Astro vs Alpha?

General Sporting Dog Discussion

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby JASmith » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:20 am

Agreed AG,

Densa, Don't they have Ruffies up there in America's Hat? :) Good luck keeping an eye on the dog all the time while you are in tangle town.
Rock Creek Gooseberry (Rebel)
JASmith
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Savage, MN

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Willie T » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:31 am

Sounds like I opened an old can of worms. Thanks for the input. My interpretation of yalls comments are, my TT is more user friendly than the e-collar on the alpha. That is what most of y'all use for training. Correct me if I have it wrong here. Alpha is more streamlined to carry and keep up with but more cumbersome to operate. Astro plus e-collar is more cumbersome to carry and deploy, but simpler to operate. Either system should work fine. I've bird hunted over 40 years without one and not been handicapped. I Just see it as another cool new toy I want....
Willie
Willie T
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby JASmith » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:35 am

It sounds like you pretty much have the pro's and cons down to me Willie. I use a training collar that I've had for my other dogs when I'm not in the field, I forget what it is, but it's dumb and functional. When I feel like I may want GPS, I put the Alpha on.
Rock Creek Gooseberry (Rebel)
JASmith
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Savage, MN

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:17 pm

The arguements are always the same. I'd look at it like this: If I could afford it, I'd have a TT ecollar and an Astro. Then, I'd buy as Alpha and hunt with it. As I say, if the Alpha goes down, you have nothing. With a combination, you always have one. It is very RARE to have trouble with an ecollar transmitter, it's usually the collar. I always buy a two collar set up even if I have one dog.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:19 pm

Willie T

I don't sell em, I just use them. But the Alpha ecollar features are not difficult to program or use. The drawback compared to the TT 550 comes in the less elegant ability to adjust the stimulation levels on the fly without looking at the screen. You have 3 buttons on the Alpha and can program them all for ecollar stimulation if that is what you want. So you would have 3 different levels for training. You can also ramp up the stimulation on the touch screen just by tapping it, but at my age the glare on the screen and need for reading glasses makes that not swift for me. While hunting I have my Alpha programmed for one button on low level continuous stimulation (level 4 of 18), One for tone which has been trained for recall so I have silent recall while hunting and the 3rd for Vibrate which I have yet to train on my puppy but will before next season. As I posted I could easily use that 3rd button for a higher level stimulation to break off a deer chase if I needed it for example. So far my pup has not been committed to chasing deer much past 100 yards such that I have just used the tone to bring him off of it after he has gone aways. That of course will vary by dog.

I will use my 550 for pure training situations, but the Alpha is much more usable than some suggest is all I am trying to share with you.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby carramrod » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:58 pm

I'm a beginner trainer, and only have the Alpha. I can't justify the funds for another collar, and the Alpha and it's functionality do just fine for me.

As far as it going down and not having anything, I live just down the road from Garmin, and actually play hockey with a few of them. So help isn't very far away. I realize I might be out a collar for one or two days in the field, but don't feel I could justify that for the cost of another e-collar.
carramrod
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:17 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby CWT » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:11 pm

And there is always the Dogtra Pathfinder. I think that is a nice unit and it is $400. But I ordered the Astro before I knew about them.
CWT
Started
Started
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:48 am
Location: The Old North State

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby blue04 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:39 pm

How the heck does that thing work? It looks like you use your smartphone for:

1) GPS tracking on a map (Google Maps Overlay)
2) Stim control for e-collar

I totally get that #1 might be fabulous, since most smartphones have have a larger and nicer screen that the GPS handheld units I've seen. But how does this work when your cell phone doesn't have good (or any) cell service. Am I the only one that hunts in places where cell service is weak or worse? I can't think of any method for the collar to connect directly to the phone (without using cell towers) except Bluetooth, and that's usually only effective at ranges of 10 meters or less. I guess it could be using some sort of ad-hoc WiFi network, but I still wouldn't think the range would be acceptable for running pointing dogs.

For #2, the same range issues I mentioned above would be an issue. Plus the web site for this collar says "2 second updates" which I presume is referring to GPS updates, not "2 second delay for e-collar stim". I don't know how it can operate without some delay between the time you press "stim" and the time the dog feels it. Bluetooth might solve it, but again it's only good to about 33 feet.

