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DeLorme PN-40

Jun
25
2008

Following the success of their first handheld/screen based GPS, the PN-20, DeLorme has now started to ship the PN-40. While much about the PN-40 is the same, what has changed is almost entirely for the better, and will leave PN-20 owners drooling for the new device. I’ve logged over a hundred hours of time with […]

386 Responses


  1. NEW! Supports SDHC high-capacity SD cards—32 GB or higher

    This isn’t new. The PN-20 with the latest firmware supports SDHC cards already.

    Matt - June 26th, 2008
  2. Is it too late to BEG you to move the lanyard holder to the BOTTOM of the unit? Am I alone in thinking that it would be more useful there?

    John - July 7th, 2008
    • You are not alone my friend. What were they thinking? Very nice unit overall.

      Rob - April 2nd, 2009
      • A simple and effective fix is to attach the lanyard to the D-rind on the bottom screw of the battery case. This is illustraded at huntingwaypoints.com.

        Rob - April 3rd, 2009
  3. I noticed that there are no POI listing on this or the PN-20. Do the base maps have any POIs at all? I am thinking of gas stations, state parks, landmarks, etc. Do you know of any add-on that would add this? Thanks!

    David - August 7th, 2008
    • You have to open Topo Usa, make sure your REGIONAL MAPS ( in the Exchange dialouge), and your street level maps are installed. (Click Hanheld Export, type city name, select metro city, click select all, and exchange.)

      Hope this helps.

      Eric - March 24th, 2009
  4. David, the PN-20 and PN-40 do have POIs… lots of them. I just don’t have an exact number which is why there is no number listed.

    I got to test the PN-40 today and will be making an update soon.

    Tim - August 7th, 2008
  5. Is the PN 40 on the market yet? If so, where?

    jay - August 14th, 2008
  6. No, they are shooting for the end of September.

    Tim - August 14th, 2008
  7. The world maps, are they HIGH Level like in the PN-20 ? or can you Zoom in to a lower level then in the PN-20 ?

    Jack - August 14th, 2008
  8. I think the world maps are the same level, but I’m not 100% certain.

    Tim - August 18th, 2008
  9. what about Canada? i live in canmore 1/2 the year? good luck so far with Garmin units and maps…Always think Delorme software is a battle to re-learn each time i go back to USA

    greg rudowsky - August 22nd, 2008
  10. Question for reviewer:
    Has the user interface been improved over the DeLorme PN-20?
    I returned the PN-20, primarily because of the convoluted user interface which even baffled DeLorme sales reps.
    I would be interested in the PN-40 only if the user interface has been improved to accompany the technical improvements.

    Ron - September 6th, 2008
  11. Personally I really like the interface of the PN-20. It is very similar to most other GPS devices, and most every screen is customizable. But if you don’t like the 20, you won’t like the 40 either.

    Tim - September 6th, 2008
  12. A DeLorme PN-40 Special Edition has been announced. $100 more, with 8 GB of internal memory versus the standard 1 GB.

    Tim - September 12th, 2008
  13. I like the overall implementation. I would like to see the following implemented:

    -Native geocaching.com .gpx file viewing
    -3D map view
    -Integrated 10 Megapixel camera with flash.
    -LED Flashlight
    -Touch Screen with a real bright sunlight viewable screen
    -Voice tagging
    -Wireless capability of some type, primarily for uploads and data transfer.

    If I had to choose two and two only, I’d pick the Voice tagging feature and the camera.

    Warm Regards,
    Stephen A. Brown

    Stephen A. Brown - September 20th, 2008
  14. The DeLorme GPS does support GPX files. Perhaps they might do 3D at some point, but I really doubt most of the other features would be implemented. Just doesn’t seem to be the type of device DeLorme is trying to build.

    Tim - September 22nd, 2008
  15. Any new word on the PN40 hitting the market?

    Jay - September 25th, 2008
  16. Mid October, just a couple of weeks to go.

    Tim - September 25th, 2008
  17. Is the SE worth the extra $100? Since it has a SD Card, will it make that much of a speed difference to have 8GB additional?

    Brent - September 27th, 2008
  18. Brent, there is a pretty good discussion about that over here. For me personally, despite the fact that there might be poor economics of it all, I like the convenience of not using SD cards whenever possible.

