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Field Testing is the Best Part – Development of TEK 2.0

Lance's setter Roxy showing some style in her TEK 2.0.

Lance’s setter Roxy showing some style in her TEK 2.0.

Vice President Lance Tracy was one of the first field testers for our new TEK 2.0 GPS TRACKING+E-COLLAR TRAINING SYSTEM. Lance put the system through the paces several times last season. He took some time to share his experience on our latest and greatest:

The best part of being Vice President of SportDOG Brand® products that are “Gear The Way You’d Design It® (GWYDI)” is…well it’s that I get to be part of making sure theyreally are GWYDI.  I know I’m not you. But we are kindred spirits in some ways. I, and the rest of the crew here, take GWYDI seriously and take immense pride in our brand and our products. We own and love dogs and we hunt.  I have two pointing dogs (English Setters Roxy and Ripley) and hunting quail with them is my #1 choice in hunting.

So, I got to spend some time afield with Rox and Rip and the TEK 2.0 last fall.  It was not in its final version. But it was so cool that I did not want to wait. Plus, the sooner we can get into the field with a product being developed the sooner we can learn what else needs to be done to achieve GWYDI. I used it on two quail hunts, one in MS and one in GA. I’ve been using our TEK 1.0 until now. The TEK 1.0 is awesome at both showing you where your dogs are as well as remotely controlling them. TEK 2.0 takes us another step and shows you on a map. A great map! Our map partner is Delorme.  If you know them, then you know their maps are awesome. If you don’t, check them out. Compared with TEK 1.0, the top 3 things I experienced were:

1. The updates on the TEK 2.0 were almost like watching the dogs move in real-time.
2. It had 3 times the operating range. Both the SportDOG Brand TEK 1.0 and Garmin products use a MURS band or 150MHZ technology and have similar operating range (the distance at which the dog’s collar will communicate with the Handheld). The TEK 2.0 uses a brand new 915MHZ channel-hopping technology (HopTek) that is less susceptible to interference and kicks butt when it comes to range.
3. It acquired satellites much faster using GPS+GLONASS.

A cool feature that was not done last fall, but is now, is voice location.  You can set TEK 2.0 up for hands free operation.  The Handheld will TELL you where your dogs are and what they are doing. Rather than staring at your Handheld, you might get a shot at that bird flushing wild.  Of course you still have to hit it!

The TEK 2.0 is one cool invention and is worthy of having SportDOG Brand on it.  It is GWYDI.  The engineering team here outdid themselves and the technology packed into it is incredible.  Rox and Rip didn’t notice the difference, but I sure did.

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5 Comments

  1. Tye Sonney
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Why voice location over a beeper on the dog collar that could be turned on/off via the handheld?

    • SportDOG
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great question. The TEK 2.0 tracks your dog so that you can actually see it’s location. The voice function just allows you to hear where the dog is instead of you having to look at the screen. A beeper is a great tool for tracking and one many prefer to GPS, but those that use GPS tend to be less interested in a beeper because the GPS is more accurate, and your dog’s ears aren’t exposed to the loud sound of a beeper. On our VOICE, the voice comes from the handheld on the hunter, not the dog, so it will report to you what your GPS screen is seeing.

  2. Tye Sonney
    Posted September 4, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I understand the GPS portion. I own a TEK 1.0. The one thing I don’t like about the 1.0 is finding the dog in heavy cover. It is difficult to look at the screen and walk through the grouse woods. I gave your company feedback to that regard.

    I am numerous hunting forums and many people use a beeper in conjunction with their GPS because most people seem to have trouble looking at the screen and getting to the dog in some cover. I was mostly curious about how you decided voice over a beeper. Lots of people use beepers but have never seen a voice update system in use on any product.

    • SportDOG
      Posted September 4, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The VOICE creation was actually a consumer generated feature. When we get out to shows, tests, hunting trips or just hanging with our ProStaff this is a feature that is always requested. It is not a feature that has been available on any other product before. This is something the market has been requesting since the invention of GPS and it’s one we knew we needed to fulfill in coming out with TEK 2.0. The beeper is not something that is requested as often, most likely because there are so many options available for beepers. We offer a stand-alone beeper, a remote beeper compatible with any of our systems, and a system including a remote beeper so it’s an instrument we respect and many of us use. This product was just about meeting the demands of our market. A lot of this is because some people run their dogs so big. Sound has a max range of 1/2 mile, which is absolutely great and even abundance for some people, but a lot of people using the TEK run their dogs big so the VOICE makes more sense in being able to hear where your dog is because on VOICE the update is issued from the handheld. On beepers it is issued from the collar of the dog. VOICE also eliminates completely guess work of where sound is coming from as it tells you the exact coordinates of your dog.

  3. Tye Sonney
    Posted September 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    OK thanks for the explanation. i have used beepers in the past. i will see what the reviews say about the voice updates. Thanks for the feedback.

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