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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking System

GeorgeastroUPDATE: Read our Garmin Astro dog tracking system review.

In perhaps the most surprising announcement from Garmin today, they unveiled their new Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking System, and I just couldn’t resist leading with a picture of George and Astro from the Jetsons.  I’ve placed an image of the actual Garmin Astro 220 below, after the jump.

Based on the incredibly popular Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, the Astro 220 is designed for hunters with hunting dogs, or any kind of sporting dog you would want to track. According to Garmin, the setup actually has two components:

"The dog’s transmitter (called the DC 20) and the user’s handheld receiver (named the Astro 220).  The DC 20 is mounted into a lightweight neoprene harness that straps to the dog’s collar, around its chest, and behind its front legs.  Users can also thread the unit directly onto a standard one-inch collar (a third-party e-collar is recommended for proper mounting) so that the unit fits on the back of the dog’s neck.

Garminastro220The system requires very little configuration straight out of the box.  Once the transmitter and receiver acquire a GPS signal, the receiver automatically lets users know the location of their dog.  Unlike existing radio telemetry collars, the Astro features a dog page that shows the precise direction and distance to a dog – even indicating if it is running, sitting, on point, or treeing quarry – and does it all without the annoyance of beeper collars.

The Astro also has a map page to illustrate where a dog is and where it has been – in relation to the hunter – and allows hunters to determine if they have covered nearby ground.  For even more detail, hunters can download their waypoints and tracks – as well as their dogs’ tracks – to MapSource® or Motionbased.com™ for analysis on topo maps or Google Earth after the hunt.

The Astro can track up to ten dogs per receiver at once, and the collar gives location updates as often as every five seconds.  In flat, unobstructed terrain, the Astro transmitter and receiver have an effective range of up to five miles.  Battery life is 17 hours on the rechargeable collar and greater than 20 hours on the receiver, which is powered by two AA batteries."

Here’s the full press release announcing the Garmin Astro 220, which is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2007. It will carry a sure to be discounted retail price of $642.84. Additional transmitters and receivers are available separately. Garmin has also put together an Astro 220 mini-site, devoted exclusively to this unit.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Really wish this would work with the current Garmin Rino radios. I don’t want to have to carry around another unit. The rino’s work great for hunting and in and just about everything else you need a radio and gps. I would love to put one of these on my dog but don’t want to carry around another unit.
    We do weekendhiking in the woods and sometimes the dog gets out of site. Incorpating this into the current Rions would sell to a group of customers already buying products from Garmin.

  2. Interesting. I wonder if the Rino’s transmitter and receiver is the same type as that used in the Astro. Specs aren’t available yet, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
    It wouldn’t surprise me to see another Astro unit in the future based on Rinos though.

  3. IT WOULD BE OF INTEREST TO THE HOUND WORLD. BUT IT WILL HAVE TO COME WITH A LONGER BATTERY LIFE ON THE COLLAR AND ALSO IT WILL FOR SURE WILL NEED A LONGER RANGE THEN 5 MILES SINCE MOST HUNTING FOR BIG GAME IS IN MOUNTIANOUS COUNTRY
    I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SEE A SMALLER TRANSMITTER THAT WOULD FIT ON A 1″ CALLER SOMETIMES THESE ANTENNAS WILL SLIP AROUND A DOGS NECK AND BE PONTING TOWARDS THE GROUND SO THERE WILL HAVE TO BE SOME SORTOF BALENCE TO KEEP THEM UPRIGHT.

  4. Yeah, it looks pretty bulky to me. I bet we’ll see some reductions in size, partially because I expect to see Garmin enter the pet tracking market.

  5. Gary Ansell says:

    In Bird dog field trials the The dog’s transmitter and collar (called the DC 20) must be 5oz or less for us to use. will you come out with a lighter collar There are alot of field trials every weekend in most of the states.The american field ( http://www.americanfield.com ) We all use tracking collars now. The garmin gps DC20 would be awsome. Please make one 5 0z’s Thanks Gary

  6. Gary, I think you need to direct your comments to http://www.garmin.com. We are not the manufacturer. Please let us know what they have to say.

