Lawn mower cable stretched. How to Fix a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

How to Fix a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

If your self-propelled lawn mower has suddenly become a push mower, if it runs rough, or if it won’t even start, don’t panic. You might not need to take it in for service yet. Use these quick tips to narrow down the problem and fix it. Many of these solutions will work no matter if you have a gas, electric, or cordless model.

Here are the three most common dilemmas facing the owners of self-propelled lawn mowers.

The mower doesn’t self-propel anymore, or it moves too slowly

This usually results from a problem with the cable that controls the speed. It’s probably the most common complaint about older self-propelled mowers.

Transmission cable

Time to complete: less than 10 minutes

If the transmission or drive cable comes loose or breaks, your mower will stop moving forward on its own. Inspect the whole cable from the handlebar down to the transmission. Make sure it’s connected firmly at both ends and doesn’t need to be replaced because of wear or damage. (Rodents love to gnaw on wires, especially plastic-coated ones. If you have uninvited guests in your garage over the winter, you might have a few gaps in your cable.)

If you have a Personal Pace mower and it’s moving too slowly, check the wire cable that runs from the handle down to the transmission. With the engine turned off, squeeze the Personal Pace handle. It should move about an inch before you feel resistance. If it moves more than that, the cable may need tightening. This tends to stretch with wear just like a gear cable on an old ten-speed bike.

Loosen the bolt that clamps the cable onto the handle. Pull up the drive cable about an inch, tighten the bolt, and then squeeze the handle again. If there is less play, test the mower’s speed with the engine running.

Wheels and the drive wheel gears

Time to complete: less than 10 minutes if you don’t have to remove the wheels

Wheels and gears need cleaning and lubrication, and sometimes they just need to be replaced. Your mower will move much more slowly if the drive wheels and gears are jammed up with clippings and dirt. Clean them and spray them with WD-40 or graphite.

The mower vibrates too much, makes noises, or cuts poorly

If you have a bent, damaged, or unbalanced blade, it will make the mower shake more than normal. It will also damage your lawn by tearing out grass or making ragged cuts. If you can’t see the ragged cuts now, you will soon enough, as the grass will turn brown at the tips.

Please remember to disconnect the spark plug cable before doing any of the maintenance described below.


Clear out grass clippings and dirt from the underside of the mower. If the blade is obviously bent or damaged, replace it. If it looks okay, but you’re still getting bad vibrations, remove it. Check the balance by using a balancer or hanging it with a nail through its center hole. If one side hangs lower, file that edge until the blade hangs level. Sharpen the blade about every two weeks for the best cut.

Motor shaft

Once you’ve removed the blade, you can see the rod, or shaft, connecting the blade to the motor. If you’ve run over large rocks or tree stumps, it may be bent. If it is damaged, we recommend that you take the mower to a mechanic.

The mower runs rough, or won’t start

Just like in a car, a bad spark plug, drained battery, or stale fuel can stop a mower from starting. If your mower has a fuel shut-off valve and it’s closed, that could prevent your mower from starting, too. Make sure any safety features (like blade control) that keep the mower from operating are all disengaged. Then try starting the mower again. If that fails, try the steps below.


If you’ve left gas in the tank all winter without using a stabilizer, the gas may have gone bad. Does it smell wrong? Remove all the fuel, change the filter, and then put fresh gasoline in the tank. (At least with self-propelled 4-cylinder engines you don’t have to mix the gas and oil together.)

Spark plug

Time to complete: less than 5 minutes

Disconnect the spark plug cable (but wait, you already did that, didn’t you? Safety first!), pull out the spark plug, and wipe it clean. If the porcelain is cracked or the electrode burned off, you’ll need a new one. Lawn mower spark plugs need to be replaced about once a year. After you put it back, or put in a new one, connect the cable. Does the mower start?


If your mower has electric starter that runs off a battery, see if the battery has drained. Recharge it, or replace it if it won’t hold a charge. Do the same for cordless mowers that run off batteries.


