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Garmin Rino 120 In Emergency Service

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  • #16
    OK. A few things need to be said here before someone blows a lot of money on something

    1. Yes, the GPS telemetry thing is REALLY cool.

    2. You are NOT going to get 2-3 miles of it. They advertise 2-3 miles because if you had a brush fire in the Nevada Salt Flats and you stood on top of aerial tower, you could get two miles. If you are in the terrain you describe, FORGET IT!! 1/2 a watt with that pathetic stubby antenna isn't going to do jack.

    3. FRS channels are historiclly full of every child and their friends and parents playing hide & go-seek, cops & robbers, and any other game you played as a kid. They also go briskerk with the 3,000 different attention tones the various radios can generate.

    4. The GMRS channels have a little more wattage, probably 2.. MAYBE 5; I don't remember off hand. The law prohibits you from using these channels. You need a license first of all and they will not grant a GMRS license to a fire department. You could use it illegally like 90% of the other users but that is very bad form when it comes to a public safety entity.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Cellblock776
      I'd say start small. Buy one for each company/squad leader for now. Let everyone get used to the radios and have a little time to get hooked on them. It won't be long till some of your people just buy thier own radios and take it off thier taxes at the end of the year.
      Thanks for the links and input, I agree, start very small for evaluation. If they are bad, at least we have a GPS unit after the fact.

      It won't be long till some of your people just buy thier own radios and take it off thier taxes at the end of the year.


      This is a new one on me??? Could you elaborate a bit? I didnt realise that you could buy gear like that and take it off your taxes. Can you deduct the full cost?

      Thanks
      -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
      -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

      -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

      -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Dalmatian90
        If this would apply to the RINO, then you would be able to fix locations of any unit withing 2-3 miles. This should cover 75% of initial attack on most of our wildland calls,

        LOL...if we needed 2-3 miles on a brush fire, half the state and all the TV helicopters would be out here Thank goodness for terrain, fauna, and weather...Connecticut only sees a couple hundred+ acre fires a year. That said I've seen a handful of small areas go fast

        I see the point to the IC getting a fix on all the units automatically.

        Maybe you could contact Garmin's marketing department and see if they're looking for any fire departments to evaluate/demo them -- even if you buy the units at cost or something. Worth a shot before paying retail especially if you haven't seen them used like that before.
        That is one hell of a good idea! We would love to be the guine pigs! I will give that a try!

        Boy, I wish we had your problem with wildfire, we have very few fires that are under a hundred acres! The distance that our units can get spread out could easily out distance the range of the RINOs on a hard running fire. We are in Montana by the way.

        Here is a more extream example from recent time that comes to mind.

        2 years ago, Halloween night we had a prarie fire start about dark, winds gusting to 60MPH. It made a run of 15 miles in about 5-6 hours and ended up being 3 miles wide at the widest, it jumped a number of roads and highways, and was only stoped by a big backfire which nearly got away itself!

        The RINO position reporting would not have been that effective on a fire like this, but you still have the GPS feature and your high band radios to fall back on.

        For most of our routine fires, the 2 mile position reporting would be adequate, if it works as advertised that is.
        -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
        -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

        -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

        -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by nmfire
          OK. A few things need to be said here before someone blows a lot of money on something

          1. Yes, the GPS telemetry thing is REALLY cool.
          Right on. I have the feeling this technology will be a mini revolution of sorts in the GPS world.

          Dont worry, we are likely to only get 3 of them at first for testing. If they are crap, at least we have the GPS feature which has been getting good reviews from what I gather.

          I would realy like to see a high band version, but that may take a while and it would likely be much much higher priced.

          2. You are NOT going to get 2-3 miles of it. They advertise 2-3 miles because if you had a brush fire in the Nevada Salt Flats and you stood on top of aerial tower, you could get two miles. If you are in the terrain you describe, FORGET IT!! 1/2 a watt with that pathetic stubby antenna isn't going to do jack.
          I agree that this is a very optimistic range. I have gotten 3 miles out of my personal FRS Cobra brand radios, 50 dollar a set at walmart. They were getting scratchy at 3 miles but you could still communicate. If the RINOs end up being < a mile range, then the postion reporting is not going to work for our purposes.