  7. r dismuke says:

    I’m very interested about the detailed description of the range of reception. The attention given to the unobstruted terrain concerns me. Exactly how dependable is the unit under dense canopy. Most dog people live by old school ideals and may only give you one chance. The knowledge of the true capabilities of the GPS technology will lead to a larger market in the future. The opportunity may only be available once. Make it Count.

  8. i own a system and with the roof mount antena you can get 2.5 to 3 mile in florida.

  9. Is there any other VHF antennas that can be used, bigger ones for longer range. Don’t want to use the roof antenna.

  10. Good question. Anyone reading this know the answer?

  11. Bud Fisher says:

    I purchased the Astro Combo to outfit one of our dogs which we use to bear hunt. I installed the micro memory chip and loaded the US topo 2008 into the 220 and loaded up the dog. The following are a few of my observations of this product: I think Garmin is really on the right track with this product but there are a few problems that should be made better. The terrain that we hunt is very thick cover and an extremely good test for any GPS product. We have broken three antennas which really stops all tracking. Since, I have ordered the short antenna which I hope will solve this problem. Also, having the unit on top of the back of the dog, this is where a leash will do damage. The dog vest is really cumbersome for a dog and we had to modify it to eliminate rubbing between the legs and body of the dog. It would really be an asset to have a means to tie the Astro 220 to a laptop for a larger viewing area in real time and downloading the “tracks” in the field as they occur. If and when we can resolve the antenna problem, we will be able to further test this product but for the near term, we don’t dare dispose of the old tracking collars. I would be interested in any updates that happen to this product in the future. I hope this post did not come across as pure negative as there are a lot of positives with this product also. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts on this futuristic product.

  12. Bud,
    That’s great info. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. That’s the sort of thing that will help others know what they’re getting into before they buy.

  13. Volusia Hunter says:

    I bought one to try out running deer in Florida. I can get around 2 miles in the dense ocala forest using an external yagi antennae. I used the normal tracking collar as counter balance. That way I can still track them the old way if he gets out of range. TThis is until they improve the range and battery life.

  14. What is that short antenna being mentioned. Also I have heard from friends in Sweden that has tried with some antenna from a 2-way radio made by a company called Lafayette, that they got a much better ranged from it, I’m trying to find out which antenna that is.
    Micael

  15. Rich Owings
    You bear hunt? you sick fucking scum bag how would you like for me to rip you apart like you do to that fucking bear you scum bag

  16. Rich Owings
    You bear hunt? you sick fucking scum bag how would you like for me to rip you apart like you do to that fucking bear you scum bag

  17. Rich Owings
    You bear hunt? you sick fucking scum bag how would you like for me to rip you apart like you do to that fucking bear you scum bag

  18. I ordered the Garmin Astro to use with my Brittany. So far we have broken two antenna’s. Both within 30 minutes of putting it on her. Usually on barbed wire fences. I like this product but replacing the antenna’s constantly is not really an option.
    Otherwise it is a great system. Perhaps a taller dog wouldn’t go through the fences the way by Brittany does.

  19. Ragan,
    Have you talked to Garmin about it? They need this kind of feedback. I wonder if the would replace it. Sounds like it needs to be more flexible.

  20. Steve Chambo says:

    Is the GPS availible to New Zealanders? we are the wild boor hunters, there would be a real demand for the GPS if its up to our rough and steap terain. The collars would have to be small and tough as the dogs fight wild boors head to head in very thick cover.the chest harness would not suit our style of hunting. also need to be long range and with long batery life.

