Thursday, December 10, 2015

What Are the Differences Between the TST 507 and TST 510 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems?

Are you looking to buy a TST Tire Pressure Monitoring System and you can't decide between the 507 and 510 model?  Before you make your final decision, you should know there are some similarities and differences between the two that you need to consider before purchasing.

Differences between the TST 507 and TST 510 Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Let's start with the the type of sensors that are available for the units.  Both the TST 507 and the TST 510 are available with cap sensors, but only the TST 507 gives you the option to use the TST Flow-thru Sensor.  This is a sensor that you do not have to remove in order to add air to your tire.   
TST TPMS Flow Thru Sensors
TST 507 Flow-thru Sensors

Both the cap sensor and flow-thru sensor for the TST 507 have batteries that can be replaced by the user.  It is a CR1632 battery and has an average life of 10-12 months. The TST 510 cap sensor battery is not user-replaceable and must be returned to TST when it needs to be replaced (approximately every 5 years) for the cost of $19.95.

Another difference between the two is the way that you program the sensors when going through installation.  Both sensors have a code that must be entered into the monitor in order for the sensor to be identified by the unit.  The TST 507 sensor code is automatically entered when you hold the sensor next to the unit during installation; however the TST 510 sensor code must be manually entered during installation.  This isn't a huge difference since installation only happens once, but the TST 510 does take more time to install due to the manual entry of the codes.

The monitors of the units look different as well.  The TST 507 has a rectangular shape that can not sit flush on the dash without the included dash mount.  The 507 also comes with a window mount.  The TST 510 is rectangular as well, but it has a wider, flat base that can sit on the dash.  For that reason, you can use the included Velcro to affix it to the dash, or you can mount it on the AC vent using the included mount.

The TST 510 unit comes with an additional antenna that can be used in place of the short antenna in order to increase the communication between the sensors and the unit.  It has a cord so you can mount it closer to the sensors. The TST 507 does not come with an additional antenna.


TST 507 Tire Pressure Monitoring System
TST 507 Monitor with Cap Sensors

Similarities of the TST 507 and TST 510 Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Both the TST 507 and TST 510 systems are built with anti-theft devices on the sensors.  Without the included tool, someone would not be able to remove the sensors from your vehicle.  The cap sensors for the TST 510 as well as the cap and flow-thru sensors for the TST 507 have anti-theft devices. The Flow Thru sensor uses a small screw to secure it to the valve stem.

A 12 volt charger comes with both the 507 and 510 units, and both units can last 7-10 days of normal  use on one fully-charged battery. This is a great feature as you do not need to have the monitor connected to a 12 volt source as you go down the road. A hardwired kit comes with both units also for those who would like to hard wire the unit into a 12 volt source.

Both monitors scroll through each installed tire as you are driving.  You can quickly see the psi and temperature of each sensor position, unlike some systems that go to a "sleep" mode while driving and only show psi and temperature if you press a button. 


TST 510 TPMS
TST 510 Monitor

Finally, both the TST 507 and the TST 510 have an available TST Repeater.  The repeater ensures the signal from the sensor to the unit is strong.  It is recommended that a repeater be used with longer 5th wheels and for RVs with tow vehicles.   There is a TST 507 Repeater and a TST 510 Repeater.


TST TPMS Repeater for Boosting sensor Signal
TST 510 Repeater (Optional)
  
As you can see, there are 5 main differences between the TST 507 and 510 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, but they both have the same great performance and reliability that you would expect from a TST TPMS.


TST 507 Tire Pressure Monitoring System

  • Battery is user-replaceable  
  • Available with flow-thru or cap sensors
  • Sensor code entered automatically during installation
  • Dash mount and window mount included
  • Anti-theft device on all sensors
  • 12 volt charger and hard wiring kit included
  • Repeater available

TST 510 Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Sensor must be sent to TST to replace battery after 5 years
  • Available only with the cap sensor
  • Sensor codes must be entered manually
  • Velcro dash mount or AC vent clip mount included
  • Additional external antenna included
  • Anti-theft device on sensors
  • 12 volt charger and hard wiring kit included
  • Repeater available 


We also have a video on the differences between the TST 507 and 510 units, if you would like to hear more about the two systems.  



For more information on the TST Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or to purchase one of the systems or repeater, visit us at www.technorv.com or call us at 866-324-7915.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Perfect Document Scanner for an RV: Your Phone!



