Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Note on the Garmin Astro in Canada

Use or possession of the Garmin Astro in Canada is forbidden by federal law. The bandwidth used by the Astro has been reserved for Canadian government use. If you are heading to Canada, leave the Astro home. No sense in irritating the Canadian government, is there?

EDIT: Craig over on ChiendogBlog has done the research (he's a Canadian, so they are more likely to talk with him...) regarding the exact nature of restrictions on the use of the Garmin Astro in Canada. Check it out HERE. Thanks, Craig!


Andrew Campbell said...

No sense in upsetting them for sure. They still get pretty pissed for having to apologize for Bryan Adams 'on many previous occasions'.

That's a good factoid to file in the brain, nevertheless.


Craig Koshyk said...

I've done some digging about the Astro in Canada and have posted a long winded explanation of the situation on my blog at

Bottom line: Use or possession of the unit is no "forbidden". Nor is the frequency used by the Astro reserved for the Gov.

The unit is not approved for use in Canada due to a couple of factors. I go into more detail on the blog and offer some advice/insight into the nature of the problem up here.

Craig Koshyk said...

oops, sorry for the typos.

Oh, and double sorry for Bryan Adams and please, please forgive us for Celine Dion.

Mike Spies said...


I received this information two weeks ago directly from AFTCA Region 11 Trustee Torben Hansen when he returned from the AFTCA summer meeting of Trustees who had investigated and voted to approve the Astro for FT use . Torben told me that the bandwidth that the Garmin Astro uses is reserved for the use of police in Canada.

I will read your post on your blog, and amend what is written here if required.

Craig Koshyk said...

The bandwidth that the Astro uses is the MURS (multi use radio service). In the US, it is open to the public, in Canada, you need a license for each devise that broadcasts on it.Anyone can get a license for an approved devise. Farmers, ranchers, pizza delivery services all use the MURS...with the appropriate licence AND approved device. In some areas, there are rural fire or maybe police depts. that for some reason chose to license their devices for MURS use. So, in theiry at least, I could buy a license for MURS and set my Astro to use it...but here's the rub: The Astro is not approved for use in Canada. So, like some radios or even walkie talkies that are sold in the US but are not approved for use up here, I cannot use it on the license. It is a sort of catch 22. If Garmin would just get the Astro approved for use up any other radio that uses MURS, hunters could go ahead and license a freq. and head to the field. But Garmin has NOT got the thing approved. I figure it is because they know that the regs are going to change to a free for all up here soon (5 years?) and that Canada is too small market that it really is not worth going after right now. Too bad. I really want and Astro and will probably buy one for use in the US only.

Hey tri-tronics? You listening?

Craig Koshyk said...

I've finally gotten to the bottom of the Astro issues in Canada...I think.

I've posted an update to my blog:

Wow Thinking said...

Call at 1-916-209-6500 Customer Service Contact Garmin Phone Number Canada and Visit our web for GPS Technical Support Phone Number Canada Ready to Call at 1-916-209-6500