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Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Buford Boone » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:15 pm

During a typical hunt, how far does your dog run?

According to the Astro, my Brittany, Chick, has done up to 20.6 miles in one day. And those are HARD miles.

I kenw she went a long way, but had no idea she would go that far.

A short hunt for her is typically around 9 miles. Last Sunday, she went almost 16. I use the tracking freature to help judge how hard she has worked and how much to expect out of her.

This is my second year with the Astro. I bought the DC30 upgrade this year. Yes, it is far better than the old DC20 but I have since discovered (on this forum) that whip antennas are available to retrofit the DC20. I use the DC20 on other dogs that hunt with us and hope this $20 upgrade will make the unit easier to use.

The Astro allows us to always know where our dogs are and, most importantly, their attention to recall. If they are far away and coming back, the Astro tells me and prevents me from applying correction. It also tells me if she is ignoring my recall and I can apply the correction.

The Astro is an interesting device that gives me more insight into what is going on.

An interesting note, two friends and I wanted to go to a preserve on Sunday but the preserve didn't have enough birds for three shooters. I told the two friends that I would only work Chick and they could do all the shooting. That may have been the best afternoon I have spent in a long time.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby EddieF » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:45 pm

Wow that's amazing! I had no idea.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby wems2371 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:51 pm

I just got the DC20 and my dog did 25 miles in less than 4 hours--BUT we forgot to turn it off when we were travelling in the truck from one grounds to another! :lol: We're going out again this weekend and can hopefully get some mileage stats. Sometimes in the cover we regularly encounter, I think she does as much vertical (jumping) distance as forward.

Harness stunk and we just got the whip antenna, which works great. Cost $25 on Ebay, but I'm thinking they could be made a lot cheaper from Radioshack parts.

Like the Astro alot. This weekend we were in some too tall chest high cover and the dog simply wasn't visible. I'm okay with that to an extent, but the stretch of land we were on was pretty narrow. There was a gravel road a few hundred feet to our left and a tree line where a couple deer were flushing a few hundred yards to our right. It was good security to know that she wasn't in trouble with either, and we didn't have to keep calling her back.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Nebraska » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:35 pm

I caved and bought the Garmin Astra because my new pup likes to RUN and I couldn't bear the thought of losing her and having to break it to the kids. It's quite a relief as well as an eye opener!! I'll have to check her miles when I download the hunt to my PC but IIRC, an ~ 2 mile loop for me was almost 8 miles for her....

FWIW - I've been a Garmin fanatic for the past 15+ years but I was really disappointed in "Basemap" or lack thereof in the Garmin Astra. For as much as it cost, I felt it wasn't too much to ask to see local lakes/WMAs, etc. but it's pretty much just cities/highways/rivers (unless I don't have it set right). A protective cover/case would've been nice too but oh well..... :roll:

BTW - make sure to turn it on before your pup hits the ground!!! I forgot to turn it on right away and my pup hit the trail and was gone for ~ 10 minutes and I thought to myself "Great!! Somebody's going to get a brand new GSP pup with free Garmin Astra and TriTronics collars to boot!!" :wink:
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Devils Creek » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:11 am

My dog seems to be averaging between 8-9 mph in heavy cover, and so my figures line right alongside everybody elses. What really surprised everybody was the mileage horseback at the last trial I attended (Ardath Saskatchewan) where entries were down so we started at 8am Saturday, came back for lunch, ran in the afternoon, and again Sunday morning till noon. We covered a little over 54 miles in 1 1/2 days of trialling.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby natetnc » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:51 pm

i once heard a good estimate is 1mile per foot hunter = 3 miles per dog. how accurate do you find this estimate?
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:18 pm

natetnc wrote:i once heard a good estimate is 1mile per foot hunter = 3 miles per dog. how accurate do you find this estimate?


I heard the same thing. It would be interesting to see if some techno-freak-detail-oriented-scientist-type Astro owner has started logging the data to compile a dog/hunter distance ratio.

I know I would if I had one, because I'm crazy like that. :wink:
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby jsd245 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:31 pm

My gsp was doing 20 miles on a 3-4 hour hunt. When we were up in maine hunting in very rough cover for three days each day she'd slow down a bit and do less miles on each succesive day. Funny thing is, since she came out of her first heat she is much slower and methodical in her hunting. Now rather than 20 miles she'll do 15 or 16. She doesn't seem to bump birds anymore either.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby 56-26 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:12 pm

I never put any thought into how far they travel. But it is kinds of cool to know how far they really do go. I guess thats why my dog just lays around they house when we get back from a hunt.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby KFhunter » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:08 pm

I already have a Rino 530HCX https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=8523 It has radio to radio GPS polling, just like the Astro.

