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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 12:45
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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my fire dept is looking into getting some gps units for our trucks, dash mounts and handhelds for search and rescue as well as cordinents for life flight helocopters, anybody got some suggestions??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 16:18
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how much are you looking to spend?  Garmin is what I use and I really like it.  GPSmap 60csx (400 plus software).  You can do street navigation and topo once you buy the right software.  We use a handheld for flying as wel.  Only as backup.  It is a GPS 496 (runs about 2500, does street topo and flying).  Bigger easier to read screen on that one.  Little big to haul around when hiking (that is where the 60csx is nice).  And you can go up from there.  Any unit will give you coordinates.  What features are you looking for?  That will help narrow it down.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 16:37
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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oh we would spend $500 a piece for them, as long as they have a dash mount and all that jive
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 18:30
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Pyro, there is a million different ways to skin that cat.  Best bet, get a garmin product.  I got myself a PDA based garmin product since I already had the PDA.  Best thing about going with garmin is the product support.  You can always download updates to them, different maps, etc.  You can get a 496/596 but you're going to be paying a lot of money for features that you don't need and won't use in a ground based vehicle.  If you get a PDA based version like mine, you can just download the aviation database for around $100 (vice paying $2500) and you can still give radial/dme coords to aircraft without paying for an "aviation gps."  You might be able to do that with other Garmin products, but I am not sure.  Heck, I can even download the nautical charts to mine and use it in the boat if need be.  Probably caused more questions than answers, but in short, get a garmin regardless of the model you choose.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 19:29
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You really don't need a unit that will do aviation maps unless you are actually going to fly with it.  You can just give the pilot the regular coords and he can fly to it.  Just look for one that will do the street navigation and topo maps for the S&R.  Most units, you will end up having to buy the car mounts either as a kit with the unit  or seperately (Most sold as car nvigation units will come with the mounts, where the trail units don't).  Garmin are good products.  You have to buy the software (other than very basic maps that come with it) seperately and the upload them from a computer to the units. 
 
I would recommend going to a store where you can play with a bunch of different units and see which one looks and feels the best to you.  That will give you the best idea of what units will work and what ones won't.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 19:58
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The other thing is if you are in a very rual area then you want to get GPS cowardinate for the house and cross roads.  That would mean a GPS for all the building permits.  Then the older stuff at tax assesment time. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 20:07
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I was only saying the aviation maps for getting radial/dme off of navaids.  Sure, I can fat finger co-ords in and fly the jet, but it's much simpler to just dial in a radial and do a fix-to-fix and then punch in the geocords after I'm headed in the general direction. 
 
Still putting in my bid for Garmin.  Sure the basic maps are just that--basic.  Then, you only download the maps that you need.
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I'd recommend one of the Garmin Nuvi series units for the trucks and Garmin Rino 530's for the handhelds.  With the Rino 530's, you have both a great GPS unit plus a fully functional 2-way radio built in, with the ability to send your positions to every other user on the same radio channel with the press of a button, and every time you talk on the radio to another Rino user, your current coordinates automatically update on their maps.  Both the Nuvi and the Rino 530 is within your dept.'s $500 budget limit per unit.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 20:19
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GPSMAP® 60CSx 

High-sensitivity GPS receiver, color display, microSD card slot, 64 MB microSD card, electronic compass, barometric altimeter

Only a couple of models have the high sensitivity GPS reciever which works better if you are in a wooded area with trees overhead.
 

Rino® 530HCx 

High-sensitivity GPS receiver, 5 watts transmit power, voice scrambler, vibrate mode, built-in basemap, microSD card slot, barometric altimeter, electronic compass, NOAA weather radio, color display, USB port, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack

The Rino series will show you where other Rino series users are located when you talk back and forth to each other over the walki talki which might be useful in making search grids.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - December/12/2007 at 20:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 20:44
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The Rino is nice, but I am assuming in S&R you will have a radio and won't need that feature.  The high sensitivity on the 60csx is nice.  Never been in an area that I lost satellites.  Another plus to that unit is the expandable memory, so you can hold more maps at one time.
 
I don't think you will really want the aviation units.  The cheapest is the Garmin GPSmap 96c at about 500 plus software.  Plus that is just one more thing you have to learn to read and use.  Not too hard, but if you have no experience flying, it could take a while to get used to.  Flyspy1, I do agree that getting the radial/dme is easy for the pilots, but may be confusing for other people to learn.
 
