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centme37

Delorme GPS PN-20

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This looks like a cool GPS, but the reason I will never buy it is because you have to PAY for raster graphics that I can download for free for pretty much the entire country. If I wanted to pay for those files, I'd get a custom compilation that covers a much larger area on a series of CD's or DVD's.

 

$0.25/sq km is outrageously expensive. I don't care how nice the feature is on the GPS, there's no way I'm buying the GPS and spending a sheer fortune for map data. I use my GPS all over the country for backpacking, driving, and mountain biking. I can buy topo and autorouting software for the entire country for roughly $225 (less if I looked hard enough). $225 out of pocket gets me 900 sq km of area...not even close.

 

Thanks, Delorme...try again.

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This looks like a cool GPS, but the reason I will never buy it is because you have to PAY for raster graphics that I can download for free for pretty much the entire country. If I wanted to pay for those files, I'd get a custom compilation that covers a much larger area on a series of CD's or DVD's.

 

$0.25/sq km is outrageously expensive. I don't care how nice the feature is on the GPS, there's no way I'm buying the GPS and spending a sheer fortune for map data. I use my GPS all over the country for backpacking, driving, and mountain biking. I can buy topo and autorouting software for the entire country for roughly $225 (less if I looked hard enough). $225 out of pocket gets me 900 sq km of area...not even close.

 

Thanks, Delorme...try again.

So, your going to lug your laptop with you while you are hiking? That should be fun. I hope you don't get cought in a rain storm with no cover.

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I can buy topo and autorouting software for the entire country for roughly $225 (less if I looked hard enough). $225 out of pocket gets me 900 sq km of area...not even close.

 

I expect that I will download my $100 credit of aerial and satellite imagery, but I'll be sitting pat with the TopoUSA6 that comes with the PN-20, which provides topo and autorouting for the whole country. So I'm not entirely sure I get the point of your post.

 

I will note that, as mentioned much earlier in this thread, the autorouting on the PN-20 is not so hot. The chief drawback I have noticed so far is that it takes a long time to type in an address, as there is not autosearch/type ahead aspect--you have to enter the state, then city, street number, and street name letter by letter in its entirety. If you misspell something, the device can search for a lo-o--ong time. It only routes to an address block, not a specific address (this is like MapSend DirectRoute in this regard), and it lacks POIs like restaurants, hotels, and such. Some of that might be improved by buying Street Atlas.

 

Delorme has acknowledged that the PN-20 is intended more as a recreational GPS than as an autorouter. I'll see it as a backup unit for my Quest for car use, but I think it will be my prime unit for hiking and caching.

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I will note that, as mentioned much earlier in this thread, the autorouting on the PN-20 is not so hot. The chief drawback I have noticed so far is that it takes a long time to type in an address, as there is not autosearch/type ahead aspect--you have to enter the state, then city, street number, and street name letter by letter in its entirety. If you misspell something, the device can search for a lo-o--ong time. It only routes to an address block, not a specific address (this is like MapSend DirectRoute in this regard), and it lacks POIs like restaurants, hotels, and such. Some of that might be improved by buying Street Atlas.

 

Delorme has acknowledged that the PN-20 is intended more as a recreational GPS than as an autorouter. I'll see it as a backup unit for my Quest for car use, but I think it will be my prime unit for hiking and caching.

 

Will the PN-20 street route from waypoint to waypoint like DirectRoute will?

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I will note that, as mentioned much earlier in this thread, the autorouting on the PN-20 is not so hot. The chief drawback I have noticed so far is that it takes a long time to type in an address, as there is not autosearch/type ahead aspect--you have to enter the state, then city, street number, and street name letter by letter in its entirety. If you misspell something, the device can search for a lo-o--ong time. It only routes to an address block, not a specific address (this is like MapSend DirectRoute in this regard), and it lacks POIs like restaurants, hotels, and such. Some of that might be improved by buying Street Atlas.

 

Delorme has acknowledged that the PN-20 is intended more as a recreational GPS than as an autorouter. I'll see it as a backup unit for my Quest for car use, but I think it will be my prime unit for hiking and caching.

 

Will the PN-20 street route from waypoint to waypoint like DirectRoute will?

 

Yes! Routes are better created ib the included software Topo USA6 then sent to GPSr.

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This looks like a cool GPS, but the reason I will never buy it is because you have to PAY for raster graphics that I can download for free for pretty much the entire country. If I wanted to pay for those files, I'd get a custom compilation that covers a much larger area on a series of CD's or DVD's.

 

$0.25/sq km is outrageously expensive. I don't care how nice the feature is on the GPS, there's no way I'm buying the GPS and spending a sheer fortune for map data. I use my GPS all over the country for backpacking, driving, and mountain biking. I can buy topo and autorouting software for the entire country for roughly $225 (less if I looked hard enough). $225 out of pocket gets me 900 sq km of area...not even close.

 

Thanks, Delorme...try again.

So, your going to lug your laptop with you while you are hiking? That should be fun. I hope you don't get cought in a rain storm with no cover.

Maybe not, but the state of Washington would cost over $17K for full satellite/aerial coverage. That's prohibitive. With Bushnell's plan, $80 gets you unlimited download for 1 year. That's a huge disparity.

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So, your going to lug your laptop with you while you are hiking? That should be fun. I hope you don't get cought in a rain storm with no cover.

 

Nope. The garmin topos are good enough for now (until somebody makes a more affordable gps that has the ability to display geotiffs). Worst case scenario, I'll print some maps. But even then, it is still cheaper than $0.25/sq km to print the maps.

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So, your going to lug your laptop with you while you are hiking? That should be fun. I hope you don't get cought in a rain storm with no cover.

 

Nope. The garmin topos are good enough for now (until somebody makes a more affordable gps that has the ability to display geotiffs). Worst case scenario, I'll print some maps. But even then, it is still cheaper than $0.25/sq km to print the maps.

10-4 :laughing:

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A serious bug has emerged: when setting a direct route to a waypoint (as one would with a cache), the compass screen points to the point of origin. It sounds like the temporary workaround is to reverse the route.

 

Delorme has acknowledged the bug; now we get to see how fast they fix it.

 

Just about 5 days from bug report to fix. Not too shabby. B)

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I like what I see!

