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Delorme Earthmate PN-20 Handheld GPS (with Topo USA 7.0 & 1-GB SD Card & Reader)
List Price: $199.95

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Product Description

DeLorme, famous for its topographic and street map detail, has created a GPS receiver to enable anyone to use a wide variety of detailed maps and aerial imagery for all outdoors activities. The Earthmate GPS PN-20 is a low-cost, high-sensitivity, fully integrated handheld GPS that delivers capabilities previously unavailable at any price. Waterproof to the IPX-7 standard with an impact-resistant rubberized housing for a solid grip Features STMicroelectronics chipset with SiGE RF front-end and DeLorme firmware for outstanding signal acquisition and retention. Works equally well under dense foliage or in-vehicle Easily exchange maps, tracks, and waypoints between your PN-20 GPS unit and your PC with the Topo USA software 75MB of internal flash memory in addition to the preloaded world base map SD Card Slot (1GB SD card included) for additional map, track, and waypoint storage Use the included Topo USA 6.0 software on the PC to create automatic road and trail routes, elevation profiles, and realistic 3-D flyovers

DeLorme, famous for its topographic and street map detail, has created a GPS receiver to enable anyone to use a wide variety of detailed maps and aerial imagery for all outdoors activities. The Earthmate GPS PN-20 is a low-cost, high-sensitivity, fully integrated handheld GPS that delivers capabilities previously unavailable at any price.



DeLorme maps and imagery on a handheld GPS

GPS for wherever you go. On Trail.... On Road... On Water....

An All-in-One Handheld GPS Solution from DeLorme
Includes Topo USA 7.0 DVD mapping software with full U.S. topographic and street maps, plus aerial imagery

  • NMEA-compliant 12-channel receiver
  • Fast acquisition times, outstanding signal retention
  • High-resolution 2.2" TFT color screen for total clarity under a variety of lighting conditions
  • 75 MB of user-available internal flash memory
  • SD card slot for up to 2 GB additional memory
  • Holds up to 10 tracks (10,000 points per track), 1,000 user-defined waypoints, and 50 routes
  • Aerial imagery available for free download
  • Pre-loaded worldwide highway/major road base map
  • Waterproof to IPX-7 standard
  • Impact-resistant rubberized housing
  • On-device road routing
  • Runs on 2 AA batteries (included) or available lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • WAAS-enabled
  • Device dimensions: 2.43" W x 5.25" H x 1.5" D
  • Weight 5.12 oz.

Why the All-in-One PN-20 Handheld?

Maps Included
No extra maps to buy. Includes DeLorme Topo USA 7.0 DVD software with full, updated U.S. topographic & street maps to export as needed to your PN-20. Also includes an on-device highway-level world base map.

FREE Aerial Imagery Downloads
Includes $100 worth (400 sq. km) of DeLorme Aerial Data Packets of your U.S. areas of interest. Download Aerial Data Packets containing black & white aerial imagery (DOQQs), Sat-10 colorized satellite imagery, and scanned USGS 7.5-minute quads using Topo USA's NetLink tab.

Multiple Views of the Same GPS Location
On-device data layering lets you select which map or imagery type to see of your GPS location. Switch among data types to gain a comprehensive view of where you are--it's revolutionary and provides a whole new level of geographic detail.

Bright Color Screen
Works in bright sunlight to total darkness. Sharp brand screen featuring the latest transflective screen technologies to maximize visibility under a variety of lighting conditions.

Rugged and Waterproof
Conforms to IPX-7 waterproof standard with impact-resistant rubberized housing for a solid grip. Concealed battery compartment with SD card slot. Includes two AA batteries.

High-Performance Technology
Features STMicroelectronics chipset with SiGE RF front-end and DeLorme firmware for outstanding signal acquisition and retention. Works equally well under dense foliage or in-vehicle.

Easy Exchange of Maps, Tracks, and Waypoints
Exchange pre-cut multi-state routable regions between Topo USA on the desktop to the GPS, or select only the specific, customized areas you want--topographic maps and imagery. Exchange routes, tracks, and waypoints between the GPS and Topo USA (two-way transfers).

Extensive On-Device Memory
75MB of internal flash memory available in addition to the preloaded world base map. Holds up to ten tracks (10,000 points per track); 1,000 user-defined waypoints; and 50 routes. SD slot also available.

