I recently bought a VDO Dayton MT5011 TMC box. In 2003, I bought my first VDO Dayton satellite navigation system, after seeing it used at one of my previous jobs, and driving up to Amstelveen, near Amsterdam, to get a secondhand one. Now, in 2007, I bought my first TMC box, to receive traffic information on my VDO Dayton MS5000 mounted in my current company car.
The MT5011 was a secondhand one, and was shipped with the following items:
- Original packaging;
- MT5011 box;
- Power and data wire loom;
- antenna adaptor.
What was missing, is
- FM glue-on windshield antenna;
- screws and terminal blocks.
Installation is fairly simple, and similar to the MT5010 manual as found on navigatiehelpsite.nl (registration required):
- Connect the brown wire to the vehicle chassis;
- Connect the yellow-red wire to a continuous +12V connection; use a 3A fuse;
- Connect the red wire to the ignition-on +12V. Since your MS5000 and similar VDO satnav needs a similar wire, this should not be a problem;
- Connect the white contact plug in the TMC receiver
- … and plug the green plug in the C2 position on your VDO satnav computer.
- Plug your antenna in the antenna connector
You can see if the TMC box is working if the red LED is on on the TMC receiver.
The issue I had was with the antenna. The current company rental is an Opel Zafira, featuring Fakra plugs at the rear of the FM radio, so splitting this signal would be cumbersome. I had another antenna with magnetic mount, but reception with only this antenna on the roof was sub-par. I bought a 16€ cheap glue-on windshield antenna, and got better signals,.
I ordered a second 5011 box for in the Audi, and plan to use the stock radio antenna with a decent splitter. Sometimes, outdated technology is better because it is easier to find a DIN splitter than Fakra plugs.
Using the TMC functions on my MS5000 is fairly simple. When the TMC box is connected on my MS5000, I get an indication “TMC” in the middle of the status bar. TMC in red means that there is no reception, in black it means my current map does not have the necessary TMC data and in green or in green with the station name means I am receiving traffic info.
At first sight, no additional menu items appear. You first wonder where you can actually select which TMC stations you can select. In “Settings” there always was an item where you could configure which messages you wanted to receive, but it was there too when you didnd’t have a TMC box connected.
It turns out that in Map or Directions view, when you get the submenu when you click OK, where you would normally look for setting the scale of the map, there is a new option: “Info”. Also, in the full map view, another option “Traffic Info” appears. In “Info”, you can select which station to tune in to, get traffic info around 300 km of your current location and destination and select your type of route.
In normal following mode, you will see in zoomed in maps that some bits of road have warning signs above them, when a problem is known from the traffic info agencies. If you zoom out the map, you only get the warning signs. But in these cases, you will not get a notification when you are approaching roadworks or a traffic jam.
You will only get these notifications when you have put in a route, and in this route, some incident occurs. The MS5000 will display a warning sign in the status bar. When the border is green, it means that your satnav can still work out a detour to avoid the traffic problem. When the warning sign has a red border, you’re stuck on route to the traffic problem, with no means of escape.
When a traffic problem pops up, and you have a detour possibility, your VDO satnav will give you the possibility to figure out a detour. When you choose “detour”, it will suggest a detour, telling you how much time and distance the detour will take, and wheither you want to accept the detour or eat the traffic congestion.
All in all a very good system. Compared to the traffic info on FM radio every 20 or 30 minutes, you are kept up to date quicker, without interrupting your CD or MP3 playlist. Some TMC stations even offer speed trap notifications, even on the older MS5000 models.
Before you get your TMC box, check what your TMC coverage is in your country. The technology is not that recent anymore, but there has not been a major support for the service. Only the Netherlands have many stations sending out TMC info, but they all use just a few common databases.