The Garmin Rino 120 is an example of the whole being greater than the sum of the
parts. The device combines a powerful two-way radio with a GPS receiver in a simple
to use, handheld unit. The radio lets you communicate with any radios on the
same frequency, but when it's with one or more Rino users, the GPS receivers can exchange
The name for the Garmin Rino 120 is an acronym for Radio Integrated with
Navigation for the Outdoors. And the radio part of the device is a 14-channel
Family Radio Service (FRS) transceiver with a range of up to two miles. In
the product sold in the U.S., there's also eight General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
channels and eight GMRS repeater channels. Use of GMRS requires a FCC license
but can extend the range up to five miles.
The GPS part of the Rino 120 consists of a 12-channel GPS receiver which
can use Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) signals or Differential GPS (DGPS)
information. For DGPS processing, a beacon receiver is also required. GPS position
accuracy is less than three meters when a WAAS signal is present and less than
five meters when using DGPS. The receiver has a built-in basemap showing general U.S.
road detail. Also, 8 MB of memory is available for downloading map data of your
choice using the supplied PC interface cable.
The radio and receiver are contained in a waterproof case measuring just
4.5" H x 2.3" W x 1.6" D. And the radio antenna adds another 2.5" to the height.
The Garmin Rino 120 uses a high-contrast, 4-level grayscale LCD. The 1.4"
square screen has adjustable backlighting and contrast to make it readable under all
light conditions. A large rocker button controls the menu pages and selections
displayed on the screen.
Operation of the Rino 120 revolves around four main information pages.
The radio page shows your user ID and symbol, the channel you're using, and
the squelch code. Your chosen ID name and symbol are also displayed
on other Rino units when you communicate with them. Squelch codes let
you communicate only with people using the same channel and code, while
blocking others on the same channel. On the radio page there's also a scan
and monitor option. The scan option searches user-selected multiple channels
for voice activity. And the monitor option checks only one channel.
The map page shows your present position along with the geographic details
of the area, such as roads and towns. Zoom keys on the Garmin Rino 120 let you
adjust the map scale for greater or lesser detail. Also on the map page is a
wide range of optional navigation information. You can choose to have displayed
such things as your heading, speed (horizontal and vertical), distance traveled,
and the time to your destination.
The navigation page of the Rino 120 gives you a snapshot of basic guidance
details. A compass shows the direction to the next waypoint and your current
heading. This page also contains optional data fields, like the map page. You
can choose to display up to five types of navigation information.
Like the navigation page, the trip computer page has default settings for
distance, speed, and time information. But once again, you're free to have
different data displayed.
The main menu page of the Garmin Rino 120 lists the sub-menu pages, which
let you set up and use various features. Among other things, you can check
on the GPS satellites, create waypoints and routes, set an alarm clock or
stopwatch, find the best times to hunt or fish in the area, or relax with a
Special features of the Rino 120 include a voice scrambler and position
reporting. The voice scrambler garbles the transmission to any regular radio
or other Rino unit with scrambling turned off. When position reporting is
turned on, your location is automatically sent to another Rino user when you
talk to them. Other Rino users who are monitoring the channel and squelch code
will also see your location information.
All the features of the Garmin Rino 120 have been packed into a device that
weighs less than eight ounces including batteries. Three AA batteries power it
for up to 14 hours, if the radio and GPS are both used, or up to 41 hours if only GPS
is used. There's also an optional cigarette lighter adapter and mount
for use in vehicles.