  21. Brock Burnham says:

    I have had my Astro with topo software for about 6 months now and I absolutely love it. Yes I have broken one antenna and slipped the cover off of two but Garmin has sent me new ones two at a time every time. They even sent a stub antenna for free, you have to love that. As far as the stub antenna goes, I wouldn’t recommend it, range was cut to less than 1/2 mile.
    I live in Arkansas and I use mine for hunting raccoon. I thought I would have issues with the battery life but it has not been a problem considering that it takes me less than 45 minutes to catch my dog because of the precision and features of the system.
    If you buy this product I highly recommend buying the Topo software with it. I just converted my buddy who had a Tracker system. We were hunting somewhere we had never been and were about to catch the dogs and he whipped out the tracker, folded out the antennas, adjusted the dial, makes a few turns and says “well Duke is over that way and he is a pretty good ways…maybe 1 or two miles, it is going to be a long wet walk through that swamp.” I pulled out the Astro, pressed the dog button and said “Pepper is straight through there 1.65 miles and is treed, we need to take County Road 35 to 42 and then go 600 yards down it and they should be on the left side of the road by the creek.” Sure enough they were there, 15 yards off of the road. Yup, that hooked him…lol.
    For counter weight I used a stack of brass name plates and attached them with a long brass hammer down pegs I got at tractor supply in the tack department. Not perfect yet but definitely better. Will get it perfected though.
    Overall I absolutely love the system. The price point is always a good one. I sold my tracker with 4 collars to purchase my Garmin, after buying the system, sd card, topo software and external antenna I still had $20 left! Better get rid of your “beep beep beep” before they are only worth 10 cents on the dollar!

  22. Great review Brock. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Larry Riddle says:

    System is just what is needed. I am a squirrel hunter and our dogs range from 12 to 25 lbs. We need a smaller collar for our dogs. Can’t wait until something is available for smaller dogs.
    Larry

  24. Rick Goggin says:

    I am a bear, cat, and coyote hunter. Astro 200 is just what the doctor ordered. The antenna really needs work. They are too fragile and break too easily. Probably need a cable antenna as on the old tracking collars

  25. Im a big White tail hunter in Virginia, USA.. i have been trying to find a good system to buy.. i hunt a lot of dense cover and swamps..and i use walkers and beagles.. so i would like to here from some people who have tryed deer hunting with it and the results… so far sounds like it is the future of tracking systems…

  26. Mike,
    Be sure to check out the links to other reviews in my Astro review…
    http://gpstracklog.com/2007/09/garmin-astro-re.html

  27. I trail wounded deer with my dogs. The problems have run into is that the antennas break, and if the dog gets out over about 2 miles I lose receception and can not get it to pick back up sometimes. I also purchased the topographic map chip and can not get it to stay in place. Other wise it is perfect for trailing blood on wounded animals or for tracking all other hunting dogs.

  28. This system is awesome i have not lost my dogs since

  29. I have been using this system for over 8 months now on hog dogs in Florida . Hunting in the thickest palmetto flats and the nastiest swamps any dog will go in .I hunt almost every week end so the unit gets a real work out . this system is worth every penny I spent on it . I am now going to buy more dc20 for all my dogs .I do not want any of my dogs lost . I don’t have long rang dogs but I have never lost signal .The system can do so much more the beep beep beep WHY would you pay more for beep beeep

  30. The Astro is becoming popular among hunters also in Sweden. There are some alternative designs for the antenna available for increased range and robustness; http://elhalsband.com/page_1164708893562.html

