Electric PowerBook ??

ISedlacek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 6, 2002
3
0
Prague
Today I was testing a PowerBook before possible buying (for the first time) and I was surprised how “electric” it is on the whole surface. When I touched it or moved with the finger (when the electric plug was in) I felt very obvious electric vibration in my fingers, when I removed the plug, it disappeared. Very strange. I thought that there is something wrong with the particular piece and went somewhere else to try another PowerBook and it was the same. Well, not very pleasant to get a kind of permanent electric vibrations from the computer surface. PowerBook users, do you have similar feelings and sensations ?? Then I tried again my iBook and it was again smooth and peaceful, no electric vibrations ... But of course, it is plastic ...
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,772
11
Illinois
That's a little odd. The only time I've used powerbooks has been in a plugged in state, and I never noticed any sort of electric sensation.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by mcrain
That's a little odd. The only time I've used powerbooks has been in a plugged in state, and I never noticed any sort of electric sensation.
Same here, I am on my new TiBook at the moment, and there are no vibrations of any kind coming from it. I am plugged into the power adapter, which is plugged into a power strip/surge suppressor, which is plugged into a very well grounded outlet (I had it put in when I moved into the apartment). Were you at an Apple store when you noticed the vibration or some other store??? Check and see if it happens on any other laptops at that location, if it does, I would suspect that they don't have all that good wiring. If you purchase a brand new laptop from there, and they don't open it (at all), you should be safe. If they say they will check it to make sure everything works, don't let them.

Check it out when you get it home to make sure everything is kosher, and get the AppleCare protection as soon as you can (within 11 months of when you purchase the unit).
 

Pismo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2002
528
48
NH
I went to an Apple retailer the other day and tried out some TiBooks and did not experience anything that you've described. The place you went too must have crappy wiring or something.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
I've never felt what you're describing, but when the fans on there is some vibration. It would coincide with pulling the plug though. If you get a chance, go back and check another machine, and if its still happening ask someone in the store.

Very weird.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
I have a TiBook and I've noticed that if I touch its surface at the same time as I touch a metal part of an electric guitar while the guitar is plugged into an amp (whether or not the amp is on) and while the TiBook is plugged into an AC outlet, I will feel this electric "vibration" you experienced, ISedlacek. I kinda have to touch the guitar strings with my forearm to feel it, because my fingers are apparently not sensitive enough, but it's definitely there. It's a similar sensation to putting your tongue to a run-down 9-volt battery - not exactly painful, but not comfortable either.

I've frequently given my TiBook some massive static shocks by accident, without any ill effects... yet. :) I wish I could describe how this worked. Unfortunately electricity is like a mysterious form of magic to me.

Alex
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
I experience that on my Rev A....... it depends where I'm plugged into as to how bad the effect is......

If I have my GF's TiBook next to mine, if I touch the palm rest of one of the machines and rub the other, the metal has an almost furry feel....... very strange......

Doesn't worry me though!!! ;)
 

britboy

macrumors 68030
Nov 4, 2001
2,655
0
Kent, UK
I've felt something like that occasionally on my rev a tibook. Happens only whilst it's plugged in, and then only rarely. It's not something that i get worried about. Probably because i'm highly charged sometimes :p
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
I feel it too

Hi

I have the same problem about electricity on the Titanium surface - also only when it's plugged in. I felt it on other PowerBooks in stores too.

It depends very much on where I am located. For example, in my own appartment, I can't feel any electricity, but at school, it's a big annoyance to me. Others in my class have no problems with their PCs, though.

Some people have reported that inserting an Ethernet jack reduces the electric feeling, but I have not experienced a relation.

My PowerBook has returned after its third repair, and I am now trying to get my money back.

I am very interested in hearing from people with 550/667 and/or people with DVI PBs. Then I can use that as an argument for them to either replace my machine with a 800 MHz or give me my money back :)

(I have other problems than with the static electricity, though, such as Apple making scratches in my display when it's in for repair, but that's another story...)

