Oricom TPS9 Tyre Pressure Management System Review

Oricom recently sent me one of their new Tyre Pressure Management Systems (TPMS) to review.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at first given I’m really happy with the TyreDog TPMS that we sell in our Safety Shop.  I have to say that when the pack arrived, I was surprised and I’ll explain why in a minute.

What’s in the box?

I tested the TPS9, which is the external system.  There is also a TPS9I, which has sensors which mount internally on your tyre/wheel package.

The box and what comes in it…

When you open the box, inside you’ll find:

  • Instruction Manual
  • 1x display unit,
  • 1x anti-slip mat
  • 4x sensors (clearly marked FL, FR, RL, RR),
  • 4x locking nuts
  • 4x dust covers
  • A locking nut tool; and
  • A sensor tightening tool

First Impressions

I got two surprises when I opened the unit.  The first was at how compact the display unit is, and the second was that there are no cables for the display unit.  I was expecting to have to give up a lot more real estate for the head unit, and to have to start managing cables upon the install, which was unnecessary, and a big bonus in my book.

The unit is very compact and requires no cables

You can see how small the unit actually is.  I installed in the centre of the dash, where there is no impedance on the visibility outside the car.  The display is bright enough that it can easily be seen even when pointed straight towards the back of the car, so it doesn’t need to be angled towards the driver.

Installation

Install was super easy:

  1. Remove anti-slip mat from packaging, and place onto surface where you want the display unit to sit.
  2. Place display unit on top of the anti-slip mat.
  3. Remove all valve caps from tyres
  4. Place dust cover over valve stem, screw down the locking nut, then screw on sensor.  Use locking nut tool to lock the nut against the sensor once it is tightened.
The sensors are not too bulky, and are individually marked for the tire they need to be placed on.

Operation

The Oricom unit operates automatically.  According to the manual, it activates after wheels move at over 25km/h, although in practice I’ve found it is lower than this speed.  It also has some interesting settings you can change (and the process to do so is super easy):

  • Pressure unit
  • Temperature
  • High temperature warning
  • High pressure warning
  • Low pressure warning

This is great because you get to choose when you want the unit to tell you there is a problem.

I found the sensors were all calibrated to the same pressure, which I see as a positive. In other units I’ve used, you can fill a tyre to the same pressure at an automated service station air hose, and then have a slightly different pressure read at each tyre, which plays with your OCD!

Practicality

The unit is very practical.  I love the wire free nature of the head unit, and its compact size because it leaves me plenty of space for other gadgets and doesn’t clog up the dash.  As far as the sensors go, while the dust covers and locking nuts are a good idea, in all honesty, I can see them ‘disappearing’ in the future because they don’t prevent you from removing the sensor, and they kind of get in the way when you want to air up or down.  The good news is that the units screw on without the locking nut, so I don’t think that this is a deal breaker, and it is certainly not unique to this product.

As soon as I aired the tyres down (done on the external version by unscrewing the sensor, deflating tyre, and then replacing sensor), the display unit had already registered the pressure change.  And because I deliberately set the pressure below the minimum I had set earlier, the unit flashed and beeped straight away, until I had re-inflated the tyres. Brilliant in how quick it registered, and also that I can easily set the alarm parameters to suit my needs.

Verdict

TPMS’s have been proven to help prevent blowouts, increase safety, and extend tire life.  The Oricom TPS9 is a very neat and practical unit that has worked to date at least as well as other units I’ve used.  The simplicity is much better, and the aesthetics are great because there are no cables and the unit is nice and compact.  My only gripe so far is that the display turns a bit of a strange colour after being left in a hot car, but so far this doesn’t affect performance.

On a hot day, the display goes a slightly funny colour in the heat, but it is still easily readable, and so far this has had no effect on the operation of the unit.

I would really have liked it if the kit had a 5th sensor for at least 1x spare wheel, but it really isn’t critical. And I’m sure that those that tow would love one with 6 or 8 sensors to track what they tow. I’m unsure if one is in the works, but I’m reckon it would be popular…

The external kit is the easiest to fit, but if you are regularly heading off-road, the internal kit would be easier to use because you don’t have the risk of the sensor being stolen off the vehicle, or to have to remove it to air up or down.

So far it is a welcome addition to my vehicle. I look forward to reporting back later on to confirm that it continues to operate reliably on the number of trips I’ve got coming up.

Product details

Product: Oricom TPS 9

RRP:

External model: $249.00

Internal Model: $279.00

Warranty: 12 Months

Claimed Battery Life:

External sensors: 2 years (batteries are user replaceable)

Internal Sensors: 5 Years

Have you used the kit?  What do you think?  Would you like to see this in the Safety Shop?  Let us know!

Aiden

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Comments 26

  1. Hi Aiden, YES, very interested in TPMS, they were mandated in the USA several years ago and a Toyota Camry I rented a few years ago had one integrated system with the display being part of the on-board MFD. I had an inwheel TPMS on my old car and it was superb. I sold the car some years ago with the system still installed and now unfortunately, the brand I had is no longer avaialable. I appreciated the accuracy of the readout and monitoiring to get just the right numbers across all wheels and looking for the 4 p.s.i. rise from cold to hot. Yes, the pressures and temperature will change depending what side the sun is on so they are very sensitive. Your article has inspired me to do research and get them fitted again. My old system was a bit of a pain in the ar$e to fit with long aerial wires required and wiring as you correctly point out.

