Refurbishing a power adapter

A week for hardware hacking of one form or another. The old laptop’s power cord got shredded in a keyboard tray slider. One day, it’s fine, the next, a cut in the cable, then a discolored cable around the cut, and then, no power to the laptop. I’m not really into paying for a $70 adapter for a computer that’s approaching 8 years old.

Amazon’s got magsafe cables for cheap (<$10) and prime, so armed with the parts and an instructable, I gave it a shot. The worst thing that could happen is sparks, magic smoke, and a even more dead power adapter.

I didn’t have a whole lot of success using pliers to open the casing – they did a bit, but a pair of putty knives, one thick, one thin made a lot more progress. (interestingly enough, I bought one of the putty knives to open the case of my old mac mini to install ram. It’s still running, most of the time.)

It’s not that bad of a repair, it’s just a litte tight getting into it without taking both halves of the shell off and all of the shielding. Once you have access to the solder joints, it’s a quick hit from the iron to desolder the old wires, and another touch of heat to slide in the new ones.

Too late in the process I realized that I didn’t have any glue to resecure the shell, but that’s what electrical tape is for. It’s also a convenient mark to let me know not to trust this adapter without supervision till it’s proven itself for a while.

(images to come, once I get my image processing and posting pipeline back in action following the mavericks upgrade. System python considered harmful)

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