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Warning: Rainbow easter egg on charge port may be harmful to your EVSE

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by FlasherZ, May 13, 2016.

  1. FlasherZ

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

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    #1 FlasherZ, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    Today my HPWC, a trusty device delivering for 3 1/2 years, decided to give up the ghost. It's a failure of the main board.

    Over the past week, as evidenced by my app's notifications on my phone, my kids have enjoyed playing with the rainbow charge-port easter egg about 20 times.

    I recommend not exercising this easter egg repeatedly, it may have had something to do with my HPWC failure. While correlation does not imply causation, it's probably not good for the EVSE.

    To make the rainbow charger easter egg work, you have to click the charger button 10 times. If the car has already started charging, it causes the contactors in the HPWC or UMC to disengage and re-engage repeatedly, and exercises the proximity circuits repeatedly as well.

    In my case the main board of HPWC failed. As I note, correlation doesn't imply causation, but in an abundance of caution, I'd avoid over-exercising the rainbow charging easter egg.

    I also noted it here:
    HPWC failure
     
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  2. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Why the contactors should cycle on a button press, I still don't know. Seems like a bug.
     
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  3. FlasherZ

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

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    It needs to react and disconnect power so that you can pull the connector from the car safely.
     
  4. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    But it doesn't do that. It cycles the power and the latch. What the button should do is what happens when you hold down the trunk button.

    The main problem with this is usually the contactors close/open with no current being pulled by the car. When you do this, you're at full current.
     
  5. Kalud

    Kalud Member

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    Best way I've found for the Easter egg, set scheduled charging (blue charge port).
     
  6. trigga71

    trigga71 Member

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    I did it just to see if my car had the easter egg. It didn't sound healthy so it was the first and last time I did it. From my previous S60 and now S85 my HPWC has about 40K miles worth of charging.
     
  7. FlasherZ

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

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    Can you say a bit more? When the car is charging, and I push the button on the handle, it disconnects/opens the contactor and unlatches the port so that I can pull the connector out of the car. It's the same thing that happens when I use the latch on a J1772 connector.

    It doesn't do that for you?

    That means that when you do the easter egg after the car has started charging, it cycles the contactors because you aren't pulling the handle out of the car.
     
  8. Skione65

    Skione65 Member

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    @FlasherZ,

    What is the Tesla Warranty on the HPWC?

    Skione65
     
  9. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    I've never been able to unplug by pressing the button, I always long-press the trunk on the fob, which stops the charging, turns the port white, and unlatches it. When I press the button the contactor clicks off and then rapidly back on again, without even unlatching the plug. But I admit that was several firmware updates ago, I've had no reason to check if they fixed it again, I will go check again now. I did try several times to reproduce the easter egg, and off course the contactor was going crazy while doing it.
     
  10. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Just tried it again. If the car is locked and you press the button, it immediately cycles to contactors, does nothing else. It should do *nothing*. I do get white now if it's unlocked, but the latch is usually slow to respond, who knows if it I will be able to pull it out before it cycles back on, but it shouldn't cycle back on immediately anyway. i.e. it shouldn't be dangerous to get the easter egg.

    If only as much effort was put into making sure things work *right* as putting in easter eggs.
     
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  11. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    It sounds like it's working "right". It should disconnect the power when you press the button. This is part of the J1772 specification and seems like a good safety feature. After power is disconnected, it is safe to release the latch and pull the plug out. I don't know why you would want it to keep power connected when you're trying to unplug it.
     
  12. davewill

    davewill Member

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    #12 davewill, May 14, 2016
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
    I don't think that behavior is required. The LEAF doesn't open the contractors when you press the button, it only stops drawing current, which is all you need to pull the plug safely. If you release the button, it starts charging again without cycling the contactors. If you pull the plug, the pilot is disconnected and the contactors open. I always thought this made more sense. If they had wanted the contactors to open, they could have had the switch just interrupt the pilot signal.
     
  13. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    We can go back and forth on what is *right*, but let's talk about what's concrete. If the car is locked, the port will not unlatch and you cannot unplug. Why does the contactor cycle?

    also note - you can't tell when the car is unlocked, unless the door handles have just extended.
     
  14. FlasherZ

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

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    That's a requirement of the J1772 spec. The button is physically connected to the proximity line. J1772 doesn't know whether the car is unlocked or locked, and as a result it *must* disconnect the power in case the connector is pulled.

    The J1772 adapter is a good example. Use a real J1772 station with the adapter, and the locking pin of the port can only hold in the adapter, not the J1772 connector plugged into the adapter. You need the power to stop flowing so that you can pull the coupler.
     
  15. FlasherZ

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

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    Because it's a J1772 spec system. If the locking pin is broken on the car so that it can't hold the connector in, you don't want to disconnect 80A under load.
     
  16. FlasherZ

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

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    Years ago, you could purchase it with the car and it came with the same warranty as the car.

    As I understand it, it's now considered an accessory and is 1 year.
     
  17. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Well supposedly J1772 protocol is only fallback now for Tesla, they have a proprietary digital protocol. But regardless, clearly the cable still has the pilot signal, and has no need to disconnect the contactors until pilot goes away, even if the latching pin in broken. What happens if somehow the pilot signal sticks you say? Well the contactors will close again just like they do while it's plugged in.

    Not to mention that this is the Tesla only side of the connection, it's not even dealing with interoperability issues.

    Anyway, this is just poor implementation, the details of how it was arrived at aren't that relevant. Working on software I'm used to hear sob stories about how crappy things got to the way they are and why they can't be fixed, it's just a cover for laziness and inter-team political quagmire.
     
  18. FlasherZ

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

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    #18 FlasherZ, May 14, 2016
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
    I suppose you can look at it that way, but I disagree. I view it as a safety measure that the button disconnects the power, even when the car is locked. I've heard the same sob stories you have - this one isn't a sob story or sloppy programming - it's planned to be this way.

    As for the digital signaling, that still doesn't apply to the UMC or the older revisions of the HPWC. In my case, it was one of the older HPWC's that disconnects. Perhaps the new HPWC's will act differently.
     
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  19. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    This easter egg is cool to show people but seems to have been poorly implemented. When I press the charge cable button in succession the relays vary from doing nothing at all to clicking with every button push. I don't know what's different with the car when they actuate with every button push from when they don't. Either way, it's needless wear on components with a finite life.

    I mean don't get me wrong. It's cool to look at and cool to show people but the first time I did it and the relays started disengaging/ engaging with every click I wondered to myself how they'd ever let this out.
     
  20. FlasherZ

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

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    If the car has started charging, the contactors will click. If the car has not started charging (or is configured for scheduled charging), then it will not.
     

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