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Mio C710 splitter installation advice?

 
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Retty
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Joined: Sep 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Mio C710 splitter installation advice? Reply with quote

Could someone give me advice on installation of this TMC filter splitter for the Mio C710?:

http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/539

I think I may have bought the incorrect splitter. Cartft only sell the above iso/din splitter which comes with a 2.5 to 3.5 mm extension cable which does physically fit the Mio C710 TMC socket (it's a 3.5 mm socket and not 2.5 mm like the C510).

However I notice that GNS now sell 2 very similar products with different compat lists: a "T5" model and an "M" model:

http://www.gns-gmbh.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=138

I suspect that the only difference between the 2 devices sold by GNS rests in which pin the signal is fed to in the 3.5 mm plug. For the C710 it needs to be the first pin for the signal to be received by the device.

When I plug the uninstalled splitter in to the Mio C710 the device does not recognise any input at all. I'm not sure if this is usual - given that there is no significant radio signal being received (other than that picked up by shielded cable) it probably logical that the device isn't detecting anything. But it isn't even pausing to recognise that a physical plug has been connected.

If I have bought the wrong version (Cartft only sell 1) it should be possible to correct the problem by re-soldering the input to the first pin of the 3.5 mm jack. Shouldn't it?

Can anyone advise on this? The splitter I've bought advertises that it is compatible with Transonic 5000 and Medion D96700.

Thanks for any help.

Gareth.
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philpugh
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should be fairly straight forward.

Remove car radio
Unplug aerial
Plug in Y cable and reconnect external aerial
BEFORE putting the radio back check:-
Car radio still works (try on a difficult to receive station)
Plug into your SatNav and see what happens!
If happy slide radio back in.

NOTES!

You may find wrapping the Y cable to aerial connector connection with insulating tape helps - it prevents it coming adrift when pushing the radio back in. You may have to direct the splitter above or below or to the side of the radio in order to get the radio to slide back fully.

If your car has an amplified aerial then you will need to check that the splitter blocks the DC voltage that is usually sent up the co-ax aerial cable to power it. It shouldn't be an issue - but it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you do find the pin connections are incorrect then it may be possible to change them around- but the plugs on these type of things are usually moulded on - so it would be non-trivial surgery. It goes without saying that this would invalidate your warranty Laughing
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Retty
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philpugh wrote:
Should be fairly straight forward.

Remove car radio
Unplug aerial
Plug in Y cable and reconnect external aerial
BEFORE putting the radio back check:-
Car radio still works (try on a difficult to receive station)
Plug into your SatNav and see what happens!
If happy slide radio back in.

NOTES!

You may find wrapping the Y cable to aerial connector connection with insulating tape helps - it prevents it coming adrift when pushing the radio back in. You may have to direct the splitter above or below or to the side of the radio in order to get the radio to slide back fully.

If your car has an amplified aerial then you will need to check that the splitter blocks the DC voltage that is usually sent up the co-ax aerial cable to power it. It shouldn't be an issue - but it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you do find the pin connections are incorrect then it may be possible to change them around- but the plugs on these type of things are usually moulded on - so it would be non-trivial surgery. It goes without saying that this would invalidate your warranty Laughing


Thanks Phil.

It did turn out to be very simple. Partly because in the end I went for a professional installation - it cost just under 30 and I figured it would save me more than that in terms of Nurofen :-)

Well, I assume I got lucky in terms of the pin soldering because as soon as I connected it to the device I got a full signal for the Classic FM TMC channel in an area that can't usually provide this. The other alternative is that the cable is soldered to the incorrect pin but that there is some leakage of signal to the correct pin (possible I suppose although sound isn't muted - the device has a combined TMC/headphone socket).

My initial reaction was "wow". I soon as I started to drive the car though the signal fluctuated wildly from full signal to no or very little signal over the course of a few feet. The device also seems to be scanning frequencies more often than it does with the shoe string connection: frustratingly it manages to find a full signal on the Trafficmaster channels with no problem at all (the "Testing" label with the full signal bar appears on the screen) but the device still struggles with the iTIS trasmission :-(

I'll test it further later on today in an area that can't get a signal at all with the shoe string connection.

The 3.5 mm jack is moulded on so it would mean buying a new jack and cutting the existing cable or building a new cable from scratch (I would need to buy a 2.5 mm to cable socket as well).

Maybe there isn't a problem with the pin wiring and this is the best that can be obtained with iTIS transmissions in the south of England even using a TMC filter. I assumed that because the car radio could pick up Classic FM with no problem then the TMC information would also be received with no problem. I gather now that the issues are more complicated than this and that the TMC signal degrades in a different way to the FM audio signal?

