Monday, November 24, 2014

Pocket Sized Automotive Jump Starter

(Yeah, I have a thing for batteries.  And a flashlight thing.  And a few more odd little fetishes.  What's it to ya?) :D

A few weeks ago, the lovely and has-as-bad-a-flashlight-and-battery-thing-as-I-do Mrs. Graybeard got an email ad for a remarkable thing: a packaged battery appliance that will not only charge your iPhone/iPad/Android/probably anything that uses a USB charger, it will also jump start your car.  It's an 11 Amp Hour battery in a package that will fit in my cargo pants pocket and maybe the jumper cable, too, which is short but has large clips.  It's 155x76x29 mm (LxWxH) or just about 6 1/8" x 3" x 1 1/8".   It comes in a zippered cloth case with elastic straps for the battery and some accessories.  It charges with an AC adapter, or a lighter plug in your car.  There are two USB ports on it to charge two devices at once.  One is marked 5V/1A while the other is marked 5V/2.1A. 
NewEgg sold out of these almost immediately, but I see the same thing on Amazon for a few bucks more.  A little looking around, and I find there are many similar things on the market (including a video demo) and I feel embarrassed to have not been on top of the tech.  But they're cool.  One reviewer we read somewhere said he jump started cars 11 times on one charge; others say they've jump started V8s and other big engines.  These batteries are rated to deliver a 400A peak in a jump start; if I read this right, it's a short peak of 400A and then a sustained 200A.  A little mind boggling. 

I find this a bit amazing, but I've had the little jump starters that include an air compressor, lights, and all stuff quite some time.  When you open one of those up, you'll find a sealed lead acid gel cell battery that's about 4x the size of these.  The reduced size is probably from the better battery chemistry.   



  1. Check this out.

  2. This sounds too good to be true, so it makes me a bit suspicious. How hot do they get during use?

  3. I haven't bought my own yet but a friend who has one and uses it says he has had really good luck and likes it. It also has really good ratings everywhere I have looked. I will try to remember to report back after getting one.

  4. My first experience with them was when I had to call AAA to jump start my motorcycle. Guy pulls up in a mini-van, pulls out this little white box and has me going in nothing flat. Needless to say, I bought one and carry it with my bike at all times now.

    Only down side is it doesn't seem to retain the full charge for more than a few days.

  5. Weetabix - I haven't used mine to jump my car, so I can't say. I haven't read anything about it, either.

    LCB - hope you're wrong on this. I've had mine in the car a few weeks. Think I'll put it on its charger.