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Desc:Run an LED from a single AA battery, defying all laws of physics. (I blame the inductor.)
Category:Science & Technology, Crime
Tags:LED, blink, electronics
Submitted:Bort
Date:01/26/14
Views:1107
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Comment count is 17
Bort
Before someone says it, no it doesn't actually defy the laws of physics, but we are lighting a 3V LED with a 1.5V battery and that takes some scheming.

If we take out the coil and the LED, we've got an oscillator that doesn't actually do anything useful -- the transistor keeps flipping back on / off / on / off. The coil is responsible for getting the voltage high enough (in bursts) to light the LED: the coil is an inductor, and an inductor responds to changes in current by playing the contrarian and generating voltage in the opposite direction. This results in the voltage periodically spiking high enough to light the LED.
Bort
And five nega-stars for five-starring my own video. Sorry, it's a habit.

Old_Zircon
He could have saved a lot of trouble by just getting a 1.5v LED.

SteamPoweredKleenex
Mr. Elvis Costello Glasses needs to not appear on video ever again.

Bort
Old_Zircon: you had better be fucking kidding. YOU HAD BETTER BE.

Oscar Wildcat
So, uh, Bort. Tell us. How do you feel about ...Radio Shack.

Bort
As electronics hobbyists go I am a chump, but I do love a good Radio Shack parts drawer. But I miss the days when the parts would hang on the walls, proudly, as if to declare "by GOD we will see to it that you can find the resistor you need".

If I dig for a while I can probably find an old Battery Club card.

Oscar Wildcat
That's just too perfect, Bort. Here are your stars.

Old_Zircon
I'm an electronics hipster. I don't know what I'm doing really but Radio Shack is way too commercial for me, man, I shop at the little, indie electronics part store down the street.

The Mothership
As a former RS employee, I remember taking inventory of those transistors and also taking mental inventory of those people who purchased them. Folks like Bort made my day because they were the only ones who were interesting enough to buy that stuff.

Anybody who ever went to the RS on the Ave in Seattle in the early Aughts, holler at me, cause I probably sold you some overpriced Ethernet cable.

Oscar Wildcat
I long for the days I could buy the parts I need. Now I have to make them. Partly because they haven't been manufactured in 50 years, partly because they don't exist yet.

Oscar Wildcat
That said, do consider those old tv sets and whatnot you see in the trash and at the goodwill. They're often a wellspring of discrete components, more than most amateurs would ever need.

Bort
Oscar, I get the feeling you're a man out of 1923: you know your electronics, you experiment with smelting, and I would bet anything you wear a bowler / vest / white shirt / bartender arm bands.

Oscar Wildcat
Yes, I live simultaneously now between 2014 and 1923. How that is possible is beyond my ken, but there it is.

It's hard to describe the feelings people had in that decade leading up to the first big financial collapse. Such optimism: anything was possible and indeed often did happen. Whole new worlds in the physical sciences were opening up, parallel to the development of all that open land out West and the industrial East. Finally we were coming out of the dark ages, and the promise of tomorrow burned so brightly, then, so very brightly.

Then to all come crashing down to earth and the dustbowl and the poverty, great migrations and all that followed. The people running the show were so blind then, as they are now, to what serves their best interests. The middle class, fat and complacent, proved easy targets. Then the war after the war to end all wars. So much suffering.

And here we are today at the same juncture, in 2014. "The wheels of the bus go 'round and 'round", as they say. Different costumes, same olde show.

Bort
Old_Zircon: it has been brought to my attention that I maybe should have given you a better answer. Basically, the voltage determines the frequency of light that is possible to get from an LED. 1.5 V would allow you to make an infrared LED, but not red, much less green or blue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronvolt#Properties

There's a handy rainbow chart there that shows what voltages can deliver what colors.

kingofthenothing
Joule Thief - 1
Artifact

tap Joule Thief and Sacrifice an artifact in your graveyard: get one colorless mana.
kingofthenothing
meant to say exile instead of sac. Oh well.

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