Disappointing experience with Juicebox - Page 3 - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #21 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
It was my understanding that JuiceBox was an open source design, and that everything from complete products, to individual components could be purchased to create your own. Is it purely a consumer product now?

I'd like to see a community put together an open source EVSE with various features and source the lowest price quality components. Something a DIYer could follow, and decide which features are important enough to include so it meets all their requirements and budget.
https://www.openevse.com/

You can buy the individual components, they even have the drawings so you could build the control board from an Arduino (which is what it is based on). I bought a control board and sourced everything else to build a mult. level (1 & 2) up to 40A travel charger.
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post #22 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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The strange thing is the first JB I got wouldn't charge beyond 8amps, it was diagnosed by the company as defective, so sure, it happens. The second worked flawlessly for a month and then just stopped charging. If the problem was with my installed outlet, I'd expect that :

A: The JB would show electrical irregularities, but it has not, JB tech support said everything in the logs from past charges looks fine
B: We would see some other kinds of electrical issues which we haven't.

I am not ruling out there could still be an issue with the plug, but the fact the second JB worked just fine for a month suggest to me the plug is fine. I realize the odds of me getting two JB that failed is pretty high too.
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post #23 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bensully17 View Post
I'd get a second electrician to take a look at what you're supplying it if you've had two fail...
Our first failed from a loose connection in the molded 14-50 plug. The second failed for a bad relay. Any device can fail. Two within a year was my limit.
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post #24 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 02:49 AM
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I have had a JB 40 Pro operational since November. I use it about 3 times a week. The WiFi operation has been flawless, and I actually eventually installed a WAP in the garage so signal strength isn't an issue. I have read some reviews on failures, but my perception has been it being the most sold model will have the most reviews/failures/hopefully successes. Also bought mine on Amazon.
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post #25 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Vertiformed View Post
Thanks for sharing, it is great that there is this element out there. But the pricing is out of this world. For a kit, I put together, regardless how refined the kit is .... I expect it to end up being half the price of a commercial unit. It needs to come down a full $100 and I would buy it.
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post #26 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ZoomZoom View Post
Thanks for sharing, it is great that there is this element out there. But the pricing is out of this world. For a kit, I put together, regardless how refined the kit is .... I expect it to end up being half the price of a commercial unit. It needs to come down a full $100 and I would buy it.
This is like the old joke about the washing machine repair man charging $500 to fix a washer by screwing in a screw. Itemized price: Screw - $0.05, knowing where to put the screw - $499.95.

The OpenEVSE folks have taken the time to source the parts, design the cases, designing producing, populating, and programming the control boards, package everything up, and ship to the point where assembling the kit is little more than snapping and screwing a few pieces together. It's really less a kit and more a disasembled product like furniture from Ikea.

The Open Sourced parts of the product is organized such that there is enough information and code out there that you don't need to buy the kit. You can source the parts. You can wire up the controller. You can program it. You can figure out how to house the unit. You can choose the amperage of the J1772 cable. In short you can invest your time recreating everything the kit builders have done for you. You'll save much more than $100 in the process. But it'll take a ton more time, reconfiguration, and testing to get the unit you want.

I'm taking this route. One because I'm really in no hurry. Second is that working on stuff like this is a hobby for me. So my invested time and lack of need are really considered of little value as to the enjoyment I get from tinkering with a project and getting it working. Here's a brief description:

- My goal is to have a wifi accessible/controllable unit. I'm building this by pairing a Raspberry Pi Zero W controller for the wireless and web interfaces to an Arduino Pro mini for the low level controller functions. The pair of these can be purchased from Microcenter for example for a total less than $10.

- Support circuitry includes the triple voltage power supply (-12/5/12V), which must accept both 120 and 240V AC input, J1772 Control Pilot generation and detection, contactor activators, voltage detection, and GFCI detection. The first three are the bare minimum to get the car to charge. All of them are required for safe operation of the unit.

- A standard 220VAC contactor is in order. My plan is to activate the contactor with a 220V Solid State Relay. In fact I'll test at low power with the SSR itself as it's rated up to 25 amps. So 12 amps @ 120V isn't going to stress it.

