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   This is a simple creation that can save a bit of $ on D-cell battery holders. 

   D cells are valuable because they can be combined to form the most common voltage requirements, and have high amp-hours.

   For example, a standard 9v alkaline battery has about 565 mAh.  That means it will run for about one hour on a device that requires half an amp, or 30 minutes on a device that requires 1 amp.

   Comparatively, a D-cell holds at least 10,000 mAh, running as high as 17,000 to 25,000 depending on the brand (and expense).  Thus six D-cells can provide the equivalent of 20 or more 9-volt batteries, or approximately 10 to 20 hours of power on a 1-amp device. 

   It's not a matter of battery expense; no matter which battery you buy you're going to pay some $.  It's a matter of how long you can get that portable amp you just built to operate at a gig.

To build your D-cell battery holder you will need:

   * 2 paper towel tubes (if you're like me, you go through those like choco-chip cookies)

   * Packing tape or duct tape (I know you have that on hand)

   * Aluminum foil

   * Wire (black and red colored is preferable)

   * 6 or 8 D-cell batteries (best is Alkaline or rechargable)

   * If you have one, a LARGE rubber band (long enough to reach 8 to 10 inches).  If you don't have one, duct tape will do.

Here is a quick diagram I drew (could be better, but it gets the idea across):

Steps to make this:

   * Flatten each tube.

  * A D-size battery is about 2.4 inches long.  A paper towel tube is 11 inches.

   - For 9 volts cut both tubes to about 7.5 inches (3 batteries each)

   - For 12 volts cut both tubes to about 10 inches (4 batteries each)

  * Open the tubes up a little and insert batteries in the tubes according to the diagram above.  A paper towel tube is a bit larger around than a D battery.  Flattening the tubes a bit holds the batteries more tightly.

  * Tape the two paper towel rolls together

  * On one end wad up a piece of aluminum foil and place it over the left end of the tubes as shown.  You can use the rubber band or duct tape to hold it in place.  This connects one end of the battery poles.

  * Take both wires and cut 1" off the insullation of one end.  Place that bare wire inside a piece of aluminum foil and wad it into a ball so that the wire makes contact with the foil and is held snuggly.  Do the same with the other wire and another piece of foil.

  * Not allowing the wired balls to touch one another, place them on the other end of the tubes.  These form your separate contacts for your power-source wiring.  Again, hold them in place with the rubber band (stretched end-to-end on the tubes) or duct tape.

   That's all there is to it.  It's cheap, quick and dirty and can save you $5.oo and 30 days shipping time (on Ebay.  Battery holders are a little pricey).  Now you have a 9v or 12v portable battery supply!

    SIDE NOTE:   You can purchase 12v rechargable "scooter batteries" or a 12v rechargable power pack for around $20 to $25 on Amazon or Ebay.  Both offer about 10 amp-hours.  That's a sensible alternative to the above, as alkaline / rechargable D cells are not cheap.

   REFERENCE:  Other battery strengths are shown following (rated at 1Ah use requirement):

AAA  860 to 1200 mAh  (averages about an hour)
AA    1700 to 3000 mAh (90 minutes to 3 hours)
C      8000 mAh  !!!         (yes, that's 1.5v for 8 hours)


For those who own portable amps such as the Roland Micro-Cube, a rechargable battery or power pack with a step-down transformer (available cheap on Ebay) can save you a fortune in batteries.


-- Wayfinder

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