Hacking TomTom 300/500

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
TomTom say that their map data is now too large to fit in my 500, even restricted to UK only (I have a 300 knocking about somewhere too). They will continue to work on the existing maps, but with no updates.

Pity, the original TomToms were solid and well built (and still working fine, even if lacking some of the newer features). Updating to a current device will also come with free map updates though (but I may look at some kind of combined infotainment system rather than a one trick pony).

What I would really like to do is find a way to repurpose the 300 or 500. It's still a processor with a touch screen!
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Bl**dy tomtom sold a phone app with Europe mapping for life, then stopped updating the maps, saying you could update by moving to a subscription app. Crooks!
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
Their current crop of standalone devices now come with maps for life .... I wonder what value of time they will decide 'for life' is for them?
 

ian_j

Member
TomTom say that their map data is now too large to fit in my 500

I'm in the same boat regarding our 550.

I hadn't received email offers for cheap maps in a while so contacted TT to check why. TT checked and said the issue was fixed, the very next email I got said that they were dropping support for my device but I could buy another and kindly provided links.

Their current crop of standalone devices now come with maps for life .... I wonder what value of time they will decide 'for life' is for them?

LifeTime Maps is for the life of the device, so as soon as TT bring out a new device to replace yours you stop being able to receive updates.

I find the phrase LifeTime maps VERY misleading.


EDIT

Regarding the map too large issue, our 550 wouldn't even download the original UK map with it's inbuilt memory when we purchased it, I ended up putting in an 8gb micro SD card we had laying about and that has been in it ever since.

Even to this day when an update came out I had to select the 8gb card as the destination, TT Home would then copy it over to the devices inbuilt memory when installing.
 

Wallace

Traveler 34122
That hasn't been the case for me.

I have a TT 750 Live. I have UK and Western Europe maps installed on a 4GB card. Whenever I install new maps, I get a choice, internal or external memory. Obviously I choose the external memory card. Never once has it written to the internal memory.
 

ian_j

Member
I have a TT 750 Live. I have UK and Western Europe maps installed on a 4GB card. Whenever I install new maps, I get a choice, internal or external memory. Obviously I choose the external memory card. Never once has it written to the internal memory.

Maybe because the maps are too big for the internal memory.

The UK only map is fine for size when unpacked but too big to put on the internal memory & unpack itself there.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Given the price of satnavs, don't you think that they could have put more memory in them for a few bob? It's damn silly that they sell you something and then two days late you have to shove a memory card in it at your expense because they haven't put enough memory in it to take a modest map update? (rhet)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
But that was when they were expensive, Trev. Yes, I had to upgrade to a bigger SD card a while back too. The original (2GB?) 256MB card was adequate for many years, so I don't think that was a real problem, and now it has hit a memory limit too (after maybe 20 years service?) I can't say TomTom have been unfair (although my map sub has cost the price of a new unit several times over).

A friend of mine is recommending Waze (smartphone app), but I don't think you can really beat TomTom mapping.

Still looking for a way to hack it.
 
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MikeSh

Well-Known Member
My wife is rooted in TomTom but I use Google on my smartphone. Free and up to date maps, free traffic, and the nav is pretty good too these days with lane indication. For the odd occasion when there is no usable data signal and Google baulks I also have the HERE WeGo app which can work with just the GPS signal.
But I only need sat nav about once a month, so paying £££ for a system would be daft :eek:
 

ian_j

Member
A friend of mine is recommending Waze (smartphone app), but I don't think you can really beat TomTom mapping.

Waze is OK but the one thing we always found that TT did better was re-routing to avoid traffic.

A couple of journeys recently we used Waze travelling to central London and once to Manchester, each time we got stuck in major traffic.
With the TT on similar previous trips we got the option to re-route with plenty of time to avoid the traffic.

Waze allegedly does re-route but that's not our experience, google maps faired a bit better but we still prefer TT even though the maps are no longer receiving updates.
 

martxw

Active Member
I'm still using my TomTom GO 530, even though they've stopped updates.
I'm holding off upgrading because I don't think the newer versions are hackable.
Early on TomTom published an API for writing add-on applications, and you could do things like play audio files to interact with users.
But they gave up on that business model and gradually updates stopped exposing the API.
My machine still runs a daemon process to save the NMEA data every second, and another process that listens for a bluetooth connection to upload to the cloud via an Android app.
I generate tile overlays to display over Google Maps, and have details of every journey since 2009.
I first learned that they were discontinuing updates when I accepted the last update, which unfortunately trashed the unit. I don't know if it was deliberate or a coincidence, but luckily I did have a backup, although not containing the very latest map updates, so I'm behind by a few revisions.
Not sure whether to build some custom hardware to track my car (I've made a wearable tracker that uploads over GSM for when I'm on foot or on public transport) or go with a mobile app for satnav and do the tracking within the phone.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Another thing about bl**dy tomtom. You can report errors. You mark the errors, say what changes to make, eg, no right turn, a mini roundabout, bollards, and I religiously did that on my standalone for years, getting the stock update periodically. Did they ever incorporate my corrections? Not one!

