howtogeek at January 8th, 2014 19:14 — #1
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/179499/this-portable-usb-charger-battery-pack-can-also-jump-start-your-car/
The other day we wrote a guide to help people choose a battery pack for recharging their mobile devices, but we never considered that some people might want to also use it as a jump starter for their car. Well, we came across one that can do just that.
nsdcars5 at January 9th, 2014 01:41 — #2
A charger that works for your phone and your car. Awesome.
baht at January 9th, 2014 10:51 — #4
nsdcars5 at January 9th, 2014 11:07 — #5
Ah, if you mean the car has to work only with the charger...
wilsontp at January 9th, 2014 11:23 — #6
Actually, not that hard. You can buy jump start battery packs all day long at auto parts stores. Most clamp directly to your battery, but some plug in to a power port in the cab and trickle enough juice to your car battery to turn the engine over for the 10 seconds you need to fire up the engine.
It's all a matter of voltage and amperage, and it doesn't take that many watt-hours to start an engine.
Oh, and I WILL be buying one of these.
darr247 at January 15th, 2014 23:11 — #7
I got one of these Duralast 900 jump starters on sale for $65 not long ago. It has a USB charging port on it, as well as a 12V accessory (aka 'lighter') socket, and an LED flashlight that's blindingly bright if you aim it at your face (so keep it aimed at the engine compartment if you're using it to hook up the cables). Yeah, it's bigger than this article's box, but also cheaper... and it still fits under the back seat of my Silverado, taking up less space than the jumper cables I used to carry there. Watch for it to go on sale again.
wilsontp at January 16th, 2014 11:27 — #8
Well, I wouldn't be buying this pack for its vehicle jump starting capability. I would be getting it to use as a portable power source for my iPad and some other portable stuff. I also have a 20 amp-hour portable power pack and a 100 amp-hour RV battery with a custom fuse harness and PowerPole connectors to hook up ham radio gear and an inverter for my laptop...
this would be something to keep around for those times when my cell phone, laptop, or iPad is running down, and I know I'm going to need it. I can't exactly carry a 50 lb lead-acid battery in to a Denny's with me.
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 11:46 — #9
Delivery Estimate Thursday, January 16, 2014 by 8:00pm
Status: In transit
Ship Carrier: UPS
Latest Event: Williston VT
Out for delivery - January 16, 2014 6:56:00 AM
wilsontp at January 16th, 2014 11:50 — #10
Scott, we expect a full review.
If this works well, I'll probably recommend this to several people who are currently using heavy, bulky portable jump start packs to power portable electronics in the field. Compared to the current lead-acid packs, this should be a night and day difference in size and weight.
nsdcars5 at January 16th, 2014 12:03 — #11
Wait... isn't it already ten in the night? No, wait. (facepalm) Different time zones, right? Stupid me.
Hey, if it can jumpstart a car, can it turn on a laptop?
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 13:03 — #12
Hardware review? Gulp. This thread closes in two days
I'll be happy if I can jumpstart my neighbor's pacemaker
wilsontp at January 16th, 2014 13:04 — #13
The real question is "for how long can it run your laptop?"
The battery has a capacity of 12 amp-hours, but the documentation doesn't say how many cells this thing has. If it only has one cell, that's about 44 watt-hours. You will have to do the math to see how long that would run your laptop.
Multiply the number of cells by the amp-hour capacity of the pack, then multiply that by 3.7. (Amp-hours are usually specified in milliamp-hours. divide by 1000 to turn mAh into Ah)
So a 6-cell 2200mAh pack would be 6c 2.2aH 3.7v = 48.84 watt-hours. So before accounting for inverter and charging losses, this pack might recharge a fat netbook battery to 90% capacity. The real figure is probably more like 75-80%.
wilsontp at January 16th, 2014 13:04 — #14
Reply as new topic?
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 13:26 — #15
Would you settle for an unboxing?
wilsontp at January 16th, 2014 13:28 — #16
My biggest questions are about the physical size, build quality, and effective battery life. You can do the first two in an unboxing easily enough. The third really can only be done by testing. (And I don't really expect you to do battery life tests just to satisfy our curiosity. )
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 13:34 — #17
Yup, I'll do what I can quickly.
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 18:17 — #18
geek at January 16th, 2014 21:15 — #19
Am very curious how well you like it.
scott_vt at January 16th, 2014 21:33 — #20
It will be interesting to see how many days (weeks) this will hold a charge. I'll post back with bits of information as they become known.
wilsontp at January 17th, 2014 13:26 — #21
One of the nice thing about LiPo's is that they hold a charge for quite a while... I think the manual said to charge once every 3 months if you're not using it.
On the other hand, my Radio Shack portable battery thing? It seems to go dead after 2 weeks. Total waste of money.
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