Review of the Xantrex XPower PowerPack 400 Plus / Motomaster Eliminator 600 PowerBox
Posted by aonomus on August 15, 2009
So I promised a review of this little bad boy, and here it is! Essentially the two products are the same, minus the labelling as Canadian Tire has a deal to rebrand a few Xantrex products including smaller and larger power packs.
In a nutshell, its main features are:
- 12V, 20Ah sealed lead acid battery
- 400W AC inverter (square wave)
- Air compressor with short hose and fittings
- Separate jumper cable for boosting low car batteries
My first impressions on this pack is that the weight is acceptable, it has enough features, and a powerful enough inverter for things like a small drill, or a sump pump. Handy in a pinch.
So starting from the outside, on the front from left to right we can see:
- 12V outlet
- The main display panel (button displays battery charge %, and displays inverter wattage during use)
- Inverter with switch
Moving around to the side, we can see a small light with a switch below, somewhat handy although I haven’t used it as of yet. Just below the light and switch is a connector for the jumper cables, which I believe is a Anderson powerpole, SB series, but I’m not sure exactly what size.
The jumper cables are about 1-2ft long, enough to balance the pack ontop of the edge of your hood and hook up the jumper cables, although I would have liked to see longer cables for proper hookup to avoid connecting both to the battery (instead of the more usual positive to battery, negative to chassis/engine block), and avoid awkward situations where the battery is located in the rear of the hood, instead of close to the front bumper.
On the other side we see the compressor with pressure gauge, good enough to inflate a tire.
In the back, we can see lots of warning labels, and a small compartment.
Opening the compartment, we can see a small number of accessories for the compressor (needles and nozzles), a small barrel connector for charging, and the fuse for the battery.
Also in the back, you can just make out the shape of a small DC fan to cool the inverter under heavy loads.
Last but not least, removing the 4 screws of the battery compartment, we can get to the sealed lead acid battery compartment. The simplicity of getting to the battery means that through heavy use, or abuse, you can still replace the battery with a standard sized battery.
- The supplied charger is a 13.5VDC wall wart, unregulated, and very inefficient. Even with low charging current the plug pack heats up way too much, I would strongly advise that anyone interested, try to use a bigger power supply and a good charge controller to avoid overcharging, or overheating the charger.
- The display is a little misleading, claiming 100% at only 12.7V, when full charge is much higher. Perhaps the two units I have are a little off, however I think that the calibration is off entirely and could lead to people under-charging and sulfating their batteries.
All in all the power pack is a useful piece of kit, I’ve used it only twice now, once during a blackout, once during a test, and found that its been handy, to the point where I bought a second one and keep both float charged via the 12V outlet and a solar panel.