Introduction: A Better Laptop Power Cord
Tired of using your laptop in lecture halls with 300+ seats and one outlet... or when all the seats next to the outlets are full? (and you're too lazy to charge your laptop beforehand) You can easily lengthen your power cord to reach 25 feet and add a 3-way plug, while still being able to store it relatively easily.
Step 1: So Here's Your Laptop Cord...
A big mess of tangled wires with practically no way to organize things... It's like the laptop companies wanted you to hate them. The thick 120v cord is the same length as the skinny charging cord... why? Maybe for when the outlet is 5 feet off the ground? couldn't it just hang off the plug (probably violates some code or law... oh well )
I'm doing 3 things, you can choose to do as many you want and you will still have a much awesomer power cord.
1) Shortening the big 120v cord so it wraps around the brick only once.
2) Adding a 3-way plug to the power cord so I can charge when all the outlets are full.
3) lengthening the small charging cord to 20' to reach farther.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Laptop Cord Is Only 2 Strand
I used auto-strippers to look inside the round charging cord that comes from the brick, and confirmed that is only 2 wires (one central wire and braiding on the outside). I think I've seem some laptop plugs with a muli-pronged plug that carry a couple voltages to the laptop, this couldn't be replaced with 2-strand wire.
Step 3: What You Need
mouse over the picture.
Step 4: Cut and Strip the Charging Wire
No turning back now... Notice that one wire is a coated central wire and the other is braiding around that wire.
Make sure to keep track of your wire polarities at all times!
Step 5: Strip Your Lamp Cord and Add Heat-shrink.
Lamp cord and most power cords have a rough wire and a smooth wire to distinguish between (+) and (-). If unsure, use a multimeter to check for resistance.
Step 6: Solder Together (don't Forget the Heatshrink!)
I soldered the wires in-line, just slightly twisted together. Notice one wire is slightly longer to match up with the other.
Step 7: Put the Heat-shrink On
Use smaller heatshrink for the individual connections, and a big piece to cover those two.
Step 8: Repeat on the Other Side
KEEP TRACK OF POLARITY!
Step 9: TEST!
Plug everything in and if your laptop starts charging you're not a failure. You now have a great long laptop cord. If you are a failure, unplug everything immediately, and figure out where you went wrong. Test again after you've spliced the 120v power cord.
Step 10: Time to Shorten the Power Cord
I want my power cord to wrap around the power brick exactly once, so that I'm not wrapping 2 big wires around the brick.
Step 11: Solder and Heat-shrink!
Solder just like before but use LOTS of large heat-shrink. Mine is 3 layers thick over the sealed wires.
Step 12: Plug It Back In
I also used some self-fusing rubber tape to tie the 3-way plug to my power cord so it won't come off, or so people won't steal it.
Step 13: Tape the Power Wire So It's Easier to Wrap
Instead of pointing down, I used the rubber tape to make the power wire point sideways out of the brick instead of down out the bottom.
Step 14: Wrap Things Up
1) wrap the short 20 foot charge cord around the brick about 3/4 wrapped up.
2) wrap the 120v power cord around the brink the long way, over the and the charge cord. It's only long enough to reach back to the other side.
3) wrap the rest of the charge cord over the big power cord to keep in in place. Put the end through one of the loops or something to stop it from untangling.
You now have a much neater, much longer, and much better power cord.
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