This is going to sound really werid...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by AoWolf, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. AoWolf macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Ok first let me start by putting this in context. I have a 4 or so month old 1 Ghz iBook. Because of a pressure wound I can't sit down for extended periods of time so I often lie on the ground with a pillow and watch tv with my book on my lap. If I sit with my ibook on my stomach t I would fell a kind of zap. At first I thought it was the screws on the bottom heating up and burning me but after touching them I found this not to be the case. I soon found out that the button to open the case also gave me a zap. Then I did the good old 9 volt test and touched the tip of my tongue to the button and wouldn't you know it it zapped me. I soon found out that any metal part be it the open button the screw or the battery opening screw all zap me. I took my dads voltage tester and it told me that there was .190 of a volt coming off the metal on the book. I also found out it only happens when it is plugged in and charging now is this a normal occurrences or should I look into it more?
  2. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    All signs point to you have a defective iBook. It have been your mistake or just a manufacturing issue.

    Have not heard many if any cases as such there are indeed rare. I would call Apple up and tell them about it. I am considering you have Apple Care.

    If not tell them its a health and safety hazard and will considering taking legal action if nothing is done. If it were static charge that is another story.

    All the best. Hope that helps. By the way did you check Apples site to see if you have a defective logic board.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    First: It's got to be more than .19V, or you sure wouldn't be feeling anything. You can't even feel 1.5V off of a AA battery. Make sure you also try setting the Voltmeter to AC when you test, to make sure you're not missing AC voltage.

    That means that whatever it is is probably building up over time--either simple static electricity, or perhaps some sort of intermittent short and/or something charging up the metal frame.

    Second: I've read about others with a similar problem on the forums here, so it's possible. The cause could be static (do you live in a very dry area? The iBook is plastic, after all.), or it could be a short of some sort if it only happens when it's plugged in like you say--if there's an AC voltage registering between the case and ground, then that's definitely what you're seeing. It could also be a very small charge building up over time while it's charging--this might or might not be normal.

    Third: If it turns out to be AC voltage (more than a volt or two, anyway), then something is very wrong, and I'd have it serviced before it shorts and electrocutes you. The problem in that case would much more likely be with the adapter, since the outer ring should be ground, and should also be connected to the iBook frame, which would normally make it completely neutral.

    Also check you house's wiring--perhaps there's something wired wrong, which could cause issues like this. If the same thing doesn't occurr elsewhere, then it's probably your house.

    If it's static electricity, then it's not a real issue, but be careful you don't fry anything. Perhaps invest in an anti-static mat to lay on. If it's a small amount of DC voltage, it could be an issue, or it could be nothing, but it's probably safer to get it looked at just in case.
  4. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    Hmmm, don't think it's a problem

    I don't have an explanation for what's going on, but I will say what I know. the .19 volts is going to do nothing. You already have an estimated 300V running through your body anyway. Electricity will not jump unless there is a high voltage, thus, why a car battery doesn't shock you when you touch it. A battery only shocks your tongue because it is coated with liquid that has salt in it. You'd need strong saltwater all over your stomach to get shocked. That electricity coming out is normal and not dangerous. I still dont' know what's wrong, but thought I would rule that out. Thanks for posting though, that is interesting.
  5. AoWolf thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Thanks for the info I will dig out the tester and see if its ac tomorrow.

    Here is some more info:

    It is random when it shocks me by this I mean that sitting some ways it will some ways it won't. When it does its a constance thing. I.E. the longer I leave my tongue on it the more painful it feels. If I take my tongue off and put it back on it feels just as strong as before.

    Its is a definite difference between plugging it in and unplugging it. If I keep my tongue on the button and unplug it, it completely stops.
  6. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Wow! That sounds pretty freaky... I'd definitely have it checked out or sent to Apple. It may just shock you know, but I bet if something really went wrong, that laptop could pack quite a punch! :eek:
  7. davecuse macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2004
    I would have to guess that when designing the casing for the iBook they weren't considering you licking it... My question is, what were you doing when you first noticed that licking your computer produced a shocking sensation? Also has anyone in walked in on you while you were tongue to computer? If so, did you have a difficult time explaining the situation?
  8. wowser macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2004
    Inglaterra, Europa
    Us doctor types call this 'sore arse'
  9. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    This has happened to multiple people on the iBook LJ group: check here
  10. PismoGuy macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Skokie/Chicago, Illinois
    Interesting Indeed

    The average estimated voltage needed for ESD (electrostatic discaharge) to be felt is approximately 1500 volts. A moderately strong zap is about 3000 volts. At those voltages the charge would arc through the air. Since you do not feel a zap until you touch it then it is probably not static electricity. Your ibook is behaving more like a capacitor (possible a grounding problem?). Anyway if the zaps are relatively strong, increasing in intensity, or frequency ... you should get it checked out. It could get dangerous. I am quite interested as to how that charge is building up.
  11. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2003
    Or High Amps

    Low voltage can get you if the amps are high enough. But granted .19v is low.
  12. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    You love your iBook so much that you lick it?
  13. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    My PowerBook also feels tingly when it's plugged in. I think it's quite common with the ...Books actually, and I think it's something that Apple should try to do better in upcoming revisions because it's not reassuring to feel electricity where it's not supposed to be, if that makes any sense.

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