Earthmate PN-40; When and How Much?

UPDATE: PN-40 Available for Pre-Order


There have been lots of requests for dates and prices on the new Earthmate PN-40, so let me share what I’ve got…


Targeted release date: October 15th

We’ve been in beta for the past five weeks with members of the testing team reporting in from all over the country. They’ve been doing an outstanding job working together to conduct a thorough test of the PN-40. We have been adding their feedback to our project plan and are on schedule for a fall delivery.

Targeted retail price: $399.95

Remember everything that comes in the box… the Earthmate PN-40, the Topo USA 7.0 software ($99.95 value), and the sample data download from the DeLorme Map Library ($40.00 value). For those who want more maps for their Earthmate PN-40, the new $29.95 annual Map Library subscription gives you unlimited access to USGS 7.5 minute quads, color aerial imagery, and NOAA nautical charts.

So these are the dates and prices as I know them to be right now. We’ve got two more beta releases scheduled and are committed to releasing a quality device that will perform well for our customers. Keep an eye on this blog for updates about the Earthmate PN-40 schedule.

Thank you,

Chip Noble

41 Comments on “Earthmate PN-40; When and How Much?

  1. Do you think there will be some kind of upgrade deal for those of us with the PN-20’s that have all the software and things needed and just want the newer GPS? Thanks.

  2. While we do traditionally offer upgrade pricing for our software, the pricing on our hardware is already set at our best offer for existing and new customers. There just isn’t as much room for adjustments with GPS devices. I believe you will find a similar difference between software pricing and hardware pricing in other areas of the technology industry. Thank you for your question though, our marketing group contributes to this forum and will be sure to post here if anything changes in regard to your question.

    Chip Noble

  3. Is there some sort of list for long term Delorme customers to purchase the PN-40, when or before it’s released?

    Or do we get in line and hope for the best?


  4. Marketing is putting finishing touches on their plan. They will contact registered users so keep an eye out for e-mails from DeLorme when we release. There will also be info here at the blog… and at the Earthmate PN-40 site…

    Thanks for asking!

    Chip Noble

  5. Pingback: DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Release Date And Pricing Details — GPS Obsessed

  6. Will Delorme be offering solar chargers for the PN-40? Or if not, will Delorme recommend a solar charger from a third-party vendor?

  7. OK, you’ve peaked my interest. I was looking at purchasing the 60CSx, but have decided to hold off until the 40 is available. Any possibility of a preorder sale, or are you going to stick to the $399.95? Since I do not currently own a PN-20, would I be able to purchase the “special edition” version? Just sold my eTrex Legend package, so I am eager to try a next generation model, but am leery of the newest offerings from Garmin after reading the bug lists in the Wiki. Will any major store chains be selling the 40?

  8. can you give us an idea of the possible power packages? AA, LiON, solar, etc.

  9. I’m new to GPS units, but I really like what I see in the PN-20. I’ve been asking friends about what type of unit to get and everyone keeps on steering me towards the Garmin (“Delorme? Never heard of them.”) Well, I keep on coming back to the website; I dig the current sale pricing for the basic PN-20 bundle and the fact that all of the software comes w/ the unit. But should I hold out for the PN-40?? For someone new to GPS what would be the advantages to the newer model? BTW, my main uses will be: geocaching, hiking and on-road navigation. Brian, Caleb and Chip – your feedback is appreciated!

  10. I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these. Thanks for the update because Oct. 15 will work for me as long as I can pre-order to be certain that it will arrive before the snow starts falling.

    Also, will all of the PN20 mounting options work with the PN40? I need rugged mounting hardware to mount this on my bicycle, snowmobile, and car. (All separate mounts of course)

    I’m also willing to be a beta tester and will pay full price for the unit anyway.

  11. Some quick answers…

    David: DeLorme doesn’t currently offer a solar charger although I have seen a couple in the building and can get more info on what would be required to power our device. I think there are usually specs on a solar charger to help answer compatibility questions.

