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Charging Lessons

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by bonnie, May 15, 2011.

  1. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    photo.PNG

    1. Even if a charging station is in "a good neighborhood", don't leave your car unattended. I parked at Einstein Bros (J1772 charging station) in Reno. Daylight. Nice neighborhood (you know, the Jamba Juice/Einstein Bros/Barnes & Noble kind of place). I started charging, everything looked good - and because Einstein Bros was closed, I walked around the corner to get a cup of coffee.

    I received a text message from Coulomb about 15 minutes later notifying me that that the charge had been stopped because the plug was pulled. In hindsight, when I walked back, I should have been dialing 911 ... very sketchy guy (think tattoos of blood, knives, gang symbols) was idling on one side of the car (blocking the view on one side). There was a busy gas station on the other side, lots of people - so I put cables back in the car, closed the lid ... and just as I was about to pull out, his buddy pulled in on the other side of me (effectively blocking the view from the other side). But my car was already in reverse & I was gone.

    I really appreciate the text message from Coulomb notifying me that something had gone wrong with the charge. I'm not sure I'd have a car right now to tell you about if I hadn't received that message last night. I'm not known to overreact - this was definitely not a good situation.
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    umm.. yeah, sounds scary.
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    wow

    You could not get out of there fast enough.

    glad you are ok
     
  4. Nvbob

    Nvbob Roadster 1256

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    Bonnie, Did you notify the Manager at Einsteins of that and did you contact the Reno PD?
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    the-talented-cast-of-reno-911_100180578_l.jpg
     
    • Funny x 1
  6. Stealth MD

    Stealth MD Member

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    i don't think this is a joking matter...
     
  7. Stealth MD

    Stealth MD Member

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    did u have the top off? that could have attracted some on-lookers.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    The soft top was on. I did notify the Reno PD with the license plate via phone (no report since nothing actually happened). Einstein Bros was closed that evening ... however, I did stop there the next morning to get a bagel and charge for an hour. I both thanked the manager for the charge (I like people to know that charging stations are used) and told her about the evening before. They close at 5pm - it wouldn't hurt to have an outdoor camera.

    The thing is, it seemed safe. It was daylight. The turnoff from the very busy road led to either the gas station or Einsteins. There was plenty of activity at the gas station. Einsteins was just on the corner of a long line of retail shops. But Einsteins was closed. And it was just around the corner. And it was just on the other side of the drive from the gas station. And the car is so low, that two cars pulling up on either side of it effectively blocks it from view. So lesson learned.

    Big thank you to Coulomb for the instant text message when the charge stopped. That was a game changer. (For the record, when I stopped charging the next morning, the text message hit my phone to notify of stopped charge within a second of sliding the switch back on the Tesla plug.)

    (And I love the Reno PD pic. I'm a judge for Moustache May at the office & always give extra points for the best Reno PD stache, especially if accompanied by a proper uniform.)
     
  9. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    First, thanks for the report Bonnie1194, and glad you're OK (and Baby Turtle too!).

    I have been wondering why cars as expensive as this don't have a built in panoramic camera with video recording capability. That sort of tech is not expensive. I have been thinking of putting a few strategically placed iPod nanos in our Roadster. Each would record 2+ hrs of video; I already use this approach to record scuba dives by attaching a little plastic cannister to a dive light. So I'd have at least a chance of identifying someone who keys the car or crashes into it and drives off. And you'd have something to give the cops if it came to it. Obviously if the car is stolen and not recovered you lose a nice car and several iPods. Or someone might even break into the car just to steal the iPods I guess (oh, the irony!).

    Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf product like this? I googled it but got nothing suitable.

    I'm not sure Tattoo'd Thug would even notice a sign saying "if you can read this, you're already being video'd and uploaded to my secure location". Would it be any sort of deterrent if people knew they were being video'd?
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I was thinking exactly along the same lines (if nothing else, it would be vastly entertaining to watch the normal crowd that circles around the car and peers in the windows). I think you'd have to have a camera that broadcast wirelessly, though, for it to be effective.

    "Baby Turtle" is growing on me.
     
  11. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    Agreed on that; iPods are inadequate. Having nosed around the internet a bit more it left me a bit horrified by the things you can hide a camera inside. Pretty much everything on every desk could be a concealed spy-cam now. But a mobile-friendly wireless camera is a bit more of a challenge. Maybe the charge points could incorporate cameras to deter vandalism and car theft.

    I don't think we'll be using public charge points anyway; my Wife is very hygiene-conscious and I don't want her to get electrocuted trying to use anti-bacterial wipes on the electricity nozzle :tongue:
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think sliding the switch back while the car is locked and charging should cause the car alarm to go off. Surely that could be readily done in firmware.
     
  13. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #13 malcolm, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
    An unpleasant experience for you - glad you're okay.

    The only problem is that the easiest way to steal any car with minimal damage is to wait for the owner to return and unfortunately this instant-text-messaging-on-disconnect is a reliable way to call the owner back to the car.

    Any remote surveillance needs to send a panorama of photos to your phone. But even that probably wouldn't satisfy a cautious owner. (The charging post is a better vantage point/location for a camera anyway - as soon as charging is interupted, a photo is taken and sent to your phone - more expensive infrastructure - but in the long-term interest of the manufacturer/provider to avoid certain charging locations getting an unsafe reputation and losing custom)

    You would probably want to pretend not to be the owner and just walk past your vehicle and/or walk into a nearby store where you can look out and check if anyone might still be waiting for you.

    More recharge anxiety. :mad:

    And yes - an alarm-on-disconnect is needed. Annoying, but necessary
     
  14. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Yes, absolutely agree. I'm sure that if I'd gotten there a few minutes later (i.e., after his buddy arrived and blocked the view), I would have lost the car. While the text did call me back to the car, it called me back in time to get out of there. However, I SHOULD have done just what you suggested ... keep walking towards the gas station, then call 911. Lesson learned.
     
  15. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Glad both you and your Roadster are ok Bonnie!

    Maybe every Roadster needs to come with a combo keychain / taser...:wink:
     
  16. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    ...or just a Magnavolt security system? First seen in Robocop... "And it won't even run down your battery!":

    magnavolt - Google Search
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Do you think they would have towed it or...?

    By the way, walking by with a camera running is even better. You could be "on the phone" and or take a picture of the cool car (and thugs).
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I thought they might have relieved me of my keys.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Extra scary. Glad you are Ok (and your snowbird too)
     
  20. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    #20 Slackjaw, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
    On this topic, is it possible to remotely trigger the alarm with either the key fob (this is a feature called "PANIC" on our Honda CR-V) or maybe do it using the iPhone / SMS app which was written for the Roadster (link to thread ) ...?

    We haven't got our Roadster yet so I don't know about the features like this. Just curious. Thanks...
     

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