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Here is the tap votages from 24 hours ago and now with a more accurate meter:
C9 and C20 =16.4 =16.33
C20 and C7 =16.3 =16.26
C7 and C18 =16.4 =16.30
C18 and C5 =16.4 =16.36
C16 and C15=16.3 =16.17
C15 and C14=16.2 =16.14
C14 and C13=16.3 =16.25
C13 and C12=16.2 =16.14
C12 and C11=16.2 =16.12
C11 and C10=16.2 =16.14
 

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I had a password issue and it was painful to see your problem go unanswered with each email I was getting with the forum updates.

Your grid charger taps and the voltage on the top terminals WILL be zero doing what you are doing. What you are doing is wrong, so let me explain.

The answer is simple: You are charging connected to the wrong terminals. You are on the wrong side of the contactor with where you are connecting your charger. Probe around with your multimeter and find the other terminal on the 'white long rectangular brick thing' and see if you see your 120ish voltage, once you do, connect your charger to that.

You are seeing 0 volts on the main pack terminals because the pack relay is open/disconnected when the car is off. You are getting voltage when you power up because the contactor closes but you are seeing a low voltage because you haven't been charging the pack because you are connecting to the wrong terminals.

Solve that and you'll probably get a good charge to the pack and if you are lucky you'll get an IMA light that stays off for awhile.

Good luck, hope this helps.
 

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Hope it's that ^, but if not recall what I said (below) and check out this link:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/problems-troubleshooting/106802-charge-brake-lights-come-above-4000-rpm-ima-issues-2.html#post1261762

Well, if you have/had a shorted stick that would obviously cause problems, and possibly ruin your BCM from what I recall. You should post a separate thread about your problems and see if others will help work through them. My understanding is that there aren't any BCMs or MCMs that cause major problems, and no swaps that will fix any problems you have - unless you've actually damaged the units.
 

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I had a password issue and it was painful to see your problem go unanswered with each email I was getting with the forum updates.

Your grid charger taps and the voltage on the top terminals WILL be zero doing what you are doing. What you are doing is wrong, so let me explain.

The answer is simple: You are charging connected to the wrong terminals. You are on the wrong side of the contactor with where you are connecting your charger. Probe around with your multimeter and find the other terminal on the 'white long rectangular brick thing' and see if you see your 120ish voltage, once you do, connect your charger to that.

You are seeing 0 volts on the main pack terminals because the pack relay is open/disconnected when the car is off. You are getting voltage when you power up because the contactor closes but you are seeing a low voltage because you haven't been charging the pack because you are connecting to the wrong terminals.

Solve that and you'll probably get a good charge to the pack and if you are lucky you'll get an IMA light that stays off for awhile.

Good luck, hope this helps.
Thank you MN. Thank you eq1.
Please bear with me. I have had to settle my mom's estate. Still doing it. I want to get back to this and will report back after I go over what you have suggested.
Thank you
 

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Sorry for the long absence. Thank You for your interest in helping me solve my dilemma. I ended up removing the battery pack because of no voltage readings at any points. Once removed, I took it apart on what would be the passenger side and measured voltage. The outside poles read 15 volts, the inside poles read 13. I will run it without a pack until I save enough to purchase the Lithium conversion kit.
(How cool that will be)
Next, I installed the battery by-pass, using the existing side circuit board. It charges the accessory battery at all times until I get the rpms above 4000. At that point the accessory battery only gets it charge between 2000 and 4000 rpms. Once I go below the 200rpms, it drains completely. Once the red battery light comes on, if I stop and reset the ECM, it is good at charging at all rpm speeds below 4000. Which worked great for one week. My new question: Which thread or what do I do to have the ECM tell the DC-DC converter to continue charging the battery above 4000 rpms?
 

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Re: DC-DC converter not charging the 12 volt battery below 1500 rpms and above 4000 rpms with IMA By-pass installed:
I did my homework and read as many threads as I could, for one day.
The solutions I have found, so far;
1. Install lithium battery pack with proper hardware, firmware and software.
2. Carry a set of jumper cables.
3. Carry a spare 12 volt battery or booster battery.
4. Connect a secondary 12 volt battery with an on/off switch. Possibly a Lithium, only to turn on when primary 12 volt battery has drained and to re-charge secondary, otherwise keep disconnected. Note: Bolt secondary battery down as not to cause injury if in accident.
5. Adjust idle to 1500 rpms. Thus keeping the charge in effect. May need to put CVT in neutral at stops to save on brakes.