I wonder if they use the same frequencys? Wonder if I could just buy the collar for the dog and see her on my Rino?


either that or I could rig up a harness and a cheaper Rino 120, then she could hear me talk to her thru the radio :lol:
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Greg Jennings » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:26 pm

I didn't track total distance, just used the "Dog" mode to know direction and distance from me. Noted immediately that 1/4 mile is probably a LOT further than most people think.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Neil Mace » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:45 pm

I have found the Astro has shown my dogs are nearly as good as I thought they were;

Here are some facts:

Average speed - 14 mpm, max speed 24 mph, furthest cast 2,000 yards, average ( a guess) 400 yards. and yes, a quater of a mile is a long ways in most areas.

I had a couple of 1,000 yard productive points after some 1,200 to 2,000 yard moves.

But for the most part, when gone from sight, they are doing a lot more peeing and sniffing than hunting.

I liked my dogs a lot more before the Astro, but it does remove all doubt, and in the end I will have better dogs.

Not only can I know where they were when out of sight, but I can tell what they were doing.

It is a great tool, already approved for American Field Open stakes, and soon, I predict for amateur and AKC.

I would not turn a dog loose without one,

Neil
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby 47sgs » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:23 pm

I haven't used the astro and dc-20 yet to check total distance, just to keep track of where they are, and what they're doing. What a great tool. One of the dogs peeled the rubber cover off the antenna in heavy pheasant cover last week. I put a new one on, and now it only keeps track of the dog for about 100 yards. I may have tightened it too much, damaging the wiring in the unit, so will be sending it back to Garmin. Fortunately, I just got a cd-30 in the mail today, so I can check the astro to make sure it's okay. I'm going to get a collar like the one on the dc-30 for my dc-20, plus the whip antenna, so the unit will be under their neck instead of the hassle keeping it on top of the e collar. Then I'll be able to run two setters at once. I'll have to learn to use the tracking component so I can download to the computer to get all this distance information.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby MTO4Life » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:24 pm

My dog will run about 8 to 9 miles on a short exercise run. Have seen her around 16 miles on an afternoon hunt. Very cool tool and I can tell what she's doing and if she's running deer!!!! Wouldn't run her without it now...
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby jt807 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:45 am

KFHunter:

I contacted Garmin regarding wether the Rino and Astro were compatible - they are not. At least that is what they told me.

Interesting idea you have, I wonder how practical it is. You can get the 110s for a little over $100 each - so you could be rolling for a little over $200 + cost of the harness.

I am about to head up elk hunting with some 110s, I will see what their range realy is.

It probably wouldn't be as neat as the Astro - I know with the Rino 110s you have to manually request it to poll location, unless the other person is talking to you. And it will only provide a location update every thirty seconds. You wouldn't know if the dog was on point unless you polled twice, 30 seconds apart, and they hand't moved.

Wouldn't work as good as the astro to see where your dog is all of the time, but, it would handle the stuff like if your dog took off.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Flush » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:12 am

This past Sunday on a Hun/Sharptail hunt in Montana we had the dogs down for just a touch under 3 hours and my Setter ran 27.75 miles. That was really running, even for her. The cool part was she pointed Huns, Sharptail, and one lone Sage Grouse on that hunt. Bird contacts really help to keep them punching forward.

Neil Mace wrote:Average speed - 14 mpm, max speed 24 mph, furthest cast 2,000 yards, average ( a guess) 400 yards. and yes, a quater of a mile is a long ways in most areas.


Neil,
Curious over what time frame your dogs are averaging 14mph?
With our dogs (all-age and shooting dog bred pointer and setters) we will see average speeds of around 15mph but only when they are down for 30 minutes, maybe up to 1 hour. If they are on the ground longer, the speed slowly begins to drop of course. If we only let our hotter Setter or Pointer down for 20 minutes their "average" would be very high. I could put them down 5 times for 20 minutes each (with rests in between) throughout the day and each time the "average" speed would be very high, but thats going to be a very different "average" than running them for 100 minutes at one stretch of course...

In rolling country we often lose communication when they get over 600 or so yards (DC20s). Luckily those distances are pretty rare and even in open prairie country really not needed nor condusive frankly. Our biggest runner, my friends Pointer, has been over 1 mile more than a few times, but thats really questionable if that is a "cast" or just gone. He does always come back though.

