Laptop having charging issues

Glenn Owner/Technician Texas Posted   Latest  

Hello DN,

Of all the things that distract us on a regular basis, I have yet experienced an unexpected issue with my shop laptop. I am fond of using Panasonic CF-53 laptops and they have proven to be quite reliable for a few years now. They can take the daily grind of mobile work and in shop use.

I developed a charging problem on one of the laptops (I have 3). It was my in house unit. It was not charging right. I figured the battery was starting to fail, so I swapped it out. The problem still continued. I decided to look a little further and discovered that my cord was chewed on by one of my rat terriers/ chihuahua's in a well hidden area. As much as I like my pets, they can be troublesome at times.

Anyway, once I found the damaged area, I soldered and shrink taped it, then wrapped it with cloth harness tape. For good measure, I used some fine ground red pepper on the cloth tape and rubbed the rest of the cord lightly to see if I could determine which one was the offender. Needless to say after a day or two I had one of them trotting around licking their lips/face trying to make the burn of the pepper go away. Problem solved (for now anyway).

I only use (expensive) original Panasonic factory power chargers because I have had too many bad experiences with junk aftermarket copies.

This post is silly, but it is relevant to daily life as a technician. I rely on all of my laptops in one way or another in the shop or working mobile and then having the ability to research and view the web for technical issues and just plain checking out items of interest.

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Kaimana Technician
California
Kaimana
 

Thanks for sharing! I know your point was a life lesson, but… it brought back memories of my America Staffordshire that loved extension cords… Sadly, he’s not around anymore. He passed of old age but blew at least 2 15A circuit breakers that we knew of.

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Timothy Owner/Technician
Wisconsin
Timothy
 

C-53s! Wow, those are ancient. I got rid of all my Toughbooks years ago, just not enough machine for me. I like a fast machine that's truly/easily upgradeable, not to mention the fact that you've got to have an external drive to load software, if you're not wanting to download it. I prefer discs so that I can reboot anytime I need to. Personally, I use hardened Dell laptops, that have a…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Timothy, In computer life I guess 10 years is ancient. I used the CF-50 and the CF-51 models for years until WIN 8,1 and 10 came out . So far the CF 53's have kept up for what I do. I am pushing retirement so getting the newest toys is just not appealing to me. Aside from that this whole Covid mess has slowed down business to a crawl. People are getting weary. Keeping my head above water…

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Don't feel too bad Glenn. I don't really think it is silly, but a fact of life that we've become accustomed to. We had one squirrel that was persistent in climbing atop of the plastic “beauty” sound insulator cover on my wife's ‘15 Terrain 2.4L engine. He’d break nut shells open, enjoy his snack and take a leak at the depression around the oil filler cap, before leaving. After cleaning it…

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Thanks
Tommy Owner/Technician
North Carolina
Tommy
 

Martin, If you can get some insect granules intended for your lawn ( like fire ant killer ) and spread like fertiliser on your yard it will get rid of the grubs, and other insects that attract the skunks.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Thanks for the suggestions Tommy. I was just about to look into what might work best. Here in BC, may lawn and garden chemicals that were effective, have been banned in recent years. E.G. No weed and feed is available, while other provinces still may have it available. I find that many of the alternate substitutes work poorly, if at all and even have their own health hazards. Even moss sprays…

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Michael Technician
Massachusetts
Michael
 

Hi Martin, What Capsaicin cream brand did you buy and where? Thank you, mike

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Mike. According to the package - Capsaicin 0.025% by Valeo Pharma Inc. in Quebec. My wife tells me that it came from a local health food store, but I'm not sure about that. She could be right as the price tag doesn't identify a point of sale, as some larger drug stores labels do. Funny thing is, I just visited the Valeo website and do not see it listed under Products! I don't believe that…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
   

Hi Martin, Most health stores and commercial pharmacies stock this for aching muscles and arthritis pain, if you are using for personal use. If you want something to to deter rodents and wild life critters, use mayonnaise and fine ground red pepper. It work good. It also keep pesky pets from chewing on cords. Puppies and cats are terrible at times. A good dose of Chipotle works well also. (A…

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Glenn. I used the red pepper trick with an oil to spray around the perimeter of the property. Just a fine smear of the capsaicin cream with pepper added fixed the squirrel issue under the hood. He/she hasn't been back since! There's a bit of a gap under my greenhouse door that is getting fixed tomorrow, to keep Mr. Mouse from chewing up stuff, peeing and pooping The skunks are pretty…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Martin, For the sandwich spread, just sprinkle a very light amount of chipotle powder over a large spoonful of mayonnaise placed into a small condiment container or tiny bowl. Mix it well and test taste it. Let it set for a minute or so and then retest for flavor. It takes a couple of times to get the exact strength you desire, but it is awesome on a toast with fried egg and ham sandwich. A…

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Michael Technician
Massachusetts
Michael
 

Thank you Martin !

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Naison Technician
South Africa
Naison
 

I used to have a couple of them but I hv noticed that they are not reliable as a we might think, the operating system can crush anytime. I stopped using them and I am using Asus now.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Naison, I to have had my share of troubles with the Panasonic line. I have seldom used Asus for anything. I do have some friends that really like them. In a mobile and shop environment. It is hard to find a good laptop that can take the daily grind in this line of work. The biggest thing that kills any of them is when a person leaves them turned on 24/7, 365 days a year. There was fellow…

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