Genius Tips & Tricks: 5 Everyday Uses For Batteries

The battery as we know it today has a very long history: the first electrochemical battery, known as the voltaic pile, was built by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800. Unfortunately the voltages of these early forerunners to the modern battery fluctuated dramatically and they couldn't provide a large current for a sustained period, and so the Daniell cell, invented in 1836 by British chemist John Frederic Daniell, became the first practical source of electricity. But batteries are capable of even more than that! In fact, the following 5 tips and tricks will show you that batteries can do so much more than just power electronic devices. 

1. Racing Heart

This little electromagnetic gimmick is the perfect way to surprise your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

You'll need:

  • copper wire
  • AA battery
  • neodymium magnets

Here's how:

1.1 Bend some wire until it forms a heart shape and then mold the lower ends into spirals. 

1.2 Place the minus end ( – ) of the battery on a few stacked magnets.

1.3 Place the wire heart on the positive end ( + ) of the battery and watch as it rotates on its own!

2. Alternative Charger

Left your charger and power bank at home? Have a car charger but can't start the car? No problem! All you need to charge your cell phone is a car charger and battery.

You'll need:

  • USB car charger
  • 9-Volt battery
  • key
  • tape

Here's how:

2.1 Stick the USB car charger in the positive terminal (+) and the key in the negative (–) terminal of the battery, and tape the key and charger together with cellophane tape. The key should be in contact with the metal element on the side of the car charger.

2.2 Tape the USB charger and key to the battery. Now you can plug the USB cable of your phone charger into the USB port of your makeshift phone charger and your smartphone will be up and running in no time.

3. Lighter

Never get stuck on a camping trip without a way to light a fire again. You may have used up all your matches, but chances are, you still have a battery lying around somewhere.

You'll need:

  • AA battery
  • foil gum wrapper

Here's how:

3.1 Cut the gum wrapper so that it narrows towards the middle, keeping it no more than 2 mm wide at the center.

3.2 Press the outside ends of the foil wrapper onto the battery terminals and wait until the foil ignites in the middle. Let it fall onto the campfire immediately before the foil completely burns through.

4. Battery Test

If you're not sure whether a battery is full or empty, drop it on the table from a short height, preferably with a battery that you know is still unused. The higher the battery in question bounces after it makes impact, the emptier it is. A full battery will not bounce. This test is particularly useful if you are switching out the same brand of batteries and lose track of which is the new one.

5. AAA Instead Of AA

If you're out of an AA battery, you can substitute a smaller AAA battery by filling in the space between the positive terminal of the AAA battery and the contact point of the device with folded aluminum foil. Thanks to this trick, you can just pick up AAA batteries the next time your local grocery store runs out of AA batteries or doesn't have any more in stock.

You never realize how much you need something until it happens to not be there in a crucial moment, but thanks to the amazing battery and these handy hacks, you'll always be prepared.


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