    Dave McCormick: keep an eye on our blog and our forum for more info. The marketing group is going to send out the latest DeLorme Newsletter with info about signing up to be notified about the PN-40 availability… let people get on a list for release. You’ll see that info here first so check back!

    Jeff: power packages will be the same as the PN-20… AA, NiMH, e2Lithium, LiIon Rechargeable. The existing power kit, RAM mounts, and other accessories will also work with the PN-40.

    Camper Toby: I would honestly tell you to hold out for the PN-40. It’s not just because I work here… it’s because the performance improvements are significant as are the new sensors on the device. I’ve been using the new electronic compass to geocache and have been very pleased with how it is performing. The new dual processor makes the map redraw blazing fast. I am very pleased with what we were able to accomplish with the PN-20 but I’ll be honest and say that I don’t use it anymore, it just doesn’t compare to the PN-40.

    Snowmobiler Chuck: the PN-40 has the same form factor as the PN-20, all mounting hardware will work with both devices. I use a suction cup mount in my car, a hose clamp style bike mount during regular cycling, and a u-bolt extension arm when I’ve got the aero bars on my road bike. Thanks for offering to beta test but we’re actually heading into the final stretch before release and have had excellent results from all of our beta testers that are spread out across the country. Maybe next time!

    Thank you all for your questions, I hope I was able to help!

    Take care,
    Chip Noble

  12. Well I’ll admit that I’m a die hard Garmin fan as I’ve owned about 7 different gpsr’s from them over the years. Recently though, I’ve become disenchanted with the ‘crap’ they are releasing lately. Units have extremely buggy firmware, things don’t work right and the quality and workmanship seem to be on a downward trend.

    After reading about the PN-40, I am really excited about it and may even end up buying one. It’s nice to see the passion that Team Delorme has for their product by the responses they provide. Also, they appear to listen to the customer and act quickly to address customer concerns or add in functionality when appropriate. This is something Garmin used to do, but have recently dropped the ball on.

    Kudos to you Delorme, you may have found yourself a new customer!

  13. Will the PN-40 and its maps be usable with a Mac? If not, then I am sorry to say that I am not interested in your products even though they appear to be the best ones out there. Even Garmin has seen the light and I can do most anything I need to do with my 60Cx using my Mac.

  14. We are working on a cross platform utility for the PN-Series devices and the Mac. It is a small project for now, we aren’t porting Topo USA or anything like that… but we are listening to our customers and testing the waters with a PN-Series tool for the Mac. Please stay tuned for more information as we work our way through the development process.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Chip Noble

  15. I am seriously looking at the Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx:
    1. It floats.
    2 It’s the only GPS I can find that has TOPO maps of the lakes I fish in New Mexico. 3. It has an SD capability.

    What I don’t like about Garmin is the rediculous prices of accessories and maps. I am very intrigued by the PN-40. I have a few questions. Is it water PROOF? Does it float? What topo lake maps are available through DeLorme?

    The rest of the above quoted specs are awesome. This sounds to have some serious horsepower. SDHC, USB 2.0, Dual Processors, 500 Mb memory. I currently have an Garmin Etrex and a GPS V both are ok but lack power and of course the cost of maps.

  16. I am anxiously awaiting the PN-40. I’d like to try it out. I had a Colorado and found it to be a well designed unit except the GPS accuracy could not be relied on all of the time and Garmin has not been able to fix that problem for over 6 months. I own Topo 7 Delorme software and have played around with it and it seems you can load pocket queries to Topo 7 then export it to the PN-40 as a file. I was wondering how the PN -40 handles that . For example, if you load two 100 cache files to the Pn-40, do they show up as one 200 cache file or two seperate 100 cache files? Regarding the PN-40’s electronic compass: How often does it need to be recalibrated? For Chip and beta testers that have also used the Colorado or Oregon,; Is the PN 40’s electronic compass designed to be used when geocaching to navigate to the cache? It seems logical to me that it would but most experienced geocachers using the Colorado recommends turning off the electronic compass to improve the Colorados accuracy. One last question: Can the PN 40 be porchased without the Topo & software at a lower price for those people who already own Topo 7? Thanks. Sims Roy