Any other ideas that will keep us out of being stranded in the middle of intersections when the battery dies out, is appreciated.
 

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Re: DC-DC converter not charging the 12 volt battery below 1500 rpms and above 4000 rpms with IMA By-pass installed:
I did my homework and read as many threads as I could, for one day.
The solutions I have found, so far;
1. Install lithium battery pack with proper hardware, firmware and software.
2. Carry a set of jumper cables.
3. Carry a spare 12 volt battery or booster battery.
4. Connect a secondary 12 volt battery with an on/off switch. Possibly a Lithium, only to turn on when primary 12 volt battery has drained and to re-charge secondary, otherwise keep disconnected. Note: Bolt secondary battery down as not to cause injury if in accident.
5. Adjust idle to 1500 rpms. Thus keeping the charge in effect. May need to put CVT in neutral at stops to save on brakes.

Any other ideas that will keep us out of being stranded in the middle of intersections when the battery dies out, is appreciated.
Blink, you're making this way too hard. You may not fully understand what's going on. The Insight was not designed to be operated without the IMA, so you have to accept compromises when you force this. All charging, 12V or IMA, originates from the IMA motor. It cannot generate enough voltage below 1500 RPM to charge, and over 4,000 RPM the voltage is too high, so it shuts itself down. That's why you can't *fix* the 1500, 4000 problem. This is the answer to your "new question". You can't. It can't. Under these conditions it normally charges the 12V from the IMA battery, but you have eliminated this option.

The red battery light simply means that the DC/DC converter is not charging the 12V. It does not mean that the 12V is dead. In one of your posts you mentioned that the 12V "drains completely". How fast does this happen? What 12V systems are turned on? How much time do you spend under 1,500 RPM? A healthy 12V can handle this. If yours "drains completely" quickly you need a new 12V.

So to comment on your solutions:

1. Overkill, and you'll have to design and fabricate everything yourself.

2. Yes. Always do this if you suspect you have a battery problem.

3. Forget hauling a battery around. Silly and dangerous. I love my lithium battery booster.

4. Silly and unnecessary.

5. This would be all right if necessary. With a good 12V it shouldn't be.

Suggestion: Get one of these: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Digital-LED-Auto-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Volt-Voltage-Gauge-Meter-Monitor-12V-24V/125501206 so you can monitor the actual voltage of your 12V. Then you will know when it is about to "drain completely.

Sam
 

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Thank you for the feedback Sam. I will surrender to this cars limitations. I will look into a lithium battery booster. I do have one of those voltage readers. I will get it back into this car and monitor what draws and when I get to low.

I had just bought the battery two weeks ago from Walmart. I drove it all last week and no problems. This week, as I was driving to work, I had everything on, the defroster blowing full speed, the headlights, the rear view camera, wipers running. It took ten minutes and 5 miles for this battery to completely drain.

Before it died, it was all slow city driving. My rear view camera began to flicker. The red battery light then came on. I tried to get it above idle but, the car died and that was it. Stuck in the middle of the road, no power, even for the hazard lights. Pushed the CVT manual release with my key to get it into neutral to push her onto a side street. Went and got my dry cell booster battery and it fired right up. I just like to know her limits. So, I can prepare.

I would rather not set my idle so high. That would counter my great mpg. I just was not sure if you and the rest of the honored Insight scholars had a magic wand to re-set the ECM or something. I love this car. that is why I have two. My other one is great. I just have horrible luck with the battery packs. Both went out about two months after buying the cars. So, Lithium I will save for. In the mean time, I will manage as is.
Thank you again for the cold hard facts.
 

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Thought I'd jot down a perfunctory rundown of what seems to be a bonafide, major difference in programming between BCM versions. I've been using an A03 from what I'm told is a 2005 or 2006 CVT car for about the last month. An IC member sent it to me to 'test' because he thought it wasn't working right - he thought it was draining the pack - and he noticed replacement BCMs acted differently. I didn't find that it "drained" the pack spontaneously, but it has some odd programming that leaves the pack barely charged, which could probably look like spontaneous draining, particularly if you had a less than optimized pack...

