Powertech Portable Power Centre Multi-function 42Ah AC/DC/USB MB3748 $199 Shipped @ Westoz Tools

100

These are a clone of the Aimtom/Rockpals models (all the same, just different sticker).
Usually $249-$269 and on sale here for $199. Comes with cables for cigarette lighter and solar attachment. I believe it also has passthrough charging according to this review.
Cheap but sounds like a decent little unit for the price. 17 left showing in stock.

Review here which is pretty comprehensive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBLTejArEts

From their website - plenty of reviews around.
This is a fantastic product for travelling and camping. Firstly, it is a multipurpose power bank that can be charged from 240V mains or a solar panel via it’s built in MPPT charger. In other words, it can provide a campsite power completely independent from AC power charging, but provides AC and DC power itself!
This is what it does:
• It is a 100W 240V Inverter (modified sine wave)
• It provides 12VDC to 3 separate points. 9-12V at up to 15A. Ideal for a low voltage lighting system.
• It has 3 x USB charging ports (Up to 6A shared)
• It has a bright LED camping light built-in
This is how it does it:
• It has a high quality lithium Ion battery bank inside (155Wh)
• It has a 240V AC adaptor/charger, 15V, 2A
• It comes with a solar panel charging lead (MC4 connectors)
• It has an in-car charger adaptor
Supplied with mains charger, in-car charger, solar charge lead, DC to Cigarette lighter socket lead and user manual.

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Comments

  • price in post ?

  • Can this power 12V portable fridges?

    • Yeah, but likely for around 24hrs.
      Edit: see lulzenburg's calcs below. Even less than 24hrs.

  • Price in Title please

  • Can it power a dometic 45l fridge?

  • +14

    Don't be fooled by the 42Ah and compare it to an equiv 12v battery - this is just 3.7v with a boosting mechanism for the 12v sockets, it's only 155Wh, if it were actually a 42Ah 12v battery bank, it'd be closer to 500Wh. So powering something from the AC plug at 100w will run for ~1.5h.

    I wouldn't recommend running something like a 12v fridge off of this - if you've got a 12v fridge, your average 40L will use about 45Ah per day at 12v - this would run it for about 1/3 of that.

    Formula is (Ah)*(V) = (Wh)

    42 * 3.7 = 155.4

    If it were actually 12v it would be

    42 * 12 = 504

    • true, it has its place. I was looking at the Ecoflow River (288wH units) which can boost to 1800w, but these start at $700.

      For a cheeky little unit to power small things around the place, i think this is fine - but don't expect it to pull miracles in such a small package.

      • +4

        This is a 'good price' considering it's the same unit they jaycar sell for 269 (209 if you buy 20+) - but if you're wanting a decent battery, you can pick up 100Ah LiPo batteries now for <$500 from online 4WD stores. The VoltaX have some decent reviews on youtube, slap one in a $50 battery box (or make your own, they are pretty basic things) and buy an inverter (if only going up to 150-200w you can pick up the ones that just go into a 12v socket, no direct connection to battery, for <100).

        There's some cheap ones by RapidX for under 300 atm https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/165035779236 - I definitely can't vouch/endorse these batteries or the sellers, but looking around on line there's a few positive reviews. These look to max out at 50Amps discharge, so will only go up to 600w, so if you need that 1800Wh it won't do that, but something that's <300Wh boosting to 1800Wh is going to do a full cycle in <10 minutes but I guess good for emergency drilling or something.

        Depending on how things are in a couple of months re: borders, I'll probably bite the bullet and buy a couple to test. The prices on these things just keep falling though - I remember a short while back (less than a year) the cheapest I could come across for a 100Ah was 899.

        • +1

          Wondering your thoughts on this one, I like that I can substitute straight out of my AGM battery setup
          https://www.aussiebatteries.com.au/atlas-50ah-lithium-prisma...

          • @donkcat: $300 for an Australian made lithium battery, I've been looking for the past few months about getting a battery pack for under $700

            • +1

              @neednoLOVE: Yes they look good, I'm still weighing up that one or their 75AH one (which isn't Australian made). Just keep in mind that their 3 year warranty isn't as great as it sounds, its pro rata warranty based on the RRP of the battery

              • 0-12 months from purchase date: full replacement
              • 13-24 months from purchase date: full replacement with 30% pro rata fee of RRP
              • 25-36 months from purchase date: full replacement with 60% pro rata fee of RRP

              So Between 13-24 months you'd have to pay for $150 for the battery to be replaced under warranty and 25-36 months would be $300.

