I’m a big fan of Jackery Power Stations and have had the 160 Power Station for several months now. My Jackery 160 review is posted here. Using it has made its strengths and weaknesses apparent and I know just where and how to use it to great effect. I also recognized the fact that I had use for a bigger capacity power station. Enter the Jackery Licensed By Honda 290 Power Station.
The first indication that this is a high quality product is that Honda, by far, makes the best portable generators in the world. The Honda EU2000 model of gas powered generators is LEGENDARY.
I own both the EU2000 and EU2000i Companion generator and can verify that they are powerhouses and workhorses. Best of the best.
The odds that Honda would license Jackery to use its name and tarnish their reputation in the world of portable power is ZERO.
I think just having the Honda name attached means SOMETHING.
And it sure looks like the color scheme of the Jackery Honda emulates the EU2000 and their generator line colors.
I received my 290 at about 1 PM and it arrived with 33% charge. I’m pretty sure there is a law on the charge state of lithium batteries during shipment and most reviews I have read also show a charge state of roughly 1/3rd upon receipt.
At first glance and compared to the 160 the 290 is appreciably larger and a bit heavier.
Everything is contained on one side of the station and all controls are easy to understand.
The following controls are available:
- Info Button – illuminates the display
- 12v button and socket – standard cigarette lighter type socket and on/off button
- Input – Can accept AC, DC, or Solar for input. On AC charge it is approximately 38 watts of charge showing on mine.
- 5v 2.4A button and USB sockets. No USB C available.
- 110v, 200W AC power outlet. I actually see people say there should be more outlets. Just use a power strip. Not a big deal at all in my opinion.
Not sure why there isn’t a cover on the 12 volt outlet. Might have to look into some kind of cover for it. Put a cover on that thing Jackery. It’s bad for my OCD.
It took just over 5 hours to fully charge. My first test was to measure AC output power. Output voltage was 111.9 volts unlike the Jackery 160 which only puts out like 85 volts (modified sine wave) and visibly supplies more volts as wattage requirements increase. Not so with the Honda 290. .Pure sine wave. Good solid AC mains voltage from the get go.
So far so good. One difference between the 160 and Honda 290 is that there is no lantern on the Power Station. While it was kind of cool on the 160 I noticed that turning on the lamp energized the USB outlets which I thought was a bug that slipped by the electrical engineers. I’m glad it’s gone because this is a power station, not a flashlight. More things, more things to go wrong.
The published claims are that it will run a mini fridge or a 32″ television for 3.4 hours which is pretty impressive. Enough for a tailgate party or a TV display on a sales table at a convention or flea market. They also claim it will run a CPAP for 4 hours however if you read the reviews on Amazon the CPAP users claim it will work 2-3 nights without a humidifier. I don’t have a CPAP so I don’t know. I think I have read though that any draw less than 10 watts will shut the device down after 6 hours. I can’t confirm that.
To calculate how long the power station will work simple take 292 (watt hours) times 0.85 (that is known as the Power Factor) divided by the number of watts being consumed. I’ll use 45 watts in the example below. These are only estimates but they should be pretty close estimates. Your laptop brick could be a 45 watt charger and it could start out pulling 45 watts then kick down to 10 or 13 or something as it trickle charges.
(292*0.85 = 248.2)/45 = 5.5 hours
0.85 is a standard power factor in electrical calculations. Here is a little spreadsheet I made to calculate run times for known wattage items. The example shows a 45 watt load on a Honda By Jackery 290 Power Station. The run time from a full charge would be 5.51 hours.
Below is a Google Doc spreadsheet I have embedded which you can use to quickly calculate approximate run times for known wattage loads. For some reason when you change cells in Safari it throws me back to the top of the page. Works fine in Chrome browser. If it all fails just download my Excel Spreadsheet at the link below the table.
Jackery Run Time Calculator– Click link to download my spreadsheet.
Anyway this would give you a rough idea of how big a Power Station you needed.
After a full charge and an initial plugin of my MacBook into the AC outlet shows a charge output rate of about 34 watts. After a bit it bounced between 20 and 30 watts. The initial charge of the laptop was 55% and a full charge top off took about 50 minutes or so with a remaining percentage of about 91%. And I haven’t heard any fan noise. As soon as you turn on the AC outlet on the Jackery 160 the fan kicks on. Cooling efficiency must be good because the fan never kicked on during the laptop charge.
The 290 documentation says it will charge a laptop 4 + times. I’m going to say that the way I use a laptop that I would get about 7 or 8 charges out of a fully charged power station. After all over half a charge only depleted my station by 10%. It would appear that I could take the 290 on a camping weekend with no need to recharge it and have plenty of overhead to top off my phone.
Jackery also makes a cool carrying case for the Jackery 240 which is the same size as the Honda 290. Fits perfect but I wish there was a hair more space for the cables.
Jackery 240, Honda 290 Case (click pics to enlarge)
I have read a ton of reviews on the Jackery and Honda By Jackery Power Stations and while everyone discusses run time and recharge time one thing nobody ever mentions is that HAVING TWO POWER STATIONS solves a ton of usability issues. Soon as one drops dead swap it out with the freshly charged one. While I’m camping I don’t necessarily need 24/7 portable power but generally just a few hours a day. I feel like I’m the first one to point out that if portable power is a NECESSITY for you then two is better than one.
Yesterday I received a Renogy 100 watt, 12 volt panel and an 8mm to MC4 adapter cable. The pic below shows my test setup (and yes that’s a Jackery 160 and not a Honda 290 in that photograph).
This morning before I left for work I drained the Honda 290 down to about 68% and sat it outside in the dark hooked to the solar panel. No illumination was noted for the input power LED. Just for fun I shined a flashlight on the panel and the blue input LED on the 290 began to flicker but indicated zero watts being delivered.
So at approximately 10:15 AM I asked my daughter to go out and push the info button and take a pic of the screen. 99% charge indicated with 27 watts being delivered. (I have the panel pointed more towards noonday sun) so not too shabby. Especially considering it probably didn’t start delivering juice until after 7 or 7:30 sometime.
Using a less expensive solar panel with an adapter cable and no charge controller is a viable option for charging the Honda By Jackery 290. I love it even more now!
More review to come later as I spend some time with the Jackery Honda 290 Portable Power Station………………….