another plastic part?

Wow, I can’t believe it has been almost 4 years since I last posted here. Been busy with jobs and life, but my original J1772 holder has been selling quite well on Amazon. Almost never sell any via this website though, but it is good to have. My thoughts are that if you don’t have a website you don’t exist (as a business)

I have been asked a few times over the last 3 years to come up with a holder for the european market. Previously, I declined because I had no reason to obtain a type-2 charge plug (also known as Mennekes, or  IEC 62196), since I’d never be able to use it, likewise, I wouldn’t really have a way to do development or test.

But when your biggest customer asks you for something that would only result in more sales, it is stupid to say no. So I’m giving it a shot. I bought a J1772 type-2 holder from china and used that as a reference. I also obtain the only holder currently on the market, and my only competition. Similar to the type-1 holder (the original one) it resembles a central vacuum inlet, but not only that, it requires moving parts to function at all. But the important thing here for my learning curve is to understand how these European chargers actually connect to a receptacle.

Skipping the design trials and tribulations, I have come up with a working concept that I somehow manage to 3d print with my 7 year old junker. After a few failures, the successful print came out at 190 grams (including support material) and 14 hours of machine time.

I’ll be looking for feedback, as once this goes to injection molding, it cannot be changed, so it has got to be perfect.

fresh out of the 3d printer

fresh out of the 3d printer

type-2 (white) next to type-1 (black)

type-2 (white) next to type-1 (black)

holder without plug

holder without plug

existing type-2 Chinese holder on left with moving parts, type 1 holder on the right

existing type-2 Chinese holder on left with moving parts, type 1 holder on the right


Here is a youtube video!

here is a link to my thingiverse page where you can download this holder



They are finally in!

Ok, so this process took over 6 months… not something I’d like to repeat.
It has been nearly 1 year and 1 month since I started all this. It really has taken on a life of its own… Maybe one day, it will be able to move out and be self sufficient… I can only dream.

First box of 100, ready for small orders!

I’ll sell to anyone who is interested. I really hope I will not become one of those folks who “only sell to OEMs”. You may see a few re-sellers (or OEMs) online with this black hooded mount that has “Made In Canada” on the back. Now you know where they got it from.
So whether you want one, or one thousand, there is a price that works for everyone.

So check out the sales page for more photos! If you want more than 5 units, or want to pay in CAD, contact me!

I actually sold out??

So, yeah, I sold out of my solid cast dummy inlets. What do I do now? Make more?… I have a better idea… make a few thousand more. So you are thinking they will be cheaper right? Well, yes, they will be cheaper if you buy more than 10 at a time, if you just buy 1, then it will be the same price; $35 which includes shipping to anywhere in the world. I have not investigated different colors yet.

I am transitioning to injection molding and should have some sell-able units in another week or so.

For now, here are some photos:

very expensive die for injection molding

very expensive die for injection molding

first sample!

first sample!


If you are looking for a chademo plug update, I finished my final version a while ago, and sent 2 samples (including pins) to Valery Miftakhov. If you want to know more about the plugs I designed, check out my thingiverse page here:

As for the status of the charger, this video is a nice update:


Upward, Onward

I will be adjusting my plastic parts for sale. I have been asked to find a way to increase my output, and decrease the amount of time put into each part. It takes around 5 hours to print a plastic inlet, but only half an hour to pour and cure liquid plastic into a mold that I created by 3D printing a master copy.

So now introducing, a solid black delux hooded inlet! This should be able to withstand much more abuse than the typical 3D printed inlet. See photos below.

I will be selling these on ebay, but also here. I have also decided to eat the different shipping costs and just ship world wide with the average cost included in the price. (about 10$ for economy no-tracking shipping)

I have already started selling my prototype solid models, they are white and as of this blog post, there is only 1 left (started with 5). The sales from these went to pay for my first experiments and the silicone mold.

You will probably notice a big hole at the back of the hood. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable due to the “undercut” that is present due to the edge that allows the latch of the J1772 plug to hook onto this plastic inlet. The pins and internal parts of the plug are still protected.

My apologies for not having a proper webstore with a shopping cart, I am doing all of this as part of my hobby, and between a day job and my half-ass attempt at a social life, I really don’t have a lot of time for webdesign. Though I always try my best to ship next day once getting an order.

1.5mm pins for … who knows what?

I’m at it again, dummy sales have slowed down a bit, which has given me time to work on this rapid charger plug project a bit. Since starting sales of my dummy inlets, (September), I have already recovered 52% (ish) of the funds I have been spending on parts for development projects over the last 2 years. (No, I’m not going to say the dollar value, but my pocket book was starting to notice).

