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Re: Looking for honest assessment of using the DeLorme PN-60

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  • semperquestio
    Outstanding review! Just the kind of info I was looking for! I m not in a position yet to move to anything new, just in the learning phase. This really
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 22 4:40 PM
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      Outstanding review! Just the kind of info I was looking for! I'm not in a position yet to move to anything new, just in the learning phase. This really helped a lot! You can read all the spec sheets in the world but there's nothing like real-world opinions from someone who uses the thing for the same thing you would use it for.

      Many thanks!


      --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "gj289fia" <gj289fia@...> wrote:
      >
      > If a reply from a bit east of you (as in Houston) is acceptable, here's my assessment:
      >
      > I've been using DeLorme products for a relatively long time, starting with their mapping products. I switched to DeLorme hardware when I finally become fed up with Garmin's Byzantine activation schemes for their mapping products and the reduction in the number of units on which the maps can be used.
      >
      > As far as the hardware itself:
      >
      > Some Pros:
      >
      > It is fairly easy for a seasoned cacher to adapt from Garmin to DeLorme. The learning curve is not terribly steep.
      >
      > Although the display is not as large as some GPS units, it is fairly high resolution and my old eyes have never had any trouble seeing it.
      >
      > With a 32gb SD card installed, I can have detailed mapping for the lower 48 loaded at all times, leaving the 3.5 gb internal memory available for loading GPX files, aerial phots or higher detail topo maps (note: extra cost of $30/yr for unlimited map, aerial photo, etc. downloads). While the GPS will only load 1500 caches at a time, a virtually unlimited number of GPX files can be stored and in takes only a minute or two to close out the old 1500 cache GPX file and load a new one. Very handy when traveling. Using the caches along a route feature from Groundspeak in combination with GSAK, etc., I can drive from here to MA for instance and have caches along my entire route available without needing phone or computer service. Obviously they can't be updated en route, but at worst they should be only a few days old.
      >
      > Set up and configuration is no more difficult than any other GPS with a reasonably full array of features. The menus are mostly logical and the functions are not hard to find. There are a lot of choices as to what info is displayed on the screen and the display can be tailored to suit your preferences. The display can be different when navigating to a cache or just driving along with the GPS operating. Could be a negative to some, since you might wish to configure both modes.
      >
      > Obviously paperless caching is a must-have feature and it works as expected.
      >
      > Personally I consider the lack of touch screen to be a positive or at the worst a neutral although some cachers prefer the touch screen. Personal preference I suppose.
      >
      > Perhaps because I've been using the included mapping software, now called "Topo 9" foor so long, I consider that a strong plus. It will calculate routes, display your caches, etc and routes and other data can easily be transferred to the PN-60. I works great for solving certain types of puzzle caches as well.
      >
      > I like the ability to have the GPS calculate a "via road" route to a cache, especially in unfamiliar areas. The usual caveats apply in that the closest road point to a cache is not always the best access point.
      >
      > Clicks to go to a cache? Depends on how you like to operate. Typically, if I'm looking at the closest caches in the area I'm in, I'll (1) Press the locate button, (2) select geocaches (as opposed to other POI's), then (3) scroll through the list of available caches till I find one I want, (4) press enter (I'll be presented with options, but the default is "route") (5) Press Enter again, and I'm ready to go. In practice if the first cache is the one you want, once familiar, it probably takes two or three seconds to accomplish all steps. There are lots of other possibilities such as filtering for only multis, or whatever, etc., etc. Any time lots of options are available things can get as complicated as you might want to make them. You could also put the cursor on a cache displayed on the map and start the process that way.
      >
      > As for loading caches, you can go directly from GSAK to the PN-60 although I usually mount the PN-60 as a drive and just copy the GPX file(s) to the PN-60. You can also sync to the Topo 9 program and any routes, caches, other waypoints, etc. will be transferred. The sync, as you would expect, works in both directions and can be tailored to your needs.
      >
      > Accuracy seems quite good. I've never had any complaints there and when I use the averaging feature for five or ten minutes when placing caches, I generally receive compliments on the accuracy of the coordinates.
      >
      > The available Li-Ion battery is handy since it allows the PN-60 to be plugged in and charging while traveling between caches. Battery life seems about average although I've never done a detailed study on this (or any other) GPS.
      >
      > There are more things, but this is already getting way, way too long.
      >
      > Dislikes:
      >
      > First and foremost for me: the route calculation (via road) is agonizingly slow. Be sure you turn off the option to automatically recalculate a route or you my find the GPS calculating and as soon as it finally stops, it discovers that things still aren't to its liking an starts calculating again. Just set it to "prompt" and if you really want it to recalculate, OK it, otherwise ignore the recalc. Sure wish they could fix that issue. The Zumo 660 on my motorcycle can recalculate in seconds what it takes the DeLorme probably a full minute or more to accomplish.
      >
      > There's another issue I've encountered, and now that I know the cure it's only an annoyance, not the disaster that I first thought. Infrequently the NVRM apparently apparently becomes corrupted and when you view the satellites page, the satellites all appear to be clustered in one location. A reset of the NVRM and about 10 minutes or so for the data to be reloaded from the satellites cures the problem. No big thing, unless it happens at a particularly inopportune moment. I've probably encountered this twice in the nearly three years I've been using the PN-60.
      >
      > Too bad you're not in the Houston area. I'd be happy to go find some caches with you to let you try the PN-60. There's nothing like first hand experience since what I like may not appeal to you and vice versa. If you have any more specific questions or concerns, I'll be happy to try to answer them. Feel free to contact me off line if this thread gets too far afield for other users.
      >
      > Gary / Team Troglodyte
      >
      >
      > --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "semperquestio" <sqcaching@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I've read about all the features, specs, and all that stuff. I'm looking for experiences in actually using the thing for caching.
      > >
      > > What is the interface like? How is the setup and configuration? How many clicks to select a cache to go to and then how many to mark it found? How is the process for loading caches? Likes? Dislikes? Gotchas?
      > >
      > > Anybody got any practical knowledge of this thing they'd like to share?
      > >
      > > Thanks!
      > >
      >
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