Everyone owns devices that are run with AA or AAA batteries. A lot of people just throw away these dead alkaline batteries. However, instead of throwing them, you can simply recharge them to life! Worrying about a charger? Don’t be, you can do it without one.
So, how to charge AA batteries without a charger?
There are three ways you can charge a battery without the charger. You can use a clamp to revive a dead battery. Or you can use other AA batteries to help the depleted battery. You can also charge the battery using an adapter, transformer, and motor power pack.
These are the easy methods of charging AA batteries without a charger! However, if you want to know about these methods, then read along. We will explain the step-by-step process of each of the methods.
Why Do I Have To Recharge Batteries?
Rechargeable batteries are gaining popularity over time. Some batteries have over 500 charging cycles. Have you thought about how much rechargeable batteries have saved you? Not only does this save you from buying a new pair every month.
Recharging a battery can help you in so many ways! Charging is as simple with a charger as without one.
However, you should not charge all batteries. Because not all are rechargeable. Once they are dead, you cannot use them again. Wait, we can explain-
This happens because some battery chemicals damage the electrode permanently. So the battery does not revive when recharged. No matter how many hours you charge these batteries, they will not work.
But the good news is that you can charge alkaline batteries. These are the batteries used for daily needs. Such as clocks, cameras and so much more. You can even charge a phone using AA batteries.
There are some battery chargers that can help to recharge the used ones. But you don’t necessarily need a charger. There are three methods that can be used to charge AA batteries. Completely without a charger. We will guide you through the steps later in this article.
Before we dive into the steps, let’s remind you that not all of these processes are 100% reliable. It might be that your battery is gone for good. In that case, we might not be able to help you.
Now, it’s time to charge some batteries-
The 3 Most Easiest Ways To Charge AA Batteries Without Chargers
If you want to charge your AA batteries without chargers, you’ll have to follow these steps. Although the process is completely easy, it requires some time. That’s because slow charging is ideal for AA batteries. Otherwise, there’s a chance of leaking acid. Which will not allow you to use it again.
There is another requirement for recharging batteries. And that is a low current. It’s better to charge the batteries at a low current. If you do, you’ll be extending the battery life. Usually, a good AA battery takes about 20 charging cycles.
But if you slow-charge with a low current, you’ll be able to extend the battery life. And that too for more than 20 cycles.
You might need some essentials for the following operation. Make sure you have all that’s needed to charge the AA batteries without a charger. We also want to take as many precautions as needed. Because there is a risk of electric shock. And in some cases, the wires get a little too hot.
Why Not BBQ Clamp The Battery?
So a BBQ clamp is mainly a metal holder. It helps to toss and turn the foods in the BBQ grill. Apparently, it has another use.
You might be laughing but this is exactly what we’re thinking. Minus the BBQ part. This is also the easiest way to revive a dead and useless battery. However, make sure the battery is rechargeable.
For this step, you need only a few things to help you out. And this is the most interesting part. You’ll need the following-
- A BBQ clamp
- A new battery
If you have the following essentials with you, begin recharging. And here are the steps you need to follow.
Step1: Clean BBQ Clamp
The first step would be to clean the BBQ clamp. Wash it with warm water and wipe the clamp dry. It’s important that you keep the clamp super dry. Otherwise, the batteries will not charge.
Step 2: Position The Batteries
After you wipe the whole clamp dry, take a new battery. This battery needs to be well charged and unused. What you’ll have to do is take the new battery and the depleted battery.
Place both of the batteries in between the clamp. Make sure they are connected in a series connection. Both the batteries should be connected by the negative ends [usually the flat ends].
Step 3: Hold Them For 30 Seconds
If you are done connecting the batteries in the right position then we can go to the next step. Which is basically to hold the clamp tightly. This will allow the charge to pass from the new battery to the low charge battery through the metal clamp.
However, do not hold it for more than 30 seconds. If you hold it for more, there’s a chance of acid leaking. And the battery might get damaged.
Step 4: Check The Voltage Level
Once 30 seconds are over, take the batteries out from the clamp. Now it’s time for you to test the battery. For that, you might need a voltmeter. Using a voltmeter will save your time.
After you examine the voltage, you have to decide whether you have to charge it again or not. This depends on the amount of voltage charged.
If your battery was dead, then it would have as little as a 1.3V charge. In this case, you have to charge the battery again.
However, if you don’t have any voltmeter, you can try putting it on any device. For example a camera. Check the battery level and if necessary, repeat the charging process.
Have You Thought About Using Other Batteries?
If you don’t want to buy a new battery or a battery charger, there is another option for you. Which is to charge your AA batteries by connecting them to other batteries.
Now when you connect new AA batteries in series, they will charge the uncharged AA battery. As a result, the charge of all the batteries will be the same. And the battery with low charge will have increased.
This is a very common process of charging a battery without a charger. Not just an AA battery, you can charge almost any rechargeable battery in this method. Though it’s pretty common, this process is a little time-consuming. So make sure you have your weekends free. For this operation, you will need-
- Two AA batteries
- Two pieces of metal wires
- A voltmeter.
You might also need a heat glove. Because the wires tend to become hot. Now onto the steps of charging with other batteries-
Step 1: Take Two Other AA Batteries
For the first step, you have to gather two unused or fully charged batteries. For now, you have to ensure the voltage of all the batteries is the same. And that they have equal power to that of the battery needed to charge. However, most AA batteries have 1.5 volts.
