Canon G2: problems with the CA-560 power adapter wall cord?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Faughnan, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. I bought my G2 from iBuyDigital in October 2002. It came in a
    shrinkwrapped box, looked like a standard Canon package. The camera is
    great. Not perfect [1], but the best overall picture tool I've ever

    I'm looking for problem reports, however, on the power adapter wall

    The G2 was made in Japan, the October Canon CA-560 power adapter in
    China. The connection from adapter to camera is ok, but the outlet
    cord doesn't properly fit the converter/adapter/charger unit. The
    "male" portion of the outlet/wall cord is longer than the "female"
    plug on the ac/dc converter; so the wall plug is loosely attached to
    the power adapter; it falls out easily. Lately I'm having trouble
    charging my G2 since the cord falls out or fails to stay connected.

    I've not seen any other reports of this problem. Anyone else see
    anything like it? This has all the labeling and markup of a genuine
    Canon Compact Power Adapter CA-560. I note on the Canon web site
    however that the current CA-560 is flatter and thinner than the one I
    have [2]. It also costs $125!

    I've emailed Canon tech support but they've not responded to my email.
    I'm going to try phoning them. Any reports on this problem from other
    users may help.


    [2] Power Adapter CA-560 3171A007AB

    [meta: 030808, Canon, digital, camera, G2, G3, G5, power adapter,
    power adaptor, charger, converter, convertor, wall unit, wall cord,
    outlet, plug, connection, fit, connector, loose, dislodge, misfit,
    error, bug, manufacturer, manufacturing, ac/dc, ac-dc]
    John Faughnan, Aug 8, 2003
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  2. John Faughnan

    Luk Guest

    I have the same equipment, bought early November 2002.
    But no problem such as you have described. In fact, the fit
    seems fairly snug.

    Luk, Aug 8, 2003
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  3. The G2 was made in Japan, the October Canon CA-560 power adapter in
    Hey at least it is not the camera. You can buy one of these from Radio
    Shack, just note the power, plug and polarity, or bring the one you have
    in to Radio Shack.

    I see AC adapters at flea markets and such all the time for anywhere from
    a quarter to fifty cents each used.
    WHAT? And I thought Radio Shack was ripping people off charging
    sometimes up to $9 for one! I would never spend $9 for just a power
    adapter like this, let alone $125!
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 8, 2003
  4. The cord is pretty conventional. I have a SONY power adaptor for a
    video camera that uses the same power adaptor plug, except the SONY
    plug has the correct length power adaptor insertion piece. It's a snug
    fit into the canon adapter. (Note SONY uses "adaptor" and Canon

    This is pretty clearly a trivial manufacturing error in the power
    cord. I think it missed getting trimmed.

    Reading your note and another kind contribution, and seeing how well
    my SONY cord fits, I'm going to try Radio Shack. If they can replace
    the cord I'll do that. Might send the flaky one to Canon and see if
    they'll replace it for an extra cord!


    See also:

    [meta: 030808, Canon, digital, camera, G2, G3, G5, power adapter,
    power adaptor, charger, converter, convertor, wall unit, wall cord,
    outlet, plug, connection, fit, connector, loose, dislodge, misfit,
    error, bug, manufacturer, manufacturing, ac/dc, ac-dc]
    John Faughnan, Aug 9, 2003
  5. John Faughnan

    Myles Guest

    On 8 Aug 2003 06:01:06 -0700, (John Faughnan)
    I have a CA-560 connection to my G2 , bought July 2002 (UK). No
    Myles, Aug 9, 2003
  6. Radio Shack part number 61-2878 set me back $2.88. It's a perfect fit
    and my CA-560 now works reliably. The power cord no longer falls, the
    wall cord contacts now make complete contact with the adaptor/adapter.

    Your advice was spot on. Amazing, something from a camera manufacturer
    that's actually somewhat standard.

    Buying a replacement was far, far easier than fussing with Canon's
    warrantee service!

    Thanks again,


    Power Adapter CA-560 3171A007AB
    John Faughnan, Aug 9, 2003
  7. Dave, I appreciate your comments, but Jon was right about the power
    cord portion of his posting. The canon power adapter itself is fine,
    the manufacturing defect is in the wall cord that connects the adapter
    to the outlet.

    Following Jon's advice I bought a cord at Radio Shack. Works great.
    Much easier than dealing with Canon's hum-drum customer service.

