No 4c Mine Detector (Part 1)

The No4c Mine Detector was an updated and improved version of the No 4a mine detector that had been developed in World War II by a pair of Polish officers. The new pattern was introduced in the late 1950s and remained in service with the British Army until the 2000s. It was a highly effective and well liked piece of equipment and I am going to cover it in two posts as there is quite a lot to cover. Today we are going to look at the equipment box and some general principles, before looking at the detector itself and its operation in more detail in part 2. Both these posts will draw on the official operator’s manual which has been posted online as a download if you want to look in more detail.

The manual offers this basic description of the set:

The Detector Mine No. 4C has been designed to locate buried metallic mines; it achieves this objective by generating an audible note in a pair of earphones whenever the search-head is placed in proximity to metal.

The complete assembly, i.e. search head, telescopic pole, and amplifier unit, together with a test unit, headphones, battery connector for Arctic use, measuring gauge, user handbook and miscellaneous spares, including spare battery , are contained in a wooden transit case.

The wooden transit case is very robust, with reinforcements at each corner and painted in NATO green:

As can be seen above, a heavy duty wire handle is fitted to one side to allow it to be carried. The opposite face has the contents stencilled on in white paint:

The lid has this particular detector’s last user’s stencilled on in yellow:

Opening up the transit case, the mine detector itself can be seen packed inside:

Sadly I am missing a few parts including the operator’s manual, testing apparatus and headphones. The full contents can be seen in the packing guide from the manual:

This set is very heavy when all packed up inside the transit case, but one can be sure it will not be damaged when thrown into and out of an army truck! We will look in more detail at the detector itself on Monday.

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