Originally written by me for BayAreaPrelude.com This instructable covers how toll tags work and how to embed or hide your FasTrak, or EZ-Pass, or any other electronic toll collection device in your dash so that you do not have an annoying tag in your window.

I will describe the principles that will allow you to apply this to your car, how to remove the speedometer of a 5th Generation Honda Prelude (1997-2001), how to remove the toll tag from its case, how to secure it on top of the speedometer, and other logistics that go into this project.

This Instructable was written for placing FasTrak tags (northern California) in 5th generation Honda Preludes from 1997 to 2001, but can be used on anything from Kias to Hummers anywhere in the world.

Total time required: 5-20 minutes
Difficulty: beginner

Not visible to thieves
Will not obstruct view
Can lighten load (by removing case around FasTrak/EZ-Pass
Impresses all the boys & girls
Easier to replace window glass if broken

Not easily removed or transfered (may take up to 10 whole minutes to remove... OMG!!)
Not easily disabled (if you would prefer to pay with cash, or think "the man" is watching you)
Does not impress grandparents & ex girlfriends

In many instances people do not actually own their toll tag, but they are leased with a deposit, some of the steps in this tutorial may void the warranty on your tag, destroy your tag, void the warranty on your car, or destroy your car. It may also lead to lots of fun watching your friends freak out as you drive full steam ahead for the toll tag lane without one in your window. We all take risks and pick our own path, do this project at your own risk.

I did not want the tag sticking to my window, so I decided to try to hide it in my car. Eventually I hid it above the speedometer below the plastic dash. It does not affect performance, and does not require me to stick anything to the windows of my car.

Other cities, states, and countries have different names for FasTrak: auto-pass, ez-pass, EZ TAG, I-pass, Free Flow system, Televia, TAG, TxTag, MNPass, M6 Toll Tag, fastoll, smart tag, Severn TAG, Sun Pass, Telepass, and TollTag. A full list can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_toll_collection

I recently purchased FasTrak for my car at a local Safeway. If you purchase it in the store they give you $4 credit towards your first use (a bonus over ordering online). FasTrak is an electronic toll collection device, the RFID tag system that is used in Northern California to pay for your bridge and road tolls via credit card and enables users to drive through tollbooths without stopping. More info about Fastrak can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FasTrak

This write-up is copied from the BayAreaPrelude.com write up (written by me). Feel free to reference this article but do not reproduce it in part or whole without permission. If you reference this article please include a link to this instructable or the Bay Area Prelude thread. - thank you.
Keywords: FasTrak, Hidden toll tag, Hidden FasTrak, Hidden EZ-Pass, Hide toll tag, hiding toll tag, Hide EZ-Pass, Stealth, secret, DIY, Mod, Electronic toll collection, I-pass, EZ-Tag, auto-pass

Step 1: How Toll Tags Work

The toll tags are a called Radio Frequency ID tags, that means that when they receive a radio signal, they respond with their own signal that tells the sending unit their "ID". This is an over simplification, but what is important is that they send and receive a signal. The signals are sent by the tollbooths, and generally come down from the roof at a 30 or 40 degree angle. A summary is available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastrak

