wwhitney
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Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:33 pm

Hello,

I'm looking for a few pointers on changing the J1772 cord on the Blink. I find myself needing a longer cord, so I'd like to use the Leviton A3435-PEV, a 25-foot 30 amp J1772 cord I saw recommended in the Open EVSE thread. Doing it myself will hopefully be quicker and slightly cheaper than going through Blink. So I opened up the Blink and after taking a look I have a few questions:

1) The Blink J1772 cord has three #10 conductors (L1, L2, G) and one #18 conductor, the blue proximity wire. The Leviton J1772 cord has the same three #10 conductors but two #18 conductors, one blue and one orange. I assume the blue #18 is the proximity wire and I should leave the orange wire unterminated. Is that correct? What is the orange wire, and why does Leviton bother to include it if it is not needed? This may have been answered in the Open EVSE thread, but I couldn't find it.

2) The blue proximity wire currently goes through a pin and sleeve connection before landing at a terminal block. Is this a strain disconnect to satisfy the deenergization requirements of NEC 625.19? What kind of connectors are these? I'd like to get some more rather than cut the connector off the Blink cord and splice it onto the new cord.

3) Lastly, I notice that the L1 and L2 conductors on the Blink J1772 cord have sleeves crimped on them and then terminate in set screw connectors on a 40 amp circuit breaker. I understand the sleeves are required because the conductors are finely stranded and standard set screw connectors are only rated for Class B stranding. I'm a bit new to crimping and just have an inexpensive ratcheting tool for insulated crimps (Tool Aid 18900). Do I need a different crimping tool for uninsulated crimps like these sleeves?

Thanks,
Wayne

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Ingineer
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:47 pm

You are correct, only terminate the blue pilot signal wire, and not the orange proximity wire. (you had the nomenclature reversed)

If you cannot get a solid crimp, you can always solder tin the ends of the wires so they are solid and will properly terminate at the contactor. I do not recommend soldering where the connection will be subject to vibration or movement, but in this application it is fine.

-Phil
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MikeD
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:16 pm

Description for Leviton EVSE cable -- link: http://store.leviton.com/b/5742800011

"30 Amp J1772 Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charge Connector with 25 Ft. Cord, A3435-PEV

Product Details

This UL Rated, J1772 Level 2 Charge Connector will accommodate up to 30A, 208V - 240V AC systems, and has the ability to connect with any J1772TM compliant Electric Vehicle. The handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hands of any EV driver, yet robust enough to be rated at 10,000 cycles - the equivalent of 27 years of use!

Note: The charge connector assembly meets the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) North American standard for electrical connectors for electric vehicles. The SAE standard covers the general physical, electrical, communication protocol, and performance requirements for the electric vehicle conductive charge system and coupler. The intent of this standard is to define a common electric vehicle conductive charging system architecture including operational requirements and the functional and dimensional requirements for the vehicle inlet and mating connector.

This connector will be compatible with North American Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) vehicles only. It may not be compatible with plug in vehicle conversions or vehicles that were produced prior to 2010 calendar year. Consumers should purchase this product only if they have an OEM vehicle from 2010 model year or later.

The J1772 connector assembly is not to be used as a replacement for a Leviton EVSE. Please check with the manufacturer of the EVSE to ensure compatibility.

Features and Benefits:

*Compatible with all Charging Station Standards and Recommended Practices, including SAE J1772

*Guaranteed 10,000 mating cycles - equivalent to 27 years of use!

*Drain holes prevent water from pooling inside of the connector housing, preventing against ice build-up and stagnant water accumulation.

*Cord Type EVJE - 3 X 10 AWG & 2 X 16 AWG conductors

*Wire Color Code: L1 - Black, L2 - Red, GND - Green, Orange - Pilot, Blue - Proximity (not used in most applications)"

I notice the following statements from above:
1) "The J1772 connector assembly is not to be used as a replacement for a Leviton EVSE"
2) "Cord Type EVJE - 3 X 10 AWG & 2 X 16 AWG conductors"
3) "Wire Color Code: L1 - Black, L2 - Red, GND - Green, Orange - Pilot, Blue - Proximity (not used in most applications)"

I hope 1) is just trying to say it is not an EVSE, not that it can't replace the cable/connector for a Leviton EVSE.
2) seems to claim it has (2) 16 AWG conductors, not 18 AWG.
3) says the Orange wire is the "pilot" wire.

I have no idea if this Leviton info is, in fact, accurate!

