by Alex Varv
I recently purchased a Rino 120 GPS/Radio.
From the tests done with Gary Brown of West Chicago (Illinois) we found this unit to give the best radio reception/transmission we have ever experienced.
In order to be able to use both features (the GPS and the Radio) I decided to install the Rino not in a pouch but on the hip, just like the Alti-Vario. This way, the unit is horizontal in flight and the GPS function can be monitored all the time.
I wanted to build the simplest bracket possible .
I used two Aluminum plates riveted to the battery cover, two Velcro straps and an external power cable I bought at a REI store.
My paramotor is an AIRFER Tornado which has a battery that is charged in flight.
For pilots who do not have a battery on their machines, I suggest to make a 12 Volt rechargeable (on the ground) battery pack.
The Rino works on 3 (three) AAA batteries but they do not last long (about 2 hours) and this was the reason I connected it to the existing battery (12 Volt and 4,5 A).
The bracket presented here was tested in flight is very comfortable
to wear and secures the Rino very well.
Below, I will present how the bracket was built:
Both Aluminum plates need to be bent in such a way that they will be held against the pilot's leg and secure the Rino.
After bending, I used Rubber cement to attach the plates to the battery cover and be able to move them until I find the best position for them.
Once the ideal position was found, I marked the location of the rivet holes and using a Dremel, I drilled the holes.
After drilling, I removed the plates and I rubbed the glue off the Aluminum plates and battery cover.
Before riveting, I checked if the rivets fit.
Next, I removed the inserted rivets and proceeded cutting the holes for the Velcro strap.
Once the edges were rounded, I made a final check to see if the rivets allow the battery cover to be attached.
After the final check I riveted the plates.
Next, using the Battery charger cable with a male/female socket, I connected it to the battery terminals and I used another male/female connector soldered to a cigarette lighter socket that I purchased at a radio Shack store.
The Rino 120 external power cable comes with a cigarette plug that was connected to the cigarette lighter socket. The plug has a red light which shows if the power is fed to the Rino 120.
I installed the socket vertically to eliminate the possibility of losing the connection in flight.
NOTE: As seen in the pictures above there are TWO Velcro straps that hold the Rino. One is fed through the holes in the Aluminum bracket and the other one was fed through the orifice between the two antennae which allowed me to eliminate the need of building another pair of brackets for the second strap.
Now the Rino 120 can be operated indefinitely since it is powered from the 12 Volt 4,5 A battery charged in flight.
As I mentioned above, those pilots who do not have a battery on their machines, can build en external container with AAA batteries (rechargeable alkaline batteries) connected in parallel to increase the capacity and allow a longer operation of the unit. The batteries should give 12 Volts in this case since the external power plug has a transformer built into it. Originally the Rino needs 4,5 V that it receives from the 3 AAA batteries connected in series.