Garmin introduces the long awaited MINI version of the popular Alpha TT15 GPS tracking and training collar.
The TT15 MINI was built for super small hunting dogs that have a hard time wearing the larger, standard TT15 collar. It's perfect for beagles, squirrel dogs, smaller flushing and pointing breeds and terriers.
The MINI TT15 collar weighs 7.5 oz and is designed to fit dogs with a neck size as small as 9.5 inches.
For those of you familiar with the Garmin Pro Trashbreaker collars, the TT15 MINI is the exact same size and design as the PRO TB collar. Just like the TT15, the MINI has a GPS top mounted antenna, but it's length is shorter, allowing a proper fit for smaller dogs.
The Alpha handheld and software are the same on the MINI Version.
Please note that there is no difference in the handheld or the software for the Alpha MINI. The MINI TT15 is fully compatible with the Garmin Alpha system and can be run in conjunction with regular TT10 and TT15 collars. Also just like the regular TT15 collar, the MINI TT15 can run as a tracking only collar on Garmin Astro systems.
While the MINI TT15 was built with smaller dogs in mind, it can be comfortably worn by larger dogs.
The only issue with larger dogs wearing the MINI TT15 is that the placement of the GPS antenna is not going to be ideal. It will end up on the side of the neck on dogs with a neck size of 16 inches and over.
Perfect for Puppies
I also recommend folks that have young dogs check out the MINI collars. I always have a young dog or two around, and the regular Alpha collars are a bit much for them. The MINI collar is perfect for that young pup.
I really like the look and feel of these new collars... BUT this may NOT be the right collar for you.
The real focus for this collar is for small dogs. To get the smaller size, Garmin had to sacrifice two of the most important things in a tracking collar -- Battery Life and Range.
The MINI collar has a 16 hour runtime on a 2.5 second update rate compared to 24 hours on the regular TT15 collar. While 16 hours is going to cover most hunting trips, it never hurts to have more battery life. There are few things more worthless than a tracking and training collar with a dead battery.
The MINI collar has a line of sight range of 4 miles compared to 9 miles on the regular TT15 collar. However, until we get a feel for how the MINI collars are going to perform in the real world compared to the regular collars, it's going to be hard to recommend that you go this route unless you really have a small dog.
There is also no savings when you purchase the MINI version. The MINI TT15 costs the exact same amount as the regular TT15. Both systems are $799.99 and both extra collars are $299.99.
Let's take a look at the Garmin Alpha MINI TT15 collar. The MINI TT15 is the newest collar designed for use with the Garmin Alpha Track and Train GPS system. The MINI collar was designed for your extremely small dogs. It'll go down to a 9.5 in. neck and fit comfortably, so that you can get good e-collar contact. That's important with a training collar, unlike a tracking collar which can be a little lose on the dogs neck. With a training collar you've got to have skin contact with your probes, and so the collar's got to go down small enough.
This is your big collar; this is a regular TT15, this is a MINI TT15, and what we were running into is first off you can see this is the smallest both of these collars will go. So you've got a substantially smaller neck size here. But then you've also got, while it's not extreme, the weight difference is about 3 oz., and on a really small dog that can make a little bit of a difference. But the problem we were running into was that you couldn't get this down small enough to fit onto a small dog's neck especially the little beagles. That's the biggest thing we've run into. But it also makes a difference on some of your smaller bird dogs, some of your smaller squirrel dogs, your little bitty dogs, this is a lot for them to carry around. So Garmin developed the MINI collars. 9.5 in. neck is how small it'll go. It's not for everybody. I don't want people to go, "Hey it's a small collar, so I can put it on my giant dog." Right now I'm telling folks 9.5 in. to about 14 in. is what I'm going to recommend. You'll notice, this is your GPS antennae, and as you start to get out to the bigger necks, you're going to start to get this on the side of the dog's neck. Now, we've had that before on the older versions of the Astro, but we really prefer the GPS antenna be on top. You're going to get a lot better signal reception. So as you get up into the larger necks, this is what you end up with. So I'm going to say that 14 in. is the maximum. I recommend people go with this. That's going to cover a lot of them. Several of my bird dogs can comfortably wear this collar.
