Use Cheap AA Batteries Instead of Expensive 9 Volt Batteries

Use Cheap AA Batteries Instead of Expensive 9 Volt Batteries

We were fed up with buying expensive 9 Volt batteries so made a cheaper alternative. We up-cycle an old 9 Volt battery to make the connector.

Here we show you how to make one cheaply, and demonstrate what we made. All equipment used you may find lying around your house or in an old toy etc... but if not we're talking pence & pounds to purchase.

stylophone running on aa batteries

Most of the equipment used in our videos can be found on Amazon, we have an affiliated partnership with Amazon, any money we make goes into our University or College fund.

  • 1.5V AA Batteries (4-6 batteries, depending on your desired output voltage)

We got a 32 pack of 1.5 Volt AA Batteries for only £2 (from PoundLand) - compared with the Duracell 9 Volt Battery that cost £7, this is going to be a lot cheaper no matter how the project turns out.

You can pick up 9V battery clips cheaply, but we up-cycled one from an old battery which turned out better than a bought one.

9volt batteries taken apart 9volt battery clip home made

We realised we could buy over 30 cheap 1.5 Volt AA batteries for less than the price of just one 9 Volt battery. So, we decided to use 4 of these 1.5V AA batteries (with a total 6V) to replace the expensive 9V battery.

If you wanted 9 Volts, then you have the option of including an extra 2 batteries in your project.

We were hoping the power supply we're about to make (made up of AA batteries) would last longer that the 9V since the overall volume was larger - so far, the one we have created is yet to need a replacement battery!

We used 2 AA battery holders back to back which gave us a similar shape to the 9Volt battery space in our mini Amp.

There are a variety of other options, you can get holders that take 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 batteries. You can make your own or 3D print them but they are very cheap to buy.

cheap aa batteries instead of 9volt

We hooked up a multimeter and connected our 2 holders in parallel just for fun and got 3.1 Volts but we want 6 Volts so connected them in series. (You would expect double the battery life with them in parallel delivering 3.1V)

aaa batteries in series and parallel

In series we expected 6.2 volts and this is what we got.

  • You need to connect the red/positive from the 1st pack to positive out.
  • The black/negative from 1st pack connects to the red from the 2nd pack.
  • The remaining black/negative from the 2nd pack is your negative out.

In the photo below we have the red and black wires cut and stripped ready to solder together. The yellow sheath is the heat shrink we use to insulate the join. You can see the bag it came from.

battery pack with stripped wires ready to join

Be sure to slide the heat shrink on before you solder!

All that remains is to connect your 9 Volt clip, which you can buy but it's more fun and interesting to make one.

We used pliers to take off the metal casing of an old 9 Volt battery. Using gloves and a newspaper to avoid any nasty chemicals.

taking 9 volt battery apart with pliers

We discarded most of the battery, but kept the connector and the plastic base. We took off the metal and cardboard which were joined to the connector.

inside a 9 volt battery 9volt battery clip recycled

You solder the remaining 2 wires to the clip you just recycled from the old battery. Red/Positive to the rounded connector and the Black/Negative to the bigger hexagonal connector.

9 volt battery positive and negative 9volt battery clip home made

The black plastic you saved can be hot glued to the back, making a really neat and strong 9 Volt battery clip.

upcycle a 9volt battery clip from an old battery

Now you're done and ready to start saving money. Please share this article if you found it useful and be sure to subscribe and follow our social media channels.

stylophone running on aa batteries