Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Type 2 charging cable - 'Tesla button' retrofit

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
Moderator comment - Please consult a qualified electrician before attempting work such as this.

Hi Everyone,

I've long been slightly irked by having to pull my phone out to unlock the charging cable, wait while the car wakes up etc. It's a bit of a faff in the rain and I'm lazy!. I've been searching for a way to retrofit a 'Tesla button' to my existing charging cable, and found that 'EV Charge King' in the Netherlands do a DIY retrofit kit that can add this function to your existing type 2 cable. See Tesla retrofit button kit - evChargeking for details.

Better still, it supports charging cables that don't have 3v feed from the charger, or rather, cables that aren't wired for that by allowing use of a CR2032-type Lithium button cell. Stupidly, I forgot to order one with my retrofit kit, so I soldered some fly leads directly to a CR2032 cell and insulated it (a bit sketchy!).

Installation is a matter of finding a space to install the button in the connector shell, drilling a 16mm hole. Next step is to cut the PP/PE link, which has either a 220 Ohm (for 32A cable) or 680 Ohm (for 16A cable) in line. The circuit board provides the correct resistance, but you must order either the 16A or 32A version of the kit as needed.
  • red wire to +3.3V (or positive terminal of 3v coin cell, if fitted)
  • green wire goes to PE terminal of connector and negative terminal of the coin cell, if fitted
  • purple wire goes to the PP terminal of the connector
  • grey wires go to the pushbutton switch
Having spliced and soldered the wires and heatshrinked them, it's just a question of finding some space to put the coin cell and the circuit board. I have a 32A three phase cable, so space is pretty tight, but I managed to find some space near the power terminals. Reassembly requires a bit of care to make sure that the power cables are routed correctly and not pinchedby the shell as you screw it back together.

Testing:
  • Pressing the button causes the flap to open
  • Inserting the charging cable locks the cable in place, as normal
  • Pressing the button while locked will release it
  • If the car is charging, pressing the button will stop the charge, and unlock the cable.

All in all, an easy enough job if you can solder and it gives a great improvement in usability.

Regards
Alex
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,137
3,096
Scotland
I've long been slightly irked by having to pull my phone out to unlock the charging cable, wait while the car wakes up etc.

Nice description of a useful mod. However it should be pointed out that the car doesn't need to fully wake up to unlock the cable just using your phone. As I have to walk to my car a distance from the door there's more than enough time to have my phone out ready to tap the unlock button on the app to release the cable. Not as handy as a bespoke button on the cable but I don't find it a hardship.
 

Mrklaw

Member
Mar 5, 2020
419
222
Berkshire
It sounds straightforward but I don’t want to be modding anything electric. Any reason you couldn’t make a female-male short extension with the button built in?
 
  • Like
Reactions: goRt

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
It sounds straightforward but I don’t want to be modding anything electric. Any reason you couldn’t make a female-male short extension with the button built in?
I haven't seen anything of the sort, but maybe it exists. Of course, they sell made-up cables with the button, but as I already had a 5M 3 Phase lead and can solder, I did it to save approx 220 euros. The job is quite straight-forwards for those with basic soldering skills, or the skills/ability to crimp some wires together, but that's not an option for everyone.

I haven't seen anyone else retailing ready-made cables with the button, but I might be wrong. This kit doesn't rely on a 3.3 low voltage feed from the charger - I used a Lithium coin cell (CR2025 or CR2032) - I presume that is realised with the Tesla wall connector via additional conductors to provide a permanent low voltage source for the radio transponder.
 

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
Nice description of a useful mod. However it should be pointed out that the car doesn't need to fully wake up to unlock the cable just using your phone. As I have to walk to my car a distance from the door there's more than enough time to have my phone out ready to tap the unlock button on the app to release the cable. Not as handy as a bespoke button on the cable but I don't find it a hardship.
Agreed - That's what I've been doing until now too - I found it quicker to unlock the door and manually press the 'unlock charger' button than to do it via the app. The button takes care of it without me needing to use my phone, so it's a (very) slight saving in faff and time :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Adopado

tridge

Member
Mar 15, 2021
40
12
Birmingham, UK
Hi Everyone,

I've long been slightly irked by having to pull my phone out to unlock the charging cable, wait while the car wakes up etc. It's a bit of a faff in the rain and I'm lazy!. I've been searching for a way to retrofit a 'Tesla button' to my existing charging cable, and found that 'EV Charge King' in the Netherlands do a DIY retrofit kit that can add this function to your existing type 2 cable. See Tesla retrofit button kit - evChargeking for details.

