Updated FOBO TPMS info

Posted By: Lowndes

Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/22/17 07:48 PM

I read the other thread about the FOBO TPMS and decide to post a new thread because it was a FOBO install that didn't work out and mostly discussed other brands of TPMS. There have been improvements to the FOBO system since that thread (2015) was started, also. I found the wBW review and it is older, too.

My experience with FOBO has been EXCELLENT, from the product, website, instructions, software, and hardware, operation, to customer support.

I installed a FOBO system on my '00 K1200RS about a month ago and it has been very "educational".

I had OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE at FOBO.  To begin with, I had a slight install issue on a Saturday evening and posted a question on their website expecting to get a reply the following week.  Within an hour I had a complete, detailed, and very polite reply in perfect English.  WOAH.  That's different!!  Over the course of several weeks, I have exchanged about 25 emails with four different people including the Dir of Prod Development.  These were not so much "problems" but a few questions, several suggestions, and discussion of a different install for the sensor to show the ACTUAL TIRE TEMPERATURE. Exterior valve stem sensors are more exposed to ambient (air) temperatures than the tire temps, especially with the "wind chill" effect of a rolling wheel.

FOBO uses Bluetooth Smart 4.0 + LE (BLE), 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, very low energy system with GE sensors from Amphenol. These use a built-in "absolute pressure reference" that is referenced to sea level but can be changed to show "gauge pressure" in the app. My experience is that these sensors "scan" or update about every 6 seconds. In contrast, the 433 MHz sensors used in cars have a very long scan period and have much wider (looser) accuracy tolerances for temps and pressure.

The FOBO app now also has a very small "overlay" that allows you to see the tire temps and pressures while viewing other apps like Waze. This overlay can be turned on and off, shows alarms, and can be moved around the screen to accommodate other app screens.  It can show or hide the pressures and temps at a touch.  I use an old Droid Nexus as a Waze screen mounted on my dash as my a GPS.  I have the FOBO shared to it (and wifi "hot spotted") from my Samsung S8 (main phone).  The overlay works very well with Waze and I can see both map and pressures/temps at a glance with "no hands".

One of the most interesting observations I had after getting the exact tire temperature configuration working was how much and how fast the actual tire temperature reacts to rolling and sunlight.  I'll see 5-6 PSI differences in a short time just riding in town.  It is DEFINITELY NOT the 1-2 PSI difference I was always assuming and is suggested by some.  This big difference is corroborated by a similar system I installed on my car at about the same time that shows very similar increases.

A not so widely publicized but a VERY interesting feature FOBO has embedded in their app is a data logging feature. This logger records time and date, user, wheel sensor #, temperature (C) and pressure (kPa) in EXCEL format in the app.  It does this automatically any time the app is running and connected.  It can easily and quickly be emailed to anyone including yourself.  This might be helpful to racers where tire temps and pressures are critical, constantly.

The "T" valve that FOBO has ($12.00 ea and the only place I have ever seen one) is EXCELLENT, design and construction. It solves several problems. I had purchased angle valves months ago to make it easier to get the air chuck on the Schrader with dual discs in the way. This T valve solves that and lets you add or release air without removing an exterior sensor (which releases a small amount of air every time it is installed or removed). The "lock nut" installed under the sensor is to prevent the sensor from vibrating loose and leaking air causing a flat, as well as deterring theft. With the T valve, LocTite could be used instead saving weight.

I added the column headings, PSI and F temperature columns to the .CVS file from the FOBO app:

[Linked Image]

FOBO sensor installed on rubber valve stem:

[Linked Image]

Waze app running with FOBO overlay showing battery charge, tire pressures, and temps:

[Linked Image]

T valve installed on front wheel:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Kritou

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/26/17 11:16 AM

I have been using the FOBO Bike system for twelve months and endorse what has been written above. The ability to check tyre (UK!) pressure on a cold wet day from the comfort of my kitchen without spilling any air is worth evry penny (UK!) of the purchase price

Sadly Apple users do not have the ability to display ambient tyre conditions with another app running in the foreground but the excellent and responsive email customer service explained that this was an iOS issue, not theirs
Posted By: Hank R1200RT

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/27/17 03:16 PM

Thank you for the observations. Can you share the price? And a source in the US? Also, did you mean .CSV instead of .CVS?
Posted By: RPG

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/27/17 05:20 PM

I too have been very happy running the FOBO system for the past year.
Posted By: Lowndes

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/29/17 01:10 AM


Yes, .CSV file. Thank you.

