Overview: Garmin Astro 320 Handheld and T5 Mini Tracking Collar.
Garmin introduces the Garmin Astro 320 with Mini T5 Tracking Collar, the newest addition to the GPS dog tracking world. Built for the small dog hunter and competition hunter who demand the performance that Garmin has been known to produce but in a more compact package.
What’s New with the Astro 320 / T5 Mini Combo?
Astro 320 handheld:
Updated software for tracking the Garmin Mini T5 collars.
Users can also update the software on their older Astro 320 handhelds to track the T5 Mini Garmin Tracking Collar
For instructions on how to update your Astro, visit our How-to section “link” (needs link)
T5 Mini collar:
Smaller size, built for dogs 15-50 lbs
¾” strap fits dogs with neck sizing 9.5-14”
Weighs only 7.0 oz.
More compact collar box with rounded edges to help eliminate knee injuries
“Sleep Mode” when activated, keeps the collar from transmitting its location thus conserving precious battery life ( only available when linked to Alpha 100)
“Rescue Mode” Initiates a battery conservation mode after the battery reaches 25% of a full charge.
Improved GPS signal with Mini T5
With external GPS antenna, the collar can track additional satellites with GLONASS enabled GPS
18 ½” durable braided steel core and length of the VHF antenna yields higher quality communication
Keep close tabs on how much your dogs are barking using Bark Detection
Simple tool-less ¾” strap replacement
Water resistant for up to 10 meters
Key features of the Garmin Astro 320/T5 Mini Tracking Combo
Smaller Collar: The T5 Mini was designed for dogs 15-50 lbs, it weighs in at 7.0 oz. and the ¾” strap fits dogs necks from 9.5 to 14 inches.
Improved Tracking: As customers have come to expect, the new Garmin T5 Mini is equipped with a highly sensitive external GPS/GLONASS antenna. This antenna allows for roughly twice as many satellites in the sky for the collar to use than in the past.
Rescue Mode: This feature, if enabled by your Astro 320, increases the amount of time you have before a Mini T5 collar battery dies. This allows more time for you to find and recover your treasured dog. As soon as the collar detects its battery has decreased to 25% of its full charge, it automatically begins to conserve its battery by changing the update rate from its preset setting to a 2 minute update. Remember, this feature must be enabled manually by the user with the Astro 320 handheld.
Steel VHF Antenna: The Mini T5 comes standard with a 18.5” braided steel antenna.
Quick Collar-Strap Changes: The Garmin T5 Mini uses the same collar strap design as the Garmin Alpha TT10, TT15 and Astro DC50, T5 collars. The only difference is that it is on a ¾” strap rather than a 1”. It is quick and easy to switch out collar straps with no tools needed. Just slide your favorite colored collar straps through the integral channels on the Garmin Mini T5.
Private PIN Lock: While linked to an Astro 320 users can choose a 4 digit code for each T5 Mini tracking collar. This code must be entered before someone else can track that Mini T5 collar. It may not seem crucial during a normal day to day hunt but could prove priceless while competition hunting, or hunting with or around large hunting groups.
Adjustable Dog Status: Using the updated Astro 320, you can change the status for each of your dogs wearing a T5 Mini 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 idle he or she could be on point or have game treed.
Protective Antenna Sleeve: The T5 Mini’s antenna sleeve protects your antenna from wear and tear but also keeps it erect while still receiving satellite signals. This thick rubber sleeve will have you saying good-bye to zip ties and electrical tape and hello to an easy to clean and durable antenna that stays upright without all the trouble.
Track 10 Dogs: On your Astro 320, you are able to track a total of 10 collars
Basecamp: The Garmin Astros’s USB port makes it easy to plug it right into your laptop. Using Basecamp, you can track your dogs on your laptop screen instead of the handheld screen. This can be especially convenient when hunting out of your truck, allowing the use a larger screen.
Covey Counter: Record the specific location of conveys. You can also record the birds in a covey and the number of birds taken from the covey using waypoints.
Product Review Summary: Astro 320 with Mini T5 Combo
Overview: Garmin Mini T5 Tracking Collar, Sometimes Referred to as the Garmin Astro T5 Mini collar.
T5 Mini vs. DC40—Why Upgrade?
One of the very popular choices we have notice in those who run the smallest of dogs is that due to the sizing problems on many of the current GPS collars out there right now, many were forced to use DC40s in order to synch a collar small enough for their dogs. We are happy to say that there is now a MUCH better option available in the Mini T5 Tracking Collar. Hunters can now get all of those awesome feature those large highly sensitive tracking collars get but now in a small compact package making it much easier for their little companions to pack around.
There are a couple major reasons why you would want to upgrade to the Garmin Mini T5. First is the greatly improved satellite reception you’ll enjoy: one of the most significant improvements in the T5 Mini 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. In addition Garmin has enabled the GLONASS system of satellites for your Mini T5 and updated Astro 320. This enables you to receive signals from 21 more satellites helping to pinpoint your location that of your dog.
