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ARCHIVE: Garmin Astro 320 DVD Handheld Video Guide

(video transcript)


    This is the compass screen, or referred to as the Dog Screen. Right now I have two dogs in the system. It shows the status of the dog, and then it shows the distance that the dog is from you. And then you get your direction based on the arrows.


    Let's take a look at the menu options from the Dog Tracker screen. From this screen you hit the menu button. You have four choices:
    • Pause All Tracking
    • Dog List
    • Big Numbers/Small Numbers
    • Calibrate Compass


      This comes in handy when you are in the vehicle if you are trying to go somewhere, if you don't need the warnings or the alerts going off but you are going to be moving to a new spot to start hunting again, but you need the GPS while you're in the truck. What this allows you to do is to stop tracking the dogs without removing them from the system. It stops tracking all dogs.

      So you highlight 'pause all tracking' and hit enter. Now your GPS handheld is still working and all the dogs are still in your system, but it's not tracking them. When you get ready to start tracking dogs again, all you do is hit the enter button and everything is back to where it was.


      From the dog tracker screen, to get to your dog list you press menu. It's the second choice from this menu. You hit enter. This takes you to the dog list.

      This will show you every dog that's in your system. And this allows you to access that dog's individual screen to make adjustments to them. It's also where you add new dogs. Once you highlight the dog you want to work with, at that point then you have several options. You can change the order that they're in. You can remove them from the system. You can also share that particular dog wirelessly with another Astro 320.


      From the dog tracker screen you have two options as to how you see the dogs listed on the dog tracker screen. Big numbers and small numbers -- right now we're showing what is called small numbers. It's got both dogs on the screen and two arrow which shows were both dogs are. Some folks would prefer to have a larger view, or they'd prefer to see an individual dog by itself. So that option under the dog tracker screen, you press the menu button. You go to big numbers. You hit enter. And now you've moved into the big numbers, which is one dog on the screen. And then to go see your other dog you hit your right arrow, and now you've got an individual dog. So it allows you to see on dog at a time instead of both dogs at the same time. Now, if you want to move back to where you can see both at the same time, you hit menu. You highlight small numbers. Press ENTER and it takes you back to it.


      Calibrate compass is resetting the electronic compass so that your GPS unit knows true north.



    Let's take a look at the map screen. Right now I'm going to show you one of my favorite features of the 320. Right now we have three things going on on this map. The light blue trail is my trail. The green trail is one of the dogs and the orange trail is one of the dogs. With this right here, you really can't do much with this. There's a lot of crossover. A lot of dogs are running the same path. You really just can't see anything.

    You've got a couple of options as far as how to see the dog trail. From the map screen, press the map button again and you get the last few minutes of the dog's trail. That allows you to see the trail but not see all the crossover. It can come in real handy in situations where you cross the same ground that you were on earlier.

    If you want to see no trail whatsoever, press the map button again and both dog trails are going to disappear. Does not affect your trail. Notice the light blue didn't go anywhere. But both the dogs disappeared.

    What's great about this is once you get into a situation where you need the trail again, all you do is press the button one more time. There's the complete trail. Press it again, there's the partial trail. Press it again, there it is with no trail.


    Let's take a look at some of the options on the map screen. One of the neat things about the 320 is that it allows you to customize your map view. From the map screen, press your menu button. From this menu you can show or hide dog status, dog distances, dog names, and off-screen dogs.


      Right now on this map screen we have all of the options turned off. It does not show the dog's status. It shows the dog as a triangle, and then the point of the triangle is the direction that the dog is running in.

      From the map screen press your menu button. Your first choice is "show dog status." What this is going to do is it's going to take that triangle and it's going to turn it back into the image of the dog. Press your enter button. Notice now we have a dog on point and then we have a dog in the tree position. When those dogs start to move, that one right there, now he's in the running.

      And so, from this you are able to see what the dog is doing based off the image of the dog. You can look at the icon and you can see if the dog is running or if he's on point or if he's treed, depending on how you have it set up.

      In this feature you cannot tell the direction that the dog is running without looking at the trail. So that's kinda where that comes in. if you want to look at the dog screen and see the direction the dog is moving in, the dog status icon does not show true direction. You can have a dog looking like that and he could actually be running the other way. The trail will show you that information.


