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Article Categories Archives: Jump Start Packs

Jump Starting 101

When it comes to jump starting, there are a few quick questions to answer to determine what you need: How much power do I need?; How often will I be jump starting?; What kind of access do I require; and, How long do I want the jump starter to last, given my usage patterns?

Power – How Much Do I Need?

This is almost always the first question that comes up. The answer, of course, depends on the types of vehicles you need to start, the weather conditions in which you are jump starting and the condition of the vehicles you will be starting. Suffice it say that the larger the vehicle, the colder them temperature and worse the overall vehicle condition, the more power you will need.

A good rule of thumb is that if you are planning to start gasoline powered passenger vehicles, even in cold weather, a jump starter that can supply 300 Cranking Amps (30 second, 0F, 7.2V or higher terminal voltage) of power should suffice. For diesel powered passenger vehicles, 400 Cranking Amps should get the job done. If you are starting larger diesel powered vehicles, a larger jump starter will be needed.

How Often Will I be Jump Starting?

The more jump starts you expect to perform per day, per week, etc., the more you are going to want to ensure that you have sufficient reserve capacity to meet your usage pattern. Reserve capacity is essentially how deep the well is in the jump starter’s power supply capability. So, you could have two jump starters that are equally rated in Peak Amps or even Cranking Amps, but have different reserve capacities. Running a tow vehicle, reserve capacity is going to be important. You want to be sure your jump starter can work as full a day as you are.

What Kind of Access Do I Require?

After your power equation is determined, the next question is whether any given unit under consideration will provide the access you need. This, again, will be determined by the types of vehicles you will be starting. This is true two ways. On larger vehicles, you are going to want to be sure to have long enough cables to reach the battery / starting points on them, which can often be difficult. In addition, on vehicles with difficult to access batteries, remote starting points often require extend reach to get to a good ground. With remote starting points, you can’t cheat and take both clamps to the battery (which you shouldn’t do, by the way). So, you must get to a good ground with the negative clamp. This often requires 3+ feet of reach, depending on the vehicle.

How Long Do I Want/Require the Jump Starter to Last?

Again, this equation will vary for each user, based on their usage patterns, spend expectations and desire for value / longevity. But, regardless of the spend, everyone wants the products they purchase to last a reasonable length of time. Particularly in a towing operation, which could reasonably be described as an extreme environment, this factor comes into play in a big way. Various products, based on their build method, will stand up in the towing environment better than others.

Built for Jump Starting From the Ground Up

The battery is the most important contributor to jump starter performance. It impacts everything from the jump starter’s maximum boosting capacity, the number of jumps that can be performed per charge, the amount of time that the jump starter can sit between charges, its ability to withstand abuse and the overall service life of the unit. Clore Automotive ES Series (Booster PAC) and Clore PROFORMER (Jump-N-Carry) batteries are specifically developed to perform vehicle jump starting applications. They are designed to deliver exceptional power in a quick, concentrated burst. And have numerous enhancements that serve a single purpose: deliver the power you need, even in extreme conditions, over and over again.

Beyond the battery, it is important to remember that an investment in battery power and reserve capacity isn’t paid off if we can’t get all of that energy to the vehicle. That’s where the Power Path components come into play. These consist primarily of the output cables and battery clamps. Output cables must be sufficiently conductive to deliver the battery’s energy without introducing excessive resistance, which would result in a voltage drop, diminishing the jump starter’s capacity to start the vehicle. The more powerful the battery, the greater the requirement on the output cables. Clore Automotive output cables are specifically mated to the battery power of each jump starter to ensure optimal results. They are extremely durable, flexible in cold temperatures and resistant to vehicle fluids and chemicals.

You work hard. Make sure that when you reach for your jump starter, it is ready to work as hard as you. Downtime is lost revenue. Having a jump starter that you know is going to work every time you grab it is more than peace of mind. It saves time and saves money on the road.

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Five Reasons Why a Jump Starter Beats Booster Cables (Every Time)

booster-packs

With the incredibly inclement weather seen this winter, it has been common to see TV news articles addressing ways vehicle owners can be prepared and survive the cold and snow. Inevitably, one of the items they talk about is booster cables and the jump starting process. Occasionally, they mention a jump starter, but usually stick to booster cables. As the maker of Booster PAC and Jump-N-Carry jump starters, we, of course, are biased, but the way we see it, a jump starter trumps a set of booster cables every time. Here are the top 5 reasons why.

jumping-car-off

1. You don’t need to ask for help when you have a jump starter.

The most obvious advantage of a jump starter is the fact that it eliminates the need to find someone to loan their car to be used as a host vehicle, which is required when using booster cables. This advantage isn’t just about the hassle of having to find someone willing to help you. It is also a safety consideration. If you have your jump starter in your trunk, you can pull it out, connect it and get your vehicle started immediately, which is great when stranded at night or in an unfamiliar area.

