Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Thu May 04, 2017 2:49 pm

thomash85715 wrote:Right now am hoping for the czech solution to pan out. It seems like no one on here as built that yet. I would be the first! It all goes inside the j1772 connector head. I would write down the connections as they exist now on my factory EVSE before modifying it of course.
It never hurts to hope - Sometimes it doesn't work out and isn't money well spent . . . . and then you end up spending more for the 'correct' solution than it would have cost you if you had chosen it first

Not all J1772 plugs are the same - Some are larger and some are smaller. Make sure the kit you're thinking of trying will fit in your OEM connector. Whatever you spend, it's not going to give you L2 capability, which I would bet you is something you're going to want . . . . probably one day soon

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

thomash85715
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:05 am
Contact: Website Facebook

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Thu May 04, 2017 3:33 pm

The first challenge is opening up the J1772. It has some weird nut head I have never seen. It looks torx but is not. Has anyone opened one of these up? The EVSE takes the same tool whatever it is.
I thought there were multiple people on here who have said in so many words they have lived their entire i-MiEV lives on the factory level 1 charger. I took that as evidence that level 2 is not required for a happy life.
In an insane society a sane man would appear insane.
Acquired 2012 silver ES April 2017.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 8:58 am

It all depends on how you want to use the car. If it's for a predictable routine - To work 25 miles, home 25 miles, recharge overnight at 8 amps and same thing tomorrow, then the stock EVSE is all you'd need

But if you take a Saturday morning trip of 50 or 60 miles and then want to make another sizeable trip in the afternoon or evening, you'd be doing that in your ICE because the L1 charger isn't going to put it back quick enough to do that. We have those who are happy with L1 at 8 amps and then we have several folks who complain that the car didn't come with a 6.6 Kw charger like the later Leaf's do - It all depends on how you want to use the car

We have an L1 and an L2 EVSE mounted on the same board in the garage so we can select whatever we need for either of the cars and we probably average L2 recharging around 25% of the time - It used to be less, but we're both retired and our use of the cars is anything but predictable - We have an ICE, but we both hate to drive it around town. If we're not in a hurry, we usually charge L1 at 12 amps, but we would not be one of those who could live day to day on L1 alone

A couple weeks after we bought the car (before the Upgrade Service was available) we ran down to Home Depot and bought a 12 amp L1 EVSE for $369 - It had already become obvious 8 amps wasn't going to cut it. I used it for a week or so and noticed that the cord running to the car got uncomfortably warm and after several discussions with both Home Depot and the company that built the EVSE, I took it back and got a refund. At that point, we decided to cool our jets a bit and live with the car for a while to see what we really wanted/needed. When EVSE Upgrade came along, we jumped on that, as it was about $75 less money than the L1 12 amp unit we had returned to Home Depot and the upgrade was L2 capable. Ours was one of their earliest versions and it does not have the 'paperclip' adjustable feature

6 months or so later I built myself an Open EVSE which does have adjustable current and we tinkered with that for a few months. In the end, we quit messing with the current adjustments and use wither L1 or L2 as needed, both set at 12 amps. The Open EVSE on L2 will do 16 amps and if I wanted the fastest charge possible, I would need to set it for either 14 or 16, but we just leave it at 12 - That's about 90% as fast as the 3.3 Kw charger can do and I'm more comfortable not running it flat out all the time

My suggestion to you was - Figure out what you're pretty sure you'll want/need before you spend the least $$$ possible, only to discover later on that you wish you had gone in another direction, like we did - Luckily, we were able to get our money back. I know you hate to pay 'retail' but the upgrade service isn't really 'retail' as it's about half what a bulletproof, portable EVSE (which the Panasonic unit certainly is) would cost you if you bought it outright - It's the least expensive, most reliable thing of it's kind. Part of the cost is the 120/240 cord with the twist-lock plug they install on it. You put whichever pigtail you like on that plug and you can recharge from just about any outlet, anywhere. Use that feature once or twice and you'll be VERY glad you bought it. You might not like spending the money, but if you do, I think you'll be happy with it. . Probably much happier than you'd be with something you cobble into the J1772 connector which only gives you L1 at 12 amps

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

wmcbrine
Posts: 307
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 am
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact: Website

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 9:41 am

L2 charging is more efficient than L1 (i.e. it takes less overall power from the wall to achieve the same state of charge). And my L2 EVSEs (first OpenEVSE, now JuiceBox) have never gotten warm to the touch (although the temperature reported by their internal thermometers does rise, but it remains well within specs). Of course, they're rated for 40 amps, and I only run them at 13.75 (i-MiEV's max). :) But to choose L1 when L2 is available, or to limit the amps below what the i-MiEV will draw (and the circuit supports)... this, I don't really understand.