I was recently asked to send a copy of a form to my doctor, and I wasn’t anywhere near a copy machine/scanner.  The form was time-sensitive, and I really needed to get it to them, so I started looking on my phone for the nearest Kinko’s.  That’s when it hit me.  My phone!  I quickly went to my Google Play Store and put “Document Scanner” in the search bar.  I found several choices, but decided on Tiny Scanner.  After a short download, I opened the program and had two options: take a picture or get a picture from my gallery.  I took a picture of the form using my camera being careful to take it in a well-lit area from above.  It gave me the option to crop it, then it instantly converted it into a PDF.  I had the choice to add another page to the PDF (which I didn’t need to do), or to export it.  I could place it in my Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or email it.  I chose email and emailed it to my doctor that easily.   I also emailed it to myself so I could have a copy for my records.  I tried out a few more scanner apps and another great one I liked is CamScanner.  It has a lot more options to edit and share your image, which I really liked, and you can save your image as a JPG as well as a PDF. 


As RVers, we are always looking for items with multiple uses in order to save space.  Our phones have so many great uses that we may not even realize.  Add document scanner to that list now!




Saturday, December 5, 2015

How Does Wi-Fi Work and How Do I Get It for my RV?

How Does Wi-Fi Work and How Do I Get It for My RV?
WiFi Boosters for RVers from TechnoRV

Have you ever felt like Wi-Fi should be added to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs? If so, then you must read this!

Do you ever think about how things work? Can you imagine that we talk on a cell phone to someone a thousand miles away, and somehow we just accept it? But how? This kind of stuff just blows my mind. Wi-Fi is kind of the same way. Are you kidding, I can pick up a contraption (cell phone), type in a request, and somehow the answer appears. This seems like some kind of witchcraft. I mean if someone would have told you back in the 1940s that we would be communicating wirelessly the way we do, they would probably have lined you up on the firing squad, but yet today we do it without a second thought.

As RVers, we need our Wi-Fi, so we should at least understand it. So here is what Wi-Fi is to a certain extent. Wi-Fi is a network using radio waves to communicate. Your computer or device has a component in it called a wireless adaptor. This wireless adaptor converts data (data=information that you type in) into a radio signal. This radio signal is received by a router that is programmed to understand the radio signal. Now that the router has the information in the form of a radio signal, it then converts the radio signal back to information, and then sends the request using a wired Ethernet connection to the almighty internet. Then, the internet sends the information that you requested back to the router. The router does everything in reverse, and converts the information back to a radio signal and sends it to the computer’s wireless adaptor. The wireless adaptor then converts the radio signal back to information, which is what you see as the response to your request.  

WiFi for RVers




This all happens so fast that it is unimaginable to think of what actually just happened. So this process is a two way street; there is the power to send the request, and the power to receive the response back. This is the part that can get a bit sketchy for RVers. I mean if the RV Park is going to claim FREE Wi-Fi, then certainly I should just be able to connect with no problems, right? Wrong!

So where does the problem exist? There are a few problem areas when it comes to RV Park’s Wi-Fi.  One problem lies with the RV Park, and one issue lies squarely on you. So what is the problem with the park? Usually the problem at the park is about bandwidth. 


Bandwidth is the amount of availability to the internet that the RV Park has the capacity for. If the internet was a pie, and the pie was big enough for 8 people to have a nice slice, and  there were 8 RVers in the park, then everything is fine. What if there are 15 people in   the park? You get the point here; if the park wanted to spend the money to have enough pie for everyone then they could certainly create that type of network. My experience is that parks have realized the importance of good Wi-Fi and are providing good coverage, but there are some parks that it doesn’t matter what you do, there is just not enough pie (bandwidth).


So, let’s assume the park has done their part. There is still a problem, and that is the wimpy Wi-Fi adaptor in your device. A wireless Wi-Fi adaptor is not designed to connect with a signal that is a half mile away or farther. The standard Wi-Fi adaptor is designed to connect to a signal within a short distance, like within the same house or RV. So, having an expectation to connect to the parks Wi-Fi if you are several hundred yards away is not going to happen. You can resolve this issue with a Wi-Fi booster. These devices are not that expensive and can drastically improve your Wi-Fi experience. TechnoRV sells a great solution for this problem and here is how it works.  Imagine replacing your internal Wi-Fi adaptor with something that is designed to grab the Wi-Fi signal from a long distance. This is what a Wi-Fi booster does. Here are the numbers: a typical Wi-Fi adaptor has 0.2 watt of power to send your request to the internet, while a TechnoRV Wi-Fi booster has a full 2 watts of power; this is as much as 10 times the power. Receiving this signal back from the router is done by an antenna and is rated in Db gain. A typical Wi-Fi adaptor has about 1 Db of gain, while a TechnoRV Wi-Fi booster has from 5 to 16 Db of gain. The results are in the numbers. By adding a Wi-Fi booster you can ensure that you are doing your part to receive the Wi-Fi signal from the park. Remember, if the park has not appropriated the correct amount of bandwidth, then it doesn’t matter what you do on your end, but in the majority of cases our customers are wildly please with the Wi-Fi boosting products. Here is a video I put together on the different versions of Wi-Fi boosters that we offer.



