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Ahh, I am a little too late for your "assemble weekend." I would've found that fun. I live in Groton, CT, which if you live in "NE CT" can't be too far. I have a HCHII that is acting up right now (4+ recals a day).
 

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Discussion Starter #1,162 (Edited)
It is more like assemble months, we still have a lot of assembly to do.
A bigger issue that you could help with is that we need a HCHII to design the charger harness for that model. I have a guy from IN with an 09 civic that is planning to drive out early next week.
If we can get that done using your car as a sample, we could save him a trip.
Grotton is about 1.2 hours up I-395 from here.
North Grosvenordale is part of Thompson, which is right on the MA,CT border.
We could give your car a charge to see if that corrects the recals.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,163
Charger update.
We have made a great deal of progress on getting the chargers assembled, and have set up an efficient test procedure.
What we are discovering is that the temperature probes can have a .5 to 3 degree F error.
This error can be calibrated out, so for people with only one harness, there is no issues, but for people with 2-3 harnesses, only one can be calibrated to have no errors. When using the other harnesses, a small correction offset needs to be applied.
The chargers have the ability to be set up with 3 car profiles,and each of those profiles can have a different temperature correcting offset, so this should allow all harnesses to work correctly, if the correct profile is selected.
We are serializing and testing each harness and recording the temp corrections required, and find that many are very close to the same, so we can also match harnesses for the multiple harness people. As one would expect, this all takes time. I am still expecting to be shipping some chargers this week, and am trying to find the time to do the install instructions and video, but can also see that that is going to take some time to do to the degree of detail that I want.
I will need a vacation when we have all the orders filled.
 

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I would love to save the guy from IN a trip. That's not too bad of a drive for me. I am in DC right now for a meeting and will be getting back to CT on Sunday evening. Hopefully some time after that would work for both of us?
 

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Upsetting News

Peters correct, this thread is already so long that few make it through .
Back on topic.

I can see a nasty situation developing, and want to mention it now before it is a problem.
many people have not responded to my initial notification that the charger pricing was ready and it was time to finalize the orders.
Many people are changing what they want to order,and new orders are coming in.
That is fine as long as I have enough chargers, but this will get difficult if you are on the back order list and have not responded to my initial notification, and we only have a couple of overnight or maintenance chargers left, and the charger that should be yours will have 3 people ready to pay the full amount and take immediate delivery.
At that point, you will have forfeited your deposit, and I will have to sell the charger.



So we can wait for Months longer than told, having made deposits in good faith and with no little amount of trust that we would eventually see a charger. But you can turn around and sell that charger to someone else because we did not get back to you right away after waiting much longer than first thought? I can see if the Charger does not sell, sure go ahead and keep the deposit, but to keep the deposit AND sell to somebody else who maybe wasn't deployed when you finally got around to finishing seems a little wrong.

I made my Deposit as a show of Community support for your work and effort in what I thought was a worthy project. Now you are happy to make a fast sale and also pocket the deposit that raised the money that made the project possible? Harsh.

:cry:
 

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I made my Deposit as a show of Community support for your work and effort in what I thought was a worthy project. Now you are happy to make a fast sale and also pocket the deposit that raised the money that made the project possible? Harsh.
I see it very differently ...

From 4-20-11 ... almost 6 months ago ... when it was first decided to go with deposits ... I put part in bold:

I realize that for many people, the lack of a firm price
and lack of real install instructions will make the decision to spring for a non refundable deposit will be a hard one, so do what you must.
The whole point of the non-refundable deposit was to relieve some of ( not all of ) the financial burden of many thousands of dollars from Mike ... he was burned before with people making empty promises ... he invested a lot of his own personal money ... and a lot of people who made promises to purchase from him, just vanished into the aether... leaving him to eat thousands ... so understandably wanting to avoid that kind of thing again ... the deposit issue was developed as a solution ... and many canceled because of it.

