"WARNING: 70 Watt (20V, 3.5A) AC Adapter Detected.

Discussion in 'Dell' started by spawncho, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. pepsimachine15

    pepsimachine15 Newbie

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    I had this problem also, and i stumbled upon a solution that worked for me by mistake.

    Heres the solution that worked for me:
    take a look at your power adapter cord. look at the very tip, the end that connects to the pc. you will notice three little holes. one is centered at the top, the other two are offset to either side below it. notice, the top center, and bottom left each have metal contacts inside, while the third on the bottom right does not. the solution i found was to give power to the third contact on the laptop, the pin that goes into the hole with no contacts. you can test to see if this will work for you before you open up your laptop, using a small piece of wire. use some small copper or silver stranded wire. use about a 1/2 inch piece. the easiest way is to strip back about a half inch of insulation from a wire, twist, and cut the metal strands off at the half inch point. insert one end of the wire into the top center hole of your adapter plug. bend it over, and insert the other end into the bottom right hole (the one with no contacts). this will effectively create a bridge between the two contacts. plug in your adapter to a wall outlet, and then plug it into your laptop. power the laptop on, and your "70 watt ac adapter detected" message should be gone. if it isnt, try unplugging, and moving your wire bridge around a little bit, maybe it isnt making contact to the laptop's power pins when you plug it in. if you're sure that the pins are making good contact, and it still doesnt work, then this solution probably wont work for you. try purchasing one of the "power boards" listed above. if this did work, then move on to the next part to fix it permenatly.

    Permenant Fix:
    you will need access to a soldering iron, and some solder. you will also need to dissasemble your laptop. start out by unscrewing the four screws on the bottom marked (K). this will allow you to detach the keyboard. once the screws are out, open your laptop screen as far back as it will go. remove the power button and LED pannel cover. it just snaps out. apply even pressure to both sides at once as you pull it up. you may need the help of a small flat-head screwdriver to get it started. once this is removed, your keyboard should lift up on the right side, and slide out to the right. detatch the keyboard wires at the motherboard (it just pulls up and unplugs) and set the keyboard aside. next, use a small flat-head screwdriver on the heatsink retainer clip to remove the heatsink. Your heatsink is all those copper fins in the top right, by the fans, connected by a heat tube to the block. behind the fins, on the power jack, is where we need to gain access. once the clip is opened up, remove the heatsink. you should now be able to see the rear side of the power jack. notice the three vertical metal strips on the back: these lead to the pins that go into your power adapter. Just as you jumped the adapter plug with the wire, youre going to jump the leads on the jack with solder. if you're not comfortable doing this, have someone who is do it for you. You need to jump the center and right pins together. plug in your soldering iron, and get to work. i'm sure you know how to solder something. once your soldering is complete, replace the heatsink, and snap the retaining clip back down. put the power button and LED cover back on to test. plug your power adapter in, and press the power button. as before when you used the wire bridge, the "70 watt detected" message should be gone. if it is not, your solder isnt making good enough contact. if it is, replace your keyboard and screws, and your laptop is now fixed.

    if this solution worked for you, email me and let me know. I'd like you to send me a post card of where you live for sharing this knowledge with you :)
     
  2. InspironFIX

    InspironFIX Newbie

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    The solution pepsimachine15 WORKS LIKE CHARM!!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH.
    the permanent solution for me was to make a small channel for the wire that shortens the pins and then superglue it carefuly so that the glue goes ONLY in the channel and not the holes for the pins:) than you can paint it black with a permanent marker. You can never tell its there
    Greetings and thans for the solution, and bye bye to dell with their 500 usd for the mobo + 200 for the repair.
     
  3. knapper

    knapper Newbie

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    I had high hopes for this solution, but it didn't work for me. First of all, my power adapter had contacts in all three holes. I bridged them anyway, but still got the error. I have previously replaced the powerboard and that didn't fix it. I guess it's time to give up on this one.
     
  4. charlie3

    charlie3 Notebook Guru

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    I'm getting the same kind of error message occaisionally with a brand new latitude D820, delivered November 06. I'm using the stock powersupply. The warning refers me to the bios configuration but i don't see anything there to adjust. It could be a loose connection from the powersupply to the back of the computer or it could be a software glitch that misreads the true situation--a false reading. So far this problem has caused me little inconvenience but I'd like to have a fix.
     
  5. charlie3

    charlie3 Notebook Guru

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    I wrote about having this type of problem here, moments ago, on a brand new latitude D820. I found Dell issued a bios update and one of the fixes the listed was elimating falsely detecting lower watt power supplies. I did that bios update just now.
     
  6. notebookplumber

    notebookplumber Newbie

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    I'd like to share my story related to this topic, which luckily had a happy end.

    I have an Inspiron 8200, which I bought early 2003. 2 months ago or so I started to get the 70W warning messages. My screen started to flicker, which was due to a fast change between powered and batterydriven mode. After some time the 70W message screen came up asking me to hit a key. I did that, the screen went black and I had to restart the laptop. I noticed that I could temporarily stabilize the screen by gently moving the power plug at the rear of the laptop or even pulling it off and replacing it into the power jack. After some weeks playing with the power supply, the situation got worse. I could not even charge batteries for more than a few minutes as the power supply broke down for some reason. I found the thread above and tried the copper wire method. This worked well in the beginning but after fully charging the computer once the same issues started again.

