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Anyone have a favorite battery jump starter they like? I have no experience in using something like this so I'm buying one blind.

I'd like to get one for each car in case of a dead battery, more so if I'm in a remote location away from AAA type service or don't want to wait around for them for just a jumpstart.

For the van it would be convenient to have a portable 12v source.

I like the concept of having this available but at the same time it's got to work when I need it.

 

I checked Amazon's offerings and it seems the Antigravity models (AG-XP-10 is $180) are pitched as being one of the original sources of these. Others are knock-offs and much less expensive, less than half that amount. None of them got stellar reviews. Battery cable clamp failures seem to be a common fault or just not working at all.

 

The DBPower 600A model at $70 seems okay. Nice and compact. There are a bunch of other ones at the $70 price point with similar specs and ratings.

Another poster recently showed a pic of a Noco Genius Boost GB40 and that's $100 and about twice the depth and weight of the DBPower model with a higher amp rating at 1,000 vs 600-800.

 

Thanks!

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Realise that these jumper packs are good when you leave your headlights on.

 

However, when your car is 15 years old & a hard starter, and it's -25 degrees out, they can't do much for you... not like jumper cables off a running car.

Unfortunately, modern computer control systems in cars means a split-second inattention with old-fashion jumpers can cause $1500 damage in a heartbeat.

 

GK

 

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Okay, forget about price.  After having tried a few of the smaller lithium battery style, and sent them back, and with experience from friends who did the same, there is only one that I like.  

 

91FWnHUBi9L._SL1500_.jpg

 

A friend of mine likes Booster Pac TCB-ES580, which to me, is probably the same as Jump-N-Carry JNC318

41HCyPIM4VL.jpg91ys4esHQKL._SL1500_.jpg

 

I used to use those really big ones, about the size of a car battery, that weighed about as much.  I had some pretty bad ones that looked good, but couldn't get a truck or boat started.  But I also had some pretty good ones, and they did not have to cost a lot.  What I learned was that while some of the more expensive ones worked well, some of the better ones were not that expensive.  So you can't buy these based on price.  With the old style jump starters, Clore made some of the best.  Which reminds me, that I still have a Clore Jump-N-Carry in the toolbox of my pickup truck, that I should probably bring inside for a charge.  In the old days, I carried a little unit in my Jeep that was about the size of a motorcycle battery, and it started everything I tried:  sub-compact cars, large diesel trucks, boat that was sitting in storage, 

71i6t61C-6L._SL1114_.jpg

 

 

 

Obviously, some units are not practical for carrying around.

81NECc6n0jL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Sure, you can get a decent price on Amazon.  But the reviews are questionable.  A lot of paid reviewers to make the product sound good.  And even online, with a Google search, you get a lot of paid reviews.  After trying a bunch of "Lightning Deal", "Deal of the Day", "Gold Box", and discounted products on Amazon, I sent back every unit that was sold by a seller in China & Fulfilled By Amazon.  Why?  They all failed when trying to jump start a larger displacement gasoline engine, or diesel engine, on light and medium duty trucks.  If I can't jump start an F-150 or E-150 with a V8, or a little box truck, it is a waste of money.  

 

Windguy mentioned the DBPower brand.  I had one that was advertised as 1200 amp from DB Power.  I forget now, but I think that they claimed that it would start up to a 7 liter engine.  Well, the typical small car has a battery that is about 500 or 600 Cold Cranking Amp.  If your jump starter says 1200, you should be good, right?  The DB Power 1200 couldn't start a little Honda 3.5 liter, 6 cylinder.  

 

From personal experience, I prefer buying a Jump Starter that does only that.  If I need a tire inflator, I will buy that separately, and get an inflator which works well.  I don't want a multi-use item, that doesn't do either task effectively.  You are not buying a jump starter for the flash light.  Get a good flash light.  I like Streamlight.  Old school flashlight that you can assault somebody with.  Streamlight alle SLIf you are charging up a lithium battery jump starter, just to have something to plug your phone into, then you are wasting your time and money.  Charge your phone at home!

 

 

 

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On 5/18/2018 at 5:05 PM, Jiquay said:

Realise that these jumper packs are good when you leave your headlights on.

 

However, when your car is 15 years old & a hard starter, and it's -25 degrees out, they can't do much for you... not like jumper cables off a running car.

Unfortunately, modern computer control systems in cars means a split-second inattention with old-fashion jumpers can cause $1500 damage in a heartbeat.

 

GK

 

 

Thanks Jiquay, good to know. My van use is in pretty mild climates. No sub freezing temps.

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Posted (edited)

@fifty150 - thanks for all the info. Very helpful.

 

Both car and van are 4-cylinder vehicles so I don't think I need a super heavy duty starter. A light-duty model should do the job.

The Jump-N-Carry starters from Clore Industries look like decent products. They caught my eye earlier when searching around.

