Battery power packs

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:02
ThreadID: 5948 Views:3454 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Been through the archives on this subject but, because I'm mechanically and electrically challenged, I'm still not with it.

I don't want a duel battery set up. Basically I want portability and backup.

Picking up a cub drover off road camper trailer in 3 weeks with a 12v battery (don't ask me what the specs are, I haven't a clue) which I'll use to run lights. the fridge will run on gas. However, i want to have something that will jump start the vehicle (Jackaroo) if the battery runs flat, run the shower (which I like to set up well away from camp if I can) and generally be a backup. I reckon that Bushranger and Waeco are both good portable battery set ups but are grossly overpriced.

So I went to Super Cheap today and discovered that for $149 I can get a power pack with the following specs,

Peak Amps: 1200
Boost Power: 400 Amps
Battery Power: 12v 24 AH Sealed
Input Power: 12v DC or 240v AC
Output Power: 400 Cold Cranking Amps
Aux. Power: 1200 Continuous Amps
Booster Cables: 4 gauge heavy duty 400 amps

I fugure this should do the job. Can anyone see a problem??
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Reply By: Phil G - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:13

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:13
Only query is what sort of Jackaroo you have. If its a 3 litre TD, then this pack may struggle to start the vehicle. All other Jackaroos should start OK.
AnswerID: 24784

Follow Up By: Member - John - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:29

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:29

petrol 3.5L. Having a look at some of these replies I'm starting to wonder.
FollowupID: 16678

Reply By: Big John (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:49

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:49
Remember you usually get what you pay for. You can not even buy a good battery for $140.00. 24Ah is bugger all, run a couple of things for a little while and you will never start your car. 12 months down the track the interval battery will more than likely be buggered. Spend the money and buy a good sealed (so you don't spill acid) deep cycle battery (About 105Ah) and use that as a power supply. When you get home just stick it on the charger over night and you will be ready to go again. May not look as pritty, but will work a dam site better.

Big John
AnswerID: 24787

Follow Up By: Phil G - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:50

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:50
24Ah is not bad. You need to look at the intended purpose. This is a gel cell - it has much lower internal resistance than a wet battery, so it can provide the big cranking amps to start a vehicle. If you're using it for lights/ shower, it would run a fluoro for 24 hours which is plenty.

Gel cells can withstand the deep discharges like a deep cycle battery. They actually last longer than a deep cycle battery. I've been using 7Ah gel cells for running accessories for about 7 years now, and these gel cells are still working fine.
FollowupID: 16683

Reply By: Member - Geoff & Karen - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 21:44

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 21:44
John, I may be a female (lol), but shop around before you by anything from supa cheap auto, (thats exactly what they are). Geoff was looking at something similar to what you are and he found alot better quality for not much more dollars at a well know respectable electrical place. Like Big John says, you get what you pay for.
Kind regards
(Happy holidaying)
AnswerID: 24793

Reply By: Darren - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:15

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:15
G'Day John

Have a look at the Waeco selection cost a little more $140 but you will find one what would meet you needs.
AnswerID: 24795

Reply By: Mick - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:25

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:25
John, I bought a Projecta Jump Starter unit. It is a sealed lead acid battery. It has jump started several vehicles very well (better than from my Prado with jumper leads (I think its short leads help - less resistance). I also use it for a CPAP(anti snore machine). It ran that and lights for 3 consecutive nights. It cost $149 from KMArt. I've since seen it for $99 from I think Repco (dam!!) - sort of blows the "get what you pay for" arguement away a bit. If you buy the same battery in an Engel case, you pay at least double and don't get the jump leads.
AnswerID: 24797

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 04:08

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 04:08
I've got the same unit and swear by it in regards to camp lighting and jumpstarting.
Just follow the instructions ie. charging every 8-12 weeks when not in use and your right.
Mick, did you get the double ended cigarette plug lead? I did and of course keep on charge while driving but seems to take alot longer charging off the 12volt compared to the 240VAC charger.Gibb River in July.
FollowupID: 16697

Follow Up By: Mick - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:11

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:11
Chris I've only used the double ended lead once. According to the instructions it only takes 4 hours but I tend to agree with you. Mine appeared to be nearly empty after the 3 days use. The 240v charger puts in half an amp per hour, thus takes 36 hours from dead flat. Driving home took 3 hours and it still took about 24 hours on 240v to be fully charged. If 4hours on 12v was the charging time it would have been almost full by the time I got home. Haven't used it on a touring holiday so don't know how long it will last with overnight use and 12v charging!
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Follow Up By: Mick - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:13

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:13
Do you find you can recharge fully in a day's drive? And also, does the "Full" light come on when charging from 12 volts?
FollowupID: 16744

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 04:26

Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 04:26
One thing I forgot to ask....when you plug into the 12v plug for recharge do you leave the pack's switch in the 'off' position? and does it matter which plug you put it in? (two ciggy plugs on console of pack)

further answer to your last question,, my charging light doesn't come on while attempting to charge off 12v ie. "charging" light or "full" light. You'd think the 'charging' light would come on if you're charging it regardless of 12v or 240ac.
Instructions are sh*t in those regards.

When I plug the 12v cord into the front of the pack no lights come on or I just assume it's charging!!Gibb River in July.
FollowupID: 16763

Follow Up By: Gerry - Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 14:19

Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 14:19
I too have a Projecta - an older model only 17 Ah and had it for years now. I have easily started my petrol 4.2L Patrol with it a few times but it stuggles too much on a diesel Cruiser. My lad has a Sylvia and he started his car with it every day for a week while saving for a new battery, all with no hassles whatever. They're a good unit and I can thoroughly recommend them. While on the road, I charge mine using the double ended plug with the power pack switched ON (no lights will come on when charging using this method). Only if charging from 240 do you need to switch the pack off - and yes, my green light still comes on when fully charged, even after all these years.

FollowupID: 16784

Reply By: Matt M - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 00:17

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 00:17

I have the Waeco/Blue apple Thumper battery pack and it is awesome, I use it as the dual battery system in my car. It chages from the accessories in the car while driving but keeps the fridge running when you stop. No need to isolate anything when you stop and comes with the leads to use as a jump started if needed!! But it cost a fortune!

I have since seen a battery box in super cheap and I thought is was the prefect solution. Buy a good quality gel cell battery that is the best you can afford and drop it in the marine battery case to make your own battery pack. The box had a monitor and cig outlets!!

Its as good as you can get and you know you are getting what you pay for!!

AnswerID: 24813

Follow Up By: Mick - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:17

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 21:17
That sounds a good option Matt. I'll do that when my little one dies! How much was the box? And I guess you could also put an ordinary car battery in it too!
FollowupID: 16745

Reply By: Member - Michael - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 10:02

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 10:02
I have one of these and they work great.Also had similar one at work for 4 years use for jump starting.So longevity is not a problem. Gotta get out there. Debbie and Mike
AnswerID: 24821

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