There are three key points to take away from this brief physics lesson:
1) The closer to the front of the car the tag is positioned the better because it will be read faster, and there is less of a chance that the car behind you will get to ride on your pass as well (I've heard that this is possible, but have never experienced it or known anyone who has)
2) Because of the nature of RFID tags, you cannot obstruct the view of the overhead radio transmitter and receivers with anything that is made of metal (plastic is ok, otherwise the case would block the signal). You must be able to "see" the device through a window without it being obstructed by metal (plastic or vinyl are okay)
3) The last thing to take in to account is if the device makes noise, and whether or not you want to hear it. FasTrak tags in California make a beep when you register at the tollbooth, and I wanted to make sure I could still hear this. I also wanted to make sure it was close to the driver, not next to the passenger's ear.
That's pretty sweeeet mod ; )
I really like the idea of this mod. Having multiple vehicles and sharing my i-Zoom (Indiana Toll Road), I searched and searched for new "3M Dual Lock". Got it from a West Marine store for WAY too much, then found it at Radio Shack for a third the price(plus the annoying subscribe-to-this-or-this-or-this harassment). This is so much better than any other hook and loop, it's just a shame it is so thick.
I mounted my E-ZPass tag on the sunroof. The roof opens and closes in a normal fashion, and the inside sunshade closes properly. If you want to do the same thing, just make sure you use the original "3M Dual Lock" mounting strips (or get replacement strips). Don't try to use one of those suction cup mounting things, because it wont fit and the tag might fall on your head while your driving.
in here it is called OGS,so I was a bit confused at first.My OGS comes from İşbank.
nice idea :-) some more pictures would be nice, or shorter text :-) Step 7 pretty well IS the instructable... though the background stuff is nice to know. for "disabling" the tag, while leaving it in place, I have a suggestion... but only for old junkers. Grab a roll of metal foil tape, and cover the top of the dash, overlapping the pass by 50%? for "nicer" cars, 4 patches of "hook and loop fastener", a metal plate, some glue, and a patch of material to match your dash. glue the material to cover the plate, expose the sticky on the fasteners, and stick'em. When you want to use the pass, stash the cover under the passenger seat. When you want the pass "off" whip out the plate, and stick it on. clothing velcro(tm) may not be the best, as it's not really strong enough, or secure enough, but the stuff they use for the i-pass(illinois toll passes) is PLENTY strong. It looks like a bunch of plastic rods with the tips melted down into balls, all in a tight grid.
ironsmiter, Thank you for your feedback. What other pictures would you want? What text do you think should be removed? As for blocking the tag from being read, see the updated final thoughts. Thanks for the suggestion. - The DNR
lined dashmat.. yeah that probably would work better, AND look nicer. Question though... does the anti-static bag really work to block the radio waves? I'll have to get my old walkman out, stick it in a Harddrive shipping bag and test it out :-) As to which text to remove? none :-) Just in reading, my thought was rearranging so steps 4, 6, 7, and 8 came first, as they are the meat and potatoes of the instructable. then the other steps in a "if you DON'T have a prelude" page.
If it didn't work, they wouldn't spend money on it.
If you're planning to use the Walkman's radio to test this, it won't prove anything -- the headphone wires leading into the bag will act as an antenna. Some antistatic bags are actually conductive, others are just designed to resist triboelectric charging. Some have a dissipative layer in the middle of a sandwich, making it hard to measure. To be on the safe side, try aluminum foil or mesh, which you can get at the craft store in the clay / modeling section.
Fantastic info! instructable updated. Thanks
I liked the detail. If you have the same car (Prelude), then step 7 will cover you, but the background helps you come up with your own solution in different cars. Plus, I'm into knowing how everything works :)
At least with Illinois' IPass system (which is EZ-Pass compatible), there is an option for a license-plate mounted tag for certain vehicles whose front windshields interfere with the radio transmission. Other states may have a similar option available as well.
dvalued, You bring up a good point. CA and many other states have these as well (they are made for vehicles that have metal in the windshield, etc.) There are two aspects of these exterior tags that may or may not be a problem for some users; they can be stolen, and they don't provide audio feedback. The exterior California tags come with special screws and a special screw driver to reduce the likelihood of theft, but it is still possible. By being outside the car you can't hear if the tag worked (some tags like California's (but not North Texas') make noise when they register). Besides these two problems, they can still be seen, and if you have a particularly nice looking car (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), you may not want the toll tag (or a front license plate in general) on your car. This is definitely simpler and easier. Thanks for the comment. Happy to know people are checking it out. Cheers, - DNR
Nice job, but watch out. In NYS your tag must be in view and fixed to the window and if it malfunctions at the toll the police sometimes take it right there (happened to me at Brooklyn/Battery toll.) I would think you could face tickets or big fines for this... look into your local laws.
the sensors/cameras don't give a crap if you have a tag or not, we found that out, our car's picture came up, several times, (mailed and billed to us for $70 in not having Ez tag while driving in the lane). the tag was clearly visible, and our account was being charged for each time we passed, except those that were charged, so they didn't even bother. Ez-Tag (texas one) messed up on us, and charged us about 200$ total, and we clearly had the tag up (the new ones are about the size of a resistor, because all they are are RFID tags, no batteries). although it has a big sticker thing about teh size of the credit card to identify it and stick it onto the windshield. we called up and got it sorted out. but we know of 3 people to whom this has happened (with the old box style (such as the ones in your pictures (and what I had untill a few months ago)) and the newer ones.

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