Garmin Traffic Charger Comparison

 

Is there a place to see a comparison chart for all of Garmin Traffic chargers? I know there is the TA20 Car charger and traffic antenna, the GTM-36, the GTM-60, etc.

I think when I was testing out the Drivesmart 55, it came with a TA20 but I don't recall off hand. I was thinking later that my 3490LMT came with the GTM-60 HD traffic charger. Anyway, was wondering the differences between them but couldn't find a comparison chart.

Not urgent but if anyone knows, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.

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Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

For my DriveSmart 61 you

For my DriveSmart 61 you need an app on your phone to have traffic on the GPS, it's called Smartphone Link, no special cable required.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

On this page you can find

On this page you can find the chargers, click on one and on the page there is a "compatible devices" link which shows all the units for that cable.

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/search/?query=traffic%20cables

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

My memory

From what I remember, the important issues are that the TA20 is a power/traffic_antenna, the GTM36 a power/FM_traffic_receiver, and the GTM60 a power/HD_traffic_receiver. The only other important issue is to make sure that your GPS model is compatible with a given power/traffic cable before buying or using one.

All three depend upon broadcast radio stations for traffic, and in areas where no broadcast radio station offers traffic, no traffic data will be obtained to display on the GPS.

For folks with cell phones and a GPS that can accept traffic data from a phone's traffic app, the data is supplied by cell phone towers and in my experience, offers very much more traffic info and to a very much wider geographic area than any of the earlier traffic options. Even for folks like me who choose to have very limited cell data to save money, the amount of data used by the traffic app in minimal. When using the traffic app on a cell phone and compatible GPS, the traffic function of a TA20, GTM36 or 60 will be disabled.

Antenna vs. Receiver?

Thanks for this. I do recall someone saying the traffic app supplied more detailed traffic info vs. the receiver. As for the cables (not the app), I believe it was side loaded info coming from digital FM radio stations which you can see in one of the diagnostic screens.

What was throwing me was the difference between the TA20 and the GTM36/60 cables. One says antenna and the other says receiver (unless the receiver part is built into the GPS itself). I would have assumed it was the same thing so still not clear on the difference between the three cables.

I'm aware that only certain cables work with certain devices and it looks like the Drivesmart 55 works with all three but can't confirm. Again, was looking for some type of tech sheet to show a comparison of how each cable obtained traffic. Not super important but more curious than anything.

-Thanks

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

TA20

Preroll wrote:

Thanks for this...

The TA20 is only for power plus a traffic antenna meaning the traffic receiver is built into the GPS. I don't know which Garmin models had built-in receivers. The TA20 cable will not offer traffic to any Garmin device that does not have a built-in traffic receiver. At least that's what I think.

Confusing

CraigW wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Thanks for this...

The TA20 is only for power plus a traffic antenna meaning the traffic receiver is built into the GPS.

So this is where I was confused. If the receiver is built in to the unit, why would anyone need to buy a GPS36/60 for it unless it's to say, those CAN BE USED but only the antenna portion is utilized? I'm guessing that has to be it since it is listed as a compatible accessory.

You know what I'm getting at?

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Confusing indeed.

Preroll wrote:
CraigW wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Thanks for this...

The TA20 is only for power plus a traffic antenna meaning the traffic receiver is built into the GPS.

So this is where I was confused. If the receiver is built in to the unit, why would anyone need to buy a GPS36/60 for it unless it's to say, those CAN BE USED but only the antenna portion is utilized? I'm guessing that has to be it since it is listed as a compatible accessory.

You know what I'm getting at?

It can be confusing. I think it is possible that some units use the TA-20 with the built in FM receiver. But if you want to upgrade to HD traffic, you would have to purchase the GTM-60.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Built-In vs. HD

alandb wrote:
Preroll wrote:
CraigW wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Thanks for this...

The TA20 is only for power plus a traffic antenna meaning the traffic receiver is built into the GPS.

So this is where I was confused. If the receiver is built in to the unit, why would anyone need to buy a GPS36/60 for it unless it's to say, those CAN BE USED but only the antenna portion is utilized? I'm guessing that has to be it since it is listed as a compatible accessory.

You know what I'm getting at?

It can be confusing. I think it is possible that some units use the TA-20 with the built in FM receiver. But if you want to upgrade to HD traffic, you would have to purchase the GTM-60.

So the next question would be in regards to the GTM-60 which uses HD traffic. Would that receiver give more detailed traffic info vs. the built in receiver? If that receiver is plugged into the unit, does that receiver supersede the built in receiver or just act as an antenna for the built in one?

