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mrthing2000

Trying to understand the Earthmate PN-40

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Sorry if double-posted elsewhere, the posts keep saying 'moderator approval required' and never show up.  Fourth time in a week I have posted a similar message.

 

I just acquired a DeLorme Earthmate PN-40.  It came with accessories, but no software.  It has some maps in it already.  The manual I found online doesn't have much detail to it.  Come to find out, it was essentially non-supported by Garmin now.  Probably why the price was so good!

 

Questions:

1) What version of Topo USA did it ship with, originally?  (version 9?)  Can I use Version 9? 10?

 

I am not sure if Topo USA 8, 9, 10, etc., can be used with it.  My understanding may be wrong, but it appears to me Topo USA is merely the software on my PC I can use to edit maps, save points, etc., and that really facilitates moving files to it.  I've had significant difficulty finding a USA Topo disc, though Ebay had an unopened V9.  I have Win10 and Win7 machines here.  Maybe there is a freeware or a Garmin software that works even better--I've read numerous gripes about Topo USA.
 

2) Can I load only DeLorme maps, or can I do a subscription to Garmin, etc.?

 

I did find Garmin has some legacy maps for it online (for now).  But other than some very basic state maps and public lands, that's about it.  I'm not sure if I can subscribe to Garmin and load theirs--if that is some proprietary thing, etc.  I wanted to load US trail data--but I kept finding it for Garmin-format GPS units. The manual does not say what types of data it can display, as far as I could tell. 

 

3) The unit has two storage areas.  One is about 6GB or so (internal) and the other is an external 2GB SD card.  Can I put in a larger SD card and store lots more maps on it?  Or does it need special formatting, etc.

 

I would think I could just drop more map files into the SD card, but I'm lost if it is really that simple.  For example, I'm supposing I can hookup to a PC, add .gpx files, and look at them on the run.  But if it involves putting them in a specific folder on the internal vs SD, that's where I am lost on the manual.  

 

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Thanks, so far I've found 8 caches but on my cell phone GPS.  But its accuracy is lousy.  If I can figure out how to store .gpx on the PN-40, that will be far better.  If I can load trails and other map files, even better.  

 

The kids love the geocaches.  I may put out a few of my own soon. 

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I have Topo 10 active on my Windows PC and my PN-40 works fine with it.  I download my Pocket Quries to PC, upload to Topo 10 Draw folder, then transfer to Topo 10's Export folder as *.gpx files and then sync to PN-40's Waypoints folder.

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3 hours ago, Team CowboyPapa said:

I have Topo 10 active on my Windows PC and my PN-40 works fine with it.  I download my Pocket Quries to PC, upload to Topo 10 Draw folder, then transfer to Topo 10's Export folder as *.gpx files and then sync to PN-40's Waypoints folder.

Thanks for that info.  Have you tried any Garmin maps, to see if the DeLorme can display these?

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I did some more research today and found 1) apparently new Garmin maps cannot be directly loaded on a DeLorme unit (no idea why), and 2) I don't need the Topo USA disc to do .gpx transfers (just save them through USB to my waypoints folder).  Additionally, if I want basically anything new it means getting a new GPS unit and likely with a subscription on top of it. 

 

Ok, that's sort of disappointing but at least I can still get .gpx files on here.  Whether I can get a whole bunch of them, or just one at a time, was a subject in a different thread.  

 

Now, I would think that someone out there is sitting on Topo USA V8, 9, 10 disc set and basically has no use for it because DeLorme is functionally orphaned by Garmin.  No one wants to sell them?

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You will love the PN-40 once you get familiar with the TOPO software. It has a steeper learning curve than most Garmin software, but it doesn't take long to figure out how to do things, and once you do, you will like all of the flexibility it has to offer. B)

 

I still use my PN-40 as my primary GPS, and I've owned quite a few GPSrs over the years, including a number of modern Garmins. You can use any of the Delorme TOPO versions with the PN-40, and there's no annoying 'one device only' activation garbage. If you find a copy of Topo for sale on ebay or if you already happen to have one around, just install it on your computer and you are good to go. 

 

I actually just ordered another used PN-40 from ebay recently and it should be coming with Topo 10. If everything is in order, I may be able to sell you my old Topo 7 discs. I should know by next thursday.

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On 4/20/2020 at 2:31 PM, mrthing2000 said:

1) What version of Topo USA did it ship with, originally?  (version 9?)  Can I use Version 9? 10?

Hmmm... Somehow I missed this thread.

 

First, yes, in my opinion, your analysis of Topo USA is correct: it's not very interesting if all you're doing is geocaching. The only time I used it was when I had to because it was the only way to download the additional maps from the DeLorne map service that was once available. For anything else -- including and especially downloading the standard maps -- I found mounting the PN-40 as USB drives much more useful. I never missed having special PC software for the PN-40.

 

I don't remember what Topo USA my PN-40 shipped with, but newer versions where offered for free, and I'm pretty sure it was compatible with 10 although I can't quite remember whether PN-40 owners were allowed to get that version for free.

