About to Order a 540 TM - A Couple of Questions


Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
I have not previously owned a GPS unit and I am on the cusp of ordering a 540 TM. I have several questions I'd appreciate some responses to. I have not seen a 540 in person, but I have been attracted to it by its screen size, reasonable cost for lifetime map updates, and that it seems to have the essential features one would want in a portable GPS unit.

A quick review of some of the posts in this forum indicates that some care should be taken after receiving the unit to back it up correctly and otherwise configure it to work properly. I am not a very technically savvy guy. As an average user type should I have any hesitancy about acquiring the 540? I am willing to read advice in a forum like this and try to follow it, but should one be reasonably tech savvy in order to avoid experiencing problems with the 540?

I would be willing to spend a little more than the approximately $200 the 540 is currently going for, perhaps $50 to $100 more, if I thought that by doing so I would acquire a demonstrably superior unit - not a much more complicated and difficult to use unit, but a unit that would handle auto navigation, points of interest, storage capacity, download speeds and other features in a superior and/or significantly more attractive fashion, and/or that is built with demonstrably better build quality and/or technology. Is there such a unit or units I should consider before pulling the trigger?

Please feel free to brag about the 540 if you think it is justified, as I am sure it will encourage me with regard to the purchase I am about to make.

Your thoughts will be very much appreciated.
Ged
 
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dhn

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Welcome to TTF.

The 540 is a pretty decent unit. (I have one! :D ).

When you first get the unit do an Explorer, not Home, backup of your unit's contents. See here for how:
https://www.tomtomforums.com/genera...4-how-backup-contents-your-unit-computer.html

Consider that your safety net............

You've done well by joining this forum ahead of time to get information and advice.....

When you get the unit, any questions you have, just ask.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
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104
Location
USA
TomTom Model(s)
XXL 540TM Navigon 7200T
Quick question, but first GED, I looked around a few Garmin & Tom Tom forums and bookmarked some of the important special info given in them so I would be ready once I chose which I wanted as you are doing. This forum might be the best, as is gives valuable not just useful info to improve the product.

DHN, I already own the 540TM and am very happy with it and the mods I made using this forum (enunciation, etc), but was told the 540TM is the same unit as the "old" 540S, just with the traffic receiver and a lifetime map code (to activate) included. If so, why couldn't current 540S owners "upgrade" by buying the traffic receiver and/or a lifetime map code ? Could the new traffic receiver have a different pin setting or fit which is not compatible with the 540S ? The 540S has been selling around $100, the 540TM at a great price of $190. Thanx.
 

dhn

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It's exactly the same model, just with the lifetime traffic and maps included.

I don't know whether TT offers lifetime maps as an add on, kind of doubt it. Though you can get a map subscription for the 540. Think they are still offering 18 months for the price of 12.

As for the traffic receiver......there too I don't know if you can get just the new charger with the traffic receiver built in.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
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747
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Holtsville, NY
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2535M Live
I have not previously owned a GPS unit and I am on the cusp of ordering a 540 TM. I have several questions I'd appreciate some responses to. I have not seen a 540 in person, but I have been attracted to it by its screen size, reasonable cost for lifetime map updates, and that it seems to have the essential features one would want in a portable GPS unit.

A quick review of some of the posts in this forum indicates that some care should be taken after receiving the unit to back it up correctly and otherwise configure it to work properly. I am not a very technically savvy guy. As an average user type should I have any hesitancy about acquiring the 540? I am willing to read advice in a forum like this and try to follow it, but should one be reasonably tech savvy in order to avoid experiencing problems with the 540?

I would be willing to spend a little more than the approximately $200 the 540 is currently going for, perhaps $50 to $100 more, if I thought that by doing so I would acquire a demonstrably superior unit - not a much more complicated and difficult to use unit, but a unit that would handle auto navigation, points of interest, storage capacity, download speeds and other features in a superior and/or significantly more attractive fashion, and/or that is built with demonstrably better build quality and/or technology. Is there such a unit or units I should consider before pulling the trigger?