 

I have a question for those of you who already own a PN-20. I am reading that you can load .loc and even .gpx files into the device - that is really cool! How much of the information for each cache is actually carried over into the unit? Will this be a replacement for PDA paperless caching?

 

I hope that GPSBabel and GSAK will be able to communicate directly with the unit to push cache information across without having to go through the map software, that will be a huge plus if and when that happens!

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I like what I see!

 

I have a question for those of you who already own a PN-20. I am reading that you can load .loc and even .gpx files into the device - that is really cool! How much of the information for each cache is actually carried over into the unit? Will this be a replacement for PDA paperless caching?

 

I hope that GPSBabel and GSAK will be able to communicate directly with the unit to push cache information across without having to go through the map software, that will be a huge plus if and when that happens!

I have not tried to use it directly with GSAK and I don't use GPSBabel.

 

I use GSAK to load a .gpx (with the info I want into the comment field) file into Topo 6.0. In the comment field you get up to 256 characters, so you can get a lot of info in there. Once you have all your caches done in T6, send it to the PN-20. Goto your waypoints page and select a waypoint and then read whatever you put into the comment field. I have gone out and have done some paperless caching this way.

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I hope that GPSBabel and GSAK will be able to communicate directly with the unit to push cache information across without having to go through the map software, that will be a huge plus if and when that happens!

I could be wrong about this, my impression is that at the current time loc and/or gpx files would have to be run through the Topo6 map program. Although the PN-20 will set up as an external hard drive for internal or external (SD) memory, it looks like the waypoint data is in an internal memory store not showing up in Windows Explorer...I only see a Maps folder.

 

We've requested the ability to have multiple waypoint files accessible on the SD card, and I expect to see it at some point. Then, assuming GPSBabel has a compatible format--DeLorme XMap HH Native .WPT (xmap)?--it looks like this could happen.

 

Benjamin's use of GSAK to load up the comments field and run it through Topo6 looks like the best way right now.

Edited by embra

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I just got an Earthmate PN-20. Things are not going too smoothly with it so far. The Lithium-Ion battery doesn't seem to work. Ditto with the USB card reader. The USB to GPS cable worked once, but now I get an error message when I try to use it ("one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned..."). The Lithium-Ion battery barely fits into the battery compartment: getting it in and out is a real challenge. It seems to me that there is considerable risk of damaging the battery connections when a battery is that tight. I e-mailed Delorme for tech support a few days ago but haven't gotten a reply yet.

 

I'm attending a training with about 100 Search and Rescue people tomorrow and had planned on showing off my new "toy". I'm afraid it won't look too impressive with just the base maps it comes with. The built in base maps on the PN-20 may show you what city you are in but they don't get you much closer than that. You have to be able to down-load maps for the map part of the unit to be useful and I can't seem to do that.

 

I did do some side-by-side comparisons with my Garmin GPSmap76Cx to get a sense of how well the satellite receiver works. It seemed to me that the PN-20 and the 76Cx had comparable reception under tree cover. The PN-20 went down to 4 satellites for a few seconds occassionally while the 76Cx never had fewer than 7, but most of the time they had a similar lock. The 76CX usually reported it's own accuracy as being much better than the PN-20 reported, but I'd want to do my own field testing before I gave that too much importance. If they are getting the same satellites shouldn't they be equally accurate? The 76CX has satellites blinking on and off it's screen constantly whereas the PN-20 had a steadier look. I like the PN-20 screen better.

 

There are enough similarities between the Garmin and the Earthmate GPS's that I found the PN-20 quite easy to operate. The DeLorme TOPO USA software hasn't proven to be that easy to use but I guess it's workable.

 

I like the size and feel of the PN-20: it's a little bigger than a Garmin eTrex but smaller than the GPSmap60 and 76. It fits nicely into my hand and the controls are in easy thumbs reach without blocking the screen. The screen size is similar to the eTrex but the colors are nicer. If it worked as advertised it would be superior to the eTrex units since it has good satellite reception and an SD card. IF.

 

I was able to load one quad from the DeLorme TOPOUSA maps before the cable stopped working. That map was more detailed for city streets than the Garmin Mapsource topo maps but not detailed enough to navigate through city streets (even though I was on a street it showed the nearest street as 1/4 mile away). The "find an address" function showed the nearest address as being several miles away even though I was in an urban area.

 

The Topo part of the DeLorme TOPOUSA map was less detailed than a Garmin Mapsource maps of the same area. The DeLorme map didn't show trails in an area where the Mapsource map showed trails and where there are trails. The DeLorme map showed a developed road going through an area where no developed road exists. I'm really curious about that: I wonder if there was ever a road there?

 

I wasn't able to try out the Aerial Data Packet since the USB cable and card reader aren't working. That was the feature I most wanted to see and the reason why I bought the unit. If I can ever get help to get the unit operable I'll try downloading some maps and let y'all know what I think.

 

All in all, if you're thinking of buying a PN-20 you may want to wait until you see how things work out for the early buyers. I'm going to give DeLorme tech support a few more days to get back to me but if I don't hear from them soon, or if they can't get my PN-20 up and running fast, I'm sending mine back.

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I just got an Earthmate PN-20. Things are not going too smoothly with it so far. The Lithium-Ion battery doesn't seem to work. Ditto with the USB card reader. The USB to GPS cable worked once, but now I get an error message when I try to use it ("one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned..."). The Lithium-Ion battery barely fits into the battery compartment: getting it in and out is a real challenge. It seems to me that there is considerable risk of damaging the battery connections when a battery is that tight. I e-mailed Delorme for tech support a few days ago but haven't gotten a reply yet.

 

I'm attending a training with about 100 Search and Rescue people tomorrow and had planned on showing off my new "toy". I'm afraid it won't look too impressive with just the base maps it comes with. The built in base maps on the PN-20 may show you what city you are in but they don't get you much closer than that. You have to be able to down-load maps for the map part of the unit to be useful and I can't seem to do that.