    You are correct that one would not be able to replace the power
    adapter at Radio Shack. I do think Canon's markup on the power
    switching adapter is extravagant however. If one does need to replace
    the charger, Amazon was selling it for $90 on behalf of J&R -- which
    still seems outrageous.

    John Faughnan, Aug 9, 2003
  8. The cord is pretty conventional. I have a SONY power adaptor for a
    Now that I have the G3, if the AC cord to the charger is the same as with the G2 and that is what you are talking
    about, you can get that anywhere, even from a stereo or TV or something you see in the trash somewhere for free.
    Before I throw an appliance out, I take the cord and throw it in a box with the rest of them so I have plenty when I
    need another one.

    But this should only cost a buck at the most.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  9. It would seem likely that only the AC cable is defective, rather
    If I were Canon I would just send you a new AC cord for free. I can't tell you how many
    times I have called companies about silly cheap parts like this and they just take my name
    and address and tell me they will just send me one and that is the end of it. If Canon
    can't send you one of these for free after spending that much money on a product from them,
    then they don't deserve any repeat business from you.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  10. Dave, I appreciate your comments, but Jon was right about the power
    Now that I bought a G3 over the weekend, I have the power unit and see what it is you
    probably have too (unless the G2 is that much different) The expense is because they have
    a circuit in which you can use it not only on US 110V outlets, but can put 240 volts of power
    into it! And this will automatically adjust and compensate for the differences. The
    thing that doesn't make sense is that the power cord that comes with it will only fit in US
    outlets, so you couldn't use it in other countries when traveling anyway as it is. Idiots.
    You don't need 240 volt automatic switching. If the actual power supply ever goes bad,
    you can get just get a cheap $9 one and cut off the plug from this one that goes into the
    camera and connect it to the new one.

    Be carefully not to put too much strain and bend the wire on this connector that goes into
    the camera, because that is an unusual one and you may not be able to get another one
    anywhere else than Canon (probably why they did this when they didn't have to) and you don't
    want to have that go bad. Use it gently and carefully and don't bend the wires around the
    connector or strain it by having it too far from the outlet so that it is bending.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  11. Radio Shack part number 61-2878 set me back $2.88. It's a perfect fit
    Yeah, too bad the plug that fits into the camera itself they didn't use one that was standard. I
    like to make portable battery packs that connect into the camera and now have to find where to get
    this plug. Note the audio/video out jack uses a standard plug and you can get a spare audio video
    cable from Radio Shack that will work, but for the power jack they had to go out of their way to use
    a weird connector to make it difficult for the consumer.

    Reasoning could be that they don't want the average joe trying out their answering machine AC adapter
    by plugging it into the camera and killing the camera, so the rest of us all have to suffer because
    we have to protect the average idiot consumer from doing something they should not be.

    I don't like having to have to pay for cars with child safety locks and features or have all my
    mouthwash and medicine containers with annoying child proof caps just because other people choose to
    have children and not teach them properly. I don't have kids, never will, so I don't need all that
    crap on my products. Nor did I need all that when I was a child as my parents told me what not to
    do and it was never a problem. Being told that if I stuck my arm out the window and it could get
    cut off, or opening the door when the car was driving meant I could get sucked out and die was all I
    needed to know to never do those things. I only had to be told ONCE. If someone doesn't heed
    those warnings and gets killed, that is nature's way to get rid of the weaker and less intelligent of
    the species that our human society goes so far out of it's way to protect at the expense of the rest
    of us.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  12. Even if you don't care about 240 V operation, you still need a power
    supply that puts out 9.5 V *regulated* at up to 2.7 amps.

    The cheap $9 wall warts are generally rated at under 1 amp, and they are
    not voltage regulated - the output voltage can go up to about 15 V with
    no load. And if you apply any significant load, there will be a lot of
    ripple on the voltage. This is unlikely to operate the camera well, and
    might damage it with the excessively high no-load voltage.

    If someone doesn't want to buy the official Canon power supply, I'd
    suggest first looking for an old laptop power supply that happens to
    provide the correct voltage and sufficient current. That will be
    roughly equivalent to the Canon supply. Failing that, you could buy a
    12 V 3 amp power supply from Radio shack and adjust or modify it
    internally to deliver 9.5 V instead. Or add an external LM317 regulator
    to drop the 12-14 V down to 9.5 V.

    It's certainly possible to use a non-Canon power supply, but a $9 wall
    wart is a really bad idea.

