(Fail) Actual Hunt Test with Astro DC40

Well,  Today was the First day I could get out and hunt with the New Garmin Astro DC40.  I can tell you I am NOT impressed.   I will break this into two Parts,  Because had I not done that I would consider the DC40 completely Useless, arriving at a conclusion of being a Good Paper weight.   Read below to find out why.

First a Word from Our Sponsor..;)
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I’m offering a Free DayGlo Collar with every DC30. We use a Heavy Duty Protective sleeve, Not the Rubber, or Sewn sleeves.


For this test, I treated the DC40 as I would any other collar.  I did nothing different than any other collar. 
My morning started at 6:30 am -  Our hunting routine is to collar up all the dogs in the yard before leaving,   (FYI: This routine started back in the days with beep beep collars, I would forget to pull magnents.. Or turn shock collars on before starting a Track.. Now Everything is on when I leave camp or the house.)  Once all the dogs are collared up I loaded them up into the box,  Grabbed the Lunches Kid and my Friend pulled in the drivway (with his annoying ill mannored barking dogs.. I can’t stand a Dog that barks without a good reason.)

I Remembered to switch all the Collars to 30 seconds delay, Because I used 5 second updates on the Distance Test I did Last night.    All the DC30′s had all ready acuired GPS reception and we ready to go, The DC40 had not… I was not worried about this,  Many times I’ve seen a DC30 take 10-20 minutes to Lock in and acuire.  This is another Reason I turn on collars at my house, It give the DC30 collars time to acuire signal before I get to the woods.

About 7:30 we clean the dogs out,  No GPS on the DC40.    No worries though I though Well Guess it just never Picked it up from the box.  It will pick up any time since the dogs are running down the road and riding on the Box.

7:45.  I stop, get out turn the DC40 Collar off and back on.  (I have had to do this a couple times in the past for a DC30 to get them to Sync up before and Turning them Off and back on often does the trick.)

8:15 Dogs have been on top of the Box, and the DC30′s have allready logged 5-7 miles rigging on top of the Dog box.  I get out one more time to again turn the collar off and Back on. 

At 8:45 I realize this thing is not going to work.  I take the collar off the Dog,  Turn it off Turn it on and Hold the GPS side Up towards the Clear Sky..  After a Minute my Wife tells me It is working now.  I put the Collar back on the Dog.

I can tell you,  If I have to Fiddle and do a GPS Rain dance with Every collar before I put it on a Dog I don’t consider this a Good thing. 

I did everything That Garmin Suggested in their Press release,  My DC40 collar were on at my house 10 hours ago, (so it hasn’t been a week)  the dogs ran around the house and where in the dog box at my house for at least 10-15 minutes.



Second review After we Got the DC40 linked up: The rest of the day we rigged and rigged The DC40 did Awsome.. For those looking for a Good review, Don’t miss this next line.  The DC40 Tracked good with the Dog On top of the Dog box driving around the Logging roads.  It Tracked As good as the DC30′s did…  

We were lucky and got a Track started, (Easy to do with Trashy Dogs)  All the DC30 collars except one when to the Race.. (No comment on Which dog didn’t go)  So I was busy grabbing the Shock button and didn’t get to watch the Garmin a whole lot,  how ever I did Get  a couple DC40 Lost GPS reception messages and I did get to snap a Photo of the DC40 having GPS issues.   The DC30′s did not give me any greif and again Out Performed the DC40 when the dogs were in the Brush.

So These things are Great as long as you don’t let you dog actually Leave the road. 

I should mention.. After this Trash race,  I was able to watch in amazement the “OLD SCHOOL” tracking method, in which my Fried used this wierd Antenna with 3 bars and he  frequently Look puzzled listening to a Scratchy Beep.    So Yep.. the DC40 collars were doing better than doing that.. :)

I’m going to continue to test it since I have more dogs than I do DC30 collars but I won’t post any more reviews until I can get a “good” race going and really put it through a longer hunt in the brush.


Good thing We’re not playing baseball here with this DC40 because I lost count of the strikes.. 

If anyone wants a slighly Used Garmin DC40 collar,  I have one availible.


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4 Responses to “(Fail) Actual Hunt Test with Astro DC40”

  1. mwleggett Says:

    Thanks for the great info. I’ve used the Astro since it came out. I’ve tried the 20, 30, and now 40. To me the 40 is a severe downgrade from the 30. I hunt in Eastern NC in swamp and heavy brush and I’m getting less than a 0.6 mile range with the 40. I would stock up on the 30s until Garmin’s next attempt.

  2. Ardee Marie Says:

    I bought and then found out the hard way they are junk and went back to cabelas to get the 30. Turned 3 dogs loose on old bear track. 2dogs had 30′s and one dog had the new 40. All dogs were together till 400 yards then lost the 40 in flat terrain. We could still hear all 3 together boo hooin parallel to the road. Never got it jumped and picked the dogs up 2 miles away. I had constant read on the 30′s and didnt reaquire the 40 until I could see all 3 dogs coming down the road 600 yards away.

  3. Shun Says:

    I was as proud when the store owner called and said my new dc40 had come in, as i was when i brought home my first born. Weather has not been great so i haven’t had the chance to try it out but i will tonight. Had to do alot of saving to get this thing and will be extremely disappointed if it turns out like the rest. Sounds like i should have stuck with my quick track. These ratings have got me scared to turn my dog loose.

  4. ralph Says:

    i have the astro220 and two DC40 collars bought as a package when the dc40 first come out preety average reception whith one getting further signal than the other bought another dc40 in march for new dog in the pack wish the first two dc40s that i bought worked aswell as the new collar no drop outs or anything like that one of the old dc40s that i bought does not turn on or show blinking lite when on charge was loosing comms before that at 17metres by the astro any ideas if this is fixable