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Rino And Grms Radios


gm100guy
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Cool - looks like they will be licence exempt too - unlike in the US where you have to pay US$75 per year licence fee.

 

I see they are proposing opening up additional channels - the Rino 110 and 120 (not sure about the 130) currently doesn't support all the potential channels but those they do support should be enough. The unfortunate thing about the GMRS on the Rino though is that the FCC have prevented its use for transmission of location infomation (probably the neatest feature of the Rino IMHO) so if you want to do that you are stuck with FRS. I wonder a) what Canada will do in that regard and b ) whether Garmin will take any notice (i.e. incorporate that functionality in the product - actually I bet it would be possible right now with a firmware upgrade)

Edited by Geofellas
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Just get a local dealer to sell you a RINO GMRS is already on them you only need to switch it on in the Radio menu. Have one and been using it a 7-8 months now. Works well and does have a bit more to offer then the FRS radio. Also when I looked at bringing one in from the States it was not covered under warranty. The warranty work on them is performed in one of two shops in Quebec with a 3 - 4 week turn back to the consumer. Very happy with mine but it was gone for 4 weeks in Feb/Mar for work.

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Looks like it is going to official in Sept for the gmrs radios.

 

Someone I know at Radio Shack told me they will be having a big sale on there in stock frs radios soon to make room for the new ones they are getting in.

 

I have been using my combo radios from the states and find the range a bit better and find that I can hear others that are further away when I use the scan feature.

 

The other good thing is that when they picked channel 2 as the geocache channel it is on of the ones that falls under the boasted power channels.

 

:mad:

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Well to tell you all about GMRS in Canada, we have the US beat. For starters as mentioned before, it will be free for all (business/pleasure). Secondly, they have already stated that digital data can be transfered on the GMRS channels and at a better timing intervals than the US (ie location). Thirdly, I think from my reading of the documents issued at IC, that the output power is the same, but the radiated power can be higher than the US. And finally, Canada is already in the works of setting up repeater frequencies for the GMRS (1in/1out). So all in all i think we might have a better GMRS allocation then the US, now all we have to do is hope and prey that Garmin picks up on this and give us dedicated Canadians the full use of our units. The origional Canadian units will have a software upgrade for the GMRS freq. as I have been told from tech. Supp. last week when I received my 120 back from warranty work.

If anyone would like a copy of the official document from IC, I will post it in the fourm if you can not find it.

Owen

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A question if I may. Is a GMRS radio able to transmit/receive on all of the current FRS channels and at the boosted power? If so then potentially a FRS user could receive a GMRS transmission but not be able to reach the GMRS user with a return carrier.

I'm thinking back to the "old" days when CB radios were very popular. Some times all you could hear for miles were the illegally boosted units (not skip) and no way to get back to them unless you drove closer.

C-A, what say you! ;)

 

Cheers, Olar

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A question if I may. Is a GMRS radio able to transmit/receive on all of the current FRS channels and at the boosted power? If so then potentially a FRS user could receive a GMRS transmission but not be able to reach the GMRS user with a return carrier.

 

I think I can field that question. It is my understanding that GMRS radios can transmit on the FRS channels, but at the reduced FRS output power. Whether the manufacturer includes this feature is up to them.

 

As for GMRS, it uses 8 channels that aren't shared with FRS. On these, higher output powers are allowed and this power is determined by the application (but is always more than the 200mW-500mW of FRS units).

 

The most unique part of GMRS is that you are allowed to use Repeaters. These can extend range quite profoundly. Here's how it works. When talking unit-to-unit, you use a single radio channel to talk (transmit) and listen (receive). This is known as Simplex operation and the added power of GMRS will certainly extend useable range over FRS here. They also operate in what's called Duplex mode. This means they transmit on a different channel than they receive on. To make this useful, a Repeater station must be used. This repeater can simultaneously receive and transmit. It re-transmits exactly what its receiving. Normally the repeater is in an advantageous location to extend this range as far as possible. GMRS/FRS operate on UHF frequencies where height above ground makes profound improvements in range. A repeater could be located atop a 30 story building, a mountain, tall tower etc. In practice, even 25ft above ground can make a big improvement in range.

 

I don't know that there are any plug'n'play GMRS repeaters out there, but they can't be too far away. They are going to much more expensive than a pair of walkies though as very selective filtering is required to allow a transmitter and receiver to operate on the same antenna at the same time. It is my understanding that you can use non-GMRS radios to build up this repeater, but must adhere to the maximum output powers allowed. This is 5Watts in the USA, but I don't know what they plan on permitting here in Canada.

 

What would be really cool is to create a Geocaching Repeater. The only trick would be to design it in such a way that it would only be available to us. FRS is already frequented by yahoos using high-powered commercial radio gear (typ 25-45W) using it like a CB radio.

