Instructables
Picture of Salt Water Powered Paper Lights
Here are two design variations on a traditional voltaic cell. Both designs are solder less and easy to construct from common household items. The flower and lamp are basically giant paper batteries with the wetted paper acting as a salt bridge between the wires. 
 
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Step 1: The Frame

Picture of The Frame
I used the cardboard from a box of soda as the base of the lamp and construction paper for the shade. After making 6 pairs of fairly evenly spaced holes in the base I rolled the paper and marked where the holes lined up- in this example they were an inch apart. It's important that the wetted paper containing the wires doesn't touch it's neighbor or the current won't know where to flow. Cut v-shaped pieces out near the bottom where the shade connects to the base to prevent that from happening.

Step 2: The Wiring

Picture of The Wiring
Saltwater LED Flower- 1.jpg
Poke rows of 8 holes in each segment and cut 6 pieces each of aluminum and copper wire, about 4 inches long. Thread the wire through the holes, making sure to alternate the type of wire. In this example I used 18 gauge copper and aluminum wire, but you could use zinc instead of aluminum.  

Step 3: Attaching the Base

Picture of Attaching the Base
Saltwater LED Flower- 2.jpg
Here is a shot of how the threading looks after you attach it to the base. Bend the wires out slightly to keep them from falling through the holes while you work on connecting it.

Step 4: Connecting the Wires

Picture of Connecting the Wires
Saltwater LED Flower- 4.jpg
Here's a closeup of how I've twisted the wires together. Because there isn't solder involved it's important to make sure there is a strong connection between the wires- three twists of the wire worked well for me, and allowed me the turn them underneath themselves to form feet for the lamp. Make sure the copper wire of one segment is connected to the aluminum wire of the neighboring segment and so on until you are left with one copper wire and one aluminum wire. Identify the polarity of your LED, fit the leads through the middle of the base and twist the positive lead around the copper wire and the negative lead around the aluminum wire at least 2 or 3 times.
-max-3 years ago
to make them glow brighter, replace the 5mm led with a super flux led. or a power led and instead of salt, SULPHURIC ACID OR HYDROCHLORIC ACID
waterlubber -max-11 months ago
XD Just vomit on it. Stomach acid works too! (It's hydrochloric I think)
Now I think of vomit detectors...:P
beatmakers2 years ago
Brilliant!
madaeon3 years ago
May I note that you should have not read the Share Alike policy that is used here.
When people recreate, remix an instructable, or any other work, based on the work of other people, you should credit the originale Author.
And neither here or in any other website where you mentioned your work, you say that it is inspired my my instructable published more than one year ago.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-micro-Lemon-Battery-reusable-1-hour-of-led-l/

A credit would have been appreciated.
Marin Davide
(Madaeon)
tsagert madaeon3 years ago
Credit is earned, not demanded. Bear with me on these;

1. She doesnt picture a lemon, nor use lemon juice in this Instructable.
2. She uses voltage generated by using two dissimilar metals for a battery, not a lemon nor its juice, as you use as your final power source.
3. You are not the first person on Instructables, nor on the planet to use a lemon as a component in a voltage device because your instructable was posted a year ago, nor is she the first to use saltwater.
4. You could have used the "Private Message" feature to contact her regarding your concerns; but it appears you want to publicly accuse her.
5. Public accusations like your claim do nothing but let the readers think she may be guilty of what you accuse her of. I dont think she is, and to me you are being mean.
6. Being mean breaks the "be nice" policy.

I doubt she was the one posting this on hackaday. The submitter probably hasnt seen yours at all.

While you might have a claim about the plant/flower-like design, that design exists in nature...so giving you the benefit of the doubt, if she'd seen your instructable, she should mention it. If she hasnt, then I dont think she must.
Regardless, links between all similar projects would be nice for people wanting to build a device like this. If I were her, or you, I'd link to the other.

I compare this to a basketball player patenting the "lay-up", then claiming other players need to credit him if they had used part of his technique by jumping.

"Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery", or something along those lines. You should feel good about similar information you share to be presented to a larger audience; isnt that one of the benefits of Instructables?

