“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Something I am going to upgrade.


I have a  car battery charger. It's not exactly like this one, because I bought mine back in the late eighties, but this is close.  Mine will either charge your battery, or give you two good shots at starting the vehicle. If you don't get it running in two "cranks" a breaker shuts the unit down and you have to wait about ten minutes for it to cool off before trying again.

In doing some looking around on the internet, I find that these have largely gone out of vogue. They need an electric plug to work, and that's a big drawback if you come out of a store and find your car won't start.

However, I found lots of similar units that have nothing to do with charging. They are battery packs that give you enough power to start your car anywhere, then you take them home and plug them in to recharge. That's what I'm going to buy.  They are not cheap but they aren't ruinously expensive either, and I think one per vehicle is in order. That doesn't include the truck.  Cranking that engine with a battery unit would not work, because the truck itself carries two massive batteries. Not a problem though since I can use a spray of ether for that if need be.

24 comments:

  1. I've gone thru three of the newer units and just purchased a nice one at a local auto parts place...sixty bucks. They're handy.

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    1. That seems a modest price for the capability it gives you. All the more so now that next weeks weather is becoming available and looks like more snow.

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  2. I would find the best one you can. I have seen a number of guys around here have some very bad luck with those units standing up to their claims. They may in fact work well for cars in suburban settings but they don't quite deliver the power they claim at the top end when it matters. The internal batteries don;t seem to hold up long either.

    Maybe it's just the brand(s) the guys been buying around here I don't know. Still if it works it would be a handy thing to have.

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    1. Any suggestions as to brand? Other than the recommendation of someone who has used one and was satisfied, I don't know how to be sure I get a good one. I guess I could run a search through old consumer digests and see if they have reviewed them.

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  3. My Dad used to have one of those types of units. I'm not sure if he still does, or not. He drove his bright yellow Dotsun 210 until looked like Swiss cheese in the end.

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    1. I do the same with my vehicles. Given the appalling weather for this whole month, and the fact that Feb is starting out the same way, it seems to me I need to pick one of these up. I had my son's car battery tested while my wife was visiting up there, and they said it needed to be replaced. He ignored tht and his car has been starting fine in sub zero weather. I had mine tested, they said it was fine, and it has been failing me after sitting all night in the low teens. I've been using the old electric crank starter to get it going in the cold. Sunday, when it was in the forties, it started just fine without any help.

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  4. We have a couple of the power packs, we had a cheaper version a couple of years ago but it sort of fizzled out after a while. The new ones were a bit more expensive but have lasted well and hold their charge much better, plus have a few extras built in like a storm light and air compressor for tyres. Handy to have :)

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    1. Dreamer, do you know what the brand names are? Probably I can't get them here but it's worth looking into. I once found Lyles Golden Syrup here so anything is possible. Hope I spelled that right,

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    2. We have this one

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Streetwize-SWPP1-Portable-Power-Compressor/dp/B003WJJ4GM/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1390931445&sr=1-3&keywords=Streetwize

      and another of the same brand that also has an outlet on it for plugging in small appliances, that one was a bit more expensive, but still cheaper than other brands.

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    3. I'm going to check out the Stretwize brand and see if I can find one here. I'd much rather buy something that has been used and recommended by a friend than just take my chances on glossy advertisements.

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  5. lol spammed

    we dont have anything like that. I wonder if we need one.

    this is me saying it and not the weather man, I think we will have some snow by the weekend. yesterday was crazy weather, bucketing down with rain. then some hail, then more rain, gale force winds and then nothing. I went out to put blankets in the car, and the car was frozen shut. then this morning it was covered in what looked like polystyrene balls. eek

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    1. It's getting to be like that old move, The Day After Tomorrow, isn't it? Right now, at one in the morning, it's 20 degrees out and cloudy, which is good considering how things have been going. But tomorrow is supposed to be snow all day. I have a doctors appointment I have to try to make so I am hoping the weather boffins (isn't that what you folks call them?) are off.

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  6. Wouldnt it just make sense to have a duplicate of your current car battery and keep it charged on a trickle charger.

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  7. Well, if you didn't mind humping the battery from the car to the charger and back, it would probably work. I' m not sure I'd want a battery bouncing around loose in the back of my jeep, but I can't think of any technical reason why it wouldn't work. However, I can't buy a car battery for sixty bucks and if I can find one of these gadgets for about that, I think I'll give it a shot .

