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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - TMC is Totally Useless in the UK!!!
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TMC is Totally Useless in the UK!!!
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Alsone1
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Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: TMC is Totally Useless in the UK!!! Reply with quote

I have a Garmin Nuvi 660 and a GTM 21 TMC receiver (supposed to be one of the best).

Yet on my recent 8 hour trip to Cornwall, I had less than 5 minutes of coverage lasting 2 or 3 miles (near Bristol). Even then this was Orange light coverage ie poor.

For the rest of the 7 hours 55 minutes, I had no coverage at all.

Thats 10 minutes / 4 or 5 miles of poor coverage in a 16 hour / 300 mile return journey.

The transmitters definately need turning up in power as TMC was totally useless!

I have a Toyota Rav 4 D-4D just for comparison. I'm not aware that this model has any windscreen shielding.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic is on several threads here and been discussed in some depth almost on a daily basis, so this could be a duplicate, however.....I had the same on Tuesday last, travelled for aprox two hours had coverage once, went to have a look and then it disappeared, maybe it was the weather conditions - which weren't very good.

Since i've had my Nuvi i have mostly ignored the TMC side of the unit as being pretty useless, although when i purchased it, i had it as number two on the "needs" list!
I haven't seen anyone come up with a modification that is guaranteed to work, it seems that most “mods” are hit and miss and work for some (some of the time) and not others.

I feel that any success in getting it working is with the transmitter operators, until then it is an unreliable function which should not be used in the manufacturers selling jargon.
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Alsone1
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe what we need to do is start complaining to trading standards as technically the unit infringes the Sale of Goods Act as not being Fit for Purpose if it can't receive the current UK signals.

This would then force the companies to either withdraw the TMC units and thus stop the advertising or suspend their sale and pressure the government for higher powered transmitters.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day if the idiots that designed these RDS devices did a proper job they would have included an external aerial socket on the unit, only Navman managed to do this so far.
All the others rely upon a piece a "string" as an aerial, connection to an external aerial is possible by modifying the device but shouldn't be necessary - Mike
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stehanson
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: No Probs here ;-) Reply with quote

As a Nuvi 660 User in the north west I was very P`d off when I first got it - never had a signal, now one of the big local stations carries the signal - never had a prob since between top of liverpool and preston / blackpool, went down to Birmingham other day and it worked great - not moded the ariel just runs along the bottom of the windscreen so in some cases as Mike will know it cam and does work - suppose it depends on the area really, though I do agree there should be an external input option!!
As for being fit for purpose, the fact that the units can receive a signal invalidates the claim you make - just a pain in the arse that coverage is not great in the uk and the signal strength is poor! - its like a radio the very fact it can receive a signal and will do so means you cant claim against sale of goods and not fit for purpose wont wash when your in a poor signal area! - read the watchdog thread!
Ste
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Gee-Pee
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Joined: Feb 10, 2005
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Location: Mostly somewhere in Essex

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
At the end of the day if the idiots that designed these RDS devices did a proper job they would have included an external aerial socket on the unit, only Navman managed to do this so far.
All the others rely upon a piece a "string" as an aerial, connection to an external aerial is possible by modifying the device but shouldn't be necessary - Mike

So, one up for Navman, which does get a bit of stick for other alleged shortcomings - particularly the S** range. Still, back to the TMC: I use two T1's, one on my motorhome and one in the car. The Motohome one has a Magmount aerial which gives almost constant coverage in the UK - I now know where there are rare dead spots on my more regular travels and even the one in the car on the smallish Navman aerial (horizontal) rarely goes off. I always check that I have a signal before starting my journey as, for some reason, it seems to take longer to get a signal if I am travelling. I agree that there should be more stations transmitting signals but this has been posted to death on other threads. UK coverage pales in comparison to that in most countries in the EU - I've had 11 or 12 stations to choose from in Germany!
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Alsone1
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: No Probs here ;-) Reply with quote

stehanson wrote:
As for being fit for purpose, the fact that the units can receive a signal invalidates the claim you make - just a pain in the arse that coverage is not great in the uk and the signal strength is poor! - its like a radio the very fact it can receive a signal and will do so means you cant claim against sale of goods and not fit for purpose wont wash when your in a poor signal area! - read the watchdog thread!
Ste


I disagree. The fact that it can receive a signal doesn't make it fit for purpose when that area is so small as to render the unit effectively useless elsewhere.

How can a unit be said to be fit for purpose if it eg only works in 5% of the country?

