Garmin has updated the tracking only Garmin Astro with their latest and greatest software.
When Garmin first introduced dog tracking via GPS they used a 5 second update rate (how often the collar reports its location) and a maximum 10 dogs tracking per handheld.
While this was fine for most of us, many folks were looking for more dogs per unit and everybody wanted faster updates (even though some of us didn't know it at the time).
When Garmin introduced their combination ecollar GPS tracking system, the Alpha, they moved to a 20 dog option with a 2.5 second update rate.
The only issue with making this change was that the folks running Astro systems could not track the collars of the folks running Alpha systems.
While this wasn't the end of the world, it was a bit of a hassle for those of us that like to hunt with others and be able to keep up with their dogs along with our own. Folks had to buy new systems with a combo tracking / ecollar, even if they did not want or need the remote trainer.
All of this is now fixed with the Garmin Astro 430.
The new 430 works off the same 2.5 second update rate and 20 dog option that Garmin uses with the Alpha. This means you can now run a Garmin Astro and track collars running on an Alpha unit at the same time.
The Garmin Astro 430 will track DC50 and T5 (regular and mini) collars. It will also track TT 10 and TT 15 (regular and mini) collars (tracking only -- no stimulation).
There are a couple of downsides, but that is to be expected with any major changes to technology.
The Astro 430 is NOT compatible with Astro 220 or Astro 320 handhelds
The Astro 430 will NOT be able to track DC20, DC30 or DC40 collars
A few other new and cool features include:
Preloaded 100K TOPO map
1 year free subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
-- add a rechargeable AA battery pack to your Astro handheld and charge it via your USB port
The Astro T5 MINI was built for the super small hunting dogs that have a hard time wearing the larger standard T5 collar.
It's perfect for beagles, squirrel dogs, smaller flushing and pointing breeds and terriers.
The MINI T5 collar weighs 7 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 T5 MINI is the exact same size and design as the Pro TB collar. Just like the T5, the MINI has a GPS top mounted antenna, but it's length is shorter, allowing a proper fit for smaller dogs.
Please note that there is no difference in the handheld or the software for the Astro MINI.
The MINI T5 is fully compatible with the Garmin Astro 430 system and can be run in conjunction with regular T5 and DC50 collars. Also just like the regular T5 collar, the MINI T5 can run as a tracking only collar on Garmin Alpha systems.
While the MINI T5 was built with smaller dogs in mind, it can be comfortably worn by larger dogs.
The only issue with larger dogs wearing the MINI T5 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 Astro 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 5 second update rate compared to 24 hours with the regular T5 collar. While 16 hours is going cover most hunting trips, it never hurts to have more battery life. There are few things more worthless than a tracking collar with a dead battery.
The MINI collar has a line of sight range of 4 miles compared to 9 miles on the regular T5 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 T5 costs the exact same amount as the regular T5. Both systems are $649.99 and both extra collars are $249.99
The Astro 430 with the T5 MINI GPS collar is Garmin's latest generation GPS / GLONASS tracking system for sporting dogs. You can track up to 20 dogs from a single handheld with a range of up to 4 miles. The 2.5 second update rate lets you quickly pinpoint your dog's location. The T5 MINI collar housing is specially designed to keep the flexible braided steel VHF antenna upright for maximum reception.
The 430 handheld gives you enhanced map drawing capabilities with preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps, a 1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery subscription and a 3-axis electronic compass on a 2.6" color screen that is easy to read in all light conditions.
Hunt Metrics dog performance data helps you analyze your dog's tracking patterns and behaviors.
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 430 serves as a full-featured handheld GPS unit, it will keep you from getting lost, too.
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.
Download Owner's Manual for Garmin ASTRO 430 + T5 MINI Combo
Garmin ASTRO 430 + T5 MINI Combo Transmitter (Remote)
The Garmin Astro 430 handheld contains top-notch features such as a high-sensitivity GPS / GLONASS 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 430 has 1.7 Gigabytes internal memory as well as a micro SD card slot (max. 32 GB class 10 or less) so you can add pre-programmed data cards with detailed maps such as TOPO, Inland Lakes, BlueChart and City Navigator, or add more memory by installing a blank MicroSD Card.
GPS + GLONASS satellite reception for better tracking in challenging environments
Track up to 20 dogs from one handheld with update rates as short as 2.5 seconds
High visibility orange casing
Hunt Metrics dog performance data shows distance traveled, time afield and more
Dog Notifications tell you when your dog is "treed" or "on point"
Built-in TOPO U.S. 100K mapping and a free 1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery subscription
Barometric altimeter and 3-axis electronic compass
Scratch resistant lens on the 2.6" color 65.1K TFT display with backlit display and keypad
Resolution: 240 x 160 pixels
Weight: 9.2 ounces with batteries
Battery life: 20+ hours using 2 AA batteries (not included)
High Speed USB mini-B connector for data updates with a PC or Apple Macintosh
Rugged IPX7 waterproof standards
Quad helix GPS / GLONASS 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
Compatible with Garmin T5, T5 MINI and DC50 GPS dog tracking collars
Also compatible with Garmin Alpha TT15, TT15 MINI and TT10 collars (tracking function only)
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.
