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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know what the lights on the level 1 charger (the one that come s with the car) mean? Especially when they are not all green as normal?

Last night, I didn't want to shovel the driveway only to have to do it again in the morning. So I parked at the end and used an extension cable (I know, bad, but it's a 12 gauge cable and worked fine before, and a similar one works fine every day as I charge at work, including right now).

It worked normally for about 5 min at 12A. Then two red lights started flashing and one and two greens alternatingly. I reset by unplugging the car, then the power source, re-plugging the power source, selecting 12A again, and plugging the car in. Same thing repeats after ~ 5 minutes.
I then tried 8A, that seemed to work longer, but it too stopped sometime during the night. There was a steady red light in the morning.

In the morning, it worked fine at 12A for an hour or so while I was shoveling.

Oh, and did anyone find the charge port door on the car prone to freezing up? So far, Mine always froze in the open position. The inner door still closes and the outer one does most of the way. But I'm afraid of the day it freezes while closed...
 

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The extension cable is causing your fault. For the door freezing, you can try a lubricant that will change the freeze point of the hinge.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't get it. The only thing the box can know about the extension cable is voltage drop. A 100ft 12 gauge extension will drop 4V @ 12A. It can't possibly be that sensitive, since line voltage will fluctuate by more than that all the time.

Do you know what the lights actually say? Or what that black box is actually doing to decide good or bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There aren't any variables but the length, gauge and conductivity of the copper. Conductivity of copper is pretty well known and varies little across the alloys typically used for wire. I trust the length and gauge on label when I bought the cable, but who knows these days? Maybe it's thinner wire than stated or they used aluminum?

Weather has no effect on it, except maybe the temperature coefficient of the copper, but that's small enough to be negligible.

And the cable doesn't drop by, it drops 4V along it's length.:)
 

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No variables but the 100ft 12 gauge copper extension was made in China and the Black Box by the lowest bidder?

So not REAL WORLD meter reading but internet sez, "a 100ft 12 gauge extension will drop 4V @ 12A."

Seems to be some disagreement coming from the red and green indicator lights?
 

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You only have one variable; the extension cord.
If the box works when you plug it directly into the wall, but does not work when you use it with the extension cord, this becomes a moot argument.
 

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I don't get it. The only thing the box can know about the extension cable is voltage drop. A 100ft 12 gauge extension will drop 4V @ 12A. It can't possibly be that sensitive, since line voltage will fluctuate by more than that all the time.

Do you know what the lights actually say? Or what that black box is actually doing to decide good or bad?
It must be that sensitive. The charging cables that come with the car are designed to be plugged directly into an outlet and not extension cords.

Directly from Page 4 of the charger user manual:

"Do not use an extension cord, outlet/plug adapter, or with a worn outlet. The charger will not operate safely unless it is plugged directly into the outlet."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I did some experimenting with lots of extensions strung together: Turns out, the black box is completely insensitive to length and type of extension.

The car, however, does have an undervoltage lockout below 100V. If the resistance of the cable is enough to make the voltage drop below 100V, the car will stop charging and retry a few times, then give up. When that happens, the little black box will not indicate this as a fault, it will still show all green lights as if you just plugged it in and didn't connect the car yet. The car will say "Malfunction" in the dash. If this happens at 12A, changing to 8A will make it happy.

The black box will flash the red lights when it has no ground, but the green lights do a different dance than what I saw in the night of the snowstorm. Maybe it was brownouts, power around here can get flaky during storms even if it doesn't go out. That's harder to test without proper equipment.

Note that I don't recommend using lots of long thin extensions, but in a pinch, you can get away with 100ft of 14 gauge no problem. Just the usual precautions apply. Smart is just saying no so you don't sue them if you burn your house down using a bad extension.

Thanks for all the comments, it's kinda fun what people come up with in the absence of knowledge :)

It would still be nice to know what the different flashing lights really mean, though...
 
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