    Tim - September 27th, 2008
  19. Will the PN-40 have an acreage calculation feature similar to the one on my eTrex?

    Tim - October 14th, 2008
  20. Yes, just like the PN-20 you can do acreage calculations on the PN-40.

    Tim - October 14th, 2008
  21. How does the PN-40 compare to Garmin Colorado/Oregon?

    Jake - October 14th, 2008
    • The reviews of the Garmin products say almost universally that you CANNOT SEE THE SCREENS in daylight. google some reviews and see for yourself . That’s a show stopper in my book. I own a Garmin Nuvi and I like it and b4 that i owned a StreetPilot and LOVED that even more, but on this one, Garmin really just outright screwed up , totally.

      I did a LOT of research on this (I hike) handheld category and far and away this is clearly the best unit out there… just saving up for it now.

      tr - December 1st, 2009
  22. Mid Oct Anything yet?

    Jay - October 20th, 2008
  23. They are saying it will ship before the end of the month. I’ve heard the 24th floating around as a possible date. But we should know more in a day or two.

    Tim - October 20th, 2008
  24. i have pre-ordered the PN-40 SE, with all the bells and whistles, any word on the company and the shipping date. I can’t get much from their web site. I am excited about the hybrid maps, i fish the marsh in venice la. and we are looking forward to mapping some areas that have changed in the last year

    andre - October 24th, 2008
  25. Andre – the last word I had from DeLorme they said they would be shipping by the end of the month.

    Tim - October 24th, 2008
  26. Tim
    How does the new chipset compare with the SiRF III that is in the Garmin 60 CSx, I know some people complained the PN-20 had some difficulties in heavy tree cover has the PN-40 fixed that issue?

    From the videos I’ve watched it does seem that the unit is much faster than the PN-20 which is fantastic especially since those aerial photos look much nicer when they don’t take minutes to show up.

    Please keep us informed I think Delorme is headed in the right direction with all the different maps and other navigation data they are making available to us.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - October 27th, 2008
  27. Given that the PN-40 hasn’t yet been released, there are certain things I will comment on that I don’t believe will be changed in the final production version. There are other things I’m going to reserve judgement on until I get a production version of the GPS. Aside from the acquisition video I posted above, I’m going to hold off on judgement of the chipset performance until I’ve had a chance to evaluate the production version. Sorry. :( Although I do hope to have a production version this week and will answer the question ASAP.

    Tim - October 27th, 2008
  28. Tim,

    Thanks for your honesty I would rather have a true head to head comparison than a guesstimate plus many times a new unit has a few bugs or quirks that keep it from performing at it’s best.

    I’m really curious to see if a 32 channel receiver really is more sensitive and holds onto the sats better than a 12 channel receiver in real world environment.

    Keep the info coming, thanks Tim…

    Roger

    Roger - October 27th, 2008
  29. I can say that the signal performance of the PN-40 will be better than the PN-20… how it compares to the 60CSx is another story, to be determined. You might also get some value out of the following article– or it might be things you already know:

    Do Chipset Channels Matter?

    Either way, the PN-40 will have a better chipset than the PN-20… just a matter of figuring out how much better.;)

    Tim - October 27th, 2008
  30. Thanks for the link I’ve read similar info on the subject especially when Bushnell came out with their line of Onix GPS units that had I believe 20 channels.

    Has any definitive testing been done between the same chipsets but with one having more channels than the other or are they tied together where it can’t be a real apples to apples comparison.

    My personal gotta have factor in any GPS is accuracy and signal acquisition all other factors are behind those top two for me anyway.

    What are your top requirements for a GPS unit for the backcountry and what would you compromise on if you had too?

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - October 27th, 2008
  31. To answer your question about testing– I’m not really aware of any two chipsets that are pretty much identical other than the number of channels. They could exist, but I can’t think of any examples right now. They would also need to basically be run by the same software with the same hardware design as the location of the chipset within the device as well as the construction of the GPS can impact performance.

    Tim - October 27th, 2008
  32. Shipping updates are now “mid-November”.

    Tim - October 28th, 2008
  33. So basically it’s pretty tough to do an apples to apples comparison between two units because of the differences between software and hardware.

    What would be (in your opinion) the best way to test accuracy and acquisition between say the PN-40 and the Garmin 60 CSx other than a head to head field test?