- I have acquired a 30A J1772 handle with 16 feet of 8 gauge cord. It's a steal at $95.

The contactor ($10-20), support circuitry ($30 including the SSR), Controllers ($10 total), power supply ($15), and J1772 cable ($95) adds up to under $200 in parts. But then the support hardware and controllers have to be wired, the controllers have to be programmed, and all of it has to be mounted into a sturdy, water resistant/proof, enclosure.

Given the above description, the kit prices are not really out of line. I do find personally that the professional units in the $500-600 range to be exhorbitant, as they are build from essentially the same parts listed above with at least a 3x markup.

ga2500ev
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post #27 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:43 AM
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Another positive experience with JuiceBox Pro 40 WiFi here.
I bought one refurbished from QuickChargePower on their eBay store - it doesn't have the status lights - all stainless steel case but has been rock solid for the year I've owned it.

Sorry to hear about the poor customer service experience, I hope they remedy this for you soon.
Great product...
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post #28 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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I finally heard back from them today, they are waiting for approval to proceed, not sure what that means. I was happy with the second one I got that worked for a month, I'd take another one, depends on what they want to do I guess.
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post #29 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ga2500ev View Post
This is like the old joke about the washing machine repair man charging $500 to fix a washer by screwing in a screw. Itemized price: Screw - $0.05, knowing where to put the screw - $499.95.

The OpenEVSE folks have taken the time to source the parts, design the cases, designing producing, populating, and programming the control boards, package everything up, and ship to the point where assembling the kit is little more than snapping and screwing a few pieces together. It's really less a kit and more a disasembled product like furniture from Ikea.

The Open Sourced parts of the product is organized such that there is enough information and code out there that you don't need to buy the kit. You can source the parts. You can wire up the controller. You can program it. You can figure out how to house the unit. You can choose the amperage of the J1772 cable. In short you can invest your time recreating everything the kit builders have done for you. You'll save much more than $100 in the process. But it'll take a ton more time, reconfiguration, and testing to get the unit you want.

I'm taking this route. One because I'm really in no hurry. Second is that working on stuff like this is a hobby for me. So my invested time and lack of need are really considered of little value as to the enjoyment I get from tinkering with a project and getting it working. Here's a brief description:

- My goal is to have a wifi accessible/controllable unit. I'm building this by pairing a Raspberry Pi Zero W controller for the wireless and web interfaces to an Arduino Pro mini for the low level controller functions. The pair of these can be purchased from Microcenter for example for a total less than $10.

- Support circuitry includes the triple voltage power supply (-12/5/12V), which must accept both 120 and 240V AC input, J1772 Control Pilot generation and detection, contactor activators, voltage detection, and GFCI detection. The first three are the bare minimum to get the car to charge. All of them are required for safe operation of the unit.

- A standard 220VAC contactor is in order. My plan is to activate the contactor with a 220V Solid State Relay. In fact I'll test at low power with the SSR itself as it's rated up to 25 amps. So 12 amps @ 120V isn't going to stress it.

- I have acquired a 30A J1772 handle with 16 feet of 8 gauge cord. It's a steal at $95.

The contactor ($10-20), support circuitry ($30 including the SSR), Controllers ($10 total), power supply ($15), and J1772 cable ($95) adds up to under $200 in parts. But then the support hardware and controllers have to be wired, the controllers have to be programmed, and all of it has to be mounted into a sturdy, water resistant/proof, enclosure.

Given the above description, the kit prices are not really out of line. I do find personally that the professional units in the $500-600 range to be exhorbitant, as they are build from essentially the same parts listed above with at least a 3x markup.

ga2500ev
I still think the price is out of line but understand your comments. I also have a Raspberry Pi that monitors my Generac Generator, I'm thankful that the Pi isn't priced by the same people who priced the OpenEVSE products.
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post #30 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 09:19 AM
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Siemens VersiCharge, non-WiFi, plugged (NEMA 6-50) version, in garage, 2 feet from service panel, 40 amp breaker, wire size suitable for 40 amps, 50 amp capable outlet, 24 months, 100% flawless performance.
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