 

I did do some side-by-side comparisons with my Garmin GPSmap76Cx to get a sense of how well the satellite receiver works. It seemed to me that the PN-20 and the 76Cx had comparable reception under tree cover. The PN-20 went down to 4 satellites for a few seconds occassionally while the 76Cx never had fewer than 7, but most of the time they had a similar lock. The 76CX usually reported it's own accuracy as being much better than the PN-20 reported, but I'd want to do my own field testing before I gave that too much importance. If they are getting the same satellites shouldn't they be equally accurate? The 76CX has satellites blinking on and off it's screen constantly whereas the PN-20 had a steadier look. I like the PN-20 screen better.

 

There are enough similarities between the Garmin and the Earthmate GPS's that I found the PN-20 quite easy to operate. The DeLorme TOPO USA software hasn't proven to be that easy to use but I guess it's workable.

 

I like the size and feel of the PN-20: it's a little bigger than a Garmin eTrex but smaller than the GPSmap60 and 76. It fits nicely into my hand and the controls are in easy thumbs reach without blocking the screen. The screen size is similar to the eTrex but the colors are nicer. If it worked as advertised it would be superior to the eTrex units since it has good satellite reception and an SD card. IF.

 

I was able to load one quad from the DeLorme TOPOUSA maps before the cable stopped working. That map was more detailed for city streets than the Garmin Mapsource topo maps but not detailed enough to navigate through city streets (even though I was on a street it showed the nearest street as 1/4 mile away). The "find an address" function showed the nearest address as being several miles away even though I was in an urban area.

 

The Topo part of the DeLorme TOPOUSA map was less detailed than a Garmin Mapsource maps of the same area. The DeLorme map didn't show trails in an area where the Mapsource map showed trails and where there are trails. The DeLorme map showed a developed road going through an area where no developed road exists. I'm really curious about that: I wonder if there was ever a road there?

 

I wasn't able to try out the Aerial Data Packet since the USB cable and card reader aren't working. That was the feature I most wanted to see and the reason why I bought the unit. If I can ever get help to get the unit operable I'll try downloading some maps and let y'all know what I think.

 

All in all, if you're thinking of buying a PN-20 you may want to wait until you see how things work out for the early buyers. I'm going to give DeLorme tech support a few more days to get back to me but if I don't hear from them soon, or if they can't get my PN-20 up and running fast, I'm sending mine back.

 

 

I'm surprised you didn't post this on the DeLorme PN-20 forum There are several DeLorme employees as well as many PN-20 owners who can provide lots of help. I've had my PN-20 since Jan. 12 and I love it and the maps.

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I just got mine today. Just barely had time to let it sync up to it's new location and to install Topo 6.0. Since it looks nothing like Mapsource or Topo!, I'm lost.

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I just got an Earthmate PN-20. Things are not going too smoothly with it so far. The Lithium-Ion battery doesn't seem to work. Ditto with the USB card reader. The USB to GPS cable worked once, but now I get an error message when I try to use it ("one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned..."). The Lithium-Ion battery barely fits into the battery compartment: getting it in and out is a real challenge. It seems to me that there is considerable risk of damaging the battery connections when a battery is that tight. I e-mailed Delorme for tech support a few days ago but haven't gotten a reply yet.

My Li-Ion was a dud, too (and I agree about the tight fit). Several other people reported the same thing, so there must have been problems in the first batch. Interesting to hear that email is [thus-far] non-responsive, but I found that a 10 minute phone call had a good battery on the way to me pronto. The replacement has worked fine for me.

 

I'm uncertain about the SD reader. It may be non-functional, but it could be Windows or your system. I would try plugging the cable into a different USB port (and avoiding the use of hubs for this one). Perhaps deleting the driver in Device Manager to force a re-installation would help.

 

Have you tried installing anything to internal memory on the GPS? Reportedly internal memory runs a little faster than SD memory, so I decided to put my regional maps in there, while putting the large detail topo maps and ADP maps on SD memory.

 

I'm quite surprised to hear that you see less detail in T6 than in the Mapsource topos. There is an option in T6 to go from the default "medium" to high or low settings. At high, you should have contour lines every 10'. I'm only slightly surprised about the trails, as T6 tends to have the most complete trail data available (I think...it's much, much better than Magellan Topo3D. But even T6 is incomplete in that regard. Are you seeing the same deficiencies you described on the PC as well as the map on the GPS? I can't help but wonder if you have some missing data (although it seems unlikely).

 

The Delorme software interface is notoriously controversial. Adherents swear up and down that it allows for more power and flexibility than the standard Windows interface, once you get used to it. I'm not sold on that yet, although I'm getting to feel more comfortable with it.

 

Along with centme 37, I recommend the Delorme forum for skilled user assistance and advice. Delorme staff check in there frequently, too, although it's not an official customer support venue.

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I just got mine today. Just barely had time to let it sync up to it's new location and to install Topo 6.0. Since it looks nothing like Mapsource or Topo!, I'm lost.

What steps have you taken so far?

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This GPS looks nice but I only see US maps. If it is just for the US market, despite its size, it is a marketing mistake.

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I just got mine today. Just barely had time to let it sync up to it's new location and to install Topo 6.0. Since it looks nothing like Mapsource or Topo!, I'm lost.

What steps have you taken so far?

Not much so far. I had to go to bed because I worked 5 AM until 1PM today. Now I need a nap before I go to a family function. Maybe tomorrow.

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My first impressions remain negative. I wrote DeLorme tech support for help last week. I got a reply today. The reply was a canned message that they would respond to my request for help sometime in the future. Thanks, guys, that helps a lot. :blink:

 

I gather I got one of the bad batteries. From what I can tell I also got a bad card reader. And I think there is something wrong with the USB-computer port to GPS connection because it works sometimes and sometimes I get an error message.

 

If DeLorme cares about quality you'd think they would make sure all the components they include with their GPS's are good. Or if something goes wrong unexpectedly (like a bad batch of batteries) you'd think they would notify their customers and initiate corrective action. If they didn't bother with quality control in parts like the batteries and the card reader how much did they bother with the quality of the internal parts?

 

I'm also realizing that if the greatest benefit of this GPS is the ability to download Aerial photos then this is going to be one expensive "toy." Just one of my local regional parks consumed over $10 in download costs (this one was covered in the cost of the GPS but it clearly wouldn't take long to eat up the entire $100 in "free downloads").

 

All that said I'm not quite ready to give up on this GPS. If DeLorme will do something to resolve the problems with the equipment and if I can really figure out how to use it (how to download what I want, how to switch from one view to another) I may be able to overcome my first negative first impressions. We'll see...