    I have to say I’m very impressed with 60′s performance in the field and have no complaints but those maps and aerial photos sure do look nice on the PN-40 and definitely could be useful in the field for me.

    If the PN-40 turns out to have the tenacity of the 60 when it comes to satellite lock and those really nice maps I may have to give the PN-40 a try or at least kick the tires at a store in the future.

    Thanks again Tim for the info and I’ll keep checking back to see if you have a more in depth review.

    Roger

    Roger - October 29th, 2008
  34. Other than a head-to head field test I’m not certain there would be a way to compare them and get results that are truly meaningful and valid. There are just too many variables to factor.

    Tim - October 29th, 2008
  35. I’ve noticed that some of the other GPS makers besides Delorme are using the Cartesio chipset like Garmin I was just wondering why they made the switch and what the advantages are?

    Any websites or links that give a run down on the Cartesio chipset and it’s advantages over the SiRF III for example I’d really like to check out.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - October 29th, 2008
  36. The Garmin Oregon 400t I recently reviewed uses the Cartesio chipset as well. Under some of the early Garmin firmware for it I had some trouble with the chipset. Occasionally it would take a very, very long time to get a signal. Once it got a signal it would hold quite well. Although the tracklogs would seem more “jumpy” than the more consistent tracklogs I’ve seen with other Garmin devices like the 60CSx.

    Over time new firmware updates have been released. The tracklog is not nearly as jumpy as it used to be. It appears there is more filtering going on now that is producing tracks more along the lines of what you would expect. Occasionally it has trouble getting a signal after being turned off and replacing the batteries, but that issue seems to be less frequent than in the past.

    Garmin is also using the Cartesio in some of the more recent Nuvi models. Most people (including myself) have had quite good results. Some people have had trouble getting an initial lock like I experienced with the Oregon.

    So if I had to sum up my experience with that chip in devices that are shipping now I’d say that with recent firmware updates it is performing quite well, however it does occasionally have trouble getting an initial fix on cold starts. Once it gets a signal it does a good job keeping the signal in weak areas.

    Due to how Garmin has improved the performance in those devices over time with firmware updates– that will probably shed even more light on why I’m not (yet) commenting on the performance of that chip in the PN-40. But I’ll say that DeLorme is probably going to go out of the gate with something better (chipset software wise) than what Garmin did given the additional time they have had.

    As to why (both) would pick it over the SiRF…. SiRF has been a financial mess lately and also has had a few lawsuits not going there way. That might have something to do with it. The SiRFstarIII is still a great chipset, but it is also a few years old now and I think some of these other companies are really starting to catch up to them with performance.

    Tim - October 29th, 2008
  37. Thanks Tim for the info Tim I wasn’t aware of the problems that SiRF was having and any company that is having trouble in this current fragile economy would make other companies think twice about dealing with them.

    What puzzles me is with all the advances in software and hardware that these current chipsets should be smoking the older chipsets or so it seems to me.

    I really like the direction that Delorme is going in because it seems like they really listened to the complaints that users had and addressed them in the PN-40 but I also kept in mind the initial goal of providing a unit that provided unparalleled mapping alternatives.

    To me many of the things that they are putting in the units today like games and such are just fillers instead of real innovation, for example my brother-in-law’s iPhone can display Google maps and images but not GPS units.

    In this day and age where phones can perform everything from texting to surfing the web a GPS with multiple mapping capability’s would seem a small task indeed and yet no one but Delorme seems to be coming to the table with an offering for the handheld market.

    I hope the PN-40 is as good or better than Delorme says it is it will let many of us who crave better maps and more map data a unit that will finally fill the void that has been around for a long time.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - October 29th, 2008
  38. Okay, I now have an official 1.0, production version of the PN-40. So any fire away with any questions people might have that might not be addressed in my review when it comes out, likely in a couple of days. Roger.. I know what your questions will be. :)

    Tim - November 7th, 2008
  39. I have several Mac computers at home, no PCs. If I understand it correctly, Delorme’s software only works with PCs. Can I still use the PN-40 in conjunction with a Mac-compatible program such as Google Earth to upload/download trails, routes, etc.?

    herbert - November 8th, 2008
  40. Google Earth only supports a limited number of GPS devices, and DeLorme models are not among them.

