Product Description: Garmin Astro DC50 collar
Overview: Garmin Astro DC50 tracking & training collar.
NOTE: The Garmin DC50 will only track with a Astro 320 handheld. If you have a 320, You will need to update your software on your 320. Software should be available on Webupdater about 1-2 weeks after the DC50 announcement.
What’s new with the DC50 combo?
- Integral Rescue Mode automatically conserves batteries after they reach 25% charge.
- Better GPS signal on the DC50 because
- GPS receiver mounted to top of collar like previous DC30 collar
- GLONASS enabled GPS allows collar to track more satellites
- Longer, more durable VHF antenna with braided steel core provides better communication.
- Bark Detection gives you real-time info on how much your dogs are barking in the field.
- Tool-less design makes for fast, easy changes of collar straps without the need for tools
- Waterproof up to 10 meters
For Users with an Astro 320 handheld:
- DC50’s will only track on the 320.
- Users can update the software on older Astro 320 handhelds to track the DC50.
- For instructions on how to update your Astro, visit our How-to Section “link” (needs link)
Key features of the Garmin Astro DC50 Tracking & Training GPS Collar
- Better Tracking: High-sensitivity, top-mounted GPS receiver is now enabled to receive signals from GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) satellites. This adds 21 more satellites your collar can connect with (in addition to the 28 satellites currently in the GPS system), helping eliminate dropped satellite connections in rough country and deep cover.
- Bark Detection: The DC50’s new Bark Detection feature is a first in the dog tracking industry. When enabled, users can see the Bark rate scale at which each of their dogs is barking, even when out of audible range. Each dog’s bark status is displayed on both the map screen and compass screen. Since some users may not want to have bark rates displayed on the map screen, there is an option to turn it off on the map screen while keeping it active on the other screens. Another option with Bark Detection is the ability to set a “minimum bark-rate threshold;” this allows users to establish a minimum rate of barks per minute—either 20, 40, 60, or 80 bpm—before they are alerted by their Astro 320. In short, Bark Detection will be especially beneficial when your hounds are out of hearing range and you’re trying to decipher if they’re just trailing, or have already jumped or treed your prey.
- Rescue Mode: Rescue Mode is another feature that’s new to the Astro line of tracking collars. It’s a battery saving function that, when activated, automatically switches your collar update rate to once every 2 minutes (120 seconds) when the battery has declined to 25% of a full charge. This is designed to give users many additional hours to retrieve a dog before the collar battery dies—however, note that Rescue Mode can be shut off if a user doesn’t wish to have their update rate changed.
- Better VHF Antenna: The DC50 sports a longer, more flexible VHF antenna made of aircraft-grade braided steel, which greatly improves both range and durability over previous DC collar antennas. DC50 antennas are available in both 18.5” and 22.5”, with the 22.5” coming stock on the DC50 from the Garmin factory.
- Fast Collar-strap Changes: Modeled after the Garmin Alpha TT10, collar straps on the DC50 easily slide through integral channels on the collar box, eliminating the need for tools when you want to quickly change collar straps. Any universal D-ring collar strap (or TriTronics EXP strap) will slide right onto your tracking unit in seconds. A huge plus with this setup is that you can first slide on an EXP or any other shock collar with a 1” strap, and then slide on your DC50, allowing for fewer collars on your dog.
- Improved Charging Port: The charging port on the DC50 is a vast improvement over the hookup on the widely popular DC30. It comes standard with a USB interface, which gives you 3 connection options when you need to charge: you can plug into an AC outlet, a vehicle charge port, or the USB port on a computer. This is especially handy when it’s time to run a software update on your collar; all you have to do is attach the charging clip, plug your DC50 into your computer, and run Garmin Web Updater.
- Helpful Tone Indicator: Another welcome difference between the DC30/DC40 collars and the new DC50 is the audible tone it provides when you successfully add a collar to your Astro 320 handheld; this confirms that you’ve added the correct collar when there are other collars in the immediate vicinity. A tone will also sound when you successfully change most settings on your Astro 320/DC50 combo. For example: when you change dog type to “treeing dog,” your DC50 will beep to let you know you did it right.
- Exclusive PIN Lock: The PIN Lock function allows users to select and store a 4-digit code for each of their collars so no one else can track their dogs without inputting the code. Although this is not a must-have feature in most hunting situations, it could be very useful in competitions, or when you’re out with a large group of fellow hunters and their hounds equipped with Astros and DC collars.
