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What signal is sent over the center pin of the power adapter?

As i found out on the internet my Dell x300 latitude cannot charge the battery because i use another ''Dell'' adapter with the same ratings though. The cause is the signal sent over the third pin by the original adapter and tells the laptop to be able to charge the battery.
My question: is there anyone with the original adapter who can view this signal on an oscilloscope? Maybe it is just a steady voltage that is needed, maybe a complex digital code, maybe a simple one that can be imitated by a simple circuit.
Anyone have any ideas about this?

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  • Joe May 11, 2010

    What is the adapter PA Family? ie PA-6,PA-9 etc.

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The problem isn't in the psu - it's in the laptop. The centre pin supplies a trigger voltage with a simple carrier which tell s the BIOS about the power characteristics of the unit. Missing that signal, the BIOS assumes that even though there may be enough power to run the laptop, there may not be enough to charge the battery - a situation that, on lower power PSUs, can lead to damage to PSU and/or laptop. That's a safety feature that it doesn't attempt to trigger the charging circuit. The most likely reason for that trigger being missing is the (very poorly-designed) PSU interface having become disconnected from the rail. The socket needs replacing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

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