power comes in many shapes and sizes. Some small units provide just enough power
to charge a cell phone or iPod while other units utilize large generators with
inverters that run from gas powered engines. For many, finding that balance of
power density and portability is important. One such product is the Duracell
PowerPack 600HD designed by a company called Xantrex Technology Inc. Xantrex
has a line of advanced power electronic products and systems that provide solutions
for converting and controlling raw electrical power from virtually any source
into high-quality power required by electronic and electrical equipment. The Duracell
PowerPack 600HD offers a large power reserve with many features while being
completely portable. The unit weighs just over 26 pounds, but is completely manageable
thanks to the large carrying handle. The large rubber feet keep the unit from
sliding on slightly angled surfaces.
PowerPack 600HD comes with an AC charger to keep the unit fully charged when plugged
into a standard AC outlet. A DC charging cable is also provided that allows a
vehicle's power outlet to charge the internal battery. The PowerPack 600HD features
a rechargeable 28 amp hour AGM (absorbed glass mat) lead acid battery that is
powerful enough to help jump start a vehicle engine in the event of an emergency.
When switched on, the battery also has enough storage for running the onboard
600W AC inverter using the three standard 3-prong outlets. A set of heavy duty
jumper cables that plugs into the PowerPack 600HD provides enough charge to help
vehicles in need of a jump start. A plastic carrying bag is included for convenience.
The unit also includes an integrated AM/FM radio with a digital alarm clock. A
built-in 5-watt light works for up to 50 hours on a single charge.
PowerPack 600HD has a set of useful features that make the unit convenient for
camping and other portable applications. The 3-digital display provides the user
with information on the status of the unit. To check the charge level of the PowerPack
600HD simply unplug the power cord and press the Display Function button.
The Battery Charge indicator will light and the charge level will be shown
as a percentage of the total battery capacity. When the power inverter is being
used, the total power being drawn by the appliance will be displayed with the
Output Power indicator lit. The readout can be toggled off by pressing
the Display Function button. The Charging Status indicator flashes
when the unit is charging and stays on constantly when fully charged. An audible
alarm will sound if the unit overheats or if the battery level drops too low to
operate the inverter.
The side of the unit has a 12VDC car adapter jack to power car
accessories. This jack can also be used to charge the PowerPack 600HD using vehicle
power and the DC-to-DC cable provided with the unit. Behind the center cover is
a large, user replaceable 250A, 32V fuse, held in place by a pair of large screws.
Just above the fuse is the DC input jack for the AC adapter included with the
PowerPack 600HD. This DC input can also be used with a solar panel provided that
the voltage does not exceed 15VDC and 2.5A. Below the fuse is the cable connector
for the jumper
cables provided with the unit. Covers protect all of the high current terminal
from being exposed to possible shorts.
The Xantrex Duracell PowerPack 600HD proved to be a useful product on a recent
camping trip. The unit provided us with the portable AC power we needed to operate
moderate appliances without any access to utility power. In addition, the built-in
features such as 12V accessory power and the built-in light worked great for us
in the outdoors. The PowerPack 600HD allowed us to charge devices whether they
used 12VDC car or 120VAC power. The built-in light provided our tent with light
and we didn't have to worry about the lights going out with the large battery
capacity. With so many natural disasters occurring around the world, people are
looking to include emergency backup power in their emergency supplies. The PowerPack
600HD is a great product that still allows portability and good power capacity.
At a street price of $130, the Xantrex Duracell PowerPack 600HD is a bargain.