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tomtom RDS-TMC Traffic
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ticker
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Joined: 19/10/2002 15:23:43
Posts: 31
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: tomtom RDS-TMC Traffic Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad Just tried out the new tomtom RDS-TMC Traffic Reciever
traveled about 100 miles Cheltenham-Bristol around Bristol then back to Cheltenham.
To say the least I am most dissapointed in this item as it took 36 miles of motorway driving to even get a signal even with the Aerial on the outside of the windscreen

I did have a few false sinals from local radio which said no traffic info availible

This all seems a waste of money and how can someone like tomtom
release such a useless item as you can guess mine is going back
and hopefully a refund Sad
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dogbone
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Joined: Nov 14, 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine arrived this morning. Small black unit, oval in shape with a sucker on the base. Some spare suckers included, how kind!

Plugged it in, TomTom says found RDS TMC Receiver. Good stuff so far, got to the traffic menu page, bottom left hand side shows "no info available"

Tune car radio to Classic FM, good signal, so in range. Drive for about an hour, no info available still displayed.

This maybe a red hearing, but after I update the 910 to the latest 6.52 version, the no info available message changes to a green icon (as it would when you use the gprs for traffic)

So now I have a "working" tmc receiver. I browse the map in the traffic page, not one traffic problem displayed.

Connect via gprs, with the tmc unplugged and I get traffic icons in the usual hot spots.

Not very happy so far. Will update if things progress.
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ibur
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Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my RDS-TMC reciever over the weekend and haven't yet got it to work! I've spoke to TomTom and they advised to do various things to reset the device, but it still didn't work!. I left the unit switched on and monitored the frequency of the RDS channels and it flucutated between 103 and 106Mhz, pretty useless considering that the RDS-TMC data is broadcast primarily on the "Classic FM" channel (100-102MHz). I raised the issue with TomTom and advised that the unit picks up the "strongest" RDS signal in the area (that doesn't mean the RDS channel it has picked up has the TMC data). I asked TomTom if there was any way to fine tune the frequency down to 100-102Mhz and was advised there will be a software update shortly. I asked when the update would take place as I have spent 70 on this unit and at the moment is useless, there comment: "YOU JUST HAPPEN TO BE UNLUCKY WITH THE RADIO FREQUENCIES IN YOU AREA AND THIS PROBLEM WILL BE CORRECT IN THE NEXT RELEASE!" When I wonder will this be as we have just had an upgrade to 6.52. Evil or Very Mad
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ibur
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Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to monitor what radio station it has locked onto:

Go to the main menu, select "TomTom Traffic" and at the bottom there will be the green circle icon. Next to this should be the frequency and RDS name. In my case it read: 106.45 FM: GALAXY or 103.75 FM: BBC YORK. This also gives you an indication the unit is working i.e. picking up radio stations. I had to find this out by trial and error as the documentation from tomtom, sorry LACK of documentation from tomtom was NON existant!
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the correct way to see which radio station the device has tuned to, however if the station name doesn't say "Classic FM" then it will not receive any TMC data. TomTom use iTIS Holdings for the TMC data which is broadcast exclusivley over the Classic FM radio stations. There are 40 transmitters used by Classic FM in the UK the frequency range is 99,9MHz to 101,9MHz - Mike
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dogbone
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Joined: Nov 14, 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is the correct way to see which radio station the device has tuned to, however if the station name doesn't say "Classic FM" then it will not receive any TMC data. TomTom use iTIS Holdings for the TMC data which is broadcast exclusivley over the Classic FM radio stations. There are 40 transmitters used by Classic FM in the UK the frequency range is 99,9MHz to 101,9MHz - Mike.


So even though it has a station that it is locked to in my case 106.2 Heart fm and you get a green icon, no tmc data has been received?

I wonder why it shows non "classic fm" stations. I am able to receive classic fm without a problem on my car radio.


Jay
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ibur
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Joined: Nov 06, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree!

I've had the unit 3 days now and today for the first time I had to drive 25 miles to get it to register Classic FM 101.01. Shame since I was listeneing to Classic FM on my tiny portable radio, which is no bigger than the TMC and has the same length of cable for the ear piece and it didn't interrupt once, not only that it located Classic FM instantly.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bear in mind to get the data that is "carried" on the FM signal requires a better signal than that needed to simply listen to the audio feed.

As I said earlier, your device must indicate "Classic FM" as the station name, other radio stations are no use for TMC on a TomTom.

As for the unit locking to "wrong" stations, bear in mind the device is intended for pan European usage where different frequencies are used outside of the tight band Classic FM uses within the UK.

