Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Chat about Hammerhead's Karoo in general.
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Steve
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Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by Steve » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am

Most of you have probably seen this already - https://blog.hammerhead.io/the-hammerhe ... 4ff29921ed

It does make you wonder why it's only now that HH seem to have realised that having some riders test the software might actually be a good idea. Makes me wonder what happened to those involved in the Caracal program (see https://blog.hammerhead.io/truth-in-2017-e9be6a8ea977)?

Anyway, I applied out of interest but got a "thanks but no thanks" reply, which I wasn't too surprised by. Anyone else apply and actually get in?

nnovod
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by nnovod » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:47 am

I too got a "thanks, but no thanks". I don't mind but am curious what they are looking for. I was a bit worried about that "What do you think about the Karoo" question. I hope they get a diverse group and aren't just looking for praise.

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by dthempel » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:14 pm

I got in, provided I haven't just violated some unknown NDA (that I haven't seen yet) and am now "out" again. :)

This might be a "be careful what you wish for" situation as my Karoo has been pretty stable and my exclusive on-bike device for quite a while. I don't think they put much stock in the "what do you think?" question as I'm pretty sure I wrote, "good hardware, software needs work" as my extensive comment. And I've been pretty critical in the past. I wasn't trying that hard to get in with that comment. Might have had more to do with the amount you ride and the types or number of sensors? No idea what their criteria might have been...

Not sure I'll even follow through with the invite when the details come in as I'm concerned I'll be in the middle of my next training block and have a non-functional device. I'm also curious as to what liabilities I'm agreeing to. If they do something really poorly and 'brick' or otherwise make my device non-functional, what's my recourse?

Maybe a bit off-topic, but I thought this was interesting. If you jump to about the 16 minute mark you'll hear a discussion about the Karoo and Sigma devices and where they "fit" in the budget vs. high-end spectrum. There's also a brief discussion about why doing notifications from the phone is apparently hard because of some limitation in Android? I don't think HH have ever described this in detail, but apparently Sigma is having similar issues?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP2rg_ugrjU - DCRainmaker and GPLama discuss Eurobike.

Steve Donovan
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by Steve Donovan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:22 pm

I got in.
Their email says it was a combination of geographical location, types of sensors being used and type of riding.

They say there is a new software version now, so this should be pushed to my Karoo very shortly.

JohnJ80
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by JohnJ80 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:02 pm

I thought about it, but then decided to not apply. I really don't want to debug their software anymore. I've been doing a ton of the lately for them and I doubt that a single week is going to make any difference in the quality of the software. Based on that, I'd still have the opportunity to fix the problems I see on my particular configuration.

I'm not sure what they expect to see from this. The problems that have come up with each update have been pretty clear in the first ride to most people who are knowledgeable. It's not like we're looking for subtle bugs at this point. They have significant bugs in their basic operating software that they have been unable to sort out through all the May and June updates including the last one. This has left them far behind schedule.

Kind of based on an informal survey the folks that are talking about how the thing works "flawlessly" for them have minimal sensor sets (if any) and minimal navigation needs. The other subset of users who seem to be perfectly satisfied seems to be those for whom the display is the end all/be all without regard to the quality of the data that is displayed. Others who use it for training data or rely on accuracy, the problems are obvious and quickly so. And that last group seems to be the "Advanced Testing Group".

Presuming this group finds a problem a week before the general release, that isn't much time to fix things and push it back out for further testing with the Advanced Testing Group. So what exactly does this get them?

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by Steve » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:50 pm

You make an excellent point, John. The problem for HH is not finding the bugs in the first place (easy, as you say they get found in the first day or two after release), it's fixing those bugs (which typically takes them ages if they even succeed at all, usually involving introducing new bugs).

HH's fundamental problem seems to be understanding how to fix their own software. I've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm convinced that the Karoo software was basically written by contractors who aren't working for them any more, and no-one currently at HH has a clue how any of it works.

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by JohnJ80 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Could be that it is the contractor thing. Could also be the classic "mythical man month" problem. They underestimated the magnitude of the task, found out they couldn't get it done, so they then hired more devs but created the chaos that comes from trying to bring them up to speed AND get their software done. I suppose the contractor thing would also make this the same problem because their internal devs are trying to understand what the contractors did. Anyhow, it's looking like they are having considerable difficulty with their RF communications (ANT+) and power consumption. Those are both going to be very difficult to track down if they have new people trying to figure it out.

But I guess it doesn't matter because they keep sort of "oscillating" around the solutions (for lack of a better word). At any rate, having a user group to test it is a good thing, but I'm not sure what it gets them with this methodology of update releases. I suppose it lets them know what users are likely going to complain about. It also probably assures that the problems this groups finds gets fixed first. Maybe I should have applied..... ;)

J.