      From the map screen press your menu button. Your next choice is "show dog distances." Press ENTER. Now directly above the image of the dog it tells you how far away the dog is from you.


      Now let's add dog names. From the map screen press your menu button. Your third choice is "show dog names." Press ENTER. And now we have Dog and Dog 1. One is at [xx 0:08:51- audio cuts out], one's at 79 feet.


      Let's show a feature that's called "off-screen dogs." What's nice about this feature, when you have a dog that's close in to you and then you have a dog that's way out from you, with the older units you had to zoom out to the point you could see both dogs and it would mess with your detail. So with the off screen dog option, if you are working with a dog that is close to you, you can still have that off screen dog... you can still have a tab for him and see what's going on.

      Right now I have both dogs inside the screen, so I can see everybody. If I zoom in, now both the dogs are off the screen. If I come back to this image, I have no idea where the dogs are. So one of the options from the menu is "show off screen dogs." Highlight it. Press ENTER. And now you get a tab that shows all the information for the dog and which direction he is away from you on the screen. Not only does it allow you to see actually what's going on—it gives you the dog name and the distances—but you can then, at that point, zoom out to see where the dog is.

      So let's do this again. We're going to zoom in. now they are off screen. We zoom out and there they are.


      So we have lots of features here on the map screen that we can change and we can customize. The downside of having all these turned on at the same time is that notice how large that image is. You've got a lot of information there, but it takes up a lot of screen.

      So, you can cut on or off whatever you need. The dog names to me, right now let's use that as an example. I don't need that. I know which dog I'm dealing with. So I'm going to go in here and cut off the dog names but leave on everything else.

      One of the things about an image size this small is that it can get cluttered fast. So let's just cut off a couple of features so you can see what your choices are. Go to menu. Go to "hide dog names." And now we have the dog icon and we have the distance, but the dog name is gone. It just gives you the information that you want. What's nice about this is if you want the dog names, great. If you don't, menu, "hide dog names."

      What's really great about this is you can do it in the field on the fly. So if you decide you want it in the middle of a hunt, turn it on. If it gets in your way, turn it off.


    Let's take a look at some of the features of the main menu. To get to the main menu from any screen, press the menu button and then press the menu button again.

    Several things are on your main menu. The top one here, this is the GPS reception for your handheld. Next is going to be battery life for the handheld. And then you have the date, the time, and then you have the sunset for your current location. That can come in handy from a hunting standpoint -- you know what time your legal hunting is over.

    On the main menu you have several choices:
    • Start New Hunt
    • Find
    • Dog List
    • Setup
    • Tools


      I'm going to show how to start a new hunt. When you start a new hunt it gives you a couple options for clearing out dog trails and resetting your vehicle location.

      From any screen hit menu and the hit menu again. This takes you to the main menu. The first choice on the main menu is "start new hunt." Press ENTER.

      The first question it will ask is if you want to clear previous hunt information: "Dog statistics and track log will be reset for the new hunt." This will clear out everything that's currently in the base memory. So this depends. If you are going to want to download your information, then you want to keep that...

      And then it will ask you if you want to keep your current location as truck. What this does, marking your location for your truck is going to set a waypoint for your vehicle. You say yes. Now we go back to the map screen. It's hard to get close to it and it's tricky right here. We'll show it to you in another shot. You can see my triangle and directly underneath that is the truck.

      What's neat about the truck waypoint is that it's a moving waypoint. What that means is that there's only one truck waypoint. When we start another hunt somewhere down the road and we set the truck, it's going to erase this waypoint and move it to the new location. That way you don't have any old locations for your vehicle.


      Find allows you to go to any waypoint. It also gives you some options with tracks. You'll be able to enter specific coordinates, view other GPS option.


      From the main menu you can get to your dog list. The dog list is a screen that allows you to access basic information about all of your dogs.


      One of the cool tricks from the main menu is that you can customize what you see on this screen. There are a few things on here that I don't use, so I get rid of them. I never use the Find menu. So, from the main menu you press menu, and the first question is: Change item order? You press enter. We select and we say remove. Now it's gone.

