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Old 09-14-2017, 04:28 AM   #1
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How to choose the best portable jump starter

Although many people think buying a jump starter isn't a big deal, the reality is quite different. There are some factors you need to pay attention to before buying a portable car jump starter so that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises. Buying a portable battery isn't the same as purchasing a bottle of milk; there are a ton of variables and important elements included in the equation. Here are some of the things you should pay attention to before opting for a particular model.
The power

The most important thing you need to look for is the sheer power of the unit. Manufacturers usually include "cranking" and "peak" power values.
Peak amps refer to the highest current value the starter can burst out. For example, a product with 1000 amps of peak power will deliver a thousand amps in the initial burst. However, the value drops significantly with each try. As the current decays with each attempt, it loses consistency and starts using what is known as the cranking power.
As you might assume, the cranking power refers to the stable current which can be delivered if extended cranking of the engine is required. Therefore, the cranking power is usually the more accurate representative of a particular model's capabilities.
Safety Protection

As with any other product, the safety is one of the important factors to look for. However, because you're dealing with electricity, make sure that you opt for the safest model. The things you should pay attention to are:
  • Short circuit protection
  • Over-current protection
  • Overload protection
  • Over-voltage protection
  • Overcharge protection
As you can see, every feature has an "over" prefix. It means that these units are easy to overuse if they lack protection. However, the products that have these preventive mechanisms can be left unattended without them being dangerous for the environment, and most importantly - your car's battery.
Auxiliary features

Many units have some additional features such as an air compressor or a flashlight. If you want a 2-in-1 or even 3-in-1 unit, pay close attention to these additions. People who are often on the road usually need both illumination and an air compressor for deflated tires. You can't expect a professional service out of these additional options, but they are still enough to act as a first aid. Also, if you're looking for multiple charging ports for smart phones, tablets, and more, it's a good idea to check whether the unit you've chosen can charge other devices.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:11 AM   #2
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Wow! I just bought one from Wally world. It works great and I've used it many times. I use the compressor to air up my motorcycle tires.
Safety, smafety.......
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:06 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I wonder if the jump starters would do any good with large diesel engines? It requires a LOT of amps to turn them over!

Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:59 PM   #4
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Well,
I just looked them up on Amazon and, checked out whatever kind of specs they provided and, made a choice. The one I purchased has 600 amps of cranking power. It's a tiny thing. It's about the size of two cigarette packs, end to end, plus or minus. It comes with a bunch of attachments for charging cell phones, lap top computers and more. I know it works when called on because, not very long after I purchased it, my '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 with the 5.3L, went dead right in our garage.

Well, I thought, yahoo, time to see if that little investment works. I hooked it up and waited for the little LED lights to appear that are indications that it's READY to give a boost. Well, those LED lights were on by the time I took my hand away from hooking it up. I went inside the truck and, turned the key.

Zap, that engine fired right up, like it had a brand new battery. So, I guess the one I bought is a good one, at least for my purposes. I doubt it would crank that C-7 330HP CAT if it were dead but, never know.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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I bought a Clore Truck PAC ES6000 (HERE) last year. I keep it charged and ready to go in one of the storage bins. I haven't yet had to use it on any of my vehicles but I have used it three times for others.

One was a pusher with a Cummins ISL. He couldn't get it to turn at all. Hooked the Truck PAC waited a few minutes and it started immediately.

The second was a Cummins 6.7L in a Dodge Ram pickup. He also couldn't get it to turn it over at all. We hooked up the Truck PAC and it turned right over on the first try.

Third was a passenger car. It had some voltage but wouldn't crank. She left the drivers' door ajar all night and the dome light and the inside door marker ran the battery down to where the car wouldn't start. The Truck PAC obviously had no problem getting it started immediately and it was below freezing.

A friend of mine has a Clore Jump-N-Carry JNC660 (HERE) and has started his diesel pusher with it and it costs less than half of what I paid but doesn't have the specs mine has. I think the JNC660 is adequate for most to carry and I'd assume would get any pusher started in most situations other than an extremely dead battery ...and it's only about a $100. I paid twice as much for the Truck PAC and probably is overkill in most situations but nice to have. If I have to buy another, it would probably be a JNC660.

To tell the truth, I bought mine as a toy of sorts. Why do I need it? For good samaritan purposes, okay. But for my own use, it's just another something to play around with as I doubt it really has any usefulness for my purposes. I've never experienced my chassis batteries malfunctioning and if they did, we can tie the banks together or call ERS.
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