I wonder though whether or not the reception is actually too strong for the device - whether or not there's a way of toning down the signal a bit to see if the device is better able to lock on to the signal. I'm probably talking nonsense but I do have a feeling that the device isn't able to handle the signal (rather than the signal itself being weak or suffering from interference). In any case I don't want the hassle of rewiring the device with some sort of resistor circuit (which I assume could be placed between the 2.5 mm jack and the 3.5 mm jack (?))

Gareth.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt the device is being overloaded with a high power signal, the better you can give it in terms of siganal the better for reception. I am not too familiure with the device you have but connecting it to the car aerial is a good move and one recommended by iTIS the data supplier, don't confuse the fact you can hear Classic FM with the lack of digital data, the RDS signal is riding on the same frequency but is far more susceptible to drop outs.
Can your device give you a straight line of sight distance to a custom POI file from current location? if so I have a POI file that details all the transmitter masts used by iTIS it is in the ov2 format for TomTom devices but it can soon be altered if required - Mike
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Retty
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
I doubt the device is being overloaded with a high power signal, the better you can give it in terms of siganal the better for reception. I am not too familiure with the device you have but connecting it to the car aerial is a good move and one recommended by iTIS the data supplier, don't confuse the fact you can hear Classic FM with the lack of digital data, the RDS signal is riding on the same frequency but is far more susceptible to drop outs.
Can your device give you a straight line of sight distance to a custom POI file from current location? if so I have a POI file that details all the transmitter masts used by iTIS it is in the ov2 format for TomTom devices but it can soon be altered if required - Mike


Thanks Mike. It turns out that it is working much better than I thought. I've generally managed to receive very good coverage (including full signal strength) in areas where there was absolutely no reception at all with the shoe string receiver. The difference is dramatic.

But yes the drop outs are fairly frequent and easy to produce - just moving a few feet can sometimes cause the signal to temporarily drop from full to near zero or even zero. The device also seems to be scanning the FM range more frequently than it does with the shoe string and it does this occasionally even when there is a passable iTIS signal being received.

But this isn't a problem (so far). I'm getting a signal more often than not (about 80 to 90%) of the time on journeys where the signal was previously completely absent.

The TMC filter doesn't seem to have had an impact on audio FM reception either - I can still receive local/regional stations on the edge of the previous reception zone. If there is a difference it is very slight.

It's very good - almost as good as I hoped (I stupidly hooped that it would provide near 100% reception for 100% of the time - it's closer to 100% signal 80% of the time).

I would certainly recommend the Cartft device for the Mio C710. It's an amazing difference. I don't think I would buy another GPS device that doesn't have an external TMC input. That rules out most :-(
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Retty
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:

Can your device give you a straight line of sight distance to a custom POI file from current location? if so I have a POI file that details all the transmitter masts used by iTIS it is in the ov2 format for TomTom devices but it can soon be altered if required - Mike


Thanks Mike - I would be interested in the POI file because the device can give a straight line distance to the POI.

I would probably have to enter the locations of the masts manually because the device doesn't allow for (easy) loading of custom POI files.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Retty.
Which version and issue date of MioMap are you running?
I believe that MioMap changed their TMC supplier from Trafficmaster to ITIS when they did the March? 07 update. When I updated from Sept 06 to March? 07 I lost TMC so went back to the Sept 06 version.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
Hi Retty.
Which version and issue date of MioMap are you running?
I believe that MioMap changed their TMC supplier from Trafficmaster to ITIS when they did the March? 07 update. When I updated from Sept 06 to March? 07 I lost TMC so went back to the Sept 06 version.


Yes, I'm using the March 2007 version - the supplier changed to iTIS in the November 2006 3.2 version (I can't remember the exact date of the November version). I found that the benefits of updating outweighed the loss of Traffic Master (the reception of which was at least a bit better with the shoe string aerial where I live/roam).

There was a suggestion that a programming error had allowed access to Traffic Master and that Mitac didn't intend this to happen. It suggests at least that test units/test software were enabled with Traffic Master licence files.

Anyway, the TMC filter provides an affordable solution (especially if you can install it yourself) - and it is a complete solution to the problem of iTIS reception with a shoe string aerial.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At risk of talking to myself a few observations:

1) The reception quality is improved beyond recognition - I have yet to find an area in the Hampshire/Surrey/south London area (rural or urban) where I cannot get a 100% signal (small pockets are more liable to complete drop out than others and motion exacerbates this problems (which isn't actually a problem unless, sadly like me, you view the reception screen).

