MAGSAFE repair - PICS!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by one1, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #1
    Name: Brian (AKA- one1)
    Occupation: Electronics Engineer
    Hobby: Repairing apple's design flaws when I buy a new product. (already fixed my logic board 6 times on my old iBook)
    Subject: Magsafe from a MacBook

    Like many of you, my magsafe finally started getting hot enough to make popcorn. Where I would have gone out and bought another, a simple dead short was too easy of a repair.... and I can use that $80 for other Apple goodies. I might as well get something out of my electronics degree. I decided to take pics to share. Since I seem to take pics of things people like these days, I've watermarked them to avoid any *more* theft of images. Apologies in advance for the watermarks.

    I would have written this as a DIY, but I determined if you couldn't get the jist from the pics, you shouldn't be attempting it. (Self solving problem)

    Basically what happens is that the outer shielding breaks FIRST from the flexxing of the cable. Once the outer shielding breaks the wire loses all it's structural integrity and it's a very short time before the inner wire starts poking through and creating small dead shorts between the + and - voltage of the two. This is why some days it is blisteringly hot and some days it is not. There are only small strands of the inner wire poking through and each time they make contact they burn off, creating a very hot wire, but one that seems to fix itself or only randomly get hot. If you continue to use the adapter in this situation you WILL end up with a fire that can threaten your book, your home, and your life.

    At this point in the life of the wire it is in critical. The inner wire is breaching the jacket and the outer wire has nearly broken in half. The effects are a very poor connection on the negative shielding which creates heat by lack of ability to properly transfer energy. The heat warms up the already damaged inner jacket and the next thing you know.... you are here complaining about your Magsafe almost burning your leg off.

    With a little skill, you can fix this issue and save $80. The process took me 45 minutes and cost me NOTHING. My adapter is like new and will last me another year before I have to do it again. Inevitably by design, all Magsafe's will fail. I don't know about you, but I have better things to do with my $80, so once a year I don't mind making this repair. If you buy a new Magsafe it WILL fail again. The revision of a SLIGHTLY larger rubber grommet is a horrible fix with minimal results.

    (Click these pics for larger images)


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  2. macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Well done - I won't be trying that one myself!
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #4
    I don't recommend the average person do this.... you don't want to set your house on fire due to faulty wiring.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    CP1091

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #6
    Faulty wiring is what you have to begin with.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #7
    Can you suggest a preemptive solution to this problem Apple will not fix ?


    I have a Macbook on its way and I would be glad to "modify" the connector end. I want to reinforce it so that the flexing will not cause premature wire damage.


    Any suggestions ?


    This will be my first magsafe connector. Although my iBook and PB were both plagued with very poor power connectors.


    If I reinforced the area where the connector meets the cord, would this not just move the stress area down to the cord only ?


    I'm thinking hard plastic and/or epoxy. I'm somewhat electrically gifted and do not mind playing around with the cord.


    I hope we can expand on preventative magsafe care as well :)
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Location:
    New York, NY
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #9
    The best option is shrink wrap. it's the only think that will mimic the jacket and hold equal force all the way around. Plus, it is very strong and usually resistant to constant bending. About an inch of lead from the plug should be fine.

    Apple changed the design to make the jacket longer that came out of the plug, problem is that the wire didn't separate at the plug, it separated at the end of the jacket reinforcement. So, whadda ya think it's gonna do now? ......separate half an inch from the plug instead of 1/4 inch. *smacks head*
     
  10. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #10
    Don't pull by the cord. Wrap the cord properly as shown in the picture.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #11
    Incorrect answer.

    The plug degrades as a result of being plugged in, not at rest. The wire is never at an moment in time "perfectly straight" coming out of the plug when plugged into your book. Each time you plug it in it usually hangs down or bends backward towards the rear of the desk where the power outlet is. Over time the removal and insertion will bend the wire enough to cause the issue. Unless you draw a straight line to the wall plug from your magsafe, there's no chance of avoiding it. If it weren't meant to be bent, it would be a plastic pipe, not a rubber wire.

    Don't try and blame user error. If Apple weren't aware of how and why they wouldn't have extended the new magsafe jacket shield 1/4 inch to avoid bending at the plug.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #12
    nice work, but apple has replaced two of mine without questions. :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
  14. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #14
    Let's see how that pans out next year when you need another and have a record at apple for previous replacements dating your purchase to a few yrs old and previous support given already.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    If anything that record will garnish him either a new power adapter or a new computer. Its a dangerous hazard for the thing to be falling apart like that. Best to document the problem as much as possible.

    Apple is really good about repairs. I have never been given a hassle on a return for defective reasons. They always just hand me a new one. Probably the only computer company left with a good policy. IBM used to be the king in this area. Not any more.
     
  16. macrumors member

    macRat17

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
  17. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #17
    Well I hope nobody ever HAS to use the info, but I cannot afford the downtime waiting for apple to ship it (nearest store is 140 miles away). 45 mins to a like new unit works best for me. :)
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    JML42691

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #18
    Nice work, not that I would take the risk of myself breaking it in the process and being forced to buy a new one because of it.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    apachie2k

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    that is very funny, and very nice job!
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #20
    There are almost *1000* one-and two-star reviews on Apple's own store detailing how the Magsafes break, over and over again, in exactly the same way, in exactly the same place. Unfortunately, a few people keep trying to pin the blame on users for not handling the adapters properly. It's beyond obvious that they're defective, faulty, dangerous products. Which is precisely why they changed the design for the MBA. I imagine that design will start showing up on the MB and MBP before long.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #21
    it's a fire hazard. it's under warranty in at least 4 respects: the original warranty, the applecare extended warranty, the implied warranty of merchantability, the implied warranty of fitness. i'm never paying twice for a power brick.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Caris

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #23
    fixed also

    so i just did mine right now. (before i saw this forum) and it didnt turn out quite as well as yours but it works... i used a lot of heat shrink too
     

    Attached Files:

  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #24
    Anyone else got pics of a Magsafe connector disassembly? Would be good to know what I'm getting into before I crack it open.

    [ Update - one1 has put the pics back up ]. If you use his pics to help you fix your connector, post so one1 knows people are using them. I'm actually really surprised that his pics are the only ones of this disassembly on the net!
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #25
    Pics are back up by request, but if you use these you need to post that you did or they won't stay up. No response = no host.
     

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