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Author Topic: Portable Jump Starters  (Read 2883 times)

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Online Blunder

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Portable Jump Starters
« on: January 29, 2017, 10:54:47 AM »
Anyone have any experience with portable jumps starters? I've looked at O'Reilly's, Auto Zone, Wal Mart and Harbor Freight (the home of cheap ass tools) and some I've seen look sketchy and others look reasonable with some quality., but I don't trust the online reviews.

Oh, this is for automotive applications.

Anyone? Thanks!
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Online Cookie

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 11:02:25 AM »
I have this-

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http://www.homedepot.com/p/Battery-Extender-12-Volt-750-Amp-Battery-Jump-Starter-BE01254/207118232

Cheap and it does what it's supposed to do.

narcissistic d-bag, you.

Online Black Hills

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 11:05:25 AM »
the little lithium ion ones are amazing. I'll look tomorrow to see what brand we have at work, but it's small (entire package is the size of a cereal box) and will do everything from charge a phone to start a diesel pickup.
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online ixxion

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 11:13:55 AM »
I wouldn't touch the lithium jumpers with a long pole.  Lithium is not optimal in combination of high draw/cold temps where I would most likely be using a jumpstart.   If you have 20-30 minutes to wait around and trickle a charge into your ailing battery, they would probably be okay.

I buy a cheap device that has all the features I need (light, compressor, usb) and simply buy and install a new battery in it every couple of years.  Lead acid gives you high discharge rates and decent cold weather performance.  The technology is pretty solid, and they're cheap.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 11:45:59 AM »
I'm pretty sure it gets cold where Black Hills is.

That said, I have no horse in this race.  8)
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 11:59:45 AM »
I've got a yellow gel battery powered one. Curiously, no make on it but it's worked well for years.
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 12:22:14 PM »
The unit is compact enough that it stays inside where it is warm most of the time.  I haven't used it much but others swear it's great??
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Cablebandit

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 12:41:02 PM »
I just throw a new battery in the vehicle every 8-10 years.


If I were buying something today I'd get one of the little lithium jobs.  They fit in the glovebox or under your bike seat and are fine for their intended use.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 04:20:59 PM by Cablebandit »

Online Blunder

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 04:12:32 PM »
Thanks everyone. I'll do some more research. The lithium units are a little pricey, at least the ones I've seen.
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Online PatM

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 04:25:31 PM »
I've had to use one of them a few times. Don't know the brand but they work.
I'd tried to jump start using another bike and that didn't work at all.

You can find some cheap Lithium Ion ones at wally world.
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Online HipGnosis

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 08:52:36 AM »
I wouldn't touch the lithium jumpers with a long pole.  Lithium is not optimal in combination of high draw/cold temps where I would most likely be using a jumpstart.   
I thought the same thing when I first heard about them.  But there are lots of glowing reviews.  I'll buy one when I come across a good deal on a proven brand/model or a really good deal on a good spec no-name one.
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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 10:06:47 AM »
I have a Pep Boys one I got on sale. Works fine, holds charge a good long while, and includes an air pump and work light. I recommend.
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 08:02:29 AM »
'Splain me...
1) Is it just that I'm lucky, and most people routinely have dead batteries? Other than as a bailout while in Lower West Bumf*** Egypt, why do I need one of these? I carry a set of jumpers that were used maybe once in I forget how many years.
2) IIRC most automotive starters need triple digit amps to fire a motor. OK, LiON's (or however it's spelled) are good for high current, but isn't this expecting to get 10 pounds out of 5 pound box of rocks?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 09:28:49 PM by RBEmerson »
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 08:26:01 AM »
I don't know how they do it, but they will start a diesel pickup??
I also have very few battery problems with my personal vehicles, batteries typically last 10+ years. My work truck is another story. I rarely get more than a couple years out of them, but 2-way radio, phone/I-pad charger, AVL transmitter, strobe lights, etc. apparently take a toll??
as for motorcycles I've always just push started them if the battery is dead. Yes, even the FI ones and the ones with a slipper clutch...
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Blunder

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 12:57:17 PM »
This is for a 21 year old truck that seems to have lost its cold start ability in temps below 40° F. I bought a Schumacher do everything jumper with compressor, 120V AC outlet, light, 12V DC inlet/outlet and 4 USB ports. Works just fine, except it can't make coffee and looks appalling in a French Maid's outfit.

Anyway, it's off to the shop to address the cold start issue, a minor coolant leak and have the clutch looked at. I could do most of this but my lease agreement forbids auto maintaince in the parking lot. Most of my neighbors are really cool but there are a few who wouldn't hesitate to rat me out, and then the nice lady in the office would have to give me a warning and fine me, even if she would be apologetic about it.
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Online Blunder

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 12:58:44 PM »
Oh yeah, thanks for the responses.  :clap:
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 09:27:46 PM »
I don't know how they do it, but they will start a diesel pickup??
I also have very few battery problems with my personal vehicles, batteries typically last 10+ years. My work truck is another story. I rarely get more than a couple years out of them, but 2-way radio, phone/I-pad charger, AVL transmitter, strobe lights, etc. apparently take a toll??
as for motorcycles I've always just push started them if the battery is dead. Yes, even the FI ones and the ones with a slipper clutch...

You're probably dealing with an under-sized alternator trying to make up for the load from all the extras. The battery probably rarely gets a full charge, and that's death to a battery. But it's a work truck, and their problem.
Are you part of the solution or part of the precipitate?

