I know a boy who swears by his Garmin but every night Ive seen a very crappy system to me. from antennas breaking to batteries going dead very quickly. to just not being able to get the thing working. I love the Idea of gps tracking not sure Id like the gsp though. I do hope that improvement comes in the future as for now I am satified with my old tracking system it seems to do the job. But there has been times when I wandered hey I wander what that road is in the distance I hear. Im sure in a few years I'll know.
I keep hearing about people beeing afraid of the Garmin, and honestly, I can't figure it out....
First, you would have to understand where I hunt, It is rough as any, we have walked over 3 hours in the mountains just to get to the dogs that are treed....Although I am fairly new to owning my own dogs, I have been coon hunting with others for a long time, and the two fellows I hunt with have handled dogs for years....Both of those guys have sold their traditional trackers, one of them has owned the Garmin for about 6 months, the other about 2 months...I have probably been with these 2 guys over 40 times when a Garmin was used, and have never seen one ounce of a problem....We have never had a dog not on the screen, never lost track of a dog, and never left a dog overnight with the Garmin on....I promisse if you are hunting east of the Mississippi, there is geologically no way you can be hunting more vertical territory than us....Maybe we just got lucky and have 2 extra strong ones or something, but we haven't broke anything that came with the collars, one guy did change to the stumpy antena, and both trackers are atached to a counter ballance collar....
As for the new one that runs off of cell phone service...It would be as useless as a plain ole collar for trackin around here....
_________________ Now where I come from was heaven on earth...
The Flint River washes that red Georgia dirt...
The sun sets slow and the stars shine bright...
We raised cotton and corn, a little cane and kids...
You either lived on a farm, or wished you did...
And Jesus always walked close by our sides...
WHERE I GREW UP, WE RODE IN TRUCKS
Luke Bryan- My new favorite song
I am sure this new Tracker system may not be for everyone like you explained about cell tower coverage. I am not sure if it will 'replace' the tracking system like we commonly use for quite some time. I get decent signal in my normal area now. If I am travelling to an area I am unsure of, then I would want to use 'old reliable'. I can really see the good side of the concept mainly for safety. Dog gets out of pocket, heading towards a heavily traveled road. I look at the screen and see if he is going in a straight line or milling around. Another nice concept. You are hunting on a big creek that snakes around and the dog gets treed. Too deep to cross and have to go to a bridge if it is on the other side. Look at the screen and see which side it really is on. Don't know how many times I have had a dog treed on such a creek. Sure it is on the right side. Walk and walk to it and get to the creek, guess what, wrong side. But on the other hand, I have said for years, I carry more dollars value on my belt than on the end of my lead strap. lol
On Trackers GPS unit:
1. Only several cell phone companies were listed- do us other folks need to switch services
2. How much is there mapping software that will be necessary for the cell phone.
3. How long do your cell batteries last? When used repeatedly? Got a spare? I don't
4. How much is their "small" service charge per month gonna be? What is "small"
5. In the Scandanavian countries it's used in now the fees vary from country to country (service provider to provider??) and plans are based on how often you will be checking the status of the hounds. Does this mean if you go over your plan you pay more.
6. How big is your phone screen- mines about half the size of the garmin Astros.
7. Why the heck do I have to ask these questions when they've already put a press release out on thier website about thier gps unit. Told just enough so that we really don't know anything. I LOVE my Maxima and TRACKER has been good to me customer servicewise, but thier a day late and a dollar short on the GPS front and left me with more questions than answers as they arrive late to the party.
8. Tracker stated to me thier units would be about the same cost as thier Maxima packages. Heck I can get three collars and an Astro for 770 bucks plus I have the latest topo map package already for my personal gps- add a 19 dollar chip I'm all set for three hounds. What do I get from Tracker for 800 bucks??
Not for or against the Tracker GPS and surely want a unit I don't need to be worrying about the antenna breaking and leaving me with no signal, but I'm not paying even 5 bucks a month service fee for it (unless I get Satelitte Radio with it ). So they know the answer to these questions but we don't. A poor way to do business for us folks lookin at which way to go. Our group now has about 9 astros and 10 collars they are not going to be compatable with TRACKER or Quick Trac or any of them. I tried to talk our group into buying only several and waiting to see what other companies offered. I even tried to get some specifics from other companies about what they were going to bring out (yeah I know, but I tried anyway) and got nothing, did explain my reasoning for asking. So we see the Astro work and love what it can do and put up with the potential antenna breakage and electrical tape it like a mummy to the collar because the plastic plate breaks. Then there is the matter of the 69 dollar upgrade (add the 15 buck aluminum replacement bracket to that as well) for the Astro collars- heck Garmin should be shelling them out to folks who bought the current models at cost. Yes, I understand thier a business and they need to make a profit, but it's not an "upgrade" it's a correction of a flaw in thier design. In effect it's a recall- and yes I know it's not garmin itself putting out the current "recall" fixes, but they need to do it themselves and take care of thier customers. Arrgghhh.
