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Gadget of the Week

Portable jump-starter gives peace of mind

Anyone who has ever been stuck with a flat battery, waiting for help, will want to keep a Gizzu jump starter in their car, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

What is it?

If you’ve ever been stuck with a flat battery, waiting for someone to arrive with jumper cables to connect to the battery of another car, you will find it hard to believe that you could have had the solution in their glove compartment or under the passenger seat all along.

The Gizzu 1000A Smart Jump Starter is literally peace of mind in the palm of the hand. It is a 1000A auto jump starter that can jump-start a petrol engine of up to 5 litres or a diesel engine of up to 3 litres. And the entire setup fits into a small carry bag that can be stored unobtrusively anywhere in the car.

It is 13cm long and 10cm wide, a little bigger than a smartphone. It has a 10400mAh battery capacity, about double the size of an average portable powerbank.

The LED display gives 9 different protection function readings, and includes a built-in LED flashlight for use in the dark. It includes a USB 3.0 port for charging mobile devices if they start dying while roadside issues are being sorted. It comes with a 2-in-1 USB charging cable and a compact Sparkless Smart Cable with red and black clamps.

We had waited in vain to test the device, as our car battery has fortunately been fully functional for some time. But then a friend got stuck at our offices in a 4×4 that had been giving him battery trouble. Normally, we would have called the AA, or another friend would have been summoned with car and jumper cables.

The Gizzu device had been kept charged for exactly this kind of need. We plugged the red clamp of the smart cable that comes with the device onto the positive terminal of the battery and, because that was the only accessible terminal, the black clamp went onto a metal part of the engine. That is what the experts recommend anyway: connecting the negative clamp to a metal ground instead of the negative terminal of the dead battery.

The car started instantly.

Two things then happened: the friend was able to take his car to a service centre where the battery was replaced; and we watched in amazement, via an LED indicator on the Gizzu, as the power capacity remained above 80% for several weeks before we fully charged it again. That means it has enough power and capacity to fire up several dead batteries, and also to keep pushing in the charge of a stubbornly dead battery. Gizzu says it will last for 1000 cycles.

The real technical magic is inside. Protection features include short-circuit protection, over-voltage and under-voltage protection, over-load and temperature protection, and reverse polarity and charging protection.

How much does it cost?

It costs less than R1200 in store at Builders and online at Distributed by Syntech. More information at

Why does it matter?

Three words: peace of mind.

What are its biggest negatives?

·       Instructions are not clear on how to connect the red clamp when only one terminal is available – bearing in mind that most motorists are clueless about jumpstarting cars.

·       Solar charging would be an added bonus if one is stuck in the middle of nowhere, and forgot to charge it at home.

What are its biggest positives?

·       Incredibly compact, can fit in a curry bag, glove compartment or under a seat.

·       Lightweight: the whole set-up weighs 361g.

·       Gives clear indication of remaining power.

·       Holds its charge almost indefinitely.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee

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