Tesla Wall Connector

Two weeks ago, I forgot my mobile charger on a trip up to Rogers City, where I charge with the same type of plug I have in my own garage. After 50 minutes on the road I turned, drove home to pick up the charger, and then had to stop in Bay City to supercharge because I’d already used over 100 miles of range. As I thought about it later that day, since the weather isn’t freezing anymore, I could have made it to my parents’ place with enough range to take a different route home, and supercharge in Gaylord.

Oh well, it was better to be safe than sorry. That night I told myself I wouldn’t let it happen again though, so I ordered a unit I could install in my garage. Then I could keep the mobile charger in the trunk where it belongs.

I also bought a new circuit breaker and wire in order to supply more current (amps) to the unit.

  • Tesla Wall Connector – $530
  • 25′ of 6/2 Romex Wire – $46
  • 60 Amp 2-pole Breaker – $19
  • Labor – $0

My total cost was just under $600 since I did the install myself. I’ve read on various Internet forums of people paying anywhere from $300 to over $2,000 for an electrician!

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I found a good spot in my garage to mount the plate and ran the wire from there down to the electrical panel.

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Installing a breaker and wiring it up can be scary and extremely dangerous, so a lot of people are smart to pay a professional. If you take your time and understand how the system works, it’s quite easy to do though. I turned off the main line and confirmed with a multimeter. The 30 amp 2-pole breaker in the lower right had been used for a hot tub several years ago and wasn’t even wired to anything anymore. I swapped it with the new 60 amp breaker. I closed everything up, turned on the main, flipped the breaker, and voila!

I love when everything works on the first try. Of course, I installed everything to code. 😉

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My Model 3 was already charged to 90%, which is as high as you want to charge the car for normal daily driving. I bumped the limit for a quick test and plugged in the car. With a 60 amp breaker, the maximum output of the charging unit is 48 amps, so I was in business. According to Tesla’s documentation, this should charge at a rate up to 44 mi/hr of range. It showed 36 here, but in my experience it takes a few minutes to ramp up and the chargers tend to slow down as they approach the charging limit, so I’ll have to check again after a day of driving. With the mobile charger and a 240 volt 20 amp outlet, my previous charge rate was 14 mi/hr of range, so it’ll be nice to have this boost.

The entire installation took a little over 2 hours since I was working alone and went slow to avoid mistakes.

Resurrect a “Dead” Power Tool Battery

Ever had a “dead” power tool battery that wouldn’t charge? It may not have been dead-dead. Some chargers have a safety feature that prevents trying to charge a battery completely out of juice. I was able to bring a Craftsman power tool battery back from the dead using a trick I found in the comments on a YouTube video. Sometimes it pays to read the comments.

This battery was part of a used Craftsman cordless tool set I practically stole. The set was a battery charger, small circular saw, reciprocating saw, nice case for those 3, drill/driver, nailer/stapler, and 2 batteries. Everything is in excellent condition and I only paid $30! The original sticker price on the box for the nailer alone was $80.

MacBook Pro Charger

After years of use, the Magsafe end of the charger for my Early 2013 MacBook Pro became frayed to the point where it would literally spark at times. Not safe. I found this 60W Macbook Pro Charger by Hunda for only $40 and it even has a couple of USB ports. Much cheaper than buying an official Apple replacement charger. I’ve been using it for 2 months and it does what it’s supposed to. You never know what you’re going to get with some of the off-brand Apple accessories, especially after reading some of the reviews. I got lucky this time.

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