Pilot InstaBoost: Product Cheapnification in Full Effect

After rebuilding the battery clamps on the Pilot Instaboost jump starter, something on the back of the package caught my eye:

Pilot InstaBoost - clamp picture
Pilot InstaBoost – clamp picture

The un-modified joint on the as-delivered clamp has a plastic stud and nothing through the spring:

Battery Clamp - original joint
Battery Clamp – original joint

Compare the first picture with our modifications:

Battery Clamp - improved joint
Battery Clamp – improved joint

Looks like Pilot applied some cost reduction between taking the picture and shipping what we have now.

I bet they cheapnified something else, too. Something that cost them a lot more and the absence of which can’t be verified by most consumers…

6 thoughts on “Pilot InstaBoost: Product Cheapnification in Full Effect

  1. Like what? Replacing the cables with 22ga solid aluminum wire instead of 4ga stranded copper?

    1. Yeah, that should work…

      The wire is actually The insulation claims the wires are 10 AWG and the strands in the crimps suggest they’re not fibbing. I’ll give ’em a pass. [grin]

      I’m impressed by the connectors. The main wires terminate in big brass pins-and-sockets with plenty of meat and the 12 V / 10 A (!) coaxial output connector has six outer contact fingers with a 3+ mm central pin.

      The build quality looks good on everything except those clamps.

  2. You can just about guarantee that the cable is CCA rather than solid copper, which is true for most jumper cables these days.

    1. Although I can’t get a picture without risk of the clamp biting the camera’s snout, the cut ends look like stranded, tinned copper, with a silvery outer surface around a coppery core in each strand.

      In fact, the main cables have many many many very fine strands, not the relatively coarse strands in the pad-to-pad straps inside the clamps, and are exceedingly limp and flexy. The insulation claims only 10 AWG 200 °C: they’re under-promising and over-delivering on the cables.

  3. “Something that cost them a lot more and the absence of which can’t be verified by most consumers…”

    So what does your West Mountain Radio CBA II have to say about the battery capacity?

    1. Got it in one!

      It turns out to be a surprisingly complicated story that I haven’t quite figured out. More details to follow…

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