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Garmin Alpha 100 Australian Hand Set

Hey Guys,

Just putting feelers out there at the moment to see if anyone can point me in the right directon to getting some firmware hacks done for a Garmin device I have (Alpha 100 dog tracking device).

At first ill give a bit of background on the product and why I am wanting to change a couple of the settings within the firmware.

The Alpha 100 is a device that tracks up to 20 dogs through the use of GPS and VHF. It has been available in america for some time but Garmin have only recently come out with an Australian Legal version. The American version is Illegal here in Australia under current radio communication laws due to the power output of the device. Plenty of people were importing and using them as the Aus authorities don't really care, however garmin has just released an update which Geo-Locks the device from only working in America.

To get the device legal so that it was authorised for use in Aus, Garmin reduced the power output on the device from 2W (American Hand Held) to 100mW ( Aus Hand Held). This is where the problem lies. While it is a fantastic bit of gear, the reduced power output has reduced the tracking ability of the device quite considerably. While it is not problem to get 3-4 mile range with the America System, Distances on 1 mile or less are difficult to achieve with this device.

Over the past few days I have spoken with a few distributors here and they all agree that this would be a setting within the firmware of the Garmin device altering the power output.

Basically my question is, does anyone on here know if it would be at all possible to crack the firmware and alter this one setting, and if so could someone please point me in the right direction of having it done.

Ideally I would like to pair up with a Garmin distributor here and put some time into this as these devices are widely used in Australia for hunting dogs and it would be very worth while being able to get some extra power out of this device.

Thanks in advance!!!


  • Tim 1479 Points
    This is a conversation that is on the border (no pun intended) of acceptable for this forum because it involves circumventing laws, or provides instructions on how to break licenses.

    With that said, and having knowledge of Garmin's firmware, you are unlikely to be able to do this in the manner you would like. It isn't as though there is some sort of preferences or settings file that can be modified. This is something hard written into the firmware's code, then compiled. Short of having the source code and recompiling (which I've never seen done) I don't think it is going to happen.

    But if, as you say, earlier firmware versions didn't have the gofence to lock the power.... then that is a direction you might consider and could be the only reasonable way to get the results you are after.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    There's an archive of old Garmin firmware on this site, no idea if it would have the version you need.

    If the device is, in fact, illegal in your country then it's hard to imagine that a "garmin distributor" would get involed. They would be risking their whole business,
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