But the other problem that you run into with a dog with a larger neck, when you get all this on the side is you're going to start to get some rotation. And while that's not a gigantic deal, you'll probably still be able to get GPS reception. Notice what your antenna does. That's not good. So, small dog you actually get really good antennae placement. That's perfect. And so you want to use this on smaller dogs. With a smaller system there are two things that we are looking at. You're going to have less range, and you're going to have lower battery life. And in the GPS system that's not ideal, but for the really small dogs that's just sort of the nature of it.
Let's talk about battery life first. With a regular TT15 collar in the 2.5 second mode -- 24 hours runtime when it kicks into rescue mode. The MINI TT15 on battery life -- it's going to get about 16. You're talking 8 hours less. Now, 16 hours is a full day for everybody, so it's just a tradeoff that you really just have to come to terms with. I'm ok with it, but that kind of goes back to what I was talking about with the larger dog there's just not a big advantage to going with a small collar. I'd rather have the longer battery life. So if you have a dog 14 in. and above, I'm going to go with the bigger collar.
Range is going to be the other trade off. Garmin lists the MINI TT15 as having a maximum range of 4 miles. And they list the TT15 regular size collar as having a maximum range of 9 miles. I've always felt the 9 miles was pretty optimistic. I have never been able to get 9 miles out of the system. The most I've ever done with an external antenna is about 6-6.5 miles. So far all of our tests on the MINI collar, it has matched up exactly with the big collar. It's going toe-to-toe with the big collar, everything we have done. But I went back and talked to the engineers at Garmin to get an answer for that because I didn't understand why they were, in my opinion, underselling the MINI collars. What I was told is that in the 4 mile / 5 mile range and down this collar is going to work about the same. But when you get up into that longer range, when you get passed that 5 mile sort of range, that this one is going to drop off more than the larger collar. There just aren't a lot of situations where you're going to get that kind of range out of a GPS system, so right now I'm a little up in the air on what we're going to say range-wise on it. Garmin says this one is 4, this one is 9. So far, the most I’ve gotten so far with this collar is 4.5, but I haven't replicated the situation where I've gotten 6.5 miles yet, so we'll see. But so far range wise I'm pretty happy with it. So going back to it, if you've got a small dog this is perfect. If you've got a bigger dog, I would stick with the larger collar.
Everything else about them is pretty much the same. 2 new features: the MINI collars have a bark sensor, so that you can know when your dog is barking or baying and the TT15 has what's called a sleep mode. Sleep mode was designed to allow you to shut the collar down. The way it was presented to me was that if your dog is out, you can track him, but you can't get to him, and you're worried about your battery life running out, then you can activate sleep mode. The collar will quit transmitting, and you can come back in the morning and reactivate it. In my opinion that's a pretty bad idea. If you have a location on a dog, you need to get to him as fast as you can. So I can see where you can use sleep mode if you're going from hunting spot to hunting spot, and you want to power down your collar without actually having to cut it off, then sleep mode is valuable. I would not shut down a collar on a dog that I'm tracking and try to find the next day. Beyond that it works pretty much the same. It is compatible with all of the collars out there. You can run them together if you have big dogs and small dogs, and you want one of each, you can do that. You can still run it with the TT10s, and it also has the same feature where you can run it as a tracking only collar on the Garmin Astro.
"I don't know how I've gone without one for so long."
By: JOSEPH VONDRACEK From FL
Owns 5 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes. I don't know how I've gone without one for so long.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 23572 Reviewed: 2015-09-16
"I'm getting up in age and can't hear too good. With this unit I can still hunt squirrels with my dog and know where she is when she gets out of sight."
By: Harrell Palmer From
Hunts. The Alpha 100 with TT15 MINI is a perfect fit for my Mullins Feist. I'm getting up in age and can't hear too good. With this unit I can still hunt squirrels with my dog and know where she is when she gets out of sight.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 24736 Reviewed: 2015-11-12
"It works the best."
By: Robert Edwards From MO
Hunts. It works the best. Thanks.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 24954 Reviewed: 2015-11-20
"Great reception even in mountains."
By: Kevin Mcneilly From
Hunts. Great reception even in mountains.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 25326 Reviewed: 2015-12-07
Customer Review #25805
By: Rodney Beebe From FL
I like everything about the website, especially the ease of navigation. Unbelievable fast shipping and accurate order. Everything came extremely fast and correct. I will use them again in the future for all my tracking needs.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 25805 Reviewed: 2015-12-24
Customer Review #31400
By: John Moore From FL
Hunts. Family pet. I got this as a replacement for an old Garmin GPS only unit. I loved that and love the new one more. There's only 3 issues that I have had with this product:
1. The manual that comes with it is practically worthless, I hate to even call it a manual. Fortunately it is intuitive enough that you can figure it out fairly easily, at least for the common uses. I suspect there is a more complete downloadable manual somewhere but haven't looked yet.
