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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm a happy owner of a 68K mile gen1. Overall happy with the car. IMA bypassed and removed with Arduino update. Can still achieve 72mpg on the hwy keeping up with traffic.

When I 1st saw the new Insight in 2000 my jaw hit the floor. My buddy took me to lunch and I was hooked. Nothing since then has piqued my interest since then.

Until I saw this vehicle... https://www.aptera.us/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What's arduino?
When you pull the main high voltage battery pack in the back and run engine only the car throws a check engine light. With that light on it will not pass a smog check.

To fool the system you need to add an Arduino circuit board to send a signal telling the system that the main battery is OK. The software code can be found here on this site. Very easy to download to the board from you computer.

The main battery pack weighs in roughly around 80lbs. The IMA system also supplies the 14 volts you need to maintain the under hood battery. I disassembled the high voltage battery pack down to the component level and rebuilt it to fit under the main bar running behind the seats. I put in a voltage indicator to monitor my 14 volts going to the under hood battery. So far so good. Been running this way for about 3 years.

Its slow getting going but its fine once at freeway speeds. I've gotten used to it. Also when you rev above 4K rpm it will throw a battery light but it shuts off within a minute.

Now I have a ton of room for my camping gear in the back.
 

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Glad to hear you're enjoying my Arduino bypass.
I've got an Aptera reservation... not sure if I'll ultimately pull the trigger when my ticket comes up, but I want to have the option. Here's to hoping they don't go bankrupt again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glad to hear you're enjoying my Arduino bypass.
I've got an Aptera reservation... not sure if I'll ultimately pull the trigger when my ticket comes up, but I want to have the option. Here's to hoping they don't go bankrupt again.
If you do pull the trigger I'm curious what range you would order? The 1K range would be awesome but I don't think its cost effective for most people. They have a possible light weight trailer to match. I also commented to them regarding tires and they responded with "standard tire type and size" I sent them a note about this community and all of the tire testing that has been done for max mileage. I hope they read up on that cause tires do make a huge difference.

The Arduino code and wiring was easier to do than I expected. A big thank you for that mod. I clipped the wire to keep the 14v constant but it still tripped. I double checked the wire I clipped but not sure what I did wrong. GRN/WHT.

If I were to get the Aptera I would name it my Preying Mantis!
 

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Cutting the WHT/GRN wire to the DCDC will force the DCDC into 14.x mode (which is good). However, without the IMA battery installed the DCDC converter will shut down whenever the HVDC rails exceed 217 volts. There aren't any wires to cut to prevent that secondary shutdown behavior... it's just something you have to live with without an IMA battery installed.

Long term I'll figure out how the DCDC is internally shutting itself down... and then I'll bypass that, too (so that the DCDC will stay on up to 260 volts or more). However, this isn't for the "Arduino modders", but rather for those LiBCM crew members that want to push the bleeding edge (without replacing the OEM DCDC converter).
 

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Pull the DC-DC and go with a MeanWell AC to Dc converter will eliminate the charge shut off issue, and will charge the 12v a 14.6v at idle with no RPM limit. It is also much smaller so gives a lot more room in the back. Also while you are at it jump the starter relay to eliminate the 5 sec starter delay.
Read about it here: Adding an alternator

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive exterior Gas Automotive tire




To fool the system you need to add an Arduino circuit board to send a signal telling the system that the main battery is OK. The software code can be found here on this site. Very easy to download to the board from you computer.

The main battery pack weighs in roughly around 80lbs. The IMA system also supplies the 14 volts you need to maintain the under hood battery. I disassembled the high voltage battery pack down to the component level and rebuilt it to fit under the main bar running behind the seats. I put in a voltage indicator to monitor my 14 volts going to the under hood battery. So far so good. Been running this way for about 3 years.

Its slow getting going but its fine once at freeway speeds. I've gotten used to it. Also when you rev above 4K rpm it will throw a battery light but it shuts off within a minute.

Now I have a ton of room for my camping gear in the back.
[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
??? That sounds interesting. Where's the pics?
Carefully disassembling and marking all of the wiring I figured out what I needed to get my 14v to the small battery. The big white snorkus is a cooling fan that really isn't needed. The reason I did this vs. the meanwell option is I'm using all of the original equipment. All of the components are solidly mounted. You can see the Arduino on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow that was quite the project! What are you using the old space for? Bigger battery?
Wow that was quite the project! What are you using the old space for? Bigger battery?
Sure was a major project. Took several iterations to come up with the final layout. Everything is now carpeted over.

Eventually I would like the lithium upgrade. I sure miss the extra kick from a battery, auto stop and quiet start. The starter sure is annoying compared to the main battery start.

I know some people have done their own but I'm not sure if I'm up to the task....yet.
 

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If you want to go lithium, you should look into the LiBCM project, which is my attempt at a drop-in battery management PCB specifically for the G1 insight. You can use any lithium battery you want, up to 60S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you want to go lithium, you should look into the LiBCM project, which is my attempt at a drop-in battery management PCB specifically for the G1 insight. You can use any lithium battery you want, up to 60S.
Early on I was following your project as best as I could until my eyes glazed over with terms I didn't quite understand. Right now I have a running car and a box of leftover parts.

I usually try and simplify things by breaking them down to their basic elements. My schematic is what I developed to keep things in order.

Have you generated a simple diagram showing all of the components similar to what I did? Is there a specific page/post you can direct me to fill in the blanks?

I can really appreciate the scope of work you have accomplished with this upgrade.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cool project. I like the extra space.
Thanks!
The extra space comes in handy. If I can handle the lithium upgrade project I'll have to figure out a workable solution regarding space vs battery. I'm thinking of stuffing it in the current spare wheel well. The spare would go behind the passenger seat...maybe. I like fun projects!
 
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