2. There’s no concern how the disabled vehicle is parked.

You really don’t have to worry about the position in which your disabled vehicle is parked when using a jump starter. Not so with booster cables, where a major consideration is whether the host vehicle will be able to get close enough for the booster cables to reach the disabled vehicle’s battery. We’ve even had a Clore Story submitted by a customer in which this exact problem surfaced, as it was impossible to get another vehicle close to the disabled vehicle. A jump starter, in this case the JNC660, solved their problem.

3. Twice the connections means twice the chance for issues.

With booster cables, you have to make two sets of connections, which is twice the chance for issues. Reversed connections are very dangerous to the operator and the vehicles involved. They can create sparks, which could result in an explosion if battery gases are present. They also can cause damage to expensive electronic components on one or both of the vehicles involved, depending on when in the connection sequence the reverse connection takes place. With a jump starter, there is just one set of connections to make, simplifying what can be a confusing process.

4. Concerns of damage to the host vehicle.

parking-lot

Even when care is taken to ensure a proper connection sequence and starting procedure, there remains the concern of whether the host vehicle is up to the task of providing the additional power needed by the disabled vehicle. If any components of the host vehicle’s electrical system are marginal or suspect, the additional requirements of the jump starting process may push those components over the edge. We remember how we once brought a friend’s car’s electrical system to its knees while borrowing it to use for a jump. We were young, the car was old and it was on the scrap heap within days. This is an extreme example, but there are always risks to the host vehicle when jump starting.

5. Today’s vehicles make booster cables inherently risky.

There are several reasons why using booster cables on today’s sophisticated vehicles brings inherent risks not present when using a jump starter. The first is that noise from the host vehicle can be transferred to the disabled vehicle. This noise can include voltage spikes and other anomalies that could damage sensitive electrical and electronic components on the disabled vehicle. As a jump starter is essentially an extension of the vehicle battery, short of a reverse connection, this concern does not exist.

In addition, the process of removing booster cables after the jump can have a similar damaging effect on vehicle electronics, as warned by Pat Goss on a recent edition of Motor Week and as summarized by Gary Witzenburg on the Green AutoBlog:

As long as the cables are connected,” Goss continued, “the two batteries act as buffers to contain maximum voltage rise. But as soon as the first cable end is removed, the systems go nuts. When the first cable is removed, the voltage reference is gone. It instantly changes from the level of two batteries and two alternators to one battery and one alternator.

During this period of adjustment, the voltage regulator allows the alternator to climb to a very high voltage level. The alternators of both cars are unregulated for a few milliseconds, and during that brief time, the alternator can produce several hundred volts of low-amperage electricity. This high-voltage spike shoots through the electrical systems of both cars.

The effect is like a voltage surge running through a computer. It rarely destroys anything instantly but can weaken components of both vehicles, including engine control computers, alternators, sound systems or any of the dozens of electronic modules in modern cars, and there are usually no immediate symptoms because these parts are merely weakened.”

Goss recommends using either a jump starter or “smart” booster cables to avoid this dilemma. While smart booster cables will help to avoid this specific problem, they cannot resolve issues 1-3 above, which is why we believe a jump starter is the best answer.

Jump Starter Dilemma #1 – Keeping it Charged

dead-car

As we stated above, we know we’re biased on this one. Of course we think jump starters are the best answer. We’re the jump starter people and we’d always think a jump starter is the right answer. But, many would counter, the big issue with a jump starter is keeping it charged and remembering to charge.

It is true that a depleted jump starter is of no use when your vehicle’s battery is dead, but that’s an easy problem to solve. We offer free recharge alerts for your jump starter so you can be sure it is ready when you need it the most. Just click the link below to sign up for quarterly alerts. It’s quick, easy and will help you avoid the number one dilemma people mention when it comes to jump starters.

Clore-Profile

Clore Automotive
www.cloreautomotive.com

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Starting System Cables

Associated Equipment has been producing Professional Quality Booster Cables and Plug-in Starting Systems for over 60 years.  The plug-in starting system is designed with both the operator and the customer in mind.  Features include heavy-duty tangle-free cables that remain flexible in extremely cold weather, solid copper jaws with poly-vinyl insulated clamps and “Flexi-Spring” cable guards which provide a strong connection to the disabled vehicle. The Polarized Anderson and Polarized LexanTM plugs stand up to the coldest weather.  An additional feature on the Associated 6139 and 6146 cables is the patented “Stop/Go Safety Light” to further insure proper connections.  All of theses features help the operator safely and quickly start the disabled vehicle in all kinds of weather. Typical Associated Equipment Starting System Cables are 25 to 30 feet long allowing the service truck to be easily positioned to provide the best service.