  17. Ok, I’m sitting here anxiously awaiting the long awaited information about the PN40 that is supposed to be up on the blog today!!!!!!!! LOL

  18. You will need the newest update to Topo USA to make sure the PN-40 operates properly so there is no lower price available and all units will ship with the PN-40 Topo USA edition. Hope this helps — we feel it is a great price when you factor in all that is included.

  19. Answers…

    James West: The device is IPX7 certified, 3 feet for 30 minutes… it will float with our Li-Ion rechargeable or the e2 Lithiums, they are lighter than the Alkaline and NiMH batteries. We don’t currently offer any lake charts but DeLorme is always working on new data projects… in the meantime our XMap product allows you to register maps that have been scanned or downloaded to view them in the desktop software and on the Earthmate PN-Series devices… this is a VERY COOL feature!

    Sims Roy: Pocket Queries are imported through Draw and saved as Draw Layers, it looks like you’ve found that feature. When you exchange the geocaches with a PN-Series device it is stored as part of the 1,000 waypoint list. We’ve got several feature requests on our list to add more waypoint management to the device. Keep an eye on the forums as we’ll release updates there first. Regarding the compass, all electronic compasses should be recalibrated after changing the batteries. Every battery has a unique magnetic field and that is the largest contributor to inaccuracies. We recommend recalibrating after each battery change to ensure the best results. When it comes to geocaching, the new electronic compass has greatly enhanced my ability to find caches. I can stand in one spot and turn to keep the geocache in front of me, no more walking faster than 1.5 mph to see the heading update! I definitely leave the electronic compass on all the time and rely on it once I get close to the cache and do that little “walk in circles to hone in on the location” dance. Caleb from our marketing department pointed out that Topo USA 7.0 has been remastered for the PN-40 and is included with the package so there are no additional discounts.

    Bill: The marketing group is putting last minute touches on their ad campaign and will be holding off on the Newsletter release until they’ve got everything lined up. Expect a Newsletter next week and a general increase in information on our website, our blog, and on our forum. We’re getting very close… everyone here is excited to start talking about all the details of the Earthmate PN-40. We’ve been working hard to get this out to our customers and can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!

    Thank you all for your comments…

    Chip Noble

  20. Can you estimate the power drain or more specifically the unit endurance assuming continuous use at appx 50% display intensity?

  21. +1 on a PN-40 only option for registered users. I use xMap 5.2 and have no need for anything other than the PN-40. I kinda’ hate to pay for software, etc. I already have just to get the hardware upgrade. I use the PN-20 in some pretty challenging areas so I’m looking forward to putting the PN-40 to the test. Thanks for the updates!

  22. The PN-40 is a month from release, the world maps, are the still HIGH LEVEL, or can you Zoom to more reasonable level so they are useful on road around major cities in Europe ?

  23. Answers…

    Bob Yrmey: I can’t publish final power numbers yet since final testing is still taking place. I know that everyone here is excited because it’s looking like we’ll be as good, if not a little better than the PN-20 when we’re done and that’s with a new dual processor board and three new sensors. Plenty of power to tackle a day worth of activity… As with all things electronic, carry spare batteries and an old school map and compass for emergencies.

    Darren: I’m not in sales and marketing but I know that there’s a very small margin in hardware products and that the PN has been priced as aggressively as possible to compete in the market.

    jack Mdt: The PN-40 will have a world base map that has high level roads like the interstate roads in the US. The base map will not include any local roads.

    As always… thank you all for your comments.

    Chip Noble

  24. Ah, a breath of fresh air on the horizon by the looks of it to me.

    I’m a die-hard Garmin user, but have been a fan of DeLorme Topo USA for years! It’s nice to see DeLorme getting into the handheld gps market, answering their customers’ blog postings, and I can sense the excitement in each and every post on this blog.

