I thought I received a defective unit since my car wouldn't start; even when I followed the provided instructions. I tracked down the solution with my trusty multimeter; it pointed to a "problem" with the jumper cables. Closer inspection made me wonder what that small button on the jumper cables right next to the red/green flashing light was for. It is not mentioned in the instructions I received, and when I went to the manufacturer's web site the instructions for this unit were not available. As it turns out, you need to hold down that small button for about three seconds to turn the flashing light to solid green. You then have thirty seconds to start your car. Mine worked like a charm. This unit rocks! However, it took me two days to solve this mystery.
I'm guessing DBPower made a mid-production run change to this unit that didn't make it's way into the provided instructions. I'm going to all but guarantee someone will be stranded by this hidden ... errr ... feature.
This review is for the red/black 18000mAh jump starter.
Included with the 18000mAh jump starter are the instructions, a micro USB charging cable (approximately 2 feet in length), a wall adaptor with a round barrel plug for charging the jump starter (approximately 3 feet 2 inches in length), a car plug adaptor and cable with a round barrel plug (approximately 3 feet in length), car battery clamp cables (approximately 10 inches in length for positive clamp and approximately 6 inches for the negative clamp), a semi-hard carrying case, a dual end round barrel charging cable for things like laptops (approximately 9 inches in length) and 8 round barrel adaptor plugs of various sizes.
One of the common issues with these jump starters is that the car battery clamp cables that typically come with the set are in my opinion too short and that is the same in this case as well. I think the jumper cables are too short and for some cars such as my SUV that has a battery in an odd location, it makes it difficult to find a place to sit the jump starter when you are trying to use it. The battery clamps also use plastic handles that I am not crazy about as I think they need to be a bit sturdier but they do the job. The laptop charging cable is too short as well. In addition, there are no Apple adaptors or charging cables included, which is a minor issue to me since they are easy to add to the kit at little cost but a bit odd they weren’t included.
The included instructions are not particularly great. Multiple languages are crowded together making it difficult to read through. The English instructions are not particularly well written either in addition to lacking needed details. One thing that concerns me is that the instructions have a warning that this has to be charged over 25 percent or it can cause damage but doesn’t give the reason or specify what can be damaged (whether it damages the charger or what you are jump starting). If that is the case, why not have a safety feature that will not allow you to attempt a jump start if this has a 25 percent charge or less.
The instructions do indicate that this has a 3-year warranty which is good. One nice feature inside the semi-hard case is a chart printed on a plastic insert on the inside that shows what size jump starter is needed for the engine size. The chart is an easy reference for determining if you have the right sized jump starter for the size engine you have and should be something included in the product description page. I have read some reviews indicating that they are using the 8000mAh jump starter and having issues at jumping. According to the chart, an 8000 mAh jump starter is only capable of jump starting 4 cylinder (less than 2000cc) engines. It could be that the jump starter is too small for what is actually needed.
The reference chart could use more distinctive terms in the fact that it uses “good” for when the charger is fully capable of jump starting a particular engine size but the chart also uses “fine” that I am guessing means it is capable but most likely for just one attempt. The chart does clearly outline when a particular mAh jump starter is not capable with “no” in the listing. The chart also conflicts with the poorly written instructions with a statement that says that the jump starter should be at least 50 percent charged before using whereas the instructions say 25 percent.
I have attached a photo of the included chart for reference to make it easy to determine the size needed for your engine size but I will briefly summarize what the chart indicates the jump starter requirements are (for this brand’s starters at least).
If the charger is: 5400 mAh or less – It will not charge a dead car battery of any size engine. 8000 mAh – will jump start a 4-cylinder engine battery and nothing larger 12000 mAh – Can jump start up to 6-cylinder (less than 4200 cc) engines 15000 mAh – Capable up to an 8-cylinder (less than 6000cc) engine but may only have one jump for an engine that size. 18000 mAh – Can jump start 8-cylinder engines and smaller with no issues.