Better still, it supports charging cables that don't have 3v feed from the charger, or rather, cables that aren't wired for that by allowing use of a CR2032-type Lithium button cell. Stupidly, I forgot to order one with my retrofit kit, so I soldered some fly leads directly to a CR2032 cell and insulated it (a bit sketchy!).

Installation is a matter of finding a space to install the button in the connector shell, drilling a 16mm hole. Next step is to cut the PP/PE link, which has either a 220 Ohm (for 32A cable) or 680 Ohm (for 16A cable) in line. The circuit board provides the correct resistance, but you must order either the 16A or 32A version of the kit as needed.
  • red wire to +3.3V (or positive terminal of 3v coin cell, if fitted)
  • green wire goes to PE terminal of connector and negative terminal of the coin cell, if fitted
  • purple wire goes to the PP terminal of the connector
  • grey wires go to the pushbutton switch
Having spliced and soldered the wires and heatshrinked them, it's just a question of finding some space to put the coin cell and the circuit board. I have a 32A three phase cable, so space is pretty tight, but I managed to find some space near the power terminals. Reassembly requires a bit of care to make sure that the power cables are routed correctly and not pinchedby the shell as you screw it back together.

Testing:
  • Pressing the button causes the flap to open
  • Inserting the charging cable locks the cable in place, as normal
  • Pressing the button while locked will release it
  • If the car is charging, pressing the button will stop the charge, and unlock the cable.

All in all, an easy enough job if you can solder and it gives a great improvement in usability.

Regards
Alex
Which charger did you do this with please? I'd be tempted to modify my podpoint cable if possible if anyone has tried that? If not then the replacement cable with the button already installed from evchargeking is a tempting albeit more expensive alternative which I'm struggling to justify...
 

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
Which charger did you do this with please? I'd be tempted to modify my podpoint cable if possible if anyone has tried that? If not then the replacement cable with the button already installed from evchargeking is a tempting albeit more expensive alternative which I'm struggling to justify...
Is your Podpoint cable captive?. I can't remember who I bought my cable from, but it is a fairly standard Menekes type 2 connector. My cable is a three phase type, so it has less space for the circuit, battery and battery than a single phase cable, due to the four 2.5mm conductors.

I'd check that you can open the headshell, and have a look inside. The button has an interior mounting depth of approx 8-10mm, so it needs to be drilled in a place that doesn't have internal mouldings, strain relief etc. The mounting hole needs a 16mm hole to be drilled in a flat section of the headshell.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Alex
 
  • Like
Reactions: tridge

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
470
322
Surrey, UK
I have a PodPoint and had a look inside the plug. Sadly, not enough space for a button due to the design of the plug. I have instead bought a full plug replacement kit from evchargeking, however this will require cutting off the pins on the existing plug and crimping on the new pins. Not an easy task without a professional crimping tool that can do 6mm cable!

My Zappi was far easier as they do a straight plug casing replacement kit that doesn’t require removing any pins.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tridge

CMc1

supercharge.info editor
Supporting Member
Aug 2, 2019
1,549
1,423
North, UK
I have a PodPoint and had a look inside the plug. Sadly, not enough space for a button due to the design of the plug. I have instead bought a full plug replacement kit from evchargeking, however this will require cutting off the pins on the existing plug and crimping on the new pins. Not an easy task without a professional crimping tool that can do 6mm cable!

My Zappi was far easier as they do a straight plug casing replacement kit that doesn’t require removing any pins.
Was it the €60 or the €120 kit for the Zappi? I can’t figure out the difference
 

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
I wouldn't take on trying to crimp a cable connector with chunky cables, particularly in a high current application. Without a gas-tight crimp, corrosion will degrade the connection over time. Buying an appropriate crimping tool to re-terminate the cable would probably cost more than a pre-made cable.