    Dave Martindale, Aug 11, 2003
  13. I'll bet that the camera does draw close to that current just after a
    flash photo has been shot, when it is recharging the flash as well as
    displaying the image on the LCD panel. To be sure you can get away with
    less, you'd have to connect the camera to a bench power supply and
    monitor the peak current needed by any possible combination of shooting
    conditions. But why would Canon include a 2.7 A power supply if a
    smaller lighter cheaper 1 A or 2 A supply would suffice?
    One approach is to cut the cord from the existing power supply, leaving
    some convenient length of wire attached to the camera plug end. Then
    install a mating pair of connectors (e.g. Molex 0.062") on the cut ends.
    Now you can reconnect the cord to the AC supply to power the camera, but
    you can also connect the cable to a battery pack instead.
    You're missing the main point. The camera needs a supply of constant
    DC power of about the right voltage and enough current. That
    *requires* electronic circuitry in the power supply to regulate the
    voltage despite load changes. These days, this is normally done using
    a switching regulator circuit, which makes the power supply small and
    light. If the circuit does use a switching regulator, international
    voltage support is essentially free. Building a switching regulator
    that operates on 120 V only would save very little money.

    Now, if you don't mind a power supply that's large and heavy, you could
    use a power supply with a standard heavy iron-core transformer and an
    inefficient linear regulator. Radio Shack does sell those, and one of
    them will work if you get the output voltage right.

    But most "wall wart" supplies have no electronic regulation whatever.
    Their output voltage can be 50% too high under no load, and there is a
    lot of ripple in the output voltage under load. They are simply not
    suitable for powering a camera that expects regulated input power.
    Radio Shack does sell regulated wall warts, but they provide less than
    1 amp of output current. (And they cost more than $9).

    Wall warts are suitable *only* for powering devices that expect the
    varying voltage and ripple. Usually, these devices have their own
    voltage regulation circuitry internal to the device. Canon has
    obviously chosen to put the regulation in the external power supply,
    so a standard wall wart is just not suitable.

    Dave Martindale, Aug 11, 2003
  14. You don't need 240 volt automatic switching. If the actual power
    Where does it say this one is regulated? And the $2 voltage regulator chip
    is not a big deal either, IF it actually is using one. Again, I find it
    very hard to believe that the camera is sucking or using almost 3 amps! If
    so the battery would die after the camera was done with it's start up
    screen. You don't need that kind of current to charge the battery
    either. You can connect a $400 power supply to the camera too, but it
    doesn't mean you need one. One needs to test how much power the camera
    actually needs, and that is all you would have to supply it.
    If it needs regulation, which I don't know where you determined that this
    one is, you can open up the wall wart and put one in for $2.
    The camera is a load, and if anything the voltage will drop lower, not
    higher. Who cares what the voltage goes up to with no load?
    You are charging a battery for crying out loud. That is why 12 car battery
    chargers have horrible ripple and can't be used to operate CBs or car
    stereos without filtering them a lot more first. I would hope that the
    camera has the regulation and filtering inside as with most electronic
    devices that depend on AC adapters to power them.
    There you go.
    Not if that is all the Canon one is. Using a $100 (or whatever it cost)
    power supply to charge a camera battery is a really bad idea. So is making
    one to take 240v but only has the US AC plug on it.

    Just showing a guy how to save some bucks. And everything from answering
    machines and walkmans tell you only to use their own companies approved wall
    warts and you know that is all a bunch of bullshit.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  15. Radio Shack may not have them that high, but you can get one from other
    So then that tiny battery inside the camera would have to provide that many amps
    too, right?
    Or just check the amp rating on the battery it uses to do all those shooting
    conditions when it is not connected to any power supply.
    For the same reason they include one that operates on 240 Volts when it is sold in
    the US with a power cord that doesn't fit into foreign 240 volt systems anyway.

