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Does anyone have these? I'm most interested in the 130/520/530HCX versions because of the higher power ratings.

Do you use them? How is the 2-way communication in hunting applications? How is the position reporting in hunting situations? Do you use GMRS via license or just use it unlicensed?

Is it worth the money?

We're looking at getting it for the members of the hunting party and the old timers want to always keep track of the younger hunters (in their 30s) because they get lonely or are worried.

Looking for thoughts and uses in Oregon/WA hunting applications where line-o-sight is not common.
I used it in iraq, its faster than the government issue gps for patrols, and it can be faster than the BFT that vehicles have. I like it for setting way points and a general gps, but I have never used it as a walky talky.
My view is that a good quality GPS unit, and a major brand FRS/GMRS can be a much better way to go. There will be times when you just want to use a GPS, and other times you just need the radio to stay in touch. I somehow doubt many people apply for the GMRS license. I also suggest having a FRS/GMRS unit for each family member.
I'm a Ham and use 2M radios, but also have the FRS/GMRS radios.
Hope this helps some.
The Rhino is an awesome tool for hunting I am able to walk right to where my dad shot a bull. As he is pushing 70 this is important. I can also track all the citiot brother-inlaws that want to hunt for the first time. I don't know what I would do without it now that I have had one for a few years. My boy is starting to hunt and it gives me the peace of mind to let him e=wander the hills above the house with the dogs. I had dog collars on the kids but this gives me an advantage to be able to call them to the roads and not have to whoop them up like I do the dogs.
OFA is a Garmin dealer. We sell a lot of them to hunters and GEO Cachers and others. Many on the staff use them extensive including myself.

When the staff are out hunting or when we're working for example over a wide spread area for a rifle or wilderness/survival class we use them and they are invaluable because we can see where everyone is at, we can watch their tracks, and we can easily plot a course to a rally point. For hunting they are extremely valuable so you can track where everyone in your party is at. If someone is lost or if they get an Elk down after dark you can get an exact point position on them. Or if you're on a hunt you can set a specific way point for everyone. I can't say enough good about them!

However, the radio on these units are a totally different story. They are sub-par to say the least. The key problem is the "Press to Talk" button. It sometimes works, sometimes doesn't work. Often it will quit transmitting in the middle of a sentance. It works, but it works "so-so". We use them for communication but you must be ultra patient and you must use them when you can repeat a transmission a couple times. Also you must keep your message short because there is a good chance the message will get truncated.

So we use the Rino for the GPS and to keep track of one another (which it rocks in doing) and do like AKAR32 suggested (excellent advice/suggestion BTW) and use Motorola GRS/GRMS radios for reliable communication.

I highly recommend the Rino for what it can do - which is more than a standard GPS but provide the caveat about the radio. And even with the caveat we still sell quite a few and everyone who buys them really apprecates their capabilty.

Thanks! Good review. Given your knowledge of them, what I really want is topo. WOuld you recommend spending the extra on the color screen and ability to upload maps or just go with a basic GPS with position reporting.

Anyone have cable?
The cable will come with it. Only buy the HCX version they are great and I can pick up satellite in the house with it. The new map versions are great I have 3 map sources I use the National Geo-graph for putting in way points. I have the Garmin version and the new version that show private and public land its great on the color version. I have the 530 HCX as mentioned the radios not great but we don't spend much time on them. You can turn the radio off when hunting to conserve battery life. I like them and use mine a lot not only for hunting but hiking snowshoeing, back packing. All of my hunting partners have one or the other version and you can talk or track to some on a 110 ect. I also recommend that you buy the CD version so you can down load and save maps and way points as a back up. We even took a lap top last winter for our elk hunt and it was interesting to down load our tracks at the end of the day and see what areas we had covered.

Thanks! Good review. Given your knowledge of them, what I really want is topo. WOuld you recommend spending the extra on the color screen and ability to upload maps or just go with a basic GPS with position reporting.

Anyone have cable?
I love the idea of the Rhino but like better having a separate GPS and radio. That way if it craps out your not out and radio and GPS when you need it most. That being said I love my Garmin Summit.
I just updated my 530hcx and it killed the entire unit. I had to send it in for replacement. I would def go with the 530 and not one of the black and white units. The older one is a serial cable and the 530 uses the usb cable that auto detects in your computer. We had to go back to the store get the adapter for the serial units. It has been a great unit, but it is complicated to learn the system. I would recommend highly. The update failure is the only issue we have had with them. Also check the website for any rebates, saved me 50 bucks last year..
You can also see where each hunter in your group is at any given time...these are accurate units and the radio......carry another if you need to....:s0155:
The 520 I own is great! Personally I'd get the 530hcx. It has better maps and the GPS holds satelites better under a canopy. Very compatible with the other models with GPS/GMRS.

Look at the electronic discount websites. You shouldn't pay more than 380 w/shipping for a brand new one. Also, there is a fellow who has his own map system, which is better than the Garmin, that sells for $100. It gives you private, state, fed and park lands. He updates this yearly, too.

I'll make a phone call and get that information for you and post it later.

The cable will come with it. You can turn the radio off when hunting to conserve battery life. All of my hunting partners have one or the other version and you can talk or track to some on a 110 ect.

The ones I was looking at were refurb, so they didn't come with a data cable, which is why I am looking for someone with a serial cable. I'm still looking...I'd be willing to "rent" it from someone.

If you turn the radio off, doesn't that stop the position reporting? Meaning, don't you have to be using FRS/GMRS for the position reporting to work?

I do appreciate the feedback.
They are the best, you can get most upgrade maps free online, topo, roads, ect. except the new 24k versions. GPSfiledepot. I researched quite a few units and found the rino best suited for my needs.

The HCX uses a newer USB cable that 99 percent of other electronic devices use. Hard drives, cameras, ect.

I found the best deal through amazon for mine. Seems like the battery last forever too. I bought an additional battery pack for alkaline batteries but have never had to use it. Hunt all weekend, with radio, GPS and tracking other members of the party and the battery is barely drained.

I have no complaints.:s0155:
I see that there is a polling option. I assume that it sends your position or requests your position at a regular interval? Or do you have to press the CALL button or use the walkie-talkie to send position?
I believe that the polling option is just to turn it on and off. Your position only shows when you transmit. Maybe there is a way to set it to auto broadcast but I don't know. They have so many options I am still learning.
No auto broadcast, and a position can and will only be sent no sooner than 30 seconds apart due to FCC regs. Part of the FCC allowing Garmin to transmit positions came with restrictions, but Garmin is one of the only companies that the FCC has allowed permission to use this feature legally. Your position is only sent to those on the same channel and squelch code. This Key Peer-to-peer positioning feature is the main reason I got this unit over all others and felt it justified the cost. My hunting buddies and I think it is invaluable.

The FCC licensing goes for all radios that broadcast above a watt of power. GMRS on the garmin uses 5 watts. Laymens terms, if your going to use the radio in town on these channels, better make sure you get a fcc lic, and try not to "walk over" anyone else who has the auth to come check your lic. IE airports, Military base, ect. If your in the woods for a hunt, your prob gonna be ok w/o the lic..... If someone asks to to change channels, just do it.

Good luck with your research, each GPS unit made has its own qualities and characteristics that are more or less important to its end user. I think you know my feeling but its also swayed because my hunting buddies all have 530's. One problem with the rino's is they only communicate (so i've read) the peer-to-peer between the same Model range. IE 520, 530's don't send position to 100 series.

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