Photo borrowed from HF.
The Cen-Tech power pack has three functions:
- It’s a jump starter for vehicles with 360 cold cranking amps.
- It has a small work light. It’s a 3.6 watt incandescent bulb and probably will get little to no use by me.
- It has a 12V cigarette lighter-style outlet on the side for powering electronics.
The unit weighs about 14 pounds, so it’s easily portable.
Upon getting it home I removed the back cover of the power pack to verify that all of the connections were secure. That taken care of, I proceeded to charge it for 48 hours per the quick-start guide. Recharges should take 34 hours. Aside from a wall plug it also comes with a charger that allows you to plug it into a vehicle’s 12V outlet, but the manual warns you that it won’t charge the battery as well as mains power.
To go with the Cen-Tech unit I bought a Powerwerx Cigbuddy from Ham Radio Outlet.
Photo borrowed from HRO.
As you can see, it’s a 12V cigarette lighter outlet to Andersen Power Pole adapter. This allows me to plug my Icom 7200 into the HF box.
As I write this I have the Icom 7200 monitoring 14.070 MHz and viewing PSK31 signals on the FLDIGI waterfall, on battery power.
Harbor Freight has a deserved reputation for varying quality when it comes to its products. This model was recommended by Sparks for use as portable 12V power supply* and so far it seems OK, but of course, only time will tell. At $40 it was worth a try.
We’re heading upstate again at the end of July and plan to bring the Cen-Tech battery pack with me for powering my radio.
*He posted a picture here and I asked him about it on Facebook.