Introduction: 5 Simple Battery Hacks

Picture of 5 Simple Battery Hacks

Hello everyone, this is the science brony. I will show you a few innovative ways to use batteries for different things. They require very little tools and will save you money. As Pinkie Pie says: enough chit-chat! Time is candy!

Step 1: Getting Some Aaaa Batteries From 9v Battery

Picture of Getting Some Aaaa Batteries From 9v Battery

You will need a multi tool, a 9v battery, a multimeter, and some tin snips.

From this tutorial, I will show you how to get some small batteries (slightly smaller than aaa) for projects or in case you are lazy to get some small batteries at the store.

Step one) use pliers on multi tool to undo fold at the bottom of the battery. If necessary, a blade or a flat head screwdriver can help pry the metal a bit before using the pliers to open the metal casing.

Step two) use tin snips to cut the metal casing. It helps to use the knife blade or screwdriver to pry the metal casing before cutting. You may need to wear gloves here to avoid getting cut from the battery or the knife blade, they are sharp.

Step three) now, you will see a plastic wrapped battery pack. Using knife blade, cut the plastic and test batteries with multimeter. Also, the batteries will be connected in series. Just use scissors or tin snips to cut the little metal leads.

As you can see, the multimeter reads 1.42v per battery. This 9v battery was not new, but was not yet dead. You will probably get a bit more voltage in a new 9v.

These batteries are a bit smaller than a standard aaa battery, making them perfect for small projects.

Step 2: 9v Battery Clip for Projects

Picture of 9v Battery Clip for Projects

If you noticed from step one, you will probably have this little part laying around:

This can be used to hold 9v batteries in place and for easy replacement.

Suggestion: apply solder to the metal contacts at the back of the clip to attach leads

Step 3: 12v Battery Button Cell Hack

Picture of 12v Battery Button Cell Hack

12v batteries are nice: they carry 12 volts (duh) and they contain some nice little goodies inside. You will need a small flathead screwdriver, a multi tool, a multimeter, and some tin snips.

Step one) instead of using pliers at the bottom of the battery, use the blade on your multi tool, or the screwdriver, to open up the fold of metal at the side. BE CAREFUL!!! you can get cut during this process.

Step two) pry open the metal case using the pliers on your multi tool. If necessary, use tin snips to cut the metal.

Step three) test button cell batteries for polarity and voltage. I found these button cell batteries for around three dollars each at walmart, and the 12v batteries were about three dollars for two. In one 12v pack, you get 16 button cell batteries for the price of one! The fun has been doubled!

Step 4: AAAA Battery Hand Warmer (no, It Will Not Blow Up, I've Tried It)

Picture of AAAA Battery Hand Warmer (no, It Will Not Blow Up, I've Tried It)

If you are like me, you like to huddle around the fireplace with a good book, preferably with spike... oh wait, thats Twilight... uh, never mind. Anyway, in winter, it gets cold. With those aaaa batteries, you can make a simple hand warmer that will ensure your hands stay toasty and nice. DO NOT TRY THIS WITH LI ION BATTERIES!!!

You will need: some aluminum foil, two aaaa batteries, and some tape (optional).

Simply connect the two batteries in series, then wrap the aaaa batteries in tinfoil and tape if you'd like.

Will produce nice heat within a minute or so.

Step 5: DIY Winter Phone Toucher Thingy

Picture of DIY Winter Phone Toucher Thingy

Using an aaa battery, you can use the negative side to touch your phone screen while wearing gloves! Try it with a button cell from the 12v hack!


The Science Brony (author)2016-03-26

Wow Wee!! I'm a finalist in the hack your day contest?! Thank you all for making this possible!! I never could've gotten here without all of your support!!

