Garmin Charges into the Two-Way Radio Market with ‘Rino’ GPS Devices

Garmin Charges into the Two-Way Radio Market with ‘Rino’ GPS Devices


Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., today introduced its first two GPS-enabled handheld devices for the Family Radio Service (FRS) and high-performance General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) markets — the Rino 110 and Rino 120. These GPS devices integrate radio functionality to provide two-way voice communications up to two miles using FRS channels and up to five miles using GMRS channels.

Inspired by the distinctive offset FRS and GPS antennas that give the devices its Rhinoceros-like appearance, Garmin designed the Rino series as powerful, robust Radios Integrated with Navigation for the Outdoors. They are also the only waterproof two-way radios on the market.

What really separates the Rino from the rest of the FRS/GMRS herd is the ability to “beam” your exact location to another Rino user within a two-mile range.

Garmin has received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission, making it possible for the company to provide “peer-to-peer position reporting” on the Rino series using the FRS spectrum. Garmin also has a patent pending on this technology. So you can transmit your location to a friend or family member, and they can see the distance and bearing from your position to theirs on a Rino display. In short, this could be a life-saving feature in an outdoor emergency by helping rescuers pinpoint your location or it could be used simply for rounding up the family at an amusement park.

“We have brought together two great technologies in the Rino to deliver a compact communications and navigation device to outdoor enthusiasts,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of marketing. “This rugged device is for everyone who prefers to travel light, but who wants the safety and comfort offered by a GPS device with FRS/GMRS capabilities.”

The Rino boasts GARMIN’s traditional tough, lightweight and waterproof design to handle the rigors of any outdoor adventure. And because the Rino has standard FRS capabilities, you can talk to friends or family who own conventional FRS radios. The Rino goes beyond the normal two-mile FRS range to support additional voice communications capabilities using GMRS, delivering a range of up to five miles.

The Rino 110, in its bright yellow case, will offer standard FRS/GMRS features like 22 channels, 38 squelch codes and external voice activation (VOX). It also incorporates GARMIN’s powerful 12-channel GPS receiver for position accuracy of less than 10 feet when enabled to receive enhanced GPS data from the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). The Rino 110 has standard navigation features like extensive waypoint storage, TracBack technology, multiple position formats (including MGRS and Loran TD) and a built-in trip computer.

The olive-colored Rino 120 takes all the features of the Rino 110 and adds a basemap of North and South America that includes major cities, highways, thoroughfares, rivers, lakes, coastlines state and national borders, and railways. The Rino 120 has eight megabytes of internal memory for downloadable cartography from GARMIN’s exclusive line of MapSource CD-ROMs — providing topographic, bathymetric, and street-level map information. It also incorporates a voice scrambler for secure communications and a vibration mode for “silent” calls from other Rino users.

Other specific features of the Rino 110 and Rino 120:

Ergonomic design for one-hand operation, with Call, Press-To-Talk (PTT) and Mode buttons on the side, Power/Backlighting button on top, and dedicated map zoom buttons in front
Centrally located “click stick” allows for channel selection and volume adjustment in FRS mode and quick map panning, enter and selection functions in GPS mode
Quad-helix GPS antenna and 12-channel parallel receiver for accuracy of 20 feet or less in normal mode, 10 feet or less when WAAS-enabled
Waterproof construction to IPX-7 standards (immersible in one meter of water for up to 30 mins.)
Storage of up to 500 waypoints, with graphic identification, and 20 reversible route
More than 10 position formats and over 100 map datums
Trip computer with speed tracking, sunrise/sunset read out, trip timer and trip distance
Clock, stopwatch and alarm functions
High-resolution display with 160×160 pixels
Battery life of 15 hours (typical use) on three AA batteries
Backlit display
Lightweight design: Rino 110 weighs 8 oz., while the Rino 120 weighs 8.5 oz.

The Rino 110 and 120 are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2002 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $211.25 and $311.25, respectively. The Rino 110 will ship standard with a lanyard, belt clip and user’s manual, while the Rino 120 package will also include a PC interface cable.