    Tim - November 8th, 2008
  41. Herbert I don’t own a PN-40 but I am using Topo 7 on my MacBook Pro by dual booting into windows XP which is really easy if you have Leopard by using boot camp and following the directions.

    You might also try MacGPS Pro they offer a product that might work but I just checked the site and they don’t list the PN-20 or PN-40.

    Take care, Roger

    Roger - November 8th, 2008
  42. DeLorme just published an update on their planned development efforts for the PN-40, including Mac functionality. See http://blog.delorme.com/2008/11/11/geocaching-features-for-the-mac-and-pc/

    Fred - November 13th, 2008
  43. I’ve now updated this page with my full review. Some small tweaks and edits to come, but they will be either additional images and/or changes that are inconsequential to the overall message.

    Tim - November 17th, 2008
  44. Nice review Tim. I was wondering if DeLorme would pick up the “HotFix” technology with the STM chipset similar to the Oregon. It works well on the Oregon so its good to see it show up on the PN-40.

    Scott - November 17th, 2008
  45. Yes, which is in what partially prompted my email to you last week, Scott. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    Tim - November 17th, 2008
  46. Tim, thanks for the great review! My PN-20 takes considerably longer than the Oregon 400t to boot up. Has the PN-40 improved in this respect?

    John - November 18th, 2008
  47. That is odd, John. I just ran a quick test from shutdown with a PN-20, PN-40, and an Oregon 400t. Here are the results, approximately.

    PN-40 : 7.5 seconds
    PN-20 : 12.0 seconds
    G.O. 400t : 13.5 seconds

    Tim - November 18th, 2008
  48. Strange indeed. I am at over a minute on the PN-20. It could be that I have a fairly large area of maps loaded on an SD card that must be read into memory. Will try without the card.

    John - November 18th, 2008
  49. The SD card is the culprit. With no card (and no external maps), about 5 seconds. Thanks again.

    John - November 18th, 2008
  50. Hi Tim, I am looking at handhelds and have several requirements that the PN40 should meet; TOPO for hiking (PN 40 looks great), Navigation for kayaking (PN 40 looks great), driving directions (PN40 looks OK). My question relates to POI’s, is there a good datbase of State/National Parks and campgrounds? I cannot get this kind of detail off their website?
    Do any others offer a good database for these types of POI’s? I played with a friends Tom Tom One and it could not really find many Stae Parks…
    Thanx, Bill

    Bill - November 18th, 2008
  51. Yes, the POI database contains about 4 million locations, and near as I can tell includes all state and national parks. Many of the local town/city parks also appear in my PN-40.

    Tim - November 18th, 2008
  52. Photo geo-tagging is one of PN40 features. How well does it work? Can photos be linked to waypoints or only trackpoints? Any comparisons with other photo geo-tagging programs? Does PN20 geo-tag photos?
    Thanks for any info.

    Frank - November 20th, 2008
  53. The PN-40 itself doesn’t do any tagging. However the Topo USA software included does. It can sync up a tracklog from the PN series devices (or any other GPS with a GPX track) with the timestamp embedded in a series of photos.

    Tim - November 20th, 2008
  54. Can you describe the 3 DVD’s of maps that are supposed to be included? “Full U.S. coverage on 3 DVDs” is what some retailers say. It sounds like more detailed topos, and I saw a screenshot somewhere of what appeared to be 1:48k topos in vector format. What’s on the 3 DVD’s and what detail level do you get?
    Thanks!

    Jim - November 20th, 2008
  55. The 3 DVDs are simply pre-cut versions of the vector maps that the included Topo USA software has. They have already been through the conversion process for the PN-40 to simplify the process of putting them on a PN device.

    Tim - November 20th, 2008
  56. I have a Garmin 60CSx which has been very rapid and reliable through very bad weather, etc. The Oregon has shaded relief, I believe, so I was thinking about “upgrading” to that because even after years of looking at maps with contour lines shaded relief works best for me. I like the PN-40 features- but does it include shaded relief? Also, is there a way to find in advance whether the district that I patrol (park ranger) in NH has adequate satellite/aerial/3D/imagery without having to buy the unit only to find out it doesn’t?

