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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Airport Extreme Power Supply Failure


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skatfamily

 
Member Since: Jul 31, 2011
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The power supply on my Airport Extreme died on me today. After finding that the replacement cost is about $50 and seeing that the old unit is sealed for eternity preventing access for repair, I decided to see if an easy, inexpensive substitute could be made. According to the cover on Airport Extreme, it requires 12 volts at 1.8 amps. However, the supplied Apple power supply was only rated for 1 amp. (Perhaps this was an Apple-planned equipment self destruction and, besides, any new one would also be rated at only 1 amp and be destined for destruction by overload).

Being a ham radio operator, I have a few Radio Shack 12 volt power supplies I've picked up at swap meets for a few dollars each. I found one rated at 1.75 amps (close enough to the required 1.8 amps and a lot more than the 1 amp of the Apple power supply). Then I went to Radio Shack and bought Size L Coaxial DC Power Plugs (you only need one, but they are sold in pairs). I then used some speaker cable and soldered the speaker wires onto the new connector. Then, being observant of polarity, I connected the wire going to the center of the power plug to the positive (+) terminal on the power supply and the wire going to the outer ring to the negative (-) terminal on the power supply (hooking them up correctly is critically important!!). This completed construction of the new power supply. I plugged it into the Airport Extreme, the light came on and it worked like a charm.

I am posting this as a solution and workaround in case your 12 volt power supply dies and you don't want to spend $50 dollars for a new one that also will likely die.

Note: The older Airport Extreme units take a 5.1 volt power supply, so, if you have one of those (it will be marked on the power supply and Airport Extreme cases), you CANNOT use a 12 volt power supply.
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chscag

 
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Very resourceful which Ham operators tend to be. Thanks for posting.
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tekbench

 
Member Since: Apr 03, 2012
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Our dog chewed the cord of our AEBS, right at the DC connector end. This makes repairing the cable impossible. Only option was to replace the connector on the end.
Went to the Shack, bought a 3$ bag of size 'L' DC cord ends and soldered one on. Works like a champ. Sure beats turning the power supply into a $20 dog chew toy... again.
Notes:
The white DC supply cable on the AEBS Power Supply output barely fits through the plastic cap on the new solder connector. It will not easily accommodate shrink wrap tubing without reaming the cap out a bit.
The solder connectors tend to melt above 700 degrees F, so watch your soldering iron temp. The tabs are small and thin, so don't over-do it with the solder. There is not much room to maneuver around in there.
CENTER HOLE of the cord connector is + voltage. The outer portion of the connector is - voltage. On the cable, the CENTER CONDUCTOR is + voltage, while the shield wrapped outer portion of the cable is - voltage from the AEBS power supply. Use a multi-meter to be certain you solder the polarity correctly.
The connector is a little bit long. Some of the - DC outer portion of the size 'L' connector shows out the back of the AEBS. It doesn't seem to have any effect on the status of the unit. It just doesn't fit as neatly as the OEM connector.
Other than that, kudos for finding the size. They come in 2 packs, so keep the second one handy for the next time the dog chews it off.
The Barrel size is:
5.0mm OD x 2.5mm ID in the event you want to buy a pile of these from digikey or some other parts supplier.
Radio Shack part number I show is 274-1568.
Description reads:
"Coax-style in-line DC power plug"
Thanks again for the lead on the cord end size. -
Tekbench
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yirramon

 
Member Since: Feb 08, 2013
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I'm in the same predicament with my base station. I found this power supply after reading this thread and was wondering if I should go ahead and order it. It seems to have all the necessary specs.

12 Volt 2 Amp Power Supply Adapter

What do you think?
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craigvolpe

 
Member Since: Oct 25, 2013
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Thought I'd correct a few inaccuracies in case anyone was searching for info on these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skatfamily View Post
However, the supplied Apple power supply was only rated for 1 amp. (Perhaps this was an Apple-planned equipment self destruction and, besides, any new one would also be rated at only 1 amp and be destined for destruction by overload).
Actually the supplied power adapters for the 1st through 5th generation Airport Extreme is 1.8 amps. The original/round uses a different power supply, and the new 6th gen has an internal power supply. You probably mistook the power supply's input, which is 1 amp, for the output, which is in fact rated at 1.8 amps. The idea that it's planned equipment destruction is just silly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skatfamily View Post
I am posting this as a solution and workaround in case your 12 volt power supply dies and you don't want to spend $50 dollars for a new one that also will likely die.
Still not cheap, but as of January this year you can get brand new OEM replacements for $20 shipped on Amazon. They are sometimes listed as Delta EADB-20BB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekbench View Post
The Barrel size is:
5.0mm OD x 2.5mm ID
ID is 2.5mm, but the outer diameter is actually 5.5mm. I believe the length is 12mm.
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