After many dead cars batteries and many months begging passersby for a jump, I finally got Battery Buddy. The first one lasted about 17 years in 3 cars until it failed me, and the second one 2 or 3 years. The second one came in a plain brown box and I only bought it because I couldn't find the manufacturer anymore. I think it was one of a bad batch that was piled in the corner of the factory and sold by the referee in bankruptcy (assuming they went bankrupt.) But it did work for 2 or 3 years.
Then I found Priority Start, which is much more expensive but which worked fine for 7 years, differently but fine.
Then I got my second Solara and even though it fit pretty darn well in the first Solara, it won't fit at all well in this one.
So tonight I'm talking to my friend on the phone, from the car, and it's cold out but warm enough in the car, so the car's not running, and I'm bragging to her about the new cigarette socket that lets me charge the phone when the car isn't running. And I tell her the usb charger uses so little, I can probably charge the phone for 36 hours without running down the battery.
After 70 minutes, we get off the phone, and the car won't start!
Very weak battery.
I put the hood up and the guy salting the parking lot in his truck sees me and comes over. I have cables but he has the smallest little thing already in his hands. I can't beleive it, but his toy starts the car. By Matco, but I didn't get the model. And nothing on the Matco webpage looks like what he had, plus the search function doesn't find things that google found on the same page. So even though it's by Matco, it looks more like this, [footnote 1 but not needed anymore]. Although this is only $50 and the ones Matco sells list at 196 and 254 dollars.
The one he had was only a little bigger than 2 decks of cards and the wire to the battery clamps was little thicker than lamp cord, maybe as thick as the new thick lamp cord. And the clamps were like something a midget would use to start his car. And the box, the main part, was red with a series of short blue illuminated lines, one above the other, on one face.
Has anyone seen one of these? I can't find it on the web. Found it***.
The matco website pictures only show the main thing, not the wires or clamps (Amazon shows so much more, which is why it is so successful.)
Even the smallest one by Matco says "300 cranking amps/ 400 peak amps" https://www.matcotools.com/catalog/product/MINIJUMP2/12000-MAH-JUMPSTARTER-CHARGER/ How can it possibly have 300 amps when the wires are so small and the battery is so small?.
He said it wouldn't start a truck but would start a "little car" like mine, a Toyota Camry Solara, I presume it only started mine because the battery still had enough to light up the dash and the domelight a little. Or are they batter than that?
***Here it is, Verapower. I only found it by looking at Google Images of Matco Jump Starter http://www.techshopmag.com/matco-introduces-pocket-sized-power-source-jump-starter/ This page says "The Versapower is now available exclusively from Matco Tools. To locate a distributor in your area or for more information on the product line, call 1-866-289-8665 or visit www.matcotools.com. " but when I got to matcotools.com and search for Versapower, it says Not Found.
Or https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/pocket-sized-jump-starters/ As this page says "These things [the original ones], basically a car battery in a plastic casing, weigh a ton and are too big for easy storage in most cars. And you need to lug them out every few months and plug them into a wall outlet." So true
It says the first of these PowerAll PBJS12000R is for sale at Walmart $69.06 Overstock.com $81.00 B&H Photo-Video $77.90 The second was almost 200 and the third was Versapower, what the guy had, for $190, though, AGAIN, the link is no good. Maybe I should just buy the cheap one, but no consumer ratings yet.
Also available (Amazon.com product link shortened)15458480&sr=1-9-spons&keywords=matco+battery+jumper&psc=1 4.4 stars 264 reviews, 49 answered questions. (Amazon.com product link shortened) 4.1 stars, not many ratings.
And more in the Compare to similar items rows.
Do these seem worth while? How can you get 300 or 500 amps out of a little battery? How much does it really take to start a car when it has a battery in it, that probably puts out a little? (apparently the better model adn maybe t his one will charge the car's battery for 30 seconds if need be.)
(Amazon.com product link shortened)15458480&sr=1-9-spons&keywords=matco+battery+jumper&psc=1