Just a thought - Maybe the Menekes type 2 connector and it's termination can be swapped into a different, bigger headshell?. I'd bet that they are essentially standard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Adopado and goRt

tridge

Member
Mar 15, 2021
40
12
Birmingham, UK
It's a tethered podpoint. That's interesting to know there's no room in the existing plug @Cardo, thanks. I was considering the whole replacement cable and plug pigtail evchargeking sell, as far as I can tell that's a straightforward terminal block type change over inside the podpoint (?). As I said though, the most expensive option by far and I probably would have been better off with a tesla charger if I go down that route.
 
Last edited:

pp61

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
1,371
63
Switzerland
I installed this system a few years ago too and works well. No need to touch the high voltage wires.
However, not needed anymore after Tesla updated the functionality of the button at the charge port of the Tesla X and S with automatically closing charge doors.
 

AlexMasters

Member
Mar 14, 2020
85
68
Kingston Upon Thames
I note that the Moderators have added safety disclaimers on my original post, which I should have done myself. Please don't try this sort of thing unless you know what you're doing!. My post was for modifying a detachable cable, rather than a tethered cable, but....

If you are modifying a tethered cable, ensure that you can positively confirm that the charger is fully isolated from the mains - if you are in any way unsure, consult a qualified electrician - Take no chances with safety!

Having said all of that, this device involves splicing the CP/PE connection, which is low voltage. Ensure that all connections are made securely and properly insulated to avoid any possibility of shorts. The HV connections are completely untouched, and on my cable, there are no exposed mains-potential connections.
 

quentinsf

Member
Oct 20, 2020
40
24
Cambridge, UK
I normally unlock mine using a couple of clicks on my Apple Watch, but it still has to wait for things to wake up, so a button would be quicker, and I've wondered about this.

I don't have a 3v feed going down my cable and I was wondering how close you actually have to be to open the port with the retrofit kit? If I mounted the button in my charger rather than in the plug casing, would it be likely to work from two or three metres away?
 

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
470
322
Surrey, UK
Was it the €60 or the €120 kit for the Zappi? I can’t figure out the difference
I got the €60 kit for the Zappi. I have a Zappi v1 which has (had) the Duosida plug. The replacement plug case is compatible with the type 2 bit on the end, so it’s a simple outer casing swap and replacing the resistor with the button wiring (snip and solder).
I wouldn't take on trying to crimp a cable connector with chunky cables, particularly in a high current application. Without a gas-tight crimp, corrosion will degrade the connection over time. Buying an appropriate crimping tool to re-terminate the cable would probably cost more than a pre-made cable.

Just a thought - Maybe the Menekes type 2 connector and it's termination can be swapped into a different, bigger headshell?. I'd bet that they are essentially standard.
In true everyone doing their own thing fashion, not all type 2 connector bits are made equally, with different mouldings for fitting the outer casings. As per my above comment, there is a simple retrofit kit if the existing plug is a Duosida.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: CMc1

Nickdp

Member
Feb 7, 2015
154
104
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Buy the mini connector kit, discard the blue shells and keep the button in your pocket or on your keyring.
One press on fob to unlock the car then one press of the evchargeking button to release the charging connector (or one long press on the top-back on the fob (Model S & X) also unlocks the connector).
 

Neilman

Member
Mar 27, 2020
313
182
Southampton, UK
Buy the mini connector kit, discard the blue shells and keep the button in your pocket or on your keyring.
One press on fob to unlock the car then one press of the evchargeking button to release the charging connector (or one long press on the top-back on the fob (Model S & X) also unlocks the connector).
The fob works the same for Model 3.
Long press on the 'boot' button opens the charge flap and, after charging will release the cable.
If you're going to spend anywhere near £100 modifying a single cable you'd be better off spending £140 on the fob which works with every type-2 cable and you get all its other functions as well :)
(and you don't invalidate any charge cable warranties)
 

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
470
322
Surrey, UK
The fob works the same for Model 3.
Long press on the 'boot' button opens the charge flap and, after charging will release the cable.
If you're going to spend anywhere near £100 modifying a single cable you'd be better off spending £140 on the fob which works with every type-2 cable and you get all its other functions as well :)
(and you don't invalidate any charge cable warranties)
…and is another item to carry around.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top