Just curious: I was re-noticing how two of the five cell spacers, the red ones (see Mike's photo below), are a bit beefier, thicker, than the other clear ones. Does anyone know why that's the case? Obviously it didn't help prevent a fire here, but I was thinking that maybe their larger diameter was meant to lift the stick away from the case/rubber, or is supposed to... If you set a stick on a flat surface it rests on the red, larger diameter spacers... Also, I was noticing that the cell spacers on the aftermarket '8Ah' sticks are all the same size, wondering if the larger red spacers make some difference, possibly a safety feature?...
Absolutely stellar observation and information here.
The very best thing to do with these batteries after removing the shrink wrap is to wrap them up with some polyimide (Kapton) tape.
This stuff is legendary. When you look at a mars rover, this is the golden stuff wrapping up nearly every component on it. It holds up under incredible stresses of all kinds. Super high temp, super high voltage, etc. For example, a dielectric strength of ~8,000 volts per mil. It also stays put at 500* F.
I live right near them and could do a group buy discount if you want to avoid shipping and individual cost. That said, they beat everyone already even per roll. I have no affiliation with them what-so-ever, but I was tickled to find an amazing source of this material. I use it for just about everything.
While I don't -yet- have a Mk1 insight, I would never build or rebuild a battery pack of any sort without this stuff. I mostly deal with LiPo batts too. Those can be REAL picky little buggers.
I hope this is helpful information, and thanks for all that you guys do as a community. Lets keep these amazing vehicles on the road!
I'm not all that...careful working with the Insight NiMH sticks. I've got those things laying around here and there and don't pay much if any attention to them. But, just a tip if you do work with them: If you remove the heat shrink try to do it neatly. I use a sewing seam ripper and carefully rip the wrap in a fairly straight line. Then I re-use the wrap - just wrap the stick back up in it and it provides enough protection to 'have them laying around'...