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The basic power supplies necessary for Make-at-Home projects are listed below with comment as Basic or Important or Optional keyword, which means that,

BASIC : very much required and affordable

IMPORTANT : having this tool is advantageous

OPTIONAL : may be purchased later

1.5V CELL :

The 1.5V cells (normally called as battery) are commonly used power supply for house-hold electronic gadgets, like remote controls, wall clocks etc.  These batteries are used as single use and cannot recharge. These cells are used as power supply for our Make-at-Home projects and testing voltage references etc. 

Technically there are two types of 1.5V cells.

1)Carbon-Zinc battery cells, which are highly used and more affordable   (BASIC)

2)Alkaline battery cells, which gives more life but little costlier (OPTIONAL)

Now-a-days, the 1.5V cells are available in various sizes matches to its capacity (mAH), like AAA, AA, C, D etc.  Multiple cell holder in series connection is shown for reference.



Basically, a 9V battery made up of 6 number of 1.5 cells connected in series.  The 9V batteries are commonly used for house hold gadgets, like radios, multi-meters, electronic circuits etc.  These batteries are also single use and cannot recharge, except Lithium-Ion batteries. These batteries are commonly used as power supply for our Make-at-Home projects and testing the circuits.

Technically there are three types of 9V batteries like 1.5V cells.

1)Carbon-Zinc battery cells, which are highly used and more affordable   (BASIC)

2)Alkaline battery cells, which gives more life but little costlier (OPTIONAL)

3)Li-ion battery, is rechargeable, but costlier (OPTIONAL)



Lead-Acid battery is the oldest technology and highly used system of storing electrical energy.  The lead plates are used as positive (Plain Lead, Pb) and negative (Lead-Dioxide,PbO2) probes and separated by Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) as electrolyte.  Each cell can hold approximately 2.1V.  So, for getting required voltage, the lead-acid cells are grouped together in series.  Thus, by grouping 3 cells for 6V, 6cells for 12V, 12cells for 24V approximately, and so on. 

Most of the automobiles use Lead Acid batteries.  Now-a-days, Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries are available, which is almost maintenance free.  12V SLA batteries are used in some of our Make-at-Home projects.

Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) CELLS / BATTERIES : (OPTIONAL)

Ni-Cd cells are normally available at 1.2 Volts and at various ampere hour ratings. They are highly used in AA size, which holds approximately 850mAH.  These cells has to be charged at 10 percent of its mAH for about 12 hours for full charging.  For higher capacities (mAH), D size Ni-Cd cells are used.

A bunch of Ni-Cd cells are connected in series to get more voltage (in multiples of 1.2V), which forms as battery pack.  These are highly used in cameras, flashlights, emergency lights, RC toys etc.

Now-a-days, the usage of Ni-Cd cells/batteries are reduced, after introduction of Lithium cells.



Normally the 3V coin batteries are used for remotes, clocks etc.  These 3V batteries are used for power supply of RTC (Real Time Clock) circuits in our Make-at-Home projects.



The Lithium-Ion cells are available as 3.7V, with varying capacities starting from 1000mAH.  The Li-Ion cells are re-chargeable using specific (balancing) charger(s).

For more capacity and voltage requirements, the Li-Ion cells are connected in parallel (for more mAH) and series (for more Voltage). A 2P3S pack of 2200mAH cells conneced means, cells are connected as 2 parallel and 3 series, which means 4400mAH (2x2200) capacity with 11.1V (3x3.7).


Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) CELLS & BATTERIES : (OPTIONAL)

The Lithium Polymer cells are improved from Lithium-Ion cells by replacing the electrolyte made of a special polymer instead of liquid/gel electrolyte, with nominal voltage as 3.7V. The new technology reduces the weight of the cell as well as increases the capacity (mAH), which compared to any rechargeable cells. LiPo cells also packed like Li-Ion batteries to get more power and more voltage as power bank(s).  Special balanced chargers has to be used for LiPo cell/battery charging.


Due to its high capacity to weight ratio, LiPo batteries are highly used in mobile, electric vehicles, drones etc.


Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePo4) CELLS & BATTERIES : (OPTIONAL)

The LiFePO4 cells are made of latest technology, with high capacity to weight ratio, normally available as 3.3 Volts.  Other advantages are, available in higher capacities like 6000mAH, high discharge rates, withstand high charging voltage (upto 4.2V) etc.

These cells are useful for making power banks using parallel and series for electric vehicles and robots etc.  Special balancing chargers are to be used for charging these cells/batteries



Now-a-days, 5 Volts power banks are in use heavily for backup of cell phones, which uses Li-Ion battery to hold the energy.  An internal in-built circuit charges the inner battery to its voltage using 5VDC input and discharges as 5VDC, whenever required.  

Most of the electronic circuits works on 5VDC, these power banks are useful for our make-at-home projects



The Mains supply is AC (Alternating Current) and it is normally available to you, in either 220VAC 50Hz or 110VAC 60Hz.


Some of the Make-at_home projects use mains power supply directly or step-down to required voltage using transformer or SMPS circuit.  The mains power supply is very much essential for soldering, lighting, charging of batteries, power supply for the circuits/gadgets etc.


A desktop power supply working on the Mains supply is essential to test a circuit board. It's working cost is very less, when compared to single use batteries.  Having a desktop power supply with various DC output voltages (like 3VDC, 5VDC, 8VDC, 12VDC etc.) is very much needed for Make-at-Home projects. 

Click here to know, how to make your own All-in-one desktop power supply.


Now-a-days, the Solar power supply is gaining usage, due to availability and affordability of solar panels and related equipment.  You may charge batteries using the solar power and use the power supply from the batteries, whenever required.

Some Make-at-Home Solar power projects are presented by Simple Mechatronics, for your knowledge and practical use.

An investment in KNOWLEDGE,  pays the best interest.

– Benjamin Franklin

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