Also, I think I'd find a smartphone to be a clunky tool for trying to deliver stim via e-collar. I suspect a traditional e-collar remote would be much more user friendly.
blue04
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1624
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby Calvinator » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:07 pm

I have the Alpha. I don't like it for a training collar at all.

Calvin
User avatar
Calvinator
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1599
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby aaronk » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Alpha only here. It's got 3 buttons right at the top for the ecollar, not sure how people can say it's harder to use. If you can hit the button on your ecollar remote you can hit the ecollar button on an Alpha just fine. I will say it's easier to adjust stimulation level on a conventional ecollar remote though, although you can do it pretty quick on the Alpha too, big difference is you just have to be looking at the screen when you do it.
aaronk
Started
Started
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:53 pm

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby CWT » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:36 am

You download the app and that allows the GPS to work without a cell signal or WiFi.

blue04 wrote:How the heck does that thing work? It looks like you use your smartphone for:

1) GPS tracking on a map (Google Maps Overlay)
2) Stim control for e-collar

I totally get that #1 might be fabulous, since most smartphones have have a larger and nicer screen that the GPS handheld units I've seen. But how does this work when your cell phone doesn't have good (or any) cell service. Am I the only one that hunts in places where cell service is weak or worse? I can't think of any method for the collar to connect directly to the phone (without using cell towers) except Bluetooth, and that's usually only effective at ranges of 10 meters or less. I guess it could be using some sort of ad-hoc WiFi network, but I still wouldn't think the range would be acceptable for running pointing dogs.

For #2, the same range issues I mentioned above would be an issue. Plus the web site for this collar says "2 second updates" which I presume is referring to GPS updates, not "2 second delay for e-collar stim". I don't know how it can operate without some delay between the time you press "stim" and the time the dog feels it. Bluetooth might solve it, but again it's only good to about 33 feet.

Also, I think I'd find a smartphone to be a clunky tool for trying to deliver stim via e-collar. I suspect a traditional e-collar remote would be much more user friendly.
CWT
Started
Started
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:48 am
Location: The Old North State

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:57 am

carramrod wrote:I'm a beginner trainer, and only have the Alpha. I can't justify the funds for another collar, and the Alpha and it's functionality do just fine for me.

As far as it going down and not having anything, I live just down the road from Garmin, and actually play hockey with a few of them. So help isn't very far away. I realize I might be out a collar for one or two days in the field, but don't feel I could justify that for the cost of another e-collar.


Just a heads-up for the new guys who find themselves cash strapped for the gizmos...

... Collar Clinic, e-bay, craigslist all are sources for e-collars and such... in decreasing order of liability.

A friend bought an Astro and TT 550 second hand (un-used and in boxes) by shopping around and finding guys that won them as door prizes. Her total cost was less than an Alpha.

I have an Astro purchased on sale and a reconditioned TT 500 from Collar Clinic... again less than the cost of the Alpha.

Be patient, smart, thrifty and you don't have to do without.

Good luck,

3ds
User avatar
3drahthaars
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby mtlhdr » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:41 pm

Pretty good deal on 320. Might not last long.

http://www.thefieldtrialer.com/forum/vi ... f=9&t=6699
User avatar
mtlhdr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:15 pm
Location: Northern CA

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby blue04 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:16 pm

CWT wrote:You download the app and that allows the GPS to work without a cell signal or WiFi.


Is there a web page, user manual, etc. that you can refer me to that says "no cell signal or wifi is required if you install the app"? I know the details of how smart phones work pretty well, and I'm very skeptical that this is the case.
blue04
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1624
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Astro vs Alpha?

Postby ForestDump » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:45 pm

blue04 wrote:
CWT wrote:You download the app and that allows the GPS to work without a cell signal or WiFi.


Is there a web page, user manual, etc. that you can refer me to that says "no cell signal or wifi is required if you install the app"? I know the details of how smart phones work pretty well, and I'm very skeptical that this is the case.


Image

The GPS connector allows the phone a collar to communicate. You pair the phone and the collar to the connector. Up to 21 or 24 collars I don't remember exactly.
The phone talks to the connector through bluetooth then the connector and the collar communicate through a much stronger connection
User avatar
ForestDump
Seasoned
Seasoned
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:42 pm
Location: Oregon

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests