To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby STait » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:09 am

I neglected to say in my negative post that I wouldn't run my dogs without the Garmin tracker on them. It is very beneficial to me;-) Just wish the comm between transmitter and receiver could be improved.
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby bhennessy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:02 pm

I can't speak to the quality of different GPS units intake collars which may affect satellite aquisition, and without a side by side test it's tough to say which unit does a better job of aquisition and keeping it (some website or magazine has maybe done this under controlled conditions?). However, the distance you can track your dogs is almost wholly dependent on a clear line of sight between the hand held and the collar for our practical purposes. Antenna length and power out will have something to do with it, but these are smaller factors for sure, and these can be compared by reading the specs.

Line of sight is the real variable, and there isn't much we can do to control it. As soon as a hill, draw, etc gets in between you and your dog you will in all likelihood loose the signal until line of sight opens up again. Raido waves can bounce around a bit, which accounts for intermittent signals.

The above being said, bigger antennas and higher transmitter powers will help hand-held reception range, assuming a clear line of sight.
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby STait » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:03 pm

I've found if the dog (collar) is at a higher elevation, but behind a hill, I still get good comm. Maybe because there is usually higher hills behind the dog which gives some bounce back of signal.
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby Tom in WI » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:52 pm

M Bouthillette wrote:Well here we are, in 21 days I'll be picking up my first PP.

I've trained Labs to retrieve before and was always happy with my TT F70 (which I don't have anymore), but now I'm wondering if I should be looking into a training collar with integrated GPS. I'm hunting thicker covers and not the prairies where dogs can run off for miles so I wonder if a GPS unit would be relevant.

Your thoughts ?


My wife said don't you dare lose the dog. I bought a Garmin Astro; it works well. I have a separate (tritronics) e-collar.

(I have a griff so I'll let the PP guys chime in, but I'd be willing to bet the PP will range further than labs.)
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:39 pm

Tom in WI wrote:
M Bouthillette wrote:Well here we are, in 21 days I'll be picking up my first PP.

I've trained Labs to retrieve before and was always happy with my TT F70 (which I don't have anymore), but now I'm wondering if I should be looking into a training collar with integrated GPS. I'm hunting thicker covers and not the prairies where dogs can run off for miles so I wonder if a GPS unit would be relevant.

Your thoughts ?


My wife said don't you dare lose the dog. I bought a Garmin Astro; it works well. I have a separate (tritronics) e-collar.

(I have a griff so I'll let the PP guys chime in, but I'd be willing to bet the PP will range further than labs.)


x2!

I like having separate units... if one goes down, I have either peace of mind or control with the other.

GPS is for emergencies where the dog is tracking out of sight like a swamp or a slough. Or, when pup is pointing just over the hill and you can't see to correct or recall.

E-collar is for correction.

I'd get a Collar Clinic refurb' e-collar and buy a new Garmin Astro and you're good to go.

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby jjseman » Wed May 04, 2016 12:12 pm

I initially bought an alpha, really glad I did! I'm in the thick stuff a lot, it lets me know when she's on point/getting out of effective range. It allows me to extend her range as well without needing constant contact. I hate bells and beepers. Over all it is worth my peace of mind. I have a bolder pup because of it. That being said, for running with my dog and for yard training, I much prefer a smaller profile garmin sport xc. It cost another $160.00, but that saves wear and tear on the alpha, and I don't have a large hand held/ antenna to contend with. I would not change a thing, get them both! Some people pair both a GPS and training collar on hunts. That would be very distracting to me and cumbersome.
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby jjseman » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:51 am

GPS all the way
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby jlw034 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:34 am

FWIW, the folks with alphas seem to always be looking down at/toying with the remote while training. (A generalization, obviously). Training is all about reading your dog and timing corrections precisely. I think a dedicated ecollar excels at that. IMHO.

I've got a beeper for my Pro550, so I'm going to see how that does this year. If I go GPS route, I'll go with an astro.
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Re: To GPS or not to GPS on the collar...

Postby Houghtonic » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:56 pm

I have an alpha and two dogs. I use the alpha for training daily. The modes you can use are quite configurable, and I choose the training mode where the left button is dedicated to one dog, the middle to no dog (since I only have two dogs) and the right button to the other dog. If you go with single dog training mode, each one of those buttons can be different stim levels or types for that one dog. I don't mess with the different stim levels (both my dogs respond well to the second lowest stim) and I lock the screen so settings don't change. If I know I'm going to be in a trash breaking situation like cattle, etc. it is only 2 button presses to change to a preset high stim setting. When I first got the alpha, I didn't like the fact that the touch screen was always getting accidentally pressed and changing what I was looking at. Once I learned the ease of locking the screen, it made using the alpha so much more convenient. When I go to the hunting lease, the dogs wear their collars the entire time (except when kenneled at night) and I have piece of mind. I don't have to be on alert constantly calling them back and can let them explore around camp all while having the ability to enforce a recall in case one were to decide it wanted to chase an animal or whatever might happen. The TT15 collars are so rugged I don't think you need to worry about wearing them out. Maybe eventually the plastic on the tip of the antenna could wear out, but after 1.5 years I don't see anything in need of replacement or even close to that. That's just my experience on the alpha. I'm glad I made that purchase, otherwise at the lease, the dogs would probably have two collars on.
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