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 11:08 am

wmcbrine, I agree with you :!:

Incidentally, I discovered my power adapter problem when I plugged my JuiceBox into my L6-30 to 14-50 adapter (JuiceBox came with 14-50 plug) ... the metal case tingled :shock: :roll: :oops: As I wrote elsewhere, I subsequently hard-wired both N and G together within the adapter, and am still looking for an answer as to why that is unsafe?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 12:15 pm

wmcbrine wrote:But to choose L1 when L2 is available, or to limit the amps below what the i-MiEV will draw (and the circuit supports)... this, I don't really understand.
Joe 'agrees', but I know he charges using L1 a good bit too

We try to very seldom charge to 'full' and we choose L1 over L2 when we need the charge to take longer - I want to unplug it at 8 PM (my phone chimes then to remind me to take my eye medicine) and I don't want it to be full . . . . and it would be if we'd plugged into L2

As for choosing 12 amps rather than 14 - 12 is fast enough for what I need and the cooling fan in the car seldom kicks in, so what's the harm? When we were playing around with the Open EVSE shortly after I built it, we frequently charged L2 at 8 or 10 amps before we settled on 12 and just left it there. Does it really have to make sense to anyone but me? :lol:

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 12:57 pm

Moving too fast lately ... what I agreed on was the concept of using reduced-current L1 (e.g., 8A or even 6A) when the source wiring couldn't handle more current, but also that L2 was more efficient and preferable in general; nevertheless, in winter I use L1 at reduced current overnight simply to extend the time the car is charging and thus keep the battery warm (or less-cold), although I've never looked at the battery temperature (using CaniOn) to see if that is actually the case after an overnight charge.

thomash85715, IMO you're spending way too much time over-analyzing this. You are presently using a stock Mitsu 8A L1 EVSE. I have a 12A 120vac Clipper Creek I can sell you for $150, although I think your best bet is to have EVSEUpgrade.com modify your EVSE to use both 120vac and 240vac, with the bonus of the rarely-needed adjustable input current. Getting that circuit board (and an internal power supply that will run off both 120vac and 240vac?) and tearing apart your existing Mitsu EVSE J1772 handle to stick that thing in, and heeding kiev's warning, risks putting your only EVSE out of commission.

Think of it as taking money you would have spent on gasoline and an oil/filter change and putting it into a "better" EVSE.

Don't discount the utility of using 240vac - most of my friends let me access their dryer outlets so I can get home...
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

PV1
Site Moderator
Posts: 2864
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:22 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Website

Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Fri May 05, 2017 1:34 pm

I do the same for the same reason. L1 charging definitely keeps the battery warmer than L2 charging for overnight charging. So, it's level 1 charging in the winter unless I need the L2 speed, and level 2 in the summer only unless it's not available. With my new weekend occupation (no, I didn't quit/change jobs, just a new hobby on the weekend), I regularly charge at 8 amps from a 120 volt outlet. I typically just take the stock EVSE that I got with Koorz with me, but every once in a while, I'll take my EVSEUpgraded unit and set it to 8 amps. The circuit I charge from is unknown to me, so I don't want to pull much more than that.

I agree with others. The EVSEUpgrade is one of the best deals, with no outward changes other than a different plug and different LED behavior, but with much more functionality. However, there are options in the OpenEVSE world, with a complete, 40 amp unit available for $479 (available for even less if you build it yourself).

https://store.openevse.com/collections/ ... y-openevse
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Modifying the OEM Panasonic EVSE?

Fri May 05, 2017 1:53 pm

Changed the thread title - "Modifying the EVSE charger" is misleading, especially to new users as the EVSE isn't a 'charger' and we're not talking about modifying the charger

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Return to “EVSE (Charging Stations)”