EZPass Anyone??


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N2PPN
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EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:36 pm



Sorry, I posted this in the Tech Forum, shoulda been here instead....


Backstory:

Here in the NYC metro area you have to pay a toll if you want to go just about anywhere over a bridge, through a tunnel... etc. So years ago they developed the EZPass system to automate toll collection and speed things up at the tollbooths.


SO,

I just ordered a new EZPass (electronic toll paying device) for my '81 GW... I ordered the exterior one which is available for trucks, fleet vehicles and such. It is a black bar shaped device about 3/4" square by about 7 or 8 inches long... It is usually mounted over or under the front license plate of a vehicle so that the driver need not have the little white "cigarette pack sized'" plastic box on the top of the windshield (they made these so that truck drivers wouldn't "borrow" the boss's EZPass from the truck as the tag was now attached to the vehicle's exterior) which to say the least is an eyesore and not the easiest thing to keep hidden while parked.

While a large number of my friends just keep their EZPasses in their pockets until they reach the tollbooth, or have these ugly holders for the white interior boxes, I opted for the exterior version for my ride.

Has anyone found an unobtrusive and fully functional location for these on their GW? I was thinking that it might be able to be mounted to the radiator grille at the top, just under the fairing. Since my old chrome grill has long ago been painted black, and the new tag device is also black, it shouldn't be seen and would still be able to be "read" as I approach the toll booth...

Any experiences or ideas/comments??

As soon as I mount it, I will post some pics to show it....

Rich

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:27 am

The EZPass works on all the tolls in NY State, as well as the Turnpike here in Ohio, and the many, many tolls in Chicago as well. I have one for my truck, but I didn't know there was an "external" version.

I take the white unit from my truck with me on my bike and just shove it in my pocket, but they are VERY picky about their position when going through the gates. The must be positioned so that the "velcro" side of the unit (not the side with the lights) is facing upward. I've tried putting it on my bike's "dash" below the windshield and it works - occasionally. The way I've found it works best is to hold it in my hand, using a flat palm and the unit resting on it, holding it up above my head, facing upward and slightly forward.

Has anyone else found a better way of doing this?

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:42 pm

I hate tollways, doesn't the state get enough of our money already..? I wouldn't mind a tollway for bike's only.. :lol: motorcycle's shouldn't need to pay a toll..I protest.. :lol: not that it matter's..

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:44 pm

Hmmm, (he says as he scratches his chin a bit)

I know that the EZpass unit is an RF remote activated transponder. If the tollbooths are picky about the exact placement and positioning of the unit, it might be due to reduced RF (radio waves) output from the tollbooth to trigger the unit to ID itself with the tag #.

This might be due to tollbooth collector's union safety rules regarding RF exposure at work , or other factors such as a reluctance of tollbooth operators having to leave their warm (or cool) booths or other congregational areas and walk out to the offending vehicle and manually take down the info or manually place the tag on the reader (as is the case of an almost dead battery in the tag) so the gate will go up and all can continue on their merry way.

Since the EZpass will work in high speed readers (ones that you drive past at normal highway speeds) and in other toll situations where the entry speeds to the toll lanes can be as high as 35 MPH or better, this would lead one to believe that possibly the positioning isn't as important as one might suspect, but other factors might be in play...


Any EZpass gurus out there to comment???


Rich
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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby ramdam1 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Rich,

I also live on Long Island like you and we both know the only way off is to pay. I ordered the EZpass for the motorcycle. Same as the car but the toll price is less as the reader knows it is a bike. Not sure of the savings since I just got it. I have an 81 gl1100I with the tall windshield and mounted the one from my car right in the center about 6 inches up from the dash last year. Just high enough not to interfer with my XM which is on the dash. Worked with no problems. I just take it off when not on a toll road but the velcro is left on the windshield. Would love to know if you get the external to work. I also love the Ocean Parkway ride. Did it every weekend last year. Send me a PM maybe we can ride one Sunday.

Rich

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:15 pm

Hey,

EZpass NY has a special plan for NYS Thruway Motorcyclists:

Thruway Motorcycle Discount Plan***: Proof of motorcycle registration is required to receive special motorcycle tag. Motorcycles will be charged 50% of the cash toll rate. Cannot be combined with commuter plans. Plan Code: (MTRC)

Visit http://www.e-zpassny.com/en/about/plans.shtml

To view all the various plans offered here in NY...


Rich

I promise to post pics and review of the external Mark IV tag as soon as I get it and install it..


(BTW Mark IV is the manufacturer of the EZpass toll tags....

MARK IV IVHS is a designer and manufacturer of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) devices that are widely used by highway, toll, turnpike, tunnel, and bridge authorities to enable intelligent transportation systems (ITS) such as electronic toll collection (ETC) and automated weigh station bypass. With more than 21.8 million transponders on-the-road and more than 3,700 lanes equipped, MARK IV IVHS is the largest supplier of ETC equipment in North America. MARK IV IVHS has enabled many landmark ITS deployments, including: the world’s first non-stop, all-electronic toll road (Highway 407 ETR, Canada); interoperability between truck electronic preclearance systems and toll collection (PrePass); and, the E-ZPass® system of the 24 toll authorities in 14 states who comprise the E-ZPass® Group in the Northeastern United States. E-ZPass® is a regional ETC system that can be used throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States.)