At the very least it seems to me there's false advertising as no mention is made of this when advertising the product, at the most its my opinion the unit (TMC part) isn't fit for its purpose if it can't receive signals of the strength commonly found in the UK.
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philpugh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: No Probs here ;-) Reply with quote

Alsone1 wrote:

I disagree. The fact that it can receive a signal doesn't make it fit for purpose when that area is so small as to render the unit effectively useless elsewhere.

How can a unit be said to be fit for purpose if it eg only works in 5% of the country?

At the very least it seems to me there's false advertising as no mention is made of this when advertising the product, at the most its my opinion the unit (TMC part) isn't fit for its purpose if it can't receive signals of the strength commonly found in the UK.


Try this then... Disconnect your car radio aerial and connect a 75cm length of wire to it, run this around your windscreen. You will probably find that it doesn't work too well. But the radio is patently 'fit for purpose'. Cars are pretty good at blocking radio signals. Now I agree that the manufacturers are partly to blame because, as mikealder says, it's a poor radio design that doesn't allow an aerial to be connected. However if you can get at your radio's aerial then a simple Y-cable splitter should yield better results. I'm lucky - my car has an amplified aerial as standard - and a splitter works very well indeed. I'm rarely without TMC info on my travels around.
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Alsone1
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference in your example Phil is the radio manufacturer didn't supply the aerial with the unit proclaiming that it was suitable for use in the UK.

I will try a Y splitter though although in my opinion, DIY modifications should really be needed if the unit was made fit for the UK situation in the 1st place.
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philpugh
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alsone1 wrote:
The difference in your example Phil is the radio manufacturer didn't supply the aerial with the unit proclaiming that it was suitable for use in the UK.


Precisely - all cars (OK 99+%) come fitted with an external aerial (or the ability to fit one at the dealership) as they know that the radio will not work inside the car - try a portable radio - with engine running!

Alsone1 wrote:
I will try a Y splitter though although in my opinion, DIY modifications should really be needed if the unit was made fit for the UK situation in the 1st place.


The only way to do this would be to provide an externally mounted aerial as 'standard'. This would not be an option for most users (a second aerial that is). They should (in the opinion of a few members here) contine to supply TMC radio units with "standard" aerial socket on them for those of us who want to do the DIY bit. As the UK market for TMC enabled PNDs continues to develop we may see more being offered.
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falkirk81
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if i can throw my hat into the ring, i recently got a replacement rds receiver from tomtom and now i find that 90% of the time i have a solid green circle. Maybe its a combination of the new receiver and the latest firmware 7.162 but i get almost perfect coverage around the newcastle area now. now all i need is the data that is supplied to be much more accurate and have a delay in mins that i can use!
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lancashirelad
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Joined: Dec 08, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: GTM 12 Reply with quote

Having read many of the posts, I am not sure if I am pelased or not, to have bought a gtm 12 for my nuvi........It has yet to arrive in the post, but I suspect the hills of lancashire will block any chance of a signal, let alone give any traffic updates. Being near the M62 I thought the unit would be a useful addition, as, like many other major routes, this motorway is regularly turned into a car park.
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Gee-Pee
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: GTM 12 Reply with quote

lancashirelad wrote:
Having read many of the posts, I am not sure if I am pelased or not, to have bought a gtm 12 for my nuvi........It has yet to arrive in the post, but I suspect the hills of lancashire will block any chance of a signal, let alone give any traffic updates. Being near the M62 I thought the unit would be a useful addition, as, like many other major routes, this motorway is regularly turned into a car park.


Don't be so pessimistic! Just wait 'till it comes and then you may be surprised..However, it cannot do the impossible and reroute you round traffic jams every time - suitable roads have to be there in the first place. I regularly get within ten miles of the Dartford crossing in Essex only to be told that the traffic jam is causing average speed of 5mph but there is not an option.

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lancashirelad
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: gtm 12 Reply with quote

Thanks Gee-Pee, I will see how it fares.........love the nuvi 300 though, very contemporary and works fine, way better than the tomtom I had which wanted me to turn into brick walls on a regular basis. Shocked
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lancashirelad
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:20 am    Post subject: gtm 12 working Reply with quote

The gtm traffic receiver arrived, smaller than I thought....It has picked up traffic conditions on both recent journeys, from here to the far reaches of this sceptered isle, very impressed I was. It didn't work on all the journey, depending on terrain, but overall it seemed to function well. The nearest hot spot was 30 miles from our route, so no chance to test out the re-routing, but, hitting the M62 at some point in the near future, will no doubt give it a run for its money.
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