MBA 2018 grounding issue

Martinpartin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2018
2
1
Hello,

I'm in a market for 2018 MBA. I tried several different units in several different shops (even in different countries) and most of the units manifested the "grounding issue" - a light electricity buzz typically felt when running one's finger across the chassis on the sides of the touchpad or near the display, happening only when the notebook is plugged into power outlet.

My question for 2018 MBA users (or retina MBP users): Does this happen to you - under home/work conditions - as well, or is this specific to how the units are displayed in the shops? Does it bother you, specifically when typing (did not manage to type much on the displayed units)? Is there a quick fix for this issue (apart from buying a grounded extension cord)?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,193
2,523
Hello,

I'm in a market for 2018 MBA. I tried several different units in several different shops (even in different countries) and most of the units manifested the "grounding issue" - a light electricity buzz typically felt when running one's finger across the chassis on the sides of the touchpad or near the display, happening only when the notebook is plugged into power outlet.

My question for 2018 MBA users (or retina MBP users): Does this happen to you - under home/work conditions - as well, or is this specific to how the units are displayed in the shops? Does it bother you, specifically when typing (did not manage to type much on the displayed units)? Is there a quick fix for this issue (apart from buying a grounded extension cord)?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
The grounded extension cord is the only fix for this.
 

Cameront9

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2006
784
79
You might try a grounded plug adapter (converts 3 prong outlet to 2 prong).

The nice thing is Apple's grounded plug extensions have been the same for over a decade or more, so there's no shortage of them out there.
 

b738

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2013
46
1
i have the same with my 2013 mba, never cared about it as its not annoying or painful, you just feel it if you place 1 finger very slightly on top and move it around
 

Populus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2012
886
803
Valencia, Spain.
On my old MacBook Pro from 2010, this have always happened. On a friends 2009 MacBook Pro, this happened as well. On a 2017 MacBook Pro I tried past year, same thing. Even on this MacBook Air, it happens whenever it is connected to the power.

Summing up, this has happened always on every MacBook I've used. So it is normal.
I should try the grounded plug adapter, as said previously. I have one on my house, never used it before.
 

0014

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2016
956
590
Middle East
This happens to me with a UK 3 Pin plug when using it as the adapter direct into the power brick.

However when I use the Apple extension cable it doesn’t. It has been the same all the way back to the 17” one I had in 2008 so it’s normal.
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
865
323
This happens to me with a UK 3 Pin plug when using it as the adapter direct into the power brick.

However when I use the Apple extension cable it doesn’t. It has been the same all the way back to the 17” one I had in 2008 so it’s normal.
Looking at my UK plug the 3rd earth pin is isolated. (As effective as if the 3rd pin were plastic) On the cable I can see metal at the connector which mates with the silver button when it snaps on.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
240
San Jose, CA
Here's something odd I found in regards to the grounding issue. I have a collection of iPods and I sync most of them using a dual USB/FireWire cable; the USB end goes to the MBA for syncing and the FireWire end for charging. When I connect an iPod to the MBA this way with the FireWire charger plugged in, the trackpad becomes very jumpy and imprecise. I don't think I've encountered this on any previous Mac I've owned which is strange.
 

Jnelo

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2019
1
0
Here's something odd I found in regards to the grounding issue. I have a collection of iPods and I sync most of them using a dual USB/FireWire cable; the USB end goes to the MBA for syncing and the FireWire end for charging. When I connect an iPod to the MBA this way with the FireWire charger plugged in, the trackpad becomes very jumpy and imprecise. I don't think I've encountered this on any previous Mac I've owned which is strange.
I'm experiencing the same issue described above with the trackpad having erratic movements. In my case this happens when 1. A 3.5mm audio jack is plugged in to the laptop which is then connected to an audio mixer which uses xlr connections. Or
2. USB connection to a dj controller which is then connected to a sound system with xlr audio jacks.

The problem goes away if I touch the body of the MBP.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,193
2,523
I'm experiencing the same issue described above with the trackpad having erratic movements. In my case this happens when 1. A 3.5mm audio jack is plugged in to the laptop which is then connected to an audio mixer which uses xlr connections. Or
2. USB connection to a dj controller which is then connected to a sound system with xlr audio jacks.

The problem goes away if I touch the body of the MBP.
Are you using the grounded extension power cord? If you are, then your outlet may not be properly grounded.