-Flush
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Razor » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:45 pm

I like the unit but I question the range. I used it on a full blown all age dog in ND and KS. When he was rolling he was 1 to 1.5 miles away from me. At this distance I was constantly losing signal with him. I watched a little white dot go over the edge of a hill in ND. I walked to the last spot I saw him and found him standing a few sharptail. I did not pick up the signal until I was a couple hundred yards from him. I am sure the next few units that come on the market will be much better.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:58 pm

OK, a question for you foot hunters:

How far do you go, and how far does your dog go in a single outing?

I use a Rino to track the distance I walk during a hunt.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Flush » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:47 am

Over this past weekend in one 3 hour jaunt we covered about 6.5miles on that hunt My Setter covered 27.75miles and my bud's Brittany was at about 19miles.

Overall we covered 12, 14, and 11 miles each day over a 3-day weekend. I used to be a pretty avid hiker/backpacker and I don't consider those distances very far, BUT my feet were fairly sore at the end of each day and I know I burned some calories.

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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Buford Boone » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:32 pm

I've got use-or-loose leave so I took Chick out today. Some stats from the hunt:

Chick 12.55 miles
Chick's Avg. speed 6.35 mph
Me 3.12 miles
Total time 2:38

The more I use the Garmin, the more I enjoy having it.

It was a great fall day, punctuated by some good luck. I didn't even foul the left bore today. THAT doesn't happen often.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Neil Mace » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:22 am

Flush wrote:Neil,
Curious over what time frame your dogs are averaging 14mph?

-Flush


I never leave a field trial dog down longer than an hour and half, as you say they will start paceing themselves. We had 15 dogs up in SD, so we always had a fresh brace on the K-Mule, some were put down in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Not even the guys that run at Ames and the Continental will run very many braces longer than that, mostly they road.

There are two different long range antennas for the Garmin available for about $50.00, those with the car top one have reported maintaining signal at 20+ miles, otherwise you will loose it (with the new DC 30) at about a mile and quarter. I have found it to perform the same in Western TN and SD, I have not found that trees and such effect it much.

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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Flush » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:28 am

Neil Mace wrote:I never leave a field trial dog down longer than an hour and half, as you say they will start paceing themselves.


Ok good, I feel better now. At the end of that hunt we were thinking out loud what distances the dogs at Ames cover, I would think a fair bit more than my Setter did as she couldn't run with the "big dogs", then again Ames looks fairly tight in the videos I've seen so who knows.

We actually dabble in some AF trials, and with this new little Bad River bred Pointer might dabble even more, but if we were more serious about trialling we would do some things differently with the dogs. We certainly would still hunt them but would need to be a little more careful on a host of issues from manners to pacing themselves. Actually as it is we try not to run them much more than 90 minutes now but on this particular hunt it just kinda stretched out. I was pretty happy with how my little Setter was still ranging and running at the end, though she certainly does start to pace herself a bit by then.

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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Neil Mace » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:12 pm

As the Astro is apporved for Open trials and nearly every pro I know is trying one out, we should have the answer of how far and fast the dogs run at Ames this year, at least for some of them. Keep in mind, only a few finish the whole 3 hours. My guess is the top dogs will cover about 32 to 35 miles, or average 10 to 12 mph, depending on the number of finds.

The judges set a pace of about 4 mph, the handlers often much faster, but they loop back, so it is a guess for now.

There is much more to an All-Age dog than speed and pure distance, I don't find Ames as tight as most say, there are plenty of places you can show a dog two, even three fields over.

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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby gar-dog » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:54 am

I had a quick hunt for 2 hours yesterday in very heavy cover and the dog covered 8 miles. I would guess that 5 were in the first hour and 3 were in the second, but I didn't check. I will say I was beat afterwards! I would guess I trudged 2-3 miles - lots of brambles and thorns.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:36 pm

gar-dog wrote:I had a quick hunt for 2 hours yesterday in very heavy cover and the dog covered 8 miles. I would guess that 5 were in the first hour and 3 were in the second, but I didn't check. I will say I was beat afterwards! I would guess I trudged 2-3 miles - lots of brambles and thorns.


Why would you have to guess if you have an Astro? :?:

It should tell you exactly how far you and your dog went. RIght?
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby gar-dog » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:49 pm

You are right. But for the life of me I cannot find this info on the thing.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:20 pm

gar-dog wrote:You are right. But for the life of me I cannot find this info on the thing.


I would imagine that the Astro uses basically the same operating system as most of the other Garmin handhelds, which means there is a trip computer. I don't have an Astro, but I would be willing to bet it's detailed in the manual.