Garmin really doesn't seem to disclose this info which is why I was curious if they had ever released a comparison chart to see what each one does and how they work specifically but I don't think it exists. The whole layout is pretty vague honestly.

Again, obviously nothing super important, but I'm always curious to see how things work technically.

Thanks.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Traffic receivers

Preroll wrote:

o the next question would be in regards to the GTM-60 which uses HD traffic. Would that receiver give more detailed traffic info vs. the built in receiver? If that receiver is plugged into the unit, does that receiver supersede the built in receiver or just act as an antenna for the built in one?

Garmin really doesn't seem to disclose this info which is why I was curious if they had ever released a comparison chart to see what each one does and how they work specifically but I don't think it exists. The whole layout is pretty vague honestly.

Again, obviously nothing super important, but I'm always curious to see how things work technically.

Thanks.

I have no first hand experience with this, but it is my understanding that the GTM-60 would take precedence over the built in receiver, and provide HD traffic alerts where HD traffic service is available. HD traffic is not available everywhere that FM traffic is available, so the receiver falls back to standard FM traffic in those instances. As CraigW said though, both FM and HD traffic coverage is far less than the Smartphone Link coverage. I am guessing that these radio based services are in general decline, but I have no proof of that.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Coverage

For anyone contemplating adding a traffic receiver, check the coverage maps for FM and HD traffic, if the maps still exist. The last time I checked, the state of Arizona coverage, both for FM and HD traffic, was only around Greater Phoenix and Greater Tucson. The entirety of the state, with those two areas excluded, had zero traffic coverage. On the other hand, the Smartphone Link app on a smartphone and with a compatible GPS brought up traffic wherever there was cell coverage, and that included most of the state with some gaps in areas with low population density and no major roadways.

Charger Only

alandb wrote:
Preroll wrote:

o the next question would be in regards to the GTM-60 which uses HD traffic. Would that receiver give more detailed traffic info vs. the built in receiver? If that receiver is plugged into the unit, does that receiver supersede the built in receiver or just act as an antenna for the built in one?

Garmin really doesn't seem to disclose this info which is why I was curious if they had ever released a comparison chart to see what each one does and how they work specifically but I don't think it exists. The whole layout is pretty vague honestly.

Again, obviously nothing super important, but I'm always curious to see how things work technically.

Thanks.

I have no first hand experience with this, but it is my understanding that the GTM-60 would take precedence over the built in receiver, and provide HD traffic alerts where HD traffic service is available. HD traffic is not available everywhere that FM traffic is available, so the receiver falls back to standard FM traffic in those instances. As CraigW said though, both FM and HD traffic coverage is far less than the Smartphone Link coverage. I am guessing that these radio based services are in general decline, but I have no proof of that.

OK, so knowing the app has the best coverage but eliminating that for a moment, I would then have to guess that the built in receiver most probably would be the regular FM vs. HD traffic.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Traffic Receiver

Preroll wrote:

OK, so knowing the app has the best coverage but eliminating that for a moment, I would then have to guess that the built in receiver most probably would be the regular FM vs. HD traffic.

I don't think that is necessarily correct. I believe Garmin has used a built in HD receiver on some models. I wish I could tell you which ones, but I don't know.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

There was..

There was some discussion on traffic cables when I was curious. http://www.poi-factory.com/node/48083
It seems that my Nuvi 2689 has a built in traffic receiver that will work "better" with the "extra cost" traffic cable. I did purchase that cable but as to better, hard to say. In Edmonton AB, some traffic shows up, but perhaps it would have without the $60 (?) cable anyway.
Evidently if I had a smartphone and app I would get even better traffic, but my flip-phone is not up to that task.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Yep Yep

alandb wrote:
Preroll wrote:

OK, so knowing the app has the best coverage but eliminating that for a moment, I would then have to guess that the built in receiver most probably would be the regular FM vs. HD traffic.

I don't think that is necessarily correct. I believe Garmin has used a built in HD receiver on some models. I wish I could tell you which ones, but I don't know.

Yep, kind of confusing to which has what but if I were to re-purchase the Drive 55 and didn't want to use the app, not sure if the built in traffic is HD or if the GTM-60 would be a better choice for that unit.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

I think..

Preroll wrote:

Yep, kind of confusing to which has what but if I were to re-purchase the Drive 55 and didn't want to use the app, not sure if the built in traffic is HD or if the GTM-60 would be a better choice for that unit.

