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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After one week of ownership there are mostly joys. Car looks and drives great, considering its weight. Most of its controls work (most of time) as advertised. Normal driving range for battery is around 55-60 km of mixed road and highway driving. Once switched to sport mode, I get 10 liters per 100 kilometers, a bit high number, however driving between 150-160 km/h on the highway. Command center is sluggish, controls confusing, but all expected thanks to this site and Brian's excellent reviews on Youtube.

One major peeve is once there is an alarm (low fuel, external lightbulb), this alarm stays in the window where the digital speed is displayed, and alarm cannot be cancelled. On my 997 all the alarms can be acknowledged and then disappear and only exclamation mark reminds of alarm. I like to have digital speedometer available since getting proper reading on the speedo gauge is nerve-wrecking and Czech traffic cops hiding almost everywhere.

As many said, we need controls on the steering wheel back-illuminated, driving at night you almost have to turn the interior light on to find out what's where. On key fob it is hard to find out what is trunk and what is lock button, at night it is impossible. Very much dislike "window to the car's soul" and would rather have more storage space in its place. I am even thinking about cutting the hole through plastic and lay in there carbon fibre tray. Might do some designs first before starting to cut.

In Czech Republic navigation does not display any maps so I am saved additional frustrations. No garage door buttons on the mirror either. For navigation I use Tom Tom on my iPhone or iPad and it looks like it is far superior product :)

Stereo's behavior is at best temperamental, I had to turn off Traffic Announcements, because once they started, iPod playback stopped and never returned, freezing the whole audio section of display. Now with iPod connected through USB sometimes audio display page freezes (Connecting to the source!) or falls one song behind.

Kids have planty of space in rear seats, only their iPods have to be put in cup holders, with cables exposed from rear connectors. Would be great to have the same storage space in the back as is in the front.

When charging the car on the sidewalk in front of my work, I would like to find out solution that keeps the cables in the air and the charger control box in the trunk. It can go in there but then the cable is not long enough and trunk does not close that readily. Coming winter means that the cable will get very dirty when charging Karma outside my garage.

Anyway I am happy to be part of Karma community, as noted elsewhere let's just hope FIsker will be able to continue in business and car's interface and options (higher capacity battery, better engine management) will be improved.

Hats off to Henrik Fisker to achieve on his first own car such high level of sophistication in ride quality, car handling and also seamless switching between ICE and battery. And car looks great too!
 

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Welcome, Antonin! I've owned my Karma for one week also. It is mostly joy for me too. :)

My main disappointments are similar to yours (and those of everyone else):

The Command Center is not intuitive. The Climate Control screen is the best, while the Navigation screen is easily the worst. Brian pretty much nailed it in his review of the Command Center. They need to fix the Navigation screen, then the Settings menu, then the Audio controls. While I'm generally satisfied with the Climate Control screen--it's very cool looking--I could think of about 100 ways it could be redesigned to make it more functional.

Something I have not heard many people complain about is the Audio System. I'm a huge music fan, and I find the Audio System extremely disappointing, both in sound quality as well as ease of use. The Audio controls on the Command Center are probably best for AM/FM radio and good for the iPhone/iPod. But I hate the screen for Satellite Radio. The size of the font is too small, and the layout of the page odd. Worse, when I connect my iPhone/iPod using a USB cable, the sound quality is very poor with the sound dropping out from time to time. It's actually better through Bluetooth! I've also noticed that some of the music I listen to sounds just fine while other music sounds awful. Bands like LCD Soundsystem, The Naked and Famous, Sleigh Bells, and other electronic acts that I enjoy sound horrible on the Karma. I've already contemplated upgrading the speakers to see if that would solve the problem.

So far, I've only had one very minor glitch. When I started the car yesterday, the seat did not move into position. I turned the car off, allowed it to sleep, and then restarted and all was fine. Happily, it hasn't happened again.

I have to take the car back to the dealer today so that tomorrow they can replace a portion of the clear bra that I stupidly damaged (fortunately, the paint was not harmed). I probably won't be able to pick up the Karma for the next 24-48 hours, and I dread being without it!!

Like every car, the Karma has its drawbacks. But I absolutely love it and would not trade it for anything!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome and congratulations on your purchase! Interesting observation about sound quality, I did not think it was so bad, but I must say that I am no FLAC guy, AAC is fine for my music. I can compare the sound system to Bose in 997 Turbo - it sounds about the same to me. In my wife's new Cayenne Turbo sound is better, but I can never crank it up :(

I will test audio with bluetooth but I think bluetooth protocol is also lossy and other member's experiences are far from stellar.

