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TMC is Totally Useless in the UK!!!
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if1977
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Joined: Nov 30, 2007
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Location: Doncaster

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really feel lucky after reading some of the replys here. I have to say that apart from one trip up to Oban i have always been able to get a signal and always thought that the traffic time i.e 5mins, 10,mins etc to be quite accurate, well within 10 mins anyway. This is not why i bought my TT but have to say that it is the best feature it has. Also i have just plugged it in to the dock without no modifications at all. So sorry to hear about others with problems with Traffic.
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DRP
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all
I cannot fault my Navman.
The string aerial is not totally useless, it dose work.
The flagship of aerials, from Maplins and the gratefully donated adapter from Mike Alder. This setup has got me out of many a situation. It is used every working day;
I have been the proud owner of 3 Navman GPS systems over the last 7 or so years.
So have faith in your unit, future generations will only improve this technology.
For those that will get a new model from Santa, any questions, surf this forum as it most probably has been answered here.
Have a good one?
Regards to all
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Graygeez
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Joined: Dec 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just debating whether or not to splash out and get the GTM 21 for my Zumo 500. I know it won't work on the bike (no ciggy lighter), but I'm not afraid of lashing a big aerial on to the top of my 4x4 if thats what is needed o get it to work. What I can't understand though is the difference in price from different online shops. It seems to vary from about £50 to £150 and the £50 one from MNC has lifetime Trafficmaster subscription.
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Kremmen
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reply to the original heading of TMC being totally useless in the UK - I have to disagree (IMHO).

The TMC on my built in Honda SatNav is superb and gives me traffic warnings well in advance of my Trafficmaster Q-Busta unit.

Also - Tm are enroling new radio stations all the time to enhance the network.

I reckon the current TMC problems are either signal or hardware related.
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D-Nay
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Beware of TMC expectations Reply with quote

TMC is incredibly sporadic, and IMHO should have a reception coverage area map as most of the mobile phone providers had to do in the early days so we know before buying it whether it will work for us.

Also the updates from TMC are pathetic and lack depth of information.

I have a NUVI 660, one of the main reasons for purchasing it was for the traffic updates. I commute in South Wales and the M4 corridor to the South Coast of England a lot. The only traffic updates I get are for slow traffic, the best being for some approx. 26 miles away, i.e. no where near me. One morning driving into Cardiff there was a tailback on the A48 from the M4, this is pretty much the main road into Cardiff, which my NUVI didn't even know about although every local radio station and even national radio stations were reporting it. The reason for the delay was that someone had driven into a bridge with a crane the night before. So why doesn't my NUVI know about it when the info was there?!

According to Garmin it is because the TMC system they provide works off sensors on the side of the road, therefore no sensors on the road/route your on, means your unit has no info to tell you about existing/potential traffic conditions. To me that makes the system incredibly flawed.

I was epecting TMC to inform of roadworks, traffic etc. on all roads!! There is an option to search for providers through my NUVI, has anyone had any better experiences by changing provider?

Also, has anyone got any suggestions to improve this system, I have all the latest firmware updates, and the aerial is mounted clearly on a non-tinted, non-heated windscreen.

Many Thanks in advance
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RoyalGiz1871a
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Joined: Nov 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:30 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


Clearly you are not a lawyer! The units are advertised as enabling you to receive useful traffic information. That is the purpose for which they are sold, not to very occasionally pick up a signal if absolutely all conditions are in favour of that happening. Yes, the small print, rarely if ever included in the main adverts (or indeed on the display pack of the GTM21), says this is dependent on signal strength but there is no way that this exclusion would stand up in any court when there is so much evidence to show how widespread the problems are.

Ask the man on the Clapham omnibus and I'm pretty sure that he would feel it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to receive at least some traffic information/signal on a motorway journey between Watford and Reading!

Add all the other reports of how these units fail to pick up any traffic information in numerous other parts of the country as well and I would wager an awful lot of money on the courts determining that they are not fit for purpose! That's without adding evidence from an RF Engineer who would highlight the design failings that contribute to their inability to reliably receive traffic information.

Mine is being returned to the retailer for a full refund. I'm pretty sure they will oblige but if not, I shall have no worries at all about taking my case through the courts' small claims procedure.
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Alsone1
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Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too now have a replacement TMC unit and at last it works!!!
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
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Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Beware of TMC expectations Reply with quote

D-Nay wrote:

Also, has anyone got any suggestions to improve this system, I have all the latest firmware updates, and the aerial is mounted clearly on a non-tinted, non-heated windscreen.
Many Thanks in advance


I have a 660. I have connected the end of the GTM21's black wire aerial to the car radio aerial on my VW BORA using a simple Y-adaptor/splitter. I get very good TMC reception.

Search through these forums for more details and other users how-to's.

