Must-Have Accessories For Your Jump Starter*
If, on one hand, you are fortunate and privileged enough to own a Jump Starter with all the bells and whistles (AM/FM radio, MP3 player, cell phone charger, inverter, 12V DC socket, USB Port(s), compressor, emergency light, work light, etc,), cherish it! If, on the other, you are just lucky (not fortunate: a difference with distinction) to own a Jump Starter without the aforementioned bells and whistles, don’t despair. There is a variety of ways it can be complementarily customized to suit your needs.
A basic Jump Starter would most certainly exhibit the following features: battery power pack, jump start cables, compressor with gauge, and a 12V DC socket. Let’s customize it for radio playing, cell phone and tablet charging, power stripping, socket splitting, solar charging, AC/DC power, AC/DC lighting, etc. Watch the video
Warnings: Mishandling of electrical power may result in electrocution. Always adhere to manufacturers’ precautions, safety instructions and warnings.
12V DC Socket
A number of adapters and devices can be plugged into the 12V DC Socket to meet your needs.
- Plug a 12V DC Work Lamp/Emergency Flashlight right into it: Let there be light!
- Insert a 12V DC Cell Phone Charger Adapter into it: There you have a USB Port for Cell Phone Charging or any other DC-powered Accessories!
- Connect a 12V Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Splitter Adapter into the 12V DC Socket to turn it into a Multi-Socket Charger Adapter to charge Cell Phones, Tablets, Radios, etc., or to power a 12V DC Light Bulb.
- Plug a Mini Inverter into the 12V DC Socket and turn it into an AC power source: you can have AC Lighting, play radio, or power any 120V AC devices (within the inverter’s wattage limitations) for your enjoyment!
12V Power Socket Splitter
A 12V Power Socket Splitter, also known as a 12V Car Socket Charger Adapter, enables the conversion of a single DC Socket into multiple DC sockets and USB Ports to charge Cell Phones, Tablets, MP3 Players, etc. If your Jump Starter or Emergency Power Supply Unit has 1 or 2 DC Sockets, they can be converted respectively into 2, 3, or 4 Outlets and 1, 2 or 3 USB Ports.
Mini AC/DC Socket Adapter
Although your Jump Starter or Compact Emergency Power Supply comes with an AC Home Charger and a DC Car Charger, there are times when you need a Mini AC/DC Socket Adapter, in the absence of a home charger, to recharge those Units. The Mini AC/DC Socket Adapter converts your standard 110V AC Outlet into a 12V DC Socket to plug the car charger into.
Jump Start Cables
If your Jump Starter is not equipped with a 12V DC Socket, the Jump Starter Cables, along with a 12V DC Battery Clip Power Adapter, can be used to create a 12V DC Socket Port to power AC (with inverter) and DC devices. If the inverter has battery cables, they can be clamped directly onto the jump starter cables’ clamps. Watch the video.
The best Power Inverter, under those circumstances, would be one with an Auxiliary 12V DC Socket and USB Port which, when plugged into the Jump Starter’s built-in socket, will not deprive you of a 12V DC Socket Port to power other DC devices. Read and follow the inverter manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
Multi-Outlet Power Strip
The mini power inverter may come with just one AC Outlet. In this case, if you want to plug more than one electronic device into the AC Outlet, you need a Power Strip with Multi-Outlet to convert the inverter’s single AC Outlet into multiple AC Outlets. Bear in mind, however, that the multiplication of AC Outlets does not translate into an increase in Voltage, Amperage, and Wattage, which remain constant. In other words, for instance, a 12V DC input, 110V AC output, 8A, 100W power inverter will not turn into a 200W power inverter, no matter how many AC Outlets make up the plugged-in Power Strip.
Plug-in Tap Outlet with ON/OFF Switch
A Plug-in Tap Outlet with ON/OFF Switch enables you to turn the individual Outlets of a Power Strip, or any AC Outlet for that matter, into Outlets with ON/OFF Switch; saving you, thereby, energy and money: the Outlets in use are turned ON, the idle ones are turned OFF.
AC Bulb Electrical Adapter
An AC Bulb Electrical Adapter enables the conversion of the inverter’s AC Outlet, or any AC Outlet for that matter, into a Lamp Holder Socket Adapter (an AC Bulb Socket Adapter in our example). You don’t need a lamp’s socket to screw the bulb in, just screw it into the AC Bulb Electrical Adapter plugged into the inverter’s AC Outlet.
Work Lamp/Emergency Flashlight
The ideal Work Lamp/Emergency Flashlight would be LED or CFL-lit. Light Emitting Diodes and Compact Fluorescent bulbs, compared to incandescent ones, are more energy-efficient (more expensive too) and last longer. But if all you have is an incandescent Work Lamp/Emergency Flashlight, you are welcome to use it.
12V DC Work Lamp and 12V DC CFL/LED Bulbs
Running a Power Inverter to power a 14W 110V AC Bulb is not an efficient use of energy, when a 14W 12V DC will provide the same amount of lighting, using less energy. Let’s clarify: All wattage being equal, how come a 14W 110V AC Bulb is less efficient than a 14W 12V DC Bulb? The answer lies in the Inverter’s efficiency rate: 90%. 10% of energy is lost due to DC to AC conversion. The use of Direct Current (DC) eliminates the need for conversion, resulting in zero energy loss.
Bottom line: When given a choice between using an AC Bulb vs a DC Bulb, all wattage, light color, and light output (lumens) being equal, use the DC Bulb, if you can, to save energy.
The ideal Radio Set would be multi-powered (hand crank, solar, rechargeable battery and plug-in), multi-function (AM/FM/SW1/SW2 and NOOA bands, LED Flashlight, USB Port, Auxiliary Input and Output for Audio, etc.) and, yes, expensive. The alternative, an inexpensive small AM/FM radio set, will be just fine to keep you informed and entertained.
If you are strictly interested in Portable Jump Starters with Built-in AM/FM Radios, the following units fit the bill:
- NPower PowerTunes Power Pack (FM only)
- Black & Decker PS400JRB Electromate 400 Plus
- XPower PowerPack 600 HD, and
- Duracell DPP-600HD PowerPack 600
Cell Phone Charger Adapter
Your Cell Phone may come with a standard AC Charger Adapter and USB Cable. If you want to charge it from your car’s Cigarette Lighter Socket or a Jump Starter’s built-in 12V DC Socket, a separate DC Charger Adapter is needed, unless you own a Universal AC/DC Cell Phone Charger Adapter, which fits the bill on both AC/DC charging accounts. (See Photos. Videos to come soon.)
Although your basic Jump Starter (Emergency Power Supply) can be recharged from your car’s Cigarette Lighter Socket (DC Charging) or at home from an AC Outlet (AC Charging), it is not redundant to have a mini Solar Panel (with charge controller) to recharge or trickle-charge the unit for free.
Finally: all the Bells and Whistles
There you have it: multiple innovative ways to customize your Jump Starter to suit your needs in case of emergency, using the following indispensable accessories (Radio Set, 12V Socket with Battery Clips, Inverter, AC/DC Work Lamp/Emergency Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger Adapter, 12V Power Socket Splitter, Solar Panel, etc.) to complement a Jump Starter short on bells and whistles, accessory-wise*.