Powerful Topographic Software Included
The included Topo USA PN-20 software is loaded with additional capabilities for use on a desktop PC. Create automatic road and trail routes, elevation profiles, and realistic 3-D flyovers. No extra charge to you--a $99.95 retail value by itself!

A Powerful Partnership

Earthmate GPS PN-20 and Topo USA
The Earthmate GPS PN-20 with included Topo USA 7.0 DVD software provides a complete two-way map data, waypoint, and track log transfer capability:

It's a powerful way to create and save detailed GPS-accurate maps for use on the desktop software and on the GPS.

  • Prepare exactly the maps and imagery you want on the desktop, including waypoints, tracks, and automatically generated routes, and then transfer to the Earthmate GPS PN-20
  • Once you've been in the field or in-vehicle with the Earthmate GPS, transfer your new and updated waypoints and track logs back to the Topo USA desktop software and edit and save within your map files

Topo USA/Earthmate PN-20 Map Exchange Overview
DeLorme has pre-cut U.S. multi-state regions within the included Topo USA software. This allows you to update the world base map on the GPS with more detailed routable U.S. highway and major roads for your region(s) of interest. This design maximizes user-available, on-device internal memory for even more detailed topographic maps and imagery you cut from Topo USA of your precise areas of interest. The Eastern 1(A) multi-state region, as an example, requires 12 MB, with a total of 75 MB available on the device. These precut regions are located in the left window of the Handheld Exchange dialog, which is also where your map packages, waypoints, and tracks will be stored once created. (Note: you can store up to 2 GB of data on an SD card. The SD card slot is located within the battery compartment, beneath the batteries.)

The PN-20--Topo USA 7.0 System comes with:

Street and Topographical Maps

View Maps

Detailed U.S. Street & Topographic Maps

  • Cut & transfer custom map packages of the exact coverage you want
  • Detailed vector-based maps created from the USGS topographic data & the latest DeLorme U.S. street & trail network
  • U.S. land cover including bodies of water, wetlands, forests, mountains, glaciers, grasslands, rock cover & more
  • Contour lines with elevation numbers
  • Fully routable when combined with the corresponding Regional Highway map
  • By default, saved map packages include data zoom levels 8-17 (which translates to a scale of 4 miles through 40 ft). Saved maps display all roads, land cover, and contours.
View Maps

U.S. Regional Routable Highway Maps

  • Convenient, precut multi-state regions--transfer from Topo USA to your PN-20, as needed
  • Major highways & major roads
  • Required for road routing on the PN-20
  • Regional maps cover scales of 4 miles to .25 miles
View Maps

The DeLorme World Base Reference Map

  • Preloaded on the Earthmate GPS PN-20
  • High-level map includes country borders, highways & major roads
  • Displays interstates and major highways at scales of 500 miles to 8 miles
  • Created by DeLorme's staff of professional cartographers

Aerial Data Packet (ADP) Downloads--400 sq. km FREE!
Comprised of the three layers for a chosen area.

View Maps

USGS 7.5-Minute Quad Maps

  • FREE download into Topo USA as part of your ADPs
  • Transfer from Topo USA to your PN-20, as needed
  • The authentic scanned USGS 7.5-minute paper quad maps
  • Show roads, trails, buildings, large natural landmarks & other unique features
View Maps

DOQQ (Digital Orthoquads) B&W Aerial Imagery

  • FREE download into Topo USA as part of your ADPs
  • Transfer from Topo USA to your PN-20, only as needed
  • Detailed, black & white, satellite imagery
  • Provide a unique aerial perspective, ideal in off-the-beaten-path environments
  • View logging & 4WD roads, bodies of water, and other natural features from above
View Maps

Sat-10 Color Satellite Imagery

  • FREE download into Topo USA as part of your ADPs
  • Transfer from Topo USA to your PN-20, only as needed
  • 10-meter colorized satellite imagery for viewing large geographic areas
  • Provides high-level views of vegetation, topography, and large, visible geologic formations on the Earth's surface
  • Natural color satellite imagery derived from merging SPOT 10m panchromatic & Landsat 30m multi-spectral scenes

Features:
  • An All-in-One Handheld GPS Solution from DeLorme
  • High-resolution 2.2 TFT color screen for total clarity under a variety of lighting conditions
  • Fast acquisition times, outstanding signal retention
  • Holds up to 10 tracks (10,000 points per track), 1,000 user-defined waypoints, and 50 routes
  • Pre-loaded worldwide highway/major road base map

Customer Reviews:

  • Earthmate pn-20
    I had previously bought a Magellan in the same price range from a local "big box" store. Only to find out it didn't have local roads, contours, or anything much,and those couldn't be added, due to lack of memory.

