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Don't make the same mistake I made...

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by mgemmell, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. mgemmell

    mgemmell Scottish chap

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    Hi folks

    On Saturday I drove 400kms to a small village way away from "civilization". We stopped on the way to get a 32A boost during lunch but arrived with about 50kms of charge left.

    I had checked the charging at the destination and it looked good, but until you connect the Roadster you never can be sure. So I wired the 32A connector up as I had done many times before and started charging. Things looked good (blue, then blue flashing) but then I got a Red. This normally means
    1) the earth connection isn't good, or
    2) live and neutral are switched (often happens!).

    I checked 1 and tried switching the poles to investigate 2. No joy.

    I then tried other phases, but in the process got neutral and a phase mixed and put 380V into the cable briefly. The cable controller made its characteristic clunk of a relay tripping and shut down. From then on regardless of the connection the cable was dead.

    By this time the Roadster indicated just 8% charge (don't know what happened to my 50kms of range which is more like 12% or more) and I realised just how much out on a limb I was....

    * My one charging cable was broken and I was 400km from the 13A cable back home.
    * The Roadster was nearly out of charge and was using power to keep the battery cool (it was hot then)
    * I was due to give a talk and show the car the next day (visions of a Top Gear -like scene of pushing the Roadster haunted me!)

    After a sleepless night the car seemed to stabilize at 8% charge and I drove it to and from the talk/showing no problem. I then jumped in another car and did the round-trip to get the cable that afternoon. That night, after 24h at 8% the car charged fine at 13A (slow but steady).

    The moral?
    Don't experiment with 3 phase power on your only power cable when you are a long way from home and low on charge.

    That said, I didn't think the charge cable and controller were that "delicate". Ok, if you stick 380V into me it might break something too :) , but over-voltage is not that rare, wrongly wired sockets exist and for such things to "kill" the cable seem to be a major weakness. What would you do on your next trip if your cable died just when you needed to charge? This seems to be a weak link.

    From now on I am going to carry the 13A cable as well as the 32A cable. Belt and braces as they say back home!


    Now, if anyone has any advice as to how to fix the 32A cablel, how to open the control box, how to re-arm any breaker that there may be, etc. I, and perhaps others, would very much appreciate reading it.

    Many thanks everyone.
     
  2. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Glad to hear you made it against all odds! :wink:

    With Model S, I understand the 110V/220V fallback is just an adapter to the UMC. Thus, if your UMC is on the fritz, you're even deeper in the mess.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    FWIW I always carry the "Spare Connector" cable in my car 24/7, regardless of whether the J1772 adapter or the UMC is in the car. You just never know when you might need an emergency plug-in at low power. At least you've always got 220V over there, we have to put up with 110V!
     
  4. mgemmell

    mgemmell Scottish chap

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    That's a good point... 2 days for a full charge at 110V/13A I guess? Dude!
     
  5. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Same here...I off loaded my spare connector the last time I drove to the cottage...(I had my UMC and a 40 amp NEMA 14-50 up there already)...long story short, my sister's mini van lost it's alternator when she was driving to the cottage...I had to ferry my brother-in-law 150kms to the nearest dealership that was open on the long weekend to effect repairs...I had to reduce my speed to 45 km / hour to preserve enough range to get back to the cottage (as I did not have a full standard charge when I started the journey)...lesson learned...always carry the spare connector with you..furthermore, I'll always carry Henry Sharp's J1772 adapter as well!.



     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Have not carried the backup for years. It's always taking up room in the trunk. Can't say there have not been some stick times though. Always carry the CAN now though. Not a trunk filler and plenty of Nissan dealerships to plug into.
     
  7. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Probably safe to do in your locale Eric...unfortunately, we don't have a well developed infrastructure of J1772 connectors up here...plus, where the cottage is, we're out in the sticks...agree, the CAN is indespensible...

     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I always carry the spare connector, a long heavy-duty extension cord, and Henry's J1772 CAN. And on roadtrips, I take the UMC. (Portland and Seattle at end of this month!)
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Better than no juice at all. I've actually used the spare connector a few times while staying at hotels. If you happen to be there two days, then you're good to go!
     
  10. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #10 wiztecy, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
    The hot day with the roadster trying to survive by keeping its batteries cool while consuming valuable battery juice is a scary thought for me. Its like keeping your best friend on a battery operated life-support system knowing they'll pull if you can get help in time. I keep the CAN and the 110V cord in the roadster at all times. If you really had to you may be able to hide the 110V cord behind one of the roadster's seats. Its actually surprising what things and their sizes can fit in that space back there.

