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Car Jump Starter

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by Moshe ben David, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    In case the title is not too clear, I'm referring to the portable, battery based jump starters that are now on the market. Once upon a time the only thing we had to rely on were a set of jumper cables in the trunk. Even emergency road service (e.g., AAA) would pull up in a truck with more or less permanently set up jumper cables.

    I've come to realize that often times even AAA now uses these portable devices; although frankly I'd think doing a jump start from a running engine (their vehicle!) would be more effective.

    But I digress.

    I can see how having such a device could be handy. Do any of y'all have experience with them? Anyone want to go out on a limb and make recommendations? I did do a Google search of course; even tried to probe a little into the varied 'best of year xxxx' choices. Invariably mixed results (whatever else would I expect LOL), complaints of devices made in China (d'uh), etc.

    So my edcf friends, anyone want to weigh in? I'm looking for something with enough muscle to start a 3500 cc V-6...

    Thanks

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  2. sld

    sld Loaded Pockets

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    I’ve kept one in the back of my car for years. The big advantage is if it’s your car that needs starting you don’t have to wait for someone willing to help to come by. I work fairly late at night often and it’s comforting to have the ability to jump start my own car should the need arise. Also with all the electronics in today’s cars throwing the electrical disturbances from jumper cables on the cars electrical system doesn’t sit well with me. The “jump box” as ther are often called are often more convenient than getting the cars positioned for jumper cables to reach both batteries. I’ve used mine to start my own car once but have helped others several times. Also used it to start the lawn mower a few times. The one I have came from the big blue auto parts store. It’s just the jump box with a pair of short cables & clamps plus a “ lighter socket” type outlet, no air compressor or microwave or such. It plugs into a 110 outlet to recharge. I don’t recall the specs offhand but it’s started a couple of larger pickups. It probably weights around 20 pounds. I think it cost about $125 or so 5 or so years ago. Hope this helps..
     
  3. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Buy a 'good' trusted brand. These devices are in their very nature quite dangerous. Li-ions like this designed to dump all their stored power FAST will also be able to do this when something goes wrong. They are volatile little parts. Cheaper models also don't take heat well and lets face it cars can get hot.

    That being said, if you can find a good one there's not a whole lot to em. Its a bunch of batteries with a fat stack of mosfets. As long as those two components are decent quality and they are connected with some nice heavy copper then you are set, everything else like usb charging, lights, laptop charging, ac socket and more to that nature is all window dressing that really doesn't help the main purpose of a device like this.

    Genius boost devices are supposed to be quite good, but i honestly never used or had the need for one. My car doesnt have starting issues, my bikes i can just push or kickstart when i leave the lights on (again).
     
  4. steviesterno

    steviesterno Loaded Pockets

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    I picked a well reviewed version up on an Amazon Prime fest or whatever they are called. Previous to this I have owned a few, and used them for everything from mowers and cars to my giant 455 Cubic Inch V8. We also used them as batteries for trolling mowers with good results.

    pick a decent one off Amazon, read the instructions, take care of it. Mine is also a USB power supply, so in addition to my EDC it fits into my general prepper mind set. One of these battery packs could power your cell phone for days if needed. and I could charge it off a generator if I really needed to.
     
  5. rbent

    rbent Loaded Pockets

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    I've got the NOCO GB40 one. Got it a month or two ago. I tested it by unhooking the battery from my Buick Park Avenue with the 3.8L S/C and it started it fine with no battery in it. Its also jump started a smaller tractor at work a couple of times with no problems. I'm a believer in them now. It seems like a nice little package with nice quality clamps on it.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015TKUPIC/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
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  6. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Had no idea they were now so small. All of the ones I've ever seen looked about the size of a small backpack...

    Thanks

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  7. McNasty

    McNasty Loaded Pockets

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  8. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Yup.... that's what AAA was carrying the last time I had to call them too. Yes, industrial..... but I am thinking that might be a bonus if you have to work in the cold and need something that is manageable to use while wearing gloves.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
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  9. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Those look a lot like old lead starters, absolute dinosaurs compared to the tiny and light li-ion starters you can purchase nowadays. If they do work on lead batteries you might actually wanna avoid using them in the cold too much.
     
