matson
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Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:36 pm

Southking SK-EV16 is a cheap "China brand" EVSE. Like most of the cheap Chinese EVSEs, it will work on any North American domestic electricity voltage: 120, 208, or 240 V. Its most notable feature is adjustable current: the available electrical current communicated in its pilot signal can be set to ten, thirteen, sixteen, or twenty ampere (nominal, actual signal can be slightly less).

Promoted as a travel-ready EVSE, the Southking SK-EV16 cord set comes in a zipping travel case. It has a NEMA 6-20 straight blade plug inlet (NEMA 6-20 seems to be the de-facto convenience outlet for EVs). Included is a 5-15P to 6-20C converter cord (for ubiquitous 120 V outlets). Two small things in the box are an Engrish instuction leaflet and a hanger for ICCB. Its hanger is a simple plate of plastic with a keyhole (to hang on a bolt) and two protruding pegs: to hang in-cable control box (ICCB), remove two rubber feet from screw wells, and reoccupy those now opened holes with hanger pegs. (Then plan how to not loose those plugs/feet.) The hanger pegs fit ICCB holes tightly enough, that I think it should be okay to hang outside.

I think fitting SK-EV16 in its case is impractical: it requires deliberate effort to arrange EVSE 'brick & nozzle' and seven metres of cable so it is compact and tidy enough to fit in its ziped-closed case. (Aren't most portable EVSE cordsets a chore to put away?) I think, if one is going to use the Southking cord often, then it would be better to stuff it in a drawstring sack or pillowcase in a hurry, than to fuss with its sturdy travel case. A sack is easily launder-able – versus the provided travel case, which is like a little suitcase: it looks so nice and clean when new, and it would be a pity to stuff a muddy EV cord set into it. With its case, it is better thought of as a desperation charge solution, rather than an "Occasional Use Charge Cord" to be used often.

In-cable control box brick (ICCB) is 2 by 3 by 7 inches (9" length including cable glands). Inlet cord (NEMA 6-20P) to ICCB is two and a half feet long. J1772 connector cord is 21 feet long. Converter cord ((5-15P to 6-20C) is 1¼ feet long. So maximum cord length in a scenario when it's used as a "desperation charge cord", stretched in a straight line from 5-15R to 'nozzle', is twenty-five feet.

Its cord stock is 3×2.5mm² + 2×0.5mm²; that's between 13 and 14 A.W.G., plus an extra wire. This five wire cord is useful for modifications: adding an LED to J-plug "nozzle", or making a super long inlet cord to the not-cheap EVSEs which have a thermocouple in their inlet plug. Inside SK-EV16 control box, all incoming and outgoing wires are soldered, and there is really no room for hacks and mods. 5-15P to 6-20C conversion cord is 14 AWG.

SK-EV16 has a LED or O-LED display (I don't know what's correct), so it is readable even while wearing polarised sunglasses. But it is a scanning-type of display, which means it strobes (100% flicker).

Its idle power consumption is two and a half watts. (Compare to Nissan/Panasonic 29690-3NF0A: one watt. Compare to Ford/GM/ClipperCreek CC-C-L2-13-300-B, three watt.)

Its adjustable Current Capacity feature enables continual use on existing 15A circuits, and makes it somewhat future-proof. SK-EV16 has four EVSE Current Capacity choices: 10, 13, 16, and 20 A. (Not precise measures. It defaults to 16 A every time it is powered on.) For a lowest-common-denominator 15A120V outlet, SK-EV16 can be set to thirteen amps. For garage branch circuits shared with another appliance load, such as food frig or freezer, or a gas-heated clothesdryer, use this EVSE's 10A setting. Later in time, when the home is improved with a 20A (or greater) branch circuit to garage/outdoors, one won't need to buy another EVSE to supply one's automobile with greater than 12A: SK-EV16 is ready for future greater ampacity. It has a replaceable cord end plug, so it can be replaced at will with a NEMA 6-30P, without the waste of a molded plug. (Its original 6-20P can be retained or given to somebody else.) With an ideally located circuit breaker box, SK-EV16 can be wired directly to a 225GFI breaker.

I disregard the smarty-pants code-quoter (as irritating as a bible-thumper) who would say it's not okay to use it set to 13A on 15A branch circuit, "because twelve amps mustn't be exceeded". Thirteen is only a rounding error away from twelve. My specimen's "13 A" setting actually is closer to 12½ A. (Perhaps this is typical, and all SK-EV16 Control Pilot signalled ampacities are lower than nominal? Could be.) Battery charging is not a perpetual load, it will taper-down after a few hours, and three hours of charging from 13A230V is enough to replenish a daily commute. When I need to charge for several hours, then I can adjust it down to ten amps. Thirteen ampere nominal is fine for a daily top-up, I say.

