Announcing the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40

UPDATE: The PN-40 is Now Available

We’re all excited about the October release of the PN-40. Here are some highlights about this new GPS:

Earthmate PN-40
GPS for Serious Outdoor Adventures

DeLorme’s blazing fast, feature-rich new handheld GPS—built on the PN-20’s rock-solid design for unbeatable reliability in challenging outdoor conditions.

  • NEW! Super high-sensitivity 32-channel Cartesio chipset by STMicroelectronics delivers near-instantaneous signal acquisition and ConstantLock™ satellite retention
  • NEW! Dual-core processor for rapid screen re-draws, even with large aerial imagery files
  • NEW! 500 MB of onboard Flash memory (1 GB total)
  • NEW! 3-axis electronic compass with included accelerometer performs when held in any position—while in motion or standing still
  • NEW! Sensitive barometric altimeter for reliably accurate altitude readings
  • NEW! Supports SDHC high-capacity SD cards—32 GB or higher
  • NEW! Fast USB 2.0 data transfer to internal memory or SD card in device
  • NEW! More detailed onboard base map data for the U.S., now with secondary and connector roads (along with major highways and thoroughfares for the entire world)
  • 65K-color daylight-readable TFT screen for clarity in any light conditions
  • WAAS-enabled for accuracy within 3 meters
  • Topo USA 7.0 software with complete U.S topo and street maps included—no extra purchase required. Also displays USGS 7.5-min quads, aerial imagery, and NOAA nautical charts via online download from DeLorme
  • PN-40 scheduled for Fall 2008 release

I know, pretty exciting news! We’re fired up here in the building too! Devices haven’t worked their way through the company yet so you can imagine the jockeying for position that goes on when new units come in from manufacturing. I was lucky enough to get a device for the design process so I’ll pass along a few observations on the speed improvements from early use… The multi-core processor is really quite impressive. I’ve evaluated lots of devices over the years and am excited to say that I haven’t seen one pan and zoom the map as quickly as the PN-40. Map redraws really are instantaneous.

As an example, I’ve been driving with high resolution color aerial imagery displayed on my device and have been tracking at a scale of 80 ft (very high detail) and haven’t noticed any lag time in map redraws… and that was traveling over 40 mph. While the color aerial imagery was impressive on the PN-20, I was never satisfied with the redraw time for imagery when traveling much faster than an average bike ride.

An additional example for those with experience with the PN-20… taking screen shots is also practically instantaneous. Here are a couple of screen shots I took while driving home last night… notice the speed and the map scale!


That’s about all I have right now… expect more updates as the digital compass and barometric altimeter come on-line and we start exploring how much map data can be stored with the large internal memory and the SDHC card support. Keep an eye on our web site for marketing announcements as well. Like I said, we’re all very excited about the new device and will be sharing more info as we work on the project.

Thank you,

111 Comments on “Announcing the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40

  1. Sweet, sweet, sweet! Where have you been all my life, baby?

    I’m *sure* I’ll be having questions later; for now I’ll just revel in the news.

  2. Will I be able to use my own calibrated aerials and satellite images? Otherwise it it seems it isn’t much use outside of the US .

  3. Allan, assuming the PN-40 operates like the PN-20 in this regard, it should use all the imagery that Delorme makes available. To use other sources, the PN-20 (and thus, I assume, the PN-40) requires Delorme’s XMap software–the next step up from Topo 7. XMap Pro adds the ability to import scanned or other electronic data, anchor with two-point registration, and export to the PN’s.

    You are right that Delorme’s data is USA-centric.

  4. Looks great! The UK has OS Maps – the best in the world – and this would sell like hot cakes here it if used OS mapping. Perhaps a future plan?
    I assume it has all the geocaching features of the previous model?

  5. I want one! I’ve had the PN-20 since it was released and wouldn’t go back to any other GPS. I use it for GeoCaching, driving around town, 1000+ mile road trips (routes calculated on Topo), and more. The only thing I’ve HATED is the screen redraw speed. Nothing like trying to zoom in on an upcoming intersection only to see it go by while the screen redraws.

    Any chance the PN-40, with this awesomely fast redraw, will support auto-zoom while tracking a road route? That’s the one thing from Street Atlas that I’ve wanted but knew would NOT be a good idea due to the screen redraw.

  6. Ok, but what is the battery life like on this baby? Sounds like it uses a lot more power. I am a camper and a hiker and would like to be able to keep it on all day.

  7. Resolution of the screen? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me it uses NORMAL batteries like AA batteries!! Pretty Please.

    A GPS will work as well today as it will in 5 years as it will in 10 years. IT SUCKS throwing perfectly good devices away because the stinking scum sucking nasty proprietary built in battery dies. Grrrr

  8. Sounds like everyone works for Delorme. The PN-20 was a pig of a device, and I am sure that the PN-40 will be the same. The UI is too complicated, and the accompanying software is for users with GIS software training. Ooh and ahh at the more of (x) stats, if it isn’t easy to use, than it will not be used. It will become a newer, more expensive paper weight.

  9. Chip..please tell the engineers to log the compass bearing in the tracklog. The unit would CORNER THE MARKET for geotagging photos. Please don’t lose the opportunity!

  10. Max – thanks for the feedback. That sounds good – although it would have been better if my raster files didn’t need Xmap. One more – will it have the capability for user-defined datums and projections? The PN20 didn’t when it came out.

  11. Ahhh! Nature! Get it off; get it off! Just kiddin, I live right on the Sammamish River Trail in Redmond. Yes that Redmond. The new PN-40 has some great features and I love to hop on the trail with my bike.

  12. That is some cool gadget there. It could probably help you to find even the needle that your neighbour lost in the haystack. It is really compact, your all in one. Cool!

  13. OK….I just bought a PN-20. So now I will be wanting the PN-40. So what will this COST? Any thought of a trade in for those of us still waiting on our rebate? Thanks!

  14. Well, I can do most of these things already on my Garmin 60CSx and a $90 Mapwel software… I have to build my own sat picture maps, but it takes only 15 min per map (a picture form Google Earth –> Mapwel 3.7 (does vectorization quickly) –> 60CSx.


