4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2009 2:19 PM by Allan Jones
howard_e Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an Aluminum Powerbook G4 17" 1.33 GHz computer and need to replace the PRAM battery. This poses a problem. Typically they sell the PRAM battery/USB board as one replacement because the two rechargeable 3.7 v coin CGL 2430 batteries are spot welded & soldered to the USB board in parallel. The replacement part is 922-6064. When I look for a replacement, all I can find are used parts which mean that the batteries have a diminished life. Panasonic stopped making those batteries in 2005 and I can't find anything comparable. Even the places that advertise new parts say they only have used in the end. Next model up, the 1.5 GHz Apple made a battery pack that can be replaced. NewerTech makes that replacement. I would like to replace the batteries on my present USB board - new ones can be soldered or a plug can be added, but I have run into these problems. Those coin batteries are not available and I know the voltage, but not the amperage of those coin batteries that were used. NewerTech can't tell me the voltage/amperage of their battery pack for the newer version Powerbooks, so I don't know if jury-rigging one of those packs would work with my version of the Powerbook. I can't find Apple's specs anywhere for the voltage/amps that should go into the PRAM/USB boards in the 1.33 model and the 1.5GHz model so that I can figure how to do this repair modification. The USB boards for both models look the same, but I don't think that they are, but what is the difference? Anyone have an idea how I can do this modification to add PRAM power to my USB board?

Powerbook G4 17" 1.33 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Howard. You probably never will find any Apple specs. Apple seldom if ever publishes specs of that sort for its proprietary parts and assemblies. Odds are you're just going to be on your own to proceed by trial and error, unless someone takes the measurements you need from a disassembled machine. And even then, you won't know what an acceptable range of values might be.
  • howard_e Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think that this is going to be a much bigger problem in the near future. I can take my Mac apart and replace the board, but not many people are going to want to have a repair shop do it for them, at what? $150 or more, and then have to do it again in 6 months or a year because the batteries were from a used computer. There are a lot of macs out there that can have this problem. This is the worst kind of planned obsolescence.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Actually, this is a very minor problem, if the negligible incidence of posts here about replacement PRAM batteries dying is any indication. Apparently there are very, very few users of Powerbooks (going all the way back to the G3s of 1998-2001) whose use of these machines has outlasted a second PRAM battery. I still have a working 2003 Titanium Powerbook with its original PRAM battery in place, a working 1998 Powerbook G3 with its original PRAM battery in place, and a working 1997 Powerbook 1400C with its original PRAM battery in place. I doubt that new replacements are available for any of those batteries, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy used ones if I intended to use any of those computers for several more years. I suggest you go ahead and do the same, and install the used battery yourself to keep the cost down.

    Message was edited by: eww
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,230 points)
    My PB17 was given to me after the original owner discided it was used up. The PRamm battery was not helping an already poor situation cause d by a flaky main battery. As the computer was not "mission-critical," I pulled the main battery and left the PB on A/C power for about two days. Tht pumped enough life back into the PRAM batt to give some level of function.