Average life of a portable power adapter?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
This morning the 65W adapter for my powerbook decided to go up in smoke.

So now I'm Mac-less for about 10 days until a replacement (x 2) arrives from the online store. This afternoon I was counting the last few minutes of battery juice while giving a Keynote on loss of flight control system power -> modern 4th gen aircraft go up in smoke.

I'm not one of these guys that disconnects the adapter by tugging on the cable, even so I was 'surprised' because the adapter is barely 5 months old.

So is 5 months good, bad, or bloody typical?


  • Reply 1 of 8
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    Did it literally go up in smoke? A power adapter should never do that.

    It is understandable for them to stop working depending on usage of how often the cables get wound up. Copper wire, although flexible only has so much strength while being bent back and forth until it breaks and you no longer get current though. I forget what that is called, I want to say tinsel strength but I don't think that is right.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Mercy! Mercy! No more shorting questions please!

    Yes, I had a power adapter almost die on me. I started noticing sparks inside the cable at night when I scooted the laptop on my desk. I didn't like that so I 1) bought a new power adapter, 2) cut the plug off the old charger and re-soldered it together. It worked... Come to think of it, it still works, but I prefer to use my new one. I taped a straw to the end of the new plug to relive cable stress and it has been working for 2 years. I DON'T wrap up the cable unless I'm going on vacation. I think that is where most of the stress comes from.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    asenasen Posts: 93member
    Yeah there was some smoke, but I must have wound up the cable once too often. There is a short inside because it blows the 3A fuse.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    regreg Posts: 832member
    I have never had a power cable go bad. My pb's are transported around everyday and my best suggestion is just not to wind the cables tight. I have had a Wall Street, Ti 500 and now a 17. I am not sure how far you are from an apple store or retailer but you might try getting a travel kit power supply. That way you could charge it in a car and have at least some use.

  • Reply 5 of 8
    jubelumjubelum Posts: 4,490member
    The adapter for my TiBook died about a year into use. I was in much the same situation- without a 'book for a couple of days. Mine failed where the power cord leaves the brick for the PB... it got too hot, the cord's jacket melted, and I could see the bare wires that lead to the PB... no worky. Kinda upsetting. Apple says it was my issue because of "flexing" or "pulling on" the cord joint. Yea, I sit around and twiddle with the thing when I am bored... and I yank it from the wrong end when I know the thing is already flimsy. Whatever. I got a new one on ebay for $40. I baby this one. FYI.. the UFO power supplies for the older iBooks will work with the TiBook... and they are cheaper, if you won't miss the snazzy little LED color ring on the original PB adapter.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    I just bought a new one for mine, they are different now the cord is way thicker, and they don't get near as hot. I've went through 2 before this one, one just stopped working one day, but the other my ex gf's cat bit on the cord. I think you'll be happy with the new ones as they are definately better.
  • Reply 7 of 8

    Originally posted by åsen

    ...while giving a Keynote on loss of flight control system power -> modern 4th gen aircraft go up in smoke.

    must be refering to Airbus .... Boeing still has manual control of flight surfaces with total electrical and hydraulic failure .

    Otherwise, my first iBook power supply lasted 3 years ... with LOTS of traveling and winding ... the cable finally shorted/opened where it enters the plug.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    my sister's iBook adaptor went up in smoke last week. it melted right through the plastic and started shooting sparks! crazy... Apple promptly sent her a new one. Her iBook is just over a year old, but she had Applecare,and it was covered.

    i've had my 12" powerbook for over a year now, and my adaptor is going strong. i think the key is to avoid wrapping it that ONE last time....
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