Stuck in a blackout and need to charge your cell phone?
Time to get creative.
A 9-volt battery can give your phone enough juice to make an important call or text.
In modern society, our phones are not just a commodity, they’re a necessity.
When an emergency occurs, we want the ability to call for help or contact our loved ones.
We take electricity for granted, thinking that it’s always going to be there.
But what happens if you’re without power and need to make an important call but your phone is dead?
Batteries serve many purposes. They are portable, convenient, earth-friendly, and can provide better performance than many alternative power sources. They also store energy fairly well and for a long time.
If you need to charge your cell phone and do not have access to electricity, a battery can work in a pinch to power up your cell phone.
Batteries and How They Work
Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductive path, such as a wire. This pathway is referred to as a circuit. The electrical circuit is connected to the cathode (+) and the anode (-) of a battery. In the center of the battery is another component known as the electrolyte.
As chemical reactions within the battery occur, electrons build up in the anode. This creates an electrical change between the anode and the cathode. To remedy this change, the electrons repel against one another to find a space with fewer electrons. This forces the electrons towards the cathode, but the electrolyte prevents direct access from the anode to the cathode.
When the circuit is closed, such as by connecting a wire from the anode to the cathode, the electrons are able to reach the cathode. The electrons pass through the wire, powering anything in its path, such as a light bulb or a cell phone.
Unfortunately, the power supplied by a battery is short-lived. As the electro-chemical processes cause changes within the anode and cathode, they are only able to supply a limited amount of power.
Recharging a battery is possible as it changes the direction of the flow of electrons using an alternative power source, such as solar panels. When these electro-chemical processes occur in reverse, power is restored to the anode and cathode.
How to Charge Your Phone with a Battery
Cell phones use lithium ion batteries to operate. These batteries are rechargeable and require a charging cord to restore the battery’s power after it has been drained. On standby, a cell phone will last an average of three days before it will need to be recharged, according to Techwalla. However, the type of phone, age of the phone, applications running, and similar factors can greatly affect battery life.
If your cell phone is low on power or completely drained and you are without electricity, a 9-volt battery can provide just enough juice to make a few important calls. To make this work, you will need some basic supplies, including a 9-volt battery, a metal spring from a pen, and a car charger (the type that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter).
To charge your cell phone with a 9-volt battery, follow these instructions.
- Place the 9-volt battery upright so that the terminals are easy to access.
- Attach the metal spring from the pen to the metal nub on the side of the car charger.
- Plug the USB-B connector end of the car charger into the cell phone.
- Touch the metal spring to the larger negative terminal.
- Touch the end of the car charger to the smaller positive terminal.
- Hold the charger in place for several minutes as your cell phone charges.
Photo Source: Life Hacker
How fast your cell phone charges can greatly range depending on the type of phone you have, how charged your phone is, and how much juice is left in the 9-volt battery. However, on average you can expect to charge your phone by about 10 percent within 10 to 30 minutes.
If you get tired of holding the phone in place, you can use tape to hold the different components together.
If your phone battery is completely depleted, you probably won’t achieve a full charge with one 9-volt battery alone. The average 9-volt battery has 500 milli-Ampere hours (mAh), according to Techlib.com. Compare that to the size of an average cell phone battery.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a battery capacity of 4,000 mAh, while the popular iPhone XS Max has a capacity of 3,174 mAh. That means it would take eight 9-volt batteries to charge the Galaxy Note, and at least 7 to charge the iPhone.
You may be wondering if charging your cell phone with a 9-volt battery is safe for your device. The short answer is yes.
By using a car charger to power your device, you can count on the charger to regulate how much current is flowing to your phone. However, that does not mean that you should use this method of charging your phone when you have other options.
Using a 9-volt battery regularly to charge your phone could shorten the battery life of your device.
You also risk injuring yourself if the battery experiences a short, resulting in an explosion. Only use a 9-volt battery to charge your phone in an emergency and when no other power source is available.
Extending Your Phone’s Battery Life
Once you have your cell phone powered up, you want to extend the life of the battery for as long as possible. There are a number of tips and tricks that help reduce stress on the battery and extend its natural lifespan.
- Do not keep your cell phone plugged in once fully charged. According to Battery University, allowing your phone to remain plugged in while at 100 percent charged is unhealthy for the battery in the long-run.
- Avoid charging your phone to 100 percent ever. Li-ion batteries do not need to be fully charged to work efficiently, and charging them to 100 percent can actually be damaging. Reaching a full charge puts the battery under a high level of voltage stress which can shorten the battery’s life over time.
- Charge your phone occasionally throughout the day. Prolong the life of your cell phone battery by charging it sporadically throughout the day in small spurts instead of all at once after depleting the battery. This tactic allows your cell phone to perform optimally for longer.
- Keep your cell phone cool and away from heat sources. Most cell phone batteries are sensitive to heat. If you notice that your cell phone feels warm after charging, it may be getting too hot. Try taking it out of the case while charging. Also avoid putting it near heat, such as in direct sunlight.
- Do not leave your cell phone in extreme cold conditions. Just like heat can negatively impact the health of your cell phone battery, cold conditions can also affect the battery’s lifespan. Avoid leaving your phone in a cold car, outdoors, or in a non-heated room.
- Turn down the brightness of the screen. If you are trying to make your battery last as long as possible, turn down the brightness of the screen. Try using auto brightness which allows your phone to adjust the screen brightness when there is more or less light which saves energy.
- Reduce the timeout amount on your phone’s screen. If your phone has an feature that turns off the screen after a set amount of time, adjust it to a shorter amount of time. For example, if your phone usually shuts off after 2 minutes, change it so it shuts off after 30 seconds.
- Uninstall apps that waste battery life. Some apps eat up a large amount of energy quickly. These types of apps can quickly drain your battery, forcing you to recharge your phone numerous times a day. Try deleting problemsome apps or use ‘light’ versions which tend to take up less space and use less power.
- Take advantage of your phone’s energy-saving options. Most modern smartphones have energy-saving or low-power modes that automatically help save your battery life by limiting the performance of the CPU.
Charging Your Phone with a Battery
When faced with an emergency that requires you to make an important phone call, having a cell phone available can be invaluable.
Unfortunately, a lack of electricity can make it difficult, but not impossible, to charge your phone.
If you have a few standard batteries lying around, you may be able to give your phone enough juice to make that crucial call.
A DIY portable phone charger is the ultimate tool for any prepper who wants to be prepared for the unknown. To ensure that you know what you’re doing if a situation ever arises, try practicing this method at home.