Personal review of the Garmin 120 Rino

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Grumpy Gardener, May 15, 2003.

  1. Grumpy Gardener

    Grumpy Gardener

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    Mar 6, 2002
    Northern Sierras
    Working with the SAR team I had to get a GPS unit for fast location by the IC. Our team got a deal on the Rino 120 and I got the job of pushing the unit to find out how it would work for our teams. So far (2 wks.) here's what I've gotten out of the unit.

    Garmin gives 2 guides to the purchaser, throw the quick reference manual away. Get the video if you can, I got a copy through our SAR Teams Director and it covers some, but not all things. Read and apply the extensive guide page to page and you'll get the most out of your unit.

    120 has both FRS and GMRS radio frequencies. This is good but there are some issues. 1) If you activate the GMRS you must get an FCC license. This is (as some of you may allready know) a 75 dollar license good for 5 yrs. 2) I've found that the GMRS was not compatible with the Motorola Talkabout, whereas my Talkabout was picked up by like model at 3.5 miles...the Garmins was not. Garmin to Garmin has yet to be tested by me. 3) If you wish to use the 'Locator' feature you must disable the GMRS (by FCC demands) and changeover to FRS on your 120 and pop the locator feature, the feature will NOT work while you are on or working within a GMRS frequency.

    Punching in Long/Lat on the Rino was a cynch. Nothing to it. I found that establishing a route with the UTM, Nad 27 was not as difficult as I'd asked from the forum earlier. There are many various menus available while establishing waypoints as you develop potential routes.

    One thing I'd found was mandatory is that one must actively/physically move after they've used to the 'find-go' feature when either returning to or going to established 'waypoints' as the Sats (for one reason or the other) will not be able to direct your Compass if you stand still. I've found that working a tight circle of approximately an 8' diameter as I wait for the Sats to direct was useful.

    The Unit will hold your data of saved routes and waypoints as you change out batteries. Of the total time I'm not currently sure. Each route holds 50 waypoints and 20 routes can be established.

    I found that tracking is yet something I must master in the unit. The crumbs are visible but the director is yet to be figured.

    I've totalled 15 hrs on mine (with the radio functions off) and found that the batteries are yet to be 1/2 drained. YMMV according to the usage of the GMRS/FRS use.

    Downfalls? I'd have to say the toggle switch is not as sensitive as I would like it. The backlight feature should is not mentioned well at all in the directions. One must hit the on/off switch after the unit is turned on to adjust or to turn on the backlight switch.

    Other then that... I've found the Unit quite capable of my needs and have marked routes, waypoints and others w/ little difficulty.

    I highly recommend the Unit.