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#74980 - 10/17/06 05:17 AM Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
past_digger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 26
Loc: SD, USA
Loooong time lurker, first time poster; been trying to implement what I've learned so far before asking any more questions.... Did a search here and didn't find much on battery jumper/boosters. Anyone use them? Are they worth it (seen prices between $40 and almost $200)? Brands/features to look for or avoid (lights, tire pumps, etc...), amps, etc...? If I get one, it would be for an aging '87 F150 and a 2000 Caravan.

My personal 'equipped to survive' story:
DW was unimpressed with my efforts until last year. 2yo lost his breakfast and lunch down her shirt as our flight touched down - unbeknownst to her I had a small towel, a complete change of clothes for both and a trash bag for the dirties in my backpack (purged down to ca. 20lb of TSA safe schtuff - gotta work on that). More of a diaper bag on steroids, urban/first aid/kid oriented, lacking only shelter and enough H20 for a weekend in the woods. She doesn't mention my 'paranoia' anymore...

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#74981 - 10/17/06 05:51 AM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Hmm. I think I'd rather consider a good 2 battery system.

Or, just be proactive about replacing your battery. I tend to replace ours with an Optima Red Top every 5 years.

I've never had a problem since I stopped giving it the element of suprise! :-)

-john

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#74982 - 10/17/06 12:42 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
silent_weapon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/11/06
Posts: 38
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
We TRY (operative word) to use these rechargeable jump boxes at the PD where I work to avoid the hassle of using jumper cables.

The problem being that they NEVER have enough battery power to jump even a go-cart. They are a good idea but fail when needed most. They are heavy and prone to being discharged. The only time they have ever worked is instantly after removing them from the charger.

If there is one that recharges from the car's alternator while the vehicle is running, that might be a better option.

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#74983 - 10/17/06 12:57 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
I bought a Black & Decker one last year, and surprised even myself how many times I've used it. I think I paid about $80.

1. Got back from a weeks vacation to find I had a flat on my truck at midnight in the airport parking lot. Fortunately is was a slow leak and the unit pumped it up enough to get home on.

2. Jump started a motorcycle that had broken down on the side of the road after work one day.

3. Topped off the air in the tires in the motorcycles at the beginning of the season.

I don't see much use for the built in light, but then again, not everyone carries multiple flashlights ;-)
_________________________
It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

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#74984 - 10/17/06 02:21 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
JimJr Offline
Member

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 133
Loc: Central Mississippi
A good set of jumper cables is a good thing to have, IMHO. You want to look for some with a single digit guage (the larger the guage, the smaller the cable diameter).

I also have a "jump battery". I used my "jump battery" to power a small TV while my power was out after Katrina (4 days).

JimJr

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#74985 - 10/17/06 02:34 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I bought one of those battery booster/jumper cable things at Costco a few years ago, kept it charger per the instructions, finally needed to use it, it was flat, and would not take a charge again. Did I mention that, much as I love Costco, I have had terrible luck with their auto batteries???

A good (as in more expensive) set of jumper cables are worth much more in my opinion...
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OBG

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#74986 - 10/17/06 02:53 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
lifeview Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/09/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Nashville,TN USA
I've had one about 2 years. I've used it quite a few times for neighbors, co-workers, etc. The only time I needed it, I didn't have it with me. It's worked better than I expected. It's nice to know that you can jump your car if no one else is around.
_________________________
Mike
LifeView Outdoors

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#74987 - 10/17/06 03:03 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
We too have the portable starters/power supply units (as well jumper cables) in each car and have used them several times to jump-start various vehicles. I check and recharge as needed the units every few months.

We have also used the units to power portable TVs, DVD players and such when power was unavailable, either directly or with an inverter. The ones we have will power the DVD player for 1-2 movies.

Pete

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#74988 - 10/17/06 03:35 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper Question
silent_weapon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/11/06
Posts: 38
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
I guess I should clarify, the jump boxes we have are the cheapest available, about three years old, and don't hold a charge for more than a week after being off the charger. If you invest in a higher-quality one, it looks like they are a good thing (according to some of the other posts).

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#74989 - 10/17/06 03:44 PM Re: Urban/Battery Booster/Jumper -- Solar??
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Solar Xantrex XPower300 Not cheap, but you can take it with you and not worry about 120VAC.
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Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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