Ever since I got this unit Christmas, I've been trying everything I could think of to determine why my free traffic reception is so intermittent, whether driving or in my house (I use an adaptor so I can plug in the cigarette adaptor to a 120V outlet in the house). I won't bore you with all the things I tried, but they include a several hard resets, re-installing the latest software updates, and calling Garmin tech support.
I mistakenly assumed that because I get fast and excellent satellite fixes inside my house, that FM traffic reception would also be good, because I am located well within the boundaries of the Navteq traffic broadcast in this area. I assumed that FM traffic would be similar to receiving FM radio in your house. What was so frustrating is that on rare occaions, the traffic reception icon would appear while plugged in inside my house, but most of the time not.
Finally last night I moved the antenna (cigarette lighter cord) directly next to my house window, and almost immediately the traffic icon appeared. I have subsequently repeated this test several times, and that seems to be the answer: poor FM reception unless the antenna is directly by the window. I have also had problems with reception in my car, and will have to experiment with laying the receiver cord on the dash. I have also noticed that traffic reception will not occur until there is a GPS satellite fix.
I hope this is of some help to others who are facing the same problem.
The original older GTM 1x traffic units used either an antenna adapter that allowed the external (not built into the 12V plug) traffic unit to connect directly to your car radio's antenna, used an internal short plastic "whip" type antenna that could be mounted to your car's A-pillar (inside the car) or elsewhere or a long single-wire antenna that could be strung inside the vehicle (preferably out of sight). On my nuvi 350/GTM 11, I used the wire antenna strung up the A-pillar, then across the top of the windshield hidden in the headliner.
The new units make it more difficult if you need critical antenna placement. However, I have personally not had a problem with my GTM 20.
Thanks for posting your findings.
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