Hi BadKarma, JB gave you the link I was talking about, it's the one Buckshot posted origanally as a link somewhere in another thread. It turns the unit on it's side with a special bracket which is supposed to allow for better GPS reception even though the unit would hang under the neck like a traditional tracking collar. It also has a "normal" plastic covered wire antenna for tranmission from collar to GPS unit- replacing the rubber one. Supposed to increase disntance. Seems like it would solve the bulk of the issues with Garmins unit, but 69 bucks seems a bit steep. Price based on demad I guess like anything else. Some of the folks I hunt with where talking about buying it, if they do I'll give you a report. Paul conway.
Thanks for the link. Paul, I believe that Garmin should have come out with a better design in the first place but they did advertise the Astro for bird dogs. The idea is a good one but I wonder why they cannot make the transmitter like the Tracker one.
When it comes to a tracking unit I say the relilability is key. Shorty after that is battery power. IF you have to leave a dog or lose a dog in a hole it will take time to track it. What happens if it takes 30 hours? The Astro would be dead and so would your dog be. I don't know what the answer is. If you go hunting alone like I do a regular unit is best. If you go with a group like you Paul then you have buddies that can lend a hand. I have never had the luxury or pleasure of having hunting buddies to lend a hand and found myself in some bad situations. But I came out. Maybe the Astro would be that extra buddy in addition to a regular unit. Seems like an expensive buddy but a tool non the less.
Aw hell it is late and I am rambling again...that happens once you have some age on a person..right. lol
I'm going to try to answer a few of your questions (and hopefully calm Paul down a little bit). For those who don't know, I work for Tracker. I will tell you that a lot of details have not been nailed down about our system, that is why there is such limited information on our website at this point. I know that I certainly do not want to tell my customers that the system will run of any carrier and be $500 if when it comes out, only runs off one carrier and costs $1000. Tracker (and I personally) does not want anyone to have mis-information. Hopefully you can understand. I'm excited for the system to come out and I'm "chomping at the bit" to find out the details, but we just don't know certain things at this point. I know my personal frustration as far as waiting for details come from my excitement for my customers to use the system.
I can tell you a few things though...
I have used an "version" of our system, it was really cool and because it works off cell phone technology, has unlimitied range. One of our "head honchos" from Finland visited and we tracked his dog in Finland from our office here in Idaho.
We realize not everyone has cell coverage at this time, but eventaully everywhere will. 99% of Europe has cell coverage and, in time, the US will as well. The cell phone companies want our business and they will put up as many towers as they have to to get it.
In my opinion (and this is very strictly my opinion, it does not reflect the opinions of Tracker Radio), I think this will be the last system people will ever have to buy. Paul commented on us showing up late to the dance, well, I think we are going to a completely different dance. Our product is going to have unlimited range and probably be the last system you will ever buy. It has been used for several years in otehr parts of the world and we have been making modifications to the collars to fit our customers' needs. Our folks here in the US are harder on equipment than over in Europe or anywhere else and that is a big reason our equipment has not been released yet. I know I would rather it come out perfect than even a day earlier with a flaw (trust me on that one, I get to deal with the angry customers on the phone).
So, I'm really sorry I can't give you anymore information. Please let me know if you have any quesitons, I will certainly answer what I can for you. Paul, I will be specifically sending you a PM answering all your questions when I have the answers.
Drew..that happens every so often to me also and it is always with the long posts.
Jen..I like the fact that you are always here to answers questions and the many times I have talked to you I have never been let down.
I did my own checking yesterday and the 3 biggest companies up here that cover most of the midwest and other states will not get GSM and have no plan to do so. The reason why they state is land terrain. Apparently the signal degrades very quickly and is a relatively short signal from the tower.
I just wish my classic had an SMA connector for a yagi when it is needed.
Is a new Classic with that connector ever going to happen Jen?
Thank you for the great compliment, the upset customers are usually the most vocal ones, so it is always a treat to hear from a happy customer.
I do not know much about the GSM thing, that is above my head, but I do know a little about the Classic W/SMA possility (very little).
The reason we do not offer that as an option on the Classic is because the ohms in the antenna do not match the ohms in the circuit board. So, the yagi and roof mount antennas that exist now are just plain incompatible with the Classic, for whatever reason. I do not know about "ohms," I'm just repeating what my technicians have told me. I'm not aware of any plans to make an antenna specifically compatible with the Classic.
I will tell everyone on here that there has never been a question I have asked that was not answered by Jen. She knows her stuff and is just not another rep of a company. We have all talked to those kinds of people and can tell how much they know. Tracker is a different company. I do not sell any of their stuff just use it and trust it.
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