Garmin® ASTRO DC-40 GPS Dog Tracking Collars Review
The DC 40 improves upon an amazing product and gives us a more durable unit.
Garmin ASTRO DC-40 Extra Dog Collar
Much like the changes that Garmin did in going from the original DC 20 to the DC 30, the DC 40 improves upon an amazing product and gives us a more durable unit that will stand up to even tougher field conditions.
Jan. 19, 2012
I have been running the Garmin Astro GPS since the spring of 2007. This is my third review of the product and its constant evolution into the leader of today's modern dog tracking.
The Garmin Astro gives you an exact location, distance from you, direction traveling (if moving) and status or what the dog is doing: running, pointing, treeing or sitting.
I started running telemetry based tracking collars on my dogs in 1998. I wouldn't run a dog without a tracking collar and now I use GPS.
"The Garmin Astro is very impressive. It does everything I want plus a whole lot more. The beauty of this dog tracking system is that you can use as many of these extra features as you want, but they will not interfere with the basic idea of knowing where your dog is, what he is doing, and being able to locate him if he gets lost."
The idea behind the Garmin Astro is that both you and your dog(s) have a GPS system. The one that the dog wears picks up a signal from the satellites and "knows" its location. The Dog GPS then sends a radio signal to your handheld GPS with its location. Your GPS "knows" where you are and where the dog is so it plots the dogs location on your screen in relation to where you are. This way you can look at the screen and see yourself and your dog.
Direction and Distance
The Garmin Astro Dog GPS system shows you exactly where your dog is. The Astro has the same range limitations that tracking collars have because radio signals will only go so far. As long as you can pick up the signal, you know the exact distance between you and your dog and what he is doing (pointing or running).
You Know Your Dog's Exact Location -- The Garmin Astro gives you an exact location, distance from you, direction traveling (if moving) and status or what the dog is doing: running, pointing, sitting, or treed. This is more information than we have ever had before from a dog location system.
Garmin Astro Offers Silent Running -- The Astro is silent. Unlike beeper collars, the Astro does not make a sound. This is better for you and your dog. The Astro totally eliminates the disadvantages of running a beeper collar. The beauty of the Astro is that it will also not bother the birds. While many upland birds are not bothered by the sound of a beeper collar, some birds (especially pheasants) learn very quickly that a beeper means hunters and dogs and they high-tail it out of the country.
Point Alarm Tells You Running or On Point -- The Garmin Astro Dog GPS has a "Point Alarm" that will tell you when your dog goes on point. This way you don't have to constantly check. The system tells you when you need to go find your dog.
Tree Alarm Tells You Running or Treed -- The Garmin Astro Dog GPS has a "Treed Alarm" that will tell you when your dog has treed his prey. This way you don't have to constantly check. The system tells you when you need to go find your dog.
Originally I felt that I would use the Compass screen exclusively when I was hunting with my dogs. I did not think the mapping screen would be of much use to me. Over time I found that I preferred the Map screen for certain dogs, especially my bigger runners. I found that I could determine at what point my dogs were no longer hunting in the range or direction that I wanted them going and I could turn them as needed.
While there is a slight delay with the Astro as it updates every 5 seconds, I could use the Astro Map screen to "see" the dog turn. If I only used the compass screen I could tell the distance, but I could not tell the direction that the dog was moving. The Map screen gives a better idea of what is going on. This allowed my bigger running dogs more freedom to cover the ground and I spent less time wondering what was going on.
What's NEW in the Garmin Astro DC-40 GPS CollarFeatures of the DC 40 include
Self-Contained Collar - Transmitter Electronics
Plastic Coated Nylon Collar Strap
Option to Wear both Ecollar and DC 40 on same Collar Strap
Improved Charging Cradle
Improved Charge Indicator Lights
"Collar Lock" Security PIN numbers
120 Seconds (2 minutes) update Rate Option for longer battery Life
We got so much feedback from customers on what they liked and hated about the product it was a little hard to keep up. We also spent a good bit of time working with Garmin on ways to improve the collar design to avoid these issues. To Garmin's credit, they listened to us and their customers and we now have a much better product in the DC 40 collar.
The DC-40 GPS collar is designed to take a much higher level of abuse than the original DC 20. This new design also eliminates a few issues that we had with the DC 30.
The DC-40 is built more like a traditional tracking collar, and requires no vest or counter-weight to keep it in place on your dog. It can also be worn on a standard plastic coated collar strap.
