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How To Jump Start A Car With AA Batteries

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It used to be common practice to ask people for a jump start when your battery died, but nowadays people usually just call roadside assistance and let them handle the process.

But if you’re one of those DIY minded people who like to know what your options are when it comes to jump starting a car battery then you should check out this video by Mehdi Sadaghdar for ElectroBOOM.

(YouTube Link)

Mehdi demonstrates how you can link a bunch of AA batteries together to jump start that dead battery, which may not be the most convenient method but it sure is neat to see how it's done!

-Via Boing Boing


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Likewise Li-Ion batteries. If you buy 18650 type (or many others, but they're common), choose "protected" which have a small PCB on one end which monitors the cell voltage and shuts off before it falls to the point below which the cell is damaged by too deep a discharge.
Some people don't like them because they shut off suddenly, but I prefer that to having cells that won't recharge.
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You can avoid ever having a dead battery again with an automatic 12V "battery protector". They install between your battery and vehicle, and disconnect the battery when it's half-way discharged, saving enough power to start your car. This works whether you've left your lights on, something was plugged into the cigarette lighter, etc. It even helps when your battery fluid level is low, or the battery is failing and will soon need replacing. I see two listings for "Battery Brain" (new) on eBay for under $30, which is less than one of those portable jump starters, and works for decades without any charging or maintenance.
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You should use at least 16 AAs in series. Their voltage drops down to 0.9V as they discharge, and you really need at least 14V to charge a 12V battery. Any less and you'll get less of a charge, and end up with a bunch of only half-dead AAs. - The article says you "can also use a 12V" "drill battery"... that's just not true. A 12V source won't charge a 12V battery. You'd need a voltage boost circuit in there. You can try leaving the 12V drill battery connected while you start the car, the two together might give you just enough power for starting, if you're lucky.
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