Would you be in a panic if one of your family members broke down one night in a bad area and couldn’t call you due to a dead battery? I know I would. Even if you had jumper cables in the trunk of their car, that doesn’t mean that they know how to use them properly. Or worse yet, they would have to flag down a complete stranger for a jump.
The old standard jumper cables are now a primitive relic of the automotive past. They have been replaced with a high-tech unit that bears no resemblance to the old cables. These marvelous wonders are called “portable power stations”.
Actually, we need to back up a bit. The cables were replaced by portable jump starters, which were a great advancement in their own right. But now, the portable power stations feature what the name implies: portable power. These automotive lifesavers usually include AC outlets, DC outlets, emergency lighting, air compressor, and oh yeah: a jump starter!
One particular model made by Black and Decker, the Electromate 400 Plus includes all of the following features:
Powers and/or charges AC & DC appliances
AM/FM/NOAA Weather Alert Radio provides music, news & weather updates 24/7
450 amps instantly jump-starts without the need of another vehicle
Built-in, ultra-bright LED work light for emergency roadside assistance
Exclusive, built-in 120 volt AC charger for use with ordinary household extension cord to recharge unit or power radio
Keyless ON/OFF power switch and reverse hook-up warning alarm
Vehicle alternator voltage check
LED battery status indicator
USB port powers and/or recharges USB electronic devices
If you are doing some outside work, the AC outlets are great for charging up your portable drills and screwdrivers while listening to the built-in radio. When I had some roof work done recently, I went outside to ask the guys if they would like a radio to listen to. As I got around the corner of the house, I heard some music playing. They already had a portable power station and politely said no. That’s when I discovered this handy power tool. It’s in a class of its own.
I do a lot of outdoors work and having the NOAA Weather Alert radio can be a lifesaver if bad weather is reported nearby via an alert. Severe thunderstorms, lightening, tornados, etc., can hit your location suddenly and furiously. The cost of this power tool alone is priceless when it comes to your life and safety.
Do you have electronic devices that are powered by USB cable, or need recharging? Picture having this very useful tool when you are out camping or traveling long distance on the interstate. The 450 watt inverter can power most laptops for four hours.
Getting back to that dark, lonely road where your wife or daughter is broken down, all she would have to do is take this unit out of the trunk, turn on its emergency LED work light, grab the cables and hook them up.
But, she forgot what you said about which cable goes on which battery post! No problem, as the best feature (I think) on the B&D tool is the reverse hook-up warning alarm. It will insure she has a proper connection and that will prevent expensive damage to the car’s charging system.
If you really want to get the most out of this multifunction tool, you can hook up the jumper cables so the jump-start can be done from inside the car with a wireless transmitter. Even better! Now she won’t have to get out of the car at all, which can be dangerous no matter what time of the day or where. She can safely stay in the locked car and instantly jump-start it with 450 amps of power. And drive home without incident.
After she gets home, you can simply plug the power tool into a regular 120-volt household extension cord and it will automatically recharge itself. Or, it could even be plugged into the cigarette lighter receptacle while driving home. What could be simpler?