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Dell Laptop Power Supply Fading In and Out--power jack is bad or loose?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mulderator, Jun 2, 2006.

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  1. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    I have a Dell 8600 about two years old. When I plug in the AC adapter, it intermittently fades to the battery as though the plug was pulled out (its not) and of course the screen fades in an out when every time it swithces--it does it every 30 to 60 seconds or so. I switched to a different AC adapter (I have a Dell 600M with the same AC adapter)-same thing so I know it is something internally. Any ideas?
     
  2. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    The socket for the plug into the laptop is usually the culprit here...
     
  3. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    Okay--but that doesn't help me--what do I do? ;)
     
  4. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    Replace it silly...

    Though I'm sure of the exact procedure here, so we'll have to wait for one of the laptop junkies!
     
  5. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Mulder, I have real problems imagining a lawyer still having and using a 2 year old laptop. :)

    The answer is of course, replace it with a new expensive one...

    JohnWill has the photos to prove the dangers of continuing to use it in this condition, it will degrade into being non repairable (in which case see my first sentence) very quickly assuming it is the motherboard mounted power socket.

    Disassembly requires the service manual ideally, as incorrect disassembly can be a hazard to the longevity of the laptop.
     
  6. Lurker1

    Lurker1

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    Hi Mulder
    Is the unit under warranty? If so get Dell to replace the motherboard as thats where the AC adaptor connects. Do you have the same problem if you remove the battery and run on AC only? If not then there could be a battery problem. JohnWill's fix is to replace the power connector on the motherboard with a new one. How good are you with a soldering iron?
     
  7. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    I've never used a soldering iron. Where is JohnWill's fix? You got a link?
     
  8. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You should be able to find a jack in that assortment. :) If the jack is reallly loose, I'd caution you to avoid using the external P/S at all, remember my picture, and this is only one example of several I've seen. :eek:

    As far as repairing it, it does take some soldering skills, but it's not brain surgery. The hardest part is likely to be removing the MB from the case, since it's normally one of the first things assembled, and the last to come out! :D

    Note that you need to determine if it's really the connector that's the issue, because there are other failures that could cause what you describe. By taking the top off the machine, you should be able to determine if hte connector is loose or broken. As I mentioned, the replacement may be more involved.
     

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  10. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    Well, I ordered the replacement jack here:

    http://www.doctorlaptop-repair-jack.com/

    What a royal pain in the arse. The instructions weren't very clear. I removed the jack--got it all ready for my brother-in-law who is an electrician to solder the new one and found out I shouldn't have removed the jack as he thought he could probably have just soldered the old one! :rolleyes: I thought you just pulled it off, but he said it would have been easier to have heated the old one and removed it if we had to. So he had some difficulty removing the left over solder from the holes where I had yanked the old one out to make it easier for him! :D Then, I had to file out a bigger hole in the computer case for the jack to fit and the connectors that were supplied for the new cord and the assembly were difficult to work with--it didn't work at first because the connectors weren't pushed in far enough--very chinsy plastic connectors. Eventually, we did get it working so the problem is solved--no more fading--but what should have been a half hour to hour job took all afternoon! :rolleyes:

    So the lesson here is if anyone has a loose laptop jack--try fixing the old one first--may just need a solder job on one of the pins.
     
  11. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    Also, after the fact, I found that they actually had laptop jacks to fit the 8600. The link above said that Dell jacks are proprietary and you couldn't get them, which is why the kit supplied had you also create a new adapter at the end of the power cord. But I did find the jacks here:

    http://www.laptopjacks.com/view_part.php?id=DL111500

    Although just the jack is $10 more expensive than the kit I linked to above, but I would have rather just kept the original end and paid the extra $10!

    So hopefully--someone else will learn from my mistakes. :rolleyes:
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    For future reference, NEVER start a repair job that you expect someone else to finish. ;) I normally charge double for fixing stuff that someone has further screwed up before it comes to me. :D
     
  13. Mulderator

    Mulderator Thread Starter

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    Yeah, but fortunately, it was my brother-in-law. If he wasn't around, I would have sent it to the Laptop Doctor for a $98 repair plus shipping. Actually, had I known it was going to be such a hassle, I would have just shipped it anyway! :rolleyes:

    I am the point in life where a $100 is worth an afternoon of aggravation avoided! ;)
     
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