(try staring with these posts )

The ONLY way to get consistent reception is to have an external aerial of some sort. Even then there will be 'dead-spots' due to local conditions (topography being the main culprit).

Edited to include posting link
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sx50
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: dont rely on tomtom tmc(go 930) Reply with quote

TMC is utter rubbish in my opinion, by the time you receive the information it is out of date,EVEN THOUGH THE GO 930 SAYS UP TO DATE!!!
I had a full green circle meaning the traffic was up to date, arrived at the place where it said lane closed,and guess what nothing there and it was a single road.
Then today coming back from scotland on the A1 near A64 and york area a full green circle,Go 930 said up to date and was showing no traffic warnings at all but yet there was a huge traffic jam on the A1M which had been there for quite a while,people were stood at the sides of their cars,the motorway warning signs were flashing 40mph accident but the tomtom tmc was showing nothing at all,what a total waste of time tmc is?
how can it be up to date if it can miss something as obvious as a load of cars stationary on a motorway???????
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2216
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On November 30th 2006 I posted that my problem was sorted with a Y splitter and I can say from that date I have had great TMC signal, even in the highlands in Scotland there was little signal loss. As a courier I couldn't be without my Sony.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2216 wrote:
On November 30th 2006 I posted that my problem was sorted with a Y splitter and I can say from that date I have had great TMC signal, even in the highlands in Scotland there was little signal loss. As a courier I couldn't be without my Sony.


A 'Y' splitter is fine if you have an 'old fashioned' aerial, my aerial is in the glass and although adequate for the radio hasn't a strong enough reception for the GPS as well.

As the car style is for no visible aerial's, i don't intend drilling any holes in the bodywork for an extra aerial.
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2216
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GJF wrote:
2216 wrote:
On November 30th 2006 I posted that my problem was sorted with a Y splitter and I can say from that date I have had great TMC signal, even in the highlands in Scotland there was little signal loss. As a courier I couldn't be without my Sony.


A 'Y' splitter is fine if you have an 'old fashioned' aerial, my aerial is in the glass and although adequate for the radio hasn't a strong enough reception for the GPS as well.

As the car style is for no visible aerial's, i don't intend drilling any holes in the bodywork for an extra aerial.


So your are dissing the sat nav unit and not the car that you drive. Change your car and get a Y splitter and you will get a good signal.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2216 wrote:

So your are dissing the sat nav unit and not the car that you drive. Change your car and get a Y splitter and you will get a good signal.


It's about time the Sat Nav manufacturers came up with a decent 'universal' TMC aerial connection, maybe just leaving a socket on the side to plug into.

I wouldn't mind if the 'complete' aerial was an additional part, maybe with a powered aerial that sticks on up the side of the windscreen thats had some intelligent thought put into it.

It's Ok doing all these mods but if you needed to change the appliance within the gaurantee period you would have problems.

As for the piece of string they supply, often shown (as Garmin) placed across the centre of the front screen, they are taking the Censored and as we all know from the amount of posts here it doesn't work consistantly just occasionally.
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2216
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Sony has a 2.5mm socket on the TMC base and it was easy to connect up to a good signal source. Maybe it should be something in the must haves when buying one.
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DaveMatthews
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GJF wrote:

It's about time the Sat Nav manufacturers came up with a decent 'universal' TMC aerial connection, maybe just leaving a socket on the side to plug into.


Indeed - and the problem has got worse since some manufacturers have started to use four-pole sockets, while there are no corresponding plugs to be had on Y-splitters.

GJF wrote:

As for the piece of string they supply, often shown (as Garmin) placed across the centre of the front screen, they are taking the Censored and as we all know from the amount of posts here it doesn't work consistantly just occasionally.


The problem is that many other counties in which manufacturers market their SatNav systems simply have a much better TMC transmission network, where the "piece of string" easily suffices. The UK has two problems: the TMC signal strength is deliberately held low by OFCOM regulations and one of the two UK suppliers of TMC data, iTIS, has failed to reach agreements with enough radio stations in order to achieve enough transmission points across the UK. (iTIS announced deals with a lot more stations to go on-stream earlier this year but that hasn't taken place and iTIS has gone silent over the issue.) You can't place the blame for that with the SatNav manufacturers.

That said, given that the UK must be one of the biggest SatNav markets - and particularly for help with traffic problem avoidance - on our relatively poor road network, SatNav manufacturers must be acutely aware of the problem. But rather than trying to help, some of them - notably NavMan with their S-series units - are now using strange sockets on their units that actually make it harder to connect external aerials. I was considering buying a Navigon 8110 but having found out that they don't allow an external aerial at all, and solely rely on the unit's power cable acting as an aerial, I'm holding off until I can read about other people's experiences.

--

Cheers,


Dave
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