Electric mowers are dependent on extension cords, and those cords are prone to damage. Try a different cord and test the outlet to make sure it’s working.

Carburetor and Air Filter

Clean, or better yet, replace the air filter if it’s filthy. Cleaning a carburetor is a big job, but it’s not impossible. See if your mower’s manufacturer gives advice on how to do it, or else take your mower to a mechanic.

If all else fails…

If your mower is out of warranty and repairs are too expensive, consider getting a new self-propelled lawn mower. See the reviews of the latest and greatest models. Find out what features will make your mowing easier. Read more at

Repairing a Break in the Boundary or Guide Wire of Your Robotic Mower

Throughout this manual I will be following these steps, so a step by step analysis can be done.

The guide wire can also be interrupted, I will also discuss this here.

You will need the following tools to repair your boundary wire:

lawn, mower, cable, stretched, self-propelled

How Do You Figure out if a Cable Has Broken? – Problem Analysis

What Are the Symptoms of a Cable Break?

In most cases, a broken cable means that the robotic mower does not want to start, even though it may be fully charged. It will neither drive off by itself nor can it be started manually. If your lawn robot is on the move when the cable is suddenly interrupted, e.g. when doing gardening work with a spade, it will stop abruptly and will not drive on.

In rare cases, it may also be that the cable is only occasionally interrupted, for example, during a certain weather condition. In this case, the problems mentioned above will only occur sporadically.

A cable break in the guide wire means that your robot cannot find its way back to the charging station, or that it cannot find its way to a certain remote start point (if your mowing robot works with these).

Is It the Mowing Robot or the Charging Station That Indicates a Broken Cable?

On most robotic mowers, the LED lights on the charging station inform you if something is wrong with the boundary wire. Here is an overview of error messages from mowing robots from various manufacturers:

Note: A flashing green LED on some mowing robots means that ECO mode is active. Switch it off for the duration of troubleshooting.


  • LED flashes blue – boundary wire interrupted or not connected
  • LED flashes yellow – Search cable interrupted or not connected


  • LED flashes red quickly – boundary wire interrupted or not connected
  • LED flashes red slowly – Bad connection with the perimeter wire or the wire is too long

It is rare that a cable break occurs and is not indicated by the charging station. Conversely, however, the charging station may indicate a problem with the cable when there is no broken cable.

Ruling out Other Possibilities for Error Before Cable Breakage Detection

If your charging station indicates a cable break, it does not necessarily have to be a cable break. First of all, you should check to see if the cables are connected improperly or if there is something wrong with the connection between the cables and the charging station.

Check all contacts on the back of the charging station:

  • Check if they are loose
  • Watch out for corrosion on the connections
  • Use contact spray

You should also rule out that the charging station is simply defective and therefore indicates the error. You can do this by building a “mini-loop” to test the charging station. Simply use a short piece of cable that you still have left over, enough for about 1 meter. You should do this for each loop, depending on how many loops can be connected to your Base Station.

If all test loops are connected and the LED light indicates that everything is OK, it is probably indeed a cable break.

What to Do with a Cable Break on the Boundary Wire? – Troubleshooting

Which Cable is Affected?

Now that other sources of error have been eliminated and we can be relatively sure that it is a broken cable, the search continues. First of all, we have to find out which cable is affected.

There are 3 ways to identify which cable has the break.

1st Possibility

In most cases, the LED lights on the charging station indicate whether the guide wire or boundary wire is affected. If this is the case for you, you are lucky and you can skip ahead in this manual to find the break. If the Base Station does not clearly indicate the cable, or if you have more than one guide wire, read on here.

Extra tip

If you can already tell from the LED lights that the break is in the boundary wire and not in the guide wire, but you don’t know which side is affected, then change the plugs for the left boundary wire and the guide wire at the charging station. This will cause the current to flow between the right boundary wire and the guide wire connector. If the LED light is now green, the left boundary wire is defective. If not, repeat the same procedure for the right hand boundary wire. If the result is not clear, several cables are broken or the charging station is defective.