I moved to Garmin, with lifetime updates, which really seem to be that, but hardly use it now as the car we use most has a built in satnav. With maps based on tomtom, yet even worse than tomtom, and updates costing £100 a shot, yet only available every few years. So I get missed junctions and roundabouts, incorrect speed limits, directions to leave a motorway and then join it again, you name it.

LifeTime Maps is for the life of the device, so as soon as TT bring out a new device to replace yours you stop being able to receive updates.

And for the lifetime of apps too, which they can terminate at any time. The Android app looked identical to their devices, there was no need to call lifetime on it. The big advantage was the almost unlimited storage memory for maps, limited only by what sd card you inserted into the phone.

Tomtom never explained their warped interpretation of what lifetime maps meant when they sold the app. On the contrary, they went out of their way to point out that you were buying unlimited updates up front, four a year, forever. Crooks!
 
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OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I'm still using my TomTom GO 530, even though they've stopped updates.
I'm holding off upgrading because I don't think the newer versions are hackable.
Early on TomTom published an API for writing add-on applications, and you could do things like play audio files to interact with users.
But they gave up on that business model and gradually updates stopped exposing the API.
My machine still runs a daemon process to save the NMEA data every second, and another process that listens for a bluetooth connection to upload to the cloud via an Android app.
I generate tile overlays to display over Google Maps, and have details of every journey since 2009.
I first learned that they were discontinuing updates when I accepted the last update, which unfortunately trashed the unit. I don't know if it was deliberate or a coincidence, but luckily I did have a backup, although not containing the very latest map updates, so I'm behind by a few revisions.
Not sure whether to build some custom hardware to track my car (I've made a wearable tracker that uploads over GSM for when I'm on foot or on public transport) or go with a mobile app for satnav and do the tracking within the phone.
This is interesting. Any info?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Another thing about bl**dy tomtom. You can report errors. You mark the errors, say what changes to make, eg, no right turn, a mini roundabout, bollards, and I religiously did that on my standalone for years, getting the stock update periodically. Did they ever incorporate my corrections? Not one!
I've had better luck there, but I used the on-line map reporting tool. There is a road up in the "mountains" around here that the TT wouldn't route me on, and when I investigated it turned out that the map thought the road was discontinuous because the aerial survey showed it obscured by trees. They put that one right. However, another problem I reported persisted for several map updates.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
I reported a mistake in Google Maps on Thursday and it was fixed and online within hours. Felbrigg Hall was marked incorrectly. It required satellite images to see this. Yet, a lane near home that has had bollards at the top for years, at least 30, maybe forever, a mini roundabout of some 15 years standing, and a nearby junction that is five way but with access restrictions, were never fixed by Tomtom. I was regularly routed up the first, the second had no warning, and the third had a no right turn that drivers daily ignored, causing danger to a nearby school and holding up traffic behind the illegal turners.

Edit: The first has now been fixed; the second has not: on the third, I am not sure. I tried a test route that would involve an easy illegal right turn; the route did not use this, but involved an impossible manoeuvre that drove straight through some houses.
 
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Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Maybe off topic, but Garmin have always been kinder about using other maps. Even a unit I bought 16 years ago has up to date uk maps on it, almost at the level of detail of os maps.

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin

On my more recent unit, you can load these as well as the official ones and choose which you wish to use from the unit's menu.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
I still prefer to use my old Garmin SP2610 for longer trips even though the maps were last updated in 2009. I can use the sat-nav map on my phone if I need up to date directions for the last mile. Garmin are the better quality product over TomTom who were years behind, for example, in making a unit that could bounce at speed off the road and into a puddle of water and just shrug it off and carry on working which is what you need when on a motorbike. Keep thinking about updating to a modern Garmin Zumo model.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
 
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gomezz

Well-Known Member
My first sat-nav was a Garmin eTrex Vista with a black and white screen and *very* rudimentary navigation but you could set up routes on your computer using waypoints to mark the turns and download them to the Vista. Made it all the way to Austria and back only overshooting one turn somewhere in Bavaria. Still got it but it now eats batteries so now would want a modern handheld for walking or just use the ViewRanger app on my tablet (this is on well marked lowland walks which is all my knees can now manage).
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
I had a Legend and navigated the usa the same way. I remember driving the mountains in Utah with that, and also in Denver, overshooting my hotel several times on a dual carriageway.

Later I got a gps that took maps in small doses. They were expensive and the unit could only take a small area. I only changed to a dedicated car unit because the Vista kept falling out of my car instrument binacle.

With openmaps on it, the vista is still ok for walking, and works well on rechargeable batteries, plus it is the size of a small box of matches.

I, too, am restricted now to flat walks, my knees have had it and one has kept me immobile for most of this year.

I had a Tomtom when the iPhads were launched, and remember saying "best of luck making a touchscreen seem sexy!" I hadn't accounted for those screens Samsung were manufacturing for apple.
 
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