              • @donkcat: There is always a catch!

                I thought about getting the 1200w battery box with AGM battery but plus solar is around $1,000. An Eco river flow 600 is cheaper but is 600w.

          • @donkcat: $300 isn't a terrible price considering some other offers out there, but it is also limited to 60Ah max discharge rate, it does have a 5 second 90Ah so starting most things won't be an issue, but you wouldn't want this for power tools if you're looking for a portable power house. For this price per Ah you could get up around the 130Ah with 100Ah max discharge. I am also a bit worried about them saying it will drop 50% residual capacity after 12 months - that should be closer to 20% for quality LiPo4 cells, unless they have used odd wording and are telling you to discharge them to 50% before storing for 12 months, but it doesn't seem that way.

            I would also take the 'Australian made' tag with a grain of salt. The cells are definitely not made in Australia, I would also doubt the box it's housed in is made in Australia, heck the wires probably aren't even from Australia. It's been manufactured from foreign parts in Australia. It is the equivalent of buying a cake 'made in Australia' but they imported the flour, eggs and sugar. It's great that they are making them in Australia, but if anything, quality wise, I wouldn't be expecting a better quality battery - possibly better quality customer service though. The amount of competition and experience in China/Korea now with making these batteries, even the cheapest ones are put together pretty well (even when comparing to some of the more expensive ones put together in America).

            • @lulzenberg: Thanks for the reply, there are a few red flags with this company I've since learnt and think I might be better off with a 100Ah AGM, I can't afford to spend $600 on a good LiPo4 and then still need the expensive charger

              • @donkcat: Just note with your 100Ah AGM, it's really only 50Ah, as you really aren't meant to discharge them below 50%. They also have a rather bad C curve - i.e. if you're pulling 5Ah it will exceed the 100Ah by a tiny margin (if discharged to 0, which you shouldn't ever do) but if you're pulling 65-70Ah it will be dead in about an hour (so you can really only pull this amount for about 30 minutes on a 100Ah AGM before sacrificing it's life cycle.

                So in reality, you're buying 2x 100Ah AGMs to get the same amount of power from a single 100Ah LiPo4 battery, and you'll only get 200-600 cycles out of those 2 AGMs as opposed to 2000+ from the LiPo4

                • @lulzenberg: Yeah but for my use case I'm just running LED lights, a 60ltr camping fridge and a diesel heater for camping. I can get away with not running the battery below 50Ah for 3-4 days with my 200w solar panel. I'll get a LiPo4 at some point down the track but I don't think it suits my use case now

                  • @donkcat: that's fair enough, so long as you've studied the power used and how much you get back with your solar panel in a real-world test and it checks out, you should be fine with that.

                    One thing I have come across just today in another post (https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/658897) are some prismatic cells sold by the same company posting the 'deal' (not particularly that great of a deal imo but anyway)

                    https://mullerenergy.com.au/product/lishen-3-2v-272ah-lifepo...

                    these would work out to be 68Ah at 12v, which for 297 isn't terrible, based on some searches I was doing about 3 months ago anyway. but it also lead me to find some suppliers who are now listing these exact cells for <120AUD each, which prior (3 months ago) I couldn't find for under 240AUD. It does look like the price on decent cells is dropping quite a bit, so if you aren't in a rush, it might be worth waiting a bit before buying anything, as going by these prices, the cell price for a ~200AH 12v battery is only ~$360 aud, potentially under $300 AUD with a bulk purchase, making decent 200Ah batteries under $600 AUD a potential, possibly even as low as the mid 400s.

                    • @lulzenberg: Thanks for the follow up. That's some pretty amazing build prices you mention there. It's interesting the cell prices are dropping as since my last message I've been looking at some 100Ah LifePO4 options and it seems it's not the best time to purchase atm looking at some of the past prices. Seems like everything else large demand has somewhat outstripped supply. Solar King seem to have a good reputation as a mid range supplier and have a 5 year warranty from a reputable store front however they're about $600 atm. As you pointed out earlier the Rapid X at $278 is bloody cheap but with 1 year warranty and no physical store that I'm aware of I'm not sure it's worth the gamble. Then there is VoltX seems there is a newer model from the ones reviewed, they now have prismatic cells and higher discharge at 100A (200A 5 seconds) 3 year warranty and $469 but again not sure how easy a warranty claim would be as it looks like the sellers are all online only based.