My goal is not to build and sell complete chademo plugs, though they do cost about $3000 if you want to buy 100 from yazaki, they are protected by patent law and therefore are only available for personal use. But there isn’t anything stopping me from sharing information that I have discovered and designs I have made myself.

So continuing from my previous blog post, is the other metal part that cannot be 3d printed, the data pins. I have known how to make these for much longer than the 9mm power pins, and they are quite simple, so were not a priority. But before I publish instructions on how to build a chademo plug, I need to hash out all the details. Yet to be designed is some sort of locking mechanism. Initially I was going to use a 12V continuous duty solenoid, but when trying it out, I was disappointed to find out how freakin hot it became. So it is back to the drawing board and more delays. In the mean-while I am sending samples to a few key individuals who are major contributors to this project.

Parts/materials required:

  • Brass rod, I used 2.8mm EDM tubing I had bought for use as a 2.8mm J1772 ground pin
  • 1.5mm gold plated nail type pins (Digikey PN ED90409-ND)
  • pn 88605K28
  • Side-mount External Retaining Ring (e-style), Stainless Steel, For 3-4mm Shaft Diameter – mcmaster pn 98317A207
  • Fiberglass jig that aligns 1.5mm pins to brass rod
  • leaded solder (flows better than non-leaded)
  • flux – no-clean prefered

Tools required:

  • cordless drill
  • dremel (high speed rotary tool)
  • Soldering iron

Here is my slide show presentation on how to make 1.5mm pins

9mm Pins For Jewelry Or Perhaps Rapid Charging a Car?

So I have been selling some of my dummy inlets, and so far, have been able to keep up with demand. Thank you everyone for your support. This allows me to spend a bit of extra on experiments that may not do anything except teach something. The point is, this stuff costs $$, especially when I buy 7 pins, then drop them on the floor only to find 6… and I can’t finish the project without 7! Which means I need to buy parts again, and pay for shipping again… 🙁

What have I been working on? Well a couple things… I found the near-exact same 240V pins that are used in the Nissan Leaf J1772 inlet! I can tell by the plastic tip that is at the end of the pins. (hint; they are made by Amphenol). The data and ground pins need to be fabricated, but I have an easy way to do those. But that is not what this post is about.. That project got de-prioritized due to bigger and better things.

As I mentioned in my first blog post I am helping with the connector that we hope might have a slight chance at being compatible with the chademo connector on japanese EVs. One of the biggest hurdles for me is the pins. I do not have a machine shop, I am not a machinist, and I don’t have the $$ to get them custom made.

I have come up with a process that I hope is repeatable, that means you at home can attempt this, but what you do afterwards with them is up to you. If/when you blow your self up, it is your own damn fault… remember that. Also remember that this is how I did it, you may choose to use different parts or use different tools. You may want to use a smaller wire, therefor smaller splice connectors, that’s fine, but for testing purposes, I am sticking with 2awg, if we find out that it is overkill, we can try something smaller later.


Parts/materials required:

  • Multipurpose Copper (Alloy 110), 5/16″ Diameter, 3′ Length – mcmaster pn 8966K89
  • Formable Brass (Alloy 260), Round Tube, 9 mm OD, 300 mm Length – mcmaster pn 88605K28
  • Side-Mount External Retaining Ring (E-Style), Stainless Steel, for 9-12MM Shaft Diameter – mcmaster pn 98317A227
  • 2AWG butt splice – digikey PN WM2973-ND
  • solder wick (copper braid)
  • leaded solder (flows better than non-leaded)
  • flux – no-clean prefered
  • IPA alcohol to clean
  • kapton tape (polyimide tape) or some other form of masking that can survive strong heat.

Tools required:

  • vice grips
  • cordless drill
  • dremel (high speed rotary tool)
  • fine grit sand paper
  • firm bristle brush
  • propane torch

I created a photo stream to illustrate every step I can think of, however it is about 50 pictures, I think that is too much for a blog post, so just click on this first one, and it will take you to my skydrive, there you can scroll through the photos, each has a caption for an explanation. I made 4 pins this way, and it was the fourth one where I took the photos.

One thing I have not done yet is polishing the brass after everything else is done. You would polish it just like any other brass. I am going to use the polishing bit on my dremel and polish compound. This should really make them into a mirror finish! This shouldn’t be done until right before they are put into an enclosure to protect them from further scratches. I have to re-design the 3d printed plug before this will happen.

If you make it to the end of the slide show, there is a photo of something else, kind of a teaser of what else is on the way. 😉

Hello world!

This is my contribution to the on-going effort that is the EV moment.  We are going to take over the world, it is inevitable, so what makes me so motivated to be part of it, instead of sitting back and waiting for other people to do the work? A mix of things, my aspects of impatience, and social responsibility out weigh my aspects of laziness.

