Failed battery hack- analysis?

cenobyte at cenobyte at
Wed Oct 12 13:27:09 EDT 2011

 I also have some 3.6V cell phone batteries that I attached the wires to 
 and that indicated they were charging. Would it be OK to use these, or 
 not? Also, maybe I can make an external adapter for the thicker 
 batteries using something like an Altoids tin? Maybe with the device I 
 could charge batteries externally too.

 On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 01:03:31 -0500,  wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 13:55:39 -0500,  wrote:
>> On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 20:27:16 +0200, EdorFaus wrote:
>>> On 10/11/2011 07:46 AM, cenobyte at wrote:
>>>>>> Does it matter that I touched both color wires of each one to
>>>>>> the terminals?
>>>> This may be my problem. When I cut one strand of wire, there are 
>>>> already
>>>> 2 types of wire, copper and red/green. Maybe I should use THOSE 2
>>>> instead of 2 separate strands of 2?
>>> Let me see if I understand you correctly: you have two lengths of
>>> headphone wire, both of them with two wires in it (one 
>>> not-insulated
>>> plain copper, and one insulated (with a color)), and you have
>>> connected both wires of one length to + on the battery and + on the
>>> Ben, and both wires of the other length to - on the battery and - 
>>> on
>>> the Ben? And neither length is connected to the other?
>>> If so, this should not be a problem in itself, as long as there is 
>>> an
>>> electrical connection - but you should only really need one wire 
>>> for
>>> each of + and -, so you could instead use just one length and e.g.
>>> connect the uninsulated wire to - on both, and the insulated one
>>> (after stripping some of its insulation) to + on both.
>>> Or if you prefer to use two lengths, you could connect just one 
>>> wire
>>> from each (e.g. the uninsulated copper wire).
>>> In either case you need to be careful so that + and - don't touch
>>> each other anywhere - there must be some isolation between the two.
>>> One thing you can try is, after connecting the wires to the 
>>> battery,
>>> measure the other ends of the wires to see if there's a good 
>>> voltage
>>> there. If not, there either isn't a good connection between the 
>>> wires
>>> and the battery, or (at least one of) the wires is broken.
>>> To figure out which wire has the problem, you can measure between 
>>> the
>>> other end of the + wire and the - connector on the battery (or vice
>>> versa), if that gives a good voltage then that wire should be OK.
>>> Once you've connected the wires to the Ben, you can measure on its
>>> contacts to see if there's a good voltage there - if there is, you
>>> should be good to go (as long as you haven't gotten + and - 
>>> reversed).
>> Oh ok I did not know I have to strip the colored wire because that
>> means insulation. I will try again using only 2 wires. Thanks
>>> _______________________________________________
> OK so I found a line in / headphone wire and cut it and stripped it,
> finding that it insulated a red and black wire. I separated those and
> stripped some of the ends. I tied the closest thing I could to a knot
> around the battery ends of the Ben and twisted the ends a bit to
> prevent slipping under mechanical tension. Then I put the Ben 
> upright,
> attached the other ends to the marked and corresponding ends, and I
> tried to secure the wire to the battery terminals by winding a rubber
> band around it a few times. Since the connection was dodgy at first, 
> I
> heard what sounded like the speaker popping as the final unconnected
> wire touched briefly with the terminal. But I saw the screen light up
> for a millisecond. I knew I was in. I later taped the wires in place
> on the battery, and in addition pressed them down to maintain contact
> and voila, this hack was succesful!
> As for the practicability, it may be questionable, but the liberty of
> the hack is considerable. This means in an emergency or even if I 
> just
> wanted to be hard-core, I could use my Samsung, Motorola, LG, Nokia,
> etc. 3.7V batteries to get some life out of my Nano. For some
> batteries, they would need wires because they would not fit in the
> casing. For others, that are actually too small and with misaligned
> contacts, I still dream of an easy way to get a thin strip of copper
> or some other metal and bend it with small plyers into an "l" shape 
> to
> sort of extend the Ben battery contacts by only a few mm, then stuff
> paper or some other shim on the back side of the battery to make a
> nice tight sandwich. I may be off base though.
> Needless to say, this opens up SO many more batteries that are usable
> and recyclyable from old phones and such, I even have a camcorder 
> that
> no longer works that is 3.7V 850Mah that I lost the charger to. If 
> you
> are willing to go a little caveman, as I now am, you can power your
> Nano with almost any kind of cheap available battery. Of course
> provided the voltage is right.
> Any ideas how I can make this cleaner? Perhaps alligator clips or a
> better type of wire?
> This hack has empowered me that much more! Thanks for the help.
> Maybe Werner can make copyleft plans to make an adapter for most 3.7V
> batteries. That would be cool.
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