#1
Old 11-21-2013, 08:34 PM
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Battery direction?

I know which end of a AA battery is positive and which is negative, but I can never remember which end goes against the side of the battery holder that has the spring, and which end should be opposite the little tapered spring thingy.

Lil' help?



ETA: bonus points if you can tell me the name of the little spring thingy so if this topic comes up in future conversations I don't have to look like a dummy.



This was one of those little things where I'd always rely on my husband, to the point where he occasionally would pipe up and supply the answer before I'd even asked it, if he saw me replacing batteries in something...
I even googled it (gawd, just tying that out makes me feel so pathetic) before starting this thread but got nowhere. Wrong search terms maybe, dunno.

Last edited by purplehorseshoe; 11-21-2013 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Tablet autocorrect makes me look like I don't know basic grammar.
#2
Old 11-21-2013, 08:35 PM
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The negative (flat) end generally goes against the spring. I've seen some things where that's not the case, though.
#3
Old 11-21-2013, 08:39 PM
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The flat part of the battery always goes against the spring. It makes since since the spring would slip off the 'pointy' end of the battery.

Now you know and you never have to try finding the little embossed battery diagram again.

Also, the flat part is negative...the flat part is flat like a minus sign
The other side is positive, it has a part that sticks up, like a plus sign.


ETA, like sliophant said. It's almost always the case, but it's so rarely not the case it's safe to assume it is the case and just drop the batteries in without looking, IMHO.

Last edited by Joey P; 11-21-2013 at 08:40 PM.
#4
Old 11-21-2013, 08:46 PM
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Thank you soooooo much for the memory aid, JoeyP! I might have gone the rest of my life without noticing that. Much appreciation to you both from my end.
#5
Old 11-21-2013, 11:06 PM
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the negative (flat) usually goes against the spring.

i've seen some devices to be an exception. often (most) when there are two rows of batteries they run in opposite directions. because a battery door might expose just two batteries side by side, a stack (2 or 3 batteries) will have a spring on the far hidden end no matter if it's positive or negative.

it's good to look at how it's marked. it is good most stuff is now embossed and not just an adhesive sticker. things with battery doors (metal for the circuit in the door and not just a passive cover for the compartment) might just have flat leaf springs at all points and you need the marking.
#6
Old 11-22-2013, 12:25 AM
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Unfortunately, most of the time battery directions are not included.
#7
Old 11-22-2013, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
ETA: bonus points if you can tell me the name of the little spring thingy so if this topic comes up in future conversations I don't have to look like a dummy.
It's called a little spring thingy
#8
Old 11-22-2013, 07:37 AM
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Here's another tip. Almost all the time, each row of batteries (or each battery) goes in in alternating directions. That makes sense, if you look at how they're wired there's usually just a piece of metal connecting one row to the next so you basically have one big long battery with a negative at one end and the positive at the other end.

Once in a while, however, you'll find something in which the rows go in in the same directions, when you see this you can usually replace the batteries one at time and have the device not lose it's memory and in some cases not even turn off. When it's like this the batteries are wired in parallel so when you pull one out the voltage doesn't drop and the unit can usually stay on, usually.

Of course, in the normal situation when you pull one out the unit turns off (and usually loses it's memory) because you're breaking the circuit, not just the batteries are wired in series (in the first situation, you're not breaking the circuit).
#9
Old 11-22-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Thank you soooooo much for the memory aid, JoeyP! I might have gone the rest of my life without noticing that. Much appreciation to you both from my end.
Here's another one - that battery is a little rocket ship and you want to help it get off the ground. So use the spring at the base of the ship and point the tip away from it.
#10
Old 11-22-2013, 10:11 AM
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FYI: For simple devices like flashlights, other than the flat neg side of the batt not making great contact with the flat pos side of the device's tray, polarity doesn't even matter. Although I haven't tried it in an LED flashlight, be interesting to see if it does matter with them.

Of course, because of the battery contact issue, you'll still want to put them in correctly...
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#11
Old 11-22-2013, 10:14 AM
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Here's another tip: Put the positive end of the battery on the end that has a plus sign on it, and the negative end on the end that has the minus sign on it. These things are labeled for a reason, you know.
#12
Old 11-22-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
FYI: For simple devices like flashlights, other than the flat neg side of the batt not making great contact with the flat pos side of the device's tray, polarity doesn't even matter. Although I haven't tried it in an LED flashlight, be interesting to see if it does matter with them.

Of course, because of the battery contact issue, you'll still want to put them in correctly...
Since LED = Light Emitting Diode and a diode is basically a component that blocks current one way but allows it to flow the opposite way I'm going to pretend I paid close attention in my electronic circuits classes and state with authority that an LED flashlight won't work in reverse polarity.
#13
Old 11-22-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Here's another tip: Put the positive end of the battery on the end that has a plus sign on it, and the negative end on the end that has the minus sign on it. These things are labeled for a reason, you know.
Chronos, I'm not going to criticize you for saying this but I think you should be very grateful for your excellent eyesight. Nine out of ten times I have to install AA or AAA batteries the labels are just to small to be read by my old tired eyes. I live or die by the spring.
#14
Old 11-22-2013, 01:12 PM
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old farts should carry a cheap plastic lens magnifying glass for such events.
#15
Old 11-22-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
It makes since since the spring would slip off the 'pointy' end of the battery.
When "repairing" other people's misaligned batteries, I have also seen the pointy end get stuck in the end of the spring, which was annoying to fix.
#16
Old 11-22-2013, 03:14 PM
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The item in question did not have an embossed diagram, hence starting this thread.
I'm not an old fart, and I was wearing glasses that give me near-perfect vision at the time, hence, this thread.
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