Weego Crankenstein, serious jumpstart pack with 24v capabilities

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, completed the Great Loop in 2017.

7 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I don’t normally write about sales, but damn… The Weego Tour 10400 battery pack I bought a year ago to keep my (fast charging) phone, (amp hungry) iPad and other stuff charged when I’m on the road or water is easily worth the $30 cost. But now you can get two for the same $30, free shipping too:

    https://myweego.com/product-category/all-products/battery-packs/

    Incidentally, I’ve tried many other battery packs and none are as well designed and made as Weego’s.

  2. Mic says:

    Ben & Ben, as always thanks for the good review from the real world.
    I’m looking for some feedback from the Panbo community on an idea that I have regarding these Li jump start devices.
    Situation: I have a 39 foot sailboat with the typical setup – a Lead Acid start battery and a 300Ah LA house bank. I’m looking to simplify my electrical system and add capacity to the house bank. Space is very tight, and being a sailboat anything to reduce weight is desirable. And of course, cost is often an issue. The auxiliary is a 3JH5E Yanmar, 29 HP. It starts easily every time.
    Idea: Eliminate the LA start battery completely and just use a Li Jump Start device like a small Weego or Noco GB40. I could permanently wire it in place. It has BM and 12VDC charging already built in. It would only be connected to the starter & solenoid to insure that no back charging or draining takes place when not being used for starting. A parallel switch could allow the house bank to be used for backup starting. This also frees up space to add another battery to the house bank. These devices are relatively inexpensive considering all that you get.
    I’ve googled extensively and have not been able to find any information on this approach. Alternately, I could drop in a Li motorcycle battery like some motorcyclists do, but even that seems like overkill for my little 29HP engine, and more expensive. And might require a special Li battery charger.
    Q: So, Panbo readers… what am I missing here?
    Do these jump start devices HAVE to be connected to a “dead” battery for them to work? Or can they start an engine by themselves? What other thoughts, ideas, concerns do you have?

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Mic, I tested one of the earlier and smaller Weegos and one of its safety features is that it had to detect reasonably good connections, positive and negative, to a battery that was at least slightly alive before releasing a jolt of current, and I’m pretty sure the Crankenstein screens above indicate similar. The feature is mentioned here:

      https://myweego.com/faqs/

  3. Mic says:

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense as a safety feature, e.g. preventing shorts. (Also, we wouldn’t want little Johnie hooking it up to the dog’s ears)
    I suppose that a diode from the house bank to the Weego could provide that voltage.
    Or better, maybe just drop in a small Lithium Motorcycle Battery with Smart BMS. Like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Supersmart-Lithium-Battery-8-0AH-480CCA/dp/B07JY71Z7D?th=1
    150 CCA should be enough to power the 1.4kw starter. Hopefully the internal BMS is smart enough to handle the charging (with the existing ACR), without having to buy a special charger with a Lithium charge profile. Although the reviews are mixed, $100 is about the right price.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      You beat me to it. I was going to suggest just the same sort of concept of a small battery to be augmented by either the house bank or a jump-start pack.

      What size battery are you currently using as your engine start battery? I wonder if there’s some middle ground by going down in size on your engine start battery but maintaining a size adequate to start the the engine with a healthy battery. You might lose some of your margin for error but again, that can be provided by the jump-start pack.

      I’m not a big fan of the idea of modifying any of the jump-start packs for alternator charging or other modifications. It seems to me that you don’t know the programming of the BMS and providing something other than what it’s expecting could yield poor results.

      -Ben S.

  4. Mic says:

    I seem to remember (I’m not at the boat) that the current start battery is a run-o-the-mill LA G27 starter battery, at least 500-600 CCA.
    I generally agree that modifying something like a jump starter is probably not a good idea for most people. And taking a nice new lithium jump starter and hacking it goes against my sensibilities. So we’ll drop that idea… for now. 😉
    I’ll see if I can borrow a motorcycle battery and see how that works. And have a jump starter on board as backup. Good project for this summer, if we aren’t still on lockdown here in WA. I’ll report back here any conclusions.

    Or here’s another idea. Just eliminate the start battery and use the house bank for starting. It would be rare that the house bank would be fully discharged. (I keep a pretty close eye on it) But if it were, then use the jump starter. ??

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      I think you could do that and it would work fine. The biggest downside there being all your eggs in the one house bank basket. If you flatten that bank you have no power and no ability to start your engine to make more. You may well be able to work around that with a jump-start back. But, if your relatively large house bank is dead you run the risk that the batteries end up absorbing the electrons you intended go start your engine.

      That said, I think you could experiment with several options. If a small motorcycle or yard tractor battery will start your engine you have a lot of options.

      For what it’s worth, I have the same debate on a larger scale on Have Another Day. Each of my two engines uses two 8D batteries to start. That’s over 300 pounds of batteries per engine and lots of energy storage sitting wasted the vast majority of the time. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to many engine manufacturers but I have a theory that start battery requirements are intentionally very conservative to reduce the likelihood of being stranded.

      -Ben S.

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