      You can also add choices to your main menu. I like to have the compass where it's real handy to get to. So, we're going to add COMPASS to it. You press Menu, Change Item Order, Add Page, and it gives you here your choices, Compass. Now go back to your main menu and there it is.

      You can also change the order of the main menu. From the main menu press Menu, Change Item Order, and then we're going to take the compass and move it up. Move, Enter. Go back and now it's #2.



    We're going to take a look at the dog list. From the compass screen, Menu, Dog List. Dog List is where it shows all of the dogs that you have entered in the system whether you are tracking them or not. Right now we have two dogs in the system. We're tracking both of them.

    Highlight the dog that you want to look at. Hit enter. This gives you a couple of different options: show info, move down, remove, and share wirelessly.

    • Show info is update rates and information about an individual dog.
    • Move down allows you to change which dog is in which order. That can come in handier when you have 4+ dogs.
    • Remove allows you to delete a dog.
    • And share wirelessly allows you to share dog information to someone else that has an additional 320 and you want them to track it when you are hunting together.


    We're going to look at a dog info screen. There are several ways to get to this screen. One of them is from the compass screen. You just highlight the dog you want and press enter.

    This screen shows all sorts of information about your dog. It's got your dog's name. It's got the dog's state or status, which this dog is currently treed, the distance from you, the distance traveled, the average speed, update rate of the collar, ID number of the collar, battery life of the collar, communication level between the collar and the handheld, and then communication level between the color and the GPS satellites.


    One of the things you can do in the dog info screen is you can change the dog's name. Highlight the dog's name. Press ENTER. And now we're going to change this dog's name. One of my favorite pointing dogs is Click. You center it and you're done. Now my dog's name is Click.

    TIP: If you have the same number of collars that you have dogs, then put the dog's individual name.

    TIP: If you more dogs than collars (I have two collars and four dogs, then I like to name my collars based on the color of the collar strap. So you'll see my setup is occasionally orange and blue or orange, blue, and red. That way I always know. I don't have to switch and go, "Hey, which dog is this?"


    From the dog info screen you have several options for your menu. Press your menu button.
    • Stop Tracking
    • Identify Dog Unit
    • Communication Settings
    • Download Track
    • Delete Track
    • Change Dog Type
    • Change Pin
    • Update Dog Unit


      First on the menu here is Stop Tracking. Press ENTER. What this does is it stops tracking that individual dog. If you have three collars and you are running all three dogs and then you put one of them up and now you are going to run only two of the dogs, you don't want to continue tracking that collar. So that's the way to cut off an individual collar but continue to track the others. When you get ready to turn it back on, press menu and press start tracking.


      The next menu selection is Identify Dog Unit. Highlight it and press enter. It connects with the dog unit. This shows you the current software version of your collar.


      Next we have communication settings. The Astro 320 has 50 different channels that it works off of. The collar automatically sets the channel. But occasionally you can get interference if you have a lot of Astros in the same area or you are hunting with somebody and they are using the same channel you are. This gives you the option of selection a new channel. So we're going to move this one to #8.


      You also have the update rate. This is how often the collar communicates with the handheld. The choices are 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 2 minutes. The advantage of a faster update rate is more information about where the dog is. The downside of a faster update rate is battery life. You can get substantially more battery life by stretching out your update rate.

      As a general rule, I don't recommend it. Most folks are better off in a 5 second update.

      Now our dog is a pointing dog. Is ID is 8. His update rate is 5 seconds.

      One of the things you have to know about most of these menu options is that there is a short range communication between the handheld and the collar and they have to be within about a foot or a half of each other. You cannot make these changes at a distance greater than about two feet.


      A couple advanced options are in the downloading tracks. We'll talk about that in a different setup. Same thing with deleting a track. This does allow you to delete an individual dog's track.


      There's really three different kinds of dog types—auto, which is going to determine what it does based on what the dog is actually doing, if he's treed or if he's pointing. That's an odd combination. Most of us are going to either have pointing dogs, treeing dogs, or we're going to ask for no alerts. This is something that you can change. Right now I'm set up as a pointing dog. I'm going to switch it over to a treeing dog.


