Ecollar / Pathfinder

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Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby FrankGWP » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:30 pm

Hi all - I'm in the market for a new ecollar. As I'm in chukar country now I was exploring GPS units. The Dogtra Pathfinder seems like smart, cost effective option. Also, using my phone to run the training collar seems like it will take some getting used to.

The only reviews I've seen are from several years ago. Anymore recent thoughts or places I should go for further research?
Chump Changes Frankelmoin - brown fuzzy monster I take rooster hunting.
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby Dmog » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:52 am

I own the the pathfinder and run it on two dogs. Well worth the discount I paid compared to the other units but you give up some important features. It works fine but I do not like the phone as an interaction device. Dedicated screen would be better. I ended up getting a phone just for it that would run the app because I did not like trying to get my good phone out with gloves and adjusting screen setting to keep the screen popped up or unlocked. Bought a dedicated phone that stays on for it and small enough to fit in the pocket. GPS update says 2.5 sec but it is slow. The dog will be on point for 8-10 secs before it registers. Treeing feature works well but also suffers the delay. It will tell you the dog is barking if the dog is out of earshot pretty quickly. Dog will also be at my side and it is saying they are out 50-100 yards yet. I had trouble with range on one of the collars so I upgraded the antennas on both. Now they work well as far as range but the delay only improved slightly if at all. The mapping and direction indicators work well and are accurate with the delay mentioned, distance and speed is accurate. Battery life is good. I am glad I have them but if I had to do it over again with Garmin's ability to communicate with a watch, I would save and go that route.

I forgot to add that when left on the stimulation screen on my dedicated phone and pocketed in that condition, the setting can change which lead me to believe dog could get accidently stimulated. Therefore, I never pocket it with that screen showing which makes it ineffective as being quick access to stimulation/tone/vibrate. Again, a dedicated unit with buttons for stimulation/tone/vibrate would be better or better design.
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby panfisher » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:55 pm

Hi Frank, I also own the pathfinder. I really liked the price compared to the Garmin. I do however, dislike the phone battery life in cold weather. I hunt pheasant in Iowa, and some years grouse in MN/WI. On really cold late season hunts my phone battery will only last a couple of hours. The rest of the features of the pathfinder are great! I’m looking at selling mine if your interested. I’m going to have to breakdown and buy the Garmin. But man oh man does having gps collar on a pointing dog really make hunting much more enjoyable! Seriously though, if you want to buy mine let me know. It works great and is 3 years old. But it’s got to go.
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby Dmog » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:49 am

It would be great if Pathfinder App developer makes it available for the smart watches. 50% of my dislike would be solved for me if like Garmin, you can see the distance and direction your dog is at via a watch. Since I do my training with a different collar, I very rarely use the correction/tone feature out in the field so the inconvenience of the app with touch screens is not that glaring to me but maybe for someone who wants to use it for training. The battery life when I paired it with my everyday phone was a concern but I bought a cheap Motorola e5 smart phone to run just this app. Only thing running on the phone is the App and bluetooth. I get 8-10 hrs on this phone in the cold which is about all the collar batteries last.
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby panfisher » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:06 pm

With the added phone, did you download the maps prior to hunting? Or are you using data? If that’s all it takes to keep this unit, I’ll get another phone as you did. I really like this thing for hunting and would hate to spend the money to upgrade to Garmin. How is it for running multiple dogs? Is it easy to switch from did to dog?
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby IsThisHeaven? » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:39 am

panfisher wrote:With the added phone, did you download the maps prior to hunting? Or are you using data? If that’s all it takes to keep this unit, I’ll get another phone as you did. I really like this thing for hunting and would hate to spend the money to upgrade to Garmin. How is it for running multiple dogs? Is it easy to switch from did to dog?


Neither. The app on your phone is paired with a GPS connector. You don't need to download maps and you don't use data. I kept an old Iphone that I use for just for running the Pathfinder. The old phone has the app. You pair the GPS connector to the phone and to the collar.
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Re: Ecollar / Pathfinder

Postby Dmog » Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:37 pm

You can download maps onto the phone if the phone you use has wifi and enough memory. I've done it once just to do it but don't use it really. My mapping of the dog screen is just lines on the screen when no map is downloaded. No data used, the phone doesn't even have service. You just need to have an Operating system and bluetooth compatible with the app. Easy to switch between dogs as touching the screen on the dog you want other than the pain in the ass touch screen in cold conditions. Only time you need to switch dogs is if you are going to use the stimulation/tone/vibrate. Otherwise I have both dogs on the screen being tracked at the same time. The other pain is if you want to track miles on the dogs. After each stop, you need to look at it and write it down because once you drive off the collars keep tracking your driving. If you shut it off, the mileage resets. At least I haven't figured out how to keep it tallying just the hunting time yet.
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