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Anyone fitted a charge port light?

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Glan gluaisne, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    The absence of a light in the charge port on the Model 3 seems a significant flaw. I spent several minutes trying to get the connector in last night, doing it by feel on a pitch dark night. The last two cars I've owned had a light under the charge port flap, that came on when the flap was opened and stayed on until a few seconds after the connector was inserted. Made life a lot easier when trying to plug in on a dark night.

    I've had a quick search, but I haven't found any mention of a mod to add a light under the charge port flap. I've been thinking along the lines of making up a small LED, with a battery, and timer triggered by a motion sensor that detects the charge flap hinging up. Be interested to know if anyone's done something similar.
     
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  2. JCremonini

    JCremonini Member

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    Don’t you have a smartphone ? They all have torches built in.
     
  3. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Yes, but I only have two hands (house keys etc in one hand, connector in the other).

    A light that just comes on to light up the connector for a minute would be far easier to use, especially if it just came on automatically as the port opened.
     
  4. MaDProFF

    MaDProFF Member

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    I agree you should not have to try and turn on light on phone, and carry things and try and find socket.

    I find it a pain tbh that the car is in complete darkness until you get to it and try to find door handle to open.

    One of the reasons I am tempted to buy a fob.

    Same as I wish I could open the port from outside the car, I still forget and then have to clamber back into the car to open.

    Or Am I missing something here
     
  5. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I hadn't realised that the interior lights etc don't come on as you walk up to the car at night. That's a PITA, as for the past ten years or so every car I've owned has turned the interior lights on automatically as you approach (or, in the case of the i3, when you use the remote to unlock it).

    I believe you can open the charge port by just pressing the lower corner. Not tried it, just remembering the demo when I picked the car up on Friday.

    I'm going to see how easy it is to make a small light to fit under the flap. Doesn't need much, just a single white LED, a coin cell, plus a tilt sensor and timer to turn the light on and off. Hopefully there's enough space available to fit it.
     
  6. *Adam

    *Adam Member

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    What about a few cable ties and this :p
     
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  7. Durzel

    Durzel Active Member

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    Doesn’t sound like much when you list the parts, but the reality.. will it fit behind the charge flap and allow it to close? Will it be waterproof? Will it look super tacky?

    How about this?
    Varta LED Metal Key Chain Light with 2 x CR2016 Batteries, Zinc alloy, Silver https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014RBBY52/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_7hM2DbAZ66KC9
     
  8. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I need to wait for the rain to stop and go and see what might fit. I'm thinking of 3D printing something up that could be really thin (the limit will be the thickness of a coin cell holder, I think), and can be sealed up as a disposable item. A coin cell would probably last several years, if I can get the current down to a very low level when the flap is open. With the flap closed I should be able to reduce the current to zero if I use a small tilt switch to activate the light. Not sure how best to fix it. If there's room, then velcro might be an idea, if not I may have to get more creative.
     
  9. SteeveeLeevee

    SteeveeLeevee Member

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    Hi Jeremy,
    I like people with positive thoughts.

    Just joined, I have had a look behind the charge port flap and the only room may be at the root of the plug surrounds, I haven't tested to see if all the depth is used, might be room for a small LED bulb or two, looks like power from a battery would have to come through the rotary hinge.
    What about painting the plug surround with a luminous substance after all it is probably never really pitch black?
     
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  10. pgkevet

    pgkevet Member

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    I don't have this problem but wouldn't it be easier to just stick a small torch on the charger plug activted by the underside finger when picked up?
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Really good idea, thanks!

    The answer may well be to just fix a small betalight under there.

    These last for about 5 years, and probably give enough light. Relatively cheap, too, maybe £10 for a tiny one that may well fit in the space available.
     
  12. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Have you tried lightly pushing the rear door handle to see how much that wakes things up and turn on some lighting. I've never found an issue with its behaviour, but then I've never been in total darkness where I can't see anything - I would probably carry a head torch in that circumstance, or failing that, tapping my watch to turn on back light.

    Yes, open charge port just by tapping it - car must be 'unlocked' to do - ie phone in proximity. You do need app or jump in car to unlock though, unless you have a suitable charge lead, such as Tesla wall connector.

    Surely if it only affects one location, an attachment to charge plug would give more alternatives. Or a reflective surround to the charge port. Abstract Ocean may be able to sort that as I think they do custom material and charge port protectors - just not CCS last time I looked.

    And what about unplugging charge cable? Doesn't that also need a light?

    As for car not lighting up when you walk up to it - I think early version had wing mirrors that auto unfolded when you walked up to it - I think it was removed due to security issues and same could be said about lights when phone was in close proximity. Basically, the car plays dead until you physically go to open it.
     
  13. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    It looks as if a betalight could be fitted to the flap, in line with the upper gap around the connector. 2mm and 3mm diameter betalights are readily available, just a matter of finding the best way to fix one in place. A bit of hot melt glue might do the job; strong enough, yet could probably be prised away without leaving a residue if needed.

    I'll order a suitable looking betalight and see how it goes.
     
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  14. Adopado

    Adopado Active Member

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    Yes, I was thinking in that direction too ... having a light from the charger plug ..
     
  15. CMc1

    CMc1 supercharge.info editor

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  16. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I've bought a couple of small betalights, hoping they might be OK, but they aren't really bright enough. I think that, if I can find some brighter ones they would be ideal, as there's enough space to fit one to the charge port door. I think the ones I've bought are deliberately a bit dim, as they are intended for use as markers by fishermen at night. What's needed is something just a bit brighter, but not as bright as the military betalight head torches used for map reading. I've found a manufacturer that makes just the thing, but they don't sell to the general public, unfortunately, so I need to find a retailer.
     
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  17. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    These are the two betalights I've bought to try. Hard things to photograph, but this was taken in darkness, with no flash and the camera around 200mm from the pair of them, so it gives a reasonable indication as to how bright they are. They are both about the same diameter, ~3mm, but one is 22mm long, the other 25mm long. Both were advertised as being "super bright"...

    upload_2019-12-11_10-54-26.png
     
  18. SteeveeLeevee

    SteeveeLeevee Member

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    They might appear brighter if you paint or coat the socket surfaces white.
    Steve
     
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  19. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Might well do. I've just drawn up this to hold the larger one of the two. Should fit under the charge port door, and go in the gap above the socket when the charge port door is closed. I have some white resin in the 3D printer at the moment, so will print one off and see if being held in a white clip makes a difference. I might be able to sandwich a bit of aluminium foil behind the betalight to act as a better reflector.

    upload_2019-12-11_13-10-44.png
     

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