Garmin Rino 530
I think this product is awesome. All aspects of it work great. GPS can be increased in heavy cover areas by enabling WAAS. Two way radio works good to about 10 miles, about 5 or 6 if many obstacles.
Others say this isn't a good product, but I think that's because they don't understand a two way radio's operation. Two way radios work on line of sight. That's just the way it is. If you're in a ravine and the other person is on the otherside of a big hill/mountain whatever then you won't be talking. Only low frequency long range radios can conquer obstacles with ease. A high frequency two way radio must have at lease limited line of sight to work.
If you understand the limitations of a two way radio then this product is awesome. I love being able to have a two way radio/gps/ weather radio all in one. The weather radio you can darn near use in a cave, as it is transmitted at a very low frequency.
Price Paid: it was gift
I got this unit as a xmas gift from a very generous friend. Although this is well appreciated, Garmin has let me down with this handheld unit.
All reviewers in the magazine gives it the best of the year award. From my experience, I don't know why. It's an expensive GPS, has color screen, weather radio, memory for 58mb of maps, WAAS antenna, waterproof and rechargeable. These are fine and great, but for the price it's not true.
The quality of the electronics is negligible, slow to react. Can only store maps for one region ... not all of Los Angeles county fits. It cannot be used with a fast moving vehicle. The map does not redraw fast enough. The software does crash on a regular cycle. These are reoccurring problems the Rino has. Compatiblity is out for any Mac uses.
Overall it's an over hyped product, which other GPS receivers can compete with this well marketed product.
Also the instructions are next to laughable. I don't know who writes their stuff.
Price Paid: $375
This product is very misleading. The GPS works like any other GPS. The two radio and peer to peer positioning works worse than a radio shack two way radio. If anything is in the view between the two radios it doesn't work.
The peer to peer works off radio waves not GPS and only works if nothing is in the way. Typically you have a one mile range at best, not 3 to 14 miles like advertised.
The best place for these units is on flat wide open ground with nothing in the way of site. Mountains, trees, buildings all get in the way of the radio and peer to peer functions since it works off of radio waves not GPS.
Where to Buy
The Garmin Rino 530 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The latest generation of push-to-talk GPS, the Garmin Rino 520 enables communication and navigation using the same device. 20-channel FRS/GMRS compatibility allows you to stay in contact within a 12-mile maximum range, and points the way with a bold color screen, route retracing and 24 MB of internal map memory.
- Mountain Gear
Pinpoint your location and the location of other Rino two-way radio users in your party with this new Rino 530 GPS two-way radio with color display. This latest incarnation of the popular two-way Rino GPS radio system has 14-mile communication range with turn-by-turn instructions, electronic compass, barometric altimeter and NOAA weather receiver. It uses an exclusive position-reporting capability that sends and receives GPS positions to other Rino users in your backcountry party. The 530 has five watts of transmit power (GMRS) for a 14-mile range. Recently the FCC granted Garmin a special waiver for Rino series units to send GMRS data (using the GMRS frequency in the US does require a license in the US). The 1.7 x 1.3 in. color TFT display makes it easy to spot and track the location of your fellow Rino users (this is also a great feature for families in large amusement parks and unfamiliar urban cities). The 530 comes with Garmin's Americas Recreational Basemap and features automatic route generation, off-route recalculations and turn-by-turn directions with audible alert tones. You can also download other Garmin maps for Europe and Asia through the mini USB connection to your computer. Even if you don't have other Rino users in your party, you can use the electronic compass, GPS and barometric altimeter to help verify your position. Access to seven NOAA weather channels with audible weather alerts gives you a better understanding about the conditions around you.
- Altrec Outdoors
Each channel has 38 sub-audible squelch codes for semi-private conversations. Electronic compass provides your current bearing; auto-compensating declination adjustment. FRS channels utilize 0.5 watts for up to two-mile range; 5 watt GMRS channels provide 14 mile of transmission range (GMRS requires FCC Lic.). Fast USB connectivity makes loading charts and maps quick and easy; interface cable included. Follow your route, store up to 500 waypoints with graphic icons and 50 reversible routes; find your way back with TracBack feature. Fully functional GPS and integral radio provide two-way communications up to 14-miles using GMRS channels. Highly reflective color display provides easy viewing in almost any lighting conditions--even in sunlight. Includes: PC/USB interface cable, wrist strap, belt clip, lithium-ion battery pack/charger, A/C adapter cable, quick start guide and owner's manual. Peer-to-peer position reporting allows one RINO user to send their current GPS position to another RINO user within 2 miles. Powerful GPS unit comes loaded with North America Recreational basemaps; 56MB of memory stores map data from MapSource CD (sold separately). Precise barometric altimeter states current altitude, as well as your rate of ascent. Quad-helix antenna with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) enabled receiver can deliver amazing accuracy: within less than 3 meters. Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 16 hours of outdoor use. Stay on track and in keep in touch! Garmin Rino 530 has an extended broadcast range and sensitive barometric altimeter and electronic compass. Trip computer calculates current and average speed, sunset and sunrise, trip time and distance. Unique Click Stick for channel and volume adjustment in FRS mode; quick map panning, enter and function selection in GPS mode. Vibration mode for silent ring option, plus ten ring tones and four roger tones.