      The DC-40's have an option which is a personal identification number for the collar. What this allows you to do is set a four-digit code. This way it has a PIN lock in it now. So this keeps other people from being able to track your collar. It's a security feature that some people like.


      The last option here is upgrade dog unit. This is a software upgrade. The way you do upgrades in the 320 is that you download information from the Garmin internet site to your handheld and then you transmit the information from the handheld to the collar unit. We'll do a little more advanced video on that later.

      And that covers all your menu choices.


    Setup allows you to customize several things about your handheld.


    We'll start first with the system.


      It allows you to change language.


      Battery type is the most important part. The 320 can use three different kinds of batteries. You can use your standard alkaline AAs. You can use your lithium AAs. And you can use rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries.

      It's really important that you select the correct one or, if you change type, that you come in here and you adjust this. The reason for it is that the battery gauge in the handheld cannot read the strength of a battery as correctly unless it knows what type of battery you are using.

      I recommend either lithiums or the rechargeable batteries mainly because the 320 is a battery hog and it's going to eat up just regular alkaline batteries pretty fast.

      TIP: just always have extra batteries on you while hunting

      • Alkaline shortest life -- max 20 hours
      • Lithium -- maybe 2-3 days
      • Rechargeable batteries --recharge after every hunt. Take an extra pair with you when you're out.


    From the main menu under setup, your next option is Dogs. This is some information on how your dogs appear on the map, plus your alerts. One of the features we talked about on the map screen was your ability to see the last few minutes of a track and then see the complete track. This is where you control how much time that is.


      Select enter and then you have several things on your dog track length. You can hide the track completely which will take it off the screen. You can have the last five minutes, the last 10 minutes, the last 30 minutes. You also have the option of one hour or two hours, and then you can cut the entire track off. Let's select five minutes.


      Next is zoom map to dogs. What this feature does is when you jump into the map screen, it will zoom out to where all dogs are on the screen no matter how far away they are from you.


      Your next menu choice here is Dog Alerts. We have four different alerts that the handheld will give you. The first one is going to be On Point Alert if you have your dog set up as a pointing dog. There's several different choices as to how it will alert you when the dog goes on point. You can have a tone. You can have the handheld vibrate. You can have tone and vibrate. It can give you a message only, which means on the screen it will pop up and say "Dog 1 on point," but it will not tone or vibrate. Or you can cut the alert off. We're going to go to tone and vibrate. And there you go.

      Now, let's go to the treed alert. If your dog is set up as a hound or treeing dog, same options—tone, vibrate, tone and vibrate, message only, or off.

      The only time I'm going to cut off a point alert is... actually, I'm never going to cut off a point alert. I want that on all the time. Same thing from a hound standpoint with trees. I want all of my alerts on all the time. You can run into some situations where you may not want these other two as far as GPS and lost communication. But if that's happening, I'm going to stop tracking a dog. Let me talk about the next two.

      GPS Lost Alert -- What this is an alert for is if the dog's collar loses a GPS signal. Pretty rare, but let's just say the dog gets into a situation where it cannot pick up GPS anymore. A really deep canyon will do it. Just heavy overhead cover; that type of thing is going to cause a GPS lost signal. But it's a rare occurrence in most places that we hunt. But same thing here. You can control how the message is given to you.

      Lost Communication Alert -- What is a lot more common is going to be a lost communication alert. What lost communication means is that the handheld is no longer receiving the radio signal from the collar. The collar is still picking up GPS signal, it's just that the dog has gotten far enough away from you that you can no longer receive the radio signal.

      Same choices here. You can have it set up where it tones or it vibrates. Some folks may want to only put tone on some of the alerts and put vibrate on the others. It's a personal preference and you can set it however you want.


    Next on the setup menu is display. Several options here on display.


      The first one is going to be your backlight. The backlight is a battery hog. So you want to make a choice here as far as how long you want your batteries to last. 15 second, 30 second, 1 minute, or two minute on the backlight. Let's move to 15 second and we'll watch it cut off.

      I usually set mine on either a one minute or a two minute option. It depends on what kind of batteries I'm using. 30 seconds is OK, too. What's going to happen is the backlight is going to cut off whatever time period you set it for. Once you press a button it will turn back on. Basically, what the time period is based on is the last time you pressed a button. That's how the backlight works. And it's just designed so that when you are not looking at the unit it cuts the backlight off so that your batteries aren't getting drained for no reason whatsoever.