For this project it is my understanding that Mike Invested a chunk of his own money for an initial production run of ~100 chargers ... by the time final pricing was ironed out with about ~70 non-refundable deposits ... each of about ~1/2 the price ... leave mike still holding the bag for the other ~1/2 of 70 and 100% of ~30 for many months ... of the ~70 who made a non-refundable deposit ... only ~35 have paid in full once the final price was announced... leaving Mike still holding the bag for ~1/2 or more of the other ~35 chargers + 100% of the non-reserved ~30 ... ( roughly ~$25,000 ) ... nothing to sneeze at.

When you put down a non-refundable deposit for anything , from anybody ... when the product comes up and is ready for you ... you have a choice to make ... loose the non-refundable deposit or pay in full and get the product ... nothing new here at all.

If you made a non-refundable deposit wanting the product ... just pay in full and you get the product ... everybody wins... systems works exactly as it was supposed to.

If you made a non-refundable deposit initially wanting the product ... then at the end want a refund ... your mistake.

If you invested a non-refundable deposit not wanting the product, but only wishing to support the project and efforts ... than for all practical purposes you made donation... which is still non-refundable.

So ... I don't see it as harsh at all ... but completely as expected ... But that's just my perspective anyway.

If you made a deposit ... contact Mike , and pay in full ... I don't know what time frame he is using as a final cut off.
 

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Peters correct, this thread is already so long that few make it through .
Back on topic.

I can see a nasty situation developing, and want to mention it now before it is a problem.
many people have not responded to my initial notification that the charger pricing was ready and it was time to finalize the orders.
Many people are changing what they want to order,and new orders are coming in.
That is fine as long as I have enough chargers, but this will get difficult if you are on the back order list and have not responded to my initial notification, and we only have a couple of overnight or maintenance chargers left, and the charger that should be yours will have 3 people ready to pay the full amount and take immediate delivery.
At that point, you will have forfeited your deposit, and I will have to sell the charger.


So we can wait for Months longer than told, having made deposits in good faith and with no little amount of trust that we would eventually see a charger. But you can turn around and sell that charger to someone else because we did not get back to you right away after waiting much longer than first thought? I can see if the Charger does not sell, sure go ahead and keep the deposit, but to keep the deposit AND sell to somebody else who maybe wasn't deployed when you finally got around to finishing seems a little wrong.

I made my Deposit as a show of Community support for your work and effort in what I thought was a worthy project. Now you are happy to make a fast sale and also pocket the deposit that raised the money that made the project possible? Harsh.

:cry:
I also disagree with this.

If you want a charger, pay up. It's as simple as that. I also paid my deposit as a show of community support.

But when Mike emailed me that it was time to pay, I responded to him immediately and had a check in the mail within 48 hours.

Production issues are expected and definitely happen, especially when you're committed to quality as Mike is. Payment issues are a different matter entirely. If you don't email him back, how long do you suggest he wait before allocating his merchandise to someone who is willing to pay? Two weeks? A month? Two months?

....
 

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I made my Deposit as a show of Community support for your work and effort in what I thought was a worthy project.
InsightNight - Thanks for your Community Support. You supported this charger effort before I did. Mike thanks you, the group thanks you, and I do as well!

Mike is retired, and is doing this largely because he loves this group, loves creating excellent products, and because he's a geek.

I'm still working daily, so can't invest time and resources into design/test/stock/build one, let alone a room full of chargers. I have finally paid Mike in full for a charger, much later than you contributed so kudos to you and the others who gave early!

I've bought a MIMA from Mike a few months back. Mike is more than fair, and considering his effort, investment, and desire to communicate, I see no problem with any of his dealings. His internal compass is quite strong and pointed toward integrity.

If you haven't resolved this with Mike yet, write him a note or call him. I'm confident you will be satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,170
InsightNight
Sorry you feel that way.
I guess you don't know me very well.
The last thing I want is for people to forfeit their deposit, and as I stated, just call or e-mail,and explain if you need to wait and as long as I know you are still interested, and you can give me an approximate time that you want me to hold on to your charger, there will be no problems. As Ian has stated, I got burned on the last MIMA run, and do not want to go down that road again.
I gave a harsh warning, but have a soft heart.
 

