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#1 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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Thumbs up Cheaper EVSE and Bluetooth tunes

I am a new ED owner. I didn't even know there was such a thing called EVSE until five days ago! After I got the car, there were a couple of things I wanted right away.

1. Faster charging than what is possible with the Level 1 EVSE supplied with the car. Plus, I wanted to keep the factory supplied EVSE just locked up in the car for emergency use while on the road.

2. Listen to the music on my iPhone via the standard car stereo without fumbling with wires to connect the phone to the AUX input every time I got in the car.

I'd like to share what I did to get those two things.

EVSE
I couldn't stomach the fact that the EVSEs are so darn expensive for just a glorified box with a relay and a simple signaling mechanism. With a little googling, I found Juicebox. I am an electrical engineer and I have done quite a bit of house wiring. So why not a DIY EVSE? I ordered a Juicebox and 25 feet of J1772 cable, drove 15 minutes to their warehouse to pick them up (how convenient :-), a little soldering and some wire hookups later, voila!, I now have a Level 2 charger that has worked well, at least for one night. My factory-supplied Level 1 charger can now stay in the tailgate for emergency use.

Not including the input cabling part, the juice box solution runs about $310 with a 25 foot cable EVSE. Still lot of money, but not so bad for a box that can actually put out about 15kW. (btw, you would need a 70amp J1772 ($$) if you want to push it beyond 7.5kW. And, anything more than 3.3kw is irrelevant for the Smart Car ED as its charger can't take more anyway.)

I did have a hiccup or two when wiring the Juicebox, but nothing that took more than 5-10 minutes to resolve. Their documentation is somewhat hard to read for the reading-challenged, and it doesn't seem to always match the rev of the board/box they are selling. But their email support was very prompt and helpful. Overall, it was easy to build.

DIY EVSE isn't for everyone, but I took this route. I still can't get over how much a commercial EVSE or even a kit like this costs. Niche market, I guess.

Wirefree music from iPhone to car stereo
I wanted to play the music on my iPhone wirelessly on the car stereo. I have just the standard factory stereo, not the fancy one.

So this is what I did. The Smart ED's glove compartment has a USB port and an AUX port. I paid less than $10 to get
this bluetooth adapter on amazon.com this bluetooth adapter on amazon.com

Connect the adapter to the USB and AUX ports, pair the iPhone, and that's it. All music played on the iPhone can now be heard via the car stereo AUX. Phone calls will still be through the phone.

What I liked about this bluetooth adapter other than the price was that it has no battery. It comes on when you turn the key in the car and goes off when you take off the key, just like how we would want it. When I was googling, I saw some units that had battery. I didn't want to mess with turning them on/off. This battery-less one seems like a better solution as there is nothing to turn on/off. The unit is small enough (an inch or so) to not interfere with anything in the already small glove compartment.

So there you go! A new guy's DIY EVSE and Bluetooth music.

Last edited by EDSanka; 02-28-2014 at 03:01 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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Juicebox ... Not including the input cabling part, the juice box solution runs about $410
There is the problem: For just $90 more you can get a complete, fully assembled, waterproof EVSE rated up to 25A with warranty and someone other than yourself to sue if it burns the house down (e.g. from ClipperCreek). I'm happy to pay the $90 for the convenience and insurance. (and I'm an engineer, too).

The higher current rating of the Juicebox is useless for the Smart, since that will only draw 15A anyway.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:53 PM
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the problem with the phone hook up is that the phone call does go throught the speakers, but there is no microphone so you still have to (illegally) hold your phone and talk through it while you drive. The bluetooth-streaming audio is cool for $10 though.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:58 PM
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welcome to the smart and EV community.

One word of caution regarding installing anything electrical into your house wiring:

I would STRONGLY suggest having the final wiring installation done by a LICENSED electrician.

Why?

Follow my line of thought. You build (or buy) and install an EVSE yourself in your garage.

A few days (weeks, months) later your garage burns down and the cause appears that it "could have been the EVSE".

Your homeowners insurance is going to ask "WHO installed that device?"

I would really not want to try to explain that I did it myself (and I am also an engineer)

I would rather say "XYZ Electricians installed it" and have them provide explanations?
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SuperSmartie View Post
There is the problem: For just $90 more you can get a complete, fully assembled, waterproof EVSE rated up to 25A with warranty and someone other than yourself to sue if it burns the house down (e.g. from ClipperCreek). I'm happy to pay the $90 for the convenience and insurance. (and I'm an engineer, too).

The higher current rating of the Juicebox is useless for the Smart, since that will only draw 15A anyway.
I actually made a mistake. It costs $310, not $410. I edited my post. But even with that, I agree with you. Most people should just pay the $190 more and buy what makes them feel safe.
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:09 PM
 
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the problem with the phone hook up is that the phone call does go throught the speakers, but there is no microphone so you still have to (illegally) hold your phone and talk through it while you drive. The bluetooth-streaming audio is cool for $10 though.
Actually, I specifically tested for that situation. At least with my iPhone, the audio out as well as microphone stay on the phone even while the phone is connected with Bluetooth for music output. I don't know much about Bluetooth, but I suspect that the Bluetooth profile used for handsfree phone device is different from what is used for streaming out music.

Other phones may behave differently.
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:46 PM
 
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[...]
I would STRONGLY suggest having the final wiring installation done by a LICENSED electrician.
[...]
I completely agree with you. Most people shouldn't do what I did and I am not recommending that others build or wire in an EVSE on their own. I should have added warnings in my original post.

That being said, I'd like to demystify the notion that a DIY EVSE or its input wiring is some sort of time bomb waiting to explode and burn the house down. It really is a very simple device and there is not much to it. The only thing that operates on line voltage in EVSE is a relay, and that too a "normally open" relay. The control logic is all low voltage (arduino in the case of Juicebox and OpenEVSE).

Yes, things could go wrong. Your point is very valid. Most people should not do these things. I'm not recommending it either. Just sharing what I did. That's all.

OK, I need to go now. There is a strange smell coming from my garage. Oh no....... :-)
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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[QUOTE=EDSanka;799977]Actually, I specifically tested for that situation. At least with my iPhone, the audio out as well as microphone stay on the phone even while the phone is connected with Bluetooth for music output. I don't know much about Bluetooth, but I suspect that the Bluetooth profile used for handsfree phone device is different from what is used for streaming out music.

QUOTE]
That is correct, which means you cannot talk on the phone "hands-free". So you would still get a ticket, at least in Calif, if you used it while driving.
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:55 PM
 
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That is correct, which means you cannot talk on the phone "hands-free". So you would still get a ticket, at least in Calif, if you used it while driving.
That's right. But I wasn't looking for a handsfree phone device. I just wanted my own music while driving without having to plug in to a cable every time I got into the car.

Phone calls can wait until I get out of the car.
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 07:07 PM
 
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That's right. But I wasn't looking for a handsfree phone device. I just wanted my own music while driving without having to plug in to a cable every time I got into the car.

Phone calls can wait until I get out of the car.

best USB



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