A Simple Battery Tester

by Grandfather

Two of my nine grandkids are crazy about making “computers” from discarded keyboards, wires, cables, and whatever other electronic odds and ends they can find. Here’s an example:

Even though they are just turning six, one of them is certain that he wants to be an Electrical Engineer. They were particularly impressed by a little battery tester I had made to check AA, C and D cells so making one like it became the subject of the first meeting of our “Engineering Club”. My daughter in law, who goes by the pseudonym “Blue Yonder“, thought it would be helpful to share projects like this with others so here we are in “Grandfather’s Workshop”!

The easy part is putting the battery tester together. Finding the parts is a little harder. Here’s the parts list:
1) mounting board – minimum size of 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 1/2″
2) mounting screws – #4 x 1/2″ metal pan head (Home Depot 24741)
3) battery holder – AAA, AA, C or D (AA – Radio Shack 270-401A or see below)
4) knife switch – SPST (single pole, single throw)
5) bulb holder – miniature, screw type
6) bulb – screw type, 1.5 volts
7) wire – no extra wire is required

There are a number of places that have one or more of the electrical items but I found only one place that has them all, Christian Book Distributors. If you find any other sources please let me know.

At these prices, get an extra bulb holder, battery holder and maybe a SPDT switch. We will need them for future experiments. Other sources to check are Arbor Scientific, Science Lab and Hobby Engineering.


It’s not much but they seemed very pleased with the results and we had a lot of fun building it.


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Stefani August 5, 2008 at 9:05 pm

YAY!!!! Welcome to blogland, Grandfather!

Tiffany August 5, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Great site! What a legacy of memories to leave the nine Gkids. Kudos to Stefani and Rick! What a blessing.

Jessica August 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Thank you! My boys (and daughter) and I are excited to read about your adventures. Their grandpas live too far away!

Martina August 5, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Those kids are lucky to have a grandfather like you. I’m 34 and that project appeals to me. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie August 5, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Pretty cool! I wish one of my grandfathers had lived long enough to do fun stuff with me!

Amber August 6, 2008 at 1:55 am

Hi there – I read your daughter-in-law’s blog and was so excited when she mentioned you might come up with a space like this…we homeschool too and this experiment is great! Thanks for sharing it!

Amy August 6, 2008 at 5:59 am

Welcome to the blogisphere. I enjoy Stefani’s blog and now I can’t wait to enjoy yours too. I used to do projects like this with my dad. Thanks for the sentimental reminder.

SpiderWomanKnits August 6, 2008 at 7:55 am

Welcome to the blog-o-sphere Grandfather! I am really looking forward to your posts. Best Wishes!

Aujah August 6, 2008 at 10:11 am

Hi Grandfather!
I am looking forward to you’re adventures!!

Mandy August 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I think this is so amazing! I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us!

Mama Urchin August 6, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I’m so glad you’ve decided to share some of your projects. I know we’ll be trying them.

Jenny August 7, 2008 at 8:31 am

Wow, how cool. I’m hoping that I will learn a lot too (my dad and grandpa were also engineers but had a way of explaining things that went waaaayyyy over my head). They will be so impressed if I can teach my kids something like this! Thanks for sharing. Your family is so blessed to have such a knack for teaching others… between you and Stefani–truly inspiring!

Ansley August 7, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Welcome GF to the blogging world. I also read your DIL’s blog and am looking forward to reading yours!

Kristi Richards August 8, 2008 at 3:42 pm

I recognize those two blonde boys, they look the two I had to keep an eye on each Thursday while building some crazy contraption in Kindergarten. Tell them Mrs. Richads says hi!!

Anne August 13, 2008 at 9:21 am

Welcome! I look forward to reading your posts.

eM September 2, 2009 at 6:50 am

Hi there

I have a very old battery tester and would like to locate another like it as the ones on the market today are too fafy! The one I have is a metal hinged bracket with a small torch bulb in the middle. It’s fantastic but I cant seem to find another anywhere like it. Can you help? eM

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