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Thirty-Two AA Batteries From One 6-Volt Lantern Battery Video

Outline
Widely circulated video supposedly shows how to save money by extracting 32 AA batteries from one 6-volt lantern battery.



Brief Analysis
The "hack" shown in this video is almost certainly fake. Testing and research reveals that normal 6-volt batteries do not contain 32 AA batteries at all, but rather an array of four larger cells.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 3rd June 2010
First published: 17th October 2007
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example:
Subject: 6 volt battery hack..

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Need AA batteries? Then all you kids, parents and grandparents need to watch this one.

Check it out. Don't delete this without watching the Video. You won't believe what you're going to see!
We all are into saving money and with this helpful hint we will save a gang!


6 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Amazed! - The most popular videos are a click away




Detailed Analysis
From time to time, a particularly intriguing item will seemingly fire the imagination of the online community and create a great deal of debate and speculation. One such item is the above video, which supposedly shows how to "hack" a typical 6-volt lantern battery and extract 32 AA batteries from the larger battery's innards. According to the video, consumers can save a lot of money over time by using these hidden AA batteries in other devices such as digital cameras. After all, one 6-volt battery is considerably less expensive than 32 AA batteries.

Sadly however, it appears that the great majority of 6-volt batteries do not contain 32 AA batteries at all, but rather an array of four cells. It is unclear if the video is genuine or just a prank designed to fool curious viewers into dismantling their lantern batteries for no good reason. Given that the group that produced the video is called "Gag Films", an organization that specializes in hosting short comedy movies, it seems quite likely that the video is indeed a prank.

If it is a prank, it has certainly been a very successful one. Some googling on the issue indicates that many people around the world have (sometimes literally) hacked their 6-volt batteries to discover what might be hidden inside. Not wanting to be left out, I decided I should go battery mining as well. I found an old and degraded 6-volt battery to use. The following photographs show the disappointing results of my expedition:

6-volt battery hack: unopened battery6-volt battery hack: removing top6-volt battery hack: top view of foure cells6-volt battery hack: extracted cells

It may just be possible to cram 32 AA batteries into a 6-volt battery case, 8 per quadrant, although it would be a very tight fit:

6-volt battery hack: with AA batteries

I then procured a new 6-volt battery of another brand to use in a second hack attempt. Alas, this battery also contained only 4 larger cells, not 32 AA's:
6-volt battery hack: second attaempt
One shot in the film shows the "hacker" just beginning to open the top of the battery case with a screwdriver. However, in the next shot, the entire top appears to be loose. Thus, the filmmaker could have removed the four large cells, and replaced them with 32 AA sized batteries before filming the final top-opening sequence.

In any case, a "Heavy Duty" label typically means that the battery is of the carbon zinc type. Thus, even if the 6-volt battery did contain 32 AA batteries, they would probably be low-powered carbon zinc and would not last very long in high-powered devices such as digital cameras. You can often buy these cheap AA batteries in bulk at discount stores, although, in my experience, they go flat so quickly that any perceived saving is actually quite small.

Some commentators have suggested that it might be only the particular brand of 6-volt battery shown in the video that contains the AA's. This brand of battery is not available in my area, so I could not test this theory personally. However, a photograph and caption on flickr indicate that at least some batteries of this brand contain the four larger cells like other 6-volts.

In spite of the widespread and lively debate that the video has generated, I have not yet found a single credible report that claims to have successfully duplicated this "hack". So, even if the video is not fake and some 6-volt batteries do contain the treasure-trove of smaller batteries, then they are seemingly as rare as the proverbial hens teeth.

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References
GagFilms
Flickr: 6-Volt Walgreens Battery
6 VOLT BATTERY "HACK" RESPONSE - THE INTERWEB IS FULL OF LIES!

Last updated: 3rd June 2010
First published: 17th October 2007
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer