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PowerBook G4 Aluminum laptops with 12-inch displays. Released in 2003 from Apple.

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How to test battery and power adapter using multimeter?

Replaced DC-in and DC-to-DC boards. Have new battery and new power adapter. Powerbook will not start.

It could be the new (cheap) adapter malfunctions. Last time I tried testing one, I discovered the circular metal thing on the outside is just a shield, whose purpose is to make poking multimeter probes at the tiny separated sections of the male pin about impossible without arcing! So, how can I test the adapter with a meter?

It could be the battery. I don't know whether they ship charged at all. Maybe my old one is fine! They have a connector with six conducting slots. I don't want to damage the battery or my meter. How do I test the batteries with a meter?

It could be I messed something up installing those boards, or maybe another part is faulty. I've already spent too much on these pieces! If the adapter or battery is faulty I can exchange them. If they're both fine, I'll dismantle the laptop to check my previous repairs for damage. Or I'll give up!

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I ordered another adapter while I wait for someone to post an answer. How to test Powerbook batteries and adapters using a multimeter? Just need to know what to poke with the probes; somebody's got to know in this community! Right?


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dzturbd, here is the pinout of the power adapter.

tip not connected

tip/ring negative

ring + 24V

shield connected to negative with a .5MΩ R

Block Image

To test the battery, use a voltmeter to locate the positive and negative battery terminals and establish the polarity. Usually it is the outside (L+R) contacts that are positive and negative.Connecting the voltmeter to the outer terminals, take a 100-Ohm resistor (other values may also work), tie one end to ground, and with the other end touch each terminal while observing the voltmeter. If no voltage appears, the battery may be dead. The 100-Ohm resistor is low enough to engage a digital circuit and high enough to protect the battery against a possible electrical short. check here for more info. As for your battery pinout, depends on which PB you have. For that the last 4 digits of your serial number might come in handy.

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I agree with oldturkey03. The basic way of testing a battery is to look for the positive and negative terminals. Then use the probes of a voltmeter or a multimeter to connect with the right terminals. Grounding a resistor is needed to give a small load to the battery that will help you test it. If your device don’t provide a result, it means the battery is dead or your doing it wrong. Here is the resource where this website provides more.

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@batterymanguide even so it could be perceived as spam since you are linking to your own site, we'll leave it untouched. for now ;-) What's your background with batteries? Do you just write about them or you pretty much into battery technology?


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To test the battery you should have a voltmeter if the current is flowing good between positive and negitive nodes than your battery is working good.

I always use voltmeter to check my trolling motor battery.

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Still very unclear as to how to check various of the ipad air, power packs i have which function at different levels! ( but which if course they wont tell you pre purchase!!)

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It seems like you're facing some difficulties with testing your battery and power adapter using a multimeter. Let's go through the steps to test them properly.

To test the power adapter, you'll need to check its voltage output. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Set your multimeter to the DC voltage setting. Choose a range higher than the expected voltage output of your power adapter.
  2. Connect the positive (red) probe of the multimeter to the center pin of the power adapter's output connector.
  3. Connect the negative (black) probe to the outer metal shield of the power adapter's output connector.
  4. Turn on the power adapter and observe the multimeter reading. It should match the voltage specified on the adapter label. If the reading is significantly different or shows no voltage, the adapter may be malfunctioning.

Regarding testing the battery, you need to be cautious to avoid any damage. Follow these steps:

  1. Set your multimeter to the DC voltage setting, similar to the power adapter test.
  2. Identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of the battery connector.
  3. Connect the positive probe of the multimeter to the positive terminal and the negative probe to the negative terminal of the battery.
  4. Observe the multimeter reading. If the battery is functional, it should display a voltage within the expected range for that specific battery model. If the reading is extremely low or zero, the battery might be faulty or discharged.

In case both the power adapter and battery test fine, you may want to consider checking other components or potential mistakes made during the installation of the boards. I have published daily blogs related to a multimeter on my website. You can check it.

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dzturbd sarà eternamente grato.
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