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Old 01-30-2015, 8:43 PM
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Default Mobile Toll Transponders

I didn't want to post this to the wireless/everything else forum for the reason that will soon be apparent so bear with me.

We have an early model toll transponder that takes batteries rather then the current crop of passive RFID units. This one will beep and the led will show positive confirmation of interrogation when passing a toll point. It will also signal for low batteries. This made before the now common adhesive type that prevents you from moving it from vehicle to vehicle and uses suction cups.

Over the years we've had it, it's remained silent except for two toll roads we seldom use. Now every so often we get a green light and beep driving around. Checking the website account, there is no valid entry for a toll deduction from the balance that day. Only when we use the two expressways.

So the question I'm asking is are they starting to use these devices as trackers or use them to determine traffic pattern statistics? This would be an important issue as most all the ones on the road are totally passive and you have no idea if they've been interrogated or not. Only the few very early adopters purchased the active units, so most people would have no knowledge of being interrogated.

The unique id is specific now to the VIN/License Plate/Owner/and make of vehicle. The reasoning is if you have an account on file and the transponder doesn't work, the photo can be matched up to a valid account and normal deduction occur rather then paying a mail fee.

The other possiblility is that they are using these beyond the scope of their intended use to gather user habits and create databases of users travels or some other reason.

It's only happened a few times, so I doubt it's falsing after all these years or any major data collection is going on....yet.

Since most all of these devices in use today are the newer passive ones, it might be assumed that few older ones are around and this can be a new means of tracking vehicles. Especially now that the new ones are designed with a permanant adhesive for use in only one vehicle and will be destroyed if you try to remove one.

I've never heard of any discussion about this and it definitely would be related to direction finding and vehicle location.
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Old 01-30-2015, 9:30 PM
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When you're in that area, look around for panel antennas on top of poles or hanging near traffic lights oriented toward your traffic lane. I see quite a few out where I am, but don't get any indications from my toll transponders (I have one for the southeast and another for the northeast).

About 20 years ago when toll transponders were emerging, I am of the impression that some traffic management centers along Interstates would sample the data, anonymize it and use it to determine traffic patterns and real-time speeds by calculating the delta between waypoints. The use is even more widespread now.

Intelligent transportation system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The article specifically states that E-Z Pass transponders are polled to determine patterns, this is a picture of exactly that.

One thing about that - someday someone might make that connection that, hey, under lawful conditions, getting from point A to point B takes C minutes. You did it in D, which is much faster. Your speeding ticket is attached to the text message. Just enter your credit card number or PayPal to pay it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:29 PM
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Oakland- San Jose , Los Angeles and Denver areas all do this for highway speed and density and don't try to hide the antennas. The 5 in Oregon has many visible antennas also but I'm not sure which RFID passes they are polling.
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Old 01-31-2015, 9:23 AM
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If you see some set up near weigh stations that you may pass on your commute, those are for PrePass, which is part of the commercial truck weight clearance program, which does have ezpass part of it to for tolls. Those transponders have green and red indicators in them to let drivers know if they are good to bypass the scales after weigh in motion.
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Old 03-12-2015, 6:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 902 View Post
One thing about that - someday someone might make that connection that, hey, under lawful conditions, getting from point A to point B takes C minutes. You did it in D, which is much faster. Your speeding ticket is attached to the text message. Just enter your credit card number or PayPal to pay it.
Some areas have been doing so, reportedly. Acquaintances have told me about the citations they have received, with the calculations shown in the notes.

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Old 03-13-2015, 5:30 AM
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Internet Folke' Lore
snopes.com: E-ZPass Checkpoint Speeding Tickets
and
http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/cameras.asp

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Some areas have been doing so, reportedly. Acquaintances have told me about the citations they have received, with the calculations shown in the notes.

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Old 03-13-2015, 11:04 AM
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To the OP -

