Monday, July 20, 2009

23" Cinema Display power adaptor failure

Thank you so much to the gentlemen working at the Maccentric service center in Chatswood!

This morning started out as though it was going to be "one of those" Mondays. A blackout over the weekend had taken out my beautiful 23" Cinema Display after having just received a notice from the power company that the rates were going up by more than 10%! Talk about adding insult to injury, but fortunately I'm here working in dual-monitor mode now and I've never appreciated it more.

Everything else in the house was fine when the power came back on, but the power/status LED on the Cinema Display was flashing in a peculiar way and not working. A bit of Googling lead to an Apple knowledge base page which revealed that the sequence of flashes indicated a problem with the power adaptor. So I made some calls to the local Apple stores asking after a replacement.

The closest store informed me that according to their technician it can be swapped out with a generic unit available from any electronics retailer. Made a mental note not to visit their "genius bar" and called the bigger store in the city where I was advised that a replacement part can in fact be ordered by making an appointment with the genius bar. I decided to skip that and went back to the Next Byte store I'd originally bought it from.

They referred me to the Maccentric service center which was just around the corner. Turns out they actually had a replacement unit in stock! I bought it, took it home, plugged it in and - got the same flashing status light. Shit, at this point I'm worried that my worst fears have been confirmed and the monitor itself has been damaged. I had to call them back anyway to give the serial no. of the monitor, and when I did the guy suggested that I bring it back in to try it with the PSU from a 30" Cinema Display because he had seen that fix the problem before.

Not an hour later I had dusted it off, packed it up, and driven it back into the store. Unbelievably, they also had a 30" PSU in stock as well, so we unpacked it, plugged it all into a Mac Pro on a test bench, and my beloved Cinema Display sprang back to life! I just had to pay the difference between the 2 PSU models and the problem was solved!

So I highly recommend Maccentric for any Mac repairs you might need, the staff were knowledgeable and professional, and by recommending a $140 power adaptor they saved me from having to replace a very expensive and beloved monitor.

Thank you again to the Maccentric service center, Spring St. Chatswood!

(And a big F-U to Energy Australia for blowing it up in the first place!)


Anonymous said...

I had the “short long short” blinking led problem with my
23″ ACD after a power outage which left my screen blank and
my cheek wet with a tear for my baby. I read somewhere that
a guy was getting a 1 volt reading on the middle pin of his
damaged 90 watt power block. I figured maybe the display might
work if I could somehow block the middle pin. So I cut a small
strip of paper wide enough to block just the middle pin and long
enough to cover both sides and it looked like a “W”. I gingerly
pressed it into the brick receptacle with a toothpick leaving
just a little slack so it would not tear when I pushed in the
small white plug. It was a bit of a tight fit but guess what.

IT WORKED… I am now enjoying my beloved monitor anew and saved
$$$ on replacement brick or repair.

If you want to try it and you feel you’ve nothing to lose, make
sure you cover just middle pin (both sides) and you may have to try a couple of times. It worked for me hope you have good luck too.

Regards, Moozler

Mark said...

Moozler, if only I'd known back then! Seems like the voltage on the middle pin identifies the power brick to the monitor to stop a 30" trying to pull power from a 23" power supply.

Unfortunately I think the repair shop kept the faulty unit, either that or I've lost it somewhere, otherwise I'd give it try! Glad you got yours working without too much drama.


Worldofdigitalmedia said...

Hello my 23 inch cinema HD Display has done the same black screen and blinking light thing over nite so i tried everything and came across this middle prong thing i put masking tape on the middle pin and pushed it in gently and booted up the computer and voila it works and it even comes back on when i put it to sleep, but the question i have to ask is this going to harm the monitor over a period of time masking off the middle prong , what is the middle prong for is it also the negative ground any more info on this could save peeps alot of money either way

Mark said...

@Worldofdigitalmedia I didn't try the middle prong when I still had my original power supply, but if it's working for you that's great!

With the 32" Cinema Display PSU I think my 23" gets hotter than it used to. On a hot summer day you could literally fry an egg on it, it's painful to touch. Also, I run my mouse, keyboard, and iPhone through the USB ports on the back, but when it's really hot they intermittently cut out. That's a huge pain because the iPhone tries to sync each time...

The moral of the story: if you have an expensive monitor which does not have a hard power switch on it that disconnects it from the mains when not in use, invest in a good surge protector!