  15. sorry if I overlooked it. Can I download LOC, GPX or KML?

  16. You can download .loc and .gpx files to Topo USA, view them on your map and then send them to your Earthmate GPS device. The .kml file format is not yet supported.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Chip Noble

  17. Pingback: News Juicer » Blog Archive » DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 GPS unit for those of you who go outside

  18. Chip–will the new PN-40 have a way to get detailed topo maps of Canada (via new DeLorme software, one of the file formats you addressed above, or some other way)?

  19. I like everything about my PN-20 except the very very very slow screen redraw speeds and the inability to load waypoints without using DeLorme Software. (maybe I just don’t know how). I would never suggest to anyone to buy a PN-20 because it is just plain slow. I’ll definately need to put one of these in my hands to test drive it before making a purchase. The speed increase will have to be significant for me to purchase another DeLorme GPS.

  20. Trouthunter… sorry, no topo maps for Canada yet. The topic comes up pretty frequently and I’m hoping requests like yours will drive interest in the company. Thanks for requesting the data; I’ll be sure to pass your post along.

    Okra… the PN-40 will definitely satisfy your desire for a faster screen redraw. I’ve been meaning to take some video of the device in action so that PN-20 owners and others can see the improvement. I still think the PN-20 did a good job within the markets we were targeting… hiking and biking… but we understand your desire for a faster device and that’s exactly what we’re delivering with the PN-40.

    Thank you both for your comments.

    Chip Noble

  21. Chip- any updates on the anticipated release date?

    Hunting season is quickly approaching and there are many hunters, including myself, who are looking for a GPS but need it before archery season starts!

  22. I am also a hunter. Currently I am “hunting” a new GPS unit. I need one ASAP and am looking to drop some $LOOT$ on one today. I would like to have it in time to mark some scouted areas and find my blinds in the dark. Any news on release dates or price. Tick-Tock-Clarice!

  23. Well, I got really excited a month ago, but with the lack of news I am getting impatient. You would think out of marketing sense, this would get released soon so we can enjoy this this season instead of next. Even a farther out date would be better than nothing. I will buy a GPS soon and I hope it is this one. I just need a reason to wait.

  24. Jason, release date is still scheduled for fall. I can’t quote exact release dates but I can say that I’m planning to use one for upland hunting this year. I know that’s still vague since upland in Maine parallels archery and runs through December… but we’re tracking well with our fall plan and we know how big our hunting market is!

    Mountainshine, keep your eye on the PN-40. The ability to load USGS maps and high res aerial imagery for anywhere in the US really blows my mind every time I turn it on… I’ve been using it for a while now, working with the beta testers, and it still makes me smile every time I go into the woods.

    BeratE, I hope I’ve given you your reason to wait. I keep saying I’ll put together a video showing blazing fast Topo USA data, USGS maps, and aerial imagery. I’ll get that out so that you can all see the device in action. You’ll be glad you waited.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Chip Noble

  25. I am planning to buy a PN-40 for using it in Germany and Central Europe.
    Together with Xmap Pro (for use with local maps) i think it is the best Hard- and Software i can get for the next 2 Years.

    Are there any plans for DeLorme to sell international?
    I mean especially PN-20/PN-40 bundled with Xmap Pro and without TopoUSA?
    TopoUSA ist near useless in europe.🙂

    … this summer took to long, cant await fall😉

  26. Thanks for the reply/post Chip. I am looking forward to the new product info/video. Curious, what scale are projected topo maps & How is reception in “Heavy tree cover and Canyons”? Also, any estimated ranges in cost?

  27. Hoping for a video enticement, too, Chip, especially with custom graphic maps and USGS images.

  28. Have they changed/improved the regular road use functions? I am thinking about use in a auto for routing. It would be a secondary function, but would save having to use multiple devices. For example, can you enter a street address on the device? Or does that need to be done on the laptop? Thanks!

  29. Find was greatly improved with the 1.5 firmware update for the PN-20. The Earthmate PN-40 takes advantage of all those improvements plus the dual processor speed available in the new device. We’ve been very excited by the speed of address searches with the new device.

    Thanks for the question…

    Chip Noble

  30. Will it support/import Geocaching files with logs ?

  31. I’m waiting to buy one… I bought the Colorado 400T and so far have been so very disappointed with it in almost every way possible. I thought that it would have been an upgrade from the 60CSx that I had owned for a couple of years. Not so! Luckily I saw this link before I ordered another 60CSx to replace the one my Ex took with her.

    I’m very anxious but can wait until until November at the latest before the snow starts falling and I will need to have a usable GPS in hand…

    We should be able to pre-order or get on a list in case they are in short supply when they are released.

  32. Hey Chip
    That sounds like a nice gps. I remember calling your customer service within a month after the pn-20 came out and told them I wouldn’t buy their product until they came up with an electronic compass model. THANK YOU! Now let me ask, is the pn-40 the same physical size as the pn-20? I wish it were smaller in size as I want to use it on my racing bicycle and want to keep the bulk down. Is the screen the same size?

  33. Randy… we do import the Geocaching .gpx files and show as much of the details as will fit in our current 800 character limit. I’ve been fighting that limit for a while now and hope to see it removed in one of our firmware upgrades. Check out this link for more info…

    Chuck… I’m sorry to hear about your 60CSx. We’re tracking very closely to our target release date. I can’t say exactly what that date is but you should be all set with your snow fall deadline. Marketing is putting the final touches on their plan, I’m sure you’ll be able to get pre-order info from them soon.

    Neusbaum… the PN-40 is the same physical dimension as the PN-20. The screen is the same size as well. I use the PN-40 on my bike for daily commuting as well as for group training rides. The maps are great for keeping everyone on course and I can use Topo USA to tie in my heart rate and other cycling data from my Suunto watch. On the day of competition I’ll take it off, along with the rest of the gear I train with… If I don’t need it to roll forward, it weighs too much. Check out this link to a write-up about cycling with the PN-20 and let me know if you’re ever in Yarmouth, ME and looking for a ride.