          3. FRS channels are historiclly full of every child and their friends and parents playing hide & go-seek, cops & robbers, and any other game you played as a kid. They also go briskerk with the 3,000 different attention tones the various radios can generate.
          True enough. But, that is also one of the positives. All of the youth groups that I know of in our area use FRS and GMRS radios for their outings. Some are considering going with RINOs to aid in any possible S&R emergencies. While not a sure fire approach, they are better then nothing.

          We are considering getting FRS/GMRS radios for just such situations. They are too cheap not to have, just in case. FRS/GMRS is fast becomeing a legitimate tool for emergency services if for no other reason to rescue lost soles and such.

          I have read that some emergency services, dispach centers and such are at least getting scanners set up to monitor FRS and GMRS frequencies. This is in the even that there is an emergency and somebody only has a 15 dollar walky talky.

          Some sheriff offices have been buying FRS/GMRS combo radios for their patroll units. There are a lot of neigborhods that have their own little FRS radio network. They do neiborhood watch stuff and use them in emergencies. They are getting organize and some even have monthly drills. LE agencies have recognized this and are getting these radios to interface with such grass roots efforts.

          "Hey Bob, I heard something outside my window, look over in my front yard and see what you see." "Yeah Joe, there is and ax murderer in your lilac bush, he looks hungry" "Copy, Honey, dial 911 and bring me my shotgun" "Come on back Joe, this is Rosco P Coaltrain, ya got cher ears on?" "Roger that sheriff, we a have a fox in the hen house over." "Roger that Joe, on the way with bells and blinkers, hang tight good buddy!"

          Damn those Duke Boys, Damn them to Hell, they have forever scared my radio dicipline!!!

          4. The GMRS channels have a little more wattage, probably 2.. MAYBE 5; I don't remember off hand. The law prohibits you from using these channels. You need a license first of all and they will not grant a GMRS license to a fire department. You could use it illegally like 90% of the other users but that is very bad form when it comes to a public safety entity.
          There is nothing stopping us from licnseing them privately if we must. In the event of an emergency, I am sure the local Boy Scout group would not mind up useing their GMRS channel, especial if we were looking for a lost youth who may have such a radio!

          And, as I mentioned, we wouldnt be useing these all the time, they would be a distant second line tactical radio in the event of trouble with our high band tactical hand helds. While not ideal, they are better then a cell phone in our area, we have VERY VERY poor cell coverage. While a nextell emergency service cell would be a better second tier com system, we dont have that option. This is a remote occurance, but it has happned before.

          And to be honest, our area, rural Montana, has very little radio traffic of ths sort yet. There would likely be zero FRS/GMRS traffic when we are out on a wildland fire call. The only possible exception would be the land owner or reporting party, in which case it might be very beneficial to have some sort of communication with them, however limited.

          Our fire district covers 740 square miles and is very sparcely populated. We have pretty much congestion free airwaves, with CB on the way out, FRS/GMRS being used by a lot of ranchers and other groups, but not to the point of congestion.

          If we are on a interface situation or structure fire, we may encounter more radio traffic. But, as I mentioned, these are not our primary coms system.

          Which does bring up another issue. As things stand right now we cant afford high band radios for all of our FFs. This is only going to get worse with Project 25 compliant radios and their higher price. We are supposed to be going P25 radios since all federal agencies (USFS, BLM, etc...) are switching over. We are talking 5000$ a radio from here on out. We can MAYBE buy 1 a year on our own, and baring a grant it will be a very long process to get P25 for us.

          Which brings me back to the FRS disposable radios. If that is all we have available to equip every FF, then IMO it may just be better then nothing. Yelling and hand signals are not as good as a short range radio IMO. At least you have some non line of sight way to communicate, even though you may be limited to less then a mile.

          But enough jabber mouthing, I will just give you a small picture of what I envision with a RINO:

          Imagine a stand against an interface wildfire at a cabin with defensable space. Our heavy CAFS unit is parked arse to the fire and has 2 lines deployed to either side of the cabin, laid out can charged. A crew of 5 is deployed, squad leader (Captin if you will) has a high band hand held and is in motion moveing about the scene sizeing up. The truck operator has his headset on and is plugged into the truck radio.

