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The Battery Problem

2015 December 28. Monday.

I’m on a family trip to Michigan to see another family. We do this every year and it’s a long standing tradition to play Halo on the old Xbox. The wireless controllers need batteries, which there are never enough of.

We wonder the house for fresh ones, stealing from romote controllers and putting bits of foil on the ned of triple-A’s. In lectures, the professor usually scrambles around trying different markers until she finds one that works. Luci spends minutes every morning looking for a pair of matching socks. Minutes!

The Fathes could spend $20 one time and have enough batteries for the next year. A professor could buy a lifetime supply of markers for a day’s salary. Luci could get more socks.

This is called a false scarcity. Recognize them and fix them.

how to do battery trick

Xbox controllers need double-A’s, but in the house you can only ever find triple-A’s. There is a solution! They both run at 1.5 volts and 0.15 ohms, so if you can fit the AAA into the AA slot then you can power your device. Do this by crinkling up a bit of aluminum foil and dropping it into the battery slot.

Public Domain Dedication.