The Joysticks can be mounted wherever you like with the provided epoxy putty. The typical positions are on the shifter, or the emergency brake. When driving , and going through the gears, having a joystick at your fingertips allows you to add assist or regen as you like with the same hand that is operating the shifter. Once cruising on the highway, having your arm stretched out to the shifter in 5th is not comfortable. The e-brake position allows you to let your arm hang comfortably at your side, and operate the joystick there for a more comfortable adjustments right at your fingertips. Some of the other ways people have installed the sticks are shown here: users page
How do I calibrate the system when I install V1.5 ?
Version 1.5 has a big change. The joystick calibration. When you turn on MIMA V1.5, it checks the flash memory, and if the Joysticks have not been calibrated, it will not run the program. It will default to the Mode 3 led, and the max assist last led. The calibration is quite simple, the only requirement is that you are not moving. I will not go through the whole procedure here, go to the Operation section for detailed instructions. After you finish the calibration, you will not have to repeat it unless you want to change the way the stick works to a new direction. After the joystick cal, press and hold the Mode2 button to enter the regular calibration. Refer to that instruction in the operation section. Finally to completely refresh the flash memory: While moving, in mode 1, set the ABC level, and ABC setpoint. Next on a flat section of ground, get to 100MPG in 5th gear. You should be going over 35 MPH. Feather the gas to around 100MPG. Tap mode 2 button to get into PIMA. Jog the regen up until you begin to show some light from the first green charge led. Next let up on the gas, and the amp leds should all light up, as you slow down. Now you set the assist. While holding the MPG at around 90 MPG. Jog the assist up (same direction as normal MIMA assist)until you see the first assist led light. This is a good starting point for the PIMA setting. Thats it, all of the flash memory variables have beed set and you are ready to start working with it. Have a MIMA Grin.
What Is MIMA ?
MIMA is A little joystick that you can push at any time, and get the electric motor in the Insight to turn on in proportion to how far you push the stick. When you pull back on the spring centered Joystick, you get charging in proportion to how far you pull back. PIMA mode lets your throttle run the electric just like the present system, the difference is that you can adjust when the assist and charge happen, and how strong they can get.
If you use MIMA carefully, you can improve mileage, and never deplete the battery. What do I mean by carefully, I mean don't waste the electric, use it with finesse, charge the same way, you hypermilers know all about finesse, this is just one more of the key variables that you can now learn to use to best advantage. Be gentle with PIMA, and you can tune it to maintain charge, and assist just the right amount, with just the throttle,very comfortable, or you can rest your thumb or finger on the joystick and do it in manually in MIMA. It is up to you. Just like it is up to you to drive the Insight for economy or performance . MIMA just gives you more control. If the IMA is only charging at 4 bars, MIMA will let you charge with all bars, or no bars. If the IMA is background charging while you climb a hill, MIMA lets you turn off the charging, if the IMA gives no assist until you are at 40MPG, and then only gives you 5 bars of assist, MIMA will let you get full assist without stepping down at all, or anywhere in between.
It is difficult to explain it if you never tried it, but everyone has the MIMA grin when they do try it.
Users of the system have learned to increase their MPG by 15% or more.
Can MIMA work on Civic and Accord Hybrids ?
Question usually goes like this: does the Civic have the same IMA system as the Insight. I am interested in using the Mima system in my car Answer: Not at this time. Why? The IMA system in the Civic, while sharing many of the same functional modules as the Insight, do much of the control between modules with a high speed serial communication, similar to the Prius. The MIMA modification was made possible by the relitively simple hardware based PWM control that the Insight has between the ECM and the MCM modules. If Honda released the codes and protocal information on the Civics internal serial control language, we could make a simpler and cheaper MIMA like control for the Civic.And all future Hybrids. I am only one guy,with limited recorces. I happened to have an Insight to do the experimention on to make MIMA possible. If I had a Civic to tinker with, I could possibily crack that code, and the MIMA equipped Civic will be a reality. But in real life, I can't afford to by one just to tinker with.
Is it difficult to install ?
The installation of MIMA with the 15 connections in the rear, 6 connections at the ECM, is more involved than an auto radio or cruise control install, but the detailed instructions and diagnostic test should make it something any good electronics person could install in several hours. The plug and play MIMA harness will further simplify the installation, so that most of the work is simply disassembly and re assembly of the car to access the attachment points at the McM and ECM
Will installing MIMA void my Warranty ?
The biggest concern for some people is what happens if you go into the dealers for warranty service, and they refuse because they say that MIMA voids the warranty. To my knowledge, MIMA has NOT caused any failures of the IMA, battery packs, or electric motors in the insight. Honda must prove damage to the car to claim that the warranty is void, and the track record so far will prove that MIMA does not cause problems, and that it can raise your MPG by 10-20%. So how many miles have Insights been driven with MIMA? In a recent survey, where 27 of the 58 MIMA owners reported well over 500K miles on the system.The total number is probably more like 1 million miles.
Can MIMA hurt the car ?
