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Powerbook Duo 280c
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Greg Pare
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Mar 8, 2000, 05:27 AM
I recently picked up a Powerbook Duo 280c which is in great condition, except for one problem...

Every time I insert the battery, the whole thing shuts off. It runs fine on the power supply. I've cleaned the contacts and don't believe that they are problem. It also appears that the PRAM battery is dying. My question is, if the PRAM battery is dead/dying, would that cause the regular battery to act this way (that is, shut down)? Or, has my regular battery just gone bad as well? It would be great to have a laptop instead of another desktop!

Any help is appreciated,

The Wolfe
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Mar 8, 2000, 12:28 PM
I'm not for sure the PRAM battrey is your problem, but I've had wierd problems with my 5300ce since mine went dead. You might find another Type III (main) battery to test out your contacts, otherwise the PRAM Battery may be a good thing to replace (plus, you don't have to reset everything when you boot up!

-Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
Tim Michael
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Mar 8, 2000, 04:31 PM
You can recharge the PRAM battery by leaving the charger plugged in for a while (a day or so). That might fix it.

Go to MacFixit and get RstPwrMgr to reset the power manager circuit. That will work better than the recommended method.

Reset your PRAM.

Take an old-fashioned red pencil eraser and clean the contacts on the bat'ry. Make sure to clean off any dust. That might help.

The Duo had a habit of blowing the power board (underneath the power switch at the keyboard). But if that works to turn it on consistently, then it probably isn't a problem.

Also, make sure that you're using the 1.84A power adapter, instead of the 1.04A version that shipped with the earlier Duos. And if you have a Type III battery, make sure that you have the Duo Battery Patch extension installed. I think it will make a difference.

Hope this helps.
Greg Pare
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Mar 9, 2000, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the tips, but no luck -- the Type III battery still does the same thing time after time.

What I've tried:
- Left it plugged in to charge the PRAM battery -- PRAM battery works for a while.
- Cleaned the contacts with a pencil eraser
- Zapped the PRAM (several times)
- Reset the power manager with and without the RstPwrMgr program
- Tried the DUO Type III battery patch (even though the ReadMe states it's not needed for the 280 models)

The only thing I didn't know about, Tim, was where you were getting the 1.84A and 1.04A version numbers. My power supply shows...

Model Number: AA19200 and
Apple Model Number: M2693
Output: 24v 1.5A

I guess I'm in for buying a new battery (and new PRAM battery), unless anyone out there wants to donate them, or any other disfunctional duos/parts to the cause...

Thanks again,

Tim Michael
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Mar 10, 2000, 04:39 PM
I should have said 1.54 not 1.84A (my 1400 charger is 1.84A, sorry).

You can try an external snap on battery charger if you can find one. Sometimes my Type III in my Duo 270c gets so low that it won't recharge through the Duo. I have to put it in the Dock that I have (a Dock Plus) or squeeze it into the old-style snapon charger for a little while. Then it will charge fine.

Again, you may need a special extension to use a Type III in the 280c. I recommend you look at the Apple Tech Info Library to see what you can find.
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