It appears that Garmin has done it again! Finally the GPS dog tracking collar we have been waiting for. The Garmin DC50 collar incorporates the best parts of the last 3 collar designs including the TT10 Alpha collar. The DC50 looks very similar to the TT10 without the contact points.
The Garmin DC50 collar is very sturdy with the GPS antenna brought back to the outside of the collar just like the DC30. Garmin has also changed the VHF antenna; it is now a braided steel cable and is much stronger than the original antennas. The DC50 is shipped with 2 sizes of VHF antenna so if you are looking for more range there is now an option for the collar, and there will be no need to track down aftermarket antennas. I have used the collar quite a bit with alongside a DC30 and a DC40 while they both lost communication on occasion due to heavy brush, the DC50 did not drop signal at all. This was also very evident when looking at the dog information page and comparing the distance traveled for each collar.
The charging system on the DC50 is more like the TT10 Alpha collar than the DC40. The DC50 comes with a smaller clip that attaches to the collar rather than the “cuff” that wraps around the DC40. When charging the collar you can easily tell if it is charged or not by the LED lights on the DC 50. The light is red when charging and turns to green when fully charged. Full charge is achieved in about 4hrs if the battery is completely dead. The collar will automatically go into the rescue mode when the collar battery gets low. This means that the DC50 will change itself to a 2 minute update rate to save the last bit of power in the battery.
The overall design of the DC50 collar makes it very easy to change the collar strap and match it to the arrow on the dog tracking page of your Astro 320, which will make the dogs track on the map the same color. We had found the collar straps were a bit big to fit the smaller dogs, so the crew at LCS took a hard look and came up with the RSMSTRAP It is a smaller collar strap that fits even my smallest beagles. I prefer the reflective collars on my dogs as they really show up well in low light. If there is one thing I do not like it would be the fact that the DC50 collar can’t be tracked using an Astro 220. The now outdated hardware in the 220 GPS cannot take the needed updates for operation of the DC50.
-Andy Purnell, LCS Customer Service