Picture of Paperclip Coax Power Plug
Boxy, blocky, black power bricks with coaxial power plugs, they're everywhere!  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to connect wires to them in a non-permanent manner without any soldering or snipping required?  Recently I wanted to use a computer fan as a desk fan, and I happened to have a 12 volt power brick from some (likely long-ago trashed) computer speakers.  But I didn't want to cut or solder the wires because that means that I'd better be darn sure the computer speakers are toast, right?  So here is a non-destructive solution using only two paperclips bent with some needle-nose pliers I had lying around.  First, here's the finished product:
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1:

Picture of
You'll need a pair of pliers or other bending device, a paperclip (a large sized paperclip was used for this example, but the smaller types may work just as well), and the plug you desire to attach leads to.

Step 2:

Picture of
The first step is to make a smooth circular bend in end of the paperclip.  This bend should conform as closely to the curve of the power plug as possible.  The other pictures in this set show how the shape conforms neatly.

Step 3:

Picture of
Bend the curve 90 degrees to the side as shown, then make a second bend that places the wire toward the other side of the imaginary circle formed by the first bend in the paperclip.

Step 4:

Picture of
Make a third bend so that the wire comes up inside the imaginary circle of the first bend.  This will form the pressure contact that pushes the outside of the coax plug into the cradle formed by the first bend.

Step 5:

Picture of
Place the needle-nose pliers so that the paperclip will bend just below the circle of the first bend press the wire away and down to sweep the wire in the approximate direction desired.  This fifth and last bend completes the plug by providing a pressure point to push the coax plug into the cradle of the first bend.
How powerful of a shock could you get from one of these if it slips n hits you?


rickharris3 years ago
Far far better to buy a suitable socket from radio shack (or maplin in the UK)
Paperclips are free and sometimes you just need the power to quickly test something.

I would add a little bit of heat shrink or tape on the center lead. It is not dangerous but my experience with wall warts is, they will burn out if shorted. (probably internally fused)
Coherent (author)  mr.incredible3 years ago
Thank you, and that's a good idea too! Heat shrink tubing would be perfect, but even a little electrical tape would do just fine for temporary use.