If you have any more questions, please contact TechnoRV at 866-324-7915 or support@technorv.com.  We would be happy to help you with your Wi-Fi needs!  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What is GPS and How Does it Work?

I don’t know why I’m hung up on how stuff works this month, but GPS is another one that is worth being knowledgeable about. A good GPS system has advantages over using your iPad or similar tablet as a GPS, specifically, no cellular signal is needed to load maps, and we will talk more about this in a moment.  An RV GPS, like the Rand McNally, works by using the Global Positioning System (GPS) put into place by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1973.  The space-based navigation system works in all weather conditions as long as there is an unobstructed line-of-sight to at least 4 or more GPS satellites.  The U.S. government created the system, maintains it and provides it for free to anyone that has a GPS receiver; it does not require Wi-Fi or cellular service.   GPS consists of 3 segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment. 

The space segment consists of the 24 to 31 GPS satellites orbiting the earth, each maintained by the U.S. Air Force, which are responsible for broadcasting signals from space to a user’s GPS receiver.  They are strategically arranged into 6 orbits so that at any given point on earth, at least 4 satellites are visible at all times.  Makes you wonder what the Government can see us doing, huh?  Each satellite orbits earth twice per day at about 12,500 miles above earth.



The control segment of the GPS consists of a master command station located at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 12 command and control antennas, and 16 monitoring stations located all over the planet. 



The basis of GPS is time.  Each satellite is set to an atomic clock and are checked daily by the control segment to be sure they are synchronized with each other.  Their location is also checked daily; if one is not correct, the control segment removes it from the system, corrects its location, and returns it to the system.  The U.S. has committed to having at least 24 GPS satellites available in the system to users, although they have currently have 31 operational satellites in orbit.  Better to be safe than sorry, right?

The user segment of the GPS consists of the receiver, like the Rand McNally 7730 or Rand McNally RV Tablet, which receives the signals from the satellites and uses them to calculate location. By using current maps downloaded to the receiver, the Rand McNally is able to use this information to help with navigation. 

Our GPS receivers in our RV are receiving at least 4 signals from satellites at any given time and through this, can calculate our 3D position which includes longitude, latitude, and altitude.  It can also determine speed (or time).  It does this by using a process called triangulation - I know this is getting deep, but stick with me here.  By taking the location of three different satellites, it overlaps their positions and where they meet is the location of the receiver, or user. 



Rand McNally GPS System vs. Phone GPS 

A lot of people as us, "Does our GPS system require Wi-Fi or cell signal to operate?"  The Rand McNally does not require any Wi-Fi or cellular signal to operate the GPS; however, if you would like to have up-to-date weather, traffic and fuel price updates, you must enable Wi-Fi on your system.  Although your cell phone is using the same exact GPS satellites to navigate, using Google maps on your phone or iPad is not the same as using a Rand McNally and does use data to navigate. The reason for this is that your phone is not pre-loaded with the maps like the Rand McNally is, and it is having to download the map as you drive; it does this by using your data.  Because of this, if you lose cell signal while traveling then your Google maps on your cellular device will not work properly. Unfortunately the low cellular signal areas are probably the very areas that you need assistance with navigation because it is far away from a cell towers and probably on the back roads where turning instructions are crucial. Many people think they can save money and just use their phones to navigate, but be aware that simply using Google maps on your phone can drain your data throughout the month, drain your phone’s battery, and provide poor instructions in low cellular signal areas.

Regardless of what GPS receiver you use, you will always encounter occasional routing issues.  No GPS is perfect 100% of the time. There are some things you can do to ensure that your system sends you the correct way. If you have problems with your receiver, always check to be sure you have the latest maps downloaded.  The Rand McNally 7730 and RV Tablet 80 both come with free lifetime maps. In addition to updated maps, check your settings to see what you are telling it to avoid, such as tollbooths, highways, u-turns, dirt roads, etc.   Finally, some travelers compare the route given to them by the GPS to a road atlas before leaving to ensure the GPS is correct; the RV Tablet 80 has a road atlas app built-in for this convenience. 

To learn more about the Rand McNally 7730 or the Rand McNallyRV Tablet 80, visit us at www.technorv.com or contact us at support@technorv.com