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GTM21 traffic issues
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PlaneApart
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Joined: Jan 24, 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have hidden the aerial wire on my Focus half way between the windscreen and the instrument cluster - there's a natural narrow channel there. I've found this to be the most favourable position.
When the black blob comes off the end of the aerial - as it surely will with time - try soldering an extension on to it, so that it reaches the full width of the windscreen. I've used the wire from an old handsfree kit as it's comparable in size.

Whilst you'll probably get a better signal with a dedicated aerial feed, I've found this to be the best alternative.
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 2003
Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wils99 wrote:
I purchased a Nuvi660Fm recently and I've not been able to get traffic since I got it. Read all through this post and tried the ideas of having the aerial positioned differently. But then just now I tried undoing my driver side window, taking the aerial and sticking it to the roof - hey presto I got a green light for the first time!
So in my case, an external aerial seems like it will make a difference (I have a 54 plate Focus TDCI). THing I need to know is - can anyone point me in the right direction on how I might be able to hook the Nuvi up to an external aerial (existing roof one preferably)?
Many thanks ;)


Have a look through the posts here that detail a few ways of doing it. The bigest 'gotcha' is that most bee-sting type aerials have 12V fed up them to power an amplifier - you need to isolate this with a capacitor.

Edited 18/12/07 to correct link.
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Last edited by philpugh on Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kaydee2
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Joined: Jan 26, 2006
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: GTM21 Reply with quote

[quote="philpugh"] I have my GTM21 connected to my amplified car aerial (VW BORA) and got reception at home before the WH transmitter came back on line.

I have a VW Passat - I guess a similar set up to the Bora - How did you connect your GTM21 to the aerial and has it made a significant difference?
I live near Watford, and a very nice man at Garmin advised me that 'trafficmaster admit they have a signal problem in the NW London / Watford area!!' Very nice if you remember that this area is the lower part of the M1, from its start, up to Luton and a busy section of the M25 between the M4 and M1.
Not a busy area at all where you might want a bit of traffic information!!!!!
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some apologies first - the link I posted above was not the one I meant - try this one instead Embarassed I've edited the original to be correct.

The Passat is very similar as far as the radio is concerned.

With the basic VW radio installed then buy a Y splitter - the one I use is listed on Page 6 of the above topic. You will then need to connect the end of your TMC receiver aerial to the centre conductor of the 'spare' Y splitter end via a capacitor (something around 0.1uF is fine - available for pence from Maplins etc).

I have an after-market fit radio so I had to buy one of those aerial adapters that provide the +12V for the fitted aerial amp. If you have done this - then if you fit the Y splitter between theradio and the power adapter then you don't need the capacitor.

At present I have a permanent connection to the GTM21 - If I get really bored this Christmas I will get around to installing a small socket on the dash and a plug on the GTM21 aerial wire. This would allow me to move the nuvi between cars together with it's power/TMC cable
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RoyalGiz1871a
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Joined: Nov 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: GTM21 Reply with quote

[quote="kaydee2"]
philpugh wrote:
I have my GTM21 connected to my amplified car aerial (VW BORA) and got reception at home before the WH transmitter came back on line.

I have a VW Passat - I guess a similar set up to the Bora - How did you connect your GTM21 to the aerial and has it made a significant difference?
I live near Watford, and a very nice man at Garmin advised me that 'trafficmaster admit they have a signal problem in the NW London / Watford area!!' Very nice if you remember that this area is the lower part of the M1, from its start, up to Luton and a busy section of the M25 between the M4 and M1.
Not a busy area at all where you might want a bit of traffic information!!!!!



I suspect that the very nice man at Garmin may be telling porkies!

I have a TrafficMaster Freeway unit (no external antenna) sat on my dashboard and it picks up traffic info in your neck of the woods with no problems at all. I have a GTM21 connected to my Garmin C510T in the same car and I can't pick up traffic info on any motorway that I have been on.

To me, this suggests that Garmin have the problem not TrafficMaster!
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kaydee2
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Joined: Jan 26, 2006
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoyalGiz,
Thanks for your thoughts !!
I have one of those RAC Trafficmaster units with the flashing lights and a Trafficmaster YQ unit. They get Trafficmaster info without any problems too, but they use the GSM network to transmit/receive data, while the Garmin units get their info over FM frequencies.
I don't know the freeway unit, but perhaps this helps to explain a little?
Cheers.
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RoyalGiz1871a
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Freeway unit is very cheap and only picks up traffic data when it is on major A roads and motorways. Due to the low cost, I do not think it likely that it makes use of GSM. I believe it picks up relatively low powered signals from transmitters mounted on gantrys, bridges and poles at the road side. If it helps identify the transmitting technology, the user guide refers to the possibility of interference from a local strong auxilary signal - often from emergency services.

FM transmissions are not rocket science - Garmin really should be capable of making reliable units that can pick up an FM signal with no problem at all. If they can't, they should stop selling the product until they have mastered the technology!


