Tech

Surprising Uses for 9-Volt Batteries

If there is such a thing, then the 9-volt is undoubtedly one of the classic batteries. They have been around for a long time, and they’ve never shown any signs of going away. First introduced to the market in the 1950s, the 9-volt battery has since then been finding all sorts of uses and powering all manner of devices, from the early transistor radios – which they were first designed for – to alarm clocks to smoke detectors and electric guitars.

And in recent years, there have been many new upgrades of the 9-volt battery which has seen its potential uses expand and ensured that the familiar little box-like object is still a common sight. This is actually the main reason the 9-volt has never really gone away – it is constantly being adapted to be compatible with new battery technologies.

At every important checkpoint along the long and storied history of battery technology, the 9-volt has been adapted to keep up. When rechargeable batteries first emerged, 9-volt versions were produced; and when lithium-ion technology was first developed in the early 1990s, lithium-ion 9-volt batteries were duly introduced. Today, 9-volt batteries remain familiar. There are now 9V USB rechargeable smart batteries, such as those produced by Utah-based company Pale Blue Earth, which offer massively increased charge capacities, reduced charge cycles, and an increased overall longevity.

So ubiquitous are 9-volt batteries that it is common enough to build up a pile of exhausted nine-volts – either single-use versions or rechargeables – that have finally met their end. But before tossing them away, you may be wondering if they have any use in this state. As it happens, there is lots you can do with old 9-volts, either those with no power left or ones which have been superseded about your household by more modern versions like the Pale Blue Earth’s batteries.

Dispose of Them Properly

First thing’s first, however – if you are going to simply dispose of your 9-volts, there’s a specific way of doing this. Battery disposal and recycling has been one of the environmental headaches and a side-effect of massively increased battery production. If you are going to dispose of you 9-volt, it is essential to check what kind of 9-volt it is – lithium-ion, lead acid, nickel-cadmium, and so on – and then follow the official directions as per your local authority. Here then follows some creative uses for 9-volt batteries.

Make a Super-Compact Flashlight

A great DIY project for your 9-volts is to make a compact pocket flashlight. All that is required to do so is to purchase a small LED light, a resistor, and a small tactile switch (available from any hardware store). By hooking all of these up to the battery terminals, you can make a surprisingly efficient flashlight that can be fitted anywhere.

Salvage the Battery Clip

If you would like to power a DIY device by battery, you can salvage the clip from a nine-volt and solder two wires to it. This can then be attached to anything you’d like to power. This is a brilliant choice for those keen on little home inventions.

Make a Mini Hand Fan

Just like the compact flashlight, a mini hand fan is a great mini-gadget which you can create from a 9-volt battery. All that’s needed is a small electric motor, and a resistor and a switch. A great advantage here is that the body of the 9-volt battery is the perfect shape for such a device.

Overall, it has been the versatility of the 9-volt that has ensured its longevity. And as these DIY projects prove, there is almost no end to that versatility.

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