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Chip Noble

  34. WOW Chip !
    That’s exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish with my soon-to-be PN-40 on my bike. A few more questions if you don’t mind.
    1) I can’t tell how you mounted that PN-20 to your handle bars. It doesn’t look like the RAM mount they sell for that unit.
    2) Since the PN-40 has a barometric altimeter, does it compute and display road gradient?
    3) Can I transfer data from any digital heart rate monitor into the Topo USA software? or does it have to be Suunto?


  35. Sorry for the delay… been busy with the PN-40! Answers to your questions…

    I was using a custom mount. I use a RAM mount now, much more stable. I actually had a PN-20 part ways with my bike using the custom mount… not recommended at 30mph…

    We aren’t computing road gradient with the PN-40. I’ll add it to our feature request database though, good idea! I use Vertical Speed to guage my climbing progress. It helps me when I’m looking to assign blame for my low speed or cadence.

    You can use Topo USA to GeoTag any digital data that can be moved to your computer. Suunto, Timex, and Garmin athletic watches will transfer without the calibration step but other data files can be used with GeoTagger in Topo USA.

    I hope this helps… let me know if you have any other questions.

    Chip Noble

  36. The PN-40 sounds great. I like my PN-20, but the performance was definitely a problem. I’ve spend a lot of time standing still on trails and roadsides waiting for it to complete a task.

    For future like to have features, at the top of my list would be dead-reckoning. When the satellite signal gets bad, the unit uses accelerometers to calculate the position from the last satellite reading. Works even in tunnels and buildings and great for geocaching. To add to the dream list, I’d like to see an Intel Atom based device running a full operating system with support for user apps. Add bluetooth, WiMax, an HDMI connector, and an OLED display and you’d be a generation ahead of the competition. All in a form factor either the same size as the PN-20, or an elongated

    Looking forward to the PN-40. I hope to be making my traditional trip up to Yarmouth to pick it up this fall.


  37. I would like a gps that shows public and private grounds for hunting in montana. Will this unit show this? If not, can I load my own maps that do show this onto the unit? Also archery elk season starts sept 6th. will these units be ready by then?

  38. Chip, somebody asked about battery life in a previous post, but it was in the middle of one of your bouts with work I think. Dual processor and speed equals more power. Are we sacrificing PN40 battery run-time for speed? Guess I could try to have a spare battery charged up.


  39. I held off on buying the PN-20 because of how slow the map redraws were, so this unit is looking very impressive. I also would like to know how much less battery life this thing gets, though I think having the faster processor is worth the sacrifice in battery performance.

  40. I have a question on the Barometer Function. Will the unit record barometric pressure when it’s turned off? To the full-time outdoor user it’s nice to wake up in the morning and check the barometer to see what’s going on with the weather. Will the PN-40 record this data when off?

  41. Will the PN40 support Paperless geocaching like your competitor?


  42. i lice in canmore AB 6 months a year. do you have canada maps or not?? i see and have bought all of the topo release over the years, but topo canada??? u talk about testing the 20 and 40 in canada(expidetions). do you have maps or not of canada???? please explain it to me

  43. Request for feature before beta testing is done…

    I have “another brand” of GPS and it turns itself off every time it loses external power unless I intervene. I hope that the PN-40 will be user configurable so I can tell it to “stay on” when external power is lost. After all, there are batteries in the unit that it can fall back on.🙂

    When I’m riding my snowmobile we sometimes stop 40-50 times per day. About 20% of the time I look down and realize that the GPS has been off since the last time I stopped and I don’t have any track information for the last few miles. Even if I remember to select the “stay on” prompt 100% of the time (which only a super human could remember to do), the gps will inevitably lose external power anyway because the power adapter will vibrate a little in the cigarette lighter socket and the gps will turn itself off.

    Please pass this information off to your developers🙂

  44. Lots of power questions out there and not surprised by that. All the newer models are power hungry and the new components do require more power. We are doing everything we can continuously improve our battery performance — across all the various battery options. Cannot post times yet because the work is ongoing but we are trying to avoid some of the problems other recent new models have had from other leading providers. But these handheld GPS devices require a lot of power to be distributed and regulated to several onboard components so it is a significant challenge to balance all the factors. Hope this helps (somewhat).

  45. Some quick answers:

    Yogazoo: we’ll be adding features to our sensor support after release. Initial functionality will not include ability to record barometric pressure when the PN-40 is turned off. This is a good feature, thanks for suggesting it!

    Gary: the PN-40 supports 800 characters of the geocache description. We’re working to expand that in the future but currently we organize the cache details to optimize the 800 character limit.

    Greg Rudowsky: unfortunately, we do not currently have any topographic maps for available for Canada to be used on the PN-40. It has been at the top of many discussions lately so we’ll keep you posted.

    Snowmobiler Chuck: our PN-20 as well as our PN-40 work the way that you described… when external power is lost the device immediately starts using batteries. Keep in mind that most devices I’ve seen offer an option to turn off the “power down when no external power” feature. You should look for it in the manual for your device.

    I hope this helps answer some questions, thank you all for the comments!

    Chip Noble

  46. Will the PN 40 provide the oprion to turn off the compass and barometer functions? If this is possible I assume it would reduce battery drain.

  47. Does the PN-40 do auto routing? Even with the TOPO map? Can I do auto routing on trails (at least to get a real distance to destination)?


  48. Answers:

    Bill Clerke: while the power drain on the new compass and barometer functions appear to be very minimal, we have provided the option to turn them off if users desire.

    Guenther: The PN-40 does do auto routing on the device and is capable of receiving routes from Topo USA if you are planning while at home. We do not have the ability to do trail routing on the device yet but you can do trail routing in advance with Topo USA and then transfer that trail route to the device for use on your hike.

    Thanks for the questions,

    Chip Noble

  49. Will the PN-40 be able to use Delorme Street Atlas 2009 software when traveling on the road? Can you input a travel route and/or destination and have the PN-40 guide you there giving you drections along the way?
    Thank You
    Brad McKirryher

  50. Two thoughts.
    1. I second Phil Turland’s suggestions. At least add the bluetooth so we don’t have to cable it to our PDA or laptop.

    2. Questions about the compass module.
    * can it also be used an angle meter to measure say the angle to the top of tree?
    * can it be used without the GPS i.e. as a digital compass only.