    The Earthmate comes with maps on DVD (which would have been $99 extra for the Magellan) showing back roads, hiking trails, streams, railroads. Quite useful.
    PN-20 works well, seems pretty accurate - within 50 - 75 feet when driving, closer when walking or not moving. Altimeter and speedometer seem very accurate. Takes a while to "find itself" when first turned on, but keeps up after that.

    I'd rate it "very good" - does all I could expect for the price....more info
  • The Best for Back Country Travels
    I just got back from the better part of a week out in the back country of southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The PN-20 is an amazing device and did everything that I wanted for off-highway, 4WD touring, sightseeing and geocaching in those remote areas.

    The DeLorme Topo maps have long been recognized by back country hikers, campers and 4WD folks as having the best features and capabilities for their activities. And now the PN-20 handheld GPS unit is available to make those maps even more useable.

    Do not confuse this device with those stick on the windshield devices or GPS NAV units that come as options on new cars nowadays. I have that also on my new Jeep and it is useless off-highway. That thing will not show any road or trail that is not paved. I don't even run that thing when I'm in the back country.

    So if you want a handheld GPS unit that is as good, if not better, than all the others and the best in maps, the Earthmate GPS PN-20 is the ticket. I don't leave home without it, not even in town!...more info
  • Poor Man's Luxury GPS Unit
    How should we compare handheld GPS units? If you have an unlimited budget, then you probably wouldn't be interested in the PN-20. But for the masses with limited incomes and a desire to spend wisely, the PN-20 is a unit that should be seriously considered WHEN it's offered a decent price (too bad Amazon no longer has the 30-day price guarantee!).

    I purchased this unit when Amazon was selling it for roughly the price of a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. So that will be the basis of this review. At that price range, I found nothing that came close to what this unit offers.

    This is like the Hyundai Sonata of GPS units. It's very value packed and, like the Sonata, well built and reliable. Of course, there are high speed units out there with touch screens and other bells and whistles. But if you're on a Hyundai budget there's no sense looking at the Lexus models.

    - Topo 7 Software: This software is amazing. I presume it uses vector rendering for the topos (vs. scanned rasters) which has its pros and cons. Pros are the sharp lines and scalability at various zoom levels with topos for the entire country. It has a 3-D viewer which works relatively well, although slower on older computers. Cons are that some USGS trails did not seem to transfer over to the vector maps. But it's a trade-off since they were able to fit topo maps for the entire country into the software. The software is also not very user friendly in transfering user generated routes and trails to the PN-20. But overall still an excellent product.

    - PN-20 GPS unit. I've taken it into the mountains twice while snowshoeing in the wilderness. Plastic shell and rubberized back plate seem sturdy enough and it's apparently water resistant. It's a little chubbier than other units but worth the bulk for the additional features.

    What sets this unit apart from it's competitors is the ability to display topo maps and aerial images right on the screen. It's like a portable Google Earth. Unit displays full topo maps right on the screen (FREE transfer from Topo) and allows for aerial image overlays (not free and downloaded through the Topo software). It's really amazing. Topo costs range from $0.10/square km to over $1/square km. B-W 1 meter resolution DOQQ aerials have run me about $2-$3 per weekend trip. The unit came with $100 of Data Download Dollars.

    Screen refresh rates are a little slow but, again, it really depends on what you're looking for. If you hike with your face glued to the GPS unit, then you'll probably be happier with something else which costs much more. But if you prefer spending your time looking at the scenery and use your GPS for general location/navigation/safety, then the PN-20 should be just fine. Yes, refresh rates have taken !!!!seconds!!!! (not milliseconds) but for me it's well worth it to be able to view my location on a topo map or aerial photo.

