On My Third AC Adapter. Why Breaking?

Have a VERY old Dell Laptop (Inspiron B130 - purchased 2006!.) Old, but it works OK. But I am now on my thrid AC adapter. Why are they breaking? (19v 3.16A.) I've seen other posts with adapter problems but none are exactly like mine. Here's the scoop: My original adapter started to fail intermittently. I would plug into outlet and sometimes the green LED would light and sometime it would not. Eventually it stopped completely and I got a new one. With the new one, I followed a sequence where I would plug the adapter into the outlet first, and only when I saw the green LED would I connect the computer (yes - I DO get a green light with the computer NOT connected!) After two years trouble free, it abruptly failed. I got a green light, plugged in the laptop, and within a few minutes the green went out and I lost power. However, the next day it worked fine, and continued OK for about 3 more months until doing the same thing and this time it didn't come back to life. So now I am on my third adapter, but I am wondering why it is happening. I live in fear of the LED going out anytime!!! What can I do to prevent a repeat and Is there a way to fix the broken one? Thanks for any feedback!

-------------Problems Reply------------

I always plug mine into the laptop before turning the mains on. I turn the laptop on randomly both before and after the mains.
My power supply has only ever failed once in over ten years of daily constant use.
The first suspicion I would have, and of course you may post that I am wrong is this

The approved adapter

a compatible one

alternatively there is a fault on the laptop connection for the charger mains supply

OR the battery is faulty - but I presume you would know if that was the case.

If a Power supply does not see the correct resistance and especially if it is cheap one, it will overload the circuit protection components of the power supply, which will then cause premature failure

This will show you what I refer to

the female jack on the end of the cord is made to fit the connection on the laptop and as explained here

of course as I said at the start - maybe you have been buying the approved replacement
How are you treating the cables and jack? Are they getting tugged, stretched, bent, twisted etc.

Frequently doing any of the above can be very damaging and easy to do, especially if you are regularly transporting your laptop.
I am very careful, although I do wrap them in a velcro cable wrap (not tight) to prevent them from tangling. The point I am most concerned with is the male/female connection on the rear of the computer. It hasn't felt snug in years. That's probably the culprit, but can that actually kill an adapter?
Dell do have a separate charging circuit (well mine have) on the motherboard. It is quite common for those to go "out of spec" and upset the power supply. The power supplies have recognition circuits in them as well and My Dells will warn about using the wrong supply and may refuse to charge the battery.
As I said

alternatively there is a fault on the laptop connection for the charger mains supply

but you also need to consider the other points I made about the genuine Dell and the cheapo pattern part
and as I mentioned and my colleague DaveBurnett has expanded on -

See the image of the connection on the end of the Dell one or the one made to the OEM specification
If you look at the links I sent it is explained in detail
OK, this is getting interesting! The 3 AC adapters mentioned will be named A, B, & C. Adapter A was the computer's original. It was beat up and when it died and I bought a replacement and discarded it. Adapter B I bought online and it worked OK for a few years then apparently died. So I bought adapter C online, it works, but gets very hot. The only difference between B & C is that B's output is 19V - 3.16A while C's is 19V 3.42A. The computer specs say "3.16 max" - so I goofed when I bought it! However, I dug out adapter B to see if I could get it working again (since it came back to life before.) Turns out that it still works using the power cord that came with adapter C (the grounded three-pronged male that leads to the triangular 3-pronged female.) This baffles me. I thought the power cord was the least likely culprit! Does this make sense to anyone? ALSO... What are the dangers of using the 3.42A adapter if I use it in short segments to let it cool down? Thanks for the feedback so far!
You are mistaken regarding the amperage of a power supply
It means that it is capable of supplying 19volts at a rating of 3.16 amps or in the case of the other 3.42 amps

The amps is decided not by the power supply but by the demand -
eg. On a 240v main supply a 60 watt light bulb will draw current at a 0.25 or 1/4 amp
amps = watts divided by volts

I have tried to explain ONCE and sent links
A laptop power supply is either a quality one that when it sees the resistance of the circuit it supply the demanded voltage and NOT more or less
A cheap one does not have the quality diodes etc that the more expensive one does and the voltage could be all over the place - higher or lower

If C bought online is a cheapo you risk the laptop - as well as the power supply.

Finally I can add nothing further to assist you - I strongly suggest you read the links I sent
Macboatmaster, thanks for your replies, sorry I annoyed you. I tried to buy my replacement adapter directly from Dell but they don't sell it anymore. So I had no choice but to find another. It cost me around $8. Is that a "cheapo" as you referred because I don't know where the cheapo line is drawn these days. That is why I was reaching out to you experts on this forum. The male connector looks EXACTLY like the one in the photo and fits like a glove. By the way, the items in your links are no longer offered or are cost 15 pounds (I spend in dollars.) Anyone ELSE have anything to offer? I'm trying to learn how these things work and why mine are acting like they are. Any feedback is appreciated!
NO please - you did not annoy me at all - what I was trying to explain was that cheapo ones and YES $8 is - do not come with the quality components - indeed some even lack diodes that ensure as far as possible that the voltage cannot rise above the limit.

When I say I cannot help further - it is well nigh impossible to know if it is the power supply or the internal circuits of the computer - power distribution OR the jack connection on the laptop


Were it to be me I would try the genuine Dell
Some problems are difficult to advise on without the physical bits in front of you to look at.
It wasn't a lack of willingness to help further, just a physical fact.

And that genuine Dell does mean a genuine one not a cheap Ebay lookalike labelled as a Dell.
Thanks for the replies, I appreciate all the advice. I will begin a search for an authentic AC adapter so I can keep my artifact of a laptop going a few more years! I still would love to learn why adapter B works with one power cord but not another when both have no visible differences -- and why adapter C gets so hot. Thanks again for the feedback!
I have sent you the link post 11 - genuine Dell - dollars

Category:Software & Hardware Views:0 Time:2012-11-21

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