I understand the MSN service that sent traffic and other info to my receiver via an FM signal has been discontinued since 2012 or so. Are there any other options or am I stuck with a (used to be really cool) unit that no longer gives me traffic?
I went to the Garmin site and it seems to suggest I can still pay for their subscription to FM traffic info, but it's confusing as hell to figure out if my unit is already compatible, if I have to buy some kind of accessory (not going to do it) and which of the 4 products, if any, is right for my unit.
I appreciate any help in reply. Thank you.
You would need to replace your GDB-50 power cable/traffic receiver with the GTM-20, then purchase a traffic subscription (Navteq or Clear Channel). That would give you traffic service but not weather, gas prices and the other services that MSN provided. It is probably not worth it on that old of a nuvi. If it was me, I would just put the money toward a new nuvi.
I agree with Alan. Put the cost towards a new unit instead. MSN used to be pretty nice but since Microsoft dropped it, the GDB-50 is just a differently shaped Garmin car power adapter. Spending $ for a GTM-20 along with a traffic subscription (of you buy one without) just doesn't seem cost-effective anymore.
Thank you both. I see a couple of GTM 20 on E-bay and some that claim it comes with a lifetime subscription. For around $35, that seems reasonable to get that feature back. I don't care about weather and gas prices. Traffic is everything. Is it possible that the lifetime subscription transfers with the unit?
I'm not ready to give Garmin any more of my money for a new unit. It kind of burns me that this one was abandoned and otherwise, it's still a really fine, capable receiver.
ETA: From what I've read, the subscription does transfer. I took a chance and bought a used one for $35 all in. If that restores traffic, I'll be happy. Otherwise, Google Maps on my Android does a great job reporting traffic in almost real time.
ETA: From what I've read, the subscription does transfer.
How do you mean?
The traffic subscription is applied to the GTM unit, after which that subscription is forever tied to that GTM unit. That GTM unit can then be used on any number of compatible nuvi units, provided that the GTM and the nuvi provide the same connection method and the nuvi supports the particular GTM unit in it system software.
The same traffic subscription can NOT be transferred to another GTM unit...it cannot be reused. You can however add another different subscription to that GTM unit.
alandb and DorkusNimrod have given you excellent information, the Traffic subscription is present on the GTM 20 and will operate on any Nuvi that uses a GTM 20 to its power cradle. I also agree that it's not worth the investment on an older unit as well as lacking accuracy. In my area I find most of the time traffic patterns are completely opposite of what the FM receiver reports. I have Traffic turned off on my 660 and 2460 since I find it useless.
Since you've already purchased the GTM 20, hopefully the Ebay seller was truthful in stating the unit he\she is selling does in fact have the lifetime subscription. If you can't get the GTM 20 to display traffic I would return it to the seller indicating "Item Not As Described" since the lifetime subscription is not there.
When you receive the GTM 20 connect it to your 780 in the vehicle and check for the subscription.
To do this (I'm not positive on the 780), click on Tools>Settings>Traffic
This should display Navteq USA & Canada Lifetime Traffic
Next be patient and wait for the Nuvi to refresh the new traffic table needed for your area. When you see the green traffic icon appear on your map page the traffic feature should now function.
Be advised in years past the free Navteq Traffic that came with the GTM 20 displayed advertisements on the map while driving. This is no longer the case, I believe the sponsors pulled out due to lack of interest.
Thanks again everyone for the information. For $35, I took a chance the seller is telling the truth. If not, I'll return it for refund. I'm disappointed to now the traffic seems to be hit or miss, and possibly out of date.
Traffic is a very dynamic situation and the reports need to be current to be useful. It seems that Google, and the company they bought, Waze, have that well covered. On my phone, it's nearly right up to the minute. I was hoping to get that on my 780 but I guess it's not going to happen.
I was hoping to get that on my 780 but I guess it's not going to happen.
You're not going to get the same level of traffic reporting from the FM receiver you see on the web apps unless you upgrade the unit and use the SmartLink with Traffic.
Traffic functionality aside, the 7x0 series is one of my favorites. The wife has been using her 750 (Best Buy, Piano Black exclusive) for many years now. I just recently "upgraded" her to my old 3790 which she seems to like pretty well.
So I got the cord and I guess it's one of the older ones without the LEDs that are reported to be so fragile. This one is similar to the cord I have and doesn't seem like it would easily break.
I went into the set-up page for traffic and it said I have to register my GPS to the cord on the Garmin site and gave me the registration number (or serial number-whatever) of my GPS to enter. I went to the site and couldn't register it because it says I never bought the cord. I didn't pursue that any further. I guess I could have registered the cord first, then went back and completed it but I just don't have the patience for navigating Garmin's web site.
I found out it makes no difference that it isn't registered to the Nuvi 780. It still receives traffic just fine. At the beginning of the day it can take nearly 30 minutes before I have any traffic which is not a good thing. But after that, it seems to have a pretty good lock on it all day long. I drive all day and the GPS goes off whenever I'm out of my car which is frequently. That doesn't seem to affect it so far as it will show traffic right away once I start up again.
I didn't expect the traffic info to be very reliable or up to date but I've been pleasantly surprised. It's even reported jams up ahead before my Google maps navigation on my phone which I considered to be the gold standard in traffic reporting. Not a bad investment at all.
I understand that but since I do have traffic on my phone, I'm not willing to spend any more money on an updated Garmin unit. Any traffic it can show me I'll consider a bonus. I've already given Garmin $1000's of my money. I want to make use of what I have. My 780 may be old by electronic gadget standards but I'm still pretty happy with it for now. Maybe in a few more years I'll bite on a new unit that can give me better traffic reporting. For now, I'm just too cheap.
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