Why do toys with dying batteries sound weird?


Why do toys with dying batteries sound weird?

In: Technology


Batteries will operate at the correct voltage when they are full or partially filled, but at the very low end the voltage will drop a little and current will also be limited.

Most electronics are designed to work at a specific supply voltage, when this is not given all kinds of effects can happen (even destruction of hardware in some Special circuits). The typical sound amplifier will “cut off” peaks of the wave that later becomes the soundwave. The same effect occurs when you try to turn the volume up higher than it can be supported (and this is done on purpose in guitar distorters)

This was answered by fubo on /r/answered

Reply goes:

fubo • Jul 9, 2014, 9:26 AM
Let’s say you have a toy that’s powered by two regular AA batteries. That’s nominally three volts. But when the batteries get low, the voltage sags. It doesn’t go straight from three to zero; it ramps down gradually. Depending on the type of battery, this “discharge curve” can be slower or faster; but it’s never immediate.

The toy is designed to operate at three volts. But at a lower voltage, it can still do something. Some digital circuits will behave randomly because instead of seeing a high-voltage “one” or a low-voltage “zero” they see an in-between voltage that sometimes registers as a one and sometimes as a zero. Devices that generate a sound waveform may run slow, which makes the sound distorted. DC electric motors will run slower and slower as the voltage drops, until they get to the point of not having enough power to overcome their own friction, at which point they’ll stop.