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Power supply "bricks" - equivalence?

Message #1 - Posted 2006/05/25 - Merlin

I was recently sold a Kensington power supply (33069) by a Mac shop in France with the assurance that it was safe and would work with my PowerBook. (I was desperate and wanted to believe them!)

I then checked with the Kensington web site and found that my laptop (G4 PowerBoook 17") was not on their list of supported computers with that power supply. So I called Kensington support in the UK and spoke to a very helpful person (take a bow for customer service, Kensington) who checked in all the places he could find and strongly recommended not to use it. Not because he knew that it would not work, but because he had no evidence that it /would/ work. I depend on my PowerBook and wanted to take no risks - I went the extra mile (actually closer to 100 miles) and found an Apple power brick.

Where can I find out how the power supplies work and whether the purchased device really would have worked? Have Apple adopted a standard power brick interface for example: something like ""all G4 PowerBooks require 23V"? This might mean for example that the brick which was rated for a PowerBook G4 Titanium would also work with all subsequent PowerBook G4s.

I know there is an issue with power consumption and in this case the Kensington was generously rated, that was not a problem. But the voltage supplied and its regulation was a mystery - determined by a "tip" (the plug which goes into the laptop) which you select based on the machine with which it has to work.

Thanks for reading this far ...!

Merl

Message #2 - Posted 2006/05/25 - Paul Russell

Merlin wrote:

I was recently sold a Kensington power supply (33069) by a Mac shop in France with the assurance that it was safe and would work with my PowerBook. (I was desperate and wanted to believe them!)

I then checked with the Kensington web site and found that my laptop (G4 PowerBoook 17") was not on their list of supported computers with that power supply. So I called Kensington support in the UK and spoke to a very helpful person (take a bow for customer service, Kensington) who checked in all the places he could find and strongly recommended not to use it. Not because he knew that it would not work, but because he had no evidence that it /would/ work. I depend on my PowerBook and wanted to take no risks - I went the extra mile (actually closer to 100 miles) and found an Apple power brick.

Where can I find out how the power supplies work and whether the purchased device really would have worked? Have Apple adopted a standard power brick interface for example: something like ""all G4 PowerBooks require 23V"? This might mean for example that the brick which was rated for a PowerBook G4 Titanium would also work with all subsequent PowerBook G4s.

I know there is an issue with power consumption and in this case the Kensington was generously rated, that was not a problem. But the voltage supplied and its regulation was a mystery - determined by a "tip" (the plug which goes into the laptop) which you select based on the machine with which it has to work.

Thanks for reading this far ...!

Don't take my word for this, but AIUI all the Apple bricks from the last few years are pretty muich interchangeable, the only problem being that if you put a lower power (45W) brick on a PowerBook that normally has a high power (65W) brick then it will take longer to charge.

I mix and match both new and old, Apple and non-Apple power bricks between old iBooks, the latest PowerBook, etc, without any problems.

Paul

Message #3 - Posted 2006/05/25 - Neill Massello

Merlin wrote:

I was recently sold a Kensington power supply (33069) by a Mac shop in France with the assurance that it was safe and would work with my PowerBook. (I was desperate and wanted to believe them!)

I then checked with the Kensington web site and found that my laptop (G4 PowerBoook 17") was not on their list of supported computers with that power supply. So I called Kensington support in the UK and spoke to a very helpful person (take a bow for customer service, Kensington) who checked in all the places he could find and strongly recommended not to use it. Not because he knew that it would not work, but because he had no evidence that it /would/ work. I depend on my PowerBook and wanted to take no risks - I went the extra mile (actually closer to 100 miles) and found an Apple power brick.

Where can I find out how the power supplies work and whether the purchased device really would have worked? Have Apple adopted a standard power brick interface for example: something like ""all G4 PowerBooks require 23V"? This might mean for example that the brick which was rated for a PowerBook G4 Titanium would also work with all subsequent PowerBook G4s.

I know there is an issue with power consumption and in this case the Kensington was generously rated, that was not a problem. But the voltage supplied and its regulation was a mystery - determined by a "tip" (the plug which goes into the laptop) which you select based on the machine with which it has to work.

Apple's chart of models and power adapters:
<http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75448>.

