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Signatory #80
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,
I got that nice Signatory Karma from the US a few weeks ago :D
Everthing fine - of course the navigation maps are US only and apparently you guys have FM Radio channels only on the impair MHz? My favorite Swiss radio is on 103.6, but on 103.5 or 103.7 it does sound BAD...

Emil Frey dealer tells me that they can update the software, but that they are not sure about compatibility, as the US Hardware is slightly different - eg there is Satellite Radio option in my US Signatory Karma, which is not available in the EU Karmas.

Anyone tried to install EU software on a US Car?
or: does anyone have the US software, so that in the worst case they can reset it back?

The Swiss dealer says that in the worst case he will have to put in a replacement EU controller for $6,000 :s
 

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hi,
I got that nice Signatory Karma from the US a few weeks ago :D
Everthing fine - of course the navigation maps are US only and apparently you guys have FM Radio channels only on the impair MHz? My favorite Swiss radio is on 103.6, but on 103.5 or 103.7 it does sound BAD...

Emil Frey dealer tells me that they can update the software, but that they are not sure about compatibility, as the US Hardware is slightly different - eg there is Satellite Radio option in my US Signatory Karma, which is not available in the EU Karmas.

Anyone tried to install EU software on a US Car?
or: does anyone have the US software, so that in the worst case they can reset it back?

The Swiss dealer says that in the worst case he will have to put in a replacement EU controller for $6,000 :s
I can load the Europe Maps onto the CIU but can't do anything for the radio stations Fisker made a Europe only CIU if you like I can see if I can order a Europe CIU but the price might scare you. Matter of fact I just shipped a CIU back to Finland that I loaded the Europe maps onto .
 

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Congratulation to get the Karma and welcome to this forum.

I got a CIU with the us software mod (better display, faster control) on it, last year.

The plan was to install it in my German Karma and add EU NAV to it.
The people of Emil Frey in Duesseldorf could not get the German parts installed even with support from EU head office.

If you find a way, I'd be happy to get this information.

Stefan
 

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The hardware is compatible. The US hardware does have an added Satellite radio, but it does not affect functionality and will be disabled in EU mode software.

Two steps:
1. Load the EU CIU software (mostly the EU maps)
2. You need to configure the CIU to European variant. This is done typically with a the dealer service tool.

These two steps can be done in either sequence but BOTH must be done. If you only accomplish one of the steps, there will be software incompatibility issues. (not that it isn't already buggy enough...:p)

With the above two finished, you will have a full working CIU in EU mode, with EU FM bands, maps, voice guidance, language settings, and disabled satellite radio functionality.
 

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The hardware is compatible. The US hardware does have an added Satellite radio, but it does not affect functionality and will be disabled in EU mode software.

Two steps:
1. Load the EU CIU software (mostly the EU maps)
2. You need to configure the CIU to European variant. This is done typically with a the dealer service tool.

These two steps can be done in either sequence but BOTH must be done. If you only accomplish one of the steps, there will be software incompatibility issues. (not that it isn't already buggy enough...:p)

With the above two finished, you will have a full working CIU in EU mode, with EU FM bands, maps, voice guidance, language settings, and disabled satellite radio functionality.
Interesting from what I was told and seen looking in the parts catalog they list two different CIUs matter of fact I received an Email requesting a EU CIU from a Ex Fisker employe and asked why can't you use a USA CIU . He mentioned the radio bands would be off. I would of though he would of known Reflashing the VCM and CIU would make it work.
 

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Speaking of European software, back in early 2013 Fisker came up with a software upgrade that would actually extend the car's range and reduce its CO2 emissions. The goal was to reduce or eliminate the car's road taxes in European countries that tax CO2 emissions very heavily, such as The Netherlands. There was a brief discussion of this software in this thread.

Is this software still around and available? At the time, Fisker was charging a huge fee to install this software that only made it economically viable for owners in a few European countries where the tax scheme supported it. But if it is a free, or nearly free, update, I would like to have it installed in my car for better range and fewer emissions.

Anyone know about this?
 

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As I recall it Fab, Fisker was never very transparent about what they did. My general impression was that the change just lowered the floor or how much usable battery capacity the car would dip in to (for example, changing the "0 mile" mark from a 15% SOC to a 12% SOC or 10% SOC). This was just enough to game the European testing methodology so that the electric miles driven and the amount that the ICE needs to run for the test was reduced enough to get under the CO2 limbo pole.

