Jump to content
REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UPLAND JOURNAL Read more... ×
Keith

Looking for experienced Astro/Alpha users advise

Recommended Posts

Keith

I am currently running an Astro 220 with dc40 collars on two dogs. I'm in northern Minnesota and the cover can be extremely thick...I quite frequently lose connection with the dogs for a period of time. Are the newer systems, 320, 430, alpha etc better at keeping the connection with the dog?

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonT

My Alpha occasionally has minor issues that- compass recalibration - updates or hard reset, resolves.  I don't loose connection with the dogs even in thick cover at ranges out to 300+ yards.    Check the battery's and do an update and or call Garmin, just because it's an older unit, doesn't mean it shouldn't work.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kieffer

My 220 started having connectivity issues last year.  Prior to that, I rarely lost connectivity with it.  Tried updates and a refurbished collar, but still had issues.  Decided to replace it with the 430 and haven't had any issues since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

My 320/DC40 only loses signal when the dog is 2 kilometres away. Learned that the hard way when she decided chasing a deer was fun. By the way it’s 7 years old and still running the original firmware. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
airmedic1

I don't think that Garmin supports the 220 anymore but the DC 40 could still be updated a couple years ago.  I have had antennas go bad that required replacement and that fixed the problem but I wouldn't think you would have two bad antennas.  I had some issues with my two year old 430 but when I did a complete hard reset that seemed to take care of the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
406dn

I do not have to deal with heavy timber so my problems getting a signal are more due to hills and coulees.  I keep the longer antenna on my 320 receiver. That seems to minimize the times I lose the signal. Another thing I do if I've lost signal is hold the receiver high over my head.  

 

I also had a DC40 collar that was losing signal more often my other collar. Replacing the antenna on that collar resolved it. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GrouseGuy

I run the 320 withT5 collar in northern MN on my GSP. He doesn't run big but have not lost connection once that I can remember in the 5 years using it. Still all original hardware. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottGrush
On 2/25/2020 at 8:55 AM, Keith said:

I am currently running an Astro 220 with dc40 collars on two dogs. I'm in northern Minnesota and the cover can be extremely thick...I quite frequently lose connection with the dogs for a period of time. Are the newer systems, 320, 430, alpha etc better at keeping the connection with the dog?

Keith

I would replace both antennas. It's a relatively cheap exercise especially if you are running the stock antennas still. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Curt

I'm currently using the Astro 430 but previously ran the Astro 220 w/ DC40 collars for several years.  I've rarely had either device loose signal but it has happened a time or two on both.

I change antenna about every year or two on both the device and the collars.  Usually when I've lost signal it's because the dog has put a hill between us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OutlawTorn

Keith - 

 

I have an Alpha with the larger collars and I've never had a connection issue up here or out west - unless either I or a dog walk into my pole barn, but that's not surprising.  I use mine every day of the year because I have a geo-fence set for containment of both dogs on my 13 acre property.  The Alpha receiver comes with a longer antennae to help with extended ranges if your dogs are bigger runners than mine.

 

Occasionally (a couple times a month), it will report my dogs in the wrong location - I'll see the dog in my front yard and it will report them in the neighbors field.  But, when that happens I just turn the collar off, back on and let it sit still on the patio table (with a clear view of the sky) for 20 minutes - solves it every time.  Given how much I use the collars, this is a relatively infrequent/minor issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flush
On 2/25/2020 at 6:55 AM, Keith said:

I am currently running an Astro 220 with dc40 collars on two dogs. I'm in northern Minnesota and the cover can be extremely thick...I quite frequently lose connection with the dogs for a period of time. Are the newer systems, 320, 430, alpha etc better at keeping the connection with the dog?

Keith

 

What range are you losing contact at?

 

If your dogs are ranging over 500 or so yards I think it's fairly normal to intermittently lose contact, especially in rolling to hilly country.  

If you are regularly losing contact at less than those ranges in terrain that isn't particularly hilly and rocky, you probably have a problem with you units, likely the antennaes.

 

My experience, which seems to match others, is that overhead cover like trees even thick forest doesn't have much impact on communication. On the other hand hills, especially if the ground is very rocky like in chukar country, can really have a big impact on communication. In real rocky/hilly country it's not uncommon to have communication problems even at ranges less than 300yrds. 

 

I don't believe the newer systems have noticeably better range than a 220/dc40 setup IF the 220/dc40s are working 100% properly.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fourtrax57

One thing that will affect the connection between alpha / astro & dog unit is the antennae on the dog unit.

The wire antennae take a pounding with dogs whizzing along thru cover. These antennae can either go "intermittent" or outright

break as in the wire inside the coating flexes too much and loses continuity. You may want to try replacing the wire antennae on the dog 

collar units. I use the longer antennae and normally have a spare in the garmin bag. You can nuy them on ebay and similar places fairly reasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scar

I used a 220 w/DC40 collars for 10 years (until last summer).  All last year I had connectivity problems with the collars frequently losing connection when I could see the dog visually.  It was super frustrating.  I tried updating the software on each but found I was using the most recent software available.  I removed and cleaned the antennas to no benefit.  I finally gave up and bought a new 430 and a new collar.  Something changed and I was never able to figure out what it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×