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  8. Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    What about a battery heater. I hear folks up in North Dakota use those things on their cars. Synthetic Fluids help out too because they wont start to thicken unless the temps are well, well below zero. If you keep your oil kinda thin in the winter too it will help out a lot.

    On the bugout thing on the previous post.

    I have nowhere to go. I have a lot of stuff too and no family to help me out, so Im staying put. That's why I wont bug out if a hurricane hits unless its a direct hit from a category five and my roof flies off at 150 MPH.

    We actually have more in common Harry than you realize (except for the family thing) There was one girl I should have married but I was younger and had a burr in my ass' and had to try and conquer the damn world.
    All the other women I had were either worthless, psycho, deceitful, etc, etc, So I stayed single. Its great' but it sucks at the same time.

    Your lucky you got what you got Harry.

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    1. I know that. My wife stuck with me through some tough times. She's one of the good ones.

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  9. Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    I found a link for a battery heater. much less expensive than one of those portable chargers.

    heres the link

    http://www.amazon.com/Kats-22200-Watt-Battery-Thermal/dp/B000I8XD9E/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1390920532&sr=1-2&keywords=battery+heaters

    it came through from amazon kinda messed up. try typing in "battery heater' in amazon to find the heaters. The heaters look like little heating blankets that wrap around the rectangle battery housing. Almost like a "beer cozy" wrapped around a beer can (I don't use cozy's) Maybe what I'm saying is 'blashphemy" in the beer world, but I like my beer a tad bit warmer than ice cold. I like it cold, not too cold. It goes down better, taste better and does not feel like I just drank 12 onces of Freon. Good beer is ment to be enjoyed, not guzzled down like a 19 frat boy trying to get drunk during spring break (sorry for the beer rant:)

    I think the battery warmer would be the way to go. As I understand it, at 30 degrees and below, batteries start to lose their charge. That lessons the lifespan of the battery and a quick charge helps but that also detracts from the batteries lifespan also. The best solution, keep the battery warmer.

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    1. I know people that use those. They seem to work ok. I have a built in battery warmer in the F250, at least, it's part of a system that keeps the oil from turning to a solid block. The draw back is that it uses a lot of power. I guess everything is a trade off.

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  10. Harry, I found a Radio Shack starter pack about 10 years ago. It still works, but I don't know if they are made anymore. It runs on a 12 AH 12 V gel cell battery. Here's is the key though - they must stay plugged in when not in use. Cold kills them, and staying discharged kills them. I put mine in the car when going on a trip to desolate areas, but normally it's in my basement, plugged in and charged up.

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    1. I like Radio Shack stuff. I used to buy Tandy Computers from them, way back when. Doesn't constantly charging the battery mess it up? I wouldn't mind doing that, but somehow I thought leaving rechargeable batteries plugged into the charger killed the battery life. Not that I know much about rechargeable batteries!

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  11. I have a cheep one which sill works good and mine can be plugged into a cigarette lighter to keep it charged while driving which is handy when you are out and about. They usually have an accessory plug for camping and power outage situations which is good to have.

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    1. Duke, I just figure after all these weeks of miserable cold, it would be nice to be able to jump start the Jeep if I come out of a store or something and it won't fire up. Used to be, you could call the Sheriff and they'd send a patrol car to jump you. But some jackass sued them, saying that they hooked the battery up wrong when they jumped his car and damaged the electrical system, and now they won't. The really infuriating thing is that it was some guy passing through on his way home to New York. After that people wrote into the paper and said the Sheriff's Department should still help out locals but to hell with transients. The country attorney said that wouldn't fly.

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  12. Business Phone Service make it easy and convenient to obtain information and conduct inquiries without having to pay for the call. The idea of the called party paying for the call goes back several decades ago, and picked up in the eighties and nineties.

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  13. Hey,
    I meant to respond to this post earlier, but I needed to find a link to the charge pack I have. I am using one of these: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/450-amp-jump-starter-stanley-fat-max/prod7120128.ip

    It has worked when needed twice in the past year. I recommend it.

    Also, glad to hear you made it through the truck incident without any damage to you and minimal damage to the truck.

    Stay safe, and warm.

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