Let us know what you find with speakers and if there is an aftermarket solution to better sound, however I am afraid big part of the sound will be its amp and that is probably integrated with the whole audio system. Not sure if it is worth upgrading.
 

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I agree with you that the sound might be limited by the amp and, if so, will probably be difficult and expensive to fix. If that is the case, I'll likely just stick with factory audio.

The Bluetooth for the phone is horrible. Lots of static and generally poor sound quality. But oddly, it sounds okay with music. I can't understand why that would be the case, but it is. So weird.

I think it is strange that Fisker was able to build such a high quality car in so many aspects, and yet miss on something as common as a Bluetooth connection or a USB connection.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the car. But it could be more perfect than it already is! :)
 

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Hi Antonin,

I just visited Prague in may and never imagined it is such a beautiful city almost better than Paris!

I've had my karma 3 weeks and the ride is really growing on me (and the attention). Will be interesting to see what they have for next command center upgrade!
 

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pythagoras said:
Hi Antonin,

I just visited Prague in may and never imagined it is such a beautiful city almost better than Paris!

I've had my karma 3 weeks and the ride is really growing on me (and the attention). Will be interesting to see what they have for next command center upgrade!
My girlfriend really wants to go (back? I can't quite remember) to Prague. I'd love to do that myself, my family name is the Slovenian word for "Tuesday" so it probably comes from that general area of Europe.

As for the Karma itself, it's so much fun to drive it makes up for the glitches in the Command Center system. Just yesterday the volume up/down switch worked but the next-song-on-ipod roller switch didn't, for one drive, and then it was fine again after the system had its two-minute-off restart. Note that the "next song" touchscreen button on the audio screen worked at the time, so it was most likely just a matter of the command interface unit ignoring the signal from the switch coming in over whichever CAN bus carries it, which is interesting since it's likely on the same bus as all the other steering-wheel control switches.

I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software....
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
pythagoras said:
Hi Antonin,

I just visited Prague in may and never imagined it is such a beautiful city almost better than Paris!

I've had my karma 3 weeks and the ride is really growing on me (and the attention). Will be interesting to see what they have for next command center upgrade!
My girlfriend really wants to go (back? I can't quite remember) to Prague. I'd love to do that myself, my family name is the Slovenian word for "Tuesday" so it probably comes from that general area of Europe.

As for the Karma itself, it's so much fun to drive it makes up for the glitches in the Command Center system. Just yesterday the volume up/down switch worked but the next-song-on-ipod roller switch didn't, for one drive, and then it was fine again after the system had its two-minute-off restart. Note that the "next song" touchscreen button on the audio screen worked at the time, so it was most likely just a matter of the command interface unit ignoring the signal from the switch coming in over whichever CAN bus carries it, which is interesting since it's likely on the same bus as all the other steering-wheel control switches.

I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software....
"ct-fiskerbuzz - I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software...."

count me in, i too would love to take a crack at it -- i bet improper memory management , unhandled exceptions or god forbid, non event based arch. !!!
 

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Antonin said:
After one week of ownership there are mostly joys. Car looks and drives great, considering its weight. Most of its controls work (most of time) as advertised. Normal driving range for battery is around 55-60 km of mixed road and highway driving. Once switched to sport mode, I get 10 liters per 100 kilometers, a bit high number, however driving between 150-160 km/h on the highway. Command center is sluggish, controls confusing, but all expected thanks to this site and Brian's excellent reviews on Youtube.

One major peeve is once there is an alarm (low fuel, external lightbulb), this alarm stays in the window where the digital speed is displayed, and alarm cannot be cancelled. On my 997 all the alarms can be acknowledged and then disappear and only exclamation mark reminds of alarm. I like to have digital speedometer available since getting proper reading on the speedo gauge is nerve-wrecking and Czech traffic cops hiding almost everywhere.

As many said, we need controls on the steering wheel back-illuminated, driving at night you almost have to turn the interior light on to find out what's where. On key fob it is hard to find out what is trunk and what is lock button, at night it is impossible. Very much dislike "window to the car's soul" and would rather have more storage space in its place. I am even thinking about cutting the hole through plastic and lay in there carbon fibre tray. Might do some designs first before starting to cut.

In Czech Republic navigation does not display any maps so I am saved additional frustrations. No garage door buttons on the mirror either. For navigation I use Tom Tom on my iPhone or iPad and it looks like it is far superior product :)

Stereo's behavior is at best temperamental, I had to turn off Traffic Announcements, because once they started, iPod playback stopped and never returned, freezing the whole audio section of display. Now with iPod connected through USB sometimes audio display page freezes (Connecting to the source!) or falls one song behind.

