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Old 03-08-2014, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grid charger installed

Well I got my grid charger from Hybrid Automotive on Thursday. Installed it that evening and started charging at midnight. I left it on charge until about 7 this morning, unplugged it and disconnected the 12v battery to reset the system. Took it for a test drive and filled the tank up. I have about 37 miles on the tank now and the gauge on the dash is reading about 43 mpg. That's better than it was previously getting that early in the tank. Actually it's better than most of my tank averages.

The car also starts and runs smoother. I haven't gotten a single recal yet, where I was getting them every couple of miles and no lights have come on yet either. I will update as I get more mileage on the recharge.

I would also like to add that Jeff at Hybrid Automotive was very helpful and prompt about answering my questions. Also, I live in VA and ordered the charger Monday afternoon and he got to me from CA on Thursday.

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Old 03-08-2014, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool

Was this the dumb charger? Its best to check the voltage to make sure its stabilize to assume its done at 15 minute checks over an hour at constant temperature.

That sounds positive. For good measure Im doing a maintenance charge on my gen 2 insight.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I assume it is what you call a dumb charger. I do not know the difference at this point between dumb and smart chargers. Though I think I need to recharge already and better monitor any voltage change later in the process, as I noticed I was getting some recalibrations already today. Perhaps that means my battery is already at the end of its useful life.

I am already looking at new batteries. I like the Bumble Bee battery because they offer a longer warranty, but Hybrid ReVolt better describes their process. Does anyone have experience with either of these companies?
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What car are you charging up? You don't have a garage entry.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's my wife's 2007 Civic Hybrid.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The pack will not have been balanced just yet.

If it charges at low amperage (300 mA or less), you will not cook the cells but it will also not be straightened out in just one nights charge.
It is 'dumb' when it does not switch itself off at a certain load level. A smart charger would.

The cells that are already full will just produce heat but not go to waste, as long as the current is low enough. The empty cells will need to be charged for at least 6.5 (Ah, the capacity of your cells) divided by the amps you put in them; at 250 mA you need 26 hours for a full charge.

You can only be sure when you monitor the voltage. If it rises no more you're there.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I charged it for about 30 hours total. However, I did not monitor it towards the end. The last time I looked at it, it was at 193 and when I unplugged it a few hours later it was at 196, so maybe it could have used some more charging. I will try again this weekend.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmclowrider View Post
I charged it for about 30 hours total. However, I did not monitor it towards the end. The last time I looked at it, it was at 193 and when I unplugged it a few hours later it was at 196, so maybe it could have used some more charging. I will try again this weekend.
Aha. I bet you did not charge the battery at all!

The second gen Civic Hybrid uses 132 NiMH cells at 156 Volt. While charging it should be close to that, not 193 Volt.

Honda Hybrids have a switch in the middle of the pack that breaks if you key off. The terminals should not be live then. If you attach a charger with the key off you are measuring the chargers open unloaded voltage.

If you key on (no need to actually start the engine) with the charger attached you should see the voltage drop, as then the pack will take the current...

(this all assuming you have indeed not charged it with the key on...)
Hope this helps... and that I'm not in the wrong here.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I should charge the pack with the key in the on position? I thought that voltage was kinda high. But the directions did not say anything about the key being on or off. Can someone verify this. Not that you are wrong red devil.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was going to say you need a few treatments or a 72 hour tops in one session. It takes 3-5 hours to just charge the battery before the balancing begins. At a low amperage continious charge it ensures all cells are in ttip top shape with each cell being 100% charged vs close enoughfor government work so to speak.

The charger should run the fan in the IMA system to keep the batteries cool. Me, I have a dumb/dumb charger so I use another charger on my starter battery and I use a beach key in the ignition to turn it on so the car minds the battery cooling as needed and the dumb charger does its thing. Took my 36 hours and terminate at 122.5 volts for 84 cells of the gen 2 insight.

Its important to check the voltage to make sure it works. You should also try it unplugged to see the no load voltage. My no load voltage is 134 volts. When Charging starts its around 107 volts, then it goes up to like 128, then it settles down to 121 or 122. Thats normal for it to rise, then fall, then it settles at a fixed voltage. Thats why I asked if you checked it every 15 minutes to make sure it didnt change. Thats how you tell its done.

Another guy makes a smart charger that does all this for you including a discharge cycle and works on all hybrids not just certain models.

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