--
Christian
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
aggemam, I never had that on my Rev. A Tibook (500MHz), nor do I have it on my new Rev. C TiBook (800MHz). If the issue only happens in certain locations, then I would tend to believe that it is due to the environment, and not the laptop. I have used it both with a ethernet line plugged in, and not (going wireless with the airport at home, but wired at work). Have you tried plugging into the same outlets as the people on other laptops that do not have the issue?? Have you plugged in the network connection and had the vibration go away??

If the issue only happens at school, and not when you are at home, then I would say the problem stems from the school wiring where you connect. Have you tried using another location and had the same issue?? How about getting one of the mobile surge protectors and putting that between your laptop and the outlet?

I know from experience, that Apple will continue to replace parts until the cows come home, and long before they give you an upgrade to a new system. If the computer spontaniously combusts, then you MIGHT get a replacement from them, after they examine it to ensure that it didn't fall victim to foul play.

As some of you might know, I am VERY picky about my computer hardware. If it is not 100% or damned close to it, I call on it. I would never accept that kind of vibration in my laptop (TiBook) and it would go back to Apple as many times as it needed to in order to be fixed (I sent my rev. A in three times to get screen issues resolved).
 

Bradcoe

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2002
134
0
Northeast U.S.
iBook

I get wicked static electric shocks on my iBook sometimes. If I take off my sweatshirt, rub my feet on teh carpet, or do something that would cause my body to become charged and then touch the metal latch button, ZAP! The funny part is when its closed and sleeping, and i just rub my hand on the button, it wakes up. It does the same thing if i get my skin close to any of the ports (firewire, usb, enet, etc).
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
Originally posted by AlphaTech
aggemam, I never had that on my Rev. A Tibook (500MHz), nor do I have it on my new Rev. C TiBook (800MHz). If the issue only happens in certain locations, then I would tend to believe that it is due to the environment, and not the laptop. I have used it both with a ethernet line plugged in, and not (going wireless with the airport at home, but wired at work). Have you tried plugging into the same outlets as the people on other laptops that do not have the issue?? Have you plugged in the network connection and had the vibration go away??
It's not only at school - it's like always there - but in different "variations" - sometimes I feel it a lot, sometimes only a little.

Nobody else has problems with their computers at the locations I experience it. So I beleive it's something about the computer. When I talked to Apple, they even admitted that it's a known issue with the PowerBooks, but they normally don't do anything about it, except if it's very feelable.

As some of you might know, I am VERY picky about my computer hardware. If it is not 100% or damned close to it, I call on it. I would never accept that kind of vibration in my laptop (TiBook) and it would go back to Apple as many times as it needed to in order to be fixed (I sent my rev. A in three times to get screen issues resolved).
So am I - and that's why I don't just accept Apple's explation about that it's normal for PowerBooks. It's still a problem. AppleCare repairs (at least where I live) is a problem too. I bought the computer in September and there's been problems all the time since that... That's another story :)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
aggemam, which TiBook do you have??? I don't think you have stated it anywhere yet (maybe I missed it). It could be an issue with the rev. B TiBooks, since I had a rev. A and now have a rev. C.
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
Originally posted by AlphaTech
aggemam, which TiBook do you have??? I don't think you have stated it anywhere yet (maybe I missed it). It could be an issue with the rev. B TiBooks, since I had a rev. A and now have a rev. C.
Rev. A ( 400 MHz).

But I've felt it on other PowerBooks too.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by aggemam


Rev. A ( 400 MHz).

But I've felt it on other PowerBooks too.
Which ones??? Which revisions and speeds??? I never had that issue on my 500MHz model, nor do I on the 800MHz model I have now. Maybe it is something with the low end TiBooks.
 

jbouklas

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2002
124
0
NY
The new PowerBook G4 models have 2 fans, instead of just 1. The fans might fire up when you plug it in (because the speed jumps from 667 MHz to 800 and the L3 cache is enabled when you plug it in). The extra vibrations from the second fan might be the sensation you're talking about.