  10. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Thanks for the heads up.

    I am not too concerned about the unit needing to be tiny. But a quick check of the user's manual did confirm that it does indeed use a sealed lead acid battery with the following maint. suggestions:

    "Recharge when first purchased, immediately after each use, and every three months if not used. Failure to perform maintenance charges may cause the battery life to be reduced greatly."​

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  11. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, lead batteries still have a spot in my heart as they do have the benefit of being nearly bomb proof. If you use a device like this every other day for a car or two and keep it nice and topped up in between these will outlast li-ion boosters. So if size, weight and constant maintenance are not an issue these might be for you. They also have the advantage of being cheap as chips. Li-ions will be more of a set and forget type of thing, only needing to be topped off once a year or so. They can also output higher voltages and even higher current if built properly. But that's the catch, lead batteries being so simple are way easier to produce whereas with lithium there's a whole lot that can go wrong so difference between similar devices from different brands will be larger.

    For incidental/emergency use a good brand lithium ion pack is hard to beat except in price. Need a workhorse, get one of those old tech boys.
     
  12. Lateck

    Lateck Loaded Pockets

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    I own a couple of Anker brand compact jump starters. They work!
    Anker makes to sizes, 600 and 400. I have one of each. The 600 will start some very large cars and trucks. The 400 is listed to 3L gas.
    They stay charged for a long time and are compact.

    Lateck,
     
  13. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Guys thanks for all the info; and especially thanks to all for pointing out the relative +/- of the lead battery vs li ion battery based starters.

    This thread clears up a lot for me.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  14. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have several old school jumpers with regular SLA batteries in them and in fact I have replaced most of the batteries too as they croak after a while.
    They all use what I consider Alarm Batteries and I get the replacements pretty cheap at the Alarm Distributors that I use every day already.

    Mine have all had either 18ah or 7ah batteries so far.
    The last one that I bought didn't come with battery at all and I stuck an 18ah in there,it is a pretty neat model made to have you put in the battery of your choice!
    It is way too huge though as it has all of the pother crap in it that sucks anyway and only really gets in the way but the cables are pretty much nicer than all the others I have seen too.

    I also snagged several Battery Tender versions of the tiny Lion models they were blowing out at Home Depot and they seem to mean well but underwhelm me in general too?
    So far I am about 50% with them being useful when needed,not very encouraging overal
     
  15. jdindadell

    jdindadell Loaded Pockets

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    Lowes has a schumacher one that I use at my auto body shop. SL65, about the size of a deck of card and does about 95% of the jump starting we need to do. I got it cause it is light, lugging a big old school jump box around is not my idea of a good time. It will not start a completely dead car, but if the car clicks, it will do it, even v8 trucks... I am very impressed, plus you can use it to charge usb stuff too. and it has a (crappy bluish tint, no high cri here) led light.
     
  16. ChadHahn

    ChadHahn Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Zeusray 12000mah that I bought from Amazon a little over a year ago. It had started numerous cars since then; my 4.0 Jeep, my 6 cylinder Land Cruiser and my 350 V8 RV. It seems to hold a charge between uses and after I use it I take it in the house to recharge.

    For Christmas last year I bought my wife one from Costco, I don't remember the brand, and when I went to use it a about a month ago it didn't work. I don't know if had sat too long or what. I put my Zeusray on and it started the car right up.

    They don't take up much space and really come in handy.

    Chad
     
  17. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

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    I was at my local Sam's Club and picked up a Stanley Fatmax PP1DCS with 1000 peak amps. I remembered this thread and decided to go with the traditional SLA option since weight and space really aren't a factor for me. I decided on the SLA option over the Li-Ion option because I'm far less likely to misplace the larger jump starter, or lose the little cable for the Li-Ion pack. Also, the Li-Ion pack shouldn't be stored at full capacity, whereas the SLA should be topped off at full capacity every few months.
     
  18. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @kikaida: I like the way you think!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David