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Garmin alpha v. astro-. Which one would you get


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I alreeady have an e collar so I have been debating whether I should buy the Garmin alpha with the built in e collar or simply use my e collar with the Astro and save the $$.  Are there any real advantages other than not having to carry 2 controllers?  $150 is a lot of money to spend on convenience!  My 6 Mo old drahthaar still needs the E collar for training 

 

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I run a Pro 500 and an Astro 320.  I have no issues doing that and can't see spending the money to sell my stuff as used and then come up with another 400-600 on top of that. 

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It is not an issue for you, but you can not use an Alpha in a field trial, but you can use an Astro as a recovery device.

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I have stuck with a 320 and a pro 70, at least if one unit goes wacky I am not completely out of business ( I also have a spare 220, pro 70, and assorted collars for backup).

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I have an Astro and the Dogtra . Used to run them together , two controllers is a PIA . I opted for the Alpha for My convenience and I think my dog is happier with the mini TT15 hanging on his neck instead of the two receivers . 

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I, too, started with an Astro and a Pro 550 collar.  I hated having to juggle two handhelds and a loaded gun in the field.  Plus, double the number of collars on the dog and double the number of battery chargers to keep track of.  I went to the Alpha as soon as it came out and have been so much happier with it.  The Alpha has been a solid performer and I have never had an issue with it.

 

I don't think there is a performance difference between the two systems, so I think it does come down to just convenience.

 

I kept the Pro 550 to use for training.  I gave the Astro to a friend.

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Astro hands down.  I dont like a touch screen like the alpha.  Try using gloves with a touch screen.  Also when i need to make a correction on the ecollar i need to do it right now.  Not changing screens to get to the correct screen

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11 minutes ago, blanked said:

Astro hands down.  I dont like a touch screen like the alpha.  Try using gloves with a touch screen.  Also when i need to make a correction on the ecollar i need to do it right now.  Not changing screens to get to the correct screen

You don't need to change screens for correction with an Alpha, you just set-up the buttons according to need.

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3 hours ago, SLR said:

It is not an issue for you, but you can not use an Alpha in a field trial, but you can use an Astro as a recovery device.

 

You can't use the TT collars that come with an Alpha in a field trial,  but you can use an Alpha in trials if you get an additional T5 or T5mini  tracking-only collar. 

 

To the OP the primary advantage/difference between an Astro w/e-collar and Alpha is indeed just the convenience of one collar and one hand-held. I have had both types of setups and there are pros and cons of each. For training, especially while working multiple dogs, a dedicated e-collar is generally nicer.

For hunting purposes where corrections are generally used less frequently the Alpha setup is really convenient. Most people can make either system work for them. If I were starting from scratch I'd probably go with the Alpha, but if I already had an e-collar setup I liked, I'd probably just add an Astro.

 

 

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I run Astro and ecollar.  My ecoller trans is strapped on left shoulder strap of my vest.  Astro in front left pocket vest. Rarely use either.

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Astro and dogtra user, no complaints. But I rarely use either when out hunting, just attach the controllers to my wingworks vest and they’re out of the way. 

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I greatly prefer separate units. 

 

A dedicated training collar is more versatile, you can keep using the one you're familiar with, and like was said, if you have issues with one, then you still have something. 

 

Plus, sometimes I need a GPS but not an e collar, or vice-versa. 

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I still run an old astro 220 with a garmin delta. It works just fine. I haven't ever used an alpha, but I can see where it would be more convenient. Truth is though, I almost never use the ecollar, so for me it is a moot point.

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Thanks for all the good advice!  I think I'll go with the Astro and use my E collar as needed.  Who knows with this puppy, perhaps I won't need the e collar at all at some point in the future.

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