2nd Possibility

Another, relatively simple possibility is to plug the cables into the charging station in the order described in the instructions. Usually the boundary wire is plugged into the charging station first and then the guide wire(s). As soon as a faulty cable is connected, the LED will start flashing accordingly and the culprit is located.

Husqvarna Lawn Mower Repair. How to Replace the Drive Cable

3rd Possibility

For advanced users: In the unlikely event that neither the 1st nor the 2nd option has given you an indication as to which cable is broken, but you have not yet given up on finding the fault yourself instead of calling a professional, there is still the option of finding the defective cable with a DVM multimeter in the 200 ohm range.

This is actually only recommended if you have such a device at home anyway, or if you can borrow one somewhere, because such a device costs a bit of money, and you can also just opt to get professional help.

A DVM multimeter is used to measure voltages and resistances. For this purpose, the cable to be tested is connected directly to the multimeter. To find the cable with the break, the resistance of the loops is measured. There are two variants here:

A: You leave the guide wire connected to the boundary wire via the Y-connector and measure the resistance between all combinations of end connections (less effort). For example, if the SK-BKR and SK-BKL sections have a high resistance, you know that the break is in the guide wire (see diagram).

lawn, mower, cable, stretched, self-propelled

B: You unplug the Y-connector and measure the resistance between the beginning and end of the respective cable sections up to the Y-connector. The cables must then of course be unplugged from the Y-connector. To do this, you have to disconnect the resistance of the measuring cable extension that leads from the multimeter to the Y-connector.

Now you must look at the measured values. Everything below 10 ohms is fine. Below 20 Ohm it may still work, but all cables above 20 Ohm are definitely defective and need to be repaired.

Method A – Transistor Radio

Now let’s get down to the actual finding of the break, now that you know which cable is affected. There are two different methods for this. For method A you need one of the following devices:

What is a transistor radio?

What is actually a transistor radio or AM radio? In principle, the two designations mean the same thing. An AM radio is a radio that receives radio in amplitude modulation (AM), i.e. long wave, medium wave and short wave, as opposed to frequency modulation (FM), such as FM. Some radios can do both. Digital radios are of course out of the question. Small radios, walkmans and the like are usually suitable.

The radio contains what’s called a ferrite antenna. This is built into the device, usually along the longer side of the device. This antenna must be kept parallel to the cable, close to the ground. Proceed as follows:

Finding a defect in the boundary wire

  • Make sure that the Eco mode is switched off (if applicable)
  • Disconnect all cables at the charging station
  • Plug the defective cable into the connector of the guide wire (clearer signal)
  • Close to the charging station, move the radio closely over the cable. Keep the ferrite antenna parallel to the cable
  • A rhythmic tone will sound. If not, turn the frequency knob until the tone is heard
  • Follow the cable with the radio
  • If the sound becomes significantly quieter or becomes interrupted, that is where the cable is interrupted
  • Carefully dig out the cable
  • Connect the cable to a cable connector at the defective point
  • Before you bury the cable, plug all cables back into the charging station and check if the problem still exists
  • When the problem is solved, dig the cable back in
  • If it is not remedied, check with the transistor radio whether there is another break or the new cable connection is not connected properly

Finding a defect in the guide wire

  • Make sure that the Eco mode is switched off (if available)
  • Disconnect all cables except the affected guide wire at the charging station
  • Close to the charging station, move the radio closely over the cable. Keep the ferrite antenna parallel to the cable
  • A rhythmic tone will sound. If not, turn the frequency knob until the tone is heard
  • Follow the cable with the radio
  • If the sound becomes significantly quieter or interrupted, this is where the cable is interrupted
  • Carefully dig out the cable
  • Connect the cable to a cable connector at the defective point
  • Before you bury the cable, plug all cables back into the charging station and check to see if the problem still exists
  • When the problem is solved, rebury the cable
  • If it is not remedied, check with the transistor radio whether there is another break or the new cable connection is not connected properly
  • You can use the cable break detector in the same way.

