Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, from what I can tell there is one major variation in grid chargers. There seem to be two categories: some of them have a discharge cycle; all of them have a charge cycle. They all use various forms of wiring that leads through the hatchback to the IMA battery.

I think this makes sense, to deep-cycle a battery it should be discharged nearly 100% before charging. OK I get that and that is why many of the grid chargers available and the plans for grid chargers include a discharge function.

What are the pros and cons of the various types of grid chargers available? It seems like plans to construct them are pretty simple, and the components are not as expensive as purchasing a complete unit from a supplier. From what I can tell, one can be built for around $100-150 or less.

However I know that some grid chargers are being supplied at a price of over $600 while many others are being supplied at less than $300. I know that a warranty comes with many of these.

I would like to put together a comparison chart - that is, if there hasn't been one put up here already. I know that many of the members here have been using grid chargers for years now, perhaps nearly a decade. Many of the chargers have been do-it-yourself projects. I see the ads on this site for grid chargers and I see links in threads posted on this forum which lead to the websites of suppliers who sell their own grid chargers.

Since the G1 Insight and other hybrids are getting to the point which grid chargers and/or aftermarket battery maintenance is going to get ubiquitous, due to the age and the miles on these vehicles, this seems like a prudent topic for Insightcentral.net to address.

Does anyone have a list already put together?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,485 Posts
...Does anyone have a list already put together?
If anyone does I haven't seen it here... As far as I know, there's 3 basic options: 1. build your own for dollars (like under $100 for sure; I built mine for maybe $30), here's a link to a good thread about that: http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/22663-grid-charger-power-supplies.html

2. some options of pre-built units for maybe around $300. "HybridAutomotive" is the foremost in my mind of these options, Jeff652 or something like that is an IC regular and makes and sells those. Here's a link to his/their website: Hybrid Automotive - Grid Charger - Hybrid Battery Rebalancer

3. The super deluxe cadillac of grid chargers designed by a longtime IC regular and guru, Mike Dabrowski and sold and built now by I think Hybrid Revolt in Colorado. Not sure what those go for, but I believe they have a lot of logging and diagnostic-type features. Mike's work/research/design underlies most if not all of the grid chargers being sold. The ones at option one are a bit different. Here's a link to Hybrid Revolt's grid charger page: Grid Charger : HybridReVolt: Hybrid Battery Repair

Most of the 'grid chargers' and talk about them revolve around charging, but more recently, discharging has been emphasized and added to some of the ones sold. The latest wisdom is that discharging is as, if not more, important than charging. At some point you should be doing both, like a deep discharge then long charge for initial rejuvenation...

What route you go depends on what you got to spend, what skills you have, time and interest in a more DIY approach, etc. For most people I'd think around $300 for a charger and discharger option would be appropriate. But if cost isn't much of a concern I'd think you'd have to choose the HybridRevolt Mike D. charger...
 

·
Hypermiler
Joined
·
3,650 Posts
eq lays it out quite well on the options.

As for ones you purchase, the 'simple' or 'dumb' charger, Jeff652 at hybridautomotive, is an easy diy harness installation, that you plug in and check on later and unplug it. Mine is this type. I monitor voltage regularly just to keep track.

The 'universal' or 'smart' charger (developed by Mike Dabrowski and marketed by Matt at hybridrevolt) is programmable to what charge rate / level you want, when to cut back, when to shut down, and more. Monitors several parameters, has graphing and download capabilities, and can be used in conjunction with a 'discharger' unit. Extremely versatile. Requires pack removal for 'safest' harness installation, also a diy, but more complex.

I use one of Mikes' discharger units in conjunction with my simple charger.

It's a matter of what you want to spend.

No matter your choice, grid charging (when done correctly) is good maintenance for the pack.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,763 Posts
The 'universal' or 'smart' charger (developed by Mike Dabrowski and marketed by Matt at hybridrevolt) is programmable to what charge rate / level you want, when to cut back, when to shut down, and more. Monitors several parameters, has graphing and download capabilities, and can be used in conjunction with a 'discharger' unit. Extremely versatile. Requires pack removal for harness installation, also a diy, but more complex.
There is actually a "trick" to installing it without removing the pack, but Mike never encouraged it;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
I use one of Mikes' discharger units in conjunction with my simple charger.
Are you using this one with the Hybrid Automotive unit?
Is it plug and play?

Do you just attach it to the car harness side by itself when you do it?
How do you know when you're done?
 

·
Lean Burn = Happiness
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
Are you using this one with the Hybrid Automotive unit?
Is it plug and play?

Do you just attach it to the car harness side by itself when you do it?
How do you know when you're done?
Our simple discharger and Mike/Matt's discharger GC01 add-on are not cross compatible. Our simple discharger plugs directly into the car harness that is included with the charger system or can be purchased separately on our website.

You know you are done when the discharger reaches your desired termination voltage. This might help:
Hybrid Automotive - Simple Discharger User Guide

:)
 

·
Hypermiler
Joined
·
3,650 Posts
andrewdonald:

my unit is a uniquely modified hybridautomotive unit to fit Mike's plugs and adapters.

Jeff652 will steer you straight. His units are relatively easy diy. His site has good instructions (with pics).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Thanks guys! I'll review.

People helping people..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Anyone Every Tell You - You're a Dead Ringer for a Young Carl Sagen?

If anyone does I haven't seen it here ... super deluxe cadillac of grid chargers designed by a longtime IC regular and guru, Mike Dabrowski ... For most people I'd think around $300 for a charger and discharger option would be appropriate. But if cost isn't much of a concern I'd think you'd have to choose the HybridRevolt Mike D. charger ...
OK then, that makes a third option that I did not consider - a unit with an external feedback analytic computer. Also we may want to consider this more of an analyzer that has grid charging ability rather than a type of grid charger? Maybe this is of more use as a diagnostic tool?

As far as locally there is a fellow I was referred to named Scott in Covina who has a repair facility with grid charging capability. I hope to make it up there next week as it is way on the other side of town for me. I have a feeling they're going to want the car overnight so I need to arrange a rental. This is exciting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,485 Posts
Scott - I think that might be this one dude around here who does a lot with Insights, screen name something like KRL-something something something... If so I'd think he'd be a big help...

On the HybridRevolt charger, yeah, maybe it's just as much an analyzer as it is a charger. I don't know too much about it though. There's a whole thread sticky-ed dedicated to the original Mike D charger (Genesis 1), which is pretty much the same thing. If you're interested in that charger you might want to find that thread and read up more on the original and what it does...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Scott - I think that might be this one dude around here who does a lot with Insights, screen name something like KRL-something something something... If so I'd think he'd be a big help...
KLR3CYL - His name is Scott, California won't let him have the personalized plate. lol. I know this because he says it on his youtube videos. I ended up down a rabbit whole and watched some of them. I like his videos. He is straight to the point and they are short. IDK if he has videos on grid chargers.

EDIT - Just noticed this was a 5 year old thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,758 Posts
I can't come up with the money for a Prolong system at the time. I found this on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Grid-Charger-Opt-Discharge-Honda-Insight-Civic-Hybrid-Recondition-IMA-Battery/332857740114?hash=item4d7fde0b52:rk:4:pf:0&var
Does anyone know if it world work? I need a plug and play sort of thing with instructions on how to use it. Do you think it would work for my 2002?
Thank you,
John
If it puts out ~180 volts DC at ~300 to 350 ma it will work fine.

Read the DIY build article on my website and you'll know how to use a grid charger and a lot more. ;)

I also mention why a 3 digit voltmeter is not the best idea. A 4 digit meter is better. The meter I used will measure the charge and discharge current.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,415 Posts
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top