Does RSD co-exist with HD Traffic?

Apr 16, 2012
United Kingdom
TomTom Model(s)
Go Live 1005 World

Have a new Go Live 1005 World. I want to buy a new charging cable, so I can fit one neatly in the car, and have one in the home, without having to unravel the car cable.

I can get a standard cable for the 1005 for a tenner, and can get one with RDS for 40 quid.

I was wondering that if I went down the RDS route, do I have to choose to use HD Traffic or RDS, or can both be used at the same time? This may give me additional information when/if HD Traffic is shaky, will be handy when I travel to non-supported places, and gives me the option of discontinuing HD Traffic after a year, if I feel I am not getting my money's worth.

If RDS isn't of immediate use while using HD Traffic, I'll buy the cheaper lead, and face the same decision in a year's time!


With the rds combo antenna/car charger, if you let LIVE services lapse, or you refuse to share information (which causes LIVE to stop working) or if the LIVE servers stop working (it happens), then you can indeed get at least rds traffic.
I've got the RDS-TMC mount for my Go940 and here's what happens if I DO have a current HD Traffic subscription.

As soon as I put it in the mount the TomTom starts using RDS, but as soon as LIVE has contacted the servers, it switches over to HD Traffic.

If I go through an area with a bad mobile phone signal, it switches back to TMC Traffic for a while.

But it never uses both together.
Thanks for the replies, useful info. What I was concerned about was whether installing an RDS actually disabled HT Traffic. As it sounds that this is not the case, I think I will consider getting on as my extra lead. What Andy says makes sense - it means the RDS will act as a backup for HD Traffic, if it cannot be reached.
One caution:

There are many cellular deadzones in my neighborhood, and when driving through a deadzone the Tomtom will use the last-known HD Traffic data for about 5-10 minutes before "expiring" it and erasing it.

With an RDS-TMC antenna connected, my Tomtom will switch over to RDS-TMC immediately rather than wait 5-10 minutes. (it will switch back to HD Traffic once cellular coverage returns)

However, personally, I prefer 10-minute-old HD traffic over realtime RDS-TMC traffic, and I don't have sustained areas non-cellular coverage, so I deliberately choose to use a regular charger rather than my RDS-TMC receiver.
More great info, thanks. I suspect (only from what I have already read) that the situation in the UK with regard to RDS coverage is better than in the US, However, it's given me something else to think about before making a purchase.

This is good, because otherwise I am prone to impulse purchases (and I don't meant the TomTom!). I bought a really nifty cup mount, straight off the bat, because I thought that looked the best place to mount my GPS. Only after I got it, and found the positioning wasn't optimum, that I realised that there was a very good position that could be used with the standard mount.

[My dumping of my old Garmin and purchase of the new TomTom was prompted by a change of car; so everything - including mounting points, and positions of power points - is currently new to me]

Have just bought some of these, so my cable fixing isn't going to be as permanent as I thought it might be.


I'm not mvl, but..........

If you were to buy this combo rds-tmc antenna/car charger:

for your device and if either Live Services were lost or you just chose not to renew LIVE when your subscription is up, then the unit WILL revert to rds (fm) traffic.

You understand that the quality of information via fm is inferior to LIVE in that:
1. The info refreshes every 15 minutes (vs 2 for LIVE)
2. The coverage is essentially highways only, not main roads and side streets too.

But the fm traffic is lifetime, not subscription based.

One other thing:
Coverage is NOT everywhere.

See here:
Thanks a lot dhn.
In my area live traffic unfortunately is not that much better (in some cases worse) than rds & live connection is sometimes lost so it would be nice to have rds as back-up.
I’m only confused about the update interval for rds, on my XXL540, I believe it can be set to 2 minutes, 15 minutes would not be very useful in my environment.
Thanks again.
I've never seen a mechanism for setting the interval for RDS, though it was possible to set the interval for the old "use the cell phone as a modem" method when we had what we called "Plus" service traffic (no longer available). That was to limit data usage on cell phones when it was still a rather expensive metered service. Kept the user from going into shock when the cell bill arrived each month. Seems that with RDS, you'd want it as frequently as possible since there's no harm and plenty of benefit in taking it as it comes.

The RDS comes as it comes, slowly, over an FM subcarrier. Because the bit rate is so slow (average is typically between 40 and 100 bits per second), that alone limits the speed of updates, especially where there are a lot of major roads to report upon in your area. Position accuracy is limited as well. As I understand it, each reporting area is limited to 65,535 unique points on a map.


The "Plus" traffic was a pretty slick system. It could still work, but the problem was that the cell providers started disabling the "DUN" (dial-up-networking) Bluetooth profile on all of their packages and most of their phones, so it was getting to the point where there were no providers left that would allow you to use your cell phone to get the TomTom some internet access to get traffic or any other data.

In response, TomTom created the Live units with their own cellular data connection and set up programs with providers like AT&T here in the U.S. to make the connection back to TomTom. Of some interest, Garmin tried this approach and abandoned it. Not sure if it was a cost or logistics problem for them.

You'll find that TomTom's Live traffic service covers more secondary roads than RDS in addition to the more frequent updates. It's still good to have the RDS as a fallback, though. You never know when you might have a 'bad network day'. It happens.
Thanks canderson:
My thinking is the same, besides, sometimes it seems TT server gets overwhelmed & my 2535M LIVE shows the spinning wheel despite the cell connection being OK; it would be nice to have DRS traffic during that time.
Thanks again.
RDS receiver with Live subscription on 2535M LIVE

Hi all:
Here’s my experience with using RDS receiver with Live subscription on 2535M LIVE for approx. 1 month.
At start I get “RDS receiver connected”, a second or two later “RDS receiver disconnected”;
This repeats 3 or 4 times until I get a spinning wheel (I’m assuming connecting to TT server) this spins anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes during quiet times, then I get the traffic (I assume HD).
Sometimes the traffic bar comes up with connection error or winks out altogether; RDS never reconnects as far as I can tell. A few minutes later HD tries again & so on.
During commute times it takes 5 to 20 minutes (sometimes with restarts & reboots) to get traffic, which is extremely frustrating for me as have about 4 different ways to go, but have to commit within first couple of minutes.
It was working better last year, now I’m back to using Google on my BB to make traffic decisions.
Ant words of wisdom or even consolation are appreciated.
No wisdom, just consolation here.

Does LIVE traffic seem to work in non rush hour situations?




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