Battery Resizers - A Man's Best Friend In An Emergency
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 1:09pm
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Ever had one of those times where the lights were out (or even if they weren't) and you needed new batteries for something and went hunting for them in the house, but just didn't have that one right size?  Yeah, it happens a lot more often than most people realize.  For example, you have a D cell flashlight and nothing but AA or AAA batteries.  Or worse yet, you have C's, but no D's.

Usually you have to get in your car and head down to the store and pick up more.  A wise man always makes sure he's well stocked on all types of batteries he requires.  But, try as you might, you're always going to run short on at least one type of battery.  Usually it's the bigger ones that come up wanting more often than the little ones.  I'm not sure why that is, but it certainly happens to me often enough.

It's probably because most devices these days use either AA or AAA batteries, and less items than ever require D's or especially C's.  So what does a person do when the cupboards are bare and you need batteries?  Typically you'll hop in the car and head to the store.  But what if it's the middle of winter and the roads are blocked?  What if, heaven forbid, you're out of cash and need that battery now?  Or worse yet, a disaster has happened (tornado, earthquake, uninvited relatives, your random politician, etc.  And yes, the last two can also be classified as a disaster, depending on your individual viewpoint. ;) ) and you either can't get to the store, or the store is unable to sell you any batteries because they're either out, or closed?

The solution is simple.  Have a battery upsizer on hand.  There are several models of them out there that work perfectly, and will do the job for you without a hitch.  There's also the fact that, in a pinch, or if you're a DIY'er, you can build them yourself.  They're really not hard to make and they can be built out of wood, PVC, or any other non-conductive material.  I say non-conductive because you don't want to risk creating accidental short circuits.  Bad things typically happen when you do.  :crazy

For example, one DIY emergency battery upsizer would be to take a piece of wood, a dowel for example, and grind it down to the external measurements of a D cell battery (1.3"w*2.42"l) and bore a hole out of the center the exact width of a AA battery (it's between .53 and .57 inches depending on the model, so figure out which measurement works best for you starting with the smallest and working up).  Then all you have to do is stick your AA in there and you have a working, albeit faux D cell.

One thing to note though, the smaller batteries tend to have much, much shorter life expectancy than their real life counterparts.  For example, D's typically have 12000mah of juice, whereas an average C cell has 6000mah average power.  In turn AA and AAA have on average about 2000mah and 1000mah respectively.  Due note however that there is a WIDE range of power densities on all batteries.  For example, D cells can range from as low as 4500mah all the way up to as much as 17000mah.  Yes, that's a wide range, and while 12000 is the centerline, it's more the exception than the rule when it comes to most batteries, so pay very, very close attention to the capacity of any battery you buy.

Anyhow, battery upsizers are a much have in anybody's collection.  As I stated, they're not just for emergencies though.  There will be times that you need that particular battery now, and you can't wait, and you have plenty of smaller sizes and nothing large enough for your needs.  This is where battery resizers come into their own.  There's only one catch.  Nobody makes any that downsize a battery, or replace a 9v.  But there's even a saving grace for these two situations.

As for downsizing, this will require a bit of creative engineering.  It's an epic DIY project that is more of a case by case solution depending on what you have on hand, and what you need.  If anyone is interested, I can do a writeup on ways to create DIY 9v batteries, or downsizers for converting larger batteries, such as C and D, down to lesser sizes like AA, AAA, or even smaller.

Now, for my regular readers, yes, I know this isn't my typical blogging fare, and it's not about books, but I'm a person who likes to help people, and if I can use this little space to make someone's life a little better, then I'm a happy man. :btu:

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