No power after trying to fix poor wifi reception. Bad PS, inverter, or motherboard?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by studbike, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. studbike macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    I'm up the creek without a paddle here, I hope someone can help me out.

    I have an early 2006 intel imac 17" 1.83. This was the first model, so i believe it does not have integrated graphics. I tried to replace the hard drive last night (upgraded to an SSD!). All went well, but when I turned the computer back on, my airport card had no reception. It was just scanning for networks endlessly, and once, for a second, it saw my network. It doesn't connect to any networks when I type in the login manually, and just says On most of the time, and "scanning for networks" maybe 1 out of every 10 seconds for an instant. It normally can see about 6 - 8 networks instantly.

    So I took the machine back apart and tried to see if i pinched the airport antenna wire or something. It looked totally normal. I decided to remove the board sitting above it, on the top left, which is the DC inverter board. Underneath it, I found a section of the airport cable with the ground braiding exposed. I assume this is supposed to be attached to the metal chassis for ground? It was sitting right next to the chassis, but not touching it, and this is how it looks in guides online too... I did not have a chance to test the theory, however...

    The computer won't power on at all now. When I plug in the power cord, I can hear ticking coming from the power supply. It's so quiet that you have to stick your ear right up to the power supply to hear it. About once every 2 seconds. It's coming from the right side of the power supply, which is near where the AC wall power comes in. Maybe 1 out of 10 times I pressed the power button, The lcd's backlight would illuminate for half a second. Then nothing. Now it doesn't seem to do it anymore.

    To me, the fact that the screen recieved power at all indicates that the power supply is working. After all, I didn't touch the power supply, just the inverter board. But why would just removing it and replacing it have damaged it? I am very careful.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea if the hard drive is spooling up because its an SSD! But, its making no other noise, and no other lights are illuminating. Also, I tried plugging in firewire and usb devices and they have no power, as well as no caps lock light on my keyboard.

    I don't want to start throwing parts at this when the motherboard could be toast. Is there any further testing I can do to try to narrow this down?

    Have there been any hacks getting another power supply to work with an imac? I don't mind if it has to sit next to the computer on the desk.

    I didn't wanna start sticking a multimeter anywhere, as the power supply is definately energized... I found this out by accidentally brushing my finger across the upper right bolt, and got a nice shock! This is NOT the ground bolt.

    At this point, if my airport reception never comes back Ill be thankful just to get the computer running. That antenna issue is still a mystery tho.


    Here's a pic of the exposed section of the antenna, which sits under the inverter board:
  2. studbike thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007

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