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Pretty sad indeed

InsightNight,
Mike was very clear that it was a non-refundable deposit and he never gave a drop dead date that the chargers would be shipped, if he had and it was past that date you could ask for a refund, but he didn't, so you can't.


Mike,
Don't feel bad keeping the deposits if people ignore you, you are totally in the right. Better for them to learn a 250 dollar lesson about contracts than down the road getting a adjustable rate mortgage that they just didn't think about before signing.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,173 (Edited)
One guy e-mail me that he had to wait a month.
not a problem,
communication that is not responded to, may be due to e-mail changes, or in one case, the guy was on a 3 week vacation.
The e-mails that bounce back, I sent a letter to the address I was given.
I just need to know that they know that the charger will be ready when they are.
I just wanted to let people know that we need to communicate about their orders, so we can come to a mutually satisfactory plan.

I finally have a efficient and accurate calibration fixture, that is repeatable and pretty fast for the temp probes to settle to the target temperature. It still takes 5-10 minutes for the complete calibration of each box, with the overnight a bit longer.
The software is getting really close to where we want to be, and the boxes will all be built by Sunday.
Looks really good for shipping units next week, and I will notify people when their chargers are shipped.
I hope to get the instructions and video finished this weekend, and Jason From IA will be driving out on Monday so we can get the HCHII harness designed and built.

Hope to make some of you very patient people happy starting next week.
Thanks to all for bearing with me on this long and difficult journey.

To do a project like this, it is very difficult to estimate how long something will take.
One mistake,can cost you several days.

Some Examples:
We are trying to test the analog boards,last week, and can't calibrate the current on some of the boards.
Turns out a wrong value resistor was used on 30 of the boards.
Bang there goes a day, as we carefully remove and replace the resistors.

This week, The harness testing shows big temperature errors, We contemplate problems in getting accurate temperatures for multiple harnesses, so we put in a temp corrention variable for each car profile, we explore deeper, and find that the problem was mostly the temperature test fixture.
We found the problem only after testing 20 of the harnesses and finding the readings inconsistent and not repeatable.
A day to build, test, and then rebuild the fixture until accurate repeatable temperature calibrations are seen.
Final fixture, wide mouth thermos liner, two clothespins, two balloons, the temp controller, thermocouple, and cartridge heater, and of course some hot melt glue.
Works like a charm. I will put up a photo tomorrow.

Then we retest the 20 harnesses, and find good repeatability where we thought we had a serious temperature errors.
Another day lost, but good news about the temp sensors, and new knowledge learned.
It is never easy, and it is impossible to predict what we will run into. therefore the difficulty in trying to predict how long it will all take.
 

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I appreciate what you have done

Mike, I appreciate everything you have done. I would much rather wait a little bit more and get a top-notch grid charger. I have finished building the battery lifter, per your easy to follow directions, so I am ready.

I read a good bit of what you have posted on Is it too late? I think not if we act now - MIMA Honda Insight Modified Integrated Motor Assist, so it is easy to keep up with progress. MIMA-L is pretty interesting also; just have to get the courage up to dive into the electronics end of things. If I did it, I would use your schematics, and work my way through it.

Thanks again,
Tim Glover
 

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I'll leave Mike to give more details ... but ... my 2 bits from yesterday's visit for a bit ... doing some beta testing and getting a glimpse at some code , and such ... if you've been following this thread you may already know some of this.

A lot of progress , and work , has been done ... Looks to be coming together nicely ... and nearing the end of this first production run , for those impatient types.

For those who like it easy ... and don't want to get into the technical side much if at all ... You won't be disappointed ... plug it in and press "start" ... that's it... It will tell you when it is done or you can stop it at any time by pressing "stop"... doesn't get much easier than that.