    Satellite acquisition and stability have been impressive. The unit can acquire and lock on to signals while in a building. It has also done very well in forested mountains and deep mountain valleys. The PN-20 even (unknowingly) kept track of my drive back while it was stowed in a gear bag AND inside my car. I can only speak for my unit and say that I have been very impressed with the reception.

    When it's on sale, this is a poor man's luxury GPS unit. Topo software, $100 of download data bucks, oh and a GPS unit to go with that. That's value. Like a Hyundai Sonata. And maybe the more expensive but faster PN-40 is like the Genesis....more info
  • Great GPS for the money
    I have used Delorme software and laptop GPS for the last several years and found their software superior to Garmins. I like the flexibility of being able to update the maps myself with my own data. Not to mention you get more for the money with Delorme than Garmin. The 60csx is an excellent GPS but has been just out of my price range and the PN20 is more than comparrable....more info
  • not worth the money
    I bought this GPS for a family camping trip to north Florida. I rarely obtain satelites to get a position, and what made it worse, was the fact my $50 cheaper MIO car gps obtained satelites constantly. I had to use a map and compass to find our way back to camp, because it was unable to obtain satelite position during our hike. I would not recomend this product. it was a waste of money. ...more info
  • Earthmate GPS PN-20
    When I used this product for the first time I was very much disappointed. I followed all instructions for setting up the software to work with the GPS itself. This is where it failed. The first thing I was told I had to do was update the PN-20 to which I connected it as instructed in the manual. It looked like all was fine for about 15 seconds then the update just sat there doing nothing at all. This is a firmware update in case your wondering. After well over an hour I decided that the update must have failed and I clicked "cancel" it did not cancel, the software or update itself was froze. I couldn't even shut it down and my computer told me that the program was not responding. I unplugged the GPS, The GPS was now useless due to a very bad update put out there by DeLorme. It would turn on only to show me a white screen beep three times and shut itself off. I searched their website for an answer and low and behold I found one. Many people seemed to have had this same problem and they put instructions on how to solve it on there site. However, even with said instructions nothing helped to revive my dead useless expensive new GPS unit. I called the company the following day and the service tech instructed me to follow there online help instructions. I told him I had done that already more than a few times and it was not working. I was then told I had to send the unit back to get fixed. I was not happy. I had to pay shipping to get the product and now had to pay shipping ' only by UPS also mind you ' to send it back. A week and a half later I got my GPS back. I decided NOT TO UPDATE the unit dispite there being a update available for it. It works ok now for the most part. Batteries die very quickly and the map software is VERY difficult and NOT USER friendly at all.
    I wondered why there were so many USED units of this same GPS on e-bay as well as other sites like amazon. Now I know why. So many people had this same problem most of them just demanded their cash back. Can't say I blame them. I am keeping my unit only because I can't find one with the features I want for less than what I can afford. TO those of you looking at this piticular GPS " TAKE HEED" to getting into a big mess and possibly sending it back before you can use it. One alternative may be to buy USED because maybe the bug is fixed in those units. GOOD LUCK ...more info
  • Earthmate PN-20
    I have been a wildland firefighter since 1971. I was breed on USGS topomaps and a compass to navigate in country most will only see pictures of. I had little or no confidence in GPS units when they first appeared until an assignment to Alaska. With no landmarks and 10,000 lakes south of Fairbanks that GPS unit saved me from walking great distances finding my way.

    I am most familiar with the Garmin Etrex Vista. It served me well for over 5 years. I have recently acquired a DeLorme Earthmate PN-20. Though one reviewer indicated the PN-20 was slow to load maps it is not so slow that the overall performance of the unit is degraded in any way. Sure not just a blink but looking up to glance at your surroundings and back down at the unit is more than enough time for the map to load. (A known draw back of GPS units is the user's focus is on the unit instead of their surroundings, anyway.)