Now, why are we taking two batteries?
That’s because we need to provide the AA batteries with sufficient charge. That is more than 1.5V. However, we cannot do that with a single battery.
We need to connect two batteries together, which will produce [1.5V+1.5V=3V] 3V in total. Which will charge the battery sufficiently. However, you cannot charge the battery for a long time. You need to charge at intervals of 5 mins.
Step 2: Tape The Batteries Together
For the next step, you need to tape the batteries together. And that too in a series connection. Take both the unused batteries together and connect them end to end. Make sure the positive end is connected to the negative end.
If you mess up the connection, there is a possibility that your wire will get burned.
Step 3: Connect The Wires
Once the batteries are taped together, start connecting the wires. It’s ideal to use a short wire for this purpose.
Connect the taped wires to the depleted battery. It would be best if you could tape the batteries at the connecting points. This way you don’t have to hold the wires together.
Make sure you connect the wire to the negative end of the taped battery with the negative end of the depleted battery. And vice versa for the positive end. This is important. Otherwise, the battery that requires charge will not charge at all!
If you notice the wires getting hot, then the connection was not correct. Remove the wires and find out where the fault was.
Step 4: Let It Charge
For the final step, you have to let the battery charge. Recharging the AA battery requires some time. However, you might not want to leave the batteries alone. Check on the circuit every 20 seconds for any kind of temperature rise.
Place the circuit somewhere that does not conduct electricity. The batteries should not be left charging for a very long time. You need to check the batteries every two minutes. If the batteries get too hot, disconnect the wires and let the battery cool.
You can also check the voltage at this point using a multimeter. Once the battery cools down, it will be ready for charging again. However, if the battery has been sufficiently charged, there’s no need for connecting it to the circuit again. You need to repeat step 3 until the battery is sufficiently charged.
Do not touch the wire with bare hands. It’s safe to keep indirect contact with the wire and the battery.
I have A LEGO Motor Power Pack, Will That Work?
Using a motor power pack to charge your battery is not as simple as other methods. It requires a little brain work and dedication for a successful outcome. Though this process doesn’t require any charger, it does require a power source. This is a DIY process of charging your batteries.
This process requires using a lot of wires. So you need to put your 100% concentration in the process. Also, ensure that you’ve taken all the precautions necessary. Although none of the methods are completely reliable. You can still be sure that using a motor power will charge the AA battery properly.
For this process, make sure you have-
- A LEGO motor power pack
- Alligator clips
- An adapter
- A short metal wire
- Two multimeter pointers
All of these tools might not be available at your house. In that case, you might want to run to the stores for the supplies. If you have the above tools, you can begin your operation.
Step 1: Find The Perfect Power source
Since you have to provide power to the motor power pack, you need an outlet. Just any adapter plug will not work. You have to find a suitable one. Especially, low current plugs. Because high current makes a battery leak chemicals. The lower the amperage, the better.
How will you know the amperage of the plug? Simply check the mA rating. If you have a rating of 65mA, then you are good to go. Because if your plug has a higher amperage, you need to cycle the power to the battery multiple times.
There is also a chance of current backflow. This means the current flows backward. This can burn the adapter. However, if you’re charging a 1.5V battery, you have nothing to worry about.
Step 2: Place The Battery On A Base
Once you’re done finding the power source to connect to your motor power pack, you need to start thinking about the battery. You need to place the battery in a safe place. That’s because, if the battery for some reason starts leaking, the acid doesn’t ruin anything else.
The safest bet will be to keep the battery over something plastic.
Step 3: Connect All The Wires
If you have the battery, the multimeter, the motor, and the wires, it’s time to connect them. And to do that you’ll have to be super careful.
Connect the negative and the positive alligator clips with the adapter and the motor power pack. Usually, the inner circle of the transformer is negative, and the outer circle is positive. So, make sure you connect them properly.
If possible, take a short wire and connect it to the inner circle. That way connecting the alligator clip will be easy.
Make sure you connect the negative end with the negative clip. And the positive end with the positive end for charging.
Step 4: Let Charge And Repeat
If you are done with the rest of the steps, now your job is to wait. Let the battery charge for a few minutes. But not more than 5 mins. After that, take the battery and test it with a multimeter. This will help you to find out the voltage level. Repeat the process if the battery has not been sufficiently charged.
These are the possible methods of charging a battery. Not all the methods are reliable. So make sure you test the batteries after charging.
Question: How do you charge a dead AA battery?
Answer: You can revive a dead AA battery by using the BBQ clamp method. All you need is a new battery and a clean BBQ clamp. Connect the new battery and the depleted battery and put them in between the clamp. Hold it for 30 seconds and your battery will revive again.
Question: Can you charge non-rechargeable AA batteries?
Answer: It’s not safe to charge non-rechargeable batteries. Since the electrodes get permanently damaged after the first use, there is no way you can charge them. Also, there is no vent in the batteries. As a result, the gases build up inside. Hence, it has a chance to blow off.
Question: How many times can I charge an AA battery?
Answer: Around 20 times. If you charge it slow with a low current then you might’ve extended the battery life. And you can recharge it 20-30 times.
Knowing how to charge AA batteries without charger will help you save a lot of time and money. Not only that, but you can also act accordingly in times of need. Just remember, recharging a battery decreases its capacity after each charge.
So, do let us know how you’ve charged your AA battery without a charger.
Until then, keep spreading positivity.