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Just bought Roadster....can't charge using home charger...

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Carl W, Oct 20, 2016.

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  1. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    Proud new owner of #311, a "thunder grey" 2008 Roadster. Got home and when I plug in my 240 volt wall charger (for my other electric car), it doesn't work. I'm using the short 1772 adapter that came with the car (I know it's not a Tesla adapter). Made sure the mode was standard and that I wanted it charged when plugged in...not on timer.

    Also tried my 120 volt charger and it also didn't work. Am I doing something wrong? Any ideas? Thanks!
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Congrats on your Roadster! But I hate to say this, but the extremely limited information you gave us doesn't help us tell us anything to help you. Please elaborate, what's happening, what's the car saying, what lights are illuminated on the charger, etc.... Pictures and videos help too. Otherwise its like telling a remote mechanic via email that there's this clunking sound coming from my car, what is it and how do I fix it.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    You are saying that when you used the yellow 120V charging cable that came with your Roadster to charge it would not start charging? Try pushing the little red Reset button on the wall end of that cable to see if that makes a difference.

    I do not understand what you are describing about "...my 240 volt wall charger (for my other electric car). It doesn't work. I'm using the short 1772 adapter that came with the car (I know it's not a Tesla adapter)".

    What is your other EV? Please take a photo of the 240V charger you are referring to and post it here.

    Please take a photo of the J1772 adapter you are using and post it.

    We want to help you solve your problem, but more information would be helpful.
     
  4. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    Have you forgotten to push the bottom forward on the connector to the car?
     
    • Like x 1
  5. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    On the Roadster end, be sure to put the cable into the car, turn it clockwise until it won't turn anymore and then push the switch that will then be on top all the way forward. The light by the cable should turn from white to blue, and then turn from blue to flashing yellow, at which point it's charging. When it's done it will turn green (and eventually go out).

    If it turns red, then there's a problem. If it stays white, you probably didn't attach it correctly to the car. If it stays blue, then it might be waiting for a timed charge, or possibly heating the battery (which is more likely in the winter than now).

    So...if that doesn't help, at least let us know what color it is.
     
  6. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    Just plugged into a public charger (Charge Point) and it works fine. Must be my 240 V charger. Weird...
     
  7. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    sorry. more details in a few minutes... thanks for your help.
     
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  8. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    All,

    You're all correct that I gave far too few details before. I've uploaded a picture of my 240 volt wall charger. It works with my other EV which is a converted 1973 porsche 914 (has twin AC motors totally 144kw, 29kwh lithium iron phosphate batteries, 5 forward speeds). More on that later...it's a fun but weird car. However, my porsche charges on any public charger plus my 240 volt wall charger. it uses the J1772 standard.

    My Roadster is several blocks away at a public charger, so I can't send a picture yet of the adapter. I will later this evening. It twists into the car port and then the J1772 fits into that. It is about the size and shape of a 35mm zoom lens (maybe 2 inches diameter by 8 inches long?).

    The previous owner only used public chargers. Yes, a bit strange but I guess one was close by.

    When plugging in my 240 volt wall charger, the car charge light went from white to flashing blue. My charger didn't turn on. There was a continuous message on the car touch screen "preparing to charge" and then a flashing "plug in charger" or something like that. I went through the touch screen to be sure that it wasn't on a timed charge. Trying to charge in standard mode. Any more detail needed other than a picture of the adapter? Thanks all!
     

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    • Like x 1
  9. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    Here's a picture of the adapter that goes from the roadster to a J1772. Note that there isn't a button or slider on it. You just push and twist until it clicks.
     

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  10. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    The J1772 adapter is the "CAN-JR" made by @hcsharp, who is a regular on this forum. Highly recommended by all. As you say, since the car is charging down the street, using the adapter, all seems fine with the car and adapter. Hopefully Henry can interpret what a flashing blue means in the context of your home 240v EVSE unit. Some of them can be, well, problematic. Looking for mismatches, do you know how many amps the EVSE and breaker are rated at, and what current the car was trying to charge with? The car will say something like "239V 24/24A" at the bottom right on the VDS screen. The voltage and first current are real-time actual, second is the current it is looking for.

    The 120v yellow cord is a bit more of a puzzle. What are the charge port color indicators and VDS messages when trying it? It's pretty low-tech; not much to go wrong. One thing to check is to be sure that the outlet still has power. Mine usually trips the house GFI breaker when I use the plug in the garage, but that was after a few seconds of charging. If you got no activity at all when sliding the switch, it might be the GFI reset on the wall plug end of the cable. Don't forget to slide the start switch on the top of the Roadster end towards the car, after twisting the connector all the way to the right (clockwise). It's not like the CAN-JR adapter, which just twists (no switch).

