Introduction: How to Get FREE 9 Volt Batteries (legally)

Picture of How to Get FREE 9 Volt Batteries (legally)

In this simple instructable I am going to show you how to get FREE 9 volt Batteries legally. The process I am telling you about I have done only twice but have already gotten 27 free batteries! and it only takes a few minutes and is great way to save a little money and the earth at the same time!

Step 1: To the Theater

Picture of To the Theater

So here is the trick. A lot of times when people are preforming on stage they use wireless microphones that run on 9 volt batteries. They through them out because they don't want to risk having a microphone go out. Well a lot of people throw out the 9 volt batteries after every performance but most of the batteries are still perfectly good. The best place to get your batteries is probably a local community performance or a high school production. Well to get the batteries I would recommend going to the performance ( supporting the show) and then after the show is over going up the people running the sound board and ask them if they have any extra batteries that they are no longer using. Be sure to treat these people (everyone for that matter) with respect because they are helping you. Be kind, use your "please and thank yous". After you and have done this a few times you might want to ask them if you can set up a bucket for them to put the batteries in. If they agree you can make a bucket labeled "Old batteries" with a slot in the top big enough for a 9 volt battery but not any bigger because you don't want your bucket to be confused with a trash can. I have done this multiple times and they have always given me the batteries. The batteries are really still good and out of the 27 batteries the average voltage was 8.5 which is not to bad. It peaked at 9.25 for one battery (probably someone with a small part) and 7.57 for the lowest (a lead I would imagine.)
Here are a few ideas for new batteries:
Joule Thief: Since the batteries might not have all of the juice this might be a good idea.
Recycle Your Old 9 Volt Batteries: Use the battery clips for other projects.
YAN9VUSBC (Yet Another 9 Volt USB Charger)
These are just a few ideas but the use for these batteries are endless.

Please feel free to comment and/or rate me if you have any questions about the instructable or enjoyed.
Thanks for reading,
Shouts= goodhart, GRL


Zorink (author)2008-05-22

My dad does the same thing for AA batteries. The hospital he works at dumps loads of batteries that were only used for 5-10 minutes in tools during surgeries. A battery dying in a surgery is a lot more serious than one dying during a theater production so they go through batteries really fast.

joejoerowley (author)Zorink2008-05-22

Oh, wow. Thats a good tip. I bet you could get some from the pager replacement people also.Thanks

Yeah, my aunt works at a hospital and sometimes they don't even use the battery packs during surgeries, but since it's such a crucial event, they have to replace the packs. She collects these unused/slightly used AA batteries and fills huge bags full of them and gives them to people. I've probably gotten 100+ batteries from her, all in perfect working condition.

Xixfas (author)CalcProgrammer12013-08-23

my mom does that for me too!

Side-winder (author)2008-10-12

at cancer clinics you can also get free 9 volts.. they use them for the chemo machine things.

Xixfas (author)Side-winder2013-08-23

at my moms work she always gets me those but they use aa batteries they have to change them a lot or else someone might die they probably cahnge them everyday some are even brand new

bigjohn1a (author)2013-06-19

I do this myself at our church. I am the head soundman and we Change the AA's once a month and the 9 volts every 2 weeks. I make led night lights for around the house there is more than enough left in each for a joule thief. Now if only I could afford the pro membership again. I miss downloading projects

Electroinnovation (author)2009-03-19

Is it true that if you hold the opposite prongs together the batteries would heat up and eventually explode

On 2 batteries i mean

probably not explode but they would go flat very quick and Yes probably get very hot too

account3r2 (author)cornflaker2012-04-13

I burnt myself kinda badly once on three AAs...

luvit (author)Electroinnovation2009-05-05

they get hot. i do this to entertain myself at church.

altomic (author)2008-05-23

i get heaps of free AA batteries from camera/film processing shops. when people use the disposable cameras with flashes the shop usually throw them out. go in and ask them to save them. leave your name and number and say that if it is alright that you will come in and collect the cameras every 2 weeks or so. each camera has a AA that has probably been used for 3 minutes to fire up the flash. I went to 4 camera/film developing places and got 34 cameras in 1 hour. 34 AA batteries for free.

account3r2 (author)altomic2012-04-13

Too bad all the places that do that near me send the cameras in to be recycled... I think they said they get money or something like that, so... Maybe I can find a place that doesn't get money for them to be recycled.

carpespasm (author)altomic2008-06-17

I did even better than that. I asked a clerk at a pharmacy once about getting used cameras and he wound up giving me a trash bag full of over 200 cameras. I made a capacitor bank big enough to set off the glass-break sensors at my work when I'd charge and short it. and I got a whopping pile of batteries!

that had to be something to see just dont short it with part of your body that might hurt just a bit

It did make a pretty large spark, but the real power was in the bang it made. It could easily be mistaken for a gunshot indoors. Perhaps using something like that as a solid-state flashbang would be useful if you coupled it with a flash as well.

matstermind (author)carpespasm2010-03-09

done that before

tanmanknex (author)carpespasm2009-07-19

one word--- COILGUN!!!!!!!

