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Gen1 UMC - 110/220V using the 'standard' adapter?

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
453
216
Mid Michigan
We have a Gen 2 Volt and the EVSE that came with it has a non-changeable NEMA 5-15 plug that fits all the typical 110V grounded wall outlets one finds in a house. But someone found out that if, instead of having one hot and one neutral blade, you put the 'hot' from one leg of a 220V feed on one blade and the other hot leg of the 220 on the second blade (leaving the ground alone), the EVSE will now work as a 220V unit charging at 2X the rate.

I bring this up to ask - does the Gen1 Tesla UMC (EVSE?) work the same way with their 110V adapter connected? Or is it strictly a 110V connection and if I do the above it will not work/fry the unit. I am going to have access to NEMA 6-20 outlets during an upcoming trip. There is no 6-20 adapter for the Gen 1 from what I could find. I can made a 6-20 to 6-50 conversion cord and then use the the 6-50 adapter that came with the Gen1 Tesla UMC (of course first setting the limit to 16A) BUT if the Tesla UMC acts the same as my Volt, I already have a conversion cord that I can use.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
 

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
453
216
Mid Michigan
Yes, I’m pretty sure it will work as a 6-15 if you feed it 240 volts instead of 120.

Hmmm. Guess I would prefer a 'yes, it will work' verses a 'pretty sure' :) Just worried about damaging the unit.

Was hoping someone had already did it and could confirm.

Thanks for the reply!
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
419
519
boston ma
We have a Gen 2 Volt and the EVSE that came with it has a non-changeable NEMA 5-15 plug that fits all the typical 110V grounded wall outlets one finds in a house. But someone found out that if, instead of having one hot and one neutral blade, you put the 'hot' from one leg of a 220V feed on one blade and the other hot leg of the 220 on the second blade (leaving the ground alone), the EVSE will now work as a 220V unit charging at 2X the rate.

I bring this up to ask - does the Gen1 Tesla UMC (EVSE?) work the same way with their 110V adapter connected? Or is it strictly a 110V connection and if I do the above it will not work/fry the unit. I am going to have access to NEMA 6-20 outlets during an upcoming trip. There is no 6-20 adapter for the Gen 1 from what I could find. I can made a 6-20 to 6-50 conversion cord and then use the the 6-50 adapter that came with the Gen1 Tesla UMC (of course first setting the limit to 16A) BUT if the Tesla UMC acts the same as my Volt, I already have a conversion cord that I can use.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

I bought a NEMA 6-20 adapter for my gen-1 mobile charger from evseadapters. It works as expected.

I was lucky in that there was an already existing dedicated circuit to a 120v/20a nema 5-20 plug right next to my driveway. I had an electrician replace the breaker with a 240 breaker and replace the receptacle with a nema 6-20 plug.

I would not monkey with making a 240izer cable -- it may be handy when you're traveling, but you're gambling that you'll be able to find 2 120 plugs on different legs of the house feed that close enough together that your cable reach both and your car, or you'll be making a big wacky octopus cable extension cord that you'll leave strewn across your house and outside for hours at a time.

With the above adapter (or the crazy octopus cable) you'd charge an S in normal weather at 11 miles an hour.
 

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
453
216
Mid Michigan
I bought a NEMA 6-20 adapter for my gen-1 mobile charger from evseadapters. It works as expected.

I was lucky in that there was an already existing dedicated circuit to a 120v/20a nema 5-20 plug right next to my driveway. I had an electrician replace the breaker with a 240 breaker and replace the receptacle with a nema 6-20 plug.

I would not monkey with making a 240izer cable -- it may be handy when you're traveling, but you're gambling that you'll be able to find 2 120 plugs on different legs of the house feed that close enough together that your cable reach both and your car, or you'll be making a big wacky octopus cable extension cord that you'll leave strewn across your house and outside for hours at a time.

With the above adapter (or the crazy octopus cable) you'd charge an S in normal weather at 11 miles an hour.

The adapter I have does not require the two cords going to two different sockets (hoping to catch both sides of the 220V bus). My Volt 'converter' adapter (which is not UL or electrician approved :) ) has a male NEMA 6-20 on one end and a NEMA 5-20 female on the other (with a label saying VOLT 220V ONLY and kept in the storage compartment of the vehicle so no one tries to use it for something else). It lets the two 220V hot leads and ground to go to both blades of the 110V female 5-20 socket yet allows the Volts 120V 'regular' plug to now get 220V.

I looked at the adapter you indicated and it looks great but was hoping to make something for a lot less and with a longer (12 gauge 25 ft) extension cord. After doing some more searches I did find a discussion back in 2014 about doing what I mentioned above but no one saying "I did it and it works fine" along with a picture of it.

Thanks for the reply!
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,669
12,527
California
Hmmm. Guess I would prefer a 'yes, it will work' verses a 'pretty sure' :) Just worried about damaging the unit.

Was hoping someone had already did it and could confirm.

Thanks for the reply!