    Congrats on the car! And, excellent choice of color :) #834 here, also Thunder Grey.
     
  11. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Carl's EVSE is an Avcon brand unit. I had one of those with the old-style connector (shaped something like a fist) for use with a Ford Ranger EV. That EVSE is the weakest design of many EVSEs that I have seen. The most obvious deficiencies were in the high power path (it burned up the contactor), and I did not investigate the quality of the pilot signal. However, the problems I did see leave me with little confidence in the control circuit and pilot signal.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I think he got that Roadster for $42K. Maybe the best deal ever!

    And yeah, that EVSE is about as old as you will find anywhere, so could have some handshake issues with the Roadster.
     
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  13. MileHighMotoring

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    The problem is probably firmware - you need to have a recent version in order to reliably use J1772. It was the first thing I did when I got my Roadster.
     
  14. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    Hi All,

    I intend to try out a new Siemens charger that my buddy never installed because he drives his BMW i3 short enough that a 120 volt is fast enough for him. Anyway, the Roadster is listed among the cars that it works with. If it works, I'll install it (or my electrician will). Also, SLCASNER, thanks for the info on my weak Avcon unit.

    TEG, yes I got a great deal. Of course now I want all Roadsters to sell for huge amounts :) Frankly, I believe that the Roadsters are at the very bottom of their value right now and that they will start going up and if kept long enough, maybe way up. However, I'm not counting on that and plan to enjoy the heck out of the car regardless.

    My #311 has almost 43,000 miles and seems to have a strong battery pack. The previous owner charged it in extended mode for me for my drive back home and it indicated 221 miles (in range), which surprised me. My drive was only 65 miles, but interesting info to have. That was only the second time he'd ever charged it in that mode in past 3 years and certainly I plan to only use the standard charge mode nearly always. I've read the controversy over whether or not to occasionally charge and discharge fully and conclude that most likely, it hurts the batteries and helps the computer to reset the reading of the battery level (so it appears you get more range). However, I'm open to further thoughts on this. Anyway, the guy I bought it from (second owner) had it for 3 years and took great care of the car. I think he got really sad as I gave him the check.

    One tiny thing...it's missing its sun visors which were apparently removed by the original owner. My guess is that they annoy 100% of the time and only help rarely. Or, do you folks recommend I try to buy some?

    One other thing. Is the suspension height adjustable? I suspect that the original owner may have lowered my car about 1/2 inch because it measures 4.75" and apparently stock is 5.2". An extra 1/2 inch (back to stock) would be helpful for my contoured driveway. I just want it to be stock height and maybe it already is....

    Thanks!
     
  15. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

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    How do I add a picture to my profile? Want to show my roadster like most of you... I've clicked on every path I can find and must be missing an obvious step.
     
  16. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Uh oh... Contrary to Siemens' claims, there is some evidence that all is not wonderful with their chargers either... See: OpenEVSE charging of Roadsters? I don't know if it's model specific, either on the EVSE side or Roadster 1.5 vs 2.x. Good luck with the charger, but be prepared for some level of disappointment.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I think the forum might require you to have some minimum number of posts before it lets you set your profile picture.

    I think you would go here:
    Carl W
    And click on your face outline, and upload something different.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #18 TEG, Oct 21, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    I am jealous. I saw that listing and almost jumped but then thought something must be wrong with it at that price.
    Oh, I thought it was being sold by the original (celebrity owner)... I noticed the address was someone else's place, but I figure it was just his lawyer handling the sale for him.

    I think it depends on your height. For taller people they tend to just be an annoyance, and lots of Roadster owners have removed them.

    There are two basic types of Roadster suspensions - the stock, and the "sports suspension".
    The sports suspension they call "adjustable".
    Hopefully you can find a suspension shop in your area that has dealt with a Roadster before.
    Or if not, at least look for a shop that has worked on Lotus Elise/Exige as there are many similarities.

    Your Roadster has sport type wheels, but not sure if it has the adjustable sports shocks. If you actually have the sports suspension you got an even more amazing bargain.
     
  19. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    The sport suspension is adjustable for height, as well as stiffness. Just look through the wheels-if you see yellow shocks it has the standard setup. Grey shocks are the adjustable sport ones.
     
  20. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    One thing to remember about ride height, this greatly affects your steering and alignment. So when you mess with the car going up and down, it also needs to be re-aligned. Your camber gets hit hard by the changes. True "honest" alignment specifications are given with a specified height where measured in a specific location on the vehicle.
     

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