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Old 25-08-2016, 06:07   #1
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Victron charger interferes with Macbook

I recently bought a Macbook and found that whilst charging from the on-board mains ring (using the Apple-supplied charger) it interfered with my mobile/cell phone if in close proximity, and also just about anything else connected to the Macbook - CD/DVD read/writer, external backup drive etc. I could even get a tingling sensation when touching the Macbook. Apple kindly swapped it out for a new one (which included a new charger), but the same problem is still evident, so the issue is clearly mine, not the Mac.

In a bid to find the source of the problem I switched off my Victron Multiplus 12/1600 charger/inverter and the problem disappeared. I'm presently connected to shore power and have the inverter physically switched off at the unit (as opposed to switched off at the Phoenix remote panel). As I understand it, with the Victron turned off the shore power is connected directly to the boat's mains ring via a relay in the Victron unit, but I have no idea what route it takes within the Victron when the unit's turned on. Out of curiosity I disconnected from shore power and turned the inverter on, not surprisingly the problem still existed - it's clearly something to do with the Victron.

Has anyone else experienced this with a Victron charger, or better still, experienced and fixed it? I've done a search on the forum site, and a Google search, but come up with nothing.

Incidentally, I checked that nothing else was connected to the on-board mains ring when testing - just the Macbook charger - and even turned off all 12v devices. Also worth mentioning is that I've never before experienced interference problems with anything else on board.
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Old 25-08-2016, 20:20   #2
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

is this a charger, or charger inverter?

if it was a charger / inverter and you turned the unit off. non of your plugs would still be working, even at the dock. as power will go from the shore plug through the victron to your AC panel. on shore power, the power simply passes through the victron and should not be effected by it.

if it's a charger only. then AC power goes from the panel to the charger and goes nowhere else. and all your plugs are comming from the panel, with nothing to do with the charger. and should not effect the plugs or anything else on the boat at all.


plug the macbook direct into the dock plug and see if it still effects your phone or other stuff.
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Old 25-08-2016, 22:04   #3
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

I have a small cheap pure sine wave inverter I use to charge my MBP. I have the same problem with the tingling when using it. I also get bad interference with my stereo. If my iPhone is on the charger the touch screen does not work so good and the same with my Raymarine E7's screen which gave me a mild shock once. I have a 2nd E7 at the helm but I have not tested if that also is interfered with.

Until recently I was using a car charger for my MBP until the pins in the connector to the MBP failed. This is my 2nd junked charger.

I will be interested to hear if anyone understands why this happens and if it perhaps affects non-Mac laptops




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Old 25-08-2016, 22:24   #4
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

I just did a quick test. I have tried using the longer power cord with my MBP so that it's charging in another cabin. The inverter is still at the nav table and now the MFD & iPhone (on charge at nav table) work without interference. The tingling feeling seems to be less.

I have now brought the MBP back to the table (the Mac charger has not moved position) and the touch screens are playing up again.

I don't have problems when on shore power or when using a 12v charger. The problems with the touch screens are affected by the proximity of the MBP and not the inverter.
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Old 25-08-2016, 23:10   #5
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

I haven't had this problem as I don't have a Victron charger/inverter...

Most of the time I use one of these.. DCDC-USB-200, Intelligent DC-DC converter with USB interface

I started off by buying a 12volt car plug charger ( not unlike this one 15" Macbook PRO Retina A1398 A1424 MAGSAFE2 85W CAR Charger Adapter USB Port | eBay ) but that put out a lot of RFI so I cut the wire between the voltage converter and the magsafe and wired that into the DCDC-USB...... works good.
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Old 25-08-2016, 23:51   #6
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

This is what I was using until the MagSafe connector pins failed. It originally would burn out the cig lighter plug which is why I junked it and put on the red plug (can't remember what they are called)

It worked well, no interference and uses way less amps than the inverter. It's the second one I've bought because the other had the same problem. I found on Amazon a company that sells MagSafe and magsafe2 connectors with a cable and think I'll order a few to fix the Chargers I have.

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Old 26-08-2016, 00:08   #7
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

Anderson PowerPoles https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power...-sb-connectors
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Old 26-08-2016, 00:15   #8
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Yes, that's them. I think it was Seaworthy Lass or Nolex who suggested them to me. I installed the power plug under my Nav table with a suitably size cable for the laptop and the inverter to use. No hot plugs now.


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Old 26-08-2016, 00:18   #9
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

Found this charger

https://www.amazon.com/GPK-Systems-C.../dp/B0056QBQNI

although it needs the magsafe2 adapter for the newer MBP

I will probably order a couple of these to fix my two faulty chargers

https://www.amazon.com/Connector-DC-...GKY3QBNN04WGA9
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Old 26-08-2016, 01:38   #10
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

The most difficult thing , in Australia at least, seems to be finding a powerpole crimper at a decent price.
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Old 26-08-2016, 01:52   #11
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

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The most difficult thing , in Australia at least, seems to be finding a powerpole crimper at a decent price.
I suspect that this applies to any country...

I just soldered the wires in. The wires to the charger are quite small so a crimper would probably not work.
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Old 26-08-2016, 04:43   #12
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
is this a charger, or charger inverter?

if it was a charger / inverter and you turned the unit off. non of your plugs would still be working, even at the dock. as power will go from the shore plug through the victron to your AC panel. on shore power, the power simply passes through the victron and should not be effected by it.
It's a charger/inverter. However, I definitely have power to the sockets with it turned off, and the interference disappears.
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Old 26-08-2016, 04:54   #13
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I have a small cheap pure sine wave inverter I use to charge my MBP. I have the same problem with the tingling when using it. I also get bad interference with my stereo. If my iPhone is on the charger the touch screen does not work so good and the same with my Raymarine E7's screen which gave me a mild shock once. I have a 2nd E7 at the helm but I have not tested if that also is interfered with.
Ah, I have a small 150w inverter that I'd forgotten about. I just tried using that, powering it from the 12v socket, and it works fine with no interference being generated - thanks for the prompt

Your suggestion in a later post about using a 12v car adaptor with a Magsafe2 connector sounds like a sensible idea and the way to go. I will still try and find out the cause of the problem though; I've emailed Victron support, but as yet had no response.
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Old 26-08-2016, 06:50   #14
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

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Ah, I have a small 150w inverter that I'd forgotten about. I just tried using that, powering it from the 12v socket, and it works fine with no interference being generated - thanks for the prompt

Your suggestion in a later post about using a 12v car adaptor with a Magsafe2 connector sounds like a sensible idea and the way to go. I will still try and find out the cause of the problem though; I've emailed Victron support, but as yet had no response.
Interesting that your small inverter works ok. I was thinking if my problem was the lack of an earth/ground but I can't see why when the Mac charger does not use it.
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Old 26-08-2016, 10:23   #15
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Re: Victron charger interferes with Macbook

It would be helpful if you post the solution or fix you eventually find, Weikeith. thank you
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