Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Several PowerPage readers wrote in about this problem and tell us what’s going on. Apparently this is a well-known problem with the foil shield around the power connector. The shielding can touch the power plug and prevent the PowerBook from charging the battery because it thinks there’s not enough juice to charge and run the computer at the same time. Here’s a picture of what’s happening. One PowerPage reader sends us this detailed report:
Specifically, this issue is usually caused by the copper shielding tape stuck to the case near the AC jack peeling away until it contacts the AC jack itself, causing a short just sufficiently powerful to convince the Wallstreet that it’s not safe to charge the battery. This logic never happens during sleep or power off, so the battery will charge then, but not in the power on state. The fix is to glue the tape back in place. As the unit has to be completely disassembled, expect one to one and a half hours of labor charge. 10% of the time, this issue is caused instead by a bad sound/power card, which must be replaced. Same labor plus cost of part. Unless you’re in warranty. I’m surprised that you guys haven’t been crowing about the recent return of the two-year Applecare warranty for powerbooks at $299.
If your Wall Street is still under warranty, sending it in for service is the best thing to do. However, a couple PowerPage readers tell us that using a toothpick or other non-conducting object to push away the shield might work.
Thanks to all the PowerPage readers who wrote in to clarify this!