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View Full Version : G3 iBook Clamshell W/ Firewire is teasing me



Boney_Ahem
18th April 2009, 06:19 PM
We have 2 clammies here that my partner bought off eBay. They work fine but suddenly it's my job to fix them because I'm the mac-head-case of the family.

Fair enough but I lost my match fitness and can't seem to get it back no matter what I do so I'm turning to others and asking for help ....

On the 366Mhz model which has a half-dud battery, the orange/green light that shows there is someone home when the power adaptor is plugged in, well it initially comes on but as soon as you move the lappie it goes out.

It will stay on if I jiggle the jack then tape the jack in a certain position with the tape applying weight in a downwards fashion, but that isn't an optimal solution.

What do you think? What is the name of the specific part on the inside of the lappie? Is it easy to get to or do I have to rip everything out to get to it? Is soldering experience necessary?

To me, the fact that the green light comes on/goes off if I jiggle the power adaptor is a clear indication that no amount of re-setting will help here. Am I wrong in my assumption and reach for the voodoo stick?

Should I buy her an eeepc instead?

Thanks.

alanthomasball
18th April 2009, 09:34 PM
It's possible the DC board is either damaged or loose. Either that, or the charger: do you have another "known good" one to try?

You can find some instructions online for opening up the mac to see.

Boney_Ahem
18th April 2009, 09:56 PM
First of all alan, let me thank you for your response ... it's is warmly received :)

We have 2 clammies and 1 PowerBook 3400C. Both clammies Yo-Yo's fail to light up the input jack on either clamshell. However the PowerBook 3400C's adaptor does light up both clamshells.



Clamshell A works 99% of the time
Clamshell B only works if you hold the adaptor jack a certain way and don't let go of it (this is of course an unworkable solution)


I have a suspicion that Clamshell B (the most used one) has a problem with the small aluminium box into which the power adaptor is inserted. I know this is a *known* issue or weak spot, but as I've explained above I have lost my *match fitness*, in other words I have lost all the investigative skills I once possessed when I was riding the high waves of mac forums problem solving ... I used to be able to sort this out but for personal reasons I am a total and complete failure at coming to my own aid ...

I've been to iFixit.com and tried to find what I'm looking for but I just can't seem to do what once came naturally ....

I do intend to source a Yo-Yo eventually but my missus has been on my back for ages now about fixing up her darling clammy so she can return to eBay activity, her emailing and her dogz online foruming ..

So, the little aluminium boxy thing ... please don't tell me that it's the very last bit you come to when dismantling a clammie :(



.

Andrew T Chadwick
18th April 2009, 09:58 PM
"ifixit.com" is the place to look for answers.

Brains
18th April 2009, 10:26 PM
Both iBook power supplies have burnt out -- a common problem with those, often caused by people not fully unwinding the cable from the holder-area and causing the (rather tiny) PSU in the middle to overheat and burn out. Third-party replacements are available for about A$30 each. The power supply for the 3400 is actually too weak (watts-wise) to reliably run either iBook, which has a faster and more power-hungry CPU -- continued use will cause the 3400's PSU to die.

The intermittent-cable iBook has had the J-connector (as the power socket is officially called) break away from the logic board on one pin; you will need to remove the logic board (a time-consuming and fiddly job) and re-solder all three pins of the J-connector.

rustyshelf
18th April 2009, 10:53 PM
366Mhz....wow. I'll try my best here not to pay you out. How about a grabbing a Dell Mini 9/10 and installing OS X on it?

Boney_Ahem
18th April 2009, 10:55 PM
Right-e-o, Brains ... so is the guide I selected in the pic the correct one?

http://img.skitch.com/20090418-1d91p2jtt7siunnck6jqa8mexj.jpg

Brains
18th April 2009, 11:18 PM
Dat's da bunny.

rustyshelf, my G3/300 will still be happily chugging away being productive long after your disposable Intel has become landfill :p

stewiesno1
19th April 2009, 05:12 AM
rustyshelf, my G3/300 will still be happily chugging away being productive long after your disposable Intel has become landfill

And look a damned site better in the process too !

Stewie

rustyshelf
19th April 2009, 09:15 AM
I'm sure it will be, and they do look good don't get me wrong...but I'm a bit Jobsian in my computer addiction, eg: out with the old in with the new. I don't have any sentimental bones in my body I'm afraid. Just out of interest, what O/S are you running?

I'll refrain from pointing out the irony in your landfill talk, when both your machines have stopped working, because that would just be adding flames to the fire ;) There is a certain beauty to old macs, and I applaud you for sticking with them and keeping them in running order.

I'm typing this on a Unibody Macbook Pro...but then you could have guessed that already...

Byrd
19th April 2009, 10:15 AM
Yep, I'd put my money on the power adapter being faulty; I've found the yoyo adapters to be one of the most unreliable models Apple ever made, and they all fail within time. They usually burn out/spark or wires going to the DC jack connector fail due to fatigue.

The DC board in Clamshells is not a weak part; the jack itself is very strongly situated on the PCB and the only weak spot I could suggest is where it connects to the motherboard by a small (but again not that weak) connector. The only way you could dislodge that is if the Clamshell dropped or something and bent the pins.

