DeLorme PN-60 vs Garmin GPSMAP 62st vs ....

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by _vortex_, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    To be clear, only most Garmin street GPS units "don't really understand tracks", with the Zumo having some limited track features.

    The hand held Garmins and Garmin Mapsource are what 90% of all dirt riders use for their track needs.

    True the PN-60 and the new Garmin 78 do hold much more "Saved" tracks but the universal standard 60/76 will easly hold 2,000 miles of tracks for a long trip.

    Bottom line your comparison should have been between a PN60 and a similar Garmin unit, not a unit intended for street use.
    #41
  2. Hap Hazard

    Hap Hazard Adv Want a B

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    Actually I think the Delorme is an itch I have to scratch. I ordered the PN60 SEw with the SPOT. The 30 day return policy is nice.

    Because I mostly will fololw tracks podted by others (CDR TAT) instead of inventing them I'm hoping this will be just what I need.

    Will report in 30 days. Have Big Bend trip at end of this month.

    -Hap
    #42
  3. klrmtn

    klrmtn Been here awhile

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    I'm a PN-60 follower. For my use in creating a route on the computer and uploading on the 60 and then following it is perfect. That is exactly what I want it to do. The 60 does much better routing on the unit than the older 20 and 40, but still not great. It's best strength is the Topo 9 and loading routes. I also use it mountain biking, great there too. Hope it works for you, can be a little trying to learn Topo 9, but it's not that bad and there is great forum support to get your questions answered.
    #43
  4. wparkinson

    wparkinson Gear Whore

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    I am in the process of downloading a base map for A-Stan just to see how it looks... I will post up when I get it...
    #44
  5. WHKED RIDER

    WHKED RIDER WHKED RIDER

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    Hello All. Ok I have read through the posts on the thread and agree that most of what I have seen other riders in the dirt using are the Garmin products. I have only owned one handheld dinosaur model Garmin GPS12 that doesn't even have a map. It works great for going exploring to the point of getting lost and backtracking but not much more. I am pretty sure I am going to stay with a Garmin but I have a few questions that maybe you guys can help me with.

    1. The old Garmin 60CSX is the tried and true standard but is being phased out as the 62 series comes into play. Should I save half the dough and buy this model that is already battle tested although it has no on board memory and moderate speed redraw?

    2. The new Garmin GPSMAP 62s model looks like a real winner except that there is no waterproof power cord plug in. The photos I have seen of this unit show that the power is via mirco usb and exposes not only the usb area but also the external antenna port. Not sure if the usb would even stay plugged in if the water resistance wasn't an issue. This unit has been describe as extremely fast on redraw, good in sunlight and spot on for accuracy with minimal wandering on the track. I have not found a hardwire plug available either so that battery operation isn't a requirement for long distance rides. Given the water resistance and lack of power options is this really the best deal for a Dual Sport arena?

    3. The new Garmin GPSMAP 78s model on it's face also looks like great deal. It isn't until you read the reviews that you find the altimeter basicly doesn't function and the barometer is limited. Those may not be major issues for most riders and it does offer the old standard round NMEA plug for water resistance on an available plug, but what I did find as major problem was that this model has a patch antenna and pretty much needs to be kept flat for accurate tracking. The biggest concern I have about this unit is that REI removed it from their website and very few if any reviews are avaialbe for this model at all. I looked all over the place and only found a handful of reviews. Some of those are posted on paid gps review sites which really do no more good than repost what is on the gps box.

    So now that I have spilled it on my concern and confusion can anyway help with some clarification or suggestions of which way to go and why?
    #45
  6. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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  7. Hap Hazard

    Hap Hazard Adv Want a B

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    Well my experience with PN60 w/SPOT was over quick. Lot's of positives, Delorme people are great, Topo9 was difficult but manageable and great maps. I liked the buttons and the pages were logical.

    BUT, I couldn't see it. Bi-focals, old eyes, small screen all conspired to make it unreadable when mounted on bike. The "go to" street address function was awkward but not a deal killer. I might have kept it anyway just to use off road. However, the GPS has to on for the SPOT to work. My wife likes to follow my tracks. So I would need for it to be on even if I couldn't see/use it.

