Tyre Pressure Monitor – Doran ™ 360 (Review)

Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 23:23

Baz - The Landy

Photos and Story: Baz - The Landy

A recent trip into the Outback provided a great opportunity to test out the new vehicle, a Toyota 79 Series Dual Cab...

On previous vehicles I have used some form of tyre pressure monitoring system and had some insight into what I should be looking to use on the new vehicle.

Much has been written on the ExplorOz site covering this topic and a review of these highlighted many have had mixed success with the various types and products on offer.

Previously I had used the TPMS Brand monitor, but this was no longer available.
One of my main requirements was to have a sealed “sender or transmitter” as my research highlighted that units with replaceable batteries, and therefore a requirement to be opened to change batteries, could lead to water and dust ingression at some time in the future due to not sealing properly after being opened. Much of what I had read listed this as a common problem with this type of transmitter.

I finally settled on the Doran ™ 360 Tire Pressure Monitor whose Australian distributor is LSM Technologies in Queensland.

The unit is mounted in an overhead console in the vehicle and hard wired into the ignition. Usually it takes approximately 2-4 minutes to locate all transmitters, including the TVAN Camper Trailer, if attached. And whilst it does list in the description that it can be wired in such a way to avoid this delay, neither myself, or an auto-electrician I regularly use could configure to achieve this outcome.

Programming of the unit is very straight forward, especially when changing tyre pressures, and you can easily program it to monitor the camper trailer if attached, or remove it from monitoring if not attached.

Until the recent trip the vehicle had travelled 17,000 kilometres covering a variety of on-road and off-road conditions, both with and without the camper trailer. In that time the receiver unit had never lost a signal from any of the wheel transmitters, which are a valve cap type.

In fact, I was a little unnerved by this and removed transmitters randomly and at irregular intervals just to make sure it was working – it was, attested by a "rapid pressure loss" alarm going off instantaneously on every occasion!

The vehicle covered 5,000 kilometres on typical outback roads during the recent two-week sojourn and did lose a signal from the camper trailer on a couple of occasions. This was temporary and was usually back on-line within a few minutes, noting there was no particular condition under which the signal was lost.

I am confident that any rapid change of pressure due to a puncture would still have been detected, despite this indication, as I removed one whilst it was giving a “lost signal” indication and it immediately gave a "rapid pressure loss" warning.

There is a solution for vehicles that are losing a signal regularly and is achieved via an external antenna. The Toyota is only fitted with the standard antenna which is coupled directly to the unit and located inside the overhead console. Of course, this is most likely shielding the signal with some likely degradation, however a representative from LSM Technologies thought this would be nominal and is proving to be the case so far.

The unit is not cheap when compared to alternatives on the market and will set you back around $750 with six tyre transmitters. And whilst sounding expensive, I have always been of the belief that paying extra for a top quality product is better than paying half the price for a sub-standard product and not having it perform as intended.

And is it worth the money?

Well it saved a BFG All-Terrain on the recent trip, and at around $325 a tyre the system not only saved the expense of a replacement tyre, but also provided a high level of safety by instantly providing feedback on a punctured tyre – the cost of which might be measured in more than just dollar terms!

Here is a link to the LSM Technologies website to enable you to review the specific product detail. Noting, neither Doran or LSM Technologies have provided any incentives for this review, but without doubt I will recommend them to anyone in the market for a good, and I stress the word "good" tyre pressure monitor.

Update October 2015: The Doran's have been on the vehicle 2 years and covered 60,000klm of driving, much of it completely off-track in extreme conditions, and they are still going strong without any drop-outs!

Update November 2018: Working perfectly, but after 5-yeas I've had to replace two transmitters due to battery exhaustion...

Just in case you were wondering “Baz – The Landy” came about as a consequence of owning three Land Rover Defenders, but as you can see this has now changed...

And yes, thank you, I've recovered fully from the experience!

But “Baz – The Landy” reference has stuck...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia…
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”
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