Potato Platter

My housemate and I stopped into a burger place before going to see Star Wars the other day.  I ordered a burger.  Just a burger.  No fries.  Potatoes have taken their toll on me.  I no longer see them as a valid form of food.  So I must finish this thing soon.  So I gathered my materials tonight.

Copper clad PCB and Galvanised bracketing for the potato bnattery.
Copper clad PCB and Galvanised bracketing for the potato battery.


I cut up the galvanised brackets into 8 segments to match the number of copper clad PCBs I had.  I know they’re a little smaller than the copper, but the copper to zinc ratio in this build is more even than my initial build.  I’ll make up for some of that difference by allowing both sides of the galvanised brackets to be used.

3d Printed Potato Barrier

Some 3d printing was most definitely required.  Mostly because I was too lazy to cut anything more.  The square frame above will sit on the copper and form a barrier.  You see, I’m going to mash them taters good and then layer in my potato the height of that bracket.  On top of that I’ll be placing the galvanised bracket to complete a single wafer cell.  Because the copper is only on 1 side of the PCB the plastic backing forms a nice insulator allowing me to stack another such cell on top of the first.  This minimises labor for me to create the container as the anode and cathode have it covered.

2 little Saw Horses

As you can see I just chucked the copper clad up onto my 2 little saw horses and basically superglued the barrier/spacer into place.

Anodes and Cathodes Ready
Anodes and Cathodes Ready


After soldering a nice thick wire to each of the anodes and cathodes, you can see the wafers are almost ready.  I’m just going to need to mash some potatoes and wire it all up.  I’ve done no preliminary test on this, so it may just……not….work.

Which would suck.

When it comes to the final power up to run a Raspberry Pi, I’m probably going to solder some big capacitors in line to buffer the initial power spike.  I’m hopeful it has enough to boot a severely handicapped Raspberry Pi.  During this attempt, I’m going to endeavour to take a proper load reading to work out exactly how much wattage I managed to supply and what more is needed.  If victory is within sight, I’m just going to throw some money at it until it works.  Mostly by duplicating this 8 stack potatoey lasagne of zap a few more times to get it over the line.

Wish me luck Nixie.

5 comments on “Potato PlatterAdd yours →

  1. Hanging for the next potato instalment! This is great! I googled “potato battery raspberry Pi” a few hours ago, didn’t realise anyone would’ve taken it this far.

  2. I am indeed satisfied.
    Well worth the wait (who am I lying, I want more potato stories! I’m just being sort-of-nice)( because being sort-of-nazi might probe troublesome)

    As per the request:

    *\^^/* *\^^/*

    1. Haha! Thanks. I would have posted something today too, but I met a dude who works at the Jet Propulsion Lab and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go drinking.

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