Question... (Power Adapter)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TheMonarch, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    OK, so today I bought a second 65W power adapter for my PowerBook since it was starting to get annoying having to unplug t from my desk area, and it was starting to look ugly from all the traveling :eek:.

    So now I have another one, which I don't plan on moving away from my desk area, and will always be plugged in whether connected to the PowerBook or not. But then something came to mind...

    The thing comes with 2 connectors. The tiny 2 prong, and the 3 prong cord. So which one would be the one to use as a "Permanent solution"? Since I don't plan on digging in the back of my desk and bother with the adapter once I install it. I'd rather not have yet-another lengthy cable back there, and it would still reach with the 2 prong.

    But then again, there's got to be a reason one is 2 pronged and another is 3 pronged. Why wold Apple give us a choice on this? What's the incentive for using the 3 pronged cord (Especially since 3 prong outlets are harder to find?)

    EDIT: I know what the 3rd prong is for, grounding. But what comes to mind (To me) is the fact that we have a 'choice' and thats what I'm wondering (Why we have that choice).

  2. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    The longer cable is only 3 pronged for safety reasons, it has no effect on how the power adapter works. In fact, the third prong has no contact with the power brick. So use whatever makes a tidier space.

    And now for the explanation why:

    Going through the long cable, before the electricity get to the power brick, it is at a much higher voltage than when it is going through the small cord to the powerbook. It is steped down from 240 or 120 to 12 volts I belive. The higher voltage on the extending cord creates more risk because if there is a frey or short the current will be much higher do to the large voltage. So they add the third prong and run a ground along the wire to "catch" any possible shorts before it electricutes you or starts a fire.

    That is probably a horribly written explanation because it is 2:35am for me but I hope you get the idea.
  3. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    I always use the 3 prong just for the ground reason, it is plugged into one of many surge protectors i have.

    And it extends the cable to my bed which makes me happy.
  4. Laser47 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2004
    Aside from the safety of the cable going to the power brick being grounded, im sure there is another reason for the 3-pronged cord. Im thinking that the when you use the grounded connector, it also grounds the computer. The grounded cord does have a connection with the power brick (There's a metal peg which holds the plug on, on the ipod its plastic) and then there are the extra pins on the plug for the computer.
    I use the long cord when my iBook is at my desk and the flip out plug when im using it anywhere else.
  5. TheMonarch thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area

    See thats what I'm thinking. Its there for a reason another reason. Why would Apple make grounding optional? :confused:
  6. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    the reason the provide you with the smaller plug is for travel. since there's cable management built in for the cord going to the powerbook, and assuming you use the small plug, you have one nice neat little thing to travel with. not to mention that some places don't have a ground, and i'm sure people would be annoyed if they had to buy a special adapter to use there new laptop(most pc laptops don't have a ground that i've seen).

    but yes, you should use the ground wire for your permanent solution. for something your going to plug in once, then never look at again, better safe then sorry right?

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