thomash85715
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Modifying the OEM Panasonic EVSE?

Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:12 pm

I just got my 12 silver i-MiEV from a san diego dealer. It was transported to my house in tucson because there is a long stretch across the desert from yuma to gila bend where I would have run out of power. So far LOVING IT! Right now it is drinking its first level 1 charge from my carport plug using 880W according to my kill a watt box. I thought I had read somewhere (but cannot now find) something about bumping these EVSE devices up to more like 12 amps from the factory 8. How hard can that possibly be? A person with any soldering skill and wherewithal to order some small diodes or capacitors or whatever it would take should easily be able to help himself to faster charging. Thank you. --Tom in Tucson
In an insane society a sane man would appear insane.
Acquired 2012 silver ES April 2017.

Don
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:56 pm

thomash85715 wrote:I thought I had read somewhere (but cannot now find) something about bumping these EVSE devices up to more like 12 amps from the factory 8. How hard can that possibly be? A person with any soldering skill and wherewithal to order some small diodes or capacitors or whatever it would take should easily be able to help himself to faster charging
How hard could it be? Well, it's not simple to do and unless you can do some programming, you're not going to get the full output out of it

Here's the thread you're looking for: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1497

Starting on page 8 is some detail from someone who *thought* he had figured out how to do it himself. As you can see (or read) it didn't turn out all that well in the end

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
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:13 am

Tom, congratulations on your new purchase! The 400-mile trip from San Diego to Tucson IS possible and that long stretch across the desert would actually be doable (there are a few places you could stop to recharge), but not something a brand-new owner would want to undertake.

As you noted, the EVSE (not a charger - the charger is in the car) was limited (by Mitsu's fearful lawyers, I surmise) to a measly 8A. EVSEUpgrade.com offers a very elegant solution, programmable between 6A and 12A (120vac) or 6A and 13A (240vac). I've had a number of instances where I dialed down the current when plugged into old buildings' marginal wiring outlets.

I moved this thread over into the appropriate subforum, and, Tom, you might spend a bit of time perusing this website as there's a wealth of information here. Don't be afraid to ask questions, as there are plenty of people here willing to give you a hand.

Enjoy your new car, but, if I may suggest, in your heat don't normally fully charge it, and if you're going on a longer trip then fully charge it just before taking off.
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

thomash85715
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:25 pm

I have trouble in forums with where to put stuff. My searching ability must be poor as I never can find a past discussion on whatever it is I am thinking about. Thank you for being patient.
On Youtube is a guy with a LEAF EVSE that looks for all the world like ours. Maybe secretly made by panasonic? Anyway, he sticks a metal loop in the small pilot signal holes on the j1772 connector and turns the thing on then presses the silver lock button a specific number of times and it will alter the amp setting on the EVSE output. Does this constitute "programming?" The dashboard inside the car then shows the higher amp rate going in. But elsewhere I read that our charger (inside the car and yes I now get that) is set for 3.3 KW and not the 6.6 it needs to be for faster charge rate. But that makes no sense if our cars can be plugged into a level 2 commercial unit at a car dealer or municipal station. I just read the post you linked me to and five years ago Don replied with this:

Re: EVSE Upgrade
Report this postQuote
Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:38 pm

Think you'll like it Joe - As it was explained to me, they managed to do it without adding any new external components which would affect the watertight integrity of the 'brick' . . . . they use the existing three LED's on the unit to tell you what is going on, and you step through the adjustments using the button on the charge handle

So has anyone on here tried the paper clip and lock button flash method to increase amps to 12 over the original 8? This would be a huge boon for us who would rather not pay out $300 to have our EVSE altered. If we teach ourselves how to do this, it would be great. Thank you. --Tom H

.
In an insane society a sane man would appear insane.
Acquired 2012 silver ES April 2017.

wmcbrine
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:38 pm

(Answered the paperclip thing elsewhere.)

thomash85715 wrote:But elsewhere I read that our charger (inside the car and yes I now get that) is set for 3.3 KW and not the 6.6 it needs to be for faster charge rate. But that makes no sense if our cars can be plugged into a level 2 commercial unit at a car dealer or municipal station.