I would also bet that if you are using the MapSource software on your computer, that the track logs for both you and the dog can be transferred and viewed on the map. You can even view the track in Google Earth. I do it all the time, it's pretty cool - this was part of my track from a hunt this fall:

Image
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby gar-dog » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:08 pm

I found it - unfortunately it doesn't reset when you "start a new hunt" - so it had 104 miles - which includes NH and some driving between hunts up there. Thanks.
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby wems2371 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:10 pm

NJ Gsp, can you give a little more detail on how you got the Google Earth image? I have a Garmin Astro DC20 and am familiar with Google Earth. We just got the mini SD card to download from the Garmin to the computer, and have started to play with that, but my husband would really like to do the Google Earth view. That looks like an awesome way to view how you thought you/dog covered the field vs how it really went down. Thanks. Denise

PS--I'm really missing my Garmin. :cry: Got to use it 3 weekends, before the dog unit decided to turn itself off and not come back on. Garmin says it's probably a battery issue and will take 8-10 working days for repair. What did we do before Garmin? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:43 pm

wems2371 wrote:NJ Gsp, can you give a little more detail on how you got the Google Earth image? I have a Garmin Astro DC20 and am familiar with Google Earth. We just got the mini SD card to download from the Garmin to the computer, and have started to play with that, but my husband would really like to do the Google Earth view.


Sure - it's pretty easy.

After you upload your tracks into MapSource, they look like this:

Image

Go to the "View" menu, and select "View in Google Earth":

Image

By double-clicking on the track name, you will zoom into the track, and it looks like this:

Image

If you have more than one track on your GPS, you can load them all into GE:

Image

But, here's where it gets a little more complicated. It took me a while to figure it out, but only the top layer track will show. Here you can see that both tracks are checked off, but only the top one is being displayed:

Image

In order to view the other track, you have to turn off the ones above it:

Image

I haven't figured out how to get more than one track to display at a time.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby wems2371 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:59 pm

Wow, that's more help than I expected. Thanks so much. Denise
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Neil Mace » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:14 am

wems2371 wrote:PS--I'm really missing my Garmin. :cry: Got to use it 3 weekends, before the dog unit decided to turn itself off and not come back on. Garmin says it's probably a battery issue and will take 8-10 working days for repair. What did we do before Garmin? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Two things; when recharging the collar be sure the jack is clean of junk and is making contact, also only recharge when all the way discharged. Secondly, be careful when turning the collar on and off, I have heard reports of bending the internal on/off switch. I would think it easy to do, the button is too small for my fore finger, so I have learned to use the nail on my little finger so as to not depress it too hard.

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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:39 pm

wems2371 wrote:Wow, that's more help than I expected. Thanks so much. Denise


I've been asked the same question several times before, so I figured I'd go all-out and throw in some visual support. I hope it wasn't too much...
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby gar-dog » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:15 pm

NJ GSP:
Thanks alot for going through the trouble of putting all of that up. I did it today - and had no idea I could do this. With the Astro, it shows my track and Ginger's track. VERY COOL!
Happy Thanksgiving!
G
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby nj gsp » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:03 pm

gar-dog wrote:NJ GSP:
Thanks alot for going through the trouble of putting all of that up. I did it today - and had no idea I could do this. With the Astro, it shows my track and Ginger's track. VERY COOL!
Happy Thanksgiving!
G


Thanks! I'm happy you found the info helpful.

I tried an experiment with the Rino, and found if I saved the tracks under separate names, they will all display together in GE. However, separate tracks generated by turning the unit on & off it sees as one track - which is why you can only display the top level one.

I also discovered that in MapSource, you can cut a portion of a track, open a new track, and paste the data into the new track which allows multiple tracks to be displayed at once in GE. This is better as it saves the time data also. Saving a track in the Rino dumps the time data and retains only location and distance information.

And a happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
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Re: Garmin Astro Owners, how far does your dog run?

Postby Buford Boone » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:58 pm

I've given the Astro a lot of praise, now for some complaining.

We hunted today and I tried to transfer the tracks to my computer. According to the Astro, Chick went somewhere above 13 miles. When I transferred her track to the computer and tried to show it on Google Earth, It clearly showed everywhere I went, but did not show Chick in places I KNEW she had been. This is not the first time this has happened.

I went back to the Garmin software and it would not download the entire track. The Astro said she went 13 something miles (I don't remember exactly and it got erased later) but the transfer said only about 7. The map page also didn't show where I KNEW she had gone.

I tried to download her track directly from the DC30 but it got hung up and told me to "Delete Chick track 11 and reconnect". I deleted her track and reconnected and it then only showed where I walked.

As good as the Astro is, I don't think much effort (or informed effort) was put into making it easy to download tracks, etc. to your computer.

It is so non-user-friendly that I think I'll probably stop trying.

I'll continue to use, and enjoy, it in the field. I hope they improve the software in the future.
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