    I decided to try soldering, opened the laptop, removed heat sink etc. Surprisingly, what I found after having a close look at the power jack, was that one of the metal strips on the internal back of the power jack was broken of the motherboard. I have a picture of the power jack on http://www.meining.org/inspiron.html . The fix was now obviously not to jump two metal strips, but to carefully connect the strip to its connection on the board. I've done that and the result is shown on the second picture on http://www.meining.org/inspiron.html . With this fix all problems disappeared. The laptop is now running on external power for more than 24 hours and the power supply is stable. One note of caution: Soldering is tricky and dangerous, so unless you have a very calm hand, don't do it, ask somebody else to do it for you.
     
  7. kc3et

    kc3et Newbie

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    Hello.

    I have been doing some experimenting with your suggestions to fix the 'Warning:70 Watt (20V, 3.5A) AC Adapter Detected". After doing some experiments with the adapter plug, I measured the voltages on the PA 9 connector. The pin numbers are numbered 1 through 3, with pin 1 being the center pin. Pin 2 is to the right, and pin 3 is to the left on the connector. On my adapter I measured, with a volt ohm meter, the following voltages:

    Pin 1 to 3 = +20 VDC
    Pin 1 to 2 = 0 VDC
    Pin 2 to 3 = 20 VDC

    I also checked the connection between pins 1 and 2. They are already bridged on my adapter plug. They show zero resistance on my volt ohm meter. Thus pin 1 and 2 are ground.

    ===============
    PA 9 CONNECTOR
    ===============

    -------------------
    O (Pin 1)
    (Pin 3) O O (Pin 2)
    ----------------------------

    It appears that your suggestion of placing a jumper between pins 1 and 2 is simply adding an electrical ground connection between pin 1 and pin 2. In my case that was not necessary as pin 1 and 2 are already internally jumpered.

    I also saw that 'NoteBookPlumber' had noted that his motherboard power connector showed that Pin 3 was broken on the motherboard, although Pin 2 was still connected. He re-soldered Pin 3 from the motherboard power connector. That re-attached the +20 VDC to the motherboard.

    I have not tried your 'Permanent Fix' suggestion yet, as my laptop still shows that infamous 'Warning' message noted above. It would be advantageous to know if the electrical connections that I measured are correct. The only way to know that is with a schematic of the power connector circuit. So far, I have not been able to find that. I may try your suggestion shortly to see if I can resolve the 'Warning' message.

    I really appreciate your effort in this matter.

    Take care.
     
  8. kc3et

    kc3et Newbie

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    Hello Again
    I have done some more experimenting with this computer. I checked the P9A adapter for proper pin connection. It has connections on the three pins mentioned previously. I noted +20 V DC between the center pin and the pin on the left. I have also opened the computer and checked the power connector. All connectons appear to be good I have written to Dell Tech Support about the excessive charging time as this computer takes as much as 3 days to charge the present-original battery. Their email suggested that I replace the battery. I am not so sure about that. I have pressed the test switch at the rear of the battery. When I last checked, about 4 PM yesterday, their were 2 leds lite, suggesting a +20 %. I also pressed and held that same test button for 3 seconds. It did not illuminate. According to Dell's Tech Support web site, the battery is probably good. So, I am in a quandry. I am now leaning on a defective charger board. That board is a plug in board inside the computer cabinet. They can be purchased online for modest amount. Do you think that I am correct that possibly the charger board is not operating fully.

    Thanks
     
  9. kc3et

    kc3et Newbie

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    Hello Again.

    Well, I have tried just about every suggestion made that I can find, either here, or on the internet. None of the suggestions fixed either the 'Warning...' message, or the slow battery charging problem. I tried:
    1) Purchased a new battery from 'Laptop Battery Depot'.Result No Change. Charges at about 1/4 percent per hour.
    2) Purchased a refurbished DC Charger board from an Ebay seller. Result-Same as item 1.
    3) Tried bridging the DC power jack, as described by 'PepsiMachine'. Result-Same as item 1.
    4) Checked the voltage out of the PA9 AC adapter. My V.O.M. displayed 20 V DC. I wish I had another known working PA-9 to try. But I don't.

    I suspect that something else is wrong on the motherboard. To expensive to replace, as a used-tested motherboard cost is over $300.

    So, I have given up. While I have fixed the original problem of a defective hard drive, by purchasing and installing a new hard drive. I will be returning the laptop shortly to its owner, who plans on using the computer only for home use, and always on the PA9 AC Adapter. I have suggested purchasing an after market external battery charger, at a cost of about $70. So far, I have not found any used external battery chargers on Ebay, etc. Only new units.

    Personally, I would think real hard before deciding to purchase any laptop. I know that the prices are real good now. I still do not like them as far as fixing them is concerned. I am not saying that one brand is better than the other. I have heard that lots of people like the Lonovo-formerly IBM, laptops. After performing this project, I am not so sure. My only advice would be, if one is going to use the laptop beyond the normal warranty period, to purchase the extra warranty coverage. Too much hassle for this computer technician.

    Take Care
     
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