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

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I just read the Ind Can Spectrum Util Policy and it would appear only one channel is being allocated for repeater use and is in-keeping with the FCC guidelines of a "mobile repeater", which means limited antenna elevation above ground. Note that 10ft above ground on a large hill can certainly result in good coverage. ;) Also, only 7 of the FRS channels are available for GMRS use (channels 1 thru 7 which should keep Geocaching's channel 2 useful across platforms). Its not clear whether up to 5W is available for use on these FRS channels though. It notes that handhelds will be in the 2Watt range - which will definitely gobble through batteries with more zeal than the 500mW of FRS only units. I suspect GMRS radios will have provisions for low-power operation to increase battery life.

 

All said, UHF frequencies are really not that great for outdoor communications through foliage. Interestingly enough, FRS radios are good for about 28 miles unit-to-unit if the path is a clear line-of-sight with 60% 1st Fresnel zone clearance and a low ambient noise floor - perhaps even much distnace possible too. Fresnel what you say?!?! Radio waves need a much wider berth than visual (light is radio waves, unless you're talking partical theory here but we ain't!) so to achieve a clear radio line-of-sight over flat terrain at 28 miles will call for each unit to be elevated about 260ft above ground.

 

I'll leave it at that but can expand if necessary.

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

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Is a GMRS radio able to transmit/receive on all of the current FRS channels and at the boosted power

 

On my radios that I have are shared frs grms.

 

Channel 1 to 7 are boasted power frs/grms shared channels

 

Channel 8 to 14 are frs low power

 

Channel 15 to 22 are grms boasted power

 

Hope this answers your question.

 

My radios are Uniden from the USA.

 

;)

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ok, guys i have a set of motorola gmrs and here are my 'findings':

 

1)about the same cost as frs when compared feature for feature (mine $100 with charging kit and ear buds)

2)much better range in surban areas, my wife can raise me about 3kms from the basement to my truck on the road

3)power consumption is comparable with the other frs i have owned/used

4)there are 8 gmrs , 7 'frs/gmrs', and 7 'frs' stations

5)range as stated by manufacturer is grossly over stated(as always)

6)as for the rhinos, im not particularrly impressed by the unit. as with most hybrids they do both things ok but neither well

7)olar is right. my gmrs may reach his frs @5 km but his frs wouldnt necessarily reach my gmrs

8)my gmrs also has reduced power stations(ie the frs only frequencies)

9)i have used the local hydro repeaters to extend my range to nearly 25 kms(this was without their 'permission', but this will change as they will soon operate outside the gmrs frequency band), if want to increase the range get a real antenna

10)they still come with ni-cad recharageble batteries(WTF!!!)

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there is no external antenna jack, and that is another thing that bugs me--those rubber el-crapo antenna. im sure that there is a better solution.

 

Interesting. This is one of the stipulations for FRS - and many license-exempt transmitters. I'm wondering if the GMRS has FRS channels that external, or 3rd party, antenna are not allowed? Perhaps GMRS-only radios have provisions for external antennas? The reason I ask is that many license-exempt products use odd-ball connectors to get around this.

 

I'll have my FRS radio with me on Saturday. It looks disturbingly similar to a 4Watt commercial handie though. :blink:

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

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there is no external antenna jack, and that is another thing that bugs me--those rubber el-crapo antenna. im sure that there is a better solution.

 

Interesting. This is one of the stipulations for FRS - and many license-exempt transmitters. I'm wondering if the GMRS has FRS channels that external, or 3rd party, antenna are not allowed? Perhaps GMRS-only radios have provisions for external antennas? The reason I ask is that many license-exempt products use odd-ball connectors to get around this.

 

I'll have my FRS radio with me on Saturday. It looks disturbingly similar to a 4Watt commercial handie though. :anibad:

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

Well I couldn't resist especially since my pair of FRS radios did not take kindly to swimming in the Beaver River a month ago and I had to replace them anyway. So I am now the proud owner of a set of Motorola GMRS boat anchors, oops I mean radios (4 double A's, quite heavy). C-A the antenna looks as though it is a screw-on type but I cannot remove it. Don't want to force it and cause any damage. It's probably permanent and non-removeable. You can have a look on Saturday but no vicegrips allowed. :)

 

Cheers, Olar

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I was wondering if anyone gave the grms radios a try on the weekend and found if they worked any better.

 

:rolleyes:

ive been using mine for surveying the past couple of weeks and have found the to be excellant. i think the extra power must enable clearer communication over my general operating distances (1/2-5 kms) as compared to the elcheapo frs(optex, i think). the battery pack lasts about 1/5 days and being left on overnight. still pi$$ed over the nicad batterypacks though. for $110@radio shack i got the radios, battery packs, charging cradle and the hands free ear buds, i think crappy tire has the same set minus the ear buds for $100-$20 this week.

