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Laptop Adapter Hot

By michelinda ·
I have an old Compaq Armada 6500. The power adapter went bad and now its just lost. I bought another one used (and it seems to be the one that belongs with it), but it gets WAY to hot. I only got the adapter box to the machine part. There is a cable running from the wall power plug to the adapter box that didn't come with it.

I was told that part is all the same on all laptops as far as power from the wall to the adapter - but the end may look different. I was told that it comes from 110 wall plug to that adapter and they are all the same to that point (with different ends per Brand and different adapters per machine). I tried an IBM cable in the Compaq adapter box and to the laptop. It seems to power everything fine... but it is WAY TOO HOT.

I work around a lot of laptops and compared. I saw an IBM and a Dell that had the same "power source to adapter box" cable type piece, but both had different amps going into the adapter box piece.

I was told by an electrician that the Amps are just how much the item pulls. In other words, if it pulls 1.5 amps (on the adapter box), and I provide 3 amps cable from wall power to adapter, then it is okay and the "pipe" is providing whatever the laptop needs. I am okay as long as I provide a higher amp then the adapter requires.

Is this true? Is there a difference that matters? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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by TheChas In reply to Laptop Adapter Hot

The power pack for the laptop should be warm, maybe even very warm, but NEVER HOT!

If the adapter is too hot to hold in your hand for 15 seconds, it is too hot.

My first concern is that it may be setup for a different input voltage than you have.

Second, I would have a technician verify that the output voltage is correct.

Next, it is possible that there is a problem with your laptop that is causing excessive current draw.
Does your laptop run for a reasonable amount of time on just the battery?

If not, the battery may be bad.
A battery that will not hold a charge can cause a power adapter to over heat and burn up.

Either way, I would have a knowledgeable technician verify that:

The power adapter provides the correct output voltage.

The battery will hold a charge.

The laptop does not draw excessive current.

If the above checks out, and the adapter runs too hot to touch, I would suspect a problem with the adapter itself.


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by sgt_shultz In reply to Laptop Adapter Hot

wow. and i thought *i* overthought stuff (tease!). go to compaq website. you can look for known problem with this (even if third party adapter) and you can order new one from them. and you can learn all about your laptop and get bios updates and driver updates there.
imho, that adapter is bad. it is dangerous. it has nothing to do with power cable from wall. that part always exposed to line voltage, see? any cord all the same for that. so adapter has out of spec or bad part in it. see if warranty will replace it?

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by kennethsf In reply to Laptop Adapter Hot

About the "AMPS" thing:

If you try to drive a 2.5A computer with a 1.5A adapter, then the adapter will get very hot, since the computer will try to "drain" more than the adapter is made to deliver.

If you drive a 1.5A computer with a 2.5A adapter, then simply the computer will consume what is needed and the adapter will live happily with current to spare.

Both examples are assuming that the computer voltage requirements and adapter supplied voltage are the same (computer makes and models usually differ on this, too)

So if the computer needes 24V and the adapter is exactly that voltage, the only additional thing you need to know is that the AMP rating of the adapter must be equal or higher than the computer requirement.

It is generally more dangerous to work with mismatched computer input / adapter otput voltages, though. (you even risk blowing the computer itself)


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