2. I found that it is really easy to change the stimulation mode by accident. In my case it went from continuous to momentary. My dog is trained for a low level continuous setting and I couldn't figure out why she stopped responding well.
3. It does not come with a cover for the probe holes when the probes are not installed. There is supposed to be an orange rubber cover to keep crud out of the hole when the probes are not in use. The one II got does not fit at all, not even close. I don't know if this is a problem specific to the TT15 Mini.
That said it is a great tool and has worked well for my 14-month old Setter.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 31400 Reviewed: 2016-09-01
Customer Review #31662
By: Anne McDowell From CT
Owns 3 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. It's fabulous for locating all three and critical to reminding the Jack that she needs to respond to the here command.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 31662 Reviewed: 2016-10-02
Customer Review #27778
By: Charles From AL
Owns 3 dogs. Hunts. Instructions could be better but the product works great and there are videos out there to help with the instructions. Only thing I had problems with was downloading the birdseye satellite view, but once I figured it out it worked fine. Only improvement I could think of is if it had 4 buttons instead of 3 so you could have vibrate, tone, constant stim, and momentary stim on the same page. I just put constant on the second page because I rarely use it. Overall, very good unit so far.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 27778 Reviewed: 2016-03-04
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Video of Garmin Alpha 100 with TT15 MINI COMBO (1-dog GPS System)
What's New in the Garmin ALPHA + TT15 MINI Combo
Designed for smaller breeds measuring as small as 9.5" in neck circumference
The TT15 MINI is lighter in weight (7.5 oz.) compared to the standard TT15 collar (10 oz.) and uses a 3/4" collar strap.
Collar sleep mode allows you to save battery life by turning on the sleep mode feature from the handheld
Top mounted high sensitivity GPS / GLONASS Receiver for increased signal reception
The MINI TT 15 collars have the ability to pick up both GPS and GLONASS satellites. GLONASS is the Russian version of USA's GPS satellites. What this means is that there are now more satellites that your system can pick up. This will get you better and faster reception.
Add a new Non Stim communication to your training. The TT15 MINI collars have vibration along with tone. You can use Vibration to teach a silent recall or most any other command that you choose, or use it as a warning prior to stimulation.
Track Alpha TT15 MINI, TT15 and TT10 collars PLUS the new Astro T5 MINI and T5 Collars
The new Astro T5 MINI and Alpha TT 15 MINI collars have the ability to be tracked by either the Astro 320 handheld or the Alpha 100 handheld. Please note that these collars can NOT be tracked by Alpha and Astro handhelds at the same time. T5 MINI and TT15 MINI collars must either be in Astro mode (tracking only) or Alpha Mode (Track and Train for TT15 MINI, Tracking Only for T5 MINI). This lets Alpha users who need a system they can use in competitions legally run T5 MINI tracking collars. Alpha users that do not need ALL of their collars to be training collars can add T5 MINI collars to their Alpha system and use them to only track dogs.
VIRB Control on the MINI TT15 Collar lets you start or stop VIRB video recording with the Alpha handheld (VIRB camera not included)
Folks that want to film their dogs in action can add Garmin VIRB cameras and use the Alpha handheld to control some of the camera features.
1 Year FREE Subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
Get a chance to try out the Birds Eye satellite imagery for free in your new Alpha handheld. This software gives you the ability to see your dog both on the standard topo map and also using satellite images. It adds a whole new dimension to seeing your dog.
EMERGENCY ALERT lets you send your location and an emergency alert message to other Alpha users in the area.
The Garmin ALPHA improves upon the GPS features of the best-selling Garmin Astro and combines them with the functionality of the best Tri-tronics dog training collars.
GPS Improvements include faster update rates, touch screen, longer battery life, rescue mode, "buddy" tracking, tracking up to 20 dogs, and my personal favorite -- the direction option in the Compass screen. E-collar improvements give you the full functionality of a $500 remote trainer for only $250 more than the price of the Astro alone. You can either recreate your favorite Tri-tronics e-collar or build a custom set-up with the perfect stimulation types and settings for each one of your dogs.
