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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-10-10, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Using Porta-Jump units on Explorers

G'Day all,
My '02 Explorer is mostly garaged (only 60k klms to date) as I work out of the country, and only fire it up when home for a few days each month.
Most of the time, I disconnect the battery before I head off overseas, but occasionally I forget, and end up having to fork out bulk dollars for a new battery about twice a year.
My current battery is on trickle charge at the moment because of my recent lapse of memory, and I noticed an ad in the local rag for some Porta-Jump starter devices...going at 2 for $A100.00..bargain.

Porta-Jump Emergency Jump Starter

These little units sit in the glove box until needed, and would be ideal for this sort of situation I find myself in, but....
I bought 2 (the missus has an XR6, so she has one of these little beauties to go in her glove box, just as soon as her birthday rolls around in a week...or so,....I can never remember, but I love her to bits anyway, otherwise, why would I buy her something so special..?) but, I'm having second thoughts...about the Porta-Jump unit, not the missus, in that it runs at 30v and using a backflow type of charge to the battery through the power point/cigarette lighter connection, it will give the battery a quick-fix (like a major shot of juice) in 10 minutes..enough to kick the donk over.
The instructions suggest that all lights/radio etc must be off, but I'm a bit concerned about frying any of the computerized aspects of my car with this.
Has anyone used these units before in a similar situation, and would they consider them to be o.k. in this sort of situation...?
I shall leave the trickle charge going overnight this time, but I just know that the next time I head off overseas (3 days from now), I'm going to forget to unhook the battery, and then have to fork out $200 for a new battery again on my return.
This Porta-Jump unit seems like the answer to my dreams, but not if it's going to turn my electrics into scrap metal.
Appreciate any advice anyone might have here.

Rick Brittain
Cairns, Qld. OZ
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-16-10, 09:40 AM
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Re: Using Porta-Jump units on Explorers

Best thing to do is to remove your battery altogether and set it on a shelf. It should hold a charge just fine. If you want to try something, do what I mentioned and buy a spiral cell battery, like an Optima Yellow top. It's made to discharge slowly even when under load. No charging should be necessary if you remove it, and store it. This way you won't forget to disconnect the battery if you remove it altogether. Some only disconnect one cable, and not both, which can still drain a battery.

I think portable power units that you plug into the cigarette lighter are more for keeping some of the electronics working in an emergency situation. They had one advertised at Canadian Tire. I read the label and you have to leave it plugged in for at least 20 minutes before trying to start the vehicle, as 12V wires can only transfer so much power to the vehicles battery.

If anything, get a GOOD battery charger, and when you come home, hook it up for a few hours and then hook the battery up to the vehicle.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-21-10, 08:42 PM
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Re: Using Porta-Jump units on Explorers

Another option is to purchase an on-board trickle charger / battery maintainer. It connects to your battery and mounts under the hood. You plug it in and it automatically maintains the battery charge and shuts off when fully charged. We use one on our boat and it works great. Think it was about $30 at Wal-Mart. I've always been hesitant to use a jump starter system that connects through the power port as the wiring is not very heavy.
Good luck!
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