peteg's blog - hacking - mac - 2006 12 16 PowertechPlusCarPowerAdaptor

Powering the iBook from the car.

/hacking/mac | Link

I trudged all over Sydney CBD today looking for a new pair of Docs and something that would let me recharge the iBook from the car. It seems the old Docs shop on Pitt St Mall has folded, and the joint down George St that for years proudly advertised cut-price Docs has gone for the factory- (China-) direct brand instead. I'd forgotten what a hassle it is shopping on the street.

Anyway, to cut a long ramble short, I ended up buying a "Powertech Plus Cat. MP-3463 3.5 Amp Universal Step-up DC/DC Converter for Notebook Computer" from Jaycar on York St for $40. The sealed-in cardboard says it was made in China and is distributed by Electus Distribution, and I can guarantee you that the cardboard was printed there too. I can't find it in either of their catalogues. There is also a 6 Amp version for those who have something hefty.

It works, with one small wrinkle: the iBook-sized plug adaptor is wired backwards! Fortunately the iBook is up to that game, simply ignoring a reverse-polarity 24 volts. The solution is to wedge the plug adaptor onto the cable backwards. For the curious these Italians have the details, or you can try to figure out what Apple is on about.