Potential Emergency Beacon activation

Hi all,
I noticed an email from our fellow prospectors in WA via Amalgamated Prospectors & Leaseholders Association (APLA) which concerns potential activation of emergency beacons / PLB’s by metal detectors.

Please read the following:

Subject: - Direct from Minelab

There have been some reports of customers having EPIRBs and PLBs activating when they have come into close contact with a metal detector coil when the detector is switched on.

We would like to reach out to you all so that you are aware of this so that you can also educate our customers with this information to help prevent any unnecessary activation of EPIRBs or PLBs.

Our engineering team have loaned detectors to Kinetic Technology International and they have researched the affects of the KTI PLB and our detector, the PLB was activated when it came within 10cm of the detector coil.

Although this distance is very close we would like to make sure than any customers using EPIRBs or PLBs are aware of this so that they can keep their location beacons well away from the detector coil to prevent any false activations.

Please keep this in mind particularly when a target has been removed from the hole and you are finding it with a scoop (you are physically much closer to the coil when this takes place.)

KTI have suggested to use a metal tin to carry your EPRIB or PLB in to help prevent this from happening. A metal tin will work as a faraday cage (faraday cages will break the electromagnetic fields that your detector produces.)

We agree that this is a good suggestion as it can assist in greatly reducing the risk of a false activation.

If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Jason Hosking
Technical Sales Representative

Minelab Electronics


After reading this, I take that this is a problem with all metal detectors in general and care should be taken no matter what the brand used.


My take on this is keep your EPIRB or PLB well away from your active detector, regardless of make.