    Dave - November 20th, 2008
  57. The Topo USA software has shaded relief, but not the device itself. There is 100% coverage of NH for b&w aerial images as well as color aerial images. I recall it is 1-meter resolution for the b&w and 2 meter res for the color, but I’ll have to go back and double check. It might take me a day or so, but I can probably dig up a sample image within Monadnock SP…

    Tim - November 20th, 2008
  58. If you go to http://data.delorme.com and log in as guest, you can check the availability of color aerial photos by zooming in on your area of interest, choosing PN-20 color DOQQ, and seeing what you can select. If you can select an area it has color aerial coverage.

    If you have any other sources of imagery that you like, you can load them onto PN-series devices as well if you purchase XMap Pro (which Delorme discounts for PN owners). I spend a lot of time in a border area that has pretty sporadic aerial coverage (the last few times that our state aerials were updated they didn’t bother with that area, although about everywhere else was covered) and there are some holes in Delorme’s coverage there. I’ve filled them with data from other sources where needed, and also loaded things like state and national park maps onto my PN. For me, the ability to load imagery from anywhere was the tipping point to sell me on PN-series devices, especially before they were offering the $30 annual data download subscription.

    No shaded relief. If you really wanted it you could rig something up via xmap, but normal maps don’t have it on the PNs.

    Matt - November 20th, 2008
  59. Tim, from another forum I noticed you are now using the PN-40SE. In terms of screen redraws or scrolling speed, have you observed and performance differences between having the map data loaded in main memory versus an SD card?

    John - November 21st, 2008
  60. John, in the PN-20 there is a noticeable difference between having the maps in the internal memory and having the maps on SD card, with the internal memory being faster. With the PN-40 that really isn’t the case– both are just about as fast as near as I can tell.

    So in one sense the SE model isn’t a fantastic deal as you can purchase a bigger SD card for less than the cost of the jump from the 40 to the 40 SE… however I just don’t like fiddling around with SD cards and will load everything I need in the internal memory of the SE.

    Tim - November 21st, 2008
  61. I agree about the SD cards – managing and keeping track of them can be a daunting task. Even worse, try switching out a micro-SD card in an Oregon 400t when on the trail. It is not for the faint of heart!

    John - November 21st, 2008
  62. DeLorme is now offering a $50 rebate on the PN-40. See this PDF for details.

    Tim - November 21st, 2008
  63. Tim,
    Thanks for such useful and prompt information posts. Does the rebate apply to purchases through 3rd party vendors, like Amazon, or just purchases direct from DeLorme?

    Re my earlier questions about photo-tagging. Do you know if photos can be geo-tagged by waypoints rather than only by trackpoints?

    Frank - November 21st, 2008
  64. My understanding is that the offer applies at any authorized dealer. Yes, you can manually add a photo to a specific point on the map, although I’m not sure if it adds the EXIF data to the photo.

    Tim - November 21st, 2008
  65. I tried looking on the Delorme site to see if they have aerial or other views of the region i’m interested. I even went to the address of Delorme’s base in Maine. No way to click and select maps. It’s possible because I’m using a Mac; will need to try it when i return to the office. Question: In theory I could scan a map such as one of the AMC maps, and load it onto the computer and into the device? I have several AMC, state park, and fish and game maps that I can imagine scanning. How does one make sure that it is properly aligned?

    Dave - November 21st, 2008
  66. Dave, the aerial images cover all of NH if that is what you are interested in. If you want to scan and add your own maps then you would need to purchase DeLorme’s Xmap software which is available for $99 if you own a PN-GPS. That software provides an “image registration” technique which allows you to import your own scanned maps and then pick a few points on the map that correspond with points on their map to properly align them.

    Tim - November 22nd, 2008
  67. I have a garmin vista hcx which I like. Considering the PN-40. One issue with the garmin is that the altitude display only shows barometic altitude. I would like to have GPS altitude as an option. Does the PN-40 have this (you can get a static gps altitude on the Vista but its a few button presses into the satellite status screen. I would like a gps altitude when I am on aircraft where the Barometric one is useless.

    Also the Garmin has a turn preview with a view of the interchange or intersection. Does the Delorme do this? How does street routing perform versus the Garmin Vista HCx which is quite good with the exception of speech and touch screen?

    Does it have good POI’s for food, gas etc like the Garmin?

    Thanks
    Marty B.

    Marty - November 22nd, 2008
  68. It seems that a major advantage is aerial imagery- as well as satellite imagery- how many “layers” can be loaded onto the 40 at a time, for a given region?