    Pros
    Light, compact and shaped to make carrying and one hand operation a snap. My pack already weighs 35lbs. I don't need anymore.
    Double AA batteries are readily available and a user could use rechargeable batteries and recharge via a USB port on their computer.
    Great backlight capability.
    Color screen not a necessity but makes life nicer.
    Bright enough to be viewed under bright sunlight conditions.
    2 Text Sizes for us older folk.
    My unit came with TopoUSA 7.0. Major point compared to other manufacturer's maping products. This swayed my decision to purchase the PN-20.
    Easy user interface via PC to Unit for uploading/downloading maps, waypoints, tracks, imagery etc.
    Yellow exterior color makes for easy location in the dark. A necessity on those long night shifts.
    Water resistance seems to be very high. I have not had opportunity to test this. I will cross more than one creek this coming fire season I'm sure.
    Internal SD Card up to 2 megs not only provides for plenty of data storage but speeds uploading and downloading of that data via a card reader the user can plug into their PCs USB port. (My package came with a 1meg SD card and reader.)

    Cons
    2, screws hold the battery cover on. The screws are provided with handles so no need for a screw driver but it is more time consuming to replace batteries than the Etrex that only required a ? turn.
    Requires 4 AA batts. But they have lasted me 12 hours so far and still going.
    The unit will not calculate acreage from a perimeter. Maybe only a need for small percentage of users.
    Though a compass is included on one of the pages it responds to the user's movement and is not real life to determine a compass bearing. Need to still pull out the magnetic compass.
    The trip odometer jumps by miles if reset before all satellites are acquired. Just a test of my patience. I'll adjust. Would have been nice if the trip info did not start calculating until satellite acquisition was complete or user input indicated when to begin.
    As far as I have found thus far there is no external antenna available. I am not certain of this.

    Conclusion
    The DeLorme Earthmate PN-20 will meet 85% of my needs and I am pleased with its performance thus far. The price is good but you need to shop for it. The range between high and low price can be as much as $150 (USD) and some do not offer the TopoUSA 7.0 software.

    There is a DeLorme PN-40 on the market but it was well out of my price range. Reviewer's indications are that the map redraw speed is quicker....more info
  • Great for the outfoor enthusiast
    I find the Delorme PN-20 to be one of the most exciting GPS models on the market--although, as a new model, it has a few rough edges to be smoothed out. Those who use it primarily for outdoor activities like hiking or biking should be pleased; those who want something mostly for automobile use will probably be happier with something else.

    On the plus side, the maps are the best I know of that can be transferred to a GPS. I particularly like that trails are routable (although at the current time these routes must be created in the included Topo 6 USA on the PC and transferred to the GPS). Also, user-created tracks can be saved to Topo6 as routable trails. Personally I have not found the aerial or satellite imagery that useful--but the USGS 7.5 topo maps on a GPS are pretty cool. The display is somewhat on the small side, but of great visual quality.

    Secondly, the support available from Delorme by phone (email support seems to lag) and in the Delorme user forum is top-notch. When the PN-20 was first released, a serious bug soon emerged. Delorme had a firmware fix available 4 days after the bug was identified. Delorme appears to be solicitous of customer input for improvement, and seems committed to regular firmware updates (the first major update came about 3 months after the initial release). PN-20 packages purchased directly from Delorme allow for a 30-day no-questions-asked return. It's less clear to me how generous Amazon is on GPS returns.

    Third, I think the PN-20 gets power options right: one can use a variety of AA battery types or an optional Li-Ion that can be internally recharged. That battery is a standard CRV3 rather than some proprietary design--although not all CRV3 brands seem to work properly (checking in the forum advised).

    The last thing I would note on the plus side is that reception and accuracy seems quite good. Compared to my Magellan Explorist 500, the PN-20 seems to do slightly better. While accuracy is diminished under dense foliage--as with any unit--I have always been able to maintain a signal lock while geocaching or hiking.

    Shortcomings include the fact that PN-20 does feel soggy in executing tasks. Redraws usually only take 3-4 seconds, but scrolling the screen takes patience. Although the PN-20 handles a file of up to 1000 waypoints, I find the unit works much more efficiently if I hold the file down to a couple hundred. Creating a street route on the PN-20 can take several minutes, and I find address searches intolerably long. It *does* all these things, but users will be happier if they can plan routes and searches ahead of time on the PC for transfer to the GPS. The PN-20 does allow for the insertion of via points to shape a route in the GPS, so it has a leg up on Magellan's MapSend DirectRoute. Improving the efficiency of firmware algorithms may help, but it might be until we see a PN-30 with a beefier processor that autorouting becomes a satisfying experience.

