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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a Better Battery in 2011. Just before they went out of business. Worked great until mid-way through this year 2015. Now have IMA light and refusing to charge. Disconnected battery and IMA light went away but I'm sure it's temporary. Bought a Prius. Just wondering if anyone else has any idea how long these batteries will last.
Anyone in Sacramento or East Bay Area have a grid charger? And does the grid charger need to be set at a higher amperage?

Thanks,

Rich
Oakland, CA
 

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First, grid charging is a low current type of charge to ensure all 120 cells get charged to their maximum capacity. It takes up to 30 hours. The car also has to be disassambled in the rear to get at that battery, and a permanent 4 wire cable is connected to the battery. So, you can't really get a 1 time charge from someone. You have to buy a grid charger. Plus, as your battery gets weaker, you have to grid charge often. Some folks do it more than once a week.
 

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I haven't seen much news about how long the 'betterbattery' is likely to last. Eli at Bumblebee Batteries posted an update on his betterbattery prototype pack not too long ago, saying it was still going strong after I think about 4 years of use... [edit: here's a link:http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/honda-insight-forum-1st-gen-discussion/64985-maxima-betterbattery-prototype-performance-4-years.html]There's been a post here and there with people reporting some charging problems - packs charging only to half full... I recall one person reported that he was getting the typical unbalanced pack behavior, tried some fixes that didn't work, and had to send the pack back... But I imagine there's hundreds of BB packs out there on the road doing fine...

I would suggest looking into a deep cycle or two - deep discharge, full grid charge. Other than that, if you consider getting another new pack, you might want to try Eli at Bumblebee - and see if he might give you a discount trading in your BB pack for research or something. I know he had an interest in delving into failing BB packs at one time...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

Thanks for responding. I'm looking to sell the car so that's why I was looking into borrowing or renting someone's grid charger. I wasn't sure how complicated the wiring was for this. I'd need to buy a harness and install it.
 

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....I'm looking to sell the car so that's why I was looking into borrowing or renting someone's grid charger. I wasn't sure how complicated the wiring was for this. I'd need to buy a harness and install it.
Seems like you should be able to get the car to charge it and not worry - earlier you said you disconnected the battery (I assume 12V cable) and the IMA light went away. So is it still gone or what? Basically, try resetting and letting the car charge the pack on its own (i.e. reset by pulling underdash 18 fuse, start car, rev to 3000 RPM and hold there). If it takes a while to reach Insight-full (i.e. 75%, 81%, 19 bars) then consider it fixed and sell the car... If not, then try grid charge...

Personally, if it were my car/situation and I didn't want to spend cash, I'd probably try discharging the pack with a light bulb (free setup) and then try charging with car, and if that didn't work I'd then try grid charging. Maybe some time in not-too-distant future I'd repeat the deep discharge and grid charge...

Also, I'd probably just buy the right-powered LED driver for the charger - like a Mean Well LPC-100-350 or LPC-100-500 (I prefer the latter) - like $30-40 total (try Jameco or Powergate), and I would charge on the big leads on top of pack with key on - i.e. attach some alligator clips to the DC output leads on the power supply and clip them to the big pack leads on top of pack, turn big circuit breaker back on, turn key on, put 12V charger on 12V battery, plug in power supply/'grid' charger (you'd also have to have put an AC plug on the power supply input leads)... This all seems easier and cheaper than fussing with a 'harness', a piggy-back spade connector and reaching down between DC-DC and pack to attach, and spending $300+...
 
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