Another critical improvement in the T5 Mini over the DC40 dog tracking collar 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 Mini T5 antenna is also much more durable and less prone to damage than the copper-wound stubby antennas on the DC40 and DC30 GPS tracking collars.
Lastly, some of the finer performance details that separate the T5 Mini from its predecessors include its versatile, user-friendly charging system and beep-tones that confirm when you add collars or change settings on the Mini T5 dog tracking collar.
Garmin Astro 320 Features and Details
Uses HotFix® and a high sensitivity receiver to acquire satellites
Allows you to adjust your dog's track length
Zooms in (and out) quickly to find your dog
Side power button location
1.7 GB of internal memory
Tracks up to 10 dogs simultaneously
Up to 9 miles of handheld-to-collar reception (line of sight)
MURS frequency band
Compatible with Garmin’s Birdseye Satellite Imagery, high-resolution TOPO maps, and more
Wireless field software updating
Tracks 10,000 points of information per dog, ensuring your records are accurate no matter how long you are out
Uses a universally accepted GPX file format to store all of your data
Includes a keypad lock to stop accidental key presses
Allows you to switch profiles - hunting, recreational, automotive, marine, geocaching, fitness, etc. - quickly so you won't miss a beat once you're done hunting
Debuts innovative features like enhanced map drawing capabilities, vibration-based alerts and a 3-axis electronic compass
Features legendary toughness that’s built to withstand the elements – be it dust, dirt, humidity or water
Marks your exact spot with Covey Counter™, a special waypoint that tells you the exact location, time of day and elevation where you found your prey
Saves other "special" waypoints, such as "Truck" and "Lodge" as well as waypoint icons to represent food plots, tree stands and other hunting-related points
T5 Mini Tracking Collar Features:
Mini T5 Collar can be configured to work with either the Garmin Astro 320 or the Garmin Alpha 100
Top-mounted, high sensitivity, GLONASS-enabled satellite receiver
Sleep Mode (only when linked to Alpha 100)
User-configurable Rescue Mode to extend battery life
Updates dog positions every 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds
Easy-to-replace 27”x 3/4” collar strap (no tools needed)
Extreme waterproofing (up to 10 meters, or ~33 feet)
Rechargeable, replaceable Lithium Ion Battery
Batteries and Battery Life
Garmin Astro 320 GPS Handheld:
Using two AA batteries (not included), the battery life of the Astro 320 can last up to 20 hours. This can be prolonged by using the vehicle charge port so that your handheld will rely on your car’s battery instead. In any case we recommend using rechargeable AA batteries for the Astro.
Garmin T5 Mini GPS Tracking Collar:
With rescue mode on, the Mini T5 has around a 30 hour battery life. Here’s what we've found:
2.5 second update rate has been getting around 14-16 hours with rescue mode
10 second update rate has been getting around 22-25 hours with rescue mode
Using a 30 second or 2 minute update rate will allow you up to 30 hours
Update Rates/PIN Lock
This combo allows you to control your battery life with features that change the update rate. With the Astro 320/T5 Mini combo, you can choose whether the collar is updated every 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds. This enables you to adjust it depending upon your personal preference. Additionally, there is Rescue Mode; this feature helps conserve your collar battery after a long day. If the battery life of a collar drops below 25%, rescue mode grants you plenty of extra time to locate your dog before the battery dies.
For the times you might not want other people in the field to track your dogs, PIN Lock is very helpful. With it, you keep others from seeing your dog on their handheld. How it works is you assign a 4 digit code to each dog’s collar and then for anyone to view your dog, they must first enter that dog’s code. If your hunting partner wants to track one of your dogs you can simply give them the code. This function is not required and can be turned off at any time you feel it is unnecessary.
Use Your Versatile Astro 320 for Other Types of Hunting and Recreation!
The Astro 320 is not only proficient for tracking and managing dogs, but also is an exceptional tool in other recreational activities. The Astro can function like any other Garmin GPS when it is not being used to track dogs. It can also be convenient for hiking, camping, geocaching, and deer or elk hunting. Simply take off the VHF antenna and cap the SMA connector to create a portable and fully operative GPS complete with many of the high end functions of other Outdoor GPS devices.
What’s in the Box for the Astro 320/Mini T5 Combo?
Garmin Astro 320 GPS Handheld Receiver
Garmin T5 Mini GPS Dog Tracking Collar
AC Charger to Charge the Garmin Mini T5 Tracking Collar
12 volt DC charger to Charge the T5 Mini Tracking collar.
The 12VDC adaptor can also be used to power the 320 handheld while in a vehicle.
Pigtail clip chargers for the Garmin Mini T5 Collar.
Garmin factory USB Cable to connect the Collar and Receiver to a computer for Software updates