Just a guess but the GTM-60 is likely to do better.. But, I suspect it matters as much about your area and what traffic signals are broadcast.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Cables

Ralph6410 wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Yep, kind of confusing to which has what but if I were to re-purchase the Drive 55 and didn't want to use the app, not sure if the built in traffic is HD or if the GTM-60 would be a better choice for that unit.

Just a guess but the GTM-60 is likely to do better.. But, I suspect it matters as much about your area and what traffic signals are broadcast.

The DriveSmart 55 comes with the TA-20 cable and will not work with the GTM 60. The DS55 has a built in traffic receiver.

The 3597 uses the GTM 60 cable because the 3597 doesn't have a built in receiver. The cord has a lump in the cable containing the receiver.

Neither unit will function properly with the wrong cable.

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Umm..

phranc wrote:
Ralph6410 wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Yep, kind of confusing to which has what but if I were to re-purchase the Drive 55 and didn't want to use the app, not sure if the built in traffic is HD or if the GTM-60 would be a better choice for that unit.

Just a guess but the GTM-60 is likely to do better.. But, I suspect it matters as much about your area and what traffic signals are broadcast.

The DriveSmart 55 comes with the TA-20 cable and will not work with the GTM 60. The DS55 has a built in traffic receiver.

The 3597 uses the GTM 60 cable because the 3597 doesn't have a built in receiver. The cord has a lump in the cable containing the receiver.

Neither unit will function properly with the wrong cable.

It's listed as a compatible accessory though?!?!

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/666927/pn/010-02037-02#acc...

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Agree with Preroll.

From what I understand, you can use the external traffic receiver (GTM-60) to over-ride the built in traffic receiver. That allows an upgrade from standard FM traffic to HD traffic.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

FM vs HD

alandb wrote:

From what I understand, you can use the external traffic receiver (GTM-60) to over-ride the built in traffic receiver. That allows an upgrade from standard FM traffic to HD traffic.

That's what I was thinking that the unit came with standard FM but I didn't see it in the description. Maybe it's listed in the owner's manual? Not sure.

Anyway, good stuff.

Thanks.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

I use the GTM 60 with my

I use the GTM 60 with my Drive Smart 55 and it works wonders. As I live nearby to the NYC metro, the coverage for me is superb and very updated and accurate. However, once I pass Exit 15 on the Thruway it blanks out.

NYC

raewonders wrote:

I use the GTM 60 with my Drive Smart 55 and it works wonders. As I live nearby to the NYC metro, the coverage for me is superb and very updated and accurate. However, once I pass Exit 15 on the Thruway it blanks out.

I'm in the same area. Sounds like Tuxedo/Harriman is the cut off. OK, good to know.

Thanks!

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

NYC coverage

Yep. And in these upstate areas the traffic congestion is rarely so complex as in the city. Obviously big incidents/constructions/seasonal closings do exist and happen, but you probably know what i mean.

Also, Ive used HD traffic side by side with WAZE and i'd say its 90 percent same and accurate

Nice

I know the app is supposed to be the most accurate but if the HD cable is close to Waze, that's good enough most of the time. It's too bad there really isn't a comparison chart for all the cables vs. the built in receiver. Garmin doesn't always seem to disclose tech data on a lot of things sometimes. I find product descriptions to be quite vague.

Anyway, thanks for the info!

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

WX

So I re-acquired a new Drivesmart 55. I took the cable it came with and then the HD 60 from my 3490. When I plug in the standard traffic cable, the dashboard reads out RDS. When I plugin the HD 60 it reads HD. Makes sense. I also noticed one other thing (which I guess I should check in the manual). When using the HD 60, the unit pulls in weather information which I found interesting. It doesn't with the standard traffic cable. So ... in addition to a little better traffic, the HD cable appears to be the way to go. At some point I may try the app as that is supposed to supply more info than any of these cables from what I have heard.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Disconnect When Using App

Forgot to ask though....found another article that said I cannot use the Live App with the HD cable at the same time. Does this mean I have to shut something off in the unit or switch back to the stock traffic cable (if anyone knows)?

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

HD cable and Smartphone app

Preroll wrote:

Forgot to ask though....found another article that said I cannot use the Live App with the HD cable at the same time. Does this mean I have to shut something off in the unit or switch back to the stock traffic cable (if anyone knows)?

With the Smartphone app connected to your Garmin via Bluetooth, it's the one that supplies traffic/weather/etc info to the Garmin regardless of cable used. There's no need to manually switch anything or revert to a power-only cable.

Great!

CraigW wrote:
Preroll wrote:

Forgot to ask though....found another article that said I cannot use the Live App with the HD cable at the same time. Does this mean I have to shut something off in the unit or switch back to the stock traffic cable (if anyone knows)?