The DC40 Astro collar / transmitter from Garmin is the next step in the 3 year evolution of GPS dog tracking.
New Integrated Design
Garmin has gotten rid of the multiple parts of the DC 30 and combined everything into one durable smaller package.
The advantage here is no wires to connect the parts. This means it can now use standard collar straps. That is going to allow folks the option of using different color straps when they run multiple dogs. You will also have the option of combining your DC 40 with most of the Electronic Remote training collars on the market.
The Garmin Astro collar is made up of the GPS antenna, battery, electronic brains of the transmitter, and the radio whip antenna. In the DC 30, these parts were separate. The GPS antenna was on top of the dogs neck and required wires that connected it to the "brains" and battery of the RF transmitter.
The GPS antenna picks up the info from the satellites and determine your dogs location. It sends that info to the RF transmitter and the RF transmitter sends that info to your Astro handheld. Your Astro Hand held knows where you are and it takes the dogs location and plots it on your map.
With the DC 40, everything works the same, but the GPS antenna is now housed inside the "box" that also holds the RF transmitter and the battery. This makes it a slightly smaller package and gets rid of the wires.
Since the DC 40 is now a self-contained unit with a side mounted "whip" antenna, Garmin can attach it to a standard plastic coated nylon collar strap. The biggest complaint of the DC 30 was the durability of the non-coated nylon strap. They really didn't hold up to the abuse that we put them under in regular hunting and they fell apart in extreme field conditions that are pretty standard for beagle and hound owners.
The strap on the DC 40 will completely eliminate this issue. It will also allow you the option of changing the strap with any standard collar strap at a much more reasonable price.
Put GPS and e-collars on same collar strap (3)The second biggest complaint about the strap on the DC 30 was that it did not allow you the option of combining your Gamin Astro collar transmitter with your electronic remote dog training collar. One of the more popular features of the original DC 20 was that it was designed to be worn on the same strap as your ecollar. We lost that option with the DC 30, but we get it back with the DC 40.
The DC 40 will come on it's own strap, but adding your ecollar to that strap or moving the DC 40 to your ecollar strap will be a pretty easy option and can be done with basic tools.
The Garmin straps are 1 inch straps and will fit most Tri-Tronics, Dogtra and older SportDOG collars. You can mount the Astro on a 3/4 inch strap for smaller Dogtra collars and newer SportDOG systems.
The thing to keep in mind if you want to run two systems on the same strap is that you must get good skin contact for the Ecollar to work properly. The Astro does not require that it be on tight to work, but your ecollar does. Correct positioning of the units will be critical to make sure your ecollar will work consistently.
Click here to see some options of how to combine your tracking system with your training system.
We have run multiple tests on the DC 40 running them on both 1 inch collar straps and 3/4 inch straps with the remote training collar on either side of the Astro and have not had any issues. While I originally didn't expect to run my systems on one strap, I may just change my mind on that soon. We shall see.
Improved Charger: Keeps out dirt and tells you when fully chargedThe third biggest issue with the DC 30 (and this really went back to the DC 20) was the design of the charging port. The original Astro collar used a charging plug that allowed dirt, grime and muck to get lodged inside the grooves where you plugged the charger into the collar. This would cause issues with the charging and required that you cleaned out the grooves from time to time. It also made it difficult to tell if your collar had really charged. If you were not paying close attention to what you were doing, you could plug your collar up, not get a good connection and not know it. I did this myself on more than one occasion.
The problem with the DC 30 charging system was that it didn't do a good job of telling you when the unit was finished charging. What would happen is that when you plugged up the unit to the charger, the light on the transmitter would turn on. When it was finished charging it would turn off. Sounds simple enough- right?
The problem with that is if you plugged the charger in and you didn't get a good connection, the light would not turn on at all. If you were not really paying close attention and didn't notice that the light didn't come on at all, you would come back a few hours later and "think" that your system had charged since the light was off.
Garmin has completely eliminated both of these issues with the new charging system in the Astro DC 40. To fix the dirt, grime and gunk issue, Garmin has gone to a snap on flat contact charging interface. Plug the charger into the wall and snap it to the collar. Simple as that. If you get any dirt on the collar you just wipe it off. There are no grooves for it to hide in or get trapped. The charger contact points are smooth and flat.
The other new improvement in the charging system is that the lights now tell you when your collar has a complete charge. When you snap the charger to the collar, the light flashes blue while it is charging. When it is finished, the light glows a solid blue. If you are not getting a charging connection, there will be no light.
It's as simple as that.