Kind of hard to summarize this. I've tried an old, very original BCM, an 010 (that's stock on my car), and also a slightly later one that I've been told came with replacement packs or are from Canadian cars - the 305. These generally behave the same. In contrast, the A03 seems to have an almost diametrically opposed underlying rationale to its programming. Basically, the 010 and 305 seem to rely on 'top end' charging and usage, whereas the A03 relies on bottom end charging and usage. If you've seen Insight NiMH charge and discharge curves, or are familiar generally with how NiMH behaves, you know that most of the length of these curves are rather flat -- until the cells are approaching full or approaching empty. When a cell is nearing full, the voltage starts to go up faster - hence the charge curve curves upward; when a cell is nearing empty, the voltage starts to fall fast - hence the discharge curve curves downward quickly. These are the only times when you can be reasonably sure how charged the cells are. Any other time the voltage can be anywhere, with little to no correlation to the charge state. It's just the nature of NiMH electro chemistry.

So, from what I've seen the 010 and 305 BCMs rely on charging high enough to be able to tell what the charge state is -- charging high enough that the charge curve starts to curve up fast. In contrast, the A03 BCM doesn't charge as high -- yet it allows discharging lower than the 010 and 305; it seems to enable discharging very low just so it can use the change in the discharge voltage curve to discern the charge state, pretty much exactly the same way these other BCMs use the top of the curve... Or rather, perhaps it doesn't do this 'just so' it can use the curve to tell charge state; rather, the programming might use the lower charge state for performance and/or longevity reasons, and then it simply uses that drop in the curve to tell charge state... edit: It's not that the 010 and 305, or any of the BCMs for that matter, never use the 'bottom end drop' to signal charge state. Rather, it's just that the A03 seems to use it frequently and regularly similar to how the other BCMs use the top end voltage rise frequently and regularly.

I've looked at on-the-bench discharge curves and compared them to what I see in the car, and it's clear that the A03 BCM is allowing discharge to near empty. The lowest I've seen is about 7% actual... Usage has been in the approximately 10% to 35% range, actual state of charge. For my 010 and 305 BCMs, I'm pretty sure usage is in the something like 60% to 85% range, actual charge state. It's been a while since I've used those BCMs without purposely circumventing their usage range - because I've come to not like the high range usage. But, even when I manually manipulate, it's hard to get these BCMs to work at true low charge states... The nominal charge states are closer to actual, and there's a lot of throttling and what-not once the nominal charge state gets around 40%... Etc etc. So far, I've seen zero throttling with the A03 BCM - it just allows me to run my pack to near empty and then either starts background charging or neg recals. I don't know, it's really weird, there's a lot of weird incongruities...

So, the A03 BCM allows discharging really low, and it doesn't charge very high. During boiler-plate pos recals I usually see around 168V on the OBDIIC&C (at around 6 amps), which is about 2-3 volts lower than actual. So the pos recal voltage threshold is probably about 17.05V at the tap level. With my 010 and 305 BCMs, I've usually seen something like 172-174V at pos recal (about 6 amps), so that's like 17.4 to 17.65V at the tap level... I did a test earlier today, though, that suggests there must be a lot more going on with at least the A03 when it comes to 'pos recals'. I decided I wanted to swap the 010 back in, but before I did that I wanted to benchmark the pos recal thresholds for the A03 and then see how much more the 010 BCM charged the pack.

With the A03 I had left the pack almost 'fully charged' according to the A03 logic. So, when I got back in the car I rev charged it until the charge state pos recal-ed - it barely took anything. The total pack voltage on the OBDIIC&C didn't even breach 165V! I think the A03 just used amp-hour counting and/or the nominal charge state movement to decide when to pos recal, not voltage. The nominal moved from I think 74.1% to 75% and then boom, it jumped to 81%.

So then I did a fuse pull reset - I pulled the #18 fuse, put it back in, then started the car. It charged during idle from nominal 19.9% to nominal 30.6% and then stopped charging. It didn't pos recal. I needed it to pos recal - so I did a rev charge. I added another 6% or so and it finally pos recal-ed. So this is interesting - the reset added about 1000 mAh of charge above and beyond the first pos recal, that's a lot. There's different 'pos recal' logics going on: the day-to-day boiler plate recals don't charge very much, but this reset charge and pos recal ended up charging quite a bit more...

Etc etc blah blah blah. There's just too many details to get into. When I got the 010 BCM back in it allowed another +320 mAh of charge before it pos recal-ed. I was measuring the highest tap voltage during this 6 amp charge during idle, and it read about 17.35V when the pos recal occurred (most taps were around 17.3V)...

