Plugging and Unplugging the Clarity

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by jdonalds, Sep 11, 2018.

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  1. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    For anyone curious about the time spent plugging the Clarity in or unplugging it here is a short video captured by one of our security cameras. Our L2 cable is suspended in the garage, attached to a tool retractor. You can see my wife even has her hand's full when she puts the power cable in the receptacle. I didn't time it but it looks like just a couple of seconds each time. The beats pumping gas by a longshot.

     
    Mariner91, stanigu, Sandroad and 3 others like this.
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  3. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Easier than a petrol pump.
     
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    And you never track that electric smell into the car. Wait, there is no electric smell.
     
    M.M. likes this.
  5. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    Nice retractor setup!
     
    qtpie and chris5168 like this.
  6. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    Thanks for the share & video. I've ordered 2 'tool balancers' and can't wait to install them to solve our problem with winding & unwinding our charge cables every day. We have JuiceBox Pros that have very thick & heavy stiff cables, great quality but poor for ease of handling, and this will make the daily routine so much more pleasant!
     
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  8. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Ours is also a JuiceBox Pro 40. My only concern is the tool balancer (adjustable) pulls up on the cable when plugged into the car. I'm worried that over time that may cause fatigue of the cable where it enters the L2 plug at the car. I figure we plug the car in at least 2 times every day and up to 4 times. That means at least 700 insertions per year.



    This is the balancer I'm using. They are also called Tool Retractors.
    https://www.zoro.com/speedaire-tool-retractor-for-tool-2-4-lb-no-lock-5yap3/i/G0355957/
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  9. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    Correction, I ended up getting 2 Packers Kromer 'Retractors' similar to yours off of eBay for C$57 ea shipped from someone in Canada near where I live.
    https://www.grainger.com/product/PACKERS-KROMER-Tool-Retractor-38N818
    The 'zero-gravity Balancers' cost more so I thought I'd try these relatively inexpensive high quality ones to start. The zero-gravity balancers would apply no strain at any extension level after calibration. I'll try to adjust it to minimize the strain so I'll see soon enough!
     
  10. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    That might be a good or even better solution. At least it does have a steel cable. The first one I tried was only $25 but it worried me because it had a nylon cable. I do like the idea of having no strain after calibration.

    The retractor I have only cost about $50. The one you sent the link for was listed at $150. I guess the eBay method was the way to go.

    Please let us know how well it works for you.
     
  11. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    I tried a retractor and found that the tension that built u was much too high by the time it was extended down. I got 2 tool balancers instead that could make the load 'zero gravity' but due to the heavy EVSE cable unraveling, the weight seen by the balancer decreases due to the self-support (dangling) as the EVSE cable unravels down so it can't maintain 'zero gravity' at all heights. The tool balancer's tension when fully extended, is a fraction of a retractor's so the handle can be pushed high overhead when not in use and then be pulled all the way down to charging level without excessive tension. I highly recommend using a tool balancer if anyone wishes to this type of EVSE setup. The balancer is a cool invention. For a fixed weight hanging from it like a tool with a light cable or wire, it makes it float like its weightless at any height!

    I installed 2 used Packers Kromer 7230-01 'zero-gravity' tool balancers that I found on eBay. They were 12 years old so beware. These ones have a weight range higher than I needed & longer extension so I needed to add 5lb ankle weights to each to increase the total maximum weight be within the 6.6-11 lb operating range. Bungee cords wrapped around to suspend the EVSE cable worked really well without strain, gripped tightly and provided some give if yanked.
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    IMG_4309.JPG
    Also tried a brand new smaller capacity tool balancer (below was a test run) from China on AliExpress. It worked very well, is completely metal, the weight range was perfectly matched to the power cable, but the extension length was shorter ~135cm. I'm not using it so if anyone is in the Toronto area and is interested in it, PM me and we'll figure something out.
    IMG_4199.JPG
    I'm really happy with the result. No more dragging our thick & bulky JuiceBox Pro cables, unravelling, hanging, handling salty/dirty cables and tripping over them. Thanks again to @jdonalds for sharing originally!
     
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  13. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I had to rig up a real Rube Goldberg contraption for my 2012 Prius Plugin because the 110v outlet was about 4 ft off the ground diagonally opposite to the inlet on the passenger side rear of the car. Since I had never heard of the thingy that you used, I use a little carabiner that I found in the junk drawer and got a reel of nylon string and suspended the carabiner from a beam near the passenger side and hooked the cable in the carabiner so that it draped across where the hood would be and then draped down so I could pull it across to the inlet.

    I did that for nearly 6 years with the cable coming out of car at a very acute right angle. It never showed any wear even though there was tension on it whenever it was plugged in. (When I unplugged it, I hung it from a bungee cord hook which was hung from a hole in a steel framed storage rack.)

    I am going to get one of these thingies for my Clarity even though the inlet is now only a few feet from the power outlet because it's so fancy it deserves better than the indignity of having its cord dumped into a plastic plant pot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018

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