Astro vs Alpha?

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Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Willie T » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:30 pm

I decided to purchase a gps collar for my PP. A gps collar is not something I have used in the past. Heck when I started hunting with a bird dog there was no such thing and everybody did fine. I can see the utility particularly in really heavy cover but I don't think I would use it most of the time or be glued to the reciever. The time is approaching to introduce the e-collar and I already have a Garmin/tritronics that I really like and plan to use. I can use it without looking at it, and make timely corrections when needed. I am leaning toward getting the Astro. What do those that use GPS collars think about a one vs two collar system? My dogs wear a collar with my contact info plus an e-collar without issue. Three may have the PP looking like Mr.T. Am I missing out on much by going this route?
Thanks in advance for those that take the time to reply
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby marsh » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:38 pm

I run an Alpha but do not like the ecollar feature for training. I use my Dogtra e collar for that. I know others that have no issues using the Alpha for training, but I find it awkward or not as intuitive.
It is awesome to be able to find your dog in the grouse and woodcock woods or in heavy cover in the field on point.
If I was going to do it again, I would buy the Astro...

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:25 pm

I have never seen the sense in it and will never buy one. If one thing goes, you lose the collar and the gps. You're further ahead with the Astro and TT.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Coveyrise64 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:40 pm

I have no problem with using the Alpha for Training. Is it better than the Pro550? No, but it is flexible enough that the operator should be able to find a setup that would work. It can be configured like the Pro550 with L-M-H buttons or a Linear Stimulation method setup that will allow up to three dogs on one page. In the Linear Mode you can change the buttons to provide Momentary, Continuous, Vibrate, or Tone. I have the screen below setup for two dogs, the Orange collar is Continuous and Tone. I have one older dog that is hearing impaired and use the Tone for recall. The Yellow Collar is setup for Continuous only.

screenshot3 (360x640).jpg


I have two other pages that are dog specific, Orange or Yellow that can be setup for what ever method I choose. Continuous, Tone, Momentary with different Stimulation levels. If I'm working only one dog then I use this option and switch pages by scrolling with the <-> icons.

screenshot2 (360x640).jpg


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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:12 pm

I have a TT 550 for training and an Alpha for hunting. No way I want to be packing two transmitters on me and 3 collars on my dog while hunting. The Alpha easily meets my Ecollar needs while hunting and the GPS feature is wonderful. Once you have the 3 buttons set on the Alpha you can run the ecollar functions without looking at the screen just like you do with the 550. For a puppy you can set one low intensity, one higher and one for recall tone. Down the road my plan is to set one low intensity, one recall and one vibrate which I will train to Whoa so I can silently whoa my dog on a hard running roosters and catch up. The GPS has allowed me to let my pup search where it wants with no interference from me. And keeping track of him in tall thick CRP in the wind or a big cattail slough is so much better now.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby jlw034 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:22 pm

One vote for the Astro + e-collar (Pro550). I'm relatively tech savy, but when hunting/training I like simple. My dog is 60lbs soaking wet, and doesn't mind having the extra collar on. Sure, she looks a little funny, but she's an ugly dog so it kinda fits.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:45 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I have a TT 550 for training and an Alpha for hunting. No way I want to be packing two transmitters on me and 3 collars on my dog while hunting. The Alpha easily meets my Ecollar needs while hunting and the GPS feature is wonderful. The GPS has allowed me to let my pup search where it wants with no interference from me. And keeping track of him in tall thick CRP in the wind or a big cattail slough is so much better now.


I do the same. I have enough trouble looking for one dog with the alpha before walking up on the second on point. I can't imagine fumbling with a second transmitter.

The 550 is a much better training collar for the sensitive dog, or when using continuous atom training methods.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby ForestDump » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:16 am

I'm still using an Astro 220 and it works just fine. I have taken dogs into the field without one but I feel a lot better when it's collared up. The Alpha is a nice piece of kit but I don't need the e collar combo.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby CWT » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:11 am

I use the Astro and a Dogtra e-collar
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby ryanr » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:54 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:I have a TT 550 for training and an Alpha for hunting. No way I want to be packing two transmitters on me and 3 collars on my dog while hunting. The Alpha easily meets my Ecollar needs while hunting and the GPS feature is wonderful. The GPS has allowed me to let my pup search where it wants with no interference from me. And keeping track of him in tall thick CRP in the wind or a big cattail slough is so much better now.


I do the same. I have enough trouble looking for one dog with the alpha before walking up on the second on point. I can't imagine fumbling with a second transmitter.

The 550 is a much better training collar for the sensitive dog, or when using continuous atom training methods.


Add me to this list too, Pro 550 for training & the Alpha for hunting. And I'm not glued to the hand unit either. Most times I only look at it if I hear it beep indicating my dog's on point. When I first got it I admittedly was checking it a lot, too much. This year, I relaxed much more and its been a pleasure to use for hunts.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:41 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I have never seen the sense in it and will never buy one. If one thing goes, you lose the collar and the gps. You're further ahead with the Astro and TT.


x2!

Nuff said,

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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:49 pm

3drahthaars wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I have never seen the sense in it and will never buy one. If one thing goes, you lose the collar and the gps. You're further ahead with the Astro and TT.


x2!

Nuff said,

3ds


Yea this is the running commentary on this issue which comes up frequently. One camp advocates 2 collars, be purchased and worn, one GPS and the other an Ecollar. The other Camp advocates buying two collars as well. One for training and the other for hunting with both GPS and Ecollar features in one collar, so the dog only has to wear one collar and the handler only has to have one transmitter. Meanwhile the training collar can be in the Truck and used in the case of failure of the Alpha.

So in actuality you have superior redundancy backup with the Alpha and a Superior tool while hunting.
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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Coveyrise64 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:26 pm

This picture says it all..... :? :shock:

Reason I went with the Alpha for hunting, a Pro550 for training, and 3/4" wide for their regular collars.

jack02_2011_4collars.jpg


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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Densa44 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:42 am

I'm with some of the other older guys, If I don't know where my dog is, what am I doing out there. I will admit that in the past 5 years there has been twice I lost sight of her. When she is on point and can see the bird she won't move, so I had to look for her, sure enough there she was looking into the bush with a pheasant near the end of her nose.

I can barely handle the electronics that I do have so I don't want more.

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Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:04 am

Densa,

I have been following my GWPs around in the tall grass Big Bluestem, Indian Grass and Switchgrass prairies for the last 30 years. Your dog is out of sight at 5 yards in much of it. Add in the wind, and the challenge of keeping track of a dog is supreme. I have used nothing but my eyes and ears, bells, beepers and now the Alpha. It is the best thing since sliced bread, and if I can use one, anyone can. Do I need it to chase the released moron birds around in the shot grass? No but then again I avoid that scene as much as possible.

Here is a photo of my Pup on a covey of wild Bobwhites on a mixed Rooster/Quail hunt at the end of season. Unless you want to hack your dog unmercifully, (in which case you will shoot very few wild pheasants) letting them hunt and using the Alpha to find them on point is wonderful I assure you.

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