Earlier this month I blogged about getting a lithium-ion jump starter for Old Blue after accidentally running the battery down.
I was very happy to have that gadget even if the instructions were in inscrutible Engrish. Worked just fine, too.
But in that blog I mentioned liking to have backups for my backups (“two is one and one is me stranded on the roadside on a dark and stormy night”). And whaddaya know, this handy-dandy gadget just showed up.
This is NOT a jump starter:
Nope, not a jump starter. It only looks like one — while also being quite the elegant alternative-slash-backup solution.
It’s a Stanley Simple Start (Amazon link) battery booster. You will note the negative reviews from people who didn’t read the instructions, then complained that it didn’t work when they tried to use it to jump their car. That’s because this gadget doesn’t jump your car battery. It recharges it. Supposedly takes 15 minutes or so to power your battery back up to the point where it no longer needs a jump.
Best of all from the perspective of a female who doesn’t approve of being outside on said dark and stormy nights, particularly not on lonely roadsides, it can boost the battery from inside the vehicle. Just plug it into the politically incorrect cigarette lighter (aka wholesome and environmentally friendly 12-volt port), wait until it tells you the battery is ready … then go.
You can also hook it directly to the battery if you prefer to get out and get under the hood with the dirt, bugs, oil, sleet, snow, rain, serial killers, and all. Or, in a hurry, just use a regular lithium-ion jump starter. You know; the one you got this to be a backup for.
Although this didn’t come with USB cables like the other device did, and its light hasn’t got multiple fancy flashing modes, it does have a USB port and a small but strong and steady light.
This is very cool. Because it functions differently (as well as being of a different make and having a manual in actual English) it’s a particularly nice backup. If the packaging tells the truth, this will also boost most any vehicle battery, from an ATV to a big truck. The jump starters have to be chosen according to the size of the vehicle; I got one suitable for a small four-cylindar car, but it might not start my neighbor’s big diesel Dodge. This says it will. It also appears to be solid and well-made. And oh, I do love English language instructions that can actually be read by actual English speakers without inducing either fits of laughter or trips to YouTube. (The manual is the usual thick and dire mass of GOVERNMENT WARNINGS (which never, oddly enough, warn about the dangers of government), but there’s a much easier quick-start guide with friendly colored pictures.)
So now I am a happy camper, with backups for both my tire-filler and my battery fixer. Thank you, Dear Reader! All I have to do is remember to keep both devices charged up. I’ve already made note of the dates for that on my year-at-a-glance calendar (thanks, P!)
This gadget is particularly welcome because in a couple of weeks I must take Old Blue on its first longish trip.