I guess the most important thing from all this is just that the A03 BCM is clearly very different from the 010 and 305. And it's possible these differences are representative of the other BCMs in the broad-brush categories of 'those that pos recal to 81%' (A03 and others) and 'those that pos recal to 75%' (010, 305, and others). Up to now I've never heard anyone mention such drastic differences. Of course I'm assuming I've got BCMs that are representative of their models, too, not ones with anomalous behavior.

The A03 seems to implement a management regime that over the broad strokes does a lot of what I've thought the BCMs should do, mainly, using a low charge state range and allowing deeper discharge. On the other hand, I don't like the way it never goes high and it doesn't allow much overall usable capacity (about only 20-30%). The 'right' BCM' would basically be programmed somewhere in between the 010 and 305 on the one hand, and the A03 on the other. Instead, they're almost mirror images.

The only other thing I need to mention is that the A03 BCM would likely be good for those moving to LTO cells without an external BMS. The upper charge threshold is lower than the other BCMs; the A03 seems really concerned with not charging high. The LTO high nominal is something like 2.7 to 2.8V, while the A03 BCM barely goes above 2.8V - and then it will discharge 6% automatically. I'm pretty sure this BCM is much more likely to keep LTO cells off the top than the other BCMs... There'd also probably be benefits at the low end as well: this BCM just allows much more and deeper discharging than the others - yet not too deep for LTO (call it 2.4V at rest)...

edit2:
68.png

Here's an older 19.5 amp discharge graph for one of the sticks in my pack, pairs of cells being monitored. With the A03 BCM, I've seen I think as low as 127V total on OBDIIC&C, so ~130V actual, holding steady about a 20 amp discharge. That'd be 1.08V per cell, assuming they're all balanced (which they pretty much are). Look where 1.08V (2.16V) falls on this discharge graph -- it's at the very end, almost totally empty. Under most circumstances I'm pretty sure the 010 and 305 BCMs would be throttling current and not allowing voltage to drop that low. This is actually a quite puzzling thing - because the reason why they would be throttling I'm pretty sure is because the nominal state of charge would also be low, say under 40%. With the A03 BCM, the nominal state of charge is always much higher than the actual - so if the throttling behavior is triggered by nominal state of charge, it wouldn't be triggered with the A03. If I let the A03 go unmolested, no meddling, I end up seeing a nominal around 50% when in reality the pack is near empty. It just never reaches those low nominal charge states - so maybe no throttling or what-not...

edit3:
S60_chrg_6_5.png

OK, here's an old 6.5 amp charge graph for one of the sticks in my pack, pairs of cells monitored like the discharge one. This might help you wrap your brain around how very small differences in the 'pos recal' threshold voltage can make huge differences in how much the pack gets charged. The colored curves are voltage for pairs of cells, light green is total capacity.

So, above I said the A03 BCM looked like it charged to about 17.05V at the tap level (at 6 amps, close enough to what's in this graph), that's 1.42V per cell, or 2.84V for pairs of cells. If you find 2.84V on this graph and pan to the total capacity charged at that voltage, you find that it's only about 3300mAh. Now, I said I measured 17.35V at the highest tap during a reset pos recal with the 010 BCM - let's call it 17.40V because I think that's the real value, 1.45V per cell or 2.90V for pairs. Find 2.90V, pan to the capacity curve, and the amount charged is about 4700mAh. Quite a difference. You can also see how the voltage curve begins to curve up faster just before 2.90V, whereas it's completely linear down at 2.85V. Just look at how much charging takes place between what would be 168V (2.8V in the graph) and 174V (2.90V in the graph) at the pack level - practically all of it! My sense is that, if the pos recal voltage threshold is too low, like within that 16.8V to below about 17.4V range at the tap level, minor 'warbles' in the cell chemistry could easily throw things off. It seems like any voltage chosen within the 'middle' charge state range could easily end up charging sort of a lot or very little, like there'd be a high probability, or at least much higher than a high voltage threshold, for wide variation...

On a side note, for reference-sake, Panasonic shows a peak of 1.53V during a 6.5 amp charge for our cells, at normal temps. That'd be 18.36V at the tap level, ~184V total. Kind of lends perspective on where these BCM pos recal thresholds fall. My own charge graph above is based on tapering the current at 1.49V, doing a gentle charge at the top, so we don't get to see the actual peak voltage...
 

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Here's a few links to threads I started that provide some background for some of the ideas brought up in the post above -- just in case you enjoy reading relatively long, drawn out speculative things with a sprinkle of data. The last two are the most relevant:

Jan 28, 2016
July 26, 2016
Feb 18, 2018
~December 2018
 
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