Eton Boost Turbine 2000: Product test
Made by US company Eton, it has an aluminium case and an integrated plastic crank handle. It is pocket size (125x55x20mm) and weighs 200g. The rechargeable 2000mAh lithium battery is a similar size to other commonly available battery packs, and is sufficient to charge a smart phone battery.
There is a micro USB DC input to charge the internal battery using any charger you have on hand – those for our Sony camera, Telstra mobile phone and wi-fi were all compatible. The USB output gives up to 1A at 5V.
There are four blue LEDs, which flash during charging and glow when the battery is fully charged. Pressing and holding the on/off switch (eg, with the end of a pen) without the USB cable attached gives an indication of battery charge by the number of LEDs that illuminate. This is a useful feature not found on all battery packs.
It is stated on Eton’s website that one minute of hand cranking at two revolutions per second will give enough battery power to talk on a mobile phone for one minute and send a few texts.
When we received the Eton Boost Turbine 2000, it wasn’t fully charged, so we charged it using our wi-fi charger. Then we left it in a cupboard for a month to see how well it would hold its charge – you want to be able to depend on having some residual charge when it is needed. After that time, three LEDs were bright with the fourth dull, suggesting between 75 and 100 per cent of charge remained.
I set the kitchen timer for one minute and started hand cranking as fast as possible. Funnily enough, I had counted 120 revolutions when the timer beeped. It was very obvious that the resistance to turning the crank increased significantly with speed, and I would not have been able to continue at that rate for much longer without a break.
When I re-checked the battery, all four LEDs illuminated, suggesting it was full. I was left to assume that the battery had not dropped much at all during its month sitting in the cupboard, which is pleasing.
When our Telstra digital mobile phone was almost flat, we recharged it with the Boost Turbine. It took two-and-a-half hours to charge fully and the battery indicator on the turbine then showed one bright and one dull LED, so a bit more than half of the battery power of the turbine was used to charge the phone.
While on the road, we find we are making more use of battery banks to charge our electronic gear rather than using dual chargers in the power sockets (cigarette lighter points) in the car, because of the mess of cables this entails. We have a switched 240V powerboard with four USB ports (available from Dick Smith), so it is easy to recharge the battery banks once we have access to 240V.
For the caravanner, the Eton Burst Turbine 2000 would find most use simply as a battery pack. However, if caught out with a flat mobile phone battery, the crank function could get you out of trouble, providing you have a strong hand and arm! It is significantly cheaper than a quality solar charger, and the crank can be used in all weather.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #540 August 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!