Last edited by RoyalGiz1871a on Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RoyalGiz1871a
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, trouble posting and then a duplicate appeared. Can't find the option to delete the post.
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kaydee2
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RG,
The freeway can't be cheaper than the RAC unit!! I think you'll find that all the Trafficmaster kit picks up info from a GSM carrier signal - can't remember, but I think it was alongside Vodaphone!
But I definitely agree that it shouldn't be beyong Garmin to come up with hardware that delivers what they advertise on the tin!!
Here's hoping that they can offer some working solutions in 2008!
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RoyalGiz1871a
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freeway cost me less than 30 from Maplin and that included a year's subscription. Renewal costs @ 55 for two years.

If it uses GSM would transmission from the emergency services block the signal?

Whatever technology it uses, maybe Garmin should switch over to it. It's cheap, tried and tested and effective. Being able to see traffic problems 10 miles/ 2 junctions ahead is more than enough for my needs. The only reason I went for the Garmin was to combine the two pieces of info in the same unit.
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philpugh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoyalGiz1871a wrote:

If it uses GSM would transmission from the emergency services block the signal?


No - totally different frequencies. The Freeway system is short range, about 2-4 miles from a sensor/transmiter at best.

The FM radio part is no problem and I can confirm the GTM21 on my nuvi 660 is very good - once I connected it to the car aerial. I am rarely without a TMC signal in the areas in which I regularly travel. (North Midlands/North West and North East) You wouldn't think of running your car radio on an internal aerial would you? And the power levels used by the RDS sub-carrier are lower than the main carriers (audio).
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RoyalGiz1871a
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why are Garmin selling something that is clearly not fit for purpose?!

My car radio tells me I need to have an external aerial and has has a means of easily connecting this.

Nowhere do Garmin tell you that you need to connect it into your car aerial nor, short of going into DIY/bodge mode, is there any way of doing so. What's more, ring Garmin support and they don't say 'you need to connect it to your car aerial' they ask you to return the GTM21 (at your expense) to them so that they can check/repair/replace it.

They have designed, advertise and sell this as a stand-alone system. Indeed one of the reasons I bought it was that it could be easily transferred between cars.

As I mentioned, rather than give their customers all this aggro (and damaging their reputation in the process), they would have been far better adopting the technology used by the Freeway.

Incidentally whilst I may not be able to receive FM on my car radio without an external aerial, I can receive FM on a very cheap mini FM radio by sticking the wire aerial out of the car window. Not even that works with the GTM21.

Amazingly 'Which?' made the C510 a best buy, not least because of its ability to receive traffic information. I have written to advise them of the problems with this and suggested that they might like to reconsider their recommendation.
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Lester_Burnham
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoyalGiz1871a wrote:
Amazingly 'Which?' made the C510 a best buy, not least because of its ability to receive traffic information. I have written to advise them of the problems with this and suggested that they might like to reconsider their recommendation.


In all fairness, although both devices are made by Garmin, the C510's TMC abilities are dependent on an external unit - hardly fair to blame the poor performance of that purely on the C510.

Don't get me wrong, I have a C510T with the GTM21 bundled, and I see the big picture, TMC can be tricky, reception wise, based purely on the GTM21's wet string thingmy, but that's not a shortcoming of the C510, per se.

Sure, slate them for the GTM21 - fair comment, but the C510 is no better / no worse, traffic wise, than any other Garmin unit bundled with the GTM21.
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JoshT
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Location: Berks, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a Nuvi 660 with GTM21 for over a year and now at the stage where I have given up with TMC. No reception M4, M40 where I live

I agree that Garmin should sell a receiver thats 'Fit for purpose' but it falls on deaf ears.

I just hope Garmin start to lose customers as a result of their 'bury their head in the sand' approach. They also don't want to add more features to make existing units equivalant to competitor functionality (I'd even be willing to pay a small charge)- just sell customers more expensive units - aka 7xx series.

If I was buying again I probably go for a model without TMC. The Navman S90i also like like a nice unit and is getting good reviews (although so does/did the Nuvi 660!)
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RoyalGiz1871a
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lester_Burnham wrote:
RoyalGiz1871a wrote:
Amazingly 'Which?' made the C510 a best buy, not least because of its ability to receive traffic information. I have written to advise them of the problems with this and suggested that they might like to reconsider their recommendation.


In all fairness, although both devices are made by Garmin, the C510's TMC abilities are dependent on an external unit - hardly fair to blame the poor performance of that purely on the C510.

Don't get me wrong, I have a C510T with the GTM21 bundled, and I see the big picture, TMC can be tricky, reception wise, based purely on the GTM21's wet string thingmy, but that's not a shortcoming of the C510, per se.

Sure, slate them for the GTM21 - fair comment, but the C510 is no better / no worse, traffic wise, than any other Garmin unit bundled with the GTM21.


My point was that it was the Traffic Information facility that edged the C510 into the 'Which?' Best Buy and Excellent Value categories. Without that it wouldn't have featured as a Best Buy or been regarded as Excellent Value. That wouldn't mean it was a poor product (and bar the GTM21 it's not) but it isn't as good as offerings from other manufacturers.

Until Garmin get the problems sorted, they do not deserve the free advertising and extra sales that a 'Which?' recommendation brings.

Unless the replacement GTM21 that I am expecting from Garmin works reliably, I think I will be asking the retailer that I bought my C510 from for a refund of the difference between the price of a unit with the GTM21 and that without. I'm happy with the C510 but will stick to the tried, tested and very reliable TrafficMaster Freeway for my traffic info.
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