At least you have two Clamshells, I'd suspect you will be able to make one great one out of the best plastics and one dodgy one :) It will take an afternoon to do this, while you're there you can upgrade the hard disk ... and some overclocking if you feel up to the task :) I've a 366Mhz model running @ 433Mhz, it handles 10.3.9 quite smoothly.

JB

Boney_Ahem
19th April 2009, 10:21 AM
great response Byrd! Thanks! Didn't know I could overclock the clammie and would definately want to do that ...

can you comment on the orange/green light turning itself on and off as I jiggle the jack as it's inserted into the DC in? And do I need to learn how to solder?

I do have a spare logic board or two that I bought a year ago for parts. So I can at least look at the part without first having to pull the clamshell apart.

Byrd
19th April 2009, 10:35 AM
I'd put my money on the orange/green light being caused by a flaky DC connector on the yoyo power adapters, and as Brains noted the PB3400c power brick cannot provide enough juice to power a Clamshell, so that too fails. By all means when you do crack it open I'd resolder the 3-pin DC connector, which would be an easy job.

I've taken apart many a Clamshell - could do it from whoa to go in 15 minutes, as my girlfriend's had a faulty logic board and I was given a haul of parts to make two "good" ones :p When you do take it apart, you can quite happily test it out with the screen loose, motherboard completely explosed and plug it all it to see if it fires up. They're tough little blighters the Clamshells - the most common failure is the onboard RAM (32 or 64MB) fails.

Overclocking the Clamshell involves removing tiny resistors the size of a grain of sand - which you then relocate or rebuild bridges using conductive ink. Needless to say, it's not an easy job if you're new to soldering - perhaps go in another time :)

JB

Boney_Ahem
19th April 2009, 10:54 AM
Please bare with me Byrd ...

This my interpretation of what you are saying, please correct me if I'm wrong.


1. The orange/green light turning on/off intermittently could indicate a flake DC in (clamshell component) OR a flaky DC connector (the Yo-Yo)

2. You can take a Clamshell apart in 15 minutes meaning you are either a computer tech by trade OR a flamin' legend as Ralph from Home & Away would say?

Byrd
19th April 2009, 11:49 AM
Sorry green skull Apple dude (can't be arsed typing that ASCII stuff!) ... :)

1. Flaky DC plug on yoyo adapter (when you fiddle with it to get the green light, it's a flaky wire, not the iBook itself).

2. No, just learnt through stupidity, and had a lot of Clamshells to fix up for a while :) I knew where every screw went and how it all clipped back together again, sad I know. I work in allied health.

JB

Boney_Ahem
19th April 2009, 12:02 PM
Sorry green skull Apple dude (can't be arsed typing that ASCII stuff!) ... :)

1. Flaky DC plug on yoyo adapter (when you fiddle with it to get the green light, it's a flaky wire, not the iBook itself).

2. No, just learnt through stupidity, and had a lot of Clamshells to fix up for a while :) I knew where every screw went and how it all clipped back together again, sad I know. I work in allied health.

JB

Oh ... then it seems that I should put off going in with a scalpel until at least I get hold of another working Yo-Yo adaptor .... wished I lived in Melb cos there's no-one down here across the Tasman that I know, that owns a Clammie :(

So, I'll get hold of another Yo-Yo from eBay or something and if it's a proper working adaptor and the light remains on, then this can only indicate that there is no need for surgery?

Would you say I've got the gist of things, Byrd?

BTW, I'm Marty ;)

Byrd
19th April 2009, 09:35 PM
Go one of the third-party adapters Brains recommends; $30 and you get rid of the weakest chain in getting a Clammie going :) And yes, if it all lights up "green" it's OK. If it's a dud battery it might keep on orange, I don't remember - but either way it won't flicker orange/green over and over again.

I think I've a spare DC board you can have if yours is screwed.

JB

Brains
20th April 2009, 10:27 AM
The DC board in Clamshells is not a weak part; the jack itself is very strongly situated on the PCB ...

... yet given the amount of tugging it can get, it's still not only possible but very likely that one side has lifted away from its solder-point. (When you look after a school-full of these buggers, you soon learn how to solder :p)

HardwareSoftie
12th May 2009, 11:05 PM
We have 2 clammies and 1 PowerBook 3400C. Both clammies Yo-Yo's fail to light up the input jack on either clamshell. However the PowerBook 3400C's adaptor does light up both clamshells.

Clamshell A works 99% of the time
Clamshell B only works if you hold the adaptor jack a certain way and don't let go of it (this is of course an unworkable solution)
I have a suspicion that Clamshell B (the most used one) has a problem with the small aluminium box into which the power adaptor is inserted.

If I've understtod you're statement regading hardware you have, i.e 2 iBook Clamshells with their own 45W Power Adapters? or 1 45W Power Adapter (YoYo looking)?

Without seeing exactly what you are doing, my best guess that the problem lies with the Jack that is inside the iBook (I suspect either a dry solder joint on the board...whatever that board is called), i.e Reason being if the YoYo works 99% of the time on Clamshell A, then it's unlikely the YoYo is the culprit.

As for the othe 1% of the time, I would start to wonder if Clamshell A's Jack will be next.

I just bought two 466s here at a recycle place where both work fine, though 1 of them has a charging problem (As I just bought them today I haven't had the time to work it out but already suspect the DC board or Charger Board...no light when Adapter plugged in).

1 is for spare parts for my iBook G3 800Mhz, (LCD and or inverter board).

Good luck and hope you work it out.