In case you were interested....



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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:57 pm

What's the highest point on the bike? Your Helmet.. stick it on the front of your helmet using the velcro.. :D

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby tandem54 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:07 pm

WingAdmin wrote:The EZPass works on all the tolls in NY State, as well as the Turnpike here in Ohio, and the many, many tolls in Chicago as well. I have one for my truck, but I didn't know there was an "external" version.

I take the white unit from my truck with me on my bike and just shove it in my pocket, but they are VERY picky about their position when going through the gates. The must be positioned so that the "velcro" side of the unit (not the side with the lights) is facing upward. I've tried putting it on my bike's "dash" below the windshield and it works - occasionally. The way I've found it works best is to hold it in my hand, using a flat palm and the unit resting on it, holding it up above my head, facing upward and slightly forward.

Has anyone else found a better way of doing this?


I have the square white one for Illinois I just put it in my shirt pocket, I tried it in the right glove box but it wouldn't register!!
I think the front would be good, you wouldn't see it. Their web site says it starts being read 1-2 miles before you get there!
It is cheaper to use one!!!
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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby ehadams » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Mine is mounted on my aftermarket windshield right above the headlight behind the dash on my 75 GL.

We velcro'd and ty-wrapped on to the fork brace on my brother's 79 since he didn't have a windshield. They work good in both places.

You can see it in this picture:


Eric

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby Diesel Dan » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm

Can't find the supplier, but you may want to consider a clear covered phone/iPod holder that slips over your forearm.
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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:51 pm

ARRRGH!

After calling the EZPass people yesterday afternoon (to find out where the new tag was that I had ordered) I was "informed" that the order had been can canceled!!!

When I asked why the order was canceled, it was explained to me that the exterior tag I had ordered can not be associated with the vehicle class used for motorcycles. I was dumbfounded!! "You mean that the electronic serial number for this exterior tag can not identify the vehicle it's attached to as anything other than a CAR""?? I asked. "No, sorry sir, the exterior tag is only for cars, you will have to get an interior (white plastic) tag for your motorcycle, it will have a letter M on it and be only for your motorcycle's use". "What if I get the exterior tag anyway (telling them it is for my car) and then attach it to the motorcycle and then tell EZPass to associate it's serial number with the motorcycle"?? "You would get violations for using the tag on an incorrect class of vehicle sir".

I couldn't believe my ears, in this day and age of computers, the friggin' serial number of the stinkin' EZPass tag can't be assigned to any specific type or registration class of vehicle??? After thinking my head would explode from trying to figure this out I just accepted the fact that the prospect of having an exterior tag for my GW was now no longer going to happen and I would have to suffer with the white plastic box and find a inconspicuous place to keep it....

I may still try the "workaround" approach with the exterior tag and if I get violated, battle it out with them in court....

ARRGH!


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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:36 am

They charge less for motorcycles than for cars. I just use my car tag on my motorcycle - I figure they aren't going to violate me for paying extra for my motorcycle. As long as I'm not using a motorcycle tag on my car, which I'm sure they'd have a problem with. I've been doing this for years and never had a complaint.

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby Diesel Dan » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:53 pm

On one of these sites, a poster mentioned how he observed a LEO on their bike driving through the toll booth way over to one side and the lights never changed. Guess with some booths, you can avoid being "seen".
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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:33 pm

Maybe on older less sophisticated systems that would be able to be done, but the NYC metro area has the latest and greatest Mark IV systems installed, they not only use inductance loop detection, they use axle counters, weight and length measurements and also scan all license plates as they enter and exit the toll booth threshold. So I don't think even a LEO would escape the "big Brother" at the toll booth. (Also in our area, EZPass toll booths take a photograph of the vehicle's front windshield and one of the driver.)

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:03 am

Finally got my exterior tag!!!

I chose to mount it at the bottom of my formerly chromed radiator grille (now painted flat black) here are the pictures:

After removing the grille, with the EZpass laid out
After removing the grille, with the EZpass laid out



First I tried to use pop rivets, but they didn't hold as well as I wanted
First I tried to use pop rivets, but they didn't hold as well as I wanted



Finished Installation (I wound up using 1/4 - 20 stainless hardware instead of the pop rivets)
Finished Installation (I wound up using 1/4 - 20 stainless hardware instead of the pop rivets)


So now I won't have to be bothered with holding the tag up, or having it attached to my windshield or any of that crap... I also called the EZpass offices and gave them the tag # to put it on the MTRC plan for reduced tools on the NYS Thruway... will be interesting to see if they can add it as they keep telling me that tag I finally got (the exterior one) is for cars only... So if they can add it great, if not then I think I can afford to pay the auto rate for tolls (since it is still discounted over the cash toll amount) and tell them to go scratch...