This improvement in the charger is one of those things that I have wanted since the original DC 20 came out. I run a lot of dogs and at the end of the day I have a bunch of stuff that needs to be charged for the next day's hunt. I am normally tired at the end of a long day, and I don't need to have to think about my collars. I need the charging to be simple, easy and fool proof. Garmin has made a simple change that really improves the product.
COLLAR LOCK Security. You control who can (or can't) track your dogA new feature that has been added to the DC 40 is the option of putting a "password" protection PIN feature on your collars.
The Astro uses 50 different ID codes to differentiate between collars. This makes it pretty easy for other folks to figure out what frequency your dogs are on, and anyone can track your dogs once they figure out your frequency by simple number elimination.
While I want the folks that I am hunting with to be able to track my dogs, I really don't want just anyone to be able to locate my dogs without my permission.
The new "Collar Lock" feature allows you the option of protecting your dogs from other people. You select a 4 digit code that the hand held will require a new user to enter before it will allow them to track your GPS collar.
"Collar Lock" is a pull down selection that you can set on your collar if you want it. It is not required to use the DC 40, and it is easy to reset if you want to change it or stop using it.
Collar Lock is controlled via the Wireless USB feature on the Astro. You must be within 1 to 2 feet of the collar to set it and remove it. You can enter the PIN number at any distance from the collar that you are able to receive the signal. Once you have entered the PIN, you will not have to re-enter it.
This is an interesting feature that I really didn't see coming on the Astro and I think that folks are going to like having the option. This feature will also come in real handy for the competition / field trial markets that do not want folks to be able to track dogs while they are in contention.
Collar Locked systems will allow you to locate a lost dog after the competition is ended. The Judge can give the PIN number to the handler after the dog is finished and he can start tracking.
The "Collar Lock" feature is only available in the DC 40 collar, but users with older 220 Astro hand held can upgrade their software and get this feature by adding a DC 40 collar to their system.
"2-Minute Update Rate." Extends battery life 280%2 Minute Update Rate - The Astro DC 40 also has a new update rate that is designed to extend battery life. The Update Rate is the time between location info being sent from the collar to your hand held receiver. The quicker the update rate the more information you have on what your dog is doing.
Previous generations of the Astro have allowed update rates of 5 seconds, 10 seconds and 30 seconds. The DC 40 now has a 2 minute (120 seconds) option. This longer update rate is designed for the dog owner that wants the longest possible battery life (48 hours) and is willing to sacrifice location detail to get it.
With a longer update rate you will not know exactly were your dog is all the time, but you will be able to get close to him when you are trying to pick up a lost dog. Once you are in the general location of the last update, you wait for the next update and you will know exactly where your dog is at that point.
This feature isn't for everyone and it limits the amount of information you will get about what your dog is doing and where he is doing it. It is designed for the folks that want the longest possible battery life.
The "2 minute update" feature is only available in the DC 40 collar, but users with older 220 Astro hand held can upgrade their software and get this feature by adding a DC 40 collar to their system.
Running Multiple Dogs with the Garmin AstroThe Astro can handle up to 10 dogs at one time. The Astro can be purchased as a one dog system or as a multi dog system. You can add dogs at anytime. You can also track multiple dogs from multiple handhelds. This means you can track your dogs and the dogs of other folks that you are hunting with. You can add and remove dogs at anytime. It's quick and easy. Last season when I hunted with others folks that were also running the Astro, I would add their dogs so I could help keep up with them in the field.
Actual Range of the Astro with the DC 40The Garmin Astro Dog GPS sends a radio signal to your Handheld GPS unit with the exact location of your dog. The Handheld GPS unit plots that information on your MAP SCREEN so you can see your location, your dog's location, direction, and whether or not your dog is moving.
The DC 40 has a "Line of Sight" range of 7 miles. This means in completely flat terrain with nothing between you or your dog you should be able to get a range of 7 miles. (There are not many places that we hunt or spend time with our dogs that have this type of terrain.)
"What's the real range? 7 miles sounds fine, but what is it going to get in grouse woods? I hunt some big open country, but I like to hunt ravines and hill country too." -- In thick rolling country we could get between 1 and 1.3 miles with the handheld. Adding the car top antenna more than doubled that range out to 2.8 miles. In flat thick, cover (no changes in elevation) I got 2.5 miles with just the handheld and over 3.5 miles with the additional long range antenna.