As we all know, J1772 uses an analog pilot signal, not precise digital symbol transmission, so vehicle electrical current is nominal, not exact. My specimen announces allowable current slightly lower than nominal, at least at 10 and 13 amp setting. (My power meter's maximum current is 15 amps, and its overcurrent protection trips when I tried to test 16A.) When set to 10A, vehicles draw nine point something. When set to 13A, our LEAF draws 12 A and Bolt draws 12,5 A. I used it (set to 13 A) to charge Chevrolet Bolt from empty, which took longer than sixteen hours, on same circuit as a food freezer, and breaker did not trip. So I am not the least bit concerned about its nominal "13 A" rating not obeying the "80% rule 12 A". I tested it one time set to 16A, on 15A branch circuit, and circuit breaker did not trip within three hours, when I ended test. When set to 20A, breaker tripped after some minutes.



What I wish I knew before I bought it.

I did not know it would default to 16 A electrical current. To change current setting requires some patience: depressing a button lasting a couple seconds, followed by a few quick presses. Basically how to use it: with cord-set uncoupled from vehicle, depress its "SET" button until 2-digit 7-segment ampere display blinks. Then each press of the button will cycle the setting in increasing order, starting from default 16A: 20, 10, 13, 16 again, etc. After a few seconds pass since last press, user's selected current capacity will be set and stop blinking. One needs not wait for ampacity setting to display steady: as soon as desired current limit is flashing/blinking, charge connector/J-plug can be inserted. User's preference is retained as long as EVSE/control-box is powered, no matter how many times vehicle is coupled/disconnected. But if power is lost, even a one second outage, then pilot current capacity is reset to 16 ampere.

For my scenario, a 15A branch circuit and outdoors, it is too inconvenient to need to check it every time I need to plug-in. In rain or bitter winter, I want to plug-and-run to indoors; not bend down to hold down a button, and press it three more times.

Southking SK-EV16 is not as weather resistant as I had hoped. Unlike the "granny charge cords" bundled with our EVs, which are very water resistant, the Southking SK-EV16 lacks an O-ring or gasket sealing its control box. I bought SK-EV16 intending to leave it ouside on ground, but I am not confident it will survive. The originally equipped Nissan/Panasonic brick is doing fine there, exposed to puddle, splash, and snow.

What else to know about SK-EV16: it does not feature RCD/CCID nor GCM/GMI. This means it does not require a grounding/grounded outlet: it can be used with any old mains receptacle, even ungrounded "two prong outlets", with a ground-cheater plug adapter. It will not refuse to operate, in contrast to the original supplied Nissan/Panasonic 120V EVSE which does have GCM. As for lacking RCD/CCID: one can always use a cord-inline GFCI. (Modern electrical code requires garage and outdoor convenience outlets to be RCD protected anyway, so incorporating an RCD/CCID in every single EVSE sold is redundant.)

There is a minor compatibility issue with Chevrolet Bolt. (I feel so sure it is Bolt's fault, not a defect of SK-EV16.) While charge connector is coupled and latch is released then re-latched (proximity switch opened and closed), our 2017 Bolt does not resume charging. In other words, while the charge gun/nozzle/"J plug" is inserted in Bolt's AC inlet, and when button/lever on handle is pressed and released without removing connector (no uncoupling), then Bolt does not carry on charging its battery. Connector needs to be removed and reinserted, proximity contact needs to be broken and remade, for Bolt to again accept energy from Southking SK-EV16. Nissan LEAF and Plug-In Prius resume right away, as expected. Bolt does not do this quirk with other EVSEs.

(SAE J1772-2010 says: 'Charge resumption after S3 closing is OEM specific.'. I thought this might be worth mentioning. I checked that proximity resistors R6 and R7 are to specification.)



compare against Duosida

The leading Chinese EVSE, 16A Duosida, requires a 20A electricity supply. I opine, it is not a good choice charge cord for "emergency" or "desperation", keep-in-the-car, role. Because its communicated current capacity is sixteen ampere, the 16A Duosida is not appropriate to use on the most ubiquitous outlet, NEMA 5-15R. It is fine to use when charging is planned ahead, when it is known that a twenty amp circuit is available. Whereas Southking SK-EV16 is ready to be used in a pinch on most-every premises/property. The 16A Duosida's connector is notoriously tight on vehicle inlets. That scares me.

In its favour, the Duosida features CCID/RCD. In favour of SK-EV16, its connector properly fits.



Southking SK-EV16, manufacturer's Web page.

Here it is from a merchant on AliExpress.

As of 2020 November, Southking SK-EV16 (with black J1772-2009 connector) is ASIN B08D8XWJ1H on Amazon.com marketplace.

