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Stuck charger: Differences between NEMA 14-50 and Supercharger cable?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by andyaycw, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. andyaycw

    andyaycw Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Garden Grove, CA
    I've read through some of the threads regarding charging cables being stuck, happened to me today at the San Diego Supercharger. Unlocked the car, and proceeded to try and pull the cable out but it wouldn't budge. Went to the center console to hit the unlock charge port, and tried unplugging the cable again but still nothing. Eventually I was able to get the cable out. I thought it was an issue with the cable, so I went to another charging stall but the same thing happened.

    I've used the Superchargers in Fountain Valley before and never had any issues pulling the cable out.

    When I arrived home, I tested out the port a few times with my NEMA 14-50 home setup and had no issues pulling it out.

    So the question is: are there any differences between my NEMA 14-50 cable and the Supercharger cables that could have caused the difficulties?
     
  2. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I had the same problem the first time I tried a Supercharger. After much fiddling, I finally asked another driver who was there charging if there was some trick to it, and he came over and yanked it right out. Turned out it just needed more force. I think it was due to natural variation in the dimensions of the port and plug, just because manufacturing isn't 100% perfect. It seems to have gotten easier with time as my charge port wears down a bit, or maybe just as I get used to it.

    When you pressed the button, did the charge port turn white and did you hear the big "thunk" indicating that the cable is unlocked? If so, then you probably just needed to pull harder.
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    As mikeash asks: did it unlock?

    If so, then I suspect the issue is indeed simply needing to apply more force.

    I believe that, although the shape/pin-layout of the supercharger and UMC/HPWC connectors are identical, the connector gets seated deeper for superchargers. Thus there's a greater amount of contact area for the pins (and in turn the connector housing itself). This just means more friction to overcome to insert/remove the connector.

    it wouldn't surprise me if thermal expansion as the connector heats up also plays a role...
     
  4. namlio

    namlio Member

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    Mar 3, 2016
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    Location:
    Sugar Land, TX
    Did you happen to notice the color of the light on the charge ring? I have goofed this myself a few times, especially if I interrupt the charging session. Press the button and pull if the light is white. It will not come out of the light is another color.
     
  5. andyaycw

    andyaycw Member

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    Location:
    Garden Grove, CA
    I did hear the "thunk" suggesting the port had unlocked, and it looked like the charge ring was either blue or white. Difficult to tell given how bright it was yesterday. It looked blue to me, so I held the button down waiting for it to turn white, never did...although eventually after about 20-30 yanks it finally came out. Maybe each of those 20-30 yanks loosened it little by little until finally it came out on the 31st attempt?

    It's possible I wasn't pulling hard enough. I was afraid I'd break something. I had used the Supercharger in Fountain Valley several times before and while I do recall having to pull harder compared to my home charger, it was only very slightly more difficult.

    Perhaps I should chalk this up as a lesson learned that different Superchargers may require more force due to the "natural variations of the port and plug", as mikeash mentioned.
     
  6. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    You had used Fountain Valley, huh? Isn’t that the one with the thinner liquid cooled cables that are more flexible? And this was a different location with the thicker cables? I’ve found that to be some of an issue sometimes, too. The stiffer cables sometimes have some resistance to their being curved to line up with the charge port so that they are creating some side pressure against the side of the charge port, which sometimes makes them hard to put in and out.


    Also, there’s a slightly different issue that sometimes comes up, which I have experienced. You push the cord in, and it locks the pin into the cable to hold it, but it was just barely past that locking point, and the pin is kind of wedged into the slot of the cable. Sometimes you need to give it a good shove harder into the port (doesn’t seem like it moves much) to give it a little room where that pin can freely move to retract. So I’ve had that where it wouldn’t unlock a couple times, and then you give it a solid push, and then it will unlock.
     
  7. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Always in Ludicrous mode

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    Los Angeles
    Im sure you probably know this already but its worth mentioning for anyone that doesn't

    You have to HOLD the button on the connector, the ring turns white and then you can remove the cable... If you just press and release the button it will flip white and then back to green etc thus not unlocking or allowing you to remove the connector
     
    • Informative x 2

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