Some situations will create more range and some will create less. The thickness of the cover does not seem to ever be a problem. We found the greatest range drop off in rolling terrain. Just like any radio signal (this applies to tracking collars also), the more dirt that you have between you and the dog, the less of a signal you will get. Radio signals do not go through dirt or rocks. They bounce off them and go up. This means that the best way to track in rolling, hilly or mountain terrains is from the highest possible location.
How the Dogs Wear the Garmin DC40 FROM MY ORIGINAL DC 20 REVIEW - "I also have some concerns about how the dog is going to wear the unit. The Garmin Astro comes with a neoprene vest that goes around the dogs chest and is also attached to the dogs regular id collar. The vest idea is ok (I was real pleased with the quality and the construction) but I hunt in a lot of really hot weather. The last thing my dog needs is a neoprene vest on him when it's 70 degrees. No problem here, it can also be worn on the collar."
The biggest change from the original Astro is in the dog collar. The DC 40 is a stand alone system. Unlike the original DC 20, the DC 40 does not need a vest or a counterweight (ecollar, dummy collar, or any other rigged contraption) to keep it in place. This one change fixes the majority of the problems that we saw over the first season of running the Astro.
The beauty of the self contained collar is that the Astro can be worn by itself.
This change has also fixed a couple of other issues. It was hard to keep the astro in place while running small dogs. There were certain size limitations with the original set up that we don't have with the DC 40 up to a point.
The DC 40 collar strap goes as small as 9 inches and will fit a dog as large as 22 inches. This sizing is going to work for the majority of the dogs that it is directed towards but there will be a few issues. You can get away with wearing it on a dog with a slightly smaller neck than 9 inches, but I would not go much smaller. I would not recommend using it on a dog under 12 pounds from a weight standpoint.
We will see more folks looking to wear it on dogs with necks larger than 22 inches. To fix this all you need to do is purchase an extra ecollar strap and buckle them together.
GPS Screens and IconsYou have two choices of screens to look at the dog's location and you can move back and forth. The MAP SCREEN (first screen) shows your location, any "way points" (think truck, food plots, hunting lodge, blinds) and your dog's location, plus it shows your dogs "route." NOTE: If he likes to run in circles, you'll know it.
This MAP SCREEN can get crowded pretty fast, and if you have multiple dogs on the ground, you might prefer the COMPASS SCREEN. Since you already know where you are (at least let's hope you do) it's more important that you know the direction of your dog(s) and the distance, as well as what he is doing. The COMPASS SCREEN is the best way to keep up with a larger number of dogs because it shows your direction as well as a different color line for each dog showing direction, distance and status (running or on point).
You have two options on the Compass screen as to how you view the dogs. You can either see multiple dogs at one time (up to three) or you can tab back and forth to see them individually on the compass.
Topo Maps and Turn by Turn NavigationThe Garmin Astro comes with a "base" map. If you want more detailed mapping information you can add any of the regional Topo Maps, the entire USA Topo or the entire USA Car package which gives you turn by turn navigation. The regional topo maps and the car package are easy to use. You just plug the micro SD card into the slot under the batteries in the astro handheld. If you want the entire USA on Topo or you pick the car package in the DVD format, you will need a Micro SD card to download the information from your computer. It really is not that hard but it does take a little more work. I have run my Astro with both kinds of Maps and it does a really nice job. Be sure to check out Garmin's newest 24K Topo Maps for the highest level of terrain detail.
The Topo Maps are best from a hunting standpoint. The biggest advantage is knowing where your dog is in relation to either roads or waterways. It really helps when you can tell that your dog is on the other side of a creek or river.
The Car Navigation package worked pretty well, but compared to any of the Garmin Nuvi units, it is not as user friendly. I would recommend that you look at some of the newer car units before you invest in the car option for the Garmin Astro. Neither of the mapping options is required to run the Astro but it does give you more information if you want it.
Who uses the Garmin Astro? Using the Garmin Astro with Bird Dogs -- The first Garmin Astro was designed for bird dogs. This new version improves on it and it is perfect for bird dogs. Many bird dog folks are really looking forward to running everything on one strap.
Using the Garmin Astro with Beagles -- The Garmin Astro works fine for folks running beagles as a tracking system. The collar design really helps with smaller beagles over the original DC 20 or DC 30. Beagles also tend to be really hard on gear, so the rugged collar design is a must. The new collar strap will also work much better for beagles. Be careful trying to get both units on the same strap for really small dogs. You may find that you don't get as good skin contact with the really small necks.
Using the Garmin Astro for Squirrel Dogs -- The Garmin Astro will also work fine for squirrel dogs as a tracking system. I have pretty much the same concerns here as I do with beagles.
