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Monday, 29 June 2015

Potato Polarity Test

Here's another little gem from "Radio, Television and Electrical Repairs (Illustrated)".
Does this actually work?!

Well yes it does! - I found a small piece of potato from the kitchen waste bin, and poked two stiff copper wires into it. The chapter in the book was talking about lead-acid battery chargers, so I applied 12 Volts from the bench power supply and very quickly heard a fizzing sound and saw a halo of green appear around the positive connection. Looking more closely at the the negative wire I could see small bubbles appearing. I assume the green colour is some kind of electro-chemical reaction taking place with the liquid in the potato to form a green copper compound.

Probably not a good idea to eat the potato after you have turned it green with copper!
As for a "quick and useful" method of testing polarity ... I think I will stick to the test meter for now.


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