According to the NRMA (NSW car breakdown assistance), the most common causes of breakdown are flat batteries, flat tyres and running out of petrol. Cars are much more reliable now, and let’s face it, most cars carry a spare tyre and ignore the low fuel light at your peril. A flat battery is also something we can deal with, and we look at the Uniden UPP1000 jump start kit.
The Uniden UPP1000 is a rugged portable car battery jump start kit and USB power bank that will start a flat car battery.
What is a Jumpstart kit?
A portable car battery jump starter kit is everything you need to start a vehicle flat battery. The kit has a portable battery that can power a vehicle’s electrical system to enable the starter motor to start the engine.
WHY should you consider a Jumpstart kit?
Running a small business, you probably rely heavily on your vehicle for transport. If the battery goes flat due to age or simply leaving a light on, you are stranded and not making money. This can happen at any time and most likely when it is most inconvenient.
The whole kit weighs 1kg, and the carry case measures 21 x 9 x 13 cm, so it will easily fit in your glove box, underneath the seat or car boot. At the RRP of $200, it’s great insurance if you don’t have roadside assistance or the time to wait for them to arrive.
What is in the Box?
Modern Lithium battery technology means that a 10,000mAh battery can produce 250 cold cranking amps. That’s enough juice to start up a 7-litre petrol engine or a 5 Litre diesel engine. Thus, you could start a small truck(12v) with this device. An included jumper cable with large alligator clips allows you to connect to your vehicle’s 12-volt battery terminals.
The UPP1000 is also a portable power bank which means you can recharge your mobile phone, tablet or other devices that support USB charging. There are two USB-A sockets and one USB-C socket with a maximum output of 18 watts. There are even 3 USB-A cables included (to USB-C, Micro USB, and Mini USB)
To charge the Uniden, included in the package is a USB wall charger (240 volts) and a cig charger plug to use in your car’s 12-volt socket. From flat, it will take 7 to 10 hours to charge.
The Uniden battery is waterproof IP67, has a rugged impact-resistant rubber coating, and the electrical outlets are covered by a rubber grommet. This and all the accessories fit into a durable carry case.
Using the Uniden UPP1000
It is important to recognise that Uniden recommends that the UP1000 be recharged every 3 months to ensure it is ready to go when needed. A good habit may be to do this every time your BAS is due. If unused, the battery will lose 20% of its capacity annually and has a useful life of 1000 chargers.
When you recharge it, 4 external LED lights indicate the charging state. Each illuminated LED equals 25%, so 3 lit LEDs means you have 75% battery capacity.
If you need a torch in your car, the UPP1000 has a LED light that will last a very long time if you are not doing anything else. The light is also able to signal SOS.
To charge a smartphone etc., simply insert a USB. The external button on the Uniden battery pack operates merely the light.
Our favourite feature is that the two alligator clips are slightly different lengths. This has nothing to do with one battery terminal being further away from the other but with ensuring the two alligator clips do not touch each other and cause a short circuit. The plug into your Uniden battery has clear instructions to help you jump-start your car versus flipping through the paper instruction manual.
Don’t stress about short circuits, as the UPP1000 has several circuit safety features to keep you and the start kit safe.
Depending on just how flat your battery is (The car still needs to have a working car battery), the Uniden has 2 modes. The first is active once you connect the blue plug of your jumper cables to the Uniden battery. Match the red and black alligator clips to your red and black car battery terminals. Once you see a red and green flashing light on the jumper cable plug, you are ready to start your car.
Uniden recommends that you disconnect the jumper leads and wait 30 seconds between each additional attempt to start your car. After 3 attempts, you can try the 2nd mode called “force start”. Activated by pressing a button on the jumper cable, this mode increases the current, maximising your ability to start your vehicle.
Although we tested this unit, we did not have the vehicles to push the UP1000 to its limits. Still, Uniden shares some videos of just how powerful this unit is.
This is a great piece of mind accessory. Whether it be being able to charge your smartphone or deal with the most common car breakdown, a flat battery. The Uniden UPP100 Jump start kit is cheap insurance. This lightweight package has everything you need and easy instructions to start your engine. Whether it be for your tradie Ute, rescuing you on that camping trip when the kids left the radio and interior light on or just the security for your partners’ car.