The (apparently secret) 2.7 firmware upgrade for the DeLorme PN-40

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Here's my trusty DeLorme PN-40SE GPS receiver, a very nice Christmas gift. Click on the image to go to the DeLorme PN-40 page.

My DeLorme PN-40SE is not behaving quite as advertised (see post here), so I inquired of their customer service via e-mail. They suggested a “low level format” followed by an “update” to the firmware. Hmmm….the device was at firmware level 2.7, but the “update” on the page they directed me toward was 2.6. I did as I was told. This did not fix the problem (electronic compass not working). Oh well, but it’s usually easy to tell which way is north around here.

So I took the PN-40SE with me on my first foray of 2010 up into the “high country.” When I got to the end of my trip, I saved the track. And then I went to save the track to the SD card also, because Topo USA 8 and my PN-40SE don’t always talk to each other nicely.

No go! Horror of horrors, the command to save the track to the SD card was no longer there! So I tried and tried to get Topo USA 8 to pull off the track, but no go after repeated attempts, including rebooting the computer (Windows 7).

After thinking a bit, I remembered that I’d gotten that command by upgrading to firmware version 2.7. 2.7 you ask? How does one get to that? The answer is it’s considered a “pro” upgrade to help the PN-40SE work with XMap, DeLorme’s professional map package. I did a Google search and came up with the location on DeLorme’s website: http://support.delorme.com/questions.php?questionid=31. I opted for the “update” rather than the “Full Firmware” version. Lo and behold, upon restarting the PN-40SE, the tracks were still there! (Incredible relief: I worked hard to get them!) I copied both to the SD card, which I can pull out of the PN-40SE and insert into the computer and get at the tracks directly.

Remember, playing with a device’s firmware can be dangerous with unpredictable results (such as ruining the device). Be careful and be sure you know what you’re doing. Your mileage may vary.

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