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My first impressions remain negative. I wrote DeLorme tech support for help last week. I got a reply today. The reply was a canned message that they would respond to my request for help sometime in the future. Thanks, guys, that helps a lot. :rolleyes:

 

I gather I got one of the bad batteries. From what I can tell I also got a bad card reader. And I think there is something wrong with the USB-computer port to GPS connection because it works sometimes and sometimes I get an error message.

 

If DeLorme cares about quality you'd think they would make sure all the components they include with their GPS's are good. Or if something goes wrong unexpectedly (like a bad batch of batteries) you'd think they would notify their customers and initiate corrective action. If they didn't bother with quality control in parts like the batteries and the card reader how much did they bother with the quality of the internal parts?

 

I'm also realizing that if the greatest benefit of this GPS is the ability to download Aerial photos then this is going to be one expensive "toy." Just one of my local regional parks consumed over $10 in download costs (this one was covered in the cost of the GPS but it clearly wouldn't take long to eat up the entire $100 in "free downloads").

 

All that said I'm not quite ready to give up on this GPS. If DeLorme will do something to resolve the problems with the equipment and if I can really figure out how to use it (how to download what I want, how to switch from one view to another) I may be able to overcome my first negative first impressions. We'll see...

 

You'll have more luck in getting help and responses from Delorme reps if you post on the Delorme Forums.

 

The reps respond very quickly to those that have issues.

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It seems that for the latest and greatest GPS this is supposed to be, it is sure has a lot of issues.

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It seems that for the latest and greatest GPS this is supposed to be, it is sure has a lot of issues.

 

I can recall that when the X series came out that there were similar kinds of problems. At that time I owned an Explorist 500 and it was nice to see the Garmin's taking bashing for a change. Since then I gave my Explorist to my son and purchased a 60Cx. It's a great GPS'r that has had numerous firmware updates to deal with issues.

 

I have also purchased the PN-20 from Delorme for the purpose of being able to have access to aerial and topoquad data. That's the biggest failing of the 60Cx is the lack of good topo maps, unless you want to role your own.

 

As far as issues with the PN-20 are concerned, the reps are very responsive and early on issued an update and will soon be forthcoming with a major firmware update. I'm very impressed with their quick responses and customer service.

 

The PN-20 is a very robust and capable GPS'r that I use for all my 'off road' stuff, however I still use my 60Cx for auto navigation. The PN-20 will navigate but the 60Cx has more options.

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how is the usb load time with maps, I haven't been on the forums in a while, do the delorme have to covert the software to another format like the explorist series then upload to the unit , what is the average say for a state size conversion.

 

I can't believe the explorst just got software update, took 2 years though. :rolleyes:

 

would you recommend this unit over the explorist?

 

the back seems to look thicker thought is it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just got an Earthmate PN-20. Things are not going too smoothly with it so far. The Lithium-Ion battery doesn't seem to work. Ditto with the USB card reader. The USB to GPS cable worked once, but now I get an error message when I try to use it ("one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned..."). The Lithium-Ion battery barely fits into the battery compartment: getting it in and out is a real challenge. It seems to me that there is considerable risk of damaging the battery connections when a battery is that tight. I e-mailed Delorme for tech support a few days ago but haven't gotten a reply yet.

My Li-Ion was a dud, too (and I agree about the tight fit). Several other people reported the same thing, so there must have been problems in the first batch. Interesting to hear that email is [thus-far] non-responsive, but I found that a 10 minute phone call had a good battery on the way to me pronto. The replacement has worked fine for me.

 

I'm uncertain about the SD reader. It may be non-functional, but it could be Windows or your system. I would try plugging the cable into a different USB port (and avoiding the use of hubs for this one). Perhaps deleting the driver in Device Manager to force a re-installation would help.

 

Have you tried installing anything to internal memory on the GPS? Reportedly internal memory runs a little faster than SD memory, so I decided to put my regional maps in there, while putting the large detail topo maps and ADP maps on SD memory.

 

I'm quite surprised to hear that you see less detail in T6 than in the Mapsource topos. There is an option in T6 to go from the default "medium" to high or low settings. At high, you should have contour lines every 10'. I'm only slightly surprised about the trails, as T6 tends to have the most complete trail data available (I think...it's much, much better than Magellan Topo3D. But even T6 is incomplete in that regard. Are you seeing the same deficiencies you described on the PC as well as the map on the GPS? I can't help but wonder if you have some missing data (although it seems unlikely).

 

The Delorme software interface is notoriously controversial. Adherents swear up and down that it allows for more power and flexibility than the standard Windows interface, once you get used to it. I'm not sold on that yet, although I'm getting to feel more comfortable with it.

 

Along with centme 37, I recommend the Delorme forum for skilled user assistance and advice. Delorme staff check in there frequently, too, although it's not an official customer support venue.

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how is the usb load time with maps, I haven't been on the forums in a while, do the delorme have to covert the software to another format like the explorist series then upload to the unit , what is the average say for a state size conversion.

 

I can't believe the explorst just got software update, took 2 years though. :rolleyes:

 

would you recommend this unit over the explorist?

 

the back seems to look thicker thought is it?

 

You can copy maps directly to the PN-20, connected to the USB port, to the internal 75mb memory of the an external SD card up to 2 GB. If you upload maps to an SD card, it goes much faster using a card reader for the exchange.

 

I would choose the PN-20 over the Explorist because of customer service and maps.

 

Maybe Embra will respond being an owner of the Ex 500 and the PN-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just got an Earthmate PN-20. Things are not going too smoothly with it so far. The Lithium-Ion battery doesn't seem to work. Ditto with the USB card reader. The USB to GPS cable worked once, but now I get an error message when I try to use it ("one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned..."). The Lithium-Ion battery barely fits into the battery compartment: getting it in and out is a real challenge. It seems to me that there is considerable risk of damaging the battery connections when a battery is that tight. I e-mailed Delorme for tech support a few days ago but haven't gotten a reply yet.

My Li-Ion was a dud, too (and I agree about the tight fit). Several other people reported the same thing, so there must have been problems in the first batch. Interesting to hear that email is [thus-far] non-responsive, but I found that a 10 minute phone call had a good battery on the way to me pronto. The replacement has worked fine for me.

