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Astro vs alpha


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For you guys that owned an Astro and switched to an alpha. Other than the obvious, is the alpha better. My hunting has an alpha. From my experience my Astro is more trouble free.  It always points me in the right direction. His alpha will at times without warning will say a dog is in one direction but it’s really the total opposite direction. Also his screen will lock up without warning.   I’ve though about getting an alpha but I’m just concerned about those glitches with the alpha. Thoughts , comments, experiences 

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I have hunted with an astro for six years.  Interestingly, my astro would always point 180 degrees off.  so, I think it's a garmin thing rather than an astro-alpha thing.   I do like the smaller collars available for the alpha, they just make more sense and having a dog wear a g3 collar and a gps collar was a pia when you rig the anxious dog up on the tailgate.  

 

If you hunt with another person frequently the alpha can tell you where they are.  That can be helpful too.

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Hi, I used to have a Alpha.  It was just too complex for this old dummy.  I did have problems with the screen locking also as well as jumping to another screen.  Guess I'm too old school.

 

I did however get a Dogtra Pathfinder.  It's really user friendly.  I've had no problems with it, very accurate as to range and direction (I pretty much use the compass feature exclusively). I bought a cheap smart phone and use it just for the Pathfinder.  They make to versions now.  One with and one without a stimulation  feature.  You may want to look into this unit.

 

Best of luck to you!

 

Greg 

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I started with an Astro 220 and DC 40 collars in 2008 or 2009 and then  moved to a 320 and now the 430.  Other than one collar failure with the 430, they have been bomb proof.  I’ve had to replace a few antennas on the collars but that is just wear and tear.

I used to run two collars with the DC 40’s and the TriTronics collar but now run everything on one collar using the T5 Mini’s on the PT 10 collar with the Pro 70.  Since I have a Fenix 5 watch, I never look at the 430, I just look at my wrist.  I store the Astro in a  molle pouch on my vest strap.

I run with the Pro 70 controller high on my chest on the left side and can “tone” my dogs if they get to far out or close to some place they shouldn’t be.  It’s a no-look thing and I think changing to an Alpha would be difficult for me to learn.

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Astro has been fool proof to use and paired with a watch it stays tucked away so I have non of the issues I hear people with Alphas have of the screen changing on them I pair it with a Dogtra 2000 T&B for me this set up works well.

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I've owned two Astros over the past seven years or so, the 220 and the 430.  Looked at the Alpha before buying the 430 but passed on it because I didn't care for the touch screen feature.  The Astros have worked well for me, nothing is perfect of course but they've been very reliable.  I'm an old phart and suspect the younger generation might find that touch screen feature to be acceptable. 

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One little, or not depending on your needs, thing about the astro vs alpha is that if you hunt with another person the aloha sends and receives signals where as the astro only receives them.  Meaning the person with the alpha would be visible to the astro user but NOT the other way around.

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Thanks for the input. I don’t have a problem having an Astro and also a dogpro training collar. I just know my friend likes his alpha even though he has issues. I might at some point just update m training collar and keep running the Astro. 

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If you have bigger running dogs one HUGE benefit to the Alpha is that so long as you have not lost communication with the dog, you will still be able to shock and tone the dog. 

 

What my friends and I have found over the years is that many shock collars don't actually have all that far of range. They may advertise 1 mile or whatever but the reality is they often don't work at much closer ranges, terrain dependent. We all use the tone function to recall our dogs, and obviously the shock function for trash breaking or whatever. With the Alpha you know for sure if you have the ability to tone/shock so long as the collar is not "lost communication". When you are running a standalone shock collar and the dogs are well out there, you have no idea if you are actually toning or shocking the dog. 

If your dogs are medium rangers or less and don't spend much time beyond 400yds this issue will likely rarely ever be a problem.

 

I found the Alpha overall to be less problematic than the Astro I had before it, although both can have issues. and the compass in the wrong direction happens on Astros as well. The touch screen is not ideal, although I have gotten used to it. The Alpha 200 supposedly has some good improvements including to the touch screen, maybe in the future I will upgrade to that.  

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18 hours ago, Flush said:

.....With the Alpha you know for sure if you have the ability to tone/shock so long as the collar is not "lost communication".

 

Don't think this is true. The Alpha 100 has two separate antennas. One is for the GPS tracking only. The other is a VHF antenna and is for the e-collar. Two totally different systems with no communication between the two functions.

 

cr

 

 

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15 hours ago, Coveyrise64 said:

 

Don't think this is true. The Alpha 100 has two separate antennas. One is for the GPS tracking only. The other is a VHF antenna and is for the e-collar. Two totally different systems with no communication between the two functions.

 

cr

 

 

 

You are correct there are two separate the antennas, one for GPS and one for VHF, but your correctness end there. 

 

The dog's collar GPS location get's communicated to your handheld unit via VHF. 

Basically both the collar and handheld know where they are via GPS, but a GPS signal can't tell the handheld where the collar is located.

The GPS satellites don't beam down every other GPS's location.....they would be pretty busy if they did!

 

The dog collar sends it's GPS location to the handheld via VHF, and then the handheld calculates the relative distance and direction to the dog from the handheld's known GPS location.

 

If they worked they way you are suggesting there would be no range restriction on the tracking, and of course unfortunately there are severe range restrictions on the tracking function because it's getting communicated via VHF. 

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