Some days just suck for traveling and Day 2 definitely was one of those days. When we walked out of the hotel it was raining steadily and just above freezing. It’s that wet cold that just chills you down to the bone.
We made the best of it and explored just a little bit more of Portland by taking a rainy hike in Forest Park before heading south out of Portland on our multi-day trek to San Francisco.
Just before heading out we decided to try out one more charging network with the S, this time ChargePoint. I expected that it, like the others, would just take a swipe of their card and plug into the S with the handy J1772 adapter; however, this we quickly received an error message informing us that we needed to call Chargepoint. Being Christmas Day, I didn’t expect anyone to answer the phone, but I was quickly proven wrong as my phone call was answered and a simple issue of a zip code miss match was cleared up. The issue turned out to have nothing to do with the S.
We headed south on I-5. Between the my driving after the mountainous terrain in Forest Park, we quickly found ourselves ready for a charge by the time we were at Corvallis. Fortunately, the rain stopped for a few moments as we pulled into the local RV park, and I decided it was the best time to test out my custom designed EVSE (Technical details in the Multi-Input EVSE blog post).
I started slowly as this was the first time attempting to plug my EVSE into a Model S. I had only a week before brought my system up to the point that it was ready to charge a car. I had a close friend who was willing to let me plug into their Leaf and therefore, only knew it worked with that model. I was very pleased to have the Model S immediately communicate with my EVSE and initiate a charge. I slowly increased the current eventually charging at 50 Amps and 240 Volts!
By this point the rain had started again and it was about 35 degrees out so we decided that we would take a break from the RV park. We ventured to Corvallis for a warm meal and according to Plugshare, a free J1772 system to plug into just a block away. My EVSE was quickly unplugged and off we went to dinner. Just as Plugshare had shown, a free J1772 (240V 30A) was available, and we walked a block to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner.
After dinner, back to the RV park we went where I began phase two of my test plan by plugging into two 14-50R’s at the same time allowing for a charge up to 80A/240 Volts. This would essentially reduce an eight hour charge time at the RV parks down to four. I plugged the power in and nothing… Out came the tools and I quickly determined that power was entering my box just fine, but it wasn’t powering up. Just as I discovered that my fuse had blown, the rain started again and it was starting to get dark. It was quickly decided that retreat was the better part of valor in this case and we watched Dumb and Dumber in the car while waiting for to charge using the standard Tesla EVSE.
Once charged up enough to make it to our next planned destination in Ashland, OR, we headed south. The weather took a turn for the worse and reports showed that the mountain passes were experiencing blizzard conditions. We quickly found (again, using Plugshare) a nearby hotel that had an AeroVironment charging station in its parking lot. I was skeptical. It was Christmas night and my attempts to acquire a fob to use at the charging stations had been rejected because I do not live in OR. I was promised by AeroVironment that their 24/7 phone number really was 24/7. Sure enough, at almost midnight on Christmas night they answered the phone and after a short discussion on why I would want to enable the L2 charger when there was a faster L3 sitting there ready, the free charge was started!
To bed we went as I began to ponder the problem that occurred when I unplugged my EVSE as well as its solution.