Solar Wireless Car TPMS Monitor

Solar

This device – advertised as a Car Solar Wireless TPMS Tyre Tyre Pressure Monitor has turned out to be wonderful. See the photo of the device sitting on my car dash (2 brackets and an adhesive pad supplied – I used the latter) which also comes complete with manual and 4 tire sensors with a claimed battery life of 5 years. Note the lack of wires.

Here is one of the sensors which replace normal tyre caps, attached to our Honda, where they will stay for the next few months here in the UK, before being transferred to our little Spanish car in the spring.

Tire cap

So, what is special about this unit? Well, it charges from USB OR from the sun, so no wires needed. Indeed while working on another article and forgetting that I didn’t have a photo of the unit, I left it mounted on my dash as you see, collecting energy from the “sun” – I say that laughingly as I don’t think the Northeast of England has seen any sun this month – certainly not since I opened this unit – and yet, there it is after sitting in the car all morning, fully charged. Weeks later I have yet to plug it into anything – yet it works.

So, the wireless sensors outside on the wheels take seconds to mount – and I’ve done NO setup. I believe from the manual I can do lots and I will when time permits – but here’s the thing – when I got back to the UK last week, I came back with a dodgy rear right wheel which lost a lot of pressure (from 33psi to 22psi or thereabouts) in a matter of days – twice while over in Spain. The thing is, I didn’t trust the air supply gauges in the rural villages over there, I suspect some of them were last calibrated just after WW2.

We knew we had a problem with at least one tyre but were not exactly sure of the scale. When we came back to the UK we went to a modern garage on the way up North, filled the tyre and measured all of them. Three were as they were supposed to be and then this TPMS monitor arrived from Banggood. It worked first time and I quickly tested the wheels (by then fitted with the sensors) and as a result, we took the car to Quick-Fit who confirmed that just the one tyre was shot – a screw apparently – and sadly also confirmed that the tyre was not fixable. Meanwhile, the other rear tyre got a fixable nail puncture,

The upshot of that was the purchase of two new front tyres with one of the original fronts replacing the damaged rear – all calibrated and set up by Quickfit so we know the readings we have now are accurate. In the future (we do a lot of travelling) I will be happily using this gauge to keep an eye on tyre pressures and temperatures (after a short time, transferring to a different car unless I buy a second unit) and no longer worry about the accuracy or otherwise of rural petrol station gauges. Good gadget. One less thing to worry about. And no wires – that keeps Maureen happy.

Do we have gripes? Just one – that pesky audio alarm – that’s coming off. Other than that, great.

Good gadget – and Andreas Spiess has found other uses for these. Be sure to check out what he’s doing.

Update – weeks later: Meanwhile the unit has been in my car now for weeks – running constantly without any external power – just it’s own solar panel – UNBELIEVABLE. Now, before anyone says anything – I KNOW the photo below is naff, I just took a quick shot after shopping last night to let you see as we were leaving the car… there it is – rubbish weather (rain), no power or connections since fitting, happily reporting tire pressure and OS temperature. I didn’t even press a button. I live in the Northeast of England in the winter and very FEW of my solar toys work for any time at night, yet here we are, pitch black and the unit continues to display tire pressure. Let that sink in for a minute…

Tire

Strangely, only today (Nov 13, 2019) 70Mai sent me an ad on their forthcoming product, similar looking but with app… I’ll take a look at that when it comes out… so far this thing is still running 24-7 COMPLETELY on solar power (not much sun here in the UK) – no problem – it will be interesting to see if the 70Mai device can manage anything like that.

