TomTom speed warnings in the French Alps

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Jan 31, 2013
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I bought a TomTom XXL with Western European maps in early January because I was driving down to the French Alps.

Broadly speaking it worked fine although I detest the method of attaching the SatNav to the screen - it is just asking for you to distort (and break) the screen. Incidentally, the computerised voice makes a complete hash of pronouncing French city / town names - they are unrecognisable.

The one glitch is that the French authorities have reduced the maximum speed limit from 130kph to 110kph on sections of the A40 near Geneva / Bonneville for the winter months. This is not down to periods when the roads are wet but all the time, because of possible icy conditions - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
 
The only 'clean' solution to the pronunciation issue is to use the voice that matches the area. Each computer voice has a set of supplied 'hints' to help it turn the text into sounds that make sense. As we're all painfully aware, even English text isn't pronounced the way it's written (with the possible exception of northern Scotland, where it actually makes a weird kind of sense!).

So the hints for your UK English voice won't match up well with the text of streets and towns in France which have entirely different hints that come with the French voice for correct pronunciation.

While it would be interesting (but would use quite a lot of extra memory) for TomTom to supply the hints for every country/language for street and town names with the language voice of your choice, and apply the hints based upon the country you are presently visiting, they don't do that.

I'm curious to know about the 'screen' issue. Since you talk about attaching the 'SatNav to the screen', it sounds like you mean the 'windscreen' of the vehicle?
 
<SNIP>
I'm curious to know about the 'screen' issue. Since you talk about attaching the 'SatNav to the screen', it sounds like you mean the 'windscreen' of the vehicle?
Yes, I was referring to the way the XXL is mounted to the car windscreen; in my case, using what I believe is called an "EasyPort Mount Kit".

This is fixed to the windscreen using a "sucker pad" which seems to work well. However, the SatNav then has to be engaged with or plugged into this sucker pad. Doing this involves a degree of pressure on the casing of the SatNav which I find disconcerting.

I also own a "cheapo" NaviGo GPS which has what seems to me to be a much gentler mounting system, at least so far as the connection to the SatNav itself (LINK).


I take your point about pronunciation in foreign languages - as least I wasn't travelling in Poland :eek:
 
The EasyPort ought not require a great deal of pressure to engage the unit. The guys here who own models with that mount talk a lot about technique. As I recall, Andy has some experience with this that he shares from time to time, but I don't recall his method. Perhaps he'll pipe up and explain why it always seems so easy when he describes it.
 
The EasyPort ought not require a great deal of pressure to engage the unit. The guys here who own models with that mount talk a lot about technique. As I recall, Andy has some experience with this that he shares from time to time, but I don't recall his method. Perhaps he'll pipe up and explain why it always seems so easy when he describes it.
I have experimented with it outside the car and have not been able to identify an easy, stress-free way of latching the XXL to the EasyPort so Andy's advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 
I'd make sure you have the charger cord plugged into the unit **before** mounting the device to the windshield.
 
The EasyPort ought not require a great deal of pressure...

As I recall, Andy has some experience with this that he shares from time to time....

Whenever I have mentioned it before it was just to say how much I hate it! :rant:

When I used my XL in the car I tried to keep the mount on the back of the unit, but then I found it really fiddly to get my hands around the back to rotate the lock for the suction pad.
The XXL will be even harder because it's bigger.

If I took it off the mount, I often didn't clip it back tightly enough and it fell off.

And it felt to me like I was always just a fraction away from snapping the ring of the mount.

If it gets used at all now, it's attached to the wing mirror of my daughter's moped in one of these...:lol:

main_bike-case-1.jpg



It might be worth investigating other third-party mounts. I think you can get ones in two parts where one half remains clipped to the back of the XXL and the other can be fixed to the windscreen.

Try:

Brodit: Brodit Proclip | UK | DSLDevelopments (DSL are UK distributors)

Buybits: Mobile Phone Accessories | Netbook Accessories | Free UK Delivery :: [ BuyBits ] (Lots of different stuff)

Arkon: http://www.arkon.com/tomtom_gps_alternative_mount.php

Carcomm: http://www.carcomm.nl/
 
Whenever I have mentioned [the EasyPort] before it was just to say how much I hate it! :rant:
I entirely agree, it seems very poorly designed.

As it happens, I had a play with it today and came to the conclusion that it makes most sense to attach the mount to the SatNav first and then attach the suction pad to the windscreen (fiddly but safe). To remove it I remove the SatNav from the bracket first and then remove the suction pad from the windscreen and clean off any marks on the windscreen.

I will have a look at the alternative attachment devices you have mentioned - thanks.
 

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