If your're talking about a SunPass transponder, I think that the state is attempting to phase out the older battery-powered models. Perhaps there is a technical reason why they would like to get the older ones out of common usage. There was / is a program that allows one to "trade-in" an old-style transponder for one of the newer ones. You should be able to check the SunPass web site to see if the swap is still in effect.
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Old 03-16-2015, 4:31 PM
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I can confirm they would switch your old sunpass transponder (the kind that uses batteries and beeps) with the kind that doesn't do either at no charge. Of course this post is couple months old. I'm sure the OP called up and got their new sunpass by now.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4icg View Post
If you see some set up near weigh stations that you may pass on your commute, those are for PrePass, which is part of the commercial truck weight clearance program, which does have ezpass part of it to for tolls. Those transponders have green and red indicators in them to let drivers know if they are good to bypass the scales after weigh in motion.
This is correct. That would be PrePass+ (as in, PrePass+EZPass). As for the cops using toll transponder information to bust folks for speeding, I've not heard of that. I have, however, heard truck drivers getting pulled into the scales due to potential DOT Hours of Service violations (driving too many hours in a day), simply because of distance and time between PrePass stations.
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Old 04-01-2015, 4:57 PM
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The company I work for has received citations for going over the allowed speed at a toll both using the transponder. Not sure exactly what the correct criteria is for that.
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Old 04-02-2015, 5:48 AM
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Yes, Speed Limits thru Toll Booths does get enforced
Generally 5-25 Mph (It varies by State and is Posted)

Do you speed through E-ZPass booths? Going too fast may get your account suspended. | NJ.com

E-Z Grousing On Speed Limit In Toll Plazas - NYTimes.com

Only the Open Road Tolling allows the Full (POSTED) Speed limits
Violation Enforcement - New York State Thruway


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The company I work for has received citations for going over the allowed speed at a toll both using the transponder. Not sure exactly what the correct criteria is for that.
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Old 04-02-2015, 8:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecps92 View Post
Yes, Speed Limits thru Toll Booths does get enforced
Generally 5-25 Mph (It varies by State and is Posted)
That's why it's better for people who have toll transponders to use the through lanes that bypass the toll plazas, if they have them. I like the Garden State Parkway E-Z Pass setup where you can go around the plaza if you've got one.

In a past life before cellular was popular and texting was not yet available, I used to repair various electronics and cameras at toll plazas and in other places along the roadway alongside traffic. People would go barreling past us and I always had this feeling that one day some head-up-behind driver would take me or the guys I was working with out. Now with texting, it's got to be worse. Good for the jurisdiction sending out citations!
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Old 04-28-2016, 7:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn View Post
I didn't want to post this to the wireless/everything else forum for the reason that will soon be apparent so bear with me.

We have an early model toll transponder that takes batteries rather then the current crop of passive RFID units. This one will beep and the led will show positive confirmation of interrogation when passing a toll point. It will also signal for low batteries. This made before the now common adhesive type that prevents you from moving it from vehicle to vehicle and uses suction cups.

Over the years we've had it, it's remained silent except for two toll roads we seldom use. Now every so often we get a green light and beep driving around. Checking the website account, there is no valid entry for a toll deduction from the balance that day. Only when we use the two expressways.

So the question I'm asking is are they starting to use these devices as trackers or use them to determine traffic pattern statistics? This would be an important issue as most all the ones on the road are totally passive and you have no idea if they've been interrogated or not. Only the few very early adopters purchased the active units, so most people would have no knowledge of being interrogated.

The unique id is specific now to the VIN/License Plate/Owner/and make of vehicle. The reasoning is if you have an account on file and the transponder doesn't work, the photo can be matched up to a valid account and normal deduction occur rather then paying a mail fee.

The other possiblility is that they are using these beyond the scope of their intended use to gather user habits and create databases of users travels or some other reason.

It's only happened a few times, so I doubt it's falsing after all these years or any major data collection is going on....yet.

Since most all of these devices in use today are the newer passive ones, it might be assumed that few older ones are around and this can be a new means of tracking vehicles. Especially now that the new ones are designed with a permanant adhesive for use in only one vehicle and will be destroyed if you try to remove one.

I've never heard of any discussion about this and it definitely would be related to direction finding and vehicle location.
I live in Florida, and indeed the FDOT is tracking traffic on surface roads using transponders. They are not being very forthcoming about this or what plans they have. The rumors include charging tolls on certain surface roads during peak periods, to the usual Big Brother implications. I am now saddened that I destroyed and threw away my old battery transponder as I can see it might have interesting application in locating the areas where interrogators exist.

When you go through a toll, the toll reader interrogates the transponder on a specific frequency which wakes it up. Then a second frequency transmits a CW signal that floods the transponder tag. The transponder tag emits a modulated back scatter signal which is comprised of the CW signal mixed with modulation imparted on the antenna element. The toll reader uses a homodyne receiver to demodulate the ID of your tag. The old tags had features to indicate low balance which sadly the new ones do not..
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Old 04-28-2016, 8:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 902 View Post
That's why it's better for people who have toll transponders to use the through lanes that bypass the toll plazas, if they have them. I like the Garden State Parkway E-Z Pass setup where you can go around the plaza if you've got one.

