Garmin PRO 550 PLUS Review by Steve Snell
Track and train your dogs from one handheld
Simple directional at-a-glance GPS dog tracking in the handheld
Familiar Tri-Tronics "low-medium-high" e-collar usability
Uses the same reliable TT15 collar as the Garmin Alpha
Garmin Pro 550 PLUS
Today, we're looking at the Garmin Pro550 Plus -- the newest line of ecollar gps tracking systems from Garmin. An ecollar that includes GPS tracking --
Everything up to this point has been GPS systems that included ecollar functions (the Garmin ALPHA).
Pro 550 PLUS is an ECOLLAR that has traditional ecollar features that includes tracking gives you the functionality you need with an ecollar
+ TRAIN your dogs w/o looking at the transmitter
+ Has necessary controls of an ecollar -- buttons, dials & toggle switches
+ work with multiple dogs at the same time,
+ raise and lower stim levels on the fly one-handed w/o having to look at the transmitter.
The Pro 550+ of the features of the Pro 550 Garmin's top of the line ecollar adding tracking. The Garmin Pro 550+plus is a very simplified version of what garmin offers in their other systems.
Everything that you're gonna get from the advance systems that include maps, but it tells you JUST the things that you really need to know.
Shows you + DIRECTION your dog is from you. + DISTANCE that your dog is from you. + shows MOVING, ON POINT, or if he's TREED
Everything you need to locate a dog Is on the screen without a lot of unnecessary features that people get bogged down in
The Garmin PRO 550+ designed for a couple of different folks.
Folks that are looking for more functionality out of their ecollar system
Looking for an ecollar that they can use that can raise lower simulation, change dogs, NOT have to look at the handheld Hard with Garmin ALPHA -- touch screen and how you changed things on the ALPHA looking for more Ecollar functionality 550+ is the way to go.
Folks that are looking for a simplified tracking system...
Biggest complaint on ALPHA is the complexity. And how much information you have to know to correctly operate the system.
Folks to get lost in their ALPHA systems. They'll they'll press, the wrong button. They'll end up in a menu and they just don't even know how to get out of it.
You don't have that with the 550+ A very stripped down system, does not have any sort of touchscreen,
Operation is VERY simple.
As my eyes get older, it's hard to see some of the small screens. Not the case with 550+ -- ARROW on it is very large and you can read the text on it pretty easy.
Garmin Pro 550+ has 18 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation. has TONE. VIBRATION. It can operate up to 3 dogs from one transmitter.
It has running lights remotely controlled from the transmitter. You can turn them on and off from the transmitter.
2-mile range for both the Ecollar and tracking.
RECHARGEABLE Batteries in the handheld & collar 24 hour run time from the handheld. COLLAR 25 hour run time.
Pro 500+ uses TT-15 colors. both regular and MINI version. You can also use minis and regulars on the same system if you have big dogs and small dogs.
It is also compatible with any of the older TT-10 collars and is compatible with TT-15 colors that come with the ALPHA system
REGULAR & MINI
Garmin Pro 550+ comes in two versions -- the REGULAR version with the TT-15 collar and then we have the MINI version with the MINI TT-15 collar.
The biggest difference between these two is BATTERY LIFE.
Battery life on a 2.5 second update rate with the MINI collar is ~16 hours compared to ~25 hours REGULAR collar
RANGE is pretty much identical They'll be a few situations where you might get just a smidge more range out of the larger collar, but majority of the tests we have done If I just don't see it, they perform almost the same when it comes to range.
40 pounds as over/under choosing REGULAR collar or MINI collar.
If your dog is over 40 pounds, then go REGULAR he's under 40 pounds -- MINI collar may be a better choice.
I've used the REGULAR size collar on dogs, as small as 20 pounds and at the 20 pound size it's a little tight but but 30-35 pound dogs can get away with either one. You can use EITHER collar on the larger dogs, but There's not a real big advantage to it, 40 pounds is kind of the over/under
Pro 550+ works with FENIX WATCHES and Garmin DRIVE TRACK
Pro 550+ is also compatible with the Garmin ALPHA system and can be used on the same dogs and in conjunction with other Garmin ALPHA
Let's compare the Garmin Pro 550+ with the Garmin 550.
550+ has 550+ 18 stimulation levels compared to 21 on the 550
the TT-15 collars are based off of the ALPHA system which is also an 18-level system.
The stated RANGE on the Garmin 550+ is 2 miles compared to 1-mile on 550. the 550+ plus works on the MURS frequency, where the 550+ works on the 27-mHz frequency so the 550+ will get more range for both tracking and training. my tests with the 550+ we're getting more than two miles in certain situations, RANGE on any of the GPS systems depends on terrain big factor in it. Um and you're, not gonna get 2-miles in every situation, but in some situations you can get more.
The other things that you can do from tracking stand point is that you can add one of the CAR TOP antennas or longer extended range ANTENNAS to the 550+ and get more tracking out of it than Very similar in distance to what we're seeing from the ALPHAS.
550+ has LESS battery life than the 550.
550+ handheld will get ~24 hours of run time and the 550+ TT-15 collars get around 25 hours of run time 2.5 second update
A PRO 550 you're gonna get more in the 60-80 60-80 on the collar and then the handheld will go substantially longer than that because there's really not an enormous amount going on there unless you're pressing buttons.
One of the biggest things that people will have to change if they go from using a regular 550 collar to a 550+ is that you're gonna need to charge your handheld EVERY NIGHT.
I'm gonna charge mine. If I'm running it today and I'm running it again tomorrow, it's going on the charger tonight, even if I only use it for 10 or 12 hours
Another major difference between the 550+ and the 550 is that the 550+ 550+ does NOT have the BARK LIMITER.
Regular Garmin 550 collar has a bark limiter mode that you can set the collar and you cannot do that with the 550+
Another thing is that the 550+ collars are NOT compatible with the regular 550 Garmin collars, so if you have a 550 collar, you CANNOT use those collars with the 550+
Another really cool feature about the 550+ 550+ is that IT IS compatible with the Garmin Garmin ALPHA system. Work off the same frequencies and the collars are identical.
The beauty of that for someone that currently owns an ALPHA is that if they wanna add better Ecollar functionality they can get just the 550+ handheld and incorporate into the system that they have. What this means is that you can you can buy a 550+ TRANSMITTER only and you can use it in conjunction with the system that you currently have.
It will work with the collars and it will work at the same time as your ALPHA HANDHELD so if you want both and that would be great MAP functionality and great ECOLLAR functionality the 550+ can be incorporated into the system that you have and it will work flawlessly with the TT-10 or TT-15 collar that you currently have.
I'm planning on running that myself it currently use an ASTRO 430 which does NOT have stimulation -- tracking only and I use a regular 550 collar for my ecollar, so I'll be doing away with the (old) 550 side of it and I'll be going to an ASTRO handheld for my mapping and a 550+ transmitter for my collar functionality. --steve
Watch Steve's Pro 550 Plus Review on Youtube