- Adjustable Dog Type: Using the updated Astro 320, you can change the status for each of your dogs wearing a DC50 to reflect what they’re doing. Your options are 1) Pointing, 2) Treeing, 3) Auto, and 4) None. This lets your Astro know that when your dog is sitting still, he or she could still be on point or have game treed.
- Better Power Button Placement: The power button on the DC50 has been relocated to the bottom of the collar box, which protects it from being accidentally switched off by other collars on your dog, or by “unpredictables” like sharp rocks, fallen branches or the occasional ingenious coon. The improved placement will also provide more protection from everyday wear and tear, which you’ll appreciate since we see a lot of DC30s and DC40s come in with cracks or holes in the rubber cover that seals the power button; this allows moister to get in and cause corrosion, which ultimately kills the collar.
- Antenna Protection Sleeve: With the DC50, you’ll no longer have to rig up protective nylon sleeves that stink and deteriorate over time, or use zip ties and electrical tape to secure your loose antennas. The new DC50 comes with a thick, durable rubber cover that not only protects the antenna core, but also keeps your antenna erect and receiving satellite signals. The cover is very durable and can be scrubbed clean easily if your hound has traipsed through the mud to chase down game.
- Track Up To 10 Dogs: The Astro 320 can track up to 10 different collars. This means you’ll be able to get real-time location fixes on ten of your hounds.
Unit dimensions and Specifications
, WxHxD: 3.5” x 1.9” x 1.8” (9.0 x 4.9 x 4.6 cm)
Collar length: 12" (30.5 cm) to 20" (50.8 cm) adjustable collar
- 7.2 oz (212.0 g) for transmitter and antenna
- 10.2 oz (228.0 g) total weight
Battery: Li-Ion rechargeable
Battery life: 26-54 hours (user adjustable transmit rate of 5, 10, 30 or 120 seconds)
Waterproof: 10 m (33 ft)
High-sensitivity receiver: yes
Product Review Summary: Garmin Astro DC50 Collar
Below is a summarized Review of the DC05, Click the link below if you would like to read our Full comprehensive Review
(Astro DC50 collar Review)
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll almost double your likelihood of being able to connect to geo-location satellites and pinpoint your dogs’ position and yours. Making these connections is a basic, essential function of the receivers in any tracking system, but for hunters and their hounds who regularly venture into rough or covered terrain, the enhanced satellite connectivity in your DC50 could be critical to your dogs’ safety as well as your hunting success.
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll get a better antenna design that guarantees you a longer life and better performance in the field. The boost you get will result from the DC50’s top-mounted receiver, which assures better transmit connections, as well as the antenna’s greater length and stronger, more flexible braided-steel core.
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll enjoy the option of using Rescue Mode to automatically extend the operating life of your batteries by many hours. This could mean the difference between finding or not finding one of your dogs after a long day in the field. However, if you don’t want your update rate slowed to 2 minutes when your batteries reach the threshold, you can just turn off Rescue Mode.
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll be able to rely on Bark Detection to keep you informed about your hounds’ level of excitement at any time during a hunt. The real-time barks-per-minute data displayed on your Astro 320 will help you command and control each of your dogs more effectively—but if you’d rather not use the feature, as with Rescue Mode, you can just turn it off.
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll get more options for electrical charging hookups, as well as a hardwire connection to stay current on Garmin’s software updates. The USB cable will give you faster, more reliable downloads than the wireless setup used in the DC30 and DC40 collars, but you’ll have to have a computer on hand to execute an update
- When you upgrade to the DC50 tracking and training collar, you’ll not only enjoy super-fast, super-easy collar change-outs thanks to the slide-in channels on the GPS receiver, you’ll also be audibly notified when you change settings on your Astro 320 or successfully add new collars.
DC50 vs. DC40—Why Upgrade?
There are a couple major reasons why you would want to upgrade to the Garmin DC50. First is the greatly improved satellite reception you’ll enjoy: one of the most significant improvements in the DC50 is its top-mounted GPS receiver and antenna, which assure quicker satellite acquisition and more consistent satellite connections when your dogs are in heavy cover out in the field. On top of that, Garmin has enabled the GLONASS system of satellites for your DC50 and updated Astro 320, so you’ll have 21 more satellites available to you to help pinpoint your location and your dog’s.