And there's a new user interface with the touch screen. Instead of using toggle switches to change dogs, and intensity dials to select stimulation levels, the touchscreen interface lets you customize your ALPHA collar as much or as little as you want.
All-in-one, combination products tend to be the worst of both worlds. Seldom does combining two products into one lead to a piece of gear that's as good as either of the originals. Fortunately, the Garmin ALPHA is more than just a GPS and an e-collar stuck together. A lot of work went into designing the ALPHA resulting in an elegant system with very intuitive controls. The folks at Garmin were very responsive to our feedback in what we wanted in a COMBO system.
The end result? Not only will consolidating GPS + dog training collars into a single system save time, space, and money -- the ALPHA will make hunting and running your dogs a lot more fun.
Track and train your dog on the same screen from a single handheld unit.
One handheld + one collar = less clutter and things to charge.
Track your friends' handhelds.
Know when your dog is out of gun range.
Know when your dog is running too big BEFORE your dog gets too far out.
Know BEFORE your dog leaves the property OR gets too close to a highway.
Know when your dog is on point (Pointing Alerts)
Know when your dog has treed (Treeing Alerts)
E-Collars: What's in the Garmin ALPHA?
Reinforce known commands. Stop problem behaviors / break trash.
Train ANY dog from the most stubborn to the most sensitive.
Rechargeable batteries that have a long run time and charge quickly
3-buttons instantly selectable at the transmitter
18 levels of continuous/momentary STIM
Expandable to 20 dogs.
A touch screen replaces multi-dog toggle switches and intensity dials
Customizable -- set multiple specific stim types and levels for each dog
Access custom settings immediately, easier and faster than manual controls
GPS: Garmin MINI collars pack lots of features in a SMALL space:
See where your dog is, what he's doing, what direction he's moving in...
Top mounted high sensitivity GPS / GLONASS receiver for increased signal reception
VIRB CONTROL on the TT15 MINI collar lets you start or stop VIRB video recording with the Alpha handheld (VIRB camera not included)
COMPASS Screen shows you dogs, direction, distance, speed
MAP Screen shows your dogs with a trail on the TOPO MAP
Track up to 20 dogs/other ALPHA Handhelds
Track Alpha TT15, TT15 MINI and TT10 collars PLUS the Astro T5 and T5 MINI Collars (T5 collars must be set to Alpha mode and do not offer e-collar functions)
Free, pre-loaded TOPO Map. Not just major roads and waterways, but smaller roads, creeks, and streams, too. ($100 value)
1 year FREE subscription to BirdsEye satellite imagery
RESCUE MODE and Longer Battery Life means No More Lost Dogs
EMERGENCY ALERT lets you send your dog's last known location and an emergency alert message to other Alpha users in the area
2.5 Second Update Rate means: you'll know twice as fast when your dog is in birds or treed
Bark Detection lets you know if your dog is barking
Not available to Canadian addresses. This product is approved for use in the US only. Collar to handheld radio communication may be disabled in Europe and other prohibited areas.
Owner's Manual Download Garmin Alpha TT15 MINI Owner's Manual, downloadable in .pdf format. Click here
to read the Garmin Alpha TT15 MINI Owner's Manual.
Garmin ALPHA + TT15 MINI Combo Transmitter (Remote)
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.
Touch-screen that's easy to use and works while wearing gloves
Bright orange tough handheld. Feels good in your hand.
Fully rubberized outer coating with an over molding
Improved lanyard attachment
Battery cap w/ Garmin "backbone" design
Includes additional 13" Long Range Flex Antenna - Double the range of the standard antenna
ALPHA Handheld GPS Features
The Garmin ALPHA has 4 Gigabytes internal memory (3.5GB are used by TOPO maps) as well as a micro SD card slot (max. 32 GB class 10 or less) so you can add additional pre-programmed data cards with detailed maps, or add more memory by installing a blank MicroSD Card.