-Jim
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
Originally posted by AlphaTech


Which ones??? Which revisions and speeds??? I never had that issue on my 500MHz model, nor do I on the 800MHz model I have now. Maybe it is something with the low end TiBooks.
I don't remember, as I just referred to various machines in shops etc.

However, this might have more information.

--
Christian
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by jbouklas
The new PowerBook G4 models have 2 fans, instead of just 1. The fans might fire up when you plug it in (because the speed jumps from 667 MHz to 800 and the L3 cache is enabled when you plug it in). The extra vibrations from the second fan might be the sensation you're talking about.

-Jim
Negative on that. I have the 800MHz model (using it right now), and the fans only cut in when needed, and they do not cause vibrations like being described. The fans have yet to come on when I power up the computer for the first time, and only come on later when the temperature warrants the cooling. The two fans also run independant of each other, which means either none, one, or both will run at any given time (depending on the need).
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by aggemam


I don't remember, as I just referred to various machines in shops etc.

However, this might have more information.

--
Christian
From what I read, it could be a bad batch went out that has a faulty wire, or ground. Apple should be able to fix this, even if it means replaceing every component inside the computer (except for your hard drive and memory, if not from Apple at the time of purchase). I would suggest, if you have a multi-meter, measure the amount of current passing through the case. Take a picture of that and send it to Apple with the laptop. I would recommend using a film camera, and sending a normal print, so that it is obviously not a doctored image. The best that would probably happen, is Apple would just pull your hard drive and install it into a replacement 400MHz TiBook.
 

Polith

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2002
7
0
Electric PB

Have a 550 PB, and has no apparent electric currents running along the surface. Yet I noticed, by accident, when I put my fingers on the charger(the part that goes into the PB) and touch the Titanium on my PB, I can get the yello/orange Light to glow! So there is a charge going along the surface, but it is not noticeable anytime besides this. I never get shocked when I touch the PB. Titanium is a good conductor of electricity and heat. Could be the Titanium picking up small elcetric charges from the hardware itself.
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
Originally posted by AlphaTech


From what I read, it could be a bad batch went out that has a faulty wire, or ground. Apple should be able to fix this, even if it means replaceing every component inside the computer (except for your hard drive and memory, if not from Apple at the time of purchase). I would suggest, if you have a multi-meter, measure the amount of current passing through the case. Take a picture of that and send it to Apple with the laptop. I would recommend using a film camera, and sending a normal print, so that it is obviously not a doctored image. The best that would probably happen, is Apple would just pull your hard drive and install it into a replacement 400MHz TiBook.
The 3 times it's been in for repair:

First time)

A 1 month repair
They did nothing except destroy the connection between the main board and the scren, causing it to flicker

Second time)

A 1 month repair
They replaced the screen but didn't fix the connection between the main board and the screen. They also changed the upper titanium casing and the main board.

Third time)

A 1 month repair
They replaced the screen again (and solved the flickering issue) but didn't fix the problem with electricity on the surface.


Replacing the machine will take 14 days, and that's why I'm trying to get my money back. Then I can buy a new machine which hopefully does not have any problems.

--
Christian
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
80
0
Denmark
Originally posted by AlphaTech

I would suggest, if you have a multi-meter, measure the amount of current passing through the case. Take a picture of that and send it to Apple with the laptop. I would recommend using a film camera, and sending a normal print, so that it is obviously not a doctored image. The best that would probably happen, is Apple would just pull your hard drive and install it into a replacement 400MHz TiBook.
I have a multimeter. Where should I measure it? And how?

--
Christian
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
aggemam,

The time lag must be because you are not inside the US. I typically see the systems back from Apple within three days (ship it out one day, they get it the following, repair it and ship it back to me so that I have it the day after that). All using Airborne Express. I actually shipped a PowerBook G3 out today (Lombard) that I fully expect to see back on either Monday or Tuesday.

Try and get the money back, or try and get them to send a replacment.

As for testing with a multimeter, I don't know where to check, since I haven't run into the problem, or looked at the service source for it.
 
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