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15 thoughts on “Solar Wireless Car TPMS Monitor

  1. lol, seems we buy a lot of same stuff 😀
    i received and mounted the SAME model just 2 weeks ago for the SAME reason (rear right tire looses pressure in a matter of days), and it seems a nice device 🙂

    only quirks found till now, there seems to be no calibration… example, i went to a friend with a compressor to inflate my tires and have all of them in a similar condition when i put sensors up… all tires, 2.5atm… put on sensors, 2 were at 2.5, 1 at 2.4 and 1 at 2.3…

    sensors run on small button batteries and send data ONLY while in motion, and the main base unit has some sort of vibration sensor that awakes it when you open the door or turn car on, which enables the display…

    protocol should be rf433, i’ve to try to intercept their values with my rflink to see if it can detect the data and have it in nodered, too 🙂

    i didn’t put the counter-nuts to prevent casual stealing, as my car is pretty much everytime in closed or surveiled spaces… you should put on the nuts, then the sensor, then unscrew the nuts and have them tight to the sensor back… this will not dissuade the intentional thief, but the normal dumb dude who just want to cause you “rage”…

  2. I have had this or one similar for almost a year now. Works really well but top tip don’t use the nuts as they get corroded and the monitor gets stuck onto the tyre valve. I had to completely destroy one sensor to get it off the tyre after 3 months. It has however warned me about a slow puncture twice and a fast puncture once. Unfortunately a lot of construction going on near me and screws on the road giving issues. Well worth the investment if you don’t have a built in system.

    1. Thanks for the feedback guys – Ian – that’s good info as others suggested using the nuts – I assume they live in high crime areas. So, I’ve had ample warning of the slow puncture, giving me confidence to replace the “not inexpensive” tyre on the Honda. We have cars here in the UK and also in Spain and neither has build in systems. I may get another one of these, I’d swap them over on our next trip but I managed somehow to lose the original caps so if this unit works well over the winter I’ll get another for our little Spanish car.

  3. Banggood regularly run promotions on these, I got one for under £15 3 weeks ago and have seen similar offers since. They do appear on rflink but take some spotting as I get dozens of tyre pressure readings from local vehicles if I turn that filter on. Also whilst the docs say it only sends while in motion I do find the readings have been updated when I get into the car both pressure and tyre temperatures.

    1. Oh, that’s an idea Steve… good way to detect if the wife has returned with the car…. RFLIK (I have one somewhere) into my Node-Red system… good one. Want to give a little more info as it is so long since I used RFLINK.. actually something that would inject MQTT straight into my system would be good…. ESP-8266 based ?? Lsat time I looked a year or so ago, most such projects were pretty naff, which is why I ended up with RFLINK and an Arduino Mega, a bit OTT just to pick up some radio signals? Other ways?

  4. Oh, that’s an idea Steve… good way to detect if the wife has returned with the car…. RFLINK (I have one somewhere) into my Node-Red system… good one. Want to give a little more info as it is so long since I used RFLINK.. actually something that would inject MQTT straight into my system would be good…. ESP-8266 based ?? Last time I looked a year or so ago, most such projects were pretty naff, which is why I ended up with RFLINK and an Arduino Mega, a bit OTT just to pick up some radio signals? Other ways or is that the best way now?

    1. Actually on checking my node-red it wasn’t rflink I used to pick up the tyre sensor it was the rtl_433 running on the pi via a cheap SDR decoder(£7 ish -which I think you used in the past) – that decodes the transmission and then generates a mqtt message which I pick up in node red. The rflink may have a decoder for the TPMS but I use that with one of those combined esp8266/mega boards only to pick up the weather station data

    2. for wife presence i suggest to just connect whatever cheap esp8266 via usb to a cigarette 12v power socket in car… then set up on it mqtt+LWT…

      when she turns on car, cigarette socket is powered and device is turned on, joining your wifi… when she leaves, device disconnects and then mqtt LWT will be fired…

      same when she’s back home, device will rejoin wifi, and when she turns off the car, device will be shut down triggering LWT again…

      no manual interaction, all working with device being turned on or off by car, nothing else… you just need to set a given time when you know her location to set the state, if home or not, and that’s it…

  5. Also if you want further possible uses for the pressure sensors Andreas Spiess did a couple of videos recently where he used them to monitor his beer brewing progress – maybe another string to your bow

  6. Some interesting stuff and ideas here! Re corrosion of sensors to valve stem, a little smear of vaseline or silicone grease on the threads will solve that problem nicely.

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