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The Garmin Alpha 100 is a tracking/training collar that combines the industry leading Garmin GPS tracking system with 45 years of dog receiver collar technology from Tri-tronics in a single handheld device.
The Garmin Alpha collar will update the dog’s location normally as every 2.5 seconds while providing you the ability to quickly control your pet with working out collar – all in one handheld device. The machine is expandable up to 20 dogs and powered by a Lithium Ion battery giving it the opportunity to run for 34 hours about the same charge.
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The Alpha 100 handheld includes a 3 inch sunlight readable touchscreen color display which can be operated with one hand and is glove-friendly. It really is waterproof to IPX7 standards this means the handheld case can withstand accidental immersion in a single meter of water for 30 minutes.
The touchscreen allows that you can easily switch between dogs and enables you to configure one’s body to your unique needs – we are certain to get into that in an instant.
The main one drawback for folks running the Garmin Astro or Tri-tronics collars – it isn’t backwards compatible. You cannot use your existing DC30, DC40 or EXP collars with the machine. Sorry.
Just what exactly makes the Garmin Alpha not the same as the Garmin Astro?
Faster Update Rates
Well to begin with, the Alpha handheld could be configured to update together with your dog’s location, speed and direction ever 2.5 seconds – when compared to Astro that was only with the capacity of max update rate of 5 seconds. The only downside with faster update rates — they have a tendency to draw down the battery faster than when configured to update at slower rates. The Garmin Alpha 100 could be configured with update rates of 2.5 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds,30 seconds, and 2 minutes. Which means you be capable of control how quickly the collar will discharge its batteries. However, even though set to update every 2.5 seconds our initial field testing gave us runtimes of 24-26 hours per full charge and 34-36 hours on a complete charge when set to an update rate of 5 seconds.
Talking about batteries – Garmin has greatly improved their battery life of the collar in comparison with its predecessor the Garmin Astro DC40. The Astro Dc40 includes a battery life of 22-24 hours about the same charge when set to a 5 second update rate. While we are seeing battery life of 34-36 hours on the Garmin Alpha when set to the same update rate. That is clearly a significant improvement that you will come to love next time you forget to carefully turn off your tracking system when you leave the field.
The handheld transmitter batteries for the Garmin Alpha certainly are a rechargeable battery pack. This implies you don’t need to go out to the store before every hunting trip for a brand new group of batteries. Simply bring your charger along and you’re ready. Heck, the Garmin Alpha even includes a car charger to help you completely charge one’s body (collar and handheld transmitter) while along the way to camp. The battery life of the transmitter is 18-20 hours about the same fully charged unit. You may also buy additional battery packs which can be switched out within an emergency.
Collar Beacon Lights
Another new feature I like on the Garmin Alpha may be the LED Beacon Light included in the collar which is often activated from the handheld. You don’t need to be considered a coon hunter to take pleasure from this feature – anyone who walks their dogs during the night will take advantage of the reassurance that other persons can easily see your dog in low light conditions. You can set the collar light to different settings such as for example: illuminate continuous, slow blink and fast blink.
Like increasing the update rate on the collar, activating the beacon light will draw down the battery faster than when the machine is running without the light activated. Our tests have displayed that you’ll see your battery life cut in two when operating the collar with the beacon light set to continuous illumination.
Number of Dogs
The Garmin Alpha is now able to track any blend of 20 dogs up to 9 miles away (based on terrain). You no longer require to worry about where your hunting buddies are within the field. Simply by enabling “Contact Tracking”, you can track your friends handheld transmitters like everyone else would track other dogs on the machine. However, your hunting buddies can look on the screen as a different icon rendering it easy for your to tell apart them from your own dogs. The only drawback we’ve found with “Contact Tracking” is that it will draw down the battery slightly faster as a result of the ongoing have to locate the other handheld devices and updating one’s body.
The Garmin Alpha comes pre-loaded with 100K Topo Map software which include all 50 states. Yes, you hear me right, Garmin Astro users. What’s normally a $100 option for Astro users – Alpha users get loaded on the systems standard. Hardly appears fair… These maps are excellent and if you fork out $29.99 / year, the Birdseye Satellite Imagery should be able to demonstrate real-life view of roads, buildings and terrain along with Topo maps.
Rescue Mode Feature
By enabling Rescue Mode on your own collars it offers you the satisfaction that as your collar starts to drop right into a critical battery level – significantly less than 25%, Rescue Mode will automatically switch the collar into an update mode of 2 minutes that may give you yet another 12 hours to find that dog. That is a great feature that will save some people sleepless nights fretting about their lost dog. However, it isn’t enabled by default. You need to turn this feature on for every single collar beneath the Collar Settings Menu on the handheld device.
Geofence and Radius Alerts Feature
The Alpha 100 Tracking System now offers a distinctive feature called “Geofence” which allows you to define a location (either property lines – Geofence, or a specified distance from your own handheld – radius alert). If your pet leaves the Geofence or wonders beyond the radius you have set in to the system, you immediately receive an alert on your own handheld. While hunting over big running pointing dogs in thick coverts, radius alert will let you know precisely whenever your dog gets out a touch too far for your liking. Furthermore, radius alerts are specific to the collar itself – if you have one dog that will move on birds as the others are seasoned veterans, you might like to keep carefully the less experienced dog just a little closer to get into position while he’s still locked through to the bird.
