July 1, 2002
Well, I did it. I couldn't stand driving my gas-guzzling truck much
longer, so on June 28th, 2002, I broke down and bought a new 2002 Honda
Insight. It's silver, with the CVT 'automatic' transmission. Yes,
I paid under MSRP.
Now the fun begins.
July 15, 2002
First off, I went over to the local
window tint place
and got their all-metallic tint, which should cut the heat in the car by
over 50% - a necessity here in Texas.
The next weekend (July 5, I think), I went and got some Eclipse 6.5"
speakers (82641's) to replace the front speakers - the radio sounds
*much* better now. Note: no wire clipping or soldering needed! The
honda speakers attach via a large grey plug that, if looked at carefully,
can be taken apart to release two captured standard spade-lugs... which
can then be slipped directly onto the contacts of the new speakers.
(I couldn't find a webpage on Eclipse speakers, but the specs I could find
R:4 ohm Continuous Power Handling: 40W Music Power Handling: 80W Frequency
Response: 90-20,000Hz Sensitivity: 96dB Mica-Filled Polypropylene Cone
(MFP) Butyl Rubber Surround Kapton Voice Coil Former Mylar Dome Tweeter
Tweeter Magnet: Neodymium Woofer Magnet: Ferrite Tweeter Protection
Circuit 1-7/8 Mounting Depth
...which doesn't mention the best feature, which is that the tweeter is
pointed *up* such that less of the sound runs straight into your ankles
and more is aimed at your ears. )
I also got a set of
which is the cheap alternative to something
like the SmartTire system mentioned below. Someday...
July 29, 2002
Ordered both the
seat covers today!
(ETAs of a week and a month respectively)
Aug 12, 2002
Nothing's arrived! WetOkole says they're shipping out today, and a bit of
finagling has my cruise control parts coming in from two different companies
(one on each coast), shipping out today. Hopefully I'll have parts tomorrow.
Aug 14, 2002
All my cruise control parts got here yesterday! Hopefully should install
Sep 1, 2002
With a friend's help, I installed my cruise control on the 15th and
then for a test drive went down to Rockport to go fishing with my dad.
I got 51mpg on the way down using cruise control, and used the trip back
to test what I would get manually (56mpg).
Also, recently I found out that the honda-insight yahoogroup that I'd
been trying to join was mildly broken, and most people had moved over
to the honda-hybrid yahoo group. So now I'm there keeping up with the
latest news and toys and info. One such piece of info is that there
are a couple
to get parts from besides the
Which is good, because I was less than impressed with the guys behind
the parts counter.
Oh, and my seat covers got here on the 19th I think... they're
nice, quite comfy. The only downside is that they cover up the
pocket on the back of each seat... and one thing the Insight does not
need is less storage.
Sep 3, 2002
I bought an empeg/Riocar in-dash linux computer from ebay this
weekend... I should get it sometime this week. Then I'll need to get
an amp to power the speakers since the empeg only has line-level outs.
has come up with a bracket to mount an amp on that then fits under the
seat... since I'm all about not modifying the car if possible, this
sounds like a good idea.
Sep 5, 2002
The empeg hasn't shown up yet, but I went ahead and ordered the service manuals:
the 2000 Insight manual (Part# 61S3Y00) and
the 2002 Insight Service Manual Supplement (Part# 61S3Y03) from
Sep 8, 2002
Got my RioCar on Friday! Now to get the mounting plate and the amp and
all the cabling together...
Sep 30, 2002
I got my amp in last week (it's an Eclipse 36401 I think), so I spent
Saturday getting it mounted and Sunday running the wires and installing
the wiring harness - hopefully I'll be able to finish it up tonight
Specs on the Eclipse (Fujitsu) 36401 are:
# 4/3/2 Channels
# 105 x 4 Channel Max. Power Output at 2 Stereo
# 60 x 4 Channel 0.1% THD at 2 Stereo @13.8V (RMS Continuous Power)
# 40 x 4 Channel 0.1% THD at 4 Stereo @13.8V (RMS Continuous Power)
# ChannelFlex Crossover
# Adjustable High-Pass Frequency (50 - 200Hz, L/R Independant)
# Low-Pass Frequency (120Hz)
# Adjustable Bass-Boost Level (45Hz, 0 - 9dB, F/R Separate)
# High-Current, High-Speed Output Devices
# High-Efficiency, High-Energy MOS FET Power Supply
# Audiophile Grade Component Selection
# Intelligent 7-Way Discrete Protection Circuitry
# Noise Reduction with Low Distortion & Ultra-Low Negative Feedback
# High-Level Input - Add on Capability
# Expoxy Composit PCB
# 2 Stable Design
Oct 2, 2002
I got the cage installed last night (this was a pain because the brackets
to mount it in the Insight want to be mounted on the centerline of the
cage... which makes the inside side of the bolts block the unit from
sliding into the cage, unless you file down said bolts...). All that's
left is to hook up main power to the amp - I've procured an in-line
30A fuse, now all I need is some more time to do it.
Dec 30, 2002
Long time no update since I've been listening to the tunes...
I'm missing some few trivial parts to be able to hook up a GPS
to the empeg... and I just found out that empeg tuners will soon
be available again in kit form, so I'll have to put one down as
my christmas present to myself :)
Still left to get:
- Some sort of remote (on-dash) Tire Pressure Monitoring system -
the TREAD act of 2000 (HR 5164) should make these widely available
(and therefore decrease price and increase featurefulness) soonish.
- SmartTire GenII system -
though who knows where I'll be able to get one around here.
- Schrader also makes
a system (though I'll have to keep looking for price and availability)
- I'm also considering a car cover of some sort...
this one seems
interesting since it's not a full cover, and so should be less hassle.
- A Wi-Fi adapter for the empeg would be kind of cool. Hook a version
of netstumbler up to it and have automatic in-dash wardriving... just
because you can. Also perhaps useful for map/phone browsing goodness
if I kept a palm pilot or other input device handy (scribble what I want
to look up on the palm, beam to empeg, display on empeg). Fun to dream,
but I'd be happy just to be able to set up autodownloads of weather and
maybe headline info on bootup in the morning...
- In the realm of well-nigh truly odd, the small window at the bottom
of the hatchback is just begging for a computer-controlled
scrolling marquee... useful for everything from 'Back off, man!' to
'You've got a low tire' to 'Yes, I really get 50mpg'...
- Teh and Gerry, some friends of mine, pointed out that
Frys has a
rearview mirror with dual color LCDs integrated in it... it
looks a bit large for my little Insight though. But good
old Google found
system that's similar and comes with a switchbox so you can run
multiple sources into the 2.5" LCD... computer output maybe? hmmm...
I guess with the empeg I don't need computer output as much anymore since I
can drive the VFD on the empeg however I want.
- InsightCentral -
probably the single best resource on the 'net for Insight information.
I read this a lot before I got my Insight, and took its advice in choosing
to get speakers and TireMinders.
- Insight Man has an okay
site too.. again, lots of pre-reading before I bought mine.
Curran's site is decent, though a bit graphics-heavy. This is
where I found out that WetOkole
does seat covers.
- Here is
the original cruise control page, which also has a reference to an armrest
that I'm not all that interested in. The cruise control page, however,
also has a correct link to a schematic for the bracket to mount the
- Alternate parts