Family pet. Love it. Great way to keep track of my dog while on walks. Only problem is battery life of collar is a bit short. Went dead on me on 3rd walk (less than hour each). Hope it gets better. Just need to watch it, but it's great to see where your pet is.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 9023 Reviewed: 2014-03-12
Hunts. Easy to use, but I'm still trying to figure out getting the information from the gps and collar to the computer. However, for keeping track of dog while hunting, it's the best, and that's what matters to me. Fast shipping and very helpful with questions. Would buy here again!
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 7078 Reviewed: 2014-01-05
Hunts. Family pet. This is an excellent product, but I would say that the keypad on the receiver is a little cumbersome. I am a commercial fisherman, and have Garmin electronics on my boat that I think would be easier for a novice to use than this device. If I read the manuals, it would probably get 6 stars...
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 6563 Reviewed: 2013-12-19
Hunts. Works great. The only thing is you have to remember to calibrate it every time you use it. The calibration is a simple process, and directions are shown on screen. Just don't forget to calibrate, or you won't have a clue where your dog is.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 13113 Reviewed: 2014-08-24
Hunts. The only complaint I have is the pointing alert on it is not the best. She has to be locked on a pretty solid point before it will let me know. Would be nice if there was some way you could adjust the sensitivity of the alert. That is the only thing keeping me from giving it five stars.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 14582 Reviewed: 2014-10-16
Brittany Spaniel. Hunts. Family pet. My 2 year old Brittany has a little quirk when she is ignored. She keeps working, but without birds, she drifts off. There has been a few days (only two this year!) where she was nowhere to be found. So we looked for a tracking collar for her. The Garmin is a bit pricy, but it does work and Garmin is up to software 3.90 for the Astro 320. The map function is not so clear to me, in my opinion, the user arrow and the direction to the dog don't closely agree, BUT the dog is accurate on the map in relation to your track (compass was calibrated prior to use). Note to all - GPS does have circular errors, and when the handheld and collar are close together (under 5 feet), you may see an odd direction for your dog. What does work pretty darned good is the compass heading screen. The arrow is pretty accurate for the azimuth to the dog. Today, my Brittany found a deer in the bottoms, and I knew she was out there (she stopped @ 400 yards, then came back). Collar is a bit different from the training collars that I've used in the past, with their contacts. Since the DC50 is tracking only, you can put the collar on snugly (remember, no points to dig in). Both the 320 and the collar sync up in about 1 minute from a cold start. Things to be aware of: if there is another Garmin out there, you may be forced to give your collar another ID (this happened with 3.80 software). I had my 320 tell me that I should reassign my ID so as to not conflict with another dog. BUT... in order to do that, you need to be within 10 feet of the dog. Luckily my Brittany was working back past me, so the 320 was able to auto-assign an ID. Figure out the backlight settings for the 320, or after 4 or so hours, it will not have enough moxie for backlight and tone (it will tell you, but in the field is not the time). Rechargeable NiMH plus some backup alkalines.... While the new hunt starts you that day, there is no "Stop Hunt" to end the track. When you look at the track in Base Camp, I have the hunt, plus a long line back to my house. I need to figure out the correct way to end the day's track, but that in no way affects the 320 / DC50 during the hunt. To summarize, worth the money (but that didn't make it hurt less!). Some quirks with the Garmin screens and Base Camp, but nothing to stop you from finding your dog.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 14580 Reviewed: 2014-10-16
Owns 2 dogs. Hunts. Competes. Used it once. Kept losing communication. Thought if I updated it maybe it would help. After it was updated, the collar would hook up to the 320. Calling tomorrow to send it back.
Product Rating: 2 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 8359 Reviewed: 2014-02-18
The DC-50 collar is tougher with more range and better battery life.
Video of Garmin Astro 1-Dog COMBO: (Astro 320 + DC-50)
DC-50 COLLAR OVERVIEW
The DC-50 relays the dog's position to the handler's Astro 320 with location updates as often as every five seconds. You can track up to 10 dogs on a single system. Add additional DC-50s as needed.
The DC-50 is a GPS TRACKING collar only -- no remote dog training collar features. The DC-50 can be used alongside DC-20, DC-30 and DC-40 tracking collars. The DC-50 is NOT compatible with the Astro 220 handheld OR the Alpha handheld or collars.
