Certain electrical devices can be difficult to power with commercial batteries, especially if they require 12 volts. It's not advisable to make a 12-volt battery from scratch, as the chemicals required are reactive and dangerous.
Although car batteries generally deliver 12 volts, they're not practical for home use; they are very heavy and, if not handled correctly, can leak acid or even explode. However, by connecting eight 1.5-volt batteries in series you can safely create a 12-volt battery, while maintaining the same capacity as one battery.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1.5V batteries, 8
- Marking pen
- Electrical insulating tape
- Thin electrical wire (AWG 18)
- Wire strippers
- Small knife
Gather eight relatively small batteries, such as AA batteries, to make your homemade 12V battery. Use a marking pen to label the batteries 1 through 8.
Place the batteries together on a flat, stable surface, with the positive terminals facing upward. Reverse four of the batteries, so that you have four positive terminals and four negative terminals facing upward.
Create a battery pack by binding the eight batteries together firmly with electrical insulating tape. Take care not to obscure the number you printed on each battery.
Lay the battery pack on its side, so that the positive terminals of batteries 1, 3, 5 and 7 point to your right, and the positive terminals of batteries 2, 4, 6 and 8 point to your left.
Cut nine pieces of thin electrical wire (AWG 18 or similar), using a small knife or wire strippers. Two pieces of wire need to be long enough to reach the electrical device you intend to power; the other seven pieces should be long enough to reach each battery in the battery pack.
Strip a quarter-inch of plastic insulation from both ends of each piece of wire, using wire strippers or a small knife. You will need to do this 18 times in total. Twist the exposed wires at each end of each wire, so there are no loose strands.
Attach one piece of long wire to the positive terminal of battery 1 (to your right). Use a strip of electrical insulating tape to hold it in place. This wire will connect to your electrical device.
Attach the second long wire to the negative terminal of battery 8 (to your right). This wire will connect to your electrical device.
Use a short piece of wire to connect the negative terminal of battery 2 to the positive terminal of battery 3. Repeat this process to connect the negative and positive terminals of batteries 4 and 5, and batteries 6 and 7. Note that all these terminals are to your right as you look at the battery pack.
Use a short piece of wire to connect the negative terminal of battery 1 (to your left) to the positive terminal of battery 2. Repeat this process to connect the negative and positive terminals of batteries 3 and 4, batteries 5 and 6, and batteries 7 and 8. Note that all these terminals are to your left as you look at the battery pack.
Connect the long wire attached to the positive terminal of battery 1 to the positive terminal of your electrical device. Next, connect the long wire attached to the negative terminal of battery 8 to the negative terminal of your electrical device. At this point, you have created a homemade 12V battery.
Tips and warnings
- Batteries connected in series must always have the same chemistry type and capacity. For example, don't mix NiMH batteries with alkaline batteries.
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