AFAIK, all the Apple G3 and G4 laptops run on 24 Volts DC. The only difference is power consumption. Later PowerBook models, including all 17s, need a 65 Watt adapter. Any adapter with the proper tip that provides at least 65W at 24V should work with any PowerBook G4.

Message #4 - Posted 2006/05/25 - Merlin the Mystic

On 2006-05-25 16:32:31 +0200, Neill Massello said:

Merlin wrote:

I was recently sold a Kensington power supply (33069) by a Mac shop in France with the assurance that it was safe and would work with my PowerBook. (I was desperate and wanted to believe them!)

I then checked with the Kensington web site and found that my laptop (G4 PowerBoook 17") was not on their list of supported computers with that power supply. So I called Kensington support in the UK and spoke to a very helpful person (take a bow for customer service, Kensington) who checked in all the places he could find and strongly recommended not to use it. Not because he knew that it would not work, but because he had no evidence that it /would/ work. I depend on my PowerBook and wanted to take no risks - I went the extra mile (actually closer to 100 miles) and found an Apple power brick.

Where can I find out how the power supplies work and whether the purchased device really would have worked? Have Apple adopted a standard power brick interface for example: something like ""all G4 PowerBooks require 23V"? This might mean for example that the brick which was rated for a PowerBook G4 Titanium would also work with all subsequent PowerBook G4s.

I know there is an issue with power consumption and in this case the Kensington was generously rated, that was not a problem. But the voltage supplied and its regulation was a mystery - determined by a "tip" (the plug which goes into the laptop) which you select based on the machine with which it has to work.

Apple's chart of models and power adapters:
<http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75448>. AFAIK, all the Apple G3 and G4 laptops run on 24 Volts DC. The only difference is power consumption. Later PowerBook models, including all 17s, need a 65 Watt adapter. Any adapter with the proper tip that provides at least 65W at 24V should work with any PowerBook G4.

This chart of power supplies is pretty convincing, thank you very much. To remain doubtful I would have to believe that a 12" G4 PowerBook had different voltage requirements from a 17" one and that's pretty unlikely! Also Paul's experience is convincing. Looks like I wasted my time (not to mention the $100) doing the 100 mile round trip!

Many thanks to you both.

Merl

Message #5 - Posted 2006/05/29 - David Lesher

neillmassello@earthlink.net (Neill Massello) writes:

Apple's chart of models and power adapters: <http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75448>.

AFAIK, all the Apple G3 and G4 laptops run on 24 Volts DC. The only difference is power consumption. Later PowerBook models, including all 17s, need a 65 Watt adapter. Any adapter with the proper tip that provides at least 65W at 24V should work with any PowerBook G4.

G3's & G4's use different {weird...} jacks. A too-few watts supply can't walk&chew gum at the same time, but besides that should be OK. A too-many watts supply will work with all.

I just wish I could find a source for the %&#^*%^& plugs; I have 3-4 power supplies around with bad-at-the-plug cables..

A host is a host from coast to coast.................wb8foz@nrk.com & no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433 is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433

Message #6 - Posted 2006/05/29 - Michael Black

David Lesher (wb8foz@panix.com) writes:

neillmassello@earthlink.net (Neill Massello) writes:

Apple's chart of models and power adapters: <http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75448>.

AFAIK, all the Apple G3 and G4 laptops run on 24 Volts DC. The only difference is power consumption. Later PowerBook models, including all 17s, need a 65 Watt adapter. Any adapter with the proper tip that provides at least 65W at 24V should work with any PowerBook G4.

G3's & G4's use different {weird...} jacks. A too-few watts supply can't walk&chew gum at the same time, but besides that should be OK. A too-many watts supply will work with all.

I just wish I could find a source for the %&#^*%^& plugs; I have 3-4 power supplies around with bad-at-the-plug cables..

I don't know what plug you're talking about, indeed I've never seen a Powermac Powerbook AC adaptor.

But, what seemed to be an odd looking connector for my Powerbook 1400C turned out to be a glorified 1/8 inch stereo phone plug. I've posted about that before here, with the details. As far as I can tell, the extra shell that makes it look like such an odd connector is either for mechanical stability, or just an extra layer of shielding. Since I've never seen one up close, I don't know.

SOmeone else will have to help you determine if the connector you are talking about is the same I'm talking about.

And the one trick, if it is, is that they don't wire it like you expect. The ground wire does not go to the part of the connector that is used for ground in audio applications.

Michael

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