Warning re Jackery product quality/design

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jadmt

ignore button user
I’m still baffled by the whole overpriced Jackery/ any other brand portable battery setup . We are all vehicle dependent.. what’s wrong with a good second deep cycle battery and a isolator ? How many electrons and doodads do you really need to drive around and sleep in the woods ?
what is wrong with having both? Just because you can have a second battery set up does not mean a portable unit would not be handy in many situations.
 

DaveInDenver

Luddite
I'm baffled by the popularity of rooftop tents. Since I don't want one, I haven't bought one. You could go nuts with every, "why would anyone buy X when Y is cheaper / just as good / better?" question, especially on this forum.

I can't speak for the OP but here's why I bought one of these portable battery units. I bought a 12V fridge. I wanted to be able to power it independently of the starting battery and vehicle's electrical system. My use case is camping and road trips ranging from an overnight up to a week long trip. That length of time is probably pretty common for many of the members of this forum.

Why not a permanently mounted, auxiliary deep cycle battery instead? A deep cycle battery would offer much more Ah / $, no question. And, if mounted properly, it shouldn't ever tumble out of your vehicle unexpectedly and break. But that doesn't mean it's automatically a better choice for everyone.

We own four vehicles. Three of the four are ones I'd consider taking on camping or road trips. None of these three have enough room in the engine bay to just shove a deep cycle battery in without modification and fabrication, if they'd fit at all. Not even considering wiring or battery isolators... I'm just talking about physically mounting another battery. With a portable battery I can use my 12V fridge in any of the three. If I sell one of these cars and get another, I can use it in the new one. Modifications done to a vehicle you sell aren't always simple to take out and transfer to the next vehicle.

If we have a power outage and would like to charge a phone or laptop, or keep our internet connection operating, we can do that with the portable battery. Of course one could do it with a vehicle mounted battery and inverter, but this is convenient.

I was troubleshooting a 12V water pump in the backyard the other day in an area that doesn't have power. The portable battery came in handy for that. An unexpected use, I'm sure I'll come up with more once I've owned it more than a month.

Those are my reasons, other people might have completely different reasons.
Having portable 12V power is handy. I usually have a couple of extra batteries around just for stuff like that, which are bigger and heavier than a pack like this. I can totally see the utility. I have dual batteries in the truck and probably wouldn't drag a portable pack over a few extension cords though. I wouldn't leave my fridge unattended on a battery at camp. Anywhere I'd leave it would be secured, e.g. a home or hotel perhaps, which will allow me to plug it into 120VAC, so the various use cases do very much depend on the user.
 
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Kmrtnsn

Explorer
A federal law would have the most reach, but if a big consumer state like CA passed a version, you would see design-for-serviceability make its way into a LOT of products in a big hurry. Imagine if Apple had to sell a different iPhone in CA? Everybody would get the benefit.

That said, the real push-back for a "Right to Repair" law comes from some domestic manufacturers. Companies like John Deere are (in)famous for locking down their hardware such that it cannot be self-repaired by their owners, without resorting to hacking service software, etc. This is an entirely different level of Machiavellian BS, but even when it's only cost-driven design decisions, the reality is that serviceability very rarely adds significant cost. I'd bet a sixer of Mexican beer there's nothing wrong with OP's Jackery that couldn't be repaired relatively simply by a qualified tech with access to a service schematic, provided none of the components are glued shut or epoxied to the PWB.
I suppose you’re also of the train of thought that manufacturers should be liable for product misuse?
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I suppose you’re also of the train of thought that manufacturers should be liable for product misuse?
I don't think so,

If you crash your car there are people who will fix, If your TV or Fridge or washing machine breakdown there are people who will repair them So why should products in this catagory not have the same level of service ??.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
I suppose you’re also of the train of thought that manufacturers should be liable for product misuse?
That's a hell of a leap.

No, I just think that if you own a thing, you should be able to repair and continue to use the thing for as long as feasible, and that maybe not all products should be considered "disposable" at the unit level.
 

Kmrtnsn

Explorer
That's a hell of a leap.

