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Monday, March 08, 2021

Jumper Box and Anderson Connectors : Making things more useful

JNC 660 jumper box modified for Anderson SB175 connector

In the car business you use a lot of jumper boxes, jump starters, jumper cables, whatever you want to call them. I have been in/around the car business for all of my 47 years. 30+ years ago we used to have these big yellow roll around jumpers. They had a flag on them, a retractable extension cord. Inside they had a battery. the jumper jaws were also retractable.  I liked them. They were a bit unwieldy, but they were hard to misplace. They jump started about everything.  Pretty sure we used to lease them, and the companies would service them.  The jump boxes were a game changer over using cables on a car lot. 

Later on we got to the hand held portable jump starter, and then much more recently the small lithium battery packs.  There are two portable jump starter boxes that I have used and like for a semi-professional shop.  I mean ones in the $100-$200 range, that will start most things short of a diesel in cold weather.  These two boxes are the Jump and Carry JNC660, and the Booster Pack ES2500.  

JNC660 can use any extension cord to charge

Each has its advantages/disadvantages.  I like that the JNC660 can be charged by any extension cord. But its a bit bigger, and unwieldy. The ES2500 is smaller, but requires a specific wall wart, or other method to charge. 

10 foot Jumper cables with Anderson SB175 connector

Since we use them a lot, we find the limitations. For both the boxes, they have relatively short cables. Short cables are better to get the amperage you need to the car being jumped, but also mean that you often have to put the box on the car/headlight/core support. When you start the car, they often go sliding off.  Occasionally you have to drive a car with the jumper box hooked up.  So I have seen this many times in the past, especially with racecars, an Anderson SB175 connector. 

Opened up a JNC660 box. Notice the internal wall wart, cigarette lighter plug

Removed the installed jumper clamps and installed a Anderson SB175 plug. This is intentionally short

Tow trucks often use these SB175 connectors on their front bumper, with some long cables to be able to pull up behind a stranded car, and jump start it from behind.  I always meant to install one in the race cars we had, would make those starts or even charging much easier, but never got around to it on anything I worked on for very long. It was always about 673rd on the list of important things to do. 


Two ES2500 and a JNC660

Shorter set of jumper clamps with SB175 connector

Modified ES2500 for Anderson SB175 connector

You can also charge the ES2500 through the cigarette lighter, or via the jumper cables.  Well, most jumper boxes you can charge through the cables. 

The small packs, I have tried a lot, and most aren't worth a shit to a shop. They are temperamental, and not good enough to start multiple cars over multiple days.  Carrying charged with you is ok. Occasional use is OK, but other than that I don't really want to bother. 


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