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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

iBook - Frankensteining an iBook power cable.


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G-Dog
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Ok, I have a problem and you guys have always been able to answer my questions in the past, so here goes.

I'm squeezing the life out of an iBook 500 running panther. The computer is just a mess, the screen won't latch shut, the power cable and/or connector is jacked up. I can live with a non latching laptop, as it still goes to sleep when closed. The problem is that my wife tripped over the power cable a few months ago, bending things all over the place.

I'm sure you all know the iBook uses an RCA looking power cable that wraps around a 'puck'. To describe the damage, think about taking a similar RCA audio cable (like on a DVD/VCR), and yanking it out sideways rather than straight out. It still works, but behaves like there's a short. I have to position the cable just right for power to go through. I don't know if I just shorted the cable, or if the logic board in the laptop is cracked. I have an idea to test this, and that's where you guys come in.

I want to hack off the end of the power cable and solder an actual RCA plug to the end. Any reason this wouldn't work? I don't want to send too much juice through the RCA plug and melt it or something.

Yes, I know I can spend way too much money on a replacement cable, but I don't have that kind of cash, and the cable might not be the problem.
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coach_z

 
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that plug is not an actual rca jack, it has sections like earphones have

straighten that sucker out with a pair of needle nose pliers
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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dog
Ok, I have a problem and you guys have always been able to answer my questions in the past, so here goes.

I'm squeezing the life out of an iBook 500 running panther. The computer is just a mess, the screen won't latch shut, the power cable and/or connector is jacked up. I can live with a non latching laptop, as it still goes to sleep when closed. The problem is that my wife tripped over the power cable a few months ago, bending things all over the place.

I'm sure you all know the iBook uses an RCA looking power cable that wraps around a 'puck'. To describe the damage, think about taking a similar RCA audio cable (like on a DVD/VCR), and yanking it out sideways rather than straight out. It still works, but behaves like there's a short. I have to position the cable just right for power to go through. I don't know if I just shorted the cable, or if the logic board in the laptop is cracked. I have an idea to test this, and that's where you guys come in.

I want to hack off the end of the power cable and solder an actual RCA plug to the end. Any reason this wouldn't work? I don't want to send too much juice through the RCA plug and melt it or something.

Yes, I know I can spend way too much money on a replacement cable, but I don't have that kind of cash, and the cable might not be the problem.
Definatly a bad idea. Like stated before try to straighten the connection out. Also make sure you look at the end of the protruding end, make sure its not broken off inside the laptop. I've seen it happen many times. Also take a look at the laptop's connection if it wiggles easy with your finger chances are the solder connection is broken on the inside. if you are gutsy and want to take a part the ibook, then you can find a new DC converter board off ebay to replace it. I don't recommend trying to resoder the connection, it never holds for more than 2 or 3 plugins.

On a theoretical side. you wouldn't be sending too much power through anything if the connection was made. That is regulated at the power brick.
But you would most likely short out the power brick.
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G-Dog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluzniak
Definatly a bad idea. Like stated before try to straighten the connection out. Also make sure you look at the end of the protruding end, make sure its not broken off inside the laptop. I've seen it happen many times. Also take a look at the laptop's connection if it wiggles easy with your finger chances are the solder connection is broken on the inside. if you are gutsy and want to take a part the ibook, then you can find a new DC converter board off ebay to replace it. I don't recommend trying to resoder the connection, it never holds for more than 2 or 3 plugins.

On a theoretical side. you wouldn't be sending too much power through anything if the connection was made. That is regulated at the power brick.
But you would most likely short out the power brick.

It already took a pair of needle nose to it, and everthing looks like it did before the damage was done. the center pin is in place on the cord, and the port on the laptop doesn't wiggle.

As far as the power goes, I would be worried about sending more juice through the soldered on RCA jack than it's rated for.

Do local Mac stores carry replacment parts for things like this? I have one in town. I'm just worried they either wouldn't let me try a new cable out first, or wouldn't give me a refund if the cable isnt' the problem.
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nickster9224

 
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Bring you iBook ever there and ask them if you could try a new power cord.
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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dog
It already took a pair of needle nose to it, and everthing looks like it did before the damage was done. the center pin is in place on the cord, and the port on the laptop doesn't wiggle.

As far as the power goes, I would be worried about sending more juice through the soldered on RCA jack than it's rated for.

Do local Mac stores carry replacment parts for things like this? I have one in town. I'm just worried they either wouldn't let me try a new cable out first, or wouldn't give me a refund if the cable isnt' the problem.

Im sorry just to clarify, the RCA jack thing, will not work. the connection is completely diffrent. I was just being hypothetical. Sorry for the confusion.

Apple shops wouldn't carry the connector part for the adaptor, they would probably offer to order you a whole new ac adaptor though. which is going to be the best way to go.. in that little connector there are about 3 or 4 very fine wires. Im not sure if yours has the LED indicator ring on it or not. But there are a few wires the carry diffrent voltages to 3 diffrent rings on the prong part. (If you look close you should see the bands that separate the connetions). So if you were to try to replace that connection you would have to be totally sure you have the right wires going to the right places, and apple does not make it easy.. ( I know, I tried to repair a frayed connector once and fried a customer's logic board)
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G-Dog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluzniak
Im sorry just to clarify, the RCA jack thing, will not work. the connection is completely diffrent. I was just being hypothetical. Sorry for the confusion.

Apple shops wouldn't carry the connector part for the adaptor, they would probably offer to order you a whole new ac adaptor though. which is going to be the best way to go.. in that little connector there are about 3 or 4 very fine wires. Im not sure if yours has the LED indicator ring on it or not. But there are a few wires the carry diffrent voltages to 3 diffrent rings on the prong part. (If you look close you should see the bands that separate the connetions). So if you were to try to replace that connection you would have to be totally sure you have the right wires going to the right places, and apple does not make it easy.. ( I know, I tried to repair a frayed connector once and fried a customer's logic board)
I understand what you guys were saying now...

http://developer.apple.com/qa/qa2001/qa1266.html

Now that I know what I should be looking at, I'll go back and bend, straighten, tinker with it some more. If that doesn't work, I'll look into buying a new one. After looking at a scross section of the plug, I'm almost 100% sure it's the cable and not the laptop.

If it is the laptop, however, I'm not paying hundreds of dollars to fix it. This is a web browsing, e-mail machine, and I can get a new Dell notebook for less than $500.
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