No Volts, 2 Amps...

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mbxs3, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. mbxs3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    So I was just watching the movie Apollo 13, which I love, and I heard something that didn't make a lot of sense to me.

    During one of the scenes where they are about to re-enter Earth's atmosphere, Fred is checking the battery gauges...I don't remember the exact verbiage of the scene but he while checking one of the batteries he says "No volts, 2 amps".

    Is this a possible characteristic of a battery or is the movie just stretching the realm of possibilities a little? My thought is that a battery can not possess any amps without voltage but I wanted to have this re-affirmed by you knowledgeable people.
  2. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    It's conceivable that he meant that the voltage was below 1 full volt and the load was still drawing 2A. I'm not aware of a battery chemistry that would be capable of that but maybe a fuel cell could. In the precise language of astronauts, had he meant 0, he would have said zero. Try to remember it's a movie. :)
  3. lokeycmos

    Active Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    you can have voltage with out amps, but you cand have amps with out voltage. voltage is just potential and current is flow
  4. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Current flow with "no" voltage is typically a short. If I remember the pictures of those Apollo modules and the LEM, the measurements were made with edge-on analog meters to save panel space. A short would show up as essentially a zero reading on a voltmeter, but of course there would be an associated (small) voltage drop.

    I've never seen the movie, but I imagine the dialog would have been taken from the mission communication recordings where possible.
  5. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    Remember, it was a movie and Tom Hanks is not an EE. There is no point in taking any of this seriously.
  6. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Point made, but I remember watching lots of the Apollo stuff on TV (especially staying up late one night to listen to Walter Concrete on the first moon landing) and you occasionally would hear some technical jargon like that.

    Granted, Hollywood's output demonstrates essentially zero knowledge of technical things, but occasionally something real slips through the script idiots. :p