joejoerowley (author)altomic2008-05-23

Cool! Nice Tip!!!! Thanks Joe

builderkidj (author)2011-05-27

They through (throw) them out

tfmred (author)2011-01-02

Another source is your local Volunter Fire company. They use 9 volt batterys in their Scott air packs to run the on board digital display, I think all companys change the battery every month or 2. I have been given batterys that have never been used. Which is a good thing it means no fires had to be faught and no one lost their homes. If you want to say thank you to the fire fighters for the batterys all it takes is bring them a cake or cookies when they have their meetings it sure goes along way.

dac01220 (author)2010-03-06

 Cool, but be aware that some lav. systems use 2 AA batteries so this may not always work still the concept is cool

severepb (author)2010-01-27

this has helped alot. i read this awhile ago and asked my neighbor for the ones they throw away. (he works with the seminars). i now have 80 free batteries(AA) and they are each almost fully charged.

555mst555 (author)2009-09-02

i'm in my school's ava club.....regarding the 9v we buy microphones which use AA batteries as the're cheaper and much cheaper in bulk....... once, there was performance in my school and my teacher called an outdoor vendor to help with the sound.....once the performance was done (took bout 4 days including rehearsals) i asked the guy but he said most of his mics us AA.....he gave it to WTH i just took them

abadfart (author)2009-06-17

transmitters going out on stage is bad it happened to my buddy during one of his solos

Redgerr (author)abadfart2009-07-15


abadfart (author)Redgerr2009-07-16


chr (author)2008-07-27

9V batteries can be connected in serial. You can click them together to form a chain of batteries. I did this once with a bunch of batteries from a local TV studio. The array produced 150V DC. (dangerous :p) Used it to blow up capacitors!! :D

thepaul93 (author)chr2008-08-29


dknutson (author)thepaul932009-03-08

ZIGGY_BOOGY_DO! (thepaul1993 should know what that means)

Ironfounderson (author)dknutson2009-05-26

BOOOOOOM!!!! Up next is Fooby the Kamikaze Watermelon, right?

mattyts (author)chr2009-03-12

ive done that before when my friend joe would trade me electrical stuff id blow it up in mi backgarden

puffyfluff (author)chr2008-08-15

I got a 2" arc from doing that once!

fortneja (author)2008-05-19

Like Firebert, I was also the "sound technician" for all the school plays. By the end of a show, I usually collected around 45+ 9V batteries, all perfectly good with lots of life left. I always connected them together into a giant megabattery with some serious shocking potential. FUN THING TO DO: Our school theater always had everyone in the cast and crew holds hands in the greenroom before a show. It made a huge circle of people. Take your megabattery and grab one end, and have the person next to you grab the other. You'll shock everyone and cause mass hysteria and general mayhem as everyone tries to figure out what the heck just happened to them. It's really funny, but make sure it's not too big of a shock, and that people with pacemakers, etc. aren't in the circle.

cvxdes (author)fortneja2008-05-21

That shouldn't work.. not nearly enough power in 9v batteries to shock like that.

Wyle_E (author)cvxdes2008-05-21

He mentioned connecting about 45 9V batteries. In series, hat's as much as 405 volts. The internal resistance of the batteries would limit the current, but I'm sure you could get 60 mA, which is enough to be dangerous. This stunt was first done in the eighteenth century with a charged leyden jar, which was actually safer.

Aud1073cH (author)Wyle_E2008-05-22

A large, well made Leyden jar can still have the potential for a lethal shock. (pun intended)

dknutson (author)Aud1073cH2009-03-08

HAHAHA! I get it! yea... the ben franklin thing... *sigh*....

carpespasm (author)cvxdes2008-06-17

remember, you can hook the positive lead of one 9v battery to the negative lead of another.

fortneja (author)cvxdes2008-05-21

It works, trust me. I've done it before. Wyle_E has it right.

joejoerowley (author)fortneja2008-05-20

Very Cool! I have been doing a lot more sound for the last play I was in.

frontier (author)2008-07-16

i dont understand? you talk about recharging normal non-rechargeable 9 volt batteries? dont batteries tend to explode if u do that? :P

Derin (author)frontier2008-10-04

no,he says get the used one from concerts,he says they throw the battery out when it has been used once so they dont risk equipment failure

trevman (author)2008-07-06
i havent tried this but if it works you maybe able to use it along with your 'ible

joejoerowley (author)trevman2008-07-06

Yeah you can do that with 9 volts. That is copy of a kipkay video btw. I would be pissed if I was kipkay.

Not all 9v batteries contain 6 AAAA batteries in series. Rayovac 9v's (like the ones pictured) contain 6 stacked rectangular cells instead. I've used Rayovacs for their cases to house electronics in, and the insides are not 6 AAAA's like pictured. You can also recharge them if they are a bit low, just run some current through them backwards and it will charge them, don't do it too long or they'll "explode" or leak though.

pappyld04 (author)2008-05-22

That's using the old noodle bud!

joejoerowley (author)pappyld042008-07-03

Very true, very true.

jacksteal4 (author)2008-05-22

wow great Instructable

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Bio: My name is Joe. I don't use this site that much anymore because I am lame but you will find some my instructables from ... More »
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