Alpha

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JayD
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Alpha

Postby JayD » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:13 pm

Has anyone had a problem with the Handheld shutting down when it is being used. It happens when I am on the compass screen and scrolling through the dogs or say maybe changing a dogs name on the collar info screen, and it acts as if it gets "confused" and the screen will just fade away until it is off. Is it possible that I am going to fast for the Alpha to keep up with what I am doing? If I have made any changes when I power it back up the changes are gone so I will have to make all the changes again. Now I am hunting with 16 collars and another handheld tracking the same collars and there is another guy that has 20 collars and another guy that has 8 collars. We are not having communication or interference problems with each others collars. It will happen if the other guys are there hunting with me or not. The software is updated on all collars and handheld devive and battery is charged greater than 50% . Any help?
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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:32 pm

Jay,

I've seen that issue on some of the earlier software versions last year when they are loaded up heavy with Dogs. But if I remember right it was fixed with the software update last year. I would Definitely update the software which sounds like you have already done, I would go to the settings and see what version of the software you are running to double check that it was loaded.

The second thing I would check is your memory, on most of the units they were loading the memory pretty good with Birds eye view and Allot of dogs at the fast update rate. Kinda just like you described going too fast for the unit to keep up.

The units that were doing this that we were able to fix were also with 16-20 dogs and it was exactly as you described on the compass screen when you slide across the Dogs it would shut down.

How many maps do you have loaded and how large of a Birdseye view section if any are you looking at.

Does this happen on all of the units even the one with 8 dogs?

Give us a call if you cant figure it out. If you can make it happen every time I definitely would like to help you figure this out.

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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:28 pm

JayD wrote:I have 2 16 gigabyte cards that are full of hunting areas. When I down load I always use the highest level so I can see better. I choose not to go with a larger card than that because the start up on the Alpha take longer with more data it is trying to upload. So what I did was created a North Card and a South Card and I also overlapped the areas so if I was hunting on the edge of one card I would not run out of Birdseye view and have to switch cards in a hunt. This has worked good for me so far and I have had it for 8 months or so. I can go anywhere in North Carolina east of I-95 and not have to download anything before I go.


Jay, I seen this post from you on another topic. I think this might relate to some of your issues. I would try to make sure you are not loading up your memory to full capacity with the maps. I think Your unit is just starved for Memory and can be adding to the issue.

If you can try to move the maps to a Chip but only use about 50% of the memory available and try that.

Buddy
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:55 am

Buddy, the guy that has the 20 collars is having the same issues that I am. The guy with the 8 collars is not having the issues. My dad is not having the issues either and he has the same collars I do and we also have each other’s Alpha paired with each other. Now the guy with the 8 collars has the same 2 16 gigabyte cards setup as I do, I set his up for him just like mine but he doesn’t have the same # of collars. My dad has the same 16 collars I do but doesn’t have the training allowed on his but he has a 32 gigabyte card on his and doesn’t have all of the areas I have on mine not even half. So you "think" if I was to get a larger SD card and put the same info on it or should I get let’s say 4 16gigabyte cards and split my area into 4 instead of 2 which would put a lot less on each card. I will say this, the guy that has the 20 collars it seems to happen to him more often and I set his up as well and he has a 16 gigabyte card and it maybe 2/3rds full. He doesn’t hunt in the all the areas that I do.

I don’t really understand why the SD memory card being "full" would affect the Alpha but I can understand if it was the internal memory. I even went in and deleted some of the test locations and like the Garmin buildings overseas on mine so it would open up more internal memory for the Alpha.

The Alpha has surprised me so far as it not having communication and interface issue but we will test it further very shortly because another guy will be coming down with 20 more collars and I hope to test everyone’s out that day as well. We will not be all hunting together but I would still like to have all the systems on at once and see how it responds to 66 collars all on at once.

The reason I switched to the Alpha is that I was having issues with tri-tronics trashbreakers. I worked with the engineering at tri tronics and with a new out of the box trashbreaker as far as it would shock was 1/2 a mile on a unit that should had been 2 miles. I had a rep for Garmin come out and tested the Alpha and with the 14" ant it would work at almost 3/4 of a mile then switched to a truck mount ant and it worked for 2.9 miles. I can say I was impressed. The Alpha will shock as long as there is communication. I really did not buy the Alpha for its tracking but for its training. I have used beep beeps until the Alpha purchase. I do not run my beep beeps anymore I figured that if I have a system that cost 6000.00 it should be reliable. I have asked to be put on a test team being one we have a lot of dogs were I hunt and two the area I hunt in has problems with distance maybe the terrain or may even be something in the air causing the problems. Unfortunately Charles( the Eng.) I worked with that was very helpful has left the company and got a new job. Do you have anyone specific that you talk to, I like dealing with one person instead of whoever picks up the phone even if it takes longer.

