Reviewed by: Randy Carlson – LCS General Manager
We have taken a close look at the new Garmin Astro DC40 and wanted to share our first impressions with you.
The first thing you notice when picking up the new Garmin Astro DC40 is the collar strap design. The black nylon collar is gone, and replaced witha HiViz orange coated nylon collar strap. The great thing about the collar strap design is it can easily and inexpensively be changed to a different collar. Also, you will notice the small rectangular GPS receiver that is mounted on the collar strap of the DC30 is removed. The external GPS receiver now integrated inside the transmitter casing. Garmin has beefed up the durability of the transmitter casing. Having the receiver inside eliminates an internal wire that ran through the collar strap and a plug-in; which will certainly increase reliability of the system!
The Garmin Astro DC40 collar weighs about 8 ounces. Garmin has maintained the lightweight and low-profile design of previous collars. The VHF antenna on the collar is similar in design but no longer runs through a cuff on the collar strap. The antenna now is tacked to the collar with plastic connectors that look very reliable.
The Garmin Astro handheld remains exactly the same with one small but important change. There will now be a new setting that will allow the collar to transmit its location every two minutes to the handheld. This will result in the ability for the battery charge in the DC40 collar to last 48 hours when the two-minute update rate is selected.
Over the next few days we will be testing the Garmin Astro DC40 in the field, and will continue to post additional thoughts and field-test results.
It is important to note that we feel the DC30 is an excellent system that works very well. Now LCS customers have the option of purchasing the Garmin Astro DC30 from us at the sale price of $499, or pre-ordering the Garmin Astro DC40 at $599 for delivery sometime August 2010.