Rant: Our 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid (HCHII) troubles or how not to treat customers

Warning, long rant ahead!  As some of you know, we own a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid, also called HCHII (second generation). Bought new, the car has been an absolute pleasure to drive, for about two years. And then all hell broke loose and  it’s been downhill since. In this post I intend to details my dealings with American Honda and the overall unhappiness with the situation. Where possible, I include screenshots or scans of the original documents.  I truly hope ACH will come to its senses and take care of the customers like myself, but if history is any indication it is not very likely.

Update 7/31/2014

The battery has been replaced! The car now behaves like it used to- IMA gauge stays in the upper half of the scale, acceleration assist lasts quite a bit and most importantly, when you lift off throttle some regen braking is now happening. Much better!

Update 7/22/2014

Just got a call from a service manager at our dealership – they are ordering us a new battery!  Will update once that gets installed, but things are finally looking up!

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Solar- 6 months later

6 months performance report

It is now late June, time to take a look at how our solar installation has been performing over the last six months. To recap, the system is a 5.2kW rooftop installation using 22 240W Sunpower ACPV panels with integrated microinverters (see detailed writeup at http://kuzyatech.com/going-solar). It was turned on in early December of 2013 and has been pumping energy since then. So what did we produce so far?

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BioBrite SunRise Clock backlight brightness hack

Here is another silly hack I’ve finally got around to do and document. We have a  BioBrite SunRise  alarm clock at home that nicely simulates sunset and sunrise.The clock is almost perfect with one notable exception- backlight is exceptionally bright even when it dims it for the night mode. This post describes how I fixed that.  Continue reading

Quick teardown- what’s inside a Home Depot 7in LED Easy light

I stumbled on these lights at the local Home Depot store this weekend, and was intrigues by the price ($9.95 despite being listed at $20 online) and also the versatility. You can simply screw one into an exposed lamp holder and end up with a fixture instead of a bare bulb, while also using a lot less energy.Or you can use a supplied socket with a pigtail and wire it to a ceiling box. In my case, I was looking to improve garage lighting. A single 60W bulb was just not cutting it and I am not a big user of fluorescents. These things being small and light but also enclosed would be a good choice there

Retail box front

Retail box front

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Altium running slow? Here is one possible reason

Recently,I’ve been working on a design in Altium. Nothing that unusual or complicated, so I didn’t expect any troubles. I went through the standard steps of importing a dxf outline, creating board shape and placing parts.  And then halfway through routing I started getting some very annoying slowdowns. You’d touch a net to start routing a trace from it and cursor changes into a spinning “wait” circle and sits there for 30 seconds or more. In some cases I had  to stop Altium process and reopen it again. Not good when you have many nets to touch! Continue reading

Vintage multimeter – Weston 6000

Another addition to my growing collection of vintage multimeters is this Weston Schlumberger Model 6000 meter from the mid 1970s

Old vs new

Old vs new(ish)- notice how square it is

The meter was listed as in almost like new condition except for a spot on the front panel. It came with (very rubbery) test leads and an actual printed user manual- a rare thing these days.The Ebay posting was worded very carefully to never mention whether the thing actually works, so I figured it did not really matter. If it does not- teardown turns into repair attempt and either way we learn something new. Continue reading