 

I'm uncertain about the SD reader. It may be non-functional, but it could be Windows or your system. I would try plugging the cable into a different USB port (and avoiding the use of hubs for this one). Perhaps deleting the driver in Device Manager to force a re-installation would help.

 

Have you tried installing anything to internal memory on the GPS? Reportedly internal memory runs a little faster than SD memory, so I decided to put my regional maps in there, while putting the large detail topo maps and ADP maps on SD memory.

 

I'm quite surprised to hear that you see less detail in T6 than in the Mapsource topos. There is an option in T6 to go from the default "medium" to high or low settings. At high, you should have contour lines every 10'. I'm only slightly surprised about the trails, as T6 tends to have the most complete trail data available (I think...it's much, much better than Magellan Topo3D. But even T6 is incomplete in that regard. Are you seeing the same deficiencies you described on the PC as well as the map on the GPS? I can't help but wonder if you have some missing data (although it seems unlikely).

 

The Delorme software interface is notoriously controversial. Adherents swear up and down that it allows for more power and flexibility than the standard Windows interface, once you get used to it. I'm not sold on that yet, although I'm getting to feel more comfortable with it.

 

Along with centme 37, I recommend the Delorme forum for skilled user assistance and advice. Delorme staff check in there frequently, too, although it's not an official customer support venue.

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how is the usb load time with maps, I haven't been on the forums in a while, do the delorme have to covert the software to another format like the explorist series then upload to the unit , what is the average say for a state size conversion.

 

I can't believe the explorist just got software update, took 2 years though. :)

 

would you recommend this unit over the explorist?

 

the back seems to look thicker thought is it?

The load time takes a while; like MapSend the detail file has to be compiled then transferred. Because there is so much more detail, the Delorme map files run quite a bit larger (fair enough). (BTW, there's a nice comparison of various topo map programs detail at gpsinformation.net.) Load times are facilitated by using a card reader...I guess that, like the Explorists, the PN-20 uses USB 1.0. I don't recall very precisely the time needed...it must have been something like an hour to do all the topo maps for Pennsylvania in a single file. I'll make a note the next time I run some.

 

BTW, once you get the maps into GPS memory (SD or internal), you can toggle layers on or off but the GPS automatically uses whatever coverage you have...no switching between detail map files.

 

I don't feel like I can whole-heartedly endorse the PN-20 just yet, because it still has some rough edges. The thing that seduced me--and you will know too well what I mean--is after being a Magellan customer I feel a little like an abused dog ready to pee all over itself should any company folk show me the least kindness. The Delorme forum has a strong staff presence of nice, helpful people that seem genuinely interested in their customers' experience, are excited about their product, and downright solicitous of suggestions. There was a bad flaw in the firmware, but a fix was available just a few days after it was identified. Another firmware revision is being assembled, and we actually hear about a few things that are coming down the pike.

 

The thing about the Explorist is that it's a pretty darn good piece of hardware--available at a nice price--but its potential has never been realized because the firmware development crawled and customer feedback felt like it went into a black hole. The PN-20 has problems, but I feel reasonably optimistic that they will mostly be addressed, and that it has a good chance to realize its potential. I'm holding off on a recommendation until the next firmware release because it is a bit of a gamble buying it in anticipation of fixes in the future.

 

I am concerned that there may be more processing demand than there is processor. Screen redraws can take several seconds, and can be required frequently if zoomed in too close. Searching on something like an address can take a long time, too. So I am learning the art of giving some space to tasks that require more processing by trying to zoom out a little further than I typically would be working at, unless I really want to be in close. Also, the autorouting is a notch up from DirectRoute because of the ability to customize routes with via points, as well as the ability to route on trails (and you can easily convert tracks to trails in the desktop program), but Garmin autorouting still rules. This is foremost a hiker/biker's GPS.

 

So...it looks promising, but I think it takes a little of the pioneer spirit--that, or a high priority on the great maps--to dive in right now. I hope that I can be less cautious with my recommendation in a few months.

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I wasn't seeking a response from DeLorme reps on the Groundspeak forums. When I had problems with the PN-20 I contacted DeLorme directly. I posted here because the discussion topic was "first impressions."

 

I did get an e-mail from DeLorme tech support this morning, though. They got back to me about the cable issue (sort of) but not about the battery issue or the card reader problem.

 

And a rep reading this forum e-mailed me and suggested I call DeLorme rather than going through the tech support system. I guess if that's the only solution that's what I'll have to do but I was hoping to avoid a long-distance phone call.

 

Anyway, as I said, I'm not seeking solutions here just describing my experience.

 

 

You'll have more luck in getting help and responses from Delorme reps if you post on the Delorme Forums.

 

The reps respond very quickly to those that have issues.

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All in all, if you're thinking of buying a PN-20 you may want to wait until you see how things work out for the early buyers.

I'm probably going to return my PN-20 within the week... (Those wanting to purchase might want to wait - possibly-a firmware update is supposed to be in the works for mid-April) It hopefully will clear up a few naggling issues I experienced. (at at stand still, the odo, speed, and alt were all over the place). It showed me at 16,000 ft at a speed of 124 mph. One other thing that bugged me was the 20 showing me 100 feet from the road I was traveling.. When I ventured some distance away, other roads were spot on. (this may be a GPS wide issue anyway) If I had the time to wait for the firmware update, I would have. But these issues all together were too much.. These bugs get fixed and I think the autorouting will be solid..

 

That said.....I liked the software and had no problems with a 1 gig card I bought and read thru my front panel of the HP.. Transfers worked fine too.

 

I'm wishing I waited 1 more month before my purchase, but thinking I'll have to check into a Garmin 60cs or Magellan 500.

 

rich

 

p.s. The staff is very helpful...

Edited by rdbandkab

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The thing that seduced me--and you will know too well what I mean--is after being a Magellan customer I feel a little like an abused dog ready to pee all over itself should any company folk show me the least kindness. ...

 

:(:o:D:o

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:blink: For months I had planned on purchasing the 60Csx and the day before I was to order, I started hearing about the PN 20. I was so impressed I changed my mind and ordered the PN 20. I found it a little small, but really easy to handle. I ordered the mid package so I got the rechargeable battery, chargers and all the rest. It seemed great.

