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Garmin Rino 120 In Emergency Service

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  • ffexpCP
    replied
    From the discussions I have read previously on the Geocaching forums, the Audiovox unit is nothing when compared with the features of the Rino. I love my Rino 120, and this thing looks very limited in its capabilities.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    Originally posted by JonPearl
    Here are a few of the hard-core GPS groups that can and do have the capacity to give you real world results eminating from the use of these products --

    552 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/garmin-rino/
    1251 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GarminGPSpublic/
    3113 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GarminGPS/




    Fraternally,

    Jon Pearl
    Amateur Radio Station - W4ABC
    "Harley Davidson Firefighters"
    http://www.hdfirefighters.homestead.com/

    Thanks for the links Jon.

    I will pick their brains and see what they think.

    I did go ahead and order 2 of the audiovox GMRS units, 60$ a piece. I will try to report back with our test results in a couple of weeks.

    Hopeing for the best.

    Leave a comment:


  • JonPearl
    replied
    Here are a few of the hard-core GPS groups that can and do have the capacity to give you real world results eminating from the use of these products --

    552 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/garmin-rino/
    1251 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GarminGPSpublic/
    3113 members, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GarminGPS/




    Fraternally,

    Jon Pearl
    Amateur Radio Station - W4ABC
    "Harley Davidson Firefighters"
    http://www.hdfirefighters.homestead.com/

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    Originally posted by nmfire
    Just keep in mind the legality of those. They are GMRS radios, it is up to you wo license their use or do it illegally.

    True enough. I dont think we will bother with the license for the test period. I dont want to get a GMRS license and then find out that it is a worthless system. So, I do admit I will be pirating the airwaves for a month or two with a couple of these just to try them out.

    Another thing to consider is that we wont be doing much voice communicatoins on them. Very likely zero voice communications. My theoretical SOP with these is to use them as a GPS with the added postion reporting. If the IC wants a check in, you would just key the transmit button, not say a word. Your postion report would go out to all of the other units and to the IC, and you didnt even have to say "can you hear me now'.

    Normal radio coms would be on our current high band system.

    I did mention that we cant get all of our guys hand held high band radios, but that is not what these would be replacments for. Heck you can get FRS/GMRS radios (no GPS features) for <5$ a pair on Ebay. You could easily aford to have them every where. They may end up as our on scene tactical radios someday, but we have to do a lot more testing at this point.

    We plan on getting together with our personal radios during future training to test this out further and see if they are worth haveing around.

    Back to the GPS equiped radios, if they work as advertised or well enough to pass the test phase, I supposed we will have to evaluate our options.

    IIRC it is 75$ per license. This plus the 60$ (found a cheaper website) for the unit is still very afordable, and cheaper then a RINO 110 or 120.

    I know that there are a good number of our members that would like to have GMRS licenses, and there might be a few of them already have them. Ther are a LOT of FRS radios that our guys have. They are an outdoorsy bunch, and use them a lot camping. We also have 6 circle track racers that have probly 30 FRS radios amongst them, for the pits, family in the stands, car to pit coms, etc...

    There have been a number of these guys talking about moveing to GMRS for the slightly better range. It is realy an illusion to think that you are going to have you own private frequency. The people that buy FRS/GMRS dual purpose radios at Walmart and dont read the fine print soon end up on the GMRS airwaves. They notice how much better channels 15-22 are, and just use them, not even aware that they are pirates.

    I am not expecting the world of these things, but I am an optimist, so we will keep our fingers crossed eh?

    There is such a flood of comsumer electronics comeing down the line that soon there will be stuff like this on every unit with way more capabilities. Frigging Star Trek Tricroders!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • nmfire
    replied
    Just keep in mind the legality of those. They are GMRS radios, it is up to you wo license their use or do it illegally.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    Since they are only 70$ we are probly going to get a couple to try out, cant go to far wrong at that price. At the worst at least you have a couple of GPS units if nothing else.

    Thanks for the input, I am planning on looking into more info on the APRS appraoch, that would be ideal. We would not want them on hand helds, just vehicles.

    Leave a comment:


  • nmfire
    replied
    That is no different than the rino except it has an addition 1.3 watts. 1.8 watts and 5 miles is just like the other FRS/GMRS radiso... ADVERTISING BULL$HIT. Again, if you are in the great plains or Nevada salt flats, you MIGHT get 5 miles portable-to-portable with those toys. And that is if you happen to be on top of a roof holding the radio up in the air and yelling into it. You described your area as containing lots of hills and rather large. It won't work reliably. Oh yea, GMRS portables are legally allowed up to 5 watts so that 1.8 watt thing is nothing to brag about.

    As far as setting up an APRS type thing, in theory, yes you can do that. Doing it with a mobile (vehicle mounted) is easy. Doing it with a portable isn't so simple. You would need wires going all over your belt for the modem and GPS and you'd have to hotwire it into the speaker-mic somehow meaning you couldn't actually use a speaker mic. Software is readily available free on many ham radio websites.

    As for legality on commercial radio bands... I'm not totally sure. Using a databursts for Unit ID is perfectly leagal (ie- Motorola MDC1200, GE Star, Kenwood Fleetsync, etc). The databurst used here certainly is an ID but it also has the location data. The databurst isn't really much longer than an MDC burst either. I don't envision it being a problem and seeing that you have no co-channel users to worry about, I don't forsee anyone complaining anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    AWSOME FIND!!!

    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/shoptron...m15chgmgp.html

    GMRS GPS reporting, 1.8 watts, and only 70$!!!!!!!

    That is almost to good to be true!!!

    What do you think of this one?

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    Originally posted by nmfire
    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.
    OK, got it.

    Do you know of FCC regs regaurding data transfer in emergency bands? I know that they regulate this on some bands, for instance GMRS. That is why the RINO does no PTP position on GMRS, they even had to get an exception from the FCC to transmit data on the FRS band.

    So, say we want our entire fire district (740 square miles) and our mutual aid area (approximately square miles) on a digital map with real time GPS tracking and PTP postioning all for much less then what a Motorola (or some such brand) emergency service purpose built unit would cost.

    We could in theory set up data transfer through our high band radio system, includeing repeaters, which would give real time telemetry of our fire units.

    Equipment needed in each unit would be (please correct me if I am wrong):

    - GPS unit
    - APRS or some RF modem
    - Laptop loaded up with overlaid topo and road maps (obtained from our dispatch center, IIRC the have this sort of system)

    We could in theory do this for under 1000$ dollars a unit, I think.

    It should result in real time mapping for the unit, complete with topo, road info, and hopefully some ownership info depending on our map software.

    Also, in theory, if I am think this through correctly, each unit would have all of the tracking info from all of our other equiped units. They should be able to see who is where and such. This would make the Chief giddy with glee! He could keep very close track on all units, and have a good picture of whats up.

    I know that there are pupose made systems for this, but my God they are expensive. If we could do it for penneys on the big time doallars it might just work.

    I will have to talk to our 911 Director to see what sofeware compatablity issues we may run into. I know there are ways to get the fire location info directly to the units, but we are not set up for that in dispatch to my knowledge.

    If I am spinning off into outer space, please ground me, like I said, this stuff is mostly over my head.

    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • nmfire
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • nmfire
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cellblock776
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamsonFCDES
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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