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Eberhard upgrade of MC to 40 amps with adapters

Discussion in 'Tesla Parts for Sale' started by Palpatine, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #1 Palpatine, Aug 3, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
    Since more and more photos are showing up around the internet, we might as well let the cat out of the bag officially.

    My company, EV Components, is doing the aftermarket upgrade for the MC 120 that turns it into an MC 240 that can recharge a Tesla Roadster at 240 volts / 40 amps. Martin Eberhard is way too busy to do this for owners that were asking him for it. Martin did about 10 of the upgrades, then trained my technicians and handed off the project to us completely. We have completed 5 of them and are now scaling up for about 4 or 5 per week. We have orders for about 15 currently in process.

    Here is the official product listing...
    http://www.evcomponents.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=RFMC
    Photos on Flickr.com
    Roadster Foundry Mobile Connector - a set on Flickr

    Now available for ordering, the Roadster Foundry Mobile Connector (RFMC) designed by Martin Eberhard.
    Built by Tesla Roadster owners for Tesla Roadster owners.

    Comes with adapters for recharging a Roadster at 12 amps, 16 amps, 24 amps, 32 amps or 40 amps.
    This upgrade for the 120-volt mobile connector (MC120) allows the owner of a Tesla Roadster to achieve maximum flexibility for recharging options while at home or on the road.
    You ship us your MC120 (included with every Tesla Roadster), we will upgrade it and ship it back to you.

    Many Tesla Roadster owners will find that this solution is a viable and less expensive alternative to the High Power Charger (HPC). Charging at 40 amps allows for overnight charging, even from a fully depleted battery. Installation only requires a NEMA 14-50 receptacle ($200 to $250) on a 50A breaker, generally less expensive than installing an HPC.

    The Roadster Foundry Mobile Connector allows you to charge a Tesla Roadster at standard electrical outlets. The three adapters that are included in the $960 package are the most common you will find. We also offer two additional optional adapters that may also be useful in some situations.

    NEMA - Regular wall socket
    5-20 120V 20A (included)

    NEMA
    10-30 208V-240V 30A (included)

    NEMA
    14-50 208V-240V 50A (included)

    NEMA
    14-30 208V-240V 30A (optional for extra $100)

    NEMA
    10-50 208V-240V 50A (optional for extra $100)

    Please allow 1-2 weeks for turnaround time on the upgrade process for your MC120. If the MC120 is your only method of recharging, please place your order and then contact us directly about your special requirements. We can specify the timing, then use Fedex shipping so that your unit is completed and returned to you within two days.

    3739987881_6fc4240539_d.jpg

    Below are two of the large MC 240 units produced by Tesla Motors that can charge at up to 30 amps. They only come with the NEMA 14-50 plug.

    Notice the two smaller boxes. Those are our aftermarket RFMC 240 units. They each have the ability to be utilized on a variety of different NEMA receptacles. The light tells you the maximum amps you can draw based on the outlet that you have plugged into.

    3784574948_b328cbba39_d.jpg
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    As an owner of the Eberhard Roadster Foundry RFMC cable system, a few comments.

    Congats on getting the contract to build them. Long ago Tesla said their Roadster would come with something like this. It makes so much sense!

    I like the smaller and more rugged box that comes with the RFMC. The Tesla box scratches very easily and it's face needs to be coddled.

    Tesla says the best charge rate is about at 40 amps (though good luck in nailing that down)

    I kinda miss having the plain ole' MC120. It the smallest and most lightweight of all the cables. (also the most useless). Still though, we always kept it in the trunk as a "just in case" since it took the least volume. While we do drive without a charge cable now and then, it almost seems stupid to go out into the world with absolutely no way of refilling the car. Call it, "charge-anxiety".

    As you can see, The RFMC leaves the 120V GFCI connector on the lower voltage pigtail connector. Roadster Foundry 017 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! Exterior sockets (the most conveient for charging a car) are required to be GFCI. Plugging two GFCIs in a single circuit has shown to be a problem as one will pop when trying to charge the car. I'm sure that EV Components is required by code to deliver the cable with a GFCI but an owner might wish to replace it with a standard plug.

    A case would be nice. I found a extra large two sided laptop/soft briefacse bag to hold the whole RFMC package with the main cable on one side and all the pigtails on the other but it is a tight fit an am looking for something long -more like a padded version of the case that holds the Roadster softtop.

    PS
    Might be good to individually photograph each pigtail with a descriptive title.
     
  4. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #4 Palpatine, Aug 3, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
    I have found that the 20 ft cable for the RFMC coils nicely around the bottom of the trunk along the border. So when it is in the bottom of the trunk, it really doesn't take up much space at all. The adapters fit nicely in the middle where the softtop is meant to be placed.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #5 vfx, Aug 3, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
    Yes, a case is not a very efficient way to store the cables in the trunk of a Roadster.

    A case is good for other reasons though.

    1. Transporting the octopus of course.

    2. Keeping the cables clean and undamaged -especially the ones you aren't using much.

    3. Easier handling. Those who have to deal with any of the thick charge cables know that they are unwieldy and can be difficult to manage. Like a modernized medEVial weapon, they have hard plastic ends with sharp metal tines at the end of shaft that is semi flexible that when rotated can have great potential of accidentally swinging around and scratching the paint of the Roadster.