With that said, madaeon, your project mentions many details of your trial and error, and is quite excellent.
madaeon tsagert3 years ago
1-2-3 Reading this made me think at first that you didn't get my point and/or didn't have a look at my instructable. Making a battery using electrolyte reactions, using a flower structure, where the petals are the support of the reaction, part of the lamp design, and not soldering but making the electrodes going trough the petals, Yes, I am sorry to disappoint you but I was, actually, the first on instructables to use this design on an homemade electrolyte battery, and I like to challenge you to find another "On the Planet" with this design, older than mine, in the story of homemade batteries, with a design even similar to mine. You will find nothing but stacks of pennies and lemons with sticks on them.

This one is clearly inspired by mine, and at first I loved it! Someone is actually teaching using this! It's nice that i published it.. hey wait, she doesn't mention mine, or at least where she got it.. Then, hey, on this site they talk about her and how clever she was...

Am I wrong when I think that one line, to say "I took idea from this, stop." would have been appreciated? Should I write to ask this? I don't like when the system works like, I present this as my idea, hope no one notice, if so, well I will say sorry and post a line.

Sharing your ideas here for free, you think at least you will get a line when someone uses your idea.

But maybe after all I am too strict, she's just a teacher and I am pleased to know that these children have had a fun lesson ;)

So this will be also my last post on this topic.
DIY-Guy madaeon3 years ago
Thank you for letting this thread die. You've done the right thing and we appreciate it a lot.

Looking forward to more instructables from you Mad-Aeon. :)
I agree
Hi... could you please provide a link to Instructables' "share-alike" policy? I found an Instructable I'd like to take to a higher level, but want to give well-earned credit to the original Instructable Author. Thanks in advance!
Sure ;) Here you are:

Simple version:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/

Extended:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/legalcode
Thanks so much!
emdaniels (author)  madaeon3 years ago
Hi Marin- Thank you for posting that instructable! It's a clever set of experiments. A few other members have also posted really awesome voltaic experiments powering LEDs:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Salt-powered-LED-flower/
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-tiny-batteries-to-power-LED-lights/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Penny-and-Nickel-Battery/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Miller-Penny-battery/
http://www.instructables.com/id/6-Cent-LED-Throwie/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Salt-Water-and-Aluminum-Foil-Night-Light/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-and-Easy-Battery-in-5-Minutes/

Looking at the different members approach on voltaic cells helped me understand it more thoroughly and attempt my own. That's why having sites like instructables is so important for innovation and discovery, so we don't have to recreate the wheel each time we try to do something and we can learn from each other's work without wasting time or materials.

Absolutely brilliant. I am a great fan of the KISS principle and this applies on all fronts. Thanks very much for sharing this with us.
emdaniels (author)  WiredWebbo1013 years ago
Thanks WiredWebbo101! :)
jim_20003 years ago
I love this project. I'm always looking for simple, safe, cheap electronics projects to introduce kids to the world of circuit design.
emdaniels (author)  jim_20003 years ago
Thank you jim_2000!
flyingpuppy3 years ago
Great home-schooling project! Will favorite this one.
emdaniels (author)  flyingpuppy3 years ago
Thanks flyingpuppy!
tsagert3 years ago
Nickle and Zinc would be the two best/cheapest combinations for differential metals with 0.36 megajoules per kilogram. It should be about 1.5 volts, enough to make a 2v LED light up pretty good. I'd purchased quite a bit in wire form at an online jewelry craft supplier (cheap, but I had to buy a lot of it). Grats, by the way; your project was featured on Hackaday this morning.
emdaniels (author)  tsagert3 years ago
Thanks! I had trouble verifying the metals used in craft store jewelry wire so I just went with what I knew would work in the hardware store. Could probably go in with a multimeter if you don't mind curious looks.. :)
Johenix3 years ago
Have you tried this with aluminum foil (even pop and beer cans) and copper foil or window screening using a cloth or fiberglass cloth (Bondo Auto repair kit) seperator and add a bit of glycerine to the salt water mix (to adsorb moisture from the air)?

The craft felt may be too thick for this to work.
emdaniels (author)  Johenix3 years ago
That sounds like it would work, though if you are dealing with copper or aluminum foil tape with adhesive backing it wouldn't stay on the paper after being exposed to the salt water. Most likely the woven foil would give a greater initial charge as there is more surface area but wouldn't last as long as the wire.
depotdevoid3 years ago
How awesome! Could you do this with fabric instead of paper?
emdaniels (author)  depotdevoid3 years ago
I tried with craft felt but it didn't work very well- definitely worth exploring!