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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
While surfing the web for information about my Garmin Nuvi 750, I've come across a number of undocumented or obscure features and tips. I thought I would summarise what I've found in case anyone is interested. Some are useful, others not so much.

These all work with my Nuvi 750 (currently at software version 4.60) but many apply to other models as well. Feel free to report successes and failures, or other discoveries, in this thread.

Note that some of this stuff, being undocumented and unofficial, may cause unforeseen and possibly permanent problems. Your warranty may not cover problems that result from doing some of the things that follow. Proceed at your own risk!

Satellite Status:
Press on the "Satellite Strength" bars in the upper left corner of main screen and hold for approximately 3 seconds. This will bring up a screen with the positions of the satellites and the signal strengths of those being received.

The screen also contains your current latitude and longitude, speed and elevation. Your current heading and the position of the Sun and Moon are also displayed with the satellite positions (north is up). The estimated positional accuracy is at the bottom. If you can see the Sun or Moon in the sky, you can align them with the display to form a crude "compass".

I believe this feature is only on wide screen units.

Raw Data Logging and Playback:
If your unit has the "Where Am I?" feature, bring up the "Where Am I?" screen. You can get to it by pressing the vehicle icon on the map screen or from "Where Am I?" in the tools. Press in sequence near the corners of the location text box: bottom left, top left, top right, bottom right. This will bring up menus that allow you to record raw navigation data to files and play the files back. You can discover how this works by playing with it, or maybe someone else will elaborate in this thread or a new one.

Any logs created will take up space in the unit's memory. You can access and delete them by connecting to a computer using USB. They will be in the Logs subfolder in the Garmin folder. Data for each session will be in a folder named with the date and time that it was taken (the same names you see using playback).

Doing a playback will automatically enable the "Screen Shot" feature, which will remain enabled until you disable it from Tools->Settings->Display.

System Info Pages:
Go to the Trip Information page (press the bottom left corner of the map screen). Press and hold the centre of the big speed indicator circle for approximately 6 seconds. This will allow you to view a number of system information pages. They're mostly only of use to the people who design and debug these things or possibly for technical support.

Diagnostic Pages:
Press the battery level indicator at the top right of the main screen (or in the blank area where it would be, if using external power) and hold for approximately 8 seconds. This gives access to a number of diagnostic screens. I've read that on some units you have to press the time instead of the battery level.

I'd be careful with these pages; some allow changing settings, etc. I found that my unit had to be powered down after exiting these screens and the time was reset. The correct time is restored the next time the unit acquires its position via satellites.

Touch Screen Calibration:
This is actually documented in my Nuvi's help menus under Troubleshooting->Touch Screen Not Responding but the exact procedure isn't clear. You have to press and hold anywhere on the screen while the unit is off. Then, while still holding, power on and slide the power switch to the "lock" position and leave it there. Continue to press on the screen for about 30 seconds until the screen calibration guidance appears.

MP3 Cover Art:
If your Nuvi can play MP3 audio files, it will display album art in the top right corner of the Media Player page. Nuvi's follow the convention that many audio players do. You put a JPEG file named cover.jpg in the same directory as the song that it applies to.

Normal Mode while connected to USB:
Other than using a Garmin power adapter, connecting to anything that provides power via USB will put the unit in "mass storage" mode. The unit will appear as a disk drive if connected to a computer. In this mode the display just shows the Garmin logo and a "computer to Nuvi" icon. The unit is locked and cannot be operated from the touch screen.

I've found ways to get my Nuvi into normal mode when plugged into a regular USB port. This is useful if you want to power the unit from USB but still use it while connected. It also lets you charge the unit without having the backlight on and the "computer to Nuvi" display (you just power the unit off while still connected). When running in normal mode it will not appear as a drive on the computer, but just draw power from the USB port as if connected to a Garmin power adapter.

Method 1: This works with Windows XP Professional (and probably other Windows versions). Put the power switch in the "locked" position. Use the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon on the Windows "Start" bar to "Safely remove Mass Storage Device - ...". The Nuvi will reboot and enter normal operation.

Method 2: This works with any powered USB port, even those non-Garmin AC and 12V to USB chargers. With the Nuvi showing the "computer to Nuvi" display, unplug the USB cable. After a short time the unit will start to reboot. When "Loading Maps ..." appears at the bottom, plug the USB cable back in. The Nuvi will continue to boot into normal mode.
 

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Great post Scotta.

I had already come across most of those, but the last three are new to me.

Occasionally I put my GPS in the sat status mode and drive with it like that - if I know where I'm going.

I've gotten a few bizarre looks from people in other cars who see my GPS in that screen. With the sat signal bars going up and down and all, I think people must think I have graphic equalizer for a radio that isn't on, or I am scanning secret government radio signals :eek:.

heres a peek:
Caught without a mount?

On a few occasions, such as this morning, mrs. 99gecko has driven off taking the mount with her in the other car.



I have found that a custom holding location is made by removing the ashtray in my '96 accord. For this pic, I set my GPS to the satellite signal strength display to show that even down low in the car, you can still get a strong enough signal. To use the touch screen I can just pick it.
 

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Thanks for the post Scotta.

The one feature I missed from my old primitive Garmin V, was the ability to continuously monitor elevations while driving in the mountain. Now I can again.
 

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Method 1: This works with Windows XP Professional (and probably other Windows versions). Put the power switch in the "locked" position. Use the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon on the Windows "Start" bar to "Safely remove Mass Storage Device - ...". The Nuvi will reboot and enter normal operation.
Thanks for tips and tricks, Scotta
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Voice file version numbers

Here is a way to find out what voice files and their version numbers are installed on a Garmin Nuvi 750 (and most likely other models).

Garmin periodically releases updates to the voice files used for spoken output. These files are available as additional files from the WebUpdater program used to update the unit's firmware. The problem is that although WebUpdater will check the current firmware version in your unit and inform you if no update is required, for voice files it just offers all available voices even if you already have the latest.

To determine the versions of the voice files installed, so you can see if newer versions are available from WebUpdater:

  1. Bring up the "Diagnostic Pages" as I described in post #1 (press and hold on the battery level indicator).
  2. Press Next in the bottom right corner until you get to the Audio Test Page.
  3. Press Aud V in the upper right corner.
This will list and allow you to scroll and view all the voices and their versions that are installed.

When done, you can just power off, or use back to go to the first page and press Exit. (If you use Exit, you'll probably have to power off anyway.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The "Method 1" technique to enter Normal Mode while connected to USB, that I described in post #1 of this thread, now also works with Ubuntu Linux 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).

After setting the Nuvi's power switch to the "lock" position, use the "Safely Remove Drive" option.
 

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Thanks for the post Scotta.

The one feature I missed from my old primitive Garmin V, was the ability to continuously monitor elevations while driving in the mountain. Now I can again.
On my Garmin 1350 LMT, if I'm on the map page, I simply press the "speed" icon at the bottom right. It then brings up the "trip computer", which show the compass, elevation, speeds, times, etc. This is not a "Easter Egg" since it's documented in the manual, but some people may not read every bit of the manual and be unaware of this functionality... Note that the trip computer information goes on for several pages, so you need to scroll down/up to see all the information available to you.

I've also programmed in my fuel costs to give me an estimate of the cost of each "trip". Good info with the price of gas these days, although I'm not very concerned about this since I drive so little.

I've pressed every icon on the screen to find out the functionality of each option. A good idea to understand what you're unit is capable of. I've downloaded the operating manual from the Garmin website to my desktop computer, MacBook Pro and eReader so it's always handy if I need to look anything up (same for many other OMs).
 
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