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Get rid of batteries on the Fisher-price swing to DC input Answered

We bought a new swing recently and has been consuming 4 C batteries every week. I am wondering if can hook it up to Wall transformer. Any ideas? I have some wall-wart at home that output 6-9v. Can I use them? I can convert the wall-warts as per the instructions here: https://www.instructables.com/id/wall-transformer-for-project-power-supply/

but do i need to change anything in the swing? and how to hook it up?

Please advice ..

Thanks

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NachoMahma (author)2009-05-16

. If it uses four batteries, it's probably a six volt system. Shouldn't take a lot of conversion. Just replace the battery holder with a jack that fits the output plug of your wall-wart. Make sure the wall-wart has a high enough current output rating (more than what you need is OK - the swing will only pull as much current as it needs).

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sulakhe (author)NachoMahma2009-05-17

Thanks for the reply. Do you think this adapter should be good enough:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049709

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NachoMahma (author)sulakhe2009-05-17

. 1.8 A should be plenty, but you need to know how much the swing pulls to be sure.

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sulakhe (author)NachoMahma2009-05-21

hi, it looks like 1800mA current output wasn't enough. The swing isn't swinging (i can only hear some noise when it tries to but then fails), but it can play music. Is there a way I can increase the output of the current adapter and how can I find out how much the swing actually needs? Thanks.

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paulo500 (author)sulakhe2010-12-02

Im sure you're not using the swing anymore, as this thread is over a year old. But for other's in the same boat as me, ill share my "ible".

I have the exact same swing as the OP, and I was able to find a Nokia wall-wart kicking around which is 5.9V @ 800mAh. The swing runs perfectly fine with everything running at full (full swing, tunes at full volume, rotating overhead objects), on this a/c adaptor when I loosely connected the + and - to the battery terminals in the swing...(end of series).
I didn't have a fully charged set of 4 "D" size batteries to test the initial voltage and current draw, but when i was running the Swing with batteries, my multimeter was showing ~0.5amps and of course the volts dropped to about 4ish. These batteries were indeed loosing their charge and the swing was starting to "slur" its tunes and the rest was slowing down.

Im not going to open up swing as the OP did, so i cut a couple pieces of round-stock wood about the same diameter as a "D" battery, and screwed a metal screw into the top (+) end. Then i attached the wall-wart (+) wire to this screw with a U-connector for easy disconnect if i want. I did the same for the (-) side of the swing and just flipped the 2nd piece of wood around to contact the (-) spring.
So now instead of batteries, i've got 2 wood "batteries" in compartment 1 and compartment 4 (Top and bottom end of series). The wire just hangs out under the battery cover, of course. Pretty clean setup.

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kelseymh (author)paulo5002010-12-02

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-AC-Powered-Batteries-for-your-DC-Pow/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Run-any-battery-powered-item-through-AC-power./
https://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-a-Baby-Swing-from-Batteries-to-AC-wall-P/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Add-an-AC-adapter-to-a-battery-powered-device/

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NachoMahma (author)sulakhe2009-05-21

. You can't really get more power out of a power supply unless you start swapping parts. Ie, not feasible. . All I can find out is that alkaline C cells are rated at ~8000 mAh. What that means as far as instantaneous current, I don't know.

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sulakhe (author)NachoMahma2009-05-21

thanks for the reply. In fact the swing uses 4 D batteries, not C as I had thought before.

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kelseymh (author)2009-05-21

There are two different Instructables that cover exactly this issue! There's mine https://www.instructables.com/id/Add_an_AC_adapter_to_a_battery_powered_device/ which is pretty generic, and then there's this one https://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-a-Baby-Swing-from-Batteries-to-AC-wall-P/ which documents exactly the project you're trying to complete.

I think if you had done a search for "baby swing AC" you would have found it.

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sulakhe (author)kelseymh2009-05-21

Thanks for your reply. I had seen your post after which I went ahead and bought a 6v adapter and tried to plug it in to the swing (I used alligator leads with boots) and connected them to the springs in the battery box) . Somehow it is not working. The music and an overhead toy work, but the swing doesn't seem to work My question is, is there anything I can do to identify the problem. Thanks for the other link, it is exactly what I am trying to do, and theoretically what I did is exactly same as what is explained in the link. But it just doesn't work. Do you think the adapter should be a regulated adapter?

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kelseymh (author)sulakhe2009-05-22

Connecting alligator clips to the battery-box springs won't get you power in. Both springs are ground (negative). The flat metal tabs contact the positive ends of the batteries, and there's an assumption that every battery slot will be filled: one tab is wired to connect to one spring, so that all the batteries end up in series. You'll need to provide such a connection yourself (and you need to know which tab/spring are meant to be "middle" vs. which are connected to wires inside the unit). Assuming that you've got things wired up properly, then the question is whether your wall-wart is rated to provide sufficient current to drive the swing motor. Both of these things probably require opening up the unit. The motor may have a label on it with specs. And you'll be able to see where things connect inside the battery box.

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sulakhe (author)kelseymh2009-05-22

Hi kelseymh, I am connecting one alligator clip to a spring and another to a plate, as shown in the image I am attaching (with circles). Ideally, the spring should be connected to the negative wire and the plate to a positive wire.

what do you mean when you say: "Connecting alligator clips to the battery-box springs won't get you power in."? You mean generally or just in case of my setup?

I am using the adapter bought from radioshak: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049709
It is a 6v 1800mA. I thought 1800mA was good enough for a swing!!

In one of the links you sent earlier wrt to swing, i saw them using a Motorola charger which as far as I know gives lesser output than 1800mA and lesser volt than 6V. Anyways, i will open the batterbox and see if connecting directly to the wires makes any difference.

Thanks

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kelseymh (author)sulakhe2009-05-22

I misunderstood what you wrote. It sounded like you connect one clip to one spring, and the other clip to a second spring; sorry for the confusion. What you wrote here, "I am connecting one alligator clip to a spring and another to a plate," is exactly what I was trying to say.

Your picture is great, and shows that you've got the kind of box where you can actually see all the interconnects. The TinyLove mobile we have didn't have that feature :-(

I agree with you that 1.8 A ought to be plenty for a swing, but maybe not. You might also try popping batteries back in and see if the swing comes back to working that way. If not, then there's something else going on (a separate switch? an internal fuse?).

If the swing does work on battery, try using an ammeter (do you have a multimeter) to see how much current is coming out of the battery box.

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