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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Performance difference between jumper cable and Lithium pack

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opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 05/02/19 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How is it that my standard automotive jumper cables have very thick wires and the new lithium packs use wires that are comparatively much smaller than the old style cables?

Do they both do the same job of starting a vehicle with a severely depleted battery? Or does the lithium pack only work on a battery that is less depleted but you need cables if it's depleted past a certain point?


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Chum lee

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Posted: 05/02/19 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the actual wire gauge of your jumper cables. Don't be fooled by thick insulation. Copper "looking" cables aren't necessarily solid copper. Far from it.

In a jumper type situation, its all about the difference in voltage between the jumper battery and the battery being jumped. The new lithium batteries are pretty good at initial surge voltage which helps a lot in a jump situation.

I was totally amazed once when my li-ion portable battery booster actually jump started an older GM V8 diesel with totally dead wet cell batteries. (2-12 volt starting batteries from the factory)

Chum lee

Sam Spade

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Posted: 05/02/19 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chum lee wrote:


I was totally amazed once when my li-ion portable battery booster actually jump started an older GM V8 diesel with totally dead wet cell batteries. (2-12 volt starting batteries from the factory)

Chum lee


There are varying degrees of "totally dead".

The small packs depend on the internal battery still being partly functional. They also depend on the stricken vehicle being fairly healthy so it will start right away.

I bet you wouldn't have fared so good if they had gone OPEN.....so that they couldn't help supply any current at all.
OR if it was -30 F and the engine was about 10 years beyond needing a tune up.


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Posted: 05/02/19 03:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of differences would be the length of cables carrying the power. My jumper cables are 25' long and made of very heavy cable. I do have a couple of booster units and their cables are maybe 2' long if you pull hard. Shorter cables don't need to be near as thick/heavy.

Bill


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naturist

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Posted: 05/02/19 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cable length, that's the long and the short of it. 12 volts isn't a lot of juice. It doesn't take much fall-off due to wire resistance to cause trouble. My jumpers are 20 feet long and double aught wire -- essential for cranking a diesel. My booster box, the leads are at most 12 inches. That makes much smaller wires very feasible. And they are.





Fulltimers

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Posted: 05/02/19 09:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was able to start my motorhome (8.1L V8) with the battery pack only (no automotive battery). Amazing things they are.


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Rangerider

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Posted: 05/02/19 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good info above. My Lithium pack says if the battery being jumped is very low to leave the pack connected for a few minutes and it will charge it to a point where it can be jumped.

sgfrye

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Posted: 05/03/19 05:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

battery jump boxes are a great invention. i have one in my truck, wife has one in her car, i always put one of the 2 in our pontoon boat when we use it. over the years i have actually used it more times jump starting total strangers with dead batteries in parking lots than on our vehicles. most people don't know they exist

wa8yxm

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Posted: 05/03/19 06:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Copper v/s aluminum makes a big difference

ALso Car to Car jumpers are Much. much. much longer (More feet means more resistance so you need a bigger cable)

Also read the instructions... Hook up. Pause, Pause, Pause, Start. During that Pause pause pause the jump pack transfers some charge to the larger battery.

QUALITY car to car you do not even NEED a battery in the "Target" (Dead) car. ut that grade is .. Rare.


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opnspaces

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Posted: 05/03/19 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That makes sense, I never considered voltage drop. I always figured the cables had to be bigger for the amount of amperage being pulled for the jump.

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