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Aftermarket alternatives to the UMC?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by joetz, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. joetz

    joetz Member

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    I was wondering if there is any aftermarket alternative to the tesla UMC. I am actually on my second one, the first one broke because of that poorly designed cheesy little pin that holds the different plugs in place. That one and my new one both get hot as a pistol when plugged into a NEMA 14-50 and I'm worried that over time I'm going to have the melted adapter issues other people have had or worse. I was wondering if there is an adapter on the market that will go from a nema 14-50 to a j1772, for example, and charge at 40 amps?
     
  2. tga

    tga Active Member

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    If you are just looking for a J1772 plug-in EVSE, the Clipper Creek units have a good reputation. However, they do not have a plug-in model that will charge at greater than 30A. The HCS-40P is available with a 14-50 or 6-50 plug. The HCS-40 is the hardwired version. There is also the hardwired HCS-60, which will charge at up to 48A, but needs a 60A breaker.

    All Products Category | Clipper Creek Vehicle Charging Station
     
  3. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

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    Clipper Creek most definitely does offer a product that will go all the way up to 80 amps....Google for the CS-100.

    But honestly, it's cheaper to purchase a Tesla HPWC, and it comes with user adjustable dip switches inside for your max power level. And it also has a button on it to release the charge port....
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    1) Check and make sure the wiring connections to your 14-50 outlet are not problematic and generating heat that's being transferred to the UMC plug

    2) If the above checks out OK, have Tesla replace it again. They need to be aware of the issue (and they are, perhaps you got two bad ones in a row), and you deserve a working $650 critical accessory...
     
  5. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Yes, but those are all hard-wired units. The OP was talking about a 14-50 outlet, so I assumed he wanted something with a plug. The HCS-40 is as high as you can go with a plug.
    If you don't need/want >40A charge current, the HCS-60 (48A charge) is currently $300 cheaper than a HPWC ($899 vs $1200), but the $899 price is "special limited time pricing". Whether the $300 is worth it depends on whether you need/want to share the EVSE with a (non-Tesla) EV, or if you prefer the built in charge port button and not messing around with the adapter.
     
  6. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I don't know anything about their reputation, reliability, etc, but the JuiceBox seems to be at a very reasonable price point, and offers some interesting monitoring in their premium version. It appears to be able to handle up to 60 Amps (15 kW out) with monitoring for less than an HPWC, or a setup equivalent to a UMC for less than a UMC.

    Anyone know about this company? Any product reviews? The price points are almost too good to be true...

    Electric Motor Werks, Inc. - CUSTOMIZABLE JuiceBox - an Open Source Level 2 (15kW) EV Charging Station
     
  7. robaross

    robaross P4550

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  8. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    No certifications. I didn't want to risk it based on that alone.
     
  9. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I saw the Leviton one a while back and forgot about it.

    Leviton's info says it has a 6-50 plug, not 14-50, but it's easy enough for the OP to get his outlet changed

    Leviton info page: http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp?partnumber=EVB40-P5T&section=37741
     
  10. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Even easier to change the plug on the Leviton to a 14-50; no need to worry about the neutral connection on the plug, its only on the receptacle where it is important if someone plugs in an RV or something that needs the neutral. Leave the more common outlet alone for other uses.
     
  11. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Oh, yeah, right. I think I deserve a solid *duh* for that one... :biggrin:
     
  12. joetz

    joetz Member

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    The outlet is great, cool as a cucumber.

    I really don't care to take the adapter to tesla and get another one, because the design absolutely sucks. The new one will still have that fragile pin that breaks or bends when I try to change the plug. I really wish there was a similar product made by someone else, something that is small and portable and will connect to a 14-50 or a 5-15, but it doesn't seem like such a product exists.

    Has anyone gotten their replacement adapters from Tesla? If so, is the redesigned part any better? Its supposed to have some changes to protect it from melting down from excessive heat.
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Since I recently bought a Leaf for my daughter, I just ordered the HCS-60 from Clipper Creek. The 2012 Leaf I bought only has a 3.3 kW charger so it can't make use of the 48 amp output (even a 6.6 one can't), but I thought it would be a good backup for the Tesla and worth the extra $300 dollars over the 30 amp versions.
     
  14. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    No, no one else makes something comparable to the UMC with its ability to swap out plug adapters.
     
  15. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    It puzzles me that Tesla can make such fabulous cars but their charging solutions all suck. I've built a lot of charging stations and portable chargers (UMC's) from scratch. They have all been 100% reliable for me and every person using them. Clipper Creek products are also very reliable. I'm not sure why they don't make a multi-plug portable solution other than the fact that it would be impossible to compete with Tesla's prices.
     
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I guess that I am the exception. I am on my original UMC, used it almost exclusively for the first year charging, have changed adapters for many different sites, and it has never gotten overly warm.
     
  17. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I've never had any problems with mine and I knew nothing about charging electric cars before I got my Tesla. This past weekend I bought a 2012 Leaf for my daughter. I was surprised to learn that it only comes with a 120 volt charger which the manual says is for "emergency" use only. So I went to Leaf forums to see what people recommend and I see tons of complaint about Leaf's charging solutions which is $2,000 from Nissan but about half if you go for cheaper units and hire your own electrician. So I have to pay extra for a 240 volt charger which are not near as compact and not all are plug in -- the ones that are are usually not outdoor rated unless you spend a lot more. And this for a car whose range really needs a 240 volt charger! So here I am thinking Tesla sure got it right with their charger. A compact UMC that can use multiple adapter plugs - is outdoor rated - and even pops the charging door. When I take it to my cabin, I can plug it into my range or dryer. I only had to have an electrician put an 14-50 outlet in my garage - that was it (now I know why he kept telling me to wait until I get the charger for the install since he only did Leaf/Volts installs before) -- that never made sense to me because I told him I just needed an outlet and he questioned me on that until I gave him the instructions. It seems to me Tesla got their charging solution right with this set up.

    *I know I use the word "charger" incorrectly -- it's just easier that way.
     
  18. joetz

    joetz Member

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    Do you charge at 40amps? It gets hottest right at the seam where the 14-50 adapter connects to the rest of the charger. So hot that I've nearly burned my hand a few times touching it.
     
  19. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    The UMC itself is great. The adapter design should have been made more robust.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I charge at 40 amps. Having seen a lot of electrical fires, and reading here about problems with the UMC, when I came back from my cabin and had a low battery, I kept a good eye on mine while it continually charged to 80%, feeling all parts of both ends and the cable. My cable gets the warmest but it was by no means hot. The seam you mention was also warm -- but nothing coming near to hot, let alone burning hot. You definitely have something wrong with yours. It should not get hot at all - a little warm and that's it. Having seen many electrical fires in my line or work, I would strongly recommend that you immediately stop using it and get a new one. It's not worth the risk, especially if you park it in an attached garage. You are risking your life.
     

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