Please feel free to brag about the 540 if you think it is justified, as I am sure it will encourage me with regard to the purchase I am about to make.

Your thoughts will be very much appreciated.
Ged
Just one thing. If you need the best traffic buy a Live unit otherwise this unit is fine.
 

Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
Thank you. I can see that the forum is a very good resource. Appreciate it, Ged
 
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Ged

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Jun 24, 2010
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Thank you DrM. I don't think I need live traffic update. The day of my rigorous commute is kind of history now. Ged
 

Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
rustybirman99, now that you've had your 540TM for a while, are you comfortable with the decision you made? Does the USB 1.1 make downloading the map upgrades too slow to be practical? Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks, Ged
 

dhn

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Having USB 1.1 makes the copying terribly slow but the time it takes will still be shorter than the time to fix the unit if there is no backup and something goes wrong............
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
104
Location
USA
TomTom Model(s)
XXL 540TM Navigon 7200T
Ged, I have had my XXL 540TM for over a minth now and still love it. I also have a Navigon 7200T which my wife now uses, so I needed a GPS with much customization possibilities.
The following list is in no specific order, and I am probably leaving out something major !!

1) I like the traffic warnings which verbally tell you, "there is a 10 minute delay on your route, but it is still the best route", so I do not have to view the screen. I think Garmin just colors the route in yellow or red based on the severity of the traffic (I don't know if there is a warning to look at the screen).
2) POI warnings, especially where I customize the verbal warning word for word (or choose one > 20
tone options).
3) The 100's of extra voices you can choose don't interest me because none of them are TTS, only, "Turn right in 100 yards".
4) Lane assistance/Junction view which shows up much more often than Garmin
5) This forum, which helped me (among other things) correct the speech and number enunciation to a better quality. It is also a valuable source of information for all TT users
6) 7 million POI per TT count
7) Being able to block roads on a route and have TT recalculate
8) Being able to see a list of turns on a route (unlike some newer Garmins) and MAYBE the TT 550 ?
If you can't see a list of turns, you can't block any of them.
9) Tom Tom's exclusive IQ routing, which no one else has (Garmin now experimenting with it)
10) 5" screen
11) Easily change volume (sliding digital bar) while route in progress
12) One touch custom menu from the main map screen (with 5 quick options)
13) Volume is loud at 70% and 65mph
14) Downloading a new map was easy but took me 4+ hours (maybe because I did it the day the map came out) For update you start it and then just come back later. Yes the 1.1 USB is slow for map updating.

Anyone else on all the things I missed ?
 

Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
540 TM Ordered Today

I placed an order for the 540 TM today. NewEgg had it for 192.99 with 3 day guaranteed free shipping, a pretty good deal.

Is it known how TomTom has historically treated existing customers if/when it comes out with a new product that renders an earlier product semi-obsolete? It is not difficult to foresee a 540 successor in the not too distant future that moves to USB 2.0 and increases the internal memory (or adds a memory card). My real concern is that the map sizes will soon increase to a size that, along with everything else that is in memory, will effectively negate the "free maps for life" benefit of the 540 TM - unable to download the new maps because it pushes total memory past the 2 Gig memory cap. In that event, I hope that TomTom will allow existing 540 TM customers to purchase the new unit at an exceptional price.

All comments welcome,
Ged
 
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Ged

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Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
Thanks for the list rusty. Very glad you are still enjoying your 540 TM.

Mine should arrive Tuesday, so I'm sure I'll have some questions next week.

Best,
Ged
 

mvl

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GO 2535 LIVE, GO 1535 LIVE, GO 740 LIVE, Go 930
My real concern is that the map sizes will soon increase to a size that, along with everything else that is in memory, will effectively negate the "free maps for life" benefit of the 540 TM - unable to download the new maps because it pushes total memory past the 2 Gig memory cap. In that event, I hope that TomTom will allow existing 540 TM customers to purchase the new unit at an exceptional price.
So far, Tomtom has managed to squish maps and make them fit in existing devices, so I don't think you'll get to a point where you can't fit a new Tomtom map.