Garmin ASTRO 430 + T5 MINI Combo Collar
The T5 MINI relays the dog's position to the handler's Astro 430 with location updates as often as every 2.5 seconds. You can track up to 20 dogs on a single system. Add additional T5 MINIs as needed.
The T5 MINI is a GPS TRACKING collar only -- no remote dog training collar features. The T5 MINI can be used alongside DC-50 and T5 tracking collars. The T5 MINI is also compatible with the Alpha 100 (tracking only). The T5 MINI is NOT compatible with the Astro 220 handheld.
The T5 MINI comes standard with an orange collar strap. We offer the multi-dog units all with different color straps, and we sell individual T5 MINIs in 10 different colors: Orange, Black, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, White, Silver, Pink, or Violet.
Beacon Lights for added visibility in low-light conditions
Compatible with both the Astro 430 and Alpha 100 (tracking function only)
Top-mounted GPS/GLONASS collar antenna gives you better, faster GPS tracking with increased sensitivity
Rugged braided-steel VHF antenna can take all the abuse a hunting dog can give it in rough terrain
16-30 hour run times depending on update rate
Battery life indicator so you know when you need to recharge your collar
4 hour collar charge time
One piece charging unit means one less thing to lose
Waterproof to 1 ATM (10 meters)
USB Port allows easy software updates -- just plug your collar into your computer
Export additional GPS dog data directly from your collar to your computer
Live laptop tracking with BaseStation -- bigger screen makes tracking easier
Rescue Mode kicks in at 25% to save battery life
Feed-through collar strap design works with any 3/4" collar strap -- no screws, bolts, or plates needed
Plastic-coated nylon "Glo" collar strap lasts longer than regular nylon or leather and won't stink
User replaceable collar strap -- different colors for different dogs
Fits neck sizes between 9.5" and 22"
Solid K-9 metal collar buckle with metal keeper
Astro T5 MINI Collar Dimensions:
Weight: 7 oz. with collar strap and antenna
Height: 1 3/8" inches
Width: 3 1/8" inches
Depth: 1 13/16" inches
3/4" wide collar strap
Astro T5 MINI Collar Compatibility:
Compatible with Astro 430 and Alpha 100 handheld receivers (tracking function only with Alpha)
Can run on the same system with DC 50 and T5 collars
High Visibility Design -- Orange handheld casing gives added visibility making the Astro 430 harder to lose in the field.
LED Beacon Lights -- Beacon lights are built into the T5 MINI Astro collar for low light conditions or night use. Visible up to 100 yards.
Cross Compatibility -- The T5 MINI tracking collar is compatible both with the Astro 430 AND the Alpha 100. Note that the T5 MINI will only have tracking capability when used with the Alpha. You can also track Alpha TT15, TT15 MINI and TT10 GPS collars with your Astro 430 handheld, although you won't be able to activate the remote training functions.
GPS and GLONASS Tracking -- The Astro 430 and the T5 MINI collar utilizes both GPS and GLONASS satellites for increased sensitivity. The T5 MINI's top-mounted antenna gives you improved signal reception, and the antenna's orange color makes it easy to distinguish during competitions that don't allow stimulation, tone or vibration.
AKC Competition Approved -- The AKC Performance Events Department has approved the Garmin T5 MINI collar for use in pointing breed field trials and hunting tests.
Regular AND Long-Range Antennas Included -- You get both regular and long range antennas for your Astro 430 handheld. Configure your system to meet your specific needs.
Hunt Metrics -- Hunt Metrics dog performance data shows distance traveled, time afield and more so you can train your dog more effectively.
Rescue Mode -- 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.
Multi-Dog Tracking -- Track up to 20 dogs with additional Garmin T5 MINI collars. Tracking range is up to 4 miles, delivering location data as often as every 2.5 seconds.
Preloaded Mapping -- The Astro 430 comes preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K mapping plus a 1-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.
Live Laptop Tracking using BaseStation -- Using BaseStation, 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 Station 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.
Downloads -- 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.
Covey Counter -- 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.
Icons -- 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.
Additional Uses -- 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.
Garmin ASTRO 430 + T5 MINI Combo Batteries
The Astro Handheld unit uses AA batteries (not included). Average run time is 20+ hours.
The T5 MINI collar features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives a 16-30 hour run time depending on selected update rate.
~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)
It's really tricky to give exact run times on the Garmin Astro T5 MINI because there are so many variables. Collar battery run time is most affected by update rate and whether or not you use the Beacon Lights.
Garmin ASTRO 430 + T5 MINI Combo Range
The Garmin Astro transmitter and receiver have a "line of sight" range of up to 4 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 4 miles depending on hunting conditions, including weather, terrain, and the presence of cover.
This collar has been a huge relief. I no longer have to wonder what part of the yard the dogs are in or if they have gotten out and are wondering. Even deep in the wooded lots I still have signal. Absolutely worth the money. I would buy another in a heartbeat!
GUN DOG SUPPLY - "Serving Hunting & Field Dog Owners Nationally Since 1972."
Order online via Secure Server or call 1-800-624-6378 to order! GDS Warehouse, 17645 U.S. Highway 82, Mathiston, Mississippi, 39752 USA.