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Old 09-24-2010, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default What is the Laptop Power Supply?

Like all computer equipment itís important to care for your laptop power supply in order to maximize the life of the product. After all, itís the life force of your computer and without it you get approximately 2 hours of usage before the laptop battery runs out.
The laptop power supply or laptop power adapter performs two main functions. It powers the computer from an AC outlet and keeps the laptop battery charged for those times when you are unable to plug in. In most cases, the laptop power adapter consists of a rectangular-shaped transformer with two cables running from opposite ends with one connected to the outlet and another to your laptop.

Caring for Laptop Power Supplies

It doesnít require much effort to care for laptop power supplies as there are not a lot of components. There are a couple of mistakes that I commonly see computer users make that can decrease the life of the laptop AC adapter. They are bending the cables, allowing the transformer to overheat, and exposure to water as well as voltage surges.

ē Bending the cables on your laptop power supply can cause the wires to break. At the very least, the broken wires inside the laptop adapter cable will interrupt the power and at the worst cause an electrical short that may damage the computer. Just make sure that the cables on the laptop power supply are not crushed against the wall, your computer, or lay under any furniture. I also see many people wrapping the cords around the transformer when traveling with their laptop. Be careful on how tightly you wind the cables to avoid breakage.

ē Overheating the transformer on your laptop AC adapter may cause damage to both the transformer and the circuitry inside the computer responsible for charging the laptop battery. The transformer of the laptop power adapter causes the generation of heat as it converts electricity from the outlet into that required for the computer. While designed to tolerate the heat, it is wise to let it cool down at least daily so be sure to turn off the laptop at night. In addition, place the transformer in a position that exposes it to airflow such as on the corner of your desk or like surface. The airflow helps dissipate the heat. Laying it on a carpet is going to prevent some of the heat from dissipating potentially causing it to overheat.

ē We all know that electricity and water donít mix so I wonít elaborate too much here. Just be careful of having plants above your laptop power supply where over watering can drain onto it causing damage to your equipment and, most importantly, yourself.

ē As far as voltage issues go, there are a couple of ways to protect your laptop power supplies and your computer. One way is to always use a surge suppressor to absorb any spikes in voltage. There are small surge suppressors that easily fit into your computer for when you are traveling. The second way involves purchasing the correct universal laptop power adapter if you have to replace the original. If the laptop power supply voltage is too low then the computer may draw from the laptop battery to achieve enough power. If the voltage is too high then it can harm the battery and potentially the computer.

Like I mentioned earlier, there isnít really much to taking care of laptop power supplies. It really is about taking a little care and realizing that there are components within a laptop power adapter that can breakdown causing an interruption in your power supply. However, if you do have one that is damaged, they are quite easily replaced at a reasonable price.
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