair to good value at around £25.
The harness can be fitted to the machine in seconds and to the user in about the same amount of time. Changing from Left-handed to Right-handed operation is also rapid and just involves a swap-over of the looped shoulder/arm strap and a graceful bobbing action of the head! All the load of the machine’s weight is borne by the user’s shoulders and neck with the arms providing only the minimal force necessary to make a side-to-side sweeping motion. When standing still and straight, the machine actually hangs off the ground by a small amount with both arms free! The headphone lead remains clear of the harness and does not tangle. Digging a find is easy as the machine simply hangs free to one side of the user and is not in the way of the usual activities. If you use the Minelab probe (circa £125), there is no mutual interference of signals even when the two detectors are in close proximity...
Most of the straps and the bungee attachment on the Buddy have a degree of adjustment available and the rear neck band is able to slide along the strapping and over the plastic buckle to put it in the correct place on the wearer. My only criticism is the need for one more adjustment to the size of the shoulder/arm loop which is just a little too large for me – and I am 5 foot 8 inches and “stocky”! An extra inch of adjustment would place the neck band in the perfect spot to bear the correct share of the load. Overall, I am very pleased with it and the Buddy has undoubtedly extended my detecting time in the field considerably.”
Over shoulder first
Duck under second.
Neck and Shoulder.