    Delorme gave me return authorization with no hassle.
    #47
  8. Jäger_

    Jäger_ Osons

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    That would be my suggestion.

    I do a LOT of professional GPS work, using everything from $100 Etrex cheapies and DNR Garmin where fine accuracy is not a real consideration, to RTK units that will give you a position to within a few centimeters with 3 sigma accuracy and which cost more than most motorcycles. That leads me to a few suggestions.

    First, the 60CSx is a proven performer, as are the Rinos for those who want polling, weather radio onboard, comms, etc. And the Etrex models are underrated, althouth their little screens are not optimal for motorcycling.

    So when you have proven GPS units at very friendly prices, and then brand new models costing considerably more, ask yourself what you are going to get with the new models that the old ones don't provide. Sticking with Garmin for the moment, what will the 62s give you that puts it head and shoulders above earlier models? If it is something of real value, go for it; otherwise, save your money.

    The movement in recreational GPS seems to be towards layered displays. that is, an underlying raster of an orthophoto or georeferenced scan of a map, with an overlaid layer with your POIs, waypoints, roads, trails (i.e. point and line features). Some obviously find this wonderfully useful; I find it totally useless. Cute, but useless. Trimble professional GPS units have had this capability for years now, and as I think back I can't remember ever bothering to upload orthophotos or geoTIFFs of an area I am going to - and I have a server full of them to choose from.

    However... if background raster map images are something that helps you, then the new models of GPS units will appeal to you.

    Consider this as well. The recreational GPS industry is rapidly advancing. I fully expect we will soon see the first recreational GPS units that will use multiple SV constellations just as professional units are doing, not just the US GPS system. Manufacturers are increasingly realizing that many users want to be able to make or customize their own GPS maps - not necessarily with background rasters, but with trails, roads, etc. Look at developments like integrating SPOT... there are significant changes happening in what GPS consumers are being offered, and those major changes have not ended yet.

    All of this means that what is available for sale two or three years from now is almost certainly going to be significantly advanced from what is on the shelves right now. Buying a "sufficient for my needs" older GPS model right now means much less money sank in that GPS when you are considering a new GPS a few years down the road.

    And if you happen to destroy or lose your GPS... it does happen...

    As consumers, I think we are frequently sucked in to automatically defaulting to buying the latest/greatest when a lesser/older model will do just fine or may in fact be even better. Case in point: the more images and stuff you want your GPS displaying, the more battery life is going to be compromised. This may or may not be an issue for an individual user, but it is something to consider.


    My personal view on this is... who cares?

    I ride a little WR250R, and while I am not a hard core enduro bushwhacker, there are still sufficient branches and things out there to catch on exposed cords and give them a good solid jerk. All things considered, I really don't want that happening to GPS connections, and again all things being equal, I'd rather have the weather cover in place rather than dangling to one side to allow a connection.

    I use a Rino 530HCx for my dual sporting. I knew when I bought it that wired operation wasn't even possible given the mounts available and how the cords connect to the GPS. This doesn't affect me one iota. The GPS rides up on the bars, without power cables attached. Meanwhile, the charger cord is running from the power outlet - in an onboard bag, charging a spare battery. With battery life on a charge running around 14 - 16 hours, depending on what GPS functions I am using, I usually find sometime to stop and simply switch batteries over if necessary in the middle of the ride. I also carry a third battery unit - one which accepts AA's, should I lose auxiliary power to my charger.

    So, I'm not a big fan of wired up GPS units on the bars anyways, I think a cord running into a tank or tail bag where the charger and battery live is a better plan. But obviously, a great many people see it differently. The inability to hardwire directly to the GPS on the bars, however, is not a show stopper if you are a little flexible (and see it my way, of course).

    For those who are REALLY serious about having high end GPS capabilities... the prices on the newest models on the recreational market today are not that far below a Trimble Juno, which is one hell of a lot more capable and flexible than the Garmin and DeLorme handhelds out there. There will be a learning curve to go with it as well, of course, but if you're really, deadly serious about maximum flexibility and background maps and all the bells and whistles, it is a truly professional GPS unit with much better accuracy. We use several of these with the resource survey crews that go up north. I don't feel the need for one for recreational use, but for those loving the new features on the DeLormes and Trimbles...