Ethan1976 (author)2017-01-22

Thank you Johny ! I got it ! :-)

WolfVecho (author)2016-06-05

LOL a winter phone toucher thingy
that's a hell of a title for it.
I think the thingy your thinking of is called a stylus :)
great instructable though
you should check out a rechargable NiMh 9V battery
they have a few little 1.2V NiMh cells inside which may be useful for
small projects

Yang Xiao Long (author)WolfVecho2016-08-19

i think this instructable was to give people ideas, and not to list every possible application. Smart people like you found other ways this can be applied :)

AaravM (author)2016-02-28

It allows you to usevyour phone while wearing gloves

striker12300 (author)AaravM2016-03-01

Oh. Never thought of that. Thanks.

aalfaro3 (author)2016-02-29

can you make something original? not just post a bunch of stolen stuff?

how was it stolen?

striker12300 (author)2016-02-25

Ok. I give up. What is the winter phone toucher thingy actually do?

allows you to touch your screen without taking off your gloves or buying touchscreen gloves

uwezi (author)2016-02-16

I'd like to find a 9 V battery of the type you have dissected here. All the ones I have taken apart e.g. to show to my students, were built in a similar way to your 12 V battery - a stack of rectangular, flat cells.

The Science Brony (author)uwezi2016-02-17

Any Duracell or energizer battery will do

uwezi (author)The Science Brony2016-02-19

No, sorry, here in Europe at least all the 9 V batteries I have disassembled, including Duracell, were made from a stack of flat cells...

Are these possbily made in different factories and still sold under the same label?

The Science Brony (author)uwezi2016-02-21

I don't know... The best thing to do would be to order one from the USA; thats where I got mine.

Aristarco (author)2016-02-16

Any idea what part # those button cells are? I mean, Are they (AG3, LR4, etc. )-compatible? Any data on size you can share?

Eromanga (author)Aristarco2016-02-16

According to Wikipedia:

A23 batteries are constructed of 8 individual LR932 alkaline button cells enclosed in a wrapper.

The A23 battery is close in size to the N battery, which has a voltage of 1.25V to 1.5V.

Aristarco (author)Eromanga2016-02-18

Thank you!! :D

what Ero said

KrazyK4 (author)2016-02-16

i find it annoying they cheet us by putting button batteries in 12 volt cells

ac-dc (author)KrazyK42016-02-16

Why? Do you not understand that the chemistry results in 1.5V/cell so each cell needs divided by something anyway? What would you use to separate each cell that has more durability with less thickness than metal, while also leveraging the development and factory lines already making this smaller battery type?

This is how it is with all multi-cell batteries. Take even a car battery, it is just 6 x separate 2.1V cells thrown together into a plastic case with chambers, that is integrated but only because there is no market for individual 2.1V cells.

KrazyK4 (author)ac-dc2016-02-16

I do not understand you as I'm only a kid. Can you explain it so I can understand

jogrebe (author)KrazyK42016-02-16

KrzyK4, the simple answer is that they are not cheating and taking a lazy shortcut. With the level of science that we have, the only way it is possible to make larger more powerful batteries is to put a lot of little batteries together to make one big one. The other people were just trying to explain the science of why it is impossible to make a more powerful battery without using a lot of little batteries inside.

KrazyK4, even as adults most of us do not understand everything but only in a certain area that we have studies. What matters most is that you know enough to be able to use things as compared to knowing everything about how it works. A good example is that you are using a computer that is connected to the internet and I highly doubt anybody here understands how every single part in both the computer, to the internet works. That is ok, because the only thing that matters is that all of us know how to use a computer. I think this instructable on battery hacks was written for people like you and me that do not fully understand how batteries work. After all if I had known how batteries worked, I would not have had to have been taught how to cut open certain types of batteries in order to get smaller batteries.

KrazyK4 (author)jogrebe2016-02-17

I just would have liked it to be easier to understand that is all. I do know how batteries work. I have made one before but this is a different way than I am used to as only certain battery companies do this.

stuff small batteries into a bigger one in series and sell em. If ya want the individual ones, u have to pay more.

thanks dude I understand now

Jollyriffic (author)KrazyK42016-02-16

that's how chemistry works. you can not put in the chemicals and just charge it up to 12v. for typical cells you'll have 1.2 - 1.5v due to the chemistry of the batteries. Lithium will be 3.0 or 3.7 volts.
The only way to make higher voltage is to stack batteries in series (like a multiple battery flashlight). even car batteries are built in series.

KrazyK4 (author)Jollyriffic2016-02-16

I do not understand you as I'm only a kid. Can you explain it so I can understand

uwezi (author)KrazyK42016-02-16

The voltage in the battery is caused by the properties of the metals used.

If you take a piece of zinc and a piece of copper and put it into salt water or lemon juice then you can measure a voltage of about 1.5 V between the two pieces of metal. This is caused by a chemical reaction which over time will eat up the piece of zinc. Once the zinc is gone, your battery is empty.

