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ITIS Traffic Information
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SpikeyMikey
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed on my first real drive with my X-980T this weekend that TMC is virtually non-existant around J20 M25.

As Nick said about Kent coverage, I found it good. My journey took me from home down to M25, south to M26 (due to traffic alerted by Tom Tom) and down M2. I returned via M2 and M25 north.

TMC reception only started on outbound journey around Heathrow and on the way back it was fine until I got to M25 / A1M, and then I noticed it was back again when I arrived home. Also Tom Tom warned of congestion and wanted to take me off M25 (warning of an extra 1 hour journey time)after Dartford crossing but I followed X-980T and found it not too bad, except that it thought that the A10 contraflow at the Holmesdale tunnel was actually at the M11 tunnel !

Mike
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kentnicklloyd
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Location: Thanet, Margate, Kent

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SpikeyMikey wrote:
except that it thought that the A10 contraflow at the Holmesdale tunnel was actually at the M11 tunnel ! [Mike


Hi Mike if that was Sunday it may have been the Accident/Breakdown (can't remember which (LBC97.3 good traffic news Smile)) M25 / M11 Spur
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SpikeyMikey
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

No that accident was mentioned as well but was just cleared as I cam through at about 17:45

The contraflow came up as a written message on screen, initially from about 30 miles away, and went / was acknowledged as passed, once I hit the M11 tunnel.

Mike
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kentnicklloyd
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O well, was a thought Embarassed Laughing
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perussell
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I had to drive up the M4 this morning from J17 to J4 I thought I would have my Mio C520T set to the TMC screen to determine how long I had a signal for and at what strength. The results were quite interesting.
I appeared to have reception for approx 85% of the journey though for the majority of this the strength, as indicated by the signal bar, was only about 10%. Much of the time the specific station wasn't being identified but it did suggest I was receiving traffic messages.
For about 15% of the journey I had a signal strength above 50% and could see the TMC station identified as Classic FM though on occasions this only occurred for 30 seconds at a time - long enough to download new data??
For that part of the journey where I had no signal it seemed to disappear for just a couple of minutes but without doubt the longest 'disappearance' was between J10 (Reading E) and J8/9 (Maidenhead) which just happens to coincide with one of the worst blackspots on the whole Motorway in this region. There was no signal at all for about 5 miles.
Methinks there is still much to do to create a reliable system but overall I was quite impressed by the availability of a signal ( assuming that when it was only 10%. I was actually still receiving useful data as suggested by the TMC.
(I have the aerial running across the lower part of the windscreen and then up the passenger side)
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

perussell wrote:
(I have the aerial running across the lower part of the windscreen and then up the passenger side)


Have you tried running the aerial vertically up the windscreen?

I've found that this gives better reception with my unit
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Shinymera
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aerial that come with my viamichelin X-970t is great. It about 5in long and about 1.5in wide. The aerial inside is actually a PCB with the copper track being used as the aerial. The track is like a 'Greek key' pattern so there is a lot of length to the track but its contained in a small area.

Works well.
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kentnicklloyd
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Location: Thanet, Margate, Kent

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: TMC coverage West and South West of London Reply with quote

perussell wrote:

I appeared to have reception for approx 85% of the journey though for the majority of this the strength, as indicated by the signal bar, was only about 10%. Much of the time the specific station wasn't being identified but it did suggest I was receiving traffic messages.
For about 15% of the journey I had a signal strength above 50% and could see the TMC station identified as Classic FM though on occasions this only occurred for 30 seconds at a time - long enough to download new data??


From my use, it would appear that when the data is @ the 10% mark you are not receiving any data the 15% of the journey with the ident. of Classic FM is the only time you are receiving TMC.

Personally I think the Classic FM signal for the West of England is "patchy". Have not tried it on the South Coast yet but have "done" the A303 / M5 / A361 and found "localised" data signals (mainly on high ground) Cornwall has fairly good coverage from CARADON HILL transmitter I think, better coverage for North Devon and M5 up to Bristol may be given if a data stream was transmitted from the Huntshaw Cross transmitter, I think there is a Classic FM transmitter there .....
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perussell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I begin to despair about TMC after my return journey (J4-J17) along the M4 yesterday evening!

There was a relatively minor accident shortly after J16 causing about 2 miles tailback - nothing too serious, only about a 5 - 10 min delay BUT

the TMC on my Mio correctly highlighted there was an accident at J16 and then showed it to be 8 miles further up the road at J17.

In other words, verbally it showed the correct incident at the correct junction although it suggested the junction was still 8 miles ahead of me rather than a mile behind me and then when I clicked on the incident to look at the map it showed me a view of J17!!!!!!!!!

