Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    G-Dog
    Guest
    Frankensteining an iBook power cable.
    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.

  2. #2

    coach_z's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location
    North NJ
    Posts
    3,169
    Specs:
    i dont have no mac's
    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
    -chris
    MoTM honor roll...
    when?
    i dont remember

  3. #3

    sluzniak's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location
    New Joisey
    Posts
    90
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro CD 2.16, 2GB ram, 256MB Video.
    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.

  4. #4
    G-Dog
    Guest
    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.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location
    Some Chicago Suburb
    Posts
    66
    Specs:
    MacBook Black "ULTIMATE" 1GB RAM 80GBHDD 2.0GHZ Processor
    Bring you iBook ever there and ask them if you could try a new power cord.

  6. #6

    sluzniak's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location
    New Joisey
    Posts
    90
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro CD 2.16, 2GB ram, 256MB Video.
    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)

  7. #7
    G-Dog
    Guest
    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.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-30-2011, 11:47 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-25-2010, 09:09 AM
  3. Power Cable
    By MichaelFindlay in forum Apple Notebooks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-25-2008, 06:46 PM
  4. iBook AV Cable = iPod AV Cable???
    By chrisb2999 in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-06-2006, 11:38 AM
  5. Power cable
    By tajjster in forum Apple Notebooks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-14-2004, 11:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •