Thumb-Pop IR Battery Drainer!




Introduction: Thumb-Pop IR Battery Drainer!

About: I hate brussel sprouts... Yeah, you really expected that in a profile didn't you?

I've always wanted to build a battery drainer but I never expected it going to be in a lolly-pop container!

Also, this is IR (infrared) so you can have it on at night and it will not stop you from sleeping!

(PS: Sorry about the photos.)

Step 1: Parts

You will need:

1 1.2v IR LED
1 empty Thumb-Pop container
A piece of wire
2 Blobs of tinfoil


Something to drill holes
Soldering Iron and Solder

Step 2: Prepare the Container

Drill holes in the lid and the base of the container.

Step 3: Assemble It!

Poke one end of the wire into the tinfoil. Then thread the wire through the hole on the base. Repeat for the lid. Sorry, no photos.

Step 4: Solder It!

Solder the wire coming out of the lid onto the positive lead of the LED. Then solder the wire coming out of the base onto the negative lead of the LED.

Step 5: Test It!

Put a battery into the container positive side up. Humans can't see IR light so get a camera and check to see if it lights up. If it doesn't, bad luck. If it does, keep going.

Step 6: Case It!

Somehow nicely arrange the wires so it looks something like the photo. You're done! Now get yourself a beer and enjoy the good life. (Under 18s, OJ will do.)



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    16 Discussions

    Duh, this isn't a joule thief, it uses an IR LED (can see it), photos are terrible. What a waste!

    9 replies

    It never said anything about a joule thief and the point of it is so if you can get rechargeable batteries, they need from time to time a full discharge and recharge cycle. Also it uses an IR LED like the author said because you cant see it and it might put a bigger current drain on the battery. You should give the author credit, not nasty bad comments about it 'cos some day he might do it to you!

    It's true, this is not a joule thief circuit. I also have to question the purpose of using an IR LED...

    IR LED: I hate those battery drainers that you put beside your bed and stops you from sleeping.

    Why not put it somewhere you can't see from your bed? In a box, perhaps? How about using a visible LED and putting it on your porch like a not-solar solar marker light?

    Also, this isn't a joule thief, it's a joule waster. Joule thieves are meant to get something useful (or at least visible) out of "dead" batteries, this just drains a battery.

    This has a use - draining nimh or nicads to totally dead helps rejuvenate their charge cycle - so they don't get a memory effect - but if you don't want light from them, short circuit them with a resistor, preferably one with a heat-sink. I want to try using a magnifying glass or cheap jewellers loupe with my phone camera to prove macro photos are possible.

    A resistor would work better, discharging the battery further than a diode can. The reason is that once you drop below the forward voltage drop of the diode, current pretty much stops (there is a chart if you're interested in learning more). A resistor has no such drop off point, and can therefore drain a battery down to a few millivolts before current stops flowing. If you choose a resistor of appropriate value (say, 1k) then the power going through it will be so small that its temperature won't even rise above ambient.

    Indeed - but we want FAST results :D totally go with an 18 ohm resistor :D hot hot hot!

    I took the photos with a phone, so i'll be wondering if you can do better with a lamp behind you.

    Anyway, why I didn't use a visible LED? In Australia there ARE NO 1-1.5v visible LEDs!!! Not even off EBay or online!!! I've also decided light bulbs don't look so good.

    The only viable use I could see from this is maybe as a IR beacon. You could clip it on your clothes, and make your self visible at night to people using Night Vision. The military does something similar for friendly identification purposes..

    Some of the pictures are better than others, if you do fix the pictures, you can probably still keep them. Rather than trying to take close-up photos with a camera that doesn't want to focus that close, take farther away pictures (you'll notice those are the ones that came out nicely) and crop them in something like GIMP or even Paint.

    This isn't a joule thief, just an LED torch. Unfortunately, it's a useless LED torch, because it's invisible to human eyes. Plus, we can't actually see what you did because of the appalling quality of the images. I strongly suggest you un-publish this, remake it with a visible-light LED, take proper photos as you go, and then re-publish it with a more accurate name.