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Dell Laptop Charging/Power Problems

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
Well, the cord on Mrs Chief's laptop we have been using gets twisted all the time. Been some charging issues with the thing saying plugged in not charging and all by itself it will say charging and 100%.

Besides the charging issue which has been going on fer months if you can believe the status it gives. So tonight she says my battery is 4% and the blue light at the plug isn't working..................

Earlier it popped out from the laptop and I untwisted the DC side of the cord/power supply and plugged it back in. It had a break in the insulation I had put some electrical tape on a few months ago.

Problem was two of the wires in the cord were rubbing together and causing a short and no DC was getting into the laptop to run it or charge the battery. No blue light where it plugs into the laptop jack.

Easy fix to separate the wires and presto blue light is back on. Now to see if I get the battery to charge up again. Sometimes I would pull it out and slap it back in and it would charge up or say it was on the screen when I clicked on the power plug icon.

Maybe a loose jack or battery- contacts/bad battery or charging circuit.

Anyway, you don't need a charged battery to use when you have power even though it comes from the same source, AC 120 VAC power strip then a converter and then 19.5 VDC @ 6.7 amps going into the laptop jack.

Man, had an old Sony laptop power cord/adapter which was almost the same, but different jack and outputs, no cigar. I wish they would standardize these darn things like a coffeemaker or toaster that would work as long as you plugged it in. Proprietary crap. Like chargers for camera batteries/drills and everything else, all different for most of them.

So she ordered an exact part # replacement from Amazon, but won't arrive for 10 days. At least they have went down in cost. One cost my daughter 80-100 bucks a couple years ago. This one was $30 delivered.
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Replies

  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    I hope the new one isn't one of the cheap Chinese ones that catch fire or explode after a few days...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    I hope the new one isn't one of the cheap Chinese ones that catch fire or explode after a few days...

    The one that came with the laptop is Dell marked, but says made in China.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,266 Senior Member
    Got my last one at Fred Meyers for about $50 and it has about 20 adapters in it.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,366 Senior Member
    I'll bet the first problem was actually a windows feature that waits for your battery to drain down 20%-40%.

    I guess it's good for the battery to discharge and recharge a bit but it is a little weird to see it plugged in and not charging.

    You can turn it off by rooting around in the power settings area.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I noticed how warm the charger stays even when disconnected from the laptop and the blue light indicator on the DC side plug is on.

    Not hot or burning to the touch, but fairly warm.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,453 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I noticed how warm the charger stays even when disconnected from the laptop and the blue light indicator on the DC side plug is on.

    Not hot or burning to the touch, but fairly warm.

    Those power supplies for computers are a 'switching' power supply. Most need to be connected to a load or they get hot(overheat). Some of the older ones would self destruct by overheating and melting parts. Don't leave the power supply plugged in if it isn't charging the laptop battery. The newer ones don't do that, but it's still best to unplug them when not in use. :tooth:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,964 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Some of the older ones would self destruct by overheating and melting parts.
    Oh, so you remember that too!

    I could tell stories about first generation switchers blowing up under all kinds of weird conditions - and they were NOISY as all get out.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,453 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Oh, so you remember that too!

    I could tell stories about first generation switchers blowing up under all kinds of weird conditions - and they were NOISY as all get out.

    A friend of mine, back in the early 90s, was building his own computer. I was at his house while he was 'messing' with it. He had just installed the switching power supply that was way more than he needed. He had no loads hooked up to it. As he started to plug in the power cord, I said, "I wouldn't do that if I were you." He did it anyway. It immediately caught on fire; I laughed while he unplugged it and tried to put out the fire. Our friendship deteriorated for some reason after that incident. :uhm::roll2:

    The old ones were noisy, mostly due to the crappy noisy cooling fans, and the gawdawful hum from the power stepdown parts like the bazillion transformers, large and small. And the transformerless ones were grenades just waiting to go BOOM! They were not 'consumer friendly' devices. IIRC, that was about the time that the 'No User Serviceable Parts Inside" stickers showed up. The perforated metal cases were there for a decidedly good reason! :rotflmao:

    Switching supplies need the feedback from either voltage or current, or both, for proper operation. That is now provided on the circuit boards of the better ones to prevent an open output from causing thermal runaway from the lack of feedback.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,964 Senior Member
    Yea...

    We had an automated power supply tester. It had 5 constant current loads, an AC source, and a "peak to peak detector" to measure ripple. All controlled by a TRS-80 computer.

    It worked quite well - for linear supplies. Switchers? Esp. early 80's switchers? Not so much. We had numerous problems, and had to come up with some novel solutions to be able to test them with this thing. The fundamental problem was - if you set the constant current load to, say, 1/2 amp - then powered up the switcher under test - as soon as that load saw voltage, it would try to draw the programmed amperage - even if the switcher was only putting out a few hundred millivolts! Of course we mostly could not power up the suppy under test, then apply the load - best case the supply wouldn't start at all, but I saw plenty of them simply burn up!

    Then there was the peak-to-peak detector. There was no ground plane in the vicinity of the op-amp that formed the core of this circuit. As a result, it had basically zero common mode noise rejection at the "hash" frequencies the switchers put out as ripple. Some of them had almost a half volt hash/noise/ripple on them - and the peak to peak detector was useless for those.

    So after trying all kinds of baloney to fix the circuit, we would just stop the test, and have the operator measure the ripple with a 'scope. Which brings me to another interesting tid-bit. We had problems with power supplies failing ripple on Fridays. Fridays ONLY. You'd look at the 'scope, and there would be the usual hash on it, then about every 3 or 4 seconds, there would be a HUGE blip - sometimes 2 or 3 volts worth. ?

    So - one day I went out at 10:00 coffee break, and gazed out over the Monterey airport that we were located right above. We used to see quite a bit of interesting military hardware flying in and out of that airport, C-5As, C141s, experimental tilt-rotors, etc. I noticed a C5A sitting on the tarmac off to one side -but didn't think too much of it, until I noticed the military truck of some kind that had a rotating dish on top of it! With - you guessed it! - a 3 or 4 second rotation interval.

    So we just didn't test those power supplies on Fridays - we even wrote into the test procedure to go outside and check for that radar truck before even bothering!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,811 Senior Member
    Get her a new computer and be done with it!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Get her a new computer and be done with it!

    This one still works, but yes before long we will need a new one, maybe a tower, we have a couple older ones.

    She paid a pretty penny for this Dell Inspiration for special graphics/memory or something when she bought it.

    Now, blurb say plugged in not charging when i power it on. It has done this before and then started charging again.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,366 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »

    Now, blurb say plugged in not charging when i power it on. It has done this before and then started charging again.

    This is normal.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
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