      Colors gives you a couple of different choices here. This is your background color. The day background color right now I believe is gray. We're going to change it to red. See all the highlights in the background there? Let's go back to the dog. We have a red/maroonish sort of background. Let's go back and we're going to change it to green. Now it's green. That's a choice that depends on what you like.

      Your highlight colors, same thing here.

      One of the reasons you want to be able to change your colors, I was hunting in Kansas this year and we had loaded in the walk-in and hunting area map into my map screen. And Kansas uses the color orange to highlight the walk-in area. I had one of my dogs set up as the color orange, and anytime we were on a walk-in area I couldn't see the dog's trail. So I just quickly jumped in, changed it over to a darker color, green, and everything was fine.

      In Modes and Setup you also have the same choices for your night screen. You have different colors when the unit senses that it's night. So, same thing here. You can choose whatever you prefer.


    Next in the setup menu is tones if your handheld makes sound. You can do tones on and off. It gives you control over your message beep, your keep beep, turn warnings, and your proximity alarms. Keep beep is the sound that it makes when you press an actual key. Or you can cut them off.


    Next on the setup menu is Map. A few key things here. Orientation, which allows you to select either track up, or north up, or automotive mode. North Up will keep your map screen always in a pointing to the north no matter which direction you're in. Track Up is going to move the map based on which direction you are pointing.

    I prefer Track Up, but that's a personal choice. Automotive mode just changes the way the unit sees things when it's in a vehicle.

    You have a couple other GPS options on guidance text, text size.

    The most important thing from the map setup is going to be which particular map you are using.


    Next on the setup option is tracks. This is pretty important one. This controls your track log. It gives you some options as far as whether or not it records. This is your track. You can control if it records your track, and also, you can not show it on the map or you can show it on the map.

    Then you have a few other settings as far as when it will archive. The important part here also is color. If you want to change the color of your track, you have several choices.

    For example, when we were hunting in Kansas and we had the WIHA maps loaded, they had an orange background, and if I was using an orange track for myself it would be impossible to see my trail on it. So, from this menu you are able to select what color you want.


    Next from the setup menu is reset. This allows you to clear some trip data. It allows you to delete waypoints and clear your track memory.



    Last choice on the main menu is the tools. Several things in here that are pretty interesting.


      You have a compass which is a little more detailed compass than your dog tracker compass.

      A few other things that are really interesting:


      View all the waypoints in here and edit them as needed.

      A waypoint is a marked location. There are several in here—my truck, which we just did a little while ago, and then you have... Garmin puts in Garmin Europe, Garmin USA. You can put in all sorts of things. I mark coveys. I'll mark the lodge if there's a place I'm hunting from, any sort of tree stands, particular cover—just anything I may want to find and make my way back to.


      This is a real big deal, because this allows you to control the dog tracks. First off, you have your current track, which this is your handheld track... more importantly is the dog track. This allows you to save tracks, view on the map.

      The thing most people are looking for is set color. What a lot of folks like to do is they like to set the color of the dog to match the color of the track that they're using. This is how you do it. You've got several choices here—orange, light blue, black. All you have to do is highlight that and it changes the color.


      Two other cool features in this toolbox are your hunt and fish menu, which will tell you your best times to hunt and fish on a particular day.


      And then your sun and moon, which will give you sunrise and sunset from the location that you are currently in. You control it based off of your calendar here. Pretty handy from a legal hunting standpoint.

      A few other handy features include calculator, calendar, alarm clock, and a stopwatch.


    One other new feature of the 320 is your power button info screen. Press your power button once and this gives you control mainly over your backlight. If you want your backlight to be off or halfway or full, just press your power button over, and over, and over again.


    One other feature you can do in this screen is lock keys. Press the Out button, and now the keypad is locked. This way if you are not using it and you don't want any of the buttons being pressed it cuts it off. When you try to press a button, it's going to tell you to press the power button.

    So you press the Out button to lock it. And you say OK. And now you press the power button and now everything is back to normal.

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