Shocking my PowerBook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Astral Cars, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Astral Cars macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #1
    I had no clue where to post this, it's kinda of a weird question.

    So when I'm sitting at my computer sometimes I have my [electric] guitar and I have my wrists on the PB and if my forearm lowers it hits the neck of the guitar along with one string. I then feel a shock where my arm touched the string. Why question is generally this: Is that bad for my PB? Will it hurt it? I suppose I should try it touching other metal things or try it with the computer unplugged. So does this have any negative effects other than hurting my arm?
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    I don't think its that bad for the PB. Many people have reported receiving shocks when touching their PB.

    Are you using the 2-prong or 3-prong connector? The 3-prong is grounded.
     
  3. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #3
    I'm using the extended three prong one, but I've got so many different extension cords and surge protectors that the ground is probably lost at some point along the way, same true of the amp my guitar was plugged into.
     
  4. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #4
    I occasionally receive light shocks from my powerbook. I've been getting them for over 10 months now, and so far no ill effects from it.
     
  5. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #5
    I'm assuming you're using a TiBook. This is one of the reasons I don't like the TiBooks.. My AlBook doesn't shock me. Anyway, I've shocked myself on my friend's TiBook a thousand times, and I have no reason to believe it has caused any harm to the machine.
     
  6. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #6
    Nope mines aluminum. Just got it a couple weeks ago, but the shock actually comes from the guitar, not the computer. I assume the computer was just a ground for the guitar and I touched 'em both.
     
  7. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #7
    If you're outlets are properly grounded / wired - you won't get shocked

    It's not enough just to have a three-prong outlet. That outlet must have a good ground / be wired with the polarity correct - many aren't.

    I purchased my PB when I moved from one city to another and I was in temporary housing. I was in an apt. and the PB was plugged into a three-prong. The shock I felt when plugged in was a constant current - almost felt like there was a vibration as I moved my palms over the powerbook. When I unplugged, the vibration feel was gone. Testing the outlet confirmed that, while it was a three-prong, it was not wired correctly.

    I have a Panamax 1000+ power conditioner to clean up the power going to my audio equipment. In addition to showing the current voltage, it shows whether there is a good ground at the outlet where it's plugged in. I've had this unit through two apartments and three houses. Three prongs with bad wiring were problems at most of those locations. On our home inspections, our inspector has open found outlets wired with reverse polarity that needed to be fixed or bad grounds.

    Our current house has a fine wiring job, we had every outlet checked and the breaker panel and ground connection checked as part of the home inspection (which should be a std sort of practice but some folks do more of a sampling and we've had to ask them to be more thorough) and - no shocks / no completing the circuit with a vibration feel when you touch the PB.

    To eliminate the shock problem, I'd call an electrician to check and then fix your outlet(s) - checking to make sure the ground is good and the polarity is correct on both.
     
  8. alexprice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #8
    I think although I may be wrong, that you need to try earthing yourself because of static building up on you body and then discharging from your body to your powerbook as its conductive.

    Look into the whole static electricity thing.

    Alex
     
  9. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #9
    My guess is it's a faulty ground or lack of ground. Right now my powerbook is plugged into an American DJ rack mount surge protector thing with individual switches, which is plugged into a regular surge protector which is plugged into an extension cord which is plugged into the wall. That was an attempt to keep the ground because the outlet by the computer is only two prong. Clearly it didn't work. Oh well, as long as it doesn't hurt my computer I'm fine with it. Oh, and what someone described as more like a constant current is more accurate to what happens with me, it's happens as long as my arm touches the guitar string.
     
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #10
    worst case you can get a ESD grounding map and trap and attach to your leg.

    when you play do you wear rubber soled shoe and the get rubbed on carpet? perhaps you are just picking up charge by playing. e
     

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