  51. will there be a european version that will include satelite imagery of europe? that would be great.

  52. Would i be able to download Ordanance Survey Map UK onto the PN-40. And would i be able to buy it in the UK. Would it include satellite imagery of europe, cannot wait until its launch!

  53. I just returned the Garmin Oregon 400t. The screen was not as bright as I want it to be.. I want to mountain bike and just glance down to see how I’m doing and I tried geocaching with it but again it’s screen wasn’t bright..

    I wish they made it with the Iphone’s bright bright screen…

    I’m going to hold out for the pn-40.. I just hope it will support the paperless geocaching feature and that it will be compatible with my Apple Macbook pro… If not I’ll hold out even longer for Garmins next line of GPS…

  54. I have and like my PN-20, and plan to (hopefully) be one of the first to own a PN-40, but I have to ask: If DeLorme is targeting hikers with these devices (see DeLorme’s previous rationalization for slow screen draw on PN-20), why on earth do these devices not support trail routing (on the device)?

  55. I have been listening to the “We will support Canada theme” since I bought the PN-20. I have spoken with everyone in Delorme that will listen and I get the same answer. We’re working on doing something. It seems as though Delorme is not interested in this customer base as no one can even give an estimate of when work would even start on a Canadian Topo map or some conversion for Street Atlas 2009.

    I’d spend the $499 without question if someone with authority at Delorme could give me a date. I live on the Canada/US border (18 miles north of VT) and can’t get home from Newport. Lots of great hiking and boating in the area, but the device is no good if I can’t load the required maps.

  56. Answers…

    Brad McKirryher: Topo USA, the desktop mapping application and source of the PN-Series map data, has all of the Street Atlas roads and Points of Interest plus the contours, land cover, and trails. You can create road routes on the PN-40, get turn by turn directions, and hear an alert tone when you approach each decision point. Keep in mind that the primary focus of the PN-Series devices is handheld outdoor, not in-vehicle. If you are looking for a PND for your car I’d suggest something specifically designed for road route optimization. The PN will create a route but we encourage people to use Topo USA for especially long routes or routes in dense urban areas… just transfer your route to the PN after Topo USA calculates it.

    Nigel: Great suggestion, currently there are no features to display the device inclination; I’ll add it to our feature request list though… the device has a three axis compass and an accelerometer so the developers might see a path to your request. The electronic compass and barometric altimeter both work when the GPS is disabled.

    Demetrios and Kavitha: Good requests, you should contact our pro-sales department. XMap will allow you to add GeoTIFF and MrSID files if they are available for your area. We do not currently have a European dataset available. I’m not familiar with the Ordnance Survey Map UK but XMap does allow you to register scanned maps and view them in XMap or on the PN-40. Check out our website as this might be a solution if you have access to the maps already.

    Renehasp: I use my PN-40 on my handlebars of my road bike when training and commuting. I love to be able to see all of the GPS statistics, route directions, and aerial imagery while I’m cycling. I have mountain biked with the device in Utah while at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. It was a blast… contours on the device really let you know when a climb was approaching. We’ve got an 800 character limit for caches as of right now. I’ve put it on the top of my list for a firmware update and think I’ve got some momentum with the project team… keep an eye out for that. While there’s currently no support for the Mac with Topo USA, we are working on our first cross-platform utility. Again, keep an eye out for that…

    Jim_parker: Great question Jim, this is another issue that is high on my list for firmware updates. We want trail routing as much as our customers do; it’s just a matter of triaging all the feature requests and keeping things moving. You can create a trail route in Topo USA and send it to the device… hopefully we’ll have the rest of the feature soon!

    Barry: I know how frustrating it can be to submit a request and hear back that we’re working on something but can’t talk about details. As the manager of the design department I’d love to just talk openly about all of the projects we’re working on so that we can gather user feedback. Unfortunately the business side of things doesn’t allow us to do this… What I can tell you is that the company is listening to the requests for Canadian data on the PN from potential customers like yourself. Keep in mind that XMap will allow you to register maps that you have already and then load those on the PN series device. There’s also a very clever hack going around the DeLorme Forum showing people how to use XMap to get Street Atlas 2009 data onto a PN-Series device. I go to the forums to learn new things about our products all the time…

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Chip Noble

  57. Ack! Bird Season is upon us! I am flying back to Maine from Seattle for a hunting trip and was hoping to get my hands on a unit for the grouse/duck opener! How about I swing by the office on my way up to Pittston Farm and “borrow” yours!

    Ha…We’ll have to wait for next year’s trip, I guess. Great work, guys!

  58. JJ: I’ve got a two year old yellow lab retriever named Beezy. She’s been ready for bird season since the heat started to die down. We did a tune-up event last weekend with our trainer and a handful of his clients. She did great although my wing shot is a little rusty. I used the Earthmate PN-40 with color aerial imagery for the area and was amazed to see features that I hadn’t noticed in all my times hunting that particular spot. The imagery really does change the way that people are going to use GPS devices when they hunt. Sorry that our release date isn’t going to be soon enough for your hunting trip. Let me know if you need a bird dog and a handler for your trip… we hunt the North Maine Woods each year from Lilly Bay State Park and always enjoy the area around Saboomook. Keep an eye out for a truck with an orange PN-40 and a Get Serious Tool sticker if you’re up there the for opening weekend. Good luck!

    Chip Noble
    Team DeLorme

  59. I’m looking for a GPS unit that I can use in the North Maine woods. Are the maps for the PN-20 and PN-40 as detailed as the Delorme “Maine Gazetteer”? I hope they are the same, the Gazetteer is a invaluable tool for hunting and fishing up north here in Maine.

    Thanks in advance,

  60. Chip, This looks like a very good product and I am going to put off the purchase of a Brand X GPS until I learn more about the PN-40.

    One thing that I have not been able to find are the specific specs for the unit. Specifically, display size, screen resolution, expected battery life, etc. Also, is there a spec for operating temperature range? I will use the GPS for snowmobiling in Central and Northern Maine so cold temps are a consideration.

    I live in PA but have a camp on Schoodic Lake in the Brownville area. I want to replace my Magellan SportTrak and your product looks like a winner. I would defintely prefer my hard earned dollars support a Maine business.

