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Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:14 am
by TonyWilliams
New thread for this topic:

From Phil "Ingineer":

"Just add two 120v coil SPST relays to your box and then there is no safety question.

You never know if someone's child might happen upon one of your two cables and pull it out and touch it with bare feet, or touch it and something grounded. If you will not be there 100% of the time guarding it, it's not safe.

In my home-made version I included the 2 relays, total additional cost was under $10. I didn't bother with a meter, but I added a super-bright blue LED and a buzzer that sounds for a few seconds once it "sees" 240v, that way you can easily determine if you've found the right outlets even if you can't see the unit. I included 8' of cord on the two cables, and in most all cases I can find 2 circuits within 16' of each other and still have the cables not take up a lot of space."

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:42 am
by Ingineer
Here's my full original post that is in reference to people building their own homebrew "Quick220" device without adequate safety. See my post below for a schematic.
Ingineer wrote:Just add two 120v coil SPST relays to your box and then there is no safety question.

You never know if someone's child might happen upon one of your two cables and pull it out and touch it with bare feet, or touch it and something grounded. If you will not be there 100% of the time guarding it, it's not safe.

In my home-made version I included the 2 relays, total additional cost was under $10. I didn't bother with a meter, but I added a super-bright blue LED and a buzzer that sounds for a few seconds once it "sees" 240v, that way you can easily determine if you've found the right outlets even if you can't see the unit. I included 8' of cord on the two cables, and in most all cases I can find 2 circuits within 16' of each other and still have the cables not take up a lot of space.

Image

Image

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-Phil

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:46 am
by mwalsh
Ingineer wrote:Here's my full original post that is in reference to people building their own homebrew "Quick220" device without adequate safety:
Don't suppose you have time to whip the cover off, so we can see the internals?

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:46 am
by TomT
Schematic please, primarily for what you used for the LED and noise maker circuit... The other part is easy.
Ingineer wrote:Just add two 120v coil SPST relays to your box and then there is no safety question.

In my home-made version I included the 2 relays, total additional cost was under $10. I didn't bother with a meter, but I added a super-bright blue LED and a buzzer that sounds for a few seconds once it "sees" 240v, that way you can easily determine if you've found the right outlets even if you can't see the unit.

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:51 am
by Ingineer
Here's another post answering a question surely to be asked again in this thread:
Ingineer wrote:
Volusiano wrote:Ever thought about building and selling your home version of the Quick220, Phil? I'm sure many on the forum would be interested in buying if you price it reasonably because the Quick220 seems way over priced.
I thought about it for about 1 second. It's labor intensive, so there would be no way to make money selling these in low quantity if you came in at a price point much below what Quick220 is selling theirs for.

I spent about 4 hours on it, so what's a "reasonable" price?!?

But in any event I simply don't have the time! This is one reason why we are closing for a few weeks. EVSE upgrades are consuming most of my time. Maybe during the shutdown I'll get caught up and actually have time to do things like draw a schematic for everyone. As realtively simple as the EVSE upgrade is, each upgrade sold seems to generate 11 emails on average, so customer communications/support/logistics actually consumes WAY more time than bench work. I can imagine the "Quick240" having even more support issues!

Because it's electrically pretty simple, this is a great DIY project, but I'd like to stress that everyone considering building one definitely include the 2 relays. If someone were to die because you were too lazy to include them, how would you feel?

-Phil

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:16 pm
by Herm
Ingineer wrote:As realtively simple as the EVSE upgrade is, each upgrade sold seems to generate 11 emails on average, so customer communications/support/logistics actually consumes WAY more time than bench work.
Phil, you should consider going to 1-900 customer support system.. your time is valuable and your web site easy to understand.

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:38 pm
by Ingineer
Herm wrote:
Ingineer wrote:As realtively simple as the EVSE upgrade is, each upgrade sold seems to generate 11 emails on average, so customer communications/support/logistics actually consumes WAY more time than bench work.
Phil, you should consider going to 1-900 customer support system.. your time is valuable and your web site easy to understand.
Yeah, we actually had a number for EVSE upgrade, but had to turn it off! It would be a full-time job and then some just taking calls. I can now understand how all companies are off-shoring their phone banks! Sadly, I can't believe how many people simply don't bother to read, and these are supposedly people hip on technology, or at least hip enough to get a LEAF.

-Phil

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:18 pm
by Ingineer
Here's a quick schematic of a basic safe unit: (Update: There is a more complex version with the audible indicator here.)

Image

The area in the shaded box is optional if you'd like to hook up an LED. You can also use any pilot lamp rated for 240v operation.

I recommend heavy-duty relays such as this:

Image

-Phil

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:29 pm
by ggodman
Ingineer wrote:Here's a quick schematic of a basic safe unit. The area in the shaded box is optional if you'd like to hook up an LED. You can also use any pilot lamp rated for 240v operation.

Image

-Phil
Nice as hell, thanks!

Re: Do It Yourself: 240v from two 120v sources

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:36 pm
by TonyWilliams
Thanks Phil. You're officially on my Xmas list.

:ugeek: