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Should I ditch the traffic antenna
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dgreensuperhoops
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Joined: Nov 15, 2007
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Location: Leighton Buzzard Beds

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Should I ditch the traffic antenna Reply with quote

Hi. Since I bought my tomtom 730t about a month ago the traffic reception has been worse than useless. I understand that there is an alternative of receiving traffic info via my mobile. Is this more reliable. Is it worth paying for? I don't mind throwing my antenna in the bin despite having paid extra for it and paying a subscription for the gprs if it actually works better.

Also, if I did buy a subscription and get traffic info via my mobile, does this mean that my mobile audio has to be routed to the tomtom as well because I tried out the bluetooth hands free option but very quickly gave up as the sound was so bad, and also often when I ended a call via the tomtom screen the routing audio didn't return until I reset the tomtom.
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum.

Firstly, how do you have the antenna positioned? This may sound like a dumb question, but positioning is crucial to its functionality.

I live in a good reception area and got great reception on my driveway, but signal disappeared as I drove out of the area. Since I repositioned the antenna, I've had good reception just about everywhere I've driven.
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dgreensuperhoops
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and thanks for the welcome, a very interesting forum(been spending more time on this forum now than my usual pc forum!).

I have the satnav in the right hand corner to make it easier to touch than if it was in the centre of the screen. I route the aerial up the right hand side of the screen and then along the top of the windscreen.

My previous unit was the Garmin 660 and the traffic didn't work on that either. I travel anywhere from North Norfolk down to London on a daily basis and would find the traffic so useful if only it worked reliably. As I said I don't mind paying for the gprs subscription if it is better.
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RDS-TMC antenna should be at least 4cm away from the edge of the windscreen because the metalwork of the car body is known to interfere.

I initially had my antenna down the side of the windscreen and it gave great reception on my driveway.

A short while later, I was sitting in a car park and getting NO reception although the car immediately next to me had good reception. The difference was that the other antenna was routed down the centre of the windscreen and the across the bottom of the windscreen.

As a result of my observations there, I moved my antenna so that it's now down the centre of the windscreen and across the bottom. So far, I've had good reception on all the journeys I've made.

It's a bit of trial and error and there are no hard and fast rules.
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Elastic
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've run my aerial wire along the bottom of the windscreen, from end to end. So far I've had almost constant reception, just the odd dead spot but it doesn't last long.
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dgreensuperhoops
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies. I will try this out.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As neither the Garmin or TomTom RDS-TMC worked and assuming the car remained the same one other thought is the vehicles windscreen, if it is Athermic glass (heat reflective) this makes a very good RF screen blocking out the FM signals resulting in no signal.

What car is it you are using? The only away around the Athermic glass issue is to try the aerial on a side window or couple it to the car radio aerial to get a better signal.

As for GPRS based traffic, this will overcome reception issues but then you have to decide if the information supplied to the device is actually accurate, also factor in the cost of receiving data using your mobile phone as this isn't free - Mike
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dgreensuperhoops
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. Today I have tried the two suggestions of running the aerial down the middle of the windscreen and then this afternoon ran the cable along the bottom of the windscreen. I had absolutely no reception all day!! My little green dot just did not appear!
My car is a 2007 VW Jetta which has an ordinary windscreen and the last car that the Garmin was mainly used with was a 2006 VW Passat, again an ordinary windscreen.
As far as my thoughts at subscribing to gprs traffic, the cost of the data is not a problem as I have an unlimited data plan through o2(7.50) per month as I receive emails during the day and surf the football and news sites in laybys. Do you feel that the information is not accurate? Would it be a waste of money?
Another thought occurred to me today. I am planning on buying an ipod cable soon and running my ipod through the tomtom and fm transmitter. I believe this uses the same connector as the traffic receiver so I would need to ditch it anyway. Is that correct? Thanks all for your help.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I'd say the data quality has a long way to go before I'd rely on it or re-route based upon data it supplied.

GPRS Traffic is the same data, better delivery mechanism but the quality of the actual data is no better.

So my advice would be to wait.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would need the iPOD accessory cable which does indeed use the same connector on the TomTom as the RDS device, check your iPOD is compatible though before you purchase the cable, some won't work with the PNA.

As for the data, I only ever perform a manual re-route based upon traffic information when the other indications are that the TomTom is indicating a valid delay. The motorway gantry signs and radio traffic announcements are a good source for additional information. When these all agree I will allow the device to re-route, but I will not use the auto re-route function as it simply isn't that reliable as yet - Mike
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Elastic
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dgreensuperhoops wrote:
Hi. Today I have tried the two suggestions of running the aerial down the middle of the windscreen and then this afternoon ran the cable along the bottom of the windscreen. I had absolutely no reception all day!! My little green dot just did not appear!
My car is a 2007 VW Jetta which has an ordinary windscreen and the last car that the Garmin was mainly used with was a 2006 VW Passat, again an ordinary windscreen..........



Have you tried using your satnav and aerial outside of the car for a signal...?

If you still have problems with reception then I would suggest that perhaps the unit is faulty...
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puzlid
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys,
I have a TT Go 730T, Last month I posted a problem with connecting to the RDS Traffic, I have since had an update via TT Home and the RDS Traffic now gets a good fix even in an area I had problems in the past. However I have moved the aerial form a horizontal position to a vertical position having been told this would increase the reception. I contacted Tom Tom customer support who were most helpful in sorting out this problem I have always found them most helpful. I suppose it all comes down to a bit of research, pocket gps forums are most helpful in sorting out most problems.
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AndyVaughan
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Joined: Apr 13, 2006
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Location: Rossendale

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try it outside with the unit running off of the battery - the chargers are known to introduce enough interference to block the signal in weak reception areas.

If you still don't get a green circle then either something is faulty or you are in a dead spot.

Andy
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dgreensuperhoops
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave up on the aerial in the end and subscribed to gprs traffic. Now 95% of the time it is coming up with useful information. Yesterday it warned me of a car stranded in the outside lane of the M1 North near Watford- I carried on anyway and there it was, a car stranded in the outside lane! Delay times appear a bit out though- it later said 2 minute delay near Milton Keynes- was more like 15 minutes. All in all though a big improvement on the aerial, which is now sitting in a drawer in the kitchen.
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lostinuk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject: Sell your unwanted TMC antenna on Ebay! Reply with quote

I had exactly the same experience as the original poster, paid extra for Traffic, and then discovered it was pants. So I listed the antenna on Ebay, 14.95 + 1.05 postage on a 'Buy it Now' listing and sold it over a weekend.
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