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if anyone is interested in 'bugs' with the motorola gmrs units, consider the belt clip as a piece of crap! the belt clips are a snap on type piece and are not heavy engouh for the unit loaded with batteries scrumming around in the bush(keep radio on so it can be paged when you lose it). on the plus side a simple call to motorola got new ones in the mail, the number in the manual is for the states only and you will have to get a different phone # for canada(800-263-4633).

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Well to tell you all about GMRS in Canada, we have the US beat. For starters as mentioned before, it will be free for all (business/pleasure). Secondly, they have already stated that digital data can be transfered on the GMRS channels and at a better timing intervals than the US (ie location). Thirdly, I think from my reading of the documents issued at IC, that the output power is the same, but the radiated power can be higher than the US. And finally, Canada is already in the works of setting up repeater frequencies for the GMRS (1in/1out). So all in all i think we might have a better GMRS allocation then the US, now all we have to do is hope and prey that Garmin picks up on this and give us dedicated Canadians the full use of our units. The origional Canadian units will have a software upgrade for the GMRS freq. as I have been told from tech. Supp. last week when I received my 120 back from warranty work.

If anyone would like a copy of the official document from IC, I will post it in the fourm if you can not find it.

Owen

does this include rino 120 versions 3.50 or just 5.10 models ...if both plz post your link.....Gg

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For what its worth, I was talking with Olar when he was using his GMRS and it sounds really good on my end. The transmit audio is mildly compressed (a good thing) and perfectly clear. This sounds like a 600$ commercial handie-talkie on the air. I'm not surprised, it isn't like Motorola is new to making portable transceivers. :)

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

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does this include rino 120 versions 3.50 or just 5.10 models ...if both plz post your link.....Gg

I'm not too sure. I do know that they are going to have the update available sometime this month. I received a us model, but i am going to do the updateif and when it comes out ;)

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I called the garmin service depot in quebec (naviclub@naviclub.com)last week to ask about gmrs upgrade for rino120 and was told there will be no software updates for canadian models...I was told if you want it ,you will need to buy a new unit...due to language diff I didnt get an opportunity to ask if i could send old unit back to get it refurbished with new radio.....Gg

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I called the garmin service depot in quebec (naviclub@naviclub.com)last week to ask about gmrs upgrade for rino120 and was told there will be no software updates for canadian models...I was told if you want it ,you will need to buy a new unit...due to language diff I didnt get an opportunity to ask if i could send old unit back to get it refurbished with new radio.....Gg

Try and contact Garmin directly. They have all the contact links on there website. I posted a not from there sight, and got a relpy within 24 hours. Every time I have tryed to make contact wit naviclub, i couldn't get an answer so i contacted raymarine and garmin directly.

Edited by parker2
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recieved this email today after an email to garmin international after my last post...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.....

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin International, as it stands right now, it appears that this will be handled by a software update. When this update is released, it will be downloadable from our web site under Software Updates and then the Rino 120.

 

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me!

Best Regards,

 

......Gg

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So are all cachers migrating to GMRS and leaving FRS behind?

No not exactly. As posted on the Geocaching.com web site, "Yes. The community has decided on channel 2 as the primary for both FRS and PMR, and 12 as the alternate FRS (Family Radio Service) channel and 8 for the alternate PMR (Europe). FRS and PMR radios are longer distance walkie talkies, like the Motorola Talkabout. "

This would bacicaly say that Ch. 2 is the primary freq. being used for geocaching (as well as the only one I use while on a hunt). This Freq. is also used by gmrs in a dual gmrs/frs unit (stand alone units as well) as gm100guy stated in a previous post in this thread. So either way, this will be benificial for us cachers. ;)

If you are interested in knowing more about gmrs &/ or frs tx/rx ranges.... look up one of the biger companies that build the units or check out the govering agency in your country.

 

parker2

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Firmware updates to enabled GMRS on Canadian Rinos are available on the Garmin website. :rolleyes:

    * Allow position sending on non-repeater GMRS channels.

    * Enabled GMRS on Canadian Rinos.

    * Fixed bug where turning GMRS off and then back on would not update Radio page.

    * Fixed potential problem with ring tones being used with position sending.

Edited by PDOP's
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At the risk of letting a cat out of a bag, I'm currently working on an FRS-based cache. Clues will be determined by using your radio a fair bit. I hope there are enough cachers with FRS/GMRS with CTCSS capabilities to make this a success!

What is CTCSS?

CTCSS is short for Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System. These are tones that your radio uses to make your calls more private. Other names for this are PL, Tone Squelch, and many others. All this does is allow more than 1 group of people to use the same freq. with too much conflict. On your frs and/or gmrs radios.... the CTCSS is known as sub channels or privacy codes. For more info on CTCSS... look at THIS site.

 

parker2

Edited by parker2
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