bwilson4web
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Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

KHONS replacement EVSE review

Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:31 pm

This post is about a replacement EVSE from http://EVSEadapters.com. After the third overheated plug repair on a BMW charger and extension cord, I realized the 12A 120VAC charger was never going to meet my needs.

REQUIREMENTS

We have two plug-in hybrids:
  • 2014 BMW i3-REx - 18.6kWh
    • +18 hours 12A @120VAC
    • 8, 12, 16A @120VAC
    • 24, 31A @240VAC
    • CCS 50kW
  • 2017 Prius Prime - 6.4kWh
    • +5 hours 12A @120VAC
    • 8, 12, 16A @120VAC
    • 12, 16A @240VAC
The 8A charging level is set in the car when a circuit has multiple loads. But this extends the charging time significantly.

KHONS 15-32A Adjustable 120-240V Charger EVSE - Universal

Actually this $379 unit has a current range setting 12, 16, 20, 24, and 32A. It comes with a three blade, NEMA 14-50 with GROUND and two HOT leads. The unused NEUTRAL blade is missing. I also ordered a $50, NEMA 5-15P/5-20P to 14-50R adapter:
Image

120VAC Operation

Downtown Huntsville has ~26, NEMA 5-20 outlets at the base of the light poles around the Courthouse. These are used by food cart vendors when the square is closed for special events:
Image
To open, push the case, not the cover, on the left side. The cover swings to the right and snaps back in later. Sure enough the outlets are hot and should be individually wired for 20A allowing 16A operation. I tested it using 12A, the lowest setting of the KHONS.

The adapter cord has a power indicator light and the operational scenario:
  1. Do not plug-in the J1772 until the current is set.
  2. Wire the adapter to the KHONS and plug-in to the 120VAC outlet.
  3. There is a one minute interval to set the current by 'shaking' the KHONS until the desired current limit is set.
    • The unit does not detect the 120VAC to default 12A. It has to be set first.
    • Untested, the 16A limit is well within the plug and adapter wiring.
    • The adapter has a power indicator.
  4. Plug-in the J1772 into the car:
Image
Note, these are for food and event carts. Traffic enforcement may take a dim view of charging your car.

240VAC Operation

The Huntsville Space and Rocket Center has a free, NEMA 14-50 socket at the parking place marked for electric vehicles. Hinged at the top, the cover easily lifts showing the socket:
Image
Unlike the usual L1/L2 charging stations, there is no J1772 so you bring your own. They also have a lot of RV parking areas with NEMA 14-50 sockets if this one is blocked.

Use the same operational scenario:
  1. Do not plug-in the J1772 until the current limit is set.
  2. After plug-in to the NEMA 14-50, there is a one minute interval to set the current limit by shaking the KHONS
    • It does not detect the 240VAC voltage and set the default current to 32A
  3. Plug-in the J1772
Image

There is a small window showing charging activity. Bring your prescription, reading glasses:
Image
The right hand column shows:
  • Total kWh of this session
  • Duration HH:MM:SS
  • Voltage and actual current
  • Charge rate in kWh
The backside of the unit has a somewhat lame list of errors:
Image
"CP Error" actually means the car side of the handshake, adjusting the pilot signal resistance failed.

Documentation

The documentation are three, black-and-white, single sided, pages stapled together. It really needs a downloadable PDF file. Also the 3-blade, NEMA 14-50 plug is called "specially designed plug" without a photo and description why the NEUTRAL blade is not needed. Removing the NEUTRAL blade allows the same plug to be used with several, lower current, NEMA 14-x sockets.

CONCLUSION

This is a good, multi-voltage, multi-current EVSE. It could be better with a larger display, voltage detected default current, and better documentation. Due to the 32A capability, the power and J1772 wires are larger and not as flexible as the original EVSE but the greater utility makes a significant improvement.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

Nyken
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:44 am
Location: New York

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:48 am

When you say "shaking the KHONS", do you literally mean you shake this unit?

Can the KHONS fit in the frunk?

I'm looking for an inexpensive EVSE for my summer house. I've been looking on Ebay at some of the Chinese 220v 16amp chargers which run just over $200. I've also been looking at the used chargers. But this unit looks interesting.
2017 i3 Rex, Juicebox Pro 40

Benagami
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:21 am
Location: USA

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:56 am

So you're going to plug in your $54,000 car into a $200 Chinese charger? I sure wouldn't.

viking79
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:04 pm

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:21 am

Benagami wrote:So you're going to plug in your $54,000 car into a $200 Chinese charger? I sure wouldn't.
at the summer house...