          We only have 2 guys that have high band communications available, the other 3 FFs are relying on hand signals and yelling.

          Now give all them RINOs (or FRS/GMRS radios of any sort). You have your approxmately 1 square mile area with talkaround capability that does not reach out beyond your squad. You are not interfrearing with comand and control since your truck radio and your squad leader radio are not used for local squad tactics.

          The smoke gets thicker, turns into a fog bank. Out come the Hot Shields (which make yelling nearly impossible), the conditions are workable, but you can only see 5-10 feet in front of you. You have one guy on each line, your CAFS operator keeping an eye on the truck, and your squad leader remaining FF doing their thing. You have 4-5 people that likely can not see each other, but they have at least a basic but limited talk around ability.

          I see a lot of uses for these "disposable" radios in our area.

          And even better is the RINO with its GPS features. So many possibilities.

          I know that something better will come along, but is that not always the case?
          -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
          -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

          -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

          -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

          Comment


          • #20
            Just some links, a FRS/GMRS FAQ and some info on FCC licnes for GMRS.


            http://www.gmrsweb.com/gmrsfaqa.html


            http://www.gmrsweb.com/gmrsbarriers.html
            -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
            -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

            -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

            -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

            Comment


            • #21
              GRMS licenses do not cover "groups". Every single person would have to get their own license. A GMRS license covers the licensee and his immidiate family. Just keep that in mind, as long as you are willing to fork over the $75.00 each for the license. I get the impression that there aren't any other co-channel users anyway, but it is up to you.

              I agree the cost of "real" radios is outrageous, especially the Project 25 compient ones. Plus, any new license you get (analog or P25) will be Narrow Band and a lot of old stuff won't do that.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by nmfire
                GRMS licenses do not cover "groups". Every single person would have to get their own license. A GMRS license covers the licensee and his immidiate family. Just keep that in mind, as long as you are willing to fork over the $75.00 each for the license. I get the impression that there aren't any other co-channel users anyway, but it is up to you.

                I agree the cost of "real" radios is outrageous, especially the Project 25 compient ones. Plus, any new license you get (analog or P25) will be Narrow Band and a lot of old stuff won't do that.
                It is true that the RINO radio feature leaves much to be desired. The GMRS rules and regs are a likely hang up.

                But, when you consider it just as a bonus to a decent GPS unit, it makes the RINO a bit more atractive then just a GPS only unit, at least IMO.

                WOW, I didnt realise that the license was 75$ a piece!

                We do have a lot of related people on the department (no redneck jokes damint!!! ) so maybe we could get by with fewer licensed people.
                -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Resisting redneck joke...................

                  Maybe the FCC will buy into the whole "Brotherhood" thing of the fire service???
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by nmfire
                    Resisting redneck joke...................

                    Maybe the FCC will buy into the whole "Brotherhood" thing of the fire service???
                    LOL, or maybe the Chief could adopt all of us.

                    "Hi, Im Larry, this Darril, and this is my other brother Darril."

                    Here is an in depth review of the RINO:

                    http://gpsinformation.net/rino/rinorev.htm

                    Has anybody heard anything about this type of technology coming out for the fire service any time soon?
                    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Here is a forum discussion of the RINO.

                      http://ubbx.groundspeak.com/6/ubb.x?...8331&m=9146026

                      Seems like a lot of things have been fixed from the early models, the radios are improved supposedly.

                      It seems like a software driven system...

                      I am willing to bet that there will be hacks that you can find on the internet that will do interesting things to it...

                      Like bost the FRS transmit power to the GMRS range or higher...

                      Maybe even let you program in your own frequencies, OMG that would rock, being able to use our high band frequencies!!!...

                      Like alowing data transmission on non FRS frequencies...

                      LOL, most of these things are very likely FCC violations, but that never seems to stop the techies and hackers. I know that you can not transmit data on a GMRS frequency, hence the FRS only PTP positioning.

                      I have no idea what the rules regaurding reprograiming a RINO may be, but I am sure they run about 10,000 dollars and day and have some sort of life long ban attached.



                      "The FCC wont let me be or let me be me so let me see..."

