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Old 10-28-2020, 06:50 PM   #1
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Adventures with a cheap TPMS

I was embarking on a 1600 mile adventure to Palm Springs, and I wanted a TPMS for the motorhome and the car I was towing.

I looked at all the popular TPMS offerings, and I decided to give one of the cheap Chinese versions a try. Here is the one I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

There a couple that look identical on Amazon, different brand names.Click image for larger version

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Here is the report:

It worked amazingly well, and gave me great peace of mind on the road. The PSI alarms worked well, and they activated within a second or so. The temperature seemed like was a crap shoot - being out on the end of the stem, I’m not sure how accurate it is, or how it compares with the more expensive options. The tires always read 10 degree or so above ambient temps after driving a while.

The instructions were insane:
“PressSET for 3s to select the ‘tire number” intrernefce like as below, then press SET” I think they are translated very poorly from native Chinese.

If you liked the Rubik’s cube, you will love figuring out how to run this device. It took me a few hours to figure out. PM me if you want my home made instructions in English.

Pros:
Only $150 for 6 sensors, dash unit, and extender/transmitter
Pairs up pretty easily
All tire values are on screen at all times - no cycling
PSI seems dead accurate to within a pound or two
Comes with a extender/transmitter, and has really great range
Good solar charger - dash unit never needs to be plugged in.
Both senders and dash unit sleep until movement is detected
AWESOME sticky mat - this thing will stay anywhere on the dash
Fairly bright and easy to read.
Alarms are plenty loud and can be set for high temp, high or low pressure, and rapid leak, however I’m not sure how that is determined.

Cons:
No new tire readings until you are moving for a few minutes
Unclear if it knows when a sensor connection dies or is lost - it just continues to read the last value received
Terrible directions, very difficult to program initially
Alarms values are set per axle, not per tire - although display readout is for each tire.
Buttons are tiny and tough to push while driving

I have never owned one of the more expensive units, but I liked this unit just fine. Considering it was around a $300 savings, I would buy it again.

Cheers


PS The PSI values in the picture are for the two front tires, the below outer readings are for the car being towed rear wheels, and the two inner numbers are for the tow dolly tires.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:31 PM   #2
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where are the toad readings?
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:38 PM   #3
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How long do the batteries last? I would think if itís transmitting all the time, battery will be dead pretty quick...

Most Oem sensors just transmit once a threshold is passed, right?
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:02 AM   #4
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No toad readings - it is only a 6 sensor system. I used the 4 back sensors designed for the motorhome to monitor my toad.

The sensor batteries are supposed to last 2 years - but I have only had it a week, so I can't verify that. The sensors as well as the dash unit only wake up with motion.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
How long do the batteries last? I would think if it’s transmitting all the time, battery will be dead pretty quick...

Most Oem sensors just transmit once a threshold is passed, right?
I cant answer for the aftermarket ones, but on my Tundra, i had a factory one fail (shows low tire P on the dash) at about 6 years. I asked the tire shop guys (good people) about it and he said most folks just put a piece of electrical tape over the dashboard indicator if it annoys them (it does me, and i did). Found out later that the average expected lifespan of factory tpms is 7 years. You replace them when you change the tires since you have to deflate them to do so.


I suspect that aftermarket batteries would go about the same amount of time, give or take a bit.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:33 PM   #6
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Unclear if it knows when a sensor connection dies or is lost - it just continues to read the last value received
Terrible directions, very difficult to program initially
THIS: ^^^^^^^^^

If it doesn't know when a sensor has died, or fallen off, and the tire goes flat, you have no warning.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:33 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what it knows. I am trying to figure out a way to test for those behaviors. I know if I unscrew a sensor, it knows immediately, and sends a zero pressure alarm.

But how to test for it's behavior with a dead battery, a failed sensor, or a sensor falling off?

I actually really like this thing, but those are important questions, and critical to figure out.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:04 PM   #8
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I'm not sure what it knows. I am trying to figure out a way to test for those behaviors. I know if I unscrew a sensor, it knows immediately, and sends a zero pressure alarm.

But how to test for it's behavior with a dead battery, a failed sensor, or a sensor falling off?

I actually really like this thing, but those are important questions, and critical to figure out.
Most of them (including that one) list low battery as one of their alarm conditions... Seems safe to believe them on that one. As for falling off, that would be the same as removal - you've already seen that alarm. For failed or just loss of signal for some reason: Take it off and mount it onto a bicycle tire. Once it's correctly reading the pressure of the bike tire, roll the bike away, out of range, and see what happens.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:19 AM   #9
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Great thoughts. I will do the test tomorrow using the golf car,and report back.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:16 AM   #10
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Great thoughts. I will do the test tomorrow using the golf car,and report back.
BTW, I'm curious too. I want to use a system like this for the toad and tow dolly!
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Old 11-02-2020, 06:14 PM   #11
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It worked great for my toad and dolly - I think because it has the repeater, which I put about midships inside the motorhome.

Results of my test:

I activated the dash unit, got it reading all the tires, and then drove away with it in the golf car.

Several blocks away, I got no warning alarms, and no indication that the dash unit had lost contact with it's sensors. It just continued to read the same values as when I left.

When I returned, I pulled a sensor and it immediately alarmed. So I guess it reconnected automatically when in range.
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