The merchant behind ASIN B08D8XWJ1H did not create a nice catalogue page. I did buy mine from Amazon, sold by MICTUNING, who did make a proper page to show it off. It is ASIN B07QWRSMF5, "MICTUNING Level 2 EV Quick Charger", basically just a SK-EV16 with "MICTUNING" sticker on white J-connector. I guess MICTUNING wasn't happy with pace of sales, so when they finished selling what they had, I guess they closed the listing rather than restock. It is gone from Amazon.com, but its photos can be found on Amazon.co.uk.
( https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QWRSMF5?tag=myelecarfor-20 )



edit 2020-12-03 add model number CC-C-L2-13-300-B
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Last edited by matson on Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jjeff
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:54 am

Thanks for the thorough review, sounds like nice inexpensive EVSE, may be best suited for someone a little technical that understands voltages and current, or at least can be told and remember things.
So have you verified if say you trip the breaker during charging(or unplug I suppose) does it actually start charging again, when the power is restored? it sounds like in this case it would revert to 16a, something not desirable at all on a 15a circuit. It would be better if A. It wouldn't start charging again until reset or B. In this case, it would revert to it's lowest current setting for safety. If it indeed starts back up at 16a charging that could be a real issue for safety. Sure the breaker should trip if it's just a 15a circuit but if it didn't and things started melting, you probably wouldn't be around to smell it, which could really be problematic.
Luckily my cheaper Chinese-made Zencar adjustable EVSE retains it's last current setting so I wouldn't run into that issue. Really the cheapest solution for the mfg would be to just have it programmed to default to it's lowest current setting and they really should, in it's it's current state(if it automatically starts charging after a power outage) I'd have a hard time recommending this EVSE to someone on a 15a circuit, otherwise it looks to be a nice inexpensive EVSE and quite handy for emergency charging on a variety of outlets.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

LeftieBiker
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:19 am

I remember seeing either this review or a similar one, of the same product, somewhere here. That's a very important point, jjeff. It hadn't occurred to me. IMO it makes that EVSE for emergency use only...
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matson
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:57 am

jjeff wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:54 am
does it actually start charging again, when the power is restored?
Of course it does.

> It would be better if A. It wouldn't start charging again until reset

I strongly disagree. An EVSE is an electric cord, expected behaviour is that electricity should flow when both ends are connected. An EVSE which requires user intervention each time it is powered, would result in tragedy. Who would buy such a thing?

> Really the cheapest solution for the mfg would be to just have it programmed to default to it's lowest current setting and they really should

That's one possibility. I assumed it would remember its setting. Like clocks, video recorders, & lighting timers, with a two day backup battery or capacitor. I coulda/shoulda asked before buying, but I didn't want to miss out on a deal.

> I'd have a hard time recommending this EVSE to someone on a 15a circuit

Right, it is not ideal for permanent 15 A premises wiring. But it could have been perfect for me, with 15 A today and home improvement "tomorrow". If only it was absolutely rainproof.
LeftieBiker wrote:I remember seeing either this review or a similar one, of the same product, somewhere
Here, my "for sale" ad.

> IMO it makes that EVSE for emergency use only...

Like I wrote: Southking SK-EV16 is ready to be used in a pinch on most-every premises/property.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:02 pm

I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to make it clear to newbies that this wouldn't be a good alternative to something like a $400 Clipper Creek EVSE for regular home charging.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

matson
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Re: this wouldn't be a good alternative to something like a $400 ClipperCreek

Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:10 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:02 pm
I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to make it clear to newbies that this wouldn't be a good alternative to something like a $400 Clipper Creek EVSE for regular home charging.
I looked at ClipperCreek first, they don't have anything for my need. They have LCS-15 (12A, hardwired only), and LCS-20P (16A, NEMA plug 6-20P). I wrote to them, asking for a LCS-15P, and was answered: "we would not be able to outfit the LCS-15 with a NEMA 6-15 plug, or any plug for that matter".

The "big players" are not offering anything for my niche: full-phase (240 V) 15 A (12 A continuous) branch circuit outlets (NEMA 6-15R).

I bought a secondhand GE WattStation, but unfortunately I got at an early unit which does not feature 'Optional De-Rate Jumper J21'. What a shame! Anyway, DuraStation and WattStation are not current products, General Electric quit the EVSE business. Grizzl-e doesn't seem to think 15A branch circuits are a thing. Siemens Versicharge can be set to a measly 7,5 A, or next setting is 15 A, with no in-between Goldilocks 12 A setting. Power for price, it's a low value. I didn't want to spend a couple hundred dollars for 7.5A: I might as well save the money and stick with 120V. So I got the "MICTUNING" Southking SK-EV16 at its introductory price of $169.