Method B – Electric Fence

A completely different approach can be taken using an electric fence. This device chases a strong current through the cable, which creates a clearly audible gap at the point of breakage.


Disconnect all boundary and locator cables (including the non-defective ones) from the charging station, otherwise the voltage of the electric fence will destroy the charging station board!

  • Again, make sure that there is really no more boundary wire or guide wire connected to the charging station, to prevent damage!!
  • Ground the earth terminal of the electric fence (e.g. with a screwdriver stuck in the ground)
  • Connect one end of one of the cables to one of the other poles (third pole remains unused as mentioned above)
  • Switch on the electric fence
  • The device sends a current through the cable
  • Where the cable breaks, you’ll hear a hissing sound
  • Leave a marker on the ground where you hear the break
  • Turn off the electric fence and disconnect the boundary wire or guide wire from the fence
  • Carefully dig out the cable
  • Connect the cable to a cable connector at the defective point
  • Before you bury the cable, plug all cables back into the charging station and check to see if the problem still exists
  • When the problem is solved, rebury the cable
  • If it is not fixed, check the connection again

If the connection is okay, there may be another break

Extra tip: In damp weather, when the ground is wet, this method works even better because the hissing becomes louder.

How Do You Repair the Fracture? – Troubleshooting

This can be done quite easily with a cable connector. Both cable ends must be plugged into the cable connector. Make sure you put them as far as possible into the cable connector. The cables must not be stripped beforehand. If the two cables are inserted correctly, you have to press the cable connector together with a pair of pliers.

Here are two videos which illustrate the whole process well.

Robomow has a slightly different system:

I’ve Tried Everything and Can’t Find the Broken Cable

There are several reasons why you may not be able to find the broken cable. For one thing, it is possible that a cable has only “broken.” In the various test procedures, the location may then not be found, although the problem prevents the mowing robot from driving.

In rare cases, the boundary and guide wires are also used with cables that have a very high resistance. In this case, it is difficult to find the location with the above methods. To find the break here, you need a laboratory power supply. It is best to order a specialist.

There are also cable breaks that are only noticeable in certain weather conditions. Maybe you are testing at the wrong time when the cable is working and then when you want to start your mowing robot, there is “the wrong weather” again. Pay attention to whether the problem occurs depending on the weather.

If you just can’t find the broken cable, you should probably get a professional to come.

How to Avoid Cable Breaks

Here are a few tips to avoid annoying cable breaks:

  • When laying the cable, take photos of where the cable is being laid so that you always know exactly where you can dig and where you cannot
  • The best thing is to go one step further and make an exact plan of where the cable is laid
  • Do not stretch the cable too tightly, especially if the property is not at ground level. Otherwise the cable can be stretched in awkward places and will be cut by your mowing robot

Related Questions

Which boundary wire should you choose? Mowing robots can usually use the boundary wire from any mowing robot manufacturer. However, you should make sure that it is a boundary wire for a mowing robot with approximately the same area output. The longer the boundary wire, the greater the electrical resistance in the cable. For this reason, boundary wires for large areas is of a slightly different nature than wires for small areas.

Are there cheaper alternatives to the robotic mower boundary wire? In principle, any other weatherproof cable can be used as an alternative to the original boundary wire. H07V-U single core cables have proven to be an especially good alternative.

Riding Lawn Mower Blades Won’t Engage — How to Fix, Causes, and

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

It can be frustrating when your riding lawn mower blades won’t engage after powering it on. This won’t only make your day’s work difficult but ruin your other engagements and turn your work session into repair. Several factors can cause your lawn mower’s blades not to turn on. But how can you fix this issue? Our professional team has come up with solutions to try.

