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Pismo lid sensor problems and unexpected sleeping

Message #1 - Posted 2005/12/17 - William F. Adams

My wife's Powerbook G3 bronze keyboard ``Pismo'' has been intermittently going to sleep unexpectedly during use, and not readily ``waking up'' from sleep afterwards.

What does it use to detect the lid being opened or closed/closing? I've read about a magnet, but I can't get a paperclip to stick along the edge of the LCD (it does stick to the speakers of course, and also to the bottom underneath the HD).

I'm hoping there's a sensor I can clean (or disable? manually putting it to sleep before closing the lid would be okay for her I think, and hitting the power button to wake it up say.)

I've also tried loading the insomnia.kext, but while it seems to disable sleeping, it doesn't keep the LCD on.

William

Message #2 - Posted 2005/12/18 - John Johnson

Previously, William F. Adams wrote:

My wife's Powerbook G3 bronze keyboard ``Pismo'' has been intermittently going to sleep unexpectedly during use, and not readily ``waking up'' from sleep afterwards.

What does it use to detect the lid being opened or closed/closing?

AFAIK, it uses a reed switch and magnet, located somewhere near the HD-side hinge. I've never heard of any problems directly attributable to the switch (though some people have had problems with the switch and new hard disks, but I believe the symptoms to have been different).

Tell us more about the computer and symptoms so that we can help you better:
1. is the PRAM battery the original?
2. What OS do you run?
3. Any upgrades/non-Apple hardware in it?
4. Under what conditions do the symptoms occur, and what exactly happens? (e.g. does the sleep light come on and pulse? Does this only happen when on battery power?)
5. Other than insomnia.kext, what else have you tried? resetting PRAM? recalibrating the main battery, etc.
6. Where else have you looked for help, and what did you check under? (this helps prevent us from duplicating your effort).

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

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

Message #3 - Posted 2005/12/18 - William F. Adams

Thanks John!

Lessee:

1. PRAM is probably original

2. running Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar mostly, but also boot into 10.3 on a separate partition from time-to-time

3. I did put in a 30GB Toshiba HD to replace the 30GB IBM Travel(Death)Star that was in it.

4. It just winks out and sleeps and the light starts pulsing to indicate sleep. Sometimes as one closes or opens the lid it would flicker going in and out of sleep mode as one opened and closed it.

5. haven't tried anything else --- didn't try the battery since it's almost exclusively used plugged in on my wife's desk in the basement

6. this was my first try for help after exhausting my Google Search fu.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I should mention that it was the victim of a coffee spill (decaf with cream but no sugar) and had the keyboard replaced. Everything worked fine thereafter except the power light doesn't light when it's on (but does pulse when it's asleep, go figure). The HD has been replaced since the spill.

It seems to be working now with insomnia.kext, but not sure if this is coincidence or no. I would like to have instructions on how to dig out the switch and clean it if it's possible (I was able to replace the HD and have a Torx driver bit)

Thanks!

William

Message #4 - Posted 2005/12/18 - John Johnson

Previously, William F. Adams wrote:

Thanks John!

Lessee:

1. PRAM is probably original

The PRAM battery may be on its way out. I don't know if the behavior that you are experiencing is symptomatic of a bad/failing PRAM battery or not. Typically people notice the clock resetting itself first, but there can be other symptoms.

2. running Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar mostly, but also boot into 10.3 on a separate partition from time-to-time

3. I did put in a 30GB Toshiba HD to replace the 30GB IBM Travel(Death)Star that was in it.

4. It just winks out and sleeps and the light starts pulsing to indicate sleep. Sometimes as one closes or opens the lid it would flicker going in and out of sleep mode as one opened and closed it.

And it goes out without your moving the screen or anything? That is, the computer could be just sitting there, and go to sleep.

Have you checked your energy saver preferences to make sure that it's set properly? If your preferences have "reset" themselves, see #1.

5. haven't tried anything else --- didn't try the battery since it's almost exclusively used plugged in on my wife's desk in the basement

6. this was my first try for help after exhausting my Google Search fu.

For the HD possibility, try looking for threads in this group (via Google groups-though they've changed their interface- or some other service) involving "Pismo", "sleep", "HD" or something similar. IIRC, most of the threads were happening 2-3 years ago.

IIRC, the magnetic field on some uprated HD's prevented machines from going to sleep, and the fix involved placing a thin piece of metal (e.g. a razor blade) between the HD and the switch. IIRC, people typically taped it to the upper right corner of the HD cage.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I should mention that it was the victim of a coffee spill (decaf with cream but no sugar) and had the keyboard replaced. Everything worked fine thereafter except the power light doesn't light when it's on (but does pulse when it's asleep, go figure). The HD has been replaced since the spill.

Well, if something got on the motherboard, that might do this sort of thing (or any number of other weird things). In that case, your options are to pull the motherboard, wash and dry it, and hope that takes care of it (i.e. hoping that it's cruft on the board and not a corroded trace), or replace it. I'd save this option for last.

It seems to be working now with insomnia.kext, but not sure if this is coincidence or no. I would like to have instructions on how to dig out the switch and clean it if it's possible (I was able to replace the HD and have a Torx driver bit)

Reed switches are usually pretty reliable. I don't know whether this reed switch is normally closed or normally open, but if it's normally open, then it's even less likely for a failing switch to cause this sort of behavior. I also rather suspect that the switch itself is in a sealed case, but I've not dealt with Pismo issues since mine died in '04.

My vote, right now anyway, would be for a failing PRAM battery (about $50 to replace, trivial to do on the Pismo). Before buying one, you might check for other common symptoms by shutting down the machine and restarting it. If the date/time, or other system preferences, reset then it's most likely the battery.

It might also be a bad power connection. Do you notice that the connector for the power cord is loose or "wobbly"?

Later,
John

johajohn@indianahoosiers.edu

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

Message #5 - Posted 2005/12/18 - William F. Adams

John Johnson asked:

And it goes out without your moving the screen or anything? That is, the computer could be just sitting there, and go to sleep.

Exactly. That's what's so irritating.

Have you checked your energy saver preferences to make sure that it's set properly? If your preferences have "reset" themselves, see #1.

I set it to never sleep back when this started and it's still set to that (just checked).

The PRAM sounds like an interesting avenue to pursue, though it's disheartening it's a $50 avenue.

The power connection seems good --- no wobble or anything, and there's a fully charged battery in the system as well.

insomnia.kext solving things seems to've merely been a coincidence though, and I'm beginning to wonder if the problem isn't some trace of coffee or something on the motherboard, since it seems to be related to humidity (the dehumidifier got turned off the other night and the problem became worse, I schlepped the system upstairs and turned the dehumidifier back on, then brought it back down later and it hasn't tweaked out since I managed to get it to wake up and stay awake.

I really wish there were some way to completely disable sleeping / waking based on the lide opening / closing and only use say Apple menu sleep and the power button to wake it though.

William

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