6v to 32 AA Batteries Video Is A Hoax

About a month ago, a video was going around (that we, regrettably, linked to) saying that if you pried open a 6 volt battery, you would find 32 AA batteries, but it now turns out it’s a hoax, riffing off the (truthful) reports that 9v batteries contain 6 AAAA batteries. 6v batteries, however, contain four 1.5 volt D-cell batteries.

If that the video was from a site called “Gagfilms.com,” and being featured on their home page next to clips titled, “Video Proof That Ghosts Really Exist” and “The Girl With 2 Pussies,” wasn’t enough of a tipoff, the images sent in by reader Roberta who tested it out should do it for you. Full deconstruction sequence, inside…

nobat.jpg
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nobattery.jpg
nobat4.jpg

Note dubious context:

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Original video:

Just like your middle-school librarian told you, critical thinking and source evaluation are valuable life-long skills.

Comments

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  1. jtkooch says:

    It’s not a hoax. Not all 6v batteries are the same. More expensive batteries, like the one pictured above generally have fewer but larger cells.

  2. gniterobot says:

    I pried open my car battery and got 10,000 watch batteries!

    Try it!

  3. ouphie says:

    It’s possible that it was the “Heavy Duty” brand that contained the AA’s. Has anyone tried it with that particular battery brand?

  4. erockO says:

    nobody here has taken an electrical engineering class? see: [en.wikipedia.org]

  5. Parting says:

    Just buy rechargeables. Save money and environment.

  6. ptkdude says:

    The last time I checked, AA batteries were usually 1.5 volts. 1.5 * 32 = 48. Lantern batteries are not 48 volt batteries, “Heavy Duty” or not.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    @ouphie: Lifehacker commenters tried it with the same brand. They were similarly disappointed.

  8. GearheadGeek says:

    @ptkdude: It could be done if you really wanted to. Make a group of 8 AA batteries in a parallel circuit to get more capacity at 1.5 volts. Set 4 of those groups up in series to get 6 volts at the same level of capacity as each 1.5 volt set. It would be a stupid thing to do, but it would get you 6 volts.

  9. rworne says:

    @ptkdude:

    Well, there is a difference between wiring batteries serially or in parallel.

    Heck, i can wire up all 32 and still have it be 1.5V let alone 6V.

  10. BensAngel says:

    Would 32 AA batteries even fit in a 6v battery?

  11. 8abhive says:

    Standard D cells are only 58mm long. Unless the pictured cells are mounted in extension sleeves then they’re the longer 4/3 D or 3/2 D at 90.3 and 91.2mm respectively.

  12. Caswell says:

    Pry open a 9V battery and you get six AAAA’s. Pretty neat – we needed a slim power supply for an engineering project in undergrad and that was the cheapest way to do get what we needed.

  13. robrichard says:

    I personally bought a duracell 6V battery and opened it up. It contained 4 regular, fully labeled D batteries. Its not 32 AA’s but its still cheaper than a 4 pack of D’s.

  14. RumorsDaily says:

    What would the point of this hoax be? It’s only slightly misinformative and not at all funny.

  15. ogremustcrush says:

    I wouldn’t have recommended this method in the first place, but there could be some 6v batteries for which this hold true, just not the majority. Its all economics, in general, the larger cells should be more economical as well as provide a longer life, but if there is a glut of AA cells available at the factory, they may just use them to use them up. Either way its easy enough to get 6V, but the larger cells should make the battery have much more capacity.

    If you really want to get some cheap batteries, get someone who gets them at near wholesale to get them for you. When I used to work at Best Buy, I could get a pack of 48 alkaline batteries for $5 with my employee discount. Needless to say, I loaded up before I quit.

  16. LiC says:

    @ogremustcrush: You should’ve loaded up your car trunk too.

    My dreams are crushed, I was looking forward to breaking open a giant battery and finding little batteries inside. Thank you though, I would have been pretty pissed to find this out myself.

  17. warf0x0r says:

    That video is hilarious.

  18. ouphie says:

    I showed a co-worker the video with the 9v and he tried it out that night (in front of several friends) and found nothing but a black carbonesque material. He had a heck of a time cleaning it off his Leatherman.

  19. chili_dog says:

    I demand a refund of the 6 bucks I spent trying to get the sweet, sweet AA batteries.

  20. krunk4ever says:

    I don’t really have any reason to doubt the video quite just yet. This person cracked open an Energizer 6V battery and the original video used a Heavy Duty 6V battery.

    Plus if you know how batteries in serial/parallel work, you would not say it’s impossible to make 6V with 32 AA batteries. 4 AA batteries in serial adds up to 6 volts. 8 AA batteries in parallel remains at 1.5V. Now if you have 4 sets in series of 8 AA batteries in parallel, you’ll get 6V. What increases in parallel is amps.

  21. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    What’s inside the tall D batteries? Maybe the AAs are in there! Russian Doll batteries!!

  22. BensAngel says:

    @krunk4ever: “I don’t really have any reason to doubt the video quite just yet. This person cracked open an Energizer 6V battery and the original video used a Heavy Duty 6V battery.

    I refer to my earlier post… can 32 AA batteries even plausibly fit in one of these 6v’s?

  23. astrochimp says:

    @BensAngel: “I refer to my earlier post… can 32 AA batteries even plausibly fit in one of these 6v’s?

    Yes. [en.wikipedia.org]

  24. Voltron's Underwear says:

    as an engineer this is pretty funny, but as a hoax I’m not sure what the point is. As mentioned above 32 AAs may not even fit and if they did, the amount of wiring it would take to make a 4S8P (4 series x 8 parallel) pack would cost more than the cells(notice how the cells just magically pour out of the packaging). I doubt any battery manufacturer would do this because of the wiring cost and problems associated with trying to balance 8 parallel elements(not sure if this is done with alkalines but we did it with LiONs).

