Level 2 Charging for under $20

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mowcowbell, May 7, 2019.

  1. Let me clarify a few things that may have been misunderstood.

    I installed an L14-30R receptacle, and an L14-30P plug onto my hangar door wiring, to enable me to plug my 240v hangar door into a 240v generator with the same L14-30R receptacle in the event of a power failure. As such, generator power is never being fed into the house wiring. This setup was conceived prior to thinking about using that 240v for charging the Clarity. As an aside, the hangar door needs no neutral, so none was run to it, and the neutral lug on the receptacle in unused. My working assumption is that even though it’s so labeled, it probably does not meet code. Generators may have a bonded neutral or a floating neutral, so that needs to be considered, though I don’t think it’s a factor here. Mike Sokol is the guru for such things: http://noshockzone.org/generator-ground-neutral-bonding/

    Now, the thought is how to get this 240v into the stock charger. I assume the plug on the stock charger needs to be fed 2 120v “legs” to the blades normally used for 120v “hot” and neutral, plus a ground. As in my prior photo my adapter cable will have a male L14-30P on one end, and a female 15A socket on the other for the charger to plug into. Hence, no “suicide rig” that Kentucky Ken warned about.

    Adapter cable fabricated:


    Now I just have to work on building up my courage!

    (I’ll add to this post in increments, so check back if interested.)
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  2. MarkClarity

    MarkClarity Active Member

    Here is what it draws on 240v (this is from a 240v rated wifi switch which gives nice power monitoring and scheduling link)

    KentuckyKen likes this.
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    @Fast Eddie B, I get what you’re doing but now I’m confused. How does plugging the generator into the opener wiring/receptacle not back feed without first having to do something like turning off the breaker to it??
    Thanks for clarifying, Ken
  4. I don’t plug the generator into the receptacle. I unplug the hangar door from the receptacle and plug that into the generator. The receptacle would remain empty as the hangar door went up or down, powered by the generator.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I got it. Your way has no possibility of back feeding the grid, requires no transfer switch, and uses a regular generator cord that is safe with no exposed prongs. Excellent DIY engineering. I’m making a note of that in case I ever need to copy it.

    The only unanswered question I would have is the lack of a neutral connection, but you’re already addressing that. So I would fly with you any day of the week, sir (and pay for the gas!).
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  6. HagerHedgie

    HagerHedgie Member

    I prefer a green lubricant lol.
    In my amateur opinion I think the biggest risk is a bad connection wiring the plug, followed by burning out the EVSE. So make sure all your connections in the plug are perfect and rewire it every few years to account for bending stress in the wires.
  7. HagerHedgie

    HagerHedgie Member

    After reading on this topic for an hour or two I’m starting to think that this is by far the biggest risk involved in using the factory EVSE at 240 V. And that is no more risky than using an extension cord. The melting is from current not voltage. So it probably would have melted at 120V also.
  8. Good point. The most frustrating part of fabricating the cable was trying to force 10 ga stranded wire into the screw terminals of the 15A female connector, which are clearly designed with a smaller wire gauge in mind. No way I could get all the strands into the terminals, but I got the fair share in, enough to carry a 15A load by my estimation. With that in mind, maybe 12 ga cable would have been a better choice - it’s not too late to reconsider.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  9. HagerHedgie

    HagerHedgie Member

    It’s still only a 12a charger. 12ga should be plenty but you already got the (expensive ) 10ga stuff. Just open the plug housing after a week and see if there are any black marks or evidence of heat. Also some plug designs have lots more room inside than others. It would probably be cheaper to get a different 15 amp plug than it would be to get new wire.
  10. Thanks. I’ll take a look at the construction of some other 15A inline sockets and see how they compare.
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Go to the hardware store and count the number of strands in a 12-gauge wire (although perhaps you'd draw less attention at a big-box store). Then count how many strands you managed to get into the screw terminals. If you got the first number of strands into the screw terminals, switching to 12-gauge wire may not provide an advantage. If you got more strands into the screw terminals, you're ahead in the game.
  12. Edd

    Edd New Member

    Can a premade extension to plug in to 240 be bought somewhere? I am not comfrtable making one but woild like to plug into 240 when I can.

    Thanks Edd
  13. I doubt it. The potential liability would be huge.
  14. I ordered this:

    Took the male plug off and replaced it with this (after the adapter plug at the beginning of this thread... melted!):

    I leave this plugged into my NEMA 6-20 outlet.

    I have a 120-volt dedicated circuit just under this outlet where I have my stock EVSE plugged in. When I need a quicker charge, I simply unplug from the 120-volt outlet and plug into my 240-volt homemade adapter cord. I've had NO issues with this over the past two weeks.
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  15. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Yes, I did. I bought a NEMA 14-50p to 6-20r adapter. This adapter is very heavy gauge cable and can handle way more than our Clarity will draw:


    Then, you'll need this second adapter to allow the 14-50 to 6-20 adapter to interface with your OEM EVSE:


    Keep in mind that David in TN reported that the second adapter got hot and melted. I've used mine 3 times and while it got slightly warm, it never got hot enough to melt or deform.
  16. HagerHedgie

    HagerHedgie Member

    Molded plugs, especially the female ends, are often crap. Don’t be scared using a heavy duty wired plug, just practice it a few times with a short piece of crappy cord so you get the technique down. It will be better than the molded plug that came with the cord.
  17. I guess I misunderstood. I thought he was asking for an adapter to go from a 240v receptacle to the Clarity’s stock charger @ 240v. Since that would involve applying 240v across a female connector designed for 120v use, that seems risky for anyone to sell. To get a single 120v leg off of a 240v receptacle is straightforward, and lots of adapters are available for that. We carry one in our camper in case we ever camp where only a 240v 50A receptacle is available, to plug our 120v 30A RV connector into.
  18. HagerHedgie

    HagerHedgie Member

    I think you can find some online but not through a reputable manufacturer. I believe it can’t be UL listed because of the safety issue. It’s best to make it yourself.
    If you’re going to get/make a 14-50 adapter I would set it to run on 240V since nobody seems to be having an issue with 240.
  19. I've had NO issues with the stock EVSE on 240-volts. My only issue was the cheap adapter. Having made my own, there have been no problems. Full charge from empty in 6 hours.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  20. Well, I finally built up the nerve to plug in my 240v adapter cable to Honda’s stock 120v charging cable:


    Light comes on as normal, and nothing has caught fire or blown up. Yet. A good sign.

    Our Clarity is fully charged. I may run some miles off it, then try a 240v charge. Wish me luck!

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