GPSmap 60csx I think would serve you quite well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2007 at 23:01
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Just to clarify, you can turn off the 2-way radio on the RINO 530 and not use it if you choose to do so.  It is no larger than most other handheld units, so the radio doesn't add much bulk, and even without the radio, it still has more features than just about any other GPS currently made.  But, with the radio on, the RINO automatically "beams" your coordinates to other users' units every time you talk, or press the "transmit position" button, something you can't do with any other GPS besides the Garmin Rino series, a feature that would be immensely useful in S&R scenarios.  You also have the built-in NOAA Weather radio, in addition to all the same features of the GPSmap 60CSX, while still priced at around the $500 limit. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 05:37
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Thunbs%20Up on the Rhino and since you are using this for S&R you will find Garmin support to be an excellent asset. I would contact them before making any decisions. Their online support is very good, but I would call them. They have been great to deal with on the phone and I am sure they have someone who can handle your specific needs.
 
Good luck,
Doug


Edited by tahqua - December/13/2007 at 05:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 07:46
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we were looking at a magellan maestro 4050 and we havent really decided what we want for a hand held, all the property in the county is gps coordinated already, the real reasons we want to buy them are for assisting life flight helos and sometimes we get city folk up here and they get injured or lost etc. and they have a gps with them and all they can give us is the coordinance on there gps. we wouldnt need anything with a two way radio we of course have two way radios, and we carry them in the field.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 08:26
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

we wouldnt need anything with a two way radio we of course have two way radios, and we carry them in the field.
Would you rather carry both a 2 way radio AND a GPS separately, or both integrated into a single device?  When you talk on the RINO's radio, automatically, your position updates on the other RINO users' GPS maps, so not only do you have all the standard GPS capabilities, but you also know where everyone else in your group is, because when they talk their names with icons show up on your map.  You can then select them as a waypoint and go right to them without having ever been where they are. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 08:28
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no radio, we use ouf fire radio because all of our traffic is recorded at the dispatch center which is good if we have to go to court with a two way fr radio you dont get that, i do like that technology your talking about though ted that sounds awesome
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 11:28
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Calling garmin would be a good idea.  They would probably give you a deal being firefighters and using the units for s&r.  the rhino radio technology is nice, but as you say you have radios already.  That and you can't talk to helos unless they have the radio capabilities to monitor those freqs.  I haven't been able to do that yet in my helo.  Maybe some can.  But helos already can talk on their normal freqs and the freqs you guys use on the ground.  And your current radio units should alread have a noaa freq built in, so you don't need that feature either.  But having that rhino could be a great backup if your other radio breaks for some reason.
 
I have also talked to garmins cs department several time when I was looking for a unit, and they are very friendly and helpful.  Excellent  I don't think you can go wrong with garmin.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 11:34
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Pyro I am afraid you have entirely missed the point of the Rino. Continue to use  your Fire Dept radio for comm. Use the Rino to show position on the grid of your #2 and #3 and#4 search teams thereby coordinating the search effort. All you do is periodically key the mike to mark your current location so other Rino users see where you are on their GPS map.  The added benefit is that if something bad happens to search team #3 you know where to go to find them exactly where - no guess work eaven if they are hurt so badly they can not speak.

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - December/13/2007 at 11:39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 11:49
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we wont have 2 or 3 or 4 search teams we are a small dept we have 16 members right now and of those 16 only half to 5/8 can be counted on so we wouldnt seperate like that, i understand what you are saying but are numbers hinder our possibilities,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 13:30
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+1 of what Helo said.  Try a garmin if you haven't already.  I've used both Magellan and Garmin, and I think you'd be happier with the Garmin.  IMHO, it was a bit easier to get acquainted with (unless you just LOVE to read every page of the user manual) than the magellan.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 13:33
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ok i will mention that to my bro in law im going over there here directly
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 18:05
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I definitely have to agree with the comments about Garmin's Customer Service.  You sometimes have to wait on the line a long time, but once you do get through, they have been very friendly and helpful to me in explaining how certain software and functions on the units work.  I've talked to them about a half dozen times on various issues, and each time, they stayed on the phone with me for quite a while without being short with me and made sure I got all the answers I needed.  They even helped me with some computer glitches I had that prevented their Map Source software from running properly, and logged onto my computer remotely and solved the problem. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/13/2007 at 21:22
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i mentioned all this to him and he's going to the cities this weekend, lucky dog has tickets for the monday night game, which i hope the vikings get stomped! but he was going to stop at a "box" store and look at a few, i told him that the garmins come highly recommended and seem to be more user friendly and have great cs dept. so thanks guys!
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