Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 19, 2009

Jumpstart your Car using some A123 Batteries

at 4:20 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Stephane Melancon (DoctorBass) sent in a very compact battery pack that he uses to jumpstart his car. There are lots of systems that can be purchased that can produce the same results however none of them can fit into your jacket pocket!

"In this video i finally decided to show you how IMPRESSIVE are these A123 cells. During the test, when the starter ran for about 2-3sec, the current reached 230A."



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22 Responses to “Jumpstart your Car using some A123 Batteries”

  1. Alex Says:

    WOOOOOOW, I can’t believe, how much are theese bateries.
    I need a couple

  2. Pouncer Says:

    That’s excellent! I’m wondering if they would be more efficient (albiet not cost effective) to power a DIY EV car with instead of deep cycle or lead acid batteries.

  3. Bryce Says:

    They are about $15 each, and I think they are made by the same company making batteries for the GM Volt.

  4. Chris Says:

    How legit is this? Thats pretty hard to believe.

  5. Doctorbass Says:

    Chris, What i really like is when people dont believe the results i got and that i know they are true! I invite anybody to do their own experiment and thest it! you will see! The manufactur of these cells say 120A for 10sec.. but they can do more for a shorter period of time!! they have 10 miliohms and have pure cooper inside!


  6. Bryce Says:

    I just got a chance to watch the video, pretty impressive at -21C, we get some pretty cold mornings here in Regina. I am going to try and make one of these, my only question would be is how do you charge it? Did you build your own charger?

    It would be a lot easier to carry that around instead of my Eliminator booster pack which has to weigh close to 10Kg.

  7. Fallingwater Says:

    I think what’s happening is that the A123 pack is throwing some charge in the car battery, and then both start the engine, with the car battery doing most of the grunt. This is a known way to start a car with a tired battery, but other systems are far slower. However, I doubt the A123 pack alone, connected to the car’s terminals without the lead-acid battery, would be capable of starting the engine (but I’d be glad to be proven wrong).

  8. Pouncer Says:

    I’m going to agree with fallingwater, but nonetheless for such a small package to give such a boost is impressive in my book. It’s obvious that the lead acid battery has a poor amp storage, so regardless of working in conjunction the amps need to come from somewhere to supplement the system. What Doc doesn’t note (and could be useful) is the amp draw when trying to crank on the lead acid battery alone, and then the total draw with both hooked up.

  9. Doctorbass Says:

    Fallingwater, this is a great question you propose.. Thanks for your oppinion too!

    I used it too on my mothers Honda Accord EXR (2.4L engine) that had a dead battery (213mV !) she forgot the dome light on ON position…
    I started it at -19 Celsius. and that was succesfull too. You have to figure out that when you connect this little pack on a dead battery, the energy transfered to the dead battery + the resting energy on the A123 battery is the same availlable to the starter than if only the A123 battery
    Same thing if you look that on a different angle.. The A123 battery NEED to recharge the dead battery WHILE it supply also current to the starter!
    Also the internal resistance of a dead battery is alot higher than when it is charged so the current that it can supply is few percent of nominal. And the one of the fully charged A123 pack have lower IR than this dead battery so the current will come mostly from the fully charged battery… the A123.

    I decided to try that cause I already heard a years ago by the constructor of the Killacycle that explained that a guy he know had started a V8 engine with these cells! Here in Quebec we have cold temp and that was the perfect occasion!

    My starter take 118A peak during summer(I measured all electrical component consumption in this car..) but i still dont measured the curent of this starter during winter.. I would try soon. A123 Pack alone.. for sure!! I will test too and proove that it work too

    For those who ask how i charge them… I say by any dc cource that have 14.4V or less and that can supply up to 10A.. these cells can be charged directly to the 12V battery.

    If i connect this battery on a dead 12V battery and that i try immediatly to start the car… My A123 battery will need to supply current to recharge the battery AND to supply the starter!.. this current demand is higher!.. When a 12V battery have lower voltage than the boosting battery you connect on it it will charge it.

    These Lithium ironphosphate cells can be stored down to -50 degree WITHOUT any dammage and can deliver high current down to -30 Celsius.

    I hope that answer to these questions… please if you have any doubt about my explanations, ask me!


  10. beak Says:

    well done doc, A+ from me.

  11. Eczema Says:

    Nice job. Definitely have to try this 1 out. Thanks Doc.

  12. jeremy Says:

    Impressive! Nice work! What is the source on the blue voltage monitor on your dash? Is that a DIY project?

  13. Doctorbass Says:

    Jeremy, the source of that voltage monitor is our local electronic surplus store. they cost 11$ each. some similar are availlable on ebay

    Thanks you guys for your appreciations!

  14. Powerful Electric Bike - 2008 Mongoose - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] showed is that he can jump start his car using a powerful battery pack that can fit in the palm of your hand. He is also into building Powerful Electric Bikes. This is […]

  15. Powerful Electric Bike - 2008 Mongoose - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] showed is that he can jump start his car using a powerful battery pack that can fit in the palm of your hand. He is also into building Powerful Electric Bikes. This is […]

  16. Mongoose, the Powerful DIY Electric Bike! | zedomax.com - The DIY, HOW TO, Hacks, Gadgets, and Tech Blog/Search Engine! Says:

    […] a guy who built a really powerful (lookin’) electric bike, fitted with batteries that can jump even cars.  There’s even an onboard GPS so you can never get lost while a full charge gets you up to […]

  17. Michel Says:



  18. Geethan Says:

    Can you recharge the batteries? or do they die after the boost

  19. Doctorbass Says:

    Yes they are rechargeable! from empty to full cahrge in 10 minutes..


  20. Geethan Says:

    How can u recharge them? do i need to buy a charger?where can i buy a charger?

  21. Richie Says:

    Just as a note, two of these packs in parallel successfully started a Yamaha R6 Engine by themselves.

  22. Randy Says:

    I just tried this with my 1971 cb350 and it turned over the engine quite nicely for about as long as the lead acid would. I had a 4s1p pack that i was using to test. After a normal amount of cranking it got a little warm, so i might upgrade to a 4s2p pack so its a little more heavy duty. btw MUCH MUCH lighter and smaller than lead acid!

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