                      From what I can gather cheap lithium seems to be the wild west, it's like the cheap Chinese solar panels that come and go but at least they are somewhat regulated. Tempted to get the VoltX with this 15A charger that seems well priced and go from there https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/294395306376?chn=ps&norover=1&mk...

                      • @donkcat: The prices seem to be going down from suppliers but it hasn't really come across to the consumer yes, other than a few things like the VoltaX/VoltX - these were 'cheap' for 399-599 (depending on sales) for the 100Ah versions about a year back. The amount of new battery brands hitting Australia is a bit wild-westy, I must agree there. It's just a matter of buying the cells, getting a case and adding a BMS essentially, all of which you can find quite cheap and youtube guides to DIY. I would guess a spike in demand will hit in AU what with the borders opening up/lockdowns ending which will more than likely bring more and more people into the game of importing cells and building their own branded batteries, most likely leading to a sharp dip in prices (eventually).

                        Victron is a solid company and recommended by most people, I don't think you could really go wrong with them.

                        With the VoltaX (not the VoltX, they appear to be two different brands but the batteries look almost identical, could just be a rebrand?), there are some pretty positive reviews going around, this guy in Australia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCUIE3TkggA) has done a couple of videos on them and there was another bloke who cut one open to have a look inside (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuhdkZljy2Q), the build quality didn't look bad, but they were cylindrical cells and not prismatic as they were apparently described on the website he bought them from. The only real difference with prismatic vs cylindrical is the shape and weight though and unless you're building the cell into a device like a laptop, it doesn't really matter all that much.

                        • @lulzenberg: That's good to know RE the prismatic vs cylindrical as there seems to be a growing push for prismatic.

                          You've raised a good point but I'm worried about this going the other way where increased demand out of lockdown might mean higher prices for the next 6 months in Australia, especially given shipping prices keep on increasing. Surely the quality just can't be worth it for these sub 300 priced units

                          • @donkcat: Looking through the process of making one of these batteries, it's fairly hard to make a "bad" one. So long as there is sufficient padding and everything is sealed and doesn't bang around inside, the quality of the battery really comes down to the cells (80%) and the bms (20%). Chances are they are all using the same cell manufacturer and BMS are fairly straight forward units - obviously the cheaper ones are more likely to just use a 50Ah BMS, but for most that would be enough unless running power tools. In the end, the only real issue I could see happening with one would be it isn't wired up properly inside, which would be evident the first time you try it, let alone worrying about it 12+ months down the track.

                            With demand, there is a high chance it could go up in the short term, but just like toilet paper, they will come back in stock - there isn't a shortage of battery cells like there are certain chips causing GPUs and Consoles to be scarce. Any shortage of stock will be quickly filled as the suppliers in Korea/China have the ability to churn out 10s of thousands of them per month.

                            • @lulzenberg: Well I bit the bullet and bought the 100AH Solar King
                              Was able to get it off an ebay store that has a store front in Melb (with a good reputation) they offer a 5 year warranty.
                              After applying a $50 ebay code and then in Ozbargain style I purchased a few of those Coles 10% off master cards and end
                              price ended up being about $470 which I didn't think was too bad with the 5 year warranty.

                              • @donkcat: That is a pretty good price for Solarking batteries - might even be worthy of a post here!

        • With batteries like the RapidX and Voltax, does the internal BMS manage the charging (so all it needs is a DC PSU) or do I need an external one that's designed for lithium?

          I've got a MaxiTrac MTDCDC20A but it only mentions lead acid batteries.

          • @eug: i'm not across the major differences between lead acid and lithium battery charges, though I have heard many times to not use one that doesn't have a lithium battery setting. the BMS should manage it, but I guess that would come down to the individual unit. I would reach out to the manufacturer of the charger you have and then also the manufacturer of the battery you're going to buy.

            I have stopped by Battery World to check what they had, and they did have a charger there that wasn't labelled for Lithium but could be used, but can't remember which one it was or why it was one they would recommend over others designed for lead acid batteries.

