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Question about home charging the Model 3 - Tesla button alternatives

Gatsojon

Member
Aug 4, 2019
624
608
Manchester UK
I purchased a 'Tesla Retrofit Button Kit' from here:
Tesla retrofit button kit - evChargeking
Really easy to fit to a type 2 plug if you're handy with a soldering iron and can drill one hole. All the instructions are on the website and the mod takes about an hour.
It's so handy, no more having to unlock from inside the car. Money well spent.
I like the look of this and would be fine with the installation I think. How would I know if I have the 3v supply in the cable or need the battery option? I have a Zappi V2 if that makes a difference?
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
I like the look of this and would be fine with the installation I think. How would I know if I have the 3v supply in the cable or need the battery option? I have a Zappi V2 if that makes a difference?

You won't have a supply in the cable, AFAIK only the TWC has a supply for the transmitter. The kit that has a small lithium coin cell works fine, and the battery should last several years.
 
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Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
438
296
Surrey, UK
I like the look of this and would be fine with the installation I think. How would I know if I have the 3v supply in the cable or need the battery option? I have a Zappi V2 if that makes a difference?
Do check whether you can actually open the Zappi type 2 plug, as I’ve read on the MyEnergi forum they are rather difficult to get into. I have a Zappi and I’m tempted to just replace the entire cable with one that already has the plug with the button. But it’s around €250 for an 8m cable...
 
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kelvin 660

Member
Aug 21, 2020
215
142
Stonehouse
Thanks everyone for your suggestions...

Using the app means taking the phone out of your pocket. - something I want to avoid
Tesla remote with Siri Shortcuts is for Iphone only - I've got an android
The special cable is too expensive - for me
Cable mod looks promising - I think it only needs a NC switch that adds a resistor in series to unlock the charge port
NFC tags
are useful - but you need to have your (android) phone open to use them
The Tesla key fob looks promising - but it is something else to carry around

Anyway the reason I was looking into this is my Tesla Wall Connector button failed.
Fortunately Tesla are now going to replace it
See the whole story here: Tesla Wall Connector - button not working - 2020.48.35.5

I did think about cutting the charging plug (see photo) so it would not be locked into the port. No one could steal a tethered cable and in the morning the car won't be charging so could just pull it out.

Lastly, why doesn't Tesla add a switch to the charging screen labelled "unlock charge port when charge is complete, at this location".
That way the user can decide to use the function, or not, and it would work for home & other locations...
 
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raymondotango

Member
Jan 20, 2021
9
4
London
Thanks everyone for your suggestions...

Using the app means taking the phone out of your pocket. - something I want to avoid
Tesla remote with Siri Shortcuts is for Iphone only - I've got an android
The special cable is too expensive - for me
Cable mod looks promising - I think it only needs a NC switch that adds a resistor in series to unlock the charge port
NFC tags
are useful - but you need to have your (android) phone open to use them
The Tesla key fob looks promising - but it is something else to carry around

Anyway the reason I was looking into this is my Tesla Wall Connector button failed.
Fortunately Tesla are now going to replace it
See the whole story here: Tesla Wall Connector - button not working - 2020.48.35.5

I did think about cutting the charging plug (see photo) so it would not be locked into the port. No one could steal a tethered cable and in the morning the car won't be charging so could just pull it out.

Lastly, why doesn't Tesla add a switch to the charging screen labelled "unlock charge port when charge is complete, at this location".
That way the user can decide to use the function, or not, and it would work for home & other locations...

What Android phone have you got? Although I'm not due to get my M3 until March I've been playing around with what I can do on my Samsung S21. I'm going to be using a combination of Tasker/Tesla Plugin for Tasker/Auto Voice and the new Samsung Smart Tag to autmate some features. On the smart tag, there is a button and I've worked out how to get this to work to operate certain functions that you can do from the app, i.e. open Froot/Frunk, open/close charge port etc.
 

26ct2143

Member
Nov 22, 2020
198
78
Burton-on-Trent, UK
For use at home:
I'm fairly sure you could use an ESP32 (on the WIFI) with a button attached.
Then with some code, you could go different ways, but for me I'd send an MQTT message when the button is pressed to my IOT server which would then trigger a Tesla API call in node-red to unlock the cable.
This is theoretical as I have not tried this (yet). But if I can do it via a local webpage, then it could be done by a button on the wall.

Edit: thinking further, it maybe possible to monitor the charger (in my case) and auto trigger the unlock once charging was over, therefore removing the need for the button on the wall.
However, I think on my Leaf, if you don't remove the cable within a certain time the car re-locks the cable in again.
 

kelvin 660

Member
Aug 21, 2020
215
142
Stonehouse
I did think about cutting the charging plug (see photo) so it would not be locked into the port. No one could steal a tethered cable and in the morning the car won't be charging so could just pull it out.


Forgot the photo in the thread above!

Plug.jpg
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Is that wise? If you could pull out a cable without unlocking it, you could just pull it out while it's charging - i.e. while there is 7kW going down it.

If you look at the connector you'll see that this has been thought of, with a shorter pilot pin that disconnects before the main power pins., The spec requires the charge point to isolate power within 100ms if this happens, although in reality most seem to be faster, between 30ms and 50ms is typical.

Adding a button on the connector to do this is easy, and the after market Tesla button kits include this function. In addition to the push button triggering a small RF transmitter to open the charge port flap, another pair of contacts open the pilot pin connection, forcing both isolation of the power and the unlatching of the pin that holds the connector locked in.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,244
2,240
Bath, UK
Fair enough. Not something I would be comfortable doing as a regular thing, though, as neither the car nor charger would be expecting it - so it would be errant behaviour. It could be that either the charger, or car, or both might enter a failure state if it occured too many times.

I presume there is a purpose to the handshaking between the car and charger when unlocking/locking, etc.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Fair enough. Not something I would be comfortable doing as a regular thing, though, as neither the car nor charger would be expecting it - so it would be errant behaviour. It could be that either the charger, or car, or both might enter a failure state if it occured too many times.

I presume there is a purpose to the handshaking between the car and charger when unlocking/locking, etc.

As far as the charger(s) or charge point are concerned this is both within the specification and little different from any other charge termination action, so it shouldn't cause any problems (assuming that Tesla have ensured the charger(s) comply with IEC61851 . . . ).
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
1,854
1,519
Norfolk
I have 3 NFC tags set up for charge port opening:

1. inside the front door (raining)
2. Side of the charger (dry)
3. Inside of the charge port door (away from home).
Probably a dumb question but, once a tag is activated and the port unlocks, does it re-lock within a certain period of time? If I wasn't quick enough my Hyundai used to lock again.
 

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,053
1,227
Chester UK
Probably a dumb question but, once a tag is activated and the port unlocks, does it re-lock within a certain period of time? If I wasn't quick enough my Hyundai used to lock again.
I haven't tried a delay or noticed that to be honest. In all 3 scenarios it stays open long enough for me to unwind & insert the charger.

For option one I do tend to have my shoes/coat on & it's the last thing I do before leaving the house. The rear of the car is usually close to the front door & the Zappi just a couple of feet away from the charge port.

Option 2 is used most frequently & the charger/car are close as above.

Option 3 is rarely necessary as I would normally open the port before getting out of the car or just press its door if still closed & the car unlocked.
 

SpareHeadOne

Member
Oct 27, 2020
303
182
UK
Probably a dumb question but, once a tag is activated and the port unlocks, does it re-lock within a certain period of time? If I wasn't quick enough my Hyundai used to lock again.

It does on mine, it's either 30 seconds or a minute. Can't remember which, I got into the habit of not unlocking it until I was stood there ready.
 

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