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TheStreet Open House

Introducing The Garmin® Alpha™: Premium Integrated Tracking And Training For Sporting Dogs

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced Alpha, a fully-integrated tracking and training system for hunters and their canine companions.

“The Alpha GPS Track and Train system for sporting dogs is the result of our collaboration with Tri-Tronics ®. Little more than a year after joining forces, we’re now able to offer the sporting dog world a no-excuses system that offers the best of both worlds: robust GPS tracking with built-in topo maps from Garmin and proven electronic correction from Tri-Tronics,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “And the Alpha is packed with great new features that make it completely unlike anything else on the market.”

Alpha 100 Handheld Tracking Features

With location updates as frequent as every 2.5 seconds, the Alpha 100 handheld tracks and trains as many as 20 dogs up to nine miles away, depending on terrain. It features a three-inch, glove-friendly touchscreen display that’s easy to view in bright sunlight. The touchscreen allows hunters and trainers to configure their setup to their specific needs, yet it displays only the relevant information necessary to accomplish a task.

In addition to tracking other dogs, Alpha is the first device of its kind to feature a “buddy tracker” function. A party of hunters each carrying an Alpha can track not only their dogs, but other Alpha users – any combination of up to 20 dogs and hunters. With Alpha’s buddy tracker, there’s no more guesswork in determining the location of other hunters – which makes time afield not only easier, but safer. Alpha users can also send and receive pre-selected messages in the field – phrases like “help,” “come here,” or “go on without me,” which further add to the Alpha’s utility.

Hunters can follow their dogs and buddies on the Dog Tracker Page, which depicts a familiar three-axis compass, with color-coded arrows that indicate the direction and distance of each dog. And whenever a dog trees quarry or goes on point, the Alpha can give an audible or vibration alert. The other primary tracking page is the Map Page. The Alpha is pre-loaded with 100k topo maps, so hunters will always know what sort of geographical features (including ravines, rivers, and roads) are nearby. The Alpha is also compatible with other maps, like BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (sold separately). Users can even set up customized radius or geofence alerts to notify them if their dog has entered or exited a pre-determined area.

Alpha 100 Handheld Training Features

Above the Alpha 100’s touchscreen are three configurable buttons that the trainer can set to virtually any combination and level of continuous correction, momentary correction, or tone. Trainers can set up different stimulation levels for each dog, and control them all from a single handheld. When a correction is made, a menu automatically appears so the user can quickly choose from 18 intensity levels on the fly. Straight out of the box, the unit’s stimulation settings are configured in 18 levels of linear stimulation. Users can also set the Alpha to emulate the traditional setup of the Tri-Tronics Pro 500 G3 EXP, with six levels of low, medium, and high correction.

The Alpha 100 handheld is powered by a replaceable lithium-ion rechargeable battery that’s capable of up to 20 hours of battery life, and it’s waterproof to IPX-7 standards.

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