It actually records four such files. Not sure I understand that, or why but it does. I'm sure FOBO would explain if asked.

Also, the cost for the kit is $97.06 on Amazon Prime. I did purchase two additional sensors ($49.00 each) and four T-valves from FOBO directly from their website. These were freight paid and showed up in about 3 days by FEDEX.

The only difference between the kit and the pair of sensors is the kit has the two lock-nut "wrenches" included. And a box. The software (app) is a free download from the website or Play Store.

Posted By: bewareboy

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/29/17 02:21 AM

I notice that there are examples of sensor installation on both rubber and metal valve stems. I looked on FOBO's web site and did not see any comments on preference or acceptability, may have missed it? If I recall Garmin does not recommend installation of their sensors on rubber valve stems. Any thoughts?

Also on my R1150RT, the wheel has a slight rib on the center-line of the wheels, that again if memory serves me correctly, makes installation of metal valve stems difficult. One of your pictures shows a metal valve stem. Were there any specific to allow the metal valve stem installation, such as grinding down the center-line rib?

Posted By: Lowndes

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 11/30/17 12:14 PM


I recall reading somewhere that the sensors weren't recommended for rubber stems, but don't think it was FOBO. I have the rear mounted on a rubber stem as you mentioned. Have not had any issues with it. There was a discussion of some inferior quality rubber stems several years ago from China that would fail after a short period of time and maybe mounting the slight weight of a sensor on one f these exacerbated the failure.

There should be a relieved ring around the rim stem hole, inside and outside, for a smooth seating surface for the stem and seals. (I think there are two common hole diameters and the holes in my OEM rims are 11.3 mm, +/-.) There is a slight rib maybe 2 x 2 mm on the outside surface of the rear rim, but it is not centered and misses the stem hole. It would not interfere with any stems that I have seen.

Remember, with a regular valve stem, you will have to remove and reinstall the sensor to add or remove air from the tire OR to put a pressure gauge on it. That involves the locknut, too. Every time you install or remove the sensor there is a slight leakage of air, depending on how fast your fingers are. I figured mine was losing .3 to .4 psig with each install/remove. With the T valve all that is avoided. Plus you have the side valve which is so much easier to get on with the air chuck and air pressure gauge.

Hope this helps.
Posted By: bewareboy

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 12/02/17 04:05 AM


Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate your insight.
Posted By: Indy Dave

Re: Updated FOBO TPMS info - 12/03/17 04:24 AM

I got my FOBO system - after having a few riders at START extol the virtues of the system.

The instructions state clearly, and in large RED Print: While FOBO has been advising FOBO users to inspect and ensure good state of rubber valves, some users find it difficult to determine so. Given that the structure of rubber valves degrade over time and over travelled distance, use of sensors on such rubber valve can cause a leak or tire blowout that leads to a sudden loss of control of the vehicles which subsequently leads to an accident and serious injuries. For the safety of all users, FOBO strongly recommends use of sensors only with metal valves. If users choose to use rubber valves, users must regularly check if the valves are fit to use. FOBO is not liable for any untoward consequences.

We highly recommend using Metal
valves; T- valves and short metal valves are available on our web-store.

Follow the below link to purchase:

My rear sensor WAS mounted on a rubber stem until the rear tire was ready for replacement. I was heading out on a couple week trip when I installed these, so I maintained a close eye on my rear valve stem and tire pressure. Later on in my trip, when I replaced my tires, I had the metal valve stem with me and the shop installed it for me. I didn't use the T-stem.

Been happy with the system.
© 2018 BMWSportTouring Forums