    Dave - November 23rd, 2008
  69. Dave, for any given area you can have b&w aerial imagery, color aerial imagery, satellite imagery, USGS 24k topo maps, NOAA nautical charts, DeLorme (vector) topo maps, or high res city aerial imagery. Some areas are not covered by all data types– but most are. I’m not sure if that answers your question.

    Tim - November 23rd, 2008
  70. Apparently that rebate isn’t available anywhere. I’ve received two conflicting lists this afternoon regarding exactly where it is valid, so I’m seeking further clarification.

    Tim - November 24th, 2008
  71. Okay, the list of stores that are eligible for the rebate are here:
    http://www.delorme.com/pnrebate

    Additionally, my understanding is this does not apply to orders placed directly from DeLorme.

    Tim - November 24th, 2008
  72. The rebate says an authorized dealer. How can Delorme restrict it to certain dealers when the form does not state this restriction (either by listing the dealers on the form or by stating that it only applies to some participating dealers and not all authorized Delorme dealers qualify for the rebate. You see this with rebates that state on the form that COSTCO purchases are not eligible for example.

    Marty - November 25th, 2008
  73. Anyone know the answer to my question about reporting Altitude using only the GPS fix and ignoring the Barometric data? This is very important if you wish to use it on Pressurized aircraft which will be pressurized to about 6 thousand feet when they are flying at 35 thousand.

    Also can the 40 dollar map coupon be applied to the subscription cost?

    Marty - November 25th, 2008
  74. Mary, there is a good discussion of how the sensors are used, what fields are available, and what they mean here.

    Tim - November 25th, 2008
  75. Thanks Tim for the link. Yes it looks like GPS elevation is available. This is an improvement over my Garmin where GPS elevation can only be accessed as a static value from a menu on the satellite page.

    Marty - November 25th, 2008
  76. How many layers can the unit deal with? For example, if I construct my own map using state maps, can I add that to aerial, satellite, topo, etc.? Also, is there any way to get a preview of what the satellite, aerial, and especially Delorme Topographic views look like for a specific region, prior to purchasing and signing up for their service?

    Dave - November 25th, 2008
  77. Dave, you can add as many layers as there are available data types for the area. For example around my home I have the following layers all available:

    High Resolution City
    Color Aerial
    B&W Aerial
    Satellite Imagery
    USGS (Raster) Topo
    NOAA Harbor
    NOAA Harbor Inset
    NOAA Coastal
    Topo USA
    DeLorme “Draw” Layers

    You can preview the DeLorme Topo USA data at data.delorme.com, but I don’t believe there is a way to preview the other data types. Using the XMap software you could essentially create unlimited layers through custom maps you create yourself.

    Tim - November 25th, 2008
  78. Tim,
    Thanks again for quick and useful info. I talked with DeLorme sales rep and was told that the PN-40SE is only available direct from DeLorme, not from vendors.

    Regarding the SE option. Why not buy the 40 and an 8GB SDHC card (for under $10 at Amazon) rather than pay the extra $100 for the 40SE? It seems that you could load all onto the card just as easily as into internal memory, having the same convenience at less cost. Are there other considerations arguing against this?

    Frank - November 25th, 2008
  79. That question has been debated quite a few times. From a cost per GB perspective you are absolutely right– the SE just doesn’t make financial sense. On the older PN-20 accessing maps in the internal memory made for faster re-draws than maps on SD card, but with the PN-40 that is no longer an argument either.

    The argument for the SE is simply a matter of convenience and map management preference. I have have areas I frequently visit that I have cut maps for and will very infrequently change. Those total about 6 GB. So I put all of them in the internal memory of the SE and “forget about it”. By not touching the internal memory I’ll have less of a chance of accidentally deleting something, and those maps will always be there.

    Then for trips I take once per year, or for a special map, I’ll load those on a 1 GB or 2 GB SD card. I’ve got plenty of those hanging around. So for me, I went with the SE purely for organization of maps… I just dislike loading and swapping SD cards. Sure– you could do something similar with a big SD card and infrequently take it out.. I just dislike using SD cards as a personal preference.

    Tim - November 25th, 2008
  80. [Snip] Do people think there will be another opportunity for $50 off in the near future? I’d rather wait to save than overextend my credit card. I’m just not sure how frequent these coupon deals are.

