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What adapters should I buy??

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Moparposterchild, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Moparposterchild

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    I see on Tesla's site they offer more than a few different plug adapters. All of this is new to me, so I'm trying to figure out which ones I should purchase. I live in the Los Angeles area and would like to buy the necessary adapters to take advantage of public charging stations and to also be prepared in the event of an emergency when I could be forced to use whatever might be available on a road trip. Thanks.
     
  2. andydoty

    andydoty Member

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    My understanding is that the UMC comes with a 5-15 and 14-50 as well as the car comes with the J1772 which should be fine for most situations. To be honest, I'm buying all of them (10-30,14-30,5-20, etc.). I have a friend that has a machine shop and I may need to visit sometimes, so I want to be prepared for all contingencies. For $45/adapter in relation to the cost of car really isn't very costly. BTW, I'm slated to pick mine up on Wednesday (fingers crossed).
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    There are even more adaptors for other plug types. See For Tesla Model S

    This year I am taking trips to places where I will need an L6-20P and a NEMA 10-30 adaptor and I bought them from that website.

    I can't answer your question specifically except to say that the adaptors that Tesla offers are for the most common American plug types, but there are several other types that you might possibly need in an emergency. However I am not advocating you buy every possible plug adaptor type. You have to consider where you are driving to and plan for what you are likely to need.
     
  4. bevguy

    bevguy Member

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    I have extra adapters for RV 30 and any necessary to plug alternate sources into my heavy duty 30 ft 14-50 extension cord,. That way J 1772, home 5-15 110 volt, RV 50, home 14-50, and 30 amp 240 volt electric clothes dryer are all available with a 30 ft extra length beyond the UMC that comes with the car. Probably seldom or never used but nice if you are in the boonies and low on juice.
    Any extension cord must have heavy enough wire to carry the maximum current used with less than a 1% voltage drop. Test the extension cord and adapters before depending on them.
     
  5. FlasherZ

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

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    1% is a bit tight tolerance. I wouldn't worry at anything under 5% or so. Of course, if you can get by without an extension cord, even better yet. :) See the FAQ in my signature.
     
  6. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Since they're relatively cheap, I just bought all of them. I've yet to use anything other than 5-15 or 14-50 but some of that is my tolerance (or lack thereof) to find anything other than public stations which are usually J1772 around here; part of it is also that I almost never need to charge away from home.
     
  7. wcalvin

    wcalvin Member

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    #7 wcalvin, Apr 6, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
    I'm dealing with "house" wiring (to the far corner of my condo parking lot) far worse than any extension cord. Two ohms source resistance, so drawing a mere 7 amps drops 119v (the first voltage you see before it starts ramping up current) to 105v, which is the cutoff for the charger's operating range; don't know the cutoff for 220v. Since source voltage will vary somewhat during the night, set your current to stay a few volts above 105.

    You calculate your own source resistance (house wiring plus any extension cord) by subtracting the final voltage from the initial one (119-105=14v) and dividing by the current in amps (7a) to get the resistance R (2 ohms). You can do it with, and without, an extension cord to see how much resistance it adds.

    Thick wire serves to avoid heat loss along the wire length, which equals RI^2 or 98 watts in the above example. Well worth it for fixed wiring and "permanent" extension cords.

    But for temporary extensions when visiting, these are the considerations as I see them:

    1. Avoid voltage drops that take you below the operating range of the charger (105v in example) by setting the current limit to 5 in a new situation. Then increase current, watching that voltage drop. If you start high, you may have to unplug the UMC from the car to restart charging after the charger trips.

    2. Plugs and receptacles are the problems to focus on: if they feel hot, you don't have a good contact; unplug and scrape plug blades clean. So start by buying a new extension cord with clean blades on the plug end. But the wire size is secondary; thick wire just serves to reduce resistive losses a little along the wire length (that 98 watts above is spread out over 300 feet; you would not feel it as warm).

    Hot extension cords spell trouble at a nearby connector, not usually trouble with the wire itself (except for old cords).

    Any suggested modifications?
     
  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    You don't need to buy anything to take advantage of probably 99% of public charging stations. They're J1772 (level 2) charging stations and the car comes with a J1772 adapter. The only other public charging station is Chademo and that $1000 adapter isn't available yet. If you don't know what Chademo is you probably don't need the adapter.

    All of the adapters currently for sale are for electrical outlets other than the usual 120v 15A household outlet and the 240V 50A RV type outlet that most owners install in their garage. You could buy them to be prepared but will probably never use them, unless you intend to visit someone in another city and plug into their dryer outlet.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Or you hang out with your racing buddies and use their welder receptacle.
     
  10. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Generally, you don't use these adapters in emergencies. You'll use them when going on a road trip and charging overnight on whatever is available.

    I find Tesla's NEMA 5-20 adapter to be useful when only a 120V plug is available - newer condos will often have the 20A sockets available.

    Then you can buy the 14-30 and 10-30 adapters if you think you'll find a dryer receptacle within 20 feet of your car.

    There are others you may want - if you visit marinas, large construction projects, etc. They are outlined, along with instructions on how to use a 50A extension cord, here: http://cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf
     
  11. invisik

    invisik Member

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    I also bought them all, but I'm paranoid and it wasn't that expensive to get them. I leave home fully charged so I never really need them for daily driving. Someday for a trip. My new office building has agreed to install me a 14-50 in my parking spot!! How great is that!?

    -m
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    A 14-50? Wow that's generous. That should work for a little while until another coworker gets an electric car. Then let the parking spot wars begin...
     
  13. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I took quite a few road trips last year. I concluded, after a few snafus, that the inconvenience of not having some random adapter was worth making the investment in all of them, even a couple third party one's. inconvenience is not measured just by frequency, with a family of 4, getting stranded even infrequently just isn't worth the risk. If your someone who plans to venture away from home and off the Tesla Super Charging grid, it's best to be prepared for just about anything.
     
  14. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I got them all for the same reasons as some other folks. It was cheap insurance for a road trip. Though, depending on where you live and where you're going, it's becoming less relevant. My road trips are all covered by superchargers at this point. Still, it's nice peace of mind to have a bag full of adapters in the trunk, just in case.
     

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