Over the past ten years, we have not come across any truly workable set of wires for lighting. Bright labels, loud numbers, confident demand - and complete failure during the tests! And therefore there were no winners.
Trigger wires: dead crocodiles
We ended our article “Turn on the power” (ЗР, 2014, No. 1) as follows: “We invite manufacturers to the first place who are ready to offer the consumer starting wires on which at 200 A the voltage drop is not more than 0.4 V and which can to withstand the declared current for at least 10 s.” We decided for ourselves then - we will continue the topic only if something extraordinary appears on the market. And a few months later, Kaluga Energomash turned to us with a proposal to try out its new product called “Auto Electrician Council”.
The company to the “Russian” took “Superman” - a set of wires Snap-on. Tools of this brand have always been of high quality and prohibitive price, and this time, for the set of "crocodiles" with wires, we had to give 7200 rubles! The third decided to take the Chinese product Piece of Mind, which promised to give as much as 800 A - is it interesting that at least half of the claimed it will be mastered? And the AUTOPROFI AP / BC 7000 Pro wires were recommended to us as a novelty of the counter, devoid of typical shortcomings.
The results were surprising. Wires Kaluga "Energomash" not only defeated everyone by knockout - they fully comply with regulatory requirements, which many seem unattainable. Competitors lost in at least two positions.
Maybe other Russian manufacturers produce high-quality products for motorists? We are ready to experience!
Snap-on Booster Cables BC 15500, Mexico
Estimated price, rub. 7200
Declared current, not specified
Length, m 4, 5
The biggest disappointment of the test. A big name and a deafening price are all that the product is remembered for. A soft frost-resistant wire is good, but even with a modest current of 480 A, the voltage drop exceeded 2.0 V, which is not allowed even at 1000 A!
Piece of Mind PM 0511, PRC
Estimated price, rub. 1550
The declared current, A 800
Length, m 4
The Chinese “Piece of Reason” (as the name of these wires can be translated from English) did not show off with reason. The current should be declared four times less! Because 200 A is the maximum that the product is capable of. You can only praise the frost resistance of the wires and the low price.
AUTOPROFI AP / BC-7000 Pro, PRC
Estimated price, rub. 1400
The declared current, A 750
Length, m 2.2
With a declared current of 750 A, the wires can pull only 600 A, but this is a good achievement against the background of numerous brothers in the market. Russian frost in minus thirty soft wires were not afraid. And even the cold crimping on the tick handles did not disappoint. But 750 A turned out to be an exorbitant load: at the very first second, the automation of the test bench stopped the “flight” …
“Council of an auto electrician”, Kaluga, “Energomash”
Estimated price, rub. 3316 rub. (+ 248 rubles per case)
The declared current, A 480
Length, m 3
Domestic "crocodiles" did not just pass the tests - they met the standards even with an increased load of 70%. The original design of brass pincers with a large area of electrical contact, reliable attachment of a multi-core cable with a bracket with two screws, rubber handles, frost-resistant soft wire - in general, the first place without any reservations.
WHAT, WHERE AND WHY CHECKED
We carried out laboratory bench tests at NIIC AT 3 Central Research Institute of the Russian Ministry of Defense. To begin with, we evaluated the frost resistance of wires at –30 ºС. Wires are required to maintain flexibility, and insulation does not have the right to crack at the seams. We measured the voltage drop on each wire at currents of 200, 480, 600 and 800 A. According to the standards at a current of 1000 A, it should not exceed 2.0 V. Then we estimated the voltage at the load: for 10 seconds at the same currents it should not drop below 6.0 V, otherwise starting the motor simply fails.
WHY PROMISE THE IMPOSSIBLE?
Even from people with a “higher” technical education, one sometimes hears that the engine can be started using any wires. Suppliers of low-quality products rely on such consumers. Indeed, when starting the engine by the method of “lighting”, a regular battery almost always helps the donor, which is rarely discharged “below the waterline”, and therefore takes on a substantial share of the load.