Question about Sharper Image (SI721WHT) Clock Radio

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Power cord not working

Had this unit for years and it just stopped working with the power cord one day last week. Even though the female end of the cord snaps into the internal slot cleanly, it does not appear to be making or holding a solid connection. I'm thinking the internal prong that the plug envelops is out of alignment. Device seems to work with batteries, but I don't want to have to rely on them. Any ideas?

Posted by on

  • SharperImage Sep 04, 2008

    Thanks for your help.

    It is a detachable AC cord that plugs into the wall and into a recessed "male" prong on the side of the radio. It also is a small box at the end that plugs into the wall and is described as "Class 2 Transformer" with Output: 6V DC 1000mA. I thought it was not connecting cleanly with the internal prong, but you are suggesting the power supply in the cord may have died. Can I just take any other 6V DC 1000mA power supply and replace it? I popped into a Radio Shack, but I guess the key term was "friendly" since they were not interested in assisting me.



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When you say 'power cord,' do you mean a detachable AC cord or is there an external power supply that plugs into and outlet?
Those are two different animals and if the receptacle end that plugs into the wall is a small box, you cannot replace it with a simple 2-wire cord as the small box is actually a primitive power supply.
If so, there should be rating printed on the flat side that faces the wall and will have something like '12VDC 200 mA'

If so, it has probably died.
Most connectors don't fail unless they are frequently plugged and unplugged as they are for camera chargers for example.

If you bring the modular supply to any electronics store, they will surely have a meter to see if anything is coming from the supply.
Alternately, you could buy a cheap digital multimeter and check it yourself.

There is a huge variety of universal 'wall warts' that will take the place of a dead one but you must be cautious about polarizing the supply output with the provided means; often simply plugging the wall end of the output cable in one way or the other.
If you incorreclty polarize the the clock end, you may damage the clock radio forever.

If you have a friendly Radio Shack store in your area, I would just bring both clock radio and its supply to them and ask them to check the supply and sell you the right one as a replacement if defective.

You may be able

Posted on Sep 03, 2008

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Sep 04, 2008

    If you know anyone who does anything electrical, they will have a multimeter that will tell you if the supply is putting out anything at all. These have no load regulation and the output voltage of one rated at 6 VDC/1 amp could easily read 9-10 volts with only the meter on it.

    It may not be defective at all.

    The problem with mail orders on this is the polarity (if it has no provisions for changing it) and the physical dimensions of the plug.

    There are about two dozen unnecessary variations on two-pole plugs for what reason, I cannot fathom.

    Maybe 6-8 of them look very similar but vary in shell and male or female inner conductor by sometimes tenths of a mm.

    Sorry about your experience with RS although I admit to having had 'tongue in cheek' when I wrote that.

    The current rating is kind of high; 6 volts is one of the more common voltage ratings but the 1000mA (1 amp) current is 2-5 times higher than the average.

    To give you an idea of the range of outputs and prices, take look at this link to a surplus supplier:

    I haven't looked but considering Sharper Image is in bankruptcy, you may not get any help from them. They might have been able to supply exactly the one you now have.

    I don't know your area but a few telephone calls to stores listed in the Electronic Equipment section of your phone book (or check on line) should yield more than one place to buy this.

    They will mark them up horribly; I once kept some 'universal' supplies on hand as a convenience for customers that could be changed from 1.5 to 12 volts in steps, a current rating of 1 amp., and had polarity reversal as well as a cord that had 3-5 different common connectors and never paid in excess of $1.50 US.

    Expect to pay $5-$15 US.



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