So come on ITIS, if you are reading this, please try explaining that one away......................

Quote:
Have you tried running the aerial vertically up the windscreen?


that's what I mean by
Quote:
and then up the passenger side
and yes, it appears to make quite a difference having that last bit running vertically
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SpikeyMikey
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In other words, verbally it showed the correct incident at the correct junction although it suggested the junction was still 8 miles ahead of me rather than a mile behind me and then when I clicked on the incident to look at the map it showed me a view of J17!!!!!!!!!


Thats basically what I was saying in my earlier post

Quote:
and yes, it appears to make quite a difference having that last bit running vertically


I found that, although I ran mine on the drivers side

Mike
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swing
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

perussell wrote:
I begin to despair about TMC after my return journey (J4-J17) along the M4 yesterday evening!
There was a relatively minor accident shortly after J16 causing about 2 miles tailback - nothing too serious, only about a 5 - 10 min delay
I'm certainly interested to know what happened here too - someone came back to this office last night and said there had been an accident on the M4 around j16-17, but despite the fact they knew it was there, not one of the online traffic websites had it listed. Now, it's possible that the 5-10 min delay was so little that none of them registered it, but it was strange given we know there was an accident, but could not "find it" online.

iTIS - out of interest, can you provide details of where the incident was, when you first detected it, and when it went away (ie the traffic cleared)?
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perussell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was slightly bemused when I first arrived at the back of the queue because my normally reliable TM Freeway hadn't "said" a thing which usually means the queue is less than 2 miles (since these units seem to work in 2 mile segments) Consequently I checked the distance from the start of the tailback to the accident and sure enough it was 1.8 miles (at the time I was there).
Radio 2 had reported the accident but I never trust radio reports anyway because they are invariably out of date (unless its a "biggie")

So, the queue was too short for the Freeway to pick it up but the ITIS derived TMC DID recognise the accident at the correct junction but actually posted it at the wrong junction.
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dannyw
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shinymera wrote:
Quote:

Whereabouts in Scotland were you caught out?


It was at the Forth Road Bridge. This bridge links fife and the north with Edinburgh and the Central belt. As such it is always busy and any disruption causes major problems.

The resurfacing work starts at 7pm Fridays and ends 6am Mondays. The congestion and delays this causes are horrendous.


Thanks for your observation; we have carried out some further investigation. You are correct in your observations that the Forth Road Bridge is subject to roadworks and a contraflow until the 18th June.

This incident was entered on the correct date by our journalistic traffic information suppliers, unfortunately during this process the scheduling was altered from "all weekend" to "overnight only". This resulted in the incident only reporting during the night and cancelling throughout the day.

This has now been rectified, albeit too late for you to witness on your TOMTOM, may we offer our apologies that in this case the service did not meet your expectations.
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Shinymera
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your reply and your explanation.

I continue to use iTIS information via TMC on my viamichelin X-970T. I have seen first hand how good your service can be. Last week a overturned lorry on the Forth Bridge led to its closure. My new device gave me that alert in good time.

Yesterday as I was leaving work it gave me a vehicle fire warning. Again this was correct.
What really pleased me was this morning when leaving for work I again received the fire warning. At first I though it was old information, but it was still valid as temporary light have been set up due to yesterdays fire and were causing a fair amount of disruption.

I have no regrets getting rid of my TomTom. 28 per year plus around 8 per month mobile charges is not a very economical way of getting traffic info.
My viamichelin supply's it via TMC with no ongoing costs.
I've not suffered connection problems others have mentioned. The only place I've noticed it dropping is a place that I know can't get freeview of DAB radio so no biggy.
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

perussell wrote:
Quote:
Have you tried running the aerial vertically up the windscreen?


that's what I mean by
Quote:
and then up the passenger side
and yes, it appears to make quite a difference having that last bit running vertically


...I meant have you tried running the whole thing vertically?

I attached a clip to the end of my aerial and clip it to the sun visor on the passenger side so that it doesn't impair my view of the road

Remember that the aerial is a specific length, designed to work best with the FM frquencies used with TMC (88-107MHz) and by having a bend in the aerial, you're effectively changing its length and reducing its ability to receive the desired signal
Quote:
AERIALS

For a radio aerial (either trasnmitting or receiving) to have maximum effect it must be of a resonant length compared to the radio frequency that it is transmitting (or receiving, of course).
http://www.arar93.dsl.pipex.com/mds975/content/radtech.html
Quote:
Antenna properties

Antenna's size and shape depend on the intended frequency or wavelength of the radio waves being sent or received. The design of a transmitting antenna is usually not different from that of a receiving antenna.
http://library.thinkquest.org/C006657/electronics/antenna.htm
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