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What resistor is needed to make enough heat from a PP3 9V Battery to pop a ballon?

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by dixie48, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. dixie48


    Sep 15, 2010
    What size resisor would i need to generate enoughheat from a pp3 9 Volt Battery to pop a Ballon
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    determine the short-circuit current from the battery and then pick a resistor that will draw about half of that current across the battery voltage.

    Then get the smallest size resistor you can of this value (probably a surface mount type).

    As long as the power isn't applied long enough to make it smoke, you should get enough heat to pop the balloon.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  3. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    The procedure suggested by steve will give you the fastest possible pop (possibly around a tenth of a second?). R = 4.5V / Isc.

    I don't know what temperature it takes to pop a balloon, but here are some practical values of approximately what to expect from an 1/8W (0,125W) resistor in free air.:

    150 ohms = 60mA = 0.5W = 90 degrees C.
    82 ohms = 110mA = 1W = 150 degrees C.
    56 ohms = 150mA = 1.4W = 200 degrees C.

    I'd suggest to try using an easily manageable 47 ohm 1/8W resistor, which will yield a considerable temperature but which still won't go up in smoke.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010


    Aug 29, 2010
    How did you get 150°C and the other values please??

    That would be handy to know, I just don't know how to do that calculation. Thanks
  5. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    I didn't calculate the temperatures, I measured them with a thermal image camera. I didn't calibrate it though so please consider the values as being approximate.
    Many resistor datasheets will present a surface temperature at the rated power. The other values (resistance, current, power) are from Ohms law. See Tutorials above.
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