As for the device itself, it has a nice look with its red and black casing. Due to the battery size, this has some weight to it. The case is made of plastic, which is typical of these devices, that seems to be made pretty well but I am not sure how well this would hold up to being dropped. The instructions do warn about dropping this which makes me wonder how well they protected the electronics on the inside. In my opinion, something like this should have some shock proofing on the inside. One small issue I had with mine is that the round output charging port was not properly seated into the case but I easily fixed that by pushing it down a bit until it fit into the slot as it should. I am not sure but this could have been something that occurred in shipping.
The side of the case has the jumper cable ports (protected by a silicone cover), an on/off switch, 2 USB charging ports, a power switch (which should really be labeled a selector/option switch as it activates the emergency lights and changes the charging mode of the device), a round output port and a digital display.
Since a jump starter is basically a higher capacity power bank, this has a lot of the same features along with the addition of its ability to jump a car, with some of those features being more useful than others.
Compass – The basic compass is on the top of the case and is to me not particularly practical. It is small and hard to read and not really a useful feature with a heavy charger.
Flashlight/red emergency light - The flashlight, located at one end of the charger, is typical of those that are included with these types of devices. The light has 3 modes (steady light, strobe and SOS) and is bright enough for lighting up the immediate area when you are trying to connect the cabling to your dead battery. The light is activated by pressing and holding the power button. The flashlight mode is changed again by pressing and holding a second or third time for the strobe and SOS feature. Quick press twice for the flashing red emergency light, which is located on the top of the case by the compass. I would have preferred a separate switch for the lights to make it a bit simpler to use.
USB charging ports – This has two charging ports and although the badly written instructions don’t indicate it, the ports appear to be intelligent charging ports as they are labeled “smart output” under the ports. The product description on the Amazon page indicates these are 2.4A smart ports but the display on the device indicates 5v 2.1A. I tried charging both a Samsung S6 and an I-phone 5 in each port. Both ports charged them with no issues. I also tried charging a couple other USB devices such as a tablet and Bluetooth headset which charged as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have my old phones any longer, so I can’t say how well older phone devices will charge, however it does appear the smart ports will work with any device.
Digital display – The display is a bit small but a nice feature which shows the percentage of the battery remaining, has a blue LED backlight along with the charging mode the device is in. The device also has an auto shutoff that turns the display off (even with the power switch on) after about 30 to 45 seconds of inactivity. Another fault of the instructions is that none of those features are mentioned. In addition, the various charging modes and what should be selected is also not mentioned in the instructions. For example, there is a 16v and 19v mode that I initially wasn’t sure what devices I can charge with. I later discovered that the 19v was for laptops. I presume the 16v is also for laptops or similar devices.
Laptop charging – (using round barrel port) – I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop that is approximately 3 to 4 years old and after finding the right adaptor among the 8, I plugged the cable in. I initially could not get the charger to charge my particular laptop. With the lack of good instructions, I, at first, thought I had a defective device, cable or this wasn’t a fully functioning feature. I discovered through the process of trial and error that the charger does not automatically switch to the right charge for the round barrel output port and that you have to manually select the proper voltage. You also cannot change the power mode once this is plugged into the laptop. So if you have the wrong mode selected, the laptop will not charge. I presume that is a safety feature but with no documentation on the feature, I cannot say for sure. I checked that my laptop uses a 19v power adaptor and without the help of the instructions, I found that once I selected the proper voltage (in my case 19v) prior to plugging in the charger to the laptop, the laptop started charging normally. The laptop charging feature isn’t a big issue for me as my primary use for this device is as a car jump starter but the instructions really need to address how to properly use this feature.
Charging time – Because this is a large sized battery it takes several hours for the jump starter to fully charge. Mine arrived 97 percent charged but still took 30 to 45 minutes to get to 100 percent.
Jump starting – Since this is the device’s main purpose, I tried this on two different cars. My SUV which is a 6-cylinder engine (3.0 liter) and my car which has a 4-cylinder (2.0 liter) engine. This device started both cars with no issues and still had plenty of power left to jump start again if I needed to do so. The jumper cables are a bit difficult to remove from the jump starter due to the lack of enough gripping area on the plug. The gripping area of the plug needs to be a bit larger area as it is hard to remove without grabbing the wiring instead of the plug.
