I know that this has been discussed in the past, but now that I have both a Garmin Nuvi 3597 and a Garmin DriveLuxe 51, it is rekindling my interest.
I made a trip last night to pick up my wife from the MSP Airport. I used the Garmin DriveLuxe 51 and the GTM 60 HD Digital Traffic Receiver from my Garmin Nuvi 3597. (I am also well aware that I can get traffic data, via Bluetooth, from my smartphone.)
I have noticed, since having the Garmin Nuvi 3597, that sometimes the HD signal isn't there in areas that I normally get it. So, that got me to wondering a few things. What are the current differences in:
Garmin HD Digital Traffic Vs. Live Traffic Vs. Garmin Traffic
Also, would there ever be a time where using a GTM 36 would be preferable over a GTM 60? Does the signal for both the GTM 36 and the GTM 60 usually come from the same radio station(s) in a given market? Thus, one is simply analog FM and the other is HD (IBOC)? Would I be able to receive an analog FM signal further away than the HD Signal? It sort of seems like since HD radio never really took off, that the analog signal is the one that they really care about. Or, in other words, if the HD radio signal is down, it might take longer for someone to notice and it might take longer to get the issue resolved.
Does anybody have a way to telling me exactly what radio station(s) provide the traffic signal in my area? I live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN area. My specific ZIP code is 55068.
To put it another way, if the source of the signal received via the GTM 36 is more reliable than the one received from the GTM 60, might it be a better choice?
Update: I looked around and found both HD and RDS coverage maps from https://www.here.com/en/navteq In my area anyway, the RDS coverage has a bigger footprint than the HD coverage. For example, the HD coverage shows that it covers to about Hampton MN while the RDS coverage covers to Faribault and Kenyon MN.
The GTM-60 "should" fall back to the RDS if it is available in areas where the HD coverage is not.
As to Smartphone Link traffic there is a major advantage for me over the GTM-60 based traffic on my 3597. There is NO HD or RDS coverage within about 125 miles of my local driving area (east central IA). The Smartphone link traffic has very accurate and detailed traffic reporting in my area, and not only just for major highways. In fact, I have put my GTM-60 in the "junk drawer" and replaced with a smaller power supply and less bulky cable that is much easier to manage.
I have used the GTM-60 in the twin cities area (my daughter lives there) and was not all that impressed, so I will stick with Smartphone Link even when traveling to areas that have HD coverage.
I was thinking the same thing.
I live inside a 100 or so mile radius of non coverage. I find the SmartLink coverage is way better for me, in my travels. Especially since the Garmin traffic coverage leaves huge holes in coverage over miles and miles of the Interstate, and medium sized and smaller cities and towns.
Here is what Garmin supports shows in comparison. https://support.garmin.com/faqSearch/en-US/faq/content/i34WV...
Smart Phone Link traffic is always Superior. I have tried HD traffic as well in cities like Pittsburgh and LA. It works well while you are within the range of HD signal but still not very stable. I had to switch to Smart Phone Link signal in these cities for better coverage.
Secondly, HD signal and FM traffic signals sources could be different.
I have found FM traffic info very basic and not very extensive.
I always use Smart Phone Link traffic everywhere and it is very good.
The GTM-60 "should" fall back to the RDS if it is available in areas where the HD coverage is not...
I was wondering about that. I was researching and trying to find anything online to confirm that. I have used HD radios in the past. I know that they will default to the main analog FM signal, when HD is lost, but I am not sure if that happens on the Garmin GTM 60. I have sent Garmin support an email and ask them.
Let us know what they say. Unfortunately, Garmin email support is typically just a cookie cutter answer, but it will interesting to hear what answer you get.
I know I have read forum complaints about the HD receiver not falling back as it should in these situations, although I could not find these specific posts. I suspect that if it is receiving a weak signal from a HD station, it may keep trying to establish a connection with that rather than falling back to the stronger RDS station.
I also saw that you can update the traffic receiver firmware and traffic subscription. I have never been prompted to do so, but perhaps I should see if this is something that I need to do with Garmin Express.
I also ran across the Garmin antenna extension cable with suction cups. I suppose that could improve the HD signal a little bit. It looks like there is small port on the side of the receiver. I can't tell for sure, but I think it is a 2.5 mm. I gather that there isn't one the GTM 36, however, but I don't have one, so I can't be sure.
I have one of those antennas laying around here. They are for the GPS signal and not the Traffic Receiver.
I have one of those antennas laying around here. They are for the GPS signal and not the Traffic Receiver.
According to the description for the item, it's for Traffic:
Pick up a clearer signal on your traffic receiver with this antenna extension cable. Suction cups secure the cable to your windshield.
Using HD Digital Traffic outside of coverage areas
Garmin HD Digital Traffic delivers traffic updates as often as every 30 seconds when a compatible device is using a GTM 60 HD Digital Traffic receiver or an embedded HD receiver.
The GTM 60 can also act as a receiver for our standard Garmin Traffic service. This means that if you travel outside the HD Digital Traffic coverage area but are still within coverage of Garmin Traffic, you won't have any interruption in traffic alerts and information.
Yes, it's definitely for traffic.
I'm sorry, I hadn't seen that one, I thought it was like the old one I have.
...The GTM 60 can also act as a receiver for our standard Garmin Traffic service...
