AA to D Cell Adapter

Introduction: AA to D Cell Adapter

About: i am a photolab technician and an incurable packrat. i have made swords ,chainmail, crossbows.cameras,bike trailers,kayaks,guitars{slide and electric},knives,various film winders and vacum easels for the ph...

How Too use AA NiMH Batteries in place of D cells

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Step 1: Never Be Stuck for Flashlight Batteries Again

Dont you just hate it when  you are out of batteries for your favorite D cell camping flashlight ?
oh you use an LED flashlight?20hr battery life? ok never mind you can leave then.
allright the rest of you listen up.
This instructable is for the 17 of us who still like our big flashlights.
I realize that alkaline D cells aren`t that expensive to purchase but they are sort of wasteful as you cant reliably recharge them.
Too bad you cant get them in Nickel Metal Hydride type... or can you?

Step 2: Gather Up the Bits

you are going to need
some plastic pipe the same outside diameter as a d cell battery
some plastic tubing that a AA battery can fit in
or you can substitute bamboo if you have it{plastic is more reliable source}
a short nut and bolt set between 1/2 in and 3/4 in long
and the end cap off a dead D Cell

Step 3: Assemble and Cut

Take your big tubing and close the end off with the endcap from a dead D cell .
if you take apart an alkaline battery to do this be very carefull.
I used the end cap from an old NiCd D cell rechargeable.
{i was surprised when i took it apart to find that it was just a sub c cell inside.
kind of explains why the charge life was so lousy on this in the first place.}
You can glue the cap in place with hot glue  or epoxy but i just used tape.

Next you take your smaller tubing and find a way to put a metal spacer in one end
to take up the extra space left over when you put 2 AAs in it.
 D cells are longer than AAs so to make them fit you need an adapter.
i used the casing from another dead battery to do this but i got lucky on the sizes
and contents of the junk bin.
you can use an old nut and bolt wrapped with  electricians tape to fit in the end of the tube.
slide the smaller tube into the larger one until the nut touches the plate on the end.
the cut the whole thing off to match the size of 2 D cells{or 3 if you want to make one that big}.

Step 4: Final Sizing and Trial

Once you have cut off the tubes add spacers to center up the pipes.
(wads of paper or drops of hot glue should hold it well)
Igot lucky again here as the tubing seems to fit reasonably well.
Load it in you flashlight pop in some AAs screw on the endcap and see what you got
As you can see i got a modest amount of light from the old n mouldy batteries i had lying around{they came out of disposable cameras}
it works better with fresh alkalines  or NiMh batteries.

Now as to why you would want to make this .... say the power goes out, you dig out your kitchen drawer flashlight but the cells are dead.
What do you do?
pop down to walmart and buy some D cells?
maybe the powers out there too.
or the roads are slippery.
maybe just maybe you have a digital camera that takes AA  . whoohoo dig this ugly bugger out from behind the spraypaint  pop it in you flashlight and your ready.
of course i havent used it much cause walmart had a special on Dcells and  1 bough a 12 pack but they wont last forever.

cya later folks i hope this is usefull

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    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    But I want to use D cells instead of AA cells so I don't have to change batteries as often...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    and so you should ,but what if all you have is AA?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    My digital camera and mp3 player take small, short life batteries and I would love it if they had bigger, longer lasting batteries.

    Alas, the first thing marketers shrink is the battery.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well then maybe you should look at my last instructable.
    i had a little dead coby mp3 player that i resurrected with AA bateries
    worked really well too.