Thursday, May 17, 2007

Battery jumper with tire pumper

My toy car is a 1978 Fiat Spider. Years ago, I was masochistic enough to own three Fiats at one time. If you have the mixed joy of owning an Italian or British vehicle of a certain age, with accursed Marelli or Lucas electrical parts, you know that there is no guarantee that turning the ignition key will result in a vehicle in motion.

In the old days, I parked on the top level of the railroad station garage, and hoped that by the time I coasted down to ground level I would be going fast enough to get a jump start. I also kept a set of jumper cables in the trunk, and frequently had to beg for a flow of electrons when I silently rolled out of the garage.

Now I have a more elegant solution. The AutoSport 660i has a powerful maintenance-free lead acid battery that should be able to start several Fiats and MGs, or a Hummer or Escalade. Amperage is rated at 660 continuous/1700 peak. It can even jumpstart a car with a completely dead battery (some other jumpers require that the car battery still have a few volts). Cables are extra-thick, 4-gauge copper and 40 inches long to make connecting easy.

A Voltmeter gives internal battery status when you press the test button. You can recharge the unit from any normal AC outlet with the included 48-inch AC power cord, or recharge from your car’s power outlet with the included 60-inch 12-volt cord. An LED charging light confirms recharging status.

Other features include a built-in work/emergency light, 12 volt DC "cigarette lighter" socket, impact-resistant case, and a powerful 300psi air compressor/inflator for tires, balls, etc. The inflator hose is 24 inches long, with a clip-on chuck. It comes with adapters for bicycles and sports balls.

Price for the top-of-the-line 660i is $129.95. Less expensive, less powerful models are also available. If you don't need it in your trunk, keep it in your garage. You won't regret it. CLICK for The company's website and print catalog are full of other great stuff, too. Get on their mailing list.

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