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What additional adapters to buy?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by theredviper, May 27, 2018.

  1. theredviper

    theredviper Member

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    I'm getting a Model 3 in the very short term and wondering what extra charging adapters I should consider. Apologies if this question has been asked but I couldn't find a similar thread.

    The car comes with a 5-15 and a 14-50 adapter. Looking at the additional options there are 6 more adapters. What I would like is the most common 1-2 higher voltage adapters.

    I'm no expert, but it seems like the 14-50 is the standard "RV" plug, which will come in useful. 5-15 is of course useful in a pinch.

    Any advice? I'm in Canada as far as electrical standards go.

    thanks.
     
  2. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I think the most useful adapter is the one not supported yet: Chademo. Hopefully they will eventually add that.

    Otherwise, it really depends on how far afield you plan on traveling off the supercharging network. Here in the US, the 10-30 adapter is useful as it is a common electric dryer plug connection. The other one I want but don’t have yet is an RV park TT-30. Tesla doesn’t make that one though, so you have to get it from an alternative source.

    The other useful thing to keep is a heavy gage extension cord. We went camping a few weekends ago and had access to 120V charging, but not close enough for the mobile connector. Had my trusty 12 gage extension cord so was able to plug in the car while we camped and get enough juice over the trip to avoid a supercharger stop on the way home.
     
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  3. theredviper

    theredviper Member

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    Thanks. Yes Chademo would be awesome, even at the price. I really hope it is supported soon on the 3. We have an always-improving SC network here, as well as a good buildout of Chademo on some of the lesser used highways.

    My purpose for the additional adapter was for when I'm at some hotel or cabin off the beaten path and offered use of a good 220V power source but sadly can't plug in. I was primarily looking at the 14-30.

    Good tip on the extension cord, I'll add that to the list.
     
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    You can even get 240V capable extension cords at RV shops for 14-50, so that might be useful as well. Or you can make them yourself if you have some electrical knowledge.

    I think the other one people mention is the 5-20 adapter. You can find 5-20 capable plugs outside hotels sometimes if they use them for lawn equipment, etc. It gives a few extra mph over the regular 5-15.
     
  5. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    InternetDude, from Regina, made a video on charging on from TT-30, you may have to make adjustments.
     
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  6. ranss12

    ranss12 Member

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    Does the car come with the J-1772 adapter?
     
  7. Graffi

    Graffi Member

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    We borrowed the Chademo adapter for our first cross-country trip last year and even with all the miles we drove and places we visited, we never needed to use it. We could have made it with just the Superchargers, but did use a local Nissan dealer to J-1772 overnight the day we left my brother's home. A Supercharger was about 60 miles away, but over the days we stayed there we drove the car a lot and it would have been close making it to the Supercharger. I could have plugged into his 120v outlet on the carport, but did not need it. I called the Nissan dealer asking if we could use their J-1772 and was told "Sure, just let me know when you want it and I will make sure it is open for you." I think he was just excited to see a Long Distance cruising EV making a Coast-to-coast trip. It may have been the first Tesla they have seen in this small town.
     
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  8. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    Yes is included and should always be kept in the car. The J1772 adapter is for using EVSE chargers, which are the most common public chargers.

    The 5-15 and 14-50 adapters allow the UMC (the Universal Mobile Charger included with Teslas) to use different wall outlets. I only carry the UMC in the car for long trips away from home.

    If you visit long distance friends/relatives and there is no supercharger or other public charging around, it's sometimes handy to have a specific adapter for faster charging. If you are in no rush, the included 5-15 (i.e. the standard 110v wall outlet) works find and they are always available.

    Many people use 10-30 or 14-30 adapters since they are able to change a 24Amps @ 220v and those outlets are common for the washer/dryers, and will charge much more quickly (up to 7 times faster).

    Here is a handy charging time chart from Tesla for different outlet type:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    Here’s what I ordered:
    • 10-30 adapter - old-style 3 prong dryer outlets
    • 14-30 adapter - newer-style 4 prong dryer outlets
    • 5-20 dapater - slightly faster 120v charging - I have this outlet in the garage on the off chance my OpenEVSE ever decided to freak out
    • J1772 adapter - car comes with one, but I ordered an extra one. I’ll permanently leave one on the OpenEVSE unit in the garage and one in the car. I don’t want to have to remember to pack the adapter when I’m headed out of town
    Frankly, with the growth of the Supercharger network, including sites actually located in every city that I frequently visit that are 100+ miles from home, I doubt I’ll ever use a single one of these adapters. The pair of 30 amp adapters were for one of the places I visit, but a recent site opening makes that a non-issue. The extra J1772 adapter is the one that has the highest chance of actually getting used.
     
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  10. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    The TT-30 is probably the most common high power plug that you will find, it's is used for single air conditioner campers and available at just about every campground in the US. Not 220v, but kicks a lot of amps (3).