Ok – Enough about all of the great features of the Garmin Alpha… think about tracking and training dogs. Well folks, here’s where in fact the rubber meets the street and Garmin hasn’t disappointed the upland hunter whatsoever…
Tracking Dogs with the Garmin Alpha couldn’t be easier. The Alpha offers you two methods to track your pet – the Compass Screen or the Topo Map Screen.
When owning a single dog I favor the compass screen for locating a dog that’s on point or has treed an animal. The interface is easy and simple to interpret. If you’ve ever used a compass, you’d be acquainted with this screen. The electronic compass includes a color coded arrow that corresponds to your dog in one’s body and always points in direction of the dog. The length the dog is from you and whether he’s moving or stationary, it really is indicated in the bottom of the screen. This makes navigation in thick coverts super easy – Point and Go.
The Garmin Alpha offers a map screen aswell and is pre-bundled with the 100K Topo Map Software on the handheld. As stated earlier, this is a substantial upgrade to the Garmin Astro 320. The program includes maps for all 50 states and that means you should be able to see every road, creeks, trails, elevation changes and more. The Map Screen plainly shows your situation on the Topo Map and the positioning of your dog. Also you can create waypoints and marks on the map that i use to mark the positioning of my truck ahead of starting my hunt. Doesn’t take several time to get turned around in the woods chasing grouse to understand this feature.
Remote Training Capability
I was very skeptical when I heard that Garmin would make a Tracking and Training Combination collar. How will you possibly have one transmitter that may do both, and at the same time no less. Well, once you have two leaders within their respective industries putting their minds together, you get yourself a great product! The Garmin Alpha is considered to be made for the pointing dog upland hunter. Just as much as I really like the unit and would prefer to leave my gun in the truck, as a trainer who uses electronic collars 365 days a year, I will not be quitting my Tri-tronics Pro 500 G3 any moment in the future. What’s that old sayings… “I’ll offer you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”. Well, that’s how Personally i think about the Tri-tronics Pro 500 G3. Ok before you begin firing emails off, i want to explain…. and remember, I’ve used every collar in the marketplace during the last 18 years. So while its only 1 man’s opinion, it’s bases on a good amount of experience. So here we go…
Why is the Tri-tronics Pro Series the very best training collars in the marketplace WITHOUT DOUBT — and where does the Garmin Alpha lack in the remote training capability? The Tri-tronics engineers who designed the handheld for the Pro Series Collars first got it right! At the top of the machine you have an intensity dial which allows you to select the correct stimulation range for your pet. So when you have a dog out from the truck you just turn the dial to the correct stimulation range. Now without ever taking your eye off your dog you can issue a minimal, Medium and High correction to your dog. The key point here’s that training dogs is about reading dogs and how they react to stimulus — both negative and positive. If I need to take my eye off your dog, even for a fraction of another, I’m missing valuable information your dog is communicating if you ask me. So collars that were created where you will need to look back at the transmitter to adapt the correction level puts the trainer at major disadvantage and opens the entranceway to miscorrections if your dog changes his behavior while I was trying to adapt the intensity level. With the Tri-tronics Pro Series you can correct your dog at the low setting and only progress as needed – predicated on what you read within the dog. Should anyone ever used a Tri-tronics Pro Series, you will understand the difference it creates in training.
Therefore the good new – the Garmin/Tri-tronics engineers have kept with this notion of having the capacity to program three buttons to do something as Low, Medium and High. However, changing the stimulation range is somewhat of a chore – you should move from screen to screen and procedure with gloves is somewhat cumbersome. It’s not something I’d bring to the field everyday and run multiple dogs. I love the simplicity of the intensity selection dial and Low, Medium and High buttons. So when you are training a truck packed with dogs – simplicity makes all of the difference on the globe. However, with that said… as a combo tracking / receiver collar for upland hunting dog there is nothing better.
Types of Stimulation
The Garmin Alpha 100 provides 18 degrees of stimulation with continuous and momentary options, plus a tone option. You can program the handheld buttons on the facial skin of the unit for each and every of the three functions.
Customizing the Handheld Training Buttons
The Garmin Alpha handheld training buttons are completely customizable, whether you are training one dog or multiple dogs you can customize the buttons as you want. However, to keep it simple, Garmin ships the machine which means you have one dog per screen and each button controls the sort of stimulation – Momentary, Continuous and Tone. You can transform the amount of stimulation predicated on the dog’s individual temperament and the mandatory level of correction. You can also configure each button to regulate different dogs and create separate screens to provide you with more options to configure the machine.
Just about the most significant improvements to the e-collar market may be the range included in the Garmin Alpha. The Alpha utilizes the “MURS” radio band for transmission of both dog location and electronic corrections. Which means when you can track your pet, you can correct your pet – up to 9 miles. Remember that is type of sight range, under normal hunting conditions you will notice significantly less than that distance. We discovered that in the northeast kingdom of VT and NH we constantly got 4-5 miles of range. While I am not advocating correcting your pet without being in a position to see your dog I’ve found that using the tone only button as a silent recall could be worth its weight in gold under tough windy or long range condition