Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), today introduced the Rino 520HCx and Rino 530HCx, the latest in Garmin’s groundbreaking and award-winning line of two-way radios integrated with GPS technology. The new units feature a high-sensitivity GPS receiver for faster acquisition, improved accuracy in challenging outdoor environments, and the addition of a microSD card slot for detailed mapping data.
“Since its inception, the Rino line has staked claim as the only integrated device that not only lets users communicate by voice, but also send and receive their exact locations,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “With the Rino 520HCx and 530HCx, we’ve upped the ante with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that rapidly acquires and maintains a lock in heavy tree cover or deep canyons. The microSD memory card slot also lets users load their device with highly-detailed topo maps, road maps, or lake maps.”
The Rino 520HCx and Rino 530HCx also feature an upgraded processor for faster map drawing and route calculation. Like its predecessors, these five-watt Rinos boast up to a 14-mile communication range, mini-USB interface, and built-in auto-routing basemap. The Rino 530HCx has the same features as the 520HCx, plus a seven-channel weather receiver (with automatic weather alert capabilities), an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.
The patented location-reporting feature combines the unique integration of navigation and communication technologies in the Rino series, enabling users to “beam” their location to other Rino users over the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) spectrum. Other users can then see the location of the sender on their map display, which shows the distance and direction between the sender and those receiving the broadcast location. Using “location polling,” a user can send out a request to other Rinos within range, and the units will automatically transmit back their location. These features have been lauded for their life-saving potential in search-and-rescue operations and other outdoor emergencies.
The Rino 520HCx and 530HCx include a built-in basemap of North and South America, which displays cities, highways, and borders. The new microSD card slot also lets users purchase pre-programmed MapSource® Topo maps for their next hiking or hunting adventure, City Navigator® NT maps for automatic turn-by-turn driving directions, or BlueChart® or Inland Lakes maps for on-the-water voyages. Users can also upload portions of MapSource CD-ROM maps onto blank microSD cards (both sold separately).
Like all Rino units, the new Rinos are rugged, lightweight (10.3 oz.) and waterproof in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The devices are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that provides 14 hours of typical use.
The use of GMRS frequencies in the United States requires a license from the FCC. Applicable regulatory agencies should be consulted prior to using the Rino radio outside the United States and Canada.
The Rino 520HCx is expected to be available in June 2007 and has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $449.99. The Rino 530HCx is expected to be available in June 2007 and has an MSRP of $499.99.