Several Starting System Cable models are available:  from the Heavy Duty Polarized Anderson Type connectors Models 6118 & 6119; the Polarized Stainless Steel Receptacle Boxes Model 6136 (4 AWG) to our Super Heavy duty Model 6146 (1 AWG).  All of Associated Equipment Starting System cables are MADE IN USA.

The Polarized Anderson type plug allows connection to be made without ever lifting the service truck hood; features include a weather proof socket, patented “Flexi-Spring” cable guards and up to 34 foot of 4 AWG cable to reach the disabled vehicle.

Associated Equipment’s Polarized Stainless Steel Plug-In Receptacles can be mounted on the truck, allowing for the cable to be easily connected via a LexanTM plug. Starting System Cables come in both Heavy Duty and Super Heavy Duty models, with up to 1 AWG cable giving you the Service Truck Operator the extra power you need in extremely cold conditions. These units have 25 or 30 foot of tangle-free cable from the receptacle to the car.  The cables come with 500 Amp and 800 Amp solid copper jaws depending on model number.

Another convenient option is the Flush Mount Plug-In Polarized Stainless Steel receptacle. This flush-mounted unit has the same safety features as the standard polarized stainless steel receptacles providing the Service Truck Operator with a convenient and safe flush-mounted connection.

If you are looking for MADE IN USA QUALITY look to Associated Equipment Corporation.  Visit our website at www.associatedequip.com for more product details.

Associated Equipment Corporation
5043 Farlin Ave.
St. Louis,MO  63115
www.associatedequip.com

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Jump Packs . . . Non-traditional Uses

Todd K., AW Direct Technical Product Support

Over the years experience has taught me one thing for certain: jump packs are not just for jump-starting vehicles anymore.

The first out-of-the-ordinary use that comes to mind is bench testing 12-volt components. I was in my home shop one night trying to find a good CD-radio to install in my neighbor’s farm truck. I used my jump pack to bench test some of the six or so radios I’ve acquired over the last few years to make sure I had a good one before doing the work to install it. This way, I could stand upright at my workbench, get the wiring correct and make sure the radio was functional before lying upside down (wedged under the dash) on the floor of an unpleasant-smelling farm truck.

When I towed for a living, I used the pack to get dead cars out of park. When you get to an accident scene, sometimes the vehicle you are assigned to pick up has the battery smashed or the battery cables cut by the fire department. Getting the car into neutral to roll onto the carrier or for using skates can be both a bit of a problem and time consuming. Plugging the jump pack into the car’s accessory plug supplies you with enough power to operate the vehicle system and release the electronic parking lock system. After that, it’s easy to winch the rolling car onto the bed.

As my mind again wanders back to my towing days, I remember towing a car with a blown engine into our yard. Three weeks later, the owner stopped in to sign the title over and collect his belongings from the trunk. After walking the customer to his car I realized the battery was dead. This was one of the cars with no trunk lock and a touch pad release only. I simply went back to the shop, grabbed the trusty jump pack and accessory plug cord, then powered-up the vehicle system enough to push the trunk release on the key fob. What a time saver! It would’ve been far more complicated to go grab the shop truck, pull up close, open the hood, retrieve the jumper cables from the toolbox, hook them up to the car’s battery and THEN open the trunk.

I most recently used a jump pack in a non-traditional way when I went to purchase a Cobra Mustang. I drove my truck and trailer, since the belts and alternator were no longer on the Mustang’s motor. I couldn’t get the trailer close enough to the garage to use the electric winch, which left everyone there to check their batteries to see if we had a “close enough” match. After finding out that none of us had a top-post battery that would fit the Mustang, I again reached for my handy jump pack. I strapped the pack under the hood of the car, making sure to keep it clear of any moving parts. I then used the pack to power the electrical system. It kept the car running long enough to get it up the steep driveway to where the trailer winch could be used to get the car loaded.

I have mentioned just a few of the scenarios I recall, but the list is nearly endless in the automotive repair and recovery world (not to mention home and hobby use). I have seen jump packs strapped to 12-volt coolers to keep things cool while camping and “jeeping” in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve seen a jump pack used to save radio presets when changing batteries, or when unhooking batteries during a welding job on a vehicle. I’ve even seen a jump pack used as a back-up power source on a diver’s 12-volt compressor system.

The usefulness of the standard jump pack has grown steadily as more and more items are powered by 12- and 24-volt systems. However, there are a few things to remember when enlisting your jump pack for projects: 1) make sure your pack voltage is correct for your application 2) keep the polarity correct – positive to positive and negative to negative and 3) keep the route of current as short as possible.

Finally, let’s not forget that we can even use these wonderful little jump packs in the way they were originally intended – to jump-start vehicles. Just keep in mind that they don’t always have to be used that way!

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