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Firmware Fixes and Improvements

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by vfx, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    Ok, I have been meaning to start this thread for weeks now but have not had the time to kick it off properly. Rather that wait one more second, here it is with a weak start but hoping it will grow organically.

    The ideas for firmware fixes and improvements are scattered in dozens of threads in hundreds of posts here and in the owner's forum. Here is the one place to gather them all up for simple viewing. So if you remember what you have posted or where some are, put them here so Tesla can find them all. Designate 2008 or 2010 if applicable.

    In no particular order:
  2. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

    Sep 6, 2008
    I don't have anything to suggest yet. But I do have an interesting story about what happened with my 2010 Roadster last week.

    I turned on my modem in my Roadster right after receiving it in late July. So about a month of data from my Tesla has been relayed back to the mother ship in San Carlos.

    One of the engineers from Tesla contacted me because they wanted to run a health check on my Roadster and they had a lot of data since mine has been calling home regularly.

    Basically it takes them about 30 minutes to remotely update the firmware in a 2010 Roadster. They call you and ask if they can do it and if your car can be down for that period of time. Then they call you back when they are done.

    It was interesting what he was able to tell me about the state of my Roadster remotely. Just about everything except the radio station I was listening to.

    The ability to remotely check the battery health or any diagnostic data will clearly help Tesla keep costs lower for maintenance over time.

    Once they get some time to design a customer interface, they should allow Tesla owners to access some of the data about our own Roadsters.
  3. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Suggestion: Some form of Battery Health Chart. Maybe a monthly thing. Pack temperatures plotted over the days. Recharge versus daily mileage.

    With handy hints: "try to leave car connected when at home" "park in the shade wherever possible" Could even have specific stuff: "since your daily mileage is low you may prefer smaller, more frequent recharges rather than one larger, once-weekly one" "new recharge point location now available here" etc

    Although the advice could get quite creepy if they know where the car has been(?) and start to recommend particular parking lots, driving styles etc.

    "try not to leave the car in performance mode once you've launched away from the lights outside your office"
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Nov 28, 2006
    #4 doug, Sep 7, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
    I said this in response to another suggestion thread:
    From James's post it sounds like they're working on it. I'll add that once some sort of secure remote user interface is implemented for the 2010s, it would be nice if they could find a solution for the 500 or so 2008 Roadsters out there. A cellular data connection could be added via USB dongle or preferably an under-the-dash module. Given the limited but certainly existing market, someone would have to decide if the development costs are worth what Tesla could charge for the upgrade.
  5. toutizes

    toutizes Member

    Jun 17, 2009
    I'd like some tunable options:

    - Turn off the "creep" feature, so I don't have to hold the brakes when stopped.

    - Change the delay of the key-fob button that opens the trunk (it's set at 3s currently.)

    - Allow release the break pedal _while_ the boot procedure is running. I don't mind having the foot on the pedal while I turn the key, but I sometimes release the pedal _before_ the procedure is finished, which raises the alert "hold the break pedal" and requires a full restart of the boot procedure. Of course this happens when I'm in a rush to get started. Sigh. I hate that part.

    - Allow shifting R->D or D->R without holding the break pedal. Just like a regular stick shift car, you know. When I back out of a parking lot, I'd like to put it back in D when my backwards speed is low enough, _without_ having to hold the break pedal.

    - Switch the power/regen orange display on the 2008 to kW instead of Amps. I'm so jealous of the 2010 power gauge!
  6. ra-san

    ra-san Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Lot's of potential things to add or change in the firmware, but I think the biggest one is 120 V charging behavior (no surprise to those of you who've seen my other posts on the matter).

    As a great man once said, "Ye cainot change the laws of physics Jim!" (apologies to the butchered written accent), but even so there are some changes that could be made to make things work better for what is still the default shipped charging mechanism, and one that is talked about in the press every time charging is mentioned.

    Basic issue with 120 V charging in case it's not generally known is that power is limited compared to higher voltage, higher amperage 240 V charging (thus the physics quote), and therefore Tesla does not have the car run any cooling cycle before, during, or after charging. The end result of this is that the battery pack is quite hot after charging. Hot enough so that it's pretty much guaranteed that the coolant pump will be triggered to run (and rear fan too, at times, at low speed). Given the heat mass and power drain of the coolant pump, it basically will never stop running and will drain the batteries down low enough to need charging again, keeping the pack hot and starting the cycle over again.

    Two main options:
    1) Raise the temp at which the coolant pump is triggered to run: Tesla seems focused on this potential "fix" and it'd be nice, if they can determine it doesn't affect safety or battery life. If this workaround happens, then the battery staying fairly hot all the time wouldn't get the never-ending cycle started... maybe. Regardless would be nice to have the pump run less *if* the pack balance and conditioning issues are ok.

    2) Add in a cooling phase to 120V. There's not enough power (it has been said) to run cooling at same time as actual charging, but I'm hopeful that it could be done as a separate phase triggered by pack temperature or by charge progress state. Either would work so long as the pack ended with its temperature below the trigger point for the coolant pump.

    There have been suggestions of adding in a compressor driven cooling phase independent of charging to help in high ambient conditions when the car is parked after driving. I don't know if that would be a win or not, but am pretty sure either or both of the above two would be big wins in the overall effectiveness of 120V charging.
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    VDS screen.

    While I'm sure it looks great in a lab, how about taking cues from in car NAV systems?

    White and black, day and night screens, volume adjustments for tones, no tiny lettering (like the "P" for performance") and choice of a blank screen.

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