    Sometimes a company can get something in quantity for real cheap and just use
    that. Perhaps they got a good deal on these from some laptop company that went
    out of business.
    No, I would rather have an extra plug for the battery pack and not have to keep
    changing this back and forth all the time. With an extra one I can just leave the
    battery pack in the camera case and not have to check it other than once a year or
    so to make sure the batteries are still good.
    So how in the hell does that have anything to do with needing the input to be able
    to take 110 or 240 volts and and a circuit that can take either automatically?
    You can have a voltage regulated circuit with the proper current that only needs
    110 and does NOT have the overkill feature of being able to use 240 v outlets that
    we don't have and will never use anyway.
    The same could be said about including the plug or adapter so that you could
    actually USE it on 240 v, but they sure saved the expense on including that, so
    there has to be some other screwy reason. Perhaps they saved money by making one
    instead of two units, then just include the other power cord in other countries
    rather than designing two power supplies. That is probably EXACTLY why this is
    the way it is. So they saved money that way, but the consumer doesn't need this
    when they replace it if they can get one cheaper somewhere.
    Right. Perhaps this one isn't regulated either. And if it is, perhaps the camera
    doesn't need a regulated supply. All this has to be taken into account.
    When will it ever be used with no load???? Just to test your multimeter?
    But does this one, or is that done inside with the camera's circuits like in most
    consumer electronics?
    Where is this obvious, did you test it? I don't see regulated on the label on
    mine. It may be, but it sure is not obvious.
    Jon Wordsworth, Aug 11, 2003
  16. Right. But a single NiCd or NiMH AA battery can provide 10 *amps* for a
    few seconds, and battery capacity is rated at 1-2 amps continuous drain.
    LiIon have somewhat higher internal resistance, but there should be no
    problem providing 2.7 amps for a few seconds.
    The rating on the battery is capacity, measured in amp-hours or
    milliamp-hours. It does *not* tell you the discharge current
    capability, which you'd have to get from the battery data sheet.
    Many people travel with their laptops and cameras. A worldwide-voltage
    power supply is a real advantage for many owners. Would you prefer that
    Canon sell only a 120 V power supply in the USA, and charge a lot more
    for the "travel" version as an accessory? I'm glad they spent a few
    dollars more and gave me a worldwide capable supply.
    Unlikely, since laptops usually operate from higher voltage.
    Sure, you can build a 120 V-only supply. If you use plain old linear
    regulator technology, it would be cheap - but it will be heavy and run
    hot. If you only use it at home, you probably don't care.

    But many customers of this class of camera travel from time to time.
    They take the camera and power supply with them. By choosing a
    switching supply, Canon gives them something that is smaller, much
    lighter, and runs much cooler - something you wouldn't mind packing in
    your carry-on luggage. That's of great value to some customers. So
    does it make more sense to supply this switching power supply to
    everyone, or force the travellers to buy it as an accessory?

    And once Canon has settled on providing a switching supply, adding
    worlwide voltage capability costs little or nothing.
    Do you know how many different outlet standards there are around the
    world? It's not very practical to include adapters for all of them.
    But, because the power supply is multi-voltage, all you need is a small
    cheap adapter from US 2-prong plug to whatever is needed for the country
    you are going to. If you travel with a laptop, you've probably already
    got one.
    Sure, if the consumer doesn't travel outside north america. But it
    still needs to be regulated.
    But you're telling people to use a $9 wall wart with their $1000 camera,
    without worrying about any of this. That's not doing them a favour.
    If the power supply is connected to the camera, some parts of the camera
    circuit are energized even when the "mode switch" is turned off. If the
    mode switch is off and the battery is already charged, there will be no
    significant load on the wall wart, so the voltage will soar to 14 or 15 V.
    And some of the camera's circuitry is exposed to that voltage.
    Based on the fact that this *is* a regulated supply, I'd say that the
    Canon cameras do expect clean power.

    Filtering and regulation components take space, have weight, and
    generate heat, all problems in a digital camera. Since the camera is
    normally powered from a battery during shooting, it makes sense to put
    only the voltage regulation circuitry needed for battery operation into
    the camera itself, putting the additional components needed for AC
    operation into the external power supply. Look at cellphones - they do
    the same thing.
    It is obvious to me, from the size and weight and rating of the power
    supply, and its unloaded output voltage. But I'm an electronics

    Canon doesn't label it "regulated", but they don't need to. Their
    advice to customers is to use the supplied power supply and nothing
    else, and if you do that you will be fine.

    If it isn't obvious to you what type of power supply Canon provides,
    there's no shame in that - 99% of the public couldn't tell you either.
    But may I suggest that if you can't tell the difference, you're not in a
    good position to be making power supply recommendations to other people,
    particularly ones that *might* damage their $1000 camera?

    And if you really want to know what type of circuitry is in the Canon,
    supply, open it yourself. (There's probably a third screw hidden under
    the label, in addition to the two visible ones). Or measure the output
    voltage and ripple. Or just get used to handling a lot of power
    supplies. If you mentally divide the output power rating by the weight
    of the power supply, you can pretty rapidly separate the switchers from
    the 50/60 Hz transformer supplies - the latter are several times the
    weight for the same power.

    Dave Martindale, Aug 11, 2003
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