Instructables

Magnetic Laptop power connector

Otherwise titled "don't toss it, I'll fix it!" I think my wife cringes when she hears that, but she usually seems pleased with the results.


The power connector for my Toshiba R15 had begun to fray, so I decided that instead of just tossing it into a land fill, I would fix it up. Since I was going to have to repair it anyway, wouldn't a magnetic connector be better? I think that if I were to do it again, I would not make the dongle quite as long, but as it is, it breaks away with a sharp tug just like a macbook.

In the end, I have a very cheap repaired power cord with a lot more functionality!
 
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Step 1: The problem...

As you can see int he picture, the power cord for my laptop had split just behind the inadequate rubber strain relief. Initially I taped it with electrical tape, but as you would guess, this did not fix the problem, just covered it up. I was away from home at the time, so it had to do. Once home, I took the tape off and realized that something had to be done. My wife, with her new Macbook, chuckled and commented how nice it was that her power cord was magnetic and wouldn't be pulled enough to cause the fraying (of course, shortly thereafter, her power brick died and had to be replaced by apple. Karmic justice?), and I thought I'd like that security too, not to mention the number of times I've tripped over the power cord...

Below is the before and after. It's not especially pretty, but I am happy with the results, and if I were to do it again, I think it would turn out better.
TheBestJohn5 years ago
Thats pretty cool man... I would have personally soldered the positive and negative wires directly to the magnets and used them as contacts... just in opposite polarities, that way the positive magnet would always hook up to positive and likewise with negative... But this is a really good job!
CODIY (author)  TheBestJohn5 years ago
that was part of my original idea, but the magnets tended to no want to stay put in the epoxy, and creating a recessed positive terminal proved trickier than I thought. In the end, I think I went this route because I needed to have it done! :) But I like it this way too as it only requires a maximum of a 90 degree twist to alight the plug rather than 180 with a opposite pole set up. Thanks for the comment!
ac7ss CODIY3 years ago
 The alignment could have been done by wiring the connections to the magnets and placing a sheet of cooking parchment between the paired connections and casting around that. It would keep the connections aligned and allow for a smoother finished product.
philip20134 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
the reason I asked is I believe there is a market for universal aplications i have replaced a few chargers until I realized I can buy a  replacement jack @ radioshack 2 for like 4 bucks and just solder it on. I chated with the guys at geek squad, they sell chargers all day long 70 to 100$. Ever thought about mass producing these things? thanks for the quick response last time.
CODIY (author)  philip20134 years ago
I think you are right, and it sounds like a great opportunity, unfortunately I don't have time to work on it at the moment.  With any luck, induction charging will become intrinsic and ubiquitous before too long and that will do away with charge adapters.  If that doesn't happen, perhaps I will have more time in the coming years towork on a refined product.

now that is interesting technology! getting close to something I've been reading about, the "Ultracapacitor,"  a great application for electric transportation. Check it out if you havn't already. Thanks again for your time!
CODIY (author)  philip20134 years ago
Sorry, but it took a while to make that one, and I just don't have the time these days to make another.  If you decide to make your own, though, I would suggest trying to use ring magnets.  The rectangular magnets worked fine, but alignment was sometimes an issue when trying to connect it quickly.  It only took a second to correct, but I found that it annoyed me.  I redesigned with ring magnets in mind and concentric power leads, but never got around to it.


biolethal5 years ago
Nice instructable! I dont really think it is possible to shock someone with 15 volts though, even at 5 amps... Or maybe its just that im immune to electricity...
ive gotten zapped with wet hands on my little 12v 9ah battery
Saltwater hands and wall power (110v, 20a) isn't fun to touch... (according to me)
I did the same with a Compaq, but without the magnets... My girlfriend's daughter is very prone to breaking plugs/jacks/wires/adapters. I replaced the plug sticking out with a 90 degree angle plug, soldered two wires to the contacts, and GOOPed the thing solid to the side of the laptop with the two flexible wires sticking out about 2 inches. Those two wires were threaded through the cooling vent near the plug. Then, I got a plug from a RC car charging application at Radio Shack. I removed the click/lock on the plug, and it stays together just enough to stay, but pulls apart when necessary.
AceFace5 years ago
That was well done. I like the idea of doing it. So, is it still holding up?
CODIY (author)  AceFace5 years ago
It is still holding up. I am actually using it as I type this. I think that putting less current through the LEDs might be indicated, though, as they put out a lot of light at night. Think "darn, I left the laptop open and now light is streaming into the bedroom"
LinuxH4x0r5 years ago
Nice job! I have the real thing so its not that useful for me.... maybe I'll use it in something else
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