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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It appears that I need a new IMA battery. What options do I have, in the San Francisco Bay area or possibly near Los Angeles, and how expensive are they?
 

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I'm curious, how and/or why is it that Hybrid Automotive has a "patent pending" grid charger based on a design that someone else made (i.e. Mike D.)? That's what it says on the images - "patent pending" - at the above link...
 

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I'm curious, how and/or why is it that Hybrid Automotive has a "patent pending" grid charger based on a design that someone else made (i.e. Mike D.)? That's what it says on the images - "patent pending" - at the above link...

Heres why. First, unless mike d has a patent on it, in any form, its free game (mostly). Some random dude in China could say its his, patent, and poof-ALL rights to make it in a certain way are his. In this case, a utility patent would have been applied for. Most likely not for the charger its-self, but in the finished design (aka, stops cheep knock off junk). Now, he could patent it, and if I come up with a different way to do it, ect, I can ALSO patent basicly the same thing. Its a cat and mouse game really. I wont even go into intellectual patents as they are mind boggling.

Please forgive this explanation as I kept it VERY loose in the legal stuff. Im not advocating anyone stealing ideas ect, nor implying that anyone has, just giving real world examples of what happens all the time.
 

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Except that past publication (such as that by Mike) invalidates a patent claim...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think reconditioning would be good enough. Do they also sell new batteries and for how much?
Can a regular auto mechanic install the battery, or is there a big electrical safety issue?
 

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A phone call to Jeff would be the easiest solution.

HTH
Willie
 

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I think the few vendors around here that sell aftermarket packs do installs if you're local or can recommend somewhat 'authorized' mechanics to do the install... I'd recommend Bumblebee Batteries in Portland OR and their recommendation on the install (or do it yourself if that's possible, it's not too difficult if you can handle the weight of the pack and have a few hours to spare)...
 

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Heres why. First, unless mike d has a patent on it, in any form, its free game (mostly). Some random dude in China could say its his, patent, and poof-ALL rights to make it in a certain way are his....
Yeah, but as far as I know the owner of HybridAutomotive isn't some random dude in China; he's a forum member, knows where the design came from, knows that Mike put a lot of work into the original design for the benefit of this community, etc etc... If you have a patent you can stop others from making and selling a similar device or you can make them pay a royalty. So what had been essentially community property has become exclusive private property. If anyone deserves that kind of right it's the original designer - Mike Dabrowski; if anyone deserves a royalty it'd be Mike D... Just because Mike didn't take out the patent doesn't mean it's ethical for someone else to; maybe it's legal, but it's not ethical... If HybridAutomotive got permission from Mike and has some arrangement, then fine. Otherwise, it ain't cool...
 

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All you have to do to put patent pending on a product is submit a patent application.

Your patent application will be denied unless your claim has not been previously publicized, and is sufficiently specific. You can't for example, patent the idea of connecting a motor to wheels through a reducing gear train. Its too simple, and its been done many times before.

Also, even if it were approved, Mike could take it back by proving he came up with that design first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think the few vendors around here that sell aftermarket packs do installs if you're local or can recommend somewhat 'authorized' mechanics to do the install... I'd recommend Bumblebee Batteries in Portland OR and their recommendation on the install (or do it yourself if that's possible, it's not too difficult if you can handle the weight of the pack and have a few hours to spare)...
Bumblebee sounds good. I don't do much work on my car any more, but I have a very good mechanic in San Jose that I would trust with the installation, if there is no unusual electrical danger. I have worked with high voltages and know electricity, but he hasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, but as far as I know the owner of HybridAutomotive isn't some random dude in China; he's a forum member, knows where the design came from, knows that Mike put a lot of work into the original design for the benefit of this community, etc etc... If you have a patent you can stop others from making and selling a similar device or you can make them pay a royalty. So what had been essentially community property has become exclusive private property. If anyone deserves that kind of right it's the original designer - Mike Dabrowski; if anyone deserves a royalty it'd be Mike D... Just because Mike didn't take out the patent doesn't mean it's ethical for someone else to; maybe it's legal, but it's not ethical... If HybridAutomotive got permission from Mike and has some arrangement, then fine. Otherwise, it ain't cool...
I don't believe a patent on something already in use is legally binding, but it would probably be easy for the the patent owner to cause a lot of legal expense. Perhaps there are original details for which the patent is actually valid. Maybe the originator neglected to declare something like a Gnu Free Public License.
In the flashlight community, there is open source hardware that is respected by those who make and sell it commercially. In the software world, of course, things like Linux and various versions of the Emacs editor are very common and well established.
 

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Who is Jeff?
He is Jeff652 here on Insight Central (IC). Jeff is a highly regarded Insighter and also a vendor here on IC. This is a link to his site, HybridAutomotive.com.

fwiw: I purchased one of his grid chargers a couple years ago to balance out an ailing pack in my cvt. The charger, along with a discharge unit from Mike Dabrowski allowed me to nurse that ailing pack for 2 years while I saved up for a replacement pack.

Many folk have varies forms of grid chargers. Jeff is one of the good folk who market them. His unit is referred to as a 'simple' grid charger. Simple in the sense you just plug it in (after installation of a harness), and it charges. (He also now has discharge units).

Definitely worthwhile to communicate with him. At the very least, you will learn more about what can be done to help with your pack. Jeff is also in CA, hence the suggestion to touch base with him. Perhaps you could arrange to visit his shop.

Matt at HybridReVolt acquired Mike Dabrowski's 'Universal Grid Charger' business and markets that unit and discharger. Matt's device is quite complex with many features including programmed settings, timers, upload/download capabilities and much more.

Mike Dabrowski is one of the pioneers of many of cool things we can add to our Insights. His site has much info and many cool ideas.
 

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I think the cost of wiring my garage space for electric power would be much more than that of a new IMA battery. There has been talk of wiring the garage for electricity for electric cars, but I think that is a long time off.
Are you saying you don't have ANY electricity in the garage? Cuz there's no special requirements for a 'grid charger' - it's a very low-power device...
 

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Are you saying you don't have ANY electricity in the garage? Cuz there's no special requirements for a 'grid charger' - it's a very low-power device...
My guess is: non-attached garage.
 

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Bumblebee sounds good. I don't do much work on my car any more, but I have a very good mechanic in San Jose that I would trust with the installation, if there is no unusual electrical danger. I have worked with high voltages and know electricity, but he hasn't.
I second getting it from Bumblebee. The other main alternative is CHina for new batteries and they're not really cheaper, best to get it from someone in the US. Plus Eli's customer service is top notch.
 

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Anyone can install a grid charger by watching Jeff's and/or Mike D's video on harness installation. There is no risk of shock as long as you disconnect the negative terminal on the 12V battery and flip the on/off button on the high voltage button. They have made it dummy proof.
Gerald
 
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