Electronic – Why is the negative contact in a battery bay always the side with some sort of spring


Is this just purely convention, or is there some kind of technical reason behind it?

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Best Answer

Assuming you're talking about round-type (cylindrical) batteries, such as D, AA and AAA, it's to ensure maximum contact with the flat end of the battery, which is the "negative" terminal as described in the ANSI standard. You'll commonly see leaf-spring contacts as well as coils. The side with the "nub" will automatically provide a solid contact if enough pressure is provided by the contact on the flat side, so no second spring is needed.

I can only assume that the flat and "nub" design that the ANSI standard describes for round-type batteries was chosen because it provides a clean contact mechanism as well as a clear indicator of polarity to consumers.