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Home made charging adapters

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Cosmacelf, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Hey guys, I made this PDF document a little while ago and posted it over on the Tesla Motors forums. I recently updated it to include a new adapter I found as well as a plug identification sheet. If you need to make your own charging adapter for the Model S, this should help you on your way. http://cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I'm no technical expert, but this looks thorough and very helpful. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Maybe someone that has electrical knowledge could confirm.
     
  4. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    May I add this to the FAQ?
    FAQ: Home Tesla charging infrastructure QA

    Also, it would be appropriate for me to call out once again that using one of these adaptors violates NEC, and therefore can invalidate your homeowners' insurance, regardless of how your loss occurs your claim may be denied (or in the case of a hotel, you may be liable for the damage) if investigators determine you used an adapter cable to connect a 50A rated load to a smaller source.
     
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Yes, feel free to add it to the FAQ, along with that disclaimer if you want.
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Overall, it's a correct guide and mirrors what I have in the FAQ. I can confirm that Tesla has a max 20A limitation for any power source < 125V.
     
  7. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I added an NEC disclaimer in the document. Do you know why Tesla limits 120V sources to 20A?
     
  8. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    No idea, other than as a failsafe measure of some sort.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    Thanks for writing the PDF. Can you comment on the quality of construction on the Camco adapters that you recommend? Also do you know of anyone who makes a decent shorter NEMA 14-50 extension cord? (6' would be ideal for my needs) I supposed I could build my own as long as I use heavy enough wire and good quality connectors...
     
  10. dave

    dave Member

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    I have a 14-50 extension cord I purchased, and I'd like to modify the neutral prong (as opposed to removing it entirely) so I can use it in a 14-30 outlet if necessary. Does anyone have any recommendations on what tools to use to do this?
     
  11. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Once you're aware of all the appropriate warnings and implications of doing such (see the FAQ mentioned above), generally a heavy duty angle cutter pliers will do; linesman pliers will work, as will hacksaws, dremel tools with cutting blades, and maybe even a small bolt cutters, although it will be very imprecise. Make a cut, use another pliers to peel it back, make another cut, etc. When finished, grind, file, or sand down the edges so they're flat.

    Can I say once again that it's a really bad idea to do this?
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    The Camco female 14-50's are fine. They are hard plastic rather than the softer rubber ones you find on pre-made cords. They aren't built to the specs of something you would use day in day out in a rough service environment (like on a job site), but for occasional use or considerate plugging/unplugging, they would seem to work well.

    As far as modifying a 14-50 plug to get rid of the L so that it would fit both 14-30 and 14-50. Yuck. First, those blades are pretty thick metal - if you were careful, maybe you could use a bandsaw with a metal blade. But you running the risk of damaging the cord in some unknown way. Don't fool around with 240V, 30A electricity - it can easily kill. Much safer to buy or build an adapter, I think.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For shorter NEMA 14-50 extension cords, just search for RV extension cords. The link I have in my document points to a 30' one, but I know the same manufacturer makes a 15' one. I would buy the 15' rather than a 6' one, if you could even find a 6'. You never know when you'll wish you had a longer one.
     
  13. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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  14. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    The Camco extension cords are horrible. I bought one, and it's about impossible to unwind the entire 15' length. Very stiff and very heavy. There are much better DIY alternatives.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Many of these sort of plugs and adapters have been discussed on this forum in the past, but it is nice to see it concisely noted all in one document.


    A quick readthrough looks like it is technically accurate, but people should pay very close attention to this statement:

     
  16. drees

    drees Active Member

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    StayOnline will make you any length extension cord you want if they don't have it in the desired length pre-molded, but it will cost more that way. In fact, it appears that all their 14-50 extension cords are very expensive (in the ~$175 ballpark for a 6ft cord!).

    It would be a LOT cheaper to buy a 6ft pre-molded 14-50 appliance cord and a 14-50 receptacle - looking on eBay you could build your own for less than $50.

    You also might try John at evseadapters.com. All the adapters on his site are geared around the Nissan LEAF evseupgrade (L6-20R instead of the NEMA 14-50R that Tesla owners need), but he can build you anything you want and would probably cost about the same as doing it yourself. Maybe he'll start offering 14-50 adapters by default on his website. (I have no affiliation with evseadapters or evseupgrade but am a satisfied customer of both).
     
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  17. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    I was just at home depot and lowe's and saw the 14-50 appliance cords there and came to the same conclusion :) They don't cost that much, all you have to do is add a female to one end. The male is already there and 6 ft of high quality wire that is 50A rated.

     
  18. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Thanks for the compilation! I'd just like to add that I prepped for the arrival of my S by making a 10-30 / 14-50 adapter (10-30 dryer cord wired into 14-50 receptacle) using advice from this site and the Tesla Motors forums and it has really come in handy. Used it on 2 of 3 road trips in the past month. The extra 6 ft on the 10-30 dryer cord helps. As noted though, research thoroughly and be sure to limit the current. I haven't had any issues with excessive heat on mine. Thanks to FlasherZ et. al. for the info.
     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > Do you know why Tesla limits 120V sources to 20A? [Cosmacelf]

    Because 120v wall outlets are 20A max. Drawing more than 20A off one leg of a 240v household system creates an imbalance. Better to use 240v and thus the entire winding of your pole transformer.
    --
     
  20. reddy

    reddy Member

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    plug.jpg
    I found this in my daughters condo parking garage in Austin, TX. Looks like a NEMA 6-20 which would let me pull 20amps at 240v. I am not sure how common this is, but it would be worth looking for. I will be testing it with my Nissan charger that I had upgraded by evseupgrade.com to see if it works. Since it LOOKS like it could be 120v but isn't, it could be worth mentioning.

     

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