To get 12 volts from a 6 volt golf cart battery or any other 6 volt battery requires connecting two of them in a series circuit. Connecting them in series simply means connecting the first battery's positive terminal to the second battery's negative terminal. When connected in a series configuration, all batteries should have the same ampere-hour rating. The 12 volt load is then connected to the unconnected positive and negative terminals of the two batteries to complete the series circuit.
Things You'll Need
- Two 6-volt golf car batteries
- A positive battery terminal clamp
- A negative battery terminal clamp
- An 18-inch length of AWG #1, stranded copper wire
- Cable cutters
- Electrician's knife
- 1/4-inch drive socket set
- Battery post grease
- Red and Green Battery post felt washers
Cut an 18-inch length of AWG #1 stranded copper wire from the spool by using the cable cutters. This type of wire can be found at any automotive parts store. Some stores will even sell you the exact length you need instead of making you buy a bulk spool.
Using the electrician's knife, remove 1 inch of insulation from each end of the insulated copper wire. Be careful not to nick the copper strands when stripping off the insulation. Nicking or cutting into the copper when stripping will weaken those individual strands and cause them to break when flexed.
Slip the stripped ends of the wire under the straps on the battery terminal clamps. Holding the wire in place, tighten the two bolts on each strap, securing the wire tightly against the terminal clamp. Tug on the wire to make sure it is holding firm.
Place the red and the green, felt battery post washers over the positive and negative battery posts. Coat each post with a liberal coating of battery post grease. The battery post grease is designed to conduct electricity freely while inhibiting oxidation from building up between the battery posts and the terminal clamps.
Place the battery terminal clamps over the battery posts. Place the one with the larger opening over the positive battery post and the one with the smaller opening over the negative battery posts. The positive post is larger in diameter than the negative post. Post diameter is one of the ways you can tell which is positive and which is negative.
Using a 1/2-inch socket, tighten the battery terminal clamps tightly over the battery posts. Be careful not to strike the opposite battery post with the ratchet when tightening the battery terminal clamps. That could create a direct short across the battery. A direct short could cause the battery to explode.
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