  61. Jonniefive79: I spend a good amount of time in the North Maine Woods during October hunting partridge with my yellow lab Beezy. We use the PN-Series devices because the Topo USA maps they come with are the same maps used in the Maine Atlas & Gazetteer. It’s great for viewing all the up to date road information and is even better than the A&G because I can load the color aerial imagery and the USGS quad maps. The quad maps show all the building footprints and are a great way to explore. Keep an eye out for Topo USA’s new feature… the DeLorme Map Library subscription will give you access to download the USGS quad maps for ANYWHERE IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY for $29.95. No I hate to use all caps but I feel that strongly about the Map Library subscription and what it’s offering that sometimes I have to raise my voice. If you’re serious about the North Maine Woods and using a GPS for hunting get the Map Library and the biggest SD card you can find… I’ve got Topo USA, USGS quads, and color aerial imagery for all the places that I hunt. You will not be disappointed. Sorry, got carried away there…

    Dave Hubley: Glad to hear that you’re considering the Earthmate PN-40. The device dimensions and screen specs are the same as the PN-20, that screen has served us very well in all outdoor readability tests. Current battery specs are that we’ll be a little better than the PN-20 even with the new dual processor and the sensors… 12ish with alkalines and power saver mode. Operating temperatures will also be the same as the PN-20… I used a 20 last year snowmobiling in Yellowstone. I’d recommend the same precautions you’d use for any electronic device in harsh conditions. Keep it in your jacket where your body can keep it warm. The batteries will last much longer. We ran the device through some extreme dry ice tests to make sure it will handle all that our polar explorer, John Huston, will put it through on his way to the North Pole. You’ll enjoy using the GPS for snowmobiling here in Maine. Great to hear that you’ve got a camp in Maine and are looking to try out a DeLorme GPS device!

    Thank you both for your comments.

    Chip Noble

  62. Echoing comments earlier on, we troopers who have been using (two here) and touting the PN-20 — no trade up price consideration for the -40? Assuming they work with our -20 equipment, we don’t need another set of the ancillary hardware/software. That is a hard cost savings. And if the new unit is curing “issues” with our inital release units, it seems like a little brand loyalty consideration might be in order for an upgrade.

  63. I have a Pn-20 I try to use with geocaching but a lot of function is missing as compared to other Magellen and Garmen GPS units I have. The PN-40 sounds like it will be a great unit but I did not see much info as how waypoints were handeled.
    Some questions:
    1. How is the GOTO function handeled ? The PN-20 is very cumberson.
    2. Does it have a search function for a particular waypoint rather than scroll thru ?
    3. Does it have a listing of waypoints by nearest to ?
    4. Can I load waypoints with other programs such as EASYGPS ?
    5. The speed problem sounds like it is solved.

    If these functions have been addressed I am ready to order the PN-40.

    One other question. I have the TOPO 7.0 I use with the PN-20. Any consideration of offering the PN-40 at a lower price without the TOPO ?

  64. Brock: our marketing director has posted a response for those looking for upgrade pricing. Check it out on our forums here:

    Andy Anderton: Here is a link to a DeLorme forum post describing tools for finding caches quickly and keeping your cache list updated to only show hidden caches:

    Once you’ve picked the cache you’re after all you have to do is press route, choose road or direct, and navigate to the cache.

    You can search by the name of the cache or the distance from map center. The waypoint list that contains your caches can also be sorted by distance or by name. Expect this in a PN-20 firmware update soon after the PN-40 releases.

    We’ve released the DeLorme binary transfer protocol but haven’t had anyone use it to support the PN-20 yet. We’re working on a project that should make this easier… just a matter of getting the new device out the door so that we can focus on some of these smaller projects. Keep an eye on the forums for details.

    Check out the link I shared earlier for our marketing group’s response to the upgrade request.

    Thank you both for the comments.

    Chip Noble

  65. Chip,
    I’ve used my pn-20 all over the country with great success in Sawtooths of Idaho, Moab, Utah, Red Rock, Nevada, Isle Royale, Michigan etc…. The two issues I have had with my pn-20 were the map re-draw speed (sounds like that’s put to bed with the pn-40) and power issues. The batery life is pretty good, but when I’m hiking, skiing or paddling, I often use my NiteHawk carry case on my PFD or pack straps. When the unit shuts down or even when there’s a power issue and I’m not watching it, it just turns off with no warning. My blackberry makes unpleasant noises when its ready to die and I ALWAYS know when its heading into the power abyss. I thinka audible warning signal would be really helpful.

    The other two beefs I’ve had with the pn-20 are the GPS altimiter (love the barimetric inclusion in the 40) and the compass that requried you to be going somewhere. Thanks for those two key upgrades.

    I signed up for the new SE – will you let us know where we are on the list? If I’m several production runs and a year away, I’m probably going for the regular model.

  66. DeLorme Paul from Indiana: That’s quite a list of places where you’ve taken the PN-20! You’ll be very pleased with the performance improvements on the PN-40. The dual processor is amazing. We’ve changed the way that our maps draw as a result. The GPS is now pinned in the middle and raster data can rotate in full 360 degrees! We’re very excited to get the devices out to hardcore users like you.

    We’ve also added a speaker and updated the sounds to make the tones more pronounced. It’s a challenge to increase volume and maintain waterproofing standards… but I haven’t had any trouble hearing my battery warnings.

    You’re going to like the electronic compass and barometric altimeter. Auto calibration on the altimeter has really turned out to be a great feature… ties GPS readings in to keep the altimeter updated if you don’t know the exact starting elevation. The electronic compass has completely changed the way I look at the device while hiking and geocaching. No more running in circles to keep things updated!

    I don’t have exact dates on regular and se models but I would hold out for the device with more internal memory. I haven’t heard anything about a significant difference in ship dates. Keep an eye on the blog and website for more info as it becomes available.

    Thanks for the comment,

    Chip Noble

  67. Were there any changes made to the menu functions? When I am geocaching and I find a geocache, people with other units just click a button and it marks the geocache as found. But when I find a geocache on the PN-20 I have to go to the item, and scroll through to change the icon to a found geocache which takes multiple button clicks (unless there is another way I am not aware of). I am still standing at the geocache trying to mark it found while others are on to the next. That would be a really helpful feature.