I can’t think of any way it could damage the UMC, which will happily take 240v from other plug adapters. The plug adapters themselves are very simple passive bits - the extent of their “brain” is a resistor that tells the unit how much current to allow.
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,897
6,387
Austin, TX
Yes it will work.

there is a resister in the adapter that limits the current. The box manages the voltage.

you will get 12a between ~100v to ~277v
 
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cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
419
519
boston ma
The adapter I have does not require the two cords going to two different sockets (hoping to catch both sides of the 220V bus). My Volt 'converter' adapter (which is not UL or electrician approved :) ) has a male NEMA 6-20 on one end and a NEMA 5-20 female on the other (with a label saying VOLT 220V ONLY and kept in the storage compartment of the vehicle so no one tries to use it for something else). It lets the two 220V hot leads and ground to go to both blades of the 110V female 5-20 socket yet allows the Volts 120V 'regular' plug to now get 220V.

I looked at the adapter you indicated and it looks great but was hoping to make something for a lot less and with a longer (12 gauge 25 ft) extension cord. After doing some more searches I did find a discussion back in 2014 about doing what I mentioned above but no one saying "I did it and it works fine" along with a picture of it.

Thanks for the reply!

Ah, a pirate cable...

There are lots of cables / adapters that have different male plugs that terminate in a NEMA 15-50 female. They assumption that the owner will dial down the amperage at the car. Your thing is the same but using the nema 5-15 adapter on the mobile charger.

I would guess that the resistor in the NEMA 5-15 adapter on the gen 1 charger always sets the current draw to 12A. If so you should be fine if you put a NEMA 6-15 male plug on the end of an extension cable; I would start with an extension cable that's as short as you think you can get away with and one that's rated for 20A (it'll start with a nema 5-20 plug and receptacle before you destroy it). Unless you're pretty awesome the thing you make will no longer be at all weather resistant and it will be good at destroying most anything else plugged into it, but you already know that and will label it clearly.

A word of caution; I asked clippercreek why they don't make a version of their charger with a NEMA 6-20 and they replied that their engineers felt that the majority of the 6-20 receptacles were not suitable for EV charger usage and suggested that it would be far safer to use a hard-wired connection or the larger twist-lock style connectors.

My setup with a semi-legit NEMA 6-20 plug / adapter doesn't get very hot when I'm charging my car, but I've also used it less than 20 times since it was installed because I can charge at work and have lifetime supercharging. For me it is mostly an option of last resort if I need to charge the car enough in the winter to get it to a supercharger.
 

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
453
216
Mid Michigan
I can’t think of any way it could damage the UMC, which will happily take 240v from other plug adapters. The plug adapters themselves are very simple passive bits - the extent of their “brain” is a resistor that tells the unit how much current to allow.

Yes it will work.

there is a resister in the adapter that limits the current. The box manages the voltage.

you will get 12a between ~100v to ~277v

Only 12A? I thought it would be 16A at 220V...
 

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
453
216
Mid Michigan
Ah, a pirate cable...

There are lots of cables / adapters that have different male plugs that terminate in a NEMA 15-50 female. They assumption that the owner will dial down the amperage at the car. Your thing is the same but using the nema 5-15 adapter on the mobile charger.

I would guess that the resistor in the NEMA 5-15 adapter on the gen 1 charger always sets the current draw to 12A. If so you should be fine if you put a NEMA 6-15 male plug on the end of an extension cable; I would start with an extension cable that's as short as you think you can get away with and one that's rated for 20A (it'll start with a nema 5-20 plug and receptacle before you destroy it). Unless you're pretty awesome the thing you make will no longer be at all weather resistant and it will be good at destroying most anything else plugged into it, but you already know that and will label it clearly.

A word of caution; I asked clippercreek why they don't make a version of their charger with a NEMA 6-20 and they replied that their engineers felt that the majority of the 6-20 receptacles were not suitable for EV charger usage and suggested that it would be far safer to use a hard-wired connection or the larger twist-lock style connectors.

My setup with a semi-legit NEMA 6-20 plug / adapter doesn't get very hot when I'm charging my car, but I've also used it less than 20 times since it was installed because I can charge at work and have lifetime supercharging. For me it is mostly an option of last resort if I need to charge the car enough in the winter to get it to a supercharger.

OK. I have an appliance-specific 20 ft 12-2 cable with a 6-20 male plug and just bought a Leviton 5-20 industrial grade female socket for the other end. Going to make up my pirate cable and give it a try. Bummer it will only deliver 12A though. Was hoping for 16A.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
419
519
boston ma
Ha ha. I got a notice of your very good and witty response but it is no longer posted. Had to say great job on putting it together...

Cheers, matie!

Arrr; I were misdirected by The Dread Pirate Bezos and his bamboozle engine. I sarrrched far a GFCI plug yeee ken plug inter a 240v receptarcle. I found, to me delight, this wiarr fer them soft land lubbars that needs a windarbangar airrrg conditioner.

I researrched that "LCDI" protects yee aginst electrocution as well as me parrot from lightn'.

Given the seaweed and muck some have got between th' ears, I deleted me missal befar the trolls came cal'n.

Hoist the flag if y' pirate cable takes y' to y'r home part!
 
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