Using the Garmin Astro with Hounds -- The majority of the changes in the last two versions of the Astro have been for the hound market. The Astro has been heavily tested and used by hound owners and has done pretty well. The Astro is now tough enough for use by the hound market.
The standard range works for many folks running hounds and along with the use of both the Car Top Antenna and the Long Range Antenna have made it a product that will fit the majority of hound owners. You do need to keep in mind that the current range is still not as long as some of the telemetry systems on the market and the DC 40 battery life (17 hours with the 5 second update) is nowhere near as long as some tracking collars.
The advantages of the Astro are great, but hound owners need to understand that this GPS tracking system has some limitations compared to telemetry. If you want to run both and use the telemetry as a back up for the range and the battery life, go ahead and run them together. I have done this in the past and it never failed me.
If you need longer battery life, you have the option of increasing your update rate. Going to every 10 seconds will get you 28 hours. Going to every 30 seconds gets you 36 hours and the DC 40 will even stretch it out to 120 seconds (2 minutes) for a battery life of 48 hours.
If you must have longer battery life and you can live with less info, changing the update rate is an option.
The Garmin Astro GPS Dog Tracking System -- Is it Just for Hunters?Hikers, Campers and Horseback Riders
While the Astro is designed for hunters and many of the features of it are very hunting dog specific, the Astro has uses for all dog owners that run their dogs off leash. General outdoor folks including hikers, horseback riders, and folks that enjoy camping with their dogs can use the Astro to keep up with their dogs. The double duty features of dog location and a full blown GPS system with waypoints and compass make it a great system for anyone that enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with their dogs.
Using the Astro to Keep up with a Pet in your YardWe get requests on a pretty regular basis for a GPS system to help keep up with a pet in an urban setting. They want something that will help them find a dog that gets out of it's fence and gets lost. The dog would wear the collar in the yard and if he digs out or climbs the fence, you would use the system to track him down.
The Astro really isn't designed for this but the new 2 minute update rate just might make the DC 40 a viable option for locating a pet that gets out of your yard or your containment area.
The issue with the earlier versions was lack of battery life. The DC 40 now has a 48 hour option. If you wanted to use it in this mode to help find a lost pet, it would do a pretty good job. The concern is that you would really need to charge the collar daily or every other day at the latest. That way you would still have some charge left if your dog gets out.
It isn't the ideal product for this job but I would rather have it over all the Dog Location GPS Systems on the market today. They require a monthly service fee and are not waterproof. Our testing of these products has been pretty unimpressive so far.
Long distance antennas are HELPFULStill Important Accessory -- Long Range Handheld Antenna -- With the original Astro handheld we had limited range in certain situations. While this has not changed with the DC40 system, Garmin has added an option for folks that need longer range from the Astro. This Long Range Antenna is perfect for folks that need longer range for the big running bird dogs and hounds. (Last year during our testing of the original product, we rigged up a handheld version of the Car Top Magnetic Mount Antenna. While it worked pretty well, Garmin's design does a much better job.)
The Long Range Antenna features a 3 foot cord attached to a collapsible antenna with an attachment for you to carry it on your hunting vest or jacket. The beauty of this antenna is that when it is closed it still gets better range than the standard Astro antenna. When you need more range, all you do is expand the antenna out to a maximum of 3 feet and you will get better range in those heavy cover and rolling terrain situations. This is a feature that the hound market should really be happy with. Much like the old style telemetry tracking systems, this antenna will give you more options in the field.
In my tests of this antenna, I found that it drastically increased the range of the system, much like the Car Top Antenna. We even found many situations where the Long Range Antenna out performed the Car Top Antenna. The Car Top Antenna and the Long Range Antenna are great additions for folks with big running dogs.
If you want to only get one, you really need to look at "how" you locate your dogs when they are lost. If it's more common for you to do it from a vehicle, then go with the Car Top. If you tend to find them on foot the Long Range antenna will fill your needs better.
PLEASE NOTE -- The Long Range Antenna and the Car Top Antennas are OPTIONS. They are NOT included with the Garmin ASTRO Combo and must be ordered separately.
Garmin Astro FAQWhat if I already have a Garmin Astro?
Garmin has made the DC-40 collar so it works with the original handheld. If you have a system with the DC20 or DC30 collar you can run the DC 40 collar without purchasing a completely new system or handheld 220 receiver.
Can I get a DC40 collar and run it with my old collars?
