eMac problems (broken power switch ?)

B-G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2011
177
20
In the past months my eMac has been having problems when switching on. The computer would not start immediately, requiring multiple or prolonged pushes on the power button. Yesterday it refused to start altogether. I thought the PRAM battery may be the culprit, so I bought and installed a new one. The eMac still refused to start. Today I did a last attempt before calling technical assistance, and to my surprise the computer switched on. This was more or less my reaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnwIIKnWJtg&feature=related
I'm thinking the problem may be a broken power button. Do you know where can I buy a new one, and where can I find instructions on how to replace it? I can't find anything on eBay and the prices I've seen online seem to be a bit high. What would a reasonable price be?
I don't think I'm gonna switch the computer off, but I would like to know if there is a way to restart it without pressing the power button. I've seen people suggesting to set the computer to restart after a black out and then pull the plug out of the socket. Wouldn't I risk to do further damage by doing that?
 

lgwells1

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2011
251
5
COMO
Can you not disassemble the button unit so you can discover what is not touching. It's not like you have something to lose.


If you cannot find one on eBay. I would check Craigslist for a broken unit. After that I would hit up some forum members to see if they got any old broken units that do not need the power button anymore.
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
538
9
Endwell, NY
I used to use a pair of pliers to jump the two pins in the power button socket responsible for turning the computer on.

Eventually I fabbed up a momentary switch from RadioShack inside the original power button hole, soldered it to the original wires, and epoxied the switch to the case. It doesn't look amazing, but it gets the job done reliably.
 

B-G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2011
177
20
Can you not disassemble the button unit so you can discover what is not touching. It's not like you have something to lose.
It's a possibility, but before trying something like that I'd like to have a suitable replacement at hand.
As for Craigslist, unfortunately there is nothing on it for my zone.

----------

I used to use a pair of pliers to jump the two pins in the power button socket responsible for turning the computer on.

Eventually I fabbed up a momentary switch from RadioShack inside the original power button hole, soldered it to the original wires, and epoxied the switch to the case. It doesn't look amazing, but it gets the job done reliably.
If I can't find an original replacement I may end up doing something like that. Do you have any problem with this solution?
Do you know where I can find the power switch schematics?
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
538
9
Endwell, NY
It worked like a charm and was way more sturdy than the OEM switch. It just stuck out the side and didn't look good.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062496

There are three conductors on the eMac power switch port if I recall correctly. I believe red green and black? You won't damage anything probing the logic board side with a paperclip. Once you find the two that turn the computer on, use those for the external switch and take note of which colors they match up with on the factory pigtail.

I used the pigtail from the factory switch and spliced into it, soldering the new switch onto those wires so I could still use the male end of it to insert into the logic board.
 

B-G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2011
177
20
It worked like a charm and was way more sturdy than the OEM switch. It just stuck out the side and didn't look good.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062496

There are three conductors on the eMac power switch port if I recall correctly. I believe red green and black? You won't damage anything probing the logic board side with a paperclip. Once you find the two that turn the computer on, use those for the external switch and take note of which colors they match up with on the factory pigtail.

I used the pigtail from the factory switch and spliced into it, soldering the new switch onto those wires so I could still use the male end of it to insert into the logic board.
That's good info. Thanks!
 

B-G

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2011
177
20
Man, that's awesome! Thank you! :)

PS: I sent you a private message.
 
Last edited:

stroked

Suspended
May 3, 2010
555
331
Can someone tell me how to get the power button out of an eMac, without breaking it?
 

adcx64

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2008
1,227
42
Philadelphia
Can someone tell me how to get the power button out of an eMac, without breaking it?
You can't, when the metal ring on the inside is removed it breaks the connector on the inside of the switch. I accidentally just broke my power button trying to figure this out for you lol.

666sheep sniped me xD
 

stroked

Suspended
May 3, 2010
555
331
You can't, when the metal ring on the inside is removed it breaks the connector on the inside of the switch. I accidentally just broke my power button trying to figure this out for you lol.

666sheep sniped me xD
Sorry about your bad luck. (I wish I had an extra one for you too) By looking at the link posted by 666sheep, I was able to get it out by pressing on it with my thumb real hard.
 

davestates

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2010
2
0
Minnesota
eMac power button

I had the same busted power switch problem... I did touch the red and black wires together and it "seemed" to start, fan, ect. But after I actually wired in a new momentary contact, spst switch, it again "seemed" to start, fan, etc came on, then heard a machine generated tone... 440 hz??, the white light on the front of the machine blinked rapidly for a few seconds, the screen flashed once, then silence, then the familiar Mac start-up voice, then nuthin'!!! No light from screen, etc... not really a start-up at all... Any ideas??? I keep wondering why Apple would put three wires into the power switch if only two are needed... not likely just an extra ground wire...
Thanks, Dave,
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
42
Sorry to cause all this trouble... :eek:
I know this is an old thread but for old PPC machines, one fix is to find a very old colored Mac keyboard that has a power button on it... I think they came with the first iMac G3s.

I had to do this when I had a Powermac Cube with a bad power button. Worked great.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,886
380
Inside
I know this is an old thread but for old PPC machines, one fix is to find a very old colored Mac keyboard that has a power button on it... I think they came with the first iMac G3s.

I had to do this when I had a Powermac Cube with a bad power button. Worked great.
Those keyboards didn't work with Macs made after 2001. Apple wasn't within the USB spec of no power over the lines when the machine is off and had to remove that feature from later Macs. It only ever worked on the G3 iMacs, Gigabit Ethernet/Sawtooth/Yikes PowerMacs. I tried it on my own Cube and it didn't do anything. Just sat there like a lump.
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
42
Those keyboards didn't work with Macs made after 2001. Apple wasn't within the USB spec of no power over the lines when the machine is off and had to remove that feature from later Macs. It only ever worked on the G3 iMacs, Gigabit Ethernet/Sawtooth/Yikes PowerMacs. I tried it on my own Cube and it didn't do anything. Just sat there like a lump.
That's odd, mine worked great. Thanks for the other info, interesting
 

cyclotron451

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2005
220
1
Europe
I've been using my bondi-blue iMac G3 keyboard on my recently delivered hexacore Mac Pro with the keyboard plugged in to the USB port on the new 27" Apple Cinema Display. It has worked great for a week, but just stopped working yesterday!

All of a sudden, I wasn't able to wake up the Mac Pro from sleep with the space bar or any other key. Unplugging the keyboard from the ACD made it work again, and I could type my screen unlock password, but 'return' wasn't accepted. I then noticed that no keys were working. I was able to get the Caps Lock light to come on, but it wouldn't go off!

I think the MTTF/MTBF lifetime of the iMac G3 keyboard components has been reached. I'll put it back in the cupboard, with all the historic mice..

My eMac BTW hasn't failed yet, but is in another cupboard, whenever I upgraded something inside I was always worried about the power switch!
At least I now know that I can use bits of my recently failed keyboard.
 

Similar threads

  • superlions16
10
Replies
10
Views
682
  • realbook
11
Replies
11
Views
373
  • Appleuser201
20
Replies
20
Views
2K
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.