The harness install process which was pretty much straight forward when I did my beta test of that ... has been further refined and is even easier now ... Or see what friendly fellow Insighter's are in your area that may be willing to lend a hand doing the initial one time install ... Some are so nice to do the work for nothing more than lunch and hanging out.

For those who want to go up to the next level:
Who want to control a wide variety of aspects of charging ... you will also not be disappointed ... I know the software is still getting fine tuned and tweaked a bit ... but it already offers a variety of options to give the charger a great deal of flexibility... for those who want to tweak and fine tune things to their personal preferences... Preferences are saved in non-volatile memory , so the charger remembers all your settings even after being unplugged for a long time ... So if you want to tweak something you can save it in one of 3 profiles ... to make it faster and easier in the future to switch between different profiles... the one feature I would still like to see added to this level ( unless I just missed it ) , would be an option for display of Watts , and WattHours... I hope it makes the feature list when the code tweaking is done and ready for this first batch.

Going up another level:
With serial data output opens up the options for data logging ... and the processing power of your computer when looking at the output either real time as it comes out , or latter when looking back at a saved PC log file.

Going up to the top level:
Mike has designed in a good amount of technician help systems ... With software data input ... there is the built in ability to update and improve the operating software in the future ... and even stand alone ( without the PC input interface ) ... the on-board system has a good number of technician celebrating & trouble shooting systems built in to the design ... These are no doubt there to help make any technician's future efforts much easier ... Because this level / aspect has the potential to damage the charger I don't know how accessible it will be to the average user ... and I think that is a good thing ... like someone deleting and re-writing the Operating system files on your computer can damage that , and access to that level I think should be restricted to those who know what they are doing .... Mike can gives access to who ever he chooses , but I would still suggest , as a default safety feature ... to lock out this highest level of access from the average user.

good stuff :D
 

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Can't wait to get mine, knowing Mike I'm sure it will be worth the wait... By the way, I am in Southern Indiana so any users in the area that would like to install theirs just send me a PM and we can do an install here at home, I have 2 Insights and 1 Civic that I will be installing the harness on. may not be at the same time, but we can work on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,178 (Edited)
Nearly finished draft of how the charger operates, so you can get a head start.
Hardly time to sleep, trying to test software, test and calibrate the chargers, and continue to work on the documentation.
Here is a draft of the charge operating instructions.

http://99mpg.com/Data/resources/downloads/gridchargerstuff/gridchargerinstructionsdraft.pdf

More to come. Lost a couple of days of video and instruction work designing and building a harness for Jason Holders 2009 Civic. Jason reports from his trip home this evening from a MacDonalds 360 miles from his destination, that the previously frequently recalibrating car is working normally during the first 750 miles of his return trip after only one charge last night.
Don't be intimidated by all the choices offered, as Ian explained, The chargers will be set up and calibrated by me with individual profiles for each harness/car, during the final test.
That way, unless you want to add a new profile (three max), you will only have to select the car profile you want, the type of charge you want, and plug the charger in. If you only have one car, once you set up once, to charge again, you just connect and press start.
The chargers and harnesses are built, and are going through the final test and calibration, while we test the crapp out of the software. Dont' want to make the mistake of sending out software that is not fully tested. Really trying to get the instructions finished, and have captured the HCHII install to complete the common honda harnesses.
Would like to design an accord, and Insight 2 harness next, but need to get the first gen Insight and Civic chargers out first.
The charger has a technician level variable set that you will need a password to access. This allows calibration of current and temperatures, setting of the power supply switching voltages, and adjusting of other non user parameters. All chargers will have the same password, and once you shut the charger off, you will need to reenter the password each time you want to access the tech level.
I will give the password to anyone that has a charger, but will record that they have it, so if they mess up the variables, I will know why.
The charger has defaults that one can return to for the car profiles, and other user adjustable variables, but the calibration variables will not revert to a default so don't go there unless you know what you are doing.
Too much to do.
 

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Just to be sure, your draft instructions state:

"Plug the power cord to a 120V outlet or extension cord in good condition."

The outlet could also provide 240 V with no need for a transformer, right?
 
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