  68. Jen: Thanks for your suggestion. We have a couple of feature requests on the list for improvements to auto routing to geocaches. The PN-40 will release with the same process for geocache management. Check out this blog post where I explain what I’d consider the best approach with a PN-20…

    For now I think the key is in using the Find Near Map Center to Show: Waypoints with the Symbol: Cache. This will always show you the closest cache that you haven’t found, you can pick the one you just logged, change the symbol, Find the next cache and create a route.

    Still, a good suggestion and one we hope to pick off soon. I have only done a few group cache outings and hope that the power of the Cartesio chipset, electronic compass, and aerial imagery will offset the additional button presses to switch to the next waypoint. Do you really fall behind on the race from cache to cache? That’s pretty crazy!

    Thanks for the comment.

    Chip Noble

  69. Chip,
    Will the PN40 support logging of the RAW data to either the ondevice RAM and/or to the SD-type externally removable memory card? This was one of my HUGE disappointments with I bought some PN20’s… it would seem that the prior objections to storing the RAW data logs on the SD-type cards is removed from the special edition model for sure, and probably on the base unit also. Clearly my objective here is to be able to post-process the RAW LOG data with GPS PostPro 2.0 or some other similar post processing software. I hope your engineers have listened to the prior hopes for this support, especially since it seems that the information is most likely available in the existing software/firmware anyway (or could easily be added) and the only missing component is a call to a logging routine at the right place. Excuses of CPU power or slow external memory cards certainly doesn’t fly with the new processor and the larger onboard configuration of the SE model. Comments???

  70. Chip,

    What are the advantages of the SE? I could easily upgrade the external memory beyond the 8gb of the SE, but I wonder if the SE would be faster or have other advantages. Perhaps Walt’s question above is related to this.


  71. Hi Chip,

    My apologies if this has been covered already. Why the 10 track limitation? Any possibility of increasing this to at least 20? In addition, can the PN-40 display multiple tracks simultaneously?

    Thank you.


  72. Answers:

    WaltK: The PN-40 does not currently support logging RAW data to the internal memory or SD card. It is a good request and one that is on our feature list. We have been focusing on support for the faster processor and the new sensors but are putting together all of the feature requests since the PN-20 released and the PN-40 completed beta testing. I’ll be sure to review this request with the GPS engineers to see where it might fit.

    Jason: See my post here for details on the SE model and how I will be using mine… as soon as I can get one!

    John: Good suggestions John, we were focused on providing as much internal memory as possible for map use, there are going to be lots of people pulling down aerial imagery with their Map Library… We will look into increasing waypoint and track counts with a firmware update. We’re also very interested in allowing this information to reside on the SD card. For now the device can only display the active track and one saved track. Keep an eye on the forums for updates.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Chip Noble

  73. I have Delorme Street Atlas 2009, can it be used with PN-40SE ?

  74. Ninh: Street Atlas 2009 can’t create maps or exchange data with the PN-40SE however we do include the latest Topo USA 7.0 with the device. You’ll have everything you need for managing waypoints, tracks, routes, and maps.

    Chip Noble

  75. Thanks Sir Chip !

    Why I had such question (?), because I bought the LT-40 GPS with SA-2009 for my laptop and I love the map so much, besides few days ago I bought a handhelp GPS from other Mfg. but already return it the next day and now junp to this PN-40SE, seems it’s pricey but according to the PN-40’s Spec, it’s a completed GPS package, I am very delighted to wait for the shipment by the end of this month.

  76. Hi Chip Noble,

    I also read your answers in , may I ask: Can GPS user load entire of “East Topo map” into main 8G memory and others Central, West to each its single 8G SD card and the PN-40 when boots up, there is a menu for user selects map from main memory vs. plugin SD card or so, and that’s the way it should be, I believe. To put the whole USA region into 32G that can slow the machine down quite a lot, I guess ?

    If the region East map loaded into main memory, will that be confliction with preloaded base map had already in it or there will be a difference name for user to name it ?

  77. Ninh: The PN-Series devices will read maps from both locations at the same time so you don’t have to worry about choosing to read from internal or external. I think you’ve made a good choice by going with as much memory as possible. I’m already getting frustrated with my 1 GB standard PN-40 and my 8 GB card. I keep having to swap maps off the SD card and I filled my internal memory with the topographic maps for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I keep all of the imagery and USGS quad maps on the 8 GB SD card right now… maps for my house, my camp, and work. When I go on special trips I have to swap the maps out.

    As far as the 32 GB card goes, one of our QA testers has done this… loaded all of the US on a card. He’s been using that configuration for a while and has been pleased. Keep all of your most important maps on the internal memory and then swap cards as you’ve described. Let me know how things are going once you’ve used your new device for a while. I’m looking forward to hearing reports from people. I’ve been having a great time testing out the PN-40, I think you’ll enjoy the device too.

    Chip Noble

  78. I’ve never considered a DeLorme GPS for hiking but it looks like the PN-40 bears consideration. Right now the Garmin 60csx is the gold standard here in the west side of the Cascades where the canyons are deep, steep and the forest canopy dense. I had high hopes for the the Magellan Triton with its integration into Nat’l Geo TOPO! but the Triton 500 I have will not get a fix in areas the 60csx has no problem. Magellan really shipped the unit before it was ready and the word is Garmin did the same thing on the Colorado and Oregon units, I would not recommend either. Magellan Triton is so bad it is likely to kill the company – so bad REI, who once touted the Triton 2000, has dropped the entire line. The point I want to make is; ship when the unit is ready. That said, I’m going to buy a PN-40 as the specs are too good to ignore.