I may be completely off base, but I think the software really only tweaked the battery management system and didn't impact ICE operations at all.

Brent
 

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As I recall it Fab, Fisker was never very transparent about what they did. My general impression was that the change just lowered the floor or how much usable battery capacity the car would dip in to (for example, changing the "0 mile" mark from a 15% SOC to a 12% SOC or 10% SOC). This was just enough game the European testing methodology so that the electric miles driven and the amount that the ICE needs to run for the test was reduced enough to get under the CO2 limbo pole.

I may be completely off base, but I think the software really only tweaked the battery management system and didn't impact ICE operations at all.

Brent
That jibes with my recollection as well. Even so, it would be a beneficial change if it has actually provided greater range without compromising battery life. This is fairly similar to the change GM made to the Spark that allowed them to use a battery with fewer cells and save weight without compromising E-Range. In the case of the Karma, since the battery size does not change, cycling them deeper would give better E-Range, which is always desirable, as long as it does not break something else.
 

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Interesting from what I was told and seen looking in the parts catalog they list two different CIUs matter of fact I received an Email requesting a EU CIU from a Ex Fisker employe and asked why can't you use a USA CIU . He mentioned the radio bands would be off. I would of though he would of known Reflashing the VCM and CIU would make it work.
Any radio in modern head units are all software adjustable.
It's not a simple flash with the CIU and VCM. VCM actually has nothing to do with it.
You need to actually re-code the CIU so it operates in EU mode. This is the part that I'm not sure if Fisker made any tools available to the Dealers or anyone else outside of the company. Typically this process is done from the manufacture of the CIU, and double checked/re-coded at the end of the production line in Valmet. We had some internal tools that we used to test this.

There were two part numbers for the EU and NA CIU because they do have hardware differences: one has a Satellite radio receiver, and one does not. But the rest of the head unit is basically exactly the same.
 

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The hardware is compatible. The US hardware does have an added Satellite radio, but it does not affect functionality and will be disabled in EU mode software.

Two steps:
1. Load the EU CIU software (mostly the EU maps)
2. You need to configure the CIU to European variant. This is done typically with a the dealer service tool.

These two steps can be done in either sequence but BOTH must be done. If you only accomplish one of the steps, there will be software incompatibility issues. (not that it isn't already buggy enough...:p)

With the above two finished, you will have a full working CIU in EU mode, with EU FM bands, maps, voice guidance, language settings, and disabled satellite radio functionality.
Any radio in modern head units are all software adjustable.
It's not a simple flash with the CIU and VCM. VCM actually has nothing to do with it.
You need to actually re-code the CIU so it operates in EU mode. This is the part that I'm not sure if Fisker made any tools available to the Dealers or anyone else outside of the company. Typically this process is done from the manufacture of the CIU, and double checked/re-coded at the end of the production line in Valmet. We had some internal tools that we used to test this.

There were two part numbers for the EU and NA CIU because they do have hardware differences: one has a Satellite radio receiver, and one does not. But the rest of the head unit is basically exactly the same.
There is also an issue with the traffic reporting. I have been told that it only works in Europe, even though the same broadcast data is available in the US (RDS - TMC), but the receiver in my US-model Karma can only receive the data broadcast on European frequencies.
 

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Any radio in modern head units are all software adjustable.
It's not a simple flash with the CIU and VCM. VCM actually has nothing to do with it.
You need to actually re-code the CIU so it operates in EU mode. This is the part that I'm not sure if Fisker made any tools available to the Dealers or anyone else outside of the company. Typically this process is done from the manufacture of the CIU, and double checked/re-coded at the end of the production line in Valmet. We had some internal tools that we used to test this.

There were two part numbers for the EU and NA CIU because they do have hardware differences: one has a Satellite radio receiver, and one does not. But the rest of the head unit is basically exactly the same.
Thank you for the information at least now we know the real story . I would of thought it would of been cheaper to produce one CIU and have the software control the market place . Thank you for clearing that up
 

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There is also an issue with the traffic reporting. I have been told that it only works in Europe, even though the same broadcast data is available in the US (RDS - TMC), but the receiver in my US-model Karma can only receive the data broadcast on European frequencies.
You are correct about that. The Karma's radio was only made to receive the traffic info from TMC. Which is an European only broadcast.
RDS is available both in the US and EU. RDS is not for traffic info, only for radio station info. The US broadcast however is not very well formatted from the radio stations. This is why when you see the radio station's information regarding artist, song titles, it typically gets cut off in weird areas. Because the US RDS broadcasts doesn't follow a standard format like the European RDS does. It is very hard for the radio to actually know which field in the RDS broadcast is the artist name, or song name, or anything really. it doesn't even know when the string starts or ends.
 