    I have a canvas pouch in the trunk that has my emergency goodies:
    1)110V roadster cord
    2)The CAN
    3)Tire plug kit, I don't like the fix a flat idea.
    4)A porsche 911 Aluminum Scissor Jack - This is so that I can pull the roadster's tire off on the side of the road if I do encounter a flat.
    5) The roadster's tool kit.
    6) Fire Extinguisher

    One last thing I forgot to mention which I don't have but need to add to my goodies, an emergency roadside medical supply kit. I try to keep one in every car, camper, boat I have.

    My Mesh top and shower cap is also in the trunk. I get by with space and its never been a huge issue.... If I do a trip I then have to be thinking of trade-offs. But for my everyday commute I leave all the goodies and the canvas pouch in the trunk and feel well prepared.
     
  11. norty

    norty Member

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    in the UK I carry both the 13A 240v emergency cable and the higher capacity cable with the blue IP44 plug, which is also my home charger on a 32A circuit. 32A outlets are not always accessible so I recently added an adapter to the smaller 16A IP44 size as I found that caravan parks have these for motorhomes, and the sites are quite widely spread around the countryside, and they are used to people hooking up. The charge rate is half that of the larger one, but if you are stuck it is still pretty good.

    I can see a day when I carry a wide range of adapters around, which seems like a missed opportunity.
     
  12. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    What tire plug kit do you recommend?
     
  13. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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  14. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Just remember that after you use the plug kit to get the tire demounted and inspected. A nail can damage the interior of the sidewall without it showing on the outside. This damage looks like a question mark on the interior of the tire. A proper tire repair always includes demounting the tire for an inspection
     
  16. zack

    zack Member

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    With my custom boot bag and modified charge gear, I can bring everything including the HPC and 150' of 100A cable, camping gear, food, clothes, and other supplies. I just took the Roadster to a family reunion, about 135 miles, parked it for 2 days, then charged for about 3 hours at 40A at my aunt's house by using my clip-in system to go directly into her breaker panel. Her panel was only 100A total so I shied away from the 70A system. I wasn't sure if she was going to turn on her electric stove or dryer!

    If you're in Range mode you see an extra 25 miles of range. When you charge, the Roadster instantly switches back to Standard mode and you can't see the extra miles until you put it back in Range mode. That's probably what happened to your extra km.
     
  17. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    "What tire plug kit do you recommend? "
    I bought mine at the local parts shop, you don't have to go overboard on the quality on the plug kit although it doesn't hurt. Just remember to get the T type kit like the one's in the link posted above. The L kits are harder to file the hole and to sink the plug through the tire.

    Lastly if there's any sign of sidewall damage, the tire can't be repaired. Not with with a plug kit, not with a fix a flat can. If you have a jack in the Roadster you can pull off the tire and roll into a Tire shop to buy a new tire (if they have it in stock).
     
  18. mgemmell

    mgemmell Scottish chap

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    Its interesting you brought that up because precisely during Saturday night OVMS sent me an SMS saying SOC was critical at 0%! I had gone to bed already worried about the 12% dropping to 8% so this was the last thing I needed.

    In fact it had switched to Standard mode and decided to wake me to tell me the news that it now considered the SOC 0%. When I went to take a look I had to cycle the key twice to access range mode again.

    Anyway, here I am trying to open the 32A UMC (don't tell Telsa! ;) . That thing is built solid! I can see no way into it.
     
  19. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    Here's my travel kit :smile:

    This allows me to charge from Type 1 ("J1772"), Type 2 ("mennekes"), and most UK 'simple' sockets;

    IMG_1706.jpg
     
  20. mgemmell

    mgemmell Scottish chap

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    Impressive! If I interpret things right you've got everything adapting to the 32A mono-phase standard (CEE right?), then a big extension, and then the CEE to Mennekes converter. You then use the Mennekes cable to reach the charge port where you have the Mennekes to Tesla connector.

    Doesn't leave much space for luggage but that's got to be the best collection imaginable for the EU.

    Following advice by Eberhard I just carried the plugs and then wired them to the extension as required (but with the drawback that one day I may wire them badly:( ).

    As Tesla don't seem to have replacement UMCs in the EU right now I may look into buying the CEE to Mennekes converter.... I suppose you would recommended it?
     

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