You sure can. The Garmin Astro Handheld will track up to 10 dogs. If you want to run your system with an original DC 20 or a DC 30 on one dog and add a DC 40 for the next dog you can. The handheld does not "know" the difference between them and will add the DC40 one just like the old one.
Garmin has added a few new features to the DC 40 that are exclusive to the 40. If you get a DC 40, you can update your handheld software and use these new features in an older unit.
QUESTION: If we do lose a dog, how easy will we be able to locate him once we get back in range?
ANSWER: Easy! The Astro tells you once it has lost a signal. It marks the last known location of your dog and then searches for a new signal without you having to do anything. The times that I lost a signal all I had to do was move in the last known direction of the dog and the Astro would pick up the new signal long before I got close to the dog. This feature worked better than I ever expected.
When Your Dog Runs Out of Range, What Then? -- The biggest difference with an Astro is that we will be able to see the exact point that the signal drops off. We will also have the advantage of knowing the last spot that we were able to get a signal. This allows you to immediately go to the last known location and pick up a current location.
What Folks May Not Like about the DC 40 GPS CollarThere are a few things that folks might want that they are not going to get in the DC 40.....
The two big things that didn't change are battery life with the fastest update rate and range. So far we haven't seen any increase in these and I am not sure we are going to in the near future.
Battery Life - I think the biggest concern with the Astro is battery life. We get around 17 hours of run time with the 5 second update rate. The concern here is that if you lose your dog at the end of a 10 hour day, you have 7 hours to find him before the battery goes dead. That's a little tight for me.
The thing to keep in mind here is that in my 4 plus years of working with the Astro, I have yet to be put in a situation where I could not locate my dog at the end of the day. It does such a good job, that I have always been able to find them. It still concerns me, but I am not sure it's as big of an issue as we think.
The DC 40 has added the option getting more battery life with a longer update rate (up to 2 minutes between updates) but I am not real sure I will go that route.
Range - More range is always better, but the MURS band that the Astro works on has it's limitations and right now Garmin is hitting it. If you were not happy with the DC 30's range, you will not be happy with the range of the DC 40. I am pretty pleased with how the 40 is doing but you need to be realistic about what your needs are when it comes to range and understand that the Astro may not be the right product for you.
In my opinion it works great for most folks in most situations. Folks that need extreme range (more than 3 to 4 miles) might need to look at running telemetry and the Astro at the same time.
If you are not sure, then feel free to try one out under our 30 day money back guarantee. The beautiful thing about the Astro is that it is easy to use and easy to test. You will know really fast if it is the right product for you.
I would like to point out that it is rare for us to recommend any other tracking system for the majority of our customers at this time.
Not Available to Canadian AddressesNote to Canadian Customers
Due to varying regulations, this version of the Astro is approved for use only in the United States. The sale and unlicensed use of the Garmin Astro GPS Dog Tracking System in any form is presently prohibited by the Canadian government. According to a document published by Industry Canada dated June 2009, the MURS radio frequency used by the Astro will be permitted to be sold and operated on a license-free basis at the end of a five-year transition period (June 2014). Click here to read the Industry Canada Ruling on Garmin Astro in its entirety (PDF file). Parties interested in the implementation of this spectrum utilization policy or with questions should contact their local Industry Canada office.
U.S. Garmin Astro and Alpha Use in EuropeThe radio communication frequencies utilized for the United States models of Garmin Alpha and Astro products may not be authorized for use in Europe. To ensure compliance with local laws, the radio function that allows U.S. Garmin Astro and Alpha dog collars to communicate with their respective handheld devices will be rendered inoperable when used in Europe.
For products sold before this modification, the radio function will be rendered inoperable with future updates of those products' firmware or software. Please note the GPS functionality of these systems will not change and will continue to work in Europe.
Thanks for all the help!Special thanks go out to Jimmy, Ted, Nik, Bryan and Mike at Garmin for putting up with another year of all my calls and questions. A very special thank you to Bob West of Purina for hooking me up with Garmin. It is a rare, rare occasion that I get a product in to test that amazes me. Normally I have a list a mile long with changes, improvements, unnecessary features, features that just don't work, and features that are good ideas but miss the mark of fitting the needs of my customers. I want every product that we sell to be the best it can be and go above my customers needs. It makes selling easier and more fun.
My expectations for the original Garmin Astro were really high. I wanted it to be amazing but I expected it to fall short. Boy, was I wrong. These new improvements have taken a great product and solved the majority of the issues that we experienced. I could not be more happy with these changes.