No, I just think that if you own a thing, you should be able to repair and continue to use the thing for as long as feasible, and that maybe not all products should be considered "disposable" at the unit level.
I think you really overestimate your abilities. Ever seen the inside of a Jackery? How about your flatscreen TV? There are a couple good teardown videos on YouTube you should take a look at and then explain your theories of troubleshooting the OP’s electrical gremlins. These are very complex little instruments and the labor involved in troubleshooting and repairing them would quickly surpass the cost to assemble them. Repairing them isn’t cost effective,
 
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Smileyshaun

Observer
I’m not saying it’s a wrong choice but we all went camping just fine without RTT and awnings and pull out kitchens and portable power everything. Just seems the more popular car camping .... sorry overlanding becomes the more gear is becoming “essential” to go drive around and camp in the woods . Maybe it’s just the old coming out in me but what ever happened to ruffing it a little and disconnecting from everything we carry around in our daily lives?
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I’m still baffled by the whole overpriced Jackery/ any other brand portable battery setup . We are all vehicle dependent.. what’s wrong with a good second deep cycle battery and a isolator ? How many electrons and doodads do you really need to drive around and sleep in the woods ?
Thank you Smiley Steve. I concur.(y)
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
I think you really overestimate your abilities. Ever seen the inside of a Jackery? How about your flatscreen TV? There are a couple good teardown videos on YouTube you should take a look at and then explain your theories of troubleshooting the OP’s electrical gremlins. These are very complex little instruments and the labor involved in troubleshooting and repairing them would quickly surpass the cost to assemble them. Repairing them isn’t ost effective,
Whoops. Probably should have picked on someone else. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and 25 years in the embedded systems business, most of those spent in the employ of the world's biggest makers of cell phones, consumer electronics, and oceanographic instrumentation. I write software and debug PWBs for fun.

You started by assuming (for some reason) that I'm in favor of holding manufacturers liable for mis-use, and now you're presuming to know what I consider a worthwhile use of my time.

Do you know why most folks don't have their electronics repaired any more? Because manufacturers have locked down the information that's needed to do the work. Short of paying the six-figure licensing fee to be an "official" repair outlet for each electronics manufacturer, no repair shop can get access the schematics and service guides that would make most repairs into a trivial exercise. The company would rather gamble that when the thing they sold you breaks, that you'll buy another from them. Just because it's more cost-effective for the Chinese company that Jackery re-sells to pass on trying to repair units doesn't mean that we can't oblige them to publish some basic service information that would make it so their customers could opt to have that done for themselves.

If you seriously have some sort of philosophical problem with Right-to-Repair legislation, then by all means write to your representatives on behalf of the poor beleaguered electronics manufacturers. Otherwise, maybe let's not crap on other people who want to at least have the option for themselves?
 

AMH_buys

New member
so we agree this is his fault. What’s the point of this thread then?
OP shared his experience. That was his point.

Your point sure seems like it's for you to have (another) reason to bicker.
One of the most popular forums for that is here. A lot of famous (and not-so-famous) people who believe their opinions are of greater importance than anyone else's opinions or contrary objective data do a lot of bickering there. You should fit right in.

...I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and 25 years in the embedded systems* business, most of those spent in the employ of the world's biggest makers of cell phones, consumer electronics, and oceanographic instrumentation. I write software and debug PWBs for fun...
But... did your decades of experience ever involve engineering any Jackery 500s? As a hobbyist, how many dead Jackery 500s have you repaired? Zero, zero, right? (based on what you *didn't* say).

Back to basics... OP has a practical problem: a busted Jackery 500. He has the right to repair it. And it probably won't be all that difficult, if the cells are not damaged, something that any super-experienced electrical engineer with as many decades of experience as you've made a point of telling everyone about... would have mentioned right off the bat. Instead you're off on a tangent about right to repair. One of the most popular forums for uppity commiserating & bickering is at the link mentioned above.

* from wiki: "An embedded system is a computer system—a combination of a computer processor, computer memory, and input/output peripheral devices—that has a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electronic system"
In other words, nothing directly to do with a Jackery 500.
 