 

I turned the unit on and put it out in the front of the house with a good view of the sky and about 30 minutes later, it still had not found itself, which I understand is not unusual for an initial power up. So I went to the locate option to speed it along. You would not think the slow screen updates would be a problem, but I found it annoying at best. It did find itself after about 10 minutes and all seemed well. So, I headed out to check one of my geocaches I placed to see how accurate it would be under the trees, where my Meridian Gold was not so great. No problem getting a fix, but the arrow was pointing the opposite direction...went back and found I had to do the system update..no big deal and it worked. This time I set it to find driving directions to the cache and this proved to be very frustrating. Even though I was on the road it told me to turn ont, it never locked it. After a minute it would put a note up asking if I wanted to recalculate my course and I pressed yes..only to repeat it time and time again. I tried several different addresses, waypoints and such, but it never did get me anywhere. For geocachers it really makes it nice having one unit to get you close on streets and then go to direct route..this just wasn't working for me.

 

The mapping program for the PC the unit comes with is amazing, yet not the easiest to get around in. It really does put all other mapping programs to shame, but I needed a good, easy to use GPS and thus not worth keeping it. Never tried the aerial photos, but would not have changed my mind.

 

I called Delorme and they were very easy to deal with for returning it, so I give them 4 stars for that.

 

I turned around then and purchased the 60Csx and could not be happier. It was more expensive when purchasing the streets mapping but is easy to use and quickly auto-recalculates any missed turns. It finds the satellites quickly and is very accurate. I will say, side by side, the 60Csx finds more satellites and much faster. At my PC desk the PN 20 would see 2 to 3 satellites weakly and 60 will find 5 to 6 with a greater strength.

 

The Delorme does have a real future, but it is not there yet. But I will leave open for discussion that I might have just gotten a bad unit and you need to make your own decision. Considering the 30 day money back, all you have to lose is shipping to and from.

 

I do have to say though, the delay between screen pages can really get you flustered. I found myself pushing the buttons several times thinking it had not registered and then finding the screens go past where I wanted to go. My wife would have thrown it out the window if she used it as it is not an easy unit to pick up and use.

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I've been a happy Magellan Meridian Platinum user for years, and before that an had several early Garmin Etrexi. A few Meri-Plat bugs that never got fixed, but OK.... Love the multiple waypoint files. I NEED that for benchmark hunting, which I do more of than geocaching.

 

Been waiting.... Just ordered the PN-20 mid-package (with all the power options). I'm hoping their "teething" problems are done with. I also hope they will come out with a firmware update to allow saving mutiple waypoint files.

 

I'm a long-time user of 3D TopoQuads & Topo USA, so I know the interface, which I adapted to eventually, and now really like! The 3DTQ Topos I own (ver 2.0) better work on the PN-20. Delorme PN-20 FAQ says they will...

 

More to follow.....

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You can read about my impressions here:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...t&p=2880318

Keep close tabs on your 30-day limit for sending it back if it does not work out as you expect. This unit has lots of potential, but if the maps are crappy in areas where you need them to be good and they have not fixed the unit to be at least 5 times faster to respond to keystorkes, then it will be hard for you to be happy with it, since you have come to expect fast response from you previous GPSrs.

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Hey everyone! The Groundspeak weekly email contained a link to Delorme's site, which is advertising a sweet deal on this unit.

 

Here's the link: http://www.delorme.com/geocaching/

 

My question is this (or these): I currently have a Garmin 60CSX and I've been very happy with it. I paperless cache with a Palm T/X and GSAK. When I saw the Delorme link above, it intrigued me, as it would be nice to be able to paperless cache with all the info. in just my GPSr, rather than in two devices (with two sets of batteries, and two sets of downloads, etc. etc.). I understand that I would need to download all of the cache info. in the Topo software and then transfer it to the GPSr. But how much will it hold? And how does it display on the screen? Is it like looking at a cache page? Or something else?

 

And, most importantly, how would paperless caching with the Delorme unit compare to my current set-up with the Garmin and my Palm. Right now, I have 500-1000 caches loaded into my Garmin 60CSX and my Palm T/X. When I find myself in an area with time to cache, I turn on the Garmin, hit "find/geocache/nearest" and a list of the nearest caches pops up. I select one and choose "go to/follow road/faster time" and it will give me turn-by-turn street directions to get to the cache. When I've hit the end of the road, I go through the find menu again and choose "off road" and follow the compass to the cache (then I just look up the details in my Palm T/X if I need a hint or other info). I do have the Garmin Mapsource street-level data loaded onto a 1GB card in my GPSr.

 

How would the Delorme unit compare in this regard? Is there street-level mapping data loaded onto the unit already? Available in the software to transfer to the unit? How much will it hold? I've got the entire continental US street-level detail on a 1GB memory card in my Garmin. Will it automatically do turn by turn navigation to a cache the same way my Garmin does? I've read that there's no compass, but does it at least give you a bearing?

 

I'd love to do paperless caching with only one device, but some of the things I've read have made me wonder whether it would be as user friendly and useful as my Garmin. Can anyone shed any light on the specific geocaching aspects of the unit?

 

Thanks!

 

Duane Bolin

infarmfamily

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Let me see if I can tackle some of those questions, Duane...

 

The PN-20 will hold 1000 waypoints. I've been begging for the ability to store and use multiple waypoint files on the SD card, but that hasn't been added in any firmware upgrades so far. In the previous firmware, I found that the processor would bog down a bit sorting a large number of waypoints, so I've gotten in the habit of keeping my waypoint files down to 200-300 to keep operation crisp. I'll have to see if that's still the case with the recent firmware revision.

 

I don't thing the PN-20 is yet practical for paperless geocaching. Although the comment field will hold something like 250 characters (and DeLorme has said they'll bump that up to 800 characters in the future), at present you can only view two lines of comment at a time. They'll need to add a full screen view of the comment before that will be usable for caching.

 

The PN-20 can do street routing, trail routing, and direct routing. However, it doesn't yet work as smoothly as your 60csx. The routing engine is kinda clunky (it's targeted for improvement in the next firmware release). But it's not too bad at calculating relatively short routes in non-urban areas. Topo 7 has the routing data needed, but you would need to transfer the data to the GPS. Since topo maps have a lot more detail in them than just road maps, you won't be able to get as much coverage in 1GB of storage.

