I've seen some people run an inverter off a large set of batteries, to power mobile devices and whatnot or even game consoles. My thoughts are, if I can rig some lamp batteries together and use a portable tv I could power something such as an SNES (super nintendo/famicom).

The SNES would require 12V (suitable for some larger batteries, or some in series) and ~200mA possibly less when running. Would it be a good idea to plug a battery directly in to where the DC socket is, sans the regulation and all that? Does the adapter provide some sort of expected power or behavior different from a "pure" DC source?

Also a silly question, assuming I've a pile of 6V lamp batteries that could supply 100mA each - would I be able to place them in series+parallel to achieve 12V + higher maximum current draw for this purpose?


1 Answer 1


Whether you can run it safely off batteries depends on the design of the unit.

  • If the regulator is in the supply then you will need to add a regulator to your batteries.

  • If the regulator is in the unit you will be able to directly attach your batteries.

Most systems have the regulator in the unit, so it should be OK to just power it off battery.

Be warned though that "12V" lead acid car batteries are actually a higher voltage (around 13.5V) so a regulator should really be used with these for safety.

As for increasing current - yes, just put pairs of 6V batteries in parallel.

Connecting batteries in parallel increases the current. Connecting them in series increases the voltage.

If you think of a 12V battery as two 6V batteries in series, then connect these "12v batteries" in parallel you will get 12V and higher current.

Electrically, a single 12V battery is the same as 2 6V batteries in series. A battery is made up of cells. Each cell can provide between 1.2V and 1.5V depending on chemistry. A 6V battery is a battery of 4 cells (battery in the non-electrical sense - think artillery battery, a group of artillery guns) - 4 x 1.5 is 6V. Put two 6V batteries together and you get a 8 cells in series - that's 8 x 1.5V = 12V.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Glad it could be straightforward, will test on less precious consoles first. :) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 29, 2011 at 22:43

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