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    • Seems like it's a fairly run-of-the-mill charger/booster pack and equipped with a standard LA (Lead Acid) battery. That means it will require more attention to state of charge and its rate of free-air discharge will be a bit greater. It will last a few years at least but I wouldn't say more than 3 or 4 w/ a flooded acid battery onboard. If it's UL rated, there will be an "E" number somewhere on the identification label that might offer more insight as to whom the real manufacturer is in China. CAT doesn't have any interest in battery power manufacturing over there, so it's a certainty that they've outsourced it to a dedicated electrical/electronics factory (Xantrex, et al).

      From the operation manual:

      "CHARGING/RECHARGING Lead-acid batteries require routine maintenance to ensure a full charge and long battery life. All batteries lose energy from self-discharge over time and more rapidly at higher temperatures. Therefore, batteries need periodic charging to replace energy lost through self-discharge. When the unit is not in frequent use, manufacturer recommends the battery be recharged at least every 30 days.

      Notes:This unit is delivered in a partially charged state – you must fully charge it upon purchase and before using it for the first time for a full 40 hours or until the green LED Battery Status Indicator lights solid. Recharging the battery after each use will prolong battery life; frequent heavy discharges between recharges and/or overcharging will reduce battery life. Make sure all other unit functions are turned off during recharging, as this can slow the recharging process.In some rare cases, if the battery is overly discharged and the green LED lights immediately when the charger is plugged in, this indicates the battery is at a high impedance stage. If this occurs, recharge the unit for a period of 24-48 hours before use"

    • I'm not a fan of the lead acid backup batteries for mobile applications, because it's *primary* duty is readiness--keeping a mobile, always-there bank of juice for weeks and months, at-the-ready, and lead acid tech kind of sucks at that.

      In fact, the readiness functionality of one of these backup power banks runs counter to the very nature of lead acid batteries. They self-discharge pretty significantly over the course of months. More dramatically in the winter months too. And that leads to deep discharge, which shortens their life. And then people think "what a piece of crap" 9 months later when they actually need it to perform its 2nd duty (actively delivering the stored juice). They find that only a fraction of juice still remains, and whats worse, the oxidation of the lead plates means that it can't be fully charged anymore. They get frustrated, and they chuck out what could have been a useful piece of gear, if it was deployed in a better manner.

      In fact, the one exception I have to my distaste for mobile lead battery banks is when it's deployed the smart way--like...for instance...in the manner in which all lead acid batteries are incorporated into cars & RVs.

      Paired with a means of recharging, and a charge controller, lead acid batteries can give you good bang for the buck, and if you have a vehicle to carry its weight, who cares that it weighs a ton. Then you don't just have a battery bank, you have a whole system thought out. But aside from RVs, police cars, and tow trucks, I rarely see anyone implementing such an ambitous mod. You never see packs likt that Cat Jump starter sorted out with its own charge controller, & plugged into an onboard alternator for frequent automatic top-ups. But open the hood of tow truck and RVs and sometimes you'll notice that they're equipped with a 2nd battery and even a 2nd alternator (all optional OEM equipment, by the way) under the hood doing exactly that. Those are good mobile 2ndary power sources.

      If you do get the jump starter, I recommend you get in the habit of putting a reminder on your calendar maybe every other month...top that sucker up on a fairly frequent routine.

    • For anyone who doesn't actually plan on multiple days away from a power outlet or super heavy loads, there's cheaper simpler options, once you let go of the idea of solar charging.

      If you're always going to juice up from a 120v power outlet, and the max load you really care about is, say, a laptop--getting your hands on a laptop-oriented power bank might be all you need. Maybe less flexible...but within its limited scope...great bang for the buck. And sometimes...dirt cheap.

      The distinct value of going w/ something that charges itself off of a dedicated power cord is simple... 30 W wall chargers gives you *fast* recharge time. 6-8 hrs over solar panels? Psshhh... AC baby...