Pocket Power: Best Features of Lithium-Ion Battery Boosters

Every device today seems to have a battery. That statement isn’t an exaggeration either. In fact, items that don’t appear to have batteries will hide something within a printed circuit board or other component. Discovering dead batteries, from your laptop to a garaged vehicle, is frustrating. You need to jump start those batteries as soon as possible. The solution is in lithium-ion battery boosters. These pocket-sized devices are the wave of the future. Get to know the best features of these jump starters today.

1. Versatility Among Various Devices

Jump starting a car is the first application that might come to mind when you think about charging or boosting a battery. You normally need another vehicle and jumper cables, however.

A lithium ion booster changes this scenario. You only need the charger. Today’s boosters work with more than just your car battery too.

Fill up the batteries in these devices, including:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Portable speakers

A quality booster will serve most of your battery needs. Simply follow the directions to safely charge one item after another.

2. Microprocessing Power

If you’re a tech-savvy individual, you’ve probably charged items with a variety of strategies. A trickle-charge session may be your specialty, for instance. This scenario isn’t necessary with a battery booster.

Within each booster is a microprocessor. It senses the energy moving through the system along with which device is involved. The component automatically shuts down the system when a full charge is indicated. There’s no more guesswork or safety issues.

As you shop for various boosters, including the NOCO GB40, read about the processing power. It’s one of the most important aspects of this technology.

3. Multiple Jumps on One Charge

The concept of jumping a battery usually equates to just one jolt of power per session. A quality battery booster, however, has more than just one charge in its arsenal. In fact, top manufacturers boast around 20 jump starts for a vehicle on one charge from a lithium ion booster.

You probably won’t jump start a car that often, however. Use the remaining power to charge up smartphones and tablets. Most boosters come with USB connections for easy charging.

4. Anti-Spark Feature

In the past, jump starting a car was slightly dangerous. Attaching the jumper cables to the batteries often came with sparks involved. Today’s boosters take the spark out of the scenario.

The clips that come along with the booster are specialized with anti-spark technology. You’ll still have power to jump a car battery, but without the challenge of potential burns.

5. Safety Features Throughout

Fitting a lot of power into a pocket-sized charger seems like enough features for the average consumer. However, top manufacturers go a step further. Safety features abound in many of the models, including:

  • Strobe lights
  • SOS lights
  • Bright, steady lights for tire changes

Use the booster for nearly any emergency need. With these helpful features, it would make sense to keep one at home and another one in the glove compartment.

6. Clear Charging Indicators

It seems like confusion was the name of the game when charger manufacturers first developed their charging indicators. Vaguely defined dots and bars were supposed to help the consumer know when the battery was ready. Confusion isn’t an issue today, however.

The top boosters on the market today have clear indicators during charging. For example, the housing might have LEDs indicating incremental charging, such as:

  • 25 percent
  • 50 percent
  • 75 percent

A larger LED indicates when you’re at a 100-percent charge. Don’t forget that you can also rely on the internal microprocessor that activates as the charge fills up. Safety reigns within these devices.

Keep up with your battery-and-charger knowledge by reaching out to our Northeast Battery team today. We stock a number of chargers from Lester and boosters from NOCO. If you’ve got a question, we’ve got the answer. Today’s power options are varied and outright fascinating for your busy needs.

How to Charge a Car Battery Without a Charger

A majority of people know that a car battery is constantly charged by the vehicle’s electrical system. There’s really no reason to pull the battery out for any other purpose. However, car batteries are also used for other purposes outside of a standard vehicle. Knowing how to charge the battery without a charger is the challenge now. Recharge car battery components with ease by following these simple instructions.

Collect the Parts

Before you search online for “charge car battery without charger,” think about the safety factor first. Dealing with a car battery means that there’s significant voltage and current running through the terminals.

Collect these items together, such as:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Sturdy gloves
  • Wire probes with clips
  • Three, holiday lights

All of these items will help you recharge car battery components with safety as a top priority. The holiday light or light bulbs are also safety tools because the illumination provides cues for current control.

Choose Your Power Supply

There must be a power supply in some form so that a slow charge car battery process can occur. Think about the energy reserves that you have handy. There might be a power supply on a technician’s bench. A DIYer can have these devices too.