With the Smartphone app connected to your Garmin via Bluetooth, it's the one that supplies traffic/weather/etc info to the Garmin regardless of cable used. There's no need to manually switch anything or revert to a power-only cable.

Good to know thanks!

As a footnote to my previous post, I went back to the user manual and it doesn't mention anything about receiving weather info with the HD cable but it does in fact work when connected. It only gets the temperature and the five day forecast (no radar maps etc.).

Anyway, thanks again!

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Both the App and the Handsfree function built into your car?

Can you connect both the App "and" the handsfree function of the phone connected by bluetooth to your vehicle?

The Bluetooth capability on my 2011 Highlander.. or that of my clamshell phone.. seems to have trouble connecting to both my GPS and the vehicle. When I was playing with it.. I could use the Garmin 2689 as a handsfree or.. the car, and as the car has built in switches opted to stay with that.

Should I ever get a smartphone and opt to use the app.. will it be the same, one or the other but not both.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Yes

Ralph6410 wrote:

Can you connect both the App "and" the handsfree function of the phone connected by bluetooth to your vehicle?

The Bluetooth capability on my 2011 Highlander.. or that of my clamshell phone.. seems to have trouble connecting to both my GPS and the vehicle. When I was playing with it.. I could use the Garmin 2689 as a handsfree or.. the car, and as the car has built in switches opted to stay with that.

Should I ever get a smartphone and opt to use the app.. will it be the same, one or the other but not both.

Yes. I have my smartphone set to connect to the car's audio/display system for phone calls, address book, texts, etc. and to connect to the Garmin for traffic/weather/parking/etc.

What you need to be sure to do is to only let the app connect to the Garmin device for non-phone stuff and that will let you keep the phone's Bluetooth connection to the vehicle's audio and display. At least that works for my Android smartphone, Garmin device, and Subaru.

Good to know

CraigW wrote:
Ralph6410 wrote:

Can you connect both the App "and" the handsfree function of the phone connected by bluetooth to your vehicle?

The Bluetooth capability on my 2011 Highlander.. or that of my clamshell phone.. seems to have trouble connecting to both my GPS and the vehicle. When I was playing with it.. I could use the Garmin 2689 as a handsfree or.. the car, and as the car has built in switches opted to stay with that.

Should I ever get a smartphone and opt to use the app.. will it be the same, one or the other but not both.

Yes. I have my smartphone set to connect to the car's audio/display system for phone calls, address book, texts, etc. and to connect to the Garmin for traffic/weather/parking/etc.

What you need to be sure to do is to only let the app connect to the Garmin device for non-phone stuff and that will let you keep the phone's Bluetooth connection to the vehicle's audio and display. At least that works for my Android smartphone, Garmin device, and Subaru.

Good to know, Thanks

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Amazon Reviewer

So in bringing this back up now that I have the Drivesmart 55 and the GTM 60 HD cable, I can confirm that the GTM 60 HD is presenting better traffic detail and some weather info but then after reading this review, I'm guessing the RDS coverage is greater than the HD with less detail. The Amazon reviewer said that Garmin states:

The built-In traffic receiver in the GPS works in more locations (some smaller cities) but that the GTM 60 will update more frequently and give a bit more detail when you are in large metropolitan areas.

Again, this is for the HD cable vs the built in traffic receiver (no Drive app which is supposed to be superior to either the traffic cable or the built in receiver - which I'll never know 'cause I have no need for that app).

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Video Review

Looks like someone tried to do a non-technical video review about year back on these. He keeps saying low res when it should be RDS vs HD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYKofnUjQYM

However in my previous post, where Garmin states more coverage with RDS with less detail, it was my understanding that if HD was not available then the GTM 60 HD cable would revert to an RDS signal. I think that stands true. Anyone?

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP 60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT / Drivesmart 55 / GPSMAP 66st * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

HD Traffic

Ralph6410 wrote:

There was some discussion on traffic cables when I was curious. http://www.poi-factory.com/node/48083
It seems that my Nuvi 2689 has a built in traffic receiver that will work "better" with the "extra cost" traffic cable. I did purchase that cable but as to better, hard to say. In Edmonton AB, some traffic shows up, but perhaps it would have without the $60 (?) cable anyway.
Evidently if I had a smartphone and app I would get even better traffic, but my flip-phone is not up to that task.

As far as I know, there is no HD in Edmonton. From what I have read in this link below, only in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Check out the map it works pretty good.

https://coverage.here.com/hd-coverage.html