    Dave - November 30th, 2008
  81. Something needs to be made clear for mapping newbies, like myself. Concerning subscriptions to the Delorme Map Library, you wrote: “…all you can eat for $29 per year.” To me (and I suspect others too), this gives the impression that you get a free pass for your annual fee. In fact, $29 is only the upfront fee. You still have to pay per kilometer for the downloads. Admittedly, the rate is very inexpensive, but it is not a free pass. Delorme’s website also gives the impression of a $29/yr free pass.

    William - December 2nd, 2008
  82. William, that is not true. Once you pay the $29 subscription you do not have to pay a per kilometer fee for the downloads.

    Tim - December 2nd, 2008
  83. Tim, thanks for your reply. The liner blurb on the inside of Delorme Topo USA 7.0 states: “After exhausting your free downloads, you can inexpenisvely purchase any or all of these data types using our $29.95 Map Library annual subscription. Enjoy remarkable savings…” That, plus the per/km charge listed on software’s NetLink tab (example: USGS 1:24K Quads (Scanned Maps) $0.10/km) sure give the impression of more charges.

    Ed – Tim, William has a point. The liner blurb inside Delorme Topo USA 7.0: “After exhausting your free downlods, you can inexpenviely purchase any or all of these data types using our $29.95 Map Library annual subscription. Enjloy remarkable savings…” Plus the per/km charges listed on the software’s NetLink give the impression of more charges.

    William - December 2nd, 2008
  84. William (and Ed, same person) – You are reading it incorrectly. With the PN-20 you get $40 of free supplemental map downloads… no questions asked, no subscription, etc. After that, you can pay the per km charge (which can be expensive) or pay $29.95 for the subscription and get unlimited downloads.

    So with the device you get a bunch of free map downloads. After that you can pay the $29 and get unlimited downloads, all you can eat, free pass, however you want to describe it.

    So if you go the subscription route you wouldn’t pay more than the $29 annual price for unlimited maps.

    Tim - December 3rd, 2008
  85. The PN-40SE is sweet have the PN-20 and the PN-40 runs rings around the 20 for that matter it will out do the Garmin 60CSx and most other Garmin’s out there.

    Roger Clement - December 4th, 2008
  86. I am considering the PN-40. Two questions though…

    I already have Topo 6.0 and Street Atlas 2004 loaded on my computer. Are these compatible with the PN-40?

    Next, do you know if Geocaching.com has instituted the “easy send” to the PN-40 yet?

    Thanks.

    Scott G. - December 4th, 2008
  87. Scott, the PN-40 is compatible with Topo USA 7.0, which comes for free with the PN-40. There isn’t a geocaching plugin yet… but DeLorme says one is coming soon.

    Tim - December 4th, 2008
  88. Apparently there is a rebate for the PN-20 and PN-40 this holiday season. But I wonder, does it only apply if you buy the unit from REI?

    Anthony - December 7th, 2008
  89. Anthony, that has been discussed on this page previously. See comments #62, 63, 64, 70, and 71.

    Tim - December 7th, 2008
  90. A word of warning about that rebate has recently come up. As with most rebates, the process was being conducted by a third party for validation and cutting the check. That company apparently entered bankruptcy a few weeks ago. A stop payment was issued on the checks that were sent out, and many people waiting for the $50 check to clear were instead hit with a fee from their bank.

    There were multiple versions of the rebate form sent out. If yours went directly to DeLorme like this one ( http://www.delorme.com/images/pnMir.pdf ) then I suspect you will be fine. However if it went somewhere else with instructions to check rebatestatus.com then you might not want to cash the check and wait for an updated status.

    Tim - December 8th, 2008
  91. DeLorme has now said this about the rebate:

    If anyone has a rebate check bounce please call us at 800-561-5105 and we’ll take care of you. Some of our rebates were printed and distributed before we learned a major rebate house had filed chapter eleven. We are trying to work with them but it is tough sledding and the communication is not great. We will of course honor all rebates under our name that meet the stated requirements. Thanks for your patience and understanding in this matter.

    Tim - December 8th, 2008
  92. Tim,
    Best, most high quality review on the net of this product. Thanks for the sustained Q and A. FWIW this blog just sold one PN-40.

    chad - December 9th, 2008
  93. Thanks, Chad, I’m glad I could help.

