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Garmin Rino 120 GPS and FRS / GMRS Radio

in Navigation Gear & Accessories

Average Rating
2.00 / 5 (1 reviews)

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Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Garmin Rino 120 GPS and FRS / GMRS Radio on 01/21/2007 14:53:49 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

Great Idea, lacking implementation.The premis of the Rino family is that it would be great to know where others are via GPS location. Great Idea. This is accomplished by using FRS radio frequencies in the built in walkie talkie to to digitally transmit that location. Each time you press the PTT button, your position is transmitted to similar units.
Further, there is a map capability in the GPS with a reasonable size display.

The big problem with this unit is the implementation. They use the lower powered FRS instead of the GRMS radio channels. While they claim "up to 2 miles" of range, we found this claim dubious except when in very clear line of sight, when we didn't need a GPS to know where the other parties were located.

In any area where there is moderate or heavy vegitation, the "up to 2 mile range" was closer to 1/4 - 1/2 mile. In light vegitation (a few trees on otherwise clear landscape), the range was never over a mile. This puts their use in question when used for safety or security. If you used these when hunting, you could be in for a big surprise when you find our hunting buddy was not where you thought he was (It keeps the last position reported when it's not strong enough to report the current.)

When we brough this up with the factory, we received a "PR" response, indicating they use the most power allowed by law and thanks for our interest.

The idea is good, but the real world useful range on these otherwise expensive radios makes the entire exercise somewhat moot.

I'd give it a 1, but the GPS function by itself is worth something, albeit in an otherwise expensive package for the useful functionality.

At ~$250 each, you can buy a very nice eTrex with money left over.

Edited by eaglemb on 01/21/2007 14:59:01 MST.

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