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#297100 - 09/23/20 03:37 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: chaosmagnet]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Speaking from personal experience and what I have also seen firsthand, those with vehicles with bigger engines (V8) will find that in very cold climates, these jump packs will not cold start these engines with any sure reliability. This means a boost from another vehicle with good jumper cables or an AC powered battery charger that also has engine start / boost capability.

As for the comments up thread about generator not starting. Like any preparedness item, generators need to be checked on a regular basis.

Also stay away from ethanol blend gas and also use a good gas stabilizer supplement to keep the gas from gumming and varnishing. For my power equipment, lawnmower, weed eater, boat motors, generators, I use the above non Ethanol gas and Stabilizer and never have any trouble starting any of these motors.
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#297102 - 09/23/20 05:59 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Famdoc Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 128
Loc: PA
FWIW, the Wirecutter recommends the Weego line of portable jump chargers: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-portable-jump-starter/#the-competition

What catches my eye about this line of chargers is the genius bass-ackwards design of the clamps: all of their chargers have this design - they look much easier to squeeze open, esp. for those with smaller and/or weaker grip strength

They recently came out with a (gulp) $400 1200 amp charger that might start up a Caterpillar backhoe.

Their chargers have a flashlight, and options to charge phones, etc.

I have not bought one, no financial affiliation; but might ask for one for Christmas.

Wirecutter reviews a wide array of stuff, some of which is of interest to ETS members.

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#297103 - 09/23/20 06:18 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Teslinhiker]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Speaking from personal experience and what I have also seen firsthand, those with vehicles with bigger engines (V8) will find that in very cold climates, these jump packs will not cold start these engines with any sure reliability. This means a boost from another vehicle with good jumper cables or an AC powered battery charger that also has engine start / boost capability.

As for the comments up thread about generator not starting. Like any preparedness item, generators need to be checked on a regular basis.

Also stay away from ethanol blend gas and also use a good gas stabilizer supplement to keep the gas from gumming and varnishing. For my power equipment, lawnmower, weed eater, boat motors, generators, I use the above non Ethanol gas and Stabilizer and never have any trouble starting any of these motors.

Spot on advice regarding jumper cables. The jump packs are certainly handy, and will start a vehicle who's battery is only slightly down. But for a seriously discharged battery and/or seriously cold weather, there is no substitute for good jumper cables.

Get the thickest cables you can find. (Thicker wire means smaller "gauge" number.) Thicker wire has less resistance and therefor less voltage loss in the cable. Many of the ready made "roadside emergency kits" have cheap, very thin jumpers. I once helped some folks trying to start a car one frosty evening. They were using one of those cheap, thin jumpers, with no success. I pulled out my heavy jumper cable, and easily got their car started.

Regarding storing gasoline, I've routinely kept a couple of jerrycans of gas for my generator for a year without problems, and without using stabilizer. I fill them in the fall, then in the summer use a bit of the gas for the lawn mower etc. At the end of summer, I empty the jerrycans into the car, and refill them with fresh gas. I have never had a problem. One reason may be that Anchorage is a generally cool climate, and the gas is stored in a shed in a shady spot. It doubt it rarely ever gets above 60 F in that shed even in summer, and it stays much colder in the winter. I did this for years without problems. The last few years I have started adding stabilizer for extra insurance, but my experience is that for short term (up to a year) storing gas in a cool place, stabilizer isn't essential. I also test run my generator every fall.


Edited by AKSAR (09/23/20 06:22 PM)
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#297106 - 09/23/20 11:07 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 563
Loc: Orlando, FL
I have a couple of the Noco jump packs. No affiliation, just a happy customer. In the car I have one of the small ones that will fit in the glove box, it is good for a small car. Also have the one that is the size of a shoe box in the truck, it has a flashlight, USB, and 12 volt cigarette lighter adapters. I haven't put it on anything that it would not start, even an old diesel tractor with the battery reading less than 2 volts which required the safety bypass on the jump box to be used because the battery was so low. I've never seen that old tractor start that fast. Will say that the higher end jump boxes are expensive but they can provide multiple starts on larger vehicles or equipment without needing to be recharged. I don't know how well it works in cold weather, colder than Florida anyway, but it has been well worth the $$ I spent on it.