 

Although there is no electronic compass, there is a GPS-determined compass screen. I think I can get a screen shot of the waypoint description screen (including comment) up for you tomorrow, but it's past my bedtime now.

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Let me see if I can tackle some of those questions, Duane...

 

The PN-20 will hold 1000 waypoints. I've been begging for the ability to store and use multiple waypoint files on the SD card, but that hasn't been added in any firmware upgrades so far. In the previous firmware, I found that the processor would bog down a bit sorting a large number of waypoints, so I've gotten in the habit of keeping my waypoint files down to 200-300 to keep operation crisp. I'll have to see if that's still the case with the recent firmware revision.

 

I don't thing the PN-20 is yet practical for paperless geocaching. Although the comment field will hold something like 250 characters (and DeLorme has said they'll bump that up to 800 characters in the future), at present you can only view two lines of comment at a time. They'll need to add a full screen view of the comment before that will be usable for caching.

 

The PN-20 can do street routing, trail routing, and direct routing. However, it doesn't yet work as smoothly as your 60csx. The routing engine is kinda clunky (it's targeted for improvement in the next firmware release). But it's not too bad at calculating relatively short routes in non-urban areas. Topo 7 has the routing data needed, but you would need to transfer the data to the GPS. Since topo maps have a lot more detail in them than just road maps, you won't be able to get as much coverage in 1GB of storage.

 

Although there is no electronic compass, there is a GPS-determined compass screen. I think I can get a screen shot of the waypoint description screen (including comment) up for you tomorrow, but it's past my bedtime now.

 

Thanks so much for your reply! I really appreciate it. This is exactly the kind of info. I was wanting. I have a bonus gift card from work that I can spend on little ol' me and was wondering whether it was worth it to buy this Delorme unit at the special sale price. For me, it would really only be worth it if it would replace the 60CSX in paperless caching the way I'm used to, but it doesn't sound like it's quite up to that task yet. Maybe someone will create a GPSr specifically with paperless geocaching in mind somewhere down the road. Thanks again!

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My question is this (or these): I currently have a Garmin 60CSX and I've been very happy with it. I paperless cache with a Palm T/X and GSAK. When I saw the Delorme link above, it intrigued me, as it would be nice to be able to paperless cache with all the info. in just my GPSr, rather than in two devices (with two sets of batteries, and two sets of downloads, etc. etc.). I understand that I would need to download all of the cache info. in the Topo software and then transfer it to the GPSr. But how much will it hold? And how does it display on the screen? Is it like looking at a cache page? Or something else?

Here is a screen shot of the waypoint page. It should hold 256 characters and though you can only see 2 lines at a time, you just use the arrow keypad to scroll up and down to see all the text. Having this open up on a separate page would be very cool (Chip?) :D.

 

comments.jpg

 

And, most importantly, how would paperless caching with the Delorme unit compare to my current set-up with the Garmin and my Palm. Right now, I have 500-1000 caches loaded into my Garmin 60CSX and my Palm T/X. When I find myself in an area with time to cache, I turn on the Garmin, hit "find/geocache/nearest" and a list of the nearest caches pops up. I select one and choose "go to/follow road/faster time" and it will give me turn-by-turn street directions to get to the cache. When I've hit the end of the road, I go through the find menu again and choose "off road" and follow the compass to the cache (then I just look up the details in my Palm T/X if I need a hint or other info). I do have the Garmin Mapsource street-level data loaded onto a 1GB card in my GPSr.

The PN-20 will hold 1000 waypoints. When you bring up the Find page, you can search for caches Near Map Center or start typing in a name.

 

findnearmapcenter.jpg

 

And the Goto is actually a route on the PN-20. Chose your cache and route to it.

 

routetocache.jpg

 

So far I have been able to go completely paper free!

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For me, it would really only be worth it if it would replace the 60CSX in paperless caching the way I'm used to, but it doesn't sound like it's quite up to that task yet. Maybe someone will create a GPSr specifically with paperless geocaching in mind somewhere down the road.

Your 60csx has a well-polished firmware and crisp operation that makes it tough act to follow. I think DeLorme is working their way towards it, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see their next model do it. My personal take, though, is that those who will be satisfied with the PN-20 are those placing their highest priority on the map imagery and being able to transfer the highly-editable Topo 7 maps to their GPS. I would suspect that most people comparing the PN-20 to the 60csx will find they both have their strengths and weaknesses, but things that one likes in the 60csx may not be acceptable in the PN-20. The PN-20 is a diamond in the rough, and while DeLorme is clearly committed to smoothing out the edges, there are yet a few compromises that current users must contend with. I like it quite a bit, but I'm a map addict.

 

I think somebody here put up this link to a comparison of the two devices, but here it is again if you missed it.

 

Thanks for posting those screenshots, Ben.

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My question is this (or these): I currently have a Garmin 60CSX and I've been very happy with it. I paperless cache with a Palm T/X and GSAK. When I saw the Delorme link above, it intrigued me, as it would be nice to be able to paperless cache with all the info. in just my GPSr, rather than in two devices (with two sets of batteries, and two sets of downloads, etc. etc.). I understand that I would need to download all of the cache info. in the Topo software and then transfer it to the GPSr. But how much will it hold? And how does it display on the screen? Is it like looking at a cache page? Or something else?

Here is a screen shot of the waypoint page. It should hold 256 characters and though you can only see 2 lines at a time, you just use the arrow keypad to scroll up and down to see all the text. Having this open up on a separate page would be very cool (Chip?) :laughing:.

 

comments.jpg

 

And, most importantly, how would paperless caching with the Delorme unit compare to my current set-up with the Garmin and my Palm. Right now, I have 500-1000 caches loaded into my Garmin 60CSX and my Palm T/X. When I find myself in an area with time to cache, I turn on the Garmin, hit "find/geocache/nearest" and a list of the nearest caches pops up. I select one and choose "go to/follow road/faster time" and it will give me turn-by-turn street directions to get to the cache. When I've hit the end of the road, I go through the find menu again and choose "off road" and follow the compass to the cache (then I just look up the details in my Palm T/X if I need a hint or other info). I do have the Garmin Mapsource street-level data loaded onto a 1GB card in my GPSr.

