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Old 06-17-2021, 02:47 PM   #1
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A rehash of Bluetooth TPMS systems

A few years ago I bought the Fobo tire pressure monitoring system. Its sensors screw onto the trailer tire stems and transmit a Bluetooth signal. I found that the signal is too weak for the Android tablet mounted in my truck to pick it up reliably; it would update only when I was going around a curve, which gives line-of-sight transmission I suppose.

I assumed this was an inherent limitation in the Bluetooth standard that couldn't be fixed. But since then I have acquired other Bluetooth devices whose signal will reach the tablet in the truck: the Victron battery and solar panel monitors and the SensorPush temperature monitors which I have in my refrigerator.

So now I'm wondering if other Bluetooth-based TPMS systems work better than Fobo. There are more of them out there now, has anyone tried one? I see that TireMinder has a hybrid system that transmits a stronger 433 MHz signal to a repeater in the tow vehicle, which re-transmits it as a Bluetooth signal. That looks promising. Does anyone use it? Thanks.
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Old 06-17-2021, 02:55 PM   #2
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I still have a TireMinder. It worked great one year. The next time I took it on a long trip I never got it working right in spite of spending on new sensors per support. I think itís too costly for itís short term durability, and Iíll be taking my chances on something else.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:02 PM   #3
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I still have a TireMinder. It worked great one year. The next time I took it on a long trip I never got it working right in spite of spending on new sensors per support. I think itís too costly for itís short term durability, and Iíll be taking my chances on something else.
Iíve had a TireMinder for 5 years now. The system continues to work as advertised, but I have had two sensors fail. Replacement takes a few minutes as there is a specific procedure to follow if you are not starting from scratch (with the trailerís tires 2 or 4 tires). It would be an expensive system if durability comes into play. But mine has been very durable as well as reliable. I can only surmise luck has been more on my side than on yours. But had I experienced a total failure, I too, would look for something else. But sensor failure doesnít surprise me given the forces they are subject to on rapidly spinning tires on bumpy and wet roadways.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:43 AM   #4
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I have had good luck with the Tymate system on my 17B. Solid connection and I love how it plugs into the cigarette lighter port. Very simple. I have only put about 3000mi on it and one year of use so far. It has worked perfect the whole time. I tow with a Rav4 so the distance from the trailer tires to the display in the cab is not very far...maybe 17' or so.

https://www.amazon.com/Tymate-Wirele.../dp/B07HNPQ4X3
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:53 AM   #5
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Not bluetooth, but the EEZ system works very well on our E21/Tacoma combo:

https://www.amazon.ca/EEZTire-TPMS-P...s%2C242&sr=8-5

Not cheap, but it works reliably. Our only issue with it was setting the high pressure alarm a little close to the target pressure, and we got intermittent alarms during hot conditions when tire pressure inched past the alarm setting.

Would not be without a TPMS for towing, especially with a fiberglass trailer likely to get damaged by a disintegrating tire, and would buy the EEZ system again without hesitation.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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Not bluetooth, but the EEZ system works very well on our E21/Tacoma combo .... and would buy the EEZ system again without hesitation.
Thanks for that referral, Allan.

After looking over the data, manuals, and videos on the US distributor's website I like the look of this non-Bluetooth unit so just placed an order for the kit with 8 monitors + booster/repeater.

That'll cover my (pre-OE TPMS) 2005 F-150 and the Escape 5.0, placing the repeater in the front cargo compartment to hopefully avoid any questions about range/interference in picking-up the trailer tires.
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
A few years ago I bought the Fobo tire pressure monitoring system. Its sensors screw onto the trailer tire stems and transmit a Bluetooth signal. I found that the signal is too weak for the Android tablet mounted in my truck to pick it up reliably; it would update only when I was going around a curve, which gives line-of-sight transmission I suppose.

I assumed this was an inherent limitation in the Bluetooth standard that couldn't be fixed. But since then I have acquired other Bluetooth devices whose signal will reach the tablet in the truck: the Victron battery and solar panel monitors and the SensorPush temperature monitors which I have in my refrigerator.

So now I'm wondering if other Bluetooth-based TPMS systems work better than Fobo. There are more of them out there now, has anyone tried one? I see that TireMinder has a hybrid system that transmits a stronger 433 MHz signal to a repeater in the tow vehicle, which re-transmits it as a Bluetooth signal. That looks promising. Does anyone use it? Thanks.
I do and it works quite well, I made sure I had metal tire stems when I replaced tires. I wired the booster to turn on when I run my parking lights or headlights. That way I have extra visibility for the trailer .
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:26 PM   #8
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Before getting a new system try a newer phone/tablet as a receiver. Bluetooth evolved in the last few years and the newer versions are better, sometimes even if only the receiver is using a newer version.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:24 AM   #9
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One quick suggestion about the EEZ pressure senders - I have heard reports that some users have suffered valve stem failures, presumably due to the centrifugal forces bending the stem due to the sensor weight. If you have metal stems this will be irrelevant, but with flexible rubber stems, maybe not. I dealt with this possibility with the rubber stems on the trailer by making braces out of ~3/16 plywood which mount beneath the valve caps and prevent the valve stem from being bent outward toward the rim. They weigh next to nothing so did not affect wheel balance. The safest approach would be to have wheels balanced after installing the sensors, but I never bothered with that, and I don't notice any balance issues. One could also just install metal stems which would eliminate the issue.

I doubt that you will need the repeater, our receiver is between the driver and passenger seat in the Tacoma, and the E21 wheels will be a fair bit further away from that than your setup. OTOH, it will not hurt. The EEZ system is far nicer than any OEM system that I am familiar with. The alarms work really well, once you have it set up, you do not need to mount it where you can watch it all the time. I doubt that the temperature alarm accomplishes much because the sensors can't read the actual tire temperature, but the pressure alarm is perfect.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:57 AM   #10
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I've been happy with my TST 507 tpms system, which includes a dedicated color monitor. I have enough fun already with trying to keep my phone battery sufficiently charged on camping trips, and would not want to keep the phone on for monitoring tire pressures besides.
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:09 PM   #11
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Since my truck already has a TPS, I purchased a Tire Minder 4 tire solar powered system. It uses a repeater (I don't know if I needed it) that I installed in the front overhead cabinet (I have 12V drops in all cabinets). I had rubber valve stems when I first installed the transmitters, and discovered that the transmitters were leaving skid marks on the wheel rim. Changed to steel stems, and have had no problems.

I previously purchased Blueskysea Wireless Solar Powered TPMS Car Real-time Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and while it might have worked, I gave up trying to set it up. The instructions were "interesting".
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