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Traffic reciever not working with Nuvi 650 - Garmin GPS

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I have the Nuvi 650 (for about a year now) and just bought the GTM-20 traffic receiver. This receiver came with the "free lifetime" traffic service. (Keep in mind that at first use, the receiver is "mated" to the Nuvi for "life". You can't move it to another GPS).

In any case, the GTM-20 manual says you only need to plug the two together and the two units will establish their connection automatically.

Mine didn't work.

I called Garmin and after a LOOONG hold time, finally got through to a tech rep. She advised that I connect my 650 to my PC and login to Garmin to check for upgrades. She was right. When Garmin offered this "free service for life", they had to issue a new software update so the Nuvi would accept it. She also advised I check the offered "optional" upgrades as well, and look for any that offered "traffic" in the title. There was one of those upgrades, also. (almost everything else was optional "voices" downloads).

I downloaded both the primary software update and the optional traffic update to the 650. It installed them automatically. She also advised "just to be sure" to do a hard reset on the 650. That involves turning the unit off. Then, while pressing a finger in the lower right corner of the screen, turn the unit back on. The unit will ask if you really want to risk losing personal data.. Say "yes", and the unit will do a clean reboot with the upgrades.

Reconnect the receiver and the 650. It may take awhile for the units to acquire the satellites, traffic signals, and set the internal key, but it did work. You may not see the "traffic icon" at the first map screen. If you go to the tools or setup screen, you should see the traffic icon at the lower right of the screen. Press that, and if you are in a coverage area, it will show traffic in the area.

If you have the first version of the GTM-20, you will have a set of LEDs on the power plug that show power and traffic signal info. If you have the new version of the GTM-20, there are no lights on the plug.

A couple of side notes. If you have a lot of "favorites" saved in your 650, you may lose those on the hard reset. To avoid that, put your 650 on the PC, go to your file explorer, and go to the "Nuvi" drive. Click on that, and find the the folder and file called "gpx". Copy that to a folder or desktop on your PC. After you do the nuvi reboot, reconnect the PC and copy the file back into the folder on the 650. That will restore your favorites.

Also, make sure you are in a covered area. If you are not, it won't find the signal and will not show you any traffic icon.

The first time after the upgrade and reboot, the Garmin rep said it could take anything from several minutes up to nearly an hour for it to establish the link (mine was about 10 minutes). After that, it will come right on.

A lot of information here, but the first thing is to get the latest software upgrade for the 650. I had upgraded mine about 4 months ago, and it was already two versions out of date. The newer version had the fix for traffic. I would start there.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009

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