The BCM module controls the battery pack by monitoring the SOC (State Of Charge), temperature, and subpack to subpack balance. MIMA cannot override this control, so the battery protecting functions are still in place. The maximum assist the stock system will allow is 100A, which is dropped to 50A after 10 seconds of use. MIMA allows 100A for as long as desired. This will heat the batteries more than the stock control, but if things get to hot the BCM again reduces the assist and charge rate until things cool down. The maximum charging rate for the stock system is 50A, which is not limited except by battery temperature. MIMA has the same limits. The additional battery heating, is somewhat compensated for by the ability to turn on all of the cooling fans to full when the temperature gets above 95 degrees. The combined MIMA driven miles is likely over one million miles, and no battery degradation has been detected in any of the cars. To the contrary, most have found that the more aggressive charging that MIMA allows can keep the battery SOC within a tighter range than the stock system. The pack also seems to stay balanced cell to cell better when it has been cycled over the full to empty range. My pack with over 140K has never experienced the recalibrations that many Insights develop with that many miles on the pack, and I feel it is because of my more aggressive use of the pack.
Will MIMA distract me while driving ?
The flexible display and joystick positioning and mounting options allow the controls to be integrated into the cars systems in simple and intuitive ways, but even changing a station on your radio is a distraction, so yes MIMA can be a distraction. The PIMA mode minimizes the users distraction, by operating MIMA through the throttle control.
How do I use MIMA to improve my MPG ?
The old saying "you don't get anything for free" applies to MPG, and to MIMA. The 6.5Ah battery, that is de-rated to about 4 AH for longevity reasons, is only capable of providing full 100A assist for a little over 2 minutes before being depleted, then you must charge it back up, which even at the maximum 50A rate, will take 5-6 minutes, because of thermal and charging losses. If you use the charge carefully, you may be able to drive indefinitely and never deplete the charge at all. MIMA can use the full assist to climb many hills at 100MPG, which sounds great, but the dark side is that while you are charging back up, your MPG will suffer because charging presents a load on the engine, unless you charge slowly on level ground, or more aggressively going down hill or coming to a stop. The trick with MIMA, is to only use as much assist as necessary to improve on the hill climbing MPG, and then to carefully put the charge back when it will have the least impact on MPG. If your driving is on the flatlands, MIMA may offer only limited improvement in MPG, but if you drive on rolling hills, in the mountains, and other less flat conditions, MIMA with a driving technique that uses the new level of control carefully will improve your mileage. The best way to get a feeling for the benefits of MIMA will be to read about the other peoples experiences with MIMA on the MIMA users thread at Insight Central or on this site on the users comments page.
We are currently looking at adding a grid chargable booster battery, that will charge the stock pack while running, without the need to rob power from the gas engine. This will allow more aggressive assist, with the resultant improvement in MPG, but will not depend as heavily on retrieving the charge from the gas engine. The results should be impressive.
Can I disconnect MIMA ?
A bypass plug is provided with MIMA, so the system can be easily removed.
Can the Insight operate without the IMA system ?
Yes the Insight and Civic can run without the IMA. The only thing you lose is the 12V battery charging. This is similar to running a regular car with a bad alternator. Drive at night with the lights on, and in 30 minutes your car stops due to the 12V battery running out of juice. The IMA battery which is charged by the IMA controller, is the power source for the 12V charging system. Ways around that issue include: 1. A larger 12V deep cycle battery that you charge off the grid each night could power the car with lights on, for 6 or more hours. 2. Adding an alternator to the car. Some new input from Carl Brown on this subject: "Mike, I noticed on your website FAQ a question about running the Insight without IMA installed. You might find it interesting that the remaining IMA components will keep the 12V battery charged with the HV battery pack removed, so long as the BCM low voltage connector is also disconnected and the MCM remains fully connected. The only catch is that 12V battery charging is temporarily suspended when engine RPM exceeds 4000. I am presently replacing my battery pack, so I am using the Insight as a pure-gas car right now (with pretty lousy acceleration)." WOW learn something new everyday. Thanks Carl.
My car has recalibrations, will MIMA make it worse ?
Lets first define recalibrations, or recal's. There seem to be several types. The most common one is where the SOC will drop rapidly from some middle value to empty very quickly (10 seconds). There is some evidence that this is caused by the battery developing a memory of the shallow charge /discharge range that the car runs at. Check out the MIMA Pack Whack page under project cars for more information. If you find an Insight you like, you can determine if it has recal issues by driving it hard while watching the IMA battery discharge. If the discharge is smooth and continues down to 1-2 bars in a linear fashion, the battery is probably fine. The IMA battery warranty has been extended to 10 years and 150K. A salvage or rebuilt Insight will have no IMA warranty, regardless of the mileage.
Can MIMA work with the CVT Insights
Yes MIMA works fine with the CVT. Paul Andrews in the UK is racing his CVT with MIMA. Paul has run some efficiency test, and here is the thread discussing his results: CVT economy test
From the hypermiler side of the street, I cannot offer much regarding how well MIMA can improve MPG with the CVT,as there are not many installed. Several new CVT owners have reported ~ 10 % improvement in MPG with MIMA