What is a Battery Eliminator?

Battery Eliminator

A battery eliminator is any device which provides power to a circuit, replacing the need or use of batteries.

A battery eliminator, just as the name states, eliminates the need to use batteries to power a circuit. It is any device which provides power to a circuit, replacing batteries.

A battery eliminator can be any number of devices, such as a DC power supply, a 9V wall wart, etc. to power an electronic devices, instead of using batteries.

As an example, let's take a nintendo gameboy, a device which ordinarily needs 4 AA batties in order to be powered on. The 4 AA batteries add up to 6 volts DC, since each battery contains 1.5 volts. Since they are connected in series, they add up. This is why it's 6 volts in total. Say if we decide not to put in batteries into the battery slot. Instead, we power it through a DC power supply. We turn the voltage on the power supply to 6VDC and we connect it appropriately to the battery slot, so that the positive terminal of the DC power supply goes to the positive battery terminal and the negative terminal of the power supply goes to the negative terminal of the battery. If we power the game boy this way, through the DC power supply, the power supply acts as a battery eliminator, because it bypasses the need for us to power the gameboy through batteries. This is what a battery eliminator is, any device which can power electronics without the use of batteries.

Elenco Deluxe Battery Eliminator

There are even devices which are created solely to be used as battery eliminators.

One such device is Elenco's Deluxe Battery Elimatory.

Taking a look at the control knobs, we see we can select a range of DC voltages.

Battery eliminator controls

This simulates DC voltages which batteries would supply. A single AA battery would supply 1.5 volts. 2 AA batteries placed in series will supply 3 volts. 3 AA batteries placed in series will supply 4.5V. 4 AA batteries in series would supply 6V. A 9V battery would supply 9 volts.

Thus, it's a great device to eliminate the use of batteries. Once you get alligator clips or probes or whatever to run from the battery eliminator to the device you are trying to power, it will supply the voltage to the circuit, eliminating the need for batteries.

Why Use a Battery Eliminator?

So what's the use for a battery eliminator?

One reason is that can be a substitute if you do not have batteries, or you do not have the correct type, or if all of your batteries have died. Being that most electronic circuits run off of DC power, you can use any DC power source to power the electronic device, as long as you use the voltage it needs.

So if all your batteries have died or you just currently don't have the right type, you can still power the device, using any device which can provide the DC voltage which your device needs. Battery eliminators can do this.

A second use of battery eliminators is if you're designing a circuit and you're trying to figure out the right voltage needed, constantly changing and swapping out batteries can be very tedious. With Elenco's Deluxe Battery Eliminator or simply just a DC power supply, you can simply change DC voltage just by adjusting a knob. No need to jumble through tons of batteries; all you have to do is rotate a switch.

Downside of Battery Eliminators

Even though battery eliminators have plenty of advantages, such as those mentioned in the previous section, one downside is that they usually give up portability. If you're powering your device through a DC power supply or a Battery Eliminator or a wall wart, these devices must be plugged into a wall outlet to work. Thus, they don't have the same portability that batteries offer.

To learn more about battery eliminators, how they work, see How to Build a Battery Eliminator.

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