The PN-20 will hold 1000 waypoints. When you bring up the Find page, you can search for caches Near Map Center or start typing in a name.

 

findnearmapcenter.jpg

 

And the Goto is actually a route on the PN-20. Chose your cache and route to it.

 

routetocache.jpg

 

So far I have been able to go completely paper free!

 

I'm still torn. You certainly can't beat the price right now. Can one ever have too many GPSrs? :D

 

Maybe I'll order and rely on the 30 day MBG to return it if it doesn't pan out.

 

One final question about its use for geocaching: how does the find feature work with regard to the "near map center" function? On my 60CSX, I'm used to finding the nearest geocache to my current position. Is the "near map center" function the same thing? I.e., is my current position always at the center of the map?

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hello all.

Well i ordered my PN-20 this morning. i did some number crunching and found out that if you order the $299.95 bundle (pn-20,1gb sd,) then add the travel power kit ($49.95) total $349.90. It is still less than the sale price of the pn-20 deluxe bundle ($379.95).

 

any way i can't wait untill X-MAS so i can open it. (I love my wife). it should be here Thurs. or Friday.

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Find Near Map Center will search a radial pattern from your current GPS location and display a list of all find results. You can filter for waypoints, geographic features, points of interest and many others. You could get very specific and ask to only see geocaches. You could also search for a geocache by name.

 

Our next firmware update will allow 800 characters to display on the PN-20. I've been using an alpha version of the update and have been very pleased with the ability to view all of the details and hints. It helped me read a very detailed hint for The Molasses cache in Boston where I still came up empty... because it got dark and very cold... not because I couldn't remember the clue!

 

Embra's right... it's all about the maps with the PN-20. The screen shots used at the www.delorme.com/geocaching page came directly from my GPS device. Aerial imagery when you're out in the field is amazing. I've had more than one hike made easier because I could see a trail in the imagery that wasn't available in any of the Topo or USGS maps.

 

Try the PN-20 out for 30 days. Let me know if you have any questions. I could give you a few pointers on how to put it through it's paces...

 

Thanks,

Chip Noble

Team DeLorme

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This looks like a cool GPS, but the reason I will never buy it is because you have to PAY for raster graphics that I can download for free for pretty much the entire country. If I wanted to pay for those files, I'd get a custom compilation that covers a much larger area on a series of CD's or DVD's.

 

$0.25/sq km is outrageously expensive. I don't care how nice the feature is on the GPS, there's no way I'm buying the GPS and spending a sheer fortune for map data. I use my GPS all over the country for backpacking, driving, and mountain biking. I can buy topo and autorouting software for the entire country for roughly $225 (less if I looked hard enough). $225 out of pocket gets me 900 sq km of area...not even close.

 

Thanks, Delorme...try again.

THIS

might change your mind

 

I am considering one of these units and lack of maps for my area was always a concern. I do intend to email them and get some more info.

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Find Near Map Center will search a radial pattern from your current GPS location and display a list of all find results. You can filter for waypoints, geographic features, points of interest and many others. You could get very specific and ask to only see geocaches. You could also search for a geocache by name.

 

Our next firmware update will allow 800 characters to display on the PN-20. I've been using an alpha version of the update and have been very pleased with the ability to view all of the details and hints. It helped me read a very detailed hint for The Molasses cache in Boston where I still came up empty... because it got dark and very cold... not because I couldn't remember the clue!

 

Embra's right... it's all about the maps with the PN-20. The screen shots used at the www.delorme.com/geocaching page came directly from my GPS device. Aerial imagery when you're out in the field is amazing. I've had more than one hike made easier because I could see a trail in the imagery that wasn't available in any of the Topo or USGS maps.

 

Try the PN-20 out for 30 days. Let me know if you have any questions. I could give you a few pointers on how to put it through it's paces...

 

Thanks,

Chip Noble

Team DeLorme

 

Thanks for your reply, Chip. I have to tell you . . . your presence here on these boards is an indicator to me of the great reputation DeLorme has for fantastic customer service, and it's making me lean strongly in the direction of giving the PN-20 a try. If I do, I'll drop you a line for those pointers!

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Quote: Our next firmware update will allow 800 characters to display on the PN-20.

 

Please explain how this will work for new owners of the PN-20 with the 256 character display. Will they be able to get some sort of upgrade to the 800 character display or does that require buying a whole new unit??

 

(Sorry, new user of site, have not figured out how to do the quote thing yet, note my previous edit.....)

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Quote: Our next firmware update will allow 800 characters to display on the PN-20.

 

Please explain how this will work for new owners of the PN-20 with the 256 character display. Will they be able to get some sort of upgrade to the 800 character display or does that require buying a whole new unit??

 

(Sorry, new user of site, have not figured out how to do the quote thing yet, note my previous edit.....)

Just a firmware update when it comes out.

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I have had my PN-20 for about 2 weeks now and I am really pleased with the unit. Have had it out caching a few times and the unit is responsive under heavy tree cover and gets me to the caches without any "looping" or "slingshots". And the maps are superb. I haven't tried any of the additional imagery yet as the maps are that good.

 

I find the screen to be very readable even in bright sunlight. Battery life looks to be comparable to other GPS units - NiMH rechargables.

 

The map updates and scrolling could be more responsive but it is not a show stopper. And the display could always be bigger but again not a show stopper.

 

What sold me on this unit was the crisp display, the maps and the evidence of active customer support on the DeLorme forums and occasional postings here.

 

So my first impressions are very favorable and this is from a diehard Maggie fan.

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Quote: Our next firmware update will allow 800 characters to display on the PN-20.

 

Please explain how this will work for new owners of the PN-20 with the 256 character display.

 

My apologies, sometimes the tech talk gets in the way of simpler explanations. You are correct in referring to a firmware update as an upgrade. It is how GPS manufacturers deliver new features and improvements to their handheld devices.

 

PN-20 users are notified through our NetLink tab in Topo when an update is available; we are working on our fourth update, 1.4 right now. You will download the update and then run the setup file... just connect the device and follow the steps in the wizard.

 

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll provide more details.

 

Chip Noble

Team DeLorme

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