Durability – Despite the bad instructions, the device seems to be well made, however with any battery powered device, how well it holds up long term or to being dropped is the most important factor. It has held up well so far to being used several times as a charging device and a few times a jump starter but I haven’t dropped it. I will update my review with any long term durability or warranty issues.
Safety Features - Although the Amazon product description indicates that this device has over current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage and over-charge protection, the instructions do not reference this at all. With the 25 percent warning in the instructions and none of the safety features mentioned, it does give me some concern about what type of safety features this device has. Maybe this is due to poorly translated or lacking instructions but if these are included features, why wouldn’t the instructions at least briefly discuss them. Considering the price of the device, most likely these safeties are built in but this is another case of how poorly translated and lacking instructions hurt my impression of the device.
Pros: Good 3-year warranty Nice carry case that includes a car charging reference chart Lots of accessories (See cons also) Amazon product description indicates several safety features (see cons also) Has a flashlight/emergency light Has a separate Off/on switch and also has an automatic shutoff after a period of inactivity Has 2 smart USB ports that work for both Apple/Android phones and other devices Charges laptop (with the right setting, see cons) Digital display that indicates battery percentage and charging mode Display has blue backlighting Enough power to jump start 8-cylinder engines
Cons: Poorly written instructions that lacks needed operational and technical details Safety features also not well documented in instructions A bit heavy for a portable device Short jumper cables/plastic clamp handles/a bit difficult to remove plug Short laptop charging cables Lacks any Apple charging cables Compass is small and not particularly practical Doesn’t automatically select the correct setting for laptops and instructions lack documentation in regards to manually setting this Digital display a bit small Flashlight mode selection is a bit cumbersome since it lacks a separate selector switch Expensive (currently 90 dollars)
This is for the most part a solid device with a good warranty that has the capability of charging a variety of devices and jump starting most car engines. There are a few cons such as short jumper cables and being a bit expensive (currently 90 bucks) for what is essentially a high capacity power bank but this device is mainly hampered by its very poorly written instructions that lack a lot of needed operational and technical details.
I bought one of these for every member of my family. I had mine for about 4 months before I actually needed it and it worked...but not as well as they would like you to believe.
However, when you need to jump start a car when there isn't anyone else around, this thing can save you a ton of hassle, time, and money to have a service come jump start your car.
I pull this thing out and charge it in the car from the cigarette light every month or two. It loses about 10% charge per month. I haven't exhaustively tested it but I have used it to charge my phone and jump start my car, which are the two main reasons I bought it. It comes in a nice pill-shaped hard case which happens to fit perfectly under the seat of my Focus. It has a 12 volt charge cable, a 120 volt wall charger, USB to Micro USB cord, and a separate charge cord with a round end for laptops, along with adapters to make that round end larger to fit a variety of laptops. No eight pin charging cord though so if you have an Ipad, you will need another cord or an adapter. The one time I jump started the car, it worked just fine. The battery is encased nicely in rigid foam so I never worry about it rattling around in the car or being dropped causing any damage. And it comes with more accessory cords than any other I've seen on the market.
NOTE: to jump start s car, plug the jumper cable cord into the jump starter, attach the alligator clips to the car battery, push the power switch to On, and you will see the light on the side blink from green to red AND THEN you have to press the button on the side of the plug where it goes into the jumper. Once you press the button you have 30 seconds to start the car. It's a safety feature.
Here are the issue I had. 1. Flashlight didn't work. You push the power button once for the flashlight. Click it twice for the red flashers. The flashers work but the flashlight didn't. Everything should have worked right out of the box but I have other flashlights so I didn't return it. 2. The alligator clips for the jumping are small and I understand that for the size of the unit to keep it small. It was just a bit of a struggle to get them on the terminals. 3. Let's look at the listing above. "Jump start your vehicle...up to 30 times". Nope. Jumped 1 car 1 time and the power dropped from 100% to 15%. Tried to jump it later and it didn't do a thing. To be fair, my terminals had corroded and the battery was mostly dead. I cleaned the terminals and jumped the car so it probably took a fair amount of power to get the job done, but still "up to 30 times" is expecting a lot. That would be 0.6 amps per jump. My car batter is 590 amps. 32 times more powerful than the jumper so 0.6 amps would make almost no difference. 4. 12 volt charging cord worked fine for a few months then at some point the metal end fell out of the cigarette lighter part. Made it useless and it's specific for this battery so I can't just buy another one. I'm going to have to cut the end off and put a new lighter adapter on. 5. Everything will fit in the case and the cords are all supposed to fit behind the mesh net on one side, but they tend to fall out every time I open the box. Would be nice it that worked a little better. Just be careful and open it up inside the car so if things fall out, you'll be able to find them again.
