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What do you use for battery holders?

I'm just wondering what people use to hold batteries in battery-powered projects. In my first attempt I used the holder from one of those bike lights that I'd accidentally broken the mounting piece off of, but I don't generally break them very frequently. I've also seen battery holders for sale at hardware stores, but I found them a bit pricey (converted, nearly USD 3,- for a piece of plastic). So what do you use if you need something to hold batteries that you have to be able to replace?

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VIRON10 years ago
Rebent paper clips in a box that batteries fit in.
NanakiXIII (author)  VIRON10 years ago
I had a go, but I can't really get this idea to work, could you elaborate on it? How did you bend the paper clips, for example? And what kind did you use? Mine tended to just bend away when I put tension on them by putting a battery in between them, instead of being springy, which I'm assuming is what you're looking for. I'm guessing mine may be a bit too small, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to make the paper clips connect to the poles of the battery with these small ones as it is, especially with the positive pole of AA/AAA batteries, which tends to just poke through any hole they can find rather than stay on the paper clip.
VIRON NanakiXIII10 years ago
When I do it, I use needlenose pliers and often solder them to a board, but soldering isn't necessary. They can be bent into somewhat springy contacts. To make a spring, try to wrap a straightened clip around a pencil. A leaf spring can be done too. If you want to try one of those phone batteries with gold squares, you can bend the clips to have force while touching the gold squares, any old way, kind of like what is called a cat's whisker in real crystal radios, just have tension between a nail (for your wire) and the gold square on the battery. This is the only way I've used those phone batteries. If you want lots of AA's in LEGOs or something, you can make springs and a case like a professional one. If they are loose and they rattle and lose contact, stuff something in with the batteries like cotton or paper. Use alligator clips OR solder OR wire to get power from any of these examples, it will work.
westfw10 years ago
9V clip from old batteries, But in general AA sized holders are pretty cheap to buy (check eBay.)
NanakiXIII (author)  westfw10 years ago
Well, though I don't have any 9V batteries lying around, these things are pretty cheap, but how do you use them? Just tape them to some batteries? Or do they fit on them in some specific way?
NanakiXIII (author) 10 years ago
Thanks, schorhr, I think the magnet idea is pretty clever. Are all magnets conductive, though?
No, it depends what they are coated with. Strong earth magnets / NdFeB are usualy coated with gold, Ni or so, since the magnet itself is rather brittle. Best conduction would be gold or so I suppose. Depends on what currents you draw it should not really matter though. If the surface is shiny, its probably a conductive metal- Lesson from 4th grade physics ;-)
NanakiXIII (author)  schorhr10 years ago
Thanks a lot for the info, I'll see what I can cook up.
Its probably not the prettiest but the fastest solution ;-) Else you could take springs out of a click-pen and some metal strips to self-build a batterycompartment, or styrofoam with plates at each end where the battery tightly fits in (will get loose after a while though)
NanakiXIII (author)  schorhr10 years ago
I like the idea, really, just tape down the batteries and attach the magnets. I do have one worry, though, if you're using AA or AAA batteries, will the magnet stay on properly at the positive end which isn't really flat? It wouldn't be much good if the magnet was easy to knock off.
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