When I get the actual motorcycle tag (the white one with the M on it) I will probably just return it or put it in the junk drawer in it's silver bag.


By the way, the only way I finally got them to issue an exterior tag to me (every time I called to order one I got all sorts of excuses and denials) was to visit an EZpass center in person and tell them I had just installed a metallic tinted windshield on one of my vehicles and was having problems with the interior tag being read... The very nice young lady behind the counter just smiled and entered the request to be processed...

So that's the way to get an exterior tag, tell them your interior tag is having problems being read...

If anyone else also tries and exterior tag like mine, post about it and we can compare notes about how you mounted it and if it has any issues being read or out of vehicle class....


Rich
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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Sun May 22, 2011 5:55 pm

Arrgh!

I am such a dolt!!

Even after having installed and worked on the tag readers I still made a fatal mistake!!
Let me explain...

I finally got a chance to ride the bike to work up in The Bronx, which requires me to go over the Throggs Neck Bridge, one of many toll bridges here in NYC... I anxiously pull up in the EZpass lane expecting the gate to go up as it always has before for both the car and on the bike (when I was using the car's tag on the windshield of the GW).... but to my dismay the gate stayed down.... so I beep the horn and a TBTA (Triboro Bridge & Tunnel Authority) worker walks up to me with the hand-held reader and asks "what seems to be the problem"? I explain that my new exterior tag wasn't read and show him where it is located on the bike.... he scans the bar code on the tag and enters a few things on the keys and hits the gate button, the gate rises and off I go....

I figure that the tag is fresh in the system and maybe it had to be verified before it would work by itself....

I go about the days' business and once again I am on my way back home over the same bridge back to Queens and then Long Island. I pull up into the EZpass lane again, expecting the gate to now perform as it always has, and once again no gate movement......no message on the display panel in front of me...OK, "beep beep".... and another TBTA employee comes over, and she also wants to know where the tag is on the bike, this time I have to actually get off the bike and point to it for her, as she can't seem to understand why it's in the place where I mounted it (see pics in last post) and after she scans the bar code and enters some stuff on the keys, she casually says to me, "you know the readers are mounted on the underside of the toll booth roof, it probably can't read your tag mounted UNDER your bike"..... I felt like such a dolt!!! Now I have to find a higher unobstructed place for the exterior tag to be mounted.... ARRGH!!! Guess that's why they want you to mount it up high on the windshield...... DUH!

More to follow when I find the right place for it...



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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby Sally » Sun May 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Yeah I have an easy pass on the Gl1800. I have a white one for MC only because prices are cheaper then using the one from the car. Rates are different per axles.. Anyways I have hook and loop with self adhesvise on one side ( craft store ) I mounted it low in the center of windsheild. put it on just when needed and store it the the glove box right side lockable.. alway works fine no problem where it's mounted.. Will use it in two weeks to go to Americade... SEE YOU THERE !!!! Sally

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby N2PPN » Sun May 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Wow, Americade.... that brings back all sorts of memories... last one I went to was in 1988 in Lake George, NY..

I did get charged the reduced rate for motorcycles when the toll agents manually entered the tag ID number from the bar code scan... so if I get it mounted in a better location, I know I will get charged the right amount for the bike as opposed to the car...

Will get to thinkin' about just where to mount it.... I got a bunch of time on my hands now as I just got laid off from work and the union says that it might be 60 weeks or so before I go back to work.... woo hoo!!! lots of time to ride my GW!!!


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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby miroku800 » Sat May 28, 2011 5:01 am

Just a thought, Try putting it in your back box and seeing if it works with just the plastic above it and if it does mount it underneath the box on the rack frame

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby WingAdmin » Sun May 29, 2011 11:36 am

The white EZ-Pass transponders are fairly weak - they will transmit through windshield glass, but they do need to be pointed forward - I had one sitting on the glareshield under the plexiglass on my 1100 and it would not register. Sometimes holding it up on your flat palm works, but they are very finicky. I'd be surprised if they work through the rear trunk lid.

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby miroku800 » Sun May 29, 2011 1:28 pm

WingAdmin wrote:The white EZ-Pass transponders are fairly weak - they will transmit through windshield glass, but they do need to be pointed forward - I had one sitting on the glareshield under the plexiglass on my 1100 and it would not register. Sometimes holding it up on your flat palm works, but they are very finicky. I'd be surprised if they work through the rear trunk lid.

I was thinking more about the external one mentioned above, putting it in the box as a test situation and if it works mounting it externally, if it didn't work you haven't lost the time it takes to mount it

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby macka » Sun May 29, 2011 7:08 pm

can't you just paint the white one black? it won't be so conspicuous, and regular self etching paint should not mess with the signal.

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Re: EZPass Anyone??

Postby ramdam1 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:56 am

Wow a lot of great ideas and a lot of discussion. I have two velcro strips on my windshield and put the Motorcycle EZ Pass there when I need it. Not too often. I ordered more Velcro from NY State and they sent me enough for 10 applications so if I want to pull it off each time I could. Works perfect and just high enough not to block my XM antenna which is on the dash, but out of my line of sight.




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