The 3.3 kW vs. 6.6 kW issue is unrelated to the matter of level 1 (120 volts) vs. level 2 (240 volts). Those are both level 2 rates.

120 V * 8 A = 0.96 kW, which is what the included EVSE does
120 V * 16 A = 1.92 kW, i-MiEV's theoretical maximum on level 1
240 V * 13.75 A = 3.3 kW, the i-MiEV's maximum rate on level 2
240 V * 27.5 A = 6.6 kW, the maximum rate on level 2 for some other cars

Don
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:24 pm

thomash85715 wrote:So has anyone on here tried the paper clip and lock button flash method to increase amps to 12 over the original 8? This would be a huge boon for us who would rather not pay out $300 to have our EVSE altered.
The paperclip adjustment procedure is for those units which have been modified by EVSE Upgrade

Yes, our charger is rated at 3.3 Kw. Your 8 amp unit is only capable of 960 watts. To recharge at the fastest rate the charger is capable of (about 5 hours from empty to full) you need an EVSE which can provide 240 volts at about 13.5 amps. An EVSE Upgraded unit can do 240 @ 13 amps

Yes, the Leaf EVSE is very similar to ours - Both are made by Panasonic. Ours came from the factory as an 8 amp, 120 volt only unit, the Leaf is a 12 amp, 120 volt only unit. Unfortunately, a used Leaf EVSE will probably cost you more than $300 and it can still only do 120 volts. Getting your unit upgraded is really worth the money if you intend to one day charge using 240 volts - It's cheaper than buying a new L2, 240 volt capable unit

The fastest way to recharge is Level 3, or DCQC and that does NOT use the charger built into the car - You get an 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Some iMiEV's can do Level 3 and some cannot. If your car has this option, you'll have a little lever beside the drivers seat which opens the Level 3 charge port on the drivers side of the car

Dozens of us here have had the EVSE Upgrade done on our stock units - It's the biggest bang for the buck out there and it's VERY reliable

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
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:50 pm

Tom, by "programming" I meant the paperclip method, which I consider a very elegant solution. It is a custom design mod by EVSEUpgrade.com. Here's my initial post on this -
http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1497&start=20#p9607

Being a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy when it comes to ensuring I have charging capability, I have not only had my Mitsu EVSEs upgraded but also have separate L1 and L2 EVSEs, and about a zillion adapters I take with me on long trips -
http://www.katiekat.net/Vehicles/Mitsi/EVSEAdaptersJoeS.pdf

Incidentally, don't feel bad - most of us have a heck of a time finding posts on this site, which is one reason I try not to get us off-topic too far. ;)
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

thomash85715
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:58 pm

If a person puts a 240VAC plug (via adaptation) on a stock factory unmodified EVSE that came with a '12 i-miev ES, and plugs it into a 240vac dryer plug, will it blow up and be toast? Or will it know what to do and send 3.3 kw to the car charger in a happy handshake?
Thank you all for explaining this to a new hatchling. I now totally get the differences among the various levels of charging. But still wondering about the canadian advantage? Where does the 12 amp handshake originate? In a special EVSE or in a different charger in the car itself?
In an insane society a sane man would appear insane.
Acquired 2012 silver ES April 2017.

PV1
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:29 am

Feeding the stock EVSE 240 volts will blow out the power supply inside that powers the control circuit.
"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

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Don
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Re: Modifying the EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:19 am

thomash85715 wrote:Thank you all for explaining this to a new hatchling. I now totally get the differences among the various levels of charging. But still wondering about the canadian advantage? Where does the 12 amp handshake originate? In a special EVSE or in a different charger in the car itself?
The charger in the car is the same for all models - The handshake and the current setting are programmed in the EVSE. You could replace the power transformer in your EVSE with the 240 volt one as explained beginning on page 8 of the EVSE Upgrade thread and you would then have both 120 and 240 volts, but you'll still be limited to just 8 amps. No one here (so far) has figured out how to reprogram the EVSE for either higher amps or adjustable amps like the folks at EVSE Upgrade are doing

I think if you bought either a Canadian EVSE, or a Leaf EVSE and replaced the transformer you would probably have what you're looking for - 12 amps on both 120 and 240 . . . . but it's still cheaper just to have the folks at EVSE Upgrade work their magic on the one you have

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

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