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Bridge toll transponders

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by docrice, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. docrice

    docrice Member

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    My car was built at the very end of September so I have what appears to be the new hardware for lane-assist, etc.. It also seems like I have a new windshield version which doesn't have that "black area" behind the rear view mirror where bridge toll transponders are supposed to go. When I crossed a bridge today, I placed a newly-registered transponder in this same area but it didn't beep. It could be that this is just a new transponder and it's either not working or I didn't register it with the toll authority properly, but I wonder if the windshield is to blame in this case.

    Has anyone had any similar experiences? In my case this is in California and it's the FasTrak transponders.
     
  2. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    No idea, but FYI, I have that black area and it didn't work well for my EZ-Pass. I open the pano roof and hold the thing up....

    Interesting that they removed the black area--I hadn't heard about that.
     
  3. voidptr

    voidptr Member

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    From what I understand, the windshield is fairly opaque to most transponders. I have a hard case license plate transponder for the east coast EZ-Pass network, zip-tied and double-sided taped to the crossbar member underneath the nosecone in the front.
     
  4. Ed Chan

    Ed Chan Member

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    I too have the new sensors, and I've not been able to find a good readable space for the Fastrak, but I just called Tesla support and they said they have an updated note on this: they said directly left or right of the base of the rear view mirror. I have it directly left of the base in my car and it still didn't read... will try more positions again next time I head on up the 110... :p
     
  5. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    I have the "old" windshield and mounted my FasTrak immediately to the right of the mirror. I even painted it mat black so it is not noticeable. Fully readable.
    I would prefer to mount this inside the nosecone. Does anyone know if that is legal? Someone told me it had to be on my windshield.
     
  6. lsnetman

    lsnetman Member

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    The correct placement is to the right of the rear view mirror as high on the windshield as possible. I use a suction cup transponder which wouldn't stick on the black dots, but I tinted the windshield for heat rejection and with the tint covering all the way up it sticks just fine. Without tinting, I would have removed the suction cups and used Velcro. I've confirmed reading on the SunPass site by checking transponder activity.
     
  7. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    I got the license plate transponder, which is long and narrow. It fits beautifully on the brace bar behind the nose cone. I used velcro, others have used zip ties, but anything above the license area works perfectly. The license plate transponder is freely sent on request, and the only cost is postage for returning the windshield transponder. Easy as pie. Actually, easier. It works far better than the windshiled mount, no monkeying around finding the magic spot, no having the responder sitting ugly by the mirror, or tossing it into the console area and grabbing for it when you take FasTrak. Behind the nose cone is out of the weather, out of sight, out of mind.

    It is not illegal if it works. The responder can see through the plastic easier than it can see through a windshield.

    If it happens not to work (but it does), CA FasTrak also uses rear license cameras and will bill your account based on the license number, the same way they will bill a person who does not have a FasTrak account but goes through the FasTrak lane.

    I have had mine in place (behind the nose cone) for about a year. Never any problems.
     
  8. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Yea it has to be visible on the windshield. A family friend recently received a ticket going in the Fastrak Lanes without the transponder mounted on the windshield. They tried fighting the ticket but they did not succeed. I don't know how they would enforce the license plate mounted transponders.
     
  9. Ed Chan

    Ed Chan Member

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    California law says the fastrak must be visible. If you have a license plate version, it must still be visible on your front plate. Since Metro Express Lanes have the silly carpool switch, the only option is on the windshield.
     
  10. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Fastrak just sent me a new transponder a month ago and it has the funky toggle for passenger numbers.
    I guess mounting the front plate transponder in the nose cone is illegal.
     
  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    For years on my previous cars I never mounted the FasTrak transponders on the windshield, just put them on the dash as I went though the toll booth. Most of the cars I see going through the FasTrak only toll booths do not have them mounted on the windshield.

    On my S I have the license plate mounted transponder because I could never get the standard transponder to read through the windshield no matter where I placed it. On my Roadster I am not mounting it on the windshield, I'm keeping it in the cubby below the center console. I use Bay Area bridges once a week at most.
     
  12. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Pop the nose cone off and place it behind there with double stick tape
     
  13. kp.sfo

    kp.sfo Member

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    I learned it the hard way that standard transponders don't work with the Model S.... Just got a violation notice in the mail today - $25 toll evasion penalty. :mad: I guess next time I'll just hold that damn thing out of the drivers window.
     
  14. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Yes, but in California, we get to use the FasTrak now for free. Just leave it set at 3
     
  15. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    #15 roblab, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
    Interesting! No one told me it had to be visible, and several Model S have the transponder behind the nosecone with no problems. The standard way a person might get ticketed is if they did NOT have a FasTrak account, drove through, and the rear license camera caught them. You get a ticket in the mail.

    Even if your transponder is in the window, and fails to work because of the window signal blocking, the rear license camera will still function and you will be billed the SAME as if you had a transponder. No one writes to say they couldn't see it. There is no ticket. Even if you forgot and left your transponder home, you will get billed as if it were on the dash, because the rear license camera will record you and bill your account.

    I don't understand how anyone could get a ticket for not having a transponder visible. The only thing required is that you have an account on the car you are driving, which matches the license. Other cars you drive would require another transponder account. A rental car might require that you actually pull into the cash lane and pay there.

    So I don't get that you could get ticketed because it isn't visible. Mine's not. I haven't got ticketed.

    Just researched: Must be visible only on areas that don't have cameras: Fastrak Lanes on freeways, not bridge tolls.
     
  16. Ed Chan

    Ed Chan Member

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    Don't know about bay area, but in SoCal, there are CHiPs sitting around near the Express Lanes and they have been known to stop and cite for not having a Fastrak visible, whether or not you trigger the right light that tells them you've paid tolls. They are also there to police carpool scofflaws too as carpools can go for free with a visible and correctly switched Fastrak.
     
  17. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Do you need the carpool stickers?
     
  18. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Yes, if you drive a zero emmission car and you are only one person you are only allowed to use the car pool lane if you have the stickers on your back. Having a Tesla alone isn't enough. They give out only a limited amount of these stickers. Once the number is reached, EV sold after this point in time won't be able to use the car pool lane.
     
  19. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Yes, you need the stickers for the carpool lane, and you need the stickers AND the transponder for the FasTrak lanes.
     
  20. docrice

    docrice Member

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    I've been testing my FasTrak transponder at the San Mateo Bridge (Bay Area, California) toll booth with my updated windshield that seems to come with vehicles equipped with the Autopilot hardware. This is the newer transponder design that's a little more rectangular than the square ones I've used in the past. Manually placing it at the top edge of the windshield and directly to the right of the rear-view mirror mount works, but in limited tests it seems like you have to be driving slow enough. I've gone through the Cash/FasTrak booths where I get to completely stop, and I've also gone through the FasTrak-only booths where you have to slow down but not completely stop.

    I don't seem to have been successful with the latter, and perhaps I was going too fast for it to register (about 20 - 25 MPH). You also have to make sure the barcoded side is visible to the camera they have.

    Something I learned when I asked about this issue at the Fremont delivery center - the film that's in the windshield is a product by Solar Gard.
     

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