Kids have planty of space in rear seats, only their iPods have to be put in cup holders, with cables exposed from rear connectors. Would be great to have the same storage space in the back as is in the front.

When charging the car on the sidewalk in front of my work, I would like to find out solution that keeps the cables in the air and the charger control box in the trunk. It can go in there but then the cable is not long enough and trunk does not close that readily. Coming winter means that the cable will get very dirty when charging Karma outside my garage.

Anyway I am happy to be part of Karma community, as noted elsewhere let's just hope FIsker will be able to continue in business and car's interface and options (higher capacity battery, better engine management) will be improved.

Hats off to Henrik Fisker to achieve on his first own car such high level of sophistication in ride quality, car handling and also seamless switching between ICE and battery. And car looks great too!
Hello and welcome to the forum. There is a lot of great information in the various threads here that is easily accessible using the "Search" function or by posting a question. When you have a chance, please post a few pictures of your Karma. There should be no shortage of great backdrops in Prague for the photo. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software....
[/quote]
"ct-fiskerbuzz - I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software...."

count me in, i too would love to take a crack at it -- i bet improper memory management , unhandled exceptions or god forbid, non event based arch. !!!
[/quote]

Seems like you guys are fluent in CAN protocols. I have several race cars and programming stuff (events, alarms) over the CAN bus between ECU, logger and Power Control Module is always something I dread doing. I am not sure it is so easy to combine CAN events, battery management and various audio and car switches on fast touch panel, but perhaps it can be done. It seems also that CAN bus bandwidth might be another bottleneck, that would explain why some things randomly stop working.

I was thinking that maybe an iPad would be a better interface, but somebody would have to program and design Power Control Modules for switching all the circuits in the car. Our race cars have about 40 circuits each and I would venture that Fisker has about 150, many of them conditional. However if iPad was utilized, you could see many apps being programmed and sold for the car! Maybe functioning solar panel app as well :)
 

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Antonin said:
I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software....
"ct-fiskerbuzz - I'd really, really love to get a crack at the underlying software...."

count me in, i too would love to take a crack at it -- i bet improper memory management , unhandled exceptions or god forbid, non event based arch. !!!
[/quote]

Seems like you guys are fluent in CAN protocols. I have several race cars and programming stuff (events, alarms) over the CAN bus between ECU, logger and Power Control Module is always something I dread doing. I am not sure it is so easy to combine CAN events, battery management and various audio and car switches on fast touch panel, but perhaps it can be done. It seems also that CAN bus bandwidth might be another bottleneck, that would explain why some things randomly stop working.

I was thinking that maybe an iPad would be a better interface, but somebody would have to program and design Power Control Modules for switching all the circuits in the car. Our race cars have about 40 circuits each and I would venture that Fisker has about 150, many of them conditional. However if iPad was utilized, you could see many apps being programmed and sold for the car! Maybe functioning solar panel app as well :)


[/quote]
a cool cheap solution is the Raspberry PI and some GPIO interfaces for GUI/selector control -- here is a cute video that shows what's possible http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/07/23/gui-and-gpio-on-raspberry-pi/
 

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Antonin said:
Seems like you guys are fluent in CAN protocols.
Actually, I've never touched any CAN-bus hardware (well, other than as a consumer anyway). But I am fluent in real-time OSes and massively parallel computing. I don't normally do any UI programming (programmers are notoriously sucky at UI :D as we make things nobody else can use) but I'd bet I would find, and be able to fix, all kinds of race conditions and memory leaks/errors that are causing most of the remaining problems.

With a good profiler I bet I could get the command interface panel to run roughly 100 times faster, too, although that might involve rewriting some chunks of whatever high level interface language stuff they have in C or C++ (depending on whether they're using Qt for instance).
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
Antonin said:
Seems like you guys are fluent in CAN protocols.
Actually, I've never touched any CAN-bus hardware (well, other than as a consumer anyway). But I am fluent in real-time OSes and massively parallel computing. I don't normally do any UI programming (programmers are notoriously sucky at UI :D as we make things nobody else can use) but I'd bet I would find, and be able to fix, all kinds of race conditions and memory leaks/errors that are causing most of the remaining problems.

With a good profiler I bet I could get the command interface panel to run roughly 100 times faster, too, although that might involve rewriting some chunks of whatever high level interface language stuff they have in C or C++ (depending on whether they're using Qt for instance).
ct- no sarcasm here, you really should reach out to Horvat at Fisker and offer to have a look. No downside!
 

