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Toll road transponder woes

Discussion in 'Model S' started by robert774, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. robert774

    robert774 Member

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    I am having a difficult time consistently registering my tag at toll road facilities. I have an 85D with autopilot and the solar coating over the windshields would not work with a sticker tag. I was given a plate-mounted tag but I have no front plate (yet). Currently I hold this device up at the top of my windshield when passing a toll location and about 15% of the time it does not register.

    I was considering mounting it to my grill under the nose cone as you see in the picture. I have some black zip ties that can do the job without making it look too obvious. Does anyone see any concern with this? I don't think it would prevent temperature venting and it is not covering the radar. Anyone here have an opinion on this before I do it?

    thanks!
     

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  2. robaross

    robaross P4550

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    Have the service center put it under the nose cone, or even do it yourself with double sided tape. Looks better, obviously, and it won't get stolen.
     
  3. robert774

    robert774 Member

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    Good point, I had not considered that it could be stolen. Thanks.
     
  4. 0Q991

    0Q991 Member

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    Weird that folks with different toll road transponders have different luck with them working on the windshield.
     
  5. robert774

    robert774 Member

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    Yes it is. I hear this is a bigger problem with the autopilot cars. It probably also depends on the battery strength in the transponder.
     
  6. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I put it under the nosecone in this location but it does not seem to be working all of the time here... perhaps there is a better location.
    IMG_1419.JPG
     
  7. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    I have a P85 (no autopilot) with a Florida SunPass Unit that looks physically the same as your transponder. I mounted it dead center on the front of the black steel bumper behind the nose cone.

    Use a plastic pry bar to pop off the nose cone starting from near a headlight and working around the nose cone. The clips are strong and won't break. The nosecone easily snaps back in place by hand.

    The on-line reports from Sunpass show whether the transponder worked or if the tag number had to be transcribed (ETOL vs ITOL). Mine has always showed ETOL in trips up the entire state of FL, and in GA and NC (which accept SunPass).
     
  8. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I must say I am surprised at this latter part. I did not know the SunPass my SunPass could work in GA and NC. I live in NC now and only take the SunPass out of my desk when I drive to South Florida to visit family. I may have to make this a more permanent fixture in my car!
     
  9. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    I picked up my 85D on Thursday and had the service center mount that exact same tag (HCTRA) under the nosecone. It seems to read properly judging by the account activity -- all the tolls I know about have registered and appeared there. I do not know exactly where under the nosecone they put it.

    When I get my plates I'm going to have them move it to be mounted with the plate (TX requires a front plate). The service center said that when the plate is mounted, it doesn't read as reliably if it's under the nosecone due to reflections from the metal of the plate. If it's mounted on the plate as intended then it reads fine.
     
  10. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    I believe the arrangement is two-way, in other words your NC Quick Pass will work in Florida, so no need for you to even have a SunPass. I think this page explains it. NC Quick Pass
     
  11. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I was born and raised in SoFlo, so I already have a SunPass and never got a NC Quick Pass since there are no tolls roads near me. But I will check it out. Thanks!
     
  12. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I put mine in the nose cone and actually have no idea if it actually works. My sister's both beeps and a sign says all is OK. Not for for me. But I still get billed in CA. I did start with the license plate registration and then moved to the Fast Pass, and I wonder if that is how they are capturing me because my bill always refers to the plate. At least there are no fines, so it must be doing something right.
     
  13. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The FasTrak statement will refer to the license plate number if they weren't able to read the transponder and used the photo of your plate instead. When the transponder registers, the statement will show the transponder number.
     
  14. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I mounted mine in exactly the same way and I get successful reads all the time in VA, MD, DE, NJ and NY.
     
  15. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    I mounted my SF Bay Area FasTrak transponder (exterior license plate version) on the black bumper under/behind the nose cone, in the trough/groove, by using heavy duty Velcro reinforced by a heavy duty zip tie. Did not attach to the plastic nose cone itself. Also, if you choose to remove your nose cone yourself, be careful with the PDC sensor wiring.
     
  16. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    With SunPass they charge you the cash price if they read-by-tag-number, but give a discount (25%?) if they read the transponder.

    The charge also shows on the on-line statement immediately if the transponder is read (ETOL), but up to several days later if they read-by-tag-number (ITOL) - (photo is probably transcribed by off-shore contractors).
     
  17. reuted

    reuted Member

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    I would love to see pictures of a transponder behind the nose cone. Ours was initially installed in the P85D by the SC, I have moved the black transponder around a few times and so far have not been able to make it work on I90 south of Chicago. The transponder works fine by holding it on the roof by hand. Not ideal of course.....
     
  18. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Our Servicenter installed ours through the mess under the nose cone. They used lag bolts, however, instead of zip ties. We hadn't thought about the risk of theft but lag bolts are probably way more secure.
     
  19. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    I drilled two small holes and used screws:

    IMG_0208 500w.jpg
     
  20. MarkS22

    MarkS22 Member

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    Just want to add that pre-Tesla a year ago, I had a NJ E-ZPass mounted to my front license plate. It works perfectly in NJ and most surrounding states (NY/PA/DE), but once you're west of Pennsylvania--to my surprise--many of the readers are only set up to handle reading windshield mounted ones. We drove to Minnesota via I-80/I-90. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois had trouble reading at more than 50% of the tolls. To the point they actually had me back up and go to another lane (which luckily worked). Yes, dangerously back up on a highway toll because their system was unable to read a license plate mounted EZ-Pass. They dismissed the license plate version and said "Oh, those aren't designed to work on our system." The E-ZPass site clearly says it's supposed to work in OH, IN, and IL, but failed to mention only the windshield versions work reliably.

    You may also want to keep one of the windshield mount versions in your glove compartment because a couple booths offered to try scanning that... or you can try holding it out the window as a backup. Alternatively, take a photo (i.e on your phone) of the barcode/number on your plate-mounted transponder so they can manually enter it when you push the button for assistance when the gate doesn't go up. A couple offered to do that but I didn't have it handy, thinking my plate-mounted pass would work (as it had for years in the NJ/NY area).

    Just wanted to share some possible issues/solutions, especially once a more convenient Supercharger route makes an NYC to Chicago trip more direct.
     

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