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#297110 - 09/24/20 10:48 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
Ray, I assume you have read Chaos' note about the two types of lithium ion batteries -- one type catches fire at a temperature typical for your car trunk during summer in Florida, and the other catches fire only upon reaching a very high temperature. Do you know which type Noco uses? I'm unable to find out on their website.

Addressed to everybody -- it's not easy to get all the specs for jump starters. Battery chemistry, cold crank amps, etc. are things that website listings often doesn't mention. The manufacturer sites are not necessarily more helpful. What would you do to make sure you get a quality product?

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#297111 - 09/25/20 12:48 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: chaosmagnet]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2919
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
In terms of safety, traditional Lithium Ion batteries (sometimes called LiPo, Lithium-Cobalt or LiCo) may not be suitable to store in a car. These batteries can go into thermal runaway at about 140 deg F, which the trunk of your car might reach on a hot summer day.

That's interesting. Is this for batteries sitting charged but static, as opposed to charging (traditionally the most dangerous mode) or discharging?

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#297112 - 09/25/20 01:11 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: dougwalkabout]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
That's interesting. Is this for batteries sitting charged but static, as opposed to charging (traditionally the most dangerous mode) or discharging?


Iím not a chemist. One of the better sites Iíve found for info on this is Battery University. This page (https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion) states that thermal runway is likely at 150 degrees C, which is not the same as what I wrote earlier in this thread. Unfortunately I donít know where I got the other information. 150 deg C is well above the point that water boils, and a very unlikely temperature for a car trunk.

I am on more solid ground stating that the very common Lithium Cobalt Oxide battery chemistry is more prone to thermal runaway than LiFePO4.


Edited by chaosmagnet (10/04/20 01:01 PM)
Edit Reason: Spelling

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#297113 - 09/25/20 01:16 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Bingley
Ray, I assume you have read Chaos' note about the two types of lithium ion batteries -- one type catches fire at a temperature typical for your car trunk during summer in Florida, and the other catches fire only upon reaching a very high temperature. Do you know which type Noco uses? I'm unable to find out on their website.


It looks like I was full of it on the temperature issue.

Quote:
Addressed to everybody -- it's not easy to get all the specs for jump starters. Battery chemistry, cold crank amps, etc. are things that website listings often doesn't mention. The manufacturer sites are not necessarily more helpful. What would you do to make sure you get a quality product?


Iíd suggest not buying a device that doesnít come with clear and complete specs.

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#297116 - 09/25/20 04:14 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
Alright, taking the recommendations from you guys, I'm considering buying the following:

(1) CAT 500 amp jump starter -- this is the link to the manual. It doesn't include the "cold crank" amps, but the specs look a lot like the PowerStation jump starter that Chaos has. In fact, it seems like Costco replaced the PowerStation with the CAT, and the price looks good. Right now I don't have any sort of jump starter (just jumper cables), so this would be an improvement for my car. The jump starter can also double as a power source.

(2) Some sort of power station. I'm looking at BALDR Portable Power Station 330W or Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh. But I'm open to other ideas. It looks to me like items with similar specs cost the same. In this sort of situation I'd rather not reward knockoffs at the cheapest price.

(3) BigBlue 28W solar charger. This is just for the cell phone. I recognize that this is not big enough to charge the power station, and I don't have a solar panel big enough for that job. You have to leave me a purchase to looking forward to in the future...

So, if the generator and the car inverter both fail, I can use (1) & (2) to charge my cell phone and to power my laptop and possibly my wi-fi router for occasional use. If (1) & (2) run out of power, I still have (3) to charge my phone so I can still post about it on this forum.

Comments about these products welcome!

PS. For (2), There is also an argument for not throwing all my money at Amazon. I have an REI membership, and I have the impression that Goal Zero is the first company to make this kind of power stations -- Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 200X


Edited by Bingley (09/25/20 04:36 AM)

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#297120 - 09/25/20 03:29 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Everything I know about the CAT unit is good, but I havenít owned one.

I donít know BALDR. Jackery I do know, and like a lot; Iíve been eyeballing that specific unit.

Iím not familiar with BigBlue.

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