Other than those minor issues, I'm pretty happy with this thing. It did exactly what it was supposed to, which was to jump start my car when there was nobody around to help me. I had a different model before this one and that jumper had battery issues. This one is twice as powerful and got better reviews so I bought it. I expect to have it for several years at least before I need to replace it. Maybe by then you'll be able to just buy the battery so you don't have to throw out more cords.
After I started having issues with my battery draining intermittently (never was able to isolate the problem; appears to be a short somewhere) I picked up this jump starter to use because it's far more convenient than the time before I bought this one where I flagged down a neighbor and had him pull his truck around to jump start my car. This shortened that down to about 5 minutes of me clipping this to my battery and starting my car.
The jumping is 15V 300-600a and the included wall charger is 15V 1A. It only uses about 8% to jumpstart my battery that was at about 10V at the time, so it's definitively got a lot of capacity. It comes with a very solid case with foam inside to protect the battery itself. I didn't use the USB ports so I can't speak much of them, but the flashlight is a handy feature and it's a reasonably good LED one to boot.
Unfortunately, I had an issue with my battery, where it stopped charging; I checked it with a multimeter and it was 7.5V; it only just started doing this a little over a year and a half since I bought it. My guess is that there was a faulty connection in my batch from April 2017 since they have a 3-year warranty and are one of the few mid to low pricing companies with among the best build quality. You'll not find a 3-year guarantee anywhere else, that's for sure.
Fortunately though, their support is excellent bar none, which considering how large of a company they are, is near impossible for similar companies. I was able to chat with a representative and explain the issues I was having and they actually listened to me too. After I explained the issues, they asked me for a shipping address so they could send me a replacement unit right away and didn't require to see the defective unit or even need me to ship it back or pay anything for the replacement.
Overall, I would still recommend this product over similar ones. You'll not find any of the similar ones that guarantee their product to work for over three years and it's far more portable than jumper cables as well as more convenient as I mentioned earlier.
dead in under a month. It will jump a 5.7 hemi though, if it's only just barely dead. The cable it comes with only transfers power as you press a button that lasts about 30 seconds. at which point it stops and you need to press it again. on a truly dead battery tha little boost isn't going to cut it.
But yeah, the thing won't take a charge, the display won't display anything, and it's been that way for 2 weeks. I've owned it for 5. Going to see about warranty swapping it, but I don't have much confidence in it either way.
Update, the seller nova tech got back to me in a little over 24 hours and will be replacing my unit immediately, so at least that's a good thing. Hoping I just got a bad one and the replacement works better, the seller is great.
Seller Has newer models out that are much more dependable. While I wouldn't recommend this particular model, I can't speak highly enough of the seller. They replaced this model with a different model for me. They then offered me a free new model to test more recently looking for feedback. While this is an item that I always want to work when I need it, I can at least say the seller will ALWAYS take care of you if yours is less than satisfactory.
UPDATE 8/31/2019: I contacted their Customer Support per their request and I was able to get a full refund. I'm quite impressed with their customer service! It's very rare these days that I see a company do this.
Original Review: Purchased jump starter battery booster on 11/2018. Today is 2/8/2019 and my Subaru Legacy will not start, dead battery due to inactive use. I excitedly got out my jump starter (thinking this will be so "easy"!), read the instructions again, and attempted to jump start ... no-go. Engine will not turn over. Waited, charged, tried again... no-go. Tried multiple times over the course of an hour outside in Windy 46 degrees conditions. Doesn't work. Such a waste of $70. Anyone want a free piece of junk?
