The DeLorme PN-40SE GPS that Wouldn’t

This past Christmas I found a DeLorme PN-40SE GPS under the tree. It’s much faster and has more capabilities than my “old” DeLorme PN-20 GPS. Nearly all the tracks on this website have been taken with the PN-40SE. But it has some quirks, and one popped up yesterday while trying to take a track, and I made a quick video of another quirk that drives me nuts. If you know a fix, please comment to this post.

The silly thing just simply would not acquire enough satellites to track when I attempted to turn it on while atop Owl Creek Pass. I’d wanted to capture a track from the top down to Vista Point, which is as far as my previous 2010 tracks go. I tried everything, including power-cycling, removing and replacing the batteries, using the little map feature to tell the thing where it was (Owl Creek Pass) and it simply would NOT acquire enough satellites to track.

Perhaps it was the time of day (about 12:30 p.m. local Mountain Daylight Time) or maybe the phase of the moon. Loretta and I were in the Blazer capturing pictures of wildflowers and looking at the scenery. We stopped further down the mountain and after many minutes atop the Blazer, where I’d stopped to take some pictures, it finally, finally decided I knew where I was. Grumble.

Usually the thing is pretty good about acquiring quickly. But I have had some anomalies that have required multiple restarts. I have no idea why. Normally it tracks much more consistently than the PN-20 which in its own right is a pretty good little tracker.

Once the thing gets a track, it’s loathe to let go of it, which is goodness. But the thing never seems to know when I’ve stopped. My ancient Magellan Map 330 knows when I’ve stopped—it automatically goes into averaging mode. But the PN-40SE (and PN-20) show that I’m moving around in random directions about 0.1 to 0.2 mph. The PN-40SE has a built-in non-GPS compass, but it only comes on when the PN-40SE has stopped moving, which it never thinks it’s doing. Frustrating. See video:

I have the PN-series GPSs which I use with the excellent, if hard to use, Topo USA 8. I subscribe to DeLorme’s excellent map library, meaning I can get all the imagery and stuff I want. I’m still playing with it to learn all I can do.

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