  31. Robbie Hurt says:

    When Garmin come out with the Astro 220 they really opened up a can of worms and a big can! From what I have read it sounds like it was made mainly for the bird dog men but it goes far beyond this. At this point we are still learning more about this system all the time. I first learned about this system from a friend of mine that was using it on his blood trailing dog. Since I also have blood trailing dogs I kept quizzing him on this system about how far it would reach, how tough was the DC20, would the DC 20 run the 17 hours after fully charged, etc. He was completely sold on the unit making it so much easier to trail deer and also knowing exactly where you and your dog was at all times (with map detail downloaded into your GPS unit) on places you had never been on in your life. He found out that anytime his dog got to one spot and wouldn’t leave, just kept meandering around that his dog was at a dead deer.
    I knew before next deer I had to have one for my blood trailing dogs. So since I also have a pack of cat (bobcat) dogs, I decided to go ahead and buy the Astro 220 combo and one other collar, put it on my cat dogs and get familiar with the system before deer season rolled around next year. Well now I’m up to four collars on my hounds and learning more about this dog tracking system all the time.
    Example, the other morning I was cat hunting with my hounds when late up in the morning I hit a cold trail my old dogs could just hardly open on. My old dogs went to the right of the truck trailing and since I knew this was my last chance of the morning to hit a trail I knew I better give this my best shot. So I turned the truck off, locked it up and left a foot with my dogs to help them push the trail as fast as we could as the sun was getting higher and hotter by the minute and scenting conditions was getting worse and worse. Well I have an 11 month old running walker gyp I’ve been hunting for about 2 months named Ruby. She is doing excellant for no more cats than I’ve got to show her in that 2 months. Right now we are in a bad dry spell here in South Texas and scenting conditions are’nt the best in the world right now. But anyway Ruby will already whip or flag her tail with the old dogs when smelling a cat. Even if the old dogs can’t open on it. Well while the old dogs and I were working on this cat trail to the right of the truck I noticed that Ruby wasn’t there with us. Since I had one of the four DC 20 collars on Ruby plus a Tri-Tronics Shock collar(she is not completely broke yet) I pulled the Astro 220 out of my pocket to see where Ruby was. The Astro showed her about 225 yards on the left side of the truck.
    Well, I got mad at Ruby wishing I had my Tri-Tronics transmitter with me (that I left in the truck) so I could tap her and make her get to me and the old dogs and help us work on the trail. Well after about 20 minutes the old dogs and I hit some bare ground and just lost the trail, couldn’t find it anywhere, so we headed back toward the truck. Just before we got to the truck here comes Ruby I scolded her for not being there helping us on the trail. Well we got to the truck I started uncollaring all the dogs, as the morning hunt was over. I noticed that one of my older gyps I called Sadie wasn’t there. I called a few times waited a few minutes honked the horn and hollered a few more time and still no Sadie.
    Well I got my Astro out of the truck to see where Sadie was (she was wearing a DC 20) and it showed her 200 yards to the left of the truck right over the top of Ruby’s tracks. There was a slight breeze from off of me to Sadie so I hollered a few more times and hit the horn a time or two, knowing she could hear me easily. I waited a few minutes and still no Sadie so I checked the Astro again and noticed that Sadie was now about 220 yards out and still right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I also noticed that Ruby had worked out to 300 yards before she had come back to us.
    I knew Sadie could hear me and if she wasn’t coming back she had to be working on that cat trail silent. Sadie has a good nose and can smell and work a cold track but she want open till the trail gets hotter. But what I was noticing was that Sadie was staying right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I thought to myself,”surly Ruby wasn’t smelling that cat trail”, but I knew I had to find out. So, I grabbed the Astro 220, locked the truck back up, left the other dogs in the truck and pulled out to
    Sadie. Sure enough, when I got to Sadie she was a wiggling and a whipping just busy as a beaver working on that cat trail and still right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I decided to take Sadie to the end of Ruby’s trail and see what she would do there. Going down Ruby’s trail I got to a bad little thicket Ruby went through. I could see the other side of this thicket so I decided to go around the thicket and cut Ruby’s trail on the other side. I called Sadie with me and skirted the thicket and sure enough when I cut Ruby’s trail on the other side Sadie went back to work wiggling and a whipping her tail.
    There is no way in the world I could have ever known that Ruby was working on that cat trail without this Garmin tracking system showing me Ruby’s tracks with Sadie’s tracks over the top of her’s.
    I learned a little more about my little running walker gyp named Ruby. Sure glad I didn’t have my Tri-Tronics transmitter with me.
    Friday night we had a cat jumped and running, been running about 15 minutes, when they dropped the ball, not another bark. I was standing by the truck with the Astro in my hand watching the dogs with the DC 20 collars on. Kinda like watching your dogs on TV. Seeing who swings the widest, goes the deepest, covers more ground the quickest out of a lose.`Anyway a dog I have I call Matt started down the back trail. The other dogs with the DC 20’s on were looking ahead. Matt kept going and kept going down the back trail. He went about 60 yards then went to angling off to the left. I kept thinking to myself “Matt you better be careful, you better watch out”. But sure enough when he angled to the left he went to opening up giving tongue. I could see the other dogs trying to get to him. Old Matt held him till help arrived and they finally got the job done.
    Boys, with this new Garmin tracking system we can learn more about our dogs and what is going on out there in the woods. I know there is some things that need improving on. I hope they are working on these. I wish they had an internal antenna system on them as Tri-Tronics have on their Ultra Trash-breaker. If they have to have an antenna on them they need to copy the old tracking collars, so as the collar rides on the bottom of the neck of the dog, as it naturally would ride, with an antenna cable running to the top. Needs a tougher housing on the collar unit. I wish it held a longer charge. But I’m sure Garmin will get this all worked out, they just need to talk to a few dog men. Different dog men from different kinds of hunting, not just the bird dog man because this system goes far beyond that. This system is excellent. Congraulations Garmin!!