Since then, I've discovered three good alternatives: another never-heard-of-it-brand Chinese EVSE, Toyota G9060-47190, and a possible solution from Bosch. Do you have any good alternatives for a situation like mine (NEMA 6-15R outlet)?

(I went the cheap route, another China brand: Besenergy/Besen PCD030, from Besen International Group (Nanjing) Trading Co., Ltd. or Nanjing LuAo International Trade Co., Ltd.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:01 pm

We had the Toyota unit - it came with the PIP. It took over outdoor EVSE duties when a refurbed Clipper Creek unit bit the dust, and worked flawlessly until we turned it in with the PIP a few weeks ago.
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jjeff
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Re: this wouldn't be a good alternative to something like a $400 ClipperCreek

Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:15 am

matson wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:10 pm
LeftieBiker wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:02 pm
I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to make it clear to newbies that this wouldn't be a good alternative to something like a $400 Clipper Creek EVSE for regular home charging.
I looked at ClipperCreek first, they don't have anything for my need. They have LCS-15 (12A, hardwired only), and LCS-20P (16A, NEMA plug 6-20P). I wrote to them, asking for a LCS-15P, and was answered: "we would not be able to outfit the LCS-15 with a NEMA 6-15 plug, or any plug for that matter".
Like this one?
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=12a+evse&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Still $400+ for a 12a 120v EVSE is ridiculous IMO but sounds like what you wanted.
Note I did find several 10/16a EVSEs but whay they use 10a and not the 12a maximum(to abide by the 80% rule) is beyond me :roll:
Note this one:
https://www.amazon.com/BESENERGY-EV-Cha ... 91&sr=8-38
.....does specifically state it starts out at 10a after a power outage, so at least it has that going for it.
At $229 it's not the cheapest Chinese EVSE going but it is somewhat adjustable and has a nice display as apposed to most ~$150 Chinese EVSEs.
Note while the main listing only lists 240v(L2) there are a couple questions answered by the seller stating first "theoretically" it should work on 120v and a later question stating you'd just need a 5-15 to 6-20 adapter plug to use 120v. No actual reviewers stating they used it on 120v but basically since all Chinese EVSEs seem to work on either, I'd assume?? it would be OK......
Personally I'd be willing to try a 240v marked appliance on 120v more than a 120v marked appliance on 240v, worst case is it just wouldn't power up??
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

matson
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Like It Like This Like That? Not at all.

Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:51 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:We had the Toyota unit - it came with the PIP.
Same, after realising disappointment with SK-EV16, the PiP's G9060-47190 was stationed outside. Until I got PCD030. Now the OEM EVSEs are back in their respective hatches/trunks.
jjeff wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:15 am
Like this one?
[ ClipperCreek PCS-15, Portable 12 Amp Level 1 EVSE, 120V, 25 ft Cable ]
Still $400+ for a 12a 120v EVSE is ridiculous IMO but sounds like what you wanted.
No, ClipperCreek don't have anything for my need. I wrote to them, asking whether PCS-15 would work on 240 V, and was answered: "The PCS-15 does not support 240V supply power. It is a 120V device.".

> Note this one:
> BESENERGY EV Charger Level 2 J1772 EVSE 27ft Home Current-Switchable 220V-240V IP66 10A/16A Portable Charge Station Compatible with All J1772 Electric Car

Yes, that's exactly what I got, Besen/Besenergy BS-PCD030-10-16-T1.

> No actual reviewers stating they used it on 120v but basically since all Chinese EVSEs seem to work on either, I'd assume?? it would be OK.

Yes, I tried that same day I got it: it doesn't discriminate between 'half phase' and 'full phase', grounded neutral or two hots. 120V okay, as it should be.
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jjeff
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Re: Southking SK-EV16: cheap Chinese EVSE with adjustable Current Capacity

Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:15 am

^^^ while this could be wrong, this quote is from the question area of that EVSE and answered by the mfg(or at least seller)

"Question:Does it always start at a particular current setting? Which, 10 or 16? Or does it store/remember user's setting after days unpowered?
Answer:Thank you for asking. To protect the safety of your car and charger, we set this charger starting with 10 Amp, only if you plug in the outlet (wall side) and press the switch button, than it can be set to 16 Amp. But please remember the switch action need to be made BEFORE you plugging the charger handle in the car port.
By BESENERGY SELLER on July 20, 2019"

So either they are wrong or they've made a change since your EVSE, maybe your questioning prompted them to have the firmware changed to default to 10a?? as we've all said it would sure make sense to do that.
In regards to the 120v CC EVSE, yes CC for whatever reason(and I believe they may be the only one who does) specifically makes their EVSEs either 120v or 240v, for this reason, I'd personally not want one and would have a hard time suggesting them for someone wanting that flexibility, quality built for sure but not flexible at all :(
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

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