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Jay
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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:45 pm

Jay,

I can't and won't Discuss any relationship I have with Garmin. I sell allot of these systems, I'm Probably Close to the #1 sales on the Garmin ALPHA systems, So I have allot of Customers that work with me and report back to me about any issues they have to get them fixed.

I work very hard to keep my customers issues handled and dealt with as best I can.

Your issue that you are describing, in my opinion is a memory issue although I don't know for sure. I have seen exactly what you are talking about and we were able to resolve it.

Does it do it when you take the memory card out of the unit?

Buddy
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:25 pm

Buddy I understand about you not saying who you work with. I just like to deal with one person.

I have never used the Alpha without the Birdseye view. When I first got it I only had 8 collars and it did not turn off but I soon added the other 8 collars to it.

Being I hunt in so many areas I guess I need to get 2 32 gigabyte cards and they will be only 1/2 full with downloaded images on it. Will this be enough of unsed space? I still don't understand why the SD card will effect the Alpha and its speed. If this is going to be the fix they need to have this in their manual so people dont have to buy more SD cards like in my case.

Do you know if the Alpha has been tested with 60 collars on the east coast all at once. The Eng. I talked to said they didnt test with such conditions. I have asked to be a "tester" guess Im not important enough. :D

Thanks for your info. If you hear anything else about this get back to me.

Jay
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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:47 pm

Jay,

I understand where you are coming from, Working with Garmin's Repair facility is not an ideal situation. I think they work out of a book and Often doing really have a clue what the issues are. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a customer tell me that they said.. "This is the first time we have heard about this issue" I like Garmin, and they are doing well and making a product that is going to be hard to beat, but they are not exactly a company that understands the dynamics of Hounds and the Houndsmen. I think they are trying and getting a little better each year.

back to the issue, It shouldn't do it even with the setup you have. But I'm just trying to isolate the problem and see if we can make it go away, and then make it re-appear.

I've spent 15 years in Product Development for Intel, one of the first things I like to do it try and duplicate or make the problem happen and isolate as much as we can to get to the root of the problem and find out what is really happening before we try to get it fixed.

This is the reason I want you to try and do different things with the SD card, Not because that's what should happen but I'm curious to see what does happen when you change things up with your Birdseye and the memory.

I had another Customer two weeks ago that was getting weird things on his system with the tracks, and when I connected it to my computer to take a look at it, I found photo's and music files on his chip and even the internal memory. I don't know what or how it got their but Memory issues make these things do weird stuff. I still don't know if that fixed his issues yet but it was something wrong with the memory and he was seeing weird things.

I'm no Expert, but even with the SD card the CPU still needs to read the memory and access from that drive. My inclination is that it adds your internal memory and External memory together and kind of swaps things out as one. I don't know for a fact, I definitely could be wrong.

But regardless you are maxing out the system both with Dogs and Maps, From my experience in Product validations, If something is going to break, (in most situations) it normally happens on the fringes of something.

So I'm just working on a gut feeling right now. And trying to see if we can dial into something that gives us a better clue. When you are running that many dogs, with that many maps, That is going to tax the system.

Let's eliminate one element and see if the problem goes away, and then we can try and Make it fail again, and that will give some clues as to what really needs to happen to fix the situation.
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:29 pm

Okay, next question before I buy another SD card, what class do you think I should buy. I know that the class 4 is what I have now and the highest(that I have seen) is a class 10. The class is how fast it writes and reads. This could be the problem as well. I have been looking into all this today.

Do you think a 32 gig class 10 would work with 15 gigbytes downloaded on it? If so I am going to order one and try it.

What card do you run and how full is it?

Thanks again for your help.

Jay
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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:16 pm

I'm a bad choice for asking what I do. #1 I only try to hunt 3 dogs, and I might track 7-8 if I'm hunting with a friend.

I use my system so much and have them swapped around so ever time I put a map on it I'll have to pull it out to check someone's unit or something, and I've never re-loaded Birdseye view. So right now, I think I have Stock maps and just some 24K maps for the areas I hunt. If I get some time I would like to sit down and spend some time setting up my units again with Birdseye view and the Landowner maps. But I just am too busy that when it's time to go hunt, I just grab what I can and hope I don't forget the chargers!

Lately I've been hunting with the 320 and DC50 collars, I always use my alpha collars but I've been putting as much time on the DC50's as possible so that I'm very familiar with them and any issues that arise from them. SO I have been trying to ignore the Alpha so that It forces me to pay attention to the DC50's. In a couple months I'll probably start hunting with only the alpha system again so I don't have 4 handhelds floating around in my truck!

I wouldn't worry about the Class of SD card, I don't think that is the issue. I think the Alpha has some issue that when the memory gets full it's locking up. I Think because you have a lot of memory used up for Birdseye view is making the problem show up where most guys aren't seeing the issue.

Personally I would try to make it fail without the Card in and then make a small 4GB chip and use about 2GB.

Another thing to try is to Reset your Alpha, and see how long it takes before the problem shows up again. My guess is that if you reset it, It will work for a while before all the dogs fill up the useable memory.

GIve me a Call Monday and we can discuss some ideas to try and work on it. I wouldn't go out and spend allot of Money on High Dollar SD cards right now, My feeling is that it's likely something in the Alpha Software that is unique to how many dogs and maps you are using. I would just like to check and see if we can find more concrete evidence as to what and why it's happening.

Buddy
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:44 pm

I will call you Monday.

I wish I could try my dads card in my box. We are tracking everything the same other than him having a 32 gb card and me having a 16. I have tried this before but the subscription will not allow you to switch cards from boxes.
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Re: Alpha

Postby khodges » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:19 pm

I am hunting with 2 collars, I have the birdseye installed on a 16gb sd. Mine does the same thing about everytime I take it out. When the screen starts to fade I turn it off and turn it back on and it loads quickly and usually dont do it again the rest of the hunt. I called garmin they told me to do a master reset and several other things and nothing fixed it. I think that it might have something to do with the birdseye personally, but that is my opinion. It is to handy not to have in the system while hunting. Hopefully you can figure it out.
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:23 pm

KHODGES
How full is your 16 gb card?
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Re: Alpha

Postby Buddyw » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:43 pm

No problem, Yes I was just thinking about that that you can't switch cards easily since the Birdseye goes with the serial number.

I will also try and load up some Birdseye on my system and see if I can make mine fail as well. It will be a good excuse for me to get my unit set back up! Sounds like it might be able to do it with fewer dogs, My guess is I'll need to put more maps on it.. But again just my assumption.

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Re: Alpha

Postby South Texan » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:05 pm

Buddy,
Mine is doing just like Jay's but maybe worse. Been meaning to call you about it because I knew you worked closely with Garmin. My alpha will turn off just about any page I'm using it on. It will also freeze up at times. I have 20 dogs in my unit, the most I've turned on at one time is probably 18 but when I do it is nearly useless as for correcting the dog with the shocking system.
When you shock a dog it will freeze on that certain dog sometimes it might take 2 or 3 minutes before it will go back to the map page. If your having a trash race and need to shock multiple dogs you just can't get it done. The only time I have 18 dogs on it is when my hunting partner (Henry) comes and goes with me. He bought 7 collars and just added them to my unit. I have 2 Alpha units (one for a spare) so when Henry comes and we're hunting that many dogs I put his on one unit and mine on the other. Even though both Alpha's have all 20 dogs in them they will work pretty well as long as your not tracking but 10 or 11 dogs at a time.

I also have a lot of birdseye downloaded on a 4G card at the lowest level. Do you think it might help if I put the same area on a bigger SD card?

I really like this unit. Never been able to shock a dog as far as I can now. This is the only issue I have come across that takes away from the unit. If Garmin could get this corrected it would be a superior unit to anything that has come out yet.

Friends of mine that are hunting fewer dogs doesn't have this issue and that is with the same amount of birdseye as mine on a 4G card because I downloaded my birdseye in their unit for them off of my computer.

Really interested in the out come of this. If I can help in any way let me know. If you and Jay figure something out let me know. Thanks.
Robbie
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Re: Alpha

Postby JayD » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:23 am

Buddy just for more info the guy that I hunt with that has 20 dogs went hunting yesterday he was the only one with a garmin system and he has a 16 gb card that is 2/3 full and is Alpha turned off on the compass screen again. He said that he had been on the map all day until his last dog was around a house and he was wanting to pin point it with a distance so he switched to the compass and scrolled over to the dog and then the screen faded away and turned off.

Looks like there are more people with this issue than just a few.
Thanks
Jay
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