Garmin Rino 110

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Garmin Rino 110

Any two-way radio let's you talk with someone, but the Garmin Rino 110 can also let you know their exact location. It's either a GPS receiver with two-way communication or it's a radio with a GPS receiver added. But however you look at it, this handheld unit is a great way to stay in touch when you're outdoors.

The communication side of the Garmin Rino 110 consists of a two-way radio operating on 22 (14 in Canada) channels. 14 of the channels are on the Family Radio Service (FRS) band and 8 are on the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) frequencies. Using the FRS channels you can talk to someone up to two miles away. GMRS channels let you communicate up to five miles, but GMRS use does require a license from the FCC.

In addition to the 22 radio channels, the Rino 110 has 38 squelch codes. The fancy name for the squelch codes is a Continuous Tone Controlled Squelch System (CTCSS). What they do, is filter out some conversations on a given channel. Regular radio communications can be heard by anyone on the same channel, but if you use squelch codes you'll only hear others using the same squelch code. This means that for any channel, you could switch squelch codes and talk separately with up to 38 people.

The GPS half of the Garmin Rino 110 is a 12-channel receiver that's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) enabled and Differential GPS (DGPS) ready. Position readings are accurate within 15 meters, or within 3 meters if WAAS is used. To create routes, the device can store up to 500 waypoints with a 10-character name and a symbol. There's a tracking log which records your path, preplanned or not, and you can store up to 20 tracks with 125 points per track. If your own waypoints aren't interesting enough, you can get the optional points of interest CD from Garmin. This CD has location information on businesses, landmarks, and other establishments.

When you're using the Rino 110 for navigation, you have a choice of three screen displays. The Map Page (only points are shown, not regular map details) shows your location, the area's waypoints, other points of interest, and routes. You can also have optional trip information shown, such as your heading, speed, and the time to your destination. The Navigation Page has a compass image with the bearing to your destination and your heading. Again there's space for displaying other trip information, such as how far you've traveled, the distance to your destination, or the current time. With the Trip Computer Page, you have seven fields for showing any trip information you choose.

Although you can use the radio and GPS features separately, the Garmin Rino 110 really shines when you use them together. The radio not only transfers voice messages, but can send GPS data too. With the polling feature on, you can get the location for other Rino users using the same channel and squelch code. Each location is identified with the first four characters of the user's ID and the user's symbol. You can also enable peer-to-peer communication which sends out your position, when you talk on the radio, to anyone monitoring the same channel and code. A contact list maintains the tracks of the people you monitor, and you can navigate to, or follow, their exact path.

Additional features of the Rino 110 include external voice activation (VOX), built-in worldwide city point of interest database, zoom and pan on the Map Page, a calendar page, an alarm clock and stopwatch, a calculator, and the best times for hunting and fishing by date and location. And if the outdoors ever get dull, it even has four video games to entertain you.

All these features are packed into a 4.5" H x 2.3" W x 1.6" D waterproof case. A 1.4" square, 4-level grayscale LCD provides the display. The screen has adjustable contrast and backlighting for use under all light conditions. The Garmin Rino 110 runs off of three AA batteries which can last up to 28 hours if GPS is used alone, or up to 15 hours if the radio is used too. There's an optional cigarette power adapter for use in vehicles.