I would just pick up a ClipperCreek or Juice Box. You won't pay that much more and get a US made unit with a real UL listing.

Nyken
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:44 am
Location: New York

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:42 am

For my weekend use, I only need 240v at 16 amps. And it should be portable and plug into a NEMA 6-20 outlet outside the house (there's no garage at the summer house).

At home I already have a Juicebox. The reason the Chinese chargers look good is that they are portable and cheap. I would not consider one for everyday use because I would question the quality of the J1772 connector which is used everyday.

If you think about what an EVSE is, it's a J1772 connector, a three wire power cable with a couple of low current signaling wires, a 'smart' relay box with some electronics to handle the handshaking with the car, and a GFI. For a medium power EVSE, the three 16amp power wires are the same 12 gauge they would be for the 120v 16amp charger (wire gauge is based on amperage) supplied by BMW.

For medium power charging (240v at 16amps is half the power of the Juicebox), I think $200ish is what it ought to cost.
2017 i3 Rex, Juicebox Pro 40

alohart
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:08 pm

Nyken wrote:At home I already have a Juicebox.

If your JuiceBox isn't hardwired and uses the slide-in mount, it is portable although larger and heavier than some EVSE's. You could buy a NEMA 14-50 to 6-20 adapter for considerably less money than a second EVSE. But you probably know this…
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

Nyken
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:44 am
Location: New York

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:28 pm

Yes, I could carry around the Juicebox.

But the Juicebox's 40amp cable will be a challenge to fit in the frunk. I carry the BMW 120v charger now in the frunk, and it would be great to swap it out for a Level 2 charger.

Anyone know of a Level 2 charger which fits in the frunk?
2017 i3 Rex, Juicebox Pro 40

JohnKelly
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:02 am

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:48 am

Hi Nyken,

I can fit a level 2 and the stock charger along with a scissor jack, a few tools, and the stock flat kit in the frunk. The level 2 is a Clipper Creek LCS-30P which is small and draws 24 amps... about 30% per hour. It has a NEMA 14-50 plug. I plug in at RV spots with 50 amp service once in awhile... works like a charm.

Best, John
2015 REX / Participating on plugshare w/level 2 Clipper Creek 32 amp, Moclips, Washington coast

EVMan
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:07 pm

If you already have the 6-20 which is quite uncommon , you can get AV turbocord from craigslist.
Many people sell them , as they come with many new cars now , so many sellers.
I picked up one from ebay for $240. new is not worth it. for occasional emergency use.

The main think about it is the small size and low profile/ discrete.
If you plug to a 240 wall , its almost un noticeable. , which may be good in public places or outside use

I believe KHONS is also Chinese , and looks to be better than others . any reason to question quality ?

Nyken wrote:For my weekend use, I only need 240v at 16 amps. And it should be portable and plug into a NEMA 6-20 outlet outside the house (there's no garage at the summer house).

At home I already have a Juicebox. The reason the Chinese chargers look good is that they are portable and cheap. I would not consider one for everyday use because I would question the quality of the J1772 connector which is used everyday.

If you think about what an EVSE is, it's a J1772 connector, a three wire power cable with a couple of low current signaling wires, a 'smart' relay box with some electronics to handle the handshaking with the car, and a GFI. For a medium power EVSE, the three 16amp power wires are the same 12 gauge they would be for the 120v 16amp charger (wire gauge is based on amperage) supplied by BMW.

For medium power charging (240v at 16amps is half the power of the Juicebox), I think $200ish is what it ought to cost.
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Model 3 Dual Motor, Long Range ( Wait-listed )
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

Nyken
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:44 am
Location: New York

Re: KHONS replacement EVSE review

Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:56 am

Thanks for the suggestions.

eBay seems to have a pretty wide selection of medium power portable chargers. I simply searched for 'Level 2 charger' and found 3 pages of results.

For medium power portable chargers, most used either Nema 6-20 or 10-30 outlets. For a 16 amp 220v charger, you need a minimum of 20 amps at the outlet, so 6-20 would be fine. A 10-30 would work as well.

But I like the Turbocord suggestion. This seems like a good solution where the control electronics are integrated into the plug. I'll be looking into it.
2017 i3 Rex, Juicebox Pro 40

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