Intro: Convert Your Laser Pointer to Use AAA Batteries
Laser Pointers are great entertainment for cats, but those pesky LR44 batteries don't last long. After my cats revolted because I forgot to buy batteries, I decided there had to be a better way! A bit of time tinkering, and I came up with this fairly easy way to use AAA (triple A) batteries instead of the LR44s. This probably only works for pointers that use the LR44.
Parts and pieces. (Bits and bobs)
A laser pointer that used LR44 batteries.
3 AAA batteries.
at least 4 1/2 inches of 1/2 CPVC pipe
6 inches of 14 gauge wire
Needle nose pliers
First, cut a length of 1/2 inch CPVC pipe a bit over 4 1/2 inches long. 4 and 5/8 worked for me, but I don't think it's all that critical. It is important that the pipe is CPVC. PVC will not work! The inside diameter must be such that the batteries and wire fit snug.
Then bend an "S" on the end of the 6 inches of 14 gauge wire. Once again, 14 gauge was critical, as 12 would not fit, and 16 was too loose. I am remodeling my house, so I used a piece of ground wire. Magnet wire would work well, but don't forget to sand off the insulation where it touches the battery terminal, and where it touches the inside of the case of the pointer.
Then, put a battery with the bump end (+) touching the "S" of the wire, and slide this into the pipe.
Put the other two batteries in the pipe from the opposite side. Make sure the batteries are all facing the same direction!
With the "S" flush with the end of the pipe, there should be 1 (one) inch of the Negative side of the battery protruding, and about 1/2 (half) inch of wire.
Remove the battery cap from the pointer, dump out the batteries.
Then press the negative end of the AAA assembly into the pointer.
The wire will go INSIDE the pointer.
Make sure the "S" bend of the wire is on the terminal, not beside like the photo shows.
Replace the cap if you so desire. The "S" can be bent so it helps keep the cap on if the cap is too loose in the pipe.
I had to stand the completed assembly upright on my desk, and push everything together tightly to get all the batteries and wire to make contact.
Step 5: Thoughts
When I built this, I thought about taping it all together instead of using the CPVC. I figured I had better include that thought in case it isn't easy to obtain a short length of CPVC. I don't think too many places sell CPVC by the inch.... I do suppose other pipe or tubing of some sort will work as long as the inner diameter is correct.
I get tired of holding down the power button, so I taped the button down, and I made a wire with a longer "S" bend. A turn of the wire was all it took to turn the unit on and off. However, this quickly wore through the side of the batteries, and they shorted out, getting REALLY hot really fast!
Why not paint the pipe to match the pointer?
I don't know how long the AAA batteries last. It's been a month, and the dot is still really bright.