Taking two other metals will give you a different voltage, but it will always be just a couple of volts. There is no pair of metals which could give you 12 V. Therefore you have to take batteries with lower voltages and connect them in series, stacking up plus to minus of subsequent batteries. This way the voltages will add up.

In 9 V batteries you will 6 smaller batteries with 1.5 V each, giving you 6x 1.5 V=9 V. A stack of 8 small batteries of 1.5 V each gives you 8x 1.5 V=12 V.

In a 12 V car battery there are 6 connected batteries, which give 2 V each.

nell137 (author)2016-02-09

While true, the cells contained within these batteries aren't of much use to the average consumer (when was the last time you needed a AAAA battery?).

musikaroots (author)nell1372016-02-16

I just a flashlight at Pep Boys and it requires aaaa batteries.

SoLongSidekick (author)nell1372016-02-15

Well this site isn't really for the average consumer; it's for the tinkerers and the hackers. And for us AAAA batteries are an outstanding resource. Less weight and still able to provide the same voltage as its larger cousins? Sounds great to me.

I suggest the aaaa batteries for laser tripwire. I will make an instructable showing how to do that soon

RtyQ (author)nell1372016-02-09

the surface pen uses 1 of them

nell137 (author)RtyQ2016-02-10

In my 33 years, I've never needed a AAAA battery, I guess I don't use these products. On further research, not all 9v contain these cells (be careful what you're opening), the cells are shorter than standard AAAA batteries, and the polarity is reversed (causing them to not fit/function in certain items). If you're a maker & know what you're doing, go for it. If not, use caution.

Aristarco (author)nell1372016-02-16

In my 40 years I've used them a couple times. First time was for a skinny laser pointer, back in the days. I thought I was never going to use it again when the AAAA batts died. Here in Mx it was difficult if not impossible to find those until I was tearing apart an old Duracell for the snap connector and found them. Like finding gold!! :D

just use a multimeter if you aren't sure

True, just Duracell and Energizer for sure

RockeyDA (author)nell1372016-02-16

use a small ball of foil on the ground and you got an aaa.

Scotty548 (author)nell1372016-02-14

Granted , they aren't That common , but I have 2 Streamlight penlights that use AAAAs , and most retail places that sell them want $4 to $5 for a package of (2) , so .......

SexyWood (author)Scotty5482016-02-16

haha I did not read all of the comments and seen yours after I posted pretty much the same thing! I am glad I am not the only one here that knows how awesome streamlight lights are. The greatest thing to have in the ambulance or firetruck.

mpeer1 (author)nell1372016-02-10

Actually is funny you say that nell. I have a florescent pen light that uses AAAA batteries and was inquiring where to get some just yesterday

J SquaredA (author)mpeer12016-02-14


cool projects!

The aaaa batteries can be used for little projects (I used em for little laser tripwires and mini fm transmitters).

steve.criss (author)2016-02-16

Nice job! AAAA batteries are quite useful. I use them constantly in my joule thief. Instructable here:

I have practically a lifetime supply of 9v batteries with enough power left for homemade LED flashlights. I don't throw any batteries away before they are completely dead.

newdigitalboy (author)2016-02-16

Hm. Didn't know about the button cells hiding in the 12V battery. Nice! And I appreciate the MLP references!

nonobadog (author)2016-02-16

What size are the button batteries you get from the A23 battery?

RockeyDA (author)2016-02-16

i dont see how this is hacking, its not even being a script kitty, but good post either way.

i tear every thing apart at least once i throw out so bin hear done that by 14

SexyWood (author)2016-02-16

Nell I have a streamlight led penlight that uses two of these aaaa batteries they are sometimes a real pain to find. There are uses for them, just not as many as the other a size batteries. I think that is because up until the last few years LED's was not as popular and the other technologies needed higher amounts of current. Thanks for the info. I did not realize that 9 volt "packs" had this size of cells

ar_caver (author)2016-02-16

Has nyone opened a rechargable 9 volt? I wonder if it would be a source for rechargeable aaaa?

Insonicbloom (author)2016-02-14

using just a multimeter to test the voltage won't give you an accurate indication of the usable power in the battery; you also need to use a load on it - something like a 470ohm resistor will do

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