By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Olathe, Kan. – Here’s something that Elmer Fudd could have used to catch that wascally wabbit.
GPS supplier Garmin is adding to its outdoor-product segment with the July shipment of a next-generation GPS-equipped dog-tracking collar and a tracking receiver.
The DC 50 collar carries a minimum retail price of $229, and the DC 50 bundled with an Astro 320 hand-held tracking receiver is priced at a minimum $599. They’ll ship to brick-and-mortar and online outdoor sporting goods retailers such as Cabela’s and Bass Pro.
The company’s outdoor segment consists of products for hikers, hunters, golfers and for such applications as geocaching and dog training.
The DC 50’s enhancements over an existing model include more reliable satellite reception and more rugged design, the company said. The DC 50’s GPS antenna is now on top of the dog’s neck to provide a clearer view of satellites, the company explained. And the new model tracks both GPS and GLONASS satellites to acquire a position 20 percent faster compared to tracking only GPS satellites. As a result, hunters will spend less time waiting for the collar to acquire a location before beginning a hunt, the company said. In addition, because the collar locks onto GPS and GLONASS satellites and not just to GPS satellites, the collar will better maintain its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons, the company said.
The DC 50 also sports longer battery life to 26 hours at a five-second update rate. Slowing the rate to every two minutes yields 54-hour battery life.
With the Astro 320 receiver, hunters can track their dogs up to nine miles on flat, unobstructed ground as often as every five seconds. The Astro 320 tracks up to 10 dogs at once and indicates the dog’s distance, direction, and status (sitting, running, pointing, or treeing). The Astro 320 features a full color, sunlight readable display with a pre-installed basemap.
The DC 50 is compatible with Astro 320 handhelds currently in service, but users must download a free software update to their handheld before pairing it with the new collar. The DC 50 is not compatible with the Astro 220 handheld or the Alpha handheld, the company said.
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