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Lighting an 11W 220 V CFL using a 1.5 V AAA battery and a CVS disposable camera flash circuit

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Uploaded on Sep 26, 2011

This video shows our first successful trial lighting an 11W 220 V CFL using a 1.5 V AAA battery and a CVS disposable camera flash circuit. In a future video I will show how we hacked the CVS camera circuit. I learned the idea from great folks using Fuji camera circuits; the CVS camera is similar to the Fuji but for patent reasons the battery has the opposite polarity (important to know - but the positive terminal to the long side of the holder!) and the contact points are much different (I hunted around for a while before finding the right place to connect the CFL, as shown in this video). Note that you have to bridge the left contact point and the bottom of the copper switch with a bit of solder (this will be shown in the next video); it isn't just a matter of touching the two contact points. And be careful you don't shock yourself -- even with only a 1.5 V battery and no capacitor the circuit is live and hot! We demonstrated this lighting technique at a Catholic Youth Group symposium in Slovakia this weekend and all agreed these lights will be very valuable in areas that have no electricity or in disasters as ways of getting good lighting without using any dangerous fuels; great for developing countries (we are all working in Africa, for example, where we intend to teach others how to do this). We encourage everybody who can to send us their disposable cameras (take out your film yourself and send to a normal developer if you still use film) so we can make more of these for poor regions. Also note that now poor areas can use very small inexpensive solar panels to charge AA and AAA batteries which can be then used at night to run the lights.

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