 

On 4/20/2020 at 2:31 PM, mrthing2000 said:

2) Can I load only DeLorme maps, or can I do a subscription to Garmin, etc.?

I don't know the answer for sure, but I assume the only maps available now are the original maps on the disks. I don't expect Garmin maps to work, so, consequently, I never looked into it. I assume the old DeLorme service is gone. Not a huge loss. I only used it for the year I got it for free. It wasn't worth it to me to pay for it. I thought the default maps were good enough...except where the roads have changed, of course.

 

Caveat, though: the PN-40 only comes with North American maps. With the old service, you could buy international maps. My guess is you won't be able to get those anywhere anymore.

 

On 4/20/2020 at 2:31 PM, mrthing2000 said:

3) The unit has two storage areas.  One is about 6GB or so (internal) and the other is an external 2GB SD card.  Can I put in a larger SD card and store lots more maps on it?  Or does it need special formatting, etc.

Yes. The first thing I did with my PN-40 was buy a big SD card. There is a limit, and I think it's 32GB. That should be spelled out in the manual you found on line. You can use it for map storage.

 

On 4/21/2020 at 4:04 PM, mrthing2000 said:

Ok, that's sort of disappointing but at least I can still get .gpx files on here.  Whether I can get a whole bunch of them, or just one at a time, was a subject in a different thread. 

You can download as many Pocket Queries as your disk can hold. Unlike Garmins, you can only look at one PQ at a time. You tell the PN-40 which PQ you want to see, and it saves any changes (finds, for example) in the one you were looking at and then loads the one you want to look at now. I used to think that was clumsy until I had to start using a Garmin that loads all the caches into one huge list. Now I miss the elegance and efficiency of the unit being focused on 1000 caches at any given time.

 

Having said all that, there are good reasons to get a new unit. In particularly, I'm really thinking more of my PN-60 that I got after a couple years of using the PN-40, so I try to put out of my mind how slow the PN-40 was, especially when loading a PQ. And definitely if you want fresh maps, and things like space views, you likely won't get them for a DeLorme these days.

 

On 4/21/2020 at 4:04 PM, mrthing2000 said:

Now, I would think that someone out there is sitting on Topo USA V8, 9, 10 disc set and basically has no use for it because DeLorme is functionally orphaned by Garmin.  No one wants to sell them?

I would hope Topo is available on-line. That's where I got my versions because only the oldest versions were on any disk I got with my units. It's too bad Garmin doesn't leave them laying around somewhere for people to grab. Are you sure they don't?

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19 hours ago, dprovan said:

 

On 4/21/2020 at 4:04 PM, mrthing2000 said:

Ok, that's sort of disappointing but at least I can still get .gpx files on here.  Whether I can get a whole bunch of them, or just one at a time, was a subject in a different thread. 

You can download as many Pocket Queries as your disk can hold. Unlike Garmins, you can only look at one PQ at a time. You tell the PN-40 which PQ you want to see, and it saves any changes (finds, for example) in the one you were looking at and then loads the one you want to look at now. I used to think that was clumsy until I had to start using a Garmin that loads all the caches into one huge list. Now I miss the elegance and efficiency of the unit being focused on 1000 caches at any given time.

 

Whoops!

 

All Garmin 'Outdoor' GPSr since (and including) the Oregon 7x0 allow the user to enable or disable individual geocache files at will, essentially providing the exact same functionality you described!

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3 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

All Garmin 'Outdoor' GPSr since (and including) the Oregon 7x0 allow the user to enable or disable individual geocache files at will, essentially providing the exact same functionality you described!

I never tried it, I admit. It's presented as a filter, so from the documentation I assumed that the list would still be there slowing down the system even while I limited which ones that were actually presented. For example, the GPSr has to take the same amount of time to sort through all the caches before it comes up and lets me restrict its attention.

 

Anyway, I'll concede point. That feature is so out of the way, I never think of it. With the DeLormes, picking the PQ is a fundamental choice.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I never tried it, I admit. It's presented as a filter, so from the documentation I assumed that the list would still be there slowing down the system even while I limited which ones that were actually presented. For example, the GPSr has to take the same amount of time to sort through all the caches before it comes up and lets me restrict its attention.

 

Anyway, I'll concede point. That feature is so out of the way, I never think of it. With the DeLormes, picking the PQ is a fundamental choice.

 

Like baking a cake. It doesn't matter if you stir it clockwise while I insist on stirring it counter-clockwise. The result is the same. 8^)

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5 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

Like baking a cake. It doesn't matter if you stir it clockwise while I insist on stirring it counter-clockwise. The result is the same. 8^)

It's not arbitrary. I generally like the idea of all caches loaded into the GPSr being available. My problem is that the unit gets slower and slower as the number of caches grows. That's not stirring clockwise vs. counterclockwise. That's stirring 10 times vs. stirring 100 times. As it happens, I got used to the limited number of caches and the focus to the point of seeing some advantages to them, but those advantages aren't so overwhelming I'd go out of my way for the feature if it weren't for the performance issue.