2) The iTIS service does not seem to provide reliable information on the C710. I make no claim as to whether or not this is a problem with iTIS or with the C710. I think it's probably a bit of both and I notice that having used a Traffic Master enabled device this week (alongside the iTIS enabled device - very sad I know) the Traffic Master device was no better and in some respects worse. I will say that the C710 has a direction reporting bug which despite (premium rate) calls to Mio support has never been fixed (since late 2006!) I also notice that despite a promising start iTIS did not report back on these problems to the relevant thread in this forum as promised. That's not a good show :-(

The technology is basically good (in terms of its current implementation and current quality and not just in terms of potential) but if you are looking for an auto pilot solution then foget it: you need a good TMC feed in terms of reception and excellent local knowledge to make the solution worthwhile. Alternatively limit the solution to motorway travel (it is almost always correct in this regard but even then you have to pay attention to the average speed ratings to weigh the pros and cons of a slower A or B road diversion).

I would strongly suggest though that anyone with a C710 buy a hard wired aerial solution - the difference is incredible and I promise you that you will not complain about reception again (if the device is installed correctly).

There's always the possibility that iTIS (or Traffic Master) will go bust. Mio support is such a shambles that you have no chance of sourcing a Traffic Master license solution. I suppose resorting to Miomap version 3.1 is always an option Twisted Evil
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retty wrote:
which isn't actually a problem unless, sadly like me, you view the reception screen.


I find that the reception screen doesn't necessarily give an accurate picture and often needs to be refreshed before you can see the strength of signal currently being received - therefore an indication of 100% could actually be 0% and vice versa.

If you try changing screens from signal strength and back again, you might find that 100% isn't always the true picture.

However, having said that, I've found that as long as the signal strength is sufficient to display the radio station name, it's sufficient to receive and interpret TMC data.
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GPS_fan wrote:
Retty wrote:
which isn't actually a problem unless, sadly like me, you view the reception screen.


I find that the reception screen doesn't necessarily give an accurate picture and often needs to be refreshed before you can see the strength of signal currently being received - therefore an indication of 100% could actually be 0% and vice versa.

If you try changing screens from signal strength and back again, you might find that 100% isn't always the true picture.

However, having said that, I've found that as long as the signal strength is sufficient to display the radio station name, it's sufficient to receive and interpret TMC data.


I'll try that. I did notice though - and I said this in a previous post - that with the hard wired feed the device searches more frequently across the FM signal range. I also notice that if I unplug the hard wired feed the device displays a zero signal strength within 1 or 2 seconds.

Seriously, I recommend the Cartft device without reservation. The professional fitting fee is a bit of a pain but at under 30 it could be worse (I was originally quoted about 80 or so a year ago).

If you have an iso/din connection unit I would say go for it. I can assure you that the 3.5 mm jack is wired to be compatible with the Mio C710. I assume that some Medion and Navigon devices also have the odd 4 pole wiring (? GNS board) because they are the only devices labelled as compatible with the Cartft device on the packet (it's actually a "Navilock" or "Navilok" (can't remember which) product).

It's also been suggested that the GNS mainboard can take a coaxial feed (surely providing even better reception?) Can anyone provide information on this.

I'm not going to sing the praises of the filter anymore. If anyone has any questions I'll try to answer them otherwise - over and out. Very Happy
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zzr1200
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody know if/how the TomTom TMC aerieal can be plugged into your car aerial set-up?

Many Thanks
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could strip the end of the wire aerial on the TT RDS device, remove the 3,5MM connector from the splitter and join the two together - no way of knowing if this will improve reception, although in theory it will.

For a start make sure you have the very latest RDS-TMC, near the connector is a small white flag, the number needs to end .013, if it doesn't you don't have the newer (better) TT receiver - Mike
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzr1200 wrote:
Does anybody know if/how the TomTom TMC aerieal can be plugged into your car aerial set-up?

Many Thanks


I don't know enough about the TT aerial (or about TT products) so sorry if I misunderstand your question but I think it would be very tricky to connect anything other than appropriately shielded cable to an aerial splitter.

I experimented with a broken shoe string aerial - I wrapped the exposed copper (?) around the correct outer contact point of the 4 pole jack plug (which was connected to the car aerial via the hard wired aerial splitter/filter). I got absolutely nothing in terms of signal beyond what I would have expected with the shoe string aerial. It did work - in a strong signal area - but the car aerial wired feed didn't seem to be able to provide a signal capable of being conducted down the copper wire of the shoe string.

The difference between a car radio wired solution and a sat nav device wired solution is so dramatic that I wouldn't buy another device without a standard jack input for TMC signals. If that means I'm doomed to the current (or last) generation of devices then so be it - after just a few days of having unbelievable TMC reception I can say that it is worth it. I suppose the other alternative is the car manufacturer's factory installed product. If you have money to incinerate that is...
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