Rino GPS/Two-way Radio

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rebecca francis

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Do any of you have any experience with the Garmin Rino series of GPS/Radio?

If so what do you prefer and why? I am looking at the 655t. Also, is it worth getting the one with the preloaded topo maps or is it better to just get one and load your own topo maps?
 

RosinBag

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I use the 530 CHX and have not had any issues with them. I use the Garmin rechargeable battery and it will last weeks even with daily use. I would do your own map loading. The memory is only so much, so I download the maps I need based on where I am going. And these are the topo maps, not the road maps. I would recommend a color screen as it makes reading the lines on the map easier. Without color a river or creek can look just like a elevation line. Mine is also several years old, so I am sure the new ones can do lots of cool things, but a good mapping system and the 5W capable radio is all I need.
 
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rebecca francis

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I use the 530 CHX and have not had any issues with them. I use the Garmin rechargeable battery and it will last weeks even with daily use. I would do your own map loading. The memory is only so much, so I download the maps I need based on where I am going. And these are the topo maps, not the road maps. I would recommend a color screen as it makes reading the lines on the map easier. Without color a river or creek can look just like a elevation line. Mine is also several years old, so I am sure the new ones can do lots of cool things, but a good mapping system and the 5W capable radio is all I need.
Thanks for the input. So, what scale of maps do you generally use and where do you get them? Are the garmin maps better to get?
 

7mag.

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Buckley, Wa.
There is a lot to learn with those units. I also have the 530 CHX, and I love it, but be careful, if you leave the radio function on, especially on one of the 5 watt channels, they eat batteries quickly. The GPS is the best I have used, I get signal almost instantly, in my house or in the timber, where ever I am. Accurate too. The GPS/radio feature is really handy when you want to find your partner, if they have one also, as your GPS will show their location when they last keyed the mic. I've used this feature several times in the dark to find a buddy with an animal down. I can't help you with the maps, because I haven't downloaded any yet.
 

HockeyDad

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Littleton, CO
I have a pair of the Rino 130's and also a GPSMap60csx. The rino is a great concept, but they eat batteries like there is no tomorrow. They were good for the first couple years when hunting with my son/daughter so I could keep tabs on them and made then feel a bit 'safer'. If they could get the batteries to last a lot longer (My 60csx can last for a whole 6-7 day trip if I only turn it on periodically during the day) it would be great, especially the 'track your buddies' feature.

I use the rino now for the weather radio capabilities! Leave it in camp so I can get a general idea of the next days weather. If hunting with others, use a cheaper 2 way radio and establish call times throughout the day.

As far as maps - Load your own. I use the HuntingGPSMaps maps. They are 24K topo maps and are great - quite a bit of detail. They are tons better than the basemap or a lot of the 100K/50K maps that are available.
 
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RosinBag

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I use the Topo US Maps and they are 24K scale. They are about $100 for a region. I have 2 regions and the cover most of the western USA. They match up to most maps I have ever bought and compared them to and they have a function that lets you view your map on google earth. When you click on it, it takes you to google earth and shows the waypoints you have marked, along with any routes or other features you put onto your map.

The batteries are great for me, but I don't leave it on all day. Top of the hour for 5 minutes if I have hunting partners around, if not, it is only on when needed.
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks for the input. So, what scale of maps do you generally use and where do you get them? Are the garmin maps better to get?
I've been using a Garmin 530 HCX since 2007. They are great little units for sure. If you want a radio AND GPS they are a tough option to beat. The buddies I moose hunt with have them and really one only use the radio function after we heard someone shoot or someone is gone after dark. The problem on a backpack hunt with the GPS is you need two of them in order for them to be any better than a normal GPS. However, I do take them at times. One time retrieving my dads goat in some very sketchy terrain, Becca stayed above and let myself and my pops climb down into the crags to get the goat, it took longer than planned and the fog rolled in. I had Becca leave her Rino GPS on and I could poll her location right back to her in the shelter. Its good insurance, but this year for Becca's sheep hunt I don't envision spliting up, so we'll take the 5 oz Garmin Extrex 20 which is better for mapping and what not anyways over the 530 HCX I have and only 5 oz vs. 24 oz for two garmin rinos.

The Garmin maps of Alaska are good, but they are all only in 63K, would be nice to have 24K like the rest of the lower 48, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
 

pyroducksx3

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Feb 29, 2012
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Kitsap Co, WA
I have a pair of the Rino 130's and also a GPSMap60csx. The rino is a great concept, but they eat batteries like there is no tomorrow. They were good for the first couple years when hunting with my son/daughter so I could keep tabs on them and made then feel a bit 'safer'. If they could get the batteries to last a lot longer (My 60csx can last for a whole 6-7 day trip if I only turn it on periodically during the day) it would be great, especially the 'track your buddies' feature.

I use the rino now for the weather radio capabilities! Leave it in camp so I can get a general idea of the next days weather. If hunting with others, use a cheaper 2 way radio and establish call times throughout the day.

As far as maps - Load your own. I use the HuntingGPSMaps maps. They are 24K topo maps and are great - quite a bit of detail. They are tons better than the basemap or a lot of the 100K/50K maps that are available.
Try using the energizer lithium batteries. I had issues with the duracell batteries getting used up but those energizers last much longer.
 

bobhunts

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Colorado Springs,Co.
I've been looking at the Garmin Rino series also. The local rep told to stick with the ones with buttons VS the touch screen! Any advice as to that for those of you that have used both.
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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SE Wisconsin
I agree in using huntinggpsmaps.com vs the garmin maps.....if all you want is the 24k topo then garmin probably gives you more area for your money, however for about $120, you can download the plat map for the state you choose showing 24k topo along with showing where private land is and who owns it, national forest, state land, blm, wilderness, etc.....also shows roads, trailheads, trails, streams, and such that i would think the garmin maps also show

so i guess it depends on what you're looking for, i prefer huntinggpsmaps.com
 
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