The Garmin Astro 430 is the newest generation of GPS tracking systems for sporting dogs. Garmin took the Astro 320 and improved upon its features to produce a truly great tracking only system. In the following post we will compare the features of the Garmin Astro 320 to its upgraded replacement the Garmin Astro 430.
The Garmin Astro 320 was able to track up to 10 dogs. Compared to its tracking and training brother, the Garmin Alpha 100, which could expand to 20 dogs this, was seen as a limitation. The Astro 430 improves in this area, matching the Alpha 100 in its ability to track 20 dogs. The Astro 430 will be able to see devices paired to the Alpha 100 or other Astro 430 also, giving you the ability to see all the dogs if your hunting in a large party. It will not see collars paired to the Astro 320 or Astro 220 though, due to those being on a different frequency.
Range and Mapping
Both the Astro 320 and Astro 430 have 9 miles of range. As with any training or tracking system, range will vary depending on light of sight, the terrain, and tree cover that you are hunting in.
Unlike the Astro 320, the Astro 430 comes with preloaded with TOPO US 100k mapping and a free 1-year BirdsEye Satellite imagery subscription. This mapping was only available to the Astro 320 if you bought the $100 USA TOPO Map chip to add to your system. Essentially the Astro 430 will be saving you $100 in mapping software.
One thing that customers often told us with the Astro 320 is that they wished it had a faster refresh rate, well Garmin heard you. The Astro 430 will now feature a 2.5 second update rate which provides faster location tracking when tracking dogs that are on a hard run. The 2.5 second update rate is twice as fast as the faster update rate available on the Astro 320.
A limitation of the Garmin Astro 320 was its lack of a rechargeable battery. Garmin fixed this by providing the ability to use an optional Astro 430 in-unit rechargeable NiMH battery pack, but still gives you the option to use two standard AA batteries.
New to the Astro handhelds, Bluetooth connectivity! You can now connect up to your Garmin Astro 430 handheld with your Garmin Fenix or Garmin Instinct Watch and receive dog status updates and alerts at-a-glance. You can also connect your Astro 430 handheld to the Garmin DriveTrack 71 GPS navigator, which gives the driver a larger 7-inch screen to see where the dogs are located while navigating the trail.
Key Features of Both Astro 320 and Astro 430
Many of features that we all love will remain the same. The Astro 430 will retain the same water rating of IPX7. Display will remain the 2.6 inch color with sunlight readable and glove friendly vibrant display. It will also retain the 3 axis electronic compass and barometric altimeter as well as wireless connectivity to a variety of compatible Garmin devices like the VIRB and Tempe temperature sensor.
Additional mapping using the microSD card slot will still be available, and support TOPO US 24k, Garmin Hunt View, City Navigator, Garmin Custom Maps and more (all sold separately). Garmin Basecamp, a free trip-planning software that lets you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks and then share then with friends, will also be kept with the Astro 430.
Features Lost with the Garmin 430 Handheld
Due to the change of frequency of the Astro 430 handheld, you will not be able to pair and track the DC30 and DC40 collars. Collars that are still compatible with the Astro 430 are the DC50, T5, T5 Mini, TT15 (tracking feature only), and TT15 Mini (tracking feature only).
Overall the Garmin Astro 430 is a new brighter and improved version of the Astro 320 that can be used as a direct replacement handheld while retaining your existing collars, with the exception of the DC30 and DC40 collars. Check out our comparison video below for more information and visuals on the Garmin Astro 430.
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