Garmin's Astro 320 GPS handheld offers nine-mile coverage, keeps your hunting dogs in line

Before you and your pooches head out to hunt innocent ducks this year, you might wanna check out Garmin's new Astro 320 dog tracker -- a handheld GPS device designed to help hunters keep even closer tabs on their four-legged sentries. The latest addition to the Astro family can simultaneously track up to ten hunting dogs per receiver, with a revamped antenna and three-axis electronic compass covering up to nine miles of flat terrain. Boasting a 20-hour battery life, the 1.7GB handheld can also tell hunters whether their canines are running or pointing, while its mapping capabilities provide their precise coordinates relative to powerlines, buildings, and individual trees. All this information is displayed on a 2.6-inch display, where users will be able to access 100k or 24k topographic and satellite maps. A keypad lock function, meanwhile, will make sure you don't accidentally press any buttons while you're in the thick of a hound-led hunt. The handheld will be available in July for $500, with the full system (including a DC 40 tracking collar) priced at $650. You can flip through the gallery below for images of some antenna-toting doggies, or head past the break for a more testosterone-laced pic and the full PR.

Show full PR text

Garmin® Introduces Next-Generation Astro® 320 Dog Tracker

Industry-Leading Map Capability, Increased Range, Enhanced Features

OLATHE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today the Astro 320, a new handheld dog tracking receiver. The new Astro 320 has features that hunters have been asking for – like increased range, a simplified user interface, and must-have mapping capability.

"Garmin is clearly the expert when it comes to reliable GPS technology, and we're the pioneer in satellite dog tracking," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Since the original Astro was delivered, we've listened closely to feedback from houndsmen and bird dog owners. The Astro 320 is the result of that feedback."

Thanks to an included redesigned antenna, the maximum range between the Astro 320 and a Garmin tracking collar has been increased by nearly 30 percent – up to nine miles in flat, unobstructed terrain. Like its predecessor, the Astro 320 can track up to 10 dogs per receiver at once, and the unit is fully compatible with Garmin's DC 20, DC 30, and DC 40 dog tracking collars and accessories.

Robust mapping capability has always been a hallmark of the Astro line, and the new Astro 320 delivers even more highly detailed, full color, sunlight readable mapping capabilities. In addition to the pre-installed basemap, the Astro can be loaded with 100k or 24k Topo maps or photorealistic BirdsEye™ Satellite Imagery ($29.99 annual subscription required). The Astro 320 has 1.7 gigabytes of on-board memory available for loading maps, and a microSD slot for pre-loaded cards.

Mapping depicts important nearby geographical features – and lets hunters know, for example, if their dog has crossed a creek or is nearing a dangerous road. With BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, hunters can pinpoint buildings, powerlines, and even individual trees – directly on their Astro 320. State wildlife departments are also offering more and more downloadable third-party maps of public hunting boundaries, which help ensure dogs and their owners are on legal ground. Hunters and trainers can also download, view and save their dog's tracks to a computer for viewing in Garmin's BaseCamp utility – a great tool for evaluating performance.

All these features are integrated into a refined user interface for easier and more useful operation. Not only does the Astro 320 indicate a dog's distance and status, (running, pointing, or treeing) but it can be toggled to indicate the direction the dog is moving on the unit's map page. Each dog's precise distance can also be presented on the map page, and users can choose an option that auto zooms the map so all dogs can be seen on the display at any time. Alternately, dogs that are too far away to fit on the map's current zoom scale can be notated on the display's margin in the direction of the dog's location. The user can also choose the duration that each dog's tracklog is viewed on the display – or toggle it off completely for a cleaner display. Taken together, these refinements give dog handlers more data that is more easily understood – making their hunt or training session safer, more productive, and more enjoyable.

A new three-axis electronic compass lets hunters accurately view their dog's position when holding the Astro 320 at any angle. In addition to audible alerts, Garmin has also incorporated a new vibration feature on the Astro 320, and the new handheld also features a handy keypad lock so buttons aren't accidentally pushed while being carried in a pocket or through thick brush. Dog handlers can wirelessly transfer waypoints, tracks, and even their dog's tracking settings to other Astro 320 users. The new Astro 320 is fully waterproof and runs on two AA batteries for up to 20 hours.

For current Astro users looking to upgrade, the Astro 320 handheld unit has an MSRP of $499.99. A complete system, which includes an Astro 320 and one DC 40 tracking collar and accessories, will be available for $649.99 (MSRP). The Astro 320 is expected to be available in July 2011. For more information, please visit