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Old 04-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
baldrick OP
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Garmin 60 or Delorme PN 60?

I am going back and forth on this one. Do I buy a used Garmin 60 or a Delorme PN-60?

I'm a pretty experienced GPS user, but I've owned only Magellans and a Lowrance Ifinder in the past, each of which had strong points and drawbacks. I'm presently using a Magellan Meridian with SD card, which works pretty well, but the mapping software is flaky with Windows 7, and Magellan does not support legacy products (neither does Lowrance - both suck at that).

Here's my question: I am told that the Garmin 60 will follow a route and show distance to next waypoint etc. just like the Magellans do. I read somewhere that the Delorme PN-60 will not do this, but will only show distance to next turn on a route.

Is that true? If so it's a deal breaker for the Delorme, in spite of the great price ($240 w/free shipping from Eastern Mountain Sports) and included topo maps, and the fact that the Delorme will handle GPX format files. Any Delorme users out there?

Also, how about battery life? I run these GPS units on an XR400 sometimes, so they have to run on internal batteries only. Which one has better battery life?

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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I replaced my Delorme PN40 with a Garmin 62s. It was Delormes lack of international maps that forced me to make the switch. If you plan to use the gps outside the US, Canada and Mexico, go with a Garmin product.

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Old 04-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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I've got the PN60W, its ok

but the software sucks, and the Delorme routing REALLY sucks.
When you download a "route" to it it really just downloads the waypoints and the PN60 recalculates it.
I find the interface to be clumsy.
I have a Garmin Nuvi something and it does resonably well at routing and is MUCH faster at it.
I had a lot of hope for the PN60, and must say I'm REALLY dissapointed.

The Spot interface on the PN60W is better than with just the plain Spot.

I mostly use it to tell me where I am so I can find it on a paper map.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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I have a DeLorme and I wished I had bought another Garmin. I sell you mine at a good price if you choose to go with the DeLorme.

If I were buying it soley as a hiking tool in N.A. then I suppose it would be the best but I use it enough on the bike that it's drawbacks easily outweigh it's positives.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
I am going back and forth on this one. Do I buy a used Garmin 60 or a Delorme PN-60?

If so it's a deal breaker for the Delorme, in spite of the great price ($240 w/free shipping from Eastern Mountain Sports) and included topo maps, and the fact that the Delorme will handle GPX format files.

I run these GPS units on an XR400 sometimes, so they have to run on internal batteries only. Which one has better battery life? Thanks in advance
First price, Garmin 60/76 are discontinued so price is great. The 76Cx which is a better choice than 60 (see many other threads) goes on/off sale at for $149. That is by far best value in town if it does what you want.

Second if you are on XR400, I assume you are riding mostly dirt or Dual Sport. (If you don't have battery, you must be dirt only) Dirt riders (except T-Bird) all use Tracks not Routes so forget the Routing features in making your choice.

Batteries will last a day or two but not that hard to add a DC system to your 400.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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I upgraded to a PN-60 from a PN-40. the DeLorme units are intended for back country exploration, so their urban street routing sucks. in the back country, all you have to do is look up a geographical feature, campground, named location, or waypoint, and it will route you there. you can also create a waypoint and route to it. it's best to use the routing feature in the overhead map view mode. if you are following a gpx track, you will have to route to the next waypoint to get the travel distance.

using the Topo NA software that comes with the GPS unit, you can download all the USGS quads and aerial imagery you want for about $35 a year. you can then load it on the GPS. you can use the imagery with Topo NA to trace new, routeable roads and load those to the GPS, too.

it takes AA batteries, which you can swap out without having to start a new track file. it will just pick up where it left off. it takes 32 GB SDHC cards, which you can preload with extra map and imagery files and swap out as needed.

I currently have the base maps for NM, CO, AZ, and UT loaded on my PN-60. I also have USGS quads for most of NM and the Moab and Silverton areas loaded, plus color aerial imagery for half of NM and the Moab and Silverton areas. I also have land use map overlays loaded that allow me to see whether or not I'm on private, state, BLM, FS, military, or Indian reservation land (I've used this feature several times to back down people who falsely claimed I was trespassing).

I have used the USGS quads and aerial imagery many times to find unlisted trails or roads around locked gates, closures, or other obstacles. my PN-60 really shines when it comes to trailblazing and exploration.

unfortunately, it is not always the most user friendly GPS there ever was. Topo NA, while really powerful, is also sometimes difficult to figure out. I like it, but I've been using DeLorme software on my laptop with a GPS antenna since 2000, so I've had plenty of time to learn the quirks. I've also had plenty of time to build my map and imagery library up to epic proportions (it ain't a fast process).

if you have the aptitude and patience to deal with the complicated technical aspects of the PN-60 and Topo NA, you won't find a more powerful mapping and navigation setup for private use. if you want something simple, look elsewhere.

FYI, I use the DualSportMaps app on my phone as my backup GPS. it has a lot of cool functionality (including full base map and limited quad map and satellite image caching), but isn't all that great at routing and the instructions are nonexistent.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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PN-60w Finally Figured Out (Sorta')

The PN-60 and its companion Topo9 software is indeed complex and one can claim that the software's user interface is counter-intuitive. I finally figured out, however, how to create a route on the desktop, translate the route into a track and then transfer the track to the GPS.

The follow-on challenge was navigating the GPS's menu system to get the GPS to a) stay illuminated at full brightness and b) keep the map oriented so that my heading rather than north was always pointing up.

My wife tells me that I'm a crappy teacher, but briefly -

1) In the mapping software set waypoints in the order that you want them using the "Via last waypoint" feature. Routing will ignore your intentions if you use the "Via" feature.

2) Generate your route and then, using the "Manage draw" feature (yeah, you'd thing that it should be in "Manage route") generate a track file.

3) Move your new track file to your GPS. I can't get the "Sync" feature to see the GPS with any regularity so I drag and drop the file onto the GPS after opening it as a removable drive.

Don't be surprised when you find that DeLorme's software doesn't map to reality. I suspect that no one is spending much money on verifying the accuracy of their mapping software.
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