Garmin 550 Plus

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Garmin 550 Plus

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:36 pm

I tried out my new 550 Plus Transmitter today, which works with the TT15 regular and mini collars I already owned. Now I have the ecollar functions I need for training and hunting, and completely adequate GPS functionality to keep track of the dog in a single unit. It fits perfectly in the transmitter pocket on my Wings Works vest.

Thank you for listening Garmin.

Can also continue to use the Alpha at the same time if I found value/need to use its navigational or map functions, but I expect it will spend most of its time in the electronics bag as backup.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby ANick » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:51 am

Good news and glad to hear it!
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby JONOV » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:24 am

AG, I'd like your thoughts on this.

Would you buy it if you already had a functional GPS collar, and needed a training collar, or had a training collar, and needed a GPS collar?

If I were looking at replacing a training collar, I think it would certainly merit a hard look if one didn't have a GPS, and likely vice versa, instead of spending $150-$300 for a training collar and then springing for the GPS collar. But if you have one or the other already, I wonder, as about the only time I foresee combining GPS functionality and "training" is if its obvious the dog is running a deer or running towards a road and ignoring you.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:57 am

JONOV,

Yes I would buy the 550 Plus no matter what I owned already. And did. In this case it was easier as I already owned the Garmin GPS ecollars, both TT15s and the Minis (Minis are what I use exclusively), so when the 550 Plus came out, I only had to buy the transmitter.

My reasons are: I like a reliable ecollar function which I know is still set as I set it, and can be adjusted in the heat of the moment while watching the dog but not the transmitter. I can do that with the 550 Plus but cannot with the Alpha I also own. I like keeping track of my dog via GPS when in cover or even open cover when the dog is reaching out in rolling terrain and I like the point notifications. I get that with the 550 Plus but did not with the 550 I also already owned.

Had the 550 Plus been available first, I would have never purchased the 550 nor the Alpha. It is the best combination tool available for my needs. But given the new 550 Plus transmitter is compatible with my existing collars it was well worth it to me to buy it. Liking every minute of it so far.

When and if I get another puppy I will have the perfect tool for training corrections and letting the puppy hunt out of sight with no interference from me due to the GPS tracking peace of mind. The best tool available for developing and training a puppy is again worth the money spent for me.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby ryanr » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:48 pm

Now I have a bigger decision to make. I have an Alpha and I also have the 550. And now I have a second dog. Right now I hunt them seperately, so I just swap the GPS collar to the current dog being run. I have a Garmin coupon to use and I've been trying to decide on getting a second GPS collar right now or another 550 collar for training purposes. I was leaning towards the GPS collar noe since it's hunting season and figured I'd get another 550 collar in the spring before training season starts.

I love the truck marking feature on the Alpha but I also loathe when the screen gets accidentally jumped and changed when I'm out hunting.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:40 pm

I have an Alpha and a 550, I bought the 550 plus because I couldn’t justify the expense of another Alpha for the times when my husband and I hunt opposite sides of a waterway and the dogs on point on his side and he can’t find the dog. I’m tired of directing my husband like a lab to a blind. He never liked how complicated the Alpha was, he’s very happy with the 560 plus.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby ANick » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:23 am

ryanr wrote:Now I have a bigger decision to make. I have an Alpha and I also have the 550. And now I have a second dog. Right now I hunt them seperately, so I just swap the GPS collar to the current dog being run. I have a Garmin coupon to use and I've been trying to decide on getting a second GPS collar right now or another 550 collar for training purposes. I was leaning towards the GPS collar noe since it's hunting season and figured I'd get another 550 collar in the spring before training season starts.

I love the truck marking feature on the Alpha but I also loathe when the screen gets accidentally jumped and changed when I'm out hunting.


Rynar,
Similar straits here, and I think the same as AG, Misskiwi, and likely many more, found themselves. One existing Alpha and one existing 'standard' 550.
The new 550 Plus uses the same collar as the Alpha, so if you get the 550 plus with a collar, you can use either (or both) of the Alpha and 550 Plus controllers on the dogs.

Neither the controller nor the collar of the old standard 550 will work with the new 550 Plus controller. So, the 'standard' 550 system could be considered redundant or surplus.

I don't think I'm going to get rid of my old 550 anytime soon though. I might eventually. The one big advantage for the standard 550 over either of the other two is battery life. Depending on your dog(s) tendency to hit the horizon, you might want to use the Plus full time. However, for the quick, 'backyard' training session, or as a back up, the standard 550 goes a LONG time before it needs a recharge, especially the controller. At least compared to the Alpha that I have. The standard 550 collar also is lighter and cleaner than the Alpha... no antennae to come off, etc. (Apparently they do, I've found several!)

I will be adding the 550 Plus to the collection, just haven't made up my mind to just get the controller or get the controller and the collar, which would be getting the collar well ahead of Dog #2. Depends on the way the math works out I guess.

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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:05 am

Yea I will be keeping my 550 and Alpha both as I will use the 550 around the house and for waterfowl hunting. Alpha may come in handy for mapping or backup.
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Re: Garmin 550 Plus

Postby ryanr » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:05 pm

Yeah, in thinking more on this I believe I'm going get the 550 plus bundle (collar included) and that way I can use the existing Alpha collar I already have and this collar on either the Plus or the Alpha and im.good yo fo noe gor jorh dogs this hunting season. And I think down the road I'll just get another 550 collar. I still like the 550 for straight up training days, particularly for the battery life like you said.
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