    One thing that interests me: I’m also a geocacher. Does the PN-40 support raw upload of’s .gpx files and can said .gpx files be viewed in their native format on the PN-40?

    I’m on the market for a new gps receiver and the processing power, map redraw time, dual-core cpu, and the satellite imagery, alone, are enough to pique my interest. This seems about as close as you can get without buying a survey-grade gps unit with WindowsCE, and we all know the cost of GeoXH’s these days.😉

    The .gpx file compatibility is important to me. I really want to see a graphical listing of my caches, be able to read them, select them at will from the screen, and then have the unit go straight in to goto mode.

    I may still buy the thing, anyway, but I’d sure like to support my subscription with a product that has native support of .gpx files.

    One suggestion for a future unit: I’m sure you are aware of the Magellan Triton 2000. Great feature set, horrible implementation of firmware and outsourced customer service/translation issues.

    I’d like to see DeLorme take the Triton 2000’s feature set and put it on something like, say, the ‘PN-60,’ as an example. *wayBigHint()*

    Oh, and one other thing. I’m a gnu/linux-open source user. I’m also a Macintosh/OS-X user, and a Windows user, as well, of course.

    I understand the need to focus on a market where the majority of the sales are going to be, and milk that market–responsibily ;-)–for all it’s worth. Still, the Mac and Linux markets *are* there, and the stability of a debian, ubuntu, suse, or fedora/red hat based operating system just can’t be underestimated.

    Linux software doesn’t have to be free. I’d *Pay For A DeLorme Version* of the PN-40-and-Software offering for GNU/Linux. It could be a standard binary release that would work with the majority of Linux Distributions (distros). Linux is stable, isn’t inundated with the virus/trojan/macro-exploit problems of Windows; also, since Mac is now, essentially, BSD/Unix based, it’s also a wonderful platform for a company like DeLorme on which to place it’s moniker! :-)))

    Just a thoughtful suggestion.

    I wish you well on the new release, and look forward to playing with it in the store before I buy it. I’m really looking forward to this, as I see the PN-40 to be the forerunner of better consumer-gps hardware/software to come. DeLorme’s mapping product is top-notch, well-updated, and–at least in this Humble Fishe’s opinion (see link above), has the makings of a fin-tastic addition to my gps family!🙂

    Warmest Regards,
    Stephen A. Brown
    The Humble Fishe

  25. Stephen A. Brown: Thanks for the post, we’re glad to hear that you’re looking at the Earthmate PN-40. To answer your questions… while the PN-40 doesn’t currently support GPX files stored directly on the device, the request has been made by many of our customers and it is high on our list of feature requests for firmware updates. I’m not sure when we’ll be able to schedule this work but we recognize the desire for fast updates to the waypoint list on the device.

    Currently you can drag and drop your GPX file on the Topo USA map and see all of the caches then send them to the PN-40 using the Exchange dialog. Once the caches are on the device you can see up to 800 characters of each geocache’s details. We’ve organized the cache details to optimize the available comment space. Along with reading GPX files directly on the device, lifting the character limit is high on our list of goals for future firmware updates. Keep an eye out for both of these geocaching features.

    Otherwise you’ll be able to do what you described… view a list of caches sorted either by name or distance from map center, view the details for that cache, and create a road or direct route to that cache. Personally I create a road route then switch to a direct route when I get close to the cache.

    We’re working on our first cross-platform utility for the Mac right now. We recognize the need to support Mac users interested in our device. This is another thing to keep an eye out for here and on our forum. There’s talk about the utility on as well… I’ll pass your other suggestions along… there are quite a few Linux promoters here in the building, you never know what might come up.

    Thanks for your encouragement regarding our upcoming release. We’re very excited… having used the PN-40 for quite a while now, I can’t wait for it to get out in the hands of the public so they can start trying it for themselves! Remember, there’s a 30 day money back guarantee so there’s no risk… I know you won’t need it though!

