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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 220 volts make Macbook Pro Vibrate

220 volts make Macbook Pro Vibrate
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hanguolaohu
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Sep 30, 2009, 03:48 AM
 
I'm using a USA Macbook Pro in China and noticed that when I plug in the power which is 220 volts the laptop vibrates. I do not feel this vibration while I use my laptop in the USA which uses 110 volts. I've also had problems with my USA hard drives vibrating and even Final Cut Pro being very unstable while using it in China. I was wondering whether this vibration is normal and whether it could possibly harm my laptop. Any info would be much appreciated!

Alexander
     
Simon
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Sep 30, 2009, 06:43 AM
 
The vibration you feel are actually DC trickle currents in the ungrounded case.

Make sure you use the three prong adapter and use a properly grounded outlet. That should solve the problem.
( Last edited by Simon; Oct 2, 2009 at 10:02 AM. )
     
threestain
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Sep 30, 2009, 07:34 AM
 
should, but not always...
     
Simon
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Sep 30, 2009, 07:38 AM
 
If the outlet is properly grounded you definitely shouldn't have these issues. If you are certain about the grounding, take the MBP in and have it fixed.
     
The Placid Casual
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Sep 30, 2009, 07:52 AM
 
I get the same kind of 'vibration'/current issues using my UK machines in France, where it is common in some places to still have old style '2 prong' plug sockets.

When I use the machine on a properly grounded supply with a '3 connection' earthed socket, the issue is not there.
     
Wiskedjak
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Sep 30, 2009, 08:38 AM
 
I'm assuming by "vibration" you are referring to a slight electronic tingle where your skin touches the laptop? If so, I concur with the other posters. My computer once wasn't plugged in properly and was electrifying the outer case and every peripheral plugged in to it (including my ipod). Whenever I touched the case or ipod I would feel a slight electronic tingle. The plug must have been pulled a little loose from the socket to the point where the ground no longer made contact; after being pushed in properly, the electrification went away.
     
msuper69
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Sep 30, 2009, 08:56 AM
 
Another great Apple innovation!

The MacBook Pro Vibrator.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 30, 2009, 09:51 AM
 
     
tooki
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Sep 30, 2009, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
Another great Apple innovation!

The MacBook Pro Vibrator.
You're almost 10 years too late on that joke!

Ta da:
YouTube - Say Hellohhhh to iBrator
YouTube - 3 Steps
     
msuper69
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Sep 30, 2009, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
You're almost 10 years too late on that joke!

Ta da:
YouTube - Say Hellohhhh to iBrator
YouTube - 3 Steps
Yes I am.

I thought recycling was a good thing.
     
hanguolaohu  (op)
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Sep 30, 2009, 11:38 AM
 
I just returned home, which is a much newer building and I don't feel the vibration anymore. I think I should get the circuits checked at my workplace. I'm actually kinda relieved to here that I'm not the only person who experienced this issue. I appreciate all the helpful info!
     
olePigeon
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Sep 30, 2009, 04:28 PM
 
You could also get a surge protector and put that between your laptop and the plug.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Simon
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Oct 1, 2009, 07:54 AM
 
I don't see how a surge protector can fix faulty ground wiring. The surge protector itself must be grounded in order to properly ground the attached MBP. But if you hook up the surge protector to the same faulty ground wiring...
     
olePigeon
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Oct 1, 2009, 12:07 PM
 
I was thinking that the maybe surge protector might stop the extra current from going through.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
cgc
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Oct 1, 2009, 12:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I was thinking that the maybe surge protector might stop the extra current from going through.
A surge suppressor shunts high surge current to ground and will not limit current to a specified level.
     
hanguolaohu  (op)
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Oct 2, 2009, 05:40 AM
 
I agree with Simon. I need to have all the internal house wiring checked, as these cheap Chinese surge protectors I don't believe do much except protect against large surges, or I would hope :-p
     
Simon
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Oct 2, 2009, 10:01 AM
 
The point is that the surge protector protects equipment against surges on the mains. But this tingle issue on the MBP has nothing to do with the AC mains. After all you're sitting behind a charger and are getting DC voltage. The tingle comes from DC trickle current on the case, IOW the case isn't properly grounded. A surge protector which is again connected to the same faulty ground wiring won't fix that.

If you're really interested in a cheap quick fix solution, try connecting the case to a grounded object with a copper wire. Look for metal plumbing or a radiator (not painted!). Wrap the wire around that, make sure the other end makes good contact with the case. Once properly connected the tingle should go away.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 2, 2009, 03:44 PM
 
How about a voltage regulator?
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you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
CharlesS
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Oct 2, 2009, 04:23 PM
 
Well, even at 110V, it's still better to be grounded than not to be, so I wouldn't really consider that to be an ideal solution.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
ghporter
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Oct 2, 2009, 07:25 PM
 
Grounding is what's needed. Nothing else will help. A surge suppressor won't help because it depends on dumping excess current to ground. A voltage regulator can only regulate properly if the premise wiring is done correctly, again with a good ground.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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