Wanted: One AC adapter
November 21, 2007 1:34 PM   Subscribe

I recently lost the power adapter for my olde tyme Creative Nomad Zen NX. I'd like to just drive down to RadioShack and get a replacement, but I'm not sure what I need. The Nomad wants 5V, but it looks like RadioShack's adapters skip from 4.5V to 6V. Will I kill my player if I use one of those options?
posted by punishinglemur to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anecdotally, I think I killed my Nomad Jukebox Zen 2.0 plugging in a 4.5 volt adaptor. Of course, the battery may have just died of natural causes, as it had been unplugged for awhile.
posted by malaprohibita at 1:44 PM on November 21, 2007

Just bring it in to Radioshack - they should be able to point you in the right direction
posted by doorsfan at 2:05 PM on November 21, 2007

@malaprohibita: mine died as well. However i have reason to believe it was the charging circuitry inside that actually failed. I can remove the battery, charge it externally and then reconnect, and the thing still works.

as to the actual question: you should be able to use 6V one, but make sure that the current rating is the same or higher as the old one. since you no longer have the old one, you should be able to look that up, or I can look at the charger for my Zen 2.0 when I get home (1/2 hour).
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:06 PM on November 21, 2007

Basically, there is no easy answer, though there should be.

If you are getting a transformer type adapter, matching the output current rating is almost as important as matching the voltage rating. This is because transformers have fairly poor load regulation, so the output voltage of a 5V 1A adapter could be 6V at 500mA.

Then there are switching power supply adapters, which have very good load regulation, so 5V is 5V at almost any current. Substituting with switching supply adapters is much easier.

A more detailed look at the problem.

If you are talking about this adapter, the fact that it is regulated simplifies the problem. Either 4.5V or 6V should probably work fine. No guarantees though. Do you know if the original adapter was transformer based (it would be very heavy for its size) or switching power supply based?
posted by Chuckles at 2:11 PM on November 21, 2007

make sure that the current rating is the same or higher as the old one.

You really have to make sure it is the same or slightly higher. Due to the load regulation problem, if the adapter is rated at double the output current drawn by the device, the adapter will produce significantly higher voltage.
posted by Chuckles at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2007

Response by poster: I have no idea what the current rating is. I checked the manual online and it didn't appear to have that information.
posted by punishinglemur at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2007

These guys think it might have been up to 2A, which is a lot..

Consider getting a jack that will fit the plug on your Nomad, and then patching into your computer power supply's 5V line.
posted by Chuckles at 2:56 PM on November 21, 2007

Response by poster: It's 2.4A.
posted by punishinglemur at 2:59 PM on November 21, 2007

Once you get to currents in excess of 1A, most adapters will be the switching power supply type. Those are regulated, so the load regulation issue isn't relevant.

2.4A is pretty high current. Radio Shack may not have a solution for you, and if they do, it will be pricey. Lots of 5V 2.5A adapters on ebay, but you'll need the connector details to know which ones will fit (or to buy a replacement connector, or whatever).

I tried googling for the connector specs, but got nowhere. The yellow ring in that "these guys" link above makes me think it is the kind with a centre pin, rather than the more common 5.5mm/2.1mm or 5.5mm/2.5mm jack, but..
posted by Chuckles at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2007

the specs on my power supply:
model no:TESA1-050240
Input:100-240V (AC) 50/60Hz Max 0.32A
Output:5V (DC) 2.4A

Center is positive, and is a hole.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:22 PM on November 21, 2007

I believe this may be the one you are looking for. ($35, though)
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:27 PM on November 21, 2007

Here are the specs for the connector:
Power Rating: 5V 2.4A, 4.0mm outside 1.5mm inside 9.5mm length barrel.
(and, centre positive, from above)

I think 4mm/1.7mm will work.. Like I said, your computer can handle driving that power easily. Just find a spare drive connector, the red wire is 5V and the black is 0V (careful, fan wires are normally 12V, and sometimes they are red).
posted by Chuckles at 6:00 PM on November 21, 2007

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