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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Is my laptop power adapter defective

    I have a Dell Studio XPS laptop. It's about 4 years old but when we got it, it came with plenty of memory and still works good. I use it at our church when we show presentations. I connect it to a large plasma TV and a separate sound system. When I connect to the sound system, I get a buzzing sound, not enough that you can't hear the audio but enough to be annoying. When I unplug it from the power adapter and run it on the battery, it's fine. I'm always afraid to depend on the battery during a presentation, so when we aren't using the audio, I disconnect the audio cable and plug in the power adapter, just to make sure the battery stays charged.

    Is there a way to test the adapter or repair it if I do find something wrong with it, or do I just need to get a new adapter? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Donebb,

    Try a low tech approach first...wrap the brick in aluminum foil and see if you still get the interference. You might get a pleasant surprise. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    You have an earth loop. This shouldn't happen because your power supply should be double insulated.
    Can you try a different laptop / power supply?
    Try using a different cable to connect the lappy to the PA.
    Search for Earth Loop for lots more suggestions.

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    RG, I wasn't sure if you were kidding me or not. An aluminum foil hat, I would have been certain, wrapping the brick, not sure. Anyway, I tried it and it didn't make any difference.

    Paul, I did have another laptop with me yesterday and did not get any of the interference. Even though both power supplies looked like they had the same connectors, both laptops are Dells, I was concerned about trying one in the other. I have heard of people blowing out circuits or something, by using the wrong power supply. I will look into Earth Loop.

    Thank you both for the suggestions.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Did you try the laptop on power adapter with the battery removed?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Donebb,

    No I wasn't kidding sometimes these bricks act like radio transmitters it they have problems, sometimes even if they don't, and cable connections/connectors can act like receivers and then transmit the signal to the speakers. I was just trying to eliminate the cheap fixes first.

    P.S. I used to work for a 3 letter agency that was very concerned with electromagnetic emissions.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  7. #7
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    Hi RG, I did talk to one of the guys here at church that is more tech savvy on this kind of stuff than I am and he concurred that the foil might have been a solution.

    Medico, I did try your suggestion and removing the battery did not work either.

    I think I may have to breakdown and purchase another power supply. Thanks for all of your help.

  8. #8
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    You can safely swap Dell power supplies, assuming the plug is the same. That will confirm if it's the lappy or PS.

    p.s. Aluminium foil will have no affect on EMI, because EMI is magnetic and you need a ferous metal to stop that.

    cheers, Paul

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