Online Black Hills

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 08:04:40 AM »
I don't know how they do it, but they will start a diesel pickup??
I also have very few battery problems with my personal vehicles, batteries typically last 10+ years. My work truck is another story. I rarely get more than a couple years out of them, but 2-way radio, phone/I-pad charger, AVL transmitter, strobe lights, etc. apparently take a toll??
as for motorcycles I've always just push started them if the battery is dead. Yes, even the FI ones and the ones with a slipper clutch...

You're probably dealing with an under-sized alternator trying to make up for the load from all the extras. The battery probably rarely gets a full charge, and that's death to a battery. But it's a work truck, and their problem.

Except when I hop in it to go to work and it won't start, then it's my problem ???
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 11:30:02 PM »
Well, you could ask for an up-rated alternator. Don't change the size of the battery. Larger batteries, surprise, take longer to bring up to a full charge. You'd be just kicking the can down the road.

But one quick, cheap check might help. Check all of the grounds for the battery system. That is, be certain the connections on the battery are clean and tight (sand everything lightly and use dielectric grease on everything before cinching down the clamps. Make sure the braid connection is clean and tight - more dielectric grease, too. And the same thing applies for the ground between the motor and chassis. Ditto for the alternator connections. Almost any FLAPS has dielectric grease.

I had a similar problem with our 90 VW Vanagon camper. The final point in the ground was the PO very nicely spray painted the battery box. And didn't clean up the point of contact for the battery ground. He was betting the bolt would do the job. The rusty, nasty looking bolt... Scraping off the paint and replacing the bolt - almost all just scraping the paint - did the job.
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Online Andrew

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2017, 11:17:37 AM »
Minor edit, DO NOT PUT DIELECTRIC GREASE ON THE LUGS OR POSTS BEFORE TIGHTENING DOWN. THis will keep the connector from having an electrical connection. Put the stuff on after connections have been made, it will seal out the water or battery acid, and thus not develope a bad connection due to corrosion. THis pertains to the battery terminals and large connections designed to cary a lot of amps.

  Brings back a memory, Years gone back I ran a service station (remember when gas stations had mechanics) I had sold a battery (carry out) to a gentleman. THis guy came back in about an hour telling me the battery was crap. It was a slow day so we walked to his house to have a look (one block away). Turns out the dolt had coated the battery and terminals with dielectric grease before putting the terminals on. Sure enough no electrical connection. We cleaned the terminals and cables, and reconnected, started right up. He gave me a ride back to work and I checked the rest of the system for him. THe alternator had a blown diode. At first the guy was a dick, but he was a loyal customer until I moved on. 
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2017, 08:42:55 AM »
Nope. The grease is forced out of the contact area and the points of contact become gas tight. Everything not in contact is protected. NTL always ride your own ride. :)
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2017, 08:49:56 AM »
being in the power industry I can tell you how we do it (not saying whether it is right or wrong):
all connections get Al-Nox or some other corrosion inhibitor (not dielectric grease). all sealing surfaces (elbows, splice covers, flood seals, etc) get dielectric grease.

the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2017, 10:08:14 AM »
dammit, I can't find the charger for my jump starter. Anybody know the voltage and amperage required?
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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2017, 05:42:02 PM »
Doesn't it say on the back somewhere?
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2017, 06:03:33 PM »
dammit, I can't find the charger for my jump starter. Anybody know the voltage and amperage required?

Probably something like 14-15V minimum, with 20V not being out of the question. But that's a wild guess. Sometimes the voltage is engraved, obscurely, near the socket. BTW, a DIY charger has to get the plug and polarity right, too. Don't sweat the amps so much. The source can only supply what it can supply. Lower current only means longer time to full recharge. Good luck!
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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2017, 03:13:14 AM »
dammit, I can't find the charger for my jump starter. Anybody know the voltage and amperage required?

Probably something like 14-15V minimum, with 20V not being out of the question. But that's a wild guess. Sometimes the voltage is engraved, obscurely, near the socket. BTW, a DIY charger has to get the plug and polarity right, too. Don't sweat the amps so much. The source can only supply what it can supply. Lower current only means longer time to full recharge. Good luck!

Thanks. Found 3 chargers that should do the job. No info anywhere on it as to what the rating should be and it is a no name product (which has worked well for 10 years).
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2017, 04:12:22 PM »
Watch the polarity going into the jump starter.

Some warming from the battery and charger (i.e., "wall wart") is OK. If things get hot, it's time to stop.
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2017, 04:52:12 PM »
Damned thing won't charge past 75%
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Offline RBEmerson

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Re: Portable Jump Starters
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2017, 07:06:50 AM »
Hmmm... never? Gauge is telling the truth? The closer a battery comes to fully charged, the less current it draws. It does suggests the charger voltage might be under spec. It could be it's too low to start with, or can't supply the needed current, which will pull its output voltage down.

As the battery charges, its voltage rises. Bulk charging should be somewhere around 14.2V (higher for a "wet" battery, which I doubt you have). AGM snd gel batteries want a little less. Li-ion batteries want 14.4 in bulk charge (starting charge phase), 14.2V during acceptance (just filling up the charge after the start of charging), and 13.6V at float (not really needed with a fully charged Li-ion). My guess is you have a Li-ion battery. If the charger can't handle that, well there you are.

A voltmeter across the battery terminals will tell the story. If you see something in the 14 V range, then I'm baffled. If you see something in the 13's or (worse) 12's... poor charger.
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