However, what does happen is that Tomtom starts reducing the detail on the maps once they run out of space. For example, they reduced the POI on the newer maps for the GO 720, and the erased low-usage roads on the newer maps for the XL330.

In general, I've found Tomtom stops supporting it's devices bug-fix-wise about a year after they're launched. and the internal flash memory on the devices tend to die within 2-4 years of heavy use. So while it's "lifetime", I'd set your expectations of 2-3 years of using the device. Maybe 4 tops.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
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I just bought a XXL540TM last week which I really like a lot. But why cant TomTom separate the North American maps into separate country files so that you would have the option of loading individual countries or any 2 as you need them? How often will you travel from the US to Canada to Mexico in one trip? This would free up some of the limited memory and TomTom wouldn't have reduce the detail of the maps just to make them fit.

Better yet they should have put the 4 gig memory from the World Edition in all the 540 series, but I guess that would have made the "maps for life" last a little to long for their taste.


Pat
 
Last edited:

sab

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Nov 12, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Montreal, Canada
TomTom Model(s)
540M XXL
the internal flash memory on the devices tend to die within 2-4 years of heavy use. So while it's "lifetime", I'd set your expectations of 2-3 years of using the device. Maybe 4 tops.

You bring up an interesting point.

If the flash memory is sort of "designed" to last not more than a couple of years I am starting to understand why TT does not use the SD slot like on my XL. If the internal memory fails on that unit it would most lkely still work with all the files/map installed on the SD card. My 3 year old XL is still working as new. The only reason I bought the XXL is for the free maps.

Guess I will hang on to my trusty 3 year old XL for a while still as a backup.
 

mvl

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I just bought a XXL540TM last week which I really like a lot. But why cant TomTom separate the North American maps into separate country files so that you would have the option of loading individual countries or any 2 as you need them? How often will you travel from the US to Canada to Mexico in one trip? This would free up some of the limited memory and TomTom wouldn't have reduce the detail of the maps just to make them fit.
Tomtom used to sell regional maps because of low SD space, and they sold the larger maps as an "upgrade". Tomtom software requires the start and destination of every route to be on the same map, so if you cross border frequently, it's better to buy a contiguous map.

If you are looking to save space, Tomtom still sells USA-only, Mexico-only and Canada/Alaska-only maps.
 
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Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
Good information mvl, thanks much. Three or four years seems like a good time to make a nice upgrade, so shouldn't be a problem.

Ged
 

Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
Hi Pat,

Not having received my unit yet, I had hoped that I might not have to download all three countries. So your post is enlightening. Mexico, a country I have long loved, is not a place I expect to drive around in any time soon. - I did drive around in Mexico in 1971 with my new bride and we had a great time. Would love to be able to do it again.

I'm looking forward to learning about the GPS. It will be my first. Hopefully, I will learn a lot using the 540 and be able to step up when I upgrade.

Take care and thanks again,
Ged
 

Ged

Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
25
mvl, are the single country maps an option under the lifetime free maps that come with the 540 TM?

Thanks again,
Ged
 
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mvl

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GO 2535 LIVE, GO 1535 LIVE, GO 740 LIVE, Go 930
mvl, are the single country maps an option under the lifetime free maps that come with the 540 TM?
I doubt they're an option systematically, but if they give you trouble in a few years, you may be able to sweet-talk Tomtom phone support into getting you the single-country maps. Phone support has been known to make exceptions as long as they seem fair - and it seems fair to ask for a smaller map.

Also, map prices are dropping dramatically as costs go down with automated user-anonymous-data sourcing. So in a few years, if may cost near nothing to purchase the smaller maps too.
 

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