  32. Robbie Hurt says:

    When Garmin come out with the Astro 220 they really opened up a can of worms and a big can! From what I have read it sounds like it was made mainly for the bird dog men but it goes far beyond this. At this point we are still learning more about this system all the time. I first learned about this system from a friend of mine that was using it on his blood trailing dog. Since I also have blood trailing dogs I kept quizzing him on this system about how far it would reach, how tough was the DC20, would the DC 20 run the 17 hours after fully charged, etc. He was completely sold on the unit making it so much easier to trail deer and also knowing exactly where you and your dog was at all times (with map detail downloaded into your GPS unit) on places you had never been on in your life. He found out that anytime his dog got to one spot and wouldn’t leave, just kept meandering around that his dog was at a dead deer.
    I knew before next deer I had to have one for my blood trailing dogs. So since I also have a pack of cat (bobcat) dogs, I decided to go ahead and buy the Astro 220 combo and one other collar, put it on my cat dogs and get familiar with the system before deer season rolled around next year. Well now I’m up to four collars on my hounds and learning more about this dog tracking system all the time.
    Example, the other morning I was cat hunting with my hounds when late up in the morning I hit a cold trail my old dogs could just hardly open on. My old dogs went to the right of the truck trailing and since I knew this was my last chance of the morning to hit a trail I knew I better give this my best shot. So I turned the truck off, locked it up and left a foot with my dogs to help them push the trail as fast as we could as the sun was getting higher and hotter by the minute and scenting conditions was getting worse and worse. Well I have an 11 month old running walker gyp I’ve been hunting for about 2 months named Ruby. She is doing excellant for no more cats than I’ve got to show her in that 2 months. Right now we are in a bad dry spell here in South Texas and scenting conditions are’nt the best in the world right now. But anyway Ruby will already whip or flag her tail with the old dogs when smelling a cat. Even if the old dogs can’t open on it. Well while the old dogs and I were working on this cat trail to the right of the truck I noticed that Ruby wasn’t there with us. Since I had one of the four DC 20 collars on Ruby plus a Tri-Tronics Shock collar(she is not completely broke yet) I pulled the Astro 220 out of my pocket to see where Ruby was. The Astro showed her about 225 yards on the left side of the truck.
    Well, I got mad at Ruby wishing I had my Tri-Tronics transmitter with me (that I left in the truck) so I could tap her and make her get to me and the old dogs and help us work on the trail. Well after about 20 minutes the old dogs and I hit some bare ground and just lost the trail, couldn’t find it anywhere, so we headed back toward the truck. Just before we got to the truck here comes Ruby I scolded her for not being there helping us on the trail. Well we got to the truck I started uncollaring all the dogs, as the morning hunt was over. I noticed that one of my older gyps I called Sadie wasn’t there. I called a few times waited a few minutes honked the horn and hollered a few more time and still no Sadie.
    Well I got my Astro out of the truck to see where Sadie was (she was wearing a DC 20) and it showed her 200 yards to the left of the truck right over the top of Ruby’s tracks. There was a slight breeze from off of me to Sadie so I hollered a few more times and hit the horn a time or two, knowing she could hear me easily. I waited a few minutes and still no Sadie so I checked the Astro again and noticed that Sadie was now about 220 yards out and still right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I also noticed that Ruby had worked out to 300 yards before she had come back to us.
    I knew Sadie could hear me and if she wasn’t coming back she had to be working on that cat trail silent. Sadie has a good nose and can smell and work a cold track but she want open till the trail gets hotter. But what I was noticing was that Sadie was staying right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I thought to myself,”surly Ruby wasn’t smelling that cat trail”, but I knew I had to find out. So, I grabbed the Astro 220, locked the truck back up, left the other dogs in the truck and pulled out to
    Sadie. Sure enough, when I got to Sadie she was a wiggling and a whipping just busy as a beaver working on that cat trail and still right on top of Ruby’s tracks. I decided to take Sadie to the end of Ruby’s trail and see what she would do there. Going down Ruby’s trail I got to a bad little thicket Ruby went through. I could see the other side of this thicket so I decided to go around the thicket and cut Ruby’s trail on the other side. I called Sadie with me and skirted the thicket and sure enough when I cut Ruby’s trail on the other side Sadie went back to work wiggling and a whipping her tail.
    There is no way in the world I could have ever known that Ruby was working on that cat trail without this Garmin tracking system showing me Ruby’s tracks with Sadie’s tracks over the top of her’s.
    I learned a little more about my little running walker gyp named Ruby. Sure glad I didn’t have my Tri-Tronics transmitter with me.
    Friday night we had a cat jumped and running, been running about 15 minutes, when they dropped the ball, not another bark. I was standing by the truck with the Astro in my hand watching the dogs with the DC 20 collars on. Kinda like watching your dogs on TV. Seeing who swings the widest, goes the deepest, covers more ground the quickest out of a lose.`Anyway a dog I have I call Matt started down the back trail. The other dogs with the DC 20’s on were looking ahead. Matt kept going and kept going down the back trail. He went about 60 yards then went to angling off to the left. I kept thinking to myself “Matt you better be careful, you better watch out”. But sure enough when he angled to the left he went to opening up giving tongue. I could see the other dogs trying to get to him. Old Matt held him till help arrived and they finally got the job done.
    Boys, with this new Garmin tracking system we can learn more about our dogs and what is going on out there in the woods. I know there is some things that need improving on. I hope they are working on these. I wish they had an internal antenna system on them as Tri-Tronics have on their Ultra Trash-breaker. If they have to have an antenna on them they need to copy the old tracking collars, so as the collar rides on the bottom of the neck of the dog, as it naturally would ride, with an antenna cable running to the top. Needs a tougher housing on the collar unit. I wish it held a longer charge. But I’m sure Garmin will get this all worked out, they just need to talk to a few dog men. Different dog men from different kinds of hunting, not just the bird dog man because this system goes far beyond that. This system is excellent. Congraulations Garmin!!