 

Anyway, my point in this context was to point out the advantages to help the OP better appreciate their PN-40. Your rejoinder about how one can bastardize a Garmin to get the same result seems a bit off topic.

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Posted (edited)

  

14 hours ago, dprovan said:

Your rejoinder about how one can bastardize a Garmin to get the same result seems a bit off topic.

 

 

Actually, I was just correcting the false information you provided. 

Edited by Atlas Cached

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Give it a rest. Just 'cuz it didn't make your device glow didn't make it false.

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8 hours ago, dprovan said:

Give it a rest. Just 'cuz it didn't make your device glow didn't make it false.

 

Stop posting misleading and incorrect information and I'll stop correcting you!

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1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

Stop posting misleading and incorrect information and I'll stop correcting you!

I didn't post anything here that was misleading or incorrect.

 

On 6/14/2020 at 11:32 AM, dprovan said:

Unlike Garmins, you can only look at one PQ at a time.

True.

 

On 6/14/2020 at 11:32 AM, dprovan said:

I used to think that was clumsy until I had to start using a Garmin that loads all the caches into one huge list.

True. This says nothing about whether there's a way to filter that list.

 

On 6/14/2020 at 11:32 AM, dprovan said:

Now I miss the elegance and efficiency of the unit being focused on 1000 caches at any given time.

Opinion, but I'm definitely disappointed with how slow my Garmin gets when the list is large. Nothing I said implied there was no filter feature or that it wouldn't mitigate the inefficiency.

 

It's bad enough when you try to stomp down any contrary opinions in the threads about Garmin units. I start to question your motives when you stomp them down in threads about other products.

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Your posts are full of misinformation and deception.

 

Garmin GPSr since (and including) the Oregon 7x0 can load and view any single PQ as desired. In fact, even better than 'competing units', this can all be done wirelessly, right on the device, while out in the field.

 

All Garmin GPSr have to load all loaded data into the central internal database, otherwise the user would not have access to all data loaded on the device! This includes not only geocaches, but waypoints, tracks, routes, maps, etc. These items are all loaded to the main database only once. If any are changed between subsequent power cycles, they are updated. When applying geocache filters, only the data within the filter is used on the device.

 

Your Garmin 'getting slow' with a large database loaded is likely due to the fact that you were not using the 'Geocache Files' filter, as you clearly stated in your previous posts!

  

On 6/15/2020 at 10:29 AM, dprovan said:

I never tried it, I admit. It's presented as a filter, so from the documentation I assumed that the list would still be there slowing down the system even while I limited which ones that were actually presented.

 

 

I do not care which GPSr anyone chooses to use, but I do care when people spread misinformation about any of them.

 

My motives are always to help provide people with complete and accurate information. Those who read my posts can see that for themselves.

 

I suggest everyone do their own research before making important decisions.

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10 minutes ago, Atlas Cached said:

My motives are always to help provide people with complete and accurate information.

Mine, too.

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On 6/15/2020 at 3:54 PM, Atlas Cached said:

All Garmin 'Outdoor' GPSr since (and including) the Oregon 7x0 allow the user to enable or disable individual geocache files at will

On 6/16/2020 at 8:00 PM, Atlas Cached said:

Garmin GPSr since (and including) the Oregon 7x0 can load and view any single PQ as desired.

As I understand dprovans description of the DeLormes behavior I don't think the filters on Garmin can "emulate" it. You mean I can put two files "PQabc.gpx" and "PQmno.gpx" on the device and can turn both on and off?

 

I must say that I have no desire for this feature since I'm always loading one ggz (or gpx) generated by GSAK. But if I would load multiple PQ files and If I would like only one of them active/shown how can I do this?

 

And thinking of it I probably even would have an use case for my way of caching: Turning off the "All unfound Trads and Multis" I'm usually carrying around on my Oregon 600 and turning on a (hand picked) reduced set of caches to declutter the map when I'm on my motorbike and just in the mood to eventually stop for a good cache.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hynz said:

But if I would load multiple PQ files and If I would like only one of them active/shown how can I do this?

 

See GPSrChive > Oregon 7x0 > Applications > Geocaching > Dynamic Filters > Geocache Files to see an example showing GSAK exports listed and individually selectable. Each GPX and GGZ file can be enabled and disabled at will. The GPSr will only use the files you enable here.

 

 

Edited by Atlas Cached

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On 6/19/2020 at 10:37 PM, Atlas Cached said:

 

See GPSrChive > Oregon 7x0 > Applications > Geocaching > Dynamic Filters > Geocache Files to see an example showing GSAK exports listed and individually selectable. Each GPX and GGZ file can be enabled and disabled at will. The GPSr will only use the files you enable here.

 

 

Thanks. I don't have it on my Oregon 600 and I apparently missed that you already stated that's only available in the latest Garmin generations.

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