Instructables

Repair : Apple MacBook MagSafe Charger Power Cord

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Apple really dropped the ball on the design of this charger. The wimpy wire used in the design is simply to weak to take any real stress, coiling, and yanks. Eventually the rubber sheath separates from the MagSafe connector or the Power-brick and the wire begin to fray or short, sometimes affecting charging and sometimes smoldering. If you use the tabs that fold out and allow you to wrap the cord around the brick you are probably reducing the life of you charger.

You may want to take your charger to apple straight away and see if they will replace this charger. I would cite reviews on the apple store website if they do not replace yours. If they do not replace it then start working on this instructable. Apple knows about this problem, but they have done noting to remedy it. This instructable is to provide hope for people who must forgo grocery shopping this week if they plan to buy a new charger. You can do it! Apple you should be ashamed of yourself....... show your loyal customers some mercy. You must be making a killing on these chargers.

In this Instructable I will cover opening the power brick case via brute force.
Preparing the Magsafe connector for soldering/ soldering.
Preparing the Power brick for soldering/ soldering.

Skills Required:
-Adventurous case cracking
-Exacto surgery
-Hot glue sculpting
-Soldering wires


Materials necessary:

1. Pliers
2. Screwdriver
3. Exacto Knife
(Skilled use of a dremel could save you a lot of time too!)
4. Electrical Tape
5. Soldering Iron
6. Hot glue gun
7. Love for going where you shouldn't.
 
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Step 1: Quick Work - Disassembly of Magsafe Connection

The MagSafe connector was already frayed free of the wire on my charger. But I did not have near enough wire to solder back onto. The aesthetically pleasing body of the connector needs to come off.

Out come the pliers (Slide lock in my case) to crush it off. Be careful not to damage the magnetic metal contact up front. We will still need to dig into this further to expose enough wire to solder to.
jvines8816 hours ago

Hey Everyone,

I went through 3 chargers the first year owning my Mac before I found out I could buy a product called a Python Cord that prevented Mac chargers from breaking at the base of the charger.. Lesson learned.. Hope this helps someone!

Edvind1 month ago
If your cable is cut off, look here http://www.macbookchargers.net/
lcrane13 months ago
Hey, is there any way to replace the actual prong part on the Magsafe connecter? Mine actually burnt out (which is definitely not safe, as the name for some reason implies). maybe i should be innovative and make something up, because honestly I only have time to lose. I am almost sure it has nothing to do with the power brick, nor a broken wire. I actually had that problem with my last charger, which was mac brand. This one's a cheap replacement.
SvenAERTS3 months ago
Keep always a spare adaptor in your circle of friends.
SvenAERTS3 months ago
Thy ... I was surprised to see there are indeed only 2 wires. I thought it needed more wires to make a red, orange and green light work.
abelincoln4 years ago
This is a fantastic fix it.  Thanks for being bold and trying it out.  One thing that helps with the aesthetics (as if that matters at this point) is to use white electrical tape intead of black.  It works and looks a lot nicer than wrapping your brick with black tape.
Kactapuss (author)  abelincoln4 months ago
Hey Abe,

Aesthetics wasn't my priority (you might be able to tell). But a good tip nonetheless!
vvwwuu3 years ago
Hi,I have connected the wires as shown in the picture no 4 and I tried to connect to my macbook before I start to solder it down.However the light shows green instead of red which indicates that it's not charging.Does it mean that I have made a mistake in some steps?Please advise.Thanks for the instructions.
Kactapuss (author)  vvwwuu4 months ago
Hey vvwwuu!

I believe the green light means that the cord is successfully connected and that your battery is already charged. If orange it means you're connected but your battery is low.
tarnedoo9 months ago
@ardnon
According to my information there are some very minute springs behind those pins which due to physical stress/improper use/ or any other abuse get misaligned or broken? and are not serviceable due to their small size and the way the connecter is made. I had the same problem with 3 of my chargers, but didn't find any solution for it. In the end had to order a 10$ "t" connecter cable for macbook charger from eBay and then changed the complete cable. In my opinion the "t" type connecter is better than the "L" type connecter specifically in regard of this problem.
ardnon9 months ago
anybody have a fix for when one of the pins doesn't pop back out all the way on the end that plugs into the computer? It's not stuck all the way in, just doesn't come out quite far enough to make the connection, and can be pulled out with tweezers but pops back in part way.
jbecker121 year ago
Does the outer cable (the wire that "wraps" the other one) goes to the GND on the board ? Just messed that a little too much...
Yea, the outer cable is the GND (ground). The white one is the positive.
mistyfolan1 year ago
Hi! Love the guide, it came in very handy for me. However, there is a guide here that results in the repaired Magsafe Adapter looking like it was never opened at all: http://warrantyvoidifremoved.blogspot.ie/2013/04/repairing-charredburnedbroken-cable-on.html
Please clarify this? In picture 4 above it looks like the wires are divided into 3 bunches. Then the next pics look like it gets soldered back as 2... I soldered mine back as 3, and it works great for power but doesn't charge. Were the 2 bunches of loose wire supposed to go together?
Thanks
sparkyuiop1 year ago
To remove the plastic mold just put the plug in a vice sideways and gently do it up until it comes off the wires then snip it with cutters. Don't over-tighten it as there is a PCB inside and don't put the thin white centre band in the vice jaws as this is part of the plug and it will break.
I LOVE YOU :D

Saved the day you bloody wonder! :)
pvo van2 years ago
Thank you so much
I managed  to remove the "aesthetically pleasing body of the connector" without damage. If you place the metal part of the magsafe into a vice you can then use a small screwdriver to prise the plastic housing off.