    Tim - December 9th, 2008
  94. Make that 2 sales! I was going to get a Garmin 60csx until I read about the PN-40. I purchased it today at REI. They currently have $20 off for orders above $100, + the $50 rebate from Delorme. Brought the price down to the $329 range.

    Questions:

    It came with Topo 7 maps. Should I get Street Atlas 2009 for the road maps or is there a better option?

    Can I download Street Atlas via the yearly suscription service, or do I need to purchase it outright ($39.95)?

    Regards,

    Steve - December 10th, 2008
  95. Steve, I’d wait before getting the SA 2009 product– I think you will find that Topo USA 7 has all the street maps you will need. ;) But no, you can’t get the Street Atlas product with the subscription service.

    Tim - December 10th, 2008
  96. Tim,

    Seems like there is a similar discussion on the Delorme forum on the PN-40 and the Garmin 60CSx as to the accuracy and ability to hold onto a satellite fix in heavy cover, (honest it wasn’t me who started it) :’), one of the forum users brought up a good point about the unit’s own accuracy figure being extremely generous.

    So perhaps a more extensive head to head comparison will show that while the Garmin seems to be more accurate it is only because that is what the unit is displaying and not an actual reading of the actual accuracy.

    I’d like to take them both on a route several times and mark known points on the map to display on Topo USA 7.0 to see what the actual errors or variables would be and if either unit really has an edge over the other.

    I know that the other features that the PN-40 offers and the endless mapping possibility’s make it to the top of my new GPS wish list, plus the more I work with and use Topo USA 7.0 the more I like it.

    The next time I go to the Adirondacks I’d like to have both units with me just to see how well they perform out in the wilderness areas out there.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - December 10th, 2008
  97. Hi Roger, yes, I’m familiar with that thread over there. I’ve participated in it a couple of times as well so you can read some of my thoughts over there as well. ;)

    The bottom line for me is this. The 60CSx might be faster right now, although with the predictive ephemeris firmware update coming out that could change. As far as accuracy goes, I think it is a draw. The 60Csx reports a lower value for estimated accuracy but that means nothing as you’ve noted. I think they are both equally as accurate. As to holding a signal in tough conditions, I think this is a draw too. While the PN-40 might drop out before the 60CSx, there are times when the 60CSx had a signal that just seemed implausible for the location and inaccurate too… just seemed to be trying to guess.

    At the end of the day when I need something I can rely on to be quick, accurate, and hold in tough conditions I’d happily have either device with me from a signal acquisition perspective.

    Tim - December 10th, 2008
  98. Tim I agree with you that both units will get the job done without a problem and I’m starting to realize that many of these numbers are just an estimate and not the actual value.

    I just returned from a hunting trip in the Poconos and was walking to my friends stand location using my Garmin 60 CSx and although the unit reported an EPE of 18 feet I was a good 200 feet from his blind when it told me I was there.

    Now I realize that there are many factors at play here and the EPE is at best only a guesstimate but I have had much better results on other occasions.

    The other thing I have noticed is that when driving on a major highway (which has north and south lanes) sometimes I’m so far off the road that the cursor shows me on the other side of the highway even though the EPE is sometimes as low as 12 FT.

    To me the Garmin is an excellent unit but I’m starting to realize I may have over estimated the accuracy based on the units generated error estimate, I’ll have to do some more homework and see just how accurate it really is.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - December 10th, 2008
  99. >The other thing I have noticed is that when driving on a major highway (which has north and south lanes) sometimes I’m so far off the road that the cursor shows me on the other side of the highway even though the EPE is sometimes as low as 12 FT.

    There’s a feature called “lock on road” that it sounds like is not enabled. Also it’s possible, especially with the TOPO maps, that the map is not 100% lined up with reality.

    Anthony - December 10th, 2008
  100. Anthony yes I’m aware of the lock on road feature but since I mostly use my GPS for outdoor use not street use I have that turned off most of the time.

    Your right that the map may not be lined up 100% but it could also mean that the reported accuracy is not what it says it is because at other times driving the same road I’m dead on.

    I think if the map was off the unit would show me off the road in the same place most of the time also but it doesn’t, sometimes I’m a little off sometimes I’m way off.

    I need to do a little more field work and testing to check the accuracy of the Garmin 60 CSx.

    Thanks, Roger

    Roger - December 11th, 2008



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