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Clamshell iBook Charging Problem

Message #1 - Posted 2006/03/25 - Tyr

Hi all, I recently picked up a Tangerine iBook (300mhz G3), and everything works great about it (surprisingly fast considering its age), except the battery.

Now the obvious reply is "its a six year old li-ion, it'll be dead", except it isn't dead, it holds a good three and a half hours charge, but the problem is, it wont charge when the machine is running. If its off, or in sleep, it'll charge, but the moment it boots or wakes up, the ring turns green and it refuses to charge.

I thought at first maybe it was a problem with osX not recognising the hardware (coming from windows you can see why I'd jump to that conclusion), but the same thing happens under os9, so thats not it. I've now got 10.4.5 running on it and system profiler is vaguely informative on the subject, giving the output below. I'm using its original flying saucer type ac adaptor, and right now the battery is full since I left it sleeping for a few hours earlier.

Battery Information:
Battery Installed: Yes
First low level warning: No
Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 2790
Remaining Capacity (mAh): 2790
Amperage (mA): 0
Voltage (mV): 16494
Cycle Count: 77
AC adapter cannot charge battery: Yes

AC Charger Information:
AC Charger (Watts): 26
Connected: Yes
Charging: No

The first thing which jumps out at me, is that the ac adaptor has printed on the outside of it that it should be a 45W adaptor, yet it is apparently only outputting 26W. Is there any way to tell if this is accurate or not? The other obvious thing is the oh so useful note that "AC adapter cannot charge battery: Yes" I've tried googling this phrase and come up with nothing. Infact I've googled until I ran out of keywords and ideas, all with no joy.

I've tried a full discharge/refill cycle, I've tried resetting the PMU, when under os9 I tried using apples "battery reset 2.0", none of which helped.

Has anyone else had a problem like this? I dont want to have to buy a new battery as they're not cheap, and I dont entirely trust how new they'd be, and this one does hold a good long charge.

Many thanks in advance.

-- Tyr

Message #2 - Posted 2006/03/26 - John Johnson

Previously, Tyr wrote:

Hi all, I recently picked up a Tangerine iBook (300mhz G3), and everything works great about it (surprisingly fast considering its age), except the battery.

Now the obvious reply is "its a six year old li-ion, it'll be dead", except it isn't dead, it holds a good three and a half hours charge, but the problem is, it wont charge when the machine is running. If its off, or in sleep, it'll charge, but the moment it boots or wakes up, the ring turns green and it refuses to charge.

I thought at first maybe it was a problem with osX not recognising the hardware (coming from windows you can see why I'd jump to that conclusion), but the same thing happens under os9, so thats not it. I've now got 10.4.5 running on it and system profiler is vaguely informative on the subject, giving the output below. I'm using its original flying saucer type ac adaptor, and right now the battery is full since I left it sleeping for a few hours earlier.

Battery Information:
Battery Installed: Yes
First low level warning: No
Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 2790
Remaining Capacity (mAh): 2790
Amperage (mA): 0
Voltage (mV): 16494
Cycle Count: 77
AC adapter cannot charge battery: Yes

AC Charger Information:
AC Charger (Watts): 26
Connected: Yes
Charging: No

The first thing which jumps out at me, is that the ac adaptor has printed on the outside of it that it should be a 45W adaptor, yet it is apparently only outputting 26W. Is there any way to tell if this is accurate or not?

Ammeter. Or you could get another computer that uses the same power supply and swap them. If the numbers stay the same on both machines, then the power supplies are fine. IME though, DC power supplies typically work or don't, so I doubt that this is the issue.

I'd still vote for a bad battery at this point, I think. btw, you really only have 77 charge cycles on that battery?

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

Message #3 - Posted 2006/03/26 - Tyr

I'd still vote for a bad battery at this point, I think. btw, you really only have 77 charge cycles on that battery?

Thats what it says, I've no way to check since I only aquired this machine a week or two ago. It's in lovely condition, so maybe it spent most of its life running from ac.

Well, if it is a bad battery it'll have to be ignored, as I'm not about to shell out for a new one when this one holds a longer life than most newer laptops when new, but its annoying none the less.

-- Tyr

Message #4 - Posted 2006/03/26 - Lu

The answer to your problem is here....They say you have a problem with your charger cord...

http://akma.disseminary.org/archives/2005/11/yikes.html

Message #5 - Posted 2006/03/27 - John Johnson

Previously, Tyr wrote:

I'd still vote for a bad battery at this point, I think. btw, you really only have 77 charge cycles on that battery?

Thats what it says, I've no way to check since I only aquired this machine a week or two ago. It's in lovely condition, so maybe it spent most of its life running from ac.

Well, if it is a bad battery it'll have to be ignored, as I'm not about to shell out for a new one when this one holds a longer life than most newer laptops when new, but its annoying none the less.

-- Tyr

Ah, it's new to you. I'd missed that in the original.

As the other reply indicates, it could be other stuff than the battery. You are well advised to swap your power supply and (if you can) battery for equivalent (and known-good) versions, even temporarily. That can provide a great deal of information about the location of a problem.

Incidentally, how long does it take to charge the battery when it does charge? Even at 26W, it should go from empty to full in only two or three hours I think (it's been a _long_ time since I've dealt with these iBooks, but that's what I recall anyway), so if it's taking substantially longer than that you've got problems somewhere inside the case (battery or DC board in the iBook most probably).

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

'indiana' is a 'nolnn' and 'hoosier' is a 'solkk'. Indiana doesn't solkk.

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