I wasn't sure if I should post this in the Android Tablet area or here, but here goes. What devices currently share live GPS data in real time to one another?
The application for this is ATVing and quite often we are in areas that don't have cellular coverage. However, with Garmin and other GPS devices able to receive GPS data. As well as smartphones having GPS receivers, I am pretty much wide open on what ever devices that might currently do this.
For example, are their any Android apps that allow users to share their location and have it display in real time on a map?
I know that amateur radio has APRS allows this, but I don't think any of those are in an all-in-one device.
There may be something in marine radios that allows sharing of GPS data with other mariners.
The next step for this would be to take it from cellular based to two way radio based. I know that the FCC is going to allow data transmissions on GMRS, so that would be the likely service, since most of the members of our ATV groups doesn't have an amateur radio license.
Garmin Inreach Devices (formerly DeLorme technology) can transmit short text messages through the GPS Satellite network, but it is very limited and expensive. Otherwise, most real time location sharing that I am aware of is done through the cellular network. Maybe others know of different solutions.
Minor correction: Garmin Inreach messaging is thru the Iridium satellite communications system.
Thanks for the correction.
The Garmin Rino 7XX series 2 way radio's have this capability. In addition to location sharing, they also have the advantage of being able to talk to others in your group via FRS/GMRS radio.
Pricey to be sure, but they are on sale at the GPSstore for $100 off.
The group I hunted with a few years ago all used an earlier version of the Rino. They work very well for keeping track of, and communicating with others in the party. No cellular service is necessary.
I have followed the Garmin RINO radios for a little while now, but I don't own any. With the RINOs being limited to a one second (13 character) text, Garmin may be better off giving some consideration to a VHF version of a RINO that uses MURS frequencies. They would be limited to two watts transmit power, but with a good antenna, it might do okay. I know that for activities outside and away from the cellular network, there would be value in having the ability to have two-way simplex voice communications and the ability the share position (GPS location), as well as being able to text. Having the ability to connect to an external antenna would be a plus, too.
Essentially it would be a portable version of the Garmin Group Ride radio with a built-in GPS and display, much like the Garmin RINO 755t.
Are you looking for a unit with more range or better texting abilities?
As I mentioned earlier in this old tread, I used to use Garmin Rino's with my hunting partners. The text function was mainly used to communicate silently so as not to spook game. It was only useful when stationary and all but impossible to use in a moving vehicle.
We never had any issues with the Rino's FRS/GMRS radio range and could easily talk to others a mile or more away depending on topography. The unit was also able to display the location of others over the same distance.
I'm now trying to convince the group I ride my e-bike with to try the Rino's. The group usually stays within a couple of miles of each other so these units should work well.
Like you however, I'm always on the lookout for similar, perhaps better performing units.
Are you looking for a unit with more range or better texting abilities?...
Both. My wife has been using the Polaris Ride Command app. Maybe I need to give that another try.
Seems like a solution as long as you have at least intermittent cell coverage.
Alandb mentioned Garmin's inReach service earlier in the thread. I have the Montana 700i with an inReach subscription. It's a rather crude solution to the range & text problem and it requires a paid subscription, but it works just about anywhere on the globe.
You can send & receive short text messages and share location information with other subscribers. I have the service mainly for emergencies in the many areas I go with no cell service.
While moving, I imagine riding an ATV is similar to an e-bike where using your hands for things like texting can be a problem. A visible screen for location and longer range voice communication (preferably full duplex with no VOX) would be ideal.
I'm not sure of the distances you encounter while riding with your group but for communication, I've had good luck with the Sena Bluetooth helmet intercoms.
They allow any number of riders to talk full duplex with no VOX over a distance of a half mile. They work well for bicycle & motorcycle groups but I don't know how they would work with ATV's. The Sena's are a possible solution for the communication but not the location aspect of the problem.
There are several threads on the subject over on the EBR forum. Just do a search on Sena if you're interested.
Who knows, maybe someone will offer a more powerful version of the Rino in the future.
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