In a past life before cellular was popular and texting was not yet available, I used to repair various electronics and cameras at toll plazas and in other places along the roadway alongside traffic. People would go barreling past us and I always had this feeling that one day some head-up-behind driver would take me or the guys I was working with out. Now with texting, it's got to be worse. Good for the jurisdiction sending out citations!
I would not like to have the job of collecting tolls in those booths
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Old 04-28-2016, 8:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krokus View Post
Some areas have been doing so, reportedly. Acquaintances have told me about the citations they have received, with the calculations shown in the notes.

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I would use the worm hole defense.
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Old 04-29-2016, 5:10 AM
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Not everyone has Open Tolling yet.

Plenty of areas that still maintain the Traditional Tool Booth Plaza

In Massachusetts they ONLY just went with Open Tolling on the Mystic Tobin Bridge, the Mass Turnpike and the Harbor Tunnels are still traditional Toll Plazas

Quote:
Originally Posted by 902 View Post
That's why it's better for people who have toll transponders to use the through lanes that bypass the toll plazas, if they have them. I like the Garden State Parkway E-Z Pass setup where you can go around the plaza if you've got one.

In a past life before cellular was popular and texting was not yet available, I used to repair various electronics and cameras at toll plazas and in other places along the roadway alongside traffic. People would go barreling past us and I always had this feeling that one day some head-up-behind driver would take me or the guys I was working with out. Now with texting, it's got to be worse. Good for the jurisdiction sending out citations!
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Old 04-29-2016, 7:25 AM
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From left to right
OK/KS transponder
Florida transponder
The big blue one is Prepass +
Name:  uploadfromtaptalk1461932653676.jpg
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Old 05-01-2016, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecps92 View Post
Not everyone has Open Tolling yet.

Plenty of areas that still maintain the Traditional Tool Booth Plaza

In Massachusetts they ONLY just went with Open Tolling on the Mystic Tobin Bridge, the Mass Turnpike and the Harbor Tunnels are still traditional Toll Plazas
Just in the past few days KDOT is talking about switching to ORT after a semi smashed into a Turnpike toll plaza at speed. I grew up in NJ and I love the EZ-Pass express lanes on the Parkway and PA Pike that you can run through at 55mph. It's always irked me that the I-70 and I-135 ends of the Kansas Turnpike have "K-Tag Only" lanes that bypass the booths, but you still have to basically stop for the gate. But I think some of the traditional slow-down or gated tolls are being kept on certain bridges/tunnels for strategic reasons to reduce the amount of standing traffic on/in them. Bridges have to hold the static weight of bumper-to-bumper traffic, which could become a problem as they age, and tunnels have to deal with the increased air circulation demands to get fresh air in and exhaust gasses from the vehicles out (stop-and-go traffic puts out a lot more emissions than steady flow).

And I can't find it at the moment but there was a video on Youtube where a guy took apart an older EZ-Pass transponder and hacked in an LED and beeper so he could tell whenever it was being read.. It was getting hit all over the city.

Last edited by KD0TAZ; 05-01-2016 at 5:15 PM..
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Old 05-01-2016, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KD0TAZ View Post
Just in the past few days KDOT is talking about switching to ORT after a semi smashed into a Turnpike toll plaza at speed. I grew up in NJ and I love the EZ-Pass express lanes on the Parkway and PA Pike that you can run through at 55mph. It's always irked me that the I-70 and I-135 ends of the Kansas Turnpike have "K-Tag Only" lanes that bypass the booths, but you still have to basically stop for the gate. But I think some of the traditional slow-down or gated tolls are being kept on certain bridges/tunnels for strategic reasons to reduce the amount of standing traffic on/in them. Bridges have to hold the static weight of bumper-to-bumper traffic, which could become a problem as they age, and tunnels have to deal with the increased air circulation demands to get fresh air in and exhaust gasses from the vehicles out (stop-and-go traffic puts out a lot more emissions than steady flow).

And I can't find it at the moment but there was a video on Youtube where a guy took apart an older EZ-Pass transponder and hacked in an LED and beeper so he could tell whenever it was being read.. It was getting hit all over the city.

Was it this one?
Hack Your E-ZPass So It Alerts You Whenever It's Scanned | Popular Science

On Long Island, they scan ez passes to give an eta to a major road.
RFID Provides ETAs to N.Y. Drivers RFID Provides ETAs to N.Y. Drivers - RFID Journal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpq1uGk5QgE





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Old 05-01-2016, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WX4JCW View Post
From left to right
OK/KS transponder
Florida transponder
How do they keep the two newer ones from interfering with each other?

Do they respond to different frequencies?
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