The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:19 pm

Coveyrise, that is the ultimate, perfect example, of one of the oh so many things wrong with the Alpha. To train a dog you need a program that is FAST, EASY, FOOLPROOF. The Alpha is none of those things. It takes a total nitwit to design a dog training tool with a touch screen. I have this same post on several other Facebook Groups and for every person that says they like it, there must be 10 that hate it or are very disappointed in it. Almost to a person, the ones that like it have one dog or never change stimulation levels.

I absolutely love the Garmin GPS units and own six of them total. They should get the hell out of the collar business OR LISTEN TO THEIR FIELD TESTERS.

It'll be interesting. Steve Snell at gundogsupply said the Gizmo with screen saver would fix many of my problems but get this: to work it in the Gizmo I apparently have to use a plastic peg to get to the touch screen. GRRRRRRRRRR........

THE ALPHA SUCKS!!!!!
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:48 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I absolutely love the Garmin GPS units and own six of them total. They should get the hell out of the collar business OR LISTEN TO THEIR FIELD TESTERS.

THE ALPHA SUCKS!!!!!


Garmin did listen - Hence the 550 Plus transmitter. Which they made sure was compatible with our existing ecollars we bought with our Alphas. It only hurts when you buy it and then the pain stops.
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:24 pm

AverageGuy wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I absolutely love the Garmin GPS units and own six of them total. They should get the hell out of the collar business OR LISTEN TO THEIR FIELD TESTERS.

THE ALPHA SUCKS!!!!!


Garmin did listen - Hence the 550 Plus transmitter. Which they made sure was compatible with our existing ecollars we bought with our Alphas. It only hurts when you buy it and then the pain stops.


But just think what a great unit the Alpha COULD have been had they not made it touch screen.
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:45 pm

The touchscreen was a combination of uninformed and lazy on the part of Garmin. The uninformed part was inexcusable given they acquired TT (the best training ecollar on the market for decades).

I bobbed and weaved my way through 6 corporate mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs in my career. The acquiring company, (Garmin) always assumes they are smarter than the acquired company (TT) whether it is true or not, was what I saw.

I can see the fingerprints of that type of behavior all over the Alpha design.

If Garmin becomes convinced there is enough market for the 550 type training handling features combined with the full handheld GPS features of the Alpha, they may address it at some point. They just need to be convinced the market will buy it at a price they can make money at.
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby Coveyrise64 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:53 pm

~
Apparently they were smarter! Marketing strategy move on Garmin's part....HLS. Many now own both.

AverageGuy wrote:The touchscreen was a combination of uninformed and lazy on the part of Garmin. The uninformed part was inexcusable given they acquired TT (the best training ecollar on the market for decades).

I bobbed and weaved my way through 6 corporate mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs in my career. The acquiring company, (Garmin) always assumes they are smarter than the acquired company (TT) whether it is true or not, was what I saw.

I can see the fingerprints of that type of behavior all over the Alpha design.

If Garmin becomes convinced there is enough market for the 550 type training handling features combined with the full handheld GPS features of the Alpha, they may address it at some point. They just need to be convinced the market will buy it at a price they can make money at.
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby mtlhdr » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:11 pm

I rarely use the mapping page on my astro 320 and definitely don't use it for personal navigation (I use an app on my Galaxy S9 phone) so the 550 Plus is intriguing. Can you track total miles? That's a feature on the Astro I check during/after every hunt.

I think for a person starting from scratch, a stand-alone GPS collar and stand-alone e-collar is the way to go. Over the course of a year, the dog probably wears the e-collar 5-8 times for every one time he wears the GPS collar, which we've really only used hunting. I will add that at this point I would hunt without the e-collar, but I wouldn't hunt without the GPS. The one time the GPS battery ran out on me within 20 minutes (forgot to charge or left on, can't remember which) I quit chukar hunting and just headed down to the flats to chase rabbits and kept the dog within view. I really can't fathom how people hunted (efficiently/effectively) certain species without out GPS...
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:49 am

No the 550 Plus does not store any hunt statistics. I only had a 2 year period where I have ever had any hunt statistics, I seldom looked at them and they have never come into play in any meaningful way in my hunting.

My dog is trained better than average compared to the masses, but I will never hunt him without an ecollar on. Stuff happens is why and there will always be instances where having an ecollar on a dog is fortunate and essential is my experience. Chance fur encounters are one major recurring theme and some of those animals are mangy, sick, or porcupines ...

But the even more compelling reason for me is the silent range control recall I get using the ecollar tone. I love hunting and handling my dog in silence. Hunting heavy cover and relatively small parcels of private lands, surrounded by private land we do not have permission to be on creates the need to stay in contact with the dog more often than in bigger and more open country, that we also hunt frequently.

I hunted for decades without GPS on my dogs and yet now it feels essential.

If a guy already owned an ecollar that they like I could see buying an astro GPS add on as a money savings. But if starting from scratch I would go 550 Plus and enjoy one ecollar on the dog and one transmitter on me.
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Re: The GARMIN Alpha; An Expensive Mistake.

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:30 am

AverageGuy wrote:
If a guy already owned an ecollar that they like I could see buying an astro GPS add on as a money savings. But if starting from scratch I would go 550 Plus and enjoy one ecollar on the dog and one transmitter on me.


I think that's pretty good advice. IF I had to start all over again, it would be a 550+ and a non- touchscreen GPS in a pocket.
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