Gen 1 UMC charging cable gives orange "charger not plugged in" error

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tipton

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#1
Ok, so I purchased 2 Gen 1 charging cables for dirt cheap off of eBay that were listed untested "for parts". Being a betting man I saw no reason why these wouldn't work and figured the seller likely didn't have any adapters. Well, one cable works perfectly. The other cable I keep getting a charging error blinking orange and the 5 red blinks in red confirm what the screen tells me "charger not plugged in fully". I have tried everything i can think of. Obviously, i know how to put in the charger since the other cable works fine. I've pushed up, down, unplugged, reset done everything i can think of and can't get this thing working. I've not gotten it to charge green one time. Any idea on something i can try or how i can fix this cable? I'm using the NEMA 14-50 adapter.

Granted, I'm already ahead with one of the cables working but I'd really like to get this other cable working.
 

MelindaV

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#2
sounds like one of your two 'dirt cheap' buys is junk. I'd say you should cut your losses and throw it out before it causes any damage/shorts out/catches fire/etc
you did state these were sold as 'for parts', so don't think it can be expected that they would work at all.
 

tipton

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#3
sounds like one of your two 'dirt cheap' buys is junk. I'd say you should cut your losses and throw it out before it causes any damage/shorts out/catches fire/etc
would be like throwing $200 in the garbage. these cables even when not working are worth far more to other EV owners than many Tesla owners.
 

Defjukie

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#5
It could be anything, really.

But if the extent of your repair abilities is to jiggle / re-seat the cable, I’d call the fact that you got one that works a huge win.
 

tipton

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#6
It could be anything, really.

But if the extent of your repair abilities is to jiggle / re-seat the cable, I’d call the fact that you got one that works a huge win.
brilliant, thanks so much for the help and great advice.
 
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13004

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#7
It could be anything, really.
Yup, anything.

Personally, I would send them both to Tony Williams over at quickchargepower.com, have him sort out the issue with faulty one, chuck the failing end of the bad one, have him splice the “good” end of the of failing UMC onto to the fully functioning UMC, and voila, you now have a 40' stretched UMC that will often reach friends and family's dryer (10-30, 14-30) outlets for destination charging. I keep a 40 and a 50 foot UMC in my Teslas. Jus' my $.02 :)

btw, Tony uses a mil-spec splice that is weatherproof. If you grab one the 6-15 UMC adapters before they disappear, your stretched UMC may come in handy if you travel in the boonies with motels that have in-wall air conditioners that are almost always powered by 6-20 outlets. Please keep in mind that a) the motel outlets are usually tucked tightly underneath the unit and b) the young hardworking sleep deprived Tesla employee that released the very obscure 6-15 UMC adapter f'cked up the orientation of said adapter so an inexpensive 6-20 (aka window air-conditioner) short extension cord may be required.

(6-20 receptacles will accommodate 6-15 plugs in the same manner that all 5-20 receptacles will accommodate 5-15 plugs)
 
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JWardell

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#9
Remove all cables and adapters, and inspect the contacts on each connection with a flashlight, if they look dirty at all give them a good scrub with a small wire brush. I could imagine corroded contacts due to moisture interfering with communication to the plug adaptor or the charge port would cause this issue.

I'm with you, don't throw it out! I have a whole basement of zombie electronics that I promise to open and fix one of these days :)
 

tipton

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#10
You asked a question, I answered it. Without taking it apart and testing the board inside, that's as good an answer as anyone can give you.

Exactly, I asked a question looking for help. Who would ever think a comment like this is hepful?

"But if the extent of your repair abilities is to jiggle / re-seat the cable, I’d call the fact that you got one that works a huge win."

As if I wasn't willing to do more than to jiggle and re-seat the cable? I was and am looking for any and all ideas. Suggesting i'm too lazy or stupid to try other ideas provides no help at all so why even make the comment?

then again, I apologize. I am likely taking this comment too far and it was probably not meant in any form of malice. It reads both ways. In my state of mind after reading every single comment relating to UMC failure on 3 message boards my state of mind wasn't in the right place for the suggestion that I wasn't trying enough. my bad.
 

garsh

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#11
As if I wasn't willing to do more than to jiggle and re-seat the cable? I was and am looking for any and all ideas. Suggesting i'm too lazy or stupid to try other ideas provides no help at all so why even make the comment?
I don't think he was suggesting anything of the sort. It just sounded like you hadn't done anything to diagnose the problem, which makes us believe that you didn't have enough knowledge of electronics to investigate the problem further.
 

tipton

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#12
I don't think he was suggesting anything of the sort. It just sounded like you hadn't done anything to diagnose the problem, which makes us believe that you didn't have enough knowledge of electronics to investigate the problem further.
agreed, and i realized this at the bottom of my post and apologized. it can be taken both ways, but much more likely i was wrong.
 

tipton

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#13
SUCCESS!!!!

Got an amazing tip on Tesla Motors Club to make certain there wasn't any microscopic plastic broken off and to compare each part and make sure you couldn't see any black. The UMC charger is basically silver/gold on the top two connectors. There was a perfectly sized broken off piece of plastic wrapped around the one coil you could barely see when shining a flashlight in that must have broken off from the original owners charge port. Another great tip on the forum said they got a piece of plastic out with a needle. I struggled for quite some time and decided to heat up a needle really hot and hope it would mold itself to the plastic ring piece. It did, and doing this pulled the plastic piece out perfectly.

I thought I was home free here, but got the same error. Unreal.

Kept comparing the working cord to the one still getting the orange ring. Noticed that there looked to be another small piece of plastic lodged in the middle black portion of the plug.

The plastic was actually a small minute rock lodged in the black open space middle portion of the umc on the far left side at the bottom of curved plastic. After purchasing a hook and pick set I was finally able to pry out the rock, which proved much tougher than the piece of plastic.

Now the UMC is working perfectly again.

Super happy I didn't just give up on this.