AC-adaptor/battery issue (Powerbook G4)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macstatic, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm having this strange problem with my Powerbook G4 (15" 1.67GHz model) concerning the battery and AC-adaptor.

    The computer is 3 years old, but Apple offered me a new battery about 2 years ago since there was a fire-hazard issue with the one I originally received with the computer.
    Anyway, the battery only lasts for a very short time now, so I'm wondering if it's almost dead or something (aren't those batteries supposed to last longer?).

    The second issue is this: I keep the AC-adaptor/charger plugged into the computer most of the time, but once in a while the orange or green LED plug which goes into the computer doesn't light at all, meaning that the computer switches over to battery power until the battery is drained and leaves the computer "dead". Strangely enough the problem is remedied by unplugging the AC-adaptor from the wall socket, then replugging it which results in the LED plug lighting up again.

    Has anyone experienced these problems and can tell me what it's all about and what I can do about it?
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    A 2 year old battery will have around 50% health, depending on how much you use it. Download Coconut Battery and tell us the results. The cycle count is of interest. It'll also give you your health percentage.

    As for your AC adapter, could be faulty. I have experienced what you described a few times - I've plugged it in and the LED doesn't light up 100%, only barely, meaning it isn't charging my laptop. So just reconnect the MagSafe and it was fine. Not had any problems since..
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Not sure what you mean by "Cycle count", but Coconut battery tells me the following:

    Current battery charge: 1520 mAh
    Original battery charge: 1534 mAh
    Current battery capacity: 1534 mAh
    Original battery capacity: 4400 mAh
    Battery loadcycles: 47
    Age of your Mac: 38 months
    Charger connected: yes
    Battery is charging: no

    I don't have a Magsafe connector as this is a Powerbook, but the connector itself seems OK. What you're describing seems like a contact problem. The LED has never flickered here. I've been wondering if the battery could be the cause of it -nearing its end of life it may be short-circuiting or something, thereby putting additional strain on the AC-adaptor and thus causing it to power-off as a safe-measure. Does this sound plausible?
    (I really have no way of knowing as it's impossible to open up the adaptor without breaking it, and I haven't found any schematics online either).
  4. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I noticed something interesting in regards to my AC-adapter switching off all of a sudden....

    I share an AC-outlet with a freezer and the past two times it's happen I've noticed that the freezer has turned off its compressor. Could it be that a voltage spike "shocks" my Mac AC-adapter and that some internal protective circuitry turns it off, but is reset again when removed from the AC outlet and plugged in again?
    I'm going to try to plug the AC adapter into another outlet to see if it makes any difference, but I'd be interested in hearing from others experiencing the same thing.
  5. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Wow 47 cycles is pretty low for a 2 year old battery. Have you ever conditioned the battery the correct way? it's good to drain your battery completely at least once a month. Leaving it plugged in all the time is not good for the battery. Also having it plugged into the same outlet as a refrigerator doesn't sound too healthy either for the iBook.

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