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      Hi Peter,
      Unless you are competent in fitting tyres, you need to go to a tyre shop and have them fit them. The internal sensors sit on the inside of the valve stem, inbetween the tyre and the rim. While it is more effort to have them fitted though, the sensors have a 5 year battery life, and are less likely to get damaged or stolen. Plus you don;t have to remove a sensor when you want to inflate or deflate the tyres.

  2. Yup, looks like a winner! I’m guessing the head unit is battery operated? Can you give us an idea of expected battery life and whether it’s rechargeable or replaceable batteries?

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      Hi Kerri, the head unit has a Solar panel on top – it has a 500mah battery inside but is solar charged and powered. It also has a micro USB port which you could plug into a USB port to charge if required.
      The battery specs are for the internal and external sensors.

  3. I have a Safety Dave TPMS with 8 sensors, 4 vehicle tyres, 2 air bags and 2 for caravan, it is very handy to be able to monitor all pressures. If Oricom come out with an expandable TPMS, if think it should do quite well.

  4. I’ve got the Oricom wheel cap one, and it works really well. I’m really happy with it. The only downside is the lock nut – airing down and up again is painful if you use the lock nut. I left the little spanner that comes with the kit at home over the weekend and ended up having to use a regular spanner, which was awkward to use. Also need to take the lock nut completely off to use many air hose fittings. I would recommend the in wheel one if you air up and down regularly, or remove the lock nut if you’re going wheeling for the weekend – it’s really only there so they don’t get pinched.

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      Yep Chris – I alluded to the fact that I don’t think the nuts will stay on long – I’ll take them off for exactly the reasons you say. This is not unique to the Oricom one – it affects all external sensor TPMS’s. Aiden

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      1. Be careful folks – you can easily lose the sensors in the rough. A tight lock nut helps retain the sensor but even then it isn’t an absolute guarantee. The sensors are heavy enough to bend the valve stems to the point where the sensors contact the rim when the wheels are rotating fast over deep corrugations – I have experienced this with a groove worn in the rims and a flat surface worn on the sensor. Over hundreds of Km of wacks on the rim, the sensors get loosened. No lock nut, be prepared for no sensor sooner than later.

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  5. I purchased this same unit through the on line buying site WISH for $25. While it worked fine for a few months it did not like being “ cooked “ by the sun whilst placed on the dashboard and began to fail by initially failing to read one tyre then completely failing. Disappointing as I have a 10 unit TyreDog on the 4WD/caravan combo but they cost an arm & a leg.

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      Hi Paul,
      Are you sure it was the same unit – I.E – an Oricom one? There are now a few very similar models out there – I did a quick search of Wish and found some very similar looking units, but no Oricom ones…

  6. Hi there. This looks very handy. As you have noted the sensors here come marked as FL, FR, RL, RR so you know which tyre is affected. Are the internal ones marked the same? In this case what happens when you do your regular tyre rotation to balance wear and tear? Are the sensors reprogrammable to their new position?Very interested to find out as I would like a system with 8 sensors (camper trailer and both spares).

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  7. We have a 6 sensor variant that looks very similar. Works very well as it has a radio relay unit that ensures the more distant trailer wheels always connect with the dash unit. The tire sensors look physically identical so this is a note about our experience on a recent trip across the Gibb River Road, Bungle Bungles etc on deep corrugations. These sensors look small & light but actually, they weigh enough to flex the valve stems so much that the sensors can bang on the tire rims when shaken by corrugations! The sensors on our camper wore an arc in the black anodised coating of our alloy rims. I religiously tighten and recheck (the lock nuts) on each sensor after airing down or up, but we lost one sensor on a particularly rough road – I assume from the constant beating on the rim. Luckily, fleabay had spares for a few dollars. I ended up putting a dollop of silastic on each sensor where it would bang onto the rim, and no more problems from then on. Neither the sensors nor the valve stems seemed to sustain any significant damage but it was a lesson for us. Highly recommend a TPMS especially a 6 wheel variant – saves the worry of damaging a tire as it can take a few minutes to notice loss of air in the rough.

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  8. nice units and evaluation but i ( not all that long ago) purchased a virtually identical kit from Repco at considerably less than your given price. However the head unit goes into the cigarette lighter plug ( or an extension if you have one) Currently i just use 2 sensors on the caravan due in part to a recent van blowout on the Plenty “Highway” ( got too far ahead of the graders)

  9. Hi, If I purchased an external sensor model, the internal sensors be purchased at a later date and are they compatible with the dash unit already purchased.

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  10. What happens when you rotate your tyres? Do you have to reposition the internal/external sender units so that the display in cabin stays relavent to position?

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      Hi Barry,

      Great question. It is actually really simple. Whenever tyres are rotated, you can calibrate the sensors. Once in the menu, there is a setting which will allow you to assign the sensor to a new position. You slightly deflate the tyre once in the right position and the system detects the change. Repeat for any rotated tyres.

      Aiden

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