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Old 09-23-07, 03:34 PM   #1
Identity Crisis
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Six Volt Battery = 32 AA batteries?

I was surfing the net a little today and came across this video..

Now my electronics background was an 8 month stint selling batteries and what not at radio shack and that hasn't done much for me. For those of you who can't see the video it shows a person prying the top off of a 6V lantern battery revealing 32 AA cells inside. Considering that a 6V lantern battery costs $5 and that you can buy it at your neighborhood x-mart, five and dime or whateverhaveyou it's cheap and convenient.

Now.. are these TRULY AA batteries ? Doing the math 32 1.5v batteries in sequence wouldn't make 6 volts but I figure I'm missing another factor such as amperage or something. Is this video true or did I just get spoofed by the interwebs?
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Old 09-23-07, 03:49 PM   #2
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Okay.. I put this up and got "poster's remorse" and dug a little further.. my research up to this point just consisted of poking around bikeforums.

There's a spiriited discussion on lifehacker.net about this


So it appears that 6 volt batteries are really just a number of smaller batteries in series all cased up. However, they're not always AA and may not be alkaline. So I guess I'll just keep this post up for the benefit of anybody else that comes across this video..
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Old 09-23-07, 04:26 PM   #3
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I saw that the other day....it seems many, at least, are made of what appear to be 4 double-length D cells (which may or may not be 2 D, possibly C, cells wrapped together). http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z...etchum/6v3.jpg

and similar to this idea http://www.jmsonline.net/HUMMINBIRD-...ABLE-UNITS.htm

Many batteries are made up of smaller cells, the questions are if it is safe to open them and if the smaller cells are really equivalent to their individually labeled counterparts. Try and your own risk (your health and your electronics may be at stake)
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Old 09-23-07, 04:48 PM   #4
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Sub C is a popular battery size too. Just make sure that any battery you buy isn't labeled "Heavy Duty". This is an old alkaline battery designation, and is much less powerful than "regular" alkalines of today.

When in doubt, use a voltmeter and verify that the batteries are 1.5V.
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Old 09-24-07, 11:05 PM   #5
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I remember tearing apart a 6 v lantern battery years ago, and it had 4 round cells in it, they weren't any standard size.

The voltage generated by a cell depends on the chemistry. With the zinc-carbon stuff, you get 1.5 volts, 1.2 v with nicad, 2 volts with lead-acid, etc. Any battery putting out more is then just a combination of these in series (or perhaps series and parallel in the case you mention). Note that a car battery has 6 acid caps- 6 cells @ 2 volts to get the 12 total.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:51 PM   #6
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http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=175258

i personally have opened up over 6 different brands of lantern battery, and NONE of them had the "aa" batts inside. They ALL had 4 F sized batteries.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Identity Crisis View Post
... Doing the math 32 1.5v batteries in sequence wouldn't make 6 volts ...
In series ... no.

But if you had 8 groups of battery "packs" where each pack contained 4 batteries in series (1.5vx4=6v) and then each group was in parallel with each other ... the total volts would still be 6Volts. So if each battery was rated at 1000mAH, each pack (4 batteries) would be 6Volts @1000mAH.

Then by connecting each pack in parallel, you would add the amp rating to the total ... two groups would be 6V @ 2000mAH. With eight parallel packs, the total rating would be 8000mAH.

As batteries or packs are added in series, the voltage adds together.
As batteries or packs are added in parallel, the amp rating is added together.

So ... there is a way to get 6V out of a battery pack with 32 AA batteries.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:29 PM   #8
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I remember seeing a comment somewhere that AA size batteries were the optimum size for some reason- most bang for the ounce or something. Anyway, if they're being used in lantern batteries, it's probably because somebody had a factory set up to pump them out dirt cheap already.

I seem to remember that lantern batteries used to be a lot more common than they are now. You'd have the 6 volt with spring terminals or screw terminals, and then a 12 v battery that was just double the width. I haven't seen one of those in a good while.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:34 PM   #9
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Snopes has a thread covering this. http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=16401
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Old 09-26-07, 01:45 PM   #10
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I know that a 9V battery is comprised of a group of smaller batteries...6 AAAAs I believe. Which can be useful if you have penlights that require such batteries.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:32 PM   #11
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4/3A is a heck of a good cell for building batteries - superior mah/g, at reasonable cost - used in many halogen bike headlamps (marwi i know for sure). a little hard to find.

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2260
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Old 09-26-07, 06:41 PM   #12
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for example

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2205

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2627
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Old 09-26-07, 08:39 PM   #13
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(my shop class from HS is haunting me)

An AA "battery" is actually a "cell". It's a single package of a cathode and anode with positive & negative contacts.

A lantern or 9V "battery" really is a "battery", in that it consists of a "battery of cells".

Walk up to the counter at a store and ask, "Where are the cells?", though, and the employee won't be very helpful.
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Old 09-26-07, 10:22 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your insightful explanations on the differences between batteries loaded in parallel vs. batteries loaded in series and the candor surrounding this topic. I knew there was a logical explanation! Hopefully nobody sacrificed too many of their 6v lantern batteries trying to disprove this theory!
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