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I’ve done a search and could not find much posted about the the Earthmate GPS PN-20. Has anyone had any experience with it? How does it compare to the Garmin 60csx?
 

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GPS_dr
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122 Posts
Hi,
I have both the PN20 & 76CSX mounted on my mountain bike for trail mapping.
76CSX is identical internally to 60CSX.

Both have very sunlight readable screens.
Screen update is quicker on Garmin, larger screen. (I don't like to wait)
PN20 responds slower to key entry, so I use Garmin for waypoints etc and leave PN20 on N up display to help reduce screen update "white-outs".
Garmin has a lot more "features/options".
I normally display street maps on Garmin & USGS Quad maps on PN20.
Garmin was $450 + maps, PN20 $300 with TOPO USA ( I already owned USGS quads for Colorado & Satellite imagery for Colorado.) (Actually I didn't pay for either unit - earned them).
I'm a gadget/mapping nut, so I like having both running. I've been happy with my various Garmin units & DeLorme Software.

(I use Ram RAP274 mounts for both units.)
My website has pictures of my setup on this page.
(Note: my wireless bike computer doesn't like the PN20 on the same side of the stem. So I've swapped them since this picture was taken.)

Last week I also tried out the Bushnell Onix (They also allow imagery as maps).
Was very unsatisfied with sunlight readability, and user interface.
Also it can't be used with polarized sunglasses, unlike any other GPS I've tried.
Onix doesn't support NMEA transfers, so will not work with other software AFAIK.
 

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Professional Amateur
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The PN-20 will soon have the ability to upload your own imagery (in GEOTIFF format) so you can see yourself on whatever basemap you want. My work just got 3 of them so I will be using them extensively. I believe you need the $200 Xmap software to do the imagery thing. Gamin really needs to step up and get something able to display user imagery to remain competitive with the DeLorme handhelds. (<---- My .02)
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Henrythewound said:
The PN-20 will soon have the ability to upload your own imagery (in GEOTIFF format) so you can see yourself on whatever basemap you want. My work just got 3 of them so I will be using them extensively. I believe you need the $200 Xmap software to do the imagery thing. Gamin really needs to step up and get something able to display user imagery to remain competitive with the DeLorme handhelds. (<---- My .02)
I'll believe it when I see it. But still, I'm not sure there's really enough memory or adequately fast processors for consumer level handheld GPSes to display quality geotiff imagery. Sure, it's out there for survey grade equipment, but there's a price premium for that. It's still going to be awhile before it's affordable.

Still, I don't think we have anything to worry about with Garmin. They'll adopt the technology when there's a better system in place. Maybe they're waiting for faster processors, or bigger memory chips, or to assemble their own software package (mapsource topo could use some major data updates, anyway). Either way, the aerial imagery is still a novelty for the most part.

To be honest, I'm more interested in dual frequency consumer handhelds. Many of the new GPS satellites are transmitting two civilian bands and one military band. GPS receivers that can pick up on BOTH civilian bands can do real-time DGPS corrections resulting in sub-meter (or better) accuracy. I'd like to see Garmin adopt this technology before the ability to display raster imagery.
 

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GPS_dr
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122 Posts
See 2nd posting above yours.
Ram-mount makes a PN20 mount. Cradle was abut $8, handlebar $5.
I got mine thru GPS city. RAM-HOL-DEL1 and the RAP-274U
 

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Homey the Clown
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185 Posts
Thanks,

I saw the pic, but the details were what I was after, and this is what I wanted to see. I'm thinking that the new eTrex H series may be the way to go.

gps_dr said:
See 2nd posting above yours.
Ram-mount makes a PN20 mount. Cradle was abut $8, handlebar $5.
I got mine thru GPS city. RAM-HOL-DEL1 and the RAP-274U
 

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NateHawk said:
I'll believe it when I see it.
It's true. It will be out soon using the XMap products. The re-draw times are about 4-5 seconds for good quality aerial data, not too bad IMHO.

Also, for a price, you can download Color Aerial Imagery directly from Topo USA via the Netlink which is not too bad either.
 

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fuggansonofahowa
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Just to keep this thread going....

I've got an old Magellan 315, if anyone gives a carap....so I'm in the market for a new one.

As far as the Garmin Etrex: I feel the buttons on the side are inconvenient, especially when mounted on the bike. I prefer the buttons on the front like the 60CSX or the PN20. I've yet to play with the PN20, but I live close to Delorme and I think I'll stop in and give'r a go.

gps_dr,

How's the sensitivity on PN20 as compared to the 76CSX? Especially, under bad conditions and heavy canopy....the PN20 does have electronic compass right?
 

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GPS_dr
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122 Posts
I haven't used the PN-20 under heavy tree cover yet.
My only comparison is inside my house. 76CSX locks on quicker, with more satellites.

PN-20 does not have an electronic compass, just satellite based one.
The PN-20 allows your position to move on screen for a ways before redrawing the screen.
Makes for momentary screen blanking as it repaints (with raster data anyway - USGS Quads or Satellite imagery)
It seems to use the same display technology as the Garmin color units. Very sunlight readable!
It is the only GPS that allows me to load all of my over 950 miles of bike trails onto the unit. (I copieded tracks to draw layer data to do this - easy to do)
 

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fuggansonofahowa
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gps_dr said:
I haven't used the PN-20 under heavy tree cover yet.
My only comparison is inside my house. 76CSX locks on quicker, with more satellites.

PN-20 does not have an electronic compass, just satellite based one.
The PN-20 allows your position to move on screen for a ways before redrawing the screen.
Makes for momentary screen blanking as it repaints (with raster data anyway - USGS Quads or Satellite imagery)
It seems to use the same display technology as the Garmin color units. Very sunlight readable!
It is the only GPS that allows me to load all of my over 950 miles of bike trails onto the unit. (I copieded tracks to draw layer data to do this - easy to do)
That's too bad about the compass with the PN-20 - but I figured that was the case from the lack of info on the website. When I stop to gather myself with my GPS it's a bit aggrevating to deal with inaccurate north readings while not moving. The 60CSX or Etrex "H" units get a check mark in that category. As you can see, I'm in the market for a new one. The Vista HCX looks like a great model, but the side buttons aren't biker friendly. I think I'll revisit the 60CSX again.
 

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after reading the above reviews and the recent rebates on the 305's my gut tells
me that garmin will step up and 'knock it out of the park" with
there raster based handheld GPS mapping unit.
I will wait and see before buying another brand
how about google earth and 7.5 quad maps overlaid with a live track.route !!!
 
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