The DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 is a powerful full-mapping handheld GPS has a 32-channel WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, onboard electronic compass, and barometric altimeter.
There is currently one other Earthmate model available, the two units are identical except the newer PN-30 model costs less and doesnt have the electronic compass or altimeter.
The PN-40 ships from the factory ready-to-go with lots of accessories included in the package. You’ll find a proprietary USB cable, owner’s manual, quick start guide, pair of AA batteries, TOPO USA software, full USA land maps on DVD, carry strap, and a blank 2GB SD card.
The PN-40 fits well in one hand while being operated with your hand. The unit is compact in size and measures just 5.3-inches tall, 2.4-inches wide, and 1.5-inches thick.
With a pair of AA batteries installed our PN-40 weighs in a svelte 7.0 ounces.
Earthmate PN-40 has eight pushbuttons and an arrow keypad located on the front panel for operational control. Larger pushbuttons have name labels on the key while the three small buttons use graphic icons.
The Find key has a magnifying glass icon, the Mark key uses a push-pin, and Power key a red circle and line.
Each press of the Page button moves you to the next main page. The Satellites page displays GPS status, current time, GPS accuracy, elevation, battery status, as well as the location and signal strength of satellites.
The Compass page sports a well-marked rose driven by internal electronics with accelerometers that allow a solid and stable compass reading while holding the unit in virtually any position.
When tracking to a waypoint this page will also show a bearing needle pointing to the waypoint. In my testing the compass worked well and proved accurate. Data boxes on this page are user selectable for format and source data.
The Trip Info page can be set to show either three or eight data user selectable fields.
Prior to loading any of the accompanying map data you will find the Map page shows only a basic land map. At the bottom of the map page up to four user selectable data fields can be displayed.
I reviewed the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 with a Navionics Platinum chart card installed and did not install NOAA charts on this unit.
To use a Navionics chart card you’ll need firmware version 2.6 or newer installed in your PN-40. Adding either the NOAA charts or a Navionics chart card to your unit will add to the cost.
It is a two-step process to shutdown the PN-40. First, you press the Power button and then press the Enter key.
Waypoints and Routes
Build a present position waypoint or waypoint at the cursor by pressing the push-pin icon labeled Mark button. Then be sure to press the Enter key with Save selected to store the waypoint in memory.
Once you do this you’ll be on the waypoint page. From here you can save the point or make changes to the name, symbol, or coordinates. You can also add a comment.
To build a route youd press through menus to get to the Route page. From here you follow onscreen prompts to add points from the waypoint list or directly by placing the cursor on the chart.
The DeLorme Earthmate will store up to 1000 waypoints and 50 routes.
The Delorme Earthmate PN-40 has a 2.2-inch color TFT display screen that takes up the top half the unit’s front panel space.
This display screen draws curved lines smoothly and is capable of showing fine map detail with its 220 x 176 pixel resolution.
Display backlighting is turned on to a preset level for a predetermined time by pressing any key. You can change these presets on the display menu. You can set the level with a slider, change the time on to a variety of settings, and pick a color scheme.
With the backlight set to maximum, I found the display to be bright, sharp, and easy to read in direct sunlight.
I noted very little screen dimming when I put on polarized sunglasses. I am rating the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 display screen excellent for daylight viewability.
It earned another excellent rating in low light and darkness too. One thing I noted was a lack of pushbutton backlighting.
Odds and Ends
This DeLorme handheld marine GPS has a number of special marine information pages. I think have an internal electronic compass is a feature boaters will like too.
You’ll find a Sun/Moon, Tide, and Hunt/Fish page in the PN-40.
Battery compartment access, on the case back, is gained by unscrewing two stainless tab lock screws and then removing the gasket-lined protective cover. You’ll also find the SD card slot here.
A proprietary USB connection is also located in the back.
This DeLorme portable GPS is rated waterproof to IPX7 standards, meaning it can be submerged to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes without suffering any damage. It passed both our dunk test and drop test with no problems noted.
The unit carries a 1-year warranty.
The DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 has some marine specific data for boaters plus the added feature of an electronics compass.
The 32-channel high-sensitivity WAAS enabled GPS receiver, high-resolution color display screen, and easy to use software make this a top-rated handheld GPS.
Boaters will get the most usefulness from this machine if they add a Navionics chart card for their area of operations.