    Another minus is that the PN-20 does not currently allow for more than a single waypoint file, and neither waypoints, tracks, nor routes can be saved to the SD card. I fully expect that a future firmware upgrade will change this, so a large number of such files can be available for field use.

    The PN-20 is not for everyone. It's a new, cutting-edge model--Delorme's first integral handheld GPS--and I think it will be a little while until the firmware is tweaked and smoothed to allow for the full potential of the hardware. For those who place a high priority on map quality and plan to use their GPS primarily for outdoor activity, I think it's a good choice that shows favorable signs of becoming even better....more info
  • Not accurate
    Hello,
    I normally do not write reviews, but since I bought this GPS because of the reviews I read here,I think I should do so.
    I bought this Delorme unit because it seemed to deliver a good value for the price, but I found it very inaccurate (more than 120 meters, when according to the unit accuracy was 12 m.), at least for people who are in areas not covered by WAAS signal (like me).
    I used a Magellan MAP410 for 10 years until I needed to change it; but since those "old" units were designed in a time where Selective Availability (SA) was still active, they had an "averaging" feature that started to take several samples of the position when the unit stopped. When SA was discontinued, this average feature made this particular unit much more accurate. Average feature is not available in Delorme PN-20 units and the unit even fails to notice when I stop moving =o(. Base map is also very very bad, no reference points, no small towns, no rail roads, nothing I used to get from the old Magellan unit. It includes maps that can be downloaded to the unit but for the U.S. only; this is not a unit for a traveler or for any one who is not in the U.S. I will try with a Garmin unit now....more info
  • great maps for hiking
    The Topo 6.0 maps that come with this unit contain surprisingly detailed topographic information. Most popular hiking trails are included. You can preview them at (you need to create a free account)...

    data.delorme.com

    The PN-20's main rivals are the Garmin units. The Garmin mapping software can be previewed by following the appropriate links here...

    www8.garmin.com/cartography

    These topographic maps are generally inferior to those of the Delorme unit (you can discover this for yourself by accessing the websites above). The PN-20 nicely superimposes street and topographic/hiking info into the one map which I don't believe the Garmin units do. The mapping software is included free with the purchase of the PN-20. You have to pay an additional amount of more than $200 for both topo and street maps with the Garmin units. One drawback of the PN-20 mapping software is that is highly user UNfriendly. Also, if you want to cut a large map section (say of the entire state of California, with all contour information included), it will take your computer many, many hours. It is possible however to download all street information, from interstate freeways down to tiny alleys, for an entire state, without contour information, in an hour or so. On the plus side, once you master it, the mapping software can be very powerful.

    The screen is full-color as opposed to the Garmin models which only display 256 colors. The PN-20 can display aerial, satellite and usgs topo quad images that you download for $0.25 per square kilometer. The unit comes with a free voucher for $100 of image downloads (400 sq. kilometers). This can be a very useful feature for hiking, as many unnamed trails and paths are visible from the air, and hence appear in the aerial photographs. One warning, if you have poor eyesight you might have difficulty reading the small type on the screen.

    The signal reception is good. It works inside a car and under moderately dense canopy. Under very dense canopy it will loose the signal. The initial lock can take a few minutes, depending on how far you have moved since the device last registered a location. I haven't used the Garmin units but my guess is that the PN-20's signal reception is significantly better than the Etrex's but not quite up there with the 60cx's, which apparently acquires an initial lock within a few seconds. I've found the typical accuracy the device settles down to is roughly +/-50ft under some canopy, +/-30ft if you're driving down a suburban street, and +/- 10ft if you're on a freeway.

    The battery life is good, ~8 hours with moderate use and medium backlight.

    Auto-routing functionality is built in, but limited. If you want the unit to direct you from address A to address B you have to use the Topo 6.0 software on your computer, to create the route and then upload it onto the device. The procedure is fast and straightforward once you learn how to do it. The software enables you to create via and stop points for your route, which can be useful. You can also calculate road-routes by clicking on start and end points on the map (ie without entering addresses). Once you enable auto-navigation, below the map will be displayed the distance and expected time to next turn, the name of the street or exit, and an arrow indicating the direction to turn. It will beep twice for each turn, once to alert you in advance, and a second time to indicate when the actual turn should take place. All in all I found the auto-navigation feature was quite effective, though not as user-friendly as a purpose built auto-GPS such as the Garmin Street-Pilot. Perhaps the biggest downside to using this device for auto-navigation is that you have to wait a minute or two after switching it on for an initial-lock.

