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Old 08-28-2010, 05:16 PM
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home made battery charger

Years ago, and electrical engineer I worked with made a battery charger using 110 light bulbs and a diode. He hooked the neg. power cable to the neg. on the battery. He ran the posi. line to a light bulb, then from the other side of the bulb into another bulb and from there to a diode and from there to the posi. terminal on the battery. When he applied the 110 volts, the bulb would light up, real dim at first. As the battery charged up the lights would brighten. He said the more bulbs in the circuit the faster it wold charge. He said the diode changed the ac to dc and as it flowed into the battery it charged the battery. As the battery charged, the bulbs burned brighter until the battery was fully charged. He also said it couldn't hurt the battery because the bulb were using the power and would let the battery overcharge. Now by question. I'm wanting to show my grandson how it works, but I don't know what kind of diode I need. Any help? thanks.

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Old 08-28-2010, 05:49 PM
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Look here http://www.alpharubicon.com/elect/3dollarbattggn.htm

Dont burn your house down or electrocute you grandson
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:44 PM
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Sorry!! but this sounds like a very good way to get someone killed!!!

110 IS NOT SOMETHING TO PLAY AROUND WITH..

Remember one day your grandson might want to show a friend just how well it could work.. sounds like a bad idea..


Man !!!!! it don't cost that much to just buy a charger..
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:45 PM
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Batterys explode too. That could be a lot of fun
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:21 PM
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One thing for sure you would not want to use a small diode and it would be a very inefficient charger because it would waste nearly all the power it would consume. I know you said the purpose was to show your grandson how it worked, not necessarily just to build a usable charger, but do a bit of research and show him a better way to explain about AC and DC, (which I assume is the main purpose?) A much better way to build a charger is with a transformer and a full wave rectifier, this results in a pulsating DC but that is ok for a battery charger and is a much better (and safer!) way of building a charger and is not nearly as wasteful. You could easily even use four diodes to build a simple rectifier and teach him even more about how AC can be converted into DC.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
One thing for sure you would not want to use a small diode and it would be a very inefficient charger because it would waste nearly all the power it would consume. I know you said the purpose was to show your grandson how it worked, not necessarily just to build a usable charger, but do a bit of research and show him a better way to explain about AC and DC, (which I assume is the main purpose?) A much better way to build a charger is with a transformer and a full wave rectifier, this results in a pulsating DC but that is ok for a battery charger and is a much better (and safer!) way of building a charger and is not nearly as wasteful. You could easily even use four diodes to build a simple rectifier and teach him even more about how AC can be converted into DC.
Ditto.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanier ledford
Years ago, and electrical engineer I worked with made a battery charger using 110 light bulbs and a diode. He hooked the neg. power cable to the neg. on the battery. He ran the posi. line to a light bulb, then from the other side of the bulb into another bulb and from there to a diode and from there to the posi. terminal on the battery. When he applied the 110 volts, the bulb would light up, real dim at first. As the battery charged up the lights would brighten. He said the more bulbs in the circuit the faster it wold charge. He said the diode changed the ac to dc and as it flowed into the battery it charged the battery. As the battery charged, the bulbs burned brighter until the battery was fully charged. He also said it couldn't hurt the battery because the bulb were using the power and would let the battery overcharge. Now by question. I'm wanting to show my grandson how it works, but I don't know what kind of diode I need. Any help? thanks.
You are to be commended for working w/your grandson!! The things you and him do together will stay w/him for his lifetime, and that's a great thing to be a part of.

I would suggest you look into KITS that have various "experiments" and such, that you can build w/him using dry cell power. The kit I've linked to is the "Science Wiz: Electricity" kit, in case you can't get through using the link.

I collect Erector sets from the teens through the '50's. AC Gilbert who originated the Erector set, also had a number of other 'kits' that were made to showcase electricity, magnetism, chemistry and even nuclear science! Unfortunately, finding those sets in good condition is hard and expensive. But the new, "safe" sets are still good.

Last edited by cobalt327; 08-29-2010 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
You are to be commended for working w/your grandson!! The things you and him do together will stay w/him for his lifetime, and that's a great thing to be a part of.

I would suggest you look into KITS that have various "experiments" and such, that you can build w/him using dry cell power. The kit I've linked to is the "Science Wiz: Electricity" kit, in case you can't get through using the link.

I collect Erector sets from the teens through the '50's. AC Gilbert who originated the Erector set, also had a number of other 'kits' that were made to showcase electricity, magnetism, chemistry and even nuclear science! Unfortunately, finding those sets in good condition is hard and expensive. But the new, "safe" sets are still good.
That is a great suggestion cobalt. I had a 100 in one electronic project kit when I was young and I learned from it as well as it was a lot of fun.All of the projects were functional and had a practical application in real life. I also had erector sets out the yazoo. Mine weighed over 60 lbs.Living in the north country as a boy you had lots of indoor time in the winter for such a thing.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:56 AM
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I don't want to get too far OT, but even the original Erector set motors (ca. 1913) came unassembled. It was a project for the kid to assemble his motor- including winding the armature w/magnet wire!

Shown is a motor (factory pre assembled by this era) from about 1920. Ran on ~ 12 volts AC or DC current. A classic design, IMHO.




"8-1/2" Set Ca. 1940
The motor in the later sets was made to use household current and was an enclosed design. Seen painted blue, left lower in photo.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:57 PM
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back then

Hey that's not fair. Playing with Erector sets and Gilbert Chemistry Kits were the best times of my childhood and I learned much. Later I became an electrician. It took 5 years of training and that only scratched the surface.
One thing you do learn early on is how to work safely if you want to live a long life.
Have fun POP.

vicrod
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