Another battery that’s at least the same voltage as the car battery will work too. Be sure that the power source is reliable. A dead battery will create charging frustrations.

Check the Output Power

Ideally, you want to slow charge car battery components if you’re without a charger. The trickle effect ensures that the battery doesn’t overcharge, fume or outright explode. Because of these volatile conditions, Battery University suggests always monitoring a charging session.

Check your output power on the power source by using your wire probes. Verify the voltage and current. While you have the probes out, check the voltage on the questionable car battery. You’ll have an idea of how long the charging session will take with these values in mind.

Add the Lights

Place the power source and battery as far away as possible from each other, instructs Pep Boys. This spacing is where to charge car battery components in a safe manner. Otherwise, a spark might form between the two devices.

Connect three, holiday lights between the power source and car battery. These lights give you a visual cue that current is flowing. They also draw down the intense current so that you have an effective charger that solely trickles.

Connect the Clips

You’re ready to connect the power source, lights and car battery together. Be sure to place the setup in an area away from other people. Where to charge car battery components is a key part of staying safe. Connect the negative clip to the power source first. Complete the circuit by attaching the other negative clip to the car battery. Repeat this process with the positive side. Power should be flowing at this point.

Watch the Setup

Remember that you’ll only be trickling power through this setup. The car battery may only gain a few volts from 10 or 20 minutes of charging. You can check the progress with a multimeter attached at the battery’s terminals.

The holiday lights should be illuminated with just a little bit of heat on their exterior surfaces. If they get excessively hot or bright, there’s too much power running to the battery. Disconnecting and troubleshooting the setup is the best course of action now.

Remove and Verify Power

After about 30 minutes, remove power from the battery by releasing the negative clip first and positive clip afterward. Use your multimeter to verify the battery’s voltage without the load.

It’s not necessary to charge the battery up to 12 volts. Overcharging might be part of the scenario. It’s best to charge it to a partial state so that no harm to the battery or yourself occurs.

Cold Weather is Here: Winterizing Golf-Cart Batteries

Golf carts zoom about properties across the nation, from gated communities to the actual golf course. They’re perfectly sized for those short trips. As the weather gets colder, however, it’s time to put those small vehicles away. Winterize your golf-cart batteries with help from the experts. It should work like a dream with the right steps in place.

Clean and Neutralize the Battery Terminals

Any debris left on the battery terminals turns into a conductive environment, including dust and corrosion. Create a neutralizer with these ingredients, such as:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 gallon water

Mix these two items together. Apply it to the battery terminals by using a wire brush. Gently clean off the terminals. With a clean bill of health, golf cart batteries won’t have any conductive pathways to discharge during the winter.

In the spring, the battery will be practically ready to go. Corrosion buildup will only cause problems over time.

Check the Water Levels

Golf cart batteries, including models from the Trojan Battery Company, usually have water within their individual cells. Batteries with anything less than a perfect level will break down over the colder months.

Open up each fill section, and top off the level with distilled water. The best golf cart batteries require water to cover the internal plates. Reattach the fill covers afterward. Avoid the temptation of overfilling the battery because this action only dilutes the electrolyte, which leads to a decline in charging power. Never add any acid to the battery either. Its electrolytes are perfectly balanced during the manufacturing process.

Charge the Battery

Don’t hesitate to charge your Trojan golf cart batteries now. They may have a partial charge, but storing them in this manner will only damage their power output later on. Follow the charging instructions for your system at this point.

For the most accurate charge, pull out a hydrometer. Every golf-cart battery should have a specific gravity of 1.265. Use the hydrometer’s probes to verify this value. You’ll know for sure that the charge is perfect for storage.

Find an Indoor Storage Area

The best place to store any golf-cart batteries is by looking for a cool and dry area. It shouldn’t be cold, such as an exposed area to the elements, but cool.

Cool temperatures will slow the battery’s discharge rate. You want a slow discharge so that the battery maintains its charge. In contrast, leaving the battery in a hot area creates rapid discharge. The power may be gone by the time that you check the charging levels. A cool and dry space within a storage area should be sufficient during the winter months.

Keep Checking Them

New golf carts may seem to hold a charge for an astounding amount of time, but the batteries aren’t immune to discharge. Stored batteries still require some attention. Take a hydrometer reading every few weeks. Use a trickle charger in order to give the battery a power source without hindering its storage capacity.

