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Generic ac adapter?

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DaveHCYJ

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Location
San Diego
I think my Dell AC adapter is dead. its been flakey for 2 months or so and finally the computer just gets no juice. I also noticed the led on the power brick doesn't light up anymore.

So my question is: would a generic adapter be ok to use as long as it has the same power specs? Something like this for $8 is much more appealing than $89.99 through dell. The laptop is aging but I was planning get another year out of it.

Anyone else out there deal with generic ac adapters before? Would one of these fry my laptop?
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
You have to be careful with some of those Dell laptops. I'm not sure if they're still doing it, but for awhile there they had some sort of lockout chip in the adapters, and the battery wouldn't charge if it detected a non-Dell power brick.

The better bet might be to try and find a used official Dell adapter off eBay or somewhere.
 

RoC1909

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
As mentioned by Thrashbarg, your best bet would be to get a Dell adapter. But, I have had good luck with the "generic" adapters that you can get at Radio Shack (or elsewhere). You just have to be ABSOLUTE SURE that the ratings are the same.

I use a product called iGo that I plug into the lighter of my car. I bought the "main component" and then what I can do is by just the "adapter tips" for the specific items that I want to use. I bought connectors for my iPod, Nokia phone, Blackberry and PSP and really like the convenience. Granted, you are not asking about a cigarette lighter power adapter, but I think they make adapters for home use too.

Head on out to their site and check it out:

http://www.igo.com/
 
OP
DaveHCYJ

DaveHCYJ

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Location
San Diego
You have to be careful with some of those Dell laptops. I'm not sure if they're still doing it, but for awhile there they had some sort of lockout chip in the adapters, and the battery wouldn't charge if it detected a non-Dell power brick.

I wonder if that's why windows has been reporting my battery as dead the past 4 months. I just assumed it was the battery, but maybe it was the slowly dieing ac adapter.

Wow I didn't know they would do something like the lockout chip, thats just greedy. I really don't want to pay $90 for a part that costs next to nothing to manufacture...

I found a generic one that comes from Amazon themselves, not a 3rd party. They are usually really good about returns so its worth seeing if the generic works.
 

RoC1909

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
It's along the same lines of a Blackberry battery. There is a chip inside of the battery that tells the BB that it's a genuine battery and if it's not there, it supposedly won't work (or so I have heard). These companies B.S the consumer stating it's for "quality purposes" for their use of proprietary crap, but we all know better that it's to charge a HUGE premium on something that costs a few bucks to make.
 

meionm

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Find a genuine ac adapter on ebay. Though make sure is not a generic one that works with it. I know on ebay they have super cheap ac adapters. These adapters are chinese knock offs. They will work but I don't know about extended use. Also adapter, is also lighter and feels cheap but for the price you can't complain. It will work.