Meaning of BATTERY polarity

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 30, 2010
Hi guys!

I am pretty new to electronics. I am having some problems with my first circuits and I am now suspecting that maybe my understanding of battery polarity is wrong.

So, my question is: in batteries (example 9V alkaline) the (+) terminal is +Vs, and the (-) terminal is GROUND?

(+) terminal = +Vcc?
(-) terminal = GROUND?

I have been using (-) like +Vs and (+) like GROUND. Probably the cause of failure in my first circuits.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
Yes, you could consider the (+) terminal as +Vs and the (-) terminal as the 0v reference point (ground), or the supply return.

Circuits just plain don't work if you connect the power up backwards; and you may have destroyed the parts in your circuits. Polarized aluminum caps, polarized tantalum caps, Zener diodes, etc. just don't work the same way when you reverse the polarity of voltage across them.