New Dog Set Up Menu / Universal dog settings including Update Rates and Dog types
Dog Alerts: Tone-only, Vibration-only or Tone and Vibration
GeoFence & Radius Alerts
Dog Trails: Choose from three views: Complete History, Partial History, or no Trail History
Map Screen option: Show / Hide Dog Status, Distance, Names, and Offscreen Dogs
Zoom to MAP DOGS - automatically have all dogs appear on our map screen -- no matter how far they are from you
Power Button control screen - including button lock feature
Wireless sharing of Dog info to other ALPHA handheld units
Bird's Eye View Satellite Imagery (1 year subscription included) - import satellite imagery or your own custom maps
Additional GPS Features
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 (max. 32 GB class 10 or less) available for preprogrammed MapSource mapping detail such as US TOPO, Inland Lakes, BlueChart and City Navigator, or add more memory by installing a blank MicroSD Card.
Stores 1000 waypoints, 50 routes and 10,000 track points
Area calculation feature
ALPHA Handheld Dimensions
Weight: 8.8 oz.
Height: 9.5 inches (standard antenna)
Height: ~18 inches (long-range antenna)
Width: 2.4 inches
Depth: 1.4 inches
Remote Training Collar Features
E-collar Improvements -- give you the full functionality of a $500 remote trainer for only $250 more than the price of an Astro alone.
You can recreate your favorite Tri-tronics e-collar or build a custom set-up with the perfect stimulation types and settings for each one of your dogs.
The Garmin ALPHA system works really well as BOTH a training collar AND a hunting collar.
Train and track from one screen
Train up to 20 dogs per handheld
3 physical buttons
STIM levels, STIM type, Dog Selector
Adjust STIM from any screen
18 levels of Continuous STIM
18 levels of Momentary STIM
Stimulation Levels, Vibration and Tone
ALPHA has the consistent stimulation levels that Tri-Tronics has used for years.
Garmin has given us two different ways to select/label stimulation levels.
TRADITIONAL STIM -- The first is called "Traditional" and matches the 6 levels Tri-Tronics now uses with each level having a low, medium and high for a total of 18 levels. This will allow folks to exactly match the stimulation setups of any of the Tri-Tronics collars.
LINEAR STIM -- If you prefer a slightly faster way to raise and lower levels with the ALPHA, then I recommend the "Linear" stimulation setup. It gives you 18 levels that exactly matches the low, medium and high levels that TT uses in its Pro series collars.
AUDIO TONE -- We also have the exact same tone so if you dog has been trained with it, there shouldn't be any issues. We are also pleased that the ALPHA tone is a good bit louder than we have seen from TT collars lately.
VIBRATION -- Garmin has added Vibration as an additional non-stimulation option on the TT15 collar.
See the ground that you and your dog actually cover in a day's hunt on a map. Use the Waypoints and Tracks and the Dog Tracks feature from the ALPHA 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.
Use the Covey Counter to keep up with birds
Mark the exact location of your coveys using a special waypoint feature. Place your coveys on a map and mark the time of day, elevation, number of birds in the covey and number of birds taken.
Hunter-friendly Icons so you never get lost
Mark and identify your truck, hunting lodge, food plots, cover, ATVs and other outdoor-related features with waypoint icons designed for hunting,
While the Garmin ALPHA 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 ALPHA incredibly useful.
The Garmin ALPHA is perfect when your dog is not by your side. Hiking, camping, horseback riding or bike riding, the Garmin ALPHA 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 ALPHA serves as a full-featured handheld GPS unit, it will keep you from getting lost, too.
Garmin ALPHA + TT15 MINI Combo Batteries
Rechargeable and user replaceable Li-ion Battery
16 to 30 hour run time depending on update rate
Collar Battery Runtime:
~16 hours with 2.5 second update rate (24 hours in Rescue Mode)
~21 hours with 5 second update rate
~24 hours with 10 second update rate
~27 hours with 30 second update rate
~30 hours with 120 second update rate (34 hours in Rescue Mode)
Comes with a snap-on charging clip w/ dual lead charger
Charge a collar and handheld at the same time.
RED light = collar is charging.
GREEN light = when fully charged.
Garmin ALPHA + TT15 MINI Combo Range
The Garmin ALPHA transmitter and receiver have a "line of sight" range of up to 4 miles using the included long-range antenna.
The ALPHA 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 4 miles depending on hunting conditions, including weather, terrain, and the presence of cover.
Garmin ALPHA GPS Maps
Includes free 100K TOPO map and 1 year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
Supports optional map data -- TOPO U.S. 24K, autorouting with City Navigator, and Garmin Custom Maps
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