Author Topic: car battery jumper packs  (Read 8769 times)

Offline womule

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car battery jumper packs
« on: November 21, 2009, 07:07:32 PM »
Just listened to the episode about vehicle preps. I have been repairing vehicles in GM garages for 10 years now and I wouldn't endorse the jumper packs as a prepper item. They are handy to have as a mechanic, but they don't hold their charge very long. So it might not be there for you if you need it.

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 07:27:25 PM »
Too true, womule, especially if left in a car when it's zero out. However, I got into the habit of taking it into the office with me during the day, keeping it from freezing, and charging it too if the status lights were down even one level.

More important is to get one that is sized for your vehicle. The one I have is good for a car, but I have dual 880A-hr batteries in the pickup, and a 200A box just ain't gonna cut it getting it started. So now I am looking at a Schumacher 950A box that actually costs less than I paid for the plug-in charger.

Offline womule

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 07:36:31 PM »
Pathfinder, you are correct sir!  Let me add that if someone is concidering jumper cables, then they should buy a pair that have the narrow extentions on the clamps. GM vehicles have side terminals on their batteries and are always difficult to put jumper cables on. You may not drive a GM but the person jumping your car might

Offline Serellan

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 01:02:13 PM »
I had considered these as well, but discounted them because they are relatively expensive, and seems to always have one available you would need to constantly be charging them.  I have emergency roadside assistance for free with my insurance, and carry jumper cables, so they don't seem all that useful for normal everyday uses as well.


Offline idelphic

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 01:52:23 PM »
I have several Black and Decker SimpleStart packs.  Has a light, accessory plug and will if charged put enough charge into the battery to start...  Fits in the glove box so no getting out in the rain.

If charged every so often (you can charge in the car as you drive) it'll be fine.  I just let the truck 'die' here in the yard and tested..  and it it worked as suggestyed.

But I now also have cables.

Offline Jim3

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 02:59:30 PM »
If you get a battery jumper pack, make sure it has a cigarette lighter port.  You can use these to charge up cell phones if you forgot you wall charger at home.  I've used my batter jumper pack as a  charger for my cell phone more times than I've used it to jump a car.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2009, 03:14:28 PM »
Add an inverter and you have a nice little power source.

Fred_47460

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2009, 03:59:10 PM »
Add an inverter and you have a nice little power source.

Add a solar panel to charge it and you have a power source for at least communications gear during the Apocalypse!

Offline idelphic

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2009, 07:15:01 PM »
Add a Yeasu Ft 817nd Amateur Radio and you can chat for a few hours while sitting in the middle of nowhere with no cell service..

 ;D

Offline womule

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2009, 08:20:21 PM »
Another thing I would like to mention is jack's advice about spare engine belts. Jack is right, but instead of buying a spare....have the belt(s) replaced and put the old belt(s) in trunk as the spares. I do this for my customers all the time. It reduces the possibility of a failure and you get a spare.


Offline Nate

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 09:55:52 AM »
I have had one for several years now.  Every so often I recharge it.  I keep the AC adapter in the tool box in my car.    I have used it many times to help other people out.  I also used it once to rig up a portable DVD player to a TV.  We didnt have a wall adapter for the DVD player, just the 12Volt cord.  Very interesting set up...

Offline Roswell

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 01:38:11 PM »
I have several Black and Decker SimpleStart packs.  Has a light, accessory plug and will if charged put enough charge into the battery to start...  Fits in the glove box so no getting out in the rain.

If charged every so often (you can charge in the car as you drive) it'll be fine.  I just let the truck 'die' here in the yard and tested..  and it it worked as suggestyed.

But I now also have cables.

I just ordered something similar after seeing Heavy G post about it.  It looks good. Not Black and Decker so it might even be cheaper.

http://www.porta-jump.com/index.html

Offline womule

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 08:19:42 PM »
If you guys are looking for a way to modify your BOV to get a mobile power source, have a second battery installed in your BOV with a battery isolator. The 2nd battery will give you more electricity to use for whatever you need(tv, laptop, dvd, etc) in conjunction with a power inverter. The isolator is used to prevent damage to the alternator and the electrical system. Also see if you can find a more powerful alternator for you BOV. People who build competition car audio systems do this so you should be able to find a more powerful alternator if you know where to look.

