Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Convert your baby swing from battery power to AC!

If you're like us, you've probably purchased batteries for a gadget/toy before, and probably more than once.... In this modern day and age, I'd bet that every single person has atleast one item in their home that requires battery power to operate... Remotes, radios, table fans, reading lamps, toys, the list goes on...  It literally blows my mind when I think about how much we've probably spent over the course of our lives on disposable batteries!  Luckily, I've lately been very frugal minded, and I've been getting my husband in on the action also!  Among my many projects (which I frantically and absentmindedly jump between like I have a bad case of ADHD) I have tried incorporating some cost/energy-efficient methods into our home life!  We slowly have been stocking up on rechargeable batteries of different voltages when we find a good sale, (I refuse to pay retail for anything!)  but in the meantime we find other ways to pinch and save!  We were looking to replace the batteries in our daughter's swing the other night, so we took a trip down to Target to see what we could find.  The cost of 4 rechargeable D batteries, AND a charger for said batteries was definitely not in our budget right now so we had to get creative!  Now I'll admit that using electricity isn't the most energy-efficient (obviously) path to take, but in comparison with upfront cost of batteries (rechargeable or not) and the charger, it seemed like our best bet financially.  Also take into consideration that rechargeable batteries need electricity to charge (although it doesn't use as much energy as a 5-6V transformer powering a swing would.... let's not grasp at straws here!!).  So we already had everything we needed on hand which worked out great!  I've included a video of the rundown, it's a very simple process, which I will also outline below.  Let me also mention that not having to change out batteries all of the time is a wonderful thing when your baby just wants to swing, and gets fussy when the party stops!

What you'll need:

  • A baby swing that currently runs on batteries!
  • A simple phone/bluetooth charger (anything 5 or 6 volts will work)
  • A wire cutter/stripper
  • Heat Shrink Tubing or Electrical Tape
  • A screwdriver

What to do, what to do:

  1. Remove the outer top shell from your swing, typically this will consist of removing anywhere from 8-12 phillips-head screws, then popping the casing off.
  2. Find the red (+) & black (-) wires that run from the motor to the battery casing.
  3. Cut both wires somewhere along their path (preferably an inch or two from the battery casing.)
  4. Cut the phone-jack end off of your phone charger also.
  5. Strip both the red&black swing wires & the red&black charger wires about an inch or two.
  6. Slide a 3-4inch section of heat shrink tubing onto one of the red wires, and one of the black. (optional)
  7. Match up the colors and do the twist. (red goes with red.... and - yea you got it.)
  8. You can now cover the exposed wires with electrical tape if you didn't go with the heat shrink tubing.
  9. If you used the heat shrink tubing method, go ahead and heat it up and watch it shrink! So magical..
  10. Now make sure that the combined wires are aligned so that they aren't squashed when you replace the top shell (there's usually a small hole that the battery cover snaps into, you can just feed the wire out of there.
  11. Replace the top shell, replace the screws.  Voila!

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  1. What size heat shrink tubing did you use?

    1. I just used whatever we had in the basement in our "random pieces of heat shrink tubing" container. Just measure it up against whatever size wires your swing has, and voila!

  2. Thank You! This was so simple and works flawlessly. Wish I knew about this two kids ago!

  3. Thank you so much. This was very helpful and extremely easy. I did this to my son's swing and my niece's swing.

  4. Great post. most are informative. That baby swing is amazing. Much of time is wasted. ! I found it very useful. Love the final result. Thanks for the inspiration and the tips.

  5. That's something new. Thanks to you for sharing. :)

  6. We have a swing for our little one and it is great for keeping him relaxed and content in. Love the design of this Mamas and Papas swing, if we did not already have our one from our first born I would have loved to get this the star design so much.