Riding Lawn Mower Blades Won’t Engage

Taking care of the lawn is made easy with a riding lawnmower. Like every other machine, you don’t expect it not to develop faults. From the belt to the battery, things can cause the riding lawn mower blades not to engage even when the mower blades are fully sharpened. When these problems arise, our technical expert advises that you should do the following.

Refer to Manual from Manufacturer

One of the first things to do when you discover that your mower’s blades won’t engage is to refer to the manufacturer’s manual. Lawnmowers differ from manufacturer to manufacturers, so as their manuals. You won’t expect a Craftsman mower manual to be exactly the same with Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, or Ryobi. For this reason, you must refer to the manual whenever the blades won’t turn or if you notice any fault.

Inspect Belt

One of the reasons why the blades on your newly purchased Troy Bilt lawnmower may not engage is the belt. It’s either stretched or too loose, worn-out, or damaged, causing it to fall off easily. It could also snap out of position, especially if you tried to cut more grasses at a time that’s beyond its capacity.

The deck belt, located under the operator’s seat, works by engaging and disengaging the mower’s blade. The belt runs through a pulley system and spins the blades. If it has become damaged, the blades won’t engage.

Before carrying out any replacement, you should inspect the belt first in case your Cub Cadet mower has belt that keeps coming off. The configuration depends on the model and manufacturer, but most lawn mowers have the same design. Reduce the deck to its lowest setting and check out if it’s damaged or has accumulated grasses.

The belt must be inspected at least every six months. This way, you won’t be surprised and frustrated when you want to take care of the lawn.

Replace Belt, Cables, or Clutches

If you notice any damage or excessive wear on the belt during the inspection, it is advisable to address the issue by replacing it. Similarly, if the belt appears loose or excessively stretched, it is recommended to return it to ensure optimal performance.

If the blades don’t still work even after replacing the belt, you should check the blade cable. The cable is made up of metal with cast metal ends, a plastic sheath, and a bracket. If the metal ends are damaged or the cable gets kinked, you should replace it immediately.

You can do the same to the clutches if you find any of the parts damaged. Lawnmowers have clutches that shut off the blades while the engine is running. This part can wear out over time, and when they do, they won’t be able to power the blades.

It’s necessary that you inspect them for proper diagnosis. Disassemble the mower to monitor the clutch better.

If any of the parts that make up the clutches develops a fault, the blades won’t engage. It means you should replace them.

Check Pulley

The pulley could be another reason why the riding lawn mower is having issues causing the blades not to engage. The mower’s pulley controls the tension in the drive belt, which in turn turns the blades. If the pulley freezes and doesn’t rotate, the blades won’t engage.

This is why you need to check the pulley to know its state. If it’s frozen, then you should replace it. You should also investigate if other pulleys on the deck are okay [1].

Check Power Source/ Battery

Lawnmowers use the PTO (Power Takeoff) clutch mechanism to engage the blades. PTOs are either manually operated or electric. Batteries run the electric PTOs.

If the battery has a weak charge or is dead, it won’t power the blades. So, if the blades refuse to engage after powering it on, ensure that you check the battery. You must fully charge the lawn mower battery, and if it’s faulty, you should replace it with a new one.

Tips and Reminders

Here are some tips and reminders you must have at the back of your mind when engaging the mower blades.

  • Check if the deck belt is installed properly.
  • Make sure that you charge the battery fully if the mower blades are electrically powered.
  • Ensure the deck is lowered to the desired height before starting it.
  • Allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes before using it. Replace all damaged belts, cables, and clutches after inspection.

Why won’t my riding mower blades engage?

Even if you have a reverse threaded mower blade, your riding mower blades won’t still engage if the clutches are broken and the cable is damaged. Additionally, if the deck belt is damaged, the pulley system is frozen, and the battery has a weak charge, the chances are that your riding mower blades won’t engage.

How do you engage the blades on a riding lawn mower?

To engage the blades on a riding lawn mower that’s manually operated, turn the key clockwise to power it on, increase the throttle to half speed, and allow the engine to warm up for two minutes.