Thanks to Rescue Mode, a great new feature with the DC50, you’ll also enjoy the possibility of much longer battery life than you get with the DC30 or DC40 collars. Rescue Mode was first introduced in 2012 on Garmin’s top-line Alpha TT10 collars. Basically, it slows the collar update rate from once every 5, 10, or 30 seconds to once every 2 minutes to conserve power after your DC50 battery has drained to 25% of a full charge. This will give you many more hours of working time, allowing you to keep tracking a hound that has gone way off trail or gotten lost.
Another critical improvement in the DC50 over the DC40 is the longer braided-steel antenna. The design and construction of this VHF long-range antenna provides up to 30% more tracking range than you get with the DC40. The DC50 antenna is also much more durable and less prone to damage than the copper-wound stubby antennas on the DC40 and DC30 collars.
Bark Detection is yet another feature in the DC50 that’s not available on any other tracking collar. With Bark Detection turned on, your DC50 will detect, average and report each of your dogs’ rates of barks per minute (BPM) on your Astro 320 handheld. You’ll be able to see in real time how much your dog is barking, or if they’re working silently, which in turn will allow you to determine if they’re ready to start a trail, or already barking on trail, or already guarding a site with treed game. You can also instruct your Astro 320 to alert you only when your dog barks more than a selectable minimum amount per minute. And if you prefer not to receive the alert, simply turn off Barking Alerts; you’ll still be able to see BPM for each of your dogs in the dog list.
Lastly, some of the finer performance details that separate the DC50 from its predecessors include its versatile, user-friendly charging system, and beep-tones that confirm when you add collars or change settings on the DC50.
Garmin Astro DC50 Features and Details
DC50 Tracking & Training Collar Features:
- Top-mounted, high sensitivity, GLONASS-enabled satellite receiver
- 22.5” braided-steel antenna, with 18.5” antenna available as an option
- User-configurable Bark Detection
- User-configurable Rescue Mode to extend battery life
- Updates dog positions every 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds
- Easy-to-replace 27”x1” collar strap (no tools needed)
- Extreme waterproofing (up to 10 meters, or ~33 feet)
- Rechargeable, replaceable Lithium Ion Battery
DC50 Batteries and Battery Life
With our Review we tested between 30 hours and 39 hours of Battery life on the Garmin DC50 Using 5 second updates with Rescue mode enabled.
Update Rates/PIN Lock
With the Astro 320/DC50 combo, you’ll be able to verify your dogs’ position in real time, updated every 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds. The user-selectable update rates let you customize system notifications to your personal hunting style, and Rescue Mode will help you conserve battery life in your collar and handheld if you choose to turn it on. Rescue Mode is an especially valuable tool when you’re trying to recover a lost dog after many hours in the field, with potentially many more hours of searching.
PIN Lock can prevent access to your collars if you want to keep other people in the field from tracking your dog. To use it, simply assign a 4-digit code to each of your collars; this will prevent your collars from showing on any other Astro 320. However, if you want a partner to be able to track your dogs, you can simply give them your 4-digit codes to input on their Astro. This feature is not a requirement when using your Astro 320 and DC50, just an option; it’s easy to turn off if you decide it’s not necessary.
What’s in the Box for the Astro DC50 combo?
- DC 50 transmitter with a 22.5" long range antenna attached to a 1" blue collar
- 18.5" standard antenna
- AC adapter
- Vehicle charging adapter
- Charging cable
- Quick start manual
Garmin Astro DC50 GPS Collar
Information from the Garmin's website:
This rugged, waterproof¹ all-weather collar features a high-sensitivity, top-mounted GPS and GLONASS-enabled receiver that works with the Astro® 320²-handheld. The DC 50's ability to track additional satellites using a combined GPS and GLONASS system helps locate your dog more quickly and maintain location even in heavy tree cover or deep canyons.
A braided steel VHF antenna replaces the flexible antennas of previous DC-series collars to add additional reliability and achieves a range of up to 9 mi, depending on the terrain. Additionally, battery life has been improved to 26 to 54 hours, depending on the update rate. Plus DC 50’s innovative bark detection technology alerts you if your dog is barking even beyond audible range.
Attach and Go
With additional DC 50 transmitters (sold separately), sportsmen can track up to 10 dogs simultaneously using one Astro 320. The DC 50 features a replaceable collar strap (sold separately), allowing color customization to aid in dog identification. Dog position can be set to update at 5-, 10-, 30-, or 120-second intervals. It also features a PIN-based Collar Lock feature to prevent unauthorized Astro users from tracking your dog.
¹Waterproof to 10 m (33 ft)
²The DC 50 is compatible with the Astro 320 handheld only (software upgrade required). It does not work with Astro 220 or Alpha™ handhelds.