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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Old power adapter vs new: interchangeable?

Old power adapter vs new: interchangeable?
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jmelrose
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Nov 18, 2002, 07:22 PM
 
Anyone know if there's any problem using my old 667 (pre-DVI) PB adapters with my brand new, 10-hours-out-of-the-box 1Ghz Powerbook/

Thanks,
Jeff
     
catzilla1228
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Nov 18, 2002, 07:46 PM
 
If it fits it will work....
     
Nebrie
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Nov 18, 2002, 08:09 PM
 
nope
     
Karim
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Nov 18, 2002, 08:23 PM
 
No problem, of course the newer ones have the nice charging indicator light.
     
jmelrose  (op)
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Nov 18, 2002, 08:46 PM
 
According to the Apple Store "genius", using the old PB adapters can mess up your power manager. They are rated at different wattages, etc. apparently the old one doesn't work with new PBs, but the new adapter will work with old PBs. Sigh...

i'm surprised that's not on the website someplace.
     
cklinh
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Nov 18, 2002, 08:58 PM
 
kind of on a different line, but how big are the chargers that come with the new PB's? (i'm thinking about getting a case that might have limited room for it...)
     
Art Vandelay
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Nov 18, 2002, 09:15 PM
 
Originally posted by jmelrose:
According to the Apple Store "genius", using the old PB adapters can mess up your power manager. They are rated at different wattages, etc. apparently the old one doesn't work with new PBs, but the new adapter will work with old PBs. Sigh...

i'm surprised that's not on the website someplace.
On the Apple Store under Accessories>Portable Gear, they indicate what machines the various adaptors can be used with.
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mrmister
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Nov 18, 2002, 09:27 PM
 
Damn...that is unfortunate, as I have something like 6 adaptors. I wonder what this means for the Madson adapters?
     
mbperk
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Nov 18, 2002, 10:56 PM
 
I have a new iBook charger that has the "light" status. Is this compatabile? I looks similar to the new ones except for the plug is white on the one that came with my new Powerbook.
     
seanyepez
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Nov 18, 2002, 11:05 PM
 
Originally posted by catzilla1228:
If it fits it will work....
While this is a dangerous suggestion in many other situations, this is the case with Apple notebooks; their previous adapters simply will not fit in newer models such as the iceBook and TiBook. All plugs on Apple power adapters that fit TiBooks and iceBooks work. Simply stated, as "catzilla" said, if it fits, it will work. In any other situation, don't assume anything that fits will work with your electronics.
     
jmelrose  (op)
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Nov 20, 2002, 08:29 AM
 
Again, I re-state what the Apple Store told me.

The OLD PB G4 adapters, which may fit, are NOT good for the new G4s.
The OLD PB G4s can use the new adapters, however.

The new adapters are a new part,altogether. and are called the "65W Powerbook Adapter" the old ones were not rated at 65W.

I was told by the genius at the Woodfield apple store that using the old adapters with my new machine could potentially damage the power manager. (Or something like that....)

Also, the new adapters are grounded (or at least have a ground plug) where the old ones do not. Both have have cool light ot show charge status feature.

Jeff M
     
claughery
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Nov 20, 2002, 09:32 AM
 
Originally posted by jmelrose:
Again, I re-state what the Apple Store told me.

The OLD PB G4 adapters, which may fit, are NOT good for the new G4s.
The OLD PB G4s can use the new adapters, however.

The new adapters are a new part,altogether. and are called the "65W Powerbook Adapter" the old ones were not rated at 65W.

I was told by the genius at the Woodfield apple store that using the old adapters with my new machine could potentially damage the power manager. (Or something like that....)

Also, the new adapters are grounded (or at least have a ground plug) where the old ones do not. Both have have cool light ot show charge status feature.

Jeff M
Thanks for the info!!! I used my old adapter last night... worked fine but was a little hard to unplug...
Dual 1.8 G5, 23" cinema oldschool, PB 1.5 ghz 12" SD, iBook 1.07 Ghz, mac mini 1.42, iPod mini, iPod photo 40gb, SE K700i
     
mbperk
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Nov 20, 2002, 11:57 AM
 
This may help:
AppleCare Document 88231

I just called Apple Support, and they told me not to use the 45W adapter that I had with my iBook with my new Powerbook (1GHZ). I wish I would have called before I charged it...NEWMAN!. He did say that it would be ok to use with the Powerbook DVI models.
( Last edited by mbperk; Nov 20, 2002 at 12:41 PM. )
     
RMXO
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Nov 20, 2002, 08:20 PM
 
there are a few sites that sell a convertor that lets u use old power supply on newer PBs/iBooks...
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gg1234
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Nov 20, 2002, 08:59 PM
 
Originally posted by RMXO:
there are a few sites that sell a convertor that lets u use old power supply on newer PBs/iBooks...
That's evidently not the issue. The new 867 and 1Gig PB's come with a 65W power adapter. The previous Ti's came with a 45W adapter. Both have the same size connector. It's okay to use the new 65W adapter on the older books but the new books should use the new adapter ONLY.