DC-50 HARDWARE: What's new:
New, tougher rugged braided-steel antenna
Top-mounted GPS collar antenna gives you better, faster GPS tracking
Bigger GPS collar battery = ~4 hour longer run time
Feed-through collar strap design -- works with any 1" collar strap
New, improved charger design: one piece unit means one less thing to lose
Basecamp Live Laptop Tracking -- bigger screen makes tracking easier
Changing your dog's ICON color is now easier than ever
New Hardware Features on DC-50
Collar Battery: ~4 more hours run time
The DC 50 features a slightly larger collar battery that gives us about 4 more hours of run time on every update rate.
Collar Battery Run Time Chart
25 hours with 5 second update rate
35 hours with 10 second update rate
40 hours with 30 second update rate
52 hours with 120 second update rate
It's really tricky to give exact run times on the Garmin Astro DC 50 because there are so many variables. Collar battery run time is most affected by update rate.
Improved Charging Cradle
The DC 50 has a charging clip just like the DC 40 and the TT 10, but unlike these two other collars, the clip is part of the cord and not a separate part. One less thing to lose! Charge time: 4 hours for a full charge.
GPS Receiver: Top Mounted High-Sensitivity GPS
The GPS receiver antenna returns to the top of the dog's neck like the original design of the DC-30 but without the horrible nylon collar strap.
Collar VHF Antenna: Improved Braided-Steel
These new antennas takes all the abuse a hunting dog can give it in the rough terrain where you hunt. The DC 50 comes with a much tougher VHF antenna made from BRAIDED STEEL. This antenna is the same design used on the Alpha TT 10. We have really been pleased with these antennas, and they are very tough -- especially compared to the old designs on the DC 30 and DC 40.
Additional Long Range Collar Antenna
Also included in the DC 50 package is a Long Range Collar antenna. This new antenna provides additional range compared to the standard antenna. The Long Range Collar Antenna is perfect for big running hounds.
Feed-Through Collar Strap Design
The DC-50 doesn't bolt on. It slips over collar strap.
User replaceable collar strap. Different colors for different dogs.
Fits neck sizes between 13-inches and 22-inches
Solid K-9 metal collar buckle with metal keeper
Just like the DC 40, the DC 50 uses the plastic coated "Glo" collar straps that are popular with most hunters and Field Trial dog owners. These straps hold up better than regular nylon or leather collars and come in 10 different colors so you can keep up with your different dogs. Choose an Orange, Black, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, White, Silver, Pink, or Violet collar strap.
Unlike the DC 40, the DC 50 strap is a feed through / collar belt loop style unit. It does not require screws or a plate to hold the collar to the unit. The collar on the DC 50 is attached the same way as the Alpha TT 10 and the same way most e-collars work today.
The DC-50 comes standard with an orange collar strap. We offer the multi-dog units all with different color straps, and we sell the individual DC-50s in 10 different colors.
New: USB Port on Collar
Allows easy software updates -- just plug your collar into your computer
Export additional GPS dog data directly from your collar to your computer
When the battery on a tracking collar dies, finding a missing a dog gets a lot more difficult. When the collar battery drops to 25% life, RESCUE MODE changes the update rate to a 2-minute ping to extend battery life which gives you the maximum amount of hours to find a lost dog. Rescue mode is not the default setting. You have to turn it on under SETTINGS. I can't think of a good reason NOT to run your collar in rescue mode because there's no downside to using it.
NEW: Bark Detection Mode
The Garmin DC 50 has a "Bark Detection" mode that will tell the houndsman when his dogs are baying. Using similar technology to the Garmin Bark Limiter, the DC 50 will tell you when your dogs are barking. When you put the unit into Bark Detection Mode, it adds a barking image to the compass screen to let you know when the dog is barking. The Dog Info screen also shows "Barks Per Minute." You still have the "Treed" option when a dog is in Bark Mode. It is not an either/or choice.
