Solved? - PowerBook G4 - bad dc in board ?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Zotaccian, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Zotaccian, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #1
    So I recently got this PowerBook G4 15" laptop which I am using at the moment.

    The battery is dead, it won't take charge. However, Mac OS X system info and Coconut Battery both display that the maximum charge which the battery can hold is around 2800 mah, meaning that the battery should not be dead. Then again I know that if battery depletes completely it will die no matter how many times it has been charged.

    The charging led is mostly green but sometimes switches to yellow for a brief moment and there has been time when Mac OS X said that the battery is charging but that didn't last long.

    I now had the chance to test three different 65W chargers which all worked fine with my "old" 12" PowerBook, I could power up the machine with or without battery. Guess what, this 15" PowerBook will not accept any of them. The only charger which is able to power up the machine is the original one. One very important thing which leads me to believe there might be something wrong is that even with the original charger there is relatively loud electric noise when the charger is attached and the machine is off, the noise stops immediately when the machine is powered on. The noise is not like there would be sparks or anything, I maybe cannot explain it, but it is like interference you could hear when radio signal is not optimal.

    So, what Macrumors thinks, bad DC IN board? How can three chargers all die around the same time? I have already ordered new battery which probably will answer this question, but it takes time for it arrive.

    I have tried all the resets but because of that electric noise, I don't think this has anything to do with PRAM etc.



    EDIT: Damn, just browsed iFixit.com and discovered that swapping is not as easy as with iBooks, I still think I can do it however.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Bad DC-In board. My 17" PB had that exact same noise you describe. Sounds like speaker interference.

    Replacing the board is easy on the 17", but I don't know what's involved with the 15". Should be straightforward though.
     
  3. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    Yes, I guess that's it then. In these kind of cases, is the only way to replace the board or should I try resoldering the connector for better contact? With this model it seems like the connector is part of a board (not mb but another) and not separate connector. Thqt "screaming" noise which it makes now makes me to think that the fault could be in a small surface mount component or something which I cannot solder.

    New board would cost relatively much considering how much I paid for this whole machine so if I cannot fix this I don't know if I should bother ordering and waiting for new part to arrive (I don't live in US).
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    If you're good at soldering, you can try. Most of my experience with bad board has been because the soldier connections broke. I'm just awful at soldering so I usually just replace the part.
     
  5. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #5
    Yes - it's definitely a bad DC-in board. I've had this issue on my iBook and many more on previous iBooks. If your charger flashes, or indicates that it's charging when it is not, you need to replace it. I wouldn't even try to solder it - I've done it before, but it always goes bad again, after some time. Just replace it, and be over with it. This site (www.gainsaver.com) has the cheapest iBook G4 DC-in boards on the web that I have found, and they probably have PB boards as well. Check it out.
     
  6. Zotaccian, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

    Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #6
    OK, I will maybe try fixing it once and if it fails then re-think what to do.

    The part which I can't understand is why only the original charger is able to power up the machine, with others, nothing.

    Edit: here is a video where that "screaming" sound can be heard:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1sx9kB3d7U

    I will need to find correct type of screwdriver for the hex nut which holds the left speaker in order to disassemble further....
     
  7. Veinticinco macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #7
    It isn't unfortunately. Requires a complete strip-down pretty much.
     
  8. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #8
    Which looking at the iFixit guides, is VERY hard. And I thought iBooks were hard to take apart! :D
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #9
    IDK. I just looked at the instructions on iFixit for the 15" 1.67Ghz Hi-Res DC board and maybe it's just me but it doesn't seem that complicated.

    I've done major teardowns on the 12", 15" and 17" models for various stuff so this really seems like a moderate job. The hardest part I think would be keeping track of the screws.

    Sorry, I don't mean to sound arrogant, it's just I don't see the difficulty here. I can get it though if you'd never done it before.
     
  10. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #10
    I've never taken a PB apart before, so it looks hard to me at first glance. I've mostly done iBooks. The 12" especially looks hard.. all those little plugs that can accidentally get disconnected from the motherboard....
     
  11. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #11
    Wrote about this on another forum and there was one user who said that what I am hearing is probably coil noise. He said that the just had a laptop which was doing the same and it was the coil near battery connector. Didn't say if that was the main problem with that laptop and whethe or not it did charge.

    I managed do tear down further, didn't find screwdriver so had to rely on other tools. But I am again stopped by a screw, it has been screwed very tight and seems like it is little bit different Philipss screw, only one which I have fits but it is one of those screwdrivers which will break your hand if you try to use force. I may also have damaged the screw, hopefully not, but again, need to find correct screwdriver to go further :D

    I probably already mentioned but the machine has hard time telling battery info, loadcycles, maximum charge capacity etc. may vary from time to time which is of course not how it should be. So it may be the battery itself, but still it don't explain why those three chargers cause nothing to happen, no noise etc.
     
  12. Veinticinco macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #12
    It's not technically difficult as such if you're that way inclined (which I am) but it just a royal pain in the ass having to strip the internals right down to bare skeleton just to swapout the DC board.
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    Are we looking at the same iFixit guide?

    The one I am looking at has you remove the top case, the ambient light sensor, speaker and PC card cage. That's it.

    That's not the same as taking out every major component including the logic board to get to the DC board. Unless you're meaning the 15" Titanium PowerBook and not the 15" Aluminum PowerBook?