If I am wrong about my interpretation of 1), i.e. it actually means the cable/connector is NOT a satisfactory replacement cable/connector for a Leviton EVSE, I wonder why that is?

wwhitney
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:41 pm

Ingineer wrote:You are correct, only terminate the blue pilot signal wire, and not the orange proximity wire. (you had the nomenclature reversed)

Hi Phil,

Thanks for responding, sorry for the nomenclature mixup. I got confused because Blink uses blue for the pilot, while the Leviton J1772 cord uses orange for the pilot and blue for the proximity. So I'll be connecting the new orange wire where the old blue wire was terminated.

Any thoughts on the pin and sleeve connector in the pilot wire? Is it necessary? Is it an Andersen power pole?

Thanks,
Wayne

MikeD
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:50 am

wwhitney: How can you be sure the "proximity" pin in the Leviton connector is functionally compatible to the "proximity" pin in the original Blink connector? After all you wrote "What is the [proximity] wire, and why does Leviton bother to include it if it is not needed? This may have been answered in the Open EVSE thread, but I couldn't find it.".

Please understand other people are reading this post who appreciate more clarity (i.e. transparent and thorough reasoning) that shows this alteration (that they also may attempt) is relatively risk free.

wwhitney
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:47 am

MikeD wrote:How can you be sure the "proximity" pin in the Leviton connector is functionally compatible to the "proximity" pin in the original Blink connector?

My understanding is that the proximity pin in the J1772 connector is just used to tell the car when the handle button is depressed, via a switch in the handle which changes the resistance of that pin to the ground pin. As such, the proximity wire isn't typically required within the body of the EVSE. I guess that Leviton includes it in the cable to allow for the possibility that the EVSE might want to simulate the user pressing the handle button for some reason.

Also, you are correct that the signal wires in the Leviton J1772 cable are 16 gauge, not 18 gauge.

Cheers, Wayne

wwhitney
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:47 am

Ok, I got the cord changed yesterday and the car charged fine overnight.

I couldn't easily find ferrules to crimp on the L1 and L2 wires, so I crimped on insulated pin connectors. The pin then goes into the set screw connector on the Blink's internal circuit breaker. I also considered using an uninsulated butt splice as a ferrule and cutting off the excess, but I decided against that. Not sure whether that might have been a better solution. The ground wire was terminated with a insulated ring connector (on a stud with an 11mm nut), so that was easy to duplicate.

On the pilot wire, note that the Blink cable has a blue #18 pilot wire and the Leviton cable has an orange #16 pilot wire. I made sure to keep the pilot wire shorter than the other wires, as in the original installation. I determined that the disconnect in the original pilot wire was an insulated "snap" disconnect. I found an insulated "bullet" disconnect female that mated well with the original male pigtail and then reused that pigtail.

Also, the outer diameter of the Leviton cable is about 1/16" greater than on the Blink cable. So it was a snug fit going through the strain relief connector coming out of the bottom of the Blink chassis, but it worked OK.

I'm thinking that for thoroughness I should get an IR thermometer and measure the temperature rises on the terminations I made after a few hours of charging. What temperature rise should I expect for a good connection? I have a 2011 Leaf, so it will have been charging at only 16 amps.

Cheers, Wayne

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drees
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:15 pm

wwhitney wrote:I'm thinking that for thoroughness I should get an IR thermometer and measure the temperature rises on the terminations I made after a few hours of charging. What temperature rise should I expect for a good connection? I have a 2011 Leaf, so it will have been charging at only 16 amps.

Temperature rise should be minimal at 16A on a connection rate for 30A. I'd expect less than 20F over ambient, probably around 10F.
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Valdemar
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:53 pm

Is it possible for you to post a picture of the connections between the new Leviton cable and the Blink? I'm considering doing the same as the Blink original plug gets noticeably warm lately.

And by the way, how can I tell if the existing plug runs hotter than considered safe?

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davewill
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Re: Changing the J1772 cord on the Blink

Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:53 am

Well, the cord on my Blink is going out. I had failed charges twice in the last two weeks. Best I can tell, using the cord reel as designed (putting the handle in the middle with the cord in the notch) caused the wire carrying the pilot to break right near the handle. If I flex the cord (while holding the handle still) my car will stop and start charging. So, anyone who's been putting the handle into the middle of the reel, should probably start just draping it over the top instead. Kind of ironic since I got a RAV4 EV yesterday, and discovered that my J1772 handle runs perfectly cool (I literally could not detect ANY temperature rise by touching it).

The plan is to buy one of the Leviton replacements. The new car needs more length than the replacement will provide, so I'm thinking of cutting off the handle and mounting a junction box on the wall to use to splice the old cable to the new one.
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