In 2015, Garmin introduced the Garmin Tri-Tronics Sport PRO system. The Sport PRO replaced the once-popular Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 EXP system that had been discontinued for several years. The Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 handheld was a customer favorite and is still used widely today. The Garmin Sport PRO took the best features of the Sport Basic G3, but added modern technology and upgrades to make a truly great system that has become a very popular system today.
The most important function of an e-collar is its training features, and the Sport PRO has everything that you expect from a modern e-collar. The Tri-Tronics Sport Basic had 5 levels of static stimulation available as both continuous and momentary stimulation using the selector dial to select the level and the “C” and “M” buttons on the handheld. The Sport Basic also had a tone function, which was called buzz with this transmitter, used by pressing the “BZ” button. The Garmin Sport PRO has 10 levels of static stimulation available as both continuous and momentary stimulation using the selector dial to select the level and the “Continuous” and the “Momentary” buttons on the handheld. The Sport PRO also has both tone and vibration using the “Tone” and “Vibe” buttons near the bottom of the transmitter.
With having 10 levels of stimulation to choose from with the Sport PRO, a trainer can better select the correct level of stimulation. Level 1 of both systems is going to be about the same level stimulation. Both the level 8 on the Sport Basic and level 10 on the Sport PRO are also comparable levels of stimulation. This means that the steps in between levels are going to be less of a jump on the Sport PRO, providing more control over stimulation. The new inclusion of vibration also gives the Garmin Sport PRO an additional method of non-static stimulation training, which has become very popular since its introduction.
The Tri-Tronics Sport Basic was limited to just training functions. The Garmin Sport PRO gained several new functionality features. In my opinion, the most useful of these features is the LED beacon lights located on the receiver. These are turned on and off by first turning the dial on the Sport PRO transmitter to “AUX”, which is the auxiliary mode, then push the “Vibe” button with the filled in light bulb below it. This turns on the beacon lights. To turn the lights off, turn the dial on “AUX” and press the “Tone” button non-filled light bulb below it. These beacon lights are great for finding your dog at night and can be seen from over 100 yards away.
The second new feature to the Sport PRO is the addition of a built-in BarkLimiter into the collar that has the ability to be turned on and off from the transmitter. To turn the bark limiter on, have the dial on “AUX” and press the “Continuous” button, which has “BarkLimiter On” written in lighter text below it. To turn the BarkLimiter off, have the dial on “AUX” and press the “Momentary’ button, which has “Barklimiter Off” written in lighter text below it. The BarkLimiter function can be great for owners with dogs that have barking issues.
Charging and Battery Replaceability
The Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 system included a rechargeable collar, but the transmitter utilized a replaceable 9V battery. I will go over battery replacement later in this section. The Garmin Sport PRO system is equipped for rechargeable batteries for both the collar and transmitter. In my opinion, the charging system for the Sport PRO is much more refined and easier to use.
The Sport Basic G3 collar had a charging cradle that the collar would snap down into, with two spring contact points coming in contact with two charging contacts on the outside of the collar. It was possible to put the collar in the wrong direction, or sometimes the collars would not sit in the cradle correctly. The cradles would then loosen their fit, especially after being used over the years. This could eventually lead to the charging cradle being damaged and non-functioning. The Sport PRO collars have a charging clip that snaps into place around the collar, which can only be installed one way. The charging clip also had four charging contacts, giving more redundancy. The Sport PRO transmitter is charged using a micro-USB port that is covered with a mud-cover located near the bottom of the back of the transmitter.
A nice feature of the Sport Basic G3 transmitter was the fact that it used a 9V battery that can be purchased at nearly every store. When Garmin bought Tri-Tronics, they discontinued manufacturing of transmitter batteries of the Tri-Tronics line, which made finding batteries for the older G3 transmitters difficult. Though this was a great feature, not having a rechargeable battery meant eating through 9V batteries every few weeks for heavy users. Another design flaw with the replaceable battery was the thinness of the battery cover. Over 80% of used Sport Basic transmitters that I have seen come in on trade-in have had the battery cover cracked, which compromises the waterproofing. Though the transmitter had an easily replaceable battery, the collars were designed differently. The G3 collars had a battery that was built into the battery pack which was attached it the collar with two screws. This meant that the battery pack was easily to replace when batteries were available, but after production was discontinued, replacing batteries meant only professionals could replace the battery. This often times left the battery pack in a lesser condition than before the replacement due to the battery being built into the pack.
The Garmin Sport PRO has a rechargeable battery that is user replaceable. The Sport PRO battery replacement kit comes with a new battery and a Garmin screw driver; the screws are a star bit to reduce the ability to open the unit up. The PRO Series collars also have user replaceable batteries with a very similar PRO series battery replacement kit.
Both the Garmin Sport PRO and Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 EXP can be expanded to control up to three dogs. The Sport Basic G3 EXP uses a dial to select between the three dogs: black, red, and blue. The Sport PRO uses a toggle switch to select between the three dogs: black, blue, and red. I personally like the toggle better on the Sport PRO. With the dial on the Sport Basic when the transmitter was brand new was sometimes too stiff to switch between dogs easily and when wearing gloves it’s hard to turn. The toggle switch on the Sport PRO is easy to use even when wearing gloves. The only issue that I have seen on the toggle switch was the toggle getting pressed inwards and jamming, though I have only seen this rarely in the 6 years since the transmitter was introduced.
Collar pairing is, in my opinion, easier on the Sport PRO as well. Several steps are similar when pairing, but the Sport PRO process is more user-friendly. Below I will discuss each of the pairing sequences and discuss some issues that I have had personally and have seen with customers over the years working with both systems.
Collar Pairing on the Sport PRO:
Collar Pairing on the Sport Basic G3 EXP:
Sometimes you have to do the pairing steps multiple times for the collar to pair, as it’s sometimes hard to hear the second set of beeps and the timing is important. This is why I personally think the pairing of the Sport PRO system is improved and more user-friendly, especially for those that might have trouble hearing the collar beeps.
Garmin coming out with the Sport PRO, building off the highly popular Sport Basic G3, was a great move on their part. The Sport PRO is a fantastic system that while being the lowest priced system in the Garmin PRO Series line-up, it still quickly became a top seller and customer favorite. If you liked the Sport Basic system, moving over to the Sport PRO will feel like a pleasant upgrade while still feeling familiar enough not to have a learning curve when beginning to use it.
Lion Country Supply Trade-In Program
Do you have a Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 or other system that you would like to trade-in for the Garmin Sport PRO or other new system? Lion Country Supply has a great trade-in program that can help you upgrade your equipment. We accept both working and non-working systems. For more details see, Lion Country Supply Trade-In Program
If you have any questions on the Garmin Sport PRO or the Tri-Tronics Sport Basic, please leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Michael Cassatt, Director of Marketing
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