I think the JNC311 model (500amp) will be robust enough for my needs. It's still beefier in size compared to smaller foot print models like the DBPower 600A starter but closer to the Noco Genius Boost line (400amp). Also has longer cables at 17" compared to 4-6" for the other models. Noco has 14" cables.

 

Regarding questionable reviews on Amazon, when I can remember, I'll go to Fakespot.com to sniff out product reviews on Amazon. A few starter models got F grades, but most got B grades and a few got A grades, like the Jump-N-Carry and Noco Genius Boost models. Fakespot also shows you how many reviews were deleted by Amazon, which is very interesting in how they manipulate the perception of the product.

 

Thanks!

 

Edited by windguy

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I have the NOCO 150 and several Regular sealed lead acid booster packs. If you are going to have one for emergency's get one big enough to do the Job!  The butt it will save will be yours.

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I bought my NOCO from my local battery distributor.  I wanted something that could work on light duty & medium duty trucks.  It had to hold a charge, even it it wasn't used for months on end.  And I wanted to be able to return it ifitI didn't work.  My distributor promised that he would honor the warranty if the product failed within a year.  Of course, I also had to be honest about it if I didn't charge the device, and it did not have enough electricity to work.  On a Friday night, my boss & I left all the headlights on, on every vehicle in our fleet.  Then plugged in the charger to allow an overnight charge.  On Saturday morning, we came in and jump started every truck in our yard.  I was a believer.  The boss ordered a NOCO for every car & truck in the fleet.

 

At the time, the small lithium battery jump starters were still new to the marketplace.  Only a few roadside assistance companies were willing to try them as an alternative to the old fashion jump packs.  The battery distributor started out with about a half dozen brands, since all the reps were at his door trying to push their product.    The distributor said that he would only carry the NOCO, because all the other brands he tried kept getting returned.  Number 1 complaint was that they didn't work.  

 

I suppose if you have a tow truck, you need a device that works, 100%, all the time, and on big & small cars.  

 

A private person isn't jump starting 25 cars a day, with some of those cars being big trucks.  But you should still expect it to work, 100% of the time, all the time.

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On 5/20/2018 at 4:50 AM, G B L said:

I have the NOCO 150 and several Regular sealed lead acid booster packs. If you are going to have one for emergency's get one big enough to do the Job!  The butt it will save will be yours.

 

Thanks GBL - appreciate your sage advise, as always.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

I bought my NOCO from my local battery distributor.  I wanted something that could work on light duty & medium duty trucks.  It had to hold a charge, even it it wasn't used for months on end.  And I wanted to be able to return it ifitI didn't work.  My distributor promised that he would honor the warranty if the product failed within a year.  Of course, I also had to be honest about it if I didn't charge the device, and it did not have enough electricity to work.  On a Friday night, my boss & I left all the headlights on, on every vehicle in our fleet.  Then plugged in the charger to allow an overnight charge.  On Saturday morning, we came in and jump started every truck in our yard.  I was a believer.  The boss ordered a NOCO for every car & truck in the fleet.

 

At the time, the small lithium battery jump starters were still new to the marketplace.  Only a few roadside assistance companies were willing to try them as an alternative to the old fashion jump packs.  The battery distributor started out with about a half dozen brands, since all the reps were at his door trying to push their product.    The distributor said that he would only carry the NOCO, because all the other brands he tried kept getting returned.  Number 1 complaint was that they didn't work.  

 

I suppose if you have a tow truck, you need a device that works, 100%, all the time, and on big & small cars.  

 

A private person isn't jump starting 25 cars a day, with some of those cars being big trucks.  But you should still expect it to work, 100% of the time, all the time.

 

Thanks Fifty150 - that's a good testimonial for Noco products.

I decided to order a Noco GB40 with 1,000 amps, bumping up from the the GB20 with 400 amps, so I have extra power just in case. $100 at Amazon. PDF Spec sheet attached. I'll pick up a second one for my wife's car if this first one works out okay.

 

The Noco GB40 does not come with a wall charger, only uses USB or 12VDC from the car battery. At first I really wanted to have a wall charger, but maybe that's just another part to fail, so I'm okay with using my phone's wall to USB adapter instead and a USB cable. Supposed to charge the battery pack in 2-4 hours with the Samsung charger. I'll report back after I get the unit. Appreciate everyone's input!

 

Noco Genius GB40.pdf

Edited by windguy

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With 20/20  hindsight, I would buy the unit with the most power.  The GB 150.  It is expensive.  But, a small price to pay for security.  What would you pay when you're stuck in the middle of the night, on the freeway where other motorists are passing @ 70 MPH, with poor visibility, in the middle of a winter storm?