    If so, then yes, that I could see because the TiBook is an entirely different beast.
     
  14. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #14
    I agree that it's not a terribly difficult repair, just time consuming in that you're stripping it down most of the way. I always prefer tearing down PowerBooks though, the iBooks always felt like you were snapping plastic and there are more small bits to bounce off and to the ground as you separate the housings.

    The downside to the PowerBook's DC-in board is that it was combined with the left I/O board, meaning it's a more complicated and thus more costly component, whereas the iBook's DC-in was a totally separate component and quite a bit cheaper. If you're handy with a soldering iron then by all means give that a try before spending $75+ on a part.

    One thing I'd recommend after reading your encounter with screws, get a proper toolkit. iFixit has two that I HIGHLY recommend.

    54 bit driver kit

    Pro Tech toolkit (includes the above kit but also ESD strap, prying tools, etc)

    The driver kit is perfect for disassembling all of Apple's PowerPC & Intel computers, with the exception of the older Mac mini (the driver bit is too large to fit in the chassis holes) and the older Mac Pro / PowerMac G5 (need long handle hex tools). When working as a tech for an AASP I used one of these kits for in-store and on-site repairs. Within a month of me bringing in my kit three of the other techs ordered ones for themselves. The Pro Tech kit includes the same bit/driver kit but also has an ESD strap, which is essential for DIY repairs, along with several prying/tweezing tools that are very handy.

    Keeping track of screws is important as well, I still use these boxes when working on devices - http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/21-4431

    I think you're reversing the two...

    The Titanium PowerBook is actually really similar to the iBook in that you just remove the bottom case, two screws on the DC-in, then unplug the DC-in from the logic board and remove.

    The Aluminum 15" PowerBook you have to remove the top case, logic board, speakers, etc... to get to the DC-in (sound board I think it's called) board.
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #15
    Sorry. If you're removing the logicboard to get to the DC Board you're doing it wrong.

    Top case, ambient light sensor, speaker, pc card cage. Nowhere do these instructions mention removing the logicboard.

    iFixit.
     
  16. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #16
    I didn't realize he had the last generation PowerBook. The earlier 15" aluminum models more or less (I think it was possible without removing everything, but much more difficult/cramped) required you to strip most of the components, as reflected by their respective iFixit guides. Mostly the speaker removal (cable runs under the MLB) and card cage removal force you to remove the MLB. With the last generation they went to separate speakers, where they aren't tethered together, making removal of only the left speaker possible without cheating.

    1-1.5Ghz replacement

    1.5-167Ghz replacement
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #17
    OK! Got ya! What a mess! So glad my first trip inside my PowerBook was the 17"!
     
  18. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #18
    The 17's were much easier to work with. And conversely, the 12's were some of, if not the, worst Macs to repair. Everything was so cramped and there were so many screws.
     
  19. Zotaccian, Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014

    Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #19
    Updates:

    I just put the laptop to sleep without battery and then swapped it in, there was brief blink on one of the battery leds so power was going in but for some reason charging was stopped immediately.

    EDIT: After pressing the button one led was constantly lit so maybe the battery isn't completely dead.
    EDIT2: Seems like I can repeat this cycle. First deplete the battery, when I keep tapping the button one led will lit on for couple seconds then fade, after this it will take charge for couple seconds (orange light) and during this time if the connect and disconnect it the charging led works correctly, going green when no battery and going orange when battery is connected. When the charging starts the battery led will blink once but not after that. After some time led will go green and I have to deplete the battery again to repeat.
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #20
    Yeah, my wife's 12" was a nightmare. I broke two parts just trying to swap an LCD. That was after having to take it apart the SECOND time because I didn't get the cable underneath the logicboard inserted right the FIRST time!

    I am very thankful her Mac has been solid since I did all of that.
     
  21. MrPilot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    #21
    My PB can't charge battery and it was the logic board, not dc in :/
    One capacitor/resistor had burned/shorted
     
  22. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #22
    Hopefully it's not anything like that in mine :(

    It is bit difficult since I don't know the exact history of this machine, seller just said that the battery is dead and machine works otherwise.

    I'm holding little bit hope in that the battery has just depleted and died, when I see load cycle info it is only 159 which is very low number for battery made in 2005, battery this old can of course die just because of its age..... but again, it does not explain why three functional chargers are not accepted by this machine. I'll tried moving the plug little bit when chargers were inserted but no difference with the original or those other three.

    EDIT: I put the battery in freezer, I'll try if I could revive it and force it to charge since it is not totally dead.... while waiting the new one.
     
  23. Zotaccian, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #23
    Okay, just moment ago I installed the new battery which I ordered from Germany. The machine seems to be able to work with battery alone and it seems to charge the battery normally, percentages are increasing.

    I have just briefly tested before writing this but it seems at them moment that there is no problems in the machine itself, but of course longer testing will tell. It seems that the original battery had simply deep discharged and its electronics did what they are designed for, they wouldn't charge cells which they thought were bad.
     
  24. Zotaccian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #24
    This thread is basically "dead" but I will still update: It seems that with working battery those other chargers are detected and battery is charged, atleast when I did quick test. Charging icon changed accordingly and percentages were increasing.
     
  25. vrodion macrumors newbie

    vrodion

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #25

    Is it one marked 150/j58 Capacitor?

    Please let me know

    Thanks
     

Share This Page