Then, lower the mower to the preferred cutting height. Push the lever to the right of the steering to engage the blades.

It’s the same if you want to engage a lawnmower with electric blades, except that you don’t have to push the lever to the right of the steering to engage the blades. Just pull up on the yellow Power Takeoff switch to the right of steering.


Lawnmower blades are liable to damages, so it’s typical for them to have issues. However, the level of damages depends on how often you use the mower. This is why carrying out periodic inspections is necessary to prevent escalating the damages. With these practical solutions explained, you can fix the issue that arises.

If you are unable to fix them, contact a professional or if warranty still covers your lawnmower, contact the brand’s customer service. Some manufacturers that have good customer support include Husqvarna, Craftsman, Cub Cadet. and John Deere.

What Will Gaming Be Like on the Apple Vision Pro?

    Dave McQuilling


  • July 17, 2023, 7:45am EDT
  • Apple’s Vision Pro is revolutionary in many ways. Its specs and comfort levels are enough to make it a leading headset in the VR gaming world. However, its lack of controllers and the fact Apple doesn’t seem to care about VR gaming will likely hold it back.

    At WWDC 2023, Apple finally gave the world its first official glimpse of the “Vision Pro,” a high-end headset designed to shake up the mixed-reality market. The Vision Pro ticks many “Apple Product” boxes: it’s expensive, highly polished, and packed with high-end tech. But how is it for gaming?

    Games were certainly mentioned during Apple’s presentation—but this may not be a gaming headset in a traditional sense. While it certainly has the hardware to provide a great gaming experience, there’s a suggestion that Apple may be targeting a different market.

    There are also other factors to consider—including the price tag. The Vision Pro’s 3,500 starting price is likely to put a lot of people off, especially gamers who have VR options at less than a tenth of the price. The potentially low uptake may prevent game developers from porting their titles to Apple’s visionOS. Still, gaming is a possibility on the Vision Pro, and here’s what it’s likely to look like based on the information we have so far.

    The Vision Pro Is Not a Gaming Headset

    Based on the glimpses we’ve had so far, the Vision Pro is in no way a gaming headset. The main FOCUS seems to be work, with Apple’s augmented reality effort shaping up to be everything Mark Zuckerberg wanted from the Quest Pro in terms of productivity. It’s basically designed to be a Mac you can strap to your face.

    Arguably, the Vision Pro’s entertainment features aren’t even gaming-focused. Instead, Apple put a major emphasis on the fact you can watch movies on a very large, very detailed virtual screen. Gaming did feature—but as more of an additional aspect than anything else.

    How To Replace The Self Propelled Drive Cable On A Toro Lawn Mower QUICK, EASY & CHEAP FIX

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    While the work FOCUS may be upsetting for a lot of VR power users, it does make sense. For most people with an interest in VR gaming, there’s no way they’re going to part with 3,500 for the Vision Pro when you can essentially pick any other headset on the market and a gaming PC for the same price. Most will just buy a Quest 2; the success of Meta’s most popular headset proves cheap really works when it comes to the gaming market.

    People will pay north of 3,000 for a MacBook, though. And that’s what the Vision Pro is being marketed as. A MacBook with a new interface. It’s a tool, not a distraction. Apple knows its customer base well, and has obviously made a calculated risk with its first attempt at an AR headset.

    There Are No Controllers

    In terms of interface, the Vision Pro is cutting-edge in many departments. Its eye tracking is so good it can be used as a navigational tool, and its external cameras allow hand tracking. Apple has always been a company that ditches whatever it sees as unnecessary. We saw it with the headphone jack, and before that, we saw it with most cellphone buttons.

