Lithium jump-start packs (slightly OT)

Anyone got any experience with them, or can recommend one? Only for a 1.3 petrol engine plus general use as a mobile supply.
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I did see the video someone posted, in here from memory.
Amazing what it would start car engine wise given how small it was.
Not that much bigger than a fat pack of cigarettes from memory.
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My guess is it will only work where the car battery is only slightly too low to start the car. Willing to bet it wouldn't work with no car battery in place, or totally flat. So rather like most jump start packs.
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Does it have a large capacitor charged up by the batteries so that there is an initial "thump" of charge to get the engine going?
Alan
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Would need to be a pretty large capacitor. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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You might be surprised. Okay, this clip is an ad but there are plenty reviews of similar devices starting V8 engines with NO battery (other than the jump starter obviously).

http://youtu.be/9Zyv5kztfU8

http://youtu.be/9Zyv5kztfU8

Tim
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Wonder how many cycles of this it would survive? Was the engine cold or hot? How long is the warranty?
Be nice to hear from someone who owns one.
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On 01/12/2015 13:04, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Those were my thoughts exactly, which is why I posted. However I ordered one yesterday so I will let you know. Instructions typically say run for no more than 4 seconds with 30 second recovery time to cool down.
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Be interesting to know how it works in practice.
I use Li-ion in one of those electronic cigarette thingie. Single cell - element load is 2.1 ohms. The cell capacity is given as 2200 mA.hr, and it easily lasts a day, but gets recharged each night. Using a charger which takes about 4 hours and switches off when charged.
They last about 3 months before the performance starts to deteriorate. Pretty useless after about 150 cycles.
So what I'm basically saying is this type of battery doesn't like heavy loads. And the heavier the load, the shorter it lives.
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What I'd guessed.
The majority will be bought as a 'just in case' and perhaps even as presents. So they might well be able to replace the few that are actually used more than a couple of times under warranty.
Like most things, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
I'd say a pair of jump leads are better value as a 'just in case'.
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But you're ignoring the fact that these are sold as power banks for charging any number of whatnots. You might struggle to cover all their functions with just a pair of jump leads.
Tim
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The OP only asked about their use for jump starting.
As regards other uses, I find a lead acid jump start pack with built in tyre compressor very useful. And does double up for the very rare occasion I need a portable power supply.
Can't really think of where a much smaller one would be a killer reason to pay out that much more money for. Except for specialised stuff like model aircraft and so on.
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And the discussion had moved on to discussing them in general.

There is a lot to be said for doing that with Li-on instead now.

So would a Li-on one which would do the car starting much better.

I can. When moving around without a car one of them would be handy for keeping the smartphone charged if you use it to listen to podcasts or read ebooks in the sort of situation where mains power is hard to find.
Leaves you lead acid based one for dead portability wise.

Nothing specialised about smartphones anymore.
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On Wed, 02 Dec 2015 13:33:06 +0000, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

If my experience with a 12AH SLA is anything to go by, that's probably all you'd need (along with short 'jumper leads' - in my case, half a metre's worth total).
I'd stopped off at our local chippy two or three winters back on our way home from a 20 mile round trip outing. I knew the battery was on its last legs but still made the mistake of switching the engine off on our automatic 1.6 Astra whilst waiting for the missus to get served. It was late afternoon and dark so I had the side lights on. When the missus came back, ten minutes later, the battery was too flat to restart the car.
The emergency 1.4AH celled jump starter pack was, as expected, too flat to do any good (NiCads eh? if you don't keep them on charge between use, they're flat within a week or two from self discharge). Since we were only 5 minutes walk from home, I decided to push the car into a parking 'bay' which had opportunely become free so we could head off home to enjoy our fish 'n' chips tea and for me to put the 'emergency' starter pack on charge.
After we'd had tea, I realised that unless I left the car parked where it was overnight, there was no chance of the 'emergency pack' being sufficiently charged to attempt even just a single starting attempt so I cast around for an alternative 'battery' I could bodge into jump start service and spotted the 2nd hand 12AH SLA I'd left parked on the office window ledge ever since it had received its one and only charge from a couple of 12v 1.2Wp solar panels the previous summer.
My initial test with a borrowed DMM in the fleamarket where I'd purchased my "Five Quid Bargain"(tm) which had indicated a good state of charge had proved to be optimistic - probably low battery in the borrowed DMM - the battery voltage was only just over the 12 volt mark when I measured it with my fluke DMM at home. However, despite this, it had slowly charged up over the next few weeks of intermittent sunshine that summer, reaching 14v before I decided 'enough was enough' - it doesn't do an SLA any good to leave it floating higher than 13.8v for any length of time.
Anyway, a quick test revealed it was still showing 12.77v and a 55W 12v halogen capsule lamp lit up nice and bright confirming it might just be up to the job so I made up my 'jump leads' and walked back to the car with my 30 year old son in tow for moral support (actually, it may have been that my son gave me a lift in his car, I can't really recall for sure but he might even have had a set of jump leads to jump start from his own car).
Regardless of whether I could prevail upon my son to jump start the Astra, I attached my SLA to the car battery terminals and tried the starter. Much to our amazement, the engine spun into life as if I'd fitted a new car battery (I'd already tried an abortive start on the car's own 'rested' battery - so knew the success was entirely down to my "Five Quid Bargain"'s own efficacy).
I still have that battery and it still shows a resting voltage of 12.76v some 4 or 5 months after its last annual 'summer solar charge' :-)
The point of this anecdote being that if a 2nd hand 12AH SLA flea market purchase can jump start a 1.6 litre automatic, a new 12 or 15AH SLA might be all you need to carry around in your boot in between 4 to 6 monthly freshening charge cycles (along with a set of short jumper leads with spade connectors for the battery terminals).
If you're going to trawl your local flea market or boot sales for a decent SLA, take your own DMM (or at least a fresh PP3) to check any such prospective purchase. :-)
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I've found with my jump start pack is it depends on whether there is anything left in the car battery or not. It's an 18 amp.hr SLA - but not in the first flush of youth.
And of course the state of the engine when you attempt the jump start. If you've tried and failed because of a flat battery it might be partially flooded - or whatever.
Which is why I'm suspicious of those ads showing the engine bursting into life after it goes over the first compression. Life usually isn't that simple. ;-)
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That's a rather different situation use wise to the normal owner tho.
And it sounds like a not very well designed one with the leads failures.


Jump starters in general are mostly useful in some situations tho.

But nothing like as convenient to use with the need for another vehicle to use them with.
No one said they are perfect or universally better than anything else.
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wrote

Expect it would be pretty decent given what the most demanding power tools manage.

One of the ones I have seen was with the car in a frigid situation, in Canada or somewhere.
Haven't noticed anyone using one on Ice Road Truckers tho, but that is a very different situation where the problem is the diesel congealing, not the battery.

Pretty decent with the best of them.

Not really much of a sample tho. Those videos are pretty convincing.
Haven't bother to get one yet myself. Only needed to replace the car battery the once in the now 10 year old car and that was a faulty battery with a weird symptom and not the usual dying of old age.
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You have a power tool which takes upwards of 300 amps at 12v? Do tell.
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On 01/12/2015 18:37, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

My portable traffic warden disintegrator uses about that.
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On Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 6:42:28 PM UTC, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Few things do take a lot of current, 70A @ 12V
http://theinductor.co.uk/Mini-Ductor/mini-ductor-12v/Mini-Ductor%C2%AE%2012V
Coils are kind of consumable , but mate loves his Snap On version
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