            Looking at the reviews for that model you've posted, I probably wouldn't be using it as a tester as it seems fairly hit and miss (more miss than hit though) with reliability.

            • @lulzenberg: Good idea, the best thing is probably to ask the manufacturer. A BMS really should be handling the charging and cell balancing which should mean all it needs is a good DC supply, but who knows. I'll send the seller a message.

              Thanks!

    • Totally I agree !!

      I too was looking to verify that this was in fact a '40AH' 12v battery. For $200 would have been truly a great deal.

      • Check the ebay link above if you want to give it a crack - 12v 100AH for $289. These aren't all that easy to mess up, so as long as the right amount of cells are in there, even the worst quality LiPo4s will more than likely last 2-3 (probably 5-10x) times as long as it's lead-acid counterpart.

    • +1

      45Ah per day for a 40L frigde is rather on the high side, I've used my 55L on several camping trip on a 80ah battery and it still had plenty of juice after 3 days in the bush (set around 2-3 degree Celcius, ambient temp not too hot, around 25, but I left mine in the car for the whole time). Actually testing one DIY battery at home now and it's consume about 14Ah over the last 36 hour, with no open/closing of the lid). That was 3 degree C, I've tested them on -18 and the 60Ah lasted about 2 days (half full fridge).

  • +3

    These are good, more for a fan / phone charger / laptop rather than a fridge. $200 is a great price

  • Sooooo, how about for Cpap machine - with a DC car socket pack and no humidifer/heat hose. Would this handle that?

    • Never mind. the good youtube video answered - 12v dc outlet is unregulated meaning perhaps issues with Cpaps. But you could plug into the AC outlet.

      • Never mind. the good youtube video answered - 12v dc outlet is unregulated meaning perhaps issues with Cpaps

        Which video is that? The 12V output would have to be supplied through a boost converter which would be inherently regulated.
        edit: unless the battery uses 3 cells in series, which is possible.

        • The link up above in the bargain description. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBLTejArEts

          I don't know about the internal setup. I'll get it and test with my cpap machine. If it works, yay. I'll be able to go camping again in a tent without the whole site wanting to throttle me.

          sigh.

          • +1

            @Brondtstopdt:

            The link up above in the bargain description.

            I just watched the segment where he talks about the 12V output.

            I think he's correct in saying that it's unregulated, even though his test is inconclusive and his reasoning is incorrect.

            He says it's not regulated because it's 12.37V, and that if it was regulated it would be over 13V.

            If it was 13V it is unregulated - which is why it's 13V and not 12V. A regulated 12V output should stay at right about 12V.

            To properly test it he should have put a load on it and measured the output over time to see if the output stays at 12V. Simply measuring open-circuit voltage like that won't tell you much as even 4x CR2025 coin cells will show 12V.

            My guess is the battery is in a 3S1P cell configuration. That would fit the 12.37V OCV (4.12V per cell), which would drop to about 11.1V loaded.

            Hopefully there's low voltage protection built-in. If the cells drop below 3.2V per cell (9.6V on the 12V output), the cells could be permanently damaged.

            edit: Nope, not 3S1P! The same guy who posted the video opened it up and found 21 3.7V 2000mAh 18650 cells in it, so it's 3S21P. Hopefully their cell monitoring circuitry is good. :)

            • @eug: That is some comprehensive explaining there. Thank you, I do appreciate it.

              I'm not expecting something brilliant at this price but of course I don't want to damage my electronics.

          • +1

            @Safoan: In a pinch I hooked up two 12V 12AH SLA batteries for a friend's 24V CPAP machine for a camping trip. Worked fine the whole night.

          • @Safoan: Nice link, thank you.

          • +1

            @Safoan: I looked into these, but I'm a cheapskate looking for a bargain……

            • +1

              @Brondtstopdt: Me too. I get insurance to get reimbursed for my one.

  • +2

    If only we could get a local version of Jackery or Bluetti here.

    • Agreed. The EcoFlow is probably closest - with a good number of charge cycles before 80% levels.

  • +1

    Probably too late however i paid after PLHOME on ebay $184

  • Any solar panels I should look into to go with one of these?

  • Anyone considering this should also check out the 120watt allpowers station

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