Potato Batteries

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Things you never knew about vegetables.........

The POTATO CLOCK really works (surprise)! It can be a 'perpetual' clock (as long as you don't run out of potatos). I read this item while chatting on the net and just loved it, thought you might like it too. --------------------------------------

We took a press on type digital clock I got at CVS (drug store) which wasn't too small or large but used a button battery. I got a 4 pack of alligator clips with a wire connecting the two clips at Radio Shack. Then I got the two 3" galvanized nails from the hardware store for a few cents. And then I found two pre 1980 pennies and, of course, the two potatoes. It took two because one just wasn't enough to power the clock.

Now to make the potato batteries all you have to do is push the penny about half way into one side of the top of the potato and pound the nail pretty close to it, maybe about 1 inch away also about half way in. Don't let them touch or the clock won't work. Do this to both potatoes.

Take one set of the alligator clips and attach one end to the nail on potato #1, then other end to the penny on potato #2. Now attach the second set of alligator clips to the nail of potato #2 and let the end fall free. Do the same thing to the penny on potato #1.

Now, turn the clock over and remove the battery (if it's in it). If the instructions say that the negative side goes down into the battery well, touching the bottom, as mine said, look for the metal prong that should be sticking up around the bottom somewhere. Mine was in the middle of the opening. This is where you attach the free end of the alligator set attached to the nail (nail = negative).

Now take a look around the inside bottom, around the side wall. You're looking for another prong, which will be the positive prong. Attach the other free alligator clip, which is attached to the penny (penny = positive).

Make sure the alligator clips are firmly attached to the clock because they have the tendency to slip or snap off. Be really careful when attaching them too as the prongs aren't very strong.

Once you get a firm attachment, turn the clock over very slowly and carfully. Is it flashing 12:00? If so, you've got "juice!" Now set the clock as you'd normally do so and you're in business. I read that they can function for awhile, at least until the potatoes get really nasty and stinky, then all you have to do is replace the potatoes, insert the nails and pennies like before, re attach the alligator clips, and you're back in business. Good luck with making one. Laurie

-- Sammie (sammiex0@yahoo.com), March 13, 2000



Thanks for the idea. This sounds like a good one for the kids.


-- me (me@me.com), March 14, 2000.

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