New: Live Laptop Tracking using Basecamp
(Track your Dogs on a Bigger Screen)
One of the features that they've added is you can take your handheld while you're tracking dogs and plug it into your computer, letting you view your dogs on your laptop's screen. HOW TO: First download Garmin's Base Map Software. Then plug your handheld into your computer's USB port to see the Tracking screen on your computer. We've got guys that are working out of vehicles and they are tired of looking at a small screen all the time. They want to set up a computer in their vehicle and be able to view the tracking. You still use a handheld to track, but view your dogs on your laptop screen instead of a small handheld. Garmin says it'll track on the computer "real-time," but it's the same update rate that you have on your system -- 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds between updates.
You can now easily pick and change the icon color for your dog in the DOG INFO Screen. For example, put a blue ASTRO collar on your dog and to change the icon to blue from the DOG INFO screen.
Astro DC-50 Collar Dimensions
Weight 10.5 oz with collar strap and antenna
Height: 1.75 inches
1-inch wide collar strap
Compatible with Astro 320 handheld receiver
Can run on the same system with DC 20, DC 30 and DC 40 collars
NOT compatible with Astro 220 Handheld -- The DC 50 is NOT compatible with the original Astro 220 handheld. The DC 50 communicates to the Garmin 320 handheld via ANT + while the older collars talked to the 220 handheld via a Wireless USB connection.
PLEASE NOTE: Garmin GPS units are waterproof in accordance with IEC 529 IPX7. IEC 529 is the European system of test specification standards for classifying the degrees of protection provided by the enclosures of electrical equipment. An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
ASTRO 320 HANDHELD GPS
Contains top-notch features such as a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, long battery life, a bright sunlight readable color display and a rugged IPX7 waterproof exterior.
This unit also offers automatic routing with turn-by-turn directions.
The Garmin Astro 320 has 1.7 Gigabytes internal memory as well as a micro SD card slot so you can add pre-programmed data cards with detailed maps such as TOPO, Inland Lakes, BlueChart and City Navigator.
Barometric altimeter and 3-axis electronic compass
Scratch resistant lens on the 2.6" color 65.1K TFT display with backlit display and keypad
High Speed USB mini-B connector for data updates with a PC or Apple Macintosh
Rugged IPX7 waterproof standards
Quad helix GPS antenna
Removeable VHF antenna
Micro SD card slot available for preprogrammed MapSource mapping detail such as US TOPO, Inland Lakes, BlueChart and City Navigator
Stores 1000 waypoints, 50 routes and 10,000 track points
Area calculation feature
Built-in auto routing basemap
Garmin GPS units are waterproof in accordance with IEC 529 IPX7. An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Handheld GPS Battery
The Astro Handheld unit uses AA batteries (not included). Average run time is 25+ hours.
Garmin Astro GPS Range
The Garmin Astro transmitter and receiver have a "line of sight" range of up to 9 miles using the included long-range antenna. The Astro communicates using a VHF radio signal between the Dog GPS collar and the Handheld GPS unit, so to get the full range out of a system there should be nothing between the transmitter and the receiver.
Realistically, this isn't going to happen in most of the places that we spend time with our dogs, so the actual usable range will be MUCH less than 9 miles depending on hunting conditions, including weather, terrain, and the presence of cover.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF THE GARMIN ASTRO
The Garmin Astro has some additional features that many dog owners might find useful. Using the Waypoints and Tracks and the Dog Tracks feature from the Astro Handheld you can download your days hunt into your PC using either MapSource or Motionbased.com to see your hunt on a topo map or Google Earth. This allows you to see the ground that you and your dog actually cover in a days hunt on a map.
The Garmin Astro also allows you to mark the exact location of your coveys using a special waypoint feature. This will allow you to place your coveys on a map and mark the time of day, elevation, number of birds in the covey and number of birds taken from a covey.
Astro also comes with waypoint icons designed for hunting, letting you mark and identify additional waypoints such as your truck, hunting lodge, food plots, cover, ATVs and other outdoor-related features.
While the Garmin Astro is designed for the hunting dog, many of our customers that don't hunt but enjoy spending time outdoors with their dogs and allowing them to run off leash will find the Astro incredibly useful.
The Garmin Astro is perfect when your dog is not by your side. Hiking, camping, horseback riding or bike riding, the Garmin Astro will allow your dogs more freedom but allow you to keep a close eye on them and help you locate them if they get lost. Since the Garmin Astro 320 serves as a full-featured handheld GPS unit, it will keep you from getting lost, too.