My Joule Thief

Introduction: My Joule Thief

A Joule thief: (1) is a device that will suck and all of the juice from your "dead" batteries (2) To make it possible for an LED with a voltage requirement of higher than 1.5 volts to run off of a single 1.5 volt battery! For example, run a white LED from a single AA battery! or im my case run 2, 4volt Leds off a battery measuring 1.2 volts on a voltmeter!!!!
I made using 1ups instructable. I just added a switch and put the project in an old Chocolate tin (Altoids tin).

if your wondering what the coil is/ what it dose. Its a hand wound Toroid. I got 15 Toroid Beads out of my old dead x box.
HOW IT WORKS
This circuit works by switching current back and forth 40hrtz (40,000 time per second) the Coil builds up a charge from the >1.5volt battery once it build to 4-8 volts it switches the power to the Leds, they light up and then the current is switched back to the Coil and the Cycle repeats faster than you eye can see.
great use: writing with light

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    27 Discussions

    0
    colin55
    colin55

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Here's a Joule Thief with 10 LEDs on a 9v battery:

    10LEDsOn9v.gif

    nice, just t note, I've read the switching speed is closer to 40KHz then 40Hz

    0
    waterlubber
    waterlubber

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    40 Hz you could HEAR!!! It would sound like a fat guy humming...

    0
    GorillazMiko
    GorillazMiko

    12 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome job! I still have no idea why they're called Joule Thiefs, but awesome job. All of 1ups Instructables rule! And this one is cool too. Where did you get the circle thing? I forgot what it was called.

    0
    i make shooting things
    i make shooting things

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    its a hand wound toroid. i took apart my old (already dead) xbox and found 15 Toroid Beads. you just wrap 2 wires around the bead 8-20 times. and its call a Joule thief cause a Joule is a measurement of energy. so your trying to suck all the juice out of the battery. Basically why throw a battery away when you can put in in a Diy flash light. (more info now in the description)

    0
    Udon
    Udon

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Why a blue and a white LED? Any special reason? What would the difference be between an 8 turn toroid vs. a 20 turn toroid? Would it have a capacit(atoring?)(ending?)(orizing?) effect? So would more windings smooth out the pulse like a cap? My understanding of the way the oscillating works is...50%. (crud. 15 toroid cores - that's more than I've gathered in the last 2 years...boohoo)

    0
    VIRON
    VIRON

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    They are really called simple Hartley Oscillators. It's a pun of "jewel thief" and Joule units.

    0
    junits15
    junits15

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    if i were to put alot of dead betteries on this could i use it to power something else?

    0
    scratchr
    scratchr

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    NO! It could fry complex circuits,and would be useless because it pulses the electricity.

    0
    merseyless
    merseyless

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    BTW a joule is how much energy is needed to push a object with a resistance of 1 newton (100grams) 1 metre.

    0
    waterlubber
    waterlubber

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Its a pun off of JEWEL THIEF. It "steals" joules (measurement of power) from dead batteries.

    0
    DonQuijote
    DonQuijote

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    joule - that-s the measuring unit for any kind of energy, thermal, electrical or otherwise. a joule thief is a THIEF that steals the last bits of energy from nearly-dead batteries, that have a very low voltage, and cannot power devices which require a voltage above a certain treshold value, like led's do.

    0
    pk2712
    pk2712

    9 years ago on Introduction

    The self inductance of a coil is directly proportional to the square of the number of turns on the coil N .The inductive reactance of a coil is equal to XL= 2(pi)f(L) . We then have the current in the coil is equal to : I = v/(XL) = v/(2(pi)f(L)). I am not sure about how the frequency of the circuit will vary with N ; but , I will say that increasing the number of turns will eventually limit the output current because the inductive reactance wil become so large . I am making the assumption that the frequency stays large as we increase N .

    0
    elias.alberto
    elias.alberto

    11 years ago on Introduction

     This joule thief thing look much like the circuitry used on camera flash bulbs. Using more wire turns and a capacitor instead of a battery may enable you to light a flash bulb. But for flash I think it would be better if you use more batteries in series (3 or 4.5v) and non-dead batteries.