Instructables
Picture of The Penny Battery
This is a derivation of brenn10's battery based on a comment by westfw, mainly because I wanted to see if it would work.

Either watch a lame video, of continue reading.

 
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Step 1: Wacha wacha gonna need?

sandpaper
post 1982 pennies
wire & solder
soldering iron
cardboard
lemon juice
led

Step 2: Prep the pennies

Picture of prep the pennies
Sand one face off each penny to expose the zinc core. Using 220 grit and holding in my fingers, it took about 45 secs of sanding to do each penny.

Alternately I tried both belt sander and disk sander, excellent ways to burn your fingers, but not appreciably faster.


Step 3: The electrolyte

Picture of The electrolyte
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Cut up some cardboard from the back of a notebook and soak it in lemon juice, then blot dry.


Step 4: Assemble

Picture of Assemble
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pick out two pennies and solder leads to one face on each of them, one with the lead on the copper face, the other with it on the zinc face.

Now start stacking coins and cardboard, with all the coins copper side up, stack them with a peice of soaked cardboard between, secure with a rubber band and attach the leads to a low current electrical device, the copper side is the positive. And Tool said "Let there be light".
shadow47423 years ago
so in terms of power, is it a AA, AAA, D, or what?
Electrically, the only difference between those 3 is how long they last.
arpruss2 years ago
I am not a lawyer, but here's what I've found. First, there is a federal law banning modifications to currency for fraudulent purposes. Making batteries isn't fraud. Second, the US Mint in 2007 (after an earlier interim rule) has put in place a specific rule against exporting, melting or otherwise "treating" pennies and nickels, as a response to the rising price of metals. This rule, however, contains an explicit exception: "The prohibition contained in § 82.1 against the treatment of 5-cent coins and one-cent coins shall not apply to the treatment of these coins for educational, amusement, novelty, jewelry, and similar purposes as long as the volumes treated and the nature of the treatment makes it clear that such treatment is not intended as a means by which to profit solely from the value of the metal content of the coins." The full text of the rule is here.
twighahn3 years ago
how many pennies?
Tool Using Animal (author)  twighahn3 years ago
As many as you like, the more, the higher the voltage
does that mean more power?
qz90906 years ago
For those of you who do not know, defacing US currency is against the law.
I believe it is only illegal if the defacement increases the value of the currency.
You're forgetting, the modern penny with the cost of copper and nickle as it is, is more than the face value of a penny itself. 1 penny= 1.4 cents in material and .02 cents in labor.

So by sanding it down, and then using them as a battery, he's already increased their value seven fold :) Federal Reserve is gonna hunt him down and murder him in his bed for this one...
lol
or decreases it
Tool Using Animal (author)  qz90906 years ago
Everything is illegal, if the gov't has nothing better than prosecute me over 11 cents, well, I'll pay the hundred dollar fine, after they spend thousands convicting me. Also, since I only removed one face of the coin you could argue that is is still identifiable and there for does not fall under the defacement statute.
And further looking shows that "fraud" must be involved, since I'm not passing off this currency as any other currency the bar is not met.
Any US currency, regardless of its composition (paper or metal), is the property of the US Government i.e. you DO NOT OWN IT. Just because you are not spending it does not mean you own it. Defacing that currency is against the law. Sanding down a coin is considered "defacing", therefore it is illegal. This law is the same in many countries, i.e. not just in the US.
Tool Using Animal (author)  qz90905 years ago
You are still wrong. Defacing money with the INTENT to render it unsuitable for circulation is illegal, however, my intent was to make a battery.
(removed by author or community request)
qz9090 qz90905 years ago
This reference from the Cornell Law School states very clearly that mutilation of coins is punishable by fine or imprisonment.

http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=defaces&url=/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000331----000-.html
Tool Using Animal (author)  qz90905 years ago
Yes, but the key word is "fraudulently", there must be an intent to commit fraud for it to be a crime.
Haha, intent! And they says I was crazy wearing this foil on my head to repel them gov'ment telepathy rays.
"however, my intent was to make a battery."
Fifteen miles from an army base, sleeping on top of a strangers roof, my friend wearing a hat with a Communist star and all I could say was: "Honest officer, we just picked a random place to go!"
I love a good excuse!

Wait I thought that the U.S. people were the ones who run the gov. so basically it is our money. So they wouldn't exist without the people. It's in the Constitution that the gov. is ran by the people. Still people don't really care.

It's actualy the property of the federal reserve, and not the federal government. The F.R. is an independent corporation that has been given legal lease to print and stamp bills and coins. They are allowd to do so as a contractural arrangement with the United States government. As long as they have some asset to back up what they print (which they no longer do) then by law, they are allowed to print up all the bils they want. Coupons are also considered money. Put out by the company that makes a product. The customer exchanges this coupon for a certain amounts of face value off the purchased product, then the company reimburses the store that accepted the coupon with promisary notes printed by the federal reserve (greenbacks), who in turn are supposed to reimburse said notes for gold or silver (no longer done since we've been off the gold standard for several decades and have been trapped by the notion that dollar bills are worth something) Sooooo.... lemon juice, huh?
Sure but the thousands they spend convicting you is your tax money. Your 11 cent battery just cost... lets see 11 cents+$100 fine+thousands of your tax money= a whole lot of $$$$$ I guess by now your trying to figure out the point behind it and here it is. Give it to me!!
Tool Using Animal (author)  Hawaii000005 years ago
Your cunning plan overlooks one small detail, I'm an unemployed student, therefore, I pay no taxes and have no money. ;-)
Indeed, I smash pennyswhenever need to, I don't care if the govermentdosen't like it, IF they don't like it they can gulp it down!! I have powered models of citys in the future with JUST pennys And also as a child you can clam that you don't know law(and it will not be a lie) Or els theyed let children run rules over america.
Of course you don't, because you would have just sanded down the last eleven cents you had ;p
Congratulations!!
oh no, let all run for the hills. NOBODY CARES!
Please don't start...
awkrin qz90905 years ago
it's true.. sorta. don't u have money IN your house that u never spent on anything? it the same thing. so every person in usa should pay each thousand of dollars, which would bring all the money to the government. yeah that would probably save usa from it's huge financial problems.. as for the battery itself, cool! oh and using a powerful cleaner(grease remover) cleans most of the dirt, so u only have to polish then to remove a little tiny bit that's left...
TO ALL THOSE COMPLAINING ABOUT DEFACING THE MONEY: the law on this is that money that has been defaced in a way where it is no longer recognizable may not be put through circulation. HERE IS THE LAW ITSELF: Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened and places such back through circulation— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Ok, nobody, not even the government can prosecute you or sue or whatever, unless it comes to a value over $20.00. Period. It's in the Bill of rights.
so could ya please stop D:
pmartinez3 years ago
Dude awesome job. Thank you, sorry to see your instructable became an opinion blog for something else.
Tool Using Animal (author)  pmartinez3 years ago
Thanks man, I appreciate it. I seem to collect them, for a laugh go check out the "Obama is gunna take all yer guns" comments in my Pellet gun instructable.
churchman3 years ago
See, sometimes you just look for obvious laws and you'll find a way to remark some thing that shouldn't be done!
churchman3 years ago
Well also something that you didn't know is that A child under a sertan age can only use A 1.05 volts! so it is outlawing!
knoxarama5 years ago
how long do you get out of these?
yeah i am wondering that as well, how long do you think it might run a LED?
mjcole824 years ago
I was wondering if it is possible to recharge one of these batteries?
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