Is assume that comes from the Garmin website somewhere. Thank you for posting that. There have been a few times lately when the temperature display will just show a couple of dashes or something along those lines. I wonder if that means that the HD signal is there, but just not sending content?
I still would like to know which HD station that the signal is coming from. That way, when I gett no signal, where I normally receive it, I could contact the station and let them know.
Also, is there any easy way for the end user to know when the device is receiving stand Garmin Traffic service rather than HD Digital Traffic?
I seem to recall being north of Forest Lake MN, with the Garmin Nuvi 3597 and GTM 60, and losing HD signal. I don't recall it switching to standard Garmin Traffic service, but I will have to see what the dettings are on the GPS itself.
From Garmin support https://support.garmin.com/faqSearch/en-US/faq/content/MrCFe...
In fact, I have put my GTM-60 in the "junk drawer" and replaced with a smaller power supply and less bulky cable that is much easier to manage.
Alan, out of curiosity, do you get angry messages from the 3597 when using a different cable?? Issues with the device charging?
It depends on the USB adapter device for the cig. lighter slot. I have some that give the error message and some that work just fine. The one that I am using now has 2 USB ports, one marked A for "Apple" that is 2.0 amps and one marked S for Samsung that is 1.0 amps. Surprisingly, the A port gives the error, the S port works OK.
I tried the OE cord from my 2557 on the 3597 and the DriveSmart61 this evening. Both seemed OK, both appeared to be charging. (I believe the cord for the 2557 is power + an antenna for the traffic receiver built into the 2557.)
I'm trying to get up to speed on SmartLink. I guess I didn't realize it's that much better than HD Traffic, etc.
I am considering upgrading to get better traffic than I currently get with my 2689. But there are only vague references to HD traffic... Is it a function of the model or the cable? Can someone provide a link to models that have HD traffic. Seems most (all?) links go to Amazon or Best Buy and the specs are.. lacking. This, "Garmin DriveSmart 65 & Traffic" obviously has traffic.. but no place does it say HD traffic.
From Garmin these are the compatible models for the GTM 60 receiver. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/104181#devices
Thanks for the link. Seems like a choice between Garmin DriveLuxe™ 50LMTHD $329.99 USD which comes with higher resolution screen and a magnetic mount or Garmin DriveSmart™ 50LMTHD $269.99 USD. Put them both on a split screen and the "overview" is identical.
The higher resolution screen would be nice but the resolution of my current 2689 is good enough and suspect the DriveSmart™ to be the same and am more than happy with a ball mount.. which I assume is identical and interchangeable with my current 2689.
I'm so glad I found this conversation. I hope y'all can help. I upgraded from my old Nuvi to my DriveSmart 50 LMT with the BC30. I have never used the stock power cord as I needed the BC30's cord for the camera. I always liked the traffic I had with my Nuvi so I expected the same or better with the DriveSmart. I have never had constant accurate traffic. In fact, only had it work on 1 trip. It was telling me about traffic on the 401 in Toronto. I have the Smart Link on my iPhone Xr and it is connected in the bluetooth setting and the app shows an orange icon in top left corner. I will be driving and come to a complete stop on the highway. Garmin shows no traffic yet I'm stopped. I'll check Google maps and it will show orange, red and dark red where I am but yet Garmin shows all clear. I have actually started to drive using google maps now. My Garmin has become nothing more than a back up cam.
Any advise or ideas of what's wrong?
This happens on highways 403, 401, 400, 427 and QEW. All are in the circled area of the HERE map that I've attached. I should have full good coverage but I'm getting nothing.
HERE map - https://i.postimg.cc/4NVFc6xZ/screenshot-coverage-here-com-2...
SmartLink in settings - https://i.postimg.cc/RZTssvtD/2019-09-25-10-54-56.jpg
SmartLink - https://i.postimg.cc/YSqXTTfq/2019-09-25-10-55-58.jpg
Question about iPhone settings. It is set to while using. Other option is off so I have to choose while using but after a minute the screen shuts down. Am I still using even though the screen has shut down? Do I have to keep the app open and screen alive? What about changing to another app? Could this be a problem? Other iPhone users??
As long as Smartlink is on, (swipe up to see that it's in the background) it's communicating with your unit. You do not have to keep Smartlink visible on the screen. Just start it, and let it go to the background.
On the Garmin, touch the tab in the lower right hand side to bring up the menu and select traffic. It will tell you which traffic mode it is using. If the Unit is connected to the phone, and Smartlink in on, that will be the traffic mode it's using.
Also, you can check in Settings>Bluetooth and see that Smartlink is connected. Being in Canada, I'm not really sure how accurate and available the the traffic reporting is. Here gets it's info in much the same way Google does, by cellphones with Here running in the background reporting traffic. Google does this also, but there are a whole lot more phones running Google than Here. It also gets traffic info from road sensors, traffic cams, etc, just like Google.
But, Your cell phone has to have service in order to receive this information via the internet. Just like Google. Here on the Mid Atlantic east coast, I usually get a very timely and accurate traffic picture, so I'm not really sure how well it works in Canada.
It is very strange that you are not getting any traffic info. I live in GTA and see traffic updates on all these highways whenever I am driving on these routes. Since Waze traffic is superior than Garmin I use Waze more these days.
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