    Thanks for the comments.

    Chip Noble

  26. The PN40 sounds like a great unit.

    HOWEVER, I just bought a PN20 about a month ago & wasn’t aware about the PN40. To say I’m disappointed, is putting it mildly.

    I feel “sandbagged” by not making me aware of the PN40 before purchasing the PN20 from Delorme directly. Just the usual business of selling a soon to be obsolete product regardless. Shame!! Delorme

    Anyhow, will there be a trade up plan or is it just too bad I bought the PN20 when I did?

  27. Bob Vance: I’m sorry you feel that way. We announced the PN-40 on this blog on June 25th after announcing it at a separate technology press event.

    The blog announcement spread pretty quickly through the web, it’s unfortunate that you didn’t hear about the new device until just recently. Our marketing director has posted a reply to a similar question on our forum. Here’s the link to that discussion:

    The PN-20 is not an obsolete product; we have already started planning the next firmware update that will bring many of the software improvements made for the PN-40 to the previously released device.

    Chip Noble

  28. I am leaving on October 17 for an Elk hunt in Colorado. I have also signed up to be notified when the unit is available for release. Can I expect to take the PN-40 on this trip?

  29. Will the annual subscription to the Map Library be available to PN-20 owners? I tried searching your website and through the Topo USA v6 Netlink and cannot find it mentioned. Thanks…

  30. Russ: I’ll have to check on the status with Marketing. We’re very close… I’m just a little worried that your departure on the 17th might cut it too close for our 15th goal.

    Bill: PN-20 owners will absolutely be eligible for the Map Library subscription. There’s no difference between PN-20 and PN-40 when it comes to what types of maps you can load. There’s a big difference in the speed at which those maps will draw, but if you’re patient high res color aerial imagery will look just as good on the PN-20. I have to also point out that the PN-40 is capable of smooth scrolling and 360 degree rotation for imagery… the PN-20 can’t do that either. The answer is “Yes!” to the subscription question.

    Thanks for the comments,

    Chip Noble

  31. Chip,

    I was out geocaching with the kids this weekend and had a great time as usual, but always find myself needing to move often to reset the bearing when zeroing in on the cache. I’m looking forward to the PN-40’s compass technology as it should address this issue.

    One question I have is will the limiting factor on using a SD card within the PN-40 still be the number of files (32 I believe) instead of the overall capacity? Will the PN-40se with 8 Gigs of internal memory have a number of files limitation or will it be based on capacity?

    Thank you. Tim

  32. Chip,

    In sea kayaking over the past few months with the AMC SEM group, we have had experiences with numerous handheld GPS units. The PN-20 appears to be the best for our overall use (Garmin not dealing well with high resolution charts and Magellan SW very difficult to use). Unfortunately the PN-20 unit has not physically held up well:
    Broken case screw bases,
    Rusted screws,
    Loose SD card holder,
    And a cracked case (the unit now has to reside in a waterproof bag). Your repair folks wanted over $100 for a new case.

    Our question is, with the new PN-40 unit have you improved / eliminated these issues?

    Please let us know as we would like to utilize the PN-40 and have an idea that they will hold up for us.


    Scott Haigh

  33. Scott Haigh: If your screws are broken or your SD card holder doesn’t work correctly you should contact our customer service department. Using the device in the ocean can certainly cause corrosion if you don’t do a fresh water rinse after your trip is finished, I would recommend that for any device that is used in salt water. As for the cracked case, our device is made of ruggedized plastic and will withstand most abuse. I’ve only had one unit break and that was the clear screen when I swung my bird vest into the back of the truck and hit the device against the sharp edge of a rock. I don’t work in customer service but I can tell you that we are very reasonable as a company. If you think the cracked case was caused by a manufacturing problem you should contact customer service and explain that. If the crack was the result of something beyond normal wear and tear then I think the repair cost is significantly less than buying a new unit. We’re trying to be fair and provide a repair service for those that need it.