I own and drive a 2011 Nissan Leaf, there was only 40 Leafs available to the Canadian public in late 2011, and I was one of them. My dream is to be able to drive across the country on free/cheap electricity in the same way the Tesla vehicles can already. Currently this is not feasible with existing infrastructure and a car that can only draw a mere 16 amps, there is only 1 DC quick charger in Ontario, and it is in the same city as me, so I almost never need to use it. It is also only available during office/buisness hours, not 24/7 like what we would need.

The point is that it is up to us, the pre-early adopters. The demographic that will buy into EVs are tinkerers and innovators. The kind of people who have already been involved or investigated getting an EV either by building their own, or buying a unique thing that happens to run on batteries instead of gasoline. These are my kin, and we will work together to change the world for the better.

SO, what am I working on? I’ll get to that, I need to give you some context, EVs are not  my only passion. Really, my passion is anything that is cutting edge and game-changing. I learned this about myself in high-school, I spent 600$ on a 2x CD burner, the only reason I got this rather expensive piece of crap was to copy uh, make back-ups of Sony Playstation games.  The device paid for itself in a couple months, and went onto pay for my first year of college. I was able to do this because nobody else was. I stopped because it became main-stream and people were doing that for their buddies for free. I suspect what I am doing here will repeat. My non-EV related passion right now is 3D printing, but I figured a way to bring the two together!

I have a 3D printer, and I’m not afraid to use it. (Reprap – Prusa Mendel type, kit made by Makergear)

A few things are happening at the same time right now.

I am currently involved in a collaborative project to build an open-source rapid charger that is compatible with the QC port found on Japanese electric cars. (ie; my car). It seems I am the only one in the world with the capabilities, the cogitative aptitude, the motivation and the tooling resources to make an affordable substitute for the plug that mates with the QC port on the Nissan Leaf. I have been told that buying one of these plugs costs around $3000. Without a viable substitute, experimentation, learning, and improvement is impossible, and we would be forced to wait around for the OEMs maybe one day (or never) provide these pre-installed in locations where we may be permitted to use them. I am far to impatient for that, especially since one of the risks is that the standard that is used (chademo) is walking-dead, so to speak.The reason is that there is a standards war going on, like BETA vs VHS, which both eventually lost to DVD, which lost to Blu-ray, which lost to the internet. Currently for electric vehicle charging, there are 3 DC rapid charge standards, Japanese Chademo, SAE combo, and Tesla supercharge.

  • Chademo – beta video, better quality, was out first, but having difficulty getting mainstream
  • SAE combo, – VHS, it has more supporters and is expected to be mainstream.
  • Tesla supercharger – DVD, this is likely to be licensed out to non-Tesla OEMs in the longer term. The reason is that it has a much higher power capability, at 120kw it is more than double the power output and can compete against gasoline for refill times. (at a full serve station and walking in for a coffee/bathroom break, the time is about the same)

I want to keep my car on the road for at least 10 more years to maximize its effectiveness, and this means, I want a DC fast charger. And if the OEMs won’t do it, I’ll have to do it myself.


My 3d printed DC rapid charger plug. For experimentation as alternate to the $3000 one


The other things that are happening in parallel to this project is my j1772 parts. I am entering a niche market of EVSE accessories. Right now I am selling dummy inlets and at some point, I will setup a web-shop here on wordpress to make it easier to buy. This hobby of mine is getting expensive, so I greatly appreciate your support when you buy my plastic parts.

Here are some of the details.

Currently I have 4 models available, all are open source and free for all if you have a 3D printer. (If you do NOT have a 3D printer, I’ll print the parts for you and ship them world-wide for a nominal fee 😉 This is useful as a parking spot for your EVSE that may normally rest in your driveway, on the ground, in a mail box, or you may hang the plug by the cord on something, this may also be used to keep bugs and other crap from getting in your plug. Simply mount this plastic part on a wall, post, or even on your existing EVSE.

  • All prices are in USD,
  • Shipping to US/Canada is 8$ for one unit, increases with added weight
  • Shipping to UK is 9$ and also increases with added weight.
  • I am currently only printing with PLA plasic which does not perform well in extreme temperatures, if squeezed, it can deform if at 40C (104F).
  • I only accept cash or paypal to joelclemens at gmail dot com

Basic dust-cap $15

Basic inlet with latch; 25$ (glowing plastic depends on availability)

dummy inlet at 25 degree angle – 30$ (includes mounting screws)

delux model (currently under development) -35$

  • 25 degree tilt
  • protective hood
  • mounting screws
  • (place to spool cable on top of hood to be added)

Hopefully, I will find time to continue to update this blog with updates on my projects.

Brought to you by My EV Blog.

Last updated 2013-09-30