                      God forbid we have afordable and effective communications!!!

                      Lets make sure we go Project 25 so we can sell off a fire truck just to be able to talk to each other!!!

                      Lets make sure that we dont have disposable electronics, we need radios that cost more then some of our brush trucks!!!

                      lets make sure we dont do things the easy way, lets keep it hard!!!

                      Sorry, end of rant.

                      This sort of thing is very frustraiting for small budget departments.
                      -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                      -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                      -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                      -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Samson wrote-
                        It won't be long till some of your people just buy thier own radios and take it off thier taxes at the end of the year.
                        This is a new one on me??? Could you elaborate a bit? I didnt realise that you could buy gear like that and take it off your taxes. Can you deduct the full cost?
                        ---------------------------------
                        Cellblock replies-
                        Generally any equiptment which is purchased primarly for your volunteer public saftey hobby can be claimed on your personal income taxes each year. Save your reciepts and have your accountant deduct everything posible. Got a shiney new red strobe for your dash? Claim it. Had to buy new steel toed boots to protect your feet? Claim it. Spending your own money to attend training or to maintain certification? Save those hotel, fuel and travel receipts and claim everything you can at the end of the year. Did you purchase high dollar items for use as a firefighter which don't easily lend themselves to civilian use? Claim them. Being a volunteer doesn't mean that you have to go broke. Take a look at how my car looked recently when I took the pictures for this webpage-
                        http://www.geocities.com/cellblock776/car .
                        The lights, the magnetic department signs and anything else department related can be deducted. Heck, if you use your cellular phone alot for fire department business you can get an deduction for the time you spend talking on it to your department. If I really wanted to get picky I could try deducting the Ham Radio gear with the Automatic Position Reporting System and the GPS which it is hooked to but so far I haven't. My REACT team uses this system during emergencies to assist emergency relief agencies.
                        Find yourself a good accountant to answer your questions regarding deducting work related expenses. I dind't have to look far. My mother is a retired IRS Field auditor who now runs her own accounting firm.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          That is a truely impressive vehicle Steve!!!

                          Some of our local cops are less well equiped!

                          Could you deduct the entire vehicle? Seriouly, that seems way more like a emergency service vehicle then a civilian vehicle.

                          Thanks for the tax tip, I will be sure to pass it on, it will surely be very welcome information for the guys. A lot of them buy significant amounts of gear for FF.

                          While our Vol department buys all structure gear and PPE, the one exception is wildfire boots. They give you 150 bucks to buy your own, and if you have ever tried to buy a pair of Whites Smokejumpers, you will be spending 350 or more for rough outs.

                          I would bet they could deduct the balance, or in theory they could.

                          How about RINOs? Do you think they could be deducted for a VFD?

                          Thanks.

                          Also, I have heard about the HAM position system. That is very cool stuff. Would it be possible to do that with our high band FD frequencies for a relatively afordable price?

                          This com tech stuff rapidly gets above my head so sorry if I am asking stupid quesitons.
                          -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                          -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                          -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                          -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The ham radio APRS can in theory be used anywhere on any frequency. You just need the a computer, GPS, and APRS modem hooked up to the radios in question. The price tag is signifficantly less than a similar system from Motorola and others.
                            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by nmfire
                              The ham radio APRS can in theory be used anywhere on any frequency. You just need the a computer, GPS, and APRS modem hooked up to the radios in question. The price tag is signifficantly less than a similar system from Motorola and others.
                              To be completely honest, this is getting a bit over my head.

                              Does the APRS modem mean you have to have wireless internet access?

                              If that is the case it is impossible in our area, we dont even have digital cell service, let alone reliable cell service of any sort.

                              But, in theory, you could take a low end laptop, a GPS, hook it up to you high band with the APRS gear and have a auto mapping tracking system, correct?
                              -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                              -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                              -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                              -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                No no no, no internet involved here. It is an RF modem that sends data over the radio frequency from one unit to another. Ham radio has a slightly more advanced infrastructure that involved bases and relay repeaters with connections to the internet. But you can send from on unit to another and from a unit to the base without all that. You only need the computer if you want to display a map of the unit locations. The system can operate without the computers.
                                Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                                Comment

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