    The PN-40 has the same form factor as the PN-20. I would encourage anyone to use the device for all of their outdoor activities and feel confident that it will weather reasonable abuse. Rinse it off if you take it in the ocean… dry it off if you are going to change the batteries… use a screen protector if you might scratch the face. I use the lanyard to tether my PN to my bird vest or bike handlebars or ski jacket pocket or fly fishing vest or even my belt loop when I’m hiking. I’ve dropped enough devices during testing to know they are tough… you should all secure your devices so that they don’t get scratched. It also prevents you from loosing them in the water or the bushes or off a cliff if you’re not careful.

    Another pass at your question Scott… the PN-40 is still the right device for kayaking. I’ve used NOAA charts and aerial imagery for several trips in Casco Bay. Rinse your device off after each use… We test for screw issues and SD card latch issues so be sure to contact customer service if you encounter any problems there… and be cautious with the device. It’s ruggedized plastic but it does have limits… We want you to take advantage of the nautical features but do charge for repairs if you crack your device.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.


    Chip Noble

  34. Chip – I have a couple of questions that I’m hoping you can field.
    *What is the highest GB SD card that the PN-40 will support (I heard it maxes at 2GB)?
    * Are you truly going to address the 800 character limit in a firmware update?
    *When is the updated release date?
    *Does ‘DeLorme’ really mean ‘the Lorme’ in Spanish?
    El Guapo

  35. Congratulations on what looks to be the result of some truly great engineering. It looks like Delorme has raised the bar.

    (This was supposed to be the first part of my post)

  36. Chip,
    Guapo asked the same questions that I was wondering. Will you answer any of them?


  37. I believe the max SD card size is 32 GB from other posts and product information. Not sure on the 800 limit. I was informed by Customer Service when calling about my order, that it has been pushed out to mid November.

  38. El Guapo: Thanks for the post; I just got back from a week in California showing the device off to REI stores in the San Francisco area. I got to meet with quite a few geocachers out there too… everyone was very excited with the PN-40. To answer your questions… The PN-Series devices both support the 32 GB SDHC cards. We’re very pleased with this as it opens the door to get lots of maps on the device. I’ve had the 800 character limit at the top of my list for some time and am excited to see a few things moving in the development group that will help us remove the limit. It won’t be in the released device but will be available in a firmware update just as soon as I can get it scheduled. Not an exact date, I know… but a promise to get it as soon as possible. Caleb spoke to the updated release date… first or second week in November. If I had to guess about a DeLorme translation I’d have to say “sweet map goodness”… but then I’m a pretty serious tool myself.

    WayTooHumble: I hope my answers above helped. The biggest one that everyone is looking for is really not a design question. Caleb has posted the update from sales and marketing and will have to be what you all work from…

    Curtis Brumley: Thanks for helping out with the 32 GB note… 800 characters addressed above… mid November from CS, thank you all for being patient while we get these devices shipped out!

    Chip Noble

  39. Just received a PN-40 as a gift. Looks great with great features. May return though because it’s not Mac compatible…any news before I make a trip to peruse Gander Mountain’s other offerings?

  40. I am ready to buy the PN-40 this week. My problem is deciding between the regular and the SE. I know that more memory is always better, but I can buy a lot of SD cards for the extra $100. What would be the benefit of biting the bullet and buying the SE? We are planning a trip out west this summer and are avid geocachers/mid level hikers. While on the road I will be using the PN40 as my secondary GPS with the laptop and Streetmaps 2009.

  41. Would love a solar charger for the PN-40. Any idea on one that will work?


    Chip Noble – Design Says:
    August 28, 2008 at 12:03 am | Reply

    David: DeLorme doesn’t currently offer a solar charger although I have seen a couple in the building and can get more info on what would be required to power our device. I think there are usually specs on a solar charger to help answer compatibility questions.

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