    [​IMG]

    http://www.trimble.com/junosd.shtml

    That's the ultimate Juno with enough bells and whistles to make any dual sporter happy, they do come in lesser models (and a much smaller price tag).

    Just a few thoughts to consider. In the end, the GPS you choose has to please and be usable by you, not somebody else.
    #48
  9. Rey & Vann

    Rey & Vann Been here awhile

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    I did a lot of research about a year and a half ago, and ended up purchasing a PN-40 (60 was still 6 months away).

    A lot of commentary existed about the difficulty of using Topo 8 (again, 9 wasn't out yet). Here's what I found...

    The PN-40 has a small screen that is backlit well enough to use in bright sunlight. My mid-life eyes struggle a bit to see the screen, but I can always figure out what was coming up next by setting my travel direction to the top of the screen. The buttons are not the handiest to cycle while riding, but I've had the practice and have developed the confidence to manipulate it on the fly. Redraws are fast enough for my speeds (sometimes up to 60 or so on logging roads, and 15~25 on single track in the Capital Forest in Olympia, WA). Acquisitions are very fast, and once locked on, very stable. I've ridden through some single track where I couldn't see the blue of the sky, and this unit stayed on 2D, but didn't lose itself.

    The Topo 8 software didn't seem to have the steep learning curve most of the commentary I read mentioned. I found that the software was logical and methodical. I put together a number of day rides, and for the most part, the going was what was on the screen. I did, however find that on some of the Weyerhauser and Rayonier/Green Diamond land, roads that were on Topo abruptly disappeared, and sometimes, roads that disappeared on Topo kept on going... Confusing!

    I'm happy with my purchase of the PN-40. I knew the 60 was coming out, but I wasn't willing to wait as riding season 2010 was around the corner. I've tossed up getting the PN-60 SE with the Spot device, but then I'll have my trusty 40 sitting around...

    Anyway, look at what these guys http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=612129 had to say and how they used their 60. I can't speak for them, but I think that if you asked, they'd tell you they were satisfied. My experiences mimiced theirs (only in unit usage, definitely NOT ride ability, experience, or just plain old cojones...). By the way, that was one of the best RR's I've read.

    Nowadays, you can get the 40 for about 220.00, put a 16 gig card in it, install the detail maps for your ride region. I have a cheapy Acer netbook that runs the software and that I can create routes and upload in short order, or sometimes I route on the fly. I also have downloaded some of the Northwest nautical charts and use it on my boat (I love that about it!)

    DeLorme has a great, but underrated product. Garmin has targeted every specialized user. Garmin is kind of what Frigidaire was to the refrigerator industry. Hey, wait a minute! I still have my original, 1st gen E Trex! Crappy LCD screen... Still works, and goes in my bag as my back up.

    In the end, they bot do the same thing :freaky
    #49
  10. howardbell

    howardbell Been here awhile

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    Going out this afternoon to buy my first gps unit for my bike... a little late to the party I know, but thats just how I roll.

    Based on all the info on this site, but primarily this thread, I am seriously leaning to the PN 60 - right now its $299 at rei, with $50 mail-in rebate, and yes the garmin 62 is tempting me, the additional purchase of the specific maps for $100 a pop is bit of a deal breaker for me. Anyways, real quick question for you PN 60 users, can I easily import a .gpx file such as this one I made on ridewithgps.com (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/422405) by throwing it on an SD card and slipping it in my PN 60? or is there something more complicated involved, I ask because I am leaving tomorrow morning...

    thanks again, and thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
    #50
  11. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

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    I think that is all it takes. To be honest, I haven't used mine in a couple months :(