It’s natural for Trojan and Club Car golf cart batteries to slowly lose some charge over the winter months. Keeping up with maintenance will only save you time in the spring.

Avoid Stacking

Every brand, including Trojan golf cart batteries, won’t perform well when they’re stacked. Consider the weight of each battery. Stacking two or three units together will create physical deformities on the bottom battery.

Line multiple batteries up on a shelf where there are no weight issues. As an alternative, some people simply put the battery back into its respective spot on the golf cart itself. If you do store the battery on the cart, be sure that it’s not exposed to vibrations. Unnecessary movements of the battery will cause discharge and poor energy storage in the springtime.

Northeast Battery is your one-stop shop for everything battery related. Ask our team about your applications and winterizing specifics. We’re always available to explain the finest details to your crew. The best way to winterize batteries is with tips from the pros. The golf cart will zip around your property come springtime as a result.

How to Safely Charge a Deep-Cycle Battery

Deep cycle batteries are unique power sources for marine applications. They’re designed to be discharged down to practically no power at all, and then you can charge them back up to a brand-new state. There’s a lot of science that goes into charging a battery so learning how to safely complete this task is paramount. Understand some of the best tips from the professionals as you get more life out of your battery pack.

Prepping the Battery

There are many different batteriesin the marketplace today. Most deep-cycle batteries have water within their construction. Before you begin with a charging session, inspect the battery for these features, including:

  • Proper liquid levels for that battery type
  • No cracks on outside housing
  • No corrosion on the contacts

If any issues are present, rectify them with repairs or replacement. Lack of liquid within the battery is a worst-case scenario. Always add distilled or drinking water to the battery when it’s low. It declines very quickly without proper water levels.

Selecting the Charger

A charger for your deep-cycle battery should be qualified for that particular system. These chargers commonly have these outputs, such as:

  • 5 amps
  • 10 amps
  • 15 amps

If the charger has been used for a long time, make a visual inspection of the wires and connectors. No frayed wires should be used. You want steady current to the battery. Both the charger and battery can be compromised in operations with irregular electricity coursing through them.

To Discharge or Not to Discharge

An old-fashioned theory suggested that it was necessary to completely discharge a battery and power it back up for the longest lifespan. This idea has been debunked over the years, however.

It’s ideal to:

  • start charging deep cycle battery components at 50-percent capacity or higher
  • not allow the battery to dip lower in power amounts  (it will only shorten its lifespan)

You’re technically straining the battery when it drops to low power values. Most people who’re starting charging battery activities after a day’s worth of tasks have used partial power from the unit. There’s no need to employ every ounce of power from the battery at once.

Checking the State of Charge

The experts measure a battery’s state of charge as a percentage quantity, reports Energy Matters. For example, the state of discharge on a battery that’s been under a load for most of the day might be at 25 or 30 percent full. Use a voltmeter with the battery detached from the system to see the true voltage. This value will dictate how long you should be charging deep cycle battery components.

If you have a smart charger, being aware of the state of charge isn’t as important as when you apply other charging units. The “smart” portion of the device will determine the current charge and the right timing to top it off.

Setting a Timer

As a charging battery session carries on, it’s imperative that you set a timer for the entire period. Batteries don’t operate very well when they’re overcharged. It diminishes their capacity, reports Trojan Battery.

The time it takes to properly charge a battery depends on its current discharge value and your charger’s amperage specification.

  • A charger with 15 amps, for instance, will take about two hours to fully charge a battery at a 25-percent discharge value.
  • Chargers with only 5 amps, however, will need a full six hours with the same battery.
  • Online charts provided by your battery and charger’s manufacturer can make this timing session a simple one to calculate.

Avoiding Extreme Circumstances

As you get set to charge your deep-cycle battery, remember that extreme temperatures aren’t ideal for the components. Keep the battery and charger away from extreme heat or cold. The charging process is dependent upon a certain range of temperatures. Room temperature is optimal. The storing process can operate without any strain. You may notice charging times changing when it’s too hot or cold. The battery is also permanently affected with a shorter charge time than before.

Northeast Battery is here for all of your battery purchasing and charging needs. Ask us all about the latest components that can update your boat’s power options. Batteries will always be the most important part on your vessel. Give it the reliable power that it needs.