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Kmrtnsn

Explorer
Whoops. Probably should have picked on someone else. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and 25 years in the embedded systems business, most of those spent in the employ of the world's biggest makers of cell phones, consumer electronics, and oceanographic instrumentation. I write software and debug PWBs for fun.

You started by assuming (for some reason) that I'm in favor of holding manufacturers liable for mis-use, and now you're presuming to know what I consider a worthwhile use of my time.

Do you know why most folks don't have their electronics repaired any more? Because manufacturers have locked down the information that's needed to do the work. Short of paying the six-figure licensing fee to be an "official" repair outlet for each electronics manufacturer, no repair shop can get access the schematics and service guides that would make most repairs into a trivial exercise. The company would rather gamble that when the thing they sold you breaks, that you'll buy another from them. Just because it's more cost-effective for the Chinese company that Jackery re-sells to pass on trying to repair units doesn't mean that we can't oblige them to publish some basic service information that would make it so their customers could opt to have that done for themselves.

If you seriously have some sort of philosophical problem with Right-to-Repair legislation, then by all means write to your representatives on behalf of the poor beleaguered electronics manufacturers. Otherwise, maybe let's not crap on other people who want to at least have the option for themselves?
And what, you want a cookie?
 

AMH_buys

New member
Really you are buying cells, that is 99.99% of the value.
The enclosure, some wiring and $25 worth of electronics...
At least open it up, it could be something easy & obvious to fix.
...Its at least worth number of and type of cells it contains.
Exactly.
It could be something as simple as blown fuse/tripped overcurrent protection.
It didn't start smoking after it hit the ground, so that's a good sign.
But even if the BMS is dead, you should still be able to re-use the cell pack, wiring and enclosure.

Here are a few links to help you get started:

Useful tip: Be a little skeptical of youtube videos that seem a bit too much like infotainment.
People who really know their (technical) stuff rarely try to be entertaining or waste time trying to impress people by citing their "credentials" (I know this from first-hand experience ;) )

It's really not that difficult, but if that's too much to wade through, find somebody to help who already knows. These days, plenty of people are "into" this stuff.
 
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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
And what, you want a cookie?
No, I want companies to publish schematics and repair/diagnostic diagrams, and not to intentionally build their products so that they cannot be repaired by 3rd parties.

Since by current trend they seem unwilling to do this, I also want laws drafted to support this.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
But... did your decades of experience ever involve engineering any Jackery 500s? As a hobbyist, how many dead Jackery 500s have you repaired? Zero, zero, right? (based on what you *didn't* say).
Not Jackery, but in addition to writing the charge-control algorithm and drivers for a number of battery-powered devices, I have repaired power supplies and DC battery chargers - two things with a lot in common with said unit. As you say, it should be an easy repair - and it would be much easier if Jackery would provide him with even a little basic info. (Better still if they haven't potted the boards or epoxied the control chip.) I'm on your side that the unit is probably repairable.


"An embedded system is a computer system—a combination of a computer processor, computer memory, and input/output peripheral devices—that has a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electronic system"
In other words, nothing directly to do with a Jackery 500.
Something like a Jackery is pretty much the definition of an embedded system. There's a small processor (probably actually several) embedded within the device that service a very specific function. In this case, there's at least one chip dedicated to the charge controller which takes inputs from a number of analog inputs (battery voltage, probably temperature, etc.) and uses digital outputs to modulate the output voltage and current to a battery. That processor runs a little bit of firmware that controls the charging algorithm and also handles things like calculating the reported state-of-charge. In this case, there's also an LCD display, which generally has its own processor and firmware, though theoretically this could be driven directly from a single SOC. If you want to get really specific, the USB outputs also require their own embedded microcontroller since the handshake required for anything more than 500mA output requires a small codec to enact the command protocol.

I really can't fathom why I'm catching hell for (1) advocating that companies provide a little information along with the electronics they sell, (2) advocating that things generally ARE repairable and that the calculus of "cost effective" for a company is very different from "cost effective" for an owner.
 
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