    AC WORKS EVSE Charging Adapter RV TT-30P 30 Amp Plug to 50 Amp Electric Vehicle Adapter for Tesla Model S-EVTT30MS - The Home Depot
     
  11. theredviper

    theredviper Member

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    Yes I was thinking of the 10-30 and 14-30. I'll live with 15A 120V if I have to.

    The extra J1772 is interesting. I suppose there is a risk of that breaking down from repeated use. Is there a real risk of forgetting it at a charging station, or having it stolen somehow? It's $95 (Canadian), so I want to be sure I need one. :)

    That looks worthwhile, thanks. We plan to do some camping at places likely to have plugs, this will help.
     
  12. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    You don’t need to buy any adapters as we did when the Model S came out, unless you know of a specific use you’re going to have for one. This is 2018, not 2013.
     
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  13. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    You don't need to worry about wearing out the one that comes with the car. It's well built and has no moving parts to break. You could accidentally leave it on a public charger. There have been a couple reports on TMC of that happening. You don't need to worry about it being stolen, since it's locked to the car when it's in use.
     
  14. theredviper

    theredviper Member

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    Perfect, thanks. I think I will skip the purchase for now.
     
  15. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Please don't recommend those anymore, for everyone's safety. That is doing a plug conversion from a 30 amp outlet type to a 50 amp outlet type and making the car use the 14-50 plug on the mobile connector. The user must then remember to manually set the current down to the proper level in order to avoid overloading the circuit. Back when Tesla didn't offer many alternatives, but everyone had a 14-50, we just had to make do with that.

    But now, with the new 2nd generation UMC, third party places are making real adapters for these kinds of things that do properly set the current limit for you, so you can't make a mistake and forget to dial down the current and overload the circuit. Here is the adapter for the 2nd gen UMC to a TT-30 outlet that does properly send the signal to the car to use 24 amps maximum. They have some others for other types of outlets too.
    https://www.evseadapters.com/collections/new-tesla-model-3-gen-2-charging-adapters/products/tt-30-adapter-for-tesla-model-s-x-3-gen-2
     
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  16. theredviper

    theredviper Member

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    Even better. But this begs the question as to why the TT-30 in particular isn't an option direct from Tesla? Especially if it is as popular in the wild as it appears to be.
     
  17. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

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    Exactly!!! I am *shocked* Tesla does not offer this as an option from the factory. TT-30 is EVERYWHERE in the USA (campgrounds + also at folks homes who plug in their RV at home).

    It is not very easy to build an adapter for it either to use some other existing Tesla adapter since the only 30a current limited adapters Tesla sells are for 240v and so building an adapter to go from TT-30 to those two connector styles would be not such a great idea.

    (I know there are third party adapters for TT-30 direct into the UMC but that sketches me out since folks have had to reverse engineer the Tesla signaling method - which I presume is just different resistor values - and build based on that - I am kind of surprised this works since the onboard charger getting a signal to limit to 24 amps + then only getting 120v is an indication that either something is horribly wrong with what is supposed to be a 240v feed, OR someone is using a 3rd party adapter for TT-30)

    P.S. I have heard some campgrounds have banned EV charging since their electrical systems can't handle it. They were built assuming folks never really draw that much current. I wonder if this factors into Tesla's decisions not to offer a TT-30 adapter...
     
  18. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Your main concerns are about the voltage levels, and while that does sound like it would be scary and a bad idea, the car and connections absolutely don't care a bit! So there is really no problem at all making plug adapters from any 30A outlet type to another 30A outlet type or 20A to 20A, no matter what the voltage is. The car does not flip out or detect any problem at all. It doesn't seem to be set up to "expect" any particular voltage. It does read the resistor value to figure out the current limit, but it will just look at the two incoming voltage pins and detect and use whatever is there--whether 120V or 240V. So it is safe and commonly done to make a TT-30 (120V) to 14-30 (240V) adapter or use the Tesla 5-20 plug (120V) to adapt it to a 6-20 outlet (240V). Those are all totally fine.
     
  19. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

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    I have heard this said before (that car does not care about voltage level - only charge rate amps) though it surprises me a little. I would think that Tesla might use a "hint" about expected voltages for a given plug style as part of their safety mechanisms to cut off charging if voltage is too low (i.e. loose connections or other issues). But yes, based on what I have read I suspect you are right.

    Part of my concern about building random adapters is what might happen in the wrong hands... While building an adapter to allow you to plug in your car to a TT-30 receptacle but using a Tesla charging "tip" that was a 240v style plug could cause an adapter to exist that would be dangerous in other situations. Like a 240v motor that then gets plugged into 120v and pulls too many amps due to the lower voltage...

