And now, irresponsible mayhem

[UPDATE: That video's dead now. I found some more, though; they're here!]

If they didn't want you to do this, they wouldn't put those handy connectors on the batteries, would they?

(I think the experimenter bought his Science Spatula from the same place where I got my Science Nails.)

I count a total of 125 9V batteries there, for 1,125 nominal volts. And yes, as I've mentioned before, you certainly can kill yourself stone dead by doing this.

(Incidentally, people today use clicked-together 9V batteries to replace the no-longer-available B batteries for vintage valve radios.)

A while ago, I had a harebrained scheme to use 9V batteries to make a 110V-ish DC source (in this 230VAC country) to get that elusive green oxide coating on some titanium.

Grody batteries

Unfortunately, the super-cheap eBay dealer I chose sent me the nastiest batch of nine volters I've ever witnessed (and, yes, he then refunded my money), so that plan to kill myself fell by the wayside.

Now, though, I've got a Variac and a bridge rectifier. What could possibly go wrong?

8 Responses to “And now, irresponsible mayhem”

  1. pondscum Says:

    I'm just waiting for him to say "hold my beer and watch this"...Famous last words. (Law and Order:CI was on in the background, so maybe they are a little more civilized)

  2. jakes Says:

    Hey Dan, can you explain how they would have connected these batteries together without electrocution? Is it 'safe' as long as you only touch the casing and not the terminals? Or would chucking a pair of rubber gloves on provide adequate insulation? Only reason I ask is that after the battery blows the dude uses the science spatula to break up the batteries rather than doing it by hand (and he's quite proficient at it, leading me to think that this isn't the first time he's done this...) Of course, if you'd prefer not to answer, for fear that you'd be seen to be encouraging or facilitating life threatening activities, I totally understand.

  3. Daniel Rutter Says:

    The potential difference is only 9V per battery, so if you're just clicking cells onto one end of a long string of them and don't reach back down the row, you'll never touch anything more than a few tens of volts different from the end terminal of the battery you just attached. I'd still wear a nice sturdy pair of gloves if I were you, to compensate for brain fade, but the assembly operation itself is not particularly risky unless the surface you're assembling the batteries on has a conductor on or in it that you don't know about.

    The terminal spacing on a 9V battery is only about 13mm, though, which adds up to around 700 volts per metre of clicked-together cells. Put your bare hands down on top of the string at any significant spacing and you'll get at least a moment of excitement.

  4. Joe Bloggs Says:

    And... one month ago, irresponsible mayhem

    Where have you gone, Dan?

  5. James Kew Says:

    Ahem: May 31st. All of one six days ago.

  6. JsD Says:

    That's Fivety-one days!

    C'mon, ANYTHING could have happened!

  7. frasera Says:

    aww the video is gone:(

  8. Daniel Rutter Says:

    You're right! What a bugger!

    I'm trying to locate a replacement - because lots of people have definitely done this particular dangerous-but-awesome thing - but at the moment the only option I can find, between search hits for some idiotic perpetual-motion machine (from "World Improvement Through The Spirit Ministries"!) that apparently starts from a string of 9-volters then runs by itself forever and yadda yadda, is a video on the detestable eBaum's World, with which I will not sully my blog.

    I'll update this if I find something good. I may, of course, have to do it myself!

    UPDATE: I've found some good ones - I've made a new blog post for them, here!

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