Cautionary tale: Macbook Pro in the shop

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by mark norwine, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Cautionary tale: Macbook Pro in the shop.

    I keep a tidy shop. A messy shop is a dangerous shop, so I do what I can to clean it regularly.

    I have 3 workbenches: My carpeted electronics bench, my "workbench" (heavy work) and a wall-mounted "fold-down" butcherblock-style bench which is mostly for layout & design work.

    That said, while each bench has a purpose, any / all of these might see electronics, drilling, grinding, etc. While I strive for cleanliness, none of these tables could be called "operating / clean-room clean". That's just not possible.

    Today, my Macbook Pro is a goner. A victim of my "clean" shop.

    I always thought Apple's power connector was pretty nifty! Having tripped over PC power cords (resulting in torn plugs), the magnetic "break-away design" of the Mac struck me as ingenious!

    Well, I used my my MBP in my shop yesterday (something I've done a million times), and the magnetic power receptacle "sucked up" a dinky little piece of steel bench detritus....unbeknownst to me.

    When I went to charge the MBP, the little LED in the plug didn't com on. An examination reveals a shorted, burned up receptacle and a dead power supply. Lot's of burn marks & fried contacts.

    Be careful out there! Learn from my mistake! The piece of debris was not much larger than the head of a pin...but that's all it took. Since you're unlikely to ever rid your shop of detritus that small, my suggestion: your MBP should not go into the shop. Or maybe a piece of gaffers tape over the receptacle... Something!

    My 2 cents,

    /rant.
     
  2. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    Don't ever get the business end of your lightning cord for your iphone or ipad wet either. Instant kill.
     
  3. GT100

    GT100 Member

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    Good to hear that! I'm reading TGP stuff while repartitioning / starting over on a Mac Book Pro that my son somehow screwed up. The partition was corrupt -so I have to start from nothing.
    I reinstalled everything less than a month ago because he was downloading "free music".

    Lloyd


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    no Time Machine?

    TM has saved my bacon 3x......
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Oh yeah ... Combo of TM and CC Cloner backups is my backstop. Bummer about yours but thanks for the warning.
     
  6. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    My daughter managed to pour a glass of water into the keyboard of her two month old MacBook Air. I was surprised this actually killed it. I used the shop vac to suck out the water, had a fan blowing on it for 24 hours and then put it in a big bag of silica gel for another 24 hours. It powered up with residual battery (7%) but wouldn't take a charge. We ruled out the charger by charging another computer. The Apple Store opened it up, declared water corrosion damage, closed it up, and quoted us 1,000$Cdn to repair.

    At this time I figured I had nothing to lose by opening it up. I cleaned up the corroded bits and had our swami guru MAC expert friend look at it. She performed some bios level trickery, resetting some internal base values, and got it working 100%.

    I'm sorry, but Apple are greedy bitches.
     
  7. Trout

    Trout Member

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    Dang,, that's tragic!

    Many years ago (8-10) I bought 6 refurbished IBM Thinkpads from Tiger Direct at a monthly clearance/tent sale.
    $90.00 for the lot.
    All still in boxes complete with chargers.

    Granted they were not anything special, but they could run XP and worked well for general non-online use.
    I have been nursing them along over the years, 4 hard drives failed/replaced & bought cheap memory upgrades on ebay
    I figure over the years they have needed less than $150 in repairs so far.

    One at each bench, one in the garage & 1 backup.
    Loaded them all with a ghost image that had everything I felt critical.
    Schematics, vintage reference pictures & notes.

    Since they never go online, and are basically just fancy notes I hope to get a few more years anyway.

    I look back at it as a great way to have them at the bench, there are so many off- lease refurbs out there, using something expensive make zero sense.
     
  8. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Sorry this happened. Thank you for posting as I never thought about the magnet power jack this way.
     
  9. wall_of_sleep

    wall_of_sleep Member

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    Never having owned a mac, I've always thought the same about the magnetic jacks. Sorry to hear they have their own disadvantages.

    Repairing the jacks on Dell and HP laptops is also more work than it's worth. Miles more tedious than only select amplifier repairs. These days I just pull the HD and buy another gutted laptop.
     
  10. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    On the MAC power connectors two of outer contacts are + and the other two are - and the middle one is for feedback (charge regimen) from the computer to the charger. I doubt you could render much damage to the computer by shorting all these beyond perhaps a power pack/charger. Now the $70 charger is another issue.
     
  11. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    Just got one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812161002 Unlike the enclosure type, this works with laptop and desktop drives of several generations. Comes with free Windows clone software - use Carbon Copy for Mac. No software needed if you just want to see what's on an old drive, or to wipe it. (Buy now, I think it's discontinued.)
     
  12. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    I've fixed it, kinda sorta...

    2 of the pins / connectors are burned up, but the other side seem to be ok. I've cleaned up everything about as good is can be.

    The power supply may have a short-circuit protection design in it, because it has come back to life. It was dead'er that dead....but now it's back amongst the living.

    The plug is no longer bi-directional because of the burned contacts, so it has to be oriented the right way....but it's functioning!
     

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