    One general drawback is the slow processor. Map redraws can take up to 30 seconds depending on what information is being loaded, though typically they take 5-10 seconds. At times it can be frustrating, though for conventional use the delay is tolerable.

    Another drawback is the street maps are a tad crude. For example, a curved street will appear as a couple of straight lines joined together. Also, some sections of the street maps are misaligned by more than 100ft. These are typically streets in suburban (non-metropolitan) areas but it can occasionally be frustrating, particularly when driving, as the unit can display your position as in between two roads. I believe the Delorme Street-Atlas maps don't have this problem, but they are not compatible with the PN-20 yet (apparently Delorme is working on a patch to make them compatible).

    All in all, the ability to display aerial photography and accurate hiking information makes this a break-through device, though the slow processor detracts a little from the novelty....more info
  • The right GPS for hiking & backpacking
    I have had the Earthmate GPS PN-20 for about 24 hours. I sat down and within 3 hours I had it set up and ready to attempt locating a cache in the Sierra's outside Truckee, CA. It took a bit of concentration to familarize myself with the included DeLorme Topo USA v6.0 mapping software. The software is really great and easy to use to push things down to the internal memory of the PN-20 or the SD card. Also very easy to move tracks and waypoints off of the device on to a computer. The instructions included with the device worked for me and allowed me to get up and running although your experience may be different. The PN-20 screen quality is excellent. The device worked well under a heavy canopy of trees. I really like the control buttons on the face of the device. Much better than my Garmin eTrex. While I was not successful in locating the cache after two attempts I had a blast and logged over 6 miles hiking in the effort. One more note the device stayed put on my dash because of the material on the back of the PN-20 and this was while I was crusing along a road at 45 mph which had many switch-backs. I bought the device for my wife's birthday which is in a few days but I thought I would try it out and then put it back neatly in the box so it looks like new when I give it to her! ...more info
  • Best mapping on a GPSr
    The DeLorme PN-20 has the best mapping hands down. With the included $100 worth of free imagery (which include DOQQs, Sat-10 colorized satellite imagery, and scanned USGS 7.5-minute quads) make this a very useful GPSr to use. I use my PN-20 mostly for mountain biking, hiking and geocaching and being able to have the aerial imagery on there is very very cool. Some places have changed and some places have not, I am usually in places that have not changed too much in the recent years and have been able to find trails that I had not known about.

    One of the things that blows me away with this unit is the many ways to utilize the features in Topo USA and have that same data appear on the PN-20. I have a separate map cut with all of the fire districts on it for my county and then a another map with all of the EMS districts on it. These are all done using polygons. There is just so much that can be done, it is truly amazing.

    If you are worried about how long it takes to load maps, I strongly suggest getting and using an SD card and card reader reader to load larger maps. Loading smaller maps to the PN-20's internal memory is not that big of an issue.

    On the lines of customer service, it is very hard to beat DeLorme's, they have been very responsive to customer needs and quick turn around time for a replacement unit if needed (When I had gotten my first unit, there was an issue with the reception and DeLorme promptly replaced it and have be been happy with it since then). As with any mass produced item, there are bound to be some that have their problems (the same thing happened to me way back when I got my brand new Garmin 60CS, the mini USB plug on the back of the GPSr became loose).

    There is a lot of good help for new users on the DeLorme forum by knowledgeable users and staff! Yes, there are still a couple of minor buggies but DeLorme is working on another release to address these issues and to add more user requests. This is another reason why I like DeLorme so much, they actually listen to their users....more info
  • Sweet deal
    Bought this to use while geocaching. I've found a couple with it and it works great. The software that comes with it is awesome, that is what made me get this one instead of a Garmin since I'd have to buy the software also.

    There's a firmware update coming out sometime that will make true paperless caching available on the PN-20. The only thing that isn't great is the turn by turn. There just isn't enough power to re-calculate a route. But overall, this is an awesome deal....more info