Offline phargolf

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2009, 08:37:21 PM »
I bought a powerpak 1500 for about $320. it is great, enough juice for just about anything, rolls on wheels(this is great for us old geezers), has a built in inverter, and has a DC outlet to direct charge smaller batters. It has a AGM typed sealed battery and can be charged with AC electricity, solar, genset, etc. I'll probably get a couple more. Just my 2 cents. ;D

Offline bartsdad

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 02:12:55 AM »
If you guys are looking for a way to modify your BOV to get a mobile power source, have a second battery installed in your BOV with a battery isolator. The 2nd battery will give you more electricity to use for whatever you need(tv, laptop, dvd, etc) in conjunction with a power inverter. The isolator is used to prevent damage to the alternator and the electrical system. Also see if you can find a more powerful alternator for you BOV. People who build competition car audio systems do this so you should be able to find a more powerful alternator if you know where to look.

Actually the isolator is in the system to prevent the starting battery from being drawn dead while the deep cycle battery powers loads with the vehicle off, yet allows the alternator to charge both batteries at the same time. Basically an isolator is just 2 large diodes.

If you are occasionally going to be charging a second battery with your BOV, a higher capacity alt may not be necessary, but if you have added many electrical accessories,(communications, winch, extra lighting, entertainment...) I would definitely upgrade to a more powerful alt.

Offline womule

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2009, 07:46:13 AM »
If you BOV is newer than 2000 then you will need to upgrade the alternator. The large number of devices operating on the vehicle reduces the alternators ability to recharge the battery. Daytime headlamps, radio, a dozen modules take a lot of juice from the alternator. Alternators don't have the excess voltage like they used to. They really don't recharge the battery anymore. It take hours for the alternator to recharge the battery just 1 volt. Trust me. I've been doing this for years

Offline bartsdad

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2009, 01:44:46 AM »
If you BOV is newer than 2000 then you will need to upgrade the alternator. The large number of devices operating on the vehicle reduces the alternators ability to recharge the battery. Daytime headlamps, radio, a dozen modules take a lot of juice from the alternator. Alternators don't have the excess voltage like they used to. They really don't recharge the battery anymore. It take hours for the alternator to recharge the battery just 1 volt. Trust me. I've been doing this for years

Please define excess voltage. Generally automotive alternators are regulated at 14 volts. Don't you usually upgrade to a higher amperage alternator?

Offline womule

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2009, 10:06:47 AM »
You are correct. What I said was incorrect. I should have said amps not volts. I was in a rush when typing that message lol.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2009, 02:11:11 PM »
I've had a jumper pack (with light and compressor) that I bought at Sam's Club for about a year and a half now. It's still going strong. I leave it in the trunk, plug it in to charge every other month, and use it fairly regularly to re-inflate a wheelbarrow tire that sorely needs to be replaced. This is an often used part of my car kit that I wouldn't give up. Like all preps, don't forget about it. Make sure you check it and replace it when the time finally comes.

Offline inthego

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2009, 10:34:24 PM »
Another thing I would like to mention is jack's advice about spare engine belts. Jack is right, but instead of buying a spare....have the belt(s) replaced and put the old belt(s) in trunk as the spares. I do this for my customers all the time. It reduces the possibility of a failure and you get a spare.
Great advise, best way to handle a problem is not to have one.  Proper PM of your car is super important and on a side note I have always had to ASK for my old belts. (some cars are a pain and I don't alway have time to do it myself) I put belt dressing on them and place them in a over sized zip-lock bag computer parts are shipped with.

 :)

Offline pac1911

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Re: car battery jumper packs
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2009, 08:52:59 PM »
I use my jumper boxes all the time. I have an old cummins that I only drive once a week unless im pushin with it.  I don't keep it  plugged in and when its cold the extra juice from the box helps to crank that cold oil. Big time saver compared to moving another truck and hooking up cables, etc.