    Moreover, I have wondered about making adapters what to do with Neutral. If you just have the NEMA 14-50 tip that comes with the car and you wanted to adapt that to TT-30 to plugin at a campground (and naturally you would need to limit the charging current manually in the car which is not great from a safety standpoint), what would you tie the neutral in the adapter to? You are going from a four prong plug to a three prong plug. Leaving neutral connected to nothing could create a DANGEROUS situation if someone used the adapter for anything other than a Tesla. I guess the logical thing to do would be to tie Ground to Ground, Neutral to Neutral, one of the Hots to Hot, and the other Hot to Neutral. That way the Tesla would see 120v from Hot to Hot and then any other un-intended user of the adapter would see 120v from hot to neutral on one leg, and 0v from the other hot to neutral on the other leg. They would see only 120v from hot to hot (which is bad) but not perhaps as bad as having a floating neutral or seeing 240v from a hot to neutral...

    Do you know if anyone has published specs on the resistor values for various different available charge currents for the various adapters Tesla sells? I would like to learn more about what available steppings are! Does the Tesla have any concept of various voltages around the world (what nominal is), or does it just assume whatever the voltage is when you plug in to be "nominal" and it monitors the change to that value over the charging session for safety purposes?

    P.S. I bought a NEMA 6-50 tip from Tesla for the exact purpose of being to use it as a "universal donor" plug for building adapters. Since it has no neutral pin it bypasses the "what to do with neutral" issue.
     
  20. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    You did answer your own question there. Weak or loose connections in the wiring will show themselves as a very resistive point in the circuit. To detect that, you won't see it if you just put a multimeter on it to read the voltage with no load on it. It will still say 120V or 240V with no current flowing. But then as you ramp up more and more current, it causes that resistive point to show a big voltage drop across it. So yes, that is what the car reads. It compares the initial voltage reading to the voltage when it increases the current. If the voltage sags a lot from that initlal no-load value, that shows the problem. And yes, the car does have a safety system where if it sees that voltage drop, it will try again at a much lower current to see if it's better. But as long as it stays steady near the initial value, it isn't going to matter whether that is 120 or 208 or 240.

    Yes, most people do highly recommend that you put some kind of marking label around these pigtail adapter cords that say "FOR TESLA CHARGING ONLY" or the like. It's for a very specific purpose, and you wouldn't just want to leave them around in a drawer for someone to find and misuse.

    I already mentioned in my previous comment, why I highly recommend to only do these adapters from the same amp levels, so the car will always set the amps correctly without people having to remember to do it. I was on a trip and arrived really late at night, so I was kind of tired, and as I hooked up my setup of 14-50 to a 10-30 dryer outlet, it started to ramp up the current, and then I remembered right then that I needed to lower it, and quickly did so, but that can be easy to forget. What I am going to do to fix that is to cut the Neutral pin off of my Tesla 14-30 adapter so that it can fit into the pigtail adapter cords I have which have 14-50 receptacles on them. That way I will be appropriately using 14-30 to 10-30 or TT-30, so the amps will always be correct. So now, that was a great segue to your next question about what to do with Neutral.

    Yes, that is an interesting thought. What is going on with a 4 prong to 3 prong conversion? Well, here is the secret. On all of those Tesla UMC adapter plugs they have, which have four prongs on them, like 14-50 or 14-30, one of them is a dummy that isn't connected to anything. It doesn't need anything but two pins for a voltage difference and a ground. Real outlets of that type are intended to have both 120V and 240V supplies available for use. But for charging a car, it only wants the highest voltage it can get. If there's 240V on two of the pins, it has no need for anything lower. So for making any of these converter pigtails, you never need to hook anything up to the Neutral pin of the 14-50 receptacle side, because the Tesla plug side is going to have no connection there anyway.

    So for any of these 120 to 240 conversion examples, the 120V outlet source has its voltage coming from a Hot wire and a Neutral wire. So to make this work for the Tesla to see it, you need to take those two wires and connect them as if they were on the 240V pins of Hot1 and Hot2. And yes, obviously missing Neutral wires are a terrible idea and can blow things up if you try to plug a mobile home into it, so don't ever do that and mark your adapters "FOR TESLA CHARGING ONLY".

    Yes, here's a comment that lists them.
    Any Solutions for 30/24 amp charging?
    But really, making these homemade pigtail adapters are now kind of a "ye olden dayes" thing, now that the 2nd generation Tesla UMC is out. For one thing, Tesla makes a LOT more adapters for it now, so you can usually just buy the one you want, instead of needing to make one. Plus, third party places are now making authentic-ish adapters that plug right into the UMC for the some of these outlets that Tesla doesn't sell adapters for, like TT-30. EVSEAdapters.com is one of the most well known places for this. Here are some of their adapters for TT-30, 6-30, and L6-20. These will signal the car with the proper current limit automatically.
    Tesla Model S / X / 3 Gen 2 Charging Adapters

    So this building adapters stuff isn't really needed anymore.
     
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