Critical review of Tandem X2 Slim and Dexcom G5

Tandem X2 with Dexcom G5 has not been a good experience for me. My first Tandem pump worked fine with my Decom G5 until I switched to the Tandem pump instead of the Dexcom receiver. Frequent “Out of range” errors. Tandem pump range was 16 inches or less from the Dexcom transmitter. I complained to Tandem and they sent me a new pump. It was DOA. My third pump had the same 16" range. Unfortunately my phone is an Android Pixel XL and not compatible with the Tandem and I can’t use the Dexcom receiver together with the Tandem pump at the same time. Very frustrating since the tandem range is 16 inches. After 12 “Out of range” errors in one day I just received my fourth Tandem pump and it also has a 16" range, It works fine with the Dexcom receiver but I hate having to carry two devices instead of just the Tandem Pump. Design flaw of the Tandem Pump??? I think so. It just doesn’t work as it should. Sorry, my BG just alarmed at 51 and I’m not thinking clearly right now.

Some people who’ve had this problem have found that turning the pump so the screen faces out resolves the issue and yes that is a really weird design flaw. I think there is a thread that talks about this and that trick seems to do it for most people. Hope your BG lands back where it should :smile:.

May not help you with your G5 but the communication issue is substantially improved with the Tandem t:slim X2 with Basal-IQ while in communication with the Dexcom G6.

If you are not yet ready to upgrade to Basal-IQ and the G6 then I would suggest to stop using the pump as the G5 data collector and use the Dexcom Receiver instead. IMHO it is not worth struggling with something that is just not working well for you.

That’s good to hear, as I’m expecting to get an X2 w/ Control IQ later this year. If the range is better with the current version, Basal IQ, I’d imagine further updates won’t damage the range.

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I still get out of range with the G6. But I will say that it is LESS bothersome than the G5 was.
I even had it pickup the signal from downstairs while I was upstairs (probably only caught a couple signals, but it back fills, so I cannot say how many times it actually got reception.)

That being said, install XDRIP on our phone, run the native algorithm and it will have the same numbers as the Dexcom.

Also, I keep my X2 in a SPIbelt on my waste, and move it from side to side so it is always right below the G6. This has made the biggest difference in reception. I sometimes still loose signal once in a while if I toss and turn in my sleep. But overall, this really helps keep it in contact.

Btw, I had them replace my pump for the same loss of signal issue. Nothing changed with the new pump, so I changed.

Dang, that sounds as bad as the range of the Medtronic (Enlite) system. I hated how I could lose the signal with a sensor on the left side of my tummy and my pump on the right side (on my waistband). We are talking less than 16" apart and it would lose the signal. That is so unacceptable to me. My G5 works across the room w/ the receiver, and with my phone (xDrip), but one place I lose the signal sometimes, is when my phone is sitting to my right, on an end table (wireless charger is there), with my xmitter to the left of center of my tummy.

It is the pump that has the weak Bluetooth. Dexcom has plenty of signal for such a small device.
I can have my phone in my back right pocket and the G5/6 on my front left stomach, and it still gets signal JUST FINE! And Xdrip doesn’t back fill, so I always see when I actually loose signal!

Btw, I upload my X2 pump data, and it shows my CGM (G6) shows the average readings are 284 to 285 times a day. Out of 288 possible readings, I would say that isn’t too bad!

I’m not a phone person. Hate to carry it and rarely use it. If I carry the pump in my shirt pocket during the day it works fine. I wish I could switch to the Dexcom receiver at bedtime but the two hour warm-up is a PIA. Is there a way to switch from the Tandem pump to the Dexcom receiver without the 2 hour wait?

I am dismayed and angry that Tandem would go to market with such an obvious and dangerous design flaw. Their bluetooth receiver needs a longer range. I would not buy any Tandem stock. Best features of any pump on the market, but seems to be very dysfunctional and the loss of signal problems can be a dangerous health risk. I’m sick and tired of waking up so many times at night and fear that sooner or later I will sleep through the alarm and die.

The change for the communication between the X2 and the G6 was a modification on both the part of Tandem and Dexcom.

IMHO not being able to get a G5 reading on the X2 is an inconvenience as the data is not used for any automated purposes.

Tandem made a conscious choice to deploy the G5 update for the X2. They did not have to do so. I am sure this cost them time and money. They could have simply waited for the Basal-IQ update. From a strictly business point of view, they did not gain much.

The huge benefit they gained was in discovering this problem in the communication between the Dexcom G5 and the Tandem X2. This was a real world problem that was obviously not known about in advance through their testing. Dexcom and Tandem worked together to make improvements on both sides such that for Basal-IQ where a continuous data stream is extremely important this is now a mostly resolved situation.

I am a huge fan of deploying iterative updates when possible. Learning about issues from real world usage. Integrating improvements into the next update. This entire approach is one of the main reasons we choose Tandem as our pump. The fact that it integrates with Dexcom was the other major reason.

Sure. It is a bit inconvenient and generally considered a pain in the neck. But yes. Possible. I have done this for testing purposes and just to see if it can be done.

Let’s assume for the moment that the reception is “fine” between the G6 and X2. I
would still feel a whole lot more confident knowing that between now and when I get an X2, Tandem has improved the BT receiver. I can dream…

When did the X2 hit the market, and has Tandem ever improved on the hardware since then?

The change (in regards to communications between the Tandem and Dexcom) on the Tandem side was in the software with the Basal-IQ update.
On the Dexcom side, it was (somewhere) in the G6 transmitter.

Right, but never ANY hardware updates since the X2 hit the market (which is when, BTW?)?

Not physically on the hardware. But I imagine that they can change power requirements to the bluetooth receiver portion, etc. with their firmware updates.

There are various minor changes listed per the FDA. Nothing that I consider of any significance that I would want to swap out our X2 for a newer X2. The point of the Tandem approach is to provide software updates for the pump without having to wait for a hardware swap out.

@Hammer - Very reasonable assumption.

ah. Too bad they can’t (won’t) fix a weak (apparently, given all the complaints) BT receiver. Or am I wrong and you can have your pump 15+ feet away when in the shower, using a G6 specifically and not have an interruption in data? I can do that with my phone and G5 receiver–no problemo.

I am not aware of many complaints between the G6 and the X2 with Basal-IQ.

The communication issues I hear of are between the G5 and the X2 prior to the Basal-IQ update.

That is great you have a good BLE range with your phone.

Awesome. thx!

I still feel that the X2 is weak for signal compared to cell phones and the receiver. But I also think they are trying to balance battery life on the pump vs signal strength.
I have seen the signal loss on my X2 and my G6. Not too often, but it does happen.
I have gotten into the habit of keeping the pump on the same side of my body as my transmitter. This is the single biggest thing I can recommend.
I do try and keep the fave of the pump pointing outwards for better reception.

So now we have two diametrically opposed opinions on the X2/G6 reception. Sigh.