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You are correct about that. The Karma's radio was only made to receive the traffic info from TMC. Which is an European only broadcast.
RDS is available both in the US and EU. RDS is not for traffic info, only for radio station info. The US broadcast however is not very well formatted from the radio stations. This is why when you see the radio station's information regarding artist, song titles, it typically gets cut off in weird areas. Because the US RDS broadcasts doesn't follow a standard format like the European RDS does. It is very hard for the radio to actually know which field in the RDS broadcast is the artist name, or song name, or anything really. it doesn't even know when the string starts or ends.
I think the new Fisker should hire you back to finish software 600 :D
 

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You are correct about that. The Karma's radio was only made to receive the traffic info from TMC. Which is an European only broadcast.
RDS is available both in the US and EU. RDS is not for traffic info, only for radio station info. The US broadcast however is not very well formatted from the radio stations. This is why when you see the radio station's information regarding artist, song titles, it typically gets cut off in weird areas. Because the US RDS broadcasts doesn't follow a standard format like the European RDS does. It is very hard for the radio to actually know which field in the RDS broadcast is the artist name, or song name, or anything really. it doesn't even know when the string starts or ends.
There is traffic data available in the US via both TMC and RDS-HD. It is also available vis Sirrius (I am not talking about the periodic voice reports, I am talking digital data) See this post.

The Karma's TMC reciver is just not equipped to receive the data.
 

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There is traffic data available in the US via both TMC and RDS-HD. It is also available vis Sirrius (I am not talking about the periodic voice reports, I am talking digital data) See this post.

The Karma's TMC reciver is just not equipped to receive the data.
Correct. The Karma's Satellite radio chip is actually capable of receiving data. But when the system was initially spec'ed out and contracted from Sirius/XM, Fisker didn't opt for the data connection side of things. So it can only do music, but no data. The hardware is there, no software to utilize it and it is not possible to add it after the fact. This is all part of the Sirius chip.
Don't ask me why Fisker didn't want the data plan, could've been due to constrain in time to bring the vehicle to the market.

As I mentioned many times in the past posts, the Karma infotainment system at the end of the day is actually extremely competent. All the hardware were done correctly. If the software had more time, more carefully thought out, it would've been an amazing system.
 

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Correct. The Karma's Satellite radio chip is actually capable of receiving data. But when the system was initially spec'ed out and contracted from Sirius/XM, Fisker didn't opt for the data connection side of things. So it can only do music, but no data. The hardware is there, no software to utilize it and it is not possible to add it after the fact. This is all part of the Sirius chip.
Don't ask me why Fisker didn't want the data plan, could've been due to constrain in time to bring the vehicle to the market.

As I mentioned many times in the past posts, the Karma infotainment system at the end of the day is actually extremely competent. All the hardware were done correctly. If the software had more time, more carefully thought out, it would've been an amazing system.
Thanks for the explanation. This was a much bigger issue for me in San Francisco, but now that I am in New Hampshire, traffic is not a big deal any more, at least not now. Things may be very different once snow starts falling.

There are a few other aspects of Karma's design that seem to deviate from the "no compromise" mantra, chief among which is the puny 3.3KW On-board charger that is the weak link between the Level II EVSE and the robust battery that can easily accept 6.6KW of charging current. I know that cost, availability, and thermal issues played into this decision, but ultimately, it turned out to be, IMHO, a terrible decision.

Back to infotainment system, it seems paradoxical that a car that was years late suffered so much from being rushed into production, but that's how it goes, I guess.
 

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Signatory #80
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hi Fisker_Fan,
thanks for the input - I'll ask Emil Frey over here if the have such a service tool/way to reconfigure the CIU to European.
@Stefan: that would also resolve your issue, I guess.

@all: does anyone have a manual for the interface to / of the CIU? I am in IT and could ask one of the more technical guys to have a look at that..

greetings from sunny Switzerland
 
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