iBook Charging Problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SkyBell, May 14, 2007.

  1. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #1
    I have recently acquired a G3 iBook, and all seemed ok at first; until I noticed it had charging problems.

    Most of the time when I plug it in, the light on the charger stays green, and the iBook will not charge. (Even if the battery meter is indicating 1 or 2 percent charge) If I jiggle the charger around forcefully, sometimes that will work. A lot of times, It won't charge at all. And when it does, it usually stops after about ten minutes, and the battery meter says it's at 100%. Of course then it goes down to 91 or 92 percent and dies. (If I can get it charging and turned back on, the meter indicates 0% charge)

    I'm afraid this is a problem with the iBook itself, and I can't afford to replace it. If anyone knows what's wrong, and what can be done, I would really appreciate the help.
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #2
    It sounds like your battery is dead. Do you know if it had been recently replaced? I wouldn't jiggle the charger around anymore, especially not forcefully.
     
  3. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
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    #3
    Honestly, I don't know if the battery is new or not. Seems newer then the reast of the computer, though.

    Would a dead battery sometimes accept a charge and sometimes not? I guess I forgot to mention that sometimes it will charge for an hour or two, and the battery will actually run all the way down to 0%. Which makes me think it's not the battery, rather something wrong with the iBook.:(
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    I still say bad battery. Your iBook is obviously getting power. I believe the life of those batteries is about 3 years, so even if the battery is newer than the computer itself, it could still be at the end of it's life. My first battery in my iBook G4 behaved really strangely when it's time was up. If there an Apple Store near you, I'd take it there to get the final word. Just stop jiggling that charger. ;)
     
  5. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #5
    I'm not sure I know quite what you mean by "dead battery"

    I'm currently using the iBook, the battery at 80% It actually charged last night (Who knows when it'll die, though... It seems to last 30 minutes or so, on or off the charger. because if it's charging and it's on, it'll stop at "100%" and drain the battery like it's not plugged in at all)
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    As time goes on, the battery eventually can't hold a charge for very long. Eventually the battery can't hold a charge at all and needs to be replaced. However, if it's doing what you say when plugged in, it could be something else. Anybody else have some advice?
     
  7. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    I'd have to say I feel almost 100% certain that you have a bad DC in-board. Only because I had very similar problems with my G3 iBook. Rotating the adapter in the socket is the only way to get my iBook to charge. I have to watch the battery meter and watch to see when it changes to the plug symbol. Even it moves slightly, there is a great risk of losing the connection. I took it to the Apple Store, but when he gave me the estimate for replacing the DC in-board I decided to live with it. Since it's no longer under Apple care, I believe the total cost was pretty close to $250+ for parts and labor. Once the connection is made my battery will charge and last for a solid 2 hours. If the connection between the adapter and the computer is not made the LED ring will stay green and not charge the battery. Since it's more of a desktop notebook for me, it doesn't bother me much, but if I was mobile more often it would bug the heck out of me. So, I'd say, bad DC in-board.
     
  8. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #8
    Yep, that's near 99% of what's happening to mine.

    It just died at 73%, and I plugged it in. The little LED light on the adaptor is staying green, and it won't turn on...

    Except I think leekohler is right about the battery too, because If I get a connection, sure, it will charge, but it won't charge to full capacity.

    I suppose I'll buy a new battery and live with it.... kind of a downer though.:( On the bright side, at least it's not something really bad, like a bad logic board.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    Sorry for your problems Cassie! Good luck with your iBook.
     
  10. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
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    NY
    #10
    Have you tried or been able to get to the point of calibrating the battery? If it was reading 73% when it died...that seems a little odd, a calibration may help.

    Even if the DC in-board is bad, it is usable. It's a pain in the butt, but it's most definitely functional. Like I said, I live with it, it's not too bad, to me it wasn't worth the $250+ to fix. I would take it over to the Apple store or have someone take a look at it before you go out and buy a battery for it though. A new battery can get a little costly too. :)
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Yeah- definitely have them look at it before you buy a battery.
     
  12. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #12
    Alright, I don't live too far from an Apple Store- perhaps I'll take it there this weekend.

    (This is why I love MR. I posted this exact same thread at Mac-Forums.com, where I'm a fairly active member there. 8 views, and no replies. on MR, 35 Views, and 11 replies.

    I love you guys :)
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    Aww...we love you too. :)
     
  14. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #14
    Well, I finally got it charging again. Took about 10 minutes of wrestling with the charger. The port I plug it in to does seem a little loose...

    Frankf300, thanks, twisting the cord did help, I probably never would've gotton it charging again if I hadn't've done that.:) This laptop is more mobile for me, although it usually spends most of it's time next to my bed. However, I have a big trip to New York and Washington D.C on June 6th, so it would be nice for it to last for at least an hour, hour and a half for the plane ride.
     
  15. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
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    #15
    No problem, we're here to help :D . If I hadn't had the same problem I would have had no idea what could be up. But, having had a similar problem with mine, I know how bad it stinks lol. If it is a mobile laptop the socket issue is going to get annoying fast, but if you can find a spot where it always makes a good connection maybe you can make a small marking on the adapter and the iBook so you don't have to worry about rotating it every time to find it. As for the battery, see if you can get a full charge into it and attempt calibrating it and see how it goes after that. But, I would still reccomend having an Apple guy take a look at it before you dump the money into a battery. Though, you're absolutely right, you should be able to get an hour out of your battery at a minimum. I forgot to mention it before, but you may want to try another power cord for your connection issues. It seems like it's the DC in-board to me from those symptoms, but it wouldn't hurt to try another cord. I would have the Apple tech use one of their cords, I wouldn't say to go buy a new one just to try it :D . Anyway, good luck with it, hopefully you'll have a usable iBook for your trip ;) .
     
  16. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

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    #16
  17. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #17
    Thanks, I tried it and it says I've gone through 159 charge cycles, with 89% original capacity.

    This thing is starting to tick me off now, because now when I plug it in when it's turned on, it will automatically start chargeing without any wiggleing or movment of any kind (Like it's supposed to. :mad:) But when I unplug it and plug it back in, it doesn't detect it, even when I wiggle it. And when it is turned off, I still have to jiggle it to get it to charge. I no longer think this is a DC board problem, it works flawlessly when it is on, but a pain in the butt when it's off.
     
  18. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
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    NY
    #18
    I still think it could be the DC in-board. That's the thing with a bad board, sometimes it will seem like it's working perfect one minute and the next minute it's not working at all. Sometimes mine will detect the power adapter instantly and other times I have to sit there for 10 minutes to find the spot where it makes contact. Your issue definitely doesn't have to do with the battery though, at least not the charging problem. I'd say the only thing you have left to do is try another power adapter and see how it goes. Your current one may have a short in it somewhere causing it to work sometimes and charge intermittently. I'd say to get the iBook to the Apple Store ASAP, I don't think there is much more you can troubleshoot yourself.
     
  19. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #19
    I wonder if it is a dead spot on either the port or the plug? You might try this- when you get it charging get out a sharpie marker and mark the top of the plug then next time you plug it in make sure that mark is pointing straight up and see if that works. Just a simple troubleshooting thing to try-

    There is a little wiggle to that port anyway- my ibook has the same type of wiggle to that port for the battery charger cord.
     

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