Steve Donovan
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by Steve Donovan » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:06 am

I've just received the changelog from Hammerhead for the Advanced Testing Group.
They haven't told me that we shouldn't share this info, so here it is below - no huge changes, just baby steps of improvements :


What's new in release 1.5.143.3
Introductions and Enhancements:
• The distance to turns in turn-by-turn instructions are now updated more frequently to show tenths of a mile/kilometer to the turn when within 10mi/10km, and to show distances in feet or meters when finally approaching the turn.

• Period-based average data fields are now showing average values while the initial window period is filling. Previously no value was shown until the first period had passed. Once the initial window period has passed, the value shown is a rolling item based on the continuing period size.

• Karoo now prompts the user if the user selects a route from the routes app that has not been made available offline or that does not have turn-by-turn directions available. Selecting a map previously would result in “Waiting for instructions...” being shown indefinitely to the user on the map view. Now the user can choose to continue after this prompt. If turn-by-turn directions are not available, only the map will be shown (without turn-by-turn instructions) and no “Waiting for intructions...” message is shown. The entire screen is used for the map which the user can use to navigate.

Bug Fixes:
• An issue has been fixed where auto-calibration of the elevation could fail after elevation data was entered manually.

• Additional refinements were made to the turn-by-turn initialization sequence to remove repeating “Waiting for GPS…” and similar messages that could be displayed when starting a route that ends at the same location as the start. This was the case even when a GPS signal was present.

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by atmasphere » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:41 am

I just found this group and this post (thanks google!). I think perhaps I'm also now in the advanced testing group as my Karoo received this update yesterday after I got home from a ride. The two killer things for me right now are the sensor issues with Stages and the inconsistency with Navigation / TBT. I don't typically ride courses for my weekday rides given the regularity but suppose that represents an option to test things before a longer weekend explore. The incremental updates on distances to turns sound great to have ...

JohnJ80
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by JohnJ80 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:48 pm

Love to hear what you find in the new update on the Stages issue. I have Stages single side power meters on two bikes and the dropouts are driving me nuts.

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by dthempel » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:01 pm

JohnJ80 wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:48 pm
Love to hear what you find in the new update on the Stages issue. I have Stages single side power meters on two bikes and the dropouts are driving me nuts.
There's nothing to report because there were no changes reported in the revision notes, so I didn't specifically "test" anything. If they haven't indicated refinement or update to sensor connections, I'm not inclined to mess with my current setup, which is working (Stages connected via BTLE).

I don't use 20min/1hr power for any of my training, so I don't display those fields.

I did ride with a route and the updated TbT notifications with extra granularity does work. If you'd like a pretty quick video of this in action, you can go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAAjPMlnTWg

This begs the question, if they have specific things they'd like us to test, they should ask. Giving a list of changes may or may not be applicable and testable by a wide swath of those they picked. If they announce Stages updates, I'm happy to make an attempt, but if they apply a "fix" to PowerTap hubs, I can't help them.

atmasphere
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by atmasphere » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:09 pm

Karoo on your stem is a beast! Only seen it out front

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by dthempel » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:16 pm

atmasphere wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:09 pm
Karoo on your stem is a beast! Only seen it out front
That's a short Barfly that I use during 'cross to keep the Garmin (historically) mostly out of harm's way. But... yes... the Karoo looks massive. I flipped the mount around yesterday and rode again and it's slightly better. I don't have another mount long enough to get it fully "out front" and in line with the bars properly on the 'cross bike. The Karoo is big enough that it won't turn in any mount other than the Max for me...

nordog
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by nordog » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:50 am

Fit the Barfly short upside down it works for me on two bikes.

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by dthempel » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:01 pm

nordog wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:50 am
Fit the Barfly short upside down it works for me on two bikes.
If you had read my post, I indicated that I already did that. It still looks dumb sticking up well over the bars...

jhnbssll
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by jhnbssll » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:23 pm

I made it in to the ATG group too. Due to a weeks holiday and 2 weeks out after minor surgery I haven't had a chance to try the latest ATG release but am hoping to get back on the bike by the middle of this coming week and find out what has changed. Mine has been working pretty well recently, it'll be fun to find out what has been broken with the next updates :lol:

Seriously though I don't know what everyone else thinks but my device is now functioning as I'd expect a bike computer to function. Admitedly still lacking a few features, but what is there seems to work well for me. I have seen a few people still having problems on the facebook group but I have tried and can no longer replicate those problems on my Karoo. Progress? 8-)

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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by dthempel » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:56 pm

TbT stopped working for me two updates ago for routes that had otherwise been fine. The "workaround" is apparently to start the ride and *then* add the route. One step forward, one to the side? Or two back? Hard to tell sometimes. Recording has been fine for me for a long time. Routing and navigation is still all over the place...

nordog
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Re: Karoo Advanced Testing Group

Post by nordog » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:43 pm

I lost two recordings from my rides in Wales last week but they were recovered twenty-four hours or so later. That was before the last update.

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