  33. I have used the GA for eight months now, and my experience is that the product is great. Earlier I’ve used a trackingsystem called Pointer GSM/GPS wich enables you to track your dog where there is GSM coverage. The possibility to see the dog in realtime is a huge advantage. I use the GA for my beagle and wachtelhund. The beagle has the transmitter mounted on his back, while the wachtel has on a collar, with a modified antenna. The original antenna works well with the beagle, even though he hunts for hares in dense cover. The range in rugged terrain (Norway) has been up to 7 km. The modified antenna consists of a 15 cm piece of coaxcable and an antenna, adapted to the frequensy of the GA. The transmitter hangs upside down, wich may cause the gps signal to dissapear, for short intervalls. This have never been a problem, due to the way the wachtelhund work. It always returns to me after 30 min. The range of this “patent” is about the same as the as the original. However should garmin consider a version on a collar with the VHF/GPS antenna on the backside of the dog. It should also have been made with a legal frequensy for Norway, Sweden and Finnland. With some small adjustments of the product (and maybe possible to combine with the Rhino) it may well take up to 80% of the marked in the listed countries.

  34. Robbie and Boerge,
    Thanks for sharing that. I keep hearing great reports on the Astro.

  35. ERIC MARKLEW says:

    Hi there i am in new zealand and want to know how to get hold of the tracking gear dc20 and how mutch would it cost to land it in new zealand would someone let me know thanks.

  36. They may not be legal in NZ.

  37. This is a awesome product, we use it for our dogs on our Montana ranch. We bicked one up here: http://www.americas-pet-store.com/products/catid/303.html”

  38. This is a awesome product, we use it for our dogs on our Montana ranch. We picked one up here: http://www.americas-pet-store.com/products/catid/303.html

  39. howard owen says:

    you can order one from s and r telemetry at 198 hwy t middletown mo 63359. ph. number is 573-669-5101 the gps unit and one collar is 480 us dollars. I don’t know how much it would cost to ship it to new zealand or if it is legal there.