    4. Sheathing these pointy bits even in the trunk help protect other things like the softtop (which should also be cased)

    How many owners use the softop case every time?

    I don't.
    CIMG6511.jpg
    You can see my roof just laid on top in the foreground trunk. The cables are cased just below it.
     
  6. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    If you find a good case for the RFMC, let me know. I will include it as an option.
     
  7. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    James,

    That's great. I want one! I'm going on a trip next weekend, so I'll put in an order after that.

    I'm wondering though, I have both the MC120 and the MC240. Is there any reason why I shouldn't send in the MC240 for conversion instead of the MC120? That way I can keep the small and simple MC120 for when I want to pack light. It won't matter to you because you just need the special connector, right?

    If I convert the MC120, I won't really have a use for the MC240 anymore. I guess I could sell it, but frankly your kit is so much better, who would want to buy it?
     
  8. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Our design is actually made to upgrade a MC120 (because it is free and everyone has one) and use our box with our circuit board. We have not tried to do anything with the Tesla MC240 because it already does 240V/30A.

    The main advantage with our RFMC design is that we can do 110 volts to 240 volts and 12 amps to 40 amps and we have adapters to handle many receptacles.

    The Tesla MC240 is 30 amps and only has the NEMA 14-50 plug.
     
  9. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    I think some Roadster owners don't order an HPC for cost reasons ... and get MC240 instead for "permanent" garage use ... depending on how it's installed, it's still "mobile". Such an owner (or owner in waiting) might be your buyer ...
     
  10. Bradleybang

    Bradleybang Member

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    I want one. Just not sure about the extra 14-30 and 10-50. Do others see the need for these adapters?
     
  11. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #11 Palpatine, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
    The standard adapters that we provide will cover you for 90% of the situations that you will find out in the wild.

    The 14-30 and 10-50 are going to be rare, that is why we made them optional extras for people that know that they will be using that specific outlet, perhaps because it is already in their garage or at work.
     
  12. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    Bill Arnett has had his MC240 listed for sale for a couple weeks now. I don't think he's had any takers. The RFMC looks like a better solution even for permanent garage use.
    It's cheaper, handles more current, and adapts to more receptacles.
     
  13. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    Well, if you do decide to work with work with the MC240, let me know. Meanwhile I'll be thinking about it.
     
  14. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    If you put a normal 110v plug on the end of the MC240, does it work? That way you can have a go anywhere emergency lead (which can be converted back to the more valuable MC240 later if desired) and then get James to modify the MC120 as usual.
     
  15. ra-san

    ra-san Member

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    #15 ra-san, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
    I would bet that putting 110 on the end of the MC240 would not work, given the GFCI and other active components. However, I'd bet you could cut it after the box, terminate with modular connectors, and put in 110 that way.

    By the way, Tesla is coming out with a 40A MC240 with interchangeable connectors "real soon now". I don't think it will have the 110-120V option, but will have several 208-240V heads and will also have a 40A capable GFCI built in. Don't know what real soon now really means, but got the feeling it was in a matter of weeks to month or so.
    Personally, already put in an order with James because I wanted it now and wanted a real all-in-one. Though now that I think about it, the idea of cutting the MC240 right after the box to add 110 makes a lot of sense. Probably could do that with the new MC240 too. Still, nice to have a tested, professionally made version from a fellow roadster owner and with the heritage from Martin.

    [edit: been told that Tesla hopes to make it do 110/120V as well. Still unclear on timeframe. It'll be great to have multiple good options!]


    Only additional capability (aside from Mr. Fusion type dreams) I'd like to have would be a removable section or defeat-able built-in module with 40 (or 50) A capable GFCI for the 240V mode. Would be nice to have when you aren't sure there is a GFCI on the circuit, but would want to be able to disable it or not connect it if there was to avoid any extra nuisance trip issues.
     
  16. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    You can be sure that the Tesla version will be $1,500 or more.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Hopefully a new Tesla MC240 would have a little internal intelligence that would reset the GFCI after nuisance trips. It's not that hard to design in. A bypass switch would be nice too. They may, however, be limited in what they can do by regulatory hurdles.

    BBHighway, since you intend to keep your MC120, you might just get some adapters from the NEMA 14-50 plug on your MC240 to whatever 208-240V outlet you might connect to. Of course you'll be limited to 30A and would have to manually set the VDS if the available current is less than that.
     
  18. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #18 Palpatine, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
    I just found out that we can do an adapter with the diode set for 24A for the American 30A 120V RV plug. (This plug is the TT-30)

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/NEMA_TT-30.png

    This is the most common outlet found in older RV parks. 120 volts at 24 amps would be over twice as fast recharging as the MC 120 because of the overhead already being covered in the first few amps.

    We are going to test this as soon as possible.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, that is one of the suggestions I made over here.
    Out here on the west coast so many campsites have NEMA14-50 so it isn't as necessary, but from what I can tell, the east coast has many campgrounds with only TT-30 and no NEMA 14-50.
     
  20. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    If it works as planned, we will make it an optional adapter for the Roadster Foundry MC available on our website.
     

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