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I have an inverter that generates modified sine wave output. My newly purchased AC adapter for my laptop is not working (first thing I tried it on was the inverter), and I'm wondering: could the modified sine wave output have damaged my AC adapter?

I've been looking for an appropriate Stack Exchange site to post this question to, including more details about wattages, voltages, and the research I've already uncovered about this. After reading through the valid topics here, I am thinking it would not be on topic because it involves consumer electronics. However I posted about this on meta Supuser and one 19k user there suggested it might be on topic at EE despite involving consumer electronics.

I'm uncertain and looking for clarification. Is my question on topic here?

For reference, here's the meta Supuser post.

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Yes. Your question is an electronics design question and on-topic here.

The answer, BTW, is also yes. The complete answer is "it depends." It depends on what the modification is and how the laptop power adapter is implemented internally.

The most common failure-mode in my experience is high voltage spikes on the "sine" wave edges that degrade the input clamp circuit to failure and then the failure cascades.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the clarification. I posted my question and provided what I hope are more helpful details. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Sep 8 '14 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...and now I posted an answer to that question ;) \$\endgroup\$ – DrFriedParts Sep 9 '14 at 5:58

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