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View Full Version : PowerBook G4 17" giving me STATIC SHOCKS!


diehldun
May 22, 2004, 03:21 PM
Can anyone explain this? For the past few months, it's been behaving nicely, until about 3 weeks ago. It's been giving me constant static shocks!

When I start typing where my <<SHOCK JUST NOW!>> wrist is (right above the superdrive, both sides, though, near the darker grey plastic trim that circles around the PB on the top), I get occasional 1-2 per minute.

What is going on? :confused:

edesignuk
May 22, 2004, 03:33 PM
I'm sorry to hear of your problem, and i know this is of no help, but can I just say...I was LMFAO reading this! http://upload.edesignuk.net/uploaded_data/smilies/rollinglaugh.gif

Macmaniac
May 22, 2004, 03:34 PM
THIS is BAD! Take it to a repair shop immediately, something either with the power cord or battery is grounding on the case causing you to get a shock, this is not normal at all, perhaps a wire is loose somewhere that is causing the power to flow through the case. Get help now!~

edesignuk
May 22, 2004, 03:44 PM

diehldun
May 23, 2004, 03:05 PM
Har Har...

I am going to take it to the Apple Store tomorow...

superbovine
May 23, 2004, 03:40 PM
stick your tongue on it :)

natant
May 24, 2004, 09:22 PM
you're not alone my friend. just dropped my brand new 15" off at the apple store because it was having the same problem intermittently. i wasn't actually getting shocked. but i could feel some electrical current running through the case along both sides of the trackpad where your wrists rest when typing. it freaked me out. and made me a little mad because it's a brand new computer. anyway, just venting. good luck getting it fixed.

natant

Wyrm
May 24, 2004, 10:38 PM
Like any good electrician you should make sure you have proper grounding.

If this is a static shock, then alas, it is not going to be fixed by the Apple Store... The *shock* part is when your fingers connect the circuit between your current source (charged) laptop, and the big-ole Earth, which is incidently connected to your fingers by the rest of your body. It will be fixed by not placing your laptop on styrofoam, fuzzy carpets, other insulators or high capacitance materials. No joke, make sure you are not allowing a potential to form. I have a Hammerhead, and no shocks, not one. I also have a simple laptop cooler which is metal on a wooden desk. Coolers are usually good conductors of heat and unwanted electric holes.

If, however, you are getting actual current from the laptop... ie, some component shorted (I'm surprised it still functions) and your laptop has a floating ground (then you become the ground, lucky you, and hence the shocks) then Apple might be able to help you. A good Fluke DVM would be able to sort that out in about 5 sec Fluke (http://www.fluke.com/products/home.asp?SID=9&AGID=6&PID=34473)

Unfortunately if it's the former, you will need to change your computing behaviour.

-Wyrm

natant
May 25, 2004, 10:09 AM
thx wyrm. thats actually very helpful. i've only had the problem once; the laptop was sitting on my cordura/vinyl padded laptop sleeve on top of a wooden table with metal legs that sits on the painted concrete floor of my garage. i was feeling the current when the machine was plugged in and also when it was running on battery. i'm definitely not an electrician, so i don't really have a sense if this environment is one that's condusive to conductivity. but perhaps...my bare feet on the concrete floor and my wrists connected to the laptop? hm. hopefully this'll sort out one way or another. thanks again.

natant.

Wyrm
May 26, 2004, 12:02 AM
Your laptop might not be the problem, you might.

Sounds odd?

If you laptop is plugged into the mains (and you are using a typical US main.. Japanese mains have floating ground, which is probably the result of a bad translation of an English electrical safety manual) then the metal case of the powerbook is grounded (that metal sleeve part on the outside of the connector is ground). During low-humidity weather, just scuffing shoes upon rugs can build up a voltage level of several thousand volts with respect to ground. Just to create a spark you are looking at around 500V, so by knowing the approximate gap you can determine the voltage strength. If you are getting shocks at a 0.5mm gap distance, that's about 2800V in regular air. If you can get it out to 5 mm, then you've cleared 16kV (and should get a real shot of pain to boot). The ouchness factor, while not very scientific, is a neat voltage measurement tool. Typically if it's enough to say "YOW!", that's about 7kV (2mm gap).

Making sure you are properly grounded, is actually more important than your computer - since it's a real nifty conductor and you are not.

-Wyrm

wide
May 26, 2004, 09:21 AM
you're not alone my friend. just dropped my brand new 15" off at the apple store because it was having the same problem intermittently. i wasn't actually getting shocked. but i could feel some electrical current running through the case along both sides of the trackpad where your wrists rest when typing. it freaked me out. and made me a little mad because it's a brand new computer. anyway, just venting. good luck getting it fixed.

natant

I have felt the same thing when in the Apple Store using the PowerBooks. My friends thought I was crazy when I told them that there was something funny going on under the case, but now I know I'm not alone. That feeling--when your hand or wrist rubs against the case--is what made me buy a Dell, instead of a Mac, in the first place!

I hope Apple knows why this happens, because it is common on all of their Aluminum models (only more so on the bigger-screened ones).

JLaFrance
May 26, 2004, 08:28 PM
hmmm....sounds to me like your laptop is POSSESSED, you need an exsorcism immediately, your local church I'm sure would be happy to preform the ceremony for you. Then get it fixed. :p