Arduino, electronics podcast, hardware, J1772, MacroFab, macrofab engineering podcast, Open Source, OpenEVSE, opensource, Tesla, vehicle charging
engineering podcast

MEP EP #162: Electric Vehicle Charging and Cat Safety

Podcast Notes

Christopher Howell

  • OpenEVSE started in February 2011 with a simple experiment to try to generate the J1772 pilot signal on an Arduino
  • One experiment lead to another to another until a prototype J1772 compatible controller was born
  • With lots of feedback and interest a few boards were offered to other hardware hackers
  • What started as 6 boards built in the first batch turned into many thousands…
  • Today, OpenEVSE powers charging stations from many manufactures all over the world.


  • What is OpenEVSE? Does EVSE stand for something?
  • What is the story behind you getting into Electric Vehicle Chargers?
  •  Design
    • Generating the SAE J1772 pilot signal from an Arduino. Why Arduino?
    • What kind of regulations do you have to deal with?
    • What approvals or markings does your product have?
    • Are the kits approved?
  • Kits
    • Have you seen much interest in these? I would think most people just want a working final product.
    • Safety concerns?
  • Compatibility with vehicles?
  • Going the other way? Battery management?
  • John Cutler from twitter asks:
    • Allowing load sharing for multiple EVSEs sharing a circuit and/or supporting the Hydra style setup?
      • Day based scheduling (i.e. weekdays vs weekends).
      • Smaller, more portable and/or inexpensive models?
      • RaspberryPi based versions?
  • Guy Thomas grtyvr from our Slack Channel asks:
    • What is the current state of vehicle charging grid? And what can we do to influence decision makers to move faster on adoption?
    • Super-capacitors for buses/trains:  is there progress in that area?
    • Inductive charging for the bus/trains.  Is that a thing?
  • Which EV do you drive? Which do you recommend?
  • Github Repo


KiCon 2019 is a user conference for the popular open source CAD program KiCad. Happening April 26th and 27th 2019 in Chicago IL, this is the first and largest gathering of hardware developers using KiCad. Talks at the conference will span hardware design, revision control, scripting, manufacturing considerations, proper library management and getting  started developing the underlying tools. All announced talks have been listed on the conference site.

MacroFab will be at SXSW. We are teaming up with to put together a Hardware Happy Hour. It will take place this Friday March 8th from 4PM until 8PM at the Jester King Brewery. Join us for food and beer and network with fellow Hardware Engineers to kick off your SXSW weekend.

Visit our Public Slack Channel and join the conversation in between episodes!

Christopher Howell of OpenEVSE recording the podcast! An OpenEVSE charger is on the wall behind him.

Christopher Howell of OpenEVSE recording the podcast! An OpenEVSE charger is on the wall behind him.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!