Quite a versatile device to have, definitely recommend you get one. Haven't jumped a car yet, but I do use it to power a full set of lights on my bicycle using an improvised connector (didn't have any spare EC3 connectors). By full set of lights, I mean a 16W Quad-fire driving light, front and rear LED turn signals and an LED tail and brake light. Recharges my phone sever times with more than 90% remaining after the first charge (though it's a tiny Alcatel with alphanumeric keypad), the DC 5.5mm cord even fits my Nitecore battery charger and Baofang UV-5R base charger, so really this thing charges all of my devices. The flashlight is great, nice and bright with a good narrow cone, comparable to the headlight. The blinking red safety light is also a nice touch that could come in handy during emergencies.
I only gave it four stars because I had other intentions for this but the battery is rated at 66Wh (watt-hours), which means it would only run a typical laptop for about an hour, maybe less if permanent damage to the battery is to be avoided (staying above 25% remaining capacity). This was mentioned in the manual but not here on Amazon. Not really a fault of the device, more of a lack of knowledge on my part. Lithium cells designed for very high discharge rates such as this one usually won't have a very high capacity vs batteries with a lower continuous discharge. That's why the mAh rating can be misleading at times. In this particular case, the 18000 mAh rating is only valid at 3.7V, in which case your watt-hours are voltage times amp-hours (18,000 mAh is 18 Ah). This comes out to 66.6 watt-hours (3.7V x 18 Ah).
So jump starting a car, charging mobile devices and even powering a bunch of LED lights on a bicycle, no problems at all, I'd definitely recommend getting one of these. In fact, the bike lights should run at least a few hours before this needs recharging, haven't tested it that far but after a few 12 mile rides I still had over 85% left (sometimes more). Using it to power an inverter or even stringing four of them together to run an electric bicycle motor, definitely not recommended as it wasn't designed for that, in which case a proper "deep cycle" battery would be best.
I hope this helps anyone else who may not be aware of just what those weird numbers mean in the context of a jump starter vs regular ebike or similar battery pack.
I received this yesterday and charged it over night. And though it’s a pain to test it right away you pretty much have to so you know it works. Off to my ford truck, 4.6l V8 amd disconnect the positive cable on the battery. Hooked up the unit and it started it twice without issue. Time will tell how long it holds a charge and functionality. It looks great and the carrying case and accessories are nice. I’d give it five stars if it had any worth while instruction on how to use it. A diagram showing where the ports are is all you get. I had to google search to figure out how to turn on the flashlight and use the red LEDs.. It has two buttons labeled as “Power” so that’s confusing as heck. I guess one is unit power and one toggles the output voltage to 12v,16v,18v. No clue which ports that controls. Two usb slots one labeled “smart” no clue what that is for except to maybe trickle charge the vehicle through a cigarette lighter. The other just to charge any usb device. I won’t use any of the added features it just need to jump a vehicle when called upon. Like I said, time will tell.
Bought it a year ago. Held a charge, and actually jumped started my daughter's car with it. Several months later, went to use it again, it had no charge. I charged it up to 100% and put it away. Went to use it again, no charge. It seems like it can't keep a charge for very long. Would not recommend. It's supposed to have a 3 year warranty. We'll see how that goes.
UPDATE: (I'm changing my rating from 1 star to 4 star)... DBPower contacted me about my problem and agreed to send me a replacement unit free of charge. The replacement unit works perfectly for now. I noticed the replacement unit warranty is now 12 months instead of 3 years but I'm pleased with the support provided and excellent customer service.
The unit came fairly charged, and I put it on the standard charger I use for my phone to top it off. I’ve used this to fill up a primarily dead battery on a wave runner and boat without any problems after the batteries drained down after sitting for a few months. This is much better than hauling my large trickle charger to a boat house and messing around with extension cords, making sure nothing is coming into contact with water (bad choice) or, more safer, disconnecting the batteries and moving to a dry location which always takes more time than you think it should. In addition to jumping a vehicle or powering up a watercraft battery like I did, you can charge up your cell phone, etc., by plugging into one of two available USB ports and there is a flashlight on the end to help you when it is dark outside. If you are looking for a good charger, at $69.99 I would recommend this one.