I have a POI file that shows the location and power / frequency of the Classic FM transmitters, e-mail me using the button below and I will send a copy if you are interested. Please mention TomTom so I know the device type otherwise you might get a Garmin Traffic Master POI file by mistake - Mike
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swing
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Joined: Nov 04, 2003
Posts: 2225
Location: Bedfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dogbone wrote:
So even though it has a station that it is locked to in my case 106.2 Heart fm and you get a green icon, no tmc data has been received?
It's a little more complicated than that - it's locked onto a TMC radio station, and will be receiving TMC data from that station, it's simply that Heart supply the Trafficmaster TMC data, which the TomTom unit is set to ignore (quite correctly). What should happen with TMC devices is that they move onto another station (ie Classic FM) after realising this (this realisation can take up to 5 minutes, and is complicated by whether the other TMC station is strong enough to register with the unit).

Not supporting only connecting to 1 of the 2 TMC radio stations in a country is unfortunately common in TMC devices, despite many countries across Europe having had 2 non-compatible stations for quite some time now (although I don't know if this is the exact problem here).
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ibur
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Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'm begining to find here is the sensitivity of the unit. I feel that it isn't sensitive enough. I know the unit uses the cable length for it's antenna, but I have to have the device in view of my vision in order for it to pick up any radio signal. I've tried it at several point across my windscreen TNA. Does anyone have any ideas!?
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plant
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Joined: Nov 26, 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.

Has anyone got anything good to say about this item?

I've been really looking forward to this since the X10's came out. Seems like I'm due a major disappointment!

C'mon people - give me some good news!
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RDS-mug
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Joined: Nov 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a copy of an email I've just sent to Tom Tom - I'll let you know what response I get, if any.

I presume that by now you are aware that many people in the UK are finding that the RDS-TMC facility works very poorly, or not at all. This may be due to all or any of the following (a) poor radio signal (b) poor performance / sensitivity of antenna (c) the fact that the system "hunts" aimlessly for a signal without really knowing what frequencies to look at. Whatever the reason(s), it is clear from various forums that hardly anybody who has so far obtained one of these devices is satisfied with it.

Do Tom Tom acknowledge that their is a problem and are there any plans to sort it out?

Should I retain the antenna because it will work soon, or should I return it for a refund because it will never be satisfactory?


It occurs to me that, if an RDS radio can track the various frequencies for a radio station around the country, then surely that same facility could be used to enable Tom Tom to track down the appropriate channel (Classic FM) and then follow the frequencies in the same way as you travel. I wouldn't have thought this was rocket science - but then I'm a lawyer, so what do I know about science, rocket or otherwise?!

Of course, the cycnic in me realises that that Tom Tom need to distinguish their subscription traffic service from this "free" one, otherwise nobody will pay the subscription.....
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swing
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Joined: Nov 04, 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RDS-mug wrote:
It occurs to me that, if an RDS radio can track the various frequencies for a radio station around the country, then surely that same facility could be used to enable Tom Tom to track down the appropriate channel (Classic FM) and then follow the frequencies in the same way as you travel. I wouldn't have thought this was rocket science - but then I'm a lawyer, so what do I know about science, rocket or otherwise?!
It's not that easy (it never is). With the UK service, the whole service is provided by Classic FM, so technically TomTom could study the "other frequency" information within the standard RDS information for a radio station to find the nearby obvious frequencies to try first.

However, in many other European countries, the broadcast is spread over many radio stations, hence this trick would not work. By using the tried and tested method of finding the RDS station (*), they have a single solution which works across the whole of Europe (and the US).

What TomTom (and Garmin) should do is to modify their current hardware devices to support an external car aerial connection, offering the best of both worlds, and then offer cheap upgrades to the new hardware. Daftly, Garmin had such a unit, and replaced it with their current units as (in my opinion) they were smaller and more acceptable to the consumer!

(*) You search for all radio stations, and starting with the strongest signal check the RDS-TMC information for whether it is broadcasting the known SID that you can understand. If not, move onto the next strongest.

Funnily enough, all the TomTom / iTIS RDS-TMC users seem to be complaining their units lock onto the Trafficmaster signal for too long, yet all the Trafficmaster users are complaining their units lock onto the iTIS signal for too long! Shame the hardware can't be swapped over Smile
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Kirto
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Joined: Nov 22, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: TomTom TMC Reply with quote

Has anyone had a good experience with this yet.

I am thinking of buying one. Confused
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RDS-mug
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Joined: Nov 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Good experience? Reply with quote

I should save your money for now. My guess is that one day there will probably be a working system but it seems very clearly to be embrionic at the moment and those of us who have unwittingly already bought are probably the beta testers! (well, perhaps Alpha!)
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