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Entries by Bill Wood (78)

Tuesday
Jun162009

Speeding up Sync Voice Recognition

A post in one of the comments mentioned that you can speed up the time it takes for Sync to go into Voice Recognition (VR) mode by pressing the "Voice" button on the steering wheel twice.  This didn't work for me initially.

Tonight I tried again and got it to work.  You can speed up the time it takes Sync to go into VR mode by about a factor of 2 with this technique:

  • Press the "Voice" button
  • Wait a decent interval (1/2 second or so - you can experiment)
  • Press the "Voice" button again

So instead of:

Bloing! ... Beep!

You just get:

Beep!

and you're good to go.

Sunday
Jun142009

Working on the MPG

I reset the long-term mileage and filled up the tank two days ago so I can compare actual gallons used to the MPG figures reported by the onboard computer.  So for the last two days I've been driving with care, keeping the car in EV mode whenever possible.  Its tough around here as there are a lot of hills, but I'm managing about 37 MPG over the first 70 or so miles since the reset.  Tonight I made 47 MPG on the way home from a friend's house :-)

Sometimes I want to floor it and drive the way I used to but most of the time I'm keeping it in the EV zone whenever possible.  Its interesting that the way I used to drive actually involved a lot of speeding up and slowing down and now I'm much more even-keeled yet not taking longer to get to my destination.

Saturday
Jun132009

On my radar screen

My wife and I went to see Star Trek today.  In the middle of the movie water began dripping on me from above - a sign of things to come!  I changed seats and enjoyed the rest of the movie.

When we left the theater it was just starting to rain again.  As we got to the car big huge drops were falling.  It proceeded to rain harder than I've seen around here in a long time!  The roads were flooding but the car was fine.  My wife was worried about the brakes but I knew that regenerative braking would not be affected by the rain :-)

On the way home I pulled up the Sirius weather radar - it flagged the hot spots in the storm with dark red - really cool!  By the time I took this picture the worst had passed and the dark red hot spots had moved on:

 

 

Friday
Jun122009

Seat comfort

The seats in the Ford Fusion are excellent.  For my last two cars, it took me weeks to get the seat and steering wheel adjusted just so.  I adjusted my FFH in a few minutes and that was it.  I love the way the headrest supports your head, and the side bolsters give you a sense of security in a corner.  Also, there's been no sign yet of excess pressure on the underside of my legs.  Really nice job Ford!

Wednesday
Jun102009

RED ALERT - Vehicle Health Report

I ran an MS Sync vehicle health report shortly after getting my new FFH.  Naturally I expected no problems after 1 1/2 days of owning "Mabel" (that's the name I gave my FFH on Sync).  To my surprise when I got the health report, it was very concerned about my parking brake and/or suspension, it was hard to tell which, and recommended an immediate dealer visit.

So I upgraded Sync to V3 and tried again.  Same report.

"OK", sez I to myself, "this could be because I actually had the parking brake on when I ran the report.  Let me try without the parking brake on."

Voila!  A perfect report.

Hey Ford, if the car is in park and the parking brake is on, that's probably normal and doesn't require a dealer visit!

Tuesday
Jun092009

A bit of "customer delight"

I experienced some customer delight today when I discovered that I can play DVDs in the FFH when its in "Park".  If you start driving the picture disappears and you just hear the audio.  Here's the interface for DVD playback:

After a few seconds it goes to full screen playback:

Nice!

Tuesday
Jun092009

Edmunds forum link removed

I maintain a list of links to FFH forums.  I have been posting in some of these forums and referencing this blog when it seemed relevant to the discussion.  Today I received this email from PF_Flyer at Edmunds:

You cannot use the CarSpace forums to drive traffic to your blog and forums. Please don't post a link to your blog as a part of your posts.

PF Flyer
Host - Hybrid Vehicles Forums

They also removed all my posts.  I wrote them back:

Since the internet is all about linking and cross-fertilization your actions seem decidedly short-sighted. I'm not advertising anything. My posts were adding value to your web site. None of the other car forums I participate in think this is a problem. They even provide an easy way to put my blog address in my "signature" line.

I doubt you'd mind if I posted a link to your forum from my blog. Which I did here: http://ffh.squarespace.com/blog/2009/4/15/ffh-forums.html. Guess its time to remove it, with an explanation as to why I did.

I'm removing the Edmunds link from my list of FFH forums.  I hate this kind of nonsense.

Monday
Jun082009

First impressions

Well, I've been playing for a few hours. Still getting to know everything.  My gas mileage is not spectacular but is in the 35-40 range without really trying to conserve gas.  Mostly back roads driving with traffic.

Before I forget here's a picture of the new family member:

The technology in this thing is awesome. I didn't know it will play DVDs when you're parked! Really cool. So many ways to play music that its almost overwhelming. AM, FM, Sirius, USB, Bluetooth, CD, DVD, Jukebox. Whew!  I've been listening to some old favorites and the stereo sound is awesome.

Here's the inside scoop:

One thing I will say, it's not the smoothest ride on the road.  I went over a section of washboard near work that I had never even noticed before in the old Audi and was very surprised at how rough it was.

I'm off on a business trip tomorrow for two days, will post more detailed impressions when I return.

Monday
Jun082009

It's here!

I just picked it up at the dealer and drove to work.  Listened to some music, made a Bluetooth phone call, had some drive-in McDonald's - just like a real car except good gas mileage!   ;-)

I got a nice surprise when I picked it up too - Pennsylvania is offering a $500 rebate on hybrids, you just send in the paperwork and they send you the $500.

I'll post a picture later.

Saturday
Jun062009

Sync - first impressions

Although I can't take it home until Monday, I visited the dealer and sat in my new FFH today.  I played around with Sync for about 1/2 hour - put my 64gb music flash drive in the USB port, paired my phone, played music over USB and Stereo Bluetooth, etc.  Everything seemed to be in working order.  Voice recognition worked well.  However, Sync must have the worst media player interface I've ever seen.  Take a look at this screen where I'm playing music off the USB drive:

Now I know you're wondering, what's the album title?  How long is the song?  Where's the cover art?  What's the track number? What other tracks are on the album?  Aren't you?