    During WWDC, the company’s leading AR/VR developer, Mike Rockwell, described handheld VR controllers as “clumsy.” As a result, there are no controllers for Apple’s Vision Pro. Apple appears to have no intention of developing any, and support for third-party controllers is not being provided.

    lawn, mower, cable, stretched, self-propelled

    This isn’t the end of the world. Apple’s headset isn’t the only device with hand tracking; it’s been a feature on the Quest for years and other brands like HTC have it, too. As far as games are concerned, there are many with hand-tracking support, and some are even entirely built around the concept. But there are still plenty of others that don’t support the feature and would be difficult, if not impossible, to adapt.

    D Games Are a Big Part of the 3D Headset

    While you may not be able to use a set of Index controllers with the Vision Pro, you can certainly use a standard gamepad. Sepcifically, a Playstation controller was shown during the Vision Pro unveiling. But theoretically, any Bluetooth-capable gamepad should work.

    The games themselves, or at least some of them, are going to come from Apple Arcade—Apple’s gaming subscription service. We don’t know which games will be compatible with the Vision Pro at this time, but the person in the demo seemed to be playing NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition, so you can expect that at the very least.

    As with other entertainment options, the Vision Pro will aloow you to resize your “screen” to a size that suits you. So your NBA 2K23 game can appear court-sized if you really want it to. There’s also a chance other streaming services will show up. Xbox Game Pass is currently available in the App Store, and works on iPhone. Xbox Cloud gaming also works on Macs. So it’s not unreasonable to think you’ll be able to use this and similar services on the Vision Pro following its launch.

    The External Battery May Be a Problem

    Wireless headsets are absolute game-changers in the VR and AR world. While early headsets had to be tethered to a PC, you can now buy completely standalone devices that don’t require a wire to operate. But wireless headsets also need a way of powering themselves, as they can’t draw power down a wire like tethered devices.

    Apple has made a notable design choice with the Vision Pro’s battery by opting for an external unit on the end of a cable that users can tuck into a This cuts weight from the headset itself and, as the battery is one of the heaviest parts, it could make a major difference when it comes to comfort. However, there is also a downside to this choice.

    The Meta Quest comes with a built-in battery, and charges via a USB-C port. If the battery is getting low, a power source can be plugged into this USB-C port to keep things going. This power source doesn’t have to be a PC, and many users have extended their play sessions by connecting a power bank to the headset.

    But the Vision Pro’s power wire goes straight to the battery. You can probably purchase an additional battery and swap them out without having to wait for a recharge. You can also plug a laptop or charger directly into the power wire and use the Vision Pro like a tethered headset. But there doesn’t seem to be a way to attach an alternate power source while the battery remains in place. Unless Apple has a trick up its sleeve, then it’s likely you’ll have to power down the headset to connect an alternate power source. As the device has a two-hour battery life, this is pretty bad news.

    There’s Still a Ton of Potential

    In terms of raw specs, the sky really is the limit with the Apple Vision Pro. The fact it is being powered by Apple’s M2 chip really does mean it’s basically a laptop on your face. Beyond that, the display, which contains “more pixels than a 4K TV, per eye,” is likely enough to eliminate the screen door effect completely.

    Apple’s highly advanced eye-tracking system could be used for foveated rendering. This process only renders the objects your eye is actually focused on in high resolution, and could make the M2’s already immense power stretch even further. If the Vision Pro’s sole FOCUS was gaming, then Apple’s new headset would knock it out of the park.

    On the controller front, it’s too early to write everything off entirely. Yes, there is no support for third-party controllers, and if those controllers use infra-red tracking you’re probably completely out of luck. But there is a reasonable chance that controllers with their own inside-out tracking, like the ones that come with the Quest Pro, may work in some capacity. Add in the ability to connect with a VR-capable PC (and the broad library of games that comes with one) and you may be able to turn the Vision Pro into a dedicated gaming headset. Whether you’d be prepared to pay 3,500 for a tethered PCVR headset is an entirely different matter.

    Dave McQuilling Dave McQuilling has spent over 10 years writing about almost everything, but technology has always been one of his main interests. He has previously worked for newspapers, magazines, radio stations, websites, and television stations in both the US and Europe. Read Full Bio »