Dogtra T&B 2500
It will be a very long lunch if you are waiting for the Alpha to recharge. I own a unit and it takes a couple of hours. Any engineer worth his salt will design a charger that won't compromise the battery lifetime (charge/discharge cycles). The Alpha has Li ion batteries and the charger must stop supplying current when charged or you will stress the battery, and I'm sure Garmin's does that. You also don't trickle charge them in the classic sense used for lead acid batteries but provide an occasional topping charge. NiMH batteries have other issues. I really like the Alpha but the unit is heavy and the collars are massive.
Your analysis is right on the money, it's the reason I use the older Dogtra dual collars most all the time. Sense I did not test this DT1450 collar for the DT company, I tested it for myself to see how it actually stacked up against the older Dogtra T&B Dual Collar units. The advantage is you can run three dogs with this DT 1450 unit. Not real big on the Remote Control strapped on the hand. I will re-engineer it to hang on my Vest, if the 9V battery constantly needs replaced as I work training or hunting, I will sell it. If the 9V battery lasts a long time, I will keep the DT1450 for training and handling my medium to short running Grouse dogs. The big running dogs will have the old Dogtra Dual units on them. If I could find some additional older 1850-2000 T&B dual collar units I would pick them up also.
Dave B. - L.C. Smith Man
I will be using my new 2702 T&B unit this Spring and I will let you know how I like it. I didn't get a chance to work it into my hunting season which, by the way, ended today. The problem with more than 2 dogs is that usually the mechanism is a toggle switch which you can flip by feel. The Alpha can run some large number of dogs but you have to look down at the unit to select that dog for correction, if needed. Other units have some other combination of switches or buttons to get to the 3rd dog. Not a problem for me, since I have (and will only have) 2 dogs.
Looks like a Costco membership is in your future for cheap 9V batteries. You probably could buy some rechargeable 9V's and try those to not have such a big waste stream if battery life is poor.
The 9V rechargeable batteries maybe the way to go, especially the better one's that stay charged for a long period of time. Still you need to eventually keep switching them in the HHRC. We will see how this works come next fall when we really get super busy.
Good idea however!
Dave B. - L.C. Smith Man