I then used a scalpel (exacto knife) to carefully cut the translucent blob off to expose the internal circuit board to make soldering easier. This was done with a single cut to one of the short sides and then simply peel it off.

Once I unsoldered and soldered the wires back on the plastic housing (along with the rubber boot) just clicked back into place. However, i could not get the translucent blob back on.
I used Exactly the same method, except globbed hot glue on the circuit board and trimmed with a razor blade to allow the "Body Connector" to press back on. I then "corkscrewed" the spring from a pen onto the wire and wrapped the end where the wire (with spring) meets the "Body Connector" with electrical tape so that I had created a cavity which I then filled with hot glue.

Mag Safe.jpg
Gstv.Inc2 years ago
I have this charger but is brand new and i not need to fix but i whant share one thing that i made on my old hp charger.they broke the wire exacle the same way and i found a way to open that whit no damage at all , i put a knife betwen the two parts and tap on the back of the knife until a hear a snap from the glue i make this all around and open that leave no marks on that .
mlee452 years ago
My dog chewed through my charger, so i used dads spare one until this morning when he chewed through that one as well ahhhh. In both of the charges the break is mid wire. I have tried to reconnect the cables but this did not work. Any suggestions what am i doing wrong?
dkollin2 years ago
Apple just settled a class action lawsuit and is now replacing these for free: http://cnet.co/tl5p4W. I walked into the Mac store with my crappy one, they made me sign a document and then handed over a new one. Simple as that.
dkollin2 years ago
Apple just settled a class action lawsuit and is now replacing these for free: http://cnet.co/tl5p4W. I walked into the Mac store with my crappy one, they made me sign a document and then handed over a new one. Simple as that.
dkollin2 years ago
Apple just settled a class action lawsuit and is now replacing these for free: http://cnet.co/tl5p4W. I walked into the Mac store with my crappy one, they made me sign a document and then handed over a new one. Simple as that.
inalak2 years ago
I had no idea that other people did this or had this problem. My mom came to me and asked me to fix it so I said "I'll see what I can do," not knowing what the problem really was. I used nearly the same method but hers was only bad on the connector end. I ended up desoldering and resoldering directly to the connector without damaging the LEDs. Hot glue worked for me too. Awesome thing was that my mom had issues with her hard drive/data recovery later and needed to take it in. it wasn't covered by the protection plan at this point but the mac store guys were so impressed that both the charger and the leds still worked that they repaired everything free of charge. I guess being creative and cheap paid off eh?
rrlemur2 years ago
Thanks so much for this. You saved me, a grad student, $ needed for rent & ramen noodles. Eyebrow tweezers (the kind that open like scissors) came in handy. I also like the bandaged look I ended up with -- it will disturb my more anal friends with macs.
slaytallica4 years ago
Just as a heads up, I had a magsafe brick that resembled the above one. I called apple (my macbook was bought refurbished and never had any applecare). They were EXTREMELY helpful, and OVERNIGHTED the adapter to me free of charge (including the return postage for the bad one). Timeline: I call at 4:00pm , at 9:00am the next morning I get my adapter. I think they've been failing at such a high rate that they fix it no questions asked now.
Same here!
THANK YOU!  I've been looking for instructions for this end for months-- I KNEW it could be done! I'm going to try it this weekend.

using hotglue to make a new casing is so helpful. I was thinking also, about moldable putty, and some fancy sculpting just for fun.
also possible with sugru... google sugru ... it is a kind of resin!
epoxy putty is probably stronger and cheaper for this application. also sandable and paintable for more aesthetic repair.
You don't want stronger, actually, you want flexible-- so that your repair doesn't stress and break.

Would silicone sealant work as an electrical insulator?
For the plug itself strong is fine, furthermore it takes the stress point further away from the plug where repair is easier, but yes you can add strain relieve further down the line with store bought or just some simple layers of heat shrink tubing, perhaps splinted with some wire scraps.

Silicon sealant spread thin is too flexible to really provide any real strain relief, plus forming it is quite difficult. A layer of 1/4 inch bead thickness might work, but as I said forming it would be a pain. But if you do have some around you could possibly get some inside a large piece of heat shrink tubing, it would have to be quite large diameter to allow for 1/4" of silicon and then shrink around it....but that might work. The main issue with silicon or caulk is that unless you can buy a small packet resealing a tube only works sometimes, so it is kind of wasteful...and messy. If you are going to use heat shrink anyways, might as wel just splint that with some scrap wire or some such material and be done with it.
This is the repair done with hot glue. This pic is about from march. Over times the hot glue surface went dull. Recently it actually cracked and peeled away, and I just now replaced it. I now have heavy nylon thread wrapped up the wire, under the hot glue. To make the old and new glue meld together was pretty easy-- held it over the gas burner and watched it get clear and glossy

I like the way it looks, on the whole-- reminds me of william gibsone novels.
magsafe.jpg
my Macbook Pro charger stopped working. I used a friends and it will not charge either. I called Apple and they are telling me that it will cost arounf 600.00 to fix this due this is connected to the mother board. does anyone have a fix for this???
If they're saying $600, you could probably fix it for $300 in parts and an afternoon of delicate work.
This isn't really the right forum to ask... try www.ifixit.com , they're Mac hardware guys.
UElvd2 years ago
Thanks a million! Oh I mean $80. DIY Rules. Thanks Kactapuss! Thanks Instructables! I pulled this off in an hour with very very very minimal wiring experience. Don't be afraid to try it! Take your time and remember....... Its already broken anyway. What do you have to lose trying? Don't let big business keep you down! Fight the man! You, I and we have the power to be self sufficient individuals within a greater community. Blessings!
Very cool!!
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