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Ecotality Blink EVSE

Station installed at Portland's "Electric Avenue", Credit: Craig Vinton
CC By Richard Kelly, 10/2/2010, Alt Car Santa Monica
Ecotality Blink EVSE
Ecotality Blink EVSE
Accessory Type: 
Charge Station, SAE J-1772
Maximum Amps: 
30
Max Single Port Output: 
7.20 kW
Level: 
2
Price (USD): 
$1,195

Description

UL listed. Selective height design for convenient compliance with ADA requirements. 360 degree beacon light.

Features

  • Enclosure: NEMA 3R (sun and heat resistant)
  • Display: 7-color touch screen
  • Price: $1,199 Residential, $2,500 Commercial
  • Compliance: UL 2594, SAE J1772
  • Enclosure: Indoor/Outdoor
  • Programmable to charge when usage rates are lowest
  • Smart Grid ready
  • Network: Blink
  • Mounting: Wall, pedestal

5,700 Nissan LEAF owners and 2,600 Chevrolet Volt owners will be receiving a free EVSE, including installation, as part of the EVProject. Fill out the signup form to see if you qualify.

Some owners have reported various charging failures attributed to Blink units.

Blink has made a locator map available on their website.

Comments

Lars's picture

Blink Home Charger

Don't buy anything from Blink. My charger has been down for months and they don't have service people to fix it. They barely answer emails. I am ready to throw mine away and get a different model from a reliable supplier.
Phil Karn's picture

Hacking a Blink EVSE so it'll just work

I agree, Blink's EVSE is junk. I got the same "pink screens of death" and self-test failures that have plagued everyone else.

However, I found a very simple way to fix the problem. Inside the unit, behind the display, are two circuit boards. One is a low-level controller that talks directly to the car through the J1772 plug. The other is a high level computer running a highly hacked version of Linux with Blink's software.

This board is the source of all the trouble, and it isn't even necessary to charge the car! In fact, it's sole function is to disable charging, either because you told it to or because the software has crashed.

It turns out that it's very easy to disable this board and turn the EVSE into a simple, bare-bones system that JUST WORKS. There's a ribbon cable running between the two boards. Disconnect it. Also remove the DC power connector from the high level board (this is the one with the RJ45 Ethernet connector and the micro USB slot for the software on the bottom).

When you do this the screen will be dark and the unit will be off the net, of course, but the low-level controller will JUST WORK. In fact, charging starts a little faster than it ever did before, and it hasn't failed once since I made this mod nearly two years ago.

Steven's picture

Successful Hack of Blink EVSE

Following Phil Kam's procedure, I hacked my Blink EVSE and got it working again. On my Blink (see previous reply), I unplugged the connector with the 10 small blue wires and another connector with three medium size blue wires. The charging function was restored and the display screen is dark. Thank you, Phil!
Steven's picture

Successful Hack of Blink EVSE

Following Phil Kam's procedure, I hacked my Blink EVSE and got it working again. On my Blink (see previous reply), I unplugged the connector with the 10 small blue wires and another connector with three medium size blue wires. The charging function was restored and the display screen is dark. Thank you, Phil!
Steven's picture

Hacking a Failed Blink ESVE

I'm hoping someone is still following this thread. I have a Blink ESVE (model WE-30CIRE, rev XXX3) with similar symptoms: first it lost the display, but would still charge if power-cycled occasionally; now it won't charge at all. I want to use Phil Kam's method to hack it. I don't see a ribbon cable, but I see a group of 10 small blue wires connecting the two boards; I'm assuming they are equivalent to the ribbon cable. There are also two groups of 3 blue wires each connecting the two boards. I haven't been able to find the DC power connector. If anyone has knowledge of this topic, please expand on it for all of us who will need the information. Thanks much.
Kevin S.'s picture

DC cord

I just tried hacking and couldn't find the DC power until I unplugged a red and yellow cord from the small board that was connected to a small battery shaped like a coin at the floor of the unit. I hope this helps.
John's picture

blink charger hack

Has anyone perhaps posted a video of the hack? My WE-30Ckre (2011) charger just died, but I am quite nervous about pulling out parts...
Frank's picture

Blink EV charger

Good call! Bought one today that didn't work for $75.00. Did your little modification, charging like a bull seeing red. Thanks for the info BTY: I called Blink today before the fix and they estimated the repair to be between $300-$400.
Anonymous's picture

Defective Card

It sounds as though the card can be replaced and the unit will work as originally intended. Is that card available from anyone other than Blink?
Michael W's picture

I would agree. On January 24

I would agree. On January 24 my unit went and as of 2/24/14 I have not heard anything from the technical staff at Ecotality. The call center is helpful and sympathetic but they have no answers and have not been given much in the way of tools to address customer issues. The company appears to be in total dismay as a result of the bankruptcy and subsequent acquisition by CarCharging, a Florida public company. The crazy part is that I like the unit and would simply like to get it fixed but for the life of me I can't find a service tech in Arizona that will work on the unit. Any ideas? Would really like to keep the unit.