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Weird Fishes said:
My main disappointments are similar to yours (and those of everyone else):

The Command Center is not intuitive. The Climate Control screen is the best, while the Navigation screen is easily the worst. Brian pretty much nailed it in his review of the Command Center. They need to fix the Navigation screen, then the Settings menu, then the Audio controls. While I'm generally satisfied with the Climate Control screen--it's very cool looking--I could think of about 100 ways it could be redesigned to make it more functional.
I fail to understand why Fisker does not communicate to the owners their plans to address the Command Center complaints. It is clearly the biggest flaw in the car. They have heard about the shortcomings for many, many months and they are well documented here and in Brian's YouTube video. No one defends the Command Center, they just tolerate it at best.

We as owners need to hear what is going to be improved and a timeframe for those improvements. If a hardware upgrade is required, it needs to be made available to existing owners at Fisker's cost.

I hope one of the Fisker employees who monitors this forum will please take some action on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It would seem that collectively Fisker Karma owners constitute fairly high intellectual pool of resources. My expertise is in combustion engines and suspension setups, however in these areas Karma does not need so much help. Quite possibly the Ecotec engine can be tuned to higher torque and lower fuel consumption but I am not sure it is worth it since most of Karma's owners including myself prefer to drive in Stealth mode.

Maybe when the company goes under and we are left as orphans with our cars we can form non-profit organization to continue in further development of the car :)
 

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Antonin said:
It would seem that collectively Fisker Karma owners constitute fairly high intellectual pool of resources. My expertise is in combustion engines and suspension setups, however in these areas Karma does not need so much help. Quite possibly the Ecotec engine can be tuned to higher torque and lower fuel consumption but I am not sure it is worth it since most of Karma's owners including myself prefer to drive in Stealth mode.

Maybe when the company goes under and we are left as orphans with our cars we can form non-profit organization to continue in further development of the car :)
Given the net value of the group and intelectual abilities, we may be able to pull it off - but I hope not , I want Fisker to trive and give us the atlantic, sunset and karma coupe with gullwing option. :D
 

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Nin ja said:
Antonin said:
It would seem that collectively Fisker Karma owners constitute fairly high intellectual pool of resources. My expertise is in combustion engines and suspension setups, however in these areas Karma does not need so much help. Quite possibly the Ecotec engine can be tuned to higher torque and lower fuel consumption but I am not sure it is worth it since most of Karma's owners including myself prefer to drive in Stealth mode.

Maybe when the company goes under and we are left as orphans with our cars we can form non-profit organization to continue in further development of the car :)
Given the net value of the group and intelectual abilities, we may be able to pull it off - but I hope not , I want Fisker to trive and gives us the atlantic, sunset and karma coupe with gullying option. :D
Agreed. Having developed applications for a living (admittedly, a long time ago), with all due humility and respect, I tend to take the "I could have done it much better" type claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. Since the command center is so integral to the operation of the car as a unified system, I would prefer to leave any fixes or enhancements to the folks who have access to the entire system. Fisker needs to do this to succeed and to thrive, which is what we are all hoping for.
 

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Fabulist said:
Agreed. Having developed applications for a living (admittedly, a long time ago), with all due humility and respect, I tend to take the "I could have done it much better" type claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. Since the command center is so integral to the operation of the car as a unified system, I would prefer to leave any fixes or enhancements to the folks who have access to the entire system. Fisker needs to do this to succeed and to thrive, which is what we are all hoping for.
Hey, I didn't say I could make it fast, quickly. :D

(Seriously, depending on what kinds of tools and simulators and data-logging and such are available, and what languages the various bits and pieces are written in and whether there's a Windows emulator running major parts and so on, a reasonable schedule for a suitable size team could run anywhere from a couple of months to several years—maps and navigation systems in particular are ridiculously hard to get right. And all this ignores any regulatory constraints that might be problematic.)

But, if there are good tools, smashing some of the more egregious bugs might just take a few weeks. I wonder if anyone has run some good static and dynamic analyzers over the code, for instance. (I'm a bit out of date on this stuff, I don't know if Purify is still an "in" thing for C and C++. Clang has some new static analyzers though.)[hr]
SoCalGuy said:
ct- no sarcasm here, you really should reach out to Horvat at Fisker and offer to have a look. No downside!
I have no idea how to get in touch with any of these guys ... and isn't it all outsourced to Visteon anyway? (Although if I were at Fisker I might be trying to light some fires at Visteon on this :D ... it would be amusing if they were in turn subcontracting to something I know about but can't talk about, where someone I know is working on a weird hang that happens about 1 in 50 times during X's shutdown and normal VGA mode restoration sequence on some Intel hardware, but that's probably not related anyway.)
 
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