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Old 02-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Hi,
If anyone can assist with this, it would be greatly appreciated!

I bought from Radio Shack:
1. A battery holder; holds two triple A batteries and has wire leads.
2. An on/off switch.
3. A lamp holder with a little 2.4 v bulb in it.

I know NOTHING about electricity, but I need to hit the switch and have the bulb turn on.

This is how I hooked it up:

battery holder with wires going to the bulb in the middle and the switch with wires leading to the bulb, as well.

I matched the black wires from the battery holder with the black wires from the switch to the same node on the lamp holder and the same with the red on the other node on the lamp holder. Every time I hit the switch, the battery holder starts to melt behind the tension coils that hold the battery in the holder. I've gone through four battery holders!

Note: The switch didn't have wires, just two prongs sticking out of the back, so I took the wires off a battery holder and taped them to the prongs. I didn't pay attention to color of the wires, I just taped them on. Could I have put them on wrong and now when I'm matching red to red, I'm actually connecting black to red?

Ugh, if this is confusing, I apologize, I'm usually more eloquent, but this is not my area of expertise, obviously! Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Liz

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Old 02-20-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Try running one wire from the battery holder to one prong of the switch.From the other prong of the switch go to one of the wires on the lamp holder.The other wire of the lamp holder goes to the other wire of the battery holder.Think of it as a path for the electricity to follow.

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Old 02-20-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


The bulb may not last long as your putting 3volts into a 2.4volt bulb.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Thank you Dave, I will try it and post my results. A friend just called me and told me she was working in a science lab and they had the same problem. Batteries run out in minutes and the battery holders melt. They couldn't figure it out, either.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:20 PM   #5
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Think I should try only 1 triple A, 1.5 v?
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Quote:
Originally Posted by missusliz View Post
Think I should try only 1 triple A, 1.5 v?
If your battery holder will work with just one battery, then yes but don't expect a bright light.Good luck your building the electrical circuit that every electrician starts with.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Thanks! I'm 41 so we never did science experiments in school. It was the era of 'keep the book open if the principal walks by so it looks like we're busy' in education.

Actually, I started out with a battery holder that only held one double A and I realized today that a triple A and a double A both have the same voltage! So, now that I think about it, it won't make a difference if I only use one triple A. Dave, your suggestion about rewiring to create the electrical path--I think I'm going to try that. Could that make a difference, you think?
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


I didn't understand your explanation,but this is how you build what you're trying to do.For a diagram of it try this linkhttp://www.arthursclipart.org/scienc...%20circuit.gif
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


I DO NOT have it wired like that. Hmmm, I think we found our problem, Watson.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:07 AM   #10
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


run the red wire (positive) out from the battery pack to the switch, then from the switch to the light bulb, then the remaining wire on your bulb to your black lead on your battery pack. voila! let there be light.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #11
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Having trouble with the most elementary project


Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb1 View Post
The bulb may not last long as your putting 3volts into a 2.4volt bulb.
Psst! This has been true for at least 50 years. Flashlight bulbs are manufactured to be overvoltaged a tad to give more light at the cost of not lasting that long. (They will usually last through at least two hours of normal flashlight usage.)

You produced a short circuit, from one battery terminal through the switch and back to the other battery terminal. Fortunately you conducted the experiment using low voltage compared with using house current and getting a big spark inside the switch when you pressed the button.

Short circuit means that the electrical current flowed but did not go through a light bulb or other device that made good use of the electricity,

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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-24-2010 at 09:25 AM.
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