    Good luck on your launch,


  79. Paul Turner: I’m glad to hear that you’re considering the PN-40. We’re very excited about the new Cartesio chipset from ST Micro. I’ve been everywhere I can think of with mine and have been very pleased with performance. Just last week I was bird hunting around Moosehead Lake in northern Maine and went through some very thick cover. The PN-40 maintained a solid 3-D Fix while in my bird vest pocket which is located on a waist belt down near my hip… It’s a great place to rest my arm while I walk and it gives me easy access to the GPS but it’s a very poor location if you’re worried about having the best view of the sky. The PN-40 handled it very well and the high res aerial imagery was amazing… I design and test with the PN devices all the time but until you’re at the end of a logging road you thought connected to your truck and are facing a half mile bushwhack through near-impenetrable woods you don’t appreciate how valuable an aerial image is that shows where the new skidder trails are. We navigated by aerial imagery and saved a four mile backtrack.

    Sorry, sometimes I get excited about the potential for this device… back on topic for your post… while our terrain is different from what you experience in your area, we worked hard to distribute our beta program throughout the country and are confident that we’ve been tested in a wide variety of environments… I’d very much like to hear back from you should you purchase a PN-40. It sounds like you are well versed at performance comparisons. Put the PN-40 through its paces and remember that we stand behind the device with a 30-day money back guarantee. Don’t forget the Map Library either! But that’s a different post…

    Chip Noble

  80. According to the manual, PN40 takes 600mW power, which means I can get about 12 hours from the 2500mah NiMH battery. Is it a way to improve the power consumption? I do lots of multi day backpacking trip and long battery life is very important. Is it possible to shut-off certain features in exchanges for longer run time? I currently have the Garmin Vista HCx, which runs about 2 hiking days on a pack. I would be happy to stick with it were only if it has the accuracy as it claimed.

  81. So, the PN-40 has a faster processor, which is great, but will it come with better software?

    Topo 7 has to be in the running for some of the worst software and user interface ever devised.


  82. Thanks for the info Chip.

    I have pre-ordered the SE and will report back if I notice any problems. I’ll mostly be using it for deer and elk hunting in Oregon. Terrain will be steep, sometimes in eastern canyons, other times in thick coastal forest.


  83. Scolly Temp: I would recommend using Power Saving mode with the PN-Series devices to extend battery life. Using this mode will turn off your backlight and step down the processor. The device will still record your track at the interval you’ve specified and it will “wake up” when you press any of the device buttons. The last test numbers I saw put the device at 13 hours in Power Saving mode using NiMH batteries (2650mAh).

    Chip Noble

  84. In reguards to the above tracklog questions:

    I do a lot of track log saving with my 60csx, and then download them to my TOPO USA V 5.0. With the PN40 can you not save your track logs in the field, download them to Topo 7.0 and then exchange them back to the PN40 as a type of draw file? By doing this you would be able to keep your track log freed up, but still display your track logs on GPS.(may not be able to actually navigate with them, but a good visual reference at the least)
    Let me add I’ve been waiting on a device like this for years. (I’ve always thought if I could just get these Delorme maps on the 60 csx I would be set)The topo maps that Garmin uses are almost worthless due to the lack of detail. When analyzing terrain I’ve always had to use Delorme maps, download waypoints to my Garmin device or while out in the field (mainly hunting) mark any waypoints and then download that to delorme maps to analyze. The PN 40 along with topo 7.0 will really work great together!

  85. Topotrex: Check out this post. I did exactly what you’re describing… created a track log for all the trails at the University of Maine at Augusta then downloaded them to Topo USA and turned them into a trail layer that I put back on the device to free up my available track memory.

    I’ve done the same thing for all the trails at our hunting camp. It’s great to be able to turn tracks into trails and roads or even just property lines. Tracks are specific objects when talking about GPS devices. They are records of where you’ve been and are often used to create a route to bring you back to your start point. Filling all of your track memory with trail data or property line data isn’t ideal. It’s also confusing because you don’t want to “Follow” a property line as though it will bring you back to your truck!

    Thanks for the comment,

    Chip Noble

  86. Thanks for the info. That will be awesome, and can do a lot more with the management of track logs than I thought. Can’t wait to check this device out in Arkansas while in the Ozarks, and the Ouachita’s mountains along with many of our state parks.

  87. Just another request for Canada map support. This unit sounds great, but until it supports mapping N of the border, it won’t work for me.

    Thanks for all the info..

  88. when is the ship date of the PN-40 SE
    and whats going on with the units??
    is there a problem???
    dying to get it in my hands

  89. Just bought my DeLorme PN-40 from my local REI. Some observations:

    1) I noticed in a forum message in another thread that there is a $50 rebate for purchases made by December 31, and I filled mine out and will send it in tomorrow.

    2) The DeLorme unit works perfectly. No freezes, no crashes, no slowness. That was what made me decide not to buy the Magellan Triton 2000 — all the dozens of negative user reviews and pro reviews about the Triton 2000’s many problems. The Triton’s shaded relief maps from Nat Geo seemed attractive, but that unit’s reliability is described as being terrible.

    3) The DeLorme unit offers many different maps and aerial photos. I downloaded the TOPO 7 maps for my area, the USGS 7.5 minute 24K maps for trails I hike, and aerial photos of the same trails. Then I was blown away by seeing the result on my PN-40: For a series of trails in my area, I was impressed with the pretty good TOPO 7 maps, and then when I zoomed in the downloaded USGS 24K map layer appeared, and when I zoomed in again the color aerial image appeared — WOW! That is absolutely amazing, and it all happened perfectly with no more effort than pushing the zoom button. Then, when I thought that I might want to zoom in without having the aerial photo layer appear, I discovered very quickly that the Imagery can be turned off, revealing just the TOPO 7 map, which can be zoomed in. How neat is that?!!! DeLorme obviously is basing its decisions on functionality on what people who actually use handheld GPS devices for hiking, hunting, biking, etc. — its own employees and people like us — say is needed. I laughed when I read a review in an outdoors magazine yesterday of the Triton 2000 being able to record sound and play music with an earplug — these are not what users really need. We need a GPS device that actually works and has good to great maps with mapping options — and that is exactly what DeLorme offers with the PN-40.

    4) I did find the map software a bit difficult to use at first, but I eventually figured it out after a few hours. This is my first GPS device, so my learning curve was a bit bigger than what other folks will experience. Part of my difficulty, aside from my lack of experience, is due to the fact that the PN-40 offers so many options with maps — this is a real handheld GPS device, not a child’s toy. I don’t know if DeLorme already offers this, but perhaps some high-definition YouTube videos could be put on the DeLorme PN-40 page online that would show users how to use the software.