    I am happy with it, however.
    #51
  12. howardbell

    howardbell Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the quick reply vortex, I am very excited to hear that you are still happy with your purchase! Nothing worse than dropping hard cold cash on something with high expecations only to be let down ...:cry
    #52
  13. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    Free Garmin maps from public data: gpsfiledepot.com
    Mapsource and import gpx files no problem typically.
    I prefer the better map data on my delorm topo maps to MapSource but I don't use either a Delorme, or a Garmin GPS so I don't have a dog in this hunt. :deal
    MY next GPS purchase would probably be a Delorme 60, but I really like my Lowrance XOG and till it croaks (I have two) I do not plan on buying another.
    #53
  14. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

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    Well, it is my first (non-car) GPS too... so I can't really give you a good comparison to the garmin :)

    When I looked at them, the garmin did have a nicer, bigger screen, which I liked. But looking at the cost for the data...
    #54
  15. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

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    Yes GPX files on the SD card and load them anytime you want without a PC, so you can have as many as space allows on the SD card, Garmin still won't let you load files with a PC The 62 will allow you to have 100 tracks at 10,000 points which is very good.
    The Delorme with it's ability to have your own draw layers is the biggest plus, gives very customizable maps displays.
    I still have not found a better handheld for what I need in a GPS
    #55
  16. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    Could someone please give me some feedback on their use of the 560/62 vs the Oregon 450 ?
    I am mainly interested by what can be done off the bike: loading tracks and routes, downloading them from recorded trips, ease of use with basecamp (mac osx), and overall experience off the bike (maybe as a car gps, or handled when visiting a city ?).

    Thanks !
    #56
  17. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    I've been in the market for a hand-held GPS since the color Etrex was a new model. I've been leaning toward the PN-60 since it came out and have watched the price fluctuate back and forth from $250 - $400 ever since. I finally ordered from Gander Mountain during their Memorial Day sale. It was sale priced at $249.99, so I bought a pair of socks to qualify for the $50 online discount for orders over $250.

    With free FedEx shipping and Minnesota sales tax my total was $223.86. Today I mailed the form for the $50 manufacturer's rebate. So for a net of less than $175 I get a new PN-60 and nice pair of socks.

    The Gander Mountain sale is over but the manufacturer's rebate is good for most of June. You might have to do some hunting online to find the rebate form for the seller of your choice. For around $200 the PN-60 seems like a pretty screaming deal. Real cheapskates might want to look at sale prices on the Etrex of under $100.

    Now, a couple of observations. The three main gripes I've read about the PN-60 are lousy road routing, small screen, and learning curve of Topo9. For street riding, one of the big screen Zumos seems like a better solution. I can't picture really being able to read the screen on any of the handhelds from a moving motorcycle, at least not with my 57 year old eyes.

    We'll have to wait and see on Topo 9.0, since I don't even have the required DVD player on my ancient home PC. I eventually mastered PowerPoint and Quark Express, but I never made peace with Microsoft Project or Access. We'll see where Topo 9 falls.

    I really bought the PN-60 for a long ride I'm planning on my horse. I want to know how far and how fast I'm going in training so I can better plan the trip, and I want to be able to document and publish my route after I go. For those priorities the PN-60 and Topo 9.0 ought to be ideal, and for the price, a no-brainer.
    #57
  18. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Today I finally received my $50 rebate check from DeLorme, bringing my purchase price to $149.99.

    Now that I've had some chances to use it, I can see why users want a bigger screen. Zoom in for detail and you can't figure out where you are, zoom out and you can't see the detail. But that's true of Mapquest on a 23" monitor, so at some point a trade-off will have to be made for portability. The real question is how big a screen can you pack into how small a GPS. Maximum screen real estate is easiest to achieve with a touch screen, but that hasn't worked out too well for a lot of users. I like the great big buttons on the PN-60.

    For pure form factor, I'd say the new 62 series units from Garmin do the nicest job of incorporating buttons and screen in a small package. But the reviews are mixed. And you won't find one for $149.99.
    #58
  19. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    How is Topo 9 working out?
    #59
  20. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    I didn't have a suitable computer for loading Topo 9 until recently. I installed the software in the new Windows 7 machine, plugged the GPS in with the supplied USB cable, and it updated the firmware in the GPS and pulled down my tracks from last summer's trip through the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. It displayed a very nice map of my path. I did the whole thing in about an hour. I can see how the interface could be challenging, but what it does automatically was impressive to me.
    #60