  25. BensAngel says:

    @astrochimp: Nice. Thanks. You learn something new every day. 4x4x2 would fit.

  26. faust1200 says:

    Didn’t the video say (sorry I haven’t watched it in awhile) that not all batteries are suitable for this “hack?”

  27. alice_bunnie says:

    I tried this last week and was similarly disappointed. :)

  28. Red_Eye says:

    Yes always safe to disassemble batteries for fun and profit. Brilliant Idea! Just wait till some numbskull cracks open a Lithium ION and when the lithium contacts the air and it explodes.

    Just because the cells contained inside of a battery shell resemble other complete batteries doesn’t mean those cells meet the same safety standards as those same cells bought off the shelf.

  29. Sidecutter says:

    The original thread on Lifehacker covers all the issues brought up here. The video *is* a hoax. More than one person has bought the EXACT battery shown in the hoax video to open it up and check. In no case did it contain 32 AA batteries.

  30. DarthSensei says:

    I read this as blah blah blah blah blah blah
    2 PUSSIES blah blah blah.

    heh

  31. Sys Admn says:

    Actually, it’s not a “D” cell – it’s an “F”. F cells are 1 1/2 D in length and the same diameter. They are 33mm x 91 mm; D are 33 x 58.

  32. Falconfire says:

    Its not a hoax, but its also not too truthful either. For a while older 6v lantern batteries DID have double A’s from some manufacturers, but these days your more likely to find other stranger types of batteries in them because of the cost issues involved. Other batteries are the same way. Older rechargeable laptop batteries can contain AA’s or AAA’s as well though I would never rip one open (I actually own a eMate from Apple who’s battery I had to rebuild using 6 rechargeable AA’s.

    Generally though your better off buying they in a case than trying to get them out of those battery casings. Or better yet, use rechargeable.

  33. jabella says:

    I watched a friend do this recently, and his absolutely contained 4 regular D-cell batteries — fully labeled like normal D-cells. It also contained a spacer to make up the extra height. It varies from brand to brand, and probably from one production run to the next.

  34. wesrubix says:

    Unlikely to find 32 1.5v batteries in a 6v battery. Why would a company bother with over complicating internal circuits to parallelize the AAs to get 6v out of them?

  35. erica.blog says:

    @chouchou: hear hear!

    Rechargeables in a solar-powered recharger, w00t :D

  36. lonelymaytagguy says:

    Some contain D cells, some are F.

    Nominal size of an AA is length 50 mm, diameter 14 mm.

    A 6 volt spring top lantern battery is 115 x 68 x 68 mm.

    32 AA = 50 x 14 x 15 x 32 = 313,600
    6 volt = 115 x 68 x 68 = 531,760

    So considering volume alone, the AA cells will easily fit into the 6 volt, and they can be arranged to fit.

  37. zentec says:

    The first tip should have been that wrapping any number of “regular” batteries in a metal container with a working 6 volt form factor should somehow, magically, be cheaper than a dozen of the same cells packaged in cardboard and shrink-wrapped.

  38. jabella says:

    This was my friend opening his up — 4 regular D-cells:

    [hotimg2.fotki.com]

    [hotimg3.fotki.com]

  39. AnnC says:

    @wesrubix: And a 6v battery made from 32 AA batteries will probably blow anything connected to it because it will have 8 times the amps.

  40. forever_knight says:

    wow. i cannot believe there are people out there that believed this enough to even try it. people are really stupid. this is the equivalent of random spam emails of:

    “forward this and bill gates will wash your taint…for FREE!”

  41. eblack says:

    @forever_knight:

    Seriously. Who doesn’t know that AA, AAA, AAAA, C, and D batteries are all 1.5v? Do the math, folks.

    And 9v batteries have 6 AAAAs in them, not AAs.

  42. kc2idf says:

    Those are not D cells; they are F cells. F cells have the same diameter as D, but are substantially longer.

    I mentioned this when the original story was posted, also.

  43. backbroken says:

    I opened up a battery last month and when I looked inside, all that was left was hope.

  44. pestie says:

    I tried an Energizer 6V lantern battery this past weekend, just like the one in the pictures above, and got exactly the same result. I just assumed that not all 6V batteries are created equal. And since I’m the sort of person who’s been taking things apart just to see what’s inside since I was a young child, I can’t really say I was all that disappointed.

  45. comedian says:

    @kc2idf:

    Thank you for posting about F cells.

    I had the same recollection, but couldn’t find a source.

    That said some manufacturers cheap out when building 6V lantern batteries and use 4-D cells with a cardboard spacer at the bottom to fill the dead space created by the shorter length of the D cell relative to the F cell.

  46. wring says:

    I’ve been dismantling batteries since I was 11. This makes me laugh.

  47. MBZ321 says:

    The “Heavy Duty” battery in the picture looks exactly like the “Walgreens” brand batteries. Someone should try this with one of these. Even if there is something inside, they will just be crappy non-alkaline batteries.
    [www.walgreens.com]

  48. MusicPAD says:

    I tried it too. Twice. My best guess is that the insides of the 6V lantern battery vary by manufacturer. The first one I opened up I looked inside and there was a reeeeelllly tiny wheel connected to a generator, and FOUR Portuguese miniature squirrels were frantically running round and round on the wheel. I later tried on a different brand of battery which I bought at a swap meet. It was a “Ying Shang” made in China. When I pried the top off, there was a big flash, a little “bang” and the next thing I knew, a mushroom cloud was slowly rising up in the air. My neighbor tried this same thing and inside of his 6V battery he found Jimmy Hoffa’s body.