I am not sure how much power the new books draw compared to previous versions. The new adapter puts out 24.5Volts/2.65A whereas the older 45W versions are something like 24V/1.88A (going by memory here). Using the new adapter on an older 'book is absolutely no problem (because it can put out more current than needed). However, the new 'books might demand more than 1.88A from the adapter hence the beefed up model. I suspect (just a guess here) that this might be related to the Superdrive. Higher clock frequencies can also demand more current but I am not sure if there is a difference in CPUs between the new books vs the previous models. One other possibility is that the new (61W-Hr) battery charging current is higher than the older 55W-Hr batteries.

All this is pure speculation - without knowing the specifics on why the new 'books demand more current it is wise to heed Apple warnings and just use the 65W adapters on these 'books (until we know more at least). That said, I doubt any real damage would occur by using the old adapters but then again I'm not going to take that chance.....
( Last edited by gg1234; Nov 21, 2002 at 12:00 AM. )
     
Karim
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Nov 20, 2002, 10:11 PM
 
The higher rated adaptor can't have to do with superdrive because the 867 model doesn't have it.

The battery with the new model has a higher watt/hour rating so maybe it is a function of charging time. Larger capacity battery, therefore a higher rated adaptor to keep battery recharge times reasonable.

I have 3 power adaptors, 1 is the new one that came with my gigabook/sd. I have used the others, they work. I doubt damage will be done to the gigabook by using the older adaptors. It may confuse the power manager and/or increase battery recharge times but it is virtually impossible to find the new adaptors in a store and/or the new batteries. (Other than Apple store)
     
gg1234
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Nov 20, 2002, 11:07 PM
 
Originally posted by Karim:
The higher rated adaptor can't have to do with superdrive because the 867 model doesn't have it.
It may have nothing to do with the Superdrive but I doubt Apple would sell two different adapters if it was related to the Superdrive. It's easier, probably cheaper, and less confusing to just make a complete changeover.
     
RMXO
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Nov 20, 2002, 11:17 PM
 
Originally posted by Karim:
The higher rated adaptor can't have to do with superdrive because the 867 model doesn't have it.

The battery with the new model has a higher watt/hour rating so maybe it is a function of charging time. Larger capacity battery, therefore a higher rated adaptor to keep battery recharge times reasonable.

I have 3 power adaptors, 1 is the new one that came with my gigabook/sd. I have used the others, they work. I doubt damage will be done to the gigabook by using the older adaptors. It may confuse the power manager and/or increase battery recharge times but it is virtually impossible to find the new adaptors in a store and/or the new batteries. (Other than Apple store)
so does this mean, if i buy the new battery, i would have to buy a new adaptor too?
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mrmister
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Nov 21, 2002, 12:26 AM
 
Well, as i said I have a bazillion power adapters around the house...um...okay, it's 5 of them, and 4 are the old style ones. I have installed the 65W charger as my main charger, but I am using the others at times--so far no problems. I will *definitely* only burn DVDs if on wall current with the 65W one...and I'lkl wait for more information to surface.
     
gg1234
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Nov 21, 2002, 11:31 AM
 
I have several of the older power adapters as well. I think I'll end up selling an extra one when I sell my Ti667 and buy a new one from the Apple Store (which I've already done). But the more I think about this the more confident I feel about using an older model power adapter when it doesn't have to charge the battery. The new Powerbooks are getting somewhere around 2 1/2 hours of run time (more or less) on a 61 W-Hr battery. In crude terms this translates to something like 24W (61/2.5) more or less. Since the older adapters have 45W capability they should be more than adequate to run the powerbook - as long as the battery in the book does not need charging.

Now for the disclaimer - I am by no means recommending this to anyone else. Do as you will but don't come cryin to me if something craps out
     
Charles Bouldin
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Nov 21, 2002, 07:54 PM
 
Originally posted by jmelrose: Again, I re-state what the
Apple Store told me.
[snip]
The new adapters are a new part,altogether. and are called the "65W
Powerbook Adapter" the old ones were not rated at 65W.

I was told by the genius at the Woodfield apple store that using the old
adapters with my new machine could potentially damage the power manager.
(Or something like that....)