  40. Tim Agustin Kauai, Hawaii says:

    I customed the transmitter to fit a cut collar for my hog hunting dogs.
    I pulled off the rubber cover for the antenna and stretched the coils to make the antenna longer and more flexible. I then soldered the same kind of cable used on regular tracking collars on the inside of the coils and used heat shrink tubing to cover the coils and tie straped the antenna to the cut collar. So far this is holding up and tracking fine.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/keliinui01/GarminGPS11207.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/keliinui01/DSC00078.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/keliinui01/DSC00127.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/keliinui01/DSC00128.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/keliinui01/DSC00129.jpg

  41. my rino can track my wife on her motorcycle when she has her rino with her.
    i see not one good reason why my rino cant be used to track my dog as well,,given they each would have different “faces” on screen to know who was who.
    no reason except garmin wanted us to buy more of their items.
    thanx garmin for taking care of your loyal customers.
    obviously my next gps wont be from suh a petty money hungry outfit.

  42. Hi i just recived my astro i am in australia it was working great besides breaking and losing 3 arials in 2 hunts but today i tried to transfer data between computer and unit and now the unit wont stay on the garmin screen comes up and then turns of even when running on external power i have emailed garmin but it takes about a week to get a response and i cant get in contact with them by phone it just goes to fax noises if anyone has had this problem some help would be greatly appreciated
    CHEERS Steve

  43. James Garrett says:

    hi

  44. I think if the device becomes smaller it may be more useful.

  45. I belong to a K-9 search and rescue team in SC. We are utilizing this system for tracking our SAR dogs and being able to use those tracks to submit to emergency services to show the exact area we have covered. During SAR missions we operate inside a metal top trailer for our computers and such. We initially found that the RF portion of the Astro system did not pick up well long range and we were able to add a couple of adapters, get the correct band antenna and hoist it up 40ft in the air which has dramiticaly improved the reception from the K-9 collars. One issue we have found though is the GPS signal is not so good inside the trailer and we have to lay the unit outside to get optimium signal. This works well but does present an issue. We also are utilizing the mini USB connector for downloading to a PC that we can see what the dogs are doing on a much larger screen area. The problem lies into that when it rains obviously the mini USB gets wet and it will cause issues or possibly even short out the unit completely. I thought I would ask here to see if there is any expertise in how to modify the GPS antenna to bring it out of the Garmin Astro with a small coax and then adapt it to an external GPS antenna? This would solve our issue of GPS signal. I have spoken to Garmin about this and they say “yes it can be done” however they will not release any schematics or tell me how to accomplish it because they dont support this application. I know it can be done since they do it with vehicle units so how can I do this to my handheld unit? I have taken the unit apart and found a foil type antenna for the GPS portion but did not see a (center pin and ground) type connection. If anyone is knowledgeable on where to connect an external coax and would forward that information to me it would be greatly appreciated or if you can tell me where to look for this information that would be good as well. I am still searching the net to see what I find but not having any luch at the time I am typing this post.

  46. I’d suggest asking at http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=4 and http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewforum.php?f=21. I occasionally see hacks there that involve this type of thing, but don’t recall any related to the Astro. Othwrwise, you could seal the unit inside a plastic bag and use the mini-USB port, as you have been doing.

  47. Mark Sutton says:

    does anyone have any better pictures on the modification of adding an external coax to the Garmin Astro 220 or the Garmin 60 CSx? The ones on here are good but just miss the part I need to see.

  48. i lost the handheld part to my astro 220 tracking system, is there a way i can use maybe satellite on the computer or something to find it?

  49. I read a lot of the comments and while most of them were fairly old if, those folks are still following this thread Garmin has made some improvements to the complaints. The new DC40 is an integrated antenna in the collar of the dogs thus you dont have to have the unit standing up on the dog collar or on their back which becomes a problem. In working with the range issue an external Yagi type antenna could be used for having the unit in the field and should increase the range. If not and you are using the unit at a stationary location a high gain VHF antenna greatly helps with gaining some distance.

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