Double U Hunting Supply Article about The Garmin Alpha Dog tracking and Training Systems.
GPS pioneer company Garmin has once again raised the bar with regards to new technology and field use for hunters with the Garmin Alpha. The Garmin Alpha carries on the tradition set by the Garmin Astro 320, one of the most comprehensive dog tracking GPS systems in use. The Garmin Alpha builds on the Astro’s success by increasing the number of trackable dogs to 20 over the prior 10 as well as a full menu of new and standard functions.
One of the highlights and standout features of the new Alpha system is the ability to use the device to train the sporting dogs as well as track them. Up until now, there has never been a device like this on the market, and with it, the training field has been changed for the better.
While using the Alpha, it is possible to use a remote device to give a mild shock to the dog when in training. Imagine the benefits of being able to deliver a small (and harmless) shock to the dog to direct it to soft-mouth, turn right or left, go on point, flush, or retrieve during training sessions. This is a direct “stick and carrot” training tool that only builds your relationship with the sporting dog into a stronger and better bond. The dog receives the stimulus via the Alpha control and knows exactly what is expected when coupled with the voice and hand signal commands. Now, instead of taking weeks and months to begin the sporting dog’s training, the time can be shortened through the ease of use provided by the Garmin Alpha.
This training feature is the result of Garmin partnering with Tri-Tronics, a sporting dog-training specialist. Tri-Tronics and Garmin made the Alpha so a touch screen display can be used up to nine-miles away during hunts and training. Up to 20 dogs can be tracked during a hunt with the display, and up to 20 can benefit from the training tools, provided all of the dogs have the Alpha GPS device installed onto their collar. Send the dogs off on scent and don’t worry about trying to keep up, the touch screen monitor keeps you in monitoring zones by showing the dog’s location on the screen relevant to your position. If the dog begins to go off in an undesired direction, the training shock can be delivered, keeping the pup at bay.
The Display and Handheld
The touch screen display is three-inches by three-inches and is made to function even while wearing gloves. This is great for cold autumn hunts or times when the snow and temperatures are falling. Using GPS technology the Alpha monitors simultaneous feeds from any device on the dogs as well as the home Alpha unit’s position with the hunter. The Alpha updates positions up to 2.5 times a second over nine-miles and with up to 20 dogs! This is really groundbreaking tech for sporting dog use. The handheld devices use replaceable lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are packed into the waterproof handheld screen. The handheld uses a charger mount that allows the unit to get juiced up quickly. Expect the handheld to handle recharge cycles upwards of several thousand times. This unit is made for tough use and it shows right down to the battery itself. The screen has a brightness adjustment and an anti-glare covering that makes use in bright sunlight possible. Set the screen lighting levels to your preferred detail using the touch screen sliders. Again, even a gloved finger yields results when making adjustments on the fly.
Corrections and training simulations can be set via the quickest pre-programmed settings or customized via touch-screen menus and drop downs. The Alpha default settings are based on 18-levels of linear stimulation, of which they can be set and altered to low, medium and high adjustments.
Maps can be up- and downloaded using wireless tech. Garmin’s own maps may be used along with other map sources like BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. Switch your default map off the touch screen menu and drop downs after uploading new datum. Garmin ships the Alpha pre-loaded with 100k topographical USGS maps for United States use, and Canadian maps for those using the product north of the border.
The Garmin Alpha is the first system of its kind to feature the “Buddy Tracker” function. Providing that all members of the hunting party as well as their dogs are equally equipped with an Alpha all members of the hunting party can be monitored along with 20 dogs. There is no guesswork anymore. With the Alpha everyone knows where everyone else is along with the dogs. No more danger of firing in an unsafe direction, no more trying to backtrack and find party members and no more lengthy dog recovery periods. You have all the data in your hand via the touch screen display.
Not only does the Buddy Tracker keep tabs on everyone it can be used to send pre-set text messages to members of the party. There are buttons for “Help,” “Come Here,” “Go On Without Me” and “Okay.”
Dog Tracker Page
By navigating the Alpha to the Dog Tracker screen all the hunters in the party can follow the dog’s and other hunter’s movements on the full color screen along with a real-time digital compass. Name each dog by entering the name into the GPS collar device and that name appears next to the dog icon on the display. This removes any doubt for what animal is where. The compass is color-coded and uses a three-axis antenna to deliver accurate directions to track and follow whatever the user wants from the display.
TT Dog Collar
The TT 10 Alpha dog collar is the GPS device that syncs into the GPS satellites. The collar’s internal antenna is made of durable and hardy aircraft cable, meaning the collar will withstand the worst the dog can throw at it and still remain accurate and precise. Internal and integrated LED beacons along the collar can be activated via the handheld home screen Alpha device from up to 100 yards away. This helps give a visual location when searching for the dogs. Should the battery levels go below 25 percent at any time on the TT collar a dog rescue mode automatically switches the TT 10 to the two-minute update to preserve precious power. An alert will be made to the Alpha handheld device, letting the hunter or trainer know the situation with the TT collar battery levels. If the dogs are used for swimming and waterfowl retrieval, the TT’s waterproof qualities are good up to 10 meters, much deeper than any dog is going to go. The rechargeable interface is nearly impermeable to mud and grime, making field recharges nearly effortless. The TT collar battery charge is good up to 44 hours of continued use and will accept charge-cycles up to several thousand times. One alpha TT collar is included with the Alpha kit package and additional Garmin Alpha collars are available for $299 at Double U Hunting Supply. New TT collars can be sync very quickly to any Alpha display handheld device.
Garmin prices the Alpha system kit at $799.99 This includes the chargers, cords, one TT 10 collar, Alpha handheld device and a water-resistant field bag for storage and transport of the gear. Like all Garmin products the Alpha comes with a factory backed warranty against maker defects or faults. The Garmin Alpha TT Collar can sync with all other Alpha products and makes field training and sporting dog hunts effortless on the chase, maximizing the precious field time for the hunt itself.
Garmin’s partnering with Tri-Tronics has upped the game for sporting dog hunts and made the training process easier. With both companies standing tall and confident in the final product, you can buy the Alpha knowing full well it is the result of years of development and quality in the research and development of Garmin and Tri-Tronics.
Good For You and Your Canine Pals
The Alpha represents the highest safety and navigation quality available. This means you and your four-legged assistants are protected from getting lost, accidental firings based on guess-work or not being able to get a voice-call in to retrieve the pup. Your dogs are working dogs for sure, but they are also valued friends and assistants for your hard-earned field time and hunts. Using the Garmin Alpha is a sure way to keep your furry investments safe from harm. You invest all the time to train them (and that has just been made easier by the Alpha) so keep that investment wagging its tail for years to come. Get out in the field and begin using this cutting edge and exciting GPS technology that will make your hunt better. Your dogs will appreciate the quick training times and act happier once they know exactly what you expect of them. Bring along other party members with Alpha units and keep tabs on them too. There is nothing like being outside and on the hunt, and with today’s GPS tech like the Alpha, that time has become safer and more efficient.
Where To Buy: