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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Battery Power for Illusions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
I Do Mentalism Now?!
1101 Posts

Profile of NFox
Could someone who know a thing or two about powering illusions with batteries (preferably reghargable) please tell me what types of batteries, chargers, and other pieces that I will need or that you recommend. At the very least could someone point me in the direction of where I could find this info. I was thinking of using custom made (24 volt) battery packs using Sanyo sub-C cells and charging it using an Astroflight charger...normally used for model airplane recharging. Comments on that would also be welcome. Thanks.

Nick Fox
"Obscuring Reality"- Gone but not forgotten...

Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Look in the yellow pages for motorcycle batteries. They are powerful and small.

Get an expensive recharger, one that lets you know when the battery is fully charged. ($35) Otherwise you'll burn out the battery.
Dennis Michael
Wards Back
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New user
Baker's Acres, Ca
83 Posts

Profile of Wards Back
The answer to your problem depends on how much power (amp-hours) your illusion requires. I also wonder why you would be using 24 volts.

In addition to magic, I race model sailing yachts as large as 8-feet long. I have used rechargeable batteries ranging from 1.2-volt AAA cells to (as Dennis mentions) 12-volt motorcycle batteries to power the servomotor sail-winches.

Small NiCad or NiMh cells (i.e., AAA thru sub-C) can be charged with inexpensive power supplies available from Radio Shack. These supplies usually range from 3 to 9 volts, and many have selectable voltages.

Also, you can buy shrinkwrapped 'packs' of NiCad cells in voltages raning from 3 to 6 from Radio Shack for very little money. (My favorite is a 5-cell, 6-volt, 600-mah cordless phone pack that they sell for only $10.00. This baby will run a winch that puts out over 40 inch-pounds of torque for nearly two hours!)

Anyway, I could make further recommendations if I knew what kind of motors/devices you were using and how fast/long they needed to run.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Smile

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Special user
549 Posts

Profile of M-Illusion
About five years ago, I had an illusion built that needed to rotate a very large and heavy base (300lbs by itself, then add another 100-110lbs for a dancer) automatically. A motorcycle battery was used to power the unit.
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Inner circle
London England
1160 Posts

Profile of paulajayne
Have a look at the "Power Stations" that they sell in gas stations.

Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1829 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
We use neon lights in our opening production. It is battery powered, then goes thru a transformer to get to the right voltage for the neon charger.

I would only recommend going with dry cell batteries. Stay away from any wet batteries. get the right ytype of charger and you are in business.

Go to you local battery shop, tell them what you are powering and they should have what you need.

Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist


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