DIY: External Battery for Flash

My Nikon SB-600 drains AA batteries like there is no tomorrow, and I am tired of replacing or re-charging batteries.

A quick internet search reveals many ways to replace AA batteries with larger, longer lasting batteries. The SB-600 flsh uses 4x AA (1.5 volt) batteries, which together add up to 6 volts.

Wooden dowel, the same width (or slightly narrower) than AA batteries
2 screws (size not important)
Wire (18 gauge speaker wire) from electronics store
6 volt square battery from hardware store.

Total cost $10.

wire cutters
electrical tape
rubber bands

The simplest way, is to make two fake batteries that fit into the battery slots on the flash. Cut two wooden dowels to the same length as AA batteries. Add a screw at one end of each wooden dowel and carve a narrow slot the length of the dowel to fit the wire. Strip approx 1 cm from the end of each wire, and wrap one wire clockwise around each wooden dowel (One dowel with a red wire, one dowel with a black wire). Tighten the screw around the wire. Place the wire in the slot and wrap with electrical tape.


Place the wooden plug with red wire into the (+) slot on the flash, and the black wire into the (-) slot.

Use the rubber bands (or tape) to partially close the door of the flash unit. The door will not close completely since it was not designed to have wires hanging out, however, the door must be closed enough to keep the screw on the wooden plug in-contact with the springs in the bottom of the battery holder.


Cut the remaining wire to the appropriate length, what ever length you decide is best. Strip approx 1 cm from each end. Attach the red wire to the (+) prong of the battery, and the black wire to the (-) prong on the battery. If you get it mixed up, it should not fry your flash. I tested mine.  Instead of the large 6 volt cube battery, you can also use four ‘C’ and ‘D’ cells wired together.

Thanks to Matt Kenney’s post: Diy, ‘Power your flash with a flashlight’.