 

Most road service calls are for lock-outs, jump starts, and flats.  I want to cover those basics in every car I operate.  I try to keep a key for every car with the ring that has my house keys and work keys, then drive with a key which is only attached to the vehicle's alarm remote.  That way, if I lock the door with the key in the ignition, there is another key on a ring in my pocket.  This is also why I keep a jump start device and tire plug kit in every car where the spare tire or jack set is.  I try to keep it minimal, compact, and basic.  Sort of like carrying Leatherman tool instead of a tool kit.

 

Just as surely as I don't want a dead battery, I also don't want a flat tire.  In every little car, and when I'm on my Harley, I try to keep some sort of tire repair kit handy.  In the Transit Connect, in  that cubby hole where the jack is, I've got a tire plug kit, a pair of Irwin Vise Grips multi-tool, and a compact tire inflator.  

 

4114mKGkFJL.jpg41xjVQvErTL.jpg81sjIrtTiLL._SL1500_.jpg81j5eFEntDL._SL1000_.jpg

 

Slime is better known for that junk that you are never suppose to put in your tires.  Slime & Fix-A-Flat are both frowned upon by tire techs.  A tire tech got furious with me this one time that I brought my ex-girlfriend's car in for a tire repair.  She had a can of Fix-A-Flat, and she used it.  This stuff was all over the inside of the rim and tire.  Guy was yelling and cursing because he had to clean the stuff out.  Then he turned on me, and demanded to know why I let her put that stuff inside the tire, since he knew me, and knew that I knew better.  My answer?  "You, with all your tools, supplies, and knowledge, weren't out there with her on the side of the road, in the middle of the night, on a dark & stormy night.  Neither was I." 

 

Forget about the tire tech who has to clean up your mess later.  That is what he gets paid for.  And if he doesn't want your business, you will spend your next $1,000 on a set of tires somewhere else.  I was just glad that she had the can of Fix-A-Flat, it worked, and she got home safe.  

 

You don't want to have to carry a full set of tools in every car.  But that little Vise Grip tool does everything that I need to plug a tire, change a battery, and hopefully I will never need to find out how more more it can do.  I can only imagine how it could come in handy with things like hose clamps, and other odd sized bolts that I can lock the teeth onto.  

 

 

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Don't want to slime up a TPMS sensor but those cord plugs work well.

 

If you live in colder climates, matches & candles would be a good addition in wintertime. Just don't put it on the dashboard or you'll crack the windshield. (Don't tell my boss I know this - now!)

GK

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Cold climate citizens all have their own life hacks.  

 

Just don't eat the yellow snow.

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Getting back to battery jump starters, I got the GB40 and it looks like a decent unit. Well packaged and the actual brick isn't too big. The cables seem beefy enough.

 

I'm a bit confused about the 12V output port though. I also got an EC5 to cig adapter socket (link below) with the intent of being able to using the battery pack to run a tire inflator or other 12v devices remotely. I thought the EC5 connector was a standard on these jump starters. I was wrong. The adapter doesn't mate with the GB40. Anyone know what type of connector that is? 

 

https://www.amazon.com/LOTUS-POWER-Cigarette-Lighter-Adaptor/dp/B019IFHLAE

 

Second question is can you even connect a 12V load, other than a battery, to this jump starter? I tried to connect a new LED light to test the intensity using the jump cables and it didn't work. Maybe I was doing something wrong or this jump starter has some sensing technology that prevents you from doing something like that. I had some other wiring between the LED and the jump starter so that could have been the problem. Didn't try it direct yet but scratching my head. Thanks!

 

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From the GB40 user guide:

 

Low Voltage Batteries & Manual Override
The GB40 is designed to jump start 12-volt lead-acid 
batteries down to 2-volts. If your battery is below 2-volts, 
the Boost LED will be “Off”. This is an indication that the 
GB40 can not detect a battery.
If you need to jump start a battery below 2-volts there is a 
Manual Override feature, which allows you to force “On” the 
jump start function.

 

This may allow you to use the GB40 to power utility loads.

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12 minutes ago, Don Ridley said:

From the GB40 user guide:

 

Low Voltage Batteries & Manual Override
The GB40 is designed to jump start 12-volt lead-acid 
batteries down to 2-volts. If your battery is below 2-volts, 
the Boost LED will be “Off”. This is an indication that the 
GB40 can not detect a battery.
If you need to jump start a battery below 2-volts there is a 
Manual Override feature, which allows you to force “On” the 
jump start function.

 

This may allow you to use the GB40 to power utility loads.

 

Thanks Don for finding that out. Appreciate the help. I do remember reading that and I tried the button but was rushed in my attempt. I'll give it another try and go direct to the light this time. I'll report back on my results.

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I think that NOCO engineered their jump starters to only work as a jump starter.  Otherwise, they would sell you all of those attachments and accessories. 

 

Thanks for the info on the EC5 cigarette lighter adapter.  Now I will inflate my tires the old fashion way.

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