Jeff M
I don't mean to be rude, but that's nonsense. The "power manager" is a piece of software.

Here's how I see this. The old AC adapter is 24V/45watt or about 1.85 amps.
The new one is 24V/65 watt or about 2.6 amps. I have used both an old 45 watt
Apple AC adapter and a Madsonline 45 watt adapter with a new 1 ghz Tibook and it
works fine. It does seem to charge the battery a little slowly, but that is
because the old adapter can't source as much current and it -should- charge
the battery more slowly.

The only thing I can think of that could involve the power manager is that it
constantly monitors the charge/discharge rate of the battery and puts up the
"time remaining" info in the menubar. It is barely conceivable that the different
charging rate of the old AC adapters could cause the charging time estimate to be
inaccurate, but I even doubt that, because the power manager doesn't look at the
AC adapter (how could it?) it looks at the -battery-.

The only hazard I can even vaguely imagine is that the new larger battery could try
to draw more current than the old 45 watt adapter can source. I don't see this as
much of an issue, since the adapter just puts out whatever current it can and then
the battery charges a bit slower.

I'm not an electrical engineer, so perhaps I just know enough to get myself in
trouble . Anyone else care to weigh in?
     
gg1234
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Nov 21, 2002, 08:09 PM
 
Could be there is a preferred charging rate for the battery and that messing with that charging rate affects how well it works in a year or so. Apple didn't redesign the power adapter just for the hell of it - the new one can source more current for a reason (and that means it costs more BTW). Without having more insight we can speculate all we want but the end results will probably be worth nothing because all this speculating is based on very little fact (or knowledge of the internal workings). Personally, until I know more I am not going to use an older adapter when the battery needs charging...
     
jmelrose  (op)
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Nov 22, 2002, 01:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Charles Bouldin:


I don't mean to be rude, but that's nonsense. The "power manager" is a piece of software.

I don't mean to be rude, but you're wrong.

As per Applecare Document 14449:

"The Power Manager is an integrated circuit that is usually on the logic board of the PowerBook and iBook. As the name implies, it is responsible for power management of the computer. It controls backlighting, hard disk spin down, sleep and wake, some charging aspects, trackpad control, and I/O as far as looking at the serial port and modem so it does not sleep when connected.

Over time, the settings in the Power Manager may become unusable, which can result in operational anomalies with the computer. Examples would be not powering on, not waking from sleep, not charging the battery, or not seeing the AC Adapter, among others."

So, the voltage of whatever it's plugged into could very definitely effect, permenantly and detrimentally, the power manager. I chose to bite the bullet, include my old adapters as "freebies" with the sale my old G4, and get the new ones. However, at $80 each I'm not thrilled about it either...
     
Charles Bouldin
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Nov 25, 2002, 03:00 PM
 
Originally posted by jmelrose:


I don't mean to be rude, but you're wrong.

As per Applecare Document 14449:

"The Power Manager is an integrated circuit that is usually on the logic board of the PowerBook and iBook. As the name implies, it is responsible for power management of the computer. It controls backlighting, hard disk spin down, sleep and wake, some charging aspects, trackpad control, and I/O as far as looking at the serial port and modem so it does not sleep when connected.

Over time, . Examples would be not powering on, not waking from sleep, not charging the battery, or not seeing the AC Adapter, among others."

So, the voltage of whatever it's plugged into could very definitely effect, permenantly and detrimentally, the power manager. I chose to bite the bullet, include my old adapters as "freebies" with the sale my old G4, and get the new ones. However, at $80 each I'm not thrilled about it either...

Okay, peace, I deserved that , but the thing is, we're both half right. The "power manager" that I was referring to is "the settings in the Power Manager may become unusable, which can result in operational anomalies with the computer". In that sense, it is a piece of software, or at least firmware. There would be no phrases about "resetting the power manager" if it wasn't partly software.

I also called Apple on this issue, and they initially told me that the adapters have different voltages! But they were mixing up the POWER of the adapter with the VOLTAGE. The voltage is the same for the old and new adapters, the only difference is the current. I pointed this out to them and then they said that
using the old AC adapter will "do no harm" but "won't charge the battery". That's consistent with my experience, except that the old AC adapter does charge the battery just fine, albeit
slowly. I think that under maximum load, it probably is true that the old adapter won't charge the battery, but under moderate load, it works fine.

And, be it hardware, software, or firmware, I still see no way that the old adapter can damage the Power Manager. Only an over-voltage or higher current could do that, and the old AC adapter can't do either. I pressed the Apple tech support person on this and he said they were "NO warranty issues" with using the old AC adapter, although Apple still recommends using only the new adapter.
     
   
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