    5) This screen is very high quality but a bit small. I knew that before I bought it, so no complaints. The PN-40’s speed makes it possible to pan and zoom very quickly, however, and that speed makes up for the screen size.

    6) I am convinced that based on the DeLorme PN-40’s reliability, speed, and mapping options, I made the best purchase available. I appreciate it when a company makes a well-made product. I am pleased!

  90. The PN-40 Definitely sounds like a dream unit. Very interested in getting one. Only one item gives me pause and sorry to parrot but: Canadian Topos please!
    (sick of us yet? Canada wants to be a client😉

    I am still currently using my Magellan Explorist XL for most of my needs and it has worked well but I nixed upgrading to the triton and really, the only alternative of quality seems to be the PN-40.

    I mostly Paraglide, Ultralight and Sail. The aerial/sat layering and NOAA capabilities will be most useful. I would like to know a couple of things…

    1) Is there marine coverage for Canada as well? Any importable data if not?
    2) Any plans/sources for aviation charts? Maybe a strategic partnership with a provider?
    3) How flexible is XMap for bringing in alternative data sources? I managed to do a best of breed collection of tools to bring in GIS info into my Explorist for South America & Europe. What import formats can XMAP do?
    4) I have my purchased MapSend Canadian Topo disc, is there a migration route for that data? If so it might solve the Canadian topo issue for many of your potential customers.
    5) Additional Feature request: a couple of Garmins have a feature to automatically determine ‘Best Glide’ speed or ‘Speed to Fly’. It is a simple formula from basic GPS data and would, along with all of your current features, COMPLETELY endear your product to the entire Free Flight Community (Hangglider/Paraglider/Sailplanes). It would be a very short-time development item which would tack on a large customer base. It would be the Garmin killer for that community.


    Ready to convert

  91. I was preparing to purchase a Garmin GPS 76CSx when I came across the PN-40. It looks like the ticket especially since for only 29.95 a year I get access to a map Library versus hundreds of dollars for additional Garmin Maps.
    Question: Is it possible for me to start at a survey pin and put the survey coordinates in to locate my property borders (i.e. S66deg05’55″E / 159.77′ to next pin). This would allow me to input my property boundaries for hunting and for locting and keeping them marked.

  92. Is it possible to project a waypoint by inputting distance in yards and compass direction?

  93. R. donald wells: You can project a waypoint by panning the map and reading the cursor location information at the top of the map; press Enter to pick the location you’re interested in and then save it as a waypoint. Our units only cover feet and meters but you’ll be able to view that information along with the direction from the GPS location. Give it a try and send me an e-mail if you have any questions.

    Chip Noble

  94. I’ve been looking at GPS units for use in forestry consulting and am interested in their performance in the category of positional accuracy. A study I read listed the PN-20 as the least accurate of six units in open sky and young forests. Was a design feature of the PN-40 an improvement on the unit’s positional accuracy? Has the company printed any stats on this compared to the PN-20? Ready to make my purchase once this question is answered…

  95. One other thing, as well – can you transfer waypoints and routes from the PN-40 to GIS software?

  96. I saw you statement of 9/24 about “binary transfer protocol”. I am interested. How can I get a copy of the spec?

  97. I have a new PN-40 and can not seem to download the map CDs to the SD card. I don’t get any error messages, the Wizard appears to make the transfer, but when I check for maps on the device, they do not appear to have been loaded. I am using a Vista based laptop.

    Any suggestions would be very helpful, thanks all

  98. I am looking for information on the PN-40 and if it outputs NEMA 0128 raw data in real time. I want to hook it up to another device the requires raw data.

    Yay or nay?

  99. Just got back from a 8600 mile trip on Amtrak with my PN-40 and it was a joy. I bought a Delorme based not only the features, but also because I’m spoiled by the quality of Delorme’s gazetteers and used to not be able to travel without them. On one train, I had the best info of the three of us with GPS units in the lounge car.

    I’m getting ready for a trip to Europe next year and Topo Europe would be wonderful! Mark another vote for Topo Canada while you’re at it.

  100. Greetings

    I recently purchased a PN 40 and like many others am trying to deal with battery life. I am planning a 350 mile kayaking trip down the Susquehanna River and will not have access to power for most of the 15-25 days, depending on water flow. I am considering purchasing 2 of the R CR-V3 Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries recommended by DeLorme. I was wondering if using the USB cable connected to a Solio solar recharger would adequately charge the unit. Since I will be on the river, I expect to have significant access to sunlight during the paddling hours.

    It would be nice to have the unit fresh since there are a number of dams that will require caution along the way.

    Let me know what you think.

  101. You can add me to the list of people who need Canadian Topo maps. If they are planning on releasing detailed maps like what I’ve seen that it would be a for sure purchase….

    2nd option is Garmin Rhino… but the maps on PN40 are to good to pass up….

  102. will pn-40 do NMEA 0183 gps data out , to my vhf/dsc marine radio. any way to connect, thanks

  103. I also agree with the users asking for Canadian topo. At the very least consider putting Ontario in your maps. Ontario has a third the population of Canada and is the second biggest province in Canada. Those two factors should at least let you put it up on the list of opening up Canada to topo maps and as a “test market” to see how it would fare. So far by these forums it seems the interest is very high. I am looking to make the purchase and the only thing stopping me is the maps……something delorme should know alot about (that is if I can trust wikipedia….) And I quote “The company(DeLorme) was founded during 1976 by David DeLorme who, after being frustrated over obsolete backcountry maps of the Moosehead Lake region of Maine, vowed to create a better map of Maine.”

    I hope my nagging has helped to push this along in the eyes of someone. If not then where do we email the business men who make these choices?

  104. I was looking for a good present to buy one of my hunting buddies, I ran across a pretty good article on handheld GPS. Was wondering what people might think?

  105. necesito ayuda por que compre hace algun tiempo el pn-40 y no lo se utilizar , y como no se ingles no entiendo el manual y ademas en internet no lo encontre . si alguien me puede ayudar les agradeceria. vivo en bogota colombia y quiero descargarle los mapas de mi pais . gracias

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