4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2011 12:00 PM by Allan Jones
AMBER93 Level 1 (0 points)

When plugged into AC and PB G4 17" adapter works and charges

Color ring at plug end can be either green or, orange-white

However it turns RED (instead of orange-white) if the cord at the plug is moved very slightly.

(I say it's orange-white meaning the color is somewhere in that visual range to my eyes– neither white nor orange but a mix)

What does the color RED indicate?


Just bought a reconditioned PB and it's  in warranty period. Other than this and fast battery depletion, it seems to work fine.

Rechargable Battery is model A1057 original apple 10.8v 62 wh.


Model info: from Hardware Overview PowerBook 5.5

                  from back of PB case Model A1085


The red color likely mean somthings not making connect, but hope someone can verify that.

PowerBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11), PwrPC G4 (1.1) 17" CPU spd 1.5
  • AMBER93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apparently red is an indicator the negative side of the incoming circuit was open.


    Today, on plugging the adapter into the laptop, the light ring came on, then went out as my hand was removed from the cable. Touching either gently, no light or light. Obvious poor connection.


    So (based on prior experience with electronics) used pliers to gently partially REDUCE the gap in the OUTSIDE RING of the plug so it fits TIGHTER to the fitting into which it plugs

         –––––  MEANING a good physical connection to the outside of the fitting on the laptop - ONE THAT CANNOT OPEN/CLOSE, BUT IS A CONTINUOUS TIGHT FIT..


    Result is a solid light on the plastic ring of the connector, with no more blinking by juggling the cord. NOW should be no more red light since the fitting and cord cannot be moved with a strong effort to unplug it.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,957 points)

    The reason Apple abandoned that connector type for the current magnetic connector was that a stress on the cable--like someone tripping over the cord while it was attached---stresses the "legs" that hold the barrel-shaped connector to the power board inside and also serve as the electrical contacts. Looks like this before installation:



    Because simply touching the wire is changing its state, you connector is likely loose from the board. The real cure, assuming the contacts are not damaged, is to re-solder the connector to the board. Thats not a job for the faint of heart.


    Just bought a reconditioned PB and it's  in warranty period


    If you have warranty coverage, I would definitely ask the vendor to repair this for you. It's a common condition in used PowerBooks and the vendors should have checked for that problem before selling the unit.

  • AMBER93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Allen.... appreciate the images.

    I learned soldering as a teen in 1941 creating my first ham radio transmitter and after WWII built a 6 foot rack mounted 500 watt transmitter system from parts; and later years smaller stuff. During that time I installed and wired various phono type connectors (the receptacle end on the laptop is basically that part in a different holder.)


    Fortunately, in this case there was no wiggle nor movement of the case-mounted fitting (the part in the icon). What was changing or moving was the FIT of the ring to the shell of the fitting. The plug had a too loose ring, the tightening of which provided firm physical connect. With that change touching it or wiggling the wire no longer causes an alteration in the light color or on/off; and there is no movement of the receptacle.

    That's how I perceive the situation. 


    Now the fitting connection is solid. (The adapter that came with the laptop from Power Max was still in its original wrap and obviously never used.) For those without that background it could have been either contact point (at the plug or inside) so having this info may help others.

    Thanks for